Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) President and CEO Daren Coppock released the following statement commending the U.S. House of Representatives’ passage of the bipartisan H.R. 7575, the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2020:
“The U.S. inland waterways system provides the lowest-cost, most fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly way to transport products. Our nation’s lock and dam systems remain in urgent need of additional funding for essential maintenance and modernization.
“Most locks and dams were built in the 1920s and 30s and have far exceeded their 50-year design lifespan. ARA commends the House for focusing its efforts on water infrastructure projects with the passage of this critical legislation.
“This legislation will enhance U.S. agriculture’s competitiveness, contribute to the overall efficiency of the U.S. transportation system, and promote overall U.S. economic growth and job creation by releasing more than $9 billion from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund to be spent as intended and adjusting the cost-share formula for inland waterway construction and major rehabilitation of navigation projects.
“ARA thanks Congress for its continued focus on reauthorizing WRDA every two years and for providing the necessary funds to modernize the nation’s water infrastructure transportation system.”
ARA signed a coalition letter July 28 in support of the WRDA.