MURKOWSKI AND STEVENS VOTE TO OVERRIDE VETO OF WATER RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT ACT
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The United States Senate today voted 79-14 to override President Bush’s veto of H.R. 1495, the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA). The House took similar action on Tuesday which means the Act will now become law.
Congress authorizes specific Army Corps of Engineers projects in WRDA, including studies, before appropriating funds to them. Congress has not completed a WRDA since 2000.
“Passage of a Water Resources bill is long overdue,” said Senator Murkowski. “I applaud my fellow members of Congress for recognizing the importance of this legislation so that we can finally appropriate funds for critical infrastructure projects in Alaska and across the country.”
“It has been nearly seven years since a WRDA authorization has been signed into law,” said Senator Stevens. “Alaskans, particularly those in rural parts of our State, are in need of the projects included in this bill. I applaud my colleagues in Congress for voting in favor of this long overdue legislation, which strengthens the economy and helps protect our environment.”
Senators Murkowski and Stevens secured several projects for Alaska in the Senate version of the bill that were included to the final conference report. They include:
• Haines Small Boat Harbor - Authorizes $11 million to provide additional protection to the existing 2.25-hectare mooring and maneuvering basin and add a new adjacent 6.60-hectare basin with an additional entrance channel.
• Black Lake – Authorizes a study to determine the effects of erosion and a potential aquatic restoration project at the head of the Chignik watershed.
• Kodiak - Authorizes $2 million for the Secretary to carry out, on an emergency basis, the necessary removal of rubble, sediment, and rock impeding the entrance to the St. Herman and St. Paul Harbors.
• Valdez – Authorizes a feasibility study and $20 million for construction of a new small boat harbor.
• Sitka – Authorizes $6.3 million to repair the breakwater at Thomson Harbor.
• Seward – Authorizes $3.3 million to extend the outer breakwater of the small boat harbor.
• Wrangell – Raises the water supply project authorization limit, from $25 million to $45 million, for a future appropriation.
• Barrow – Authorizes a feasibility study for new small boat harbor.
• Nome – Authorizes a study to determine whether cost increases are due to a design deficiency.
• Old Harbor – Authorizes a feasibility study to upgrade the small boat harbor.