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Water infrastructure bill expected to head to Senate

The Senate appears poised to pass the bipartisan America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018, one of three appropriation bills that lawmakers hope to pass to help avoid a government shutdown.

S. 3021, which is expected to be voted on by the Senate after being amended and passed in the House, focuses on water quality and will reauthorize billions of dollars in federal spending on ports, harbors and waterways, as well as deauthorize inefficient spending on water projects, according to The Hill.

It also encompasses the Water Resources Development Act and funds improvements for waterways, reservoirs, levees, locks and dams.

“The bill authorizes the needed investment in waterways where millions of Americans recreate,” said BoatUS government affairs manager David Kennedy in a statement. “It also promotes policies to address water-quality concerns, such as the harmful algal blooms recently seen in Florida and the Great Lakes.”

BoatUS said boaters will favor the bill because it supports waterway access projects, navigation and water-quality improvements, and provides maintenance funds for harbors of refuge.

It also includes such policy changes as a provision directing that the economic benefit of boating be considered for locks on the Allegheny River system.

“Regular passage of WRDA bills is good news for American boaters,” Kennedy said. “Keeping up with water-infrastructure maintenance and updating the laws that deal with our waterways will help keep boating one of our nation’s favorite recreational activities.”

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