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U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR), a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, secured priorities to improve and strengthen Arkansas water resources in legislation unanimously passed by the committee.
The Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) authorizes water and wastewater projects, invests in ports, inland waterways and improves U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) programs.
“The Water Resources Development Act strengthens our state’s waterways and ensures we have safe and reliable sources of drinking water while promoting transportation, job creation and commerce. I’m proud to create and advance policies to ensure water infrastructure meets the evolving needs of Arkansans,” Boozman said.
Boozman-authored provisions that make critical investments in Arkansas water infrastructure include:
- Providing the Corps authority to be more proactive in working with its local partners to address rainfall in the St. Francis watershed as a result of population growth in Jonesboro and Paragould.
- Creating a pilot program to allow a locality or a private entity to apply for structural/nonstructural project funding assistance to help with conservation efforts.
- Establishing an inland waterways dredging pilot program that would allow the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System to receive funding to dredge the river. This would allow interested parties to use funds to deepen the channel to 12 feet so barges and boats can carry larger loads on the Arkansas River.
- Permitting the Corps to reinvest recreation fees to improve facilities where the funds were collected. The provision will create an incentive for the Corps to maintain good facilities and provide quality recreational opportunities on our public lands. More than $8 million was collected at Arkansas Corps recreation facilities in Fiscal Year 2021.