The Senate is poised to vote Tuesday on the Water Resources Development Act of 2016 (S. 2848). The $9 billion bill package would authorize 25 water development projects in 17 states across the country, including $280 million earmarked for the lead-contamination drinking water crisis in Flint, Michigan. The House passed a limited $5 billion WRDA bill earlier this year without funding for the Flint crisis.
As chairman of the powerful Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Oklahoma’s Jim Inhofe is one of two legislative leaders designated to manage the 2016 WRDA bill, which was primed for a cloture vote late Monday afternoon. Senators will debate the infrastructure package followed by a vote which could come as early as Tuesday.
In addition to the Flint project, the WRDA funding covers renewals of Great Lakes and Lake Tahoe restoration programs and the approvals of more than two dozen new navigation, flood protection and ecosystems projects.
Every two years, the Senate passes a new WRDA bill to address water delivery infrastructure and runoff containment and abatement, among other projects.
This bill is expected to pass the Senate with strong bipartisan support.
OK Energy Today reported earlier this year on April 28 that the new WRDA bill will directly benefit the state to “ensure that Oklahoma projects, including the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System and the Tulsa and West Tulsa Levee System, continue to receive support and prioritization.”