Less red tape and more public-private partnerships for building locks and dams are the goals of legislation that has passed in the U.S. House of Representatives Tuesday. The Water Resources and Reform Development Act passed by a vote of 412-4. U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Taylorville) believes one of the benefits of the legislation will be getting the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to begin projects more quickly, saying before, completing pre-construction studies and permit applications has taken up to 15 years.
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“This process will be reduced to three years and $3 million. Before, it had no cap,” Davis said. “That is real savings to the taxpayers when you talk about the need to spend upwards of $1 billion to sometimes put new water infrastructure into the rivers.” Davis says the bill will also increase opportunities for private companies to help fund water infrastructure projects.
The Senate could vote on the bill later this week.