Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) applauded approval by the House Appropriations Committee (by a vote of 33 to 24) of strong funding for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22). The Committee provided overall funding for the Corps’ Civil Works Mission for FY22 at $8.66 billion, an increase of $863 million above FY21’s appropriated level, and $1.9 billion above the President’s FY22 budget request.
“WCI is pleased that the House Appropriations Committee has increased funding for the Corps of Engineers’ critical work, further increasing it beyond the historic level that was requested by the Administration for FY22. We thank the Committee for their leadership, and specifically Representatives Bustos, Hinson, Graves, and Luetkemeyer for their work to move NESP forward in FY22. We look forward to working with Congress to further modernize the inland waterways system as the appropriations process advances,” said Tracy Zea, WCI President/CEO.
The Corps’ Investigations account funding received $155 million, $2 million above the FY21 enacted level and $49.2 million above the FY22 budget request. The Gulf Intracoastal Waterways’ Brazos River Floodgates and Colorado River Locks received $6.93 million in Pre-Construction Engineering & Design (PED) funds for FY22 from this account.
Funding for the Construction account is $2.6 billion, an increase of $799.4 million above FY22’s budget request.
The Inland Waterways Trust Fund (IWTF), funded by a diesel fuel tax paid by commercial operators and the U.S. general treasury for priority construction and major rehabilitation projects on the inland waterways, was appropriated $90 million. The Three Rivers Project on the McClellan Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System (MKARNS) received a new start for FY22 and $149 million in construction funding, of which $52.2 million is provided from the IWTF.
No funding was provided for the three ongoing construction projects: Kentucky Lock, Chickamauga Lock, Montgomery Lock.
The Committee also approved the list of Community Project Funding items (formerly referred to as earmarks) that included $22.5 million in construction funding for the Navigation and Ecosystem Sustainability Program (NESP). The project funding was requested by Representatives Bustos (D-IL), Hinson (R-IA), Graves (R-MO), and Luetkemeyer (R-MO).
Funding for Operations and Maintenance (O&M) is $4.8 billion, an increase of $967.3 million above FY21 and $500 million above the Administration’s request, of which $13 million was provided to finish six inland waterways major rehabilitation studies as follows: $1.5 million for New Cumberland Lock (Ohio River); $2.5 million for Marmet Locks and Dam (Kanawa River); $2.5 million for Greenup Locks and Dam (Ohio River); $2.5 million for Meldahl Lock and Dam (Ohio River); $1.9 million for Kerr Lock and Dam (MKARNS); $1.7 million for Webbers Falls Lock and Dam (MKARNS).
Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF) projects are to receive an estimated $2.05 billion, $370 million above the FY21 enacted level and an increase of $424.1 million above the Administration’s FY22 request.