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June 10, 2014

New Waterways Law Benefits Agriculture, Consumers

For more information on Newsline, contact: Kari Barbic, Media Specialist, American Farm Bureau Federation, karib@fb.org.

President Barack Obama signed the Water Resources Reform and Development Act today. WRRDA is an important piece of legislation for agriculture, one that has been a priority for the American Farm Bureau. Seanica Otterby has the story.
OtterbyThe Water Resources Reform and Development Act is important not just to agriculture, but also everyday consumers in this country, according to AFBF transportation specialist Andrew Walmsley.
WalmsleyThis WRRDA bill’s very holistic. It’s not just our waterways, but it’s our ports, which are critical for trade and farmers being able to export their products. Overall, the bill does a lot, both from environmental streamlining to project approvals of allocating funding where it should be going in regards to the importance of our inland waterways and our ports.
OtterbyWalmsley says the U.S. has been blessed with an inland waterways system that allows for shipment of bulk commodities in a cost-effective way.
WalmsleyWhen you look at locks and dams in this country, some of them were built back in the 20’s, so it’s time to make sure that we put our priorities in the right place when we have a system that is so beneficial.
OtterbyWalmsley says more funding in the Inland Waterways Trust Fund has been freed for other projects, which is something to watch as the new law enters the implementation process.
WalmsleyThere’s a strong desire that we need to be making better investments for our future in the Inland Waterways Trust Fund, so we’re going to be looking for that piece of the puzzle as we go forward.
OtterbySeanica Otterby, Washington.

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