Portman Praises Senate Passing Legislation to Combat Invasive Species, Combat Coastal Erosion, and Protect Water Quality in the Great Lakes, Ohio
July 28, 2022
WASHINGTON DC – Today, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), co-chair of the Senate Great Lakes Task Force, applauded the Senate’s passage of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), bipartisan legislation that authorizes a multitude of investments in U.S. Army Corps of Engineers projects and programs, including a number of Portman Priorities and Provisions that support the Great Lakes and the State of Ohio . Specifically, the WRDA bill includes measures that will protect and improve the water quality of the Great Lakes and Ohio waterways by providing more resources to control invasive species, improve water infrastructure, support stabilizing shorelines and combating the threat of coastal erosion.
“This bipartisan legislation includes a number of my key priorities that support the Great Lakes and Ohio waterways,” said Portman. “From fighting coastal erosion along the shores of Lake Erie to fighting invasive species in Ohio lakes and other inland waterways, this bipartisan legislation is a major victory for the Great Lakes and the people of Ohio.”
REMARK: Specifically, the bipartisan party Water Resources Development Act:
- Includes Portman’s bipartisan Lake Erie Water Quality Protection Actwhich would expand the Aquatic Plant Control Program to include the Lake Erie Basin and the Ohio River Basin, and direct USACE to prioritize hydrilla projects.
- Includes Portman’s bipartisan Aquatic Invasive Species Control Actwhich would direct the Army Corps to prioritize the development of dredged material management plans for the eight Ohio ports along Lake Erie that adhere to US water quality laws State of Ohio.
- Directs the Corps to prioritize shoreline protection and restoration projects along the Great Lakes and Ohio waterways and authorizes funding to support forecasting of water levels and variability water levels in the Great Lakes.
- Directs the Corps to expedite the completion of the Great Lakes Coastal Resilience Study, which would coordinate a strategy across the Great Lakes States to help protect the 5,200-mile Great Lakes coastline. Portman has always advocated for this study to be done.
- Increase federal cost sharing for the Brandon Road Lock and Dam project from 80% federal cost sharing to 90% federal cost sharing. Earlier this year, Portman managed to securing $225.8 million for the project with funding provided by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Employment Act.
- Increases funding authority for Sec. 594 Ohio and North Dakota $100 million environmental infrastructure program. This program enables the Army Corps to provide assistance to non-Federal interests in Ohio for projects such as the design and construction of water and wastewater treatment facilities, sewer overflows units, water supply/storage/treatment, environmental restoration and surface water protection.