Apr 15 2016
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today said he was pleased the Senate Appropriations Committee has approved a provision which could help the Charleston Harbor deepening project move toward construction, even if Congress does not pass a Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) this year.
“Sometimes we’ve needed to secure additional money for the project. Other times we’ve needed to push the Administration to keep the project on track or obtain the proper authorization,” said Graham. “This provision creates a pathway for us to obtain the authorization we need to move into the construction phase.”
Graham noted the committee provision recommends up to eight new construction starts. Of the new construction starts, at least one will be for an environmental infrastructure project and at least one navigation project. The other six will be left to the Army Corps of Engineers discretion.
Graham also noted the Senate bill makes $227.37 million in additional funding available for construction. When allocating funding, the Corps is encouraged to prioritize funding for projects which benefit the national economy, create jobs, allow for a non-federal sponsor to provide a cost-share, and promote economic development.
Graham noted that he believes Charleston Harbor deepening fits each of those criteria.
“It’s always been our goal to keep the harbor deepening project on track and completed as quickly as possible,” said Graham. “We’ve taken another step forward in that endeavor today. I truly appreciate the committee for the strong support of the Charleston Port. The message has been repeatedly delivered. Jobs are on the line, today and in the future. Today was a good day for the Port and our deepening project.”