Washington DC- Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced that Congress’ tax extenders bill, which is set to become law following Senate passage, contains Casey-authored provision to dramatically increase investment in Western Pennsylvania’s locks and dams. The years long effort to adequately fund Western Pennsylvania’s job creating waterways infrastructure received a significant boost in 2012 when Senator Casey introduced the RIVER Act. Casey’s bill, which through the tax extender bill and the previously passed Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), is now law. The legislation changes the way waterways projects are managed and revises the Inland Waterways User Fee to 29 cents per gallon beginning - a change that industry strongly supports. Prior to Senator Casey’s efforts Western PA’s locks and dams were only were allocated $1.96 million in Fiscal Year 2014. After Senator Casey’s efforts in WRRDA and tax extenders there will be approximately $140 million available annually for locks and dams in western Pennsylvania and across the country.
“This is a breakthrough moment for the region’s waterways. Our region’s locks and dams play a vital role in the moving of commerce, creating and sustaining jobs, and supporting economic growth throughout Southwestern Pennsylvania,” Senator Casey said. “This legislation is about increasing investments in our waterways and reforming the current process to reduce waste and limit cost overruns.”