WASHINGTON, D.C. — Oregon’s small ports are a step closer to millions of dollars in new dredging funds, after House lawmakers overwhelmingly approved the conference report for the Water Resources Reform & Development Act of 2014. The final vote was 412 to 4.
The bill, which authorizes funding for Army Corps of Engineers navigation, flood control and environmental restoration projects, now advances to the Senate for final passge before it is signed into law.
Rep. Peter DeFazio successfully fought for a provision that guarantees the nation’s small ports, according to a press release from his administration, including those in Southwest Oregon, will receive annual funding for dredging for the next eight years. In recent years, the budget for small ports was zeroed out due to a lack of funding. Rep. DeFazio expects his set-aside will generate at least $90 million each year for the nation’s small ports.