WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. House of Representatives today passed the bipartisan Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), which will help strengthen America’s ports, locks, dams, and water infrastructure. The bill includes several provisions introduced by U.S. Representative Mike Bost (IL-12) to address improvements needed at certain water infrastructure projects across Southern Illinois.

“Our nation’s waterways are vitally important to both our local and national economies,” said Bost. “Roughly 575 million tons of cargo, including the vast majority of our nation’s agriculture production and other commodities, move via inland commercial maritime transportation each year. I’m proud that the Water Resources Development Act includes several provisions that will help communities across Southern Illinois – from Wood River in the north, all the way down to the Len Small Levee and Cairo in the south.”

Bost provisions in WRDA include:

  1. Increasing federal funding authorization to help carry out six miles of sewer separation projects in Belleville and Wood River. This project will reduce sewage backup, disruptions to traffic, and other health and economic consequences resulting from overflows and untreated sewage;
  2. Creating a program for the United States Army Corps of Engineers to make repairs and improvements to Army Corps-constructed flood pumping stations, such as those in Cairo, Illinois;
  3. Permitting local levee districts to make additional in-kind contributions toward achieving a positive Benefit Cost Ratio (BCR) in cases where the Corps determines that the cost of repair to a breached non-federal levee exceeds its flood prevention benefits.
  4. Increasing the federal costs share for construction of inland waterways projects, such as locks and dams.