WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Rand Paul reintroduced the Harbor Equity Act, which modifies the existing criteria used by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to dredge smaller harbors. Currently, the Corps prioritizes dredging solely for larger harbors that see 1 million or more tons in traffic per year – often forcing small community harbors to fund their own dredging or be forced to shut down operations.
This legislation drops the minimum tonnage requirements to 500,000 tons, prioritizing smaller harbors for dredging.
As mentioned by President Trump today in his remarks on the Ohio Riverfront, which borders Kentucky, our inland waterways are crucial to the economic success of a wide variety of industries, including coal, steel, agriculture, and manufacturing. Dr. Paul’s reintroduction of the Harbor Equity Act is a continuation of his commitment to ensuring our waterways remain a vital part of our country’s infrastructure and a source of economic growth for Kentucky communities.
“Maintaining America's robust inland waterway system means properly caring for harbors of all sizes, as the system's interconnectedness requires dredging smaller connecting harbors to ensure goods are efficiently transported,” said Dr. Paul. "The Corps’ current system prioritizes dredging for larger harbors, hindering economic growth and threatening the future of smaller harbors. These smaller ports are the backbone of local commerce in communities along our waterways, which is why I’m proud to reintroduce my bill to ensure they are considered for the Corps’ dredging efforts and to help protect them from facing potentially devastating shutdowns.”
You can read S. 1298, the Harbor Equity Act, HERE.