FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 9, 2018
Contact: Press@paul.senate.gov, 202-224-4343
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Rand Paul applauded the U.S. Senate for invoking cloture on S. 3021, the America’s Water Infrastructure Act (AWIA) of 2018, which included all three of his Kentucky priorities for this bill. In a recent video update to Kentuckians, Senator Paul said the following:
“Fighting for Kentucky’s priorities in Congress is one of my most important duties, and one I take very seriously. It’s why I am incredibly proud to be one of the very few senators to have secured all of my Kentucky-related priorities for inclusion in the recent water infrastructure bill.
“You may be familiar with some of these issues, like the provision to extend Freedom to Fish. I certainly have spoken with many of you over the past several years as we’ve worked together to stop big government from claiming control over your land and waterways.
“In addition to Freedom to Fish, I worked to ensure a provision was included to block the Army Corps from imposing water usage fees on the residents and businesses around Lake Cumberland. As I heard at many town hall meetings I’ve held in Somerset and other cities around Lake Cumberland, Kentuckians should not be forced to pay a tax for using water they’ve used for years.
“Lastly, the inclusion of language to address the issue at Rough River Lake -- where the Corps was trying to force residents to pay outrageous fees to fix a problem the Corps created in the first place. This is something of great importance to me. I led this fight, and I refused to give up.
“After many meetings with community members in Grayson County, listening sessions, correspondence with Corps leadership, and the introduction of amendments to fix this problem, I’m absolutely thrilled that my request to prevent the Corps from imposing fees on Rough River Lake residents was included in the final bill.
“I’m proud to have kept my commitment to always put Kentucky first and look forward to continuing my steadfast defense of our land, our waterways, and you from government intrusion.”
You can watch the video HERE.
The America’s Water Infrastructure Act (AWIA) of 2018 is a response to President Trump’s call for major reinvestments in American infrastructure, particularly water infrastructure. AWIA directs the actions of the Army Corps of Engineers and authorizes major water infrastructure projects that benefit most states – key projects such as deepening nationally significant ports, maintaining inland waterways, upgrading dams and irrigation systems, and increasing water storage. The bill also:
- Sets up a process to deauthorize $4 billion worth of previously authorized studies for projects that currently lack local support or have an outdated purpose
- Notes funding authorization modifications for the potential removal of Green River and Barren River Locks and Dams in Kentucky
- Directs the Corps to list studies that have not received funding in 10 years and solicit public and state government comment
- Includes Senator Paul’s Kentucky priorities:
- Lake Cumberland – Prevents the Secretary of the Army from charging a fee for surplus water if the contract is for surplus water stored in the Lake Cumberland Watershed.
- Rough River Lake – Prohibits the imposition of administrative fees around RRL and provides for the reimbursement of those fees to eligible property owners.
- Freedom to Fish – The Freedom to Fish Act, which became law in 2013, prevents the Corps of Engineers from taking certain actions to create a new restricted area prohibiting public access to waters downstream of a dam or other civil works structures in the Cumberland River basin. This provision extends Freedom to Fish by five years once AWIA (S. 3021) is signed into law.