FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 10, 2018
Contact: Press@paul.senate.gov, 202-224-4343
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Rand Paul applauded the U.S. Senate for passing S. 3021, the America’s Water Infrastructure Act (AWIA) of 2018, which included all three of his Kentucky priorities for this bill. The legislation passed the Senate by a 99-1 vote.
Senator Paul released the following statement:
“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 this bill, and I am thrilled with its passage today. Today’s good news comes after years of work on behalf of the Rough River Lake, Lake Cumberland, and other affected communities, and it is truly great to see these efforts have yielded a positive result. I look forward to standing by my commitment to always put Kentucky first and continuing my steadfast defense of our land, our waterways, and you from government intrusion.”
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deauthorize $4 billion worth of previously authorized studies for projects that currently lack local support or have an outdated purpose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.