When President Obama signed the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act, formerly known as the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) on December 16, he created a big opportunity for the San Francisco Bay Area.
The WIIN Act directs the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (“the Corps”) to establish ten pilot programs to carry out projects for the beneficial reuse of dredged material from Federal and non-Federal navigation channels. Ten initial, geographically diverse pilot projects will be selected and, for those projects, the Corps is not required to select the least cost disposal method for dredged material, as it usually is.
BPC is taking an active role in implementing the Act and using the momentum behind it to establish state funding for dredging and beneficial reuse of dredged materials. An important criteria for implementation is seeking authorization to augment the Corps’ budget on the ten pilot projects so there is no negative impact to the current operations and maintenance needs of the Corps.
Here is what we are doing right away:
- Continuing our coordination with a coalition of regional entities – the Bay Conservation and Development Commission, the California State Coastal Conservancy and Save the Bay – to ensure sufficient funding of the pilot program and the location of a project site on San Francisco Bay. This will involve working with officials in Congress, from the Corps, and regionally. Letter writing, visits to Washington, DC and meetings with key regional stakeholders are all being planned.
- Working to pursue state funding for dredging and beneficial reuse. To this end, we are working to develop some initial legislative language, communicate with key members of the State Legislature, and develop interest at the state level in studying the economic impact of dredging and beneficial reuse.
“The Bay Planning Coalition is a non-profit organization well known for its advocacy and credibility in the San Francisco Bay Area corporate and environmental community. When we speak about an issue, legislators and regulators listen.” – John A. Coleman, CEO