Press Releases

Larsen Applauds Passage of America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018

Rep Rick Larsen (WA-02) issued the below statement on the passage of America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018.

“Investing in the nation’s ports, channels, waterways and other critical infrastructure keeps the U.S. maritime system competitive, encourages new, good-paying maritime jobs and helps to ensure a heathy environment in the Pacific Northwest,” said Larsen.

According to Washington’s Department of Commerce, the state’s maritime industry contributes more than $21 billion in gross business income and directly employs more than 69,500 people.

Puget Sound ports export the second highest amount of agricultural and forest products in the U.S. In 2015, more than 17 million tons of containerized cargo and 25 million tons of bulk and break bulk cargo passed through Washington’s ports to or from foreign countries.

“Small ports across the United States, like the ports of Skagit and Bellingham, create jobs and drive economic activity across various sectors from fishing and manufacturing, to shipbuilding and recreation,” said Larsen.

Rep. Larsen successfully included language to significantly increase federal funding for the Puget Sound Adjacent Waters Restoration program (PSAW).

“Federal funds to restore the Puget Sound’s tributaries, waters and shorelines have supported local projects like the Qwuloolt Estuary restoration in Marysville. These efforts ensure sites are protected for current and future generations,” said Larsen.

The bill also includes funding to improve contaminated drinking water in underserved and disadvantaged communities, supports areas impacted by natural disasters to repair their drinking water systems and provides funds for monitoring, testing and replacement of school drinking water fountains containing lead.

“This comprehensive water resources and infrastructure bill will support local community efforts to improve clean drinking water, encourage the use of hydropower and strengthen stormwater and wastewater infrastructure,” said Larsen.

Earlier this year Larsen successfully shaped the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2018, the original House-passed version of today’s legislation.