“Our bipartisan amendment provides more fairness to how we distribute harbor maintenance dollars,” Napolitano said. “Last year the users of the Ports of LA and Long Beach paid $263 million in harbor maintenance taxes and received $0 back in harbor maintenance. Now these and other donor ports will receive a fairer share of funding, which will be used for costly repairs, infrastructure improvements, and maintenance.”
Napolitano offered the amendment along with House Transportation Committee Ranking Member Peter DeFazio (D-OR-04) and Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX-02). Napolitano is the Ranking Member on the Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee, which has oversight of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Her full floor statement can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/3ZNwvVvPokA.
· The National Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund collects payments from ports across the country for the maintenance dredging of U.S. harbors.
· California ports only receive 15% back of what their shippers pay into the Fund. However, last year, due to inequitable allocation funding formulas the Ports of LA & Long Beach received 0%.
· Bipartisan passage of the Water Resources Reform & Development Act of 2014 (WRRDA) required the Army Corps of Engineers to allocate at least 10% of Harbor Maintenance Funds to all donor ports for expanded uses, including berth dredging, removal of contaminated sediment, environmental remediation, and or funds to continue to use their ports.
· The Napolitano/DeFazio/Poe amendment requires the Corps to implement these funding allocations, which were not included in the Corps’ FY2016 Budget.
· Letter of Support from the American Association of Port Authorities:
· Letter of Support from the Port of Los Angeles: http://1.usa.gov/1JWUNxW