Senator Markey and Warren Applaud Committee Passage of Massachusetts Provisions in Water Resource and Infrastructure Bill
Bipartisan legislation includes provisions to help repair aging bridges over Cape Cod Canal, expedite the completion of the dredging of Plymouth Harbor, and improve coastal resilience
Washington (May 22, 2018) – Massachusetts Senators Edward J. Markey and Elizabeth Warren today commended inclusion of several key provisions benefitting Massachusetts in the comprehensive water resources and water infrastructure bill, the American Water Infrastructure Act of 2018, that passed the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee today.
“This legislative package provides welcome relief and support to communities throughout Massachusetts that are growing their economies for the future and bracing for the present-day impacts of climate change,” said Senator Markey, a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, which has jurisdiction over the legislation. “I am pleased that this bill includes many of my key provisions, which will provide resources to our cities and towns, protect the public, and help celebrate the best of the Commonwealth. I thank Senator Warren for her partnership on this important infrastructure bill.”
“The infrastructure projects supported by this bill will make Massachusetts’ coastal communities more resilient, boost economic development, and promote environmental protections,” Senator Warren said. “I’m happy to partner with Senator Markey to fight for these vital projects that help our cities and towns.”
The Senators’ provisions incorporated into the legislation include:
- Sagamore and Bourne Bridges - Directing the Corps (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) to repair or replace critical evacuation routes, such as the Sagamore and Bourne Bridges - two 80-year old bridges that connect the 200,000 people living on Cape Cod to the mainland;
- Plymouth Harbor - Expediting the completion of the dredging of the Plymouth Harbor, so this critical project is implemented prior to the 400th anniversary of the voyage of the Mayflower and the settlement at Plymouth in 2020;
- Towns of Salisbury, Newbury, and Sandwich - Increasing the funding caps for three coastal protection programs, allowing the Towns of Salisbury, Newbury, and Sandwich to implement larger beach nourishment projects to protect their communities;
- Boston Harbor - Modifying the Boston Harbor Improvement Project, allowing the Port to build more expansive berths (i.e., where boats dock) to house ships;
- Muddy River - Reevaluating the Muddy River Environmental Restoration project, to pave the way for reauthorizing this critical project;
- Town of Sandwich - Limiting the duration of easements required for beneficial use projects, allowing the Town of Sandwich to use this program to place sand on their beach; and
- Requiring the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to appoint not fewer than one employee in each regional office to serve as a liaison to minority, tribal, and low-income communities, so these disenfranchised communities can have better access to the various resources and tools provided by the EPA.