Senators Markey and Warren Continue to Fight for 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 (September 12, 2018) – Massachusetts Senators Edward J. Markey and Elizabeth Warren today continued their effort to include several key provisions benefitting Massachusetts in the comprehensive water resources and water infrastructure bill, America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018. The U.S. House of Representatives will be voting on the legislative package tomorrow. Senator Markey is a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, which has jurisdiction over the legislation.
“From fortifying our communities bracing for the present-day impacts of climate change, to eradicating the environmental contaminants of the 20th century from our water infrastructure, this legislative package provides welcome relief and support to communities throughout Massachusetts,” said Senators Markey and Warren. “With this funding, our Commonwealth communities will be able to generate economic growth and prosperity.”
The Senators’ provisions incorporated into the legislation include:
- Sagamore and Bourne Bridges - Directing the 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, helping the Towns of Salisbury, Newbury, and Sandwich to implement 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;
- Town of Sandwich – Ensuring the Corps pays for all of the operation and maintenance costs of projects implemented to address erosion caused by federal infrastructure, like the jetties at the mouth of Cape Cod Canal.
- 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.