WATER RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT ACT

The Water Resources Development Act is a biennial bill enacted by Congress that authorizes new water transportation infrastructure projects as well as protecting and maintaining existing water infrastructure systems including ports, dams, locks, and waterways. These programs address various aspects of water resources: environmental, structural, navigational, flood protection, hydrology, etc. Typically, the United States Army Corps of Engineers administers the bulk of the Act's requirements. In addition to the provisions concerning water transportation infrastructure, the bill also includes provisions to support management of aquatic invasive species including aquatic weeds, non-native carp, and Dreissenid mussels.

Current Legislation / Prior Legislation / Funding / Reports
Current Legislation

116th Congress:

Introduced: 6/12/19​

Status: passed Senate 7/10/19, passed House 12/8/20 as part of the fiscal year 2021 omnibus appropriations bill

 

For AIS language in the bill, see SEC. 505. INVASIVE SPECIES MITIGATION AND REDUCTION. (Page 4062)

 

The House 2020 WRDA website has Section By-Section Summary with the following AIS and invasive related mentions. Italicized text is taken directly from S. 1811. 

TITLE V—OTHER MATTERS
Sec. 501. Update on Invasive Species Policy Guidance. This section requires the Corps to periodically update its Invasive Species Policy Guidance.

(b) INCLUSION.—The Secretary may include in the updated guidance invasive species specific efforts at federally authorized water resources development projects located in—

(1) high-altitude lakes; and
(2) the Tennessee and Cumberland River basins.

Sec. 502. Aquatic Invasive Species Research. This section amends an existing authority for the Corps, through its Engineering Research and Development Center, to: (1) include aquatic invasive species prevention activities; (2) include research on elodea and quagga mussels; and (3) expand the scope of activities to include the Arctic, Gulf Coast, Great Lakes, and reservoirs operated by the Corps.

Sec. 503. Terrestrial Noxious Weed Control Pilot Program. This section requires the Corps to carry out a pilot program to address terrestrial noxious weed control on Federal land under the jurisdiction of the Corps, and to submit a report to Congress describing the new and improved strategies developed through the pilot program.

Sec. 504. Invasive Species Risk Assessment, Prioritization, and Management. This section authorizes the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force to develop a priority list of invasive species that impact the structure and function of the South Florida ecosystem and that have a strong potential to reduce key indicators used to measure Everglades restoration progress.

Sec. 505. Invasive Species Mitigation and Reduction. This section increases authorization levels for invasive species mitigation and reduction activities; adds two additional locations to an existing watercraft inspection station authority to control the spread of aquatic invasive species; and establishes a new U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) led pilot program to remove invasive plant species in certain watersheds.

Section 104 of the River and Harbor Act of 1958 (33 U.S.C. 610) is amended—

(1) in subsection (b)—

(A) in paragraph (1)—

(i) in the matter preceding subparagraph (A), by striking ‘‘this section $110,000,000’’ and inserting ‘‘this section (except for subsections (f) and (g)) $130,000,000’’;

‘‘(D) $30,000,000 shall be made available to carry out subsection (d)(1)(A)(iv); and
‘‘(E) $10,000,000 shall be made available to carry out subsection (d)(1)(A)(v).’ ’

(III) in clause (iii), by striking ‘‘Arizona River Basins.’’ and inserting ‘‘Arkansas River Basins;’’; and (IV) by adding at the end the following:

‘(iv) to protect the Russian River Basin, California; and ‘‘(v) to protect basins and watersheds that adjoin an international border between the United States and Canada.’’; and

‘‘(B) LOCATIONS.—The Secretary shall place watercraft inspection and decontamination stations under subparagraph (A) at locations with the highest likelihood of preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species into and out of waters of the United States, as determined by the Secretary in consultation with the Governors and entities described in paragraph (3).’’;

‘(2) DEVELOPMENT OF PLANS.—The Secretary, in coordination with the Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force, shall carry out a pilot program under which the Secretary shall collaborate with States in the Upper Missouri River Basin in developing voluntary aquatic invasive species management plans to mitigate the effects of invasive species on public infrastructure facilities located on reservoirs of the Corps of Engineers in those States

‘‘(2) INVASIVE SPECIES PARTNERSHIPS.— ‘‘(A) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary may 5enter into partnerships with applicable States and other Federal agencies to carry out actions to prevent the introduction of, control, or eradicate, to the maximum extent practicable, invasive species that adversely impact water quantity or water quality in the Platte River Basin, the Upper Colorado River Basin, the Upper Snake River Basin, and the Upper Missouri River Basin

‘‘(B) PRIORITIZATION.—In selecting actions to carry out under a partnership under subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall give priority to projects that are intended to control or eradicate the Russian olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia) or saltcedar (of the genus Tamarix)

 

‘‘(B) PILOT PROGRAM.—The Secretary of the Interior, acting through the Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, shall establish a pilot program under which such Secretary shall work with eligible entities to carry out activities—‘‘(i) to remove invasive plant species in riparian areas that contribute to drought conditions in— ‘‘(I) the Lower Colorado River Basin; ‘‘(II) the Rio Grande River Basin; ‘‘(III) the Texas Gulf Coast Basin; and ‘‘(IV) the Arkansas- White-Red Basin; ‘‘(ii) where appropriate, to replace the invasive plant species described in clause (i) with ecologically suitable native species; and ‘‘(iii) to maintain and monitor riparian areas in which activities are carried out under clauses (i) and (ii).

Sec. 506. Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention. This section expands the program to slow the spread of Asian Carp beyond the Upper Mississippi and Ohio River Basins and tributaries to all six sub-basins of the Mississippi River.

Sec. 507. Invasive Species in Alpine Lakes Pilot Program. This section requires the Secretary of the Interior to establish a pilot program to address aquatic invasive species in alpine lakes.

(a) ESTABLISHMENT.—The Secretary of the Interior, acting through the Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, shall establish a pilot program (referred to in this section as the ‘‘pilot program’’) to develop and carry out effective measures necessary to prevent, control, or eradicate aquatic invasive species in alpine lakes that are not located within a unit of the National Park System.

Sec. 508. Murder Hornet Eradication Pilot Program. This section requires the Secretary of the Interior to establish a five-year pilot program to provide financial assistance to States for activities necessary to eradicate the Asian giant hornet and restore bee populations damaged by the Asian giant hornet.

Sec. 509. Asian Carp Prevention and Control Pilot Program. This section requires the Corps to establish a new pilot program to carry out projects to manage and prevent the spread of Asian carp in the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers using innovative technologies, methods, and measures, and in coordination with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). This section also establishes a new program for the USFWS to provide financial assistance to States to implement measures to eradicate Asian carp.

Sec. 510. Invasive Species in Noncontiguous States and Territories Pilot Program. This section requires the Director of the USFWS to establish a pilot program to address invasive species in culturally significant forested watersheds in noncontiguous States and territories of the United States in which the Secretary is carrying out flood risk reduction projects.

 

Introduced: 7/13/20

Status: passed House 7/29/20, sent to Senate

Prior Legislation

115th Congress:

 

SEC. 1170. WATERCRAFT INSPECTION STATIONS. 
Section 104 of the River and Harbor Act of 1958 (33 U.S.C. 610) is amended—

(1) by amending subsection (b) to read as follows:

‘‘(b) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.—

‘‘(1) IN GENERAL.—There is authorized to be appropriated 
to carry out this section $110,000,000 for each fiscal year, 
of which—

‘‘(A) $30,000,000 shall be made available to carry out subsection (d)(1)(A)(i); 
‘‘(B) $30,000,000 shall be made available to carry out subsection (d)(1)(A)(ii); and

‘‘(C) $30,000,000 shall be made available to carry out subsection (d)(1)(A)(iii). 

‘‘(2) CONTROL OPERATIONS.—Any funds made available under paragraph (1) to be used for control operations shall be allocated by the Chief of Engineers on a priority basis, based on the urgency and need of each area and the availability  of local funds.’’; and

(2) in subsection (d)—

(A) by amending paragraph (1) to read as follows:

‘‘(1) IN GENERAL.— ‘‘(A) WATERCRAFT INSPECTION STATIONS.—In carrying 
out this section, the Secretary shall establish (as applicable), operate, and maintain new or existing watercraft inspection stations—

‘‘(i) to protect the Columbia River Basin; 
‘‘(ii) to protect the Upper Missouri River Basin; and ‘‘(iii) to protect the Upper Colorado River Basin and the South Platte and Arizona River Basins. 

‘‘(B) LOCATIONS.—The Secretary shall establish watercraft inspection stations under subparagraph (A) at locations with the highest likelihood of preventing the 
spread of aquatic invasive species at reservoirs operated 
and maintained by the Secretary, as determined by the 
Secretary in consultation with States within the areas 
described in subparagraph (A).

‘‘(C) RAPID RESPONSE.—The Secretary shall assist States within the areas described in subparagraph

(A) with rapid response to any aquatic invasive species, including quagga or zebra mussel, infestation.’’; 

(B) by amending paragraph (3)(A) to read as follows:

‘‘(A) the Governors of the States within the areas described in each of clauses (i) through (iii) of paragraph (1)(A), as applicable;’’.

114th Congress:​

 

SEC. 1178. COLUMBIA RIVER.

(a) ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION.—Section 536(g) of the Water Resources Development Act of 2000 (Public Law 106–541; 114 Stat. 2662; 128 Stat. 1314) is amended by striking ‘‘$50,000,000’’ and inserting ‘‘$75,000,000’’.

(b) WATERCRAFT INSPECTION STATIONS.—Section 104 of the River and Harbor Act of 1958 (33 U.S.C. 610) is amended—

(1) in subsection (d)—

(A) by striking paragraph (1) and inserting the following:

‘‘(1) IN GENERAL.—In carrying out this section, the Secretary may establish, operate, and maintain new or existing watercraft inspection stations to protect the Columbia River Basin to be located in the States of Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington at locations, as determined by the Secretary in consultation with such States, with the highest likelihood of preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species at reservoirs operated and maintained by the Secretary. The Secretary shall also assist the States referred to in this paragraph with rapid response to any aquatic invasive species, including quagga or zebra mussel, infestation.’’; and

(B) in paragraph (3)(A) by inserting ‘‘Governors of the’’ before ‘‘States’’; and

(2) in subsection (e) by striking paragraph

(3) and inserting the following:
‘‘(3) assist States in early detection of aquatic invasive species, including quagga and zebra mussels; 

 

113th Congress:

SEC. 1039. INVASIVE SPECIES.

(a) AQUATIC SPECIES REVIEW.—

(1) REVIEW OF AUTHORITIES.—The Secretary, in consultation with the Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, the Chairman of the Tennessee Valley Authority, and other applicable heads of Federal agencies, shall—

(A) carry out a review of existing Federal authorities relating to responding to invasive species, including aquatic weeds, aquatic snails, and other aquatic invasive species, that have an impact on water resources; and

(B) based on the review under subparagraph (A), make any recommendations to Congress and applicable State agencies for improving Federal and State laws to more effectively respond to the threats posed by those invasive species.

(2) FEDERAL INVESTMENT.—

(A) ASSESSMENT.—The Comptroller General of the United States shall conduct an assessment of the Federal costs of, and spending on, aquatic invasive species.

(B) CONTENTS.—The assessment conducted under subparagraph (A) shall include—

(i) identification of current Federal spending on, and projected future Federal costs of, operation and maintenance related to mitigating the impacts of aquatic invasive species on federally owned or operated facilities;

(ii) identification of current Federal spending on aquatic invasive species prevention;

(iii) analysis of whether spending identified in clause (ii) is adequate for the maintenance and protec- tion of services provided by federally owned or operated facilities, based on the current spending and projected future costs identified in clause (i); and

(iv) review of any other aspect of aquatic invasive species prevention or mitigation determined appropriate by the Comptroller General.

(C) FINDINGS.—Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General shall submit to the Committee on Environment and Public Works and the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate and the Committee on Transportation and Infra- structure and the Committee on Natural Resources of the House of Representatives a report containing the findings of the assessment conducted under subparagraph (A).

(b) AQUATIC INVASIVE SPECIES PREVENTION.—

(1) MULTIAGENCY EFFORT TO SLOW THE SPREAD OF ASIAN

CARP IN THE UPPER MISSISSIPPI AND OHIO RIVER BASINS AND TRIBUTARIES.—

(A) IN GENERAL.—The Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, in coordination with the Sec- retary, the Director of the National Park Service, and the Director of the United States Geological Survey, shall lead a multiagency effort to slow the spread of Asian carp in the Upper Mississippi and Ohio River basins and tribu- taries by providing technical assistance, coordination, best practices, and support to State and local governments in carrying out activities designed to slow, and eventually eliminate, the threat posed by Asian carp.

(B) BEST PRACTICES.—To the maximum extent prac- ticable, the multiagency effort shall apply lessons learned and best practices such as those described in the document prepared by the Asian Carp Working Group entitled ‘‘Management and Control Plan for Bighead, Black, Grass, and Silver Carps in the United States’’ and dated November 2007, and the document prepared by the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee entitled ‘‘FY 2012 Asian Carp Control Strategy Framework’’ and dated February 2012.

(2) REPORT TO CONGRESS.—

(A) IN GENERAL.—Not later than December 31 of each year, the Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, in coordination with the Secretary, shall submit to the Committee on Appropriations and the Committee

Deadline. Reports on Environment and Public Works of the Senate and the Committee on Appropriations, the Committee on Natural Resources, and the Committee on Transportation and Infra- structure of the House of Representatives and make publicly available a report describing the coordinated strategies established and progress made toward the goals of control- ling and eliminating Asian carp in the Upper Mississippi and Ohio River basins and tributaries.

(B) CONTENTS.—Each report submitted under subpara- graph (A) shall include—

(i) any observed changes in the range of Asian carp in the Upper Mississippi and Ohio River basins and tributaries during the 2-year period preceding submission of the report;

(ii) a summary of Federal agency efforts, including cooperative efforts with non-Federal partners, to con- trol the spread of Asian carp in the Upper Mississippi and Ohio River basins and tributaries;

(iii) any research that the Director determines could improve the ability to control the spread of Asian carp;

(iv) any quantitative measures that the Director intends to use to document progress in controlling the spread of Asian carp; and

(v) a cross-cut accounting of Federal and non-Fed- eral expenditures to control the spread of Asian carp.

(c) PREVENTION, GREAT LAKES AND MISSISSIPPI RIVER BASIN.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary is authorized to implement measures recommended in the efficacy study authorized under section 3061 of the Water Resources Development Act of 2007 (121 Stat. 1121) or in interim reports, with any modifications or any emergency measures that the Secretary determines to be appropriate to prevent aquatic nuisance species from dispersing into the Great Lakes by way of any hydrologic connection between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River Basin.

(2) NOTIFICATIONS.—The Secretary shall notify the Committees on Environment and Public Works and Appropriations of the Senate and the Committees on Transportation and Infrastructure and Appropriations of the House of Representativesany emergency actions taken pursuant to this subsection.

(d) PREVENTION AND MANAGEMENT.—Section 104 of the River and Harbor Act of 1958 (33 U.S.C. 610) is amended—

(1) in subsection (a)—

(A) in the first sentence, by striking ‘‘There is’’ and

inserting the following:

‘‘(1) IN GENERAL.—There is’’;

(B) in the second sentence, by striking ‘‘Local’’ and inserting the following:

‘‘(2) LOCAL INTERESTS.—Local’’;

(C) in the third sentence, by striking ‘‘Costs’’ and inserting the following:

‘‘(3) FEDERAL COSTS.—Costs’’; and

(D) in paragraph (1) (as designated by subparagraph (A))—

(i) by striking ‘‘control and progressive,’’ and inserting ‘‘prevention, control, and progressive’’; and

(ii) by inserting ‘‘and aquatic invasive species’’ after ‘‘noxious aquatic plant growths’’;

(2) in subsection (b), in the first sentence, by striking ‘‘$15,000,000 annually’’ and inserting ‘‘$40,000,000, of which $20,000,000 shall be made available to implement subsection (d), annually’’; and

(3) by inserting after subsection (c) the following: ‘‘(d) WATERCRAFT INSPECTION STATIONS.—

‘‘(1) IN GENERAL.—In carrying out this section, the Sec- retary may establish watercraft inspection stations in the Columbia River Basin to be located in the States of Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington at locations, as determined by the Secretary, with the highest likelihood of preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species at reservoirs operated and maintained by the Secretary.

‘‘(2) COST SHARE.—The non-Federal share of the cost of constructing, operating, and maintaining watercraft inspection stations described in paragraph (1) (including personnel costs) shall be—

‘‘(A) 50 percent; and

‘‘(B) provided by the State or local governmental entity in which such inspection station is located.
‘‘(3) COORDINATION.—In carrying out this subsection, the

Secretary shall consult and coordinate with—
‘‘(A) the States described in paragraph (1); ‘‘(B) Indian tribes; and
‘‘(C) other Federal agencies, including—

‘‘(i) the Department of Agriculture;
‘‘(ii) the Department of Energy;
‘‘(iii) the Department of Homeland Security; ‘‘(iv) the Department of Commerce; and
‘‘(v) the Department of the Interior.

‘‘(e) MONITORING AND CONTINGENCY PLANNING.—In carrying out this section, the Secretary may—

‘‘(1) carry out risk assessments of water resources facilities; ‘‘(2) monitor for aquatic invasive species;
‘‘(3) establish watershed-wide plans for expedited response

to an infestation of aquatic invasive species; and
‘‘(4) monitor water quality, including sediment cores and

fish tissue samples.’’.

Funding
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Reports