Steel Institute: Water Resources Bill Long Overdue

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For Immediate Release
September 19, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As the steel industry relies heavily on water-born infrastructure for the transportation of raw materials, such as scrap, coal, and iron ore, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) today welcomed House committee passage of a bill to increase funding for water resource infrastructure, including seaport harbor deepening projects and upgrades to river locks used by barges. The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee this afternoon unanimously approved the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) and have sent it to the full House for a vote. The Senate passed its own water resources bill in July.

“This bill increases investment, prioritizes infrastructure needs, reduces red tape -- and is long overdue. It has been seven years since the last water resources bill was enacted and the steel industry has felt the impact,” said Thomas J. Gibson, president and CEO of AISI, who this week sent the committee a letter of support for the bill on behalf of the steel industry.

He noted that a recent report by the American Society of Civil Engineers indicates that aging infrastructure in our nation’s ports and waterways was responsible for delays costing $33 billion in 2010, and costs are expected to increase to nearly $49 billion by 2020. He said the reforms contained in H.R. 3080 will help reduce congestion at our nation’s ports and minimize logistical delays and compounded expenditures - important measures to steel producers, and their suppliers and customers who depend on timely deliveries.

“At a time when our nation is most in need of economic growth, this bill will help put Americans back to work by limiting the time and costs under which projects can be studied, and by streamlining, consolidating, and eliminating duplication in the review of projects to help quickly deliver steel intensive projects,” Gibson concluded.

Contact: Lisa Harrison
202.452.7115 / lharrison@steel.org

Click here for a PDF version of this release.

Read the AISI letter to Rep. Shuster (R-PA) supporting WRRDA.

AISI serves as the voice of the North American steel industry in the public policy arena and advances the case for steel in the marketplace as the preferred material of choice. AISI also plays a lead role in the development and application of new steels and steelmaking technology. AISI is comprised of 24 member companies, including integrated and electric furnace steelmakers, and 127 associate members who are suppliers to or customers of the steel industry. AISI’s member companies represent over three quarters of both U.S. and North American steel capacity. For more news about steel and its applications, view AISI’s website at www.steel.org.