A federal water resources bill making its way through Congress would provide funding for dredging the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, Sen. Barbara Boxer said today.
The wording of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act has been approved by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and a joint House and Senate committee, both chaired by Boxer, and votes in the House and Senate are expected next week.
The bill "includes important reforms to strengthen our ports, including in Los Angeles and Long Beach," Boxer said.
The bill calls for increased spending from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund, which the ports pay into, according to Boxer. The formula for distributing funding would be amended so that the local ports, which contribute the most into the fund, would get their fair share back, she said.
The bill also would provide $99 million to protect infrastructure along the coast in San Clemente and more than $1 billion for bolstering levees around Sacramento. The bill may also benefit "critical ecosystems, such as the Salton Sea," according to Boxer.
Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Buscaino said the bill takes "a step in the right direction" by enabling the Port of Los Angeles to get more from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund.
The port now receives very little out of the fund, according to Buscaino, whose council district includes the port.
The city-owned port has put in $265 million and received $265,000 for port maintenance projects, according Buscaino's office.
"I would like to thank Congresswoman Janice Hahn and her port caucus for the work they have done to make this possible," Buscaino said.
--City News Service