Congress has passed the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act, a comprehensive bill that includes the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2016. WRDA takes steps toward promoting critical improvements to our nation's waterways, harbors and drinking water infrastructure.
The American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA) claim that it’s a victory for the composites industry as the legislation empowers the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to build stronger and longer lasting structures with composites.
Back in September, the Senate passed its version of WRDA, which included a provision authored by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) directing the Corps to study the performance of composites and other innovative materials in water resources projects. It also makes recommendations on their ability to improve the performance of water infrastructure.
The final bill includes the language from the Senate version. ACMA worked with members of both chambers to ensure the inclusion of the study language in the final package. Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-Conn.) led efforts to build support for the provision in the House.
In addition to assessing the performance of composites and other innovative materials in current Corps projects, the provision will also make recommendations on how these materials can be used to build structures less susceptible to corrosion and structural degradation. ACMA believes this initiative will identify data points that will allow for the construction of world-class infrastructure.