Passage of Water Resources Development Act Benefits the Composites Industry

Piyali Das Press Releases

December 12, 2016 (Arlington, Va.) – The American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA) commends Congress for passing the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act and sending it to the President for signature.

Title I of the legislation is the Water Resources Development Act of 2016, which takes steps toward promoting critical improvements to our nation’s waterways, harbors, and drinking water infrastructure. The legislation empowers the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to build stronger and longer lasting structures.

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 support of Sen. Whitehouse has been crucial to positioning composites for greater use by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He has been a champion for our industry in Rhode Island and around the country and sees the value composites bring to building stronger and longer lasting infrastructure,” said Tom Dobbins, ACMA President.

In a victory for the composites industry, 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.

“ACMA applauds the U.S. House of Representatives for working with the Senate to send a comprehensive WRDA bill to President Obama that takes steps to vastly improve the quality of our nation’s water infrastructure,” said Dobbins.

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.