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Iowa Corn Growers Association Applauds WRRDA Passage in House and Senate

JOHNSTON, Iowa - May 23, 2014 - The Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA) applauds the long awaited passage of the Water Resources Reform Development Act (WRRDA). On Tuesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the conference report by an overwhelming 412 to 4 vote with all of Iowa's Congressional delegation in support. On Thursday, the U.S. Senate also approved the conference report with a vote of 91-7 with both Iowa's Senators supporting.

"Our river system is vital to Iowa farming and this has been a priority for the Iowa Corn Growers Association for many, many years," said Roger Zylstra, a farmer from Jasper County and the current Iowa Corn Growers Association President. "We were proud to see our Iowa delegation in support of WRRDA and we will seek their help as we work to secure funding for the Inland Waterways Trust Fund."

Highlights of the bill:

* Olmsted Federalization: permanent cost-sharing for the remaining cost of the Olmsted project will be 85% General Fund, 15% Inland Waterways Trust Fund, freeing up approximately $105 million per year for funding other Trust Fund priority projects with Olmsted funded at $150 million per year.

* Definition of Major Rehabilitation Project Eligible for Inland Waterways Trust Fund: increased from current law level of $14 million to $20 million and adjusted annually for inflation.

* Prioritization of Projects: based upon risk of failure and economic benefit to the Nation (as proposed by the CDP).

* Regulatory Relief: The WRRDA bill also includes a provision that would relax EPA's Spill Prevention Controls & Countermeasures (SPCC) rule. Language in the bill increases the exemption from 1,320 gallons to 6,000 gallons, pending a study by USDA and EPA. The provision also allows self-certification of spill plans for farms with less than 20,000 gallons of above ground aggregate storage and improves the definition of a reportable spill.

Unfortunately, the measure does not include Iowa Corn Grower Association supported language to increase the diesel fuel user fee which would have provided additional revenue to the Inland Waterway Trust Fund. The bill will now head to the President's desk for signing.

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WRRDA provides for the conservation and development of water and related resources, to authorize the Secretary of the Army to construct various projects for improvements to rivers and harbors of the United States, and for other purposes.

The Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA) is a membership organization lobbying on agricultural issues on behalf of its 7,800 farmer members. The organization work on the joint mission to create opportunities for long-term Iowa corn grower profitability.

Mindy Williamson
Communications & PR Director




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