Washington, D.C. – June 11, 2014 – The National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) and U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) applaud the passage of the Water Resources Reform Act (WRRDA) of 2014. President Obama signed WRRDA into law today.
“NAWG is pleased the president signed the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 into law today,” commented NAWG President, Paul Penner, a wheat farmer from Hillsboro, Kan. “This bipartisan bill signals how vital our inland waterways system is; both to America’s wheat farmers and to our nation’s economy as a whole. The bill also provides much needed regulatory relief for farmers by increasing the storage capacity for exemptions and self-certification for on farm aboveground storage tanks.”
“As half of our nation’s wheat crop is exported annually, wheat growers’ livelihoods depend on modern, functioning U.S. ports and waterways,” Dan Hughes, USW Chairman and wheat grower from Venango, Neb. said. “We applaud the Congress and President for coming together to maintain our nation’s export competitiveness.”
WRRDA seeks to increase funding for waterway development projects, such as deepening waterways and lock and dam repairs and upgrades. The bill is especially important to America’s wheat farmers, who rely on many inland waterways, such as the Columbia River system in the Pacific Northwest, to ship their wheat to port before being exported abroad.
The Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure provisions in the bill include exemptions for above ground storage capacity of less than 2,500 gallons and above ground storage capacity of greater than 2,500 gallons and less than 6,000 gallons and no history of a spill. The provision will require self-certification plan for farmers that have aggregate above ground storage capacity less than 20,000 gallons and greater than 6,000 gallons and no history of spill.
For more information on NAWG’s Transportation Policy visit http://www.wheatworld.org/issues/transportation/.
USW is the industry’s market development organization working in more than 100 countries. Its mission is to “develop, maintain, and expand international markets to enhance the profitability of U.S. wheat producers.” The activities of USW are made possible by producer checkoff dollars managed by 19 state wheat commissions and through cost-share funding provided by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. For more information, visit www.uswheat.org or contact your state wheat commission.