Current Issues

Here are some issues which the USSD Advocacy Committee worked on. If you believe USSD should become involved in an issue that falls within the scope of this group’s work, please send us a note via the Contact button at the top of this page.

Understanding Oroville: Apply a Common Sense Approach to U.S. Critical Infrastructure

United States Society on Dams members are asked to use this link to send our Op-Ed entitled, "Understanding Oroville: Apply a Common Sense Approach to U.S. Critical Infrastructure," to their local media outlet for publication.

The greater the number of submissions of this Op-Ed around the country, the more effectively our message will penetrate the media and be in front of the public.



S. 2848, Water Resources Development Act

USSD is in favor of this legislation. September 15, 2016, the United States Senate passed the Water Resources Development Act [WRDA], S. 2848, by a vote of 95-3. On September 28, 2016, the House passed H.R. 5303, by a vote of 399-25. The Senate version is roughly $9 billion legislation providing authorization for projects ranging from Everglades restoration to dam safety to drinking water in Flint, Michigan. The House version is roughly half as large as the Senate version, about $4.5 billion.  Soon after passing the House bill the Congress adjourned to return home to campaign for the November 8th elections.

The next step in the process is for the House and Senate to convene a conference committee to hammer out the differences between the two bills and come up with a conference report they can both agree on. The conference report then goes back to the House and Senate for votes and then on to the President for signature. Expect the conference committee to get to work soon after the November 8th elections.

On December 8, 2016, the House of Representatives passed the WRDA2016 conference report as the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act by a vote of 360-61.

On December 10, 2016, at 1.00am, over the objections and the filibuster of California Senator Barbara Boxer, the Senate passed the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act by a vote of 78-21.

The measure now goes to the President for his signature.




S. 2717, Dam Repairs and Improvements for Tribes Act of 2016

S. 2717, Section 102 takes $22 million, Section 112 takes $10 million from existing accounts and creates two new dedicated accounts for projects on Native American lands. The projects are good, though the funding mechanism is an issue we are taking a look at as it poses potential issues for other projects. Substantial portions of S. 2717 are in the Senate version of  S. 2848, the Water Resources Development Act [WRDA], cited above.