The Water Resources Development Act, which was supported by Representative Doug Collins of Gainesville, has been passed by the House of Representatives.
The bill authorizes water infrastructure projects across the country and includes reforms of the Army Corps of Engineers, which manages Lakes Lanier and Hartwell. The bill would also give local entities a larger role in sourcing funding for projects and directs the Corps to consider local opinions in projects that involve ports, dams or lakes under its authority.
"The Corps of Engineers too often ignores the impacts its actions have on local lakes and residents, and it's time for a fundamental change to how the Corps handles its responsibilities," said Collins in a press statement following the passage. "I'm glad to see provisions in this infrastructure bill that would increase the influence that residents of Northeast Georgia have over their water resources, homes and communities, and I'll continue holding the Corps accountable for how it manages lakes in Northeast Georgia."
Collins said in the statement the act also ensure the continuation of the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project, which he said is critical to Georgia's economy.
The House Rules Committee oversees every bill that comes to the House floor for a vote. As part of this committee, Collins also spoke to the chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee about improving the Corps of Engineers.