The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) applauds Congress for passing the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2022, a key piece of legislation related to our nation’s water infrastructure.
“Our nation’s transportation infrastructure is critical to agriculture and rural America’s competitive advantage in world markets, and WRDA provides vital support for that network,” said TFI President and CEO Corey Rosenbusch. “WRDA is the foundation for the modernization of our nation’s inland waterways and ports, which are an integral component of the fertilizer distribution system.”
Of particular importance, this year’s WRDA reauthorization makes permanent a cost-share structure for inland waterways projects where 65% of funding comes from the general treasury with the remaining 35% coming from the Inland Waterways Trust Fund.
“Making the cost-share permanent will promote much needed investment for inland navigation projects, as well as provide confidence to industry that much needed maintenance and modernization of our inland waterway system will happen,” Rosenbusch explained. “On a ton-mile basis, approximately one-fourth of fertilizer moves on the inland barge system and these projects are absolutely critical to the safe and efficient distribution of fertilizers.”
Highlighting the importance of WRDA and the need for modernizing the country’s aging water infrastructure, Rosenbusch noted the 700 percent increase in unscheduled work stoppages for repairs of locks and dams built nearly a hundred years ago but designed only to last 50 years.
“These delays are not only disastrous for the farmers who receive much of the almost 70 million tons of fertilizer each year via our nation’s waterways, they can also raise the prices of everyday goods and food for consumers,” Rosenbusch concluded. “The fertilize industry appreciates the bipartisan work of Congressional leaders that have made modernization of our inland waterways a priority.”