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Geosynthetics included in water bill approved by U.S. Senate

News | May 22, 2014 | By:

Landmark ‘geosynthetics language’ is in WRRDA, now awaiting president’s signature

With a bipartisan 91-7 vote Thursday afternoon, the U.S. Senate followed Tuesday’s lead by the House in passing the Water Resources Reform & Development Act (WRRDA).

Geosynthetics language was included in the WRRDA Conference Report. And that Act crossed the first of three final hurdles Tuesday, May 20, 2014, when the U.S. House passed the measure with a final vote: 412 yea, 4 nay, 16 not voting.

Section 130 of the WRRDA bill describes the “use of innovative materials … including the use of geosynthetic materials … in carrying out the activities of the Corps of Engineers.”

Following this week’s passage by both houses, it likely will be signed into law by President Obama next week.

The WRRDA Conference Report was hammered out with considerable compromise from both parties, especially in regard to the differences in the previous House and Senate versions of the bill. Given the level of compromise that took place, the bill was expected to pass both chambers and go to the president’s desk for his signature and become a U.S. public law.

The inclusion of this first-ever “geosynthetics language” in a U.S. law has been a long-sought collective effort of the Whitmer & Worrall lobbying team along with members of the Geosynthetic Materials Association staff, GMA member companies, and many other industry stakeholders.

Said Whitmer & Worrall managing director, Rudy Barry: “It was truly a team effort. This is an important precedent and milestone for GMA in an effort to grow market opportunities and raise the profile of the geosynthetics industry across the U.S.”

-Ron Bygness, Senior Editor, Geosynthetics magazine

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