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‘Geosynthetics’ now in U.S. law

News | June 10, 2014 | By:

WRRDA signed by President Obama Tuesday morning

President Obama this morning signed into law the Water Resources Reform & Development Act (WRRDA).

Geosynthetics language was included in the final bill, which had passed with large bipartisan support in both the U.S. House and Senate in May.

A GMA priority

Included in WRRDA is the first-ever “geosynthetics language” in a U.S. law-a long-sought collective effort by the Geosynthetic Materials Association (GMA) and many other industry stakeholders.

One section of the new law describes the “use of innovative materials … including the use of geosynthetic materials … in carrying out the activities of the Corps of Engineers.”

Boyd Ramsey, chairman of GMA’s Executive Council said: “This law is important to the geosynthetic and civil engineering communities for many reasons; most significant to our industry is the requirement of the law to have geosynthetics evaluated as a component of these water-related projects and activities.”

Lobby team congratulates GMA

Martin Whitmer, founding partner at the lobby firm Whitmer & Worrall, said: “Our team congratulates the Geosynthetic Materials Association (GMA) and the GMA membership on their successful efforts to promote the use of geosynthetics in the WRRDA bill. It has been a great honor and pleasure for our firm to work side-by-side with GMA as we educated dozens of offices on how geosynthetics benefit our nation’s water infrastructure. Whitmer & Worrall looks forward to building upon this great victory as we continue our efforts to expand the use of geosynthetics in the upcoming highway and aviation bills.”

What WRRDA does

The new law funds projects for flood control, water navigation, storm damage reduction, beach nourishment, ecological restoration, water supply, and dam and levee safety.

The $12.3 billion measure sets policies, programs and projects for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and specifically authorizes 34 projects related to waterways, harbor deepening, environmental restoration, and flood control.

WRRDA authorizes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to carry out its missions to develop, maintain, and support the country’s port and waterways infrastructure needs; and to support targeted flood protection and environmental restoration needs.

President: Transportation next

President Obama concluded his remarks with a look forward to having a transportation infrastructure bill on his desk this summer: “The fact that this [WRRDA] bill received bipartisan support, I think hopefully sets a pattern for additional work that we can do on our transportation infrastructure.”

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