Editor’s Note: With the president’s recent signing of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) into law, I recalled a landmark date two and a half years ago. That is when President Obama, surrounded by about a dozen Capitol Hill legislators, signed the original “water Act”—the Water Resources Reform & Development Act of 2014. That law was a landmark for the geosynthetics industry as you can read below. And that section of the WRRDA—“Use of innovative materials”—was blended into 2016’s WRRDA. Another landmark date!
What’s the word in WRRDA?
Geosynthetics! That’s the word all right!
For the first time in U.S. history, the phrase “use of geosynthetic materials” is included in an official, passed-by-the-House, passed-by-the-Senate, signed-by-the-president, United-States-of-America law. You can read it yourself right here in the new Water Resources Reform & Development Act (WRRDA) section titled “Use of innovative materials”:
… including the use of geosynthetic materials … in carrying out the activities of the Corps of Engineers.
The inclusion of this first-ever “geosynthetics language” in a U.S. law has been a long-sought collective effort of the Geosynthetic Materials Association—and its engaged, energetic Executive Council members—other GMA-member companies, the Whitmer & Worrall lobbying team, along with 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.”
In a note to GMA members and other industry colleagues, GMA Executive Council chairman Boyd Ramsey wrote: “This achievement would very likely not have been possible without support and your willingness to contact your Senators and Representatives on behalf of your industry. Constituent opinion and the letters you have written are one of the strongest motivators that GMA uses to advance the cause of the geosynthetics industry. I personally, and on behalf of the Geosynthetic Materials Association, thank you for your contributions. Both your industry and your country will benefit from your efforts.”
And Whitmer & Worrall founding partner, Martin Whitmer, added his congratulations as well as a look ahead: “It has been a great honor and pleasure to work side-by-side with GMA as we educated dozens of offices on how geosynthetics benefit our nation’s water infrastructure. [We] look 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.”