(By Delegates Caputo, Fleischauer and Manchin)

[Introduced February 14, 2003; referred to the

Committee on Rules.]

Requesting the United States Congress to enact and fully fund navigation needs on our Nation's rivers.

Whereas, The upper reaches of the headwaters of many of our nation's navigable rivers have suffered a decline in river commerce, resulting in severe cutbacks in federal funding for maintenance and operation of locks and dams on these rivers by the United States Army Corps of Engineers (COE), including the hours the locks are open for transit by river traffic; and
Whereas, This problem is especially severe within the Pittsburgh District of COE, for the Monongahela River and Upper Kanawha River in West Virginia and for the upper reaches of the Allegheny River in Pennsylvania, thus causing great harm to commercial and recreational users of these two rivers and to the communities and businesses that rely on unhindered navigation of these rivers; therefore, be it
Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Congress of the United States is requested to enact and fully fund legislation requiring that the Army Corps of Engineers base river navigation budgets not solely on the tonnage of commerce, but also on the value of the commerce and on the needs of recreational users of the rivers and on the importance of all such river uses to the economic well-being and development of communities and regions bounding the river; and, be it
Further Resolved, That it is requested that the Pennsylvania and West Virginia congressional delegations, especially those members of the United States House of Representatives whose districts include the Pittsburgh District of the Army Corps of Engineers, seek appropriations for the federal Fiscal Year 2003 (which began the first day of October, two thousand two) and for successive fiscal years that will enable the Pittsburgh District of the Corps of Engineers to fully meet the navigation needs of all river users and communities for the Upper Allegheny, Upper Monongahela and Upper Kanawha rivers and support Congressman Mollohan in his request for $5 million to research and demonstrate the feasibility of automating lock operation, directly permitting the remote operation of lock chambers for Upper Mon locks and developing a national technology base for a future combination of cost reductions with service improvements and seek congressional authorization and funding for studies of how the federal government might partnership with states and local communities on innovative ways to fund and operate river navigation needs; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the Legislature of West Virginia supports the Pittsburgh-based River Navigation Coalition in their extensive and effective efforts to keep the locks and dams operational on the Allegheny, Monongahela and Kanawha rivers, maximize the hours of operation of the locks for all users, promote river recreational boating, promote commercial navigation by maintaining the river channels and continued operation of the locks and promote economic growth pertaining to recreational and commercial navigation for the entire region; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the Legislature of West Virginia supports the Upper Monongahela River Association Incorporated, a West Virginia not-for-profit 501 (c) (4) corporation (successor to the informal Upper Monongahela Committee for Better Boating formed in February 2000) and a founding member of the River Navigation Coalition, in UMRA's efforts to achieve all of the goals; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the Clerk of the House of Delegates is directed to furnish a copy of this resolution to the West Virginia and Pennsylvania delegations to Congress.