The Conference Committee on the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) is still underway and while a final bill will not be enacted by the end of this year, it is hoped that it can be concluded early in 2014. The WRDA establishes policies and funding mechanisms for waterways infrastructure, including locks and dams, dredging, and port maintenance activities. ASA has recently signed onto two letters being sent to the House and Senate conferees expressing support for a final agreement that includes several important provisions that are priorities for ASA and other stakeholders.The first letter from agricultural groups, including ASA, National Grain & Feed Association, American Farm Bureau Federation, National Farmers Union, and National Oilseed Processors Association, identifies several priorities of the agricultural sector. Those priorities include relieving the Inland Waterways Trust Fund (IWTF) of the burden of the Olmsted Lock & Dam, increasing the diesel fuel user fee that funds the IWTF, expanding channel dredging authority, and ensuring more of the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund revenues are used for dredging and port maintenance. Click here to read the letter.The second letter led by the Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) focuses on two key points: the federalization of Olmsted Lock & Dam, and support for an increase in the user fee that funds the IWTF. ASA and 11 state soybean associations signed onto the WCI letter, which can be viewed here.