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Relief Bill Includes Funding For Oregon’s Ports

Port of Coos Bay

A bill in the relief package approved by Congress on Dec. 21 will provide more reliable funding for harbor maintenance. Oregon 4th District Rep. Peter DeFazio told KLCC he’s been fighting for this provision for 20 years.

DeFazio said a dedicated container tax that’s meant for harbor maintenance has long been diverted by congress. He said there’s $10 billion in the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund that has finally been unlocked by the recent legislation. He says this will allow small Oregon ports to do dredging and jetty maintenance projects they have long put off.

“And it’s going to be very helpful for the coastal economy in terms of sports fishing and commercial fishing, and the coast guard have been limited in some of their activities because of shoaled in harbor entrances,” DeFazio said.

DeFazio said the legislation will provide up to $3 billion a year for port maintenance nationwide. He said the funding could be put to immediate use on the Coos Bay North Jetty rehabilitation project. 

Copyright 2020, KLCC

Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s host for All Things Considered on weekday afternoons. She also is the editor of the KLCC Extra, the daily digital newspaper. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000.
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