There is hereby established an Inland Waterway Users Board (hereinafter in this section referred to as the “Users Board”) composed of the eleven members selected by the Secretary, one of whom shall be designated by the Secretary as Chairman. The members shall be selected so as to represent various regions of the country and a spectrum of the primary users and shippers utilizing the inland and intracoastal waterways for commercial purposes. Due consideration shall be given to assure a balance among the members based on the ton-mile shipments of the various categories of commodities shipped on inland waterways. The Secretary of the Army shall designate, and the Secretaries of Agriculture, Transportation, and Commerce may each designate, a representative to act as an observer of the Users Board.
The Users Board shall meet not less frequently than semiannually to develop and make recommendations to the Secretary and Congress regarding the inland waterways and inland harbors of the United States.
The chairperson of the Users Board shall appoint a representative of the Users Board to serve as an advisor to the project development team for a qualifying project or the study or design of a commercial navigation feature or component of the inland waterways and inland harbors of the United States.
Any advice or recommendation made by the Users Board to the Secretary shall reflect the independent judgment of the Users Board.
Not later than 1 year after June 10, 2014, the Secretary, in coordination with the Users Board, shall develop and submit to Congress a report describing a 20-year program for making capital investments on the inland and intracoastal waterways based on the application of objective, national project selection prioritization criteria.
In developing the program under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall take into consideration the 20-year capital investment strategy contained in the Inland Marine Transportation System (IMTS) Capital Projects Business Model, Final Report published on April 13, 2010, as approved by the Users Board.
The chairperson of the Users Board and the project development team member appointed by the chairperson under subsection (b)(3) may sign the project management plan for the qualifying project or the study or design of a commercial navigation feature or component of the inland waterways and inland harbors of the United States.
Non-Federal members of the Users Board while engaged in the performance of their duties away from their homes or regular places of business, may be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, as authorized by section 5703 of title 5.