Passage of waterways funding bill ‘a win’

Legislation authorizing billions of dollars to improve U.S. ports, dams and harbors heads to the president for signature into law.

Passage of waterways funding bill ‘a win’

Legislation authorizing billions of dollars to improve U.S. ports, dams and harbors heads to the president for signature into law.

Passage of waterways funding bill ‘a win’

Legislation authorizing billions of dollars to improve U.S. ports, dams and harbors heads to the president for signature into law.

 
   In a 99-1 vote, the Senate on Wednesday approved S. 3021, America’s Water Infrastructure Act (AWIA), which authorizes billions of dollars in investments in the nation’s ports and waterways and includes the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA).
   “The passage of WRDA 2018 is a win for the nation’s towboat operators, freight shippers, ports and labor and conservation groups that rely on an efficient inland waterways system,” said Mike Toohey, president and COO of Waterways Council Inc. (WCI).
   WRDA 2018 authorizes at least $9 billion for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers civil works projects and Environmental Protection Agency drinking-water and sewer-overflow control programs.
   The legislation, which now goes to President Donald Trump for signature, also includes funding for the deepening of the Savannah Harbor in Georgia, replacement for the Chickamauga Lock on the Tennessee River and measures to protect against floods and restore shorelines.
   “This bill strengthens our nation’s vital inland waterways transportation system, will create and sustain American jobs, increase exports and keep the United States competitive in world markets,” Toohey said.

   The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) also commended passage of S. 3021.
   “In addition to authorizing three coastal navigation channel improvement projects — benefiting the ports of Seattle, Galveston and San Juan — to proceed to construction, the new legislation approves modifications to authorized navigation projects in Savannah, Ga., Norfolk, Va., and Sault St. Marie/Soo Locks, Mich.,” AAPA wrote in a press release.
   AAPA said the legislation also expedites qualifying projects currently under study to proceed into the preliminary engineering and design phase, benefiting the Port of Tacoma, tributaries leading to the Port of New York and New Jersey and ports in Housma, Baptiste Collette and Bayou LaFource, La., and Nome, Alaska.
   S. 3021 also directs the Corps of Engineers to provide technical assistance when requested for sponsor-led navigation channel improvement studies, benefiting ports in Port Canaveral, Fla.; Wilmington, N.C.; Savannah; and Louisiana, AAPA said.
   “It also directs the Corps to maintain and provide a ‘balance sheet’ on cost-shared funding efforts to address dredged-material placement facility cost-share issues, which benefits Port Houston and other Texas ports,” AAPA said.

   The Dredging Contractors of America said WRDA ensures that America maintains the competitiveness of U.S. coastal and inland ports and the navigability of inland waterways and creates a new framework to allow for more Army Corps projects to be budgeted with increased local stakeholder input and expanded transparency.
    William P. Doyle, CEO and executive director of the Dredging Contractors of America, said, “This legislation cuts bureaucratic red tape, it creates jobs and keeps our coastal communities, ports, harbors and inland waterway system safe. It will grow the nation’s economy and speed up important projects.”
    The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) noted that AWIA is the second significant infrastructure bill Congress has sent to the president’s desk in as many weeks. Last week, President Trump signed the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 into law.
   “Upgrading and modernizing harbors and ports as well as aging inland waterway lock systems is critical to manufacturers’ ability to engage in commerce,” NAM said.
   AAPA CEO Kurt Nagle did note that the final AWIA bill did not address Harbor Maintenance Tax (HMT) revenues.

   “Looking ahead, we’ll continue working with Congress to ensure all of the federal HMT collected is fully spent each year so there’s continued availability and competitiveness of our nation’s harbors and that HMT funds are distributed fairly, equitably and reliably,” Nagle said.
We were gratified to hear President Trump reaffirm his commitment to confronting predatory trade. We look forward to working with his administration on further trade remedies, including the use of reciprocal tariffs.
The Port of Boston ’ s Paul W. Conley Container Terminal handled a record 298,036 TEUs in cargo in 2018, a terminal record for the fourth straight year.
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Passage of waterways funding bill ‘a win’

Legislation authorizing billions of dollars to improve U.S. ports, dams and harbors heads to the president for signature into law.

By Kim Link-Wills on Oct 11, 2018AmericanShipper.com

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Passage of waterways funding bill ‘a win’

Legislation authorizing billions of dollars to improve U.S. ports, dams and harbors heads to the president for signature into law.

By Kim Link-Wills on Oct 11, 2018AmericanShipper.com