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Transportation Legislation

AAPA Lauds Committment to Fix HMT Inequity


In a May 23 guest editorial on, titled How to Fix American Transportation, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John Mica (R-FL) called on his Congressional colleagues to "...act now to craft legislation that can help create long-term jobs, reduce the massive federal bureaucracy, streamline project delivery and provide flexibility to states so they can address their infrastructure needs."  He specifically addressed the federal harbor maintenance tax issue by stating "...despite growing maritime infrastructure needs, these funds are not being used for their intended purpose of maintaining our ports." Chairman Mica's vision for reauthorizing the nation's surface transportation legislation goes beyond the traditional "highway bill" approach and is expected to address road, rail, transit and maritime for a comprehensive solution to many of the transportation problems the nation faces. The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) has urged the committee to include a maritime title in the transportation bill to address the harbor maintenance tax problem and navigation project development inefficiencies. In meetings this year with Chairman Mica, AAPA President and CEO Kurt Nagle stressed the need for full use of the tax to meet dredging needs nationwide and called for a solution to ensure that the annual revenue collected would be fully used for maintaining the nation's ports and harbors at

Senate O.K.s U.S. Waterways Improvement Bill

The U.S. Senate passed legislation to improve transportation on the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers for Midwestern farmers shipping bulk commodities. The legislation provided $2 million for the initial phase of the Upper Mississippi and Illinois waterway system navigation modernization project. The project will redesign and expand seven locks -- five on the Mississippi and two on the Illinois -- that currently delay shipments on the river because the locks are too small to handle

Senator Collins Won't Support New Port Security Measure

According to reports, proposed legislation that would require mandatory screening of all maritime cargo is being called overkill by some leaders. Senator Collins, a ranking member of the Homeleand Security Committee, says the proposed legislation goes too far and would bog down waterfront commerce. Legislation now being proposed in congress would require all cargo moving through our ports to be scanned for dangerous materials.

CMK’S Furman Authors Security Pamphlet

 Photo courtesy Carroll McNulty & Kull LLC

Richard L. Furman, Esq., member of Carroll McNulty & Kull LLC (CMK) of New York, has authored “Cargo Transportation Security: Legislation and Regulation Through 2009,” a pamphlet published by Matthew Bender.   The terror attacks on September 11, 2001, made clear the need for comprehensive and integrated cargo and transportation security laws and regulations. Furman’s pamphlet discusses the principal legislation and regulations currently in effect, directed at cargo

Gov. Christie Signs Bill to End Cargo Fees

Photo: Global Terminal & Container Services

Yesterday, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed S2747/A4170 into law. This legislation, which received unanimous bipartisan support from the entire legislature, will eliminate the Port of New York & New Jersey (PANYNJ) cargo facility fee.  In 2011, the PANYNJ  became the only port agency in the country to impose a cargo facility charge on all containers, including empties.  The fee charged is $4.95 for 20-foot containers, $9.90 for 40-containers, and $1

WCI Names Zea as Director

Tracy Zea (Photo: WCI)

Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) has named Tracy R. Zea as its Director-Government Relations, effective August 4.  He will be based in the Washington, D.C. office and will primarily advocate for WCI’s goals for authorizations and appropriations which support a modern, efficient, and reliable inland waterways transportation system.  Zea will also work to enhance WCI’s stakeholder relationship with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Maritime Security Legislation Passed

Public port authorities commend Congress for passing S. 1214, the “Maritime Transportation Security Act,” which sets out a framework on how to protect America from terrorism threats in the marine environment. "We commend Congressional leaders from both parties for making passage of Federal Maritime Transportation Security legislation a priority in the lame duck session. Chairman Hollings (D-SC), Senator McCain (R-AZ), Senator Graham (D-FL), Senator Breaux

AAPA Lauds Focus of Senate Transportation Proposal

AAPA President and CEO Kurt Nagle

Senate EPW’s 2-year reauthorization proposal includes much of AAPA’s platform. The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) supports a number of the provisions included in legislation marked up today by the U.S. Senate’s Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee. S.1813—Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century or MAP-21— would fund highway programs at $85.3 billion over two years, contains no project earmarks

NGA Hears Plea to Strengthen US Transportation Infrastructure

Logo NGA

At the recent National Governors Association meeting, House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) spoke with the nation's governors about strengthening the country’s transportation infrastructure. Shuster highlighted his committee’s plan to consider a bill to reauthorize the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) next month.  He describes the legislation as an unprecedented effort to reform water resources policy in a

Bill Promotes US LNG Vessel Transport

Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA-03), Ranking Member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure’s Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee, introduced H.R. 5270, the Growing American Shipping Act, which aims to modernize U.S. LNG shipping export laws and strengthen the maritime industry. The Subcommittee’s Chairman, Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-CA-50), joined the legislation as an original cosponsor.

DOT Awards $10 mln for San Diego Terminal Upgrade

Photo: Unified Port of San Diego

San Diego’s Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal Modernization project is due to receive $10 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), Deputy Maritime Administrator Michael J. Rodriguez announced today. The project is one of 39 federally-funded transportation projects in 34 states

$12.3 Mln TIGER Grant for Hueneme Port Project


  Deputy Maritime Administrator Michael J. Rodriguez today announced that the Department of Transportation will provide $12.3 million for the Port of Hueneme Intermodal Improvement project in Port Hueneme. The project is one of 39 federally-funded transportation projects in 34 states

VT Halter Launches Another ATB Tug for Bouchard

M/V Morton S. Bouchard Jr.  6,000hp Twin Screw ATB tug (Photos: VT Halter)

Shipbuilder VT Halter Marine, Inc. and Bouchard Transportation Co. Inc. announced the launch of M/V Morton S. Bouchard Jr., a 6,000hp Twin Screw Articulated Tug Barge (ATB) tug, on October 29, 2015.   The M/V Morton S. Bouchard Jr. is part of a two-vessel contract awarded to the shipyard

Interferry Leads Search for Ro-pax MRV Solution

Photo: DFDS

In an initiative led by trade association Interferry, a special correspondence group has been formed to recommend sector-specific metrics for ro-pax vessels under pending implementation rules for European Union (EU) legislation on the monitoring

Insights: Tracy Zea, Director-Government Relations, WCI

Tracy R. Zea

Washington-based Tracy R. Zea advocates for Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) goals for authorizations and appropriations which support a modern, efficient, and reliable inland waterways transportation system. Zea also works to enhance WCI’s stakeholder relationship with the U.S

TSB to Investigate Tug Incident in Fraser River

The TSB is publishing selected data pertaining to accidents and reportable incidents from its Marine Safety Information System (MARSIS) for use by professionals and the public to advance transportation safety.

  The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) is deploying a team of investigators following the girding and sinking of the tug Sea Imp X in the North Arm of the Fraser River, British Columbia. The occurrence took place yesterday at approximately 20:00 PDT.

White House Does Not Support Efforts to Lift Oil Export Ban

The White House does not support efforts by the U.S. Senate to lift the ban on oil exports, despite provisions in the legislation allowing the president to halt exports if he deemed them not in the interests of national security, a spokesman said on Wednesday.  

More Democrats Needed to Repeal Crude Export Ban

Lawmakers who want to ditch the 40-year-old U.S. ban on exporting oil will likely enjoy a victory on Thursday in the Senate banking committee - but they are struggling to garner enough Democratic support to pass the bill in the full chamber.

Fiji: Boats Registeration a Must

Photo by Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji

 Under new maritime laws all vessels and boats using Fiji waters have to abide by the rules and regulations under the Marine Transport Decree, reports FBC   Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji (MSAF) will issue with an infringement notice to any vessel or boat that is not registered with

White House Issues Veto Threat for US House Oil Export Bill

The White House issued a veto threat on Wednesday for a U.S. House of Representatives bill that would lift a ban on crude oil exports, saying the legislation was "not needed at this time."   Congress should instead cut subsidies for oil companies and invest in wind

US Senators Introduce Bill to Limit Offshore Drilling

A group of U.S. Senators on the West Coast have introduced a bill Wednesday aiming to prohibit offshore drilling on the outer continental shelf of California, Oregon and Washington.   First introduced in 2010, the West Coast Ocean Protection Act

House Passes Bill to Repeal US Oil Export Ban, Veto Looms

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill on Friday to overturn the 40-year-old ban on oil exports, but the measure did not get enough support to overturn any veto by President Barack Obama, and similar legislation in the Senate faces an uphill battle.  

Foss Maritime Opens Houston Office

John Tirpak will lead the Houston office (Photo: Foss Maritime)

Foss Maritime has opened a new office and the formed a project management group aiming to support its customer base headquartered in Houston.   John Tirpak of Foss has been appointed Vice President of Business Development & Contract Services and will be relocating to Houston to develop

TSB Team to Investigate Trois-Rivières Collision


  The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) is deploying a team to Trois-Rivières, Quebec, following the collision between the bulk carrier Desert Rhapsody and the tug Ocean Basque. The TSB will gather information and assess the occurrence.

2015 Tripartite Meeting Update


  The annual Tripartite meeting between shipowners, shipbuilders and classification societies was held in Seoul, Republic of Korea on 16 and 17 October 2015. The meeting was attended by 100 high level representatives of the industry, including chairmen and executives of the Round Table

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