Maritrans Operating Company L.P. said it believes the benefits of deepening the Delaware River to 45 ft. have been severely misstated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE). The ACOE report, released in December 2002, concluded that the benefits to cost ratio of the deepening project
was 1.18 to 1. The report states that the major benefit of this project is in the form of reduced lightering expenses for refineries along the Delaware River. Maritrans Operating Company L.P., which performs a very high percentage of all lightering for area refineries, reports that the ACOE understated the actual volume of lightering by approximately 25 percent and under-reported the number of hours spent lightering by approximately 35 percent. These are key statistics in the report's calculations, and Maritrans believe that the ACOE's errors result in a substantial overstatement of the benefits of the project.
Maritrans Operating Company L.P. said it provided the ACOE with historical facts about lightering operations in an effort to have the information included. While this information had previously been provided at the ACOE's request, it was not included in the final analysis of the deepening project's feasibility.
In June 2002 the U.S. General Accounting Office issued a report in which it reviewed the ACOE's initial economic justification to dredge the Delaware River to 45 ft. The ACOE agreed with the GAO findings and committed to perform a re-analysis of the economic justification for the project.