AAPA Applauds Port Infrastructure Funding

MarineLink.com
Friday, January 17, 2014
Kurt Nagle

AAPA cites funding for navigation, as well as grants for TIGER, port security, diesel emissions reductions

In applauding Congress’ passage late yesterday of the $1.1 trillion Consolidated Appropriation Act of 2014, the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) noted that several high priority programs crucial to the safe, efficient and competitive operation of American seaports are included in the appropriations mix. This includes funding for U.S. DOT’s Transportation Infrastructure Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) discretionary grants, U.S. Corps of Engineers’ navigation-related programs, FEMA State and Local Programs grants that include dedicated funds for port security, EPA’s Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) grants, and funding for several of NOAA’s subprograms that aid navigation.

“AAPA is pleased to see that, in this era of fiscal restraint and belt-tightening, that a number of the priorities of America’s ports were important enough to lawmakers that they included them throughout this government-wide spending bill,” said Kurt Nagle, AAPA president and CEO. “The funding provided to port-related infrastructure programs is recognition that lawmakers appreciate that seaports, the connections with them and the trade flowing through them, are vital to creating and sustaining jobs, economic growth and enhancing U.S. international competitiveness.”

A section of the appropriations bill important to America’s freight movement is $600 million in funding for TIGER discretionary grants, representing a 20 percent increase over last year’s $500 million appropriation. Since its inception in 2008 as part of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, AAPA has advocated that port-related infrastructure projects receive at least 25 percent of the grant funds. Port-related projects received about 22 percent of the total $474 million in grants from the fifth round of the program in 2013.

For the Corps of Engineers’ Civil Works programs, the bill provides a total of $5.5 billion overall, compared to the Administration’s fiscal 2014 budget request of $4.8 billion. Of the total appropriated in this bill, an important milestone was reached with a funding level of $1 billion dedicated to navigation channel dredging operations and maintenance. This compares to $890 million in the Administration fiscal 2014 budget request.

“While AAPA continues to advocate for full utilization of Harbor Maintenance Tax collections—which last year netted about $1.8 billion in revenue—as well as more equity for donors, the increased funding in this bill is an important step towards full use of those revenues, particularly in these constrained fiscal times,” said Mr. Nagle. “Maintaining our federal navigation channels to their authorized and required dimensions helps make U.S. exports more internationally competitive and is critical for safe access in and out of America's seaports,” he said.

As part of the Corps’ Civil Works appropriation, Congress also approved initiating three new starts for deep-draft navigation studies and up to two new starts on construction projects. These are the first new starts since 2010. The final decision as to which projects will be funded will be made by the Corps in its annual work plan.

With regard to seaport security, Mr. Nagle said that AAPA is appreciative of the portion of the appropriations bill that calls for $100 million from FEMA State and Local Programs to be dedicated to the Port Security Grant Program. Furthermore, the bill rejects the Administration’s proposal to bundle all State and Local Programs security grants into one pot and move them to the states to determine allocations, a move AAPA strongly opposed, believing that funding decisions should be maintained at the federal level to protect international transportation gateways. AAPA continues to advocate for a separate port security funding program to aid ports in boosting their security infrastructure, technology and personnel programs, and to ensure that terrorist threats don’t become terrorist realities.

In the environmental arena, funding for the Environmental Protection Agency’s DERA grants—which has been highly successful in helping ports reduce emissions from older diesel engines—remained level at $20 million, despite an overall decrease in the EPA’s appropriation compared to fiscal 2013.

NOAA’s National Ocean Service Operations, Research and Facilities appropriation, which funds several navigation-related subprograms important to shipping and ports, was funded at $471.9 million, an increase of roughly 5 percent over the fiscal 2013 appropriation, but about 5 percent less than what was in the Administration’s budget request. NOAA states that its overall appropriation is sufficient to maintain the agency’s core suite of products and services to the maritime community. Of particular interest to ports is NOAA’s Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System (PORTS), which provides environmental observations, forecasts and other data to significantly improve the safety and efficiency of maritime commerce. While it received sufficient funding to maintain its share of program costs, its appropriation provides no additional funding for fiscal 2014 operations and maintenance, which continues to be paid by individual ports.

“As Congress and the Administration grapple with the multiple goals of reducing the nation’s deficit while growing jobs and the economy, federal investments in ports and connecting infrastructure will continue to be an essential, effective utilization of limited resources paying dividends through increased trade, jobs and tax revenues,” said Mr. Nagle.

aapa-ports.org

Maritime Reporter June 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

Corvus Energy, GMC Close Financing Agreement

Corvus Energy today announced that it has completed a strategic investment by Green Marine Capital (GMC) previously announced on May 5, 2014. Green Marine Capital,

Evergreen Enhances UK and Ireland Services

Global container carrier Evergreen Line announced enhancements to its services to/from Dublin (Ireland) and Liverpool (Northwest England). From its hub in Rotterdam,

SCI Publishes Shore Leave Survey

With Maritime Labor Convention (MLC), 2006 in force, one might expect to see a reduction in the number of seafarers without visas; yet, recent data collected by

Ports

GPA Sets Tonnage Record

The Georgia Ports Authority moved more than 29 million tons of cargo, 3 million twenty-foot equivalent container units (TEUs) and more than 700,000 auto and machinery units in Fiscal Year 2014.

Location of New Port Expansion Projects: Analysis

When it comes to port development, many governments now favour letting the market decide where expansion should take place, whereas most other transport infrastructure,

GAC North America Passes the Helm to Schensema

GAC says it  has moved Claus Schensema to Houston, Texas, where he will take up the post of Managing Director of GAC North America Logistics. Schensema brings

Navigation

Raytheon Anschütz Debuts ShipGuard at SMM

In view of an increasing demand for security of merchant ships and maritime trade, Raytheon Anschütz, a German-based manufacturer of Integrated Bridge Systems,

House Subcommittee Hearing Highlights “Dismal State” of U.S. Icebreaking Capability

At the July 23, 2014, hearing of the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation on “Implementing U.S. Policy in the Arctic” the committee chairman, Rep.

More VDR Orders for Danelec in China

Danelec Marine has received orders to supply Voyage Data Recorders (VDRs) and Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems (ECDIS) for 18 offshore support vessels in China.

Finance

Corvus Energy, GMC Close Financing Agreement

Corvus Energy today announced that it has completed a strategic investment by Green Marine Capital (GMC) previously announced on May 5, 2014. Green Marine Capital,

Cummins Reports Revenue Jump in Q2 2014

Cummins Inc. reported its results for the second quarter of 2014. According to the report, second quarter revenue of $4.8 billion increased 7 percent from the same quarter in 2013.

GPA Sets Tonnage Record

The Georgia Ports Authority moved more than 29 million tons of cargo, 3 million twenty-foot equivalent container units (TEUs) and more than 700,000 auto and machinery units in Fiscal Year 2014.

Environmental

Valemon Topsides Installed

On Monday, July 28, the topsides were lifted into place on the steel jacket on the Valemon field in the North Sea. Produced by Samsung Heavy Industries this is

Tripoli Airport Ablaze, Rockets Leave Libya in Chaos

Diplomats flee Libyan chaos; Politicians appeal for international intervention. Clashes in Tripoli, Benghazi kill around 160 over two weeks, while Libyan capital face fuel, power shortages.

Coast Guard Responds to Grounded Freighter in Lake St. Clair

The Coast Guard has responded Sunday to a 656-foot freighter that was hard aground in the downbound shipping channel of Lake St. Clair. Initial reports indicate

News

Webb Institute Ranked a Best Value College

Webb Institute, an undergraduate institute specializing in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, ranked number two on Money magazine’s list of Money's Best Colleges,

Corvus Energy, GMC Close Financing Agreement

Corvus Energy today announced that it has completed a strategic investment by Green Marine Capital (GMC) previously announced on May 5, 2014. Green Marine Capital,

Evergreen Enhances UK and Ireland Services

Global container carrier Evergreen Line announced enhancements to its services to/from Dublin (Ireland) and Liverpool (Northwest England). From its hub in Rotterdam,

Government Update

Tripoli Airport Ablaze, Rockets Leave Libya in Chaos

Diplomats flee Libyan chaos; Politicians appeal for international intervention. Clashes in Tripoli, Benghazi kill around 160 over two weeks, while Libyan capital face fuel, power shortages.

South Korean Teens: Left to Escape Sinking Ferry

Students testify no help came from crew; Coastguard rescuers were passive, only pulling passengers out. Crew in a state of panic, witness says. Six teenagers

New Australian Navy Submarines to be Japan Built?

Australia should discuss building its next-generation fleet of submarines overseas, the Department of Defence said on Monday, a shift that could open the door to

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Standards Navigation Pod Propulsion Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Repair Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2012 sec (5 req/sec)