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 August 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

Odfjell Reports Best Quarter Since 2008

In what it is calling its best quarterly performance since third quarter 2008, the Odfjell Group for the second quarter of 2015 reported net results of $7 million.

Great Lakes Shipyard to Build Guatemalan Harbor Tug

U.S. shipbuilding and repair yard Great Lakes Shipyard informs it has signed a contract to build another of its HandySize Class, 3,400 HP twin-screw tugboat for

BAE Systems Welcomes Record Number of Paid Interns

More than 140 university students from across the country are being given a unique insight into working life at BAE Systems, as part of the company’s 12-week summer internship program.

Ports

Odfjell Reports Best Quarter Since 2008

In what it is calling its best quarterly performance since third quarter 2008, the Odfjell Group for the second quarter of 2015 reported net results of $7 million.

Damen Delivers Ice Class Tug to Lithuania

The Damen Shipyards Group has delivered an ASD Tug 2810 ICE to Klasco Towage Assistance, an affiliate of Klaipeda Stevedoring Company (KLASCO). The largest tugboat

DP World H1 Earnings Jump, Mulls Iran launch

DP World may launch operations in Iran, the company's chairman said on Thursday, as the global ports operator reported a jump in half-year earnings after buying assets from its parent company.

Navigation

USCG, Royal Canadian Navy Conduct Jt Exercise

U.S. Coast Guard crews from Southeastern New England conducted various evolutions with the Royal Canadian Navy to train and improve the inter-operability of

HSL in Pact with Hyundai to Build Fleet Support Ships?

Hindustan Shipyard Ltd., the largest shipbuilding enterprise under Indian Ministry of Defence, and world’s premier shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) are

MN 100: Baker, Lyman & Co., Inc.

The Company: A wheelhouse favorite for generations, Baker, Lyman & Co. is the oldest NOAA & Admiralty Chart Agent in the United States. New Orleans-based Baker

Finance

Oil Soars in Biggest One-day Rally in Years

Oil rocketed as much as 10 percent higher on Thursday, posting its biggest one-day rally since 2009 as recovering equity markets and news of diminished crude supplies

Odfjell Reports Best Quarter Since 2008

In what it is calling its best quarterly performance since third quarter 2008, the Odfjell Group for the second quarter of 2015 reported net results of $7 million.

ASRY 2015 Strategy Combats Challenging Market

Up to May 2015, ASRY (Arab Shipbuilding & Repair Yard), was seeing encouraging results from it’s 2015 strategy to combat the widespread challenges facing the maritime repair market,

Environmental

Shipyards Rising Competitive Stirrings

A mini order boom fueled by gas, “green-tech”, tankers and new rules is underway in shipbuilding. It won’t fill all yards, but changes like the July 2015 cap on

MES Delivers Bulk Carrier STH Athens

Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. (MES) completed and delivered a 60,000 dwt type bulk carrier M.V. STH Athens (MES Hull No. 1898) at its Chiba Works on August 27,

Damen Delivers Ice Class Tug to Lithuania

The Damen Shipyards Group has delivered an ASD Tug 2810 ICE to Klasco Towage Assistance, an affiliate of Klaipeda Stevedoring Company (KLASCO). The largest tugboat

Maritime Security

Shippers Cannot Relax Their Guard in SE Asia -MAST

Following a spate of six attacks in the Singapore Straight over the weekend, maritime security provider MAST is calling for shipping companies to strengthen their

Malaysia, Indonesia Team up to Fight Piracy

An increase of incidents of piracy and armed robbery in SouthEast Asia has prompted Malaysian and Indonesian law enforcement to form a joint rapid deployment team in response,

US Plans More Maritime Drills in Asia

The United States will increase the number of drills it conducts in the Asia-Pacific as part of its new strategy to counter to China’s expansion in the South China Sea,

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Security Navigation Pipelines Pod Propulsion Ship Electronics Ship Repair Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | 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: 0.6767 sec (1 req/sec)