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

Ardmore Shipping Secures Newbuilding Finance

Ardmore Shipping Corporation says it has signed agreements to upsize its existing senior loan facility with ABN AMRO Bank N.V., Nordea Bank Finland Plc, and Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB ("SEB").

Gulf Island Fab Sign Bechtel Offshore Cooperation Agreement

Gulf Island Fabrication, Inc. says it has signed a cooperative agreement with Bechtel Oil, Gas, and Chemicals, Inc. to work together to pursue opportunities for offshore projects for the U.

Crowley Christens New DP2 Tugboat 'Ocean Sky'

Crowley Maritime Corp. says that the third of four tugboats in the Ocean-class series, 'Ocean Sky' has been christend  in Houston.  The ceremony served to formally

Ports

Homecoming Scotland 2014 Fireball Championships

Lerwick Harbour is ready for an exciting week of sailing with the 2014 Fireball European Championships taking place at the port next week. As a warm-up to the main event,

Iraqi Kurdish Oil Nears US Port Despite Concern in Washington

A tanker carrying crude oil from Iraqi Kurdistan is just two days away from arriving at a U.S. port, according to ship tracking satellites, despite Washington's

Phillips 66 Marine Fueling Facility Nears Completion

Phillips 66’s previously announced marine over-the-water fueling facility at its Richmond, Calif. terminal is nearing completion. The facility, located on Canal Boulevard, and known as Pier No.

Navigation

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.

Panama Canal to Celebrate 100 Years

To commemorate its centennial, the Panama Canal will host a series of events August 14-15 in Panama City to highlight the impact of the waterway during the past century.

Finance

Ardmore Shipping Secures Newbuilding Finance

Ardmore Shipping Corporation says it has signed agreements to upsize its existing senior loan facility with ABN AMRO Bank N.V., Nordea Bank Finland Plc, and Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB ("SEB").

UK Chancellor Mentions Hi-Tech Tax Breaks on Bibby Offshore Visit

Bibby Offshore, subsea services provider to the oil & gas industry, says it has hosted a visit by George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, to the Company’s workshop,

DoD Awards Ingalls 'USS Ronald Reagan' Contract Modification

U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) informs that Huntington Ingalls Inc., Newport News, Virginia, is being awarded a US$13,759,894 modification to previously awarded cost-plus-award-fee,

Environmental

Nation’s Vessel Operators Join EPA as SmartWay Affiliate

The American Waterways Operators, a 350-member trade association representing the U.S. tugboat, towboat and barge industry, announced today that it joined the SmartWay Transport Partnership,

ABS, MPA to Collaborate on Maritime R&D

ABS and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) today to promote maritime research and development (R&D) and innovation.

Concordia Tow Update: Smooth Sailing

The Costa Concordia wreck removal team reported this morning at 10:30 a.m. that after 22 hours of navigation, the convoy was over 50 miles off Giglio Island with about 140 miles from Genoa Prà-Voltri.

Maritime Security

Worrying Trend of Tanker Hijacks in SE Asian Waters: IMB

The Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC) of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) International Maritime Bureau (IMB) raises concerns over a worrying trend of

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.

Mediterranean Boat People Numbers Near 100,000

Almost 100,000 boat people have made the dangerous journey across the Mediterranean to Europe this year, a roughly 60 percent increase on the whole of last year,

News

USCG Leadership Development Center Change of Command

The Coast Guard’s Leadership Develop Center will have its first change of command ceremony Thursday, July 31 at 11 a.m. in front of Yeaton Hall at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn.

6 MW Offshore Wind Turbine of Siemens Certified

Siemens Energy has obtained type certification of DNV GL for the company's innovative D6 offshore wind turbine. The model Siemens SWT-6.0-154 is equipped with a modern direct drive generator,

Turkey Approves EIA Report for South Stream’s Offshore Section

The Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning of Turkey approved the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Report and issued a positive opinion of the EIA results

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Offshore Oil Pipelines Port Authority Salvage Ship Simulators Winch
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: 0.2259 sec (4 req/sec)