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

People & Company News

MN 100: AEP River Operations

16150 Main Circle Drive, Suite #400 St. Louis, MO 63017 Tel: (636) 530-2100  Email: info@aepriverops.com Website: www.aepriverops.com President: Keith Darling The

MN 100: Caterpillar Marine

Neumühlen 9 22763 Hamburg/Germany Tel: (713) 895-1449 Email: cat_power@cat.com Website: www.marine.cat.com Managing Director: Nigel Parkinson The Company: Caterpillar

Airbus May Sell Stake in Submarine Supplier

Airbus is considering a sale of its 49 percent stake in submarine supplier Atlas Elektronik as part of a reshuffle of its military business, German newspaper Die

Ports

China Appeals WTO Ruling on US Solar Panel Dispute

China has appealed against a WTO dispute panel report on anti-dumping duties applied on certain Chinese products by the United States, the World Trade Organization (WTO) said on Friday.

WTO Rules Against Argentina Licensing Rules in Row with US, EU, Japan

A World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute panel ruled against Argentina on Friday in a 2012 case brought by the United States, European Union, and Japan against

New Partnership Targets Enhanced Tracking Solutions

Globe Tracker International, a  global asset tracking, monitoring and data sharing, has announced  a strategic relationship with Total Soft Bank Ltd. (TSB), a global

Finance

Airbus May Sell Stake in Submarine Supplier

Airbus is considering a sale of its 49 percent stake in submarine supplier Atlas Elektronik as part of a reshuffle of its military business, German newspaper Die

W.Africa Crude Slow to Trade; Nigerian Glut Fading

Angolan cargoes for October loading are so far finding buyers slowly, traders said on Friday, while there were further signs that an overhang of September-loading Nigerian cargoes is being absorbed.

US Steel Producers Win Anti-dumping Case

The United States has approved anti-dumping duties against South Korea and other producers of steel pipes for the energy sector, a victory for domestic producers

Environmental

MARAD: Total Fuel Cycle Study for Natural Gas

The Maritime Administration (MARAD) released a study that evaluates total fuel cycle emissions for natural gas versus conventional marine fuels. Results showed

Caribbean Storm Likely to Strengthen, Veers Away from US

A low-pressure system moved over Puerto Rico on Friday and is expected to veer northeast away from the U.S. East Coast but still has an 80 percent chance of forming

DoD Awards US$117-M New Orleans Dredge Contract

The US Department of Defense informs that it has awarded Boh Bros. Construction Co., LLC, New Orleans, Louisiana, a US$116,956,672 firm-fixed-price contract with

Maritime Security

New Partnership Targets Enhanced Tracking Solutions

Globe Tracker International, a  global asset tracking, monitoring and data sharing, has announced  a strategic relationship with Total Soft Bank Ltd. (TSB), a global

Navy CNO Sets Out Annual 'Navigation Plan'

The Navy's top leader has released a detailed plan that highlights the U.S. Navy's intended track and investments for the next 5 fiscal years, informs Chief of Naval Operations Public Affairs.

CBP Aircraft Locates Vessel in Distress

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Air and Marine agents assigned to the North Dakota Air Branch have located four people on Red Lake after a call

News

Panama Canal Traffic Situation for August / September

It is advised that there will be average traffic delays in Panama Canal. The projected queue as of 24:00 hours on August 23 is 48 vessels. IMPORTANT: The

Scottish Sea Farms Orders Newbuilds

Macduff Shipyards Ltd. has received a contract worth more than £3.3 million pounds from Scottish Sea Farms for the design and build of four 19.8-meter 150T steel

Mexican Navy Delegation Visits NSSA

The U.S. Navy reported that its Norfolk Ship Support Activity (NSSA) welcomed the Mexican Navy Delegation to Building CEP-200, Naval Station Norfolk, Aug. 21 for

Government Update

China Appeals WTO Ruling on US Solar Panel Dispute

China has appealed against a WTO dispute panel report on anti-dumping duties applied on certain Chinese products by the United States, the World Trade Organization (WTO) said on Friday.

WTO Rules Against Argentina Licensing Rules in Row with US, EU, Japan

A World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute panel ruled against Argentina on Friday in a 2012 case brought by the United States, European Union, and Japan against

Ballast Water Management: California Update

The California State Lands Commission (CSL) has promulgated a letter to clarify its interpretation of existing ballast water requirements under the California's

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Pod Propulsion Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction 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: 0.1951 sec (5 req/sec)