Rock Pinnacle Work to Begin, Water Still Needed

Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Tom Allegretti, President & CEO, American Waterways Operators.

Senator Durbin, Illinois Lt. Governor Simon, Members of Congress  Hold Meeting with Stakeholders/Army Corps of Engineers/Coast Guard;  Carlyle Reservoir Release Occurs, Rock Pinnacle Work to Begin Today;  Modest Water Still Needed from Missouri River to Avoid Effective Shutdown of Nation’s Busiest Water Transportation Artery  


Senator Richard Durbin held a meeting in Alton, Illinois, with Members of Congress, Illinois Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon, navigation stakeholders, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Coast Guard to address the low-water situation on the Mississippi River.


At the meeting, it was announced that the Corps will begin work tomorrow to blast and remove rock pinnacles at Thebes, Illinois, (shown in photo below), located south of St. Louis on the Mississippi River. The first phase is expected to take 30 days to complete, and the river is expected to remain closed to navigation between 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. daily while the work is being done.   


The Corps also announced that on Saturday it started to release water from reservoirs located on the Kaskaskia River south of St. Louis to support navigation over the rock pinnacles and areas in need of dredging on the Mississippi River. The Corps said the full extent of the release should reach the area where the rock pinnacle work is being done by December 24 and “will provide up to an additional six inches of depth in this critical reach of the river.”


While any additional water is welcome, shippers and barge operators caution that this offers only a delay of the inevitable, an effective halting of barge transportation around the end of this month as Mississippi levels continue to fall to a level that cannot support most navigation. Stakeholders continue to urge that minimal flows from the Missouri River (less than 2 percent of what is currently in the Missouri River Reservoir system) be released to avert an effective shutdown of the river to barge transportation. While the Corps and the Coast Guard have said that they have no plans to close the river, falling water levels will preclude navigation because towboats will be unable to transit the “bottleneck reach” between St. Louis and Cairo, Illinois.


“We deeply appreciate Senator Durbin’s willingness to hold this meeting today to address the low-water crisis on the Mississippi.  The release of a modest amount of water from Missouri River reservoirs during the time this rock pinnacle work occurs remains essential to allowing the continued movement of our nation’s basic commodities, especially during this critical export season,” said Michael J. Toohey, President & CEO, Waterways Council, Inc.  


“Senator Durbin and the many other lawmakers who have been engaged during this crisis are to be commended for keeping communication open between stakeholders and the Corps and Coast Guard, but this situation continues to deteriorate. The amount of cargo barges can carry has already been reduced by nearly one-third and the number of barges one tow can carry has been decreased by more than one half. For the next 30 to 60 days there will be one-way traffic for only eight hours a day, in the very best case scenario. The effects of this crisis are already being felt by industry workers, shippers, farmers and manufacturers up and down the river and they are going to get worse,” said Tom Allegretti, President & CEO, American Waterways Operators.  
 

The agriculture industry has already witnessed cancelled orders and plummeting export projections as the reality of the loss of cost-effective barge transportation becomes apparent.  Businesses face potentially catastrophic losses, and workers face the grim prospect of holiday-season layoffs if navigation on the Mississippi River is not maintained.


This potential supply-chain disruption could amount to a staggering loss for the U.S. economy, including nearly 20,000 jobs and $130 million in wages in Mississippi River states as well as $7 billion in commodities in December and January alone, including:

 

  • Over 7 million tons of agricultural products worth $2.3 billion;
  • Over 1.7 million tons of chemical products worth $1.8 billion;
  • 1.3 million tons of petroleum products worth over $1.3 billion;
  • Over 700,000 tons of crude oil worth $534 million; and,
  • 3.8 million tons of coal worth $192 million.


AWO, WCI, and thousands of the nation’s farmers, shippers, manufacturers and towboat operators continue to await action from President Obama to stem this economic crisis. The Administration must direct the Corps to release a modest amount of water from Missouri River reservoirs over a short period of time to keep businesses open, exports and cargo moving, and Americans employed.


“For the good of the national economy, we are looking to the President to act to direct release of the critically needed Missouri River water to enable the continued transport of exports and domestic commodities,” Toohey and Allegretti agreed.  

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

Environmental

Drilling Down into Risk Management

Afloat or ashore, we cannot eliminate risk, but it can be sensibly managed to a tolerable level. It begins with a hypothetical, but worryingly authentic, tale

MN: Corvus Energy

The Company: Corvus is a manufacturer of proven, high power Energy Storage Systems (ESS). Its field proven battery systems provide power to hybrid and fully electric marine propulsion systems.

LNG-fueled Box Ship a 'Momentous Step Forward'

On Saturday, August 29, 2015, the world’s first series of energy efficient containerships welcomed its second LNG-powered vessel in San Diego, fueling the U.S.

News

Rolls-Royce to Design, Equip Canadian Stern Trawler

The shipbuilding company VARD Group AS in Norway has received an order from a Canadian company for a shrimp stern trawler to be designed and equipped by Rolls-Royce,

Draft Increase at Southwest Pass, Mississippi River

The draft for the Southwest Pass on the Mississippi River has been increased from 45 to 47 feet following dredging, Inchcape Shipping Services (ISS) is advising.

Twelve Syrians Drown Trying to Reach Greece

At least 12 people believed to be Syrian refugees drowned as two boats sank after leaving southwest Turkey for the Greek island of Kos on Wednesday, a senior Turkish naval official said.

Coast Guard

Twelve Syrians Drown Trying to Reach Greece

At least 12 people believed to be Syrian refugees drowned as two boats sank after leaving southwest Turkey for the Greek island of Kos on Wednesday, a senior Turkish naval official said.

Greek Coast Guard Seizes Weapons Ship Bound for Libya

Greek authorities have seized a freighter carrying an undeclared shipment of weapons en route from Turkey to Libya, coast guard officials said on Wednesday. A

Singapore Navy Foils Pirate Attack

The Republic of Singapore Navy ( RSN) disrupted a sea robbery on a tugboat in the eastern approaches of the Singapore Strait, says Ministry of Defence (MINDEF).

Government Update

Twelve Syrians Drown Trying to Reach Greece

At least 12 people believed to be Syrian refugees drowned as two boats sank after leaving southwest Turkey for the Greek island of Kos on Wednesday, a senior Turkish naval official said.

Egypt Picks Jordan LNG Cargo Winners

Egypt has picked Shell, Vitol and Trafigura in a tender to supply four cargoes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) via Jordan's Aqaba import terminal, trade sources said.

Cameroon Awards Kribi Deepwater Contract

Cameroon has awarded a contract for its Kribi port to a consortium led by French logistics group Necotrans, the two parties said. The deepwater port will allow

Logistics

Egypt Picks Jordan LNG Cargo Winners

Egypt has picked Shell, Vitol and Trafigura in a tender to supply four cargoes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) via Jordan's Aqaba import terminal, trade sources said.

Cameroon Awards Kribi Deepwater Contract

Cameroon has awarded a contract for its Kribi port to a consortium led by French logistics group Necotrans, the two parties said. The deepwater port will allow

China Shipping Line to Buy 10 Vessels

China Shipping Container Lines Co is planning to buy around 10 ultralarge container ships for around $1.5 billion, despite the shipping industry struggles with a capacity glut, reports WSJ.

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Offshore Oil Pipelines Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Repair Ship Simulators Sonar
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: 0.7285 sec (1 req/sec)