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 Today


The Maritime Industry's original and most viewed E-News Service

Maritime Reporter July 2016 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Legal

Ecuador Pays $112 mln Award to Chevron

Ecuador has paid $112 million to energy company Chevron Corp over a four-decade-old contract dispute, even though it remains in disagreement, the head of the central bank has said.

ASEAN in Discord Ahead of Meeting with top China, U.S. Diplomats

Southeast Asian nations were thrown into disarray after Cambodia on Saturday blocked them from issuing a statement referring to an international court ruling against

Cosco: No to Shark Fin

China's biggest shipping and logistics company Cosco has pledged a total ban on transporting shark's fins,  says SCMP. It called the move a "body blow" to the international shark's fin trade.

Environmental

Canadian Authorities seek to contain oil spill moving down river

Authorities are building a new containment boom to fight an oil spill in a major western Canadian river, officials said on Saturday, after the spill breached a

Cosco: No to Shark Fin

China's biggest shipping and logistics company Cosco has pledged a total ban on transporting shark's fins,  says SCMP. It called the move a "body blow" to the international shark's fin trade.

Panama Canal Launches Green Award System

The Panama Canal has launched the Green Connection Award, a new initiative to recognize customers who demonstrate excellent environmental stewardship, and to encourage

News

Canadian Authorities seek to contain oil spill moving down river

Authorities are building a new containment boom to fight an oil spill in a major western Canadian river, officials said on Saturday, after the spill breached a

Ecuador Pays $112 mln Award to Chevron

Ecuador has paid $112 million to energy company Chevron Corp over a four-decade-old contract dispute, even though it remains in disagreement, the head of the central bank has said.

ASEAN in Discord Ahead of Meeting with top China, U.S. Diplomats

Southeast Asian nations were thrown into disarray after Cambodia on Saturday blocked them from issuing a statement referring to an international court ruling against

Coast Guard

Migrants Survivors Tell of Struggle at Sea

The bodies of 21 women and one man were brought ashore to Sicily on Friday as fellow migrants described scenes of panic and violence when water poured into their dinghy.

Rescuers Recover 17 bodies, pick up 1,128 Migrants

An Irish navy ship recovered 17 dead bodies on Thursday when it went to the aid of migrants packed onto a wooden boat off the coast of Libya, Italy's coastguard said,

Turkey Scrambles Fighter Jets in Search of Missing Vessels

Turkish F-16 fighter jets scrambled on Wednesday to check reports that missing Turkish coastguard vessels had appeared in Greek waters in the Aegean Sea, Turkish military sources said.

Government Update

Canadian Authorities seek to contain oil spill moving down river

Authorities are building a new containment boom to fight an oil spill in a major western Canadian river, officials said on Saturday, after the spill breached a

Ecuador Pays $112 mln Award to Chevron

Ecuador has paid $112 million to energy company Chevron Corp over a four-decade-old contract dispute, even though it remains in disagreement, the head of the central bank has said.

ASEAN in Discord Ahead of Meeting with top China, U.S. Diplomats

Southeast Asian nations were thrown into disarray after Cambodia on Saturday blocked them from issuing a statement referring to an international court ruling against

Logistics

Global Fleet Growth: A More Mature Trend?

The supply of ships into the fleet is a key determinant of vessel earnings across the shipping sectors, and world fleet growth is closely followed by everyone in the maritime industry,

Cosco: No to Shark Fin

China's biggest shipping and logistics company Cosco has pledged a total ban on transporting shark's fins,  says SCMP. It called the move a "body blow" to the international shark's fin trade.

Seaborne Transportation - Economy Without Borders

With seaborne transportation accounting for the vast majority of the world’s international trade, the importance of the shipping industry to the mechanics of the

 
 
Maritime Security Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics
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: 0.1614 sec (6 req/sec)