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

Legal

Portugal PM Warns Lisbon Dock Workers to End Strike

Portugal's prime minister warned Lisbon dock workers on Friday that his patience was running out after a strike that has lasted a month, paralysing the city's ports.

Gender Identity Spat Sinks Spending Bill

The rancorous political debate over sexual identity unexpectedly prompted the Republican-controlled House of Representatives to rejected an energy and water spending

Hercules Offshore Filing for Bankruptcy Again

Hercules Offshore Inc said it planned to file for prepackaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy, just six months after the rig contractor emerged from bankruptcy protection.

Environmental

GloMEEP Project Forges Ahead with Train-the-Trainer Workshop

A global Train-the-Trainer workshop on energy efficiency has been delivered in China (23-27 May), preparing the personnel needed to cascade knowledge on energy

Long Beach Port Maintains Strong Bond Rating

Fitch Ratings, one of the top three U.S. credit analysis agencies, has affirmed the Port of Long Beach’s “AA” rating on its outstanding debt. Fitch stated the AA rating — its highest for U.

Hansa Offenburg, Hansa Drakenburg Sail Scale-free

Leonhardt & Blumberg was founded in 1903 and has managed more than 180 vessels, the majority of which were general cargo vessels and bulk carriers. Today the company

News

GloMEEP Project Forges Ahead with Train-the-Trainer Workshop

A global Train-the-Trainer workshop on energy efficiency has been delivered in China (23-27 May), preparing the personnel needed to cascade knowledge on energy

Diana Charters Out Two Bulkers

Diana Shipping Inc. today announced that, through a separate wholly-owned subsidiary, it entered into a time charter contract with Bunge S.A., Geneva, for one of its Panamax dry bulk vessels,

Long Beach Port Maintains Strong Bond Rating

Fitch Ratings, one of the top three U.S. credit analysis agencies, has affirmed the Port of Long Beach’s “AA” rating on its outstanding debt. Fitch stated the AA rating — its highest for U.

Barges

Bay Shipbuilding Delivers ATB to Moran

Fincantieri Marine Group’s Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding (FBS) has delivered the Articulated Tug Barge unit (ATB) Barbara Carol Ann Moran and the 110,000-barrel

HUMMEL LNG Hybrid Barge Begins Second Season

For over one year the HUMMEL has been contributing to improved air quality at the port of Hamburg. Becker Marine Systems’ LNG Hybrid Barge will also be supplying

The MN 100: Apply Now

The August 2016 edition of MarineNews, the leading voice in the North American workboat market, will feature 100 leaders and innovators, including workboat owners and operators,

Coast Guard

Details El Faro's Sinking Emerge from US Probe

U.S. investigators on Friday concluded two weeks of hearings into the sinking of cargo ship El Faro in a hurricane last fall that included reports the vessel had

Defense Appropriations Bill Includes $1 Bln for US Icebreaker

The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee’s FY2017 Defense Appropriations Bill has included $1 billion in funding to accelerate construction of a new polar icebreaker for the U.

SCA Applauds Funding for New US Ships

The Senate Appropriations Committee this week acknowledged calls for increasing the Navy’s ship count, funding the construction of 10 new ships, as well as providing the U.

Government Update

Details El Faro's Sinking Emerge from US Probe

U.S. investigators on Friday concluded two weeks of hearings into the sinking of cargo ship El Faro in a hurricane last fall that included reports the vessel had

Defense Appropriations Bill Includes $1 Bln for US Icebreaker

The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee’s FY2017 Defense Appropriations Bill has included $1 billion in funding to accelerate construction of a new polar icebreaker for the U.

DSC Dredge Receives President’s E-Star Award

DSC Dredge, LLC, based in Reserve, La., has received the 2016 President’s “E-Star” Award for exports.   In a ceremony held on May 16, 2016, at the U.S. Department

Logistics

Higher Capesize Demand Pushes up Baltic Index

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, rose on Friday buoyed by higher demand for capesize vessels.

DSC Dredge Receives President’s E-Star Award

DSC Dredge, LLC, based in Reserve, La., has received the 2016 President’s “E-Star” Award for exports.   In a ceremony held on May 16, 2016, at the U.S. Department

Portugal PM Warns Lisbon Dock Workers to End Strike

Portugal's prime minister warned Lisbon dock workers on Friday that his patience was running out after a strike that has lasted a month, paralysing the city's ports.

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Offshore Oil Port Authority Ship Electronics Ship Repair Sonar 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: 0.2083 sec (5 req/sec)