Rock Pinnacle Removal Work Could Begin Next Week

Press Release
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Michael J. Toohey, President & CEO, Waterways Council, Inc.

But  Without Water, Effective Shutdown of  Mississippi River to Commerce Still Looms


The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports today that two contractors named to remove rock pinnacles at Thebes, Illinois are en route and are expected to arrive on location on December 13 and 17, respectively. The Corps says it is “cautiously optimistic we can start blasting next week” after it meets with the contractors and reviews their blasting submittals.

 

“While this is welcome news, it only solves part of the problem to avoid an effective Mississippi River shutdown to commerce. The release of sufficient water  from Missouri River reservoirs during  the  time  this rock pinnacle work takes place is essential to preserving a nine-foot channel on the Mississippi River that will sustain commercial navigation and the movement of our nation’s critical commodities and exports,” said Michael J. Toohey, President & CEO, Waterways Council, Inc.  


AWO and WCI stress that even though the Corps and the Coast Guard have announced no plans to close the river, the restrictions on navigation as water levels continue to drop will effectively shut down the river to barge traffic around Christmas. The groups note that barges are currently restricted to a nine-foot draft and drafts are expected to be curtailed further as the river levels fall.


“The mid-Mississippi River will be as good as closed later this month without the release of a modest amount of water from the Missouri River reservoirs,” said Tom Allegretti, President & CEO, American Waterways Operators.  “The damage to U.S. agriculture is already being felt, as orders are curtailed and export projections plummet with the anticipated absence of cost-effective barge transportation. Businesses face potentially catastrophic losses, and workers face the grim prospect of holiday-season layoffs if navigation is not maintained. This is a high-risk situation for industries, communities, and states that rely on river transportation.”


AWO and WCI emphasize that the current situation will only go from bad to worse and noted that commercial traffic is already severely restricted, with the amount of cargo one barge can carry reduced by nearly one third and the number of barges one towboat can move from St. Louis to Cairo decreased by over half, already sharply increasing costs.  


The groups also continue to stress the volume of commerce that moves on the Mississippi River and how consumers might eventually feel the impacts of a disruption, stating that $7 billion in key products such as corn, grain, coal, petroleum, chemicals and other products remain at risk in December and January alone, including:

•    Nearly 20,000 jobs and $130 million in wages in Mississippi River states;
•    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 and WCI emphasized that the nation’s farmers, shippers, manufacturers and towboat operators await action from President Obama to issue an emergency declaration to direct the Corps to act and maintain that releasing a modest amount of water from Missouri River reservoirs over a short period of time will keep businesses open, exports and cargo moving, and Americans employed. A severe disruption of our nation’s waterborne transportation supply chain, however, will ripple through the economy and affect far more than just the nation’s heartland.

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

Bulk Carrier Trends

Commodity Giant Steps out of the Shadows

A detailed new case study scrutinizing the risk-management Swiss-based Trafigura is the latest effort to "demystify" the once-secretive commodity trading industry,

Cargill to Buy 100,000mt of Certified Ivorian Cocoa

U.S. agribusiness trader Cargill aims to purchase 100,000 metric tons of certified Ivorian cocoa this season, up slightly from 95,000 metric tons last season, West

Ice Hurts March’s Lakes Ore Shipments

Massive, thick ice formations on the Great Lakes limited iron ore shipments in March to 1.1 million tons, a decrease of 43 percent compared to a year ago, the Lake

News

Saudi SABIC Q1 Profit Falls 1.8 % On Product Prices

Profit at Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC), one of the world's biggest petrochemical firms, slipped 1.8 percent in the first quarter of this year as lower

Korean Ferry Captain's Detention Could Extend As Death Toll Mounts

South Korean prosecutors investigating a ferry disaster said on Sunday they would seek to extend the detention of the ship's captain and two other crew by 10

First Bodies Recoved From Sunken Ferry

South Korean divers retrieved three bodies from inside a sunken ferry overnight, officials said on Sunday, the first time they have been able to gain entry to the passenger section of the ship.

Barges

When Will Deep Sea Mining Commence? The Robot is Ready

The world's first deep sea mining robot sits idle on a British factory floor, waiting to claw up high grade copper and gold from the seabed off Papua New Guinea

Shipbuilding: Vigor Industrial Grows Stronger

Vigor Industrial has ballooned from a modest shipyard in Portland, Oregon, to the largest shipbuilder in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. Vigor increasingly thinks big and builds big.

Tug on the Rocks, Lake Pontchartrain, Three Rescued

US Coast Guard 8th District says that it has rescued 3 crewmembers aboard the (uninspected) tugboat 'UTV Todd Michael' after it grounded on the rocks near the Lakefront Airport on Lake Pontchartrain.

Coast Guard

Coast Guard tactical air squadron holds change of command ceremony

Capt. Kevin P. Gavin relieved Capt. Donna L. Cottrell as commanding officer of Coast Guard Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron Jacksonville during a change of command ceremony at HITRON Friday.

Homeland Security Secretary Visits Ingalls Shipbuilding

Huntington Ingalls Industries' Ingalls Shipbuilding division apprises it has hosted a visit by Secretary of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and U.S. Rep.

Stranded Virginia Beach Bulker Salvage Plan Set

The Coast Guard advises it is in the final stages of reviewing a salvage plan that is scheduled to begin Friday morning to move the 751-foot bulk carrier, 'Ornak',

Maritime Safety

Coast Guard tactical air squadron holds change of command ceremony

Capt. Kevin P. Gavin relieved Capt. Donna L. Cottrell as commanding officer of Coast Guard Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron Jacksonville during a change of command ceremony at HITRON Friday.

RS at SEA JAPAN 2014

Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RS) was the only Russian company to take part in SEA JAPAN 2014 exhibition and conference – one of the major exhibitions of the maritime industry.

Bodies found trapped in S Korean ferry

Divers searching for survivors of a capsized South Korean ferry saw three bodies floating through a window of a passenger cabin on Saturday but were unable to retrieve them,

Government Update

Reports: Brazilian Tycoon Batista Investigated For Financial Crimes

Brazils federal police have opened an investigation into former billionaire Eike Batista for financial crimes, including insider trading, manipulation of markets and money laundering,

Shell Commited To Russia Expansion Despite Sanctions

Royal Dutch Shell is committed to expansion in Russia, Chief Executive Ben van Beurden told Russian President Vladimir Putin at a meeting on Friday amid sanctions

Obama Offers US Aid to S.Korea Following Ferry Accident

U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday expressed condolences to the families of the victims of the South Korean ferry sinking and said the U.S. military will provide

Logistics

Among 2014's Most Powerful & Influential Women: Karen Jones

Commercial transportation and supply chain management firm Ryder System Inc. say that their Chief Marketing Officer, Karen Jones, was named one of 2014’s Most Powerful

Inchcape Shipping Services Opens in Venezuela

Inchcape Shipping Services (ISS), the world’s leading maritime services provider, has expanded its network in Central and South America with the opening of ISS Venezuela in Puerto La Cruz,

Blackstone Unlikely to Enter Commodities Trade

Blackstone exec doesn't expect move into commodities in near term Blackstone Group LP is unlikely to make a foray into commodity trading in the short term as

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Security Maritime Standards Navigation Pipelines Salvage Ship Repair Ship Simulators 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: 0.1545 sec (6 req/sec)