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

News

Libya Returns Fuel Tanker to Rival Government

Libya's recognized government has released a tanker forced to dock at a port under its control after originally banning it from delivering fuel to its rival administration,

Tauber Oil Opens West Calcasieu Port Operations

Tauber Oil Company of Houston has become the West Calcasieu Port’s newest tenant.    “Tauber Oil is a service-oriented wholesale energy marketing company with

US Proposes Allowing Oil, Gas Drilling off Atlantic Coast

The Obama administration on Tuesday proposed allowing for the first time oil and gas exploration in a wide swath of U.S. waters off the Atlantic Coast.   The

Coast Guard

Baby Medevaced from Cruiseship in Gulf of Mexico

A Coast Guard helicopter crew medevaced an 8-month-old baby girl from the cruise ship Carnival Triumph early Monday morning, 140 miles southeast of Galveston.

Training Coastguards is Key to Tackling Piracy

Training and mentoring of coastguards in Africa, Middle East and South East Asia is essential if coastal nations are to have effective control over their Territorial Waters and Economic Zones,

26-year Jail Term Sought for Concordia Master

An Italian prosecutor asked a court on Monday to sentence the captain of the Costa Concordia cruise liner to more than 26 years in jail for his role in the 2012 disaster that killed 32 people.

Maritime Safety

Northeast Winter Storm Disrupts Shipping

Winter Storm Juno, which has brought snow and gale force winds to the North East Coast of the United States, is causing severe disruption to shipping across the entire coastline.

Secure VGP Compliance with New Verification Service

Recent updates to the US Vessel General Permit (VGP) have brought new technical and reporting requirements for vessels operating in US waters, including the need

Oil Tankers are Front Line of Libya's Struggles

Crew members killed in tanker attack this month; West fears worsening violence could lead to civil war. Oil shippers face higher costs and the possible loss of insurance cover on Libyan voyages,

Government Update

Libya Returns Fuel Tanker to Rival Government

Libya's recognized government has released a tanker forced to dock at a port under its control after originally banning it from delivering fuel to its rival administration,

US Proposes Allowing Oil, Gas Drilling off Atlantic Coast

The Obama administration on Tuesday proposed allowing for the first time oil and gas exploration in a wide swath of U.S. waters off the Atlantic Coast.   The

NOIA: Draft Offshore Lease Program Both Hits and Misses

National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) President Randall Luthi issued a statement on the 2017-2022 Draft Proposed OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program, stating the U.

Logistics

CakeBoxx, Globe Tracker Partner for Asset Tracking

Globe Tracker International, a company in global autonomous asset tracking, monitoring, remote management and data sharing services, and CakeBoxx Technologies,

Northeast Winter Storm Disrupts Shipping

Winter Storm Juno, which has brought snow and gale force winds to the North East Coast of the United States, is causing severe disruption to shipping across the entire coastline.

Carnival, China Merchants Sign MOU

MOU will explore both Port & Destination Development and Ship-Owning joint ventures with the goal of potentially launching China’s first world-class domestic cruise brand.

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Offshore Oil Pipelines Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics 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: 0.5203 sec (2 req/sec)