Peter Stephaich Testifies in Favor of New WRDA

MarineLink.com
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Peter Stephaich. Photo: WCI

Peter Stephaich, Chairman of Campbell Transportation Company in Pittsburgh, PA, and Executive Committee member of Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI), testified before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee on “Foundations for a New Water Resources Development Act (WRDA).”

Mr. Stephaich addressed the importance of water resources development legislation, the current broken model for modernizing the nation’s locks and dams, and the need for adoption of the Capital Development Plan (CDP), which is H.R. 1149, Waterways are Vital  to our Economy, Energy, Efficiency and the Environment (WAVE 4) to remedy problems with the current water resources development approach. H.R. 1149 provides a $7.6 billion, 20-year program ($380 million/year) capital investment program to which the industry would contribute $110 million per year and the Federal government would contribute $270 million annually.

Urging the inclusion of WAVE 4 in a WRDA bill, Mr. Stephaich outlined the bill’s key elements:

• Offers a prioritized list of projects based upon risk of failure and benefits to the nation with an emphasis on finishing projects already underway and ensuring that funding is available to efficiently fund work.
• Ensures that future Corps’ estimates for project costs must have a confidence level of at least 80%.
• Continues the cost-share for lock construction at remain 50-50, industry-federal, but  makes major rehabilitation costs 100% federal unless greater than $100 million, in which case they would be cost shared 50-50, industry-federal. The current threshold of about $14 million is too low and results in routine operations and maintenance (O&M) items being cost shared with the industry thereby straining the Trust Fund and functioning in a way that is contrary to Congressional intent that O&M should be a 100% federal obligation.
• Changes the cost-share for dam construction to be 100% federal instead of the current 50-50 cost share because of the many national beneficiaries of dams (water supply, electric utilities, recreation, etc.).
• Caps industry’s exposure for project costs at 50% of the inflation-adjusted level set in a project’s authorization document in order to protect consumers from unreasonable cost increases and project delay and incentivizes the government to complete projects within budget.
• Increases the industry’s diesel fuel user fee by 30-45%, from the current 20-cents-per gallon to 26- to 29-cents-per-gallon.
• Improves the Corps’ project management and processes to better deliver completed modernization projects on time and within budget.

The Senate companion bill to the WAVE 4 bill (H.R. 1149) is the RIVER Act (S. 407).

Modernizing the nation’s waterways transportation system can create American jobs, increase exports, and inject billions of dollars into the U.S. economy.  On average, investment in the inland waterways system infrastructure returns more than 10 times to the nation’s economy what is spent.

“As a nation, we seem to have lost the ability we once had to plan and construct individual inland waterway capital projects in a timely and cost-effective fashion,” Mr. Stephaich said.  “In our ever-more-competitive global economy, where our nation’s economic competitors are investing vast sums to improve their transportation networks and waterway infrastructure, why would we in the United States knowingly allow our inland waterway system to continue to deteriorate?,” he asked. 

“What is it that makes it so difficult for Americans today to see what was so clear and compelling to our parents and generations of parents before them, that for this great nation to have a future we must invest today and every day in its wealth-producing capacity, one pillar of which is and always has been our inland waterway system?,” Mr. Stephaich posed.

www.waterwayscouncil.org
 

Maritime Today


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

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

People in the News

FMC Chairman Applauds USCG Statement on Container Weights

Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) Chairman Mario Cordero commended the Coast Guard for issuing a bulletin last week regarding container weights that he hopes allows

Port of Vancouver CEO Coleman to Step Down

Todd Coleman, CEO of Port of Vancouver USA, step down from his position May 19, after 15 years with the port.   Coleman, a Professional Engineer, began his career with the port in 2001,

Kalmar Straddle Carriers for EUROGATE CT, Hamburg

Kalmar, part of Cargotec, is to deliver nine diesel-electric straddle carriers to EUROGATE, Europe's leading shipping line-independent container terminal operator,

Government Update

FMC Chairman Applauds USCG Statement on Container Weights

Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) Chairman Mario Cordero commended the Coast Guard for issuing a bulletin last week regarding container weights that he hopes allows

OMB - Subchapter M Cleared for Publication

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) completed its review of the draft final rule entitled Inspection of Towing Vessels, also known as "Subchapter M." The

Tanker Departs Libya Empty amid Political Crisis

A tanker that an oil company set up by Libya's eastern government prevented from loading has left the eastern port of Marsa el-Hariga, a port official said on Wednesday.

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Ship Repair Ship Simulators 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: 0.0911 sec (11 req/sec)