WCI's Michael Toohey Testifies Before House Subcommittee

Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Michael J. Toohey, WCI President & CEO

WCI President testified before House Water Resources & Environment Subcommittee on substantial economic importance of inland waterways system navigation projects, once completed, will provide jobs and billions of dollars for american economy. 


Michael J. Toohey, President and CEO of Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI), testified today before the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee’s Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee on “The Economic Importance and Financing Challenges of Recapitalizing the Nation’s Inland Waterways Transportation System.”  Mr. Toohey addressed the growing needs of the U.S. inland waterways transportation system, and recommended the Inland Waterways Capital Development Plan as the path forward to improve the reliability of that crucial system and its infrastructure over the next 20 years.  Modernizing our Nation’s waterways transportation system could result in the creation of American jobs, increased exports and billions of dollars injected into the lagging U.S. economy. 


If adopted by Congress, the Capital Development Plan would provide more efficient funding for critically needed waterways infrastructure improvements that also benefit non-transportation users and the Nation as a whole.  The Plan calls for the efficient completion of more than 20 navigation projects over 20 years by American workers in family-wage jobs rather than just six projects in the same timeframe under the current broken funding/business model.  It would better utilize taxpayer dollars by completing projects on time and on budget.


“The inland waterways system is one of this country’s greatest assets. For over 200 years, our river system has facilitated affordable, reliable and environmentally friendly transportation of the building blocks of our economy. It has allowed the low cost movement of large bulk commodities in an efficient and timely manner.  But, despite all of these advantages, our inland waterways infrastructure is suffering and in need of immediate modernization,” Toohey testified. Specifically, Mr. Toohey cited the Olmsted Lock and Dam Project on the Ohio River on the border of Illinois and Kentucky as “the most glaring example of the deficiencies of the current system.” “Olmsted was authorized by Congress in 1998 at $775 million with a projected 12-year construction period.  Unfortunately, the cost for the Olmsted project, the construction of which is far from complete, has ballooned to $2.1 billion 26 years later. And, just in the past month, the Corps of Engineers has advised stakeholders that the cost of the Olmsted project is due to change ‘significantly’ yet again. …  The Olmsted project, together with numerous other similar projects throughout the inland system, underscore the notion that the business model for financing navigation projects in this country is seriously broken,” he testified. 


Mr. Toohey also stated, “the right 20-year inland waterway investment plan must achieve a number of objectives.  It must:


  • provide additional revenues to the Inland Waterways Trust Fund in a reasonable and supportable fashion,
  • prioritize the Nation’s investments in modernizing the inland waterway system infrastructure using sensible, objective decision criteria,
  • recognize and account for the multiplicity of beneficiaries of the system, only one of which is the barge industry,
  • protect the commercial users that cost-share the construction of these projects from unreasonable project cost escalation and delay,
  • provide a clear delineation of what is and what is not a recapitalization project, and,
  • improve the internal procedures and project delivery performance of the Corps of Engineers so that these projects more often will be completed on time and within budget.”

To date, the Capital Development Plan is supported by more than 200 industry stakeholders including national organizations, state, regional and local organizations, and companies.  Among those which have endorsed the plan are the United States Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, American Land Conservancy, National Corn Growers Association, National Grain & Feed Association, Steel Manufacturers Association, National Mining Association, National Council of Farm Cooperatives, and many others from diverse segments of the waterways transportation industry.  The complete list of supporters can be found at www.waterwayscouncil.org

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

People & Company News

US Shipowner Creates Fund for Families of Missing El Faro Crew

The owners of the cargo ship El Faro that sank after it was trapped in the path of Hurricane Joaquin off the Bahamas last week announced the creation of a family

Coast Guard Foundation Raises $250,000 for Scholarships

The Coast Guard Foundation, a nonprofit organization committed to the education and welfare of all Coast Guard members and their families, announced today that

Newport News Shipbuilding Converts to Natural Gas

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) announced today that its Newport News Shipbuilding division has converted its steam-generation plant from heavy fuel oil, also known as Bunker C,


Foss Hires VP, General Counsel & Chief Ethics Officer

Foss Maritime announced that Lam Q. Nguyen-Bull has joined the company as the Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Ethics Officer.   Based in Seattle, Nguyen-Bull

MAN 32/44CR Engine for Trawler Newbuild

Voyager Fishing Company, Ltd., based in Kilkeel, Northern Ireland, has ordered a new trawler/purse seiner, designed by Salt Ship Design in Norway and to be built at Karstensens Skipsværft in Skagen,

Royal Thai Navy Orders Harbor Tug

The Royal Thai Navy has ordered a new 32-meter tug from shipbuilder Italthai Marine Limited of Thailand, announced the vessel’s designer, Robert Allan Ltd.   Italthai Marine,


Port of Cleveland Scores Sediment Customer

The Port of Cleveland and its partner Kurtz Bros., Inc. have scored their first major user in the Port’s effort to market sediment for beneficial use.  Great Lakes Construction, Co.

Boskalis’ Fleet May Switch to Marine Biofuels

Boskalis today announced their collaboration with GoodFuels and Wärtsilä in a two-year pilot program to accelerate the development of truly sustainable, scalable and affordable marine bio-fuels.

IHC Services Secures Dredger Repair Contract

IHC Services, a subsidiary of Dutch shipbuilder and repairer Royal IHC, informs it has secured an order for a renovation project for a dredging vessel owned by Huta Marine Works Ltd in Saudi Arabia.


HMS Announces Management Hires

Marine services company Harley Marine Services (HMS) has expanded its management team, naming Don Martin as Vice President and General Counsel and Steve Carlson as Vice President of Engineering,

Becker Marine, Kotug Sign MOU for LNG Hybrid Barge

Press release - Becker Marine Systems and KOTUG signed a Memorandum of Understanding to launch a LNG Hybrid Barge in the Port of Rotterdam with effect from June 2017.

AEP to Sell AEP River Ops To ACL

American Electric Power (AEP) has signed an agreement to sell its commercial barge transportation subsidiary, AEP River Operations LLC, to American Commercial Lines (ACL),

Maritime Safety

US Must Exercise Freedom of Navigation in Asia-Pacific -Navy Commander

The commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific said on Friday the United States must carry out freedom of navigation patrols throughout the Asia Pacific, but declined

China Opposed to Parties Entering 'territorial' Waters

China's Foreign Ministry said on Friday it was against parties entering territorial waters in the name of freedom of navigation, as the United States is considering

ICCOPR Approves Updated Oil Pollution Research Plan

The Interagency Coordinating Committee on Oil Pollution Research (ICCOPR) unanimously approved the Oil Pollution Research & Technology Plan (OPRTP) for FY2015-2021

Government Update

US Must Exercise Freedom of Navigation in Asia-Pacific -Navy Commander

The commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific said on Friday the United States must carry out freedom of navigation patrols throughout the Asia Pacific, but declined

AWO Calls on Congress for Vessel Discharges Bill

A federal appeals court ruling handed down this week underscores the urgent need for Congress to pass the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA) and establish a

House Passes Bill to Repeal US Oil Export Ban, Veto Looms

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill on Friday to overturn the 40-year-old ban on oil exports, but the measure did not get enough support to overturn any veto by President Barack Obama,

Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion 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: 0.2108 sec (5 req/sec)