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

People & Company News

Lifting Specialists Modulift, IMES form Joint Venture

Lifting industry specialists Modulift and IMES have formed a joint venture to offer an integrated management service to clients internationally.   The two companies

Chinese PM Inks 2 Agreements During CMA CGM Visit

The CMA CGM Group hosted the Chinese Prime Minister, the French Foreign Affairs Minister and a ministerial delegation at its headquarters in Marseilles, July 1, the global shipping company announced.

Shell Green Lights GoM Field After Cost Cuts

Royal Dutch Shell has given the green light for the development of its largest platform in the Gulf of Mexico after making steep cost cuts which made the deep water

Workboats

Yanmar Diesel Engines for Fast New Crew Tender

The expansion of the number of wind turbines out at sea near the northern Dutch coast was reason enough for Ubels Offshore to expand its fleet with a fifth ship last year.

The Hour of Power: Hybrid Marine Technology and Green Ports

In 2015 two significant developments are going to make many operators, owners and builders of professional vessels consider hybrid marine power. Firstly the new emissions laws in ports,

Sanamar Launches 3 Tugs from New Yard

Sanmar’s new custom-built, general purpose shipyard at Altinova, Turkey, has launched three 60-metric-ton bollard pull tugs on the same day, less than five months since work first started at the yard.

Dredging

Charleston Harbor Deepening Gets US Funding

Charleston Harbor deepening project earns key federal funding for preconstruction engineering and design; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers allocates $1.303 million

European Court Ups Standards for River Dredging

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled on Wednesday that damage to water quality must be considered when authorities approve river dredging to expand ports,

Monopiles Terminal to Be Built in Rotterdam

Sif and Verbrugge to build terminal for offshore wind energy on Maasvlakte 2   Sif Group, Verbrugge International and the Port of Rotterdam Authority have signed

Barges

Propulsion Under Wireless Remote Control

Thrustmaster of Texas, Inc. has been supplying wireless remote controls for thrusters since the 1980s, offering products that are supported through their lifecycles

ContainerTug B.V. Releases Two New Models

Young Dutch ship design, engineering and construction company ContainerTug B.V. follows on the introduction of the ContainerTug 600S early last year with the release

Barge Captain Gets Prison Time for Fatal Explosion

An Illinois man who was captain of a petroleum barge that exploded in a Chicago canal in 2005, killing a crew member, was sentenced to six months in prison on Friday, prosecutors said.

Maritime Safety

SUNY Maritime to Host e-Navigation Conference

The e-Navigation Underway 2015 – North America conference will be hosted by The State University of New York (SUNY) Maritime College from September 28 to 30 on the college’s Throggs Neck, N.

Kenyan Port Workers Strike Over Higher Health Costs

More than 2,000 workers at East Africa's biggest port in Kenya's coastal city Mombasa went on strike on Wednesday protesting an increase in the amount they will

DNV GL Holds Hearing Ahead of New Rules Launch

More than 800 customers and stakeholders will receive the new DNV GL rules today as part of an external hearing process before their publication and entry into force.

Government Update

Charleston Harbor Deepening Gets US Funding

Charleston Harbor deepening project earns key federal funding for preconstruction engineering and design; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers allocates $1.303 million

Chinese PM Inks 2 Agreements During CMA CGM Visit

The CMA CGM Group hosted the Chinese Prime Minister, the French Foreign Affairs Minister and a ministerial delegation at its headquarters in Marseilles, July 1, the global shipping company announced.

Kenyan Port Workers Strike Over Higher Health Costs

More than 2,000 workers at East Africa's biggest port in Kenya's coastal city Mombasa went on strike on Wednesday protesting an increase in the amount they will

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Port Authority 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: 0.2302 sec (4 req/sec)