American Waterways Operators (AWO) representing the nation’s tugboat, towboat & barge industry calls on Congress, to urge greater attention to infrastructure needs.
AWO will be calling on congress April 17, 2013, during their 'Barge-In', an annual event that will bring over 100 vessel owners and operators together to advocate for the industry’s legislative priorities.
AWO members will be holding more than 130 meetings with their Senators and Representatives. Among the group’s top priorities is securing bipartisan support for needed improvements to the nation’s waterways infrastructure, chiefly passage in this Congress of a Water Resources Development Act with a strong waterways infrastructure component.
“Last year’s low water crisis on the Mississippi River brought home the importance of the nation’s water transportation system in moving the nation’s critical cargo,” said Tom Allegretti, AWO’s President and CEO. “We must work to ensure that vital system can meet the country’s needs not only today, but in the future, and passage of WRDA will help accomplish that objective.”
Allegretti also noted that AWO members are strongly supportive of a uniform, science-based national framework regulating ballast water and other vessel discharges. Stating that Congress should work to end “a patchwork of conflicting, confusing, and burdensome” federal and state requirements, Allegretti said that “this is a critical priority for our membership and one where we are looking for federal direction and leadership.”
“AWO members, every day, and without a lot of fanfare, play a tremendous role in ensuring the safe and efficient movement of the nation’s critical cargo,” Allegretti said. “The tugboat, towboat and barge industry directly employs tens of thousands of workers while supporting hundreds of thousands more. This industry is woven into the fabric of the nation, and we want to ensure that Congress understands its importance and inherent value.”