17 May 2021
Remotely Operated Locks: Progress, But Still Under Study
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is evaluating remote operation of locks within the U.S. inland waterways system. Timetables are hazy, but the Corps plans to include remote operations capabilities during rehabilitations or new construction, in the work planned, for example, in the Upper Ohio Navigation Project, part of the USACE’s Pittsburgh District.In fact, the first install project is being readied at Lock & Dam 4 on the Monongahela River.
10 May 2021
Dredging: Important Developments Will Impact Business
For dredging company officials, the first quarter of 2021 was a pretty good start to a new year. In a tough business, challenges and pitfalls are always expected. But from a bigger picture perspective—markets, regulations and policies—company officials couldn’t be faulted if a bit of optimism infused their worldview.There are a number of reasons for this. Many are well known and don’t need to be detailed here. Just quickly, though, WRDA 2020 would be at the top of the list.
26 Apr 2021
Expert Advice: New Ballast Water Guide
If you and your crew are facing questions about ballast water management (BWM) and related regulatory deadlines, it would be worth your while to download a new (January 2021) “Ballast Water Management Systems User Guide,” an extensive, in-depth look at evaluating, selecting and installing a BWM system. The guide was published by MARAD and Glosten for the Ship Operations Cooperative Program (SOCP).
15 Mar 2021
Five New Ships Poised to Transform US Maritime Training
For professional maritime training, the 2020 holiday season was bright indeed. In a world clutching for optimism, officials from the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) made a series of announcements that will strengthen, expand and intensify America’s maritime academic programs—really the maritime industry—for at least the next decade, likely much longer. Consider this string of news:On December 15…
12 Mar 2021
Maritime Groups Pleased with WRDA 2020
It was an odd legislative journey, but ultimately one with a happy ending. That’s one way to sum up the rather tortuous process that led to the passage of the Water Resources Development Act of 2020 (WRDA). For the first time WRDA (usually reauthorized every two years) was not enacted as its own legislative bill. This time it was rolled into the massive government 2021 omnibus budget bill, the ‘‘Consolidated Appropriations Act…
17 Feb 2021
'Fireboats are Basically an Insurance Policy'
“Fireboats are basically an insurance policy.” -Meeting minutes, Southeast Texas Waterways Advisory Council (SETWAC).Developments in America’s coastal ports are causing officials to closely review maritime safety operations and equipment. Fireboats draw a lot of attention. The reference here is to big fireboats – 40-50 feet, crewed by specially trained firefighters, outfitted with the equipment required to confront and take on a range of waterway emergencies.
07 Jan 2021
Digital Twins: Rivers, Oceans, Harbors Recreated
In 2001, George Burkley, a maritime educator, wrote a look-ahead article for Maritime Reporter and Engineering News, presenting the benefits and real-world payoffs from using simulators in maritime education. In the late 1990s, new tech and software advances were creating scenario programs that moved a student closer and closer to the realities demanded by, well, reality. “The future is here, and we are ready to simulate it…
24 Dec 2020
Great Lakes Group: Venerable & Versatile
“…We have built our reputation job by job, boat by boat, and tow by tow, and we intend to continue to do so.”The Great Lakes Towing Company (GLT) and the Great Lakes Shipyard are core businesses within The Great Lakes Group of Companies, based in Cleveland, on the Old River, a shipping channel that runs west from where the Cuyahoga River meets Lake Erie. Company towing operations extend from Buffalo, N.Y. in the east to Duluth, Minn. in the west.
09 Jun 2020
Freight Planning… What About Offshore Wind…?
At the end of 2019 – December 27, to be exact – the US Department of Transportation, Office of the Secretary – filed a request for information regarding the development of a National Freight Strategic Plan (NFSP), required by the multi-year federal transportation bill, passed in 2015, called the FAST Act – “Fixing America’s Surface Transportation.”By the close of the public comment period (Feb. 10) DOT had received 82 comments.
21 Apr 2020
Big City Fireboats
On March 3, the Coast Guard published a notice that Martin Midstream Partners (MMP), a petrochemical transport and storage company, was seeking approval to modify terminal operations in Beaumont, Texas, along the Sabine-Neches Waterway. If approved, MMP would expand its liquefied hazardous gas (LHG) operations, both in volume and products. Instead of just handling ammonia the change would allow shipments of butane…
25 Mar 2020
EPA Tier 4: Difficult and Contentious, 12 Years and Counting
When it comes to complying with EPA’s Tier 4 emissions regulations, there’s no shortage of creativity emerging from America’s maritime engineering firms. Companies such as Hug Engineering are offering flexible, customized aftertreatment-based control systems that can assemble almost in modular like fashion. Other companies, such as ABB Group, offer battery-hybrid power sources to complement combustion power and avoid threshold diesel emissions.
12 Mar 2020
NOAA-Viking Public Private Partnership, a Win-win for Research
There was important cruise news in January: Viking – a premier European ocean and river cruise company - will offer two new “destination-focused travel experiences,” starting in 2022. One set of cruises becomes Viking’s first foray in the inland North American market, in this case the Great Lakes. Another set of cruises will head to the Arctic and Antarctica. Viking is building two new vessels: the Viking Octantis and the Viking Polaris…
03 Mar 2020
Sub M Progress – an Update
Subchapter M, the United States regulatory code dealing with towing vessels and requirements for towing vessel safety, has officially been in place since July 20, 2016, when the U.S. Coast Guard finalized Sub M rulemaking.Since the rules were finalized there have been a couple of important hammer dates. In spring and summer 2018 the first certificates of inspection (COI) were issued. COIs are central within the Sub M program. A vessel needs a COI to legally operate.
11 Feb 2020
Offshore Wind: Half Empty or Half Full?
As a new decade starts, offshore wind development continues to progress. Actually, it’s probably more accurate to write that the development of the development of offshore wind (OFW) continues to, uh, well, develop.Apologies for that mild sarcasm. But even a quick look-back at OFW always raises the same familiar question: is the glass half empty or half full?Consider developments in the east coast…
04 Feb 2020
Vessel Safety: US House Subcommittee Seeks Faster Implementation
In November the U.S. House of Representatives’ Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee held a hearing on “Commercial and Passenger Vessel Safety: Challenges and Opportunities.” Testimony covered a range of issues, from recent tragedies such as the Conception dive-boat disaster to antiquated maritime laws.Hearing witness list:Rear Admiral Richard V.
31 Jan 2020
IMO2020: Low Sulfur Fuel Potential Pitfalls
(This is excerpted from Maritime Reporter & Engineering News' January 2020 "The Path to Zero" column.)Are the world’s ships’ engines ready for IMO compliant very low sulfur fuel? That’s a wide open question as ship owners step to the end of the preparatory gang-plank on January 1, 2020 when 0.5% very low sulfur distillate fuels (VLSF) have to replace residual heavy fuel oil (HFO) containing 3.5% sulfur.You…
08 Jan 2020
NOx Control: Should Certain Vessels Get a Break?
When it comes to the EPA’s recent proposed delay to implementation of Tier 4 marine diesel engines ‘in certain high-speed commercial vessels,’ where you stand probably depends on where you sit.On September 6, the U.S. Environmental Protection agency (EPA) proposed to delay implementation of Tier 4 marine diesel engines “in certain high-speed commercial vessels.” Specifically; EPA mentions three kinds of vessels: lobster boats…
13 Dec 2019
Offshore Wind: Decisions Needed Sooner, not Later
On September 26, the State University of New York Maritime College hosted a conference on the emerging east coast offshore wind industry. “Offshore Wind Power, Planning for America’s Ocean Energy” focused on four fundamental topics:• East Coast Wind Farm Overview – Status of the Industry.• Jobs and Supply Chain Technical Working Group.• Wind Farm Port Development.• Offshore Wind Maritime Operations.In some ways…
08 Oct 2019
Illinois Waterway Closures: Look for the Workaround
A set of complicated lock-and-dam projects on the Illinois Waterway, from Chicago to the Mississippi, has yellow lights flashing throughout the Midwest freight industry. In effect, the entire Waterway will be shut down next summer as the Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island Division, starts some hefty replacement and maintenance projects, from LaGrange to Brandon Road locks and dams.Officials advise maritime…
31 Oct 2019
Offshore Wind: a Freshening Breeze?
July brought news about offshore wind. There was something for everyone: optimism, disappointment, and construction, too.Finally, starting with Dominion Energy’s Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Project, a joint venture with Danish wind developer Orsted is underway. True, this is a small project – just two wind turbines to be installed 27 miles east of Virginia Beach. But considering all the preceding hurdles, news about Dominion blew in as proverbial, hopeful fresh air.