13 Mar 2019
Ports of Indiana: Big Successes, with Big Projects in the Wings
For Indiana’s state-established, but autonomous Ports of Indiana, 2018 was a record setting year, both for system-wide numbers and among the three individual Ports. These consist of Burns Harbor, on Lake Erie; Jeffersonville, on the Ohio, across from Louisville, KY; and Mount Vernon, also on the Ohio River, about 140 miles downriver from Jeffersonville.Not only were actual numbers robust, but Port officials reported “unprecedented tonnage increases” within the three-port system.
11 Mar 2019
VA Offshore Wind: A Strong Foundation
Virginia officials have established a well-planned, extensive strategy to build out an offshore wind industry, including wind towers for electricity generation and the supply chain to support that extensive infrastructure and operations. The State’s big picture is ambitious: developing 2,000 MW of offshore wind by 2028.As currently envisioned, VA’s offshore wind development will likely start this year with two 8-megawatt wind turbines 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach.
28 Feb 2019
U.S. Army Corps Selects 10 Beneficial Use Pilot Projects
At the end of December, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) announced its selection of ten dredging projects that will form the core of a pilot program to advance the beneficial use of dredged material.The recent U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ announcement culminated a program required by Congress, established within the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2016, specifically Section 1122. Congress directed that the ten pilot projects selected were required to present environmental…
13 Feb 2019
Offshore Wind: Good Supply, Growing Demand
In its 2019 “Annual Energy Outlook” the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects that electric generation from renewables (wind, solar, hydro) will go from 500 billion KWh in 2018 to 1500 billion KWh in 2050, just 30 years from now.“The AEO highlights the increasing role of renewable energy in the US generation mix,” said EIA Administrator Linda Capuano. “Solar and wind generation are driving much of the growth.
23 Jan 2019
Inland River Cruising: 2019 Will Be Busy
One year ago, we reported on vacation river cruising, presenting an industry mostly on the optimistic side of growth and expansion for 2018. This year’s review is more geographically limited – to the Mississippi River, heartland cruises centered among New Orleans, Memphis, St. Louis and St. Paul – but with links important for a lot of smaller cities in between.Big picture:This industry is strong, at…
05 Nov 2018
Regulatory Reform: Good Ideas … Ready to Start?
Regulatory reform is one of President Trump’s priority agenda items. Upon taking office, the President issued a number of Executive Orders focusing attention and demanding action on the myriad of regulations impacting American businesses.Last May, the reform spotlight fell on maritime regulations when the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), published a Request for Information (RFI) on…
27 Sep 2018
Subchapter M Casts Off
Initial reports show that the towing industry is adjusting well to the new normal on inland rivers. In fact, it is business as usual for most.July 20, 2018 was a critical date for tow boat operators. That was the deadline for all U.S.-flag towing vessels – over 26 feet, or less if used to assist with transport of oil or hazardous materials – to be in compliance with Subchapter M, the U.S. Coast Guard’s towing vessel safety regulations. It’s been a long time coming.
19 Sep 2018
Olmsted: Online & Open
After more than 30 years of frustratingly slow progress, cost overruns and more than a few mistakes, Olmsted is finally poised for success. That’s something to celebrate.It is official: The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers (USACE) wants Olmsted operational by October. After more than 30 years, the ribbon cutting to officially open the Olmsted Locks and Dam took place on August 30. The very old (1929) upstream locks and dams – Nos.
17 Sep 2018
The New York Bight – a Hydra of Difficult Issues
The greening of America’s energy signature will not come without the usual discussions, regulatory oversight – and opposition from a raft of special interests.Amidst an atmosphere of possible resurgence in the domestic offshore oil energy, maritime stakeholders are also reminded that there is more than one kind of energy available for development off the four collective coasts of the United States. That process is underway in the Great Lakes; it has already happened off of New England.
06 Jul 2018
REGULATORY WATCH: The Global 0.50% Sulfur Cap: 30 months and counting down …
Industry frets about the coming deadline. Shipping desperately wants to be ready, but will global shore-based infrastructure and refining capacity match the demand that is sure to come? And … are regulators listening to industry’s concerns? In early June, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) held a public workshop in Washington to help the agencies prepare for the January 1…
13 Jun 2018
Spill Prevention & Response: Old Lessons, New Challenges
Emerging spill response trends fit into two big categories: technology and a combination of economic and social forces. Both will shape what comes next.Florida’s stunning Tampa Bay stands out as exactly the kind of place where you have to think about hazardous materials emergencies. It was 25 years ago, on August 10, 1993, that a freighter collided with two barges near the entrance of Tampa Bay, causing a fire and spilling over 32…
09 May 2018
Inland Drydocks: Location, Location, Location
A recent dry dock rehab project in Chicago provides new options and money saving opportunities for inland and Great Lakes stakeholders alike.From software to steel plating, Indiana-based TPG Marine Enterprises provides a range of services in the Great Lakes and inland waterways markets. River based tug and barge services are based in Jeffersonville and Mt. Vernon, IN, on the Ohio River, as well as on Kentucky’s Green River.
12 Apr 2018
Ballast Water Regs: Difficult and More Difficult
As the U.S. Coast Guard tightens its BWTS compliance rules and more systems are approved, there are still many unanswered questions for operators finally looking to comply.It’s no secret among marine stakeholders that ballast water regulations remain a top concern at the start of 2018, and a confusing one, to say the least. Hence, if someone offers to sell you a clear, concise and complete ballast water instruction manual, move that email over to your spam filter right away.
20 Feb 2018
Ports of Indiana: Building on Success
The Ports of Indiana is a statewide port authority, established in 1963, which operates three ports: two on the Ohio River, one on Lake Michigan. Port officials refer to the three as “America’s Premier Inland Port System.” They cite location, location, location, providing access via two critical freight arteries – the Great Lakes and the Inland Waterway System and proximity to the world’s most productive industrial and agricultural regions.
29 Jan 2018
Riverboat Touring: Status Quo or Ready to Grow?
If you want to book a plush river cruise vacation in America’s heartland – say on the Mississippi or Ohio Rivers – you can do it. The American Queen Steamboat Company’s website offers as many as 13 river cruises in 2018. Certainly, the ‘bourbon cruise,’ aboard the lavish American Duchess sounds like fun. Or, maybe next year you can sign up for the nine-day ‘Derby Cruise.’ And, next year means 2019 because the 2018 cruise is sold out.
19 Dec 2017
Hudson River Tales: PAWSA Pauses Parking Project
When marine safety collides with environmental advocacy and non-maritime business interests, the discussion can be contentious, confusing and cumbersome. In June 2016, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) opened a public comment period regarding new anchorage zones in the Hudson River; usually a rather low-key set of issues. This proved different. Opponents jumped on the proposal – initially suggested by three…
04 Dec 2017
Federal Waterways Infrastructure Outlook
On Capitol Hill, October 1 was the first day of 2018, at least for the federal government’s fiscal year. In theory, on 10/1, the federal budget is supposed to be finalized with appropriations – i.e., spending – established for the next year. In practice, of course, it rarely works that way. Budget deliberations frequently last through December. And even on New Year’s Eve, Congress may be forced to vote on a Continuing Resolution to keep the government operating.
19 Oct 2017
Arctic Research Explores the ‘Roomba’ Approach
The pace and quality of oil spill research in the United States typically ebbs and flows as a function of two, if not three important variables. First, after the 1989 Exxon Valdez grounding, there was a flurry of activity to ramp up oil spill research because it had been dormant for so long. The need was recognized, with plenty of money made available. Primarily, this research centered on conventional spill remediation techniques – for example, a tanker or barge spilling oil – and not much else.
10 Oct 2017
Top Regulatory Concerns on the US Commercial Waterfront
A top 10 list of regulatory concerns is by no means all-inclusive, but it does bring to light the full weight of the regulatory hammer on the collective domestic commercial waterfront. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness…
12 Sep 2017
New Orleans' Big Plans Showing Dividends
A Container-on-Barge service intended to be an integral part of the regional intermodal equation is gathering momentum – and customers. Quietly, the Port of New Orleans (NOLA) has marked some important accomplishments in the past two years, across multiple business sectors. For example, in April 2016, NOLA’s Board dedicated a $25 million Mississippi River intermodal terminal, capable of handling 160,000 twenty-foot-equivalent (TEU) units per year by rail.