American Waterways Operators News

06 Mar 2019

AWO Testifies Before Congress

Tom Allegretti, President & CEO

Today, the American Waterways Operators testified before two congressional committees on the state of the American maritime industry.Tom Allegretti, President & CEO, testified before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee while across the Capitol, Jennifer Carpenter, Executive Vice President & COO, appeared before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation. In written testimonies submitted to the Committee and Subcommittee, both Mr. Allegretti and Mrs.

20 Feb 2019

Blue Danube Elects Monahan to BoD

Michael J. Monahan

Mike Monahan was elected to Blue Danube Incorporated’s Board of Directors on February 8, 2019. Blue Danube Incorporated is the holding company of Campbell Transportation Company Inc. Michael J. Monahan joined Campbell Transportation Company (“Campbell”) as President in October of 2011. Campbell is a privately held company which is based in Houston, PA. Campbell and its subsidiaries employ approximately 300 employees, owns and manages over 1,100 barges and 40 to 50 towboats, 3 major shipyards…

19 Dec 2018

Cyber Risk Management – best practices for the towing industry

File Image: CREDIT AWO

The American Waterways Operators (AWO) has released a new publication - Cyber Risk Management: Best Practices for the Towing Industry, Version 1.0.This best practices guide is the product of a year-long initiative of the Cyber Risk Management Quality Action Team, an AWO workgroup, with technical input and guidance from Coast Guard prevention staff. The guide is designed to help the towing industry identify and manage cyber risks and detect and respond to cyber attacks or accidents.Cyber Risk Management: Best Practices for the Towing Industry, Version 1.0, is available on AWO’s website.

06 Dec 2018

The Top 10 Maritime Stories for 2018

The M/V Steve Golding transits  through the Olmsted Locks in late July. Called by some stakeholders, 'the Manhatten Project' of civil engineering, Olmsted is finally completed at an enormous cost. (CREDIT: USACE)

Choosing the ‘top stories of 2018’ was, this year, a difficult task. Many compelling story threads played out, dramatically impacting the North American waterfront, and in particular, the workboat sector – each in their own unique way. Read on to find out how and why.Autonomous Vessels: Ready or Not, Here They ComeFuturistic, remote-controlled autonomous marine vehicles aren’t coming. They are here. As the pace of change quickens, autonomous vessels are already providing service and value on the water.

04 Dec 2018

AAPA: U.S. Ballast Water Legislative Victory Appears Imminent

Legislation that sets standards for incidental water discharges from vessels passed the House on Nov. 29.The Frank LoBiondo Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2018, S. 140, which includes the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA), passed the Senate two weeks earlier and now moves to the President to be signed.The provision places the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the lead role of establishing standards for ballast water discharge, and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) will monitor and enforce compliance.

19 Nov 2018

Stephaich Elected Chairman of WCI

Peter Stephaich

The Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) named Peter H. Stephaich, Chairman and CEO of Campbell Transportation Company, Inc. (Pittsburgh, PA), as its Chairman of the Board. Stephaich succeeds Tim Parker, President, Parker Towing Company (Tuscaloosa, AL), who served as WCI Chairman from 2016-2018.Stephaich has served the barge industry for more than 30 years in a number of key roles, as Past Chairman and Past Treasurer of the American Waterways Operators; Past Chairman and Trustee of the National Waterways Foundation…

07 Nov 2018

Preventing Maritime Vessel Explosions – The Role of the Marine Chemist

Image: Used with permission, National Fire Protection Association

With advances in technology, increased regulatory requirements for training, and an industry that has been committed to improving working conditions, especially those associated with confined space entry and fire prevention, why are we still seeing maritime related fires and explosions that often include serious injury or loss of life? HistoryFollowing the First World War, as cargo vessels, particularly tank ships, were being converted to carry larger cargos, the incident rate of fires and explosions during shipbuilding, repair, and conversion began to rise.

06 Nov 2018

SubM: The Coast Guard IS Still an Option

Credit: Ashton Marine

Not all towing vessel companies are choosing Third Party Organizations (TPOs) for their Subchapter M compliance option. One size does not fit all.Under Subchapter M, towing vessel companies may opt to use TPOs to conduct their audits and surveys instead of inspections by the Coast Guard. While many companies are going the TPO route, many are opting for traditional Coast Guard inspections.As a retired Coast Guard marine inspector, I have always advocated the Coast Guard option to our clients.

31 Oct 2018

AWO's Marian Weighs in on post-Harvey Houston and the Inland Towboat Industry

AWO Chairman and Houston resident Tom Marian, General Counsel at Buffalo Marine Service, Inc. (Image: AWO)

One Year After Hurricane Harvey, AWO Chairman Touts Houston Recovery; Tugboat, Towboat and Barge Industry Resiliency.During their recent 2018 Fall Convention in Houston, the members of The American Waterways Operators, the national trade association representing the U.S. tugboat, towboat and barge industry, heard from AWO Chairman and Houston resident Tom Marian, General Counsel at Buffalo Marine Service, Inc., who reflected on the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Harvey making landfall and the resiliency of both the City of Houston and the tugboat, towboat and barge industry nationwide.

27 Sep 2018

Subchapter M Casts Off

Image Credit: Vane Brothers

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. As a regulatory program…

21 Sep 2018

USACE Participation Soars, Membership Expands at CDMCS

Michael Gerhardt is Vice President, Dredging Contractors of America, and the CDMCS Pipeline Taskforce Director (Image CREDIT: DCA)

The Council for Dredging and Marine Construction Safety (CDMCS) convened this week in Washington, DC on the heels of its Pipeline Task Force Meeting to discuss OSHA regulatory updates, best practices for employee training documentation, opioid identification and prevention, and incident/injury trends in the industry.Representatives from The Dutra Group, Inland Dredging, Great Lakes Dredge & Dock, JT Cleary, Manson Construction Co., Mike Hooks, Norfolk Dredging, and Weeks Marine attended…

17 Sep 2018

The New York Bight – a Hydra of Difficult Issues

File Image: offshore wind operations (CREDIT: CWind)

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.

12 Jun 2018

Cenac Marine Awarded Subchapter M COI

Photo: Cenac Marine

In accordance with Subchapter M, Cenac Marine Services has been issued one of the first Certificate of Inspection’s (COI) from the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Coast Guard.Subchapter M was designed to take safety in the towing industry to a new and historic level by setting minimum safety standards for towing vessels, incorporating and building on the safeguards that AWO members have already put in place, and to ensure that the entire industry achieves the level of safety that is necessary to protect lives…

30 May 2018

Interview: Mark Knoy, President and CEO, ACBL

Mark K. Knoy, president and CEO of American Commercial Barge Line

American Commercial Barge Line (ACBL) named Mark K. Knoy as its president and chief executive officer in August 2011. Prior to joining ACBL, he was vice president of American Electric Power’s (AEP) Fuel, Emissions and Logistics Group and president of AEP River Operations, having joined AEP with its 2001 purchase of MEMCO Barge Line. From 1984 to 1994, he was owner/operator of The Mark Twain Towing Company and Delmar Marine, Inc., Pekin, Illinois. He began his career in 1973 working aboard towboats on the inland waterways as a deck hand and then as a captain.

19 Apr 2018

American Waterways Operators Responds to Senate

Photo: American Waterways Operators

On Wednesday, the U.S. Senate rejected legislation - Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA) - that would have simplified regulatory oversight of vessel discharges. The Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2017, due to inclusion of the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA) within the bill, failed by three votes to reach the 60 votes needed in the United States Senate to end debate and move to a vote on final passage. While the vote tally reflected bipartisan support for the Coast Guard authorization bill with VIDA included…

10 Jan 2018

Woodruff Named American Maritime Partnership President

Matt Woodruff

The American Maritime Partnership (AMP) today announced the election of Matt Woodruff of Kirby Corporation as its new President. He succeeds Thomas A. Allegretti, President & CEO of The American Waterways Operators. “Leading the American Maritime Partnership – which speaks for the half a million American men and women whose employment depends on the domestic maritime industry – is a great honor. Our vibrant domestic maritime industry is an essential foundation for America’s economic, national, and homeland security,” Woodruff said.

19 Dec 2017

Hudson River Tales: PAWSA Pauses Parking Project

Image courtesy www.riverkeeper.org

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 maritime organizations – as a backdoor way to facilitate a huge expansion in crude oil shipments on the Hudson.

13 Dec 2017

Cenac Marine Awards SubM TPO Contract to ABS

(Photo: Cenac Marine)

ABS said it was awarded a Third-Party Organization (TPO) contract by Cenac Marine Services, owner and operator of a fleet of inland and offshore vessels, to support compliance with U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Subchapter M requirements. The contract establishes ABS as Cenac’s sole TPO, providing oversight of their Internal Survey program and additional support with ABS surveyors when required. “Tugboat owners and operators are urgently seeking and evaluating options for Subchapter M compliance,” said ABS Americas Division President, Jamie Smith.

16 Oct 2017

Campbell CEO Stephaich Weighs in on All Things Inland

(Photo: Campbell Transportation Company)

Peter H. Stephaich is Chairman and CEO of Blue Danube Incorporated and Campbell Transportation Company. Peter is also on the Board of Directors of Blue Danube, a position that he has held since 1982. If today he isn’t the most familiar name on the domestic waterfront, then perhaps, he should be. Serving the barge industry for over 30 years in a number of key roles, he also counts among his many qualifications his tenure(s) as Past Chairman and Past Treasurer of the American Waterways Operators (AWO)…

10 Oct 2017

Top Regulatory Concerns on the US Commercial Waterfront

© John Merlin / Adobe Stock

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, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us...” – Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities, 1859.

23 Aug 2017

Weeks Marine Selects Vessel 365 for SubM Compliance

File photo: Weeks Marine

Weeks Marine has selected MarineCFO’s Vessel 365 product to achieve Subchapter M compliance for the 15 tugs in its Marine Services Division. Jan Andrusky, Towing General Manager for Weeks Marine, said, "We are very pleased with the Vessel 365 product. The functionality is exactly what Weeks Marine and the tug and barge industry needs to achieve Subchapter M compliance. Vessel 365 will help us meet regulatory requirements and is an ideal complement to our Towing Safety Management System.

24 Jul 2017

Study Examines Economic Impact of US Waterways

© Tak Inaba / Adobe Stock

A study unveiled today documents the contribution of the American tugboat, towboat and barge industry to the U.S. economy. The study, developed through a cooperative agreement between the American Waterways Operators (AWO) and the Maritime Administration (MARAD) and conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers, explores the industry's economic contributions to employment, gross domestic product and taxes at the national and state levels; details the types and quantities of vital commodities transported on American waterways…

21 Jul 2017

A Significant Date for Subchapter M

© hildeanna / Adobe Stock

July 20 marks a milestone in Subchapter M implementation. Towing vessels with keels laid or major conversions on or after July 20, 2017 are required to meet 46 CFR Subchapter M and obtain a Certificate of Inspection (COI) prior to operating. Additionally, starting July 20, 2018, a portion of existing towing vessels will have one year to meet all of Subchapter M and obtain COIs. By July 19, 2022, 100 percent of the towing vessels must have valid COIs on board. Owners or managing…

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