American Waterways Operators News

19 Mar 2020

Barge Lines Boost Crew Safety as Virus Threatens Crucial Cargo

© Ronald / Adobe Stock

The world has radically changed since towboat captain Terry Hall boarded his vessel late last month in Wood River, Illinois, for his four-week shift hauling bargeloads of crude oil, chemicals, scrap metal and other goods up and down the Mississippi River.His employer, Canal Barge Co, has beefed up pre-board health screenings for all crew to include a temperature check and disclosures about recent travel and personal interactions in response to the coronavirus pandemic.Any disruption…

03 Mar 2020

Sub M Progress – an Update

Credit: Paul C. Lamarre III

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. (All vessels were required to comply with Sub M by July 20, 2018.

24 Feb 2020

Insights: Jennifer Carpenter, AWO President & CEO

Jennifer Carpenter (Photo: AWO)

Jennifer A. Carpenter serves as President & CEO of The American Waterways Operators (AWO), the national trade association representing the inland and coastal tugboat, towboat and barge industry. Carpenter joined AWO in August 1990 and became President & CEO in January 2020. Before assuming her current position, she worked her way up the hawsepipe from Government Affairs Assistant to Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, holding a series of progressively responsible positions including Manager-Regulatory Issues…

19 Feb 2020

Calhoun Steps In as WCI's Interim President/CEO

Deb Calhoun (Photo: WCI)

Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) Senior Vice President Deb Calhoun has taken over as Interim President/CEO, effective February 18, 2020, following the retirement of President/CEO Michael J. Toohey.To begin the process to select a permanent President/CEO, an executive search firm will be retained and later announced, WCI said.Calhoun has been with WCI since its founding in 2003, and with its predecessor organization Waterways Work!, and has been instrumental in managing WCI’s overall portfolio and communicating its successes and priorities.

10 Feb 2020

$85M Okayed to Deepen Mississippi to 50Ft

Steve Scalise. Photo: House.gov

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ 2020 Work Plan includes $85 million to deepen the Mississippi River to 50 feet.House Republican Whip Steve Scalise announced that the US Army Corps of Engineers 2020 Work Plan includes funding for infrastructure projects in Louisiana, including $85 million to deepen the Mississippi River to 50 feet.After years of hard work, I’m very glad that the Corps included over $160 million for critical infrastructure projects in Louisiana, including $85 million to deepen the lower Mississippi River to 50 feet.

08 Jan 2020

NOx Control: Should Certain Vessels Get a Break?

(Credit: MAN)

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, pilot boats and a third, more open-ended reference to “other high-speed vessels,” possibly including hovercraft.

28 Jun 2019

Ballast Water Update: Weighing the Advent of VIDA

Captain Sean T. Brady, Chief of the Coast Guard’s Office of Operating and Environmental Standards (OES)

The hard-fought passage of VIDA promises a simpler, more unified and logical set of environmental standards related to the discharge of myriad vessel streams. Industry wanted it, and now it is here. Will it deliver, and if so, when? That depends on who you talk to.As most commercial maritime operators know, US ballast water regulations made a sharp turn last December. That’s when President Trump signed the Frank LoBiondo Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2018.That legislation contained Title IX – the “Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA)…

18 Apr 2019

AWO Elects Foss Maritime's Merritt as Chair

Scott Merritt, former Chief Operating Officer for Foss Maritime Company, LLC, was elected Chairman of AWO.

The members of the American Waterways Operators, the national tugboat, towboat and barge industry association, elected a new slate of leaders earlier this month during the association's annual Spring Convention held in Washington, D.C. Scott Merritt, former Chief Operating Officer for Foss Maritime Company, LLC, was elected Chairman. Arthur F. Mead, Vice President and General Counsel at Crowley Maritime Corporation, was elected Vice Chairman. Mr. Merritt succeeds outgoing Chairman Tom Marian…

21 Mar 2019

OP/ED: Smoother Sailing

Jennifer Carpenter, EVP and COO of The American Waterways Operators

Consistent Regulations Critical to Maritime Commerce, American Prosperity.“The ease of moving people and cargo on America’s waterways is a competitive advantage and wellspring for economic prosperity and national security,” states the U.S. Coast Guard’s Maritime Commerce Strategic Outlook, released last fall by ADM Karl Schultz, Commandant. The owners and mariners of the vessels that ply our nation’s waterways, transporting the commodities that power the American economy, are a vital component of that prosperity and security.

20 Mar 2019

INSIGHTS: Peter Stephaich

Peter Stephaich, Chairman & CEO, Campbell Transportation Company

Chairman & CEO, Campbell Transportation Company.Peter H. Stephaich is Chairman and CEO of Blue Danube Incorporated and Campbell Transportation Company. Currently, he is also Chairman of the Board of the Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI). Peter also serves on the Board of Directors of Blue Danube, a position that he has held since 1982. 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)…

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.

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.

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…

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.

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…

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