Conference Committee News

14 Jun 2019

Defense Show Set for Denmark in September

Major naval and maritime exhibition set for Copenhagen Sept. 3-6, 2019; MAST NOCO 2019 will be the biggest military conference in Denmark everThe maritime world will meet at MAST NOCO 2019 in Copenhagen September 3-6, 2019. MAST, which stands for Maritime Systems and Technologies, encompasses a series of global conference and exhibitions. The year’s MAST NOCO 2019, which takes place at the same time as the Northern Coasts (NOCO) 2019 multinational naval exercises, will be the biggest military equipment exhibition and conference ever held in Denmark.

01 Nov 2017

Wicker Calls for 355-Ship Navy

U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss.

Speaking in front of the Senate, U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Chairman of the Senate Seapower Subcommittee, said the requirement for a 355-ship Navy is clear, especially in light of the recent, fatal accidents involving the USS Fitzgerald and USS John S. McCain. In response to these incidents, the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral John Richardson, directed that a comprehensive review take place. On Tuesday, Wicker and other members of the Senate Armed Services Committee have been briefed on those findings. The Navy is scheduled to make the review public later this week.

19 Jul 2016

Great Lakes Ports Support Ballast Reforms

Directors of major commercial ports in the Great Lakes region called on Congress to end years of regulatory chaos surrounding ballast water management. In a joint letter issued late yesterday, 14 port directors urged the Senate Armed Services Committee to include ballast regulatory reform in the final version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Known as the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA), these regulatory reforms were included in the House-passed NDAA, but not the Senate-passed version. Currently, a House-Senate conference committee is working to hammer-out a final version of the legislation. When not fully loaded, cargo ships must take on water (ballast) to maintain their stability.

19 May 2014

Great Lakes Shipping Industry Urges Fast WRRDA Approval

James H.I Weakley: Photo GLMTF

The Great Lakes shipping industry is calling on Congress to quickly pass the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) approved by the House/Senate conference committee. The bill contains provisions that will significantly reduce the dredging backlog on the Great Lakes by increasing the amount of tax dollars the government spends on maintaining deep-draft ports and waterways and designating the Great Lakes a “navigation system” for the purposes of maintenance dredging.

15 May 2014

WRRDA Conference Report Released

The Conference Report to H.R. 3080, the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA), was filed in the U.S. House of Representatives today, introduced in the House by Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), Committee Ranking Member Nick J. Rahall, II (D-W.Va.), Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee Chairman Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio), and Subcommittee Ranking Member Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.). H.R. 3080 passed the House by a vote of 417 to 3 on October 23, 2013. House and Senate conferees reached agreement on a final measure last week, and now both Houses of Congress must approve the Conference Report in order to send it to the President to be signed into law.

12 May 2014

WISTA Meeting Emphasizes Infrastructure Investment

Col Hansen

At its Annual General Meeting in New Orleans last week, members of WISTA USA (Women’s International Shipping &Trading Association) were urged to support investment in infrastructure projects in order to maintain and grow the transportation of waterborne commerce in the United States. From U.S. Senator David Vitter (R-La.) to Spencer Murphy of Canal Barge Company, Rick Calhoun of Cargill, Gary LaGrange of the Port of New Orleans, Joel Dupre of Southern Recycling and Colonel Richard Hansen of the U.S.

06 Mar 2014

Good News for Inland Waterways - Just in Time

On January 17, 2014, Congress averted another government shutdown with a “just in time” delivery of an Omnibus Appropriations bill. Thankfully, some good news for the inland waterways also has arrived; Just in Time! The recent Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014, or Omnibus bill, has brought a healthy funding level to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This new law contains the FY 2014 Energy & Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act that funds the Corps’ Civil Works program. The total program funding level of $5.467 billion represents a $749 million increase over the FY 2013 post-sequester enacted level, and is a 15.9% increase relative to FY ‘13 funding levels.

29 Jan 2014

WCI Responds to State of the Union Address

Michael J. Toohey, President and CEO of Waterways Council, Inc.

Michael J. Toohey, President and CEO of Waterways Council, Inc. Waterways Council, Inc. and its members applaud President Obama’s urging of Congress to pass a Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) this year, and his connecting the nation’s waterways to jobs in the State of the Union address last night. In the address, the President remarked, “Moreover, we can take the money we save from this transition to tax reform to create jobs rebuilding our roads, upgrading our ports…

22 Jan 2014

Boxer, Shuster to be AAPA’s 2014 ‘Port Persons of Year’

AAPA President & CEO Kurt Nagle

U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster  (R-PA) have been jointly selected to receive the American Association of Port Authorities’ (AAPA) 2014 “Port Person of the Year” award. The bi-partisan nomination for AAPA’s most prestigious annual award was submitted by the California Association of Port Authorities (CAPA). Marking its 102nd year as the Western Hemisphere’s leading trade association representing port authorities, AAPA selected Sen. Boxer and Cong. Shuster based on their dedication to improving America’s water resources…

15 Jan 2014

Wells, Georgiopoulos to Keynote HACC/NACC Ship Conference

Peter Georgiopoulos

The conference committee of the 20th annual Hellenic-American and Norwegian-American Chambers of Commerce conference, often called the New York Shipping Conference, announced today the luncheon keynote speakers will be and George Wells of Cargill and Peter Georgiopoulos. Entitled “Today’s Vision- Tomorrow’s Reality”, the conference will present a Macro Shipping and Economic Overview, a look at Shipping 2020, the challenges of balancing safety, regulatory compliance and costs, the current outlook and sources of dry bulk demand and supply…

06 Jan 2014

What Will WRDA Legislation Bring?

Mike Toohey

On November 8, speaking at the Port of New Orleans, President Obama said “… corn and wheat is coming down from my home state of Illinois down the river, ending up here and then going all around the world. This was a victory for the inland waterways industry because while the President has recognized ports, dams, levees, trains, trucks and other transportation infrastructure, he has not, heretofore, underscored the value of the inland waterways. The President’s recognition of the…

28 Oct 2013

U.S. Bill Allows Port Everglades to Deepen, Widen Channels

Congresswoman Lois Frankel

Port Everglades officials are encouraged after the House of Representatives passed the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) this week by a vote of 417-3, including the Manager’s Amendment which would allow Port Everglades to move forward with its critical harbor deepening and widening project prior to formal congressional approval. Now that both the House and Senate have passed their respective pieces of water resources legislation, they will appoint a conference committee to resolve differences between the two bills.

18 Aug 2013

Germany Does 'Pierhead Jump' Aboard MLC

Photo courtesy of ILO

The Government of Germany registered its ratification of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC, 2006) with the International Labour Office days before it becomes effective on 20, August 2013. Germany becomes the 43rd ILO Member State and the 17th European country to ratify the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC 2006) , a landmark convention which constitutes the fourth pillar of the international maritime legal regime complementing key Conventions of the International Maritime…

23 Apr 2012

House Addresses Great Lakes Dredging Crisis

The end of the Great Lakes dredging crisis took a step closer to reality last week when the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 4348 and included a provision that could lead to substantially increased Great Lakes dredging funding. The amendment directs that all funding collected in the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund be spent on dredging each year. “Passage of H.R. 4348 with the Boustany amendment represents further progress in requiring that the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund monies all be spent on dredging each year…

19 Apr 2012

House Adopts Amendment Addressing Great Lakes Dredging Crisis

Toledo, Ohio – The end of the Great Lakes dredging crisis came a step closer to reality yesterday when the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 4348 and included a provision which could lead to substantially increased funding for Great Lakes dredging. The amendment directs that all funding collected in the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund be spent on dredging each year. Currently, the Fund has a $7 billion surplus. More than 16 million cubic yards of sediment clog Great Lakes ports and waterways because funding for dredging has been inadequate for decades. “Passage of H.R. 4348 with the Boustany amendment represents further progress in requiring that the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund monies all be spent on dredging each year…

17 Feb 2012

WCI Presents Leadership Award to Rep. Rahall

Congressman Nick Rahall, II, (WV) Ranking Member of the House Transportation & Infrastructure (T&I) Committee.

Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) presented Congressman Nick Rahall, II, (WV) Ranking Member of the House Transportation & Infrastructure (T&I) Committee, with its 11th Annual Leadership Service Award on February 15, 2012 in Washington, DC. The award recognizes champions of the nation’s inland waterways and port system. Rep. Rahall has served on the T&I Committee for 34 years, his entire tenure in Congress, and has been a key architect in the formulation of every Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) since coming to Congress…

25 Aug 2003

Dynamic Positioning Committee Publishes Advanced Program

The Dynamic Positioning Committee of the Marine Technology Society will hold its Annual Conference on September 16-17. The Conference will be held at the Westchase Hilton in West Houston, September 16-17, 2003. Based on the number and very high quality of abstracts submitted this year, the Conference Committee expects this to be an extremely technically strong conference. Topics include papers on environmental issues related to DP operations, new technology especially in sensors, DP applied to FPSO and shuttle tankers, workboats, thrusters, power and controls. The original material covered at the Conference will be of interest to both past conference attendees and newcomers, and particularly DP vessel operators, including supply, dive, drilling, shuttle tanker, FPSO and pipelay vessels.

05 Apr 2004

CG Authorization Act … The Senate Version

In addition to the proposed amendment to the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 (MTSA) [discussed in Friday’s edition of this newsletter], the Senate version of the Coast Guard Authorization Act (S. 733) has other sections of interest. The measure, if enacted, would amend the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA 90) to require non-tank vessels of 400 gross tons or greater to have vessel response plans (VRPs) similar to those required of tank vessels. It would require a report on, among other things: (1) the domestic and international implications of changing the phase-out date for single hull tank vessels from 2015 to 2010; (2) the costs and benefits of requiring monitoring systems on tank vessels; and (3) a review of safety issues relating to tank barges.

26 Jul 2004

FY 2005 Coast Guard Authorization Bill Approved

The House-Senate Conference Committee on the Fiscal Year (FY) 2005 Coast Guard Authorization Act completed negotiations and approved a conference report on July 14. The measure was fast-tracked to the House and Senate floors for consideration and won quick passage before the chambers adjourned for an extended summer recess. The final bill accomplishes two top-priority AWO objectives. First, it contains language that closes the lease financing loophole of the Jones Act. Second, it contains language to bring towing vessels under Coast Guard inspection. Both of these items are on AWO’s 2004 list of Major Issue Priorities. Their enactment by the Congress is very meaningful to the long-term health and viability of the industry.

14 Dec 2001

Ports Urge Senate to Include Port Security Funding

On December 7, the Senate approved an emergency spending bill for homeland security as part of the Department of Defense FY'02 Appropriations bill. Although Senator Byrd (D-WVA) had to drop his additional funding for homeland security, $50 million for port security was included in the Senate-passed bill. An additional $50 million would be spent in FY '02 on Coast Guard ($12 million); Customs ($15 million), and the Maritime Administration (MARAD) ($23 million); $12 million of this would be for loan guarantees. House/Senate negotiations on the final bill are expected to take place soon. The House version does provide money for Customs and Coast Guard, but does not fund MARAD's programs. On Dec. 13, U.S.

05 Jun 2002

House Passes Amended Version of Bill

At an evening session, the U.S. House of Representatives agreed to and passed an amended version of the Maritime Transportation Antiterrorism Act of 2002 (H.R. 3983). The text of the bill, as passed, should be available soon. Immediately after passing the bill, the House appointed its members of the Conference Committee: Young (R-AK), Coble (R-NC), LoBiondo (R-NJ), Oberstar (D-MN), Brown (D-FL), Thomas (R-CA), Crane (R-IL), and Rangel (D-NY). The onus is now on the Senate to appoint its Conference Committee members in order that unified maritime security legislation can be enacted. Source: HK Law

23 Jul 2002

U.S. Port Security Fee Scheme

During a meeting of the Conference Committee that is attempting to draft a unified U.S. Port Security Fee be assessed to fund various port security initiatives. $1 per metric ton of other cargo. Based on calendar year 2000 data, this would collect approximately $692 million each year. The monies, to be collected by the Customs Service, would be deposited in a new Port Security Trust Fund. be allocated to ports for security enhancements. Of the remainder, 25 percent would be set aside for discretionary grants for protection of miscellaneous maritime assets and for shipper security programs and the other 25 percent would be available to generic security programs at the Maritime Administration, TSA, Customs, and the Coast Guard.

22 Jul 2002

House of Representatives Issue Conference Report

The U.S. House of Representatives issued the Conference Report on H.R. 4775, the 2002 Supplemental Appropriations Act for Further Recovery from and Response to Terrorist Attacks on the United States. The following items may be of particular interest to the maritime community. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) received $2 million to address critical mapping and charting backlog requirements. Of the unobligated balance available, $5 million previously appropriated to the Maritime Administration for the federal maritime loan guarantee program (Title XI) is rescinded. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) received $105 million for additional port security grants…

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