House Transportation And Infrastructure Committee News

03 May 2017

AWO Testifies on Carrier Alliance, Tug Negotiations

Tom Allegretti (Photo: AWO)

AWO testifies before Congress on dangers of foreign carrier alliances negotiating collectively with U.S. Tom Allegretti, President & CEO of The American Waterways Operators, testified before the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee's Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation on the dangers posed by the Federal Maritime Commission's (FMC) decision to allow foreign carrier alliances to collectively negotiate with U.S. tugboat operators. Allegretti also emphasized AWO's view that such agreements violate both the letter and congressional intent of the Shipping Act…

28 Sep 2016

Rethinking Inland Infrastructure Finance

Photo: Ruben Diaz

P3: An alternative to tolls or lockage fees in public-private partnerships for inland waterways. Within the generally sorry state of the U.S. inland waterways infrastructure, there are some locations where conditions are particularly dire. Among those in this latter situation are several locks and dams on the Illinois River, including the La Grange Lock and Dam and the Peoria Lock and Dam, both of which were completed in 1939. Both of them are on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, which is a dubious distinction for a major transportation facility of the twenty-first century.

13 Apr 2016

AWO President Champions the Jones Act

Tom Allegretti (File photo)

On April 14 in testimony before the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Tom Allegretti, President & CEO of The American Waterways Operators (AWO), will press for continued defense of the Jones Act and a uniform federal framework for vessel discharge regulation. The hearing will focus on the status and implementation of maritime transportation safety and stewardship programs and rulemakings. The Jones Act…

14 Jan 2016

House Votes to Sink WOTUS Rule

Bill Shuster (Photo: House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee)

The U.S. House of Representatives voted 253-166 Wednesday to eliminate a recent Obama Administration rule that gives the federal government new authority to regulate virtually all waters or wet areas in the United States. The House approved S. J. Res 22, a resolution of congressional disapproval that vacates the Administration’s rule, published on June 29, 2015, to broaden the definition under federal law of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) and expand federal regulatory power under the Clean Water Act. The Senate approved S. J. Res 22 in November, and it now goes to the President’s desk.

07 May 2015

Ice, Weather Slow Great Lakes Stone Trade

Shipments of limestone on the Great Lakes totaled 1.8 million tons in April, a decrease of 9 percent compared to the month’s five-year average, and a drop of 30 percent compared to 2012, the last April in which ice conditions were not near arctic, according to the Lake Carriers’ Association (LCA). Heavy ice cover on the Lakes was the major factor behind the decreases. The ice formations were so formidable that the U.S.-flag Class V lakers that are heavily engaged in the stone trade collectively delayed their sailings by 60 days compared to 2014. Class V lakers are vessels that range in length from 600 to 649 feet and can transit rivers such as the Cuyahoga in Cleveland or the Saginaw River in Michigan. Cold temperatures also slowed the resumption of mining at several quarries.

06 May 2015

April Ice Hinders Great Lakes Ore Trade

Shipments of iron ore on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway totaled 4.3 million tons in April, nearly 15 percent below the month’s long-term average, the Lake Carriers’ Association (LCA) reported. The heavy ice blanketing the Lakes not only slowed the vessels that were in service, it delayed many vessels from sailing. Several U.S.-flag vessel operators held back ships rather than sit in ice because the U.S. and Canadian Coast Guards do not have enough icebreakers to adequately cover the system. “April was again proof positive that we need more icebreaking resources,” said James H.I. Weakley, president of LCA, the trade association representing U.S.-flag vessel operators on the Great Lakes.

25 Mar 2015

Houston Port Throughput Up 22%

Courtesy Port  of Houston Authority

Activity across Port of Houston Authority docks continues to show strength as February 2015 tonnage figures reflected a 22-percent increase compared to February 2014. Executive Director Roger Guenther released the information today during the monthly meeting of the Port Commission of the Port of Houston Authority. Guenther reported that the Port Authority's Barbours Cut and Bayport container terminals were particularly busy. A combined 40 percent more loaded containers than a year ago was handled. ". .

05 Jan 2015

As Interest in LNG Surges, Regulators Struggle to Keep Pace

Joan M. Bondareff

The use of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) as a transportation fuel for ships, barges and ferries has surged in recent months. This surge is due, in large part, to the boon in the production of natural gas in the U.S.; new low sulfur rules for the North American Emission Control Area (ECA), which go into effect on January 1, 2015; and new technologies for the construction of engines capable of running on LNG. Regulatory regimes both in the U.S. and worldwide are struggling to keep pace with the tremendous growth of LNG as a fuel.

30 Oct 2014

Rep. Cummings Receives Maritime Service Award

Elijah E. Cummings

On Wednesday, October 29, Congressman Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD) delivered keynote remarks at APL Maritime’s Senior Management Conference, and received an award recognizing his service to the maritime industry. “The U.S. flagged oceangoing fleet is vital to our nation’s security, as is ensuring the future of that fleet both through federal policy and support for the next generation of maritime workers,” Cummings said. “I’m honored to be recognized by APL Maritime, and I look forward to working with them and other stakeholders to sustain and strengthen the U.S.

11 Jun 2014

AAPA Commends President Obama for WRRDA Enactment

Kurt Nagle: Photo credit AAPA

After a 7-year hiatus in reauthorizing new U.S. water resources legislation, the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) says it commends President Obama for officially signing the 2014 Water Resources Reform and Development Act into law. The president’s signing culminates a series of port visits by the President, Vice President and other top Administration officials over the past year, as well as statements about the vital importance of investing in port related infrastructure.

21 May 2014

AAPA Hails U.S. House Passage of WRRDA

Kurt Nagle: Photo credit AAPA

Citing it as a major victory for ports, the American Association of Port Authorities is hailing passage in the U.S. House today of H.R. 3080, the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA). The U.S. Senate will vote on the bill this Thursday, where easy passage is expected. House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA), a major WRRDA champion, cited the bill for cutting red tape, strengthening trade and creating jobs. AAPA President and CEO Kurt Nagle said, “We’re extremely pleased that WRRDA passed the House today. Mr.

05 May 2014

AAPA Remembers 'Tireless' Congressman James Oberstar

Cong. James Oberstar: Photo Wiki CCL

Following the recent passing of former Cong. James Oberstar, American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) President and CEO Kurt Nagle described the past chair of the U.S. “In 2003, AAPA honored Cong. Oberstar with its prestigious ‘Port Person of the Year’ award for his many contributions to advancing America’s freight transportation system, including authoring or co-authoring six Water Resources Development Acts from 1986 to 2000, and various Coast Guard and Coastal Zone Management reauthorizations and amendments,” said Mr. Nagle. In March 2010, Cong.

05 May 2014

Former Congressman Jim Oberstar Passes Away

Jim Oberstar (Official government photo)

“Congressman Jim ‪‎Oberstar was a friend and mentor. He was also a brilliant and kind man. No one knew more about transportation policy than him. Just last Wednesday, I talked with him about strategies to pass a good transportation bill. I will miss him. President Obama said of Oberstar's passing, "Michelle and I were saddened to hear about the passing of Congressman Jim Oberstar. Jim cared deeply about the people of Minnesota, devoting his 36 years of service to improving America's infrastructure…

04 Mar 2014

Allegretti Testifies on Vessel Discharge Regs

Tom Allegretti (Photo: AWO)

On March 4, in testimony before the Coast Guard Maritime Transportation Subcommittee of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Tom Allegretti, President & CEO of The American Waterways Operators, urged Congress to enact a uniform national standard for ballast water and other vessel discharges to end a patchwork of federal and state regulations that is counterproductive to enhanced environmental protection, confusing and costly for vessel owners, and inefficient for state and federal agencies.

12 Feb 2014

Congressman Garamendi Again Fights the Maritime Corner

John Garamendi at the Markup Debate: Vidio Image courtesy of the House

During the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s markup of H.R. 4005, the Coast Guard Reauthorization Bill, Subcommittee Ranking Member Congressman John Garamendi (D-Fairfield, CA) spoke up for American jobs, a revival of the maritime industry, and a Cruise Ship Passenger Bill of Rights. Because the Coast Guard Reauthorization Bill modernizes maritime policy, provides budget stability, and adds needed resources to support Coast Guard operations, Garamendi voted in favor of the legislation. The bill was unanimously reported out of Committee.

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…

16 Jan 2014

Bishop to Address SUNY Maritime Commencement

Photo courtesy SUNY Maritime

Congressman Tim Bishop will deliver the commencement address when SUNY Maritime graduates its mid-year class Friday, January 31. Maritime’s President, Dr. Approximately 100 students will receive Associate’s, Bachelor’s,or Master’s degrees during the ceremony, which is open by invitation only. Approximately 60 of the January graduates will have also passed the examinations required for licensing by the US Coast Guard as Merchant Marine Officers. All were members of the College’s Regiment of Cadets – a requirement for licensing.

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.

16 Apr 2013

Peter Stephaich Testifies in Favor of New WRDA

Peter Stephaich. Photo: WCI

Peter Stephaich, Chairman of Campbell Transportation Company in Pittsburgh, PA, and Executive Committee member of Waterways Council, Inc. Mr. Stephaich addressed the importance of water resources development legislation, the current broken model for modernizing the nation’s locks and dams, and the need for adoption of the Capital Development Plan (CDP), which is H.R. 1149, Waterways are Vital  to our Economy, Energy, Efficiency and the Environment (WAVE 4) to remedy problems with the current water resources development approach. H.R.

15 May 2013

AAPA Commends Senate Passage of WRDA Bill

AAPA President and CEO Kurt Nagle (Photo: AAPA)

The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) lauded Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and David Vitter (R-La.), chairman and ranking member, respectively, of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, for their leadership in advancing S. 601, the Water Resources Development Act of 2013 (WRDA), through the Senate. The legislation was passed by a vote of 83-14. “AAPA commends Senators Boxer and Vitter on their leadership in advancing this legislation to spur vitally needed maintenance and improvements in America’s seaport related infrastructure and waterways…

10 Sep 2013

Industry Urges Publication of Towing Vessel Inspection Rule

Tom Allegretti, President & CEO of The American Waterways Operators

In testimony before Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Tom Allegretti, President & CEO of The American Waterways Operators, urged Congress to push for the expeditious publication of U.S. Coast Guard regulations on towing vessel inspections, also known as Subchapter M. Noting that Congress directed the Coast Guard to undertake this rulemaking more than nine years ago and that the deadline for issuing a final rule has long passed, Mr. Mr.

19 Sep 2013

Harbor Maintenance Legislation Supported by TTD President

“The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee today will consider a critical, bipartisan water infrastructure bill that will boost American competitiveness and create middle-class jobs. The legislation contains needed and long overdue reforms to harbor maintenance funding that will result in a substantial increase in investments in our nation’s ports and harbors. If approved by the Committee, it will then be up to the House leadership to bring this jobs creating bill to the floor for a vote and closer to final legislation that meet’s the nation’s needs. “Passage of this bill cannot come soon enough as our nation faces a $2.2 billion backlog in harbor maintenance projects that hampers international commerce and stifles job creation.

24 Oct 2013

AAPA Commends House for WRRDA Bill

The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA)  lauded leaders of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, leaders of its Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee and Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) for their efforts in advancing H.R. 3080, the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA). The House passed the legislation by a vote of 417 to 3. “AAPA commends T & I Committee Chairman (Bill) Shuster (R-PA), Ranking Member (Nick) Rahall (D-WV)…

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