Inland Waterways Trust Fund News

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)


13 Mar 2019

President's Request Cuts Funding for USACE

Mike Toohey  (Photo: WCI)

Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) reacted to the Trump Administration’s release of an outline of its top-line FY20 budget numbers yesterday. Today, the Corps of Engineers released its account and project-specific funding levels. For the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Civil Works program, the FY20 budget proposes $4.827 billion, a 31% cut from the FY19 appropriated amount of $7.0 billion. Inland Waterways Trust Fund (IWTF) proposed funding in FY20 is $55.5 million, with a total of $111 million requested for the Lower Mon Project (Monongahela River, Pittsburgh), funding it to completion.

13 Mar 2019

Waterways Council Reacts to Budget Numbers

Donald J. Trump

Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) reacted to the Trump Administration’s release of an outline of its top-line FY20 budget numbers yesterday. Today, the Corps of Engineers released its account and project-specific funding levels.For the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Civil Works program, the FY20 budget proposes $4.827 billion, a 31% cut from the FY19 appropriated amount of $7.0 billion.Inland Waterways Trust Fund (IWTF) proposed funding in FY20 is $55.5 million, with a total of $111 million requested for the Lower Mon Project (Monongahela River, Pittsburgh), funding it to completion.

27 Feb 2019

OP/ED: Structuring Infrastructure

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

The Inland Waterways View.At the start of any new year, we are often asked what our challenges will be or what we are going to do differently in the year ahead. However, in 2019, just like each year since Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) was founded in 2003, we intend to stay the course to advocate for full and efficient funding for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to continue its Civil Works mission to construct and maintain navigation projects on the inland waterways.The Corps’


14 May 2019

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.

14 Mar 2018

Op/Ed: Disconnect from River to Washington

© Jeffery Everson / Adobe Stock

Just before the anticipation of good things to come on Valentine’s Day, on February 12, the inland waterways transportation industry was left feeling disappointed and puzzled after the release of the long-awaited Trump Administration infrastructure principles, and then the release of President Trump’s FY 2019 budget request. During the Presidential campaign, then-candidate Trump said he would undertake a $1 trillion infrastructure initiative that would focus on a wide array of projects, from sewer systems to bridges to Veterans Hospitals to rural broadband expansion.

12 Feb 2018

Trump’s Infrastructure Proposals Disappoint -WCI

President Trump announces his infrastructure initiative on June 7, 2017 (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) reacted to the Trump Administration infrastructure principles released today, expressing disappointment that the proposal moves toward eliminating the role of the Federal government to construct, operate and maintain the nation’s waterways by transferring that responsibility to nonfederal public or private entities. The President’s FY2019 budget request and the infrastructure initiative also propose to modernize the waterways transportation system


04 Dec 2017

Federal Waterways Infrastructure Outlook

© johnsroad7 / Adobe Stock

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. The 2018 budget is of particular interest and it’s particularly important.

01 Jun 2017

WCI Meets the Press, Addresses FY 2018 Budget Request

Mike Toohey, WCI President/CEO

Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2017; FY 2017 Corps' Work Plan and Infrastructure Plan Addressed. Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) today held its annual briefing for the news media to address the President’s FY 2018 budget request, the FY 2017 Consolidated Omnibus Appropriations Act, the Corps of Engineers’ FY 2017 Work Plan, and the Administration’s infrastructure initiative. he event was held at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. The full FY 2018 budget request to Congress released by the Trump Administration proposes $5.02 billion for the Corps’ Civil Works program


04 May 2017

WCI Applauds FY 2017 Omnibus

Michael Toohey (Photo: WCI)

Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) praised today’s passage of the FY 2017 Omnibus Appropriations bill that provides funding for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers through the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2017. FY ’17 funding for the Corps’ Civil Works mission totals $6.038 billion, a 0.8 percent increase above the FY ’16 funding level, but almost a 31 percent increase above the Obama Administration requested level. The bill provides full-use of estimated annual revenues from the


06 Mar 2017

OP/Ed: New Year, New Opportunity

The start of a new year often brings change, but in the nation’s capital, 2017 means a new President and Administration, and a new Congress. Waterways Council, Inc.’s objective remains the same as it has since our start in 2005: to advocate for a modern, efficient and reliable inland waterways transportation system. For WCI, achieving this means working from our “three-legged advocacy stool” approach to educating these new Washingtonians through direct lobbying, stakeholder support and outreach, and media relations.

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.

15 Apr 2015

WCI Praises Increased USACE Funding

WCI today praised the leadership of House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) and Energy & Water Development (E&WD) Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Mike Simpson (R-ID) that led to unanimous approval of a bill that will significantly increase funding in FY 2016 for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Civil Works Program. The FY ’16 E&WD and Related Agencies appropriations bill, marked up today in the E&WD Subcommittee, was approved by unanimous voice vote with no amendments. It will head to the full Appropriations Committee next week. The overall size of the Corps’ Civil Works mission portion of the bill is $5.597 billion and more than restores cuts to the program as recommended by the Administration


22 Apr 2015

Funding Boosted for USACE Civil Works Program

Michael J. Toohey (Photo: WCI)

The U.S. House Appropriations Committee, led by Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY), today approved by unanimous voice vote the FY ’16 Energy & Water Development (E&WD) and Related Agencies appropriations bill, increasing funding in Fiscal Year 2016 for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Civil Works Program. WCI President Michael J. Toohey expressed thanks to House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers and Ranking Member Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), and House Energy & Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Mike Simpson (R-ID) and Ranking Member Marcy Kaptur (D-OH).

02 Mar 2016

Insights: Edward E. Belk, USACE

Edward E. Belk

Insights: Edward E. Belk -  Chief, Operations and Regulatory Division Directorate of Civil Works, U.S. Edward E. Belk, Jr. currently serves as the Chief of Operations and Regulatory Division for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Corps Headquarters in Washington, D.C. He also provides leadership and oversight for activities and programs within the Corps’ Lakes and Rivers and North Atlantic Regional Integration Teams. Selected by the Secretary of the Army into the Senior Executive Service in May 2012, Mr.

23 Apr 2015

Strong FY 16 Funding Approved for Corps

Today the House Appropriations Committee, led by Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY), approved by unanimous voice vote the FY ’16 Energy & Water Development (E&WD) and Related Agencies appropriations bill, significantly increasing funding in Fiscal Year 2016 for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Civil Works Program. The overall size of the Corps’ Civil Works mission portion of the bill is $5.597 billion and more than restores cuts to the program as recommended by the Administration, adding $864.75 million to the Administration request and increasing the FY 2015 appropriated amount for the Corps by $142.25 million. The bill increases the President’s proposed Construction account funding level by 39.9% to $1.631 billion.

07 Apr 2016

Stakeholders Voice Opposition to Proposed Waterway Tolls

Deb Calhoun (Photo: WCI)

A group of 75 companies and organizations have collectively voiced opposition to a Public Private Partnership (P3) project that would seek to toll the Illinois Waterway and that could make its way into the Water Resources and Development Act (WRDA) of 2016. The group consisting of a variety of stakeholders across the logistics chain and led by the Waterways Council, Inc. “We are not opposed to appropriate, properly-structured financing to improve the nation’s inland waterways transportation system,” the letters said.

15 Apr 2016

WCI Applauds Increased FY'17 Funding

The Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) praised the bipartisan leadership of Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Thad Cochran (R-MS) and Vice Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), and Senate Energy & Water Development (E&WD) Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) for the 30-0 vote approving the fiscal year 2017 appropriations bill that increases funding for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Civil Works Program. The Corps’ Civil Works mission funded in the Senate bill is $6 billion, an increase of $11 million above the FY 2016 enacted level, and $1.378 million above the President’s budget request. It restores the 23 percent cut to the Corps’ budget proposed by the Administration for FY ’17.

22 May 2015

WCI Applauds Increased USACE Funding

Today WCI applauded the leadership of Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Thad Cochran (R-MS) and Senate Energy & Water Development (E&WD) Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) for the 26-4 vote approving the FY 2016 appropriations bill that increases funding for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Civil Works Program. The overall size of the Corps’ Civil Works mission portion of the Senate bill is $5.499 billion and adds $768 million to the Administration request. “Important to (the) American commerce and public safety, the committee rejects the President’s budget recommendation to cut Army Corps of Engineer(s)


28 Apr 2016

WCI's Toohey Applauds WRDA 2016 Bill

Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) President/CEO Michael J. “We thank Chairman James Inhofe and Ranking Member Barbara Boxer for their collaborative efforts to develop a WRDA 2016 bill that addresses inland waterways system priorities. Particularly, we applaud the Committee’s rejection of lockage fees/tolls to finance Public-Private Partnerships (P3s) on the Nation’s waterways. WCI is also supportive of the Senate bill’s authorization of $16.7 million in modification work for Calcasieu Lock in Louisiana, and for the Brazos Island Harbor project (funded with $116 million Federal and $135 million non-Federal funds). We also applaud the provision to remove Inland Waterways Trust Fund capital projects from the five-year/no funding de-authorization rule until Olmsted is substantially off the books.

13 May 2016

Senate Approves Strong Funding for USACE

Michael J. Toohey (Photo: WCI)

The FY ’17 Energy & Water Development (E&WD) and Related Agencies appropriations bill has been approved by the U.S. Senate in a 90-8 vote, significantly increasing funding in Fiscal Year 2017 for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Civil Works Program. The House version of this bill, which passed out of the Appropriations Committee last month, is awaiting floor action. Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) President Michael J. Toohey underscored the work of Chairman Cochran and Senate Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.)


23 Sep 2015

Insights: Tracy Zea, Director-Government Relations, WCI

Tracy R. Zea

Washington-based Tracy R. Zea advocates for Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) goals for authorizations and appropriations which support a modern, efficient, and reliable inland waterways transportation system. Zea also works to enhance WCI’s stakeholder relationship with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers while additionally tracking implementation of WRRDA legislation and ensuring that WCI’s views are reflected in the outcomes. Before joining WCI, Zea served on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) for five years.

17 Dec 2015

Highest Funding for Corps, Navigation Programs

Logo

WCI today applauded the work of negotiators to reach a final agreement last night for an FY 2016 Omnibus Appropriations bill that funds the Corps of Engineers’ Civil Works program under the Energy & Water Development Appropriations bill. The full House is expected to vote on a final agreement later this week. FY ‘16 funding for the Corps’ Civil Works mission is $5.99 billion, a 27% increase above the President’s budget request of $4.732 billion. --Inland Waterways Trust Fund (IWTF)


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