Kentucky News

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’…

08 Jan 2019

Towing Vessel Sinks on the Tennessee River

The U.S. Coast Guard said it is responding to a sunken towing vessel near mile marker 22 on the Tennessee River, Tuesday. The two crew members on board were able to evacuate safely.The nearby Kentucky Lock and Dam has ceased locking operations due to the incident.The Coast Guard said its watchstanders at Sector Ohio Valley received a report at approximately 10 p.m. Monday that the inspected towing vessel Tom Bussler capsized at mile marker 15 on the Tennessee River.Inspected towing vessel George Leavell was able to recover the two crewmembers who were on board and transferred them to Calvert City Landing where they were transported to Lourdes Hospital in Paducah, Ky. in stable condition.The sunken vessel reportedly has approximately 4,100 gallons of diesel on board.

04 Jan 2019

Update: Coast Guard Responds to Tug and Barge Accident on the Ohio River

Photo: USCG

The Coast Guard, the Army Corps of Engineers and Tennessee Valley Towing Company, the responsible party, are continuing their response to a tug and barge accident on the Ohio River in Louisville, Kentucky, Wednesday.The water at the McAlpine Dam rose approximately three feet over the course of the past 24 hours causing one additional barge to sink. Nine barges are currently lying on the dam just above the falls. Seven of the nine barges sank.The Coast Guard, Army Corps of Engineers, and the responsible party are working together to evaluate the ever-changing situation each day.

28 Dec 2018

Coast Guard Reopens Ohio River for Restricted Movements

McAlpine Lock and Dam. (USCG Image)

The Coast Guard, the Army Corps of Engineers and Tennessee Valley Towing Company, the responsible party, are continuing their response to a tug and barge accident on the Ohio River in Louisville, Kentucky, Thursday.The Coast Guard reopened the Ohio River to all vessel traffic from Twelve Mile Island to McAlpine Lock and Dam.Traffic movement is currently only permitted during daylight hours and with an assist vessel, which is available pre-stationed at McAlpine Lock and Dam.Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Ohio Valley received a report at approximately 8:10 p.m.…

26 Aug 2018

Georgia's New Inland Terminal Begins Business

Gov. Nathan Deal, center, cuts a ribbon during the Grand Opening of the Appalachian Regional Port near Chatsworth, Ga.  Photo: Georgia Ports Authority / Stephen B. Morton

Gov. Nathan Deal, state officials and more than 350 business and civic leaders were on hand today to officially open the Appalachian Regional Port (ARP) in Northwest Georgia.“The Appalachian Regional Port is a powerful new gateway to the Port of Savannah that extends the efficiencies of Georgia’s superior port operations to new markets,” Deal said. “It will also serve as an economic development magnet, drawing business and industry to the Southeast U.S.”Located in Murray County…

09 Aug 2018

MarAd Awards $4.8 Mln for Marine Highway Projects

(Photo: Port of Baton Rouge)

Nearly $5 million in grant funding awarded this week will help enhance existing marine highways serving ports in Louisiana, Virginia, New York and Connecticut, and support the development of new container-on-barge services in Kentucky and Rhode Island.On Wednesday, U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao announced $4,872,000 in grants for six projects through the Maritime Administration’s (MARAD) Marine Highway program, works with public and private stakeholders to support the expanded use of navigable waterways to relieve landside congestion…

18 Jul 2018

Vitol Invests in Coal-to-oil Venture as Shipping Fuel Rules Loom

© xy / Adobe Stock

Energy trader Vitol and coal miner Peabody Energy are partnering with start-up Arq to turn coal waste into a low-sulphur oil product that could be an alternative fuel for shippers as new U.N. pollution rules loom, the companies said in a statement.Global oil and shipping companies are looking at any and all options to avoid becoming a casualty of the major market dislocations that the new standards will create when they come into effect in 2020.The U.N. International Maritime Organization (IMO) will ban ships using fuel with a sulphur content higher than 0.5 percent…

12 Jul 2018

Nugent Sand Company Orders Electric Dredger

DSC Marlin (Photo: DSC Dredge)

Nugent Sand Company of Louisville, Ky. has finalized an agreement to purchase a new Marlin Class electric dredge from DSC Dredge, LLC.DSC Dredge will produce a fully electric powered cutter head suction dredge that will mine to a depth of 80-feet, with estimated production of 700 tons/hour. This new Marlin Class dredge will be delivered to a mine site which has been operated by Nugent Sand Company for over 30 years. Other areas of the property were previously dredged, but this DSC Marlin dredge will operate in a pit currently being dry-mined down to the water table.

01 Jun 2018

EU to Hit Back at US Tariffs

© Pere Sanz / Adobe Stock

The European Union's plans to hit back at new U.S. tariffs on EU steel and aluminium exports include hiking duties on a range of imports from the United States, from blue jeans and rice to the proverbial kitchen sink.In eight closely typed pages of documentation lodged at the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva, the EU has set out 25-percent tariff increases that are in part aimed at hurting the electoral districts of some of President Donald Trump's allies.That explains "motorcycles ...

17 May 2018

An Unlikely and Remarkable Safety Journey

(Credit: Gregory Thorp)

Late last year, the Transportation Research Board released a major study that was undertaken “in response to the rapid development of domestic sources of energy and questions about the safest ways to move these products.” The Study Committee examined the operational responses of the three primary modes impacted by the fracking revolution – rail, pipeline and maritime. A primary observation of this work was that that the “Marine Transportation System Offers a Model for Robust Safety…

09 May 2018

Inland Drydocks: Location, Location, Location

(Photo: TPG)

A recent dry dock rehab project in Chicago provides new options and money saving opportunities for inland and Great Lakes stakeholders alike.From software to steel plating, Indiana-based TPG Marine Enterprises provides a range of services in the Great Lakes and inland waterways markets. River based tug and barge services are based in Jeffersonville and Mt. Vernon, IN, on the Ohio River, as well as on Kentucky’s Green River. The company also owns TPG Chicago Dry Dock, located on the Calumet River.

04 May 2018

Tech File: Material Handler Boosts Paducah’s Productivity

Located at the confluence of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway, the Ohio River and the Cumberland River and just upstream from the Mississippi, the City of Paducah is an important hub in the inland waterways network. In 2015, newly appointed Paducah-McCracken County Riverport Authority Executive Director Bill Miller’s first priority was to upgrade the port’s infrastructure.“Our 20 year old lattice boom crane was past its useful service life,” he said, adding, “So the Board for the Riverport Authority authorized a bid spec to replace it with the best available equipment.” Today…

25 Apr 2018

EPA Announces Funding to Reduce Diesel Emissions

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © dbvirago)

Preference given to fleets in areas facing air quality challenges. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the availability of grant funding to modernize the nation’s diesel fleet by retrofitting or replacing vehicles with cleaner, more efficient diesel engines. EPA anticipates awarding approximately $40 million in Diesel Emission Reduction Program (DERA) grant funding to eligible applicants, subject to the availability of funds. “These grants will incentivize improvements to aging diesel fleets and improve air quality throughout the country…

22 Mar 2018

Trade Wars Clearly Bad for Global Shipping - BIMCO

© sergeevspb / Adobe Stock

On March 1, 2018, President Trump pushed through a metals tariff plan that puts 25 percent tariff on imports of steel and a 10 percent tariff on imports of aluminium. They are set to enter into force on March 23, 2018. The Trump administration seems positive towards protectionism and that picture became clear when the pro-trade U.S. President Donald Trump’s chief economic adviser Gary Cohn resigned on March 6 because of the tariffs imposed on steel and aluminium. Although the tariffs on steel and aluminium are expected to have a limited impact on most international bulk trades…

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.

16 Feb 2018

WCI Presents Leadership Award to Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY)

Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) received Waterways Council, Inc.'s (WCI) 17th Annual Leadership Service Award. Stephen Little, Chairman of Crounse Corporation, made the presentation. CREDIT: WCI

On February 14, 2018, Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) received Waterways Council, Inc.'s (WCI) 17th Annual Leadership Service Award for his strong and continued leadership on ports and inland waterways issues. He was presented the award by Stephen Little, Chairman of Crounse Corporation. WCI President & CEO Mike Toohey said, “We were honored to have the opportunity to celebrate Senator McConnell, who has been a stalwart advocate for the inland waterways in his state of Kentucky, but throughout the United States. Also on February 14, 2018, recently retired former U.S.

27 Dec 2017

AIS, AtoN, MTS – and you

Figure 1

USACE and USCG collaborate to make inland waterways safer. The United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), supported by Alion Science and Technology (Alion), has put forth considerable effort during the last two years to further extend the capabilities of the existing Automatic Identification System (AIS) network to improve the safety and efficiency of navigation along the inland rivers. The USACE works with the United States Coast Guard (USCG) and other agencies and stakeholders to operate and maintain the nation’s Marine Transportation System (MTS).

11 Jan 2018

Sunken Vessel Discharging Oil in West Virginia

Gate City sunk and discharged oil near mile marker 8 on the Big Sandy River near Butler, West Virginia (U.S. Coast Guard courtesy photo)

Towboat Gate City has sunk and is reportedly discharging oil near mile marker 8 on the Big Sandy River near Butler, W.Va. The vessel is discharging oil into the river “with a maximum potential of 5,000 gallons,” according to the U.S. Coast Guard, who said it received a report that the vessel had sunk at its mooring Wednesday morning. A Coast Guard pollution response team arrived on scene and is working with the oil spill response organization Weavertown to deploy boom and contain the oil and begin cleanup operations.

19 Jan 2018

Tug Explosion Kills Three in Kentucky

A tug boat explosion has left three people dead and numerous others injured on the Tennessee River in Calvert City, Ky. Authorities said the tug was undergoing repair in drydock when an explosion occurred inside the vessel around 9 a.m. on Friday. Three were pronounced dead at the scene and numerous others were transported for injuries that range from non-life threatening to life-threatening. Kentucky State Police said an investigation is ongoing, although there is no early indication of foul play being involved in the explosion. The U. S. Coast Guard is on scene, along with state and local responders.

29 Jan 2018

Riverboat Touring: Status Quo or Ready to Grow?

Credit: Pamela Harding

If you want to book a plush river cruise vacation in America’s heartland – say on the Mississippi or Ohio Rivers – you can do it. The American Queen Steamboat Company’s website offers as many as 13 river cruises in 2018. Certainly, the ‘bourbon cruise,’ aboard the lavish American Duchess sounds like fun. Or, maybe next year you can sign up for the nine-day ‘Derby Cruise.’ And, next year means 2019 because the 2018 cruise is sold out. Maybe the most fun is that passengers themselves…

05 Feb 2018

Waterways Council to Honor Sen. McConnell

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Official photo)

U.S. Senator and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) will receive the 17th Annual Waterways Council, Inc. Leadership Service Award on Wednesday evening, February 14, 2018 at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C. “Waterways Council is so fortunate to have the opportunity to honor Senator McConnell, a great waterways advocate and to thank him publicly for his commitment to America’s critical waterways infrastructure, to jobs, and to competitive access,” said Michael J. Toohey, President/CEO of Waterways Council, Inc.

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