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Friday, December 15, 2017

Ohio River News

Ohio River Towboat Captain Navigates a Changing America

A coal barge underway on U.S. inland waterways (CREDIT: AEP)

In the 29 years that towboat captain Joe Gray has worked flotillas of barges up and down the Ohio River, he has witnessed the decline at the heart of industrial America in what is known as the country's Rust Belt. Gray, 46, spends up to eight months a year doing 28-day stints on the barges carrying coal, corn and gravel between Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Cairo, Illinois. Some 600 million tons of goods still flow each year along 25,000 miles of U.S. waterways. But he has seen a growing number of coal-fired power plants being dismantled…

Towing Vessel Sinking on Ohio River

The U.S. Coast Guard is responding to the sinking of a towing vessel on the Ohio River near Golconda, Illinois, Wednesday. Coast Guard Sector Ohio River Valley watchstanders were notified the towing vessel David Dunnigan sank while working near mile marker 897.5, at approximately 8 p.m. The David Dunnigan reportedly capsized, sank and drifted down river. The exact location of the sunken vessel is unknown at this time. Coast Guard Sector Ohio Valley Captain of the Port, Capt. Richard Timme, has restricted vessel operations from mile marker 896.5 to mile marker 900 on the Ohio River as a precaution until the position of the vessel is determined. The towing vessel is reportedly carrying an estimated 3,000 gallons of fuel oil on board.

USCG Ups River Security for MLB All Star Game

Great American Ball Park (Photo courtesy of the Cincinnati Reds)

The U.S. Coast Guard, in cooperation with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, will provide additional maritime safety and security operations on the Ohio River in support of events surrounding the 86th Major League Baseball (MLB) All Star Game at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. According to the Coast Guard, boaters can expect no wake zones, interruptions and closures to maritime traffic. A no wake zone will be enforced between the I-471 and I-71 bridges Friday, July 10, through Tuesday, July 14.

FY 2008 $4.8b Budget Request is Highest Level of Funding for USACE

Although it represents a decrease from the FY 2007 spending level President Bush’s FY 2008 proposed budget nonetheless requests the highest level of funding ever included in any President’s budget for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers water resources projects and programs, a total of $4.871b. Last year’s (FY 07) budget request was $4.733 billion. This budget request also proposes FY ’08 spending of $418 million for Inland Waterways Trust Fund financed projects, of which one-half will come from the dedicated Inland Waterways Trust Fund. The remainder would come from general treasury funds, as required under current law. The FY 2008 Civil Works Budget notes that…

Climax Portable Awarded USACE Contract

Climax Portable Machine Tools announced the award of a $1.5m contract by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for refurbishing the Markland Locks on the Ohio River. The award will be funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), which earmarked money for the Army Corps of Engineers for construction projects. According to Climax, this contract will save and/or create 30 jobs in Oregon. More than $11.6b dollars a year of commerce pass through the Markland Locks and Dams on the Ohio River. When the locks needed to be refurnished, the Army Corps of Engineers began looking for a solution that would not disrupt the flow of shipping and that could replace its current repair process which was costly and time consuming.

USCG Closes Ohio River Again

According to reports, shortly after reopening, the Ohio River was again closed because of falling water levels from the worst Midwest drought in 17 years, U.S. Coast Guard officials said. A vessel towing 13 barges ran aground near Cairo, Illinois. The Coast Guard freed the barges but declared a safety zone and closed the river at 11:30 a.m. A test tow launched by the Coast Guard drafting 9 feet, 6 inches ran aground, reducing the possibility that vessels could go through the area on a case-by-case basis. About 20 vessels towing barges were waiting to pass through a seven-mile stretch of the Ohio River, near where it meets the Mississippi River. Mile markers 969 to 976 have become a choke point and caused barge freight rates to rise. Beginning Sunday, the U.S.

Section of Ohio River Closed for Construction

A portion of the Ohio River has been closed by the U.S. Coast Guard due to construction on Lock and Dam 52, Wednesday.   The Ohio River is closed to all vessel traffic at Lock 52, mile marker 939, near Paducah, Ky.   The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has begun raising the wickets on the dam.

Collision Continues To Block Ohio River

Marine traffic on the Ohio River was blocked Tuesday as cleanup efforts continued following the collision of a barge carrying gasoline and a docked barge filled with a plastic-making chemical. The USCG said work crews were making progress unloading the two barges, which joined together in the collision.

Two Barges Remain on Ohio River

New information from the Coast Guard about two barges still unsecured after four got loose on the Ohio River Tuesday. One barge is still stuck at the McAlpine Dam. Tugboats are keeping an eye on it in case it becomes dislodged. That barge spilled nearly 3,000 tons of liquid fertilizer, but a Coast Guard spokeswoman says high water diluted it. Another barge that lost its load of salt is submerged near the Sherman Minton Bridge. Source: WHAS

Oil Spills into Ohio River from Coal Plant

The U.S. Coast Guard closed a 15-mile stretch of the Ohio River on Tuesday after at least five thousand gallons of fuel oil spilled from a 60-year-old power plant owned by Duke Energy near Cincinnati, Ohio. The spill occurred late on Monday during a "routine transfer of fuel oil" at the W.C. Beckjord plant in New Richmond, Duke said. It began at 11:15 p.m. and was stopped 15 minutes later. It was not clear if the oil had been contained or if there was any impact on wildlife or drinking water. "We are still assessing the situation and any effects that may occur," a spokeswoman for the company said on Tuesday. Intake for drinking water has been closed on the river, she said.

USCG Shares Safety Tips for Labor Day, Riverfest

COAST GUARD SHARES SAFETY TIPS, ESTABLISHES OHIO RIVER SAFETY ZONES

Labor Day weekend marks the unofficial end of the boating season and is known as one of the busiest recreational boating weekends on the Ohio River. With approximately 2,000 boaters taking to the water, the increased recreational traffic presents additional safety hazards. Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment Cincinnati would like boaters to know special rules are in place for Labor Day and Riverfest and would like to remind people to exercise safe boating practices. The Coast Guard will be enforcing a no-wake zone…

Towboat Grounds in Ohio River

The U.S. Coast Guard USCG) said it is responding to a report of a grounded towing vessel near mile marker 65 on the Ohio River, Wednesday. A slight sheen has been reported in the vicinity of the vessel, which the USCG said has been contained by boom. Watchstanders with Coast Guard Sector Ohio River Valley received the initial notification at about 10 p.m. Monday, of the vessel Elizabeth D grounding near the right descending bank of the river while reportedly pushing 12 empty coal barges down river. Investigating officers with Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Pittsburgh responded to the grounding, and the USCG is presently working with the vessel owner and maritime representatives to safely refloat the vessel while working to reduce any environmental impact.

New Barge Fleeting and Switching Operation in Cairo Harbor

American River Transportation Company (ARTCO), a subsidiary of Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM), today announced plans to launch new barge fleeting and switching operations in the Cairo, Illinois, harbor starting January 1, 2016. The Cairo harbor is a vital hub in the inland waterway supply chain. The new operation will be based in Wickliffe, Kentucky, and will provide fleeting and switching operations from mile 948 on the Lower Mississippi River to mile 29 on the Upper Mississippi and mile 974 on the Ohio River. “ARTCO is the only company in the inland waterway system that can provide a self-contained supply chain to our customers, which allows us to provide better, more efficient and cost-effective service,” said Jason Porter, vice president, ARTCO operations.

President’s Budget Requests Record Level of Funding for IWTF

President Bush’s FY 2007 proposed budget requests a record level of new federal funding for 11 Inland Waterways Trust Fund (IWTF)-financed projects. The budget request proposes FY ’07 spending of $394 million for Inland Waterways Trust Fund financed projects, of which $197 million will come from the dedicated Inland Waterways Trust Fund. The remainder would come from general treasury funds, as required under current law. The President’s FY ‘07 budget request is the highest funding recommendation for IWTF funded projects since cost-sharing legislation was enacted into law in 1986. The proposed FY 2007 budget also requests record level federal funding for the entire U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works program of $4.733 billion.

More Funding for Port of Pittsburgh District

The Port of Pittsburgh Commission Executive Director, James R. McCarville, praised the announcement from Senators Specter and Casey that additional funding was included for the locks and dams in the Port of Pittsburgh District. These funds included $25m for rehabilitation of the Emsworth Dam; $21.4m for maintenance on the Ohio River; $16.8m for maintenance on the Mon; and $9m for maintenance on the Allegheny River and $1.75 for the important study of the navigation needs of the Upper Ohio River at Emsworth, Dashields and Montgomery, all in southwestern Pennsylvania. Not as sufficient, however, was the $6.2m for the rehabilitation of Locks and Dams 2-3-4 on the Lower Monongahela river, near Pittsburgh.

SunCoke Energy Acquire Kanawha River Terminals

KRT owns 4 coal handling facilities, the largest of which is the Ceredo Terminal located on the Ohio River in West Virginia. SunCoke Energy Partners' (SXCP) wholly-owned subsidiary has executed a definitive agreement to acquire 100 percent of the ownership interest in Kanawha River Terminals LLC (“KRT”) for $86 million. The Ceredo Terminal located on the Ohio River in West Virginia is strategically located to serve both inbound and outbound rail logistics provided by CSX and Norfolk Southern and the capability to offload and load barges. As a result, the Ceredo terminal is able to serve both domestic and international export markets. KRT’s other coal handling facilities are located on the Big Sandy and Kanawha Rivers, as well as on Kentucky Highway 1185 near Louisa, Kentucky.

Lewis and Clark Commemoration will Honor America's Waterways

In 1803 Lewis and Clark received approval from Congress to search for navigable waterways routes to the Pacific Ocean for the purpose of expanding commerce for the young America. Now, nearly 200 years later, that historically significant event will be reenacted and commemorated along the inland waterways beginning on August 31 in Pittsburgh, Pa., and concluding in November in Cairo, Ill. There will be special events throughout this period, including U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-developed exhibits, school curriculum projects, and wooden replica vessels. Events will highlight the value of our modern commercial waterways and how they have changed since Lewis and Clark's early explorations.

New Orleans Port, CORBA Join forces‏

L-R Robert Carlisle, president of Carlisle & Bray Enterprises, Eric Thomas, Executive Director of the Central Ohio River Business Association (CORBA), Gary LaGrange, President and CEO of the Port of New Orleans, and Robert Landry, Chief Commercial Officer of the Port of New Orleans, sign a Memorandum of Understanding between the Port and CORBA to jointly market and share information in an effort to build commerce between the two regions.

An agreement signed today by Port of New Orleans officials and industry leaders from the Central Ohio River corridor could help spur commerce between the two regions. The Board of Commissioners of the Port of New Orleans and the Central Ohio River Business Association (CORBA) signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a working alliance to enhance cooperation and grow new business between the region and the Port. The two-year agreement with annual renewal options lays the groundwork for joint marketing activities…

Leaking Barge Shuts Ohio River Traffic

Commercial traffic was halted along a five mile stretch of the Ohio River near Louisville, Kentucky, following a barge accident, www.planetark.com reported. A barge carrying 20,000 barrels of liquid asphalt and 14,000 gallons of diesel fuel broke away from its tow the afternoon of January 26 as it was approaching the McAlpine Locks. The barge went over the spillway and was pinned against the K&I Railroad Bridge. The Coast Guard was evaluating when it could reopen the stretch from mile marker 606 to 611. An unknown amount of liquid asphalt and fuel had leaked into the river from the barge, which was still pinned against the bridge on January 27. No injuries related to the accident were reported and the cause of the accident has not yet been determined. (Source: www.planetark.com)

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.

TIGER Revs Up the Hoosier State

(Photo: U.S. Department of Transportation)

Since 1985, the Port of Indiana-Jeffersonville has played an important role in handling millions of tons of steel, grain, fertilizer, salt and other bulk cargoes for both inbound and outbound markets – domestic and abroad. Located directly across the Ohio River from Louisville, Ky., the port's central location connects the Midwest to the world with the Inland Waterways System, providing year-round access to the Great Lakes as well as ocean vessels in the Gulf of Mexico that can be transloaded with barges coming from or going to Jeffersonville.

Towboat Goes Over Dam; 3 Dead

Investigators from Coast Guard Marine Safety Office Pittsburgh are responding to an overturned towboat in the Ohio River, near the town of Industry. The Coast Guard was notified at 3 a.m. that the M/V Elizabeth M and three of the vessel's six loaded coal barges went over the dam and sank downriver from the Montgomery Lock, near mile marker 31 on the Ohio River. Local agencies and crewmen from several nearby towboats, including the Rocket, Sandy Drake, and Lillian G responded to the overturned vessel. Three victims were recovered at the scene. Three survivors were rescued and transported to Beaver Valley Medical Center and Aliquippa Hospital. One crewmember remains missing. Names of all crewmembers are being withheld, pending notification of family members.

Ohio River Reopened

A section of the Ohio River near mile marker 939 has been reopened by the U.S. Coast Guard.   The river, closed yesterday by the Coast Guard for construction at Lock and Dam 52 in Paducah, Ky. has been reopened to all traffic.  

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Dec 2017 - The Great Ships of 2017

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