Port of Mobile Stars at IRPT Conference IMTS Users Board Sends Report to US Congress Interview with new IRPT President Maurice Owen Port Security: Do You Have a Disaster Response Plan?
IP Editorial Board
INLAND PORT MAGAZINE Jennifer Carpenter American Waterways Operators Sr. Vice President-National Advocacy, AWO www.americanwaterways.com
May/June 2010 Volume II, Number III
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Inland Port May/June 2010 • Volume II, Issue III
Inland Waterways Users Board to Congress: Ball is in Your Court
America’s Inland Waterways Are Key to National Security
With the new capital development plan approved, the focus now shifts to the White House and Capitol Hill By Cline Jones, Executive Director of the Tennessee River Valley Association and the Tennessee-Cumberland Waterways Council
10 Maurice Owen Assumes IRPT Presidency at Mobile Conference 14 New Study Will Review USACE Missouri River Projects 16 Steady Growth for Port of Delcambre 20 Pollution Events Present Significant Liability Threats to Port Operators Our exclusive interview outlines the future direction of IRPT
By Paul Johnston, USACE Omaha District
An exclusive interview with Port Commission President Jeff LeBlanc
C. Daniel Negron, of TT Club Mutual Insurance Limited asks: Does Your Facility Have a Fully Integrated Prevention & Response Plan in Place?
Is the Inland Sector DOT’s Ugly Stepchild?
By Keith Garrison, Executive Director, Arkansas Waterways Commission
22 THE VGP Challenge
EPA & Industry Struggle to Adapt NPDES Program to Vessel Operations By Jennifer Carpenter, Sr. Vice President-National Advocacy, AWO
24 New Port Emerging as a Success Story for Colombia
By Julian Palacio, General Director of Multipuerto Salgar
26 Using Sonar to Mitigate Your Port’s Liability Risks
By Steve Campbell
27 USACE & USCG Hold Historic Talks 32 Interview with Amy W. Larson, Esq. By Bernard Tate, USACE
THE LAST WORD
President, National Waterways Conference, Inc.
On The Cover The Port of Mobile hosted the Inland Rivers, Ports & Terminals 2010 Conference. Read our show recap and meet the new IRPT President on p.10
Port of Mobile Stars at IRPT Conference IMTS Users Board Sends Report to US Congress Interview with new IRPT President Maurice Owen Port Security: Do You Have a Disaster Response Plan?
Inland Waterways Users Board to Congress:
Ball is in Your Court
The Ingram Barge tow boat Henry B approaches Ingram headquarters in East Carondolet, Illinois.The 200-foot, 9,000 HP vessel pushes barge tows on the lower Mississippi River and the Ohio River.
With the new capital development plan approved, the focus now shifts to the White House and Capitol Hill May/June 2010
y unanimous vote, the Inland Waterways Users Board in mid-April ratified the Inland Marine Transportation Systems’ (IMTS) “capital projects business model.” Teams of 18 Users Board members and other waterways officials, along with 28 senior US Army Corps of Engineers leaders, had worked on the plan since late 2008. “This is a historic session,” said Stephen D. Little of the Crounse Corp., chairman of the Users Board, as it took up the final 225-page report. “This has been no small feat.” With a comprehensive, 20-year inland waterway development plan now on the table, the focus has shifted to the White House and Capitol Hill, where key implementation decisions will be made in coming months. In the Congress, the outlook for enactment of enabling legislation before year’s end has improved in recent days. Gary A. Loew, the Corps’ chief of programs integration, told the Users Board that, in developing the new strategic plan, the teams came up with “some fundamental relooks and rethinking of how we manage” the inland waterways program and its funding on a system – rather than project – basis, “how we do programming [and] our business model for design and construction.” “It was incredibly important to applying funds efficiently that we find a way to prioritize much better than we have in the past and focus our funds on completing projects efficiently,” Mr. Loew said. He added that the Corps was modifying its project delivery system. Jeanine M. Hoey, of the Corps’ Pittsburgh District, who served as team leader in developing the new longterm IMTS capital projects business model, explained in detail the various aspects of the overall plan. “The emphasis is on finishing projects,” she said, rather than starting projects, which used to be the emphasis. The new plan anticipates annual expenditures of $380 million – about $320 million on construction and $60 million on major rehabilitation. The total envisions $30 million of “management reserves” available for emergencies or contract modifications. To pay the industry share of the $380 million tab, the inland waterways fuel tax would be increased from the present 20 cents a gallon to as much as 29 cents a gallon. For the first time, there would be a cap on cost sharing, based on the authorized project cost updated to the start of construction. Rehab projects costing less than $100 million and outlays at dams would not be cost shared. Unless the IMTS plan is implemented, only seven inland navigation projects are projected to be completed over the next 20 years. Ms. Hoey said the capital development plan was inter-linked, dependent on simultaneous implementation of all of its elements. “If one project doesn’t get funded efficiently, it’s going to throw off the entire program,” she said. “This report is provided,” Ms. Hoey told the Users Board, “as a product that will set the course to assure a reliable inland marine transportation system for the next 20 years and beyond.”
Administration, Congress Asked to Embrace Report The motion to approve the IMTS team report encompassing the 20-year capital development plan was offered by William M. (Matt) Woodruff of Houston, the Kirby Corp.’s director-government affairs.
The motion to approve the IMTS team report encompassing the 20-year capital development plan was offered by Matt Woodruff, Director of Government Affairs for Kirby Corp., a key player on America’s inland waterway system. Kirby’s MV Archie Wilson is shown below.
It was a multi-part motion: The motion found that the report was “consistent with the recommendations that were adopted by this board at our last meeting in New Orleans in December... and that the board adopt this report as the position of the Inland Waterways Users Board.” Further, Mr. Woodruff moved that the Administration “similarly adopt these recommendations and implement them as set out in the report.” Finally, the resolution requested that Congress “consider and implement those portions of the report that require Congressional action.” The motion was seconded by Larry R. Daily of Alter Barge, Inc., and, when put to a vote, was approved unanimously. The lessons which emerged during the course of the lengthy waterways industry/ Corps collaborations in developing the new IMTS report may apply to the rest of the civil works program, too. “I think there are a lot of lessons learned from this report,” the Corps’ Gary Loew told the Users Board, “and we are just not going to... implement it for the inland waterways alone.” In fact, he said Asst. Secy. Jo-Ellen Darcy wanted these lessons applied “to the balance of our program as well.”
Officials Anticipate Lively Discussion Darcy, Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works), addressed the Users Board in its opening minutes and referred to the capital investment report as “something that all of us can look forward to.” She also attended the board’s December meeting when the report was discussed in detail. “We anticipate some lively discussion about it, both here and other places within 6
Washington,” she said. “I think that’s going to be a tribute to all of you here because you stepped up to a challenge that everyone’s been talking about for a long time but nobody... took it on. So I congratulate you for that.” “We demonstrated that industry and government can work together,” said Maj. Gen. William T. Grisoli, the Corps’ Deputy Commanding General for Civil and Emergency Operations, who is the Users Board’s executive director. This was his first Users Board meeting. Referring to the IMTS report, he said, “I am excited about it,” noting that Ms. Darcy and several other leaders in the Administration and the Congress will review the report. “We look forward to working with everyone as we move forward.” In her presentation, Ms. Hoey listed numerous benefits of the proposed capital development plan – which was developed after 13 face-to-face meetings and 17 Internet sessions over some 18 months: • Avoiding a minimum of $0.5 billion to $2.1 billion in “cost growth” on navigation projects. • Averting at least $2.8 billion in “benefits foregone” from delayed projects. • Improved system reliability and efficiency. • Additional environmental, societal, safety and energy benefits from achieving waterway improvements over shorter time frames.
Ms. Hoey, IMTS Team Draw Users Board’s Praise When Ms. Hoey finished her presentation, Mr. Little, the Users Board chairman, thanked her for “not only the presentation today but for all your leadership and hard work over the last year and a half. You’ve www.inlandportmagazine.com
done a truly remarkable job!” That was all the prompt that Users Board members and observers needed to give her a round of applause. Throughout the months-long negotiations, Mr. Little said Ms. Hoey “helped us... stay focused on the goal and accomplish some thing very great today.” Later in the meeting, Mr. Woodruff said all those on the entire industry/Corps team that developed the final report “but especially Ms. Hoey... is deserving of something,” which led to a Board resolution officially recognizing the accomplishments of the IMTS working group. As a token of appreciation, Gen. Grisoli then presented her with a Corps of Engineers coin. The last year and half has been a period “we can look back at with a great deal of pride,” Mr. Little told the Users Board. He said the new capital development plan was formulated by two groups, the waterways industry and the Corps, “who, although we have different perspectives on policy at times and different approaches to how we go about our business, share a common goal and a common belief... in the strength of the inland waterway system and its value to the nation.”
Stimulus Funds Doubled ’09 Navigation Program Without strict budgeting prioritization, a more efficient project-delivery system, and enhanced Trust Fund revenues, America’s aging inland waterways infrastructure is in jeopardy. The Corps’ programs chief, Gary Loew, said the 2009 stimulus package, which did not require matching funds, had allowed his agency to “approximately double” its inland program last year. In FY2009, he said stimulus funding for inland navigation construction and major rehab totaled $393.8 million. “So we were able to do a lot of catch-up,” Mr. Loew said. “Now, with most of the stimulus money allocated, “we are coming back down to reality as we have to deal with our limited funds.” In another Users Board presentation, William R. Chapman, chief of the operations in the Great Lakes and Ohio River Division, described recent lock gate failures at Markland and Greenup L&Ds on the Ohio River. Markland’s main 1,200-ft. chamber was closed from last September 27 until March 1, and Greenup’s main lock was out of commission from January 27 to February 22.
More Than 200 Groups Endorse The Strategy In the public comment period, Waterways Council President Cornel J. Martin thanked the Users Board and IMTS team “for all of your work” on behalf of the inland waterways community. He said WCI May/June 2010
had joined with the American Waterways Operators and National Waterways Conference in requesting that “all of those who depend on the rivers to join in supporting your effort.” As a result, more than 200 organizations and companies quickly lent their support to the IMTS report. In a joint press release issued minutes after the Users Board approved the report, Mr. Martin said WCI and its two waterway partners had urged both the Administration and Congress “to move this plan forward and to get it signed into law so that we can continue to enjoy the benefits of our inland waterway system.” American Waterways Operators, National Waterways Conference , and Waterways Council jointly urged inland waterways stakeholders to endorse the 20-year capital development plan developed by the waterways industry/Corps of Engineers strategy team. Additional organizations endorsing the plan included: American Land Conservancy; American Soybean Assn. and state chapters in Illinois and Indiana; Carpenters District Councils of Greater St. Louis and Mid-Central Illinois; International Liquid Terminals Association. Illinois and Kentucky Chambers of Commerce; National Assn. of Manufacturers; National Audubon Society; National
Corn Growers Assn. and state associations in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri and Ohio; National Council of Farmer Cooperatives; National Grain and Feed Assn. and state chapters in Illinois and Minnesota; North American Equipment Dealers Assn.; Steel Manufacturers Assn.; and 40 Farm Bureaus. Ports signing on included those in Alabama, Cincinnati, Houston, Little Rock, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Portland (Ore.), Vancouver (Wash.), and Tulsa. Among others supporting the capital development plan: 15 river valley associations, including the Gulf Intracoastal Canal Assn. and Pacific Northwest Waterways Assn., and 78 companies in waterway shipper, carrier, fleeting, terminal, shipbuilding and repair, and other waterway service sectors.
Include IMTS Plan in WRDA, Mr. Little Urges Panel The most likely legislative vehicle for enacting the proposed Inland Waterway Capital Development Plan is the next Water Resources Development Act (WRDA). Both the House and Senate signaled renewed interest in moving such legislation, although its enactment in the current Congressional session remains doubtful. In the Senate, Sen. Barbara Boxer (California) and Sen. James M. Inhofe (Oklahoma), chair and ranking minority
member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, invited colleagues to submit their priority requests for projects, studies or activities to be included in the next WRDA. Meanwhile, a House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) subcommittee held a second hearing on WRDA ‘10, taking testimony from six invited witnesses. Among them was Mr. Little of the Inland Waterways Users Board, who urged the panel to include in the next WRDA the provisions of the Users Board’s recommendations that are necessary to fully implement this comprehensive inland waterways system modernization plan. “I think your report, from my knowledge of it, is an outstanding piece of work,” Congr. Brian Baird (Washington) told Mr. Little. “You have got a long-term time frame. You have got a reasonable expenditure, a clear public benefit and a mechanism to pay for it... Madam Chair [Congr. Eddie Bernice Johnson (Texas)] and Chmn. [James L.] Oberstar [(Minnesota)], I hope that we look very seriously at this report.” We hope they do, too. IP Reprinted with permission from Waterways Council’s Capitol Currents newsletter. Read more about the IMTS’s 20-year capital development strategy at www.waterwayscouncil.org.
The Delta Mariner squeezes into the 110’ x 600’ Wheeler Lock on the Tennessee River.
America’s Inland Waterways Are Key to National Security By Cline Jones
Executive Director Tennessee River Valley Association & Tennessee-Cumberland Waterways Council
merica’s waterways have historically made, and continue to make, important contributions to a competitive economy and energy conservation. They also continue to make valuable contributions to America’s national security and defense programs. During World War II, the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway functioned as a critical transportation route for military supplies bound for Europe, secure from the threat posed by German U-boats that patrolled off the Atlantic coast. At the same time, the Tennessee River provided navigation to the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory in eastern Tennessee, a facility that was integral to the success of the Manhattan Project. The 1960s saw components of the Saturn V rocket, the vehicle that successfully carried the first man to the moon, transported by barge to and from design and test facilities at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
to launch facilities on the Pacific Ocean at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. She can also navigate around the Florida Peninsula to deliver the “most valuable cargo in the world” to Cape Canaveral on Florida’s Atlantic Coast.
AN INVITATION TO LEGISLATORS
THEN: Saturn V components on the Tennessee River in the 1960s.
THE DELTA MARINER AND AMERICA’S SPACE PROGRAM One current example of the valuable contribution of our nation’s waterways to national security and defense is their efficient use by the Delta Mariner. Designed to safely transport sensitive, high-value cargo on both inland rivers and open oceans, the 312-feet-long by 85-fee-wide, 8,000 horsepower Mariner is the largest vessel to operate on America’s inland waterway system. The Delta Mariner transports Atlas and Delta rocket components that are too large to efficiently transport by highway or rail, and are critical to our nations’ space program and, by extension, our national security. Common Booster Cores, used to propel payloads into orbit, are shipped from the United Launch Alliance’s 1.5 million square foot assembly facility on the Tennessee River in Decatur, Alabama, to launch sites in Florida and California via the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. During its voyages, the Mariner efficiently transits four navigation locks on the Tennessee River and two on the Ohio. Once in the Gulf of Mexico, she is capable of transiting the Panama Canal en route
The Tennessee River Valley Association (trva-tcwc.org) is currently engaged in an effort that encourages members of Congress and their staffs to visit Decatur, Alabama, to witness the various stages of production of ULA’s multiple launch vehicles. This effort stresses to US legislators their reliance on waterborne transportation for delivery of the finished product. We began this program in April 2010
with a visit by a member of Alabama Congressman (Fifth District) Parker Griffith’s staff. We reached out initially during a visit to Washington DC in March, and continue to encourage participation through regular contacts with offices. Visitors to Decatur will learn more about our space program launch vehicles and their capabilities, and tour the versatile Delta Mariner when available. The goal is to help lawmakers develop a better understanding of the critical role America’s inland waterways play every single day. Policy makers must recognize that our port and waterway system is an important mode of transportation that makes valuable contributions to America’s national security and defense. IP
AND NOW: Offloading a Common Booster Core for NASA at Port Canaveral.
Maurice Owen Assumes IRPT Presidency at Mobile Conference
There has been so much interest in developing container-on-barge (COB) service for our industry. It all looks good on paper but it’s proven to be difficult to pull off. It’s time to get it together. –Maurice Owen
Outgoing IRPT President Jerry Sailors (left) begins passing on state secrets to new President Maurice Owen (right). Sailors will now serve as Chairman of the Board. The Port of Mobile outdid itself, hosting a fantastic event for 2010. Next year’s conference will be held in Pittsburgh.
he beautiful Battle House Hotel in Mobile, Alabama was the site for Inland Rivers, Ports and Terminals’ (IRPT) 2010 annual meeting. The event’s keynote speaker was Larry “Butch” Brown, executive director of the Mississippi Department of Transportation and president of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. The Port of Mobile, which did a fantastic job as host, is the ninth largest US seaport in total volume. The Alabama State Port Authority (www.asdd.com) owns and operates the State of Alabama’s deepwater port facilities. The Authority’s container, general cargo, bulk, and heavy lift terminals have immediate access to two interstate systems, five Class 1 railroads, four-day rail service to Mexico and nearly 15,000 miles of inland waterway connections. During the conference, the organization’s membership held its elections. Maurice Owen was named IRPT’s new President. He is currently Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Yellow Banks River Terminal. Owen is a former Port Director for the Owensboro Riverport Authority, and also spent time with Cooper T. Smith Stevedoring. Mike Tagert was named 1st Vice President. Tagert heads the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway Development Authority. Rich Cooper, elected 2nd Vice President, is the Executive Director of the Ports of Indiana. Brett Bourgeois becomes the Secretary-Treasurer. He is executive director of the New Orleans Board of Trade. IRPT’s outgoing President, Jerry Sailors, was named Chairman of the Board. He is the President of Coosa-Alabama River Improvement Association. Deirdre McGowan was again named Executive Director. A grand time was had by attendees, thanks to the Port of Mobile and James Lyons, Director of the Alabama State Port Authority. Before adjourning for another year, the new IRPT officers approved Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as the site for IRPT’s 2011 annual meeting. To get a feel for this new-look IRPT leadership and where the organization is headed, IP sat down with newly-elected President Maurice Owen. Give us a brief overview of your education and how you got started in the industry. I have an MBA from the University of Missouri – Kansas City (Henry W. Bloch School of Business), a Master of Public Administration from Missouri State University, and a B.A. in Political Science from Northern Illinois University. However, I’ve been around the river industry May/June 2010
since I was a young boy, as we farmed close to the Mississippi in northeast Missouri and shipped through elevators in that area. I always had a fascination with river shipping and spent a lot of time asking questions from as early as I can remember. I got my professional start in the business shortly after college while working for a finance company in St. Joseph, Missouri. I was doing business with Dick DeShon, who also happened to be the Chairman of the St. Joseph Regional Port Authority. The Port Authority was trying to establish a terminal and industrial park and Dick asked if I would work with them. I was able to get them the funding together to construct their dock and left for Owensboro after eight years on the Missouri River. How does your background in warehouse management help your understanding of other areas of the port and waterway business segments? In the warehouse industry you have to have utilize your warehouse space and labor in the most effective and efficient manner possible. This often gave me insight into new ways of being efficient in the terminaling business. Not only from an operational standpoint but also from the standpoint of taking warehouse cost accounting practices and parlaying them into the terminaling business for accounting management purposes. I think we made some major headway and established some innovative practices in that area while I was at Owensboro Riverport. You also have the fortune of being involved with a separate but similar industry which provides you with access to different ways to market and develop your business. Warehousing can be very competitive so the industry is always developing new methods and practices. Being able to pull some of those ideas over the river terminaling business has been a definite plus. Tell us about the growth of the Owensboro port during your tenure there. While I was at the Owensboro Riverport we tripled business there. Much of this growth took place during good economic times but we capitalized on these times by being innovative, customer-service driven, and aggressive with capital investments. We did a number of things at the Owensboro Riverport but the top items were the construction of a new 300,000 sq. ft. warehouse and distribution center, the acquisition of the Green River Steel property and the planned development May/June 2010
for its future use, and the establishment of the London Metal Exchange warehouse business – which, when combined with the NYMEX status, gave us the only location in the world to be both an LME and NYMEX delivery point. We also established the area’s first Foreign Trade Zone, the development of a state-of-theart warehouse management system software program that became the “nerve center” for a very complex inventory control based business, and establishing a team of dedicated employees throughout the organization that made all the above possible. There had been some great leadership at the Riverport before I arrived and I was fortunate to be in a position to expound on what I encountered after I arrived. I don’t think you can take credit for your accomplishments without acknowledging those people that opened the door for you. There is certainly a core group of people that have opened doors for me and they know who they are. I could mention names but these are the type of people that wouldn’t want nor expect that to happen. What positions have you previously held within the Inland Rivers, Ports & Terminals organization? I was elected to the IRPT Board of Directors back in the early 1990s shortly after I joined IRPT. I served on the board for a number of years until I moved to Owensboro. There was a two-year period that I was not on the Board of Directors and received the benefits of IRPT as a member only. I was again elected to the Board in 2003. I believe the gap of being off the Board gave me a great opportunity to see both perspectives and gave me a lot of appreciation of what it is to be a paying member only and what responsibilities you should have to the membership as a Board member. I was elected Second Vice-President in 2008, and, of course, President this past April. What is the difference between being one of many board members and being president of the organization? Is there really that big a difference in moving just a few chairs down at the meeting table? There is a tremendous difference. When you are the President of a relatively small trade association that has a voluntary Board of Directors you are going to have to initiate much of the organization’s strategies. Not only do you have to take a pro-active stance in initiating these undertakings but you must spend a lot of time carrying them out on a day-to-day basis. You also have to work closely with www.inlandportmagazine.com
The keynote speaker was Larry “Butch” Brown, Executive Director of the Mississippi DOT and President of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.
(Above) Amerisafe was one of many exhibitors represented at the 2010 IRPT conference. (Below) Clayton Frye and James Osborne of Motivation Dock Supply prepare to show their large product line.
IRPT staff to be a conduit in helping them carry out the efforts of the organization. We aren’t yet in a position to have full-time staff so you have to be committed to the position. You also have the obligation to work closely with the executive committee and the other board members. They often have great ideas, so in order to make them a reality you have to be ready and willing to help move these ideas forward as President. The President of IRPT has traditionally played a strong role. Consequently, when you are elected President you are expected to take an aggressive leadership role in order to execute the goals on behalf of the membership. Where is IRPT headed in the future? What goals have you outlined for your presidency? There are a couple of goals I have chosen to be the centerpiece of what I would like to see IRPT move forward with in the next two years. First, I would like to see IRPT become a vehicle that can bring new business to our members. Like many others, I feel the inland river industry can serve new markets as well as expand our existing markets if we do a better job of making the business community aware of our capabilities.
For example, I believe we need to work closer with our partners in the Gulf. This includes deepwater ports, stevedores, steamship lines, freight forwarders and customs brokers that play a critical role in bringing business through the Gulf. I also believe we need to make a direct presence to the markets and shippers we serve. For example, I would like to see us involve ourselves directly with the steel import and export industry, the fertilizer and coal industry, the grain shippers, commodity traders and the other industries that we serve and have opportunities to serve. There has been so much interest in developing container on barge service for our industry but yet this has proven to be a difficult task. It all looks good on paper but it’s been proven to be difficult to pull off for a number of reasons that are too long to get into right now. However, I think IRPT should work to bring all of the players that have to be at the table to the table. This is a tall task but it’s time to get it together. The economy is eventually going to improve and all the factors that make COB economical are going to align and we need to be ready to make it happen. I think it’s time to start looking at bringing tax incentives to the COB discussion as well. If we want to improve transportation efficiency in the U.S. and do so with sustainable envi-
ronmental impacts, I believe our federal government needs to come to the table and give the COB effort the financial push it needs to get over the hump. Secondly, and really in a related fashion to my first point, I believe IRPT needs to put forth a serious effort to bring federal transportation funding to the “banks” of our inland river system. We spend billions of dollars to maintain our inland waterways for navigation but invest nothing into our inland terminal infrastructure that ties the product that moves on this system to the highways and railways that move it inland and back. Federal dollars are invested through our transportation bill each year for just about every other mode of transportation (even bike trails!!) but we don’t invest it in our inland ports and terminals. A small percentage of federal transportation spending on our inland ports and terminals would have a major economic impact on our industry. One of the biggest problems our inland port and terminal industry faces is lack of modern facilities. I believe if I can get IRPT to make major headway in these two areas over the next two years, I will have had a successful term as IRPT President. But let me make it clear; this doesn’t happen without a tremendous amount of effort from others so
for those out there willing to roll up their sleeves and pitch in, call me today (not next week)!
Kristie Buddenbaum and the ShipTracks crew show off their wares to G&G Marine’s Gerald Hart.
What did you learn by watching previous president, Jerry Sailors? Jerry is the consummate professional and handles himself so well in front of people. There have been times I would have not been able to keep my cool in situations I’ve seen Jerry handle without a blink. Jerry also keeps himself well-tuned to the political environment that impacts our industry. By watching Jerry I’ve realized I have to do a better job keeping on top of public policy. I’ve been involved in the commercial side of things so much it’s easy to lose sight of what is going on politically. Jerry has shown me that I need to keep my eyes and ears open and formulate the proper positions on behalf of the IRPT membership. How have the ways IRPT can affect local and national policy evolved over time? Honestly, I don’t see where there’s been a tremendous amount of change in how we impact local and national policy. Sure, we can now send our legislators emails and put together better websites but the bottom line in my mind is it takes a tremendous amount of human effort in a consistent way to affect public policy. It still boils down to engaging people in ways that make what we need to do as an industry a public necessity and important to the public interest. There are many forms of media to broadcast your message but if you don’t engage the right people and send the right message you aren’t going to make the impact on public policy you need to make. But in a related way I feel IRPT is going to have to affect public policy by looking at partnerships with other groups that have a stake in our success. I think we need to look to other interest groups for help in meeting our goals. As an example, we could look to the agriculture trade association industry for help in gaining funding for infrastructure. It would be wonderful to go to work on an issue and have a group like May/June 2010
the National Corn Growers Association go to bat with you. Has the organization reached its peak strength, or is there room to grow? Absolutely not. IRPT has done some very good things over the years but I’ve always felt this organization has a tremendous amount of potential. People in our industry are passionate about what they do so that in itself gives us the ability to be more effective than the average trade group. But beyond that I feel our industry has such critical issues to deal with and we have so much to gain, that if we really put our resources together we can accomplish a tremendous amount. What IRPT lacks is time and money. We’ve traditionally been a networking organization but because we have such special interests I feel we can have a tremendous impact on our particular needs. Consequently, if we could gather more resources we could really make an impact on the issues I mentioned before and do so in a short period of time. I think IRPT has interests to promote that are obvious winners if we only put a more intense and unified effort behind them. Our industry brings benefits to our customers and the public that are so easy to sell. We just need to put the resources and effort behind them and they will sell themselves. Sure, there are strong competing interests out there but we have such a promising story to tell that we can’t lose if we pull ourselves together and get behind it for the long-term. Tell us about you away from the office. What are your hobbies and passions? I’m a big sports enthusiast so I spend a lot of time following college and professional sports. My family follows the St. Louis sports teams, so it is the Cardinals, Blues and Rams, in that order. My son and stepson are 13 and 12 and are involved in sports big time. They play in local leagues and travel sports so my wife and I spend most of our free time following them around. It can get exhausting when you’re also working a lot, but it’s really worth it. I grew up in the horse racing business so living in Kentucky is perfect for me. My dad and I have a partnership so we’ve been involved in ownership for a number of years. He’s had health problems lately so we aren’t doing anything right now but I expect that to change. I also like to spend time hunting big bucks and fishing too. IP www.inlandportmagazine.com
Oil Spill Reaches Coast As this issue of IP went to press, reports were coming in that oil from the tragic BP spill was reaching points along the US Gulf Coast. The Mississippi River remained open, and no ship calls had yet been canceled because of the spill.
Port of New Orleans
A tanker heading upriver requested to be cleaned on May 25 after encountering oil. The tanker was cleaned by two offshore workboats outfitted with fire hoses. The cleaning process took about 30 minutes to complete, and was conducted roughly four miles away from the entrance to the Mississippi River at Southwest Pass. The tanker was inspected further after it entered Southwest Pass, where two launch vessels equipped with pressure washers are stationed to conduct more detailed cleaning while the ship is slowly moving upriver. No oil was detected at the second cleaning site and the vessel proceeded upriver. The tanker was not calling the Port of New Orleans, but was headed to another facility elsewhere on the lower Mississippi River. A few other incoming vessels were inspected the same day, but none required cleaning.
Port of Mobile
As of June 1, the Port of Mobile remained open to commercial traffic, with no anticipated closures or delays expected. “We are trying to respond to a very active rumor mill generated by recent projections that oil is nearing Alabama’s coastline,” sated Jimmy Lyons, director and CEO for the Alabama State Port Authority. The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) updated its 72-hour near-shore maps, which indicated a light sheen of oil may threaten the barrier islands off Mississippi and Alabama. Commercial vessel traffic continued to transit the Port of Mobile following protocols for self-inspection and reporting established by the Port Authority and the USCG Maritime Transportation System Recovery Unit (MTSRU) in Mobile. The MTSRU has also advised that an USCG Pollution Investigator was to inspect inbound vessels and validate compliance prior to port entry. Vessels continue to skirt the affected spill area, and to date, none had yet shown oil on their hulls. IP 13
New Study Will Review USACE Missouri River Projects By Paul Johnston, USACE Omaha District
or nearly three decades, US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) officials on the Missouri River have been buffeted by a cacophony of requests and demands to change the way the big dams on the river are operated. The consistent response has been that the law lays out specific purposes and USACE does not have the authority to make changes on its own. Well, the law may change. In the years following the passage of the 1944 Flood Control Act, six large dams were built by USACE on the Missouri River, three of them among the largest 25 in the world. There were also several dozen tributary dams built and operated by both USACE and the Bureau of Reclamation. The six main stem dams and reservoirs were authorized for: • Flood Control • Navigation • Hydropower • Irrigation • Recreation • Water Quality • Fish & Wildlife • Water Supply The reservoirs have a total storage capacity of 73 million acre feet of water and are operated as a system that captures water during the wet times for release during the dry times. Twenty years of normal operation followed the dam construction and reservoir filling period. But when drought settled over much of the Missouri River basin in the late 1980s, the inherent conflicts among the authorized purposes became apparent. The drought illuminated the angst over reservoir access, low navigation flows, reduced power generation, municipal and irrigation intakes left high and dry. 14
There were harsh words about upstream vs. downstream, recreation vs. navigation, river vs. reservoir, us vs. them. There were public meetings, news reports, editorials, congressional meetings, lawsuits, and a 14-year environmental impact statement to update the Master Water Control Manual for the river. Through it all, the eight authorized purposes remained unchanged. But the 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act directed USACE to conduct the first review of the purposes established 65 years ago. The goal of the $25 million, multi-year study is to determine if changes in the original purposes and existing federal water resource infrastructure managed by USACE and Bureau of Reclamation may be warranted. From the initiation of the Missouri River Authorized Purposes Study in October 2009, there has been a communications challenge to define what the study is not. It is not a continuation of the Master Manual environmental impact statement that looked at how the dams and reservoirs are operated. It is also not part of the several habitat recovery and restoration efforts now underway along the length of the river. The study is about what the projects are operated for, not how they are operated. The study team is made up of members from both Omaha and Kansas City districts, with coleaders Mark Harberg (Omaha) and Lamar McKissack (Kansas City). The full range of technical disciplines is represented. “We are really collaborating with the 28 tribes in the basin, along with the Bureau of Reclamation and other federal agencies, states and a wide range of stakeholders within the basin and the Mississippi Valley Division down to New Orleans,” Harberg said. “There are a lot of moving parts to www.inlandportmagazine.com
this study and we want to make it as transparent and accessible as possible.” Tribal meetings and facilitated public focus group sessions were conducted from Billings, Mont., to New Orleans from November to February to begin collecting information about interests and concerns, likes and dislikes, wants and needs, and how to best structure public involvement during the study. The public sessions were attended by several hundred people representing the full range of interests, including tribes, navigators, utilities, environmentalists, fishermen, boaters, irrigators and officials from all levels of government. Scoping meetings to determine the size and shape of technical studies will be conducted at 30 locations throughout the Missouri River basin and in several cities along the Mississippi River. There will also be tribal scoping meetings at 11 targeted locations, for a total of 41 meetings. There will also be an open house format to allow attendees to come and go on their own schedules and meet and talk directly with study team members. Comments will be collected in writing, by a court reporter or via the Internet. “We will use the results of the various technical studies along with the comments we receive to evaluate an array of alternatives and determine if changes to the authorized purposes are warranted,” McKissack said. “Alternatives will be evaluated on five criteria – national economic development, regional economic development, environmental quality, social effects and public safety.” The work of the study team will culminate in a comprehensive feasibility report with an anticipated integrated environmental impact statement, and the chief of engineers will make a report to Congress. It is the prerogative of Congress to make any changes to the 1944 law. IP May/June 2010
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Steady Growth for Port of Delcambre An Exclusive Interview with Twin Parish Port Commission President Jeff LeBlanc
ike many of our country’s smaller inland ports, Louisiana’s Port of Delcambre (www.portofdelcambre. com) is expanding and improving its infrastructure in hopes of attracting new business. Under the direction of Jeff LeBlanc, President of the Twin Parish Port Commission (TPPC), the port recently passed a new millage to support development, including an industrial and commercial expansion. They currently have barge traffic from the intracoastal waterway (ICCW) for break bulk and fabrication. LeBlanc outlines their plan for success in the following interview. For those not familiar with your port, where is it located? The Port of Delcambre is located off of Louisiana State Highway 14, between the cities of New Iberia and Abbeville. It is part of the Twin Parish Port District, which is situated between Vermillion and Iberia Parishes. The town of Delcambre is 20 miles due south from Lafayette. The Delcambre canal, which is the main water asset in the Twin Parish Port District, connects the port directly to the ICCW and then on to Vermillion Bay. 16
Can you give us a history of the port? The port was created by legislative acts in 1978 and is known for its shrimping industry and some barge traffic. The catastrophic flooding from Hurricanes Rita and Ike exacerbated a slow decline of the city of Delcambre. Its legacy shrimping industry had shrunk to hardly anything due to declining prices brought on by the inundation of foreign shrimp. There were a handful of boats left in the fleet. The commission knew it had an opportunity to change things. The Port of Delcambre is one of approximately 10 ports out of 38 in the state that has a unique, intermodal infrastructure already in place: • A commercially, viable waterway, just five miles from the ICCW; • Rail service on the port; • Four-lane Highway 14, which is just eight miles from I-49; • The port is only 20 minutes from the Acadiana Regional airport; • Two piers with over 2,600 linear feet of dockage; • Lake Peigneur. The challenge has always been funding. www.inlandportmagazine.com
So, with the help of a small army of volunteers, the TPPC pursued the passage of an Ad Valorum millage to create a recurring revenue stream to finally develop the Port of Delcambre to its true potential, revitalize the local economy and mitigate population loss due to the storms. On October 17, 2009, the proposition passed overwhelmingly, obtaining 84% of the vote from the people of Delcambre. The TPPC delivered a sobering message of what needed to be done and why. Can you detail the planned projects? The TPPC told the voters there would be three specific projects that these monies would be dedicated to. The revitalization effort will initially focus on three projects. The first is the creation of a direct marketing program for our shrimpers. Launched May 1, 2010, the goal is to bring the consumer directly to the boat in Delcambre. The shrimpers get a “retail” price for their catch, and the consumer gets the finest, freshest shrimp possible at a price much lower than from a store. The TPPC will create a website that will allow the consumers to register and May/June 2010
be notified when a boat is coming into the Port of Delcambre. The consumer will make their own arrangements with the boat, much like they do today. The Port will provide advertising and public relations on behalf of the shrimpers participating in the program, which will be created and managed by Sea Grant and LSU Ag Center, already in progress. With over 200,000 people eating shrimp annually in Acadiana, we will build the fleet back up to over 50 boats to keep up with demand. These boats, and the people who run them, will need fuel, ice, supplies, etc., creating a very positive economic development impact.
The Delcambre Direct Seafood Program has officially launched, with shrimpers selling their catches off of the back of their boats at the South Pier. One shrimper sold his entire catch of 3,000 pounds of shrimp at full retail. Needless to say, the shrimpers are very excited about the program. In addition, the TPPC was recently awarded a $2.8 million dollar grant from the Sea Grant Fisheries Program and monies from the Louisiana Recovery Authority to purchase 14 acres of property to build a new boat launch, a fishing pier and RV parking site. The closing for this property will take place in May of 2010 with construction soon to follow.
What about the other projects? Project two will turn the North Pier into a Marina for recreational vessels. The North Pier at the Port of Delcambre has 1,800 linear feet of available dockage, enough to accommodate 100 vessels. At full capacity the new marina would contribute a new $10 million, annually, to the local economy. The third will be an industrial and commercial expansion. The port intends to purchase and develop over 100 acres of available property adjacent to its current location for an industrial/ commercial expansion. It is estimated that this development would create over 500 new jobs. By creating jobs at the Port of Delcambre, people will want to live in
What type of barge traffic do you get? Currently the Port of Delcambre has inbound barges with shell and limestone. Outbound barge traffic is mostly from the portâ€™s only industrial tenant, Shaw Global, who produces different types of fabrication products for the oil and gas industry.
Jeff LeBlanc is presiding over a period of aggressive growth at Louisianaâ€™s Port of Delcambre.
Delcambre and Erath, to be close to work, schools, churches, etc., and enjoy the unique quality of life offered by this area. Hunting, fishing, boating and all types of recreational sports are readily available. How are you going to make this happen? The TPPC recently obtained its first bond issuance of $1.5 million dollars in an effort to accelerate progress. The TPPC will close on a piece of property strategically located next to the North Pier to begin construction of the marina.
What other types of traffic are you courting now, or would like to target in the future? Because of our existing intermodal infrastructure, along with water depths of 12 to 15 feet from the ICCW, the TPPC is interested in becoming a distribution hub. With rail and a four-lane state highway adjacent to the port, many opportunities exist to expand in this area.
How did you become involved with TPPC? The TPPC is all volunteers. I became involved when I started the Delcambre Christmas Boat Parade, a night-time, lighted boat parade to celebrate Christmas and bring people to our town and port. I went to a commission meeting and became passionate about the opportunities. Coincidently, I was working in an economic development capacity for the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and started to understand the importance of the contribution to economic development made by ports. How active is your port commission in the area? Now that the election has passed and we have access to funding, the paradigm of the port has changed dramatically. With the advent of the direct seafood program, the marina and the new boat launch, the role of the TPPC has become strategically
vital to the economic development efforts of the area. What advice would you give other ports of comparable size and facilities? Obviously funding and careful planning are the keys. However, we were able to get significant traction before funding became available. The Sea Grant funding came about because of the work from the Delcambre Steering Committee who created partnerships and collaboration with LSU Agriculture Center, Sea Grant, and UL of Lafayetteâ€™s schools of architecture, MBA marketing classes, and the sociology departments. My advice, with or without funding, is to development strong relationships with entities such as these, along with the local and statewide people from economic development and the government officials. We do solicit help from the other two local
ports in the area, especially Roy Pontiff with the Port of Iberia, my mentor, and Jay Campbell with the Port of Vermillion. They have been very gracious with their help and support. Whatâ€™s your next step? We are very enthusiastic about our future now. People have taken steps to mitigate flooding from hurricanes. We have a viable workforce, along with solid intermodal infrastructure already in place. Our local high schools and technical schools continue to provide quality workers while our relationships remain very strong with key local players. The next step is to collaborate with private investors and site selectors to build out facilities to accommodate our industrial/commercial expansion, while maintaining our momentum on the tourism and recreational side of things. IP
Risk and Rewards
Pollution Events Present Significant Liability Threats to Port Operators Does Your Facility Have a Fully Integrated Prevention & Response Plan in Place? By C. Daniel Negron
TT Club Mutual Insurance Limited
he catastrophic oil spill that took place in the Gulf of Mexico recently serves as a reminder that pollution poses significant risks to operators in the port and terminal industry. The explosion that caused the spill presents an extreme example of what can happen to a water system by an uncontrolled contaminating event. While miles of absorbent booms have been deployed to prevent the oil slick from reaching sensitive shore areas, contamination of some parts of the coastal shoreline is almost inevitable. As this issue went to press, oil had already begun to reach parts of Louisiana and Florida.
line along the Gulf will likely be affected by the spill. The investigation as to the cause of the accident is now focusing on the safety procedures and condition of the equipment employed at the site. Studies have found that inadequate procedural systems and improperly maintained equipment and facilities are among the most significant contributors to accidents.
INLAND PORTS AT RISK
It does not take an event like the Gulf oil spill for a terminal operator to incur significant liability. In one case, a Gulf Coast grain terminal faced a class action suit from a neighboring community when dust generated Recommendations for an effective from its stevedoring operation spill prevention and response pro was alleged to have contaminated the town. The residents • The use of stockpile water sprays or complained that airborne grain covered stockpiles to prevent dust pollution dust had clogged vents, created large amounts of dust and caused • Installation of fire detection and suppression respiratory ailments to the resisystems, especially at critical work areas dents. As part of the settlement agreement, the terminal agreed • Installation of temperature monitoring to move its operation to another devices on potential heat and spark sources side of the terminal and to perform its operations at certain • Installation of gas leakage detection systems times of the day. on potential heat and spark sources In numerous other cases involving explosions and serious • The development of a fully detailed fire losses, these events are often Emergency Response Plan attributed to inadequate equipment maintenance, faulty wiring, and hydraulic fuel or gas leaks. Multiple class action law suits seeking In a recent explosion at the port of San billions of dollars have already been filed by fishermen, seafood companies, property Juan, Puerto Rico, the accumulation of gas fumes is believed to have been at the root owners and charter boat captains. Hotels and restaurants along the coast are bracing of an explosion involving a tanker ship that destroyed a significant part of the terminal for the loss of visitors. Virtually any entity that is connected in some way to the shore- facility.
In warehouses and port installations, fires have been exacerbated by the failure to observe operational procedures and by the failure to have adequate fire suppression systems.
HAVE YOUR PLANS IN PLACE BEFORE YOU NEED THEM Given the seriousness of these exposures, underwriters and loss control specialists recommend a fully integrated approach to the prevention and control of pollution-causing events. This involves the establishment of a prevention program, the development of an emergency response program and the procurement of an appropriate insurance program. Rigorous environmental liability regulations and other environmental challenges that confront port and terminal operators present the need to obtain pollution liability insurance. Most general liability policies actually exclude cover for pollution risks, and the cover must be added back to the policy through a “pollution buy back”. When the cover is brought back, the policy will require that the pollutioncausing event take place within the policy’s period of insurance. They will require that the event be sudden, unexpected and unintended, and that the operator become aware of the event within a short period of time, usually 72 hours. The operator must then report the event to his insurer within 30 days of its occurrence. The effect of these requirements is to confine the cover to events that are sudden and accidental, rather than to May/June 2010
events that occur gradually over longer periods of time. The standard limits of cover are usually not very high, and given the extent of this exposure, higher limits should be considered. Insurance for long-term seepage is also available and can be purchased either on a single-year basis, or on a multi-year basis at a reduced cost. This cover can be extended to include contamination from asbestos and lead-based sources, which can be significant to operators at older facilities. The cover is normally available on a “claims made” basis, which means that both the discovery of the pollution event and the claim itself must be presented to the insurer within the policy period. The cover is generally subject to an annual aggregate limit, which means that once the limit has been exhausted, cover will no longer be available. In spite of its limitations, a long-term pollution liability policy can be a valuable part of an overall risk management program. Aside from the direct costs associated with the clean-up and the exposure to the claims that will arise as a consequence of an event, the threat of governmental sanctions can also be significant. Although it may be surprising to know that insurance is available for pollution fines, no insurance policy will respond if it is determined that an operator is found to have committed gross negligence, willful misconduct or is otherwise in violation of federal health and safety standards. Penalties for violations of this nature are intended to punish violators, and these sanctions are therefore not insurable. The catastrophic events of the Gulf oil spill are a grim reminder of the significant harm that a man-made disaster can inflict on the environment. It also demonstrates the direct and indirect economic costs associated with a containment and cleanup operation. The maritime industry faces the challenge of anticipating and taking affirmative steps to prepare in advance for a pollution-causing event. This can be achieved through a fully integrated prevention and control program. IP C. Daniel Negron is an attorney with more than 20 years of experience in the transportation industry. He is Vice President of Thomas Miller & Co., the managers of TT Club Mutual Insurance Limited, a specialist insurer to ports, terminal and logistics operators. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. May/June 2010
Is the Inland Sector DOT’s Ugly Stepchild? By Keith Garrison, Executive Director, Arkansas Waterways Commission
he director of one the nation’s largest inland river ports has called on Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to meet with inland waterways stakeholders “to ensure that your agency accurately understands and addresses the needs of the inland waterways system.” Bob Portiss, director of the Tulsa Port of Catoosa, in his May 20 letter, points out that the US Department of Transportation’s Strategic Plan mentions inland waterways only in passing and there are no specific plans to address the needs of river transportation although highways, rail, aviation, mass transit, and even pipelines figure into the DOT’s future. Portiss suggests that this “oversight” may be due to a DOT assumption that the inland waterways are the purview of the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). However, he points out that the Corps also maintains deepwater navigation infrastructure: “If the Corps’ role is the same for both inland navigation and deepwater ports, the USDOT should address both similarly and equally.” Mr. LaHood met with representatives of deepwater ports at the National Port Summit in San Diego in February. Portiss is seeking support for his initiative from users of the numerous inland rivers and ports on the 12,000 mile inland system. Flyover Land: A River Runs Through It The Tulsa Port of Catoosa lies at the western terminus of the 445-mile McClellan Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System (MKARNS), which joins the Mississippi River about halfway between St. Louis and the Gulf of Mexico. Major port facilities are located in Oklahoma at Tulsa and Muskogee, and in Arkansas at Fort Smith/Van Buren, Little Rock and Pine Bluff. The MKARNS also serves numerous other commodities terminals and facilities and incorporates flood control reservoirs, hydroelectric generation, conservation and recreation features. Tonnage in 2009 was in excess of 10.6 million. The MKARNS is a proven jobs generator, and is cited as a major factor in expansion of the Port of Little Rock. According to Paul Latture, executive director of the Port Authority: “In the last three years, new companies have announced $350,000,000 in investments in new manufacturing operations, with approximately 2,500 new employees to be added as the construction cycles are completed. This resulted in a sustained, manageable increase in our water transportation tonnage, with future growth prospects very bright. The Port’s Railroad reports significant increases, more than double, in the number of rail cars handled by the Little Rock Port Authority Railroad. A $2.5 million expansion of the rail yard will commence this summer.” International Competition While the US might be characterized as treading water in development of its inland waterways, other nations are moving ahead. The new mega-tankers, for which the Panama Canal is being widened, are forecast to dramatically increase traffic at US inland ports, many of which are not equipped for it. The USACE does not build port infrastructure, so publicly owned ports seek funding from local, state and federal sources where they can find it. Finance of initial development of public river ports is often beyond the means of communities. A state legislator may be reluctant to allocate scarce funds to development of a river port not in his/her district, despite the positive economic impact for the state as a whole. The notion of waiting to build a port’s infrastructure until an industrial client agrees to locate there has proven fanciful. Competition for clients of river-sited industrial parks is intense and international. Candidate industries are unlikely to wait for local entities to build roads, rail, docks and utilities when competing communities already offer them. Few in Numbers, Big Economic Impact The inland waterways industry differs from other transportation modes in one critical aspect which works to its political disadvantage. The system’s private sector stakeholders include relatively small, often familyowned, businesses. Collectively, they are relatively few in number, although they make an enormous and critical contribution to the US economy. Because Congress tends to cater to blocs with lots of voters, it’s an ongoing challenge for a dispersed, inland waterways community to be heard. Too many who are involved with the government budget process view all expenditures simply as “spending,” while it can be proved that government support of river and river port infrastructure is an investment that pays rich dividends. Call this malady BCM—Bean Counter’s Myopia. The Red River Navigation Project in Arkansas is the poster child. When the feasibility study was done by the Corps’ Vicksburg District and handed up to management for analysis, it met cost/benefit requirements. But then the bar was raised. Certain tonnage does not qualify as tonnage. The hypothetical interest rate was raised. Like many such studies, it suffers from paralysis by analysis. Meanwhile, the evidence of return on investment can be found at the nearest lock and dam on at Shreveport/Bossier City. A university-conducted economic assessment put return on investment in stratospheric double-digits for not only the Port of Shreveport but the ancillary development on the waterway, something Corps and Office of Management and Budget planners are not permitted to contemplate. Granted, accountants can’t quantify the future; that is the job of leaders. So, where are the visionary leaders of just a few decades ago who built the great dams and reservoirs, the interstate highways, and the great river navigation systems? Now, merely maintaining what we have has become an elusive goal. IP www.inlandportmagazine.com
THE VGP Challenge EPA & Industry Struggle to Adapt NPDES Program to Vessel Operations By Jennifer A. Carpenter Sr. Vice President-National Advocacy, American Waterways Operators
Vessel owners have long faced an alphabet soup of regulation under various federal statutes aimed at preventing harmful discharges into the waters of the United States: the National Invasive Species Act, the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships, and the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, to name a few. But, 18 months ago, a set of significant new acronyms was added to the mix: CWA, NPDES, and VGP.
s of February 6, 2009, the discharge of ballast water and other discharges incidental to normal vessel operations is prohibited in US waters except as authorized under the Clean Water Act’s (CWA) National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program. This new world order is a result of the US district court decision in Northwest Environmental Advocates v. EPA, as affirmed by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. EPA’s Vessel General Permit, or VGP, published December 18, 2008, establishes the requirements under which certain discharges are permissible.
VGP Basics The VGP governs 26 discharges incidental to normal vessel operations, ranging from ballast water to bilge water to graywater to deck runoff. The permit establishes Best Management Practices to eliminate or minimize these waste streams; requires a program of inspections including routine visual inspections, comprehensive annual inspections, and drydock inspections; and establishes extensive recordkeeping and reporting requirements. When a violation is found, it must be reported and corrected within a specified time frame. Owners of vessels over 300 gross tons or with more than eight cubic meters (2100 gallons) of ballast water capacity must submit an electronic “Notice of Intent” to discharge under the permit before a vessel is placed in service. (Smaller vessels don’t require an NOI, but otherwise face the same compliance obligations that larger vessels do.)
A Square Peg in a Round Hole? There are at least two schools of thought about the VGP: • Is it a square peg in a round hole – an ill-fitting regulatory framework established under a section of the Clean Water Act that was never intended to apply to discharges from mobile sources in interstate commerce? 22
• Or is it a solid attempt by an overtaxed federal agency to make the best of a bad hand it was dealt by a court decision, one it not only didn’t ask for, but actually challenged all the way up to the Ninth Circuit? The answer is yes... and yes. It’s both of those things, as the challenges EPA faced in developing the VGP illustrate.
The Challenge of VGP Development In developing the VGP, EPA faced a thankless task: this was the first time that the NPDES program had ever been applied to mobile sources in interstate commerce, and the district court gave the agency less than two years to develop a permit, a process that normally takes five years or more. With a few exceptions, EPA staff also had limited experience with vessel operations, making for a very steep learning curve. The agency made the practical decision to establish a general permit – a single permit establishing requirements for all affected vessels nationwide – rather than require vessel owners to obtain individual permits for each vessel. But, the NPDES program makes things more complicated than that. By statute, individual states, Tribes and territories are required to review and certify that a general permit meets state water quality standards. Under this “401 certification” process, states could – and 28 of them did – establish their own requirements applicable in state waters on top of the requirements provided in the general permit. These 140-plus state conditions were added to the VGP and impose the same compliance obligations – and penalties for noncompliance – as the federally established requirements.
The VGP Implementation Challenge The compliance challenge for vessel owners is formidable. While there is much to be said for the Best Management Practice approach, rather than the establishment of numeric limits on certain discharges, vessel owners must adapt sometimes vague language to the specifics of their operations. How clean is clean? What does it mean to “minimize” the presence of floating solids in deck washdown? The NOI process becomes complicated when applied to vessels like unmanned barges that may be moved by several towing vessels and handled by multiple fleeters and terminals on a voyage up- or downriver. Does each entity that assumes custody May/June 2010
of the barge have to submit a Notice of Intent, and file a Notice of Termination when he relinquishes it? Recordkeeping is another significant challenge. Maintaining onboard records of weekly visual inspections and other required data for three years is an enormous practical problem on unmanned dry cargo barges and other vessels with little or no onboard storage capacity. State conditions have been problematic not just in theory, but in reality. The states of Illinois, New Jersey, and California imposed conditions that would have brought vessel traffic to a halt on February 6, 2009, if they were not withdrawn after intense eleventh-hour intervention, including legal action. Other unachievable state conditions remain on the books. Enforcement is also an open question – who and how will verify VGP compliance in the field (or on the water)?
or when a new master or operator takes control of the vessel. This apparent detail has big implications for the frequency of required routine visual inspections. • What constitutes a visible sheen requiring reporting and corrective action? Likely answer: an oily discharge, not any discharge with “visible color.” • How can electronic recordkeeping be used to give industry a practical means of complying with the extensive VGP recordkeeping requirements – and give EPA confidence that it’s getting secure, reliable information? The details remain to be resolved, but there are encouraging signs of progress. Meanwhile, at least two states, Iowa and Pennsylvania, have recognized problems with their 401 certification conditions and asked EPA to withdraw those conditions. The state of New York is currently accepting extension requests from vessel owners who cannot meet the state’s technologically unachievable ballast water treatment conditions.
Trying to Make It Work
The Next Chapter: What lies ahead?
Industry and EPA are trying hard to make the best of a challenging situation. • Industry associations like AWO have developed Recommended Practice Guides and template inspection forms to assist companies in tailoring the VGP to their operations. • EPA is preparing a slew of “frequently asked questions” (FAQs) to be posted on the agency’s website this summer to provide needed guidance on compliance questions. • Far-flung advocacy efforts are underway at the state level to convince other states with problematic 401 certification requirements to rescind or forestall implementation of them. • And, the EPA and the US Coast Guard are working together on a Memorandum of Understanding that will spell out the respective roles of both agencies in VGP enforcement and attempt to draw on the technical expertise and operational resources of each in a practical way.
For one thing, work on the next iteration of the VGP. The current VGP is valid for five years, and EPA is already beginning to look ahead to “VGP 2.0,” with an eye to both substance and process. How might the effluent standards look different under the next VGP, and how can the application of the 401 certification process be improved to promote transparency to the regulated public and communication and coordination among the states and EPA? Greater lead time for everyone – EPA permit-writers, state reviewers, and industry commenters – is widely recognized as essential. More speculatively, will Congress act to resolve the square-peg-in-round-hole problem? Process improvements or not, the fact remains that the NPDES program was never intended to apply to vessel discharges. Leaders like House Transportation Committee Chairman James Oberstar (D-MN) and Congressman Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), Ranking Republican on the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee, have acknowledged the need for a better legislative approach and are working to develop a bipartisan legislative solution that would establish a uniform national framework for the regulation of vessel discharges. It is a worthy effort from the standpoint of both environmental protection and interstate commerce. In the meantime, vessel owners must live with the reality of the VGP, and work together – and with EPA – to develop practical approaches to compliance. Alphabet soup is still on the menu. IP
Signs of Progress There are some signs of progress. EPA’s forthcoming FAQs will attempt to provide practical advice on real-world questions facing vessel owners: • Must a new Notice of Intent be filed every time a barge changes hands? Likely answer: No, if the barge owner has filed the NOI and maintains operational control through contractual or other means. • What constitutes a “voyage” or a barge or a vessel that operates continuously in a harbor? Likely answer: Empty to empty, www.inlandportmagazine.com
New Port Emerging as a Success Story for Colombia Work is about to commence on one of the most important port and river navigation developments in Colombia, South America. The feasibility studies were sponsored by the US Government, and officials anticipate a significant commercial impact. The call is going out to US companies who might want to be involved. By Julián Palacio, General Director, Multipuerto Salgar
he 25-year concession awarded by the Colombian government for the port and river development to and from Puerto Salgar, Cundinamarca (capital Bogotá), is the last navigable port upstream of the Magdalena River. It is also the most important in the midterm because of its proximity to the capital of the country, Bogotá. Once the Ruta del Sol roadway is completed, the second part of the stretch Bogotá-Puerto Salgar, the capital of the country, will be only two-hours by car, with excellent specifications, including tunnels and viaducts. The new port, Multipuerto-Salgar, is 475 nautical miles from the mouth of the Magdalena River in Barranquilla, whose hinterland includes 50% of the foreign trade of the country. The facility is expected to be operable by the end of 2010 or the beginning of 2011, after the completion of updating studies by American consultant firm, TEC Inc., with a grant of the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), which is very interested in the project. Upon the termination of the channeling works of the river, contracting procedures will guarantee a stable depth almost all year round for the stretch Barrancabermeja-Puerto BerríoPuerto Salgar. Satellite navigation will enable navigating from Puerto Salgar to Barranquilla 24 hours a day (not possible previously) for compensatory cargo (grains, fertilizers, etc.). This will reduce freight costs substantially compared to those for the oil of Barrancabermeja (halfway from Puerto Salgar and Cartagena through the Canal del Dique), the only product currently being transported en masse by this route. The multimodal port project has a large collection center adjacent to the road and military base of Palanquero (which will eventually become commercial in the future). The port will be able to move more than one million tons of crude per year from the south of the country (Rubiales, Meta), 500,000 tons of coke coal from the center of the country, construction materials from Bogotá, American grains, fertilizers, and steel from Barranquilla and Cartagena, containers and other cargo in both directions. The integration of the route Bogotá-Puerto Salgar-Barranquilla/Cartagena has a special commercial significance: it has been demonstrated around the world that river transporMay/June 2010
tation is by far the most economical for cargo, having production centers near the port of origin and direct arrival to the port of destination. Regarding other modes of transportation, the rehabilitation project of the Central Railroad is now in stand-by and will be subject to new studies, which implies a delay of several years. Road transportation is oligopolistic at present, precisely due to its cost and the limited capacity of trucks (by river, only one four-barge convoy can transport fifty times more tons than a truck). Trucking does not seem to pose any competition; even less if the Colombian government is taking restrictive measures because of the damage caused by trucks to and from the interior of the country to the environment, road infrastructure, and tourism. In addition, the further alliance with the municipality of La Dorada, Department of Caldas (facing Puerto Salgar on the other riverside as port expansion), with an important railroad station for cargo, will make of Puerto Salgar-La Dorada the most important logistics node of the country. It will be the only place in Colombia where road, river, railway, and airport converge. Based on these factors, the port will become the best transportation alternative to compete within the framework of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA), currently pending approval by the Congress of the United States. These studies were divided in two sections, one of them finished and the other one just beginning. This important project, said to be the most important multimodal project in Colombia, is an excellent investment opportunity for US companies wishing to be involved in an important port and waterway development in a vigorous country, which is considered the most important political-commercial ally of the United States in Latin America. One immediate opportunity is for contractors who would like to participate in the channeling of the river to stabilize depth at six feet upstream (downstream the minimum depth is more than eight feet), at a distance of approximately 160 nautical miles. Those interested can contact me directly for more information. IP Julián Palacio is the Manager of Sociedad Portuaria Multimodal del Río Magdalena S.A. (Multipuerto-Salgar), and is the Executive Director of the Latin American Association of Ports and Terminals (Latinports). The IP Staff first met Julián as part of a Colombian visit to the International Workboat Show in December. You can reach him via email at email@example.com. May/June 2010
Bird’s-eye view of Colombia’s planned port facility.
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Using Sonar to Mitigate Your Port’s Liability Risks By Steve Campbell
n January 15, 2008, the Walter J. McCarthy Jr. was a typical Great Lakes coal ship in the process of shutting down operations as the winter shipping season on Lake Superior was coming to a close. A few hours later it was resting on the bottom of the Duluth-Superior harbor in Minnesota, and a $5 million lawsuit was in the works, a victim of an underwater threat lying hidden on the harbor floor. Was it sabotage? No. It later came to light that in -40°F weather and lake ice six feet thick — frigid but not unusual winter weather — the 1,000-foot lake freighter had struck a submerged object right beside the dock. This object pierced the hull and began flooding the vessel’s engine room. The crew shut off the engines and all hands evacuated the ship as it sank in the shallow water, coming to rest on the harbor floor next to the Hallett Company dock. What exactly caused the sinking was a mystery at first. More important than finding out what happened, however, was to quickly assess the damage and determine how to fix and refloat the boat before the severe winter weather froze the flooded ship’s engine room. Otherwise, refloating the ship would be delayed months into the spring, as the freighter’s owner would have to wait until the ice inside melted in the spring thaw, and then have the water pumped out and the engines overhauled. Speed was imperative because costs were rising every day. Expert underwater commercial divers were brought in immediately to survey the extent of the damage. Brian Abbott of Nautilus Marine Group of Haslett, Michigan found environmental conditions extreme. “We’ve been in all sorts of rough diving situations, but this was something else. It was forty below, and our divers were dealing with ice six feet thick that was already closing in on the ship. In these conditions and with poor visibility, we had our hands full.” His task: assess the damage and find out what had caused the sinking — and do it quickly.
my experience diving in ports: it’s scary that no one really knows what’s under those ships.”
Sonar Discovers an Expensive Underwater “Surprise”
How can sonar be used? According to Abbott, in a proactive maintenance campaign, sonar is used first to map out and image the various targeted infrastructure items to develop a baseline foundation of the port’s current condition. The harbor floor bottom around docks and slips, and out into the harbor, should be included, and a composite map drawn up that shows all the unusual items on the sea floor. (These can range from vehicles, dropped containers, lost suitcases and shopping carts to mishandled cargo and enormous concrete blocks.) In addition, what’s called side-scan sonar enables the real-time viewing of underwater pier walls buckling either in or out, any damage or deterioration, and the state of support pilings and their bases; in addition, the sea floor underneath docks can be imaged. Electronic pictures of all of this information, once created and saved, can then be assembled into a mosaic for easy viewing and analysis by port management at their desks, and subsequently printed and archived electronically as a baseline study for future maintenance budget planning.
In these freezing, dangerous conditions, his dive team didn’t just jump in and feel around; any diving would have to be “get in and get out,” so Abbott first went into action using an advanced, portable electronic sonar scanner made by sonar manufacturer Kongsberg Mesotech. Kongsberg’s sonar was lowered into the water to deliver real-time sonar viewing, electronic images and records showing the extent of the damage inflicted on the ship. Then he used the same technology to check around the ship on the sea floor to determine what might have been the cause of the damage. The findings were surprising, to say the least. “We imaged a concrete block about 10x10 feet and six or seven feet tall sitting right on the harbor floor,” notes Abbott, whose team is called in to perform commercial diving and survey projects in ports all across the U.S. “The lawyers will determine if this was the cause [responsibility for the estimated $5 million in damage costs caused by the incident is still before the courts], but one thing is certain from 26
What is Really Underwater at Your Port?
The Walter J. McCarthy incident highlights a key issue in port maintenance: what underwater hazards are lurking out there for ships and what is the true condition of the port’s underwater infrastructure? Unknown hazards such as sunken barges, lost containers, shopping carts, lost suitcases present a costly insurance and downtime risk to ship owners, and to the harbor owners they might end up suing. But aside from the risk to ships, many port piers and walls are many decades old, some dating from the early part of the last century. How have these stood the test of time? What crumbling infrastructure is close to collapse? Unfortunately, out of sight usually means out of mind, and, given tight maintenance budgets, it’s likely difficult for port managers to keep on top of potential underwater trouble until something goes badly wrong. Current practices involve sending divers out on an ad hoc basis once a year to physically sample the state of various pilings, piers and walls. However, in murky or low-visibility water, this amounts to hunting and feeling around in the dark, like the proverbial blind man describing an elephant. Today there is a better way. For the first time, port authorities can now gain detailed visual documentation of underwater infrastructure conditions to analyze and archive. This is something that was not even possible until more advanced scanning sonar technologies began to be applied to map out harbor floors, piers and docks. Prior to this advance, in most cases port authorities relied on descriptions of a pier’s sub-surface state from divers feeling around blindly in zero-visibility conditions. Clearly, sonar represents a significant addition to the port manager’s insurance risk management toolbox.
Managing Your Port’s Insurance Risk
In Portland, Oregon, for example, city engineering officials charged with maintaining the sea wall along the Willamette River had underwater surveying expert Brian Abbott of Nautilus Marine Group use sonar to develop a composite underwater image of the entire wall. They were able to use this to establish a visual baseline record of possible weak spots and develop a program of maintenance work. “What’s valuable is that you can go back down in a couple of years and take similar images,” notes Abbott. “Then compare over time to see the changes when you need to prioritize your always-tight maintenance and capital budgets.” “With advances in sonar computing technology, the resolution and quality of underwater images is now quite high. It’s very eye-opening for port managers,” notes Kongsberg’s senior projects’ manager Mark Atherton, also the author of the upcoming textbook, Visualization of Underwater Structures Using Scanning Sonar, and an expert in the field. “Sonar is the port manager’s portal for viewing and monitoring the state of the port’s substantial underwater infrastructure assets.”
Divers Are Not Enough
Most ports have regular survey programs involving divers going down to check out underwater structures, pilings, bridge supports and pier walls. The problem is that, in murky conditions, visibility is poor and divers are forced to feel around blindly, raising quality-control and safety issues. At the Port of Montreal, one of the largest port authorities on North America’s eastern coast, geomatics engineers have already used sonar to conduct a survey of the port’s underwater infrastructure. The goal was to establish a baseline not only for maintenance plans, but also for future infrastructure expansion. The current economic situation, where global trade and port activity has slowed considerably, provides breathing room for ports to take stock and prepare the foundations for future expansion as the upgraded Panama Canal and other developments impact trade flows and create new port opportunities. Federal stimulus funding is now available, at least for the next few years to upgrade and enhance vital public port infrastructure. Ports can use sonar to uncover problems to allow maintenance departments to prioritize five- and ten-year work programs. The sonar images can also be used as confirming visual evidence when requesting capital funding for repair and expansion. And, of course, identify significant liability risks. Ultimately, sonar shows port managers what’s really going on with port underwater infrastructure and helps them make better decisions — probably the best benefit of all. IP You can reach Steve Campbell, of Canada’s Campbell & Company Strategies, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more on Kongsberg-Mesotech’s line of port-ready sonars, visit www.kongsberg-mesotech.com. May/June 2010
Lt. Gen. Robert Van Antwerp, USACE commander, and Adm. Thad Allen (right), outgoing USCG commandant. Photo by USCG PA1 Mike Lutz.
USACE & USCG Hold Historic Talks
USACE & USCG Reps Attend Port Security Course
epresentatives from the US Coast Guard and the US Army Corps of Engineers recently participated in the Center for Secure and Resilient Maritime Commerce (CSR) one-week module course in Port Security Sensing Technologies that was held on-site at Stevens Institute of Technology’s campus in Washington, DC. The objective of the five-day course was to enable a broad base of maritime industry and government practitioners with minimal to moderate technical expertise to understand the basic technologies used in port security applications and to provide them with a basis to make informed managerial decisions regarding relevant technology-based solutions. Students had the option of taking the course for graduate level credit leading to a Stevens Graduate Certificate in Maritime Security, a Master’s Degree in Maritime Systems, or for professional development purposes. Student participants received a broad overview of maritime transportation systems and maritime domain awareness and learned the principal aspects of relevant sensor technologies including HF Radar, Satellites, Acoustics, and Electro-Optics that serve as the foundation for port security applications. IP
By Bernard Tate, USACE
or the first time, the senior leadership of the US Army Corps of Engineers and the US Coast Guard met to discuss missions that are common to both services. The meeting took place April 15 at the Coast Guard headquarters in Washington, D.C. “USACE and the Coast Guard have worked closely more and more since September 11, 2001, and Hurricane Katrina, and we have overlapping authorities in rivers and harbors,” said Lt. Col. Pete Helmlinger, the assistant director of civil works. “These talks were to work more efficiently together where we have mutually supporting missions, especially in navigation and disaster response.” The talks will become an annual event, next year to be hosted by USACE. “The talks were modeled after the bi-lateral warfighter talks routinely held between the Army and our brother services,” Helmlinger added. “The Coast Guard has talked with the National Guard Bureau, but not directly with the Army. So this was the first time an Army command has had staff talks with the Coast Guard.” USCG Adm. Thad Allen said, “I’ve been dreaming of this for 10 years,” since his experience working with USACE in the field and after Hurricane Katrina. Besides Allen, the senior leadership of both organizations attended, including Lt. Gen. Robert Van Antwerp, the chief of engineers; Maj. Gen. Merdith “Bo” Temple, the deputy commanding general; and Vice Adm. David Pekoske, the vice commandant of the Coast Guard. “We already have outstanding relationships in the field,” said Rear Adm. Kevin Cook, director for prevention policy. “We’re building a great team,” Van Antwerp agreed. “This will move the ball forward and bring together the strength of these two organizations.” IP
Chatham-Kent Offers Multimodal Investment Opportunities C
hatham-Kent, a Canadian municipality in Southwestern Ontario, is establishing a multimodal (rail, marine, and road) transportation operation. The project will feature terminal facilities in the ChathamKent community of Wallaceburg. The Municipality of Chatham-Kent is seeking expressions of interest from potential transportation operators, developers, shippers, investors and other relevant stakeholders for the development and operation of an integrated rail, marine and road multimodal transportation project, centered in Wallaceburg. Wallaceburg, in the Municipality of Chatham-Kent, is one of the only communities in Ontario with available and affordable industrial land adjacent to existing rail, marine and road infrastructure. “We’re looking to leverage and make better use of these existing transportation linkages to attract new business and investment in Wallaceburg,” explained Stuart McFadden, Manager of Business Development with the Municipality of ChathamKent. Located strategically in southwestern Ontario, Wallaceburg is connected by road (Highway 40, linking to Highways 401 and 402), rail (currently operated by CSX but in the process of acquisition by ChathamKent) and water (navigable Sydenham River, linking to the St. Clair River, Lake St. Clair and the Great Lakes).
A 2010 study by transportation strategy consultants CPCS Transcom assessed the feasibility of developing a multimodal transportation facility based in Wallaceburg. The study identified the potential to use Wallaceburg as a regional distribution and transhipment hub for a variety of inbound and outbound cargo, most of which serving the agricultural sector. The study also determined that an integrated multimodal transportation operation, combining rail, marine and multimodal terminal activities would provide the most attractive, effective and efficient way of developing a regional multimodal transportation system. Marc-André Roy, CPCS’s Vice President for North America and the Project Director explained, “The success of a multimodal facility is dependent on the transportation linkages serving it. By packaging the development and operation of a multimodal facility, together with rail and harbour activities, the future multimodal operator will be in a better position to attract and serve shippers.” The Multimodal Project will comprise the following components: • Development, operation and management of a multimodal facility to accommodate handling and storage of various cargo; • Development and of a harbour at Wallaceburg (site of former Wallaceburg port),
capable of accommodating barge traffic; • Operation of the railway line being acquired by Chatham-Kent and developments ancillary thereto (e.g. interchange facilities). The Multimodal Project is to be developed as a public-private partnership (PPP). It is anticipated that a private sector partner (one or more companies working as a consortium or Project Company) would develop and operate the Multimodal Project per the terms of a Concession Agreement for a fixed period. The invitation for expressions of interest launched by Chatham-Kent is intended to identify interested parties and the level of interest in the Multimodal Project, as well as to seek input from potential investors, operators and users on the terms and conditions of the PPP that would make this Project, and the resulting multimodal transportation operation, most attractive. This input, in turn, will inform an expected future request for proposals (RFP) process, and any decisions by Council related thereto. The process is being managed by CPCS, on behalf of the Municipality of ChathamKent. For more information, contact Stuart McFadden, Economic Development Services for the Municipality of Chatham-Kent, at email@example.com. You can visit them online at www.chatham-kent.ca. IP
Critical Commodities Conference a Hit
Demos for L-3 Klein Sonar
L-3 Klein Associates held demonstrations of its System 3900 side scan sonar in Newport Harbor during the recent Oceans Technology Expo in Rhode Island. The high-resolution, digital side scan system is ready for use on any vessel of choice, making it ideal for ports of all sizes, as well as police, fire, and rescue departments along inland waterways. The sonar offers outstanding imagery, ease of operation, and simplicity of image interpretation via the use of Klein’s SonarPro software, all at an affordable price. It features dual selectable frequencies to foster ease of use and fast interpretation of images. The 455 kHz frequency offers excellent range and resolution for target identification. The 900 kHz frequency, when selected after a target is identified, offers a much higher resolution for classification. Since its inception, numerous users have found this side scan sonar system to be their sonar of choice. IP
ore than 300 delegates attended the 2nd Annual Critical Commodities Conference April 20-22, 2010 in New Orleans, a 25% increase in attendance. Hosted by the Port of New Orleans and the American Institute for International Steel (AIIS), the conference focused on the trading, handling and movement of energy, food products, steel and building materials. While the majority of attendees were from the Gulf region, there were some from Washington, Illinois, New York and New Jersey. They all learned how commodity markets are changing, how they are being affected by the world economy, and where they will be in the next year. (L-R) Gary LaGrange, Port of New Orleans Topping the list of more than 30 industry expert President and CEO; Joel Chaisson, Port of speakers were Erik Johnsen, President of International South Louisiana Executive Director; and Shipholding Corporation; Mike Haverty, CEO of Kansas Lee Amedee, Director of Marine Cargo & City Southern Railway; and H. Merritt Lane III, president Trade for the Port of South Louisiana. and CEO of Canal Barge. James M. Baldwin, Jr., conference general manager, described the quality of speakers in a word: “terrific.” And he’s not alone in his assessment. “They were diverse and high level speakers,” added Robert Landry, marketing director at the Port of New Orleans. “They were top people at all levels of the supply chain and commodities sector of business.” Two points worth emphasizing, added Baldwin, were the strong participation from the Class I railroads and the fact that everyone who attended the conference was able to network easily with each other. Next year’s show is scheduled for May 3-5, 2011, again in New Orleans. IP 28
ADM Robert Papp Becomes 24th USCG Commandant
n Tuesday, May 25, Admiral Robert J. Papp assumed command of the United States Coast Guard in a change of command ceremony teeming with naval tradition. Upon relieving Admiral Thad Allen of his command, the new commandant wasted no time in sharing his vision of the Coast Guard’s future through a video message to the men and women of the service. “We will set a course that: Steadies the Service, Honors our Profession, Strengthens our Partnerships, and Respects our Shipmates.” Admiral Papp’s promise to steady the service comes at a time of great uncertainty for many throughout the Coast Guard. His reputation as a man who both demands nothing short of the very best from and equally looks out for his shipmates is well-known. Papp proudly holds the distinction of being the fleet’s Gold Ancient Mariner as the services longest serving cutterman in the officer ranks. A 1975 graduate of the United States Coast Guard Academy, Papp has commanded four of the six cutters upon which he has served – Red Beech, Papaw, Forward, and the training barque Eagle. He served as the commander of a task unit during Operation Able Manner augmented U.S. Navy forces during Operation Uphold Democracy off the coast of Haiti in 1994. As a flag officer, Admiral Papp most recently served as Atlantic Area Commander following on tours as Chief of Staff, Ninth District Commander, and Director of Reserve and Training. IP
IN MEMORIAM Tom Skodack Sennebogen 1946-2010
Thomas Skodack, Regional Sales Manager for Sennebogen, surrounded by family, lost his courageous battle with cancer on April 13, 2010. Tom had been with Sennebogen since January 2006, and spent his life making friends in the equipment industry wherever he went. A resident of Kansas City, Tom was born in 1946. He is survived by his wife Jamie and his daughters Pia and Cara and his grandchildren Erik, Matthew, James and Achaia.Services were held Friday, April 16, 2010 in Olathe, Kansas. Donations may be made to Interlochen Center for the Arts (www.interlochen.org).
Carlton J. Melton, Sr. SSA Marine 1945-2010
Mr. Carlton J. Melton, Regional Vice President, SSA Marine/Logistic Services, Inc., died on March 21, 2010 after a six-month battle with cancer. Carlton was born December 17, 1945 in Gulfport, MS. He was a resident of Daphne, AL for 26 years. Carlton was a dedicated husband, father, son, brother, grandfather, uncle and friend. He was in the stevedoring industry for 45 years and for the last 15 years was a Regional Vice President with SSA Marine. The management and family of SSA Marine were unparalleled in their gracious support before, during, and after his illness. IP
DOT Says Freight Hierarchy Favors Water & Rail The US Department of Transportation’s second-highest official recently told senators that DOT’s preference for freight shipping is to keep goods on waterways and rail as much as possible, getting them away from trucks except for the final delivery. Deputy Secretary John Porcari made the remarks before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, in a March hearing on use of transportation policy. A $1.5 billion pool of stimulus funds allowed DOT to send grants to multi-modal projects that cross state lines, instead of disbursing money under state-allocation formulas or for specific transport modes. Porcari said, “In our goods movement hierarchy, where we want to keep goods movement on water as long as possible, and then on rail as long as possible and truck it for the last miles, it’s a big step forward. I think the TIGER grants point the way to the future in intermodal transportation.” DOT Secretary Ray LaHood said, “DOT policy has paid a lot of attention to the freight rail companies to both expand passenger train service and draw freight off highways. We’ve made a huge investment in their opportunity to build capacity. The DOT is working with ports to take trucks off the road and really utilize the marine highways.” IP May/June 2010
Industry Notebook The American Waterways Operators (AWO), the national trade association for the tugboat, towboat and barge industry, applauded the recent decision by the US District Court, Massachusetts District, to grant Summary Judgment against a 2004 Massachusetts oil spill law, declaring it null and void. The US Department of Justice sued the Commonwealth over the constitutionality of the law enacted in response to a 2003 accidental tank barge oil spill in Buzzards Bay. The decision affirms the 2008 recommendation of the Magistrate Judge that Massachusetts acted unconstitutionally in enacting the 2004 law that regulated the crewing and operation of towing and tank vessels, areas reserved to the Federal government, specifically the US Coast Guard. This action by the District Court upholds the longstanding principle of Federal preemption for interstate commerce and the exclusive authority of the Coast Guard over these and other navigational safety issues. AWO President & CEO Thomas Allegretti pointed out the benefits to maritime safety of the ruling: “Federal law provides a consistent regulatory framework that helps ensure a safe operating environment for interstate commerce by preventing a confusing set of different situational rules dependent on location. A Regulated Navigation Area (RNA) enacted by the Coast Guard established special safety rules for vessels operating in the area, and safety statistics show that the RNA is working well. This decision puts the safety and environmental protection of US waters squarely under the appropriate authority of the US Coast Guard.” Lifting and rigging solution provider Lifting Gear Hire announced its 2009 growth achievements, which increased by 19% in rental revenue, and 7% in total revenue, placing them in the rankings of the Top 100 rental companies listed by the Rental Equipment Register Magazine. Lifting Gear Hire ranked #53 on the publication’s charts, moving up from #73 in 2008. “With the increase in our rental revenue and total revenue, it has allowed us to continue to continue to invest more in the US market by hiring more employees, adding new products, and opening new locations – in Lakeland, Florida, and Minneapolis, Minnesota”, said LGH President Tony Fiscelli. “We believe that by continuing to invest in our company, we are really investing in our customer’s interests. Lifting Gear Hire also announced plans to expand further north in the US to better serve its growing customer base. Estimating an opening in mid-July, LGH will open its 13th warehouse in Bloomington, Minnesota – just south of Minneapolis. Although this location is relatively close to Lifting Gear’s National Rental Center, the new facility will reduce delivery time and transportation costs for customers in the region. This will also allow Lifting Gear to provide same-day or overnight delivery to locations in surrounding states. “The demand for equipment in LGH’s product line, as well as reduced delivery time and costs have resulted in the need for an additional facility to support an already growing area and to stock a full range of LGH products and capacities,” explained Fiscelli. “This expansion was necessary due to our rapidly growing customer base in the area. It will allow us to better serve our clients because we will simply have the space to feature our entire product range and to accommodate our customers’ equipment service needs.” The Minnesota Distribution Center addition has been part of an aggressive expansion plan initiated by Lifting Gear Hire Corporation in 2008. Since this time, LGH has opened warehouses in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Lakeland, Florida, as well as expanding its sales force in those areas. Atlantic Metrocast signed an agreement with the Port of New Orleans to lease seven acres at France Road to build a pre-stressed concrete production facility - the first of its kind in Southeast Louisiana. The new venture marks a return home for Atlantic, which was originally founded in New Orleans in 1901. “Our hope is to be in New Orleans for the long term 30
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and participate in all of the exciting growth that this great city is experiencing,” says Bill Crossman, president of Atlantic Metrocast. “As a company, we are excited to return to the city of our roots and be able to provide employment in an area that is going through its own renaissance.” In addition to a capital investment of $5 million, the company is expected to boost the local economy with the creation of up to 100 jobs and $2.5 million in payroll with health and 401K benefits. Approximately $160,000 from the state’s Economic Development Assistance Program (EDAP) will be used to help provide infrastructure for the company. “The return of Atlantic Metrocast to New Orleans and the jobs that it brings is great news for the City of New Orleans,” said Mayor-elect Mitch Landrieu. “The decision to locate in New Orleans demonstrates the valuable resources the city has to offer, including a world-class port, infrastructure and workforce. It shows confidence in the future of the city and the competitiveness of the region.” “Atlantic Metrocast’s decision to move here underscores how we are leveraging the assets of the Port of New Orleans to create jobs and investment for Louisiana,” said Port President Gary LaGrange. “Many businesses want to be close to the world class transportation services available at the port. Currently, private businesses are investing more than $85 million on properties that they lease or purchased from the Port of New Orleans.” Greater New Orleans, Inc., the regional economic development agency for the 10-parish Greater New Orleans region, played a leading role, managing the project for over a year and assisting with site selection for Atlantic Metrocast. “This new facility is a victory in the collaborative effort of several agencies - public and private - to diversify our industrial properties and grow the manufacturing base in Louisiana,” says Michael Hecht, President and CEO of Greater New Orleans, Inc. “The return of Atlantic Metrocast to Greater New Orleans is a milestone in the overall return of the economy of the region.” In other Port of New Orleans news, the Board of Commissioners approved three projects worth $25 million for a new dockside refrigerated terminal at the Henry Clay Avenue Wharf. The work includes demolition of an existing cargo shed on the wharf, repairs to the substructure of the wharf and designing and building a new refrigerated warehouse. The terminal is expected to be completed in August 2011. Building the new terminal at the Henry Clay Avenue Wharf will secure 230 jobs and is expected to add 120 new jobs for New Orleans Cold Storage and its stevedoring contractor. “Refrigerated cargo generates jobs in Louisiana’s transportation and agriculture sectors, and we’ve had to take extraordinary steps to retain this business following Hurricane Katrina. Awarding these contracts is a major milestone in the Port’s recovery. We couldn’t have done it without a concerted effort by the Port, its tenants and our federal, state and local leaders to secure this cargo for the long-term and to retain and grow the jobs associated with this cargo,” said Gary LaGrange. New Orleans is one of the nation’s leading exporters of frozen poultry. Before Hurricane Katrina, the Port completed construction of a similar dockside refrigerated facility at the Jourdan Road Terminal, which is operated by New Orleans Cold Storage. Cargo volumes grew because of the capacity to freeze more than 1 million pounds of food-products per day and to transfer that cargo directly from the warehouse to a ship docked in front of the warehouse. After Katrina, the warehouse was repaired, but the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet, the main channel leading to the Jourdan Road Terminal, was closed. Some ships can still reach the Jourdan Road Terminal if they take another route through the Inner Harbor Navigational Canal Locks. However, less than half of the vessels that would normally call the Jourdan Road Terminal fit through the locks. Fixing this situation requires that the Port build a new refrigerated terminal along the Mississippi River, which can accommodate all vessels that handle refrigerated cargo. The site at the Henry Clay Avenue Wharf is inside of the existing footprint of the Port of New Orleans and all trucks www.inlandportmagazine.com
bringing cargo to the site will use the Clarence Henry Truckway, a dedicated port roadway, to access the site. Some $23.5 million in funding will be provided by the Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Program of the Louisiana Office of Community Development – Disaster Recovery Unit. The Port has also made a request for $16.5 million in federal funds needed to complete the project. The funds will be used to improve access to the site, for office space at the terminal and for dredging. “When it comes to economic development, actions speak louder than words,” said Mark Blanchard, President of New Orleans Cold Storage, which will operate the new terminal. “As we worked to rebuild our business over the last five years, we got lots of help from our government leaders.” Blanchard specifically thanked Gov. Bobby Jindal and his chief of Staff Timmy Teepell; Commissioner of Agriculture Mike Strain; Secretary of Economic Development Stephen Moret, House Speaker Jim Tucker, Senate President Joel Chaisson, members of the Louisiana Legislature; Mayor Mitch Landrieu, the Louisiana Congressional Delegation led by Senator Mary Landrieu and Senator David Vitter, the Board of Commissioners of the Port of New Orleans and Port staff. Before construction can begin, the existing cargo shed at the Henry Clay Avenue Wharf must be torn down. Demolition work is expected to begin in June and be completed in September. Kostmayer Construction Inc. was awarded a contract of $527,730 to repair the substructure of the wharf to make it ready for construction of the new refrigerated warehouse. The start and completion dates of this work depend on the river stage. The river is currently at a high stage and must recede before work can begin. The Board has also approved the first design-build contract in the history of the Port of New Orleans, and one of the first public design-build construction projects in Louisiana. A joint venture of The McDonnel Group, LLC of Metairie, La, and Primus Builders, Inc., of Atlanta, Ga., was awarded a contract for $24,298,000 to design and construct the new warehouse. “Obviously, we’re pleased to have been chosen for the Port’s first design-build project and we are very aware how critical the project is in terms of economic impact for the region,” said Allan McDonnel, President of The McDonnel Group. “We believe our proposal was selected because of the expertise and forward-thinking of both companies. Our design incorporates energy-saving technology and operational efficiencies throughout the warehouse, including an automated pallet conveying system. This will bring New Orleans Cold Storage significant operational efficiencies and cost savings.” The Alabama State Port Authority and Mobile Container Terminal announced a new, all-water container service between the Port of Mobile and Far East. CMA CGM added the Ports of Mobile and Pusan, Korean to its PEX3 service between the Gulf of Mexico and Asia. CMA CGM, through its division, Terminal Link, is a partner in the 18 month-old Mobile Container Terminal at the Port of Mobile. “With these additional calls to Pusan and Mobile, the Group is now offering excellent port coverage for its customers in South East Asia, South, Centre and North China as well as Korea. Moreover CMA CGM remains the single company offering direct calls between Asia and the Gulf of Mexico with the best transit times on the market,” said Alain M. Schmid, deputy vice-president North America Lines. Jimmy Lyons, director and CEO for the Port Authority sees the PEX3 service as significant to southeast US shippers. “This new service offers excellent transit times and helps us grow our business with Korea and China,” noted Lyons. “We are particularly excited at the expanded opportunities CMA CGM brings to our regional exporters that trade in the Far East. In 2005, CMA CGM’s division Terminal Link, APM Terminals Americas, a subsidiary of the A.P. MollerMaersk Group, and Alabama State Port Authority formed a joint venture partnership to construct state-of-the-art, $300 million container terminal at the Port of Mobile. CMA CGM, a 20% partner in the venture, along with APM Terminals May/June 2010
Americas formed a terminal operating company, Mobile Container Terminal LLC, and opened Mobile Container Terminal (MCT) in October 2008 just as the global container market begin its drastic downturn in business. Despite the downturn, MCT was able to maintain volumes and add new service calls to Northern Europe and Latin America. Brian Clark, director of the new container terminal, noted the significance of CMA CGM’s Asian service to his growing business. “Not only does the CMA CGM PEX3 Service offer a direct call from Asia to MCT, it also opens up new opportunities with service to the Mediterranean, African and Middle East markets where there were none previously from our port.” Carmanah Technologies, through its marine signalling partnership, Carmanah/Sabik, has received four Standing Offers from the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) to supply a range of solar-powered LED marine lanterns for aids-to-navigation lighting on Canadian waterways. The offers are for a one-year period with an optional one-year extension. Revenue in the first year from the four Standing Offers is anticipated to be in excess of $1.2 million (CAD). A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Victoria County Navigation District, the Calhoun Port Authority, the West Side Calhoun County Navigation District, and Matagorda County Navigation District has been signed for the promotion and development of the Texas region. Regional cooperation is a key element in attracting new industry to the mid coast of Texas, and regional ports have signed an agreement to work together to bring new jobs to the area. “We at the Port of Victoria view this MOU as a positive and optimistic approach to the economic future of our respective communities. We are agreeing to work together as neighbors for the good of our citizens and our region. In today’s very competitive world integrity, friendship, and teamwork are invaluable assets,” said Chairman Robert Loeb of the Port of Victoria. The MOU commits the entities to the efficient and cost effective distribution of cargo throughout the region. Working together the Ports of Victoria, Calhoun, and Matagorda Counties will show that cooperation between deepwater ports and shallow draft ports can produce economic and operation benefits to the region. “I truly believe this working agreement between all of our regional navigation districts is one of the most important steps forward for the positive expansion of our various communities,” said Arlene Marshall, President of the Calhoun County Economic Development Corporation. “Water, whether it is through our deepwater port, or the Victoria Barge Canal, is so very significant for our future economic development. As our country is experiencing changes it becomes imperative that we must all work together for the common good.” “Matagorda County Navigation District No. One Commissioners unanimously support this unique opportunity to work closely with our regional counterparts, both shallow and deepwater, and to join in a united effort to expand the synergies of our coastal area for the benefit of all of our constituents,” said Matagorda Chairman Ted Bates, from the Port of Palacios. At recent transportation meetings in Texas experts have said the movement of freight keeps our economy going, and Texas will become the new gateway for goods coming into the North American market from around the world. With the deepening and widening of the Panama Canal, Texas is seen as the logical place for more freight to enter into the US. Shippers will use the marine highway system, the intracoastal waterway, to access all ports to get their goods to market. Victoria Economic Development Corporation President, Dale Fowler, agrees. “With the increasing importance of ports, which are seen as vital intersections of the transportation system, the benefits resulting from our ports could greatly increase the region’s potential market size and investment opportunities. The industrial clients and the location consultants we talk to are looking for regional cooperation. Today, no one community has all of the assets a major industrial project needs. Every community will need to pull from their regional partners to make a deal happen. I am encouraged by today’s announcement that the ports in this region are working together.” Board Chair Randy Boyd, of the Calhoun Port May/June 2010
Authority, says that by entering into the Memorandum of Agreement, it will be a valuable tool to help local industry stay competitive in the world marketplace as well as stimulate economic growth and create jobs for this region of Texas. “The Calhoun Port Authority Board Members unanimously support this endeavor to work with our regional partners and by doing so insures enhanced cooperation between the ports that will help continue economic growth and development for the tri-county area.” The mid coast of Texas, and the counties of Victoria, Calhoun, and Matagorda are seen as prime locations for large industrial projects. With the ports, waterway system, the expansion of rail, and four lane divided highways that lead to a market of more than fifteen million Texans within half a days drive, the mid coast is also seen as a future location for distribution centers and containers with consumer goods ready for market. The President’s Budget for fiscal 2011 (FY11) includes $4.939 billion in gross discretionary funding for the Civil Works program of the US Army Corps of Engineers, offset in part by a proposal to cancel $52 million of prior year funding. The Honorable Jo-Ellen Darcy, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, said, “This year’s civil works budget for the US Army Corps of Engineers supports the Administration’s priorities of improving the nation’s infrastructure and revitalizing the economy. The Budget funds the planning, design, construction, and the operation and maintenance of projects, and focuses on the Corps’ three main Civil Works mission areas: commercial navigation, flood and coastal storm damage reduction, and aquatic ecosystem restoration.” The Army Civil Works program additionally contributes to the protection of the nation’s waters and wetlands; the restoration of sites contaminated as a result of the nation’s early atomic weapons development program; and emergency preparedness and training to respond to natural disasters. The new Federal funding in the Civil Works budget consists of $4.051 billion from the general fund, $764.4 million from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund, $82.3 million from the Inland Waterways Trust Fund, and $41 million from Special Recreation User Fees. The FY11 Army Civil Works budget press book, including a state-by-state breakdown, is available at www. usace.army.mil/CECW/PID/Pages/cecwm_progdev.aspx. Maj. Gen. Don Riley, former deputy commanding general of US Army Corps of Engineers, recently received the National Safe Boating Council’s Horizon Award for his actions to implement a life jacket mandatory-wear policy study on Corps waters. Riley is currently serving in Afghanistan, so his wife Roslyn accepted the award on his behalf. It was presented at the annual National Safe Boating Council and National Association of State Boating Law Administrators’ congressional reception in Washington, DC. The Horizon Award is presented to individuals, organizations, professionals and volunteers for their work to advance boating safety. Statistics show that more than 90 percent of all drowning victims on USACE waters were not wearing a life jacket. In 2008, Riley approved a pilot study at selected Vicksburg District lakes in Mississippi to test the feasibility of a mandatory life jacket wear policy, and to monitor the effects of a Pittsburgh District life jacket policy implemented for small watercraft in 1990. The three-year study is ongoing, but early results indicate that the life jacket wear rate on the Mississippi test lakes is more than 78 percent for all boaters, well above the national average, which is just six percent. “To mandate the use of life jackets on Corps lakes was an aggressive effort and took a lot of energy by our park rangers and their leaders,” Riley said. “Thanks to them for their persistence in doing what we feel is absolutely the right thing to do.” The Tennessee River Valley Association Board of Directors have once again chosen Gatlinburg, Tennessee, as the location for their 44th Annual Meeting. On October 18-19, 2010, the Clarion Inn & Suites Hotel will host the event during the most beautiful time of the year in Gatlinburg. The TRVA gathering is an affordable opportunity for the membership and guests to network and share information relative to the Tennessee and Cumberland River Valleys. IP www.inlandportmagazine.com
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281-602-5400 ext.2 31
The Last Word
A Revealing Look at our Industry Leaders
Amy W. Larson, Esq. President, National Waterways Conference, Inc. When did you first become involved in this industry? When I graduated from college, I had no job but big plans to hang out at the beach and sail for the summer. I had planned to find a paralegal job in the fall for a year or two before law school. About two weeks later, that plan was squashed when I was offered a part-time job by a friend who worked for an international freight company and needed some help. Part-time turned to full-time on the first day, and a year or two lasted three. When people asked what I did, I described my job as being a travel agent for freight. We imported, among other things, lots of footwear and athletic apparel from Taiwan. We had “friendly” tennis matches with the footwear company, in which our rag-tag crew was soundly walloped each time. I moved to DC to go to law school, and after graduation, started as a staff attorney at the Federal Maritime Commission, regulating the industry in which I had previously worked. I worked my way up from staff attorney, counsel to the Inspector General, legislative counsel, and finally served as the General Counsel for four years. I had terrific opportunities and was able to travel to Asia a few times. I really wanted to be engaged in the maritime industry beyond the FMC’s fairly narrow scope of regulation and began exploring my options. The logical progression would have been a position in a law firm but I wanted to be able to find a balance between career and family. I came upon the announcement for the NWC job on the afternoon applications were due. I guess it was fate. What exciting things are you currently working on with the National Waterways Conference? When I joined NWC just over two years ago, the Board of Directors, led by a transition team, undertook a review of our mission and purposes in terms of both the challenges NWC was facing and the challenges facing the water resources community then and into the future. While the mission has always been broad-based, the focus in the recent past had been largely on navigation. With great insight, the Board in essence reaffirmed our mission as an umbrella organization representing the full spectrum of water resources stakeholders, and we focused on re-building the organization with that vision in mind. Right now in Washington, there is a broad array of policy and legislative initiatives under consideration by the Congress and the Administration. When viewed together, these initiatives represent the most significant changes in water resources policy in decades. These include pending changes to the Principles and Guidelines governing water resources planning, possible amendments to an Executive Order on floodplain management, draft legislation on sustainable watershed planning, and legislation to amend the scope of the Clean Water Act. It has been both professionally challenging and satisfying for me to be involved in so many important issues. It’s particularly gratifying to have been invited to testify before a Congressional committee to express our members’ views on some of these pending changes. I would also caution the navigation industry that, although at first glance these initiatives may not appear to impact navigation, they most certainly would; the industry must stay vigilant and
involved to prevent any detrimental impact to the inland navigation industry. What was your favorite project or assignment you’ve been involved in? As the industry knows, the Inland Waterways Trust Fund is essentially broke and needs to be fixed. Right now, I am so pleased to be working with Cornel Martin (Waterways Council) and Tom Alligretti (American Waterways Operators) to promote the Capital Investment Strategy adopted by the Inland Waterways Users Board to provide for a long-term, comprehensive funding and delivery model for construction and major rehab projects along our inland waterways. As a fundamental issue, this country needs to invest in the infrastructure that is essential to our economic security and quality of life. Just as importantly, working together to urge the Congress to adopt this important plan, Cornel, Tom and I are promoting a “stewardship of the whole,” presenting a united voice for the waterways industry nationwide. What was your least favorite? Performance appraisals. What accomplishments, both professional and personal, are you most proud of? Professionally, when I took the helm of NWC two years ago, the organization was in disarray, and there were many people who didn’t think we could survive. I can tell you I wondered that a few times myself. With a lot of hard work, and the support and assistance of our director of operations and many dedicated members, I am very proud of NWC’s resurgence as an effective voice for water resources interests. We have also reconvened the National Waterways Alliance to provide a forum for collaboration, discussion and promotion of balanced water policies. Building on our theme of stewardship of the whole and the belief that collaboration and cooperation will further our interests more effectively, alliance membership – open to all – includes representatives from virtually every aspect of the water resources community. On the personal side, being a parent is the single most important thing I’ll ever do. If I can somehow raise two confident, independent and caring young women, that will be my greatest accomplishment. If you could go back and tell your teenage self one thing, what would that be? Take the road less traveled. What’s the last song that played on your CD MP3 player? The Eagles’ “Peaceful Easy Feeling,” at anchor in a little cove off the Rhode River on the Chesapeake Bay. What was the first concert you ever attended? The Beach Boys, 1978 at the Boston Garden, more accurately know as “The Gahden.” Without naming names to protect the innocent (or guilty), what is the single most unbelievable thing you have seen happen in your career? Somewhere in China, there’s a picture of me with a very surprised look on my face. After briefing www.inlandportmagazine.com
a visiting delegation on the US government’s marine transportation regulatory policy, we posed for photos. Just as the picture was taken, I was goosed by the gentleman standing next to me. I had just been named as the agency’s new General Counsel – the first woman to hold that job – and I wondered what else my job entailed that I hadn’t considered before. What do you want to be when you grow up? My mom saved an essay I wrote when I was in the sixth grade saying I wanted to be a lawyer. Quite a geek, or very insightful? A short stint as a candy-striper at my local hospital when I was in junior high school cured me of any aspirations of medical school, and the law school plan stuck. Tell us something no one knows about you. I’m the reigning champion of the family apple pie bake-off at Thanksgiving. If you could make those in power at the local, state, and federal levels understand one thing about the inland port and waterways industry, what would it be? Unfortunately, the value of our waterways, and water resources infrastructure in general, is overlooked and not appreciated for the multiple benefits to our nation. I would like our leaders, at all levels of government, as well as the general public, to understand that our water resources infrastructure is critical to America’s economic and environmental well-being, and is essential to maintaining our nation’s competitive position within the global economy. Waterways transportation is the safest, most energy-efficient and environmentally sound mode of transportation. In addition, water infrastructure provides life-saving flood control, abundant water supplies, shore protection, water-based recreation, environmental restoration, and hydropower production. We in the industry are continuously challenged to deliver this message in an effective manner. What is your favorite? Movie: The Sound of Music Book: To Kill A Mockingbird TV show: I don’t watch much TV. Sport: Boston Red Sox What piece of equipment has not been invented yet, but will revolutionize the inland port industry when it is? I have no idea how to turn on our giant TV with three remotes, surround sound, and various games. So that question is way beyond me. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I don’t suffer fools gladly, not my best characteristic. Give us your thoughts on where the inland port and waterways industry is going. As mentioned previously, our decision-makers and the general public do not appreciate the value of our inland ports and waterways. Sadly, this means that adequate funding to recapitalize and rehabilitate the aging infrastructure is not forthcoming. Moreover, the challenge for funding will become even more difficult as the levels of discretionary spending decline and other issues take priority. Nonetheless, as an industry, we must work together to get our message heard. Projected growth in international trade and the expansion of the Panama Canal offer us two such opportunities to promote increased transportation along our waterways. IP May/June 2010
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