FOR RELEASE - April 28, 2016
Contact: Aaron Ellis, Public Affairs Director, email@example.com
American Association of Port Authorities
Phone: (202) 792-4033
A new Water Resources Development Act, or WRDA (S. 2848), approved 19-1 today by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, includes key language and provisions recommended by the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA)—the unified and recognized voice of seaports in the Americas—to maintain and improve America’s port infrastructure to meet the needs of 21st century maritime trade.
In lauding Committee Chairman James Inhofe (R-OK), Ranking Member Senator Barbara Boxer (CA) and Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee Chairman David Vitter for their leadership in crafting the $9.4 billion bipartisan waterways bill, AAPA President and CEO Kurt Nagle was upbeat.
“This is a very good bill that will aid our economy and environment, and the ability of America’s ports to handle increasingly large cargo and passenger ships. It reflects a great deal of advocacy by AAPA and our member seaports to authorize crucial funding to maintain and improve our nation’s water and navigation infrastructure,” said Mr. Nagle. “The Senate EPW’s WRDA bill includes modernization of the cost-share formula for deepening projects, extension of WRRDA 2014’s Donor and Energy Transfer Ports funding authorization, and new language to improve the approach of appropriating annual Harbor Maintenance Tax (HMT) revenues until full use of those funds is achieved.”
The bill also includes authorization for more than two dozen U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Chief's Reports, including navigation deepening projects for Port Everglades, in Broward County, Fla., and Brazos Island Harbor, in Brownsville, Tex.
Among the provisions contained in the Senate EPW’s 2016 WRDA bill for which AAPA and its members advocated are:
Many of AAPA’s other technical revision recommendations to streamline and expedite projects are also addressed in the 159-page bill. Additionally, the Committee provided a 20-page section-by-section summary of the bill’s provisions.
“We continue to urge Senate leadership for quick action to bring this bipartisan bill to the Senate floor for a vote soon,” said Mr. Nagle. “After waiting seven long years (between 2007 and 2014) for the last WRDA bill, we’re hopeful that this legislation will return to an every-two-year process.”
Founded in 1912, AAPA today represents 130 of the leading seaport authorities in the United States, Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean and more than 200 sustaining and associate members, firms and individuals with an interest in seaports. According to IHS World Trade Service, combined international sea trade moving through Western Hemisphere ports in 2014 totaled 3.48 billion metric tons in volume and US$3.75 trillion in value. Of that total, ports in Central and South America handled 1.68 billion metric tons of cargo valued at US$1.36 trillion, while North American ports handled 1.79 billion metric tons of goods, valued at US$2.39 trillion. To meet the growing demand for trade, the AAPA and its members are committed to keeping seaports navigable, secure and sustainable. For more information, visit www.aapa-ports.org.