A Record-breaking Week for the US Maritime Industry
- L-R : Bill Hanson, Great Lakes Dredge & Dock, Klaus Luhta, Masters, Mates & Pilots, Congressman Dan Donovan (NY), Bill Van Loo, Sec-Treas MEBA (AFL-CIO), Will Wallgren, Dutra Group Dredging, and RADM Michael Alfultis, President, NY Maritime Academy
- National Security Multi-Mission Vessel (Herbert Engineering / MARAD)
- L-R: Chris Westboook, Port Agent SIU/AFL-CIO, Louisiana, Bleu Hilburn, Director, Crowley Logistics, Congressman Clay Higgins (LA), William Doyle, CEO, Dredging Contractors of America, Chief Engineer Andrew Nelson, Maersk Line Limited (U.S.) and AMO (AFL-CIO), and Darrell Connor, K&L Gates and American Maritime Partnership.
- The Maritime Security Program (MSP) is fully funded for Fiscal Year ’18. Bicameral support for MSP ensures national security and continued U.S.-flag presence in the international trade led Congressional Members to support the appropriation of $300 million for the full MSP funding level.
- Congress funds “Food for Peace” at $1.7 billion in the Omnibus allowing U.S.-Flag ships to take the lead in delivering this important cargo to the impoverished world. Food for Peace helps feed starving Third World nations while providing critical support to U.S. shipping and American farmers.
- Appropriations of $300 million to begin the long-sought State Maritime Academy Training Ship Replacement Program. Known as the National Security Multi-mission Vessel (NSMV), this program will improve the training and stabilize the production of mariners by the nation’s maritime academies. The state-of-the-art training platforms will each carry 600 cadets and 100 officers and crew. They will also be designed to support the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as a response vessel in times of national emergency. The first new-build ship is scheduled to replace SUNY Maritime’s (NY Maritime) aging Empire State and that the second ship is scheduled to replace Massachusetts Maritime’s Training Ship Kennedy. The vessels will be built in U.S. shipyards.
- No Jones Act Waivers or Amendments contained in the Omnibus.
- Dredging, Water Resources & Coastal
andInland Waterways Appropriations
- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers civil works program receives funding of $6.8 billion, an increase of $789 million from the FY17 levels. This includes $3 billion for navigation projects and studies, with $1.4 billion from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund and full use of revenues from the Inland Waterways Trust Fund, and $1.9B for flood and storm damage reduction projects, an increase of $215M above FY17.
- The Investigations account would receive $123 million; Construction at $2.085 billion; Mississippi River and Tributaries at $425 million; Operation and Maintenance at $3.630 billion; and $200 million for Regulatory.
- The legislation includes specific instructions for evaluating studies and projects that would be eligible for the additional funding provided, as well as directions for new starts.
- A detailed work plan must be provided to the Congress within 60 days of enactment (from March 23, 2018).
- On February 9, 2018, Congress passed, and President Donald Trump signed into law the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (aka the Supplemental).
- The Office of Management and Budget and the Army Corps is determining exactly where the funding will be directed.
- Notably, however, the Supplemental provides $89.3 billion in emergency disaster relief aid for the 2017 hurricanes, wildfires, and other natural disasters.
- Also, $17.4 billion of this is for the Army Corps to make repairs to Corps infrastructure and to undertake dredging and other activities. Of this $17.4 billion, $15 billion is for repairing and rehabilitating flood and storm damage reduction projects (including shore protection projects), $135 million for investigations, $770 million for the Mississippi River and Tributaries Account (repairing facilities along the Mississippi River), $810 million for Flood Control, and $608 million derived from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund for operations and maintenance navigation dredging projects.
- The Army Corps is expected to announce its Work Plan for the supplemental with the next couple of weeks.