Page 22: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (August 2015)

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WORKBOAT UPDATE

Higman Barges by Capt. Darren Istre

BY JENNIFER A.

CARPENTER

Working Hard for the

Domestic Workboat Market

AWO he year 2015 has been a busy year bers and nearly half a million Americans out the industry. Securing the publica- tect life, the environment, and property. for The American Waterways Op- work in industries that rely upon water tion of and preparing AWO’s members There will be two ways in which compa-

Terators, the national trade associ- transportation. to comply with the new regulations— nies can comply with Subchapter M. The ation for the tugboat, towboat and barge AWO members are investing heavily known as Subchapter M—are AWO’s ? rst is to submit to annual vessel inspec- industry, and for the industry AWO is to meet the demands of their customers highest advocacy and safety priorities. tions conducted by the Coast Guard. The privileged to represent. It’s a dynamic and our country for safe, reliable, cost- For more than a decade, AWO and its second is to implement a Towing Safety time for a vital industry that constitutes effective transportation. In 2014, there members have worked closely with the Management System, or TSMS, that is the largest segment of the U.S. domes- were a record 344 new tank barges deliv- Coast Guard to develop Subchapter M, accepted by the Coast Guard and audited tic ? eet, as companies throughout the ered with a total capacity of 7.74 million which is currently undergoing ? nal re- by a Coast Guard-approved third party industry are investing heavily to meet barrels. Investment in dry cargo capac- view by the Department of Homeland organization.

evolving customer needs; the industry ity is occurring as well, with 561 inland Security. The Coast Guard, with the Since the start of the regulatory de- stands on the verge of historic regula- hopper barges delivered last year, a ? ve strong support of AWO, was directed by velopment process, AWO and TSAC tory change; and AWO pursues an active percent increase from the 2013 levels. Congress to establish a towing vessel in- have strongly supported making compli- public policy agenda to support mem- Some 117 new tugboats and towboats spection regime in the Coast Guard and ance with a safety management system bers’ needs for predictable and practi- were constructed in 2014, and 10 state- Maritime Transportation Act of 2004. a requirement of the new towing vessel cable government policy. of-the-art articulated tug-barge units Since that time, the Coast Guard has en- inspection regulations. Safety manage- (ATBs) will be delivered within the next gaged stakeholders in an inclusive and ment systems promote continuous regu-

Investing for the Future two years. thoughtful process to develop the rule latory compliance, provide early warn-

The tugboat, towboat and barge indus- via the Congressionally authorized Tow- ings of problems or de? ciencies that try is a critical part of our nation’s trans- A New Safety Paradigm: ing Safety Advisory Committee. The could lead to accidents, and prevent ac- portation system. Each year, the indus- Towing Vessel Inspection result is overwhelming support from the cidents caused by equipment failure by try’s 5,000 tugboats and towboats and This year, the tugboat, towboat and tugboat, towboat and barge industry, the ensuring continuous attention to routine 23,000 barges move more than 800 mil- barge industry is on the verge of an his- public, and bipartisan members of Con- vessel maintenance. Choosing to com- lion tons of critical commodities that are toric regulatory advancement, anticipat- gress for ? nalizing the regulations. ply with Subchapter M by implementing the building blocks of the U.S. economy, ing the publication of new U.S. Coast When published, Subchapter M will a TSMS will also provide towing vessel including petroleum, coal, chemicals, Guard regulations that will bring towing build on the safeguards that responsible operators with much greater ? exibility, stone, sand, gravel, cement, steel and vessels under an innovative inspection companies have already put in place and will be a more ef? cient utilization lumber. The industry employs more than regime that will improve safety, security and ensure that all towing vessels meet of Coast Guard resources than annual 33,000 Americans as vessel crew mem- and environmental stewardship through- a minimum threshold of safety to pro- Coast Guard inspections.

22 Maritime Reporter & Engineering News • AUGUST 2015

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