Page 16: of Marine News Magazine (March 2016)
Push boats, Tugs & Assist Vessels
It is also important to have timely data to understand and
IWTF, augmented by another $40 million in matching funds. How much of a help is this for the mission in determine the impacts of lock and channel performance on the coming years?
commerce, and allows USACE to better-understand where
The additional funding from the $0.09 per gallon diesel the system may experience navigation closures and delays, fuel tax increase to a total of $0.29 per gallon is estimated which affect the overall inland waterways system reliability.
to generate an additional $35 million per year. This would enable construction and major rehabilitation of justi? ed in-
The U.S. Department of Transportation and its Mari- time Administration predict that freight will increase land waterways projects to proceed at a faster rate and be signi? cantly on all modes ahead, but often the Corps’ completed sooner, the reduction in the Inland Waterways tonnage numbers can be 2 to 3 years behind, making
Trust Fund share of the Olmsted Locks and Dam project it hard to calculate future freight needs and logistics. as authorized in the Water Resources Reform and Develop-
What can be done to square those numbers?
ment Act, 2014 and could also enable other projects to move
The data are assembled from many sources, but mostly at a faster pace to improve the Inland Waterways System. from the Department of Commerce and other Federal
Agencies. There is a lot of data and since many critical de-
The WCI applauded the ? nal agreement for an FY cisions are based on the data, it is essential that the data 2016 Omnibus Appropriations bill that funds the is carefully evaluated and veri? ed as well as involve trend
Corps of Engineers’ Civil Works program under the analysis. Extensive data from projects experiencing rapid
Energy & Water Development Appropriations bill.
FY ‘16 funding for the Corps’ Civil Works mission growth or decline is reported to USACE staff regularly.
is $5.99 billion, and Inland Waterways Trust Fund (IWTF)-supported projects should receive record-
Based on the record FY 16 funding levels, it ap- level funding of $405.2 million for priority navigation pears that the Corps can fund all four of the top pri- ority projects (Olmsted, Lower Mon, Kentucky and projects in FY ‘16. Looking further at federal funding,
Chickamauga) at full, ef? cient levels, but this is up on the Navigation Ecosystem Sustainability Program to the Corps to decide. Just what will be the plan for (NESP), Statement of Manager language makes clear that “the next appropriate step is to complete this year?
PED” (Pre-Construction Engineering and Design) and
The FY 2016 Workplan and FY2017 President’s Budget requires monthly brie? ngs for the committees on any are under development and information will not be avail- economic update or re-analysis that is done for the able until they are released by the President on February project. The authority of the Corps will be the decid- 9, 2016. (Editor’s Note: MarineNews was headed to the ing factor on where the funding will be allocated. How printer at that time).
will that process move forward?
USACE provided $50,000 in the FY 2015 Workplan
The Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) and its members to determine how to proceed with updating project costs and stakeholders pushed and prodded until the U.S. and economics, and completing a decision document. A
Senate passed a 9-cent increase to the barge diesel decision on allocating additional funding for the project fuel user fee. Effective April 1, 2015, the 9-cent-in- will be made upon completion of the decision document. crease should add around $40 million annually to the
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