Page 23: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (August 2020)

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it allowed for the Olmsted Locks and Dam project to become

Can you provide insight on how COVID-19 has and will operational four years ahead of its “adjusted” schedule. The impact inland marine operations?

Lower Mon project is estimated to become operational in The inland waterways industry has shown that it is not im- 2023, which is four years ahead of schedule. Kentucky Lock mune to COVID-19. Signi? cant precautions have been taken is estimated to become operational three years ahead of sched- by companies to keep their employees safe and healthy. The ule, and Chickamauga is estimated to become operational Inland Waterways User Board announced at its meeting in four years ahead of schedule. This success will continue or July that IWTF fuel receipts are down for FY20 as a result improve if Congress adopts WCI’s top priority of adjusting of the COVID-related economic downturn. The receipts were the cost-share in the WRDA 2020 bill. tracking almost identically to FY19 until February, when we saw almost a ? at line. Expected total projections may be sig-

Describe the takeaways (both good and bad) and potential ni? cantly lower than FY19.

impacts from America’s Water Infrastructure Act 2020?

WCI’s top priority of adjusting the cost-share for construc-

While most of the chatter around COVID-19 is negative, tion and major rehabilitation of projects is included in the if nothing else it has illustrated the importance of supply

America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2020. The cost-share is chains and the maritime industry’s role in an ef? cient, adjusted to 65% general fund revenue/35% Inland Waterways cost-effective means to bring products to markets.

Trust Fund. If this adjustment is enacted into law, it could po- As the Department of Homeland Security pointed out early tentially provide an additional billion dollars toward construc- in the COVID-19 crisis, maritime workers are essential. The tion and major rehabilitation of inland waterways moderniza- commerce this nation depends upon moves on the inland wa- tion projects. Currently, there are 18 modernization projects terways in the most cost-competitive, environmentally friend- that are valued at just over $8 billion, and by adjusting the ly, traf? c congestion-relieving, and safest way. Congressional cost-share, these projects will signi? cantly be expedited to- champions believe in the inland waterways and will ? ght for ward completion. it now and in the future. 23

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