March 27, 2019
The International Association of Maritime and Port Executives
A Not-for Profit Professional Development Industry Association
From the desk of Capt. Jeff Monroe, MM, AMPE
Good morning IAMPE and IRPT Members,
Aimee Andres, a distinguished member of the IAMPE Board of Advisors and Education Committee would like to share with you some disturbing news she learned out of Washington – and then let you know her action plan and request your help.
In the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2019 (budget that ended the government shutdown) signed on February 14th, Maritime Administration’s budget was outlined in the link below. Bullet points are:
$300,000,000 to maintain and preserve U.S. flag merchant fleet;
$149,442,222 for the operations of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy;
Of which, $7,000,000 reserved for America’s Marine Highways
$345,200,000 for the National Defense Reserve Fleet;
$20,000,000 for small shipyard grants,
$5,000,000 for disposal of obsolete vessels;
$3,000,000 for administrative expenses;
$200,000,000 for the Port Infrastructure Development Program
You can find the Maritime Administration Appropriations at their web site.
Even more disturbing is that the Port Infrastructure Development Program excludes inland ports, more specifically, it states: “projects eligible for funding provided under this heading shall be projects for coastal seaports”.
Simply stated, Inland ports and terminals are NOT on a level-playing field in terms of federal funding opportunities.
I would like to point out that in viewing the map of facilities on the map (found at: https://www.irpt.net/river-basins/) that there are over 300 inland facilities (private and public) that could benefit from federal funding assistance for infrastructure improvements and that simply $7,000,000 of over a Billion dollar budget, simply is not acceptable.
So to move forward, IRPT is requesting Congress authorize and appropriate an Inland Port and Terminal Grant Program to level the competitive playing field. You can access IRPT’s House request here and IRPT’s Senate request here. Mirrored much like the small shipyard grant program, the inland port and terminal program would:
Be administered by Maritime Administration;
Adhere to 60 day submission and 120 day award distribution;
Include both private and public facilities;
At the same time, the inland port and terminal program would differ from small shipyards in that:
Funds may be used to construct buildings, physical facilities, purchase equipment, etc.
And unlike the Marine Highways program, the inland port and terminal grant program would:
Extend to both private and public entities;
May be used for landside infrastructure (facility river, road and rail)
Extend to bulk (liquid and dry) commodities;
And further, unlike TIGER, INFRA and BUILD, the inland port and terminal grant program would eliminate the minimum project floor amount of $5 million. Inland facilities cannot compete for funding in INFRA, BUILD, TIGER, etc. because the project minimum is far too high. Infrastructure projects sought by inland facilities are far less costly than the minimum required for those programs.
In order to move this proposed bill forward, she is asking for us to submit a letter of encouragement to our Senators and our Representatives supporting the introduction, passage and authorization of the proposal submitted by IRPT.
For your consideration, please access the one-pager of the Inland Port and Terminal Grant Program. Her goal is to submit a bipartisan proposal in both a House and Senate version for passage.
May she please request a letter of support from you to help move this piece forward? For your consideration, a draft letter of support can be found at the IRPT web site.
House Letter of Support
Senate Letter of Support
If you could please email her your letter, she tally the letters sent to include a copy in her final package. For further information, contact:
Aimee Andres, AMPE, Executive Director, Inland Rivers, Ports and Terminals, Inc. One Confluence Way, East Alton, IL 62024
Phone (618) 468-3010, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.irpt.net
Rediscover the strength of America’s Inland Rivers
“For A World Connected By Water”
Capt. Jeffrey W. Monroe, MM, MTM, AMPE Director: Education, Standards and Training Programs International Association of Maritime and Port Executives 11 Katahdin Road. Portland, ME 04107-2828 USA Phone: (207) 741-7000, Cell: (207) 615-7989