Press Release Article


PORT AUTHORITY SEEKS FINANCIAL SUPPORT FROM CONGRESS FOR MORE THAN $100 MILLION IN VITAL DREDGING PROJECTS -- Channel Deepening Work is Key to Continuing Economic Growth in NY-NJ Region

Date: Apr 10, 2001
Press Release Number: 59-2001

The Port Authority, in coordination with the states of New York and New Jersey, has urged Congress to support the agency\'s funding request for more than $100 million for critical dredging projects needed to maintain the Port of New York and New Jersey as the leading North Atlantic destination for shippers.
In testimony submitted Monday to the Energy and Water Development Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee, the Port Authority outlined the importance of the channel improvement work to the New York and New Jersey region. The bistate agency also urged that funding levels in the Army Corps of Engineers Fiscal Year 2002 budget for channel deepening work be adequately maintained.

\"The flow of international and domestic commerce through the bistate gateway has increased dramatically in recent years, evidence of a thriving international trade environment and the importance of federal and non-federal investments in water and land side facilities,\" according to the Congressional testimony jointly submitted by the Port Authority, the State of New York and the State of New Jersey. \"Without adequate channels and intermodal connectors linking the terminals to the highways and rail lines, the nation\'s business cannot be accomplished in an efficient way.\"

For Fiscal Year 2002, the Army Corps of Engineers requested federal funding for the following channel deepening projects:

· Continued work to deepen the Kill van Kull and Newark Bay channels to 45 feet. These channels serve Port Newark and the Elizabeth Port Authority Marine Terminal, the busiest and largest container facilities on the East Coast, as well as provide access to terminals on the Arthur Kill.

· Continued funding to deepen the existing 35-foot Arthur Kill Channel to the Howland Hook terminal (41 feet) and then on to the Tosco Bayway Refinery (40 feet).

· Continue funding to deepen the existing 38-foot Port Jersey channel in Bayonne, N.J., to 41 feet.

\"Steamships, planned and under construction, are only getting larger, promising greater volumes of cargo on each call and requiring deeper channels to allow the vessels safe and efficient operation,\" the Port Authority said in its testimony. \"In fact, the Army Corp of Engineers estimates that the nation will enjoy $270 million in annual transportation cost savings due to larger vessels calling on the Port of New York and New Jersey.\"

The testimony also seeks to continue preliminary engineering and design work on the planned 50-foot port deepening project, as well as appropriations to continue the study of projects that could enhance the quality of the Hudson-Raritan estuary.

Attached is a copy of the Port Authority\'s testimony.


Joint Statement

Louis J. Hector, Vice President, Transportation and Infrastructure State of New York, Empire State Development Corporation and Richard Gimello, Executive Director, New Jersey Maritime Resources State of New Jersey, Department of Transportation and Richard M. Larrabee, Director, Port Commerce Department The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey

Regarding Federal Navigation Channels in the Port of New York & New Jersey Fiscal Year 2002

Presented to the Energy & Water Development Subcommittee Appropriations Committee United States House of Representatives Washington, DC

April 9th, 2001

Endorsed By:

American Assoc. Exporters & Importers American Waterways Operators American Stevedoring Inc. Bi-State Harbor Carriers Conference Board of Commissioners of Pilots (N.Y.) Board of Commissioners of Pilots (N.J.) Commerce & Industry Association of NJ CSX Corporaion East Coast Warehouse & Dist. Corp. Global Terminal & Container Services Hoegh Lines Howland Hook Container Terminal, Inc. Int\'l Longshoremen\'s Association Int\'l Longshoreman\'s Assoc. Local 1588 Int\'l Motor Freight, Inc. Int\'l Matex Tank Terminals K Line America, Inc. Maher Terminals, Inc. Maritime Port Council of Greater NY Maersk Sealand, Inc. Nation\'sPort New Jersey Motor Truck Association New Jersey State AFL-CIO New Jersey Chamber of Commerce New Jersey Motor Truck Association New Jersey Alliance For Action New York Shipping Association, Inc. New York State AFL-CIO Norton Lilly, Inc. Norfolk Southern Corporation NY-NJ Port Promotion Association P & O Ports North America, Inc. Regional Business Partnership Safeway Trucking Corp. Seafarer\'s International Union Staten Island Chamber of Commerce Tosco Bayway Refinery Union County Alliance Union County Economic Development Corp. United NY NJ Sandy Hook Pilots Assoc. Universal Maritime Service Corp. Waterfront Commission of NY Harbor

Mr. Chairman and members of the Subcommittee, we appreciate the opportunity to share with you our collective request for navigation channel funding. We do so at some disadvantage because we do not have benefit of the President\'s budget request. However, because we work closely with our partners in the Corps of Engineers on the projects and studies pertaining to the Port of New York and New Jersey we believe the level of funding described below is both reasonable and necessary for reasons discussed below.

Mr. Chairman, this is our first statement submitted since you came to hold the gavel in the Energy & Water Development Subcommittee. Therefore we would like to make a point of extending an invitation to you, the Subcommittee members and staff to visit the Port of New York and New Jersey. There you can see for yourself the remarkable economic and natural resource asset that our nation has in the Port. The flow of international and domestic commerce through the bistate gateway has increased dramatically in recent years, evidence of a thriving international trade environment and the importance of Federal and non-Federal investments in water and landside facilities. Without adequate channels and intermodal connectors linking the terminals to the highways and rail lines, the nation\'s business cannot be accomplished in an efficient way. And that is what we see as our role-the role of the governmental agencies charged with responsibility for the port-that is, making commerce work for our country.

BACKGROUND So as to demonstrate why Federal funds for navigation projects in our region are monies well spent, we quickly recite some statistics from the year 2000. Last year $82 billion in cargo flowed through our marine terminals, an increase of 13-percent increase over 1999. For the first time, total container volumes surpassed the 3 million TEU (20-foot equivalent units) mark in 2000, a 7-percent increase over 1999. Loaded TEUs were 2,246,194 in 2000, a 10.8-percent increase. For the first time in 20 years, ship calls topped the 5,000 mark with 5,124 commercial vessels, representing a 7.3-percent increase. Overall vessel traffic in the port has increased more than 12 percent since 1991. Total cargo volumes (bulk and general cargo combined) grew by 9.7 percent in 2000.

While the Port of New York and New Jersey serves a huge local market it is also the major gateway to the United States. The port handles 11 percent of all oceanborne general cargo imported into the nation. It also serves a significant market in the Midwestern United States. In fact, 40 percent of the Midwest bound cargo that flows through North Atlantic ports comes through the Port of New York and New Jersey. As you might imagine, and as Congressman Frelinghuysen knows very well, the working port serves not only the national interest but also our bistate region where the Port supports more than 166,000 jobs and contributes $21 billion to the regional economy.

We are grateful for the funding that this Subcommittee has provided to projects in our port. In addition to the required non-Federal match there also will be significant, related investments in a wide range of port-related infrastructure. The public and private investments are in response to market demands. Those demands clearly indicate that commerce will flow s

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