abc
QUICK LINKS:

Fix Funding for Shipping Industry

Updated: 04/30/2013 5:43 PM
Created: 04/30/2013 4:47 PM WDIO.com

The need to keep our shipping industry strong was hammered home on Tuesday, during a press conference near the harbor. Mayor Don Ness, Senator Amy Klobuchar, and port leaders stood at the Great Lakes Aquarium to discuss the importance of commerce and jobs.

At issue, is the need for more dredging dollars. Dredging is what the Army Corp of Engineers does to keep the shipping channels clear and deep. Equipment digs up sediment that lines the bottom of the channels.

Each year, shipping companies pay a tax, which goes into the Harbor Maintenance Fund. But lawmakers and officials say that so much of it is diverted outside of the need it was created for.

Senator Amy Klobuchar is a co-sponsor of a bill that would restore funding for dredging. The other co-sponsor is Carl Levin, of Michigan.

"The Corp said they can get the backlog done with $200 million dollars. So we're hoping for that, and then some money for other projects that affect the industry," Klobuchar said.

Shallow channels affect the Twin Ports and Two Harbors, even though our channels are dredged adequately.

Because the shipping industry is a linked system, vessels have to go through different areas. And some of those channels aren't as deep.

Gregg Ruhl from the Great Lakes Fleet said that the Edgar B. Speer had to leave 10,000 tons of iron ore pellets light from Two Harbors on Monday. "That's capacity we can never get back, like a flight leaving with seats open. 10,000 tons of pellets are like a full shift at a large mine, and would help make 6,700 tons of steel. That steel could make 8,000 automobiles," Ruhl said.

Adolph Ojard said that he's concerned about the potential loss of business for all of the ports, if this continues. He's testified recently at the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment.

Klobuchar said that she expects the Harbor Maintenance Act to be discussed after Congress takes up a piece of marketplace legislation. It's included in the larger Water Resources Development Act.

Front Page

  • Wisconsin DNR Assessing Winter Deer Kill

    Wisconsin wildlife officials are using road-kill and radio-tracking data to assess the harsh winter's effect on the state's deer herd. Department of Natural Resources staffers are looking for 10 carcasses in every county so they can check a number of biological signs, such as fat stores and pregnancy. They're also is closely watching survival rates of more than 200 deer with radio collars in the northern forest and eastern farmland areas of the state.  

  • Minnesota Runners Head to Boston in Unity, Tribute

    More than 600 Minnesota marathoners will line up for the start of the Boston Marathon this year, including 212 who ran last year and say they're going back to finish what they started.

  • General Mills Backtracks on Controversial New Policy, Issues Apology

    General Mills has issued an apology to consumers after the company caught major flack over its policy change that could have affected their arbitration rights.   

  • Fitger's 5K Raises $20K For Young Athletes

    It may not have felt much like spring today, but thousands signed-up to voluntarily run outside. It was the 25th Annual Fitger's 5K this morning and that means racing season in the Northland has officially started. This year, the race raised $20,000 for the Young Athletes Foundation.

  • Post-rehab, Injured Snowy Owl Released in Superior

    A rare snowy owl that was hit by a bus in Washington D.C. and sent to Minnesota for rehab is back in the wild. The owl was released outside Superior Saturday.

 
Advertisement