Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corporation , the largest provider of dredging services in the United States and a major provider of commercial and industrial demolition and remediation services, commented on legislative progress in the House of Representatives.
On April 18th, 2012 the House of Representatives approved passage of H.R. 4348 (Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2012, Part II). Included in this Congressional Bill are two important sections that, if ultimately passed, will have a positive impact on maritime commerce and restoring the Gulf Coast.
The first is Section 401, Funding for Harbor Maintenance Programs, the modified RAMP Act. This Section includes a guarantee that the total budget resources to be spent on harbor maintenance for a fiscal year will be equal to the level of receipts collected from commercial use of the ports and will be deposited into the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund.
Jon Berger, Chief Executive Officer of Great Lakes stated, “Although we are far from assured that in conference the Senate and House can come to resolution on a final Highway Bill this is an important positive step for maritime commerce and transparency in federal spending. Maintaining the U.S ports and waters is critical to our economic recovery and growth. Great Lakes would like to applaud the many members of Congress who allocated time from their busy schedules to understand the economic benefits and importance of the bill. I also want to acknowledge the extraordinary and dedicated leadership Congressman Charles Boustany (R-LA) demonstrated in supporting this important legislation.”
The second important section of the bill is Section 302, the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund. This section establishes the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund and requires 80 percent of all administrative, civil, and criminal penalties paid by a responsible party in connection with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, to be deposited into that fund, together with any additional appropriations provided by law.
Bill Hanson, Vice President of Government Affairs for Great Lakes stated “This addition to H.R. 4348, which has been passed previously in the Senate, sets the stage to have meaningful impact on restoring the coastal ecosystems throughout the Gulf and supporting the economic recovery for those areas so devastated by natural disasters.”
Although this passage is an important step in the legislative process, there are still additional steps before these important maritime funding allocations will be enacted into law. Great Lakes will continue to work with its various coalitions to garner the necessary support to move this important legislation to law.
Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corporation is the largest provider of dredging services in the United States and the only U.S. dredging company with significant international operations. The Company is also one of the largest U.S. providers of commercial and industrial demolition services primarily in the Northeast. The Company owns a 50% interest in a marine sand mining operation in New Jersey that supplies sand and aggregate for road and building construction and a 50% interest in an environmental service operation with the ability to remediate soil and dredged sediment treatment. Great Lakes employs over 150 degreed engineers, most specializing in civil and mechanical engineering, which contributes to its 122-year history of never failing to complete a marine project. Great Lakes has a disciplined training program for engineers that ensures experienced-based performance as they advance through Company operations. Great Lakes also owns and operates the largest and most diverse fleet in the U.S. industry, comprised of over 200 specialized vessels.
Dredging Today Staff, April 23, 2012;