USA: Senator Supports Mississippi River Dredging

U.S. Sen. David Vitter recently made the following statement supporting the need to dredge the lower Mississippi River.

The Mississippi River is the most productive river transportation system in America, and ensuring that cargo can continue to move through the river and waterways must be a top priority for the Corps,” Vitter said. “It’s not just Louisiana that relies on the Mississippi River to transport goods to export markets, but more than 30 states will be impacted if the river is not dredged to proper width and depth levels. The Corps has the resources to do this and they need to prioritize their budget accordingly.”

On March 31, 2011, the Army Corps of Engineers’ Chief Engineer, Lt. Gen. Robert Van Antwerp, testified at the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee about dredging the lower Mississippi River.

In the hearing, Vitter pointed out that $115 million was used to properly dredge the Mississippi River in 2008, $181 million in 2009 and $118 million in 2010. But the Corps only allocated $73.5 million for 2011 and prior to the March hearing stated they are not going to be reprogramming any funds in their budget for dredging.

In response to Vitter’s point during the hearing, Van Antwerp said, “Senator, I would say first of all, future reprogrammings are not ruled out. They are not ruled out. And we are watching the status every day. In fact, we are trying to get a third dredge, which I am sure you know, and we didn’t get any bids for that third dredge. So we are looking to activate one of the Corps dredges.”


Source: vitter, June 10, 2011