In testimony submitted to a Congressional committee that oversees both maritime and inland transportation, the head of the South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) said the nation must make sound decisions on modernizing the nation’s seaports.
On Wednesday, the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee heard from industry professionals regarding the future of the nation’s seaports and their economic benefits for the country.
SCPA President and CEO Jim Newsome outlined the demand for a national port strategy. He encouraged the committee to adopt language proposed by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) to include additional funding provisions for ongoing port studies and to empower the Corps of Engineers to evaluate port-related infrastructure projects, such as harbor deepening, and make funding priorities.
“Deepening projects should be viewed no differently than investment decisions in the private sector that have limited capital budgets or funds,” Newsome stated in the testimony. “They should be prioritized on rigorous cost/benefit criteria that take into account the most benefit to a region for the least cost, most expedient timeframe, and most environmental compatibility for our nation.”
He also highlighted the trends and opportunities related to U.S. East Coast ports, including the expansion of the Panama Canal, the deployment of even larger ships to utilize the expanded Canal, and the related national need for a post-Panamax capable port to handle expanding exports from the commodity-rich Southeast region.
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Source: port-of-charleston, October 28, 2011