U.S. Representatives Brian Babin and Gene Green have introduced the Waterway Safety Improvement Act (H.R. 3315) to enhance navigation and safety in the nation’s ports, including the Port of Houston.
This legislation addresses longtime concerns on the Port of Houston waterways with clarifying language and by granting discretionary authority to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) — the entity in charge of Port maintenance.
“The Waterway Safety Improvement Act will provide much-needed flexibility and resources to ensure that the Army Corps of Engineers can properly maintain our nation’s ports and address any safety issues in a timely manner,” said Rep. Babin. “This legislation will benefit our area tremendously and further strengthen the Port of Houston as a world leader in the maritime industry.”
The USACE plays a key role in America’s well-being by keeping waterways open for navigation and commerce. Deepening and widening of waterways, such as ports and ship channels for the safe commercial waterborne traffic is a top priority for the Corps.
Texas is the largest maritime state in the United States, with over 17,000 deep draft ships transiting the Port of Houston annually. Nationally, the Port of Houston ranks number one in foreign tonnage and is the second largest port in the country by all tonnage.