The Louisville Courier-Journal gives an overview of cost overruns (again) on the Olmsted Lock and Dam project. It is tying up ever-scarcer funds for other needed waterways projects. Its cost overruns were a main driver of the Inland Waterways Users board cost-control plan, out there but not accepted yet by the administration.
“That was the message of the Arkansas River Revival Flotilla, a convoy of a dozen or so large boats which made its first stop at Pendleton on the Arkansas County-Desha County line last Friday. About 150 people attended the brief ceremony.”
A new study from the Yale School of forestry and Environemental Studies estimates that waterways themselves emit more carbon dioxide than has been considered previously.
“But after looking at water chemistry data from 4,000 inland waterways, the study’s authors… found streams and rivers in the United States alone release almost 100 million metric tons of carbon dioxide each year.
This release ‘is equal to a car burning 40 billion gallons of gasoline, enough to drive back and forth to the moon 3.4 million times,’ said the study, published in the journal Nature Geoscience.”
From Maritime Executive magazine, an exploration of possible technological solutions to the difficulties that New York will place on shippers with its ballast-water regulations, the world’s strictest, set to take effect in 2013. (We’ll have something on this in the current issue.)
The article’s most intriguing suggestion: get rid of ballast tanks altogether on the Seaway with river-type boats, even stern-wheelers. Of course, this would require trans-loading, which would add a layer of expense to Seaway cargo traffic.
“Flat-bottomed ships that are unsuitable for oceanic sailing may serve well along rivers and inland lakes where wave amplitude is minimal. Such ships sailed the Mississippi River for decades and using this precedent, there may be scope to modify some older oceanic ships to purely inland service along the St Lawrence Seaway and inland lakes. Such a conversion would include the installation of height adjustable propulsive and steering technology that would adjust in relation to the ship. While being totally unsuitable for oceanic service, such technology may be well suited to the calmer waters of inland waterways and lakes.”
“New York State’s new environmental rules for ship ballast water may herald in a new era of a modern stern paddle-wheel riverboat that may sail the St Lawrence Seaway between the Port of Cornwall and ports around the Great Lakes. The modern stern paddle wheeler will borrow propulsive technology from tugboats equipped with vertical axis thrusters, of Voith-Schneider design. These units are capable of providing propulsive effort when operating on either the vertical axis of a tugboat or on the transverse-horizontal axis of a modern paddle wheeler.”
According to National Defense magazine, the Coast Guard needs a few good lobbyists to help it do a better job of looking out for itself on Capitol Hill.
Bellaire Harbor in Bellaire, Ohio, just south of Wheeling, W.Va, is booming.
Fracking has a lot to do with it.
” ‘Barge traffic overall has been increasing in the area,’ Harrison said.’The stone business has really picked up with Marcellus Shale’….He said they ship stones out on barges to be used for drilling sites in the area. ‘Southeastern Ohio seems like its really booming’….All this business came quickly, mostly within the past year and a half. Harrison said other harbors around the state aren’t nearly as swamped.”
This year is the 40th anniversary of the opening of the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System, and its advocates are urging dredging three more feet.
The White House has approved the first BP drilling plan in the Gulf since the Deepwater Horizon spill.
After what it describes as an exhaustive investigation, the Omaha World-Herald honestly admits there was nothing the Corps of Engineers could have done to stop, or even mitigate, the Missouri River flooding of the past summer.
For a coast that’s supposed to be so environmentalist and all, the West Coast sure seems to tolerate lots of WWII-era craft that end up leaking oil all over it.