American Shipper

AAPA says Corps funding critical to U.S.

AAPA says Corps funding critical to U.S.

   The American Association of Port Authorities is praising a congressional agreement late last week to provide funding for Army Corps of Engineer projects that will enhance the nation's ports and waterways.

   House and Senate conferees reached an agreement on a $5.38 billion Energy and Water Development appropriations bill for fiscal year 2006. The total exceeds the Bush administration's request by nearly $1 billion.

   'This record Civil Works appropriations bill is critical to the U.S. economy because it pays for the timely construction and maintenance of our nation's navigation system,' said Kurt Nagle, AAPA president and chief executive officer. 'The navigation system supports our ports and harbors, which accommodate more than $2 trillion worth of waterborne commerce each year. The same system also helps ensure our national security, so we must not allow it to deteriorate or become obsolete.'

   Corps Director of Civil Works, Maj. Gen. Don Riley, said that while the conference report was not clear on the use of continuing, multiyear contracts, as well as reprogramming of funds from project to project, he believed the Corps would be able to develop guidance for field offices that would meet congressional guidelines.