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PNWA Staff Update Glenn Vanselow Executive Director Kristin Meira Government Relations Director Heather Kenneson Communications Manager PNWA in Review PNWA is delivering on policy WRDA success in 2007: dredge fleet and Section 214 Navigation protected in the FCRPS BiOp Channel deepening, jetty repairs, and inland project priorities advanced Snake River dredging lawsuit settled, channel maintenance performed Making progress on regulatory challenges in our region Performed studies on the dredge fleet, regional transportation projects Working to resolve deep draft and inland navigation trust fund issues PNWA: Successfully advocating for transportation, trade, energy, tourism and the environment PNWA is delivering on appropriations Total funding secured: over $645 million in last six years Total funding increase: over $92 million in last six years Annual funding increase: average $15.3 million per year Number of projects increased: average 13 projects per year Number of projects increased from zero: average 7 projects per year PNWA is the only regional group that consistently delivers significant funding increases for Northwest navigation projects – even when national Corps budgets are constrained FY2009 Appropriation s Review President’s FY2009 budget had some bright spots Columbia River channel deepening Project received $36M in the budget More than double the highest amount ever included in previous budgets Will be a challenge to preserve this funding in the appropriations process, especially in the House bill President’s FY2009 budget had some bright spots Columbia River jetty rehab project $675K included in the “Columbia River at the Mouth” O&M account Funding is designated for plans and specs for the eventual rehab Major rehab report due out this fall Three-year interim repairs completed last fall President’s FY2009 budget had some bright spots Lower Monumental lock rehab project Budget has $1.56M for plans and specs for an eventual downstream lock gate replacement If the project continues moving forward, replacement of the lock gate could take place in 2011 Project will be coordinated with other major work on the inland system Project will be scheduled for a time of year when impacts to the system can be minimized President’s FY2009 budget had some bright spots Critical inland infrastructure needs addressed $1M for pintle bearings and $3M for tainter valves at The Dalles lock $2.5M for tainter valves at John Day lock $6.7M for the Programmatic Sediment Management Plan for the Lower Snake River Additional funding needs on the PNWA agenda PNWA has made these appropriations requests to our Northwest delegation, and House & Senate appropriations committee staff Friction drum crack repair at John Day navlock Shallow draft coastal port channels and jetties Cargo ports of Coos Bay and Newport All PNWA requests can be found in our FY2009 document at www.pnwa.net Completion of FY2009 approps bills will be delayed Highly unlikely bills will be completed when 2009 fiscal year begins October 1st Federal gov’t will begin operating under a continuing resolution (CR) Presidential election in November adds another wrinkle Many are already whispering of a year-long CR, similar to how the government operated in FY2007 This could have detrimental funding impact on the Corps of Engineers and PNWA projects WRDA Outlook Another WRDA so soon? PNWA was very successful in WRDA 2007 Operating restrictions were lifted from the Essayons and Yaquina Section 214 regulatory funding authority was extended to 12/31/09 Deed and flowage restrictions were lifted from certain port properties Essayon Yaquina s Preparations begin for a new WRDA WRDA 2007 was limited to items in earlier versions House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee (T&I) has requested submissions for a new WRDA PNWA staff polled membership for project and policy needs Section 214 permanence is high priority policy request PNWA is working with Corps and Congress to address improvements to the authority Two ports have project submissions Highly unlikely WRDA will be enacted this year PNWA is laying foundation for success when a new WRDA is passed WRDA is one potential vehicle for new user fees, or changes to existing user fees Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund Harbor Maintenance Tax revenue is not fully spent Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF) was designed to collect funds to pay for 100% of navigation O&M Administrations have used some of those funds to balance the budget Current tally of unexpended receipts is over $4 billion It is expected to grow to $8 billion by 2011 Approximately $500M per year is unexpended Fund grows while O&M remains underfunded PNWA has long advocated for increased HMTF expenditures for navigation maintenance Several proposals to address the HMTF “surplus” RAMP proposal would legislate spending all HMT receipts collected on navigation maintenance CMANC proposal would guarantee a percentage of HMT revenue back to the states for navigation and non-navigation uses Other proposals would create a new Freight Trust Fund (FTF) FTF would be partially funded with HMT revenue FTF would be available for landside projects around the country PNWA Board of Directors will discuss these proposals on 6/20/08 and recommend action All PNWA members are encouraged to attend Inland Waterways Trust Fund Proposed inland users lockage fee Administration is looking for more revenue Towboaters currently pay a 20 cent/gallon tax that goes into the Inland Waterways Trust Fund IWTF pays for 50% of Corps construction and major rehab projects on the inland waterways About $90 million is generated annually, which is insufficient to keep pace with current and expected project costs Administration proposed legislation to implement a lock user fee to replace the existing diesel fuel tax Proposed inland users lockage fee PNWA opposes these proposed lockage fees Higher fees are counter to other Administration policies: More fees on barging could result in modal shifts Modal shifts would result in greater fuel use and air emissions Higher transportation costs will reduce the competitiveness of American products in international markets PNWA Board of Directors will discuss the IWTF on 6/20/08 and recommend action All PNWA members are encouraged to attend FCRPS BiOp Federal Columbia River Power System (FCRPS) Biological Opinion (BiOp) Lawsuit PNWA represents navigation interests (IPNG) Navigation has been successfully protected as fish passage has improved Final BiOp has been issued by NOAA Fisheries PNWA and IPNG support the Columbia Basin Fish Accords We expect more legal challenges We expect to have to fight to protect ourselves over the long term We expect navigation to remain fully functioning in the long run We expect much more focus and research on ocean conditions PNWA Media Effort PNWA is actively working to be the #1 resource for reporters with questions regarding navigation, transportation, salmon, trade and policy for the Pacific Northwest How are we doing this? Increasing frequency of media contact Reducing response time for press releases Looking ahead Developing relationships Maintaining accurate and detailed press lists Creating a more dynamic website We are seeing results! PNWA has seen increased press coverage Quotes in 12 articles Coverage in 9 different media outlets What next? PNWA’s 2008 Agenda: Work to meet appropriations goals Fight new/increased user fees Continue to improve permitting process Continue fight to protect navigation, hydropower and salmon Help our members meet their needs Questions?
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