Weekly News Summary For February 15-21, 2010:
The federal government revealed more details Monday of a $78.5 million draft plan to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes.
The plan is being worked out between the Corps of Engineers and other federal agencies that make up the Asian Carp Workgroup, the governors of several Great Lakes states, and the White House Office of Environmental Quality. It includes limited closures of locks and spillways connecting the Chicago area to Lake Michigan.
The Asian Carp Control Strategy Plan, which emphasizes its draft status, calls for a “comprehensive approach” that involves short-term and long-term actions. Among the short-term actions:
• More poisoning by rotenone of areas below the electric barriers with heavy concentrations of carp, like the December operation carried out in the Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal;
• Preparations for more immediate rapid response operations like the rotenone poisoning last year;
• Increase of the capacity of e-DNA analysis to 120 samples per week.
• Installing screens in sluice gates to block carp during release of water for flood control….
In the fight to keep the Asian carp out of the Great Lakes, we don’t need to choose between the environment and commerce, a representative of The American Waterways Operators told Congress February 9.
Del Wilkins, vice president-terminal operations and business development for Canal Barge Company, testified for AWO that framing the current debate on Asian carp as a choice of whether to protect the environment or ensure the continued flow of vital maritime commerce is an unnecessary one, and one that the nation cannot afford to make.
AWO members fully support robust measures that would protect the Great Lakes from the spread of Asian carp without sacrificing critical jobs or the environmental and economic benefits of barge transportation, Wilkins said. The industry and AWO have cooperated with federal and state agencies since 2004 on the safe operation of the electric fish barriers in the Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal, he noted….
“Everything is at a standstill…except the waterways, that is,” reports Jim McCarville, executive director of the Port of Pittsburgh Commission.
Although all other modes of transportation in the city were shut down by three feet of snow last week, barge shipments continued, he said.
“While the rest of southwestern Pennsylvania waited for the trash to be picked up and the mail to be delivered, and put off other activities, towboats and barges continue to move up and down our rivers, conducting business as usual, bringing in much-needed salt for the roads, heating oil for homes and coal for electric power generation, among other commodities,” he said.
The port continued to hum even though about 30 inches of snow fell on the area between February 5 and 10, McCarville said. During that period, some 600 barges delivered cargo to the city’s docks, nearly half of them bringing coal.
A five-month study has concluded that barge emissions formed just a fraction of 5 percent of the harmful emissions measured along a stretch of the Lower Mississippi River.
The study was conducted by the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality in partnership with The American Waterways Operators Inc., and released on the DEQ Web site (www.deq.state.la.us) February 4.
The DEQ measured air quality from its pre-existing monitor at Carville, La., during the season especially sensitive to ozone formation (May through September). The monitor was set to automatically take air samples when it measured that volatile organic compounds (VOCs) had reached a predetermined level.
AWO gathered vessel traffic information that was later correlated with the measurements. AWO determined which, if any, vessels were in the vicinity when the measurements were taken. A total of 76 triggered samples were taken, and later compared to both barge traffic data and meteorological data….
Following a destructive fire that destroyed virtually the entire superstructure, Ingram Barge Company has placed the Charlie Everhart back in service. However, anybody familiar with the boat’s original profile and appearance would not recognize the boat following its “Extreme Makeover.”
The 87- by 30-foot twin-screw vessel was built in 1971 at Greenville, Miss., by LeMay Barge & Supply as the H.K. Thatcher for Helena (Ark.) Marine Service. It had a typical LeMay profile with a short section of the second-deck superstructure extending between the stacks with stairs leading up to the pilothouse. Six years later, the boat was sold to Gladders Barge Line Inc., St. Louis, for which it operated until being sold to Ingram in 1984.
The original 900 hp. GM 16V-149 engines were replaced in 2004 with a pair of Cummins KTA38-M1 diesels rated at 2,000 total hp.
The 37-year-old veteran towboat was heavily damaged in a fire at Cumberland River Mile 240 near Gallatin, Tenn., on November 20, 2008. Crew members were unable to contain the fire and were evacuated to the TVA Steam Plant. The blaze was eventually brought under control by the Gallatin Fire Department. Afterwards, the boat was towed back to Paducah, Ky., for cleaning and stripping of damaged equipment while company officials evaluated its future.
The blaze originated in the upper superstructure and was kept from doing extensive damage to the propulsion systems and heavy equipment areas. However, the original superstructure was deformed too badly to make it economically feasible to rebuild, said Tom Smith, Ingram’s vice president-vessel engineering. Following the boat’s arrival in Paducah, where Ingram personnel finished removing unsalvageable equipment, the Everhart was towed to James Marine Inc., where the entire superstructure was removed and replaced with one designed by Corning Townsend at CT Marine Inc. Although Townsend’s firm had designed replacement superstructures or major modifications for several Ingram vessels in recent years, “That’s the first boat we’ve tried a walk-through console on,” Smith noted. He said the new-style console, with expanded areas of glass, offers the pilot unobstructed views of the bow and stern areas of the boat without leaving the chair….
The Waterways Journal encourages letters to the editor.
Have something on your mind?
Send letters to: email@example.com.
(Please indicate whether or not your letter is intended for publication.)