Bipartisan bill aims to help inland ports

Written by Marine Log Staff
letter calls on Biden to prioritize U.S. maritime

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U.S. Representative Mike Bost (R-Ill.) has introduced bipartisan legislation to increase access to critical federal funding for inland ports, terminals, and waterways. The Coastal and Inland Ports and Terminals Commerce Improvements Act establishes a competitive grant matching program for projects at smaller ports and terminals and makes privately-owned terminals eligible for assistance. It is cosponsored by Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Pa.).

“Every year, 575 million tons of cargo travels through our inland ports and waterways, including America’s Central Port and Kaskaskia Port in Southern Illinois,” said Bost. “Half a million American jobs depend upon inland shipping, yet these ports are at a disadvantage when competing for federal grants. Improving these facilities will have a big impact on our economy and help make local farmers, miners, and manufacturers more competitive in the marketplace.”

“America’s inland ports and terminals are a vital and undervalued contributor to the movement of commerce,” said Aimee Andres, Executive Director of Inland Rivers, Ports & Terminals Inc. (IRPT) of East Alton, Ill. “The legislation sponsored by Congressman Bost and Congressman Lamb addresses inequities in existing law that have placed smaller coastal ports and terminals at a disadvantage when competing for infrastructure investment and create long-term sustainability. We appreciate their leadership on this important issue to IRPT members.”

In 2019, Congress enacted the PORTS Act to provide matching grants for enhancing operations and efficiency investments at our larger ports. Bost’s Coastal and Inland Ports and Terminals Commerce Improvements Act expands upon the PORTS Act by better utilizing an existing set-aside to establish a similar competitive grant matching program for smaller coastal and inland ports and terminals.

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