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News stories tagged with "seaway"

Transportation Sec. Anthony Foxx swears in U.S. Seaway Administrator Betty Sutton Tuesday. Photo: St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation
Transportation Sec. Anthony Foxx swears in U.S. Seaway Administrator Betty Sutton Tuesday. Photo: St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation

St. Lawrence Seaway has a new chief

The new Administrator for the U.S. side of the St. Lawrence Seaway was officially sworn in at a ceremony in Washington yesterday. Betty Sutton becomes the tenth person to hold the post and the second woman.  Go to full article
Former Ohio Rep. Betty Sutton. Photo via <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betty_Sutton">Wikipedia</a>
Former Ohio Rep. Betty Sutton. Photo via Wikipedia

Sutton appointed to top Seaway post

President Obama has nominated a former Ohio Congresswoman to be the next U.S. head of the St. Lawrence Seaway. Betty Sutton represented a district that included Akron and a slice of Lake Erie from 2007 to 2012. The White House announced the appointment in a press release Wednesday.

Deputy Administrator Craig Middlebrooks has been filling in as interim head since Terry Johnson was fired from the post last year, reportedly for political reasons. Johnson was a college friend of President George W. Bush, who appointed him.

The Seaway Administrator post carries a seven year term, designed to ride out the political shifts of changing presidential administrations.  Go to full article
Brian Wood at the helm. Photo: David Sommerstein
Brian Wood at the helm. Photo: David Sommerstein

A peek inside Seaway master control

Several hundred giant freighters slip through the St. Lawrence Seaway every year. They're guided by vessel traffic controllers from a squat building on top of the Eisenhower Lock in Massena.

The master control room looks straight out of Star Trek. Half a dozen big flat screens show computerized displays of real-time traffic along the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario.  Go to full article
Secretary Ray LaHood listens to lock leader Steve McCargar, Potsdam. Photo: David Sommerstein
Secretary Ray LaHood listens to lock leader Steve McCargar, Potsdam. Photo: David Sommerstein

Transportation chief says goodbye to Seaway

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood's farewell tour swung through Massena yesterday. One of the few Republicans in President Obama's cabinet, LaHood announced he was stepping down last January.

Obama's nominee to replace LaHood, Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx, breezed through a Senate confirmation hearing on Wednesday.

LaHood has overseen the St. Lawrence Seaway for four years. As David Sommerstein reports, he said the Seaway will always occupy "a niche" in the nation's infrastructure.  Go to full article
A Seaway freighter passes under the bridge near Massena in December 2012.  Photo: David Sommerstein.
A Seaway freighter passes under the bridge near Massena in December 2012. Photo: David Sommerstein.

Seaway digs out from recession

The St. Lawrence Seaway, and its commerce between Great Lakes ports and countries around the world, got hammered by the recession.

Craig Middlebrooks, acting administrator for the U.S. side of the binational waterway, says the steep drop was between 2008 and 2009. "It was almost a 25 percent drop. And I think '09 tonnage was among the lowest for decades."

Middlebrooks says the Seaway's been creeping back to pre-recession levels since then. Last year helped. Tonnage rose almost four percent, driven by coal and iron ore exports to China and Europe and U.S. steel imports. Industrial wind components also continue to be strong.  Go to full article
A ship passes through the Massena locks. Photo: Brian Mann
A ship passes through the Massena locks. Photo: Brian Mann

2012 Seaway shipping up four percent

St. Lawrence Seaway officials have tallied the 2012 shipping numbers, and say they exceeded expectations for the year.

In a news release, the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation says the total tonnage of freight shipped through the waterway increased by four percent. That's 300,000 tons higher than expected last year.  Go to full article
Photo: USGS
Photo: USGS

U.S. and Canada collaborate on Seaway vessel checks

Huge freighters from all over the world ply the waters of the St. Lawrence River on their way to the Great Lakes. Some are new and high tech. Others are rusty and old. The vessels vary greatly in their safety measures and labor conditions.

The U.S. and Canada each inspect these ships individually, but now a new joint project aims to speed up the process and boost commerce in the region.  Go to full article
Photo: Greatlakes-Seaway.com
Photo: Greatlakes-Seaway.com

Seaway opens for its 54th season

An unofficial start to the spring and summer season Thursday, as the St. Lawrence Seaway officially opened with three separate ceremonies. It's the 54th season for the seaway.

The Thousand Islands saw its first ship of the season before the opening--on Wednesday. The Missisagi winters in Hamilton, Ontario, so it didn't need to go through any locks to get to Prescott.  Go to full article
Should the shipping industry do more to stop invasives?  (Source:  USGS)
Should the shipping industry do more to stop invasives? (Source: USGS)

Top EPA official embraces NY's controversial ballast water rules

For the first time, a top official with the US Environmental Protection Agency has publicly embraced New York's tough new ballast water rules. Those regulations, scheduled to go into effect next year, are designed to stop invasions of non-native animals and plants, like zebra mussels and the spiny water flea.

Industry groups, members of congress and some Federal officials are pushing back hard, arguing that the regulations set standards that can't be met by existing technology. The want New York's rules scrapped. And they're lobbying the EPA to create national ballast water guidelines that are far less strict.

But as Brian Mann reports, the top EPA administrator in New York says new regulations should push the shipping industry to do more to help stop invasives.  Go to full article
Will NY's tough ballast water rules shut down commerce? Photo: USGS
Will NY's tough ballast water rules shut down commerce? Photo: USGS

New York's tough ballast water rules attacked in Congress

New York state is facing new pressure to scrap tough ballast water regulations that are set to go into effect next year. The rules are designed to stop invasive species from reaching the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Great Lakes.

But as Brian Mann reports, Republicans in Congress say New York should be stripped of hundreds of millions of dollars in Federal EPA funding if the regulations aren't scrapped.  Go to full article

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