Asks For $10 Million to Be Included in Next Year’s Budget
WASHINGTON, DC—Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-3) today pressed the Office of Management and Budget and the Army Corp of Engineers to include funding for New Haven harbor maintenance in next year’s budget. The New Haven harbor has not been dredged since 2004 and the need for work to be done was further heightened by Hurricanes Irene and Sandy.
“The channel now needs 800,000 cubic yards of sediment dredged to restore the shipping channels to their federally authorized depth and width,” she wrote. “Without maintenance dredging in the next year, it is possible that terminal operators will be required to restrict harbor traffic during the low tide periods, which will severely limit the flow of cargo into Connecticut’s largest port.”
The Port of New Haven is the largest in Connecticut and the third largest in New England, making it a critical part of the state’s economy.
The full letter is as follows:
Dear Director Zients and Lieutenant General Bostick:
I write to urge you to include $10 million in the President’s budget request for Fiscal Year 2014 for the Army Corps of Engineers New England District to perform maintenance dredging in the New Haven harbor.
The New Haven harbor was last dredged in 2004, and it is my understanding that it is a top priority for maintenance dredging for the Army Corps of Engineers New England District. While New Haven was due for regular maintenance dredging in the coming year, the 2011 and 2012 hurricane seasons resulted in significant shoaling in the New Haven harbor with Hurricanes Irene and Sandy, which have significantly degraded the shipping channels. As a result, the channel now needs 800,000 cubic yards of sediment dredged to restore the shipping channels to their federally authorized depth and width.
Without maintenance dredging in the next year, it is possible that terminal operators will be required to restrict harbor traffic during the low tide periods, which will severely limit the flow of cargo into Connecticut’s largest port. The New Haven harbor needs to return to its federally authorized channel depth of 35 feet and a width of 400-800 feet, so that the harbor can continue to accommodate ships ranging of up to 40,000 deadweight tons.
The Port of New Haven is not only critical to Connecticut’s economy as the state’s largest port, but it is also critical to the entire region as the 3rd largest port in New England and the 51st largest port in the country, which handled 10 million tons of cargo in 2010. New Haven is also the 5th largest port with respect to the volume of domestic refined petroleum products, supplying much of the region with 8 million tons of gasoline, diesel fuel, and heating oil in 2010. Additionally, the Port of New Haven supplies Bradley International Airport with jet fuel via pipeline.
It is critical not only to Connecticut’s economy and energy security, but also to that of our neighboring states, that the authorized depth of the federal channel be maintained as not to disrupt or limit the flow of cargo and petroleum through the Port of New Haven.
Rosa L. DeLauro