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American Waterways Operators Testifies at Congressional Hearing

August 8, 2012



A U.S. Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee field hearing in Kodiak, AK was held at the request of Sen. Lisa Murowski focusing on the need for a robust U.S. Coast Guard presence in Alaksa. Bruce Harland, Vice President-Commercial Services of Crowley Maritime Corporations testified on behalf of Crowley and the AWO about the safe navigation requirements. As the U.S. pursues expanding navigation in the Arctic regions, there are many concerns with the safety of workers in such harsh regions.


“In spite of extreme weather events, unpredictable ice conditions, draft limitations and the area’s sheer remote location, AWO member companies have worked for many years within these limitations as well as in close coordination with the Coast Guard and State of Alaska to develop a safe, efficient and cost effective system that provides transportation and fuel delivery services to villages and business in the region,” Mr. Harland states.


When considering how to continue safe navigation, Harland urged the Subcommittee to consider accurate charting, establishment of a Deepwater Arctic Port, a vessel traffic system for Unimark Pass and Bering Straits, greater Coast Guard response and stronger ice breaking capabilities. Harland finished his proposal stating, “the industry has developed innovative tools and procedures to adapt to the unique conditions that navigation in the Arctic regions poses. We greatly appreciate the Subcommittee’s consideration of what is necessary for safe operation and expansion moving forward.”

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