Kathryn Clay, president of the International Liquid Terminals Association (ILTA) has echoed calls from the House Transportation and Infrastructure chairman and ranking members, that president Biden request in his fiscal 2022 budget the full disbursement of the $10 billion balance in the Harbour Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF).

In a letter, the pair asked that, at minimum, Biden’s fiscal 2022 budget request provide the $2 billion in HMTF allocations called for in the 2020 Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) for the coming year.

“ILTA echoes the call of chairman Peter DeFazio (Democrat-Oregon) and ranking member Sam Graves (Republican-Missouri) of the House T&I Committee for requesting complete disbursement in fiscal 2022 of the $10 billion available in the Harbour Maintenance Trust Fund.

“ILTA has long encouraged full use of these funds to make needed investments in our nation’s ports and harbours.

“Our ports and waterways are essential channels for trade and interstate commerce. Most of ILTA’s terminals are connected to waterways, which help facilitate movement of essential products internationally and domestically.

“For decades, maintenance and upgrades to critical port and waterway infrastructure have been woefully underfunded. We need to put the trust fund to work now to make up for the time we have lost and to position ourselves for the future.

“While the WRDA law authorises a draw-down of the HMTF over the next decade, the amount in the fund continues to sit idle. The fund is derived from fees collected through the harbour maintenance tax on imparted cargo. But instead of using the fund as envisioned – to help the Army Corps of Engineers make much-needed repairs to critical water infrastructure – congress has diverted revenues to pay for unrelated activities.”

She concluded: “This budget request is a simple and important way to improve America’s infrastructure, a central campaign promise of the Biden administration.”

For more information visit www.ilta.org

15th February 2021