Casey Calls on Key Senate Committee to Include Dredging Funds in Budget To Create Jobs, Grow Region’s Economy

After Working to Secure $20 Million in President’s Budget, Casey Will Press Senate to Maintain Investment as Budget Process Moves Forward

Joined By Stakeholders, Senator Will Make Case for Job-Creating Project 

Philadelphia PA- U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), today, called on a key Senate Committee to include funds to complete the Delaware River deepening project in its budget. Senator Casey recently worked to secure $20 million in the President’s budget for the dredging project and now in a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee pressed to maintain that investment as the budget process moves forward. Joined by key stakeholders, Casey made the case for this job-creating project that has the potential to bolster the region’s economy.

 

Deepening the Delaware is a once in a generation opportunity for major job creation and economic growth. [pic]: 4sq.com/15fQX2q

— Senator Bob Casey (@SenBobCasey) April 15, 2013

“Deepening the Delaware is a once in a generation opportunity for major job creation and economic growth. It’s vital that the Senate Appropriations Committee maintain this investment,” Senator Casey said. “I made the case for deepening the Delaware to the President personally and I’m pleased his budget includes $20 million to move the project forward. I’ll be pushing Congress relentlessly to ensure that the federal government’s commitment to this project remains.”

The project will deepen the Delaware River channel from forty feet to forty-five feet in order to accommodate larger vessels. This will reduce shipping costs, make maritime transportation more efficient and make the channel safer and more reliable. Once the channel is deepened, there will be an estimated increase of 2.5 million tons of cargo to the Port of Philadelphia, creating thousands of direct and indirect jobs. In addition, this project will create thousands of short-term jobs that aid an industry that has suffered significantly in this economic climate.  

The full text of Senator Casey’s letter can be seen below:

April 15, 2013

The Honorable Barbara Mikulski
Chairwoman
Senate Committee on Appropriations

The Honorable Richard Shelby
Vice Chairman
Senate Committee on Appropriations

The Honorable Dianne Feinstein
Chairwoman
Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development

The Honorable Lamar Alexander
Ranking Member
Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development

Dear Chairwomen, Vice Chairman, and Ranking Member:

As the Subcommittee begins its work on the Fiscal Year 2014 Energy and Water and Appropriations bill, I would like express my strong support for the President’s Fiscal Year 2014 Budget request of $20 million in the Army Corp of Engineers construction navigation account for the Delaware River Main Channel Deepening Project.  This project will deepen the channel from forty to forty-five feet in order to accommodate larger vessels.

Completion of this project is of significant importance to the economic vitality of the region.  Once the channel is deepened to 45 feet, it is expected that there will be an increase of 2.5 million tons of cargo per year.  This translates into supporting and creating tens of thousands of direct and indirect jobs.  Thanks to strong support last year from the Appropriations Committee, progress continues to be made on the deepening of the channel.  

Continued investment in this project is critical because we need to ensure that Port of Philadelphia is prepared to receive larger ships that will be coming to the east coast as result of the Panama Canal expansion.  Currently, the Port of Philadelphia supports over 8,100 direct jobs and over 30,000 indirect jobs.  These well-trained employees earn family sustaining wages.  Dredging the Delaware is essential to preserving and growing these jobs.  Combined with the Port of Wilmington, these ports create over $1 billion in business revenue on an annual basis.  The ports of Philadelphia and Wilmington are major economic drivers in the region and the federal government must continue to invest in this project. 

I appreciate your consideration and support. 

Sincerely,

Robert P. Casey, Jr.
United States Senator

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