Port Commission Votes to Remove Marsh Placement Option, Makes Change to Army Corps Permit Application for Bayport Ship Channel Improvements

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At a special meeting today, the Port Commission of the Port of Houston Authority took action on two important matters, the Port Authority’s application to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for a permit for improvements to the Bayport Ship Channel, and the Port Authority’s formal response to the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission Staff Report.

Chairman Jim Edmonds emphasized the significance of both agenda items in helping to ensure economic prosperity for the region, state and nation while maintaining public trust. He also noted that the Port Authority appreciates citizen participation in both matters.

“Our responsibility to the Port of Houston is underscored by a Colliers International report, which recognized Houston as ‘The Irreplaceable Port,’” he said. The white paper examined the distinguishing achievements and features of 10 of the top ports in North America. It notes that the Port of Houston is vital to the “nation’s petrochemical industry” and cites the Port Authority’s handling of cargo operations and leadership in foreign trade zones, environmental management, and security. Collier’s concluded that the Port of Houston is “one of a kind.” You may access the study at http://www.colliers.com/en-US/US.

Channel Development Director Mark Vincent presented a staff report to the Commission, recommending that the Port Authority withdraw the option of a beneficial use marsh for dredged material placement. The Port Commission voted to eliminate the marsh option in its response to the Corps later this month, as the Port Authority’s permit application for Bayport Ship Channel improvements moves forward.

Port Commissioners also approved the Port Authority’s formal response to the Sunset Commission staff report. The response has been submitted to the Sunset Advisory Commission, and will be made available on the Port Authority’s website, http://www.portofhouston.com.

“I am encouraged by the staff report we received from the Sunset Advisory Commission earlier this month,” said Executive Director Leonard Waterworth. “The report’s summary statement that begins, “The Port of Houston Authority is not a broken organization,” actually matches up with my own observations since I arrived at the Port Authority six months ago.”

Port Authority staff is already working to implement the recommendations it has been tasked with, which will include strategic planning, safety, and procurement improvements.

The full meeting agenda is available on the Port of Houston Authority website, http://www.portofhouston.com.

CONTACT:

Lisa Ashley, Director, Corporate Communications
Office: (713) 670-2644 Cell: (832) 247-8179 E-mail: lashley(at)poha(dot)com

Bill Hensel, Manager, Corporate Communications
Office: (713) 670-2893 Cell: (832) 452-5776 E-mail: bhensel(at)poha(dot)com

About the Port of Houston Authority
For nearly 100 years, the Port of Houston Authority has owned or operated the public cargo-handling facilities of the Port of Houston – the nation’s largest port for foreign waterborne tonnage. The port is an economic engine for the Houston region, the state of Texas and the nation. It supports the creation of more than one million statewide jobs and more than 2.1 million nationwide jobs, and the generation of economic activity totaling more than $178.5 billion in Texas and $499 billion across the nation. For more information, visit the Port Authority website at: http://www.portofhouston.com

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Maggi Stewart
Port of Houston Authority
713 670 2834
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