International Dredging Review

International Dredging Review

Beverly Fedorko has spent her time since September 11 in the dual tasks of helping recreate the New York Shipping Association (NYSA) office and helping to keep the organization running.

The organization was headquartered on the 20th Floor of World Trade Center Tower 2 and all employees escaped from the building. But the offices and everything in them were destroyed including the NYSA corporate seal and business and personal items that people had in their offices some representing entire careers. They are still hoping that the company’s fireproof safe will turn up.

Fortunately all computer records including payroll and fringe benefit information for the Port Police and Guards Union and the International Longshoremen’s Association were stored on a remote computer so the NYSA was able to continue its commitments to those organizations after the office was re-established literally out of nothing.

The NYSA is temporarily housed in the Maersk Terminals building in Port Elizabeth New Jersey but will move in March to the Metro Center in Jersey City.

Fedorko is Governmental Affairs coordinator for the NYSA and works with the organization’s president to fulfill the group’s commitment to the shippers who use the New York & New Jersey port complex. Her duties often take her into the dredging realm locally and nationally. She serves on the Environmental Committee of the Western Dredging Association recently attended a meeting in Washington on port security a Corps public meeting on channel deepening in the Kill Van Kull visited dredges working in the shipping channel and conducted a visitor on a tour of the now-scattered port offices and facilities.

Along with these duties she is in charge of ordering furnishings for the new permanent offices in Jersey City and intermittent phone calls from suppliers require decisions on furniture carpeting and office and conference room layout.

She attended the Corps of Engineers public meeting on January 24 in Bayonne New Jersey where NSYA president Frank McDonough spoke in favor of the consolidated project to dredge to 50 feet in one contract instead of two (see article elsewhere in this issue) and issued a press release summarizing his statements.

McDonough said the port of New York and New Jersey supports the largest and richest consumer market in the world.

“Despite the recent slowdown in the economy the 80 million people within the region have no intention of changing their standard of living and would still want to buy those products that are channeled through this port. The only issue is how that cargo moves in and out of the region” he said.

Ocean shipping is the most economically efficient and environmentally sound method for the transshipment of import and export cargo. McDonough cited last year’s total cargo figure of three million container boxes (TEU’s twenty-foot equivalent units) that moved through the Port and said “Any diversion of cargo and petroleum product both of which would have to be trucked in from other East Coast ports or Canada would result in additional air emissions of hydrocarbons carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide.” In facing increasing operating costs themselves; the shipping lines don’t particularly care where they dock as long as they can get the goods to the customers at a competitive cost. Sixty percent of the cost of goods movement is upland costs. “Rather than force increased cost on our region’s citizens shouldn’t we be pursuing the most cost efficient methodology” McDonough asked.

In addressing the environmental benefits of consolidating the dredging of the harbor to fifty feet McDonough said “its time we started thinking outside the box.”

|!|Approaching the projects in this harbor as a single project as we are now authorized to do allows us to make holistic decisions for the benefit of the entire estuary. By compressing schedules we minimize the impacts create and capitalize on better technologies accommodate environmental windows while reducing the frequency and duration of dredging and blasting impacts. In addition consolidation of dredging projects will reduce the total volume of material removed over time reduce overall water quality impacts increase opportunities for beneficial use while reducing the costs by combining projects thereby insuring the future of this port.”

Acknowledging that there are those who argue we should do this in other areas of the port McDonough said “we need the whole port not just one discrete area to handle the volumes of cargo that this region consumes. We need all of our facilities on line properly developed efficiently operated.” Praising the forward thinking that brought about this initiative McDonough urged the approval of this innovative approach and said “we have a lot of work to do and this is just a start but a good start.”

New York Shipping Association funded an independent study last August that presents the economic impacts of the New York/New Jersey Port Industry. The report highlights the rich maritime heritage of the port region serving 35 percent of the nation’s population and projects that by the year 2040 cargo volume will increase to 153 million tons.

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