Editorial

J. Rovins
J. LaBorde
• T. Leitzell

Back to
Motivators Report


HARBOR SAFETY COMMITTEE PANEL REMARKS
Timothy R. Leitzell
Chairman: Houston Galveston Navigation and Safety Advisory Committee

Coordination of the Marine Transportation System

We support the recommendation to encourage the creation (and continuation) of Harbor Committees and regional organizations to address local issues. However the creation of a National Advisory Council and a new Federal Interagency Committee for the Marine Transportation System will only be successful over the long term if there is open and free communications with the local Harbor Committees. Each local area will have individual and unique issues that will need to be addressed and acted upon at the Federal level. The U.S. Marine Transportation System can only meet its 2020 vision by responding to both national and local issues as they arise

Local Level Coordination

All the attributes of a local Harbor Committee mentioned in the MTS Report need to be present for any successful discussion of any issue whether it is safety, environmental, or operational. This local level coordination must somehow foster itself into regional, state, and federal involvement. We believe that this can be done through forums such as this national conference and others similar to it.

Improving Awareness of the MTS

This is an area of the MTS Report that we find interesting in that we advocate that the United States is a maritime nation but drive ten miles away from any major port and the general population has little or no understanding of what is needed to maintain, let alone enhance the safety and efficiency of our Marine Transportation System. Local committees have limited impact on a national understanding of why we need this marine system. How do we get the citizen in Kansas to understand and support a maritime vision as put forth in the MTS Report?

Systematic Approach to MTS Safety and Environmental Protection

The Task Force recommendation to use a systematic approach to identify and address safety and environmental protection risk should be a requirement not a recommendation. The Marine Transportation System must be analyzed and addressed as a total and complete system with each and every element given the correct consideration with regards to safety and/or operational issues.

We agree that Harbor Safety Committees allow for a systematic approach to safety by bringing together multiple stakeholders which include local authorities, users, service providers and the public. This broad mix of stakeholders then can make well informed decisions on safety and the efficient use of the local waterway.

Houston Galveston Navigation and Safety Advisory Committee Support

HOGANSAC supports the Harbor Safety Committee recommendations in the Marine Transportation System Report to Congress and will attempt in our own small way to push onward to accomplish the 2020 vision with regard to a safe, efficient, and environmentally responsible Marine Transportation System.

March 7, 2000

Top of page