ILTA president echoes bipartisan calls for tapping of Harbor Maintenance Fund
Washington, D.C., February 12, 2021—Kathryn Clay, president of the International Liquid Terminals Association, today 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 Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund. In a letter today, 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 Development Resources 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 Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund. ILTA has long encouraged full use of these funds to make needed investments in our nation’s ports and harbors.
"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 authorizes 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 harbor 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.
“This budget request is a simple and important way to improve America’s infrastructure, a central campaign promise of the Biden administration.”
Founded in 1974, the International Liquid Terminals Association represents more than 85 companies operating liquid terminals in all 50 states and in over 40 countries. Our members’ facilities provide critical links between all modes of transportation for liquid commodities, such as crude oil, petroleum products, chemicals, renewable fuels, fertilizer, vegetable oils and other food-grade materials that are central to the U.S. economy. Terminals provide essential logistics services that spur trade both within the United States and connect the U.S. economy with overseas markets. ILTA’s membership also includes about 400 companies that supply equipment and services to the terminal industry.