Background

The Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration is inviting comments through March 13 on a proposal to update its regulations implementing the America’s Marine Highway Program. The AMHP seeks to integrate the use of navigable waterways (rivers, bays, coastal routes, etc.) into the U.S. surface transportation system to reduce freight and passenger travel delays caused by congestion, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, conserve energy, improve safety, and reduce landside infrastructure maintenance costs. More information is available here.

Among other things, this rule would expand the definition of AHMP-eligible cargo to include discrete units or packages that are handled individually, palletized, or unitized as well as freight vehicles carried aboard commuter ferry boats. It would also expand the eligibility criteria for services and routes that may participate in the AMHP. Other changes would include adding a requirement for project sponsors to provide updates on project status and clarifying the criteria for project designation.

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