AWO Letter - January 30, 2024

AWO Releases SASH Resources. Last week, AWO released two new sexual assault and sexual harassment (SASH) resources: template signage a company can modify to comply with the statutory requirements of 46 U.S.C. §11101(a)(5) and (d) as well as a reference document of key external resources that can assist in implementing SASH prevention and response practices.
AWO is committed to providing education and assistance to support members in implementing new statutory requirements as part of the Board-approved three-part action plan on implementation of the Safer Seas Act. AWO will continue to share resources and actionable information on preventing and responding to sexual harassment and complying with U.S. Coast Guard policy through the AWO Member Resource Library.
AWO Releases 2023 Annual Report. Last week, AWO released the 2023 Annual Report, Leadership and Impact. The report highlights the results of our collective work in 2023 as the tugboat, towboat and barge industry’s advocate, resource, and united voice for safe, sustainable, and efficient transportation on America’s waterways, oceans and coasts. Please contact Deanna Wisniewski if you have any questions.
AWO President Discusses State of the Industry with Waterways Journal. AWO President & CEO Jennifer Carpenter spoke with the Waterways Journal for their annual State of the Waterways feature, discussing our industry’s crucial role in the supply chain, the Jones Act, workforce issues, and more. Read the full article by clicking here.
AWO President & CEO Interviewed by Safety4Sea. AWO President & CEO Jennifer Carpenter recently spoke with Safety4Sea, sharing her insights on industry challenges, creating supportive work environments for mariners, sustainability in maritime, and other topics.
AWO Testifies in Support of Jones Act in New Hampshire. On January 19, AWO Director of State Advocacy Kyle Burleson testified against HR 19, a resolution calling for repeal of the Jones Act, before the NH House State-Federal Relations and Veterans Affairs Committee. The bill, introduced by committee chairman Michael Moffett, was inspired by spurious attacks on the Jones Act and is full of factual errors that Kyle corrected during his testimony. Kyle was joined by former mariner and New Hampshire resident Andrew Strosahl, who testified about his personal experience sailing in the domestic fleet and extolled the benefits the law provides. The bill is slated for consideration during executive session on February 2 and AWO will continue to work to prevent its passage.
Members Needed for Upcoming AWO State Barge-Ins. AWO has an aggressive plan for state advocacy in 2024, with four state level Barge-Ins already on the calendar. Member voices will be critical to these efforts – please consider joining us for any of these lobby days in states whose decisions affect your company. Additionally, we encourage the attendance of mariners and other front-line workers whose perspectives can amplify our safety message.
On February 1, the Washington Maritime Federation hosts its annual Maritime Day in Olympia, during which AWO staff and members will gather with other maritime stakeholders to discuss maritime industry priorities with Washington legislators and regulators. If your company does business in the state, please join us – contact Peter Schrappen or Kyle Burleson for more information.
In March, AWO will take to the California Capitol both before and after the Pacific Region Annual Meeting in Sacramento. We will use the opportunity to continue to educate legislators about the flaws in the California Air Resources Board’s Commercial Harbor Craft emissions rule. We will hold meetings on the morning of March 5, the afternoon of March 6, and on March 7. Please contact Peter Schrappen or Kyle Burleson for more information and to let us know whether you can join us for any part of this important advocacy effort.
The following week we will be in Springfield, Illinois from March 12-14 to meet with lawmakers and advocate to amend the Paid Leave for All Workers Act, advocate for a pro-Jones Act resolution, encourage legislators to engage on the Brandon Road Lock and Dam project, and more. All members who operate in Illinois are welcome to join -- please contact Kyle Burleson or Justin Lampert for more information or to participate.
Finally, March 25-27 will be AWO’s Pennsylvania Barge-In in Harrisburg. The Pennsylvania legislature has an anti-Jones Act resolution in the works right now, so this will be a timely opportunity to dispel myths about the law and highlight the importance of the domestic maritime industry to the state. Please contact Brian Vahey, Justin Lampert, or Kyle Burleson for more information.
Going forward, AWO is also exploring state Barge-In opportunities in New Hampshire, Georgia, New York, and Florida; please stay tuned for more information.
IRS Hosting Office Hours to Assist with 45x Manufacturing Tax Credit Registration. The Internal Revenue Service is offering virtual office hours to help with the pre-filing registration process for the new IRA/CHIPS registration tool. Pre-filing registration is required to take advantage of elective payment or transfer of Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) tax credits, including the 45x Advanced Manufacturing Production tax credit. Implemented by the Inflation Reduction Act, 45x includes tax credits for the manufacture of offshore wind vessels. Eligible manufacturers can register for office hours at the links below.
February 2, 2024
1-2 PM EST
February 6, 2024
1-2 PM EST
February 9, 2024
1-2 PM EST
AWO PAC Corner
AWO PAC and Inside Elections. AWO PAC has partnered with Inside Elections for another special edition, featuring analysis of key Senate races and insights into the Iowa 3rd District race.
AWO PAC is the connected political action committee for The American Waterways Operators and serves as the trade association’s separate segregated fund. As a trade association, AWO is prohibited from using general treasury funds or membership dues to make federal contributions. AWO is one of the most effective advocacy associations in Washington, DC, and relies on voluntary personal contributions to fund AWO PAC.

AWO PAC supports federal candidates who are champions of the U.S. tugboat, towboat and barge industry and who are leaders on issues important to our industry. AWO PAC is dedicated to protecting AWO members’ investments in the safest, most environmentally responsible and most economical mode of freight transportation and safeguarding the integrity of the Jones Act to protect the bottom lines of our members. AWO PAC may solicit contributions from individuals of a member company once the member representative gives AWO written prior approval.

Atlantic Coast Fairways NPRM Released. The Coast Guard has released its long-awaited Consolidated Port Approaches Port Access Route Study (CPAPARS) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM). This rulemaking establishes shipping safety fairways along the Atlantic Coast and is essential to safeguarding navigation amidst offshore wind development. AWO will review the newly released fairways and report back to members on the changes proposed in the NPRM. The notice is open for comment until April 18.
BOEM Announces Draft Programmatic EIS for New York Bight. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has released a draft programmatic environmental impact statement (PEIS) for the New York Bight. The draft PEIS analyzes the environmental and economic impacts of six offshore wind leases in the New York Bight. This is the first time BOEM has conducted a regional analysis of multiple offshore wind leases and is a result of the agency’s efforts to decrease permitting time so as to meet the White House’s goal of 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030. The PEIS is open for comments until February 26. BOEM will hold three in-person and two virtual stakeholder meetings on the subject.
BOEM Issues Notice of Intent to Prepare Draft Programmatic EIS for California. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has issued a notice of intent (NOI) to prepare a draft programmatic environmental impact statement (PEIS) for five offshore wind leases in California waters. Like the recently released draft PEIS for the New York Bight, this PEIS will examine the regional impacts of multiple offshore wind leases in an effort to reduce permitting time. The environmental and economic impacts of the Morro Bay and Humboldt Bay offshore wind leases will be assessed. The NOI is open for comments until February 20, and BOEM will hold two virtual scoping meetings.
January Safety Newsletter Recap. The latest edition of AWO's Navigating to Zero Safety and Sustainability Newsletter includes a preview of the February 21-22 Safety Committee Meeting in New Orleans, recognizes American Waterways HERO Award recipients, and shares information about how to read a nutrition label. It also includes summaries of several safety alerts and investigations published by the USCG, BSSE, and the NTSB and includes the first safety professional spotlight of 2024, featuring Patrick Cheramie, Director of Safety and Training for American Commercial Barge Line. The newsletter also features member-submitted cold weather photos, updates from OSHA related to fire brigades and emergency response, and the first member-submitted High Value Near Miss of the year, submitted by Strategic Towing Services.
Read these stories and more in the January NTZ -- and please be sure to send in your SSRP reports for the 4th QTR, your High Value Near Misses, and recognize your crew's HEROic acts!
Join the AWO Team – Now Hiring a Southern Region Representative. AWO is hiring a new Southern Region Representative. The Southern Region Representative is the principal ambassador to AWO members and external stakeholders in the Southern Region. He or she builds and maintains close working relationships with AWO members, Coast Guard officials, federal and state government officials and coalition partners; leads industry advocacy initiatives in the region; and communicates proactively and effectively with members and external stakeholders.
For more information on the role’s responsibilities and qualifications, click here. To apply, please send your resume and cover letter to
Join Us for the Annual Regional Meetings. Please join us for the upcoming Annual Meetings of the AWO regions! All AWO members are welcome to attend any of the meetings, regardless of geographic location or operational sector. Register on your Member Dashboard or on the AWO App. Contact Caitlin Clark with questions or if you need assistance.
  • Combined Meeting of the Midwest, Ohio Valley & Southern Regions and AWO Safety Committees February 21 – 23 -- New Orleans, LA
  • Atlantic Region February 28 -- Savannah, GA
  • Pacific Region March 5 – 6 -- Sacramento, CA