TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (July 19, 2012) – The White House has announced that federal review and permitting will be expedited under the federal “We Can’t Wait” program for projects at JAXPORT and PortMiami. The JAXPORT project to be expedited is a study of deepening Jacksonville’s ship channel, where the report will be completed a year earlier. In addition, the permitting process is being expedited for JAXPORT’s Intermodal Container Facility, which will assist the movement of cargo in and out of the port by providing on-dock rail. Although the deep dredge at PortMiami is already scheduled to begin in 2013 due to the efforts of Florida Governor Scott and the Florida Department of Transportation, the Florida Ports Council is encouraged by the acknowledgment by the federal government of their efforts. There are more projects expected to be announced in the coming weeks.
Florida Ports Council President Doug Wheeler: “The Florida Ports Council is glad to see the federal government recognizing the importance of Florida seaports and freight infrastructure as a priority.”
PortMiami Director and Florida Ports Council Chair Bill Johnson stated: “Over the past several years, the Deep Dredge has been a Number One priority for PortMiami. We are pleased now to receive federal recognition of its importance. Governor Scott and the State Legislature made this project happen through advancing state financing of the federal share of the project. We hope this signals a commitment by the White House to include PortMiami in the FY 2014 federal budget –this is now the critical issue.”
Johnson, who chairs the Florida Ports Council representing the state’s 15 deepwater ports, said, “Florida’s leadership for PortMiami’s Deep Dredge, and support of other seaport projects throughout the state, serves as a national model for local-state-federal partnerships.”
JAXPORT CEO and Florida Ports Council Legislative Chair Paul Anderson stated: “We are moving from talk to action, and that’s what it’s going to take to keep this nation competitive globally. Expediting careful review of the process toward our deepening project and ICTF construction and the other projects on the president’s list will create benefits for generations to come. By elevating the discussion of the critical needs of U.S. ports to the highest levels of government, our president and our lawmakers are sending a clear message to the world: We are not going to fall behind; we are improving our process every day and we will create the ports of the future.”