Special Public Meeting Details Proposed Channel User Fee

After its regular monthly assembly on Tuesday, the Port Commission of the Port of Houston Authority convened a Special Public Meeting to unveil crucial updates regarding the proposed user fee intended to support the ongoing Houston Ship Channel Expansion – Project 11. The focal point of the meeting was an outline of the developing user fee structure, detailed in the agenda exclusively dedicated to this topic. Those interested can access the presentation and additional information at: https://www.expandthehoustonshipchannel.com/resources/.

During the meeting, Chairman Campo emphasized the Commission’s commitment to transparency, stating, “While we may not have all the answers today, we are dedicated to providing you with as much information as possible. Your input is invaluable to us.”

Highlighting the significance of the project, earlier this year, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reaffirmed the Houston Ship Channel as the nation’s busiest waterway. The expansion aims to enhance safety, efficiency, and competitiveness, fostering economic growth in the region. Project 11 involves widening segments of the channel, including the Galveston Bay reach by 170 feet, as well as deepening and adding beneficial use areas such as marshlands and bird islands.

Chairman Campo acknowledged the collaborative efforts between industry stakeholders and the Port Authority since 2020 to address the local cost share. While the proposed user fee is intended to contribute to this share, $154 million in federal funding is still required to finalize construction in the upper channel segments.

During the regular Port Commission meeting, Executive Director Roger Guenther commended the swift response of Port Police, Fire, Risk Management, and Maintenance teams following a recent storm in the Houston region. Their efforts ensured minimal disruption to terminal operations.

Guenther also introduced new members of the Port Houston executive leadership team. Lori Brownell, promoted to Chief Channel Infrastructure Officer, brings extensive experience in channel improvement projects. Carlecia Wright, appointed as Chief Business Equity Officer, will oversee diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.

The next Port Commission meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, June 25, at 9:15 a.m.

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