current-affairs-11Dale DuPont
Dale DuPont has been a correspondent for WorkBoat since 1998. She has worked at daily and weekly newspapers in Texas, Maryland, and most recently as a business writer and editor at The Miami Herald, covering the cruise, marine and other industries. She and her husband once owned a weekly newspaper in Cooperstown, N.Y., across the alley from the Baseball Hall of Fame. A South Florida resident, she enjoys sailing on Biscayne Bay, except in hurricane season.

Blog Activity

Coast Guard casualty reporting confusion

A Passenger Vessel Association’s (PVA) regional meeting last week touched on an issue that’s near to every operator’s aspirin supply: Coast Guard casualty reporting requirements, specifically -- Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC) 2692.A Passenger Vessel Association (PVA) regional meeting last week touched on an issue that’s near to every operator’s aspirin supply: Coast Guard casualty reporting requirements, aka Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC) 2692. Peter...

Not enough workers

Last week, there was yet another confirmation of one of the maritime industry’s biggest challenges – too few skilled employees to go around.Last week, there was yet another confirmation of one of the maritime industry’s biggest challenges — too few skilled employees to go around. The Conference Board in a report titled “From Not Enough Jobs to Not Enough Workers” predicted that dearth would extend at least 15 years. The business research association looked at the risk of future labor...

Floating on air

Air bellow systems that cut vibrations on a floating deckhouse are among the creature comforts inland operators are adding to towboats.What's better than good vibrations? How about no vibrations? Air bellow systems that cut vibrations on a floating deckhouse are among the creature comforts inland operators are adding to towboats. And in our July issue towboat report, we revisited a new feature we touched on the year before – the Loggers BV air bellows system. Hunter Marine’s Ron Hunter...

Invasive carp vs. waterways

Folks from Minnesota have managed to do what others in the fight over Asian carp are still aiming for — close a lock.Folks from Minnesota have managed to do what others in the fight over Asian carp are still aiming for — close a lock. Tucked into the recently passed Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRDA) of 2014 (Sec. 2010) is the mandatory closing of Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam MM 853.9 on the Mississippi River in the Twin Cities. The timetable for closure is not...

The car ferry Badger is back

The last coal-burning steamship on the Great Lakes opens its season this Friday with a combustion control system that reduces coal ash and keeps the historic car ferry operating.The SS Badger opens its season this Friday with a combustion control system that reduces coal ash and keeps the historic car ferry operating. The last coal-burning steamship on the Great Lakes is installing the multimillion-dollar system in two phases after a consent decree signed last October with the U.S....

OPA 90 for railcars?

Recent rail tank car accidents could lead to new railcar regulations. The Greenbrier Companies recently said it would design a new generation of rail tank cars for hazardous freight in response to “safety criticisms of the existing legacy fleet” and in anticipation of new industry and government standards. The railcar maker, parent of barge manufacturer Gunderson Marine, Portland, Ore., also is offering retrofits to enhance the safety of cars already in service. Retrofit options for the...

Louisiana’s take on Asian carp

Folks in Louisiana have a way of putting the Asian carp issue in perspective.Folks in Louisiana have a way of putting the Asian carp issue in perspective while panning the Corps of Engineers most drastic option for stopping invasive species from traveling between the Mississippi River and the Great Lakes. One of eight alternatives outlined by the Corps in its recent Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Study (GLMRIS) would separate the two waterway systems joined more than a...

Asian carp and separation anxiety

The most radical and expensive solution the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers outlined to stop the spread of Asian carp and other invasive species in the Midwest would cost $18.4 billion and take 25 years to complete.The most radical and expensive solution the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers outlined to stop the spread of Asian carp and other invasive species in the Midwest would cost $18.4 billion and take 25 years to complete. The monumental feat would separate the Great Lakes from the...

More obits for coal-fired plants

Last week’s coal death notices came courtesy of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and Central Iowa Power Cooperative.Last week’s coal death notices came courtesy of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and Central Iowa Power Cooperative. The reasons were the same for both: tougher environmental regulations and decreased power demand. TVA, a federal corporation, also cited the slow economy and commodity price uncertainty. TVA’s board officially OK’d closing these eight units: all...

Welcome to Regulation Nation

There is a particularly clear example of the regulatory burden on business among the letters to the Coast Guard on the proposed TWIC reader rule.Let there be no doubt, this is Regulation Nation.Fortunately, citizens can still comment on proposed rules. And there is a particularly clear example of the regulatory burden on business among the letters to the Coast Guard on the proposed TWIC reader rule. (To see the whole file, visit www.regulations.gov, enter USCG-2007-28915 in the search box.)...