Lisa Murkowski

05/29/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 05/29/2020 20:31

Alaska Delegation Applauds Major Progress for Port of Nome

05.29.20

Today, the Alaska Congressional Delegation (all R-Alaska) applauded the Army Corps of Engineers' completion of the Chief's Report for the Port of Nome Modification Feasibility Study. With the signing of this report, the proposal is eligible for consideration by Congress for authorization and funding. The project is already recognized in the authorizing legislation, S. 3591, the America's Water Infrastructure Act of 2020, which passed out of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee in May 2020. The bill emphasizes the strategic importance of the Arctic to U.S. economic and national security, and calls for expediting the feasibility report for the Deep Draft Port in the Arctic. This language was intended to act as a placeholder for authorization for the Nome Deep Draft Port project until the Chief's Report was completed.

'I've long advocated for a system of ports to support the increasing ship traffic in the Arctic, provide greater accessibility for Arctic communities, and help Alaska and our nation to develop a strong presence in the Arctic region. This infrastructure is vital as traffic through the Bering Strait increases, and will provide a deep water port in the region for both civilian and military vessels. This project will also bring down the barriers that rural communities in the region face in accessing cargo, fuel, and marine resources. We've built up strong support for the need to build a deep-water port near the Arctic,' Senator Murkowski said. 'Today's announcement is welcome news as a deep-water port in Nome represents more than an infrastructure - it is jobs, an expanded economy, safer shipping, and the portal to the Arctic. I thank the Army Corps of Engineers as allowing the project to proceed to design and construction brings us one step closer to that becoming a reality.'

'There is much at stake in the Arctic, from resource development and transportation routes, to environmental protection, to the region's strategic location, to the Arctic's cold-weather-hardened-but-warm-hearted people,' said Senator Sullivan. 'The Port of Nome, as the first in what is to be a series of Arctic ports, is positioned to play a critical role in ensuring the United States is a leader in the Arctic region in terms of national security, international trade, and geopolitical influence. This has been an effort over multiple years to ensure the Corps has the authority to take into consideration all regional community benefits and national security benefits to ensure the project is properly justified. This is a major step forward for our nation.'

'Alaska's ports are critical to our economy and our state's connection to the rest of the world. The Port of Nome expansion is crucial to ensuring the further development of our nation's only Arctic deep draft port to serve the nation's future defense and commercial needs in the region,' said Congressman Young. 'The project will create a logistics hub for many Alaskan coastal communities and will create a transit point for global commerce. The project with assist in providing Alaskans greater access to goods and services, reducing the cost of living and creating economic opportunity for the region. The completion of the Chief's Report for the Port of Nome is welcome news for Alaska and a milestone in the development of this important project. I am grateful to Lt. Gen. Semonite for issuing the report, and to the countless stakeholders who have long advocated for it. I look forward to my continued work with the Alaska Delegation to ensure that this project is not only fully funded, but completed so that Alaska's economic footprint is stronger than ever before.'