U.S. SENATE CLEARED $12.3 BILLION DOLLAR WATER PROJECT/DREDGING BILL

The U.S. Senate cleared for President Obama’s signature a $12.3 billion water-project/dredging bill that lawmakers said would boost dredging to accommodate bigger ships built to transit the Panama Canal.

The measure passed 91-7, it is on track to become the first water infrastructure bill enacted since 2007.  It would authorize 34 projects including dredging, flood control, hurricane recovery and environmental restoration.

This action should pave the way for more dredging projects and opportunities for employment for dredge workers and operating engineers.

The Supreme Court of the United States in Stewart v Dutra, 125 S.Ct. 1118, 543 US 481 (2005), ruled that the dredge Super Scoop, owned and operated by Dutra Construction Company was a vessel within the meaning of 1 USC §3. Thus, the marine engineer who was injured when the dredge and a scow collided was considered a “seaman” under the Jones Act.

The status of dredge ship workers and other marine construction workers is often confusing, and it is extremely important that an injured dredge or marine construction worker consult an experienced maritime attorney to make sure that they are receiving all of the rights and benefits to which they are lawfully entitled.

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