WASHINGTON – Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) today lauded the decision by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Navigation and Civil Works Decision Support Center, in coordination with the Waterborne Commerce Statistics Center, to approve three Port Statistical Areas (PSAs) on the Mississippi River. This federal recognition as a multi-modal port region will be leveraged by local governments and businesses for marketing and economic development that will improve regional, national and global competitiveness.
“Before this announcement, Iowa was the only state that didn’t have a federally recognized port. This is a well-deserved recognition as Iowa serves as a major multimodal transportation center and the number one producer and exporter of corn. The inland waterway system on the Mississippi River is vital to connecting our agricultural and manufacturing goods with communities both around the country and the world,” Grassley said.
The Mississippi River Ports of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois (MRPEIWI), the Illinois Water way (ILWW) Ports and Terminals and the Mid-American PSAs include the core of the largest grain producing and exporting region in the United States. These three ports are now recognized on the U.S. federal ports ranking list of October 2020.
The MRPEIWI includes 221.5 river miles with 70 barge terminals as a PSA. The PSA will rank as a “middle third” Top 100 Port on the U.S. Ports List. 90 percent of Iowa’s port infrastructure is in just 7.5 counties on the Mississippi River.
Grassley worked with Iowa stakeholders and the Army Corps of Engineers in getting these PSAs approved and has long been a federal champion of agriculture and the inland waterway system.