1859, a group of businessmen located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
formed The Pittsburgh Coal Exchange to promote the safety, health
and transportation of the area's abundant coal supply. This organization
grew and evolved; in 1967, the Waterways Association of Pittsburgh
was chartered. Throughout the years, the focus changed from coal
to steel to steel by-product. The patriarchs of the marine industries
along the Monongahela, Allegheny and Upper Ohio River areas met
The Waterways Association of Pittsburgh takes great pride
in being the oldest river organization in the United States
and a leader in our industry. We were partners with the U.S.
Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Coast Guard before the
term "partnering" was coined; we take great pride
in our quality action team formed long before such programs
The Waterways Association partners closely with the U.S. Army
Corps of Engineers to develop our waterways in the tri-state
area. It also cooperates with the U.S. Coast Guard to maintain
the laws and navigation in the Three Rivers area. The organization
endeavors to maintain standards of safety as well as health
and navigation issues.
A joint panel of Association members meets with the Corps
of Engineers to evaluate fleeting procedures and facility guides,
and issues a directory of names and emergency telephone numbers.
Our navigation committee checks all proposed permits submitted
to the Corps of Engineers and comments on those which it perceives
as navigation or personal safety hazards. The Safe Boating
Committee informs our membership of developments in that aspect
of the rivers. Other member companies serve on the Three Rivers
Pollution Response Council.
Another result of this cooperation is our Calling Tree, activated
by any problem or potential problems such as high water or
ice, which poses a danger to navigation. Information originates
with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, National Weather Service
and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Designated
members then notify their assigned group of members in order
to provide ample warning time for preventative action.
Our Health, Safety and Training Committee schedule seminars
dealing with issues vital for safe operation on our waterways.
Our annual Barge Breakaway Seminar stresses responsible, proper
fleet maintenance, thus preventing barges from breaking away
and damaging other fleets, docks and bridges. This seminar,
along with various other safety and training courses, is available
to members and non-members alike, in the interest of maintaining
safety on our local rivers.
Waterways Association member companies transport more than
53 million tons of product annually through the Port of Pittsburgh.
Our membership includes coal, steel, chemical and utility companies
which work together to make the Port of Pittsburgh the second
largest port in bulk materials transportation on the Inland
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