US issues three Jones Act waivers for storm relief

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued three Jones Act waivers in September aimed at speeding the recovery following a string of powerful hurricanes.

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke issued the first weeklong waiver on Sept. 8 to ensure adequate supplies of gasoline, jet fuel and other petroleum products for the southeastern U.S. after Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma. A second waiver came three days later and remained in effect through Sept. 22.

Duke approved a third suspension of the law, for 10 days, on Sept. 28 to boost deliveries of fuel and vital supplies to Puerto Rico after Irma and Hurricane Maria. Much of the U.S. territory was devastated by the storm, which made landfall on Sept. 20. Damage to inland roads and port infrastructure created additional challenges for the recovery.

The department on Oct. 5 declined to extend the waiver for Puerto Rico, noting that there was sufficient capacity in the U.S.-flagged fleet to meet the island’s needs.

By Professional Mariner Staff