Published 7:30 am Wednesday, March 8, 2017
We appreciate the Orange Leader’s recent editorial comments and continued recognition of the value that Savage Inland Marine’s barge fleeting operations bring to Orange County, while ensuring protection of the environment. We also want to publicly thank the Orange County Commissioners’ Court for their thoughtful consideration of the facts over the past several months, as well as the Orange County Economic Development Corporation, Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce, City of Bridge City, Lamar State College – Orange, Sabine Pilots, and many other organizations and individuals for their support. We are excited to make Bridge City our crew change headquarters and provide good paying jobs while serving area industries and contributing to economic growth in Orange County.
Our operations in the FINA Oxbow are, and have always been, conducted legally and in full compliance with state regulations governing the inland waterway. Leases with landowners were in place before we began operating. We’ve spent more than six months reaching out to provide facts and answer questions while working to obtain a surface lease from the Texas General Land Office. Throughout this process, we’ve continued to safely, responsibly and legally fleet barges, moving equipment as often as required while keeping the river channel clear for passing vessels and providing a needed service for the area’s refining and petrochemical industries.
By continuously monitoring and keeping barges a minimum of 30 feet from the shore, we’re protecting the shoreline from the type of damage some other carriers have caused by pushing barges into riverbanks. We also continue to allow hunting, fishing and boating within the oxbow. We appreciate the support of the marine industry, elected officials and community members who recognize the importance of growing Orange County’s economy and having safe, regulated barge fleeting.
Josh Knichel, General Manager
Savage Inland Marine