updated 12/13/2010 8:46:33 PM ET 2010-12-14T01:46:33

HOUSTON, Dec. 13, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A professional services contract to study the recent economic impact of the Port of Houston are among several matters expected to be considered during the regular meeting of the Port Commission of the Port of Houston Authority on Tuesday, December 14, beginning at 9 a.m. in the boardroom of the Port Authority Executive Building, 111 East Loop North (Exit 29 off Loop 610) in Houston.

Economic Analysis

(Agenda I1) If approved by the Port Commission, John C. Martin Associates, LLC, would be awarded an estimated $90,000 professional services contract to measure the Port of Houston's economic impact on the region, state, and nation. Job generation, employee earnings, business revenue and state and local taxes generated by port business activities will be the focus of the study update. Among other tools to gauge this impact are focused interviews with firms providing services to the cargo and vessels handled at the public and private terminals along the Houston Ship Channel.

Martin Associates completed economic impact studies for the Port Authority in 2007 and 2002. The 2007 study showed that 785,000 jobs throughout the U.S. and $118 billion in annual regional economic impact are related to business activities at the Port of Houston.

Strategic Planning

(Agenda R2) The Port Commission will consider awarding a two-year, $200,000 contract to Post, Buckley, Schuh & Jernigan, Inc. (PBS&J) for professional stormwater consulting services. If approved, the firm is expected to aid and advise the Port Authority Environmental Affairs Department on stormwater quality matters related to operations by the Port Authority and its tenants, and other maritime industry users of Port Authority facilities.

(Agenda R7) Port Commissioners will consider supporting the Mickey Leland National Urban Air Toxics Research Center's proposed study measuring air benefits from Port Authority emission reduction strategies. For more than 20 years, the Center has been successfully assembling diverse funding partners and science teams to design, fund and implement high quality research projects. The Port Authority has supported several air quality initiatives and strategies that the Center undertook in adjacent port communities. The current study, which would be underwritten with $100,000 of Port Authority funding, is expected to demonstrate the benefits to public health from port emission reduction strategies for drayage trucks, ocean-going vessels and cargo-handling equipment, which are all part of the Port Authority's Clean Air Strategy Plan initiatives.

About the Port of Houston Authority

The Port of Houston Authority owns and operates the public facilities located along the Port of Houston, the 25-mile-long complex of diversified public and private facilities designed for handling general cargo, containers, grain and other dry bulk materials, project and heavy lift cargo, and other types of cargo. Each year, there are more than 7,700 vessel calls at the port, which ranks first in the U.S. in foreign waterborne tonnage and second in overall total tonnage. The port authority plays a vital role in ensuring navigational safety along the Houston Ship Channel, which has been instrumental in Houston's development as a center of international trade. The Barbours Cut Container Terminal and Central Maintenance Facility are the first of any U.S. port facilities to develop and implement an innovative Environmental Management System that meets the rigorous standards of ISO 14001. The second recertification of those facilities in 2009 included an extension for the state-of-the-art Bayport Container Terminal. The port authority is the first port authority in the world to receive ISO 28000:2007 certification for its port police and the perimeter security operations at both the Barbours Cut and Bayport Terminals. Additionally, the port is an approved delivery point for Coffee "C" futures contracts traded on the New York Board of Trade's Coffee, Sugar & Cocoa Exchange. For more information, please visit www.portofhouston.com

To access the port's Web site photo gallery, please visit http://www.portofhouston.com/publicrelations/publicrelations.html and click the link for Port Authority Photo Gallery.

The Port of Houston Authority logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=720

CONTACT:  Port of Houston Authority
          Lisa Ashley, Director, Corporate Communications
            (713) 670-2644
            Cell:  (832) 247-8179
            lashley@poha.com
          Felicia Griffin, Manager, Corporate Communications
            (713) 670-2893
            Cell:  (713) 294-7185
            fgriffin@poha.com

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