This Council is a public forum convened to facilitate discussion and exchange of ideas, thoughts, and advice among stakeholders on issues relevant to the Sabine-Neches Waterway, serving the ports of Port Arthur, Beaumont, Orange, and Sabine Pass, Texas.  The Council may advise, recommend, and seek to achieve resolution of concerns that affect and enhance the safety and efficiency of the waterway.  Issues include but are not limited to: communications, traffic management, maintenance, improvements, expansions, disruptions, system recovery, security, workforce development and technological improvements.






SETWAC is a "harbor safety committee" as discussed in the U.S. Department of Transportation's September 1999 Report to Congress "An Assessment of the U.S. Marine Transportation System" and in subsequent Coast Guard guidance on the establishment and development of harbor safety committees.  SETWAC was chartered on March 14, 1997 by the Coast Guard Captain of the Port (COTP) in Port Arthur, Texas. The COTP is the Executive Director and SETWAC's purpose is to provide the COTP with advice on an as-needed basis.  The Coast Guard desires harbor safety committees where government agencies support, but do not control, the organization.  Since there are no local or state entities which regulate waterway use similar to the Coast Guard, a cooperative harbor safety committee with broad membership is desirable for coordination. 


Other, somewhat similar cooperative organizations are focused on specific issues.  Many members of those organizations are also members of SETWAC.  The Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana Coastal Zone Area Committee implements requirements of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, with focus entirely on prevention and response to oil and hazardous material spills.  The Port Arthur/Beaumont Port Readiness Committee deals solely with the shipment of military cargo through these ports.  The Sabine-Neches Navigation District is concerned primarily with channel maintenance and infrastructure improvement on the Sabine-Neches Waterway.  Although they are distinct from SETWAC, these three organizations cover typical concerns of harbor safety committees.

Organizational Structure

Managing Board:  The Managing Board is comprised of permanent members and elected term members.  Each Managing Board member has an alternate that must be selected and approved by the managing board.  Serving in the manner of a board of directors, the members of the Managing Board oversee SETWAC and coordinate the agenda.  A Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the organization are elected by the voting members of the Managing Board.  Government agency members are non-voting members. 


Managing Board Membership:  Ideally, at least one person from the following entities will be a member of the SETWAC Managing Board.  Members serve as volunteers subject to their respective term limits.  Other persons may seek membership by submitting a membership application to the Executive Secretary.  Members are not bound by decisions or recommendations of SETWAC or its committees or liable for the same.


Government Agency Members
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Admin.
Texas General Land Office
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

U.S. Army 842nd Transportation Battalion
U.S. Coast Guard (COTP)
U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
U.S. Maritime Adminitstration

Term Members                                                           Permanent Members

Barge Operating Company, or AWO/TWO Rep.

Chemical / Oil Refining Docks

Commercial Fishing Association

Harbor Tug Company

LNG Terminals

Marine Terminals

Shipping Agents

Ship Operating Companies

Shipyard or Vessel Repair Facility


Community Chamber of Commerce
Education, Research and Workforce Development, such as Lamar University

Emergency Responce Entity such as Sabine-Neches Chief's Association

Jefferson County Emergency Management - Director

Jefferson County Sheriff's Office - Sheriff

Port of Beaumont - Director

Port of Orange - Director

Port of Port Arthur - Director

Port of Sabine Pass - Director

Port Welfare Representative, such as Seafarer's Center

Sabine-Neches Navigation District - Director

Sabine Pilots Association - President

Executive Secretary:  An Executive Secretary, usually an unelected, non-voting member of the USCG Command or other government agency, will provide administrative support at no charge.  Duties include: maintaining the membership listing, recording and mailing meeting minutes, distributing announcements and agendas for meetings, distributing other materials, and posting of information to the SETWAC web page. 


Terms of Service:  The Chairman and the Vice-Chairman serve an initial two year term and are eligible to serve one additional two year term if nominated and re-elected by the voting members of the Managing Board.  Members of the Managing Board who are not designated permanent members by virtue of their agency or organization position serve initial three year terms and are eligible to serve one additional three year term if nominated and re-elected by the voting members of the Managing Board.  Members of the Managing Board and their alternates are expected to attend and participate in scheduled meetings.  Members of the Managing Board can be replaced prior to the expiration of their terms the recommendation of the Chairman and the consensus vote of the membership, if necessary, because of resignation, incapacitation or lack of participation in SETWAC.



Standing Committees:  These committees address issues and concerns of the Sabine-Neches Waterway. Members are typically linked to the committee's interests through their personal expertise.  Each committee will have a Chairperson appointed by the Managing Board. The standing committees are as follows:


- Navigation Sub-Committee (should include entities and individuals closely involved in both deep draft and shallow draft vessel navigation and operation.) 


-Waterway Maintenance and Improvement Sub-Committee  (includes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) and chaired by a representative of Sabine-Neches Navigation District (SNND))


-Waterway Security Sub-Committee  (includes the Area Maritime Security Committee and Port Readiness Committee)


Ad-hoc Committees:  These committees are established and terminated on an as-needed basis to address specific issues.  Members are selected by the Chairman and approved by the Managing Board. They should be linked to the committee's interests through their personal expertise. 

Meetings:  Meetings of SETWAC will be scheduled by the Managing Board and are open to the public.  Meetings will be held on a quarterly basis and more frequently if needed.  Meetings of committees will be held on an as-needed basis as determined by the committee chairperson, and may be open to the public if so decided by the committee.  If a Managing Board vote is taken, a simple majority of the voting members present decides. 

Revision 8
January 24, 2019