Port of Grays Harbor

Harbor Safety Committee Meeting

February 18, 2014

Harbor Safety Committee Meeting 2014-2

The Harbor Safety meeting of February 18, 2014 was called to order by Co-Chair John Gillespie at 10:10 a.m. at the Port of Grays Harbor Commission Chambers in, Aberdeen, Washington.

Those in attendance at the meeting were as follows:

Committee Members

John Gillespie - Imperium Grays Harbor
Mike Johnson - Port of Grays Harbor
Kevin Campbell - Brusco Tug and Barge Co.
Doug Coburn - General Steamship
Matt Discrescentis - Kiewit-General
Sean Orr - Department of Ecology
Marc Horton - Port of Grays Harbor
Gary Nelson - Port of Grays Harbor
Leonard Barnes - Port of Grays Harbor
Kayla Dunlap - Port of Grays Harbor
Josh Metcalf - HDR Engineering
Elizabeth Chien (dial-in) - US Army Corps of Engineers
Samud Looney (dial-in) - U.S. Coast Guard
Jon Neel - Department of Ecology

Items discussed were as follows:


From the Chairman

John Gillespie opened the meeting and conducted roll call.


Mike Johnson reported he attended a post fire recap (hot-wash) for the vessel JUNO. There were no injuries in the fire and an investigation on how the fire started was underway and to date, cause of fire has not been determined. The vessel was undergoing extensive remodeling construction materials were on the boat.

Mike also reported that dredge operations for all Port Terminals had been completed. American Construction Company removed a total of 107,000 cubic yards of sediment. As outlined in our permits all four berths were dredged to the maximum amount allowed.

Leonard Barnes reported that a chip barge for Willis Enterprises damaged some fender piling during departure at Terminal 3. The Port was in the process of assessing the damage and had declared an emergency to mobilize a contractor for repairs. The terminal will be off-line until repairs are complete.

Leonard stated that Capt. DAngelo reported a ship he was moving caught an old anchor chain while trying to move from the ships anchorage out by Westport. The pilot indicated the chain needed to be removed. Leonard to follow up with Sean Morrison and Samud Looney from the coast guard. Elizabeth Chien also stated the Corps has asked the buoy tender to move Buoy 11 for the Corps dredge work to start soon.

Leonard also stated that the pilots are requesting a walking path on top of log vessels. Walking on top of the logs is unsafe and they are requesting for safe access off the vessel when leaving Grays Harbor.


Sean Orr introduced Jon Neel and stated he has been working on the Vessel Traffic Risk Assessment. Tech findings looking at 2010 traffic and adding additional vessels entering Puget Sound and where these vessels would be moving and looking at what the possibility of where spills might happen. Where the risk might be if additional traffic would be in place. Other studies by Kinder Morgan and BP are also in process.

Coast Guard

Samud Looney reported the JUNO fire is still under investigation by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Corps of Engineers

Elizabeth Chien stated the Corps of Engineers Hopper Dredge “Essayons” would be starting in Grays Harbor on March 28, 2014 for a 16-17 day operation and the Dredge “Yaquina” would be starting April 4, 2014 for a 20 day operation. Both dredges would be concentrating on the Bar, Outer Harbor, Point Chehalis, and South Reach Areas.

Channel Realignment is not approved as of yet. Corps is still waiting for Ecology review and comment. Elizabeth stated she was informed that the documents had been transferred to a new person at Ecology that had little background information about Grays Harbor. She stated that the Corps was assisting Ecology in the process to help expedite the application.

Incidents / Communications Discussion



Jon Neel from the Department of Ecology gave a presentation on House Bill 2347. The bill passed the house by a vote of 57 to 37 but that that does not mean it will pass in the Senate. Bill provides reporting for the number of vessels transferring at oil terminals, public information on where oil is moving. Bill also would give Ecology the authority to write rules on tug escorting standards for vessels for Columbia River and Grays Harbor Pilotage Districts.

Jon indicated, if the bill passed, Ecology would be able to consult stakeholders and could begin rulemaking by 2015.

The bill would also allow incentive for additional crew onboard tugs while escorting. With additional crew stiffer fines would be imposed in the event of an accident.

Gary Nelson indicated the bill may not pass this session but would be back on the table next session.

Senate Bill 6524 if passed would initiate a number of studies. The bill would require a rail study by Ecology and the Utilities and Transportation Commission working on studies for rail and shipping oil by water.

Old Business

Standards of Care (SoC) for Grays Harbor- Sean Orr presented a draft plan to the committee. Sean indicated there were portions of the SoC that still needed work and wanted to sit down with a group from the committee and finalize the plan.

New Business – Membership Requests


New Business – Action Items


Next Meeting / Adjourn

Next meeting- March 18, 2014 at 10:00