Port of Grays Harbor

Harbor Safety Committee Meeting

Harbor Safety Committee Meeting 2014 – Meeting 4

The Harbor Safety meeting of April 15, 2014 was called to order by Chair John Gillespie at 10:05 a.m. at the Port of Grays Harbor Commission Chambers in, Aberdeen, Washington.

Those in attendance at the meeting were as follows:

Committee Members
Mike Johnson - Port of Grays Harbor
Doug Coburn - General Steamship Corp.
John Doucette - Westway Terminals
John Gillespie - Imperium Grays Harbor
Darren DeLoe - Imperium Grays Harbor
Craig Wear - Transmarine
Brian Shay - City of Hoquiam
Sean Orr - Department of Ecology
Scott Ferguson - 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
Marisa Yauch - Port of Grays Harbor

Items discussed were as follows:

Approval of Previous minutes: Group agreed that the minutes from 3/18/14 were accurate and approved. They will be posted on the Port’s website.


From the Chairman

John Gillespie opened the meeting and conducted roll call. John also noted that this will be his last meeting with the Harbor Safety Committee as he is leaving Imperium this week. Darren DeLoe attended this meeting and will be replacing John Gillespie as the representative from Imperium renewables moving forward.
Leonard Barnes mentioned his appreciation for John putting the committee together and doing great work on the committee.


Mike Johnson reported that we recently underwent a security inspection on our dock area including crew shore leave. It was noted that crews on docked vessels are not required to be escorted and are supposed to follow security rules that are in place. The Captain of the ship is to allow up to five crew members to depart the ship and follow the Port’s painted yellow line toward the security booth where they check out. At that point they are free to walk or get a cab into town until they are required to report back. One issue of concern was the Port’s signage relating to unauthorized personnel. These signs need to be updated with language from Homeland Security. This was the only security issue found during the inspection and the Port will work efficiently to get these updated throughout the grounds so we are in Compliance.

Leonard Barnes reported on recent vessel activity. The 4th pontoon float out will be tonight, 4/15/2014, and will be 6 pontoons. Two will be at T1 and four will be at T3. There will be thorough inspections tonight for this group and then the next float out will not be until September.

It was asked of Leonard what the land of the pontoon project will be used for after the project is complete. Leonard responded that the Port is unsure what the land will be used for, this is not currently Port property though it does border our property.

Kayla Dunlap reported that the USD submitted permits and a SEPA application for a proposed Crude by Rail project at Terminal 3 in Hoquiam.


Sean Orr introduced a new member of his team, Scott Ferguson, who was recently hired to be the project manager for the 2014 legislative changing energy picture. He will be gathering information on waterway studies and the railway side of things and how they interface.

Mr. Ferguson went further into describing the project as follows. He has a preliminary report due in September, then another large update due in December with the final report of findings due in March of 2015. He is focusing at this time only on the rail and water transport of goods. The focus is on safety guidelines for Grays Harbor growth. What are the gaps and what are the recommendations to fill the gaps? Mr. Ferguson will first gather reports and research that has already been conducted for the area. He mentioned some resources that he will start with including a vessel traffic risk assessment study that has been conducted by George Washington University and Salish Sea safety reports. He asked the group for resources on studies that have already been conducted here in Grays Harbor. He stated that once the report has been written in March of 2015 this will be a starting point for a continuing effort over time that will evolve so we can properly inform our citizens and legislatures.

The question was asked about trucking and if that will be incorporated into the study. Mr. Ferguson stated the project is a very large undertaking that he has been asked to complete in a very short amount of time. He would like to incorporate trucking, pipeline transfer and air transfer of goods, but at this time will need to keep the scope narrow in order to fully cover the topics of rail and marine product transfer.

Another question was asked on whether he will be focusing on Washington State? He replied that the report will focus on Washington, but that there are great studies that have been conducted in CA, OR and other states that could help immensely with the completion of our safety plan.

The study will be somewhat focused on Crude by Rail (CBR). The main goal of the study is focusing on prevention of issues and making sure that programs at all levels are working towards this goal together. He understands that the study needs to be looked at from many perspectives including economic. Gary Nelson made the comment that there is more than CBR at stake here, the political leaders need to be fully educated on what is happening with the country’s energy issues. Mr. Ferguson stated that his goal is to put out a truthful report with the right cost/benefit mix, his job is not to worry about the political side of things, only to state all the facts so they can be properly weighed. Mr. Nelson made another comment that the legislature needs to make a decision one way or another on whether this is really going to be an option. There are three large companies putting substantial dollars towards this and they either need to know it is going to happen or not so they can continue efforts, or look for another option.

Sean Orr also touched on the Standards of Care draft. He stated that he needs a safety plan from our Commission so that his committee can take a look and show to legislators. Sean will be sending comments on the safety plan to the group so we can work on the plan in the next committee meeting.

Mr. Ferguson recommended a few things to think about for this; engine or steering issues, how will we handle them? Also, weather and anchorage issues, need to have plans for how these are handled in the moment.

He mentioned that we may need to amend the By Laws and make sure our group is covering all areas to be considered a well-rounded Harbor Safety Committee. He has been on multiple Harbor Safety Committee’s and has a lot of insight on things we need to address. The committee will take these things into account in the near future and make adjustments as necessary.

Coast Guard

Unable to attend

Corps of Engineers

Unable to attend

Incidents / Communications Discussion




Old Business


New Business – Membership Requests


New Business – Action Items

John Gillespie brought up the fact that he is leaving IGH and the committee will need a new Chair. He suggested passing on the duties to John Doucette from Westway Terminals. The committee agreed with a unanimous vote and Mr. Doucette accepted responsibility.

Next Meeting

Next meeting will be held on May 20, 2014 at 10:00 am in PGH Commission Chambers.


Today’s meeting adjourned at 11:10 am