Port of Grays Harbor

Harbor Safety Committee Meeting

May 20, 2014

Harbor Safety Committee Meeting 2014 – Meeting 5

The Harbor Safety meeting of May 20, 2014 was called to order by Chair John Doucette at 10:06 a.m. at the Port of Grays Harbor Commission Chambers in, Aberdeen, Washington.

Those in attendance at the meeting were as follows:

John Doucette - Westway Terminals
Mike Johnson - Port of Grays Harbor
Doug Coburn - General Steamship Corp.
Darren DeLoe - Imperium Grays Harbor
Craig Wear - Transmarine
Brian Shay - City of Hoquiam
Sean Orr - Department of Ecology
Scott Ferguson - Department of Ecology
Gary Nelson - Port of Grays Harbor
Leonard Barnes - Port of Grays Harbor
Marisa Yauch - Port of Grays Harbor
Elizabeth Chien - US Army Corps of Engineers
Fred Goheen - Jones Stevedoring
Kevin Campbell - Brusco Tug and Barge
Sean Morrison - USCG
Cale Templeton - Pasha Stevedoring
Ken Lawrenson - USCG

Items discussed were as follows:


From the Chairman

John Doucette opened the meeting and thanked everyone for attending. He explained that the phone line was working fine, but that the web portion of the call would not be accessible today. He expects to have this resolved at the next meeting.

Mike Johnson mentioned that the Port is finalizing a Homeland Security Grant funding proposal this week for new infrastructure needs. The grant proposal includes fencing, lighting, a repeater radio for communication, a new guard booth and new measures for screening and inspections.

Gary Nelson gave a status update on the recent derailments in Aberdeen. He confirmed they were all agriculture products and that there was little product lost in any of the spills. As a result of the third derailment a major investigation and inspections are in the works. There is no evidence showing foul play and the railroad does not believe this to be an issue, just a need for some major updates along the track. Inspectors are beginning a visual inspection walking the lines from Centralia to Aberdeen. Repairs to the directly affected areas from the recent derailments have been made and as of Sunday May 18th rail cars have been online again. Inspections and repairs will continue to be made.

Mr. Nelson also spoke of (WRDA) Water Resources Development Act and the Port had just been notified that a development passed that will result in increased funding for harbor maintenance. This also enhances the Port’s chances for funding on increased dredging. The Port is working diligently to get approval for the extra two feet of dredging by August or September of 2014 in order to get funding and action from the US Army Corps of Engineers.

Kevin Campbell asked if this is a possibility to happen in 2015. Mr. Nelson responded that it could be a possibility, but likely not until the fall of 2015.

Scott Ferguson reported that his work on the marine and rail report for the state is moving along. He is working to facilitate a separate gathering for stakeholder outreach. He is working with LEPC’s, SERC’s and local fire districts to develop plans relating to CBR. He is in the process of hiring two new positions and their main focus will be to keep the topic refreshed as things change within the state. The CBR task force will be looking at plans as well. The task force consists of the NW Area Committee, State Agencies, BNSF and other rail companies. These will be the main groups that help with the gathering on the environmental protection piece.

Coast Guard
Sean Morrison mentioned that there will be some navigational public listening seminars in the near future. The first one will be held on June 3rd at the Seattle Public Library. This is put on by the Maritime Community for National Safety. Mr. Morrison also introduced a new member of their team Ken Lawrenson. Mr. Lawrenson stated he is new to the job and working hard to get up to speed on everything he will be responsible for. He is currently working on a proposal between the Port of Longview and Haven Energy for exports from the North Dakota Bakken field of propane and butane. They expect to run three ship transits a month of these products when approved. The VP of engineering for Haven will be providing a letter of intent. The Captain will be making a recommendation for permitting and at this time they are reaching out to this group for a validation process.

Corps of Engineers
Elizabeth Chien reported that the Essayons would be leaving Grays Harbor at 6:00pm today, May 20th and is done working in our harbor until next year. It pulled about 470,000 cubic yards from the harbor. Most of this was near buoy 11 where they were unable to dredge last year. Ms. Chien also wanted to let the group know that the channel realignment had been approved. The channel framework has been sent to the coastguard for the notice to Mariners. Her concern now is getting the buoys and range markers set correctly or removed in some cases. She is talking to the coast guard for resolution on this and talking to the pilots for how they would like the range markers set. The range markers are now inaccurate and she stated that they are very expensive and difficult to reset. There will be no more dredging in the inner harbor until October 2014.

Gary stated that he met with Colonel Buck and a few others for a tour of the harbor recently, this meeting went very well. Ms. Chien mentioned that he is a large supporter of channel navigation and is familiar with what they do.

Incidents / Communications Discussion

The three recent train derailments had already been discussed and updated by Gary under the Port section. No additional incidents were reported by the other stakeholders.



Old Business

Standards of Care Document – The committee needs to finalize the baseline Standards of Care (SOC) to be adopted as the foundation of the committee. The SOCs will then be added to our HSC documents online, then, as changes are made over time, updates will be made to the document. Much of the document is based on what other local HSC’s have put together and then tailored to fit specifics for Grays Harbor. Sean Orr noted that the Pilots had provided good feedback on navigational safety and requirements. From that feedback Mr. Orr added requirements into the appropriate sections. The group agreed that they would like to send actual verbiage once more to the pilots to confirm their agreement and acceptance of how the document is written. The group also noted that a few sections will need notes regarding the recent realignment of the channel and advisement to refer to the latest Notice to Mariners while preparing for the channel. In regards to the channel realignment Ms. Chien reiterated that it could take several months to realign the buoys in the channel and due to the costs involved in the restructure of the range markers there is no timeline for completion of these at this time.

Overall, the group agreed that this document needs to mirror the terms in the HSC Charter documents. Mr. Orr is planning to review these and check that there is no conflicting information in these two documents and that grammatical errors noted by the committee are looked into and changed.

The committee voted and agreed to conditional approval of the SOC document pending the small updates and changes that were discussed in the meeting. Appropriate parties were asked to verify numbers and information that pertains to their organization and return everything to John Doucette in approximately two weeks so that the document can be posted on the HSC website. It will be considered a work in progress as new issues are addressed or laws change. It was also noted that if there is any conflicting information with Federal or State laws, those will always take precedence.

New Business – Membership Requests

An official voting list was discussed, but not established. It was determined that at this point there are no conflicts involving too many voting members from similar areas of business and the way the committee is functioning currently is working well. If this becomes an issue in the future it will be addressed.

Cale Templeton from Pasha Stevedoring attended the meeting for the first time. John Doucette nominated him for membership. The committee voted unanimously to grant him membership.

John addressed the fact that the committee needs to appoint a new Vice Chair for the committee. Doug Coburn nominated Kevin Campbell, he accepted the nomination. There were no additional nominations, the committee unanimously agreed to appoint Mr. Campbell as the Vice Chair.

The frequency of the meeting was discussed and it was determined that the committee will hold at least two meetings annually. Recently the committee has been meeting monthly in order to focus on completion of the Standards of Care document. Doug Coburn suggested we have one more monthly meeting in June to verify the SOC and then possibly a longer break if there is no pressing business. The committee will base the frequency of the meeting on issues and needs in the future.

Previous Meeting

Approval of previous minutes: Group agreed that the minutes from 4/15/14 were accurate and approved. They will be posted on the Port’s website.

Next Meeting

Next meeting will be held on June 17th , 2014 at 10:00 am in PGH Commission Chambers.


Today’s meeting adjourned at 12:25 pm