Port of Grays Harbor

Harbor Safety Committee Meeting

June 17, 2014

Harbor Safety Committee Meeting 2014 – Meeting 6

The Harbor Safety meeting of June 17, 2014 was called to order by Co-Chair Kevin Campbell at 10:04 a.m. at the Port of Grays Harbor Commission Chambers in, Aberdeen, Washington.

Those in attendance at the meeting were as follows:

Mike Johnson - Port of Grays Harbor
Doug Coburn - General Steamship Corp.
Darren DeLoe - Imperium Grays Harbor
Brian Shay - City of Hoquiam
Sean Orr - Department of Ecology
Scott Ferguson - Department of Ecology
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
Cale Templeton - Pasha Stevedoring
Ken Lawrenson - USCG
Kayla Dunlap - Port of Grays Harbor
Matt Dicrescentis - Kiewit-General
Marco Calvo - Norton Lilly
John Doucette - Westway Terminals

Items discussed were as follows:


From the Co-Chairman

Kevin Campbell stated that John Doucette would be attending the meeting over the phone, due to work required travel. He then asked for approval from the voting members for the May 20, 2014 meeting minutes. All voting members present approved the minutes; they will be added to the HSC portion of the PGH website.


Mike Johnson reported that the Port has submitted a Homeland Security Grant for funding of 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. The grant total is for $467,895 Federal funding and $155,965 will be from a Port of Grays Harbor match. The Port has been successful with five grants from Homeland Security since its inception. If this grant is funded it will be the sixth grant for a total of 2.3 million dollars.

Sean Orr reported that the Marine Spill Response Corporation (MSRC) skimming operations went well. MSRC and Global Response Network work with WSMRC. The National Response Corporation (NRC) has its own plan.

Coast Guard
Ken Lawrenson stated that his office has received a Preliminary Waterways Suitability Assessment and Letter of Intent from Haven Energy for their proposed terminal at the Port of Longview for the export of propane and butane from the North Dakota Bakken Fields. They are proposing to build a facility that will take the liquefied gas from rail tank cars, refrigerate the product in order to store the liquid at ambient pressure, and store in gravity tanks at the facility until transferred to liquefied gas carrier tankships, about 36 times a year. The Coast Guard will be reviewing the proposal in order to issue a recommendation to the permitting authority with regards to navigation safety and security.

Mr. Lawrenson also mentioned that the 4th of July firework permits will be sent out very soon for Westport and Aberdeen. They will outline safety zones and will broadcast a notice to Mariners.

Corps of Engineers
Elizabeth Chien reported that John Hicks has been placed on temporary assignment for four months in Washington DC. She is the acting Chief until his return.

Ms. Chien mentioned that the channel realignment has been approved, but that NOAA is not ready to handle the changes at this time. She stated it will likely be about ten months before the buoys are able to be properly realigned. USACE anticipates that the buoys and range markers will be moved at the same time next spring. Dredging will take place around September or October and they will follow the new channel, but the markers will not follow suit until next April.

Incidents / Communications Discussion

None to report at this time.


Scott Ferguson made a presentation (attached above) on the legislative bills on the table currently and the information he is gathering so that our political leaders will be able to make educated decisions when voting on the bills. There is a $300,000 budget that is coming from the state’s Toxics Control Account, which has been put in place to conduct a thorough study of oil shipment through the state by rail and by vessel. The study will gather information from agency partners throughout the state. Mr. Ferguson is also working to secure a contractor that will be collecting many of the details needed to complete his report. Once the contractor is in place, members of our Harbor Safety Committee will be receiving a list of specific questions that would be best answered by the users of the waterway and rail areas locally. These questions will be provided in advance so that each party may think about them and our committee can conduct a productive brainstorming meeting in July or August. They will also be holding workshops throughout the state for similar feedback in the fall.

Mr. Ferguson recommended that the group take a look at reports recently completed by the states of New York, California and Minnesota to see how they vary or are similar. The main objective for all of these plans is to keep the risk low for citizens. There are about 200 bills in the works for states impacted by oil transportation and the politicians need documentation that shows all aspects of the transport have been addressed. Mr. Ferguson believes it is best to think of all issues, positive or negative, so they can be addressed up front. If they are not addressed it may look like they hadn’t been thought of, causing doubt that there would be a plan in place if something new is questioned.

Kayla Dunlap asked if other liquids being transported are being addressed in the study. Mr. Ferguson replied that they are being considered, but the primary focus of the study is on the Bakken crude. Ms. Dunlap also asked about the workshops mentioned and if there are any dates and locations for these. Mr. Ferguson said that once the contractor in in place, in the next week or so, those dates and locations will be scheduled, most likely in September and October. Mr. Ferguson is also trying to put together a meeting to be held in Bellingham to get some Canadian input on the issues.

Sean Orr encouraged everyone to be open to this process and stated that this is a tool to help all agencies have the knowledge to make good decisions. This will get a message out to strengthen the knowledge in the community. It will put the Harbor in a positive light and show that we are being pro-active. It is best for everyone if we provide the facts so our leaders are able to make educated decisions.

Kayla Dunlap asked about funding mechanisms for fixes. At this time there is nothing in place, but Sean Orr has dealt with these before and has a list of options that can be explored. The goal would be to spread the fees out and put the highest taxes or fees on the highest risk areas of the project.

Old Business

Standards of Care Document – The first draft of this document has been added to the PGH HSC portion of the website. Committee members feel it is a bit hard to find on the website and would like it found more easily. Marisa will work on this and look at how it is found on other Port websites.

Doug Coburn brought up the need for a definition in our bylaws for a quorum. He believes the definition of a quorum in this case is the presence of 50% of voting members plus one more in a group; this is a standard definition for the term also known as the majority.

A motion was made by Fred Goheen and seconded by Kevin Campbell that we enact this definition of quorum into our bylaws, and it was accepted with a unanimous vote in favor. Marisa Yauch will work with John Doucette to make sure these changes are added to the bylaws of the Harbor Safety Committee in a timely manner.

Mr. Coburn also brought up that we should address the voting members and alternates for each area of the committee. The group agreed this is something that needs to be addressed, but we also need to define how we are going to classify the voting groups. Some of the areas mentioned that should have voting representation were Port of Grays Harbor, Terminal Users (group will reconvene on this definition), Pilots, Stevedoring, Recreational Boating, Environmental, Westport Charter Association, Fishing Representative, Shellfish Growers and the Quinault Tribe. Many of these areas already have representation in our meetings regularly, but some of these areas are not attending and need to be contacted again so they know they are invited to have a stakeholder in our decision making process. Members of the committee decided to think about which companies/committees should have stakeholders so they will be clearly defined yet adaptable in our bylaws. We will revisit this at the next meeting.

New Business – Membership Requests

Leonard Barnes mentioned briefly that the USCG is in the process of repositioning two buoys in the harbor.

Next Meeting

The next meeting will be scheduled in the coming weeks. It will likely be July 15th or possibly not until August 19th depending on when Scott Ferguson’s Ecology team would like to meet next regarding the Marine and Rail Oil Transportation Study. An email will be sent out with the next meeting date when it is determined. The next meeting will be held in the PGH Commission Chambers.


Today’s meeting adjourned at 11:28 a.m.