Port of Grays Harbor

Harbor Safety Committee Meeting

October 21, 2014

Harbor Safety Committee Meeting 2014 – Meeting 8

The Harbor Safety meeting of October 21, 2014 was called to order by Chair John Doucette 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:

John Doucette - Westway Terminals
Mike Johnson - Port of Grays Harbor
Brian Shay - City of Hoquiam
Leonard Barnes - Port of Grays Harbor
Marisa Yauch - Port of Grays Harbor
Fred Goheen - Jones Stevedoring
Kevin Campbell - Brusco Tug and Barge
Craig Wear - Transmarine
Gary Nelson - Port of Grays Harbor
Darren Deloe - Imperium Grays Harbor
Doug Coburn - General Steamship Corp.
Junior Gooding - Quinault Tribe
Ken Lawrenson - USCG
Sean Orr - Department of Ecology
Kelly Atkinson - Talon Marine Services LLC
Amy Tynan - USCG
John Moriarty - USCG
Mandy Garcia - Pasha Stevedoring Terminals

Items discussed were as follows:

From the Chairman

John Doucette completed roll call for all attendees present and over the phone.

Approval of August Minutes:
After brief discussion of the segment pertaining to a potential removal of the GH bouy, it was settled that the discussion of this is still under way and the USCG is still taking comment while also looking at a realignment of multiple buoys and range markers. Doug Coburn made the motion to approve the minutes from August 19th, 2014, these were unanimously approved.

Gary Nelson reported on dates for upcoming dredging. There will be a two week window from November 10th to November 22nd where there will be maintenance dredging for our marine terminals. This will include all four berths to be dredged to a -41 foot depth. They will be starting at crossover reach and anticipate removing approximately 110,000 cubic yards of sediment.

Mike Johnson presented a report on recent pilot boat repairs. The pilot boat is how our pilots usually get on a large vessel entering the Port of Grays Harbor. If seas are too rough pilots will arrive by helicopter, but it is more cost effective and easier to use the pilot boat. Because it is an important piece to vessel traffic and our pilots are very comfortable with the boat the port owns we work diligently to make sure it is serviced regularly for maintenance and safety. Mr. Johnson showed a slide presentation detailing the repairs needed which included paint, hull damage, repair of deteriorated metal, repair of bilge piping, repair of bumpers and more. The boat was out of the water for a total of four days and costs for these repairs were about $32,000.00.

Sean Orr from Ecology spoke of the first draft on the marine and rail reports for transport of Crude oil through our state. This document is posted on the DOE website under spills program/marine and rail oil transportation study. There are upcoming meetings in October to study the preliminary findings and recommendations.

Gary Nelson asked if this report covers the entire state or just Grays Harbor. Mr. Orr stated that the report covers the state of Washington.

Mr. Orr also reported that on September 19th they participated in a safety spill drill with Imperium. All reported the drill went smoothly and DOE was happy with the safety measures they have in place.

Coast Guard
Amy Tynan and John Moriarty introduced themselves. Ms.Tynan spoke of an, Aids to Navigating Waterways, study she is conducting. They are considering a new channel route and will be creating a report for any changes that may be needed. All safety concerns are taken into consideration or forwarded to USACE if it is their area of expertise. Ms. Tynan said that an announcement of the study will be on the local notice to mariners where there will be a PDF with charts etc.

John Moriarty spoke of the channel realignments of which they are still looking for funding. The USCG is currently looking into a plan to dis-establish three range board markers and adjusting three others. If they are dis-established, the Coast Guard will be working to consider the urgency of completely removing the markers or potentially leaving them in the water if they are not causing confusion or interference. The changes will be taking place in the summer of 2015. The proposed changes are to remove alpha alpha, bravo and charlie range markers in the crossover and to move markers delta echo and foxtrot on the North channel.

Gary Nelson asked if the decision had been made on a change for the GH buoy. He stated that this is used as a meeting point for inbound vessels, where the pilot meets the ship to bring it into the channel safely.

Mr. Moriarty said that he needed to look into this and if a decision has been reached in regard to this buoy. He stated that it may be removed, but that if this were the case there would likely still be an AIS signal at that point that all could use. When used as a meeting point buoys can get run over and sink, but the signal would still be there.

Ken Lawrenson with the Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit in Portland gave an update on the energy project proposed by Haven Energy for the export of liquefied propane and butane through the Port of Longview. They are in the process of reviewing their Waterways Suitability Assessment and then it will be going out to a subcommittee of the Lower Columbia River HSC for comment and validation. He also reported that the Port of Portland is working on a second liquefied propane export terminal project.

Gary Nelson asked about the projects that the Port of Kalama is working on. Mr. Lawrenson was not aware of anything coming up that was beyond public knowledge. Regarding the permitting for the Port of Kalama projects, he stated that there are different safety requirements for propane and methanol, and that at this time, only liquefied hazardous gases are subject to a Waterway Suitability Assessment.

Corps of Engineers
No report

Incidents / Communications Discussion
Gary Nelson mentioned that there was a pilot incident at the Port of Port Angeles recently. The pilot was hit in the head by a magnet that was modified for use to further stabilize the ladder. The magnet dislodged and hit the pilot in the head. The pilot did have a helmet on and will be ok, but if he did not this would have been a more serious injury. This led to a discussion of PPE enforcement and having suggested equipment when working on or near vessels added to the Standards of Care document. Though the HSC cannot enforce this, it is a good idea to have it documented that the group encourages personal safety when working.

John Doucette agreed that there are requirements on docks and a range of functions that should be enforced for safety equipment.

Kevin Campbell stated that his business has certain requirements and if they are not met they are not allowed to work. He thinks that whichever entity would be legally responsible if something went wrong should have clear safety standards in place. If the employee does not meet the requirements they should not be allowed to work in that position.

Mr. Nelson would like to have this documented and added to our SoC.

No presentations.

Old Business
John Doucette mentioned that Doug Coburn, Kevin Campbell and he had worked on updating the Grays Harbor Safety Committee Charter document to more clearly define voting member groups. There were a few questions in regards to the exclusivity of the groups and a few members felt this may not quite capture the objective intended. This will be looked at again and revised. The main goal of the HSC is to make sure all perspectives for different issues in the harbor are heard and a vote is cast by a member from each area. The definitions are a great start, but a bit more clarity would be beneficial.

Gary Nelson suggested tabling the issue and we will discuss changes at the next meeting.

New Business
Anchorage of large vessels off of Westport has come into question by the DOE recently. There was question over a few vessels that docked off the coast of Westport for somewhat extended periods of time over the summer months. It was noted that outside of 3 miles off the coast is US Coast Guard jurisdiction. John Moriarty from the Coast Guard stated that a captain is allowed to anchor anywhere they feel is safe. The Port was not aware of a time where a ship had been docked in the water for a few days. Sean Orr stated that he would retrieve documentation showing an instance where this happened. It was noted that it was a busy summer and many ports were full so these could have also been boats waiting to enter other nearby ports, but found the water here safe and calm.

Gary Nelson mentioned that ICF may be contacting companies in the area for input on CBR.

Mr. Nelson also mentioned that USD conducted two scoping meetings on October 16th and that the public comment period for their proposal will go through November 3rd. They plan to have a draft EIS in December and the public should be able to comment in January.

Mr. Nelson reported that the Port received approval for the channel deepening, but the funding still needs to be finalized. The Port will be asking the state for 4.5 million to help with our match portion, while we will contribute another million dollars towards the project. We will also be dredging the Westport Marina with this project. The earliest this may take place would be 2016 or 2017.

Gary Nelson also mentioned a new plan for maintenance dredging coming up next fall.
This dredging will not conflict with the Quinault fishing season; we will work closely with them to avoid this issue. The Port will be asking agencies for a 30-day extension for dredging due to a tight timeline which will be a 2-part process starting next July, and then there will be the fishing so the next part will take place in the winter. It will be a bit more costly this way, but it will be worth it to be sure we are all working together.

Next, Mr. Nelson mentioned that Weyerhaeuser has reached out to request support to reopen operations locally. Some issues with this would be bridge navigation and dredging for the area of waterway they would need tended. The Port is trying to figure out if the funding is there to support this for annual maintenance etc.

Mr. Nelson personally welcomed Junior Goodell from the Quinault Tribe. He is a fisherman and knows the waters of our area well. Junior cited a new requirement for all tribal fishermen to have their VHF radios monitoring channel 16 at all times for tugs and freighters. Kelly Atkinson spoke of email communications for vessel traffic as well. This information is sent out 24 to 48 hours in advance so they have an earlier heads up and are able to pull in nets or any other equipment that may obstruct traffic. Kevin Campbell works with another gentleman to coordinate email communication. John Doucette suggested that we add a segment in the SoC for communication. Doug Coburn will look into this and add as necessary so that a list for communications of waterway traffic will be complete.

Next Meeting
The next meeting will be held in the PGH Commission Chambers on Tuesday, December 16th, 2014.

Today’s meeting adjourned at 11: 40 a.m.