Port of Grays Harbor

Harbor Safety Committee Meeting

December 16, 2014

Harbor Safety Committee Meeting 2014 – Meeting 9

The Harbor Safety meeting of December 16, 2014 was called to order by Chair John Doucette 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:

John Doucette - Westway Terminals
Mike Johnson - Port of Grays Harbor
Leonard Barnes - Port of Grays Harbor
Marisa Yauch - Port of Grays Harbor
Kevin Campbell - Brusco Tug and Barge
Darren Deloe - Imperium Grays Harbor
Junior Goodell - Quinault Tribe
Sean Morrison - USCG
Sean Orr - Department of Ecology
Kelly Atkinson - Talon Marine Services LLC
Mandy Garcia - Pasha Stevedoring Terminals
Elizabeth Chien - USACE
Kayla Dunlap - Port of Grays Harbor
Scott Ferguson - Department of Ecology
Charles Wallace - GH County Emergency Management
Jude Armstrong - CCH
Linda Orgel - CCH
Arnie Martin - GH Audubon

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:

Motion made by Mike Johnson, seconded by Kevin Campbell and unanimously approved, the meeting minutes from October 21, 2014 were approved.



Mike Johnson reported that the first round of dredging was completed at Terminal 2 with the removal of 28,180 cubic feet of sediment. The rest of the dredging will be complete by 2/14/15. At this point there is no extension on dredging dates for the Port, but an extension could still be granted for USACE.


Sean Orr from Ecology spoke of the second draft on the marine and rail reports for transport of crude oil through our state. This has been sent to the legislature for consideration and contains a robust executive summary. DOE received over 40 recommendations regarding rail and marine transport to which they have provided in depth response details. The volatility of Baaken is still a concern, and through public outreach over 3,000 comments were received and taken into account. The next phase is going towards the final report which is due on the first of March 2015.

The DOE has recently brought on a vessel management lead named Alice Helker. She will be working on this project in the coming years. January 7th and 8th DOE is conducting a meeting workshop with Canadian maritime stakeholders which is invite only, not open to the public. They will discuss changes in Canadian influence and how to work together effectively.

Coast Guard

The USCG is conducting a survey regarding buoy replacement by the Army Corps of Engineers. Sean Morrison has a press release and forms which he will send to John Doucette for distribution to local waterway users. Public comment will be taken until January 31, 2015 in regard to changes in buoy placement locally. They are in the process of field testing and are not removing anything at this time.

Corps of Engineers

Elizabeth Chien gave an update on dredging in the area. Crossover reach has been completed and they moved to work on the turning basin. The dredgers went between -36 and -35 feet deep so that it is easier for large vessels to use. They will be doing a deeper dive at Terminal 4 down to -38/-39 feet. They will be going all the way through Cow Point and dredging another tuning basin.

The USACE recently received final letters approving the extension of the work window. They can work until March 31st if needed, but they do not expect to need the full extension.

Incidents / Communications Discussion

No incidents


No presentations

Old Business

John Doucette revisited the wording of the by-laws for the HSC. The subcommittee is deciding whether it is better to leave the wording more open to interpretation or hone in more detail. They will continue to work on this to narrow down what would be most appropriate specific to the Grays Harbor HSC. John Doucette made a motion to move this to the next meeting and Mike Johnson seconded. The remaining members agreed, so this was tabled for further discussion at the next meeting.

New Business

John Doucette brought up a potential need for a document outlining Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for various job functions related to maritime transport. This could include potential exposures for jobs and how to mitigate these hazards. The idea would be to have basic standards for safety equipment for various job titles. This would be the minimum an employee should have, though they also need to adhere to specific company policies in place when working for each employer. This would be updated as products, industry standards or transportation aspects change in the SoC document.

Another consideration for addition to the SoC document would be a designated safety zone. Kelly Atkinson asked if there are currently evacuation routes and safe places designated if there were an emergency on or near the docks? A comment was made that several businesses have their own plans and often those change daily based on water, air, wind etc. This may also change daily based on the type of emergency or which commodity is in question.

Sean Orr from DOE asked Kevin Campbell from Brusco Tug & Barge about their availability in regards to spill response. There is an extensive safety plan in place, in the event of an emergency. They work together with other tug companies for the fastest response if a vessel is in trouble or if there were to be any sort of spill or need for immediate action.

In the case of extreme weather, the coast guard navigates the area and sets bar traffic restrictions if necessary. They close the bar when conditions exceed their emergency response capabilities. Any pilot can also make the call that they feel unsafe moving a vessel through the area.

John Doucette would like to propose a vision for 2015. He would like to see participation from the community as well as ideas or suggestions for new additions to the stakeholder group.

Next Meeting

The next meeting will be held in the PGH Commission Chambers on Tuesday, February 17th, 2015.


Today’s meeting adjourned at 11:15 a.m.