Port of Grays Harbor

Harbor Safety Committee Meeting

Harbor Safety Committee Meeting 2015 – Meeting 2

The Harbor Safety meeting of April 21, 2015 was called to order by Chair John Doucette at 10:03 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
Leonard Barnes - Port of Grays Harbor
Marisa Yauch - Port of Grays Harbor
Fred Goheen - Jones Stevedoring
Darren Deloe - Imperium Grays Harbor
Junior Goodell - Quinault Tribe
Sean Orr - Department of Ecology
Tim Ryker - Pasha Stevedoring Terminals
Craig Bennett - USCG
Kevin Gittins - Transmarine
Elizabeth Chien - USACE
Brian Shay - City of Hoquiam
Ryan White - Port of Grays Harbor
Kayla Dunlap - Port of Grays Harbor
Mike Johnson - Port of Grays Harbor
Scott Ferguson - Department of Ecology
Randy Lewis - Port of Grays Harbor
Linda Orgel - CCH

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 Fred Goheen, seconded by Mike Johnson and unanimously approved, the meeting minutes from February 17, 2015 were approved.



Mike Johnson reported on recent dredging at the Port’s 4 vessel terminals. Just over 100,000 cubic yards of sediment were moved at a cost of about $858,000 for all of the dredging completed this year.

Mr. Johnson also reported that the Port was awarded a Homeland Security Grant for various upgrades at a few terminals. The Grant in process is for $248,520 and the total cost of the upgrades is $331,000 leaving the Port responsible for about $82,840 or 25% of the total cost. Some of the upgrades include: a permanent guard booth at T-2, new fencing at T-3 and T-4, lighting at T-1 and new radios and a repeater for improved communication throughout the property. Application for the 2015 Homeland Security Grant is underway and will be turned in prior to the deadline next month.


Sean Orr spoke of the Chehalis River GRP. This is a plan to cover response strategies from the Chehalis River until it empties into Grays Harbor in Aberdeen. They are getting close to a final plan, but the comment period ends May 8, 2015 so these comments will be addressed after the closing of public comment.

Scott Ferguson touched on the legislation of two bills still on the floor in Olympia. SB 5057 started under Senator Ericksen and has been supportive of all oil study recommendations. They are looking to add a 4 to 8 cent barrel tax, but have not narrowed that down at this point.

The second bill, HB 1449, is planning to keep the current law of 4 cents per barrel rather than increasing to 8 cents, but this could change the definition of “facility” to include tax on the rail. For each bill, the funding and the safety measures put into place will be the biggest factors that may affect the HSC.

Mr. Ferguson mentioned that he is now on the Washington State Board of Pilotage Commissioners. He said they have no jurisdiction on the Columbia River, but they make decisions on the Puget Sound and Grays Harbor. He mentioned that in his recent meetings on the board, an issue that has come to light is the number of occurrences that vessels have had recently getting in and out of Puget Sound harbors. The law recently changed requiring vessels to switch to a low sulfur fuel while in the Emission Control Areas (ECAs) which is when nearing the coastline and entering harbors.

Mr. Ferguson said that their recent discussion brought up that there had been 6 incidents of propulsion issues under their jurisdiction in about the last month which is higher than usual. He is not certain that there is a direct correlation, but wanted to ask the group if they had concerns about this and if some research and data gathering should be collected to see if a correlation does exist. The issues have often involved the journey the vessel must make to get out of the harbor when systems have been lessened or shut down for an extended period of time while loading. Proposals included addressing whether a sub-group should conduct research on how this is affecting local vessels. Also, to research what types of safety notices have already been issued by other Ports or HSC’s to warn vessels of this potential issue. If others have been issued, this group will have a discussion on whether a safety notice is issued or if something is added in our Standards of Care document. Messaging will be discussed so the committee agrees on a document if one is issued.

Coast Guard

No Report

Corps of Engineers

Elizabeth Chien reported that dredging of the inner harbor was completed on 3/22/15. There is now a hopper dredge that Manson construction is using to dredge about 900,000 cubic yards by the third or fourth week in May, but has run into a large amount of crab pots that are in process of being removed. The Corps is also working to do some repairs on breakwater if the environmental evaluations come through soon. The end date for all dredging in the outer harbor will be May 31. Summer dredging in the inner harbor will begin on 7/15/15 and will go until the mid-September fish window.

The new contract which will include deeper draft will start just after Thanksgiving and go until 2/15/16, but has not been awarded yet. The summer of 2016 will be the end of the deepening process. This will include upland disposal and it will be easier to deal with during summer months. The Corps is trying to stay flexible and to make decisions as they go. Junior Goodell said they had held a Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting recently and they have established a tentative fishing schedule for the fall. Ms. Chien stated that she would set up a meeting to talk about this with the Quinault Tribe in the near future so they can work out the dates.

Incidents / Communications Discussion

No incidents


No presentations

Old Business

John Doucette brought up a follow up discussion of the oil sheen spilled near Grays Harbor Paper on 2/14 and how communication was handled. Mr. Barnes replied that the incident was handled effectively and efficiently by John Pellegrini of the Hoquiam City Council. Sean Orr of DOE said that he would do a bit of research into the communication and response for the incident. The point would be to see if there were any gaps in time or important people that should have been notified sooner to start on cleanup. He will report on this at the next meeting.

John Doucette talked about the need for a more formal set of voting members and alternatives so that if there is a vote we will know if we have a quorum and which definable segments are represented. John distributed forms to voting members and potential voting members so that we can keep more official records.

John Doucette formally announced that he will be leaving Westway and taking a position in the greater Seattle area. He had already discussed the HSC position changes with members of the committee and appointed them to their respective positions:

• Kevin Campbell – Brusco Tug, Chair
• Mike Johnson – Port of Grays Harbor, Vice Chair
• Aaron Leatherman – Imperium Grays Harbor, Secretary

Mr. Doucette asked if there were any other folks that would like to be in those positions or to discuss how they were decided. The group agreed that they appointments made sense and they were approved.

The group wished John well in his new job and thanked him for his time as Chair of the committee.

New Business

No new business

Next Meeting

The next meeting will be held in the PGH Commission Chambers on Tuesday, June 16th, 2015.


Today’s meeting adjourned at 11:10 a.m.