Port of Grays Harbor

Harbor Safety Committee Meeting

December 15, 2015

Harbor Safety Committee Meeting 2015 – Meeting 6

The Harbor Safety meeting of December 15, 2015 was called to order by Chair Kevin Campbell at 10:01 a.m. at the Port of Grays Harbor Commission Chambers in, Aberdeen, Washington.

Those in attendance at the meeting were as follows:

Kevin Campbell - Brusco Tug & Barge
Mike Johnson - Port of Grays Harbor
Darren DeLoe - REG Grays Harbor
Brian Shay - City of Hoquiam
Elizabeth Chien - USACE
Fred Goheen - Jones Stevedoring
Leonard Barnes - Port of Grays Harbor
Mandy Garcia - Pasha Stevedoring & Terminals
Marisa Yauch - Port of Grays Harbor
Randy Lewis - Port of Grays Harbor
Ryan White - Port of Grays Harbor
Scott Ferguson - Department of Ecology
Sean Orr - Department of Ecology
Steve Williams - Westway Terminals
Larry Thevik - WDCFA
Laura Springer - USCG MSU Portland
Ken Lawrenson - USCG
Linda Orgel - CCH
Garrett Dalan - The Nature Conservancy

Items discussed were as follows:


From the Chairman

Kevin Campbell completed roll call for all attendees present and over the phone.

Approval of October Minutes:

Motion made by Mike Johnson, seconded by Darren DeLoe and unanimously approved, the meeting minutes from October 20, 2015 were approved.



Mike Johnson, Port of Grays Harbor, reported on a contract recently awarded to American Construction Company, Inc. for annual terminal maintenance dredging. An estimated 35,000 cubic yards needs to be removed at Terminals 2 and 4 to keep the berths at a necessary depth for ocean class vessels. The contract was awarded for $369,030.00, to American Construction the only bid received. This was likely because their equipment was already located in the harbor for another project.

The work for this project is expected to begin the last week of December or the first week of January 2016. The disposal of sediment will go to Point Chehalis or the South Jetty, depending on the weather.

Next, Mr. Johnson discussed the T-4 Pile Cap Repair project. This terminal is 50 years old; it was built with steel rebar supported with concrete pile caps. There were large repairs required, far more extensive than original engineering estimates. Over 200 repairs of different levels were needed to update the structure. There were three types of repairs completed: Level A were $850.00 each, Level B were $700.00 each and Level C were $475.00 each. These were square foot charges and the total cost for these repairs came to about 1.1 million dollars which only covered about half of the terminal. The remaining portion of the terminal was built differently and it is not anticipated that repairs will be as extensive when the other half is updated.


Sean Orr, Department of Ecology, reported on rule updates in process for next year or the year after, they are working on long term budget options.

Scott Ferguson, Department of Ecology, reported on bids for a contract due 12/16/15. These are for Vessel Traffic Safety on the Columbia River; bids for this contract will be evaluated by February 1, 2016.

Mr. Ferguson also mentioned a contract by GWU which will be working on Puget Sound Waterway Safety. This should be signed by the end of December.

There will be a Salish Sea workshop next October 18 and 19, 2016. Funding has been received to hold this workshop which will look at risk mitigation measures.

Department of Ecology anticipates funding will come through for a Grays Harbor Vessel Traffic Safety study.

Larry Thevik, commercial fisherman, asked how long the vessel traffic assessment is expected to take and if it will be completed in time for the oil projects that are proposed. Mr. Ferguson stated that they are currently working on the Columbia River and Puget Sound assessments. If funding comes through as expected for Grays Harbor this would be about a two year project. The Pilotage Commission would look at waterway safety if any facilities received permitting to move crude oil.

Coast Guard

Lieutenant Laura Springer, USCG Portland, reported on JLOTS – Joint Logistics Over the Shore. This exercise is planned to train for an incident that would require quick response and communication from multiple response teams, bringing departments together for hands on training. The Department of Defense will be bringing 10 large vessels to the Westport area. The exercise will span nearly a month from set up, to 9 days of exercises, then break down and analyzation.

Mike Johnson reported the Port will also be participating. We had been notified of 2 vessels coming for the exercise, as opposed to 10 vessels as were mentioned in the report. Further discussions will come on this drill as it gets closer.

Lt. Springer asked if there is anything out of the ordinary going on during this time in June they should be aware of while planning the event. Nothing out of the ordinary was noted, regular vessel traffic and tourism is expected and can be monitored more closely as the date approaches.

Ken Lawrenson, USCG, reported on offshore anchoring concerns. The Coast Guard intends to reword the offshore anchoring requirements for Grays Harbor. These will mirror language for lower Columbia River in regards to anchoring off shore and the expectation from the Coast Guard. They would like to change the distance to 25 nautical miles offshore if a vessel is required to wait before they are able to enter the harbor. There will be options for engine shutoff if the conditions are favorable, otherwise required to keep engines on standby. The Coast Guard will be revising page 17 Section 3.2 of the Standards of Care document. Mr. Lawrenson will be providing a draft to the group and opening for comment.

Captain White, Grays Harbor Pilot, mentioned potential concern in allowing engine shutoff which could put a vessel in a position of fewer options. Allowing the vessel to drift with engines off could result in difficulty re-starting; Captain White feels it best to keep a ship underway because a shutdown could trigger problems.

Mr. Lawrenson understands the concern and will be sure that comments are incorporated before changes are made. Chair Kevin Campbell will be sure this is distributed to the group for review.

Corps of Engineers

Elizabeth Chien, USACE, commented on the JLOTS planning and stated that they do not have any dredging scheduled for June that would interfere with these exercises.

The Corps will be opening bids for maintenance of the inner reaches this week. The project will take about 30 days starting in mid-January to the end of February. This will cover Cow Point and the Turning Basin. Previous maintenance has been holding up well. The next project scheduled is April 1 to the end of May. They plan to dredge South Reach to the Bar; also will complete the inner harbor beginning mid-July which will take several months. They continue to monitor structural issues near Westport.

Larry Thevik, commercial fisherman, mentioned a crab gear conflict they dealt with last year while the Corps was completing some dredging. He would like to ensure that they will receive proper notice in advance so crab gear will not be in the way of the dredges. Fishers are concerned that the boundaries given are what are used so there is no way a dredge would go over their crab gear.

Ms. Chien responded stating that this issue was more of a challenge the last time dredging than it has been in the past. The contract will be managed out of Portland. She was proposing the introduction of a safety zone, which would only apply when the dredge was running. Notifications will be coming soon for the April 1 dredge project.

Mr. Thevik stated that the previously used government dredges had less interference with their gear. In the past there were designated areas of operation which worked well. If past practice continued, there would not be a need for additional safety zones.

Ms. Chien stated that although there may not have been issues with the interference of gear, there were other reasons the Corps switched to a private dredge company.

Incidents / Communications Discussion

Darren DeLoe announced an annual spill drill and contingency plan update Renewable Energy Group (REG) will be holding tomorrow, December 16.


Kevin Campbell spoke on the regional Harbor Safety Committee meeting he attended earlier this month in San Diego, CA. This was put on by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and almost every HSC on the West Coast had a representative. Many topics revolved around funding and delays in dredging. In Long Beach they are working on 3-D navigation and the optimum time to cross into their waters. There were big and small ports up and down the coast that attended. Mr. Campbell was pleasantly surprised by the good information he gained at the meeting and was glad to have attended.

Old Business

Kevin Campbell introduced Larry Thevik, the newest member of the HSC voted in at the October meeting. He will represent the non-tribal fishing seat, almost all of the seats have been filled; there are still a few which remain vacant.

New Business

Lt. Springer mentioned that the National HSC meeting will be held this year in Portland, OR. This will be September 13-15, 2016; anyone involved in the committee is welcome to attend.

Garrett Dalan, The Nature Conservancy, is interested in participating on the committee. He plans to submit an application for the Environmental Advocacy position before the next meeting to be an aid on issues moving forward.

Linda Orgel stated there is a difference between a large organization like TNC and small local environmental advocates. There may also be applications submitted from local environmental groups.

Brian Shay reported on a Hoquiam boat launch under construction for improvements. They expect the Levee Street boat launch to be under construction through February and then to be open for public use.

Larry Thevik asked GH Vessel Pilot Ryan White if there had been any recent bar closures due to storms. Captain White stated that Grays Harbor follows recommendations on the Columbia River Bar and there may have been closures while he was off duty.

Lt. Laura Springer stated that the bar was closed for a few days late last week and into mid-week when winds and tides were extreme. She will send recent bar closure information to Mike Johnson to be passed to Mr. Thevik.

Next Meeting

The next meeting will be held in the PGH Commission Chambers on Tuesday, February 16th, 2016.


Today’s meeting adjourned at 11:09 a.m.