Port of Grays Harbor

Harbor Safety Committee Meeting

April 19, 2016

Harbor Safety Committee Meeting 2016 – Meeting 2

The Harbor Safety meeting of April 19, 2016 was called to order by Co-Chair Mike Johnson 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:

Mike Johnson - Port of Grays Harbor
Brian Shay - City of Hoquiam
Elizabeth Chien - USACE
Fred Goheen - Jones Stevedoring
Ken Lawrenson - USCG Portland
Mandy Garcia - Pasha Stevedoring & Terminals
Marisa Yauch - Port of Grays Harbor
Craig Wear - Transmarine
Garrett Dalan - The Nature Conservancy
Scott Ferguson - Department of Ecology
Sean Orr - Department of Ecology
Larry Thevik - WDCFA
Linda Orgel - CCH
Randy Lewis - Port of Grays Harbor
Ray Toste - Coalition of Fishermen
Ryan White - Port of Grays Harbor

Items discussed were as follows:


From the Chairman

Mike Johnson completed roll call for all attendees present and over the phone.

Approval of February Minutes:

Motion made by Fred Goheen, seconded by Randy Lewis and unanimously approved, the meeting minutes from February 16, 2016 were approved.


Mike Johnson, Port of Grays Harbor, reported on the submission of a FY16 application for grant funding that would be used for additional security cameras on Port property. This grant opportunity is through the Department of Homeland Security which would be federally funded up to 75% with a 25% Port match. If granted, this would allow more efficient monitoring of vessel crews and others accessing the secured areas. If funded, construction could begin in 2017.

Ray Toste asked if this may include any cameras at the Westport Marina. No, this particular grant is only for the terminal area since it is through homeland security.

Mr. Johnson also reported that the Port will be calling for bids on dredging for all 4 terminals this summer. The Port will call for bids in May and will hope to award in June.


Sean Orr, Department of Ecology, reported that oil spill contingency rules are open for comment. There are three rules open for comment which can be accessed on the DOE website.

Mr. Orr also reported on a vessel that has run aground in Ocean Shores. The owners of the Vessel Privateer are working with the Coast Guard and Ecology to salvage the vessel and get the fuel out of the water safely.

Larry Thevik mentioned that the owner has hired a salvage company, but this can be a very expensive process.

Scott Ferguson stated that if they are not able to afford all of the costs involved, there are at least two other funds offered through the Coast Guard and the State to ensure the boat and fuel issues will be cleaned up properly.

Sean Orr reported that in this case the boat has been stabilized and a salvage plan is ready. Unfortunately, high surf has postponed recovery efforts for a while now; it will be removed from the water as soon as it is safe.

Scott Ferguson reported on the Columbia River Vessel Traffic Evaluation and Safety Risk Assessment (CRVTSA) and that a contractor has been hired (DNV-GL). This will involve a full waterway and traffic evaluation and assessment of the lower Columbia River from a safety risk perspective to include the impact of rail on the waterway. Considering a qualitative historical characterization of the commercially navigable waters of the Columbia River east of the I-5 bridge.

Mr. Ferguson reported there would be a kickoff webinar held May 12th for Tribes and stakeholders along the river. The timeline for the project includes a preliminary draft report for the legislature by June 30th, 2017. Additional funds are anticipated in the next biennium to further refine this work for a draft deliverable by December 15th, 2017 and a final report by June 30th, 2018. They will be engaged in outreach this summer culminating in a “Scenario Workshop” anticipated for October 6th, 2016 that will lead into DNV-GL’s modeling, analysis, and report development.

Ecology is working on the Puget Sound Vessel Traffic Risk Assessment update from 2010 to 2015 with George Washington University and Virginia Commonwealth University which have been modeling the Salish Sea for well over a decade. In the Fall, Ecology will host a cross border Salish Sea workshop in Bellingham at the Whatcom County Emergency Operations Center on October 18th and 19th. For more information on any of this please visit the Ecology Spills program (SPPR) page and the risk work information.

For the 2017 legislative session, Ecology, funds permitting, may be tasked to begin to look at vessel traffic risk for Grays Harbor. Mr. Ferguson is hoping to get an idea in the coming months of what a work group for this area would look like though the Harbor Safety Committee. The desire is to approach this work through the Harbor Safety Committee like it is being done in the Lower Columbia River and Puget Sound. Also anticipate direction from the legislature to conduct statewide rail risk modeling focused on the changing energy transportation picture. The timeline would be 2 years if it is awarded in the budget.

Coast Guard
Ken Lawrenson reported for the Coast Guard and sent regards from Laura Springer. He reported that the Coast Guard in conjunction with the Cascadia Rising events is preparing to be able to bring fuel to areas in need in the event of an emergency.

Corps of Engineers

Elizabeth Chien, USACE, reported the Corps is currently dredging the outer harbor. Manson Construction Co. has been dredging since April 9th and has removed over 100,000 cy. After the outer harbor they will move to Point Chehalis for a while. The dredging has been going well, they continue to communicate with the tribes, crabbers and the Port; the dredge is doing its best to avoid crab pots. The inner harbor is currently not being dredged, the contract for the Cow Point area will resume in mid-July.

There is a new contract for the Operations & Maintenance plus deepening of the channel currently being advertised. These bids are due April 26th, but may be extended by another week if needed. This work will likely begin by October 1st and it will be a two year contract. The inner harbor will follow the normal work windows and will begin October 1st, 2016 to be completed by September 30th, 2018. Awarding for this project is expected in the middle of May.

Brian Shay asked if this will require for upland disposal. Ms. Chien stated that this contract does include disposal at the Terminal 3 placement site in Hoquiam. The contractor will contact the City of Hoquiam and the Port to have all of the details worked out in advance. Material will likely not be going to that site until summer of 2017, so plenty of time for planning.

Larry Thevik asked if there would be mitigation for crab and other fish for the deepening. Ms. Chien stated that impacts to the crab were evaluated, but no impacts were found to require mitigation. It was in the draft FEIS that has now been finalized.

Incidents / Communications Discussion

No incidents


No presentations

Old Business

Ken Lawrenson brought up the vessel offshore anchoring language and any suggestions the group may have in regards to this language.

Larry Thevik wanted to clarify the classification of vessel to which this would apply. Mr. Lawrenson specified that this would be for vessels over 135 feet in length. The intention is for deep draft vessels.

New Business

There will be a large emergency disaster drill called Cascadia Rising which will be held June 7th through 12th. Grays Harbor County and local jurisdictions will come together to prepare for an emergency this week. Westway will be putting on a 9.0 earthquake and tsunami drill for preparation and the anticipation that everyone will need to get higher than 30 feet above sea level. JLOTS will be the same week on Indian Island. The Coast Guard will practice and plan to bring supplies from the ocean such as portable equipment to land on beaches.

Larry Thevik mentioned concern for the tractor tugs. He stated that part of the old Hoquiam Bridge has apparently become a new obstacle in the water. There was a buoy put in by the city of Hoquiam and another more permanent marker went in by the Coast Guard the for the obstruction danger. Mike Johnson stated that this and another obstruction were identified and marked recently. The Army Corps is working diligently to figure out the correct jurisdiction for the underwater obstacles. Survey and imagery work has been completed. The second obstacle is a 26 foot metal boat about -38 to -40 in the navigation channel. Coordination for removal of this obstacle will happen this summer. It has already been inspected for leaking fluids of which there are none, but it is still an obstruction hazard. They are working to find the owner, but if this cannot be determined, the city, corps and coast guard will work to get it removed.

Linda Orgel inquired on why the Privateer went aground. Ken Lawrenson stated that the investigation is still underway and that they do not know the reason for this at this time.

Next Meeting

The next meeting will be held in the PGH Commission Chambers on Tuesday, June 21st, 2016.


Today’s meeting adjourned at 11:25 a.m.