Port of Grays Harbor

Harbor Safety Committee Meeting

Harbor Safety Committee Meeting 2017 – Meeting 1

The Harbor Safety meeting of February 21, 2017 was called to order by Kevin Campbell at 10:00 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 and Barge
Mike Johnson - Port of Grays Harbor
Craig Wear - Transmarine
Garrett Dalan - The Nature Conservancy
Steve Williams - Contanda
Doug Coburn - General Steamship Corp.
Larry Thevik - WDCFA
Darren DeLoe - REG
Marisa Yauch - Port of Grays Harbor
Scott Ferguson - DOE
Linda Orgel - CCH

Items discussed were as follows:


From the Chairman
Kevin Campbell, Chair, completed roll call for all attendees present and over the phone.

Approval of December Minutes:

Motion made by Doug Coburn, seconded by Mike Johnson and unanimously approved, the meeting minutes from December 20, 2016 were approved.



Mike Johnson, Port of Grays Harbor, reported on maintenance dredging. In this round of dredging 114,000 cubic yards from the terminal berths. This went 312 cy over Port permits, but was approved as it was a very small amount over the permitted allowance. The next time the Port applies for this permit it will be increased from the current 60,000 cy to 80,000 cy or possibly 100,000 cy. Vessels continue to increase in size which increases the area of sediment which may need to be removed over time for docking at the berths. The Port has not been aggressively dredging Terminal 3 as there has not been recent activity. If the Port does gain a tenant for this berth it will also need to be dredged regularly. Terminal 4 has a few spots that the jet array does not clear of sediment. The upper and lower ends of this berth need a bit of clearing regularly. Bathymetry maps are used to ensure that no excess is taken; these estimates are very precise so the ships remain at a safe depth during tidal fluctuations.

Doug Coburn asked how far in advance the permit is requested. Mr. Johnson replied that the permit is good for 10 years which is why the Port would like to ask for more when we submit our next request. The current permit expires February of 2018 and the Port plans to request more to keep up with the needs.

Mr. Johnson also reported on the full replacement of the Dolphin at T-4. The creosote covered piling was rotting and becoming loose. A contract with Rognlin’s for a new 8 steel pile structure was constructed for approximately $450,000. The piling was treated and placed in at specific angles. This project is complete, the Port is looking into replacement of 2 other dolphins at T-3 possibly by summer of 2017.


Scott Ferguson, of the DOE, spoke of the potential for funding of the Grays Harbor vessel and rail traffic assessment in the upcoming legislative session. Things are moving forward and this group needs to be ready to support the contractor if the funds are awarded. The DOE would like for this committee to establish a work group which would be ready to research and provide feedback if funding comes through from the legislature in July.

The funding is predicted to be up to $400,000 which may be available to support a GHVTRA in the next biennium, 2017-2019. The HSC sub-committee for this project could have a member from the Port, a bar pilot, industry, shore, tribal, coast guard etc. This advising committee will be put together to work with the hired contractor to help shape the work. The goal of the project will be to produce a political report to reduce the risk of oil spills. They are looking to have a good base document for the current state and things that might come into play in the next ten years.

There will be more information coming in the next couple months. Mr. Ferguson stated that Karen Phillips is the vessel inspector and will be the project lead. Brian Kirk will also be working on the project with a Navy background and experience in environmental work.

Mr. Ferguson stated that early on this will be a group that would probably meet monthly. Then, as the project progresses the meetings may become more frequent. This is a two year project, but it will not be too time consuming; some research and input from the group is what will be needed.

Larry Thevik asked for more clarification on the driver for the project. Is it necessary to do this work when the crude oil projects may not happen? Mr. Ferguson stated that the funding will most likely be there for this project and if that is the case it is moving forward for prevention and reduction of spill potential. This has already been completed for Puget Sound and the Columbia River, we are next to develop a document that will aim to stand the test of time. The point of this research is to get ahead and be ready for any possibilities. As a sub-committee of the HSC there is a strong group to pull from.

Doug Coburn thought it would be a good idea to begin collecting reference materials that members of the group may have that we can start from. The HSC committee will continue to work on establishing the group by gauging interest so there are diverse members with knowledge of different areas.

Coast Guard

No report

Corps of Engineers

No report

Incidents / Communications Discussion

No incidents


No presentations

Old Business

Options for bar conditions to be added to the website is still under review.

New Business

No new business

Public Comment

No public comment.

Next Meeting

The next meeting will be held in the PGH Commission Chambers on Tuesday, April 18, 2017.


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