Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Extended Comment Period for Los Angeles Terminal

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Los Angeles has extended the public comment period to September 29 for those who want to weigh in on an updated draft report addressing the environmental impacts of China Shipping’s terminal at Berths 97-109.

The port did so at the request of community stakeholders who wanted more time to review and comment on the draft the port released last month.

The draft report reviews the terminal’s continued operation under adjusted mitigation measures, given today’s higher cargo movement compared to 2008 when the original document had been created.

The draft suggested several measures to offset “unavoidable significant impacts in air quality, greenhouse gas emissions and ground transportation.”

Some measures in the draft Environment Impact Report (EIR) were requiring that ships be able to use alternative maritime power (such as shore power) while at berth by January 1, take part in the vessel speed reduction program and swap diesel-powered equipment with electric models.

The original EIR was done when China Shipping North America affiliate West Basin Container Terminal wanted to expand its facility, which was approved by the port and completed in 2013.

The EIR then called for China Shipping to buy cleaner cargo handling equipment and zero emissions trucks and test at least 10 pieces of cargo-handling equipment in a yearlong zero emissions demonstration.

But according to the Daily Breeze, the LA port said in 2015 that many of the clean-air requirements have not been implemented.

For a copy of the draft EIR, visit https://www.portoflosangeles.org/EIR/ChinaShipping/DSEIR/dseir_china_shipping.asp

Port of Seattle Joins Environmental Group

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Seattle reiterated its commitment to the environment recently when the agency announced it was part of We Are Still In, a national multi-organizational coalition aimed at meeting greenhouse gas reduction goals outlined in the Paris Climate Agreement and declared support for the UN-driven initiative Climate Neutral Now.

The port’s goals to lower emissions reflect the Paris Agreement’s goals in reducing 2005’s emissions by half by 2030 and all or more of those emissions by 2050.

Some of the port’s initiatives to reduce carbon footprint includes:

• Raising its use of renewable natural gas, solar, and wind power and other clean energy sources;

• Requiring all cruise ships and large vessels to use electric power or low-sulfur diesel while at berth;

• Partnering with the ports of Tacoma, Wash., and Vancouver, British Columbia on the Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy to improve air quality in the Salish Sea air shed;

• Working with drayage truck drivers to retire its more than 200 polluting trucks and outfit the rest with modern emissions control systems; and

• Put into action a stringent program demanding port truckers to use trucks with 2007 truck emissions technology or better.

“We are actively cutting greenhouse gas emissions from Port operations and working with our tenants to assist them in reducing their GHG emissions,” said Port Commissioner John Creighton. “Leadership to make our carbon footprint smaller is crucial to reducing the threat of global temperature rise.”

New Oakland Board President

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Oakland’s seven-member governing board recently elected Joan Story as its board president for one year.

Story, who has served on the board for two years, will take over for Commissioner Michael Colbruno, who acted as president last year and will remain on the board.

"I'm gratified to have the support of my colleagues on the board," Story said. "With their guidance and the commitment of a talented staff we look forward to continued success at the Port."

A graduate from Occidental College, Story earned her master’s degree in political science from UCLA and a law degree from UC Davis. She was a member of The Trust for Public Land California Advisory Board and a board member of the Child Care Law Center.

Story is real estate attorney who is of counsel to the international law firm of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton.

In July 2015, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf appointed Story to the board.

Commissioners also selected Cestra "Ces" Butner as its First Vice President and Andreas Cluver as its Second Vice President.

New Port of Anacortes Staff

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Anacortes, Washington recently made a series of hires for various roles.

The agency welcomed John Dumas to be its Director of Operation. Dumas previously worked for marine terminal tenant Cortland Puget Sound Rope, where he had been employed since 1996 in various roles. He most recently served as site manager for the Anacortes operation.

The port also hired Brad Tesch as a project manager. Previously at Hunt Military Communities (formerly Forest City Residential Management), Tesch oversaw large-scale housing projects as the maintenance manager.

The port also brought on board Ryan Fox as marina operations supervisor. Fox hail from Global Diving & Salvage.

Friday, July 21, 2017

LA Port Sets Record

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Los Angeles has set a new annual record for most container throughput by a Western Hemisphere port, ending its 12-month fiscal year with more than 9.2 million TEUs in overall cargo.

According to latest statistics released this week, the nation’s busiest seaport handled 9,205,755 TEUs from the fiscal year that took place from July 1, 2016, to June 30.

“As we mark the mid-point of 2017, we are grateful to our terminal operators, shipping lines, labor force and land-side supply chain stakeholders for their focus on teamwork and efficiency, because they are the reason why we attained record-breaking volumes these past 12 months,” said Port of Los Angeles executive director Gene Seroka. “Despite unprecedented change in our industry, we are demonstrating the LA Advantage in terms of world-class infrastructure, competitive pricing and extraordinary customer service.”

Last month, 731,032 TEUs moved through the Los Angeles port, an 8.1 percent increase from June 2016, making it the port’s second busiest June ever.

The port handled 372,272 TEUs in imports in June, 4.7 percent rise from the same time last year. Exports in June also grew 3.5 percent to 145,527 TEUs when compared to June 2016.

New San Diego Boat Launch

By Karen Robes Meeks

The City of Coronado and the Port of San Diego this week celebrated the completion of the Glorietta Bay Boat Launch Ramp and Dock C Replacement, a significant public access project.

At the ribbon-cutting ceremony, guests received demonstrations of boats launching from the new ramp and rode boats to Dock C, which underwent enhancements updated with today’s fire, electrical and ADA requirements.

The project, which began in February, was made possible with funds from the city, the port and the Division of Boating & Waterways. The port contributed $470,000, while the Division of Boating & Waterways gave $670,000.

Coronado, which contributed $150,000, oversaw the $1.3 million project to replace the concrete apron of the boat launch ramp, rebuild and expand the adjacent boarding dock that can accommodate those with disabilities and build a non-motorized craft launch area on a new sandy beach, according to the port.

Boat launch facility improvements also include resurfacing its parking lot, putting in a new boat wash-down area and fixing a small area of riprap and storm drain in the northern beach area of Glorietta Bay Park.

“The Port of San Diego understands the importance of public boat launches on San Diego Bay,” said Commissioner Bonelli, Coronado’s representative on the Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners. “Part of our mission is to promote recreation and we are happy to be a partner on this important improvement project to improve access to Glorietta Bay.”

New Long Beach Commissioners

By Karen Robes Meeks

Two new Long Beach harbor commissioners will be sitting on the dais on Aug. 14.

Former California Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal and real estate business owner Frank Colonna will serve on the board that oversees the Port of Long Beach and the city’s Harbor Department.

The Long Beach City Council on Wednesday confirmed Mayor Robert Garcia’s appointments of Colonna and Lowenthal, both former council members.

Colonna will take over for Commissioner Doug Drummond, who has been serving since 2011 and had planned to retire next month. Lowenthal will replace Commissioner Rich Dines, who has served since 2011.

Harbor Commissioners can serve up to two six-year terms.

Colonna is a longtime real estate business owner who previously served two terms on the council, including two years as vice mayor. He is serving on the Economic Development Commission.

Lowenthal, a licensed family counselor and mental health consultant, is a longtime community leader who served as a board member on the Long Beach Unified School District, a councilwoman and vice mayor and an Assemblywoman who also chaired the Select Committee on Ports and Transportation Committee.

Lowenthal is the seventh woman to serve as a harbor commissioner in the port’s history. It’s also the first time that the five-member board has four women currently serving as commissioners at the port.