Tuesday, September 16, 2014

PNW Ports Receive Environmental Awards

By Mark Edward Nero

The Port of Portland and Port of Tacoma have been named among the recipients of the American Association of Port Authorities’ Environmental Achievement Awards for their efforts to better understand initiatives and trends in environmental protection and enhancement at ports around the globe.

The Port of Portland won in the Stakeholder Awareness, Education & Involvement category after it teamed with the International Institute for Sustainable Seaports on an initiative to increase awareness of the role seaports around the globe play in implementing a broad array of environmental initiatives at seaports across the globe.

The initiative’s resulting white paper, entitled Environmental Initiatives at Seaports Worldwide: A Snapshot of Best Practices, was first released in 2010. It addressed the geographic, community, financial and regulatory drivers that impact port decision-making related to sustainability through an assessment of current environmental management initiatives.

In 2013, the port and I2S2 partnered again to create an updated version of the white paper, adding new information about environmental initiatives at seaports and assessing trends within the industry since the first white paper was developed.

The Port of Tacoma received an award in the Comprehensive Environmental Management category for its work that was detailed in paper entitled Biofiltration: West Hylebos Log Yard.

In 2010, the port was confronted with a dilemma: bring the runoff from its log dock into compliance with stringent stormwater regulations in a cost-effective manner, or risk shuttering its lumber operations and the 40 jobs it supports.

To meet the challenge, the port devised a plan to design and create a $2.7 million treatment facility. The resulting treatment facility delivered an innovative, economical solution by mimicking nature’s own filtering processes which to date reduces pollution loads by 92 percent and counting.

Portland and Tacoma were among four award winners, with the others being Port Tampa Bay and the Georgia Ports Authority. The ports were recognized Nov. 13 at AAPA’s 103rd Annual Convention and Exposition.