Friday, September 8, 2017

Everett Commissioner Resigns

By Karen Robes Meeks

A job relocation to Massachusetts has prompted Port of Everett Commissioner Troy McClelland to resign his post as commissioner of District 1, which includes parts of the waterfront in North Everett and east to the Snohomish River.

“It has been a true honor to get to work with a wonderful staff and port commission,” he said. “I think we have accomplished some great things during my nearly seven years on the port commission. I will never forget my time at the Port of Everett, and will continue to follow the Port of Everett’s success with great interest and admiration.”

During his tenure, McClelland helped to lead the port’s efforts to clean up historic contamination, include the 41st Street Freight Corridor in the Connecting Washington Transportation Plan and deepen the port’s role as an economic development resource for Snohomish County.

“Troy is a tremendous visionary, and the port district will greatly miss his leadership,” Port CEO Les Reardanz said. “His efforts to get the port to think and act more like an economic development enterprise for the region will be the stepping stone for initiatives the port pursues during its next 100 years.”

State law stipulates that a new commissioner is to be appointed within 90 days of a resignation. How that interim position will be filled will be discussed at a commission meeting at 5 p.m. on September 12 at the Blue Heron Conference Room, 1205 Craftsman Way in Everett.

The appointee will be in place until the next election. Voters will then chose someone to fill the remainder of McClelland’s term, which expires in 2021.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

EPA Grant for Seattle

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Seattle and Just Health Action have been selected for a new Environmental Protection Agency grant that will go toward improving the health of port-adjacent communities.

The city is one of three communities in the U.S. to receive funding for the Near-port Community Capacity Building/Stakeholder Engagement Project. The pilot program will “test and refine the EPA Ports Initiative’s new capacity building and stakeholder engagement toolkits: the Ports Primer for Communities, the Community Action Roadmap, and the Environmental Justice Primer for Ports,” according to the port.

“The EPA continues to be encouraged by the port’s leadership, along with other Northwest Seaports, in focusing significant time and resources to reducing the environmental impact of its operations,” said Tim Hamlin, air quality director in EPA’s Northwest office. “An important component of this work is the Port’s commitment to developing constructive relationships with communities disproportionately affected by its operations, and we’re hopeful these investments will result in meaningful reductions in health risks for the people who live there.”

The EPA grant will fund one year of technical assistance to help the port and Seattle’s South Park and Georgetown communities work together on engagement, advocacy and communication to address needs.

“As a resident of Georgetown, it is important that we work with the Port to address the significant inequities in the Duwamish Valley, relative to the rest of Seattle,” said Andrew Schiffer, a community partner at Just Health Action. “We hope the pilot project will allow us to work together to reduce the environmental impact on all near-port communities.”

Clean Operators to Reap Rewards

By Karen Robes Meeks

Vessel operators who surpass the regulatory standard for curbing ship pollution will reap greater rewards for it, thanks for new Environmental Ship Index formula that went into effect July 1.

Usually operators get points on a per call basis from a port that provides ESI incentives, such as the Port of Los Angeles, and earn points for reducing pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxides.

The new formula allows operators who enter carbon dioxide data and improve upon the baseline years to rack up even more points as early as this month.

“This voluntary program encourages operators to bring their newest and cleanest ships to participating ESI ports and demonstrate new technology that accelerates clean air progress,” said Port Executive Director Gene Seroka. “ESI has already played a significant role in tackling vessel emissions here in Los Angeles, and its benefits multiply worldwide as the program grows in scope and membership.”

At the Port of Los Angeles, ships with 50 points or more earns $2,500 per call, while vessels in the 40- to 49-point bracket receive $750. Those with Tier III engines are eligible for a $5,000 incentive per call, while ships taking part in a sanctioned Technology Advancement Program demonstration project can get $750 per call.

Expanded Gate Hours Pay Off

By Karen Robes Meeks

The success of last year’s pilot program has prompted the Northwest Seaport Alliance to continue a program that reimburses terminal operators up to $2 million to expand their gate hours during peak season to ease congestion at the ports of Seattle and Tacoma.

The reimbursement program, which kicked off August 12, helps several operators offset the costs of extending the hours of off-shift gates, which take place after 5 p.m. Monday through Friday or any shift on Saturday or Sunday. The additional hours help move cargo out of the two Washington ports more efficiently.

Visit for more details.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Potash Meeting at Grays Harbor

By Karen Robes Meeks

Global resources company BHP will host an open house to discuss its plans for a potash export facility at Port of Grays Harbor’s Terminal 3 later this month.

BHP’s representatives will introduce what potash (potassium chloride) is, in addition to discussing the company’s work at the Jansen Potash Project in Saskatchewan, Canada, and its proposal for Terminal 3. A question-and-answer segment will follow the presentation.

“We commend BHP for holding this event as an opportunity for our local citizens and other interested parties to learn more about the proposed project and what it could mean for our community,” said Port Commissioner Stan Pinnick.

The meeting will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. on September 14 at Hoquiam High School Commons, located at 501 W Emerson Ave. in Hoquiam.

San Diego Wins Cruise Award

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of San Diego has been named one of the top five cruise destinations in the US and Canada for the second straight year by Cruise Critic as part of the Cruiser’s Choice Awards.

San Diego is ranked fourth on the 2017 list, behind No. 1. Quebec City, Quebec, Canada; No. 2. San Francisco, California; and No. 3. Bar Harbor, Maine. Key West, Florida, takes the fifth spot.

The ranking is based on consumer review ratings for cruises taken in the last year and submitted with

“We are honored to be voted one of the top five cruise destinations by Cruise Critic’s online community for the second year in a row,” said Robert “Dukie” Valderrama, chairman of the Board of Port Commissioners. “In recent years, we have installed $31 million in improvements to the North Embarcadero, providing our cruise passengers with a beautiful welcome to the Port of San Diego. That, along with all the wonderful attractions San Diego offers, will help attract new cruise business to our port.”

The port’s cruise season launches on September 15, with 83 cruise calls scheduled.

Long Beach Commission President Outlines Strategy

By Karen Robes Meeks

Strengthening partnerships with Long Beach agencies is a top priority for the Port of Long Beach’s newest president of the Board of Harbor Commissioners.

Harbor Commission President Lou Anne Bynum recently outlined her goals at her first meeting as president, which include connecting with educational and government institutions as a way of expanding economic development opportunities in the industry.

“Many great institutions are working locally right now to grow the economy – Cal State Long Beach, Long Beach City College, Long Beach Unified, our city and private sector entities,” said Bynum, the executive vice president of College Advancement and Economic Development at Long Beach City College. “Together, as a kind of virtual center for innovation, we could tackle export development, green technology incubation, supply chain efficiency and maritime workforce training.”

She also expressed interest in deepening the port’s involvement in local schools, including Cabrillo High School’s Academy of Global Logistics program. To achieve this, Bynum wants the port to tie its education outreach efforts to the ”Long Beach College Promise,” a citywide initiative promising a college education to every Long Beach Unified School District student.

“We must nurture the workforce of tomorrow, to help continue to propel this port forward for generations to come,” she noted.

Hawaii Coast Guard Seeks PFD Owner

By Karen Robes Meeks

The US Coast Guard needs the public’s help in identifying the owner of a life jacket found Sunday afternoon near the Ala Wai Boat Harbor in Oahu, Hawaii.

The Sector Honolulu command center got a call at 12:50 p.m. from a Coast Guard Auxiliary boat crew who found an adrift life jacket while on a safety patrol in the Ala Wai Boat Harbor.

While there were no reports of a missing person in the area, an urgent marine information broadcast was issued to area mariners to look for signs of distress and a Coast Guard Auxiliary boat crew scoured the area for two hours.

The public is encouraged to call Sector Honolulu at 808-842-2600 for any information about the jacket. The Coast Guard recommends labeling all watersports equipment with a name and phone number and offers free “If Found” stickers.

The decals are free at local harbormasters, through the Coast Guard Auxiliary, from Honolulu Sail and Power Squadron offices and other marine retail and supply stores.