Friday, February 2, 2018

Washington Governor Rejects Oil Terminal

By Karen Robes Meeks

The site certification application for the Vancouver Energy project at the Port of Vancouver USA was rejected Monday by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee.

Inslee concurred with the Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council’s (EFSEC) earlier recommendation to reject the application.

“After considering all of the evidence in the record, the Council found that the risks of siting the proposed project at the Port of Vancouver exceeded the project’s potential benefits and determined that the application is not in the public interest,” Inslee wrote in a letter to EFSEC Chair Kathleen Drew.

After the council rejected the application, the port was not surprised by the governor’s decision, said port CEO Julianna Marler. “Our mission continues to be providing economic benefit to our community through leadership, stewardship and partnership in marine, industrial and waterfront development,” she said. “We appreciate the Governor’s recognition of our important role in regional trade and we will continue to fulfill that role.”

The project—a joint venture between Andeavor, formerly Tesory Corp. and Savage Companies—would involve building and operating a terminal that could take up to 360,000 barrels of crude oil delivered daily by rail and store it before transferring it onto vessels bound for West Coast refineries, where it would become transportation fuel and other byproducts for US consumers.

San Diego Commissioners Approve Embarcadero Project

By Karen Robes Meeks

The San Diego Symphony’s Bayside Performance Park Enhancement Project will move forward at the port’s Embarcadero Marina Park South.

Port commissioners recently approved several items in preparation for the project, including certifying its Final Environmental Impact Report, amending the Port Master Plan and approving a binding Letter of Intent (LOI) with the symphony.

Next, the port will go before the California Coastal Commission to certify its Port Master Plan Amendment. Meanwhile, port staff will begin real estate agreement negotiations with the Symphony.

“The San Diego Symphony has a great track record with the Port and is a pillar of the San Diego arts community,” said Chairman Rafael Castellanos, Board of Port Commissioners. “Their proposal to invest $45 million in improvements, including many public amenities and better performance facilities, strikes a new and wonderful chord on our dynamic waterfront, honors the water and creates a dynamic new place on our beautiful San Diego Bay for the public to enjoy.”

The project will involve building a permanent outdoor performance and event venue. The symphony also plans to upgrade public restrooms, widen the promenade around the performance area and create a new bay viewing deck that would be available to the public outside of event hours as well as other amenities.

Port of Los Angeles Grants to San Pedro, Wilmington

By Karen Robes Meeks

Nearly a dozen local health organizations aimed at helping San Pedro and Wilmington communities in Los Angeles will receive a total of $644,794 in grants from the Port of Los Angeles.

The Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners recently approved 10 Harbor Community Benefit Foundation grants, which ranged from $5,460 to $225,000.

Recipients include St. Mary’s Medical Center, which intends to use the money for its high-tech mobile care clinic, and the Los Angeles Trust for Children’s Health, which will use the grant to support a health program targeting students who miss more than eight days in a school year due to asthma.

“The Harbor Community Benefit Foundation grant program is one of many ways the Port helps and supports meaningful programs that have a real and tangible impact on the health and well-being of our community,” said Ambassador Vilma Martinez, president of the Los Angeles Harbor Commission. “These winning proposals have potential to serve our community’s most urgent needs.”

EPA Awards Port of Portland

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Portland was among eight organizations and businesses to earn the US Environmental Protection Agency’s “Howard Orlean Excellence in Site Re-Use Award,” which honors Oregon’s public and private sector’s innovative and collaborative work in remediating and revitalizing Troutdale Reynolds Industrial Park.

Recipients also include Alcoa Corp., the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, the City of Troutdale, Multnomah County, FedEx Ground, Amazon and Trammell Crow Co.

“It is with these partnerships that we can advance the agency’s core mission of protecting human health and the environment in the best possible way,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “I congratulate the award winners and hope their efforts to turn a formerly polluted site into a beneficial addition to the surrounding communities becomes the norm for redevelopment and cleanup at Superfund sites across the country.”

The former Reynolds Metals Company Superfund Site has already welcomed a FedEx Ground sorting facility and an Amazon is erecting a fulfillment center.

“The Troutdale Reynolds Industrial Park demonstrates what can happen when partners work together to clean up the site, transcend political and jurisdictional boundaries and get the site ready for redevelopment,” said Chris Hladick, EPA regional administrator for the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. “This project will pay both environmental and economic dividends for decades.”

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

2017 Marks Long Beach Port’s Busiest Year

By Karen Robes Meeks

In his State of the Port address, Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero announced that the port moved 7.54 million TEUs last year, making 2017 the busiest year in the port’s history.

That’s more than 11 percent higher than 2016, a feat some thought improbable given the impact of Hanjin’s bankruptcy on the Long Beach port, where the Korean company had made its biggest terminal investment.

Harbor Commission President Lou Anne Bynum spoke of the port’s push to find a new tenant for the former Hanjin terminal and the commission’s commitment to furthering Long Beach as an environmental leader.

"Business is once again booming, and the Commission remains committed to serving our customers and community at the Port of Long Beach," Bynum said. "We will continue to be the leading Green Port, devoted to a strategy that embraces powerful economic development and unrivaled environmental sustainability and social responsibility."

Cordero spoke of his vision for predictable, reliable, efficient and fast trade operations that will retain and grow business into the 2020s and beyond. "We must re-imagine, redesign and build a port that is second to none both environmentally and operationally," Cordero said.

New CEO at AltaSea

By Karen Robes Meeks

San Pedro attorney Tim McOsker will lead AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles as chief executive officer. McOsker, who is expected to start on February 1, will be tasked with overseeing contracts, leases, land deals, and partnership negotiations related to the non-profit organization, which was established to revamp 35 acres in the oldest part of the port into “a center for ocean-oriented science research, STEM education and sustainable business creation.

“In 2017, AltaSea had a remarkable string of successes that built a powerful foundation for our next stage of development,” said AltaSea Board Chairman Camilla Townsend. “In 2018, with Tim as CEO, AltaSea will aggressively move forward on complicated issues such as signing additional tenants, finalizing major operating partnerships, taking control of additional parcels and beginning their development and remediation. Tim brings decades of hands-on experience in this kind of work and we’re thrilled that he has agreed to join AltaSea as CEO.”

McOsker, a San Pedro resident, is a partner at Glaser Weil Fink Howard Avchen & Shapiro LLP, where he co-chairs the Government and Regulatory Law Department. He served as chief of staff for former Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn and as his chief deputy city attorney. He represented AltaSea in 2017 when it renegotiated its lease with the port.

USCG Crew Receives Excellence Award

By Karen Robes Meeks

The 25-member crew of the Coast Guard Cutter John McCormick was recently given the 2017 Hopley Yeaton Cutter Excellence Award (small cutter) by the Douglas Munro Chapter of the Surface Navy Association.

Based in Ketchikan, Alaska, the 154-foot John McCormick, which beat out more than 150 cutters in the Small Cutter (175 feet or less) category, is the first Fast Response Cutter assigned to Coast Guard District 17.

“It is truly an honor for the crew of the John McCormick to be recognized for this prestigious award, especially considering the accomplishments over this calendar year, which included transiting to Ketchikan from Key West, getting commissioned in April, and serving the great state of Alaska ever since,” said Lt. Mike Moyseowicz, commanding officer of the cutter John McCormick. “More than anything, this award is about the crew, all of whom sacrificed so many nights away from home in service to their country, and none of this would have been possible without their exceptional professionalism, teamwork, and dedication to serving others.”

Port of San Diego Police Stress Management

By Karen Robes Meeks

The International Critical Incident Stress Foundation recently lauded Port of San Diego’s Harbor Police Department’s Acting Assistant Police Chief Kirk Nichols, Lieutenant James Jordan and Officer Cynthia Markley for their work in Critical Incident Stress Management.

In 2004, Nichols co-established the Harbor Police Department’s Peer Support Unit after the unrelated off-duty deaths of three Harbor Police officers.

Jordan, who has been part of the Peer Support Unit since 2010, has been instrumental in incorporating the use of Critical Incident Stress Management and Critical Incident Debriefings as the department’s standard protocol.

Markley, who retired in 2017 after 31 years as a police officer, volunteers for Chula Vista’s Citizen’s Adversity Support Team and has been part of Harbor Police Peer Support Unit since 2009.

“The Harbor Police Department’s Peer Support Unit has been extremely instrumental with providing support and counseling during critical incidents and times of crises,” said Mark Stainbrook, Acting Chief of the Harbor Police. “I commend Assistant Chief Nichols, Lt. Jordan and Officer Markley on their outstanding work and commitment to their peers.”