Friday, February 9, 2018

Portland Cleanup Continues

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Portland’s ongoing efforts to clean up contamination at its most active marine terminal, Terminal 4, will continue under a preliminary agreement recently reached between the port and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Port officials last summer reached out to the EPA to figure out how to best move forward on remediating Terminal 4, which is located within the Portland Harbor Superfund site. Operations that were discontinued 20 years ago caused much of the contamination.

The EPA identified the next cleanup steps and outlined the areas of a preliminary agreement that would involve looking at the best technical solutions for remediation. With a thisdocument in place, both agencies will now negotiate to formalize the agreement.

“We’re committed to a cleanup that protects our community and environment and excited to further the significant work that we’ve already accomplished at Terminal 4,” said Port Executive Director Curtis Robinhold. “We’re proud to stand with the others, public and private, who have committed to moving cleanup forward at Portland Harbor.”

New Hawaiian Cutter

By Karen Robes Meeks

On Sunday, the US Coast Guard welcomed the cutter Joseph Gerczak, the second of three 154-foot fast response cutters that will serve the main Hawaiian Islands.

The cutter, which is expected to be commissioned on March 9, is named after Joseph Gerczak, a first-responder who died defending the USS LST-66 from Japanese bombers in 1943.

It is one of the 58 first-response cutters the Coast Guard acquired to replace smaller patrol boats. The new vessels are built for various missions, including search and rescue; fisheries enforcement; drug and migrant interdiction and national defense.

When all three cutters arrive by 2019, it will improve the Coast Guard’s on-water presence by 40 percent.

Long Beach, Panama Partnership

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Long Beach and the Panama Canal Authority will continue their trade promotion efforts. Both government agencies recently agreed to extend a Memorandum of Understanding first signed in 2010 that allows them to partner on activities that mutually benefit trading between Latin America and the United States.

Those activities include participating in events or programs that bolster economic growth, jobs and revenue between the two regions and sharing their technical know-how on engineering, pollution reduction, environmental protection and other areas of interest.

The agreement will continue to be in effect through December 2022, according to the port.

Oakland Cargo Record

By Karen Robes Meeks

Want to know more about the Port of Oakland’s 2017 record-breaking cargo volumes or its business forecast for 2018? Port officials recently unveiled Year in review 2017 (, a new web portal that allow stakeholders to do just that.

The site includes:

• Minute-long videos on the Oakland seaport, Oakland International Airport, and commercial real estate properties, as well as community, engineering, environmental and financial updates;

• An interactive map with information on the port’s key development projects;

• An airline route map showing the airport’s travel destinations from Oakland; and

• The 10 biggest port stories of 2017

“The Port of Oakland’s year in review web portal provides visitors with an interactive platform for accessing key data from the Port’s very successful year,” said Port Director of Information Technology Eva Jakubowska. “The site also provides cargo, financial, and passenger statistics in a compelling and visually engaging manner.”

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Oakland CEO Predicts Record Year

By Karen Robes Meeks

At his annual State of the Port address, the head of the Port of Oakland declared 2018 to be the year of record highs for cargo volume.

“This is our time,” port Executive Director Chris Lytle told the 300 people in attendance for the speech in Oakland’s Jack London Square. “We’ve spent much of this decade working with business partners to build out the cargo delivery platform our customers want and in 2018 we’re putting it to work.”

Lytle spoke about the port’s investments that will foster this record growth, which include raising four ship-to-shore cranes to accommodate megaships; opening Cool Port Oakland, a 283,000-square-foot refrigerated cargo distribution facility; and expanding TraPac marine terminal.

According to Lytle, the port plans to unveil a new five-year strategic plan in 2018 that would balance business growth with community needs. “As the port progresses, we want our neighbors to benefit as well,” he said.

New Bellingham Director of Economic Development

By Karen Robes Meeks

Don Goldberg is the Port of Bellingham’s new Director of Economic Development.

Goldberg, whose salary will be funded jointly by the port, the city of Bellingham and Whatcom County, will be involved in attracting and retaining businesses and developing and maintaining family-wage jobs throughout the county.

With more than 25 years of economic development experience working in the commercial real estate, nonprofit and government sectors, Goldberg previously served as Director of Business Development for the Port of Portland.

He sees potential opportunities on Bellingham’s downtown waterfront. “The continued revitalization of Bellingham’s downtown core is critical to the success of the regional economy” he said. “Downtown Bellingham is the heart of the city and the region and maintaining a critical mass of commercial, cultural and civic activities can become a major stimulator for economic growth throughout Whatcom County. The waterfront redevelopment project offers large development parcels and new waterfront amenities, which are a unique opportunity for business development within the city center.”

Natural Gas Facility for Kalama

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Kalama is asking the public to weigh in on an environmental document for a project being proposed by Northwest Innovations Works, LLC., The company is proposing to develop and run a natural gas-to-methanol production plant and storage facility at the port.

Stakeholders can provide comment until March 1 on the scope of the project’s Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (DSEIS), which will provide additional analysis and potential suggestions to curb greenhouse gas emissions for the project.

The project encompasses the construction of a methanol plant, a gas pipeline lateral, and a new marine terminal.

Submit written comments to Ann Farr, Port of Kalama, 110 W. Marine Drive, Kalama, WA 98625 or email Visit for more details.

San Francisco Commissioner Celebrates 20 Years

By Karen Robes Meeks

This year marks 20 years of service to the Port of San Francisco for Commission President Kimberly Brandon.

Brandon, who was appointed to the port commission in 1997 by Mayor Willie L. Brown, Jr., was recently elected for a sixth term as president of the port’s governing body.

Brandon is Senior Vice President, Wealth Management with Morgan Stanley, where she oversees a portfolio of assets of high net worth individuals, foundations, endowments and public entities. She previously worked at Private Bank at Bank of America in San Francisco and Wells Fargo Bank.

She spearheads the Southern Waterfront Advisory Committee.