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Monthly Archives: September 2017

Shorelines Hearing Board Decision: Statement of Mark Wilson, Executive Director, Port of Kalama

RE: Shorelines Hearing Board Decision Related To The Kalama Methanol Manufacturing and Export Facility Environmental Impact Statement  (EIS)

“Permitting is a collaborative effort with the agencies that regulate projects. A project of this size requires diligent effort and coordination.  In the case of greenhouse gases (GHG), there is no specific law or rule to determine what constitutes adequate environmental review of GHG impacts.  The EIS, which was produced jointly by the Port of Kalama and Cowlitz County, is an excellent work product.  The study required thousands of hours of work by expert consultants from many fields and closely adhered to state Department of Ecology guidance and input.

So while we are obviously disappointed in the Shoreline Hearings Board decision, we remain committed to our mission balancing environmental stewardship with the economy and jobs, and with our quality of life. The Port of Kalama remains committed to staying the course in support of the proposed Kalama Methanol Manufacturing and Export Facility project.  It is a very important project for our community.”

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Port of Kalama commences fall projects to enhance recreational areas

The Port of Kalama next week commences short-term construction and renovation projects to enhance the guest experience at riverfront recreational areas. The projects, which will impact areas around Ahles Point, Louis Rasmussen and Marine Parks, and Hendrickson Drive starting September 16th, focus on beach ‘nourishment’ and renovation, sewer main project, and road and parking improvements including 117 new parking spaces.

All parks will remain open but visitors should expect intermittent lane and facility closures to accommodate work.

Beach Nourishment Project

As part of routine maintenance dredging, new sand will be placed on the beaches near Ahles Point. The fishing beach at the south end of Rasmussen Park to Ahles Point will be closed beginning Saturday, September 16th for about two weeks while the sand is placed and spread over the beach. The last beach nourishment project was conducted in the mid-1980s.

Hendrickson Drive Project

To improve roadways and parking facilities, new asphalt will be placed on Hendrickson Drive under the Oak Street overpass at Exit 30 as well as from the north end of the marina to the south end of Ahles Point, and rock berms will be removed between Marine Park and the railroad.

Storm water rain gardens and 117 new parking spaces are included in this facility improvement project.

Parks will remain open but visitors should expect intermittent lane and crosswalk closures. The Port encourages park guests to call 360-673-2325 to schedule events.

Force Main Sewer Project

Extension of the sanitary sewer line will take place from Ahles Point to the restrooms at Louis Rasmussen Park.  Intermittent closure of Rasmussen Park restrooms may be necessary during the project.

“It’s that time of year we need to act on outdoor renovation and improvement projects for the facilities we enjoy here,” said Liz Newman, marketing manager, Port of Kalama. “All of these projects are part of the Port’s effort to maintain and improve Port recreational facilities for visitors, and we apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause. We urge the public to call the Port with any questions or concerns and please visit the Port of Kalama Facebook page for posted updates on the projects.”

For more information call 360-673-2325 or visit us at Facebook for updates and notices.

Contact: Liz Newman, Port of Kalama, 360-673-2325

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Lower Columbia River Channel Maintenance Plan: Developing a plan for the long-term maintenance of the Federal Navigation Channel

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and five Lower Columbia River ports are embarking on a joint environmental impact statement (EIS) and a long-term maintenance plan for the Lower Columbia River Federal Navigation Channel. The plan will ensure the channel, extending upstream from the Mouth of Columbia River to Vancouver, Wash., is maintained and operational at its 43-foot depth for another 20 years.

The Corps of Engineers is the lead federal agency under the National Environmental Policy Act for preparing an EIS. The Ports of Longview, Kalama, Woodland and Vancouver (Washington Ports) and the Port of Portland in Oregon (collectively, the Sponsor Ports) are the non-federal sponsors of the plan. As the non-federal sponsors, the Washington Ports are also responsible for actions that require compliance with the State Environmental Policy Act.

The Corps and the sponsor ports, with input from stakeholders and the public, will determine the best management plan for placing dredged material and evaluate ways to reduce the need for dredging. The planning effort will consider the natural resources of the Lower Columbia River while keeping the region open for business.

Vessels drafting the full channel depth carried about 11 million tons of export shipments worth nearly $3 billion in 2015. A well-maintained channel allows larger ships to carry significantly more cargo, supports regional and local jobs, and provides major and direct economic benefits and maintains local and federal navigation investments.

Scoping

A Notice of Intent (NEPA)/Determination of Significance (SEPA) was published in the Federal Register on September 8, 2017, and published in the area newspapers announcing the Corps’ and sponsor ports’ proposal to jointly prepare an EIS and opening the comment period which will assist in developing the scope of the EIS.

Scoping provides an early opportunity to collect information and receive input from interested public and stakeholders on issues to consider in development of the Draft EIS. Open house-style public scoping meetings are planned in Oregon and Washington where the Corps and Ports welcome discussion and written scoping input from the public, and local and state agencies and organizations. All meetings run from 4:00-7:00 p.m. and the public is welcome to stop by anytime.

Official Project Site
http://www.nwp.usace.army.mil/lcrchannelmaintenance/

More about NEPA
https://www.epa.gov/nepa

https://ceq.doe.gov/get-involved/citizens_guide_to_nepa.html

More about SEPA
http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/sea/sepa/overview.htm

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Port of Kalama considering waterfront park enhancement

The Port of Kalama is considering the community benefits of creating a small public amphitheater on the Kalama waterfront to accommodate a growing number of events, concerts and public activities. With increased use of Port parks, the intent is to create a more enjoyable guest experience at events like the ones we’ve been enjoying here for decades such as the Blues and Hawaiian Festivals.

Envision a grassy open space with tiered seating for concerts and special events that already attract us to the Kalama waterfront.  The area will be open to the public except during special events.

A significant benefit is that the stage and seating will be in a natural setting.  The stage and power will be permanently installed for ease of planning events.

The attached photo shows where the amphitheater would be placed—it compares in size to the area of the sport courts in Rasmussen Park. There would no impact or change to the adjacent playgrounds and no impact on Louis Rasmussen park.

The Port’s planned parking improvements currently underway on the Port waterfront.

For more on recreational opportunities and facilities at the Port of Kalama visit http://portofkalama.com/recreation/.

These images will clarify the location of the proposed amphitheater which would not impact the beach.

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