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Port of Kalama files appeal of Shoreline Hearings Board order

As lead agencies of the State Environmental Policy Act, the Port and Cowlitz County have followed all greenhouse gas guidelines to the letter of the law

The Port of Kalama today filed an appeal of the Shoreline Hearings Board Order on Motions for Partial Summary Judgment regarding the proposed Kalama Manufacturing & Marine Export Facility (KMMEF). The Port filed the appeal because, as a State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) Lead along with Cowlitz County, the agency believes it followed all greenhouse gas (GHG) guidance and directives of the state.

“We believe the project Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) fully disclosed potential GHG emissions from the project and properly concluded that those project emissions do not cause a significant adverse impact on the environment,” says Mark Wilson, executive director, Port of Kalama.

“It appears the Board wants a Greenhouse Gas Emission impact evaluation that goes far beyond the project’s impacts.  They apparently want a study of both upstream and downstream emissions loosely or seemingly unrelated to the project—from where natural gas is sourced to where and how the methanol is used.  We see no basis for this in state law and this interpretation of existing law is unprecedented.  It raises serious questions regarding how such requirements would apply in the future not only to port projects, but also to vital public projects including highway and bridge construction,” Wilson said.

Although the Port has filed this appeal, the Port and Northwest Innovation Works – Kalama will proceed simultaneously with additional environmental review of the Greenhouse Gas Impact issue. Both applicants intend to ask the SEPA Lead Officials to prepare a supplemental EIS to further evaluate the Greenhouse Gas issue.

“We expect the review process to proceed over the course of the next several months, while this appeal is proceeding through the Courts,” says Wilson. “Because, under the law, any appeal of the Board’s decision must be filed within 30 days, the Port could not wait until completion of additional environmental review before filing this challenge to the Board’s order.”

“This proposed Kalama Manufacturing and Marine Export Facility aligns squarely with the Port’s long-term planning for the property and our mission,” said Wilson. “Our mission? It’s about a healthy community, jobs for our citizens and a vibrant economy for the entire region. The value of the jobs, community welfare and morale, and economic assets this facility will create here-all while following stringent environment guidelines-just cannot be overstated.”

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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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Port of Kalama Drops Appeal to Shorelines Conditional Use Permit

The Port of Kalama today filed a motion with the state Shorelines Hearings Board to dismiss its appeal to a condition placed on the Shorelines Conditional Use Permit for the Kalama Manufacturing & Marine Export Facility (KMMEF) by the Washington State Department of Ecology (DOE).

The port appealed a provision in the shorelines conditional use permit which imposes greenhouse gas emissions regulations on a marine terminal that is being jointly proposed by the port and Northwest Innovation Works (NWIW) as part of the overall facility.

The state Department of Ecology has since filed documents which clarify that the condition in question does not apply to the port or to the port’s activities in the shoreline related to the marine terminal operation and that the port does not have a requirement to comply with it, according to Mark Wilson, Port of Kalama Executive Director.

The Port of Kalama does not oppose regulation of greenhouse gas emissions. The Department of Ecology’s clarification of their position has addressed the concerns that triggered the Port’s appeal.

The primary shoreline impact of the overall facility is the marine terminal which will be built, owned and operated by the Port of Kalama.  Northwest Innovation Works (NWIW) will be the primary user of the facility, but it will also be available for lay berth use by other ships. The Port will charge fees for the use of the terminal by NWIW and other users.

The marine terminal will include a dock, berth, loading equipment, utilities and a stormwater system.  Ships calling at the terminal for methanol will connect to shore power which reduces emissions to the air from ship engines.

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Kalama is THE place to be this weekend!

Get ready to shop! The much-anticipated annual All City Garage Sale takes place this weekend, August 18, 19 and 20! Hosted by the Kalama Chamber of Commerce, Kalama residents host sales at their homes as well as in booths downtown. The treasures are plentiful and maps and lists of sale items will be posted on downtown signs. And printed maps and lists are available to pick up NOW at the four-way way stop downtown. Come on by!

Another unique event to Kalama, the Untouchables Car Show, also takes place this weekend on Sunday, August 20 with more cool car entries than ever. The event has become a popular destination bringing guests from all over the region to see more than 300 classic cars on 1st Street in downtown Kalama.

Guests are invited to wander the event, grab a bite to eat, participate in raffles and games and enjoy local music. Fun. Fun. FUN!

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Summer events are in full swing at the Port of Kalama!

At the Port of Kalama we value both business and civic collaboration. In an effort to support our community, local events and organizations, we eagerly help promote what’s happening here! We hope you’ll mark your calendars for some of these upcoming festivities.

Next week is the last week for the popular Tinkergarten at Port of Kalama’s Haydu Park. The program continues their nature-based meet up groups for children ages 1.5 – 5 years and their parents at the park on Tuesdays and Wednesdays between 10:00 am and 11:00 am through August 16th.  The group meetsnear the tree line and there is no cost to participate.  Register on their web site https://tinkergarten.com/

US Coast Guard Auxiliary vessel safety inspections for marina patrons will be held on Saturday, August 19th between 9:00 am – 5:00 pm in the marina.  Patrons can sign up and receive an informational brochure at the front desk of the Port administration building or by calling 360-673-2325.  More info here:  http://cgaux.org/vsc/

Southwest WA Anglers Fall Salmon Derby returns again this year on Saturday, August 26th between 9:00 am – 4:00 pm.  Weigh-in stations will be at Marine Park at the Port of Kalama with other locations in Woodland and Astoria.  Over $10,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded.  Registration and more information can be found on their web site:  http://www.swwa.org/

Click below for a calendar of events and activities at the Port of Kalama!

Haydu Park – http://portofkalama.com/recreation/haydu-park-calendar/

Marine/Rasmussen Parks – http://portofkalama.com/recreation/marine-and-louis-rasmussen-park-calendar/

Come join us!

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Emergency dredging at Port of Kalama will commence Monday, August 7 to ensure safety and smooth sailing for all

The impact of Mother Nature and Old Man Winter has taken its toll in the Columbia River at the Port creating unusually large volume of sediment flowing in the river

With the 100+ degree days we’re experiencing it’s hard to remember that grueling wet winter we endured. But the impact of the winter’s heavy precipitation and higher than usual river flows have reached the Port of Kalama marine terminals and shoreline. The high raging rivers of spring have produced a much larger volume of sediment flowing along the bed of the Columbia River here which has caused increasing challenges for river traffic and commerce.

Usual routine dredging would commence in the fall, but due to recent navigation challenges to vessels at the Port, immediate action is required. Dredging at the TEMCO grain elevator will begin on August 7th. The majority of dredge material will be placed in-water along the beaches at Ahles Point and the southern half of Rasmussen Park, however some material may be placed on the beach. Port of Kalama day use parks will remain open for recreation. Should beach placement occur, work areas of the beach will be temporarily closed and signage will be placed to alert visitors.

The Port is sorry for any inconvenience this causes recreational visitors but ensuring public safety and a navigable river is of utmost importance at this time. The dredging is expected to take place into early September.  Maps of other recreational sites and beach access areas are available at the Port administration offices.

For additional information, please call us at 360.673.2325 or visit www.PortofKalama.com.

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Port of Kalama Files Appeal to Shorelines Conditional Use Permit

The Port of Kalama today filed an appeal to the conditions placed on the Shorelines Conditional Use Permit for the Kalama Manufacturing & Marine Export Facility (KMMEF) by the Washington State Department of Ecology (DOE).

“While the Port is in no way opposed to regulation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the Port believes that GHG emissions are appropriately addressed in the air emissions permit for the manufacturing facility not a shorelines decision,” said Mark Wilson, Port of Kalama Executive Director. “We believe that the Shorelines Management Act is not intended, nor does it grant the authority, to regulate Greenhouse Gas (GHS)—It is for the protection and proper management of the shoreline. Our appeal is about the precedent setting nature of the permit.”

The primary shoreline impact of the overall project is a marine terminal which will be built, owned and operated by the Port of Kalama.  Northwest Innovation Works (NWIW) will be the primary user of the facility, but it will also be available for lay berth use by other ships. The Port will charge fees for the use of the terminal by NWIW and other users.

The marine terminal will include a dock, berth, loading equipment, utilities and a storm water system.  Ships calling at the terminal for methanol will connect to shore power which reduces emissions to the air from ship engines.

For more information on the port’s appeal documents click here.

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