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Monthly Archives: April 2018

Port, County Launch Additional Environmental Study of Kalama Methanol Plant

The Port of Kalama and Cowlitz County announced today they have completed the scoping process for the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for Northwest Innovation Works, LLC—Kalama (NWIW)’s proposed natural gas to methanol production plant and storage facility.

The Port and county are “co-lead agencies” overseeing environmental review of the proposal under the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA).

During the scoping period, which extended between January 30 and March 1, 2018, the public, parties who commented on the EIS being supplemented, government agencies, tribes and interested parties were invited to submit comments about the issues they wanted to see studied in the SEIS.

“The Port appreciates the comments received from everyone,” said Liz Newman, Port of Kalama Marketing and Communications Manager. “The comments help to ensure the analysis in the SEIS is robust and thorough. We look forward to moving ahead with a review of the issues.”

The scoping report and comments received during the scoping process are available for public review on the project-specific SEPA website: The previously prepared EIS and technical appendices also remain available at this website.

The SEIS will include a greenhouse gas (GHG) life cycle analysis to address findings by the Washington State Shorelines Hearings Board in its September 15, 2017 decision.

The SEIS will specifically cover:

• GHG emissions attributable to project construction;

• On-site direct GHG emissions from operation of the project;

• GHG emissions from purchased power;

• GHG emissions potentially attributed to the project from natural gas production, collection, processing and transmission;

• GHG emissions from the shipping of methanol product to Asia;

• GHG emissions associated with changes in the methanol industry and related markets that may be induced by the project’s production.

A public comment period will be held when the Draft SEIS is complete.

NWIW is proposing to develop and operate a natural gas-to-methanol production plant and storage facility on approximately 90 acres at the Port of Kalama.

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Every Day is Earth Day at Port of Kalama

At the core of the Port of Kalama’s mission is a promise to carefully evaluate community investments to create jobs and enhance public recreational opportunities all while protecting and enhancing the environment and natural resources. That careful balance is in the DNA of every single project the Port of Kalama embarks upon. It is the Port’s job to ensure that environment, economy and community assets are thoughtfully planned to work in harmony with one another.

The Port of Kalama is dedicated to preserving Kalama’s natural environment through community service projects and facility enhancements that protect its natural resources:

  • An extensive marina renovation project that offers several significant environmental benefits is currently underway:
    • Replacing solid concrete floats with grated floats that allow sunlight through to minimize predatory habitat;
    • Solid steel access ramps are being upgraded with grated steel also allowing for sunlight and improved ADA-compliant recreational access,;
    • A new fire system will minimize environmental risk related to potential fires in the marina;
    • Old, original creosite timber piles are being replaced with steel.
  • The Port supports the Lower Columbia River Fish Enhancement Group for salmon habitat restoration at the lower Kalama River. The Port has invested in wood structures built along the shoreline to provide shelter and safe feeding areas for young salmon.
  • Water-infiltration systems were installed to avoid stormwater discharge at the Industrial Park, Marina, and Port-owned facilities and buildings.
  • The Port received the Pathways 2020 Community Champions Award in 2017 for its significant community and environmental contributions.


The Port of Kalama ensures that business, the environment and its robust recreational opportunities are all working together.  With a mission to balance the needs of the community with stringent environmental protection, the Port invests in things that make Kalama a better place to live.

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Discover! Does the Port levy taxes?

No taxes! Decades of strategic planning by past port commissioners continues to ensure the required revenue to maintain port facilities, parks and services for all residents with no taxes added. Every year the Port of Kalama commission is required to declare whether it will levy property taxes on residents living in the Port district area. With careful planning and project management, the port continues to maintain all long-term economic development projects as well as public facilities with the existing revenue it collects from business operations.

Regional residents are beneficiaries of the significant capital investment of the businesses here at the Port of Kalama. Revenue from wharf usage, leases, and other business fees enable the Port to fulfill its mission of inducing capital investment in an environmentally responsible manner to create jobs and to enhance public recreational opportunities. Thanks to port businesses and the port’s commitment to serving the public with parks, industrial facilities and marine terminals, walking paths and creating a unique tourist destination, locals can enjoy the bounty without paying a cent in taxes.

About 78% of the Port’s value is invested in capital assets which include land, buildings, docks, improvements such as roads and utilities, and equipment which are valued at over $132 million, The Port owns and manages over 1,000 acres of property which includes our parks.  Major projects in 2016 included building two warehouses, acquiring property near I5 Exit 32, and completion of the marina parking and trail project.

Next up: Discover! Who are port industries and businesses—how do they support the Kalama community?

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Port of Kalama awards contract for storm water and industrial lot improvements

The Port of Kalama board of commissioners last week voted to award the Central Port Storm Water and Lot Improvement Construction Project contract to Barcott Construction, LLC located in Chehalis, Washington. The $428,140.00 contract—not including Washington sales tax— includes improvements to water quality and improving the site for increased industrial use. The project is expected to run through the end of June.

The contract includes construction in the Central Port Industrial Area including:

  • Construction of a storm water infiltration pond and capping existing outfalls to the Columbia River,
  • Installing storm water lines to direct storm water to the new infiltration facility,
  • Demolishing two unusable buildings,
  • Removing concrete structures and utilities from the old Columbia Fiber site, and
  • Minor fill and asphalt of existing depressions in the lot.


The improvements are part of the Port’s strategic plan to balance a healthy environment and an inviting business climate. The new infiltration ponds will treat and infiltrate storm water and prevent discharge to the river while the industrial lot improvements will make the area more conducive to leasing for industrial uses and new business.

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Port of Kalama awards contract for Marine Park improvements and amphitheater construction

The Port’s strategic plan includes construction of a small outdoor venue and ongoing improvements to parks for public recreation and enjoyment

The Port of Kalama board of commissioners last night voted to award the Amphitheater and Park Improvements Construction Project contact to Keystone Contracting, Inc., an excavation contractor based in Ridgefield, Washington. The $854,392.08 contract—not including Washington sales tax— includes construction of a small outdoor amphitheater and maintenance at Marine Park. The project is expected to run between May and July 2018.

Th contract includes excavation, grading, and concrete to create seating, and construction of a covered stage as well as:

  • Replacement of the asphalt walkway in Marine and Rasmussen Parks,
  • Installation of lighted bollards along the asphalt walkway, and
  • Replacement of the irrigation system in Marine Park


“Part of the Port’s mission is to create recreational opportunities for the community—these improvements and the addition of a small outdoor venue for public events fulfill that goal,” says Randy Sweet, president, Port of Kalama board of commissioners. “With increased use of Port parks, the intent is to create more diverse and enjoyable guest experiences at events like the ones the region has been enjoying for decades such as the Blues and Hawaiian Festivals among others.”

The Port of Kalama has long considered the community benefits of creating a small public amphitheater on the Kalama waterfront to accommodate a growing number of events, concerts and public activities.

“We 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,” says Sweet. “A significant benefit is that the stage and seating will be in a natural setting; the stage will be covered and power will be permanently installed for ease of planning community events.”

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Discover! What is the economic impact of Port of Kalama?

As an economic development entity and a land developer, the Port of Kalama has developed considerable economic muscle to the benefit of Cowlitz County as well as the State of Washington. In the State of Washington, the Port supports:

  • 1220 full-time direct jobs with over $129 million in payroll
  • Beyond Port boundaries, 2156 indirect jobs and 1399 induced jobs, with a combined payroll of $219 million
  • Total economic impact: 4775 jobs with over $349 million in payroll and over $3 billion in economic output
  • Spencer Creek Business Park’s projected economic impact could mean an additional 727 construction jobs and 907 ongoing jobs over the next 20 years, with an estimated total direct, indirect and induced impact of over 3000 jobs


Companies and employees located here purchase materials, buy lunches and gas, and pay taxes. State and local taxes paid by port located companies exceed $95 million per year.

In 2016, the Port of Kalama Administration paid over $5 million to suppliers, over $2.1 million for staff, and over $355,000 in taxes. All of this enters the economic “circle of life” and supports our community through additional purchasing and supporting those indirect and induced jobs.

The Port is consistently honored with the Pathways 2020 Community Champions Award for Economic Vitality which awards organizations that excel at creating jobs, employee training, employable skills, new or expanding business, transportation, financial security, reducing poverty, and higher wages.

Next up: Discover! Does the Port levy taxes?

Port of Kalama Marine Terminal

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It’s Ports Day! Creating Jobs and Propelling the Economy

Today, April 5th, seaports of the Americas will celebrate Western Hemisphere Ports Day—an opportunity to showcase our industry’s role in job creation and economic prosperity. Ports are a vital part of the transportation infrastructure within the state of Washington and Pacific Northwest, and indeed the whole Western Hemisphere connecting farmers, manufacturers, workers and consumers to the global marketplace.

United in our common goal of creating prosperity throughout the Hemisphere, the Port of Kalama is proud to join hundreds of ports in North, Central and South America, and the Caribbean, to highlight and celebrate the value of ports.

Like ports worldwide, the Port of Kalama has an ongoing commitment to help educate our community and its leaders about the important role we play as a vital link to the global economy.

The importance of ports in our region is well documented.  According to IHS Markit’s World Trade Service, in 2016 North American ports handled 1.79 billion metric tons of goods, valued at US$2.07 trillion.

However, the economic worth of all cargo in terms of jobs and business activity is much greater than its market value. According  to a recent survey, in the U.S. alone, port activity generates over 23 million jobs and accounts for over one quarter of the nation’s economy.

Ports also play a critical role in providing goods that impact our everyday lives. Millions of tons of food, clothing, medicine, fuel and building materials, as well as consumer electronics and toys, move through Western Hemisphere seaports every day.

We are proud to join hundreds of Western Hemisphere seaports in the celebration of Ports Day. In support of workers, farmers, employers, manufacturers and consumers everywhere, we are excited to meet the growing demands of the future.

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