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Category Archives: Port of Kalama News

An Open Letter to Our Community

As we celebrate this season of gratitude, there are so many reasons to reflect—and celebrate the prosperity and quality of life we experience in our small community.

It may seem like it’s been a year of rapid-fire growth but what some may not know is that our predecessors worked thoughtfully for decades to plan and prepare for the regional success we are now experiencing.

We are grateful for their vision.

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Port, County Release Draft Supplemental EIS for Proposed Kalama Methanol Plant

Public hearing set for December 13, 2018

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NOTICE OF AVAILABILITY OF DRAFT SUPPLEMENTAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT AND NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING

Purpose of this Notice:  The purpose of this notice is to inform the public that the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (Draft Supplemental EIS) for the Kalama Manufacturing and Marine Export Facility (the proposed project) is being released for public review and comment. A public hearing will be conducted where the public may comment on the Draft Supplemental EIS. An expanded comment period will begin on November 13, 2018 and end on December 28, 2018. All comments received during the comment period will be reviewed and considered in the preparation of the Final Supplemental EIS.

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Port of Kalama schedules contractors to lower weather-worn Totem Pole at Marine Park for further evaluation

While the Lelooska Totem Poles are beloved structures hosted at the Port of Kalama, time and weather exposure have taken their toll. As a result, the Port of Kalama has engaged a team of industrial contractors to lower the tallest of the poles to examine its condition and determine next steps.

Experts from JH Kelly industrial mechanical contracting and Ness Campbell crane and rigging are scheduled to be on site at Marine Park to lower the 140’ icon the week of September 17th—weather conditions will determine the exact day of operations. There will be two cranes on site to maneuver the totem pole to the ground and an I-beam will be installed along the back of the aging totem to offer additional support.

Marine Park—including walking paths, playground and parking area—will be closed intermittently during the days of operations likely from September 17th through the 20th. The public is encouraged to avoid the area those days as there will be no safe area for viewing.

“Taking down a 140’ structure will be a feat, and engineers will need a lot of space to work within so we’ll be closing the area to support their efforts to lower the pole in one piece,” says Liz Newman, marketing manager, Port of Kalama. “Following this project, the Port will store the totem pole near the amphitheater and continue to work with the family that owns them to identify the next best steps.”

The Port earlier this summer engaged engineering experts to provide a comprehensive evaluation of the tallest pole and its current ability to withstand strong winds and other weather. Early findings show impairment has affected the structural integrity of the pole—and thus the public safety of keeping it installed. Staff then worked with the engineering team to determine the best way to move the pole without creating further damage.

Port of Kalama Board of Commissioners declared the project to take down the 140’ pole an emergency action and instructed staff to immediately investigate options to remove the pole. An emergency action is taken when there’s a risk to public safety.

The Port is in close communications with the family who owns the totem poles to determine the best solution to potentially restore and maintain them.

The Port encourages visitors to be aware of contractor activity in the area around the structures the week of September 17th and to watch for further updates on the totem pole on the Port’s social media and blog pages.

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Port of Kalama continues beach nourishment project to enhance riverfront recreational areas

The Port of Kalama next week commences maintenance dredging at the Temco LLC berth to ensure the draft necessary for cargo ships at the terminal. The Port commission voted to award the $814,212 dredging contract to HME Construction. The routine maintenance project will commence on Tuesday, September 4th and is expected to last three weeks.

The dredging procedure will remove sand in front of the Temco terminal and then use the material to continue beach nourishment on the Port of Kalama riverfront at Louis Rasmussen Park. The beach nourishment process, which is a continuation of the project started last fall, will temporarily impact some beaches at the park commencing Tuesday, September 4th. The last complete beach nourishment project took place in the 1980s. The Port is rebuilding the beach so it can continue to be used for recreation.

All parks will remain open but the beach at Louis Rasmussen Park will be closed to the public to accommodate the three-week project. All general business activities at the Port will continue as scheduled.

“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. “These projects are part of the Port’s effort to maintain and improve Port recreational facilities for visitors as well as maintain shipping access for Port businesses, 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.

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To our fellow Kalama Community

Like you, we are saddened to see the results of the weather exposure the Lalooska totem poles have endured over time. We’d like to clarify just a few points.

  • Port of Kalama does not own these poles—we are the host venue.
  • We are working closely with the family of owners to help them with the best way to determine the future of the pole.
  • The Port is investing in engineering consultants to help us—and the family—understand the best—and safest—way to bring the tallest totem to the ground for more evaluation.
  • Until we all know how the tallest totem has been impacted by weather and exposure, we don’t yet know the best solution.
  • We want to keep everyone up-to-date as we receive more information from both engineering teams and the family that owns these treasures.
  • There are three totems that will remain upright at this location while we analyze the tallest which stands at 140’.
  • Engineering specialists advised the Port of Kalama commission that the tallest totem is a potential safety hazard as it is not likely to withstand riverside winds as it once did.
  • The totems are hosted at one of the Port’s most-visited public parks—public safety at Port parks and beaches is our number one concern and priority.

 

We hope that the Kalama community understands that we are doing the best we can to move quickly with engineering and the family of owners to assure a timely solution for the totem.

Thank you all so much for your patience as we identify the best route to proceed.

 

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Port of Kalama engages structural engineering team to evaluate weather-worn Totem Poles at Marine Park

With weathering and wear of the iconic wooden structures, the Port contracted WRK Engineers to examine the condition of the totems

While the Lelooska Totem Poles are beloved structures hosted at the Port of Kalama, time and weather exposure have taken their toll. As a result, the Port of Kalama contracted WRK Engineers to evaluate the structural integrity of the tallest of the wooden symbols standing 140’ high.

The Port engaged the engineering firm to provide a comprehensive evaluation of the tallest pole and its current ability to withstand strong winds and other weather. Early findings show impairment has affected the structural integrity of the pole—and thus the public safety of keeping it installed.

Port of Kalama Board of Commissioners last night declared the project to take down the 140’ pole an emergency action and instructed staff to immediately investigate options to remove the pole. An emergency action is taken when there’s a risk to public safety.

Staff will work with the engineering team to determine the best way to move the pole without creating further damage. The other totem structures will remain upright for now.

The Port is in close communications with the family who owns the totem poles to determine the best solution to potentially restore and maintain them.

The Port encourages visitors to be aware of contractor activity in the area around the structures and to watch for further updates to the plight of the Kalama icons.

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Port of Kalama and Executive Director Mark Wilson awarded for contributions to education and the Kalama School District

The Port of Kalama and Executive Director Mark Wilson have been honored with the 2018 Washington Association of School Administrators (WASA) Community Leadership Award for the Columbia River Region. The award recognizes Wilson’s and the Port of Kalama’s many contributions to the Kalama School District. The Port was instrumental in organizing the Kalama High School Career Fair and recruiting Port businesses to participate in an effort to educate students on career and job opportunities in the region and at the Port.

The regional meeting of Washington Association of School Administrators (WASA) honored organizations and community leaders for significant contributions to education and schools. Hosted by Educational Service District 112, the ceremony recognized honorees for the contributions they make to school districts in the region.

“Mark Wilson and Port of Kalama commissioners have been instrumental in forging a cooperative new direction for district-port relations. Through these efforts, Kalama School District has engaged Port and Cowlitz businesses in the Kalama Days Career Fair promoting career awareness among Kalama students and giving them increased motivation to do well in school,” says Mike Nerland, WASA Honorary Awards Committee Columbia River Region 112. “Your efforts have also helped foster the development of a STEM network in Cowlitz County. We thank you for your support of students and families in Kalama School District and throughout Cowlitz County.”

Industries at the Port of Kalama employ more than 1,000 people with Fortune 500 companies conducting global business and commerce including import/export, manufacturing, marketing, welding and steel work, recycling, trucking and any myriad other commercial and industrial enterprises. They choose Kalama for its ideal location in the heart of the Pacific Northwest on the highway, railroad and river.

“We are delighted to be recognized with this notable award. The Port of Kalama is working hard to develop a closer relationship between the students and faculty of the Kalama Schools and the Port’s business partners on the waterfront. We will continue to offer opportunities to meet members of the business community here and learn about the work we do, as well as career opportunities for students,” says Mark Wilson, executive director, Port of Kalama. “We hope to improve the understanding of the business activities here and let students know about the many career opportunities that can be found right here in the community.”

Eric Nerison, Kalama School District Superintendent, left, and Mark Wilson, Executive Director, Port of Kalama, receiving award.,

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Port of Kalama amphitheater construction commences

The Port of Kalama next week commences the Amphitheater and Park Improvements Construction Project. The first phase is to create new pathways with lighting and security cameras.

Beginning Monday, May 21, some pathways through Marine Park and Louis Rasmussen Park will be detoured. The intermittent closures are expected to last no more than two weeks. The playground will remain open.

The short-term project includes construction of a small outdoor amphitheater and maintenance at Marine Park including 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

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.

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Moving forward! With exhaustive environmental impact study completed, Port and County finish up with additional greenhouse gas analysis of methanol plant

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.

A recent ruling by Cowlitz County Superior Court Judge James Warning reinstated the Shorelines Permits for the methanol production plant and offered a ruling that provided clarity to what must be studied in a supplemental environmental impact statement (SEIS). The last remaining element of the environmental review process is a further review of the impact of greenhouse gases (GHG) from the project, including a broader evaluation of upstream and downstream emissions.  Once completed, this will wrap a several-year-long comprehensive environmental evaluation.

The Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) is currently underway to review:

  • 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.

 

Similar to the original Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the project, the Port and the County will first present a draft SEIS for public review and comment.  The Port and County will then prepare the final SEIS to respond to comments received.  Publication of the draft SEIS is expected to be later this year.

“We’re very pleased that the Shorelines Permits are reinstated—that’s a very important decision that appropriately narrows and focuses the Shoreline Board’s remand order, consistent with what the law requires,” said Mark Wilson, executive director, Port of Kalama. “We appreciate the clarity the judge has provided because it provides the guidance that is needed to get the job done right.  The SEIS is already underway, and we look forward to having a thorough study completed in an expeditious manner.”

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