Skip to Content

Category Archives: Press Releases

Watch for trains: be safe when heading back to Port parks this summer!

Since Kalama’s humble beginnings, we’ve had a long, rich history with our friends who operate the railroads. The Port was born of its roots as a transportation hub—and the BNSF runs right through our riverfront property.

As you head out for long-awaited summertime festivities, please be aware of the railroad and train traffic. We want you and your family to be safe!

The following track safety tips are brought to you by our friends at BNSF and Operation Lifesaver Rail Safety Education.

Now, enjoy the parks and have a fabulous summer!

Track Safety Basics

  1. Freight trains don’t travel at fixed times, and schedules for passenger trains often change. Always expect a train at each highway-rail intersection at any time.
  2. All train tracks are private property. Never walk on tracks; it’s illegal trespass and highly dangerous.
  3. It takes the average freight train traveling at 55 mph more than a mile—the length of 18 football fields—to stop. Trains cannot stop quickly enough to avoid a collision.
  4. Trains have the right of way 100% of the timeover emergency vehicles, cars, the police and pedestrians.
  5. A train can extend three feet or more beyond the steel rail, putting the safety zone for pedestrians well beyond the three-foot mark. If there are rails on the railroad ties, always assume the track is in use, even if there are weeds or the track looks unused.
  6. Trains can move in either direction at any time.Sometimes its cars are pushed by locomotives instead of being pulled, which is especially true in commuter and light rail passenger service.
  7. Today’s trains are quieter than ever, producing no telltale “clackety-clack.”Any approaching train is always closer, moving faster, than you think.
  8. Remember to cross train tracks ONLY at designated pedestrian or roadway crossings, and obey all warning signs and signals posted there.
  9. Stay alert around railroad tracks. Refrain from texting, headphones or other distractions that would prevent you from hearing an approaching train; never mix rails and recreation.

 

0 Continue Reading →

Anchorage Launch Services signs lease for new commercial dock space at Port of Kalama

Port of Kalama announced today that Anchorage Launch Services has signed a contract to lease the Port’s new commercial dock and operate their maritime transportation services. The new tenant will use the dock as its Anchorage Launch Services Terminal to provide light cargo and commercial passenger services to the maritime shipping industry on the Columbia River from Astoria to Portland/Vancouver—and everywhere in between. Anchorage Launch Services delivers supplies, goods and products to ships to keep their operations moving efficiently.

“There is not a facility like the Port of Kalama’s commercial wharf on the entire Columbia River—this exceptional centrally-located facility includes a crane and forklift to keep us operating 24/7, 365 days a year and that enables us to serve ships more efficiently than ever,” says Alex Scott, chief operating officer, Anchorage Launch Services. “This new facility and home for our operations raises the bar on what we can offer our clients—our new terminal will save untold amounts of time and dollars for the maritime industry. This could not be a better location to serve commerce on the entire river.”

The Port modified and refurbished components of a barge to develop the long-planned commercial dock last year and prepare for a maritime client including furnishing and installing bulkheads, bullrails, fenders, ladders, new spud piles and a gangway landing platform.

“We are incredibly excited to have a maritime service provider like Anchorage Launch Services serving clients from our new commercial wharf,” says Troy Stariha, president, Port of Kalama Board of Commissioners. “Not only will their presence here better serve our visiting commercial ships—and those at ports along the Columbia River—but the growing business will add local jobs and contribute to the local economy as operations get underway. We are delighted they have chosen the Port of Kalama to call home.”

The Port of Kalama is located in Southwest Washington just off I-5 on the Columbia River. It boasts an industrial area that includes five miles of riverfront property adjacent to the 43′ federally-maintained deep draft navigation channel. There are over 30 businesses located at the Port of Kalama, employing over 1,200 people. The port offers industrial sites, Industrial Park, new Business Park and state of the art Marine Terminals just 30-minutes from Portland International Airport.

 

 

0 Continue Reading →

Update on damage to the Port of Kalama Marina

We confirmed that the damage to the Port of Kalama marina was caused by a swell and then a suction of the water from a cargo vessel which seriously impacted the marina structures.  We believe the cargo vessel was passing in the river channel at an excessive speed.

After reviewing the Port’s security video and Automatic Identification System (AIS) tracking information, we believe the excessive wake was caused by the SM MUMBAI. Further investigation will be ongoing.

The Port security camera captured video of the wake / wave impacting the marina, which occurred at around 4a and can be viewed here.

Thank you so much to the community and our marina patrons for your patience and support as we navigate this situation. We’ll get through this together!

Marina patrons can direct questions and their insurance agents to Mr. James McCurdy, of Lindsay Hart, who is representing the SM MUMBAI vessel operator at jmccurdy@lindsayhart.com.

For more information, the Port of Kalama contact is Eric Yakovich, who can be reached at 360-673-2337 and EYakovich@PortofKalama.com.

0 Continue Reading →

Port of Kalama marina damaged early this morning

In the early hours this morning, an incident occurred at the Port of Kalama marina. The facility and docks as well as many of the boats moored there were damaged during the incident.

We are not exactly clear yet what happened, but the event is under investigation to determine the cause. The Port estimates in excess of $1 million in damage and is notifying boat owners of the impact. The Port is also working closely with authorities, insurance providers and other professionals to mitigate the impact of this event.

We will keep you all apprised as we learn more details. The Port recently invested in a $4.5 million upgrade and renovation at the marina. The impact, damage and loss to that facility is now under investigation, though vandalism has been ruled out.

0 Continue Reading →

Port of Kalama closes offices, facilities, interpretive center to public in accordance with state mandates

As part of statewide effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus/COVID-19, the Port limits meetings, asks staff to work remotely while it maintains operations

In accordance with a recent statement by Washington state Governor Jay Inslee, the Port of Kalama has closed its administrative office, facilities, and Interpretive Center to the public. Port staff are maintaining operations through a combination of social distancing and remote work from home.

The Port will communicate updates as they become available.

CONTACT: Port of Kalama 8a-5p 360-673-2325 or email POK@PortofKalama.com.

From a press release from the office of Governor Inslee:

Gov. Jay Inslee released a statement tonight that further expands protections against COVID-19. 

“Given the explosion of COVID-19 in our state and globally, I will sign a statewide emergency proclamation tomorrow to temporarily shut down restaurants, bars and entertainment and recreational facilities.

“Restaurants will be allowed to provide take-out and delivery services but no in-person dining will be permitted.

“The ban will not apply to grocery stores and pharmacies. Other retail outlets will have reduced occupancy.

“Additionally, all gatherings with over 50 participants are prohibited and all gatherings under 50 participants are prohibited unless previously announced criteria for public health and social distancing are met.

“These are very difficult decisions, but hours count here and very strong measures are necessary to slow the spread of the disease. I know there will be significant economic impacts to all our communities and we are looking at steps to help address those challenges.

“Tonight, after consultations with me and with the Department of Health, King County announced that they will be taking these actions immediately. King County has been the hotbed of this outbreak and has the largest population center in the state. I have spoken to Executive Dow Constantine and I applaud their decision to act quickly. We will do a joint media announcement with more details tomorrow morning.”

 

0 Continue Reading →

Port of Kalama commissioners move to accept City of Longview’s Chief Lelooska totem pole for restoration, relocation to Kalama

The City of Longview recently approved the deaccessioning of the Lelooska Campfire Totem Pole for removal from its current location on Commerce Avenue for restoration and relocation to the Port of Kalama. Much like the Port of Kalama’s iconic Lelooska Totem Poles, the Longview artifact is also in need of repair.

The City of Longview initially reached out to the Lelooska Foundation for assistance in the repair and restoration of the weathered pole. Because the Foundation was already working with the Port of Kalama on their own totem pole restorations, when they heard that Longview would be removing the pole and unable to restore it, they suggested the city approach the Port regarding adding the Longview pole to their collection for restoration and ongoing maintenance.

All entities agreed that the best way to provide public access to this totem pole would be for the city to deaccession the totem pole for transport to the Foundation for restoration funded by the Port of Kalama and then on to the Port as a permanent new home.

The Longview totem pole was carved by Chief Lelooska for the Camp Fire USA Lower Columbia Council and was sculpted from western red cedar and is about 30 feet tall and 2’11” in diameter. It commemorates the Camp Fire Council in the Longview community and was first displayed in the spring of 1961.

“We are pleased to add the Camp Fire Totem Poles to our collection of these iconic and very popular artifacts—thank you to the City of Longview and the Lelooska Foundation for entrusting us with restoration, maintenance and creating a new home for the piece,” says Mark Wilson, executive director, Port of Kalama. “We are pleased to place them together on the waterfront for everyone to enjoy.”

0 Continue Reading →

Port of Kalama approves resolution to support dams in the Columbia / Snake River System

The Port of Kalama has approved  a resolution to fully support dams in the Federal Columbia-Snake River System. The resolution will be submitted to the Washington State Legislature.  The Port of Kalama supports the continued operation of the dams within the Federal Columbia-Snake River System due to their importance to irrigation; flood control; recreation; fuel-efficient, safe, low-emission cargo transportation;  and the reliability of the Northwest electric grid which provides carbon-free, renewable, reliable, and low-cost energy making them an important component of a clean energy future.

Citing the need for a strong working river system throughout the Pacific Northwest, the Port commission strongly supports the dams stating:

The dams on the Columbia and Snake Rivers provide navigable waters to sustain the region’s marine-dependent economy, irrigation, flood control and recreation for the residents of Washington state and the Pacific Northwest.

The Port of Kalama handles cargo shipped on the Federal Columbia-Snake River System and exports that cargo globally.

The Lower Snake River Dams enable irrigation for over 7 million acres of farmland producing $8 billion in agricultural income; and

The Lower Snake River Dams enabled barging of approximately 9 million tons of cargo in 2014 valued at over $3 billion.

The Federal Columbia-Snake River System is the top wheat export gateway in the U.S. handling over half of the country’s exported wheat from 11 U.S. states, is the second most important export system in the U.S. for corn and soybeans, and is the west coast’s largest export system for wood products and minerals.

In addition, the Lower Snake River Dams are some of the least expensive to operate and, with the cost of power generated by the dams ranging from $10 to $14 per megawatt-hour, provide some of the greatest value for BPA customers; and

Based on studies and BiOps carried out by NOAA Fisheries, the Commission endorses the position that hydroelectric dams and salmon can coexist.

Given that the CRSO EIS process is well-underway and expected to be concluded in 2020, the Commission believes the $750,000 allocated to study the impacts of the removal of the Lower Snake River Dams to be duplicative and should have been allocated to science-based, high-priority salmon restoration projects, increased hatchery production and law enforcement activities in the Puget Sound region that will have a direct impact on Orca survival in their primary habitat.

For more information: https://www.snakeriverfaces.com/facts

And check out this informational video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ku2bdXHxsZk

 

Kalama Snake River dam resolution Port of Kalama Resolution 1099

0 Continue Reading →

Port of Kalama honored with award for river safety, environmental stewardship

Congratulations, Port of Kalama! The Maritime Fire and Safety Association today presented the Port of Kalama a MFSA Partnership Award. An important partner for the Port, MFSA is the leading provider and advocate of safe, environmentally responsible, and cost-effective response services to commercial vessels in the Columbia Willamette River Marine Transportation System.

The Port of Kalama is honored to be an active member of the MFSA and we so appreciate being honored for our own commitment to river safety, environmental stewardship and service to our visiting commercial vessels. Thank you!

Port of Kalama recently participated in the 2019 4th Quarter Training Exercise in Kalama which was organized by the Kalama Fire District No 5, hosted by TEMCO LLC, and other local industry leaders such as Steelscape LLC, Kalama Export LLC, and Emerald Kalama Chemical participated.

Thank you to Kalama Fire District No 5 Chief Victor Leatzow for the picture of Port of Kalama Commissioner Randy Sweet accepting the award.

In case you wondered………

Here’s a little history on the Maritime Fire and Safety Association. The following timeline of events and establishments brought the MFSA to what it is today:

1982 – Protector Alpha fire in Kalama, Washington on the Columbia River.
1984 – The Lower Columbia Maritime Fire Safety Plan was developed.
1986 – The Fire Protection Agencies Advisory Council (FPAAC) was formed.

FPAAC was formed to set forth a comprehensive system to ensure effective response shipboard fires in the Lower Columbia Region, and then purchased and delivered the first specialized equipment to participating fire agencies for fighting shipboard fires. The FPAAC is currently comprised of 13 fire agencies located throughout the river system. These agencies voluntarily contribute both staff time and equipment costs for participation in meetings, drills and other training exercises.

Realizing the importance of maintaining a stable funding source, the MFSA Membership approved a per vessel assessment, which is collected from all ocean-going vessels that call at a member’s dock. This funding goes towards the purchase of specialized marine firefighting equipment and provides for the ongoing training and education of member fire agencies in the response to vessel emergencies.

In 1991, the Lower Columbia Maritime Fire Safety Plan was revised to include oil spill response and preparedness which brought the development of MFSA Umbrella Oil Spill Contingency Plan (now the MFSA Vessel Response Plan or “the Plan”) in the beginning of 1991.

1990 – Passage of the Oil Pollution Act in direct response to the Exxon Valdez spill.

1992 – The MFSA and Clean Rivers Cooperative, Inc. signed a memorandum of agreement.

This agreement allowed MFSA to designate Clean Rivers Cooperative response equipment and resources in the Plan. Clean Rivers Cooperative serves as the state approved Primary Response Contractor (PRC) to MFSA and provides oil spill coverage for its own membership’s facility response plans in addition to the vessels MFSA provides coverage.

1993 – The contingency plan received approval from Oregon DEQ and the Washington Office of Marine Safety.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Port of Kalama Commissioner Randy Sweet accepts the award for river safety, environmental stewardship and service to maritime commerce at the Port of Kalama.

0 Continue Reading →

Port of Kalama’s Spencer Creek Business Park is now available for development

The 70-acre mixed-use commercial property is located just off I-5 in Kalama and is ready to lease property to commercial businesses

The Port of Kalama this week announces that the Spencer Creek Business Park is now available for development and lease. Located north of Kalama River Road right off of Interstate 5, the much-anticipated Business Park offers 70 acres of developable commercial property that will support a mix of light industrial and commercial ventures including:

• Lodging/Hospitality
• Services
• Retail
• Food/Beverage
• Convenience
• Gas Station
• More

Since 2014, the Port has invested in the preliminary infrastructure and construction of the site including filling and grading, installation of storm water treatment systems, and road improvements to make way for new commercial development. While East Port will be built out over 20 years, business park construction and operational activities are projected to support more than 1,000 jobs and millions of dollars in new local economic activity.

“Maybe one of the region’s best kept secrets, this Port of Kalama commercial property, offers some of the best value and opportunity for businesses interested in affordability, accessibility and infrastructure-rich land on which to grow,” says Ted Sprague, president, Cowlitz Economic Development Council. “Spencer Creek Business Park offers an A+ location right off of I-5 with infrastructure in place for businesses looking to serve a well-trafficked stretch of the corridor. And best of all, developers get a long-term, committed, visionary and innovative partner in the Port of Kalama.”

The City of Kalama and the Port together earned the 2014 Governor’s Smart Communities Award for their collaboration on planning the multi-use business property which is expected to boost the region’s available commercial property, economy and job opportunities while strengthening the city’s revenue base.

“We fully expect the development of Spencer Creek Business Park to attract new businesses to the region and provide more family wage jobs here,” said the president of the Port of Kalama Commissioner Troy Stariha. “Not only are we expanding recreational and employment opportunities for the region, we’re offering first-rate facilities that will draw visitors and investment from throughout our region and beyond.”

Interested developers and businesses should contact Liz Newman, marketing manager, Port of Kalama, 360-673-2379.

For more information on available properties, click here. 

0 Continue Reading →

PORT TAKES LEGAL ACTION TO COMPEL TIMELY REVIEW OF KALAMA METHANOL PROJECT

Today, the Port of Kalama filed a petition with the Cowlitz County Superior Court to prevent the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) from further delaying review of the Kalama Methanol Manufacturing and Export Facility. The petition for a constitutional writ of certiorari asks the court to order Ecology to cease preparation of an unnecessary second supplemental environmental impact statement (SEIS) on the Kalama Methanol Manufacturing and Export Facility and to comply with the timeline required by law. Under state statute Ecology was required to decide within 30 days of Cowlitz County’s (County) transmittal to Ecology on September 11, 2019.

“After a great deal of consideration of the options available, the Port reluctantly filed this action against Ecology. The existing environmental review of the project is more than adequate, exceeding all requirements and addressing all of Ecology’s comments and questions,” said Mark Wilson, Executive Director of the Port of Kalama. “The Port, the County and the project proponent, Northwest Innovation Works (NWIW) are entitled to have the existing documents reviewed and a decision made.”

The Port’s lawsuit outlines a variety of inconsistencies in Ecology’s standards:

• Treating the project’s shoreline permits as new applications and ignoring the permits that were in place and reinstated by order of the Cowlitz County Superior Court;
• Reversing course on what constitutes an adequate scope for Greenhouse Gas (GHG) impact analysis; and
• Calling a 100 percent Voluntary GHG Mitigation Program inadequate when they previously required only a 1.7 percent mitigation measure.

When Governor Inslee reversed his position about this project, he promised that his stance would not change the state’s regulatory process and objective review of this and similar projects. But now Ecology intends to conduct an unwarranted second SEIS at taxpayers’ expense, likely duplicating existing work and creating needless delay. Last week, the Governor’s budget request for Ecology included $600,000 of funding to “supplement” the SEIS. The size of this request creates questions around the intended scope of the review.

Wilson added, “Ecology cannot hide behind repeated calls for more analysis, when the comprehensive review that the Port and the County have completed in the SEIS and the 100 percent mitigation offered by NWIW exceeds anything ever done in the state—including anything ever done by Ecology. It’s time to decide.”

###

0 Continue Reading →