February 16, 2007
Statement in Support of Motions

The Port of Seattle Commission (the “Commission”) believes that a strong and vibrant maritime industrial economy in King County is instrumental in promoting economic vitality and growing a diverse and good-paying job base in our region.

The Commission strongly supports policies that grow our region’s maritime industrial economy in a sustainable manner and that address issues of land use, freight mobility and environmental stewardship as we grow our economy.

The Commission commends the Port of Seattle staff for their ongoing work in environmental stewardship and remediation. The Commission believes that the Port of Seattle – in order (i) to fulfill its responsibilities as a public agency and (ii) to be a good neighbor to the communities it serves – must continue to be a leader in environmental stewardship and remediation, particularly in the areas of maritime air emissions reduction and the protection and enhancement of water quality and marine habitat.
The Commission will direct Port staff to provide information and coordination on a variety of environmental topics facing the Port, to evaluate and prioritize future Port action on environmental stewardship, in the context of operations at the Port of Seattle and in the larger West Coast port arena.

The Port of Seattle Commission hereby moves the following:

Healthy Puget Sound Initiatives

1. The Commission commends the Port of Seattle staff in working with the regulatory agencies, local, state and federal governments, port tenants and customers, environmental groups and other stakeholders in our region to reduce the impact of current and former Port-related operations and activities on the health of Puget Sound. The Commission directs Port of Seattle staff to report back on Port environmental programs to support the Puget Sound Partnership Recommendations and the Governor’s Puget Sound Action Agenda within the next ninety (90) days, including but not limited to protecting Puget Sound habitat, reducing polluted stormwater run-off and the clean-up of contaminated sediments. The staff is also directed to arrange a briefing for the Port Commission by the Washington Public Ports Association’s representatives to the Governor’s Puget Sound Partnership.

Air Quality

2. The Commission commends the efforts of Port staff in working with the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, the ports of Tacoma and Vancouver, B.C., port tenants and customers, labor, environmental groups and other stakeholders in our region to reduce air quality impacts and develop in a voluntary and collaborative manner a Pacific Northwest action plan to further reduce port-related air quality issues The Commission directs Port staff to continue these efforts with the goal of presenting an action plan to the Commission for its review and approval no later than December 31, 2007. The action plan shall include goals and commitments for significant reductions in air emissions across transportation modes (including but not limited to emissions from ships, on-dock equipment and drayage trucks). If an action plan is not approved by the Commission by December 31, 2007, the Commission shall consider whether to direct Port of Seattle government affairs staff to work with federal and state officials to implement a regulatory solution for reducing air emissions.

Cruise Industry

3. The Commission acknowledges a recent request by Port of Seattle staff to amend the Memorandum of Understanding Cruise Operations (the “MOU”) and implement a complete prohibition on discharging biosolids in the Olympic Marine Sanctuary. The Commission directs Port of Seattle staff to continue its efforts to work with all parties regarding an amendment to the MOU and to report back for Commission review and possible implementation of a new amendment by the 2007 cruise ship season. The Commission directs Port staff (i) to present the Department of Ecology’s annual report on MOU compliance, titled “Assessment of Cruise Ship Environmental Effects in Washington” to the Commission in public session regarding the previous cruise season activity and (ii) to include in any long-term agreement entered into between the cruise ship industry and the Port of Seattle a provision requiring compliance with the terms of the MOU.

4. The Commission recognizes the significant economic benefit to the region of having cruise ships homeport in Seattle. The Commission supports the growth of the cruise ship industry in Seattle as well as efforts to enhance water quality and the marine environment. The Commission directs staff to prepare a budget and work program to evaluate the feasibility, environmental impact, cost/benefit and possible funding sources of building additional infrastructure to support the cruise ship industry in Seattle, including proposals to facilitate off-loading of biosolids and hazardous waste. Work program elements will include convening a meeting or series of meetings beginning in the first half of 2007 on this topic, to include relevant Port staff, cruise ship industry officials, Department of Ecology officials, county and city public utilities and health officials, other relevant experts, and community and environmental group representatives.

5. The Commission supports the inclusion of a requirement in the Port of Seattle’s berthing agreements with its cruise ship customers that all homeported cruise ships either (i) utilize shore power or (ii) burn low sulfur fuel while in port to reduce the amount of air emissions in and around the Seattle waterfront. The Commission commends the Port staff’s proposal to amend the cruise ship berthing agreements and supports that (a) this requirement become a permanent part of any agreement with our cruise ship customers and (b) the Port of Seattle continue to work with the cruise ship industry in their efforts to develop cost-effective alternative methods of reducing ship air emissions even further.

Superfund Cleanup

6. The Commission directs Port of Seattle staff to organize a briefing to the Commission in public session within the next sixty (60) days by Port staff, representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency and other appropriate agencies on the topic of the Duwamish East Waterway Superfund site, and cleanup and sediment issues with respect thereto.

~ by fredfelleman on March 5, 2007.

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