Issue 243

May 4, 2006

 

In this issue:

 

Port security legislation on the move

Senate passes Emergency Supplemental bill

House Appropriations Committee releases tentative schedule for FY2007 bills

Judge Redden hears oral arguments on Upper Snake River BiOp

Port of Portland presented the BEST award

Mid-Year Meeting Registration

Member Highglight: Anderson-Perry & Associates



Port security legislation on the move


The SAFE Port Act (H.R. 4954) introduced by Representatives Dan Lungren (R-CA) and Jane Harman (D-CA) passed the House May 3rd by a 230-196 vote. H.R. 4954 would overhaul maritime security and provide about $800 million to bolster security and screening efforts at U.S. ports. Among the 80 cosponsors were Representatives Baird (WA-3), DeFazio (OR-4), Dicks (WA-6), Inslee (WA-1), Larsen (WA-2), McDermott (WA-7), Adam Smith (WA-9), Reichert (WA-8), and Wu (OR-1).

The GreenLane Maritime Cargo Security Act (S. 2459), sponsored by Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), was successfully passed out of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Tuesday, May 2nd. S.2459 would provide $835 million a year for maritime security using existing Customs and Border Protection fees and require a comprehensive strategic plan for supply-chain security. The bill will now head to the Senate floor for consideration.

PNWA strongly supports both bills. Both include provisions that would significantly increase the amount of funding authorized for port security programs.

Staff Contact: Kristin Meira at 503-234-8556 or email Kristin.

 

Senate passes Emergency Supplemental bill


The Senate approved by a 78-20 vote a $109 billion emergency spending bill May 4th. The bill is primarily to pay for the war in Iraq and hurricane recovery on the Gulf Coast. The House approved a $91.9 billion package--about $17 billion less than the Senate's version--by a 348-71 vote in March. President Bush has threatened to veto any bill over $ 94.5 billion.

The Senate bill includes $65.7 billion in war-related funding, $28.8 billion to aid hurricane recovery in Mississippi and Louisiana and $3.9 billion for levees and flood control projects in Louisiana.

The Senate bill also contains two provisions on the PNWA agenda. It adds $648 million for port security. That includes increased staffing for Customs and Border Protection, including more specialists in supply chain security, CT-PAT inspections, cargo container inspections, and inspectors to be deployed overseas in the Container Security Initiative. It funds $211 million in non-intrusive seaport and border crossing inspection equipment and $227 million for port security grants.

The Senate also included a provision that prohibits the Bonneville Power Authority from using any funds in fiscal year 2006 through April 1, 2007 to initiate a rate case. A rate case would be needed to implement the Administration�s proposal to use excess BPA revenues to expedite repayment of BPA�s federal debt. The President�s FY 2007 budget proposed to use a portion of BPA revenues to reduce the federal deficit.

PNWA strongly supports both provisions of the Senate bill.

Staff contact: Glenn Vanselow at 503-234-8551 or email Glenn.

House Appropriations Committee releases tentative schedule for FY2007 bills


The House Appropriations Committee has released a tentative schedule for consideration of FY2007 appropriations bills. Each appropriations bill faces markup in the relevant subcommittee, and then the full Appropriations committee, before heading to the House floor for consideration and a vote. The approved House appropriations bill is then sent to the Senate for the same consideration.

Following are the very tentative dates that have been set for the appropriations bills that are most closely watched by PNWA and its members. If you have any questions about a particular bill, or the status of your project, please contact Kristin Meira or Glenn Vanselow for more information. As each bill becomes available for review, we will continue to update you.

May 4th Interior (subcommittee)
May 10th Interior (full committee)
May 11th Energy & Water (subcommittee)
May 11th Homeland Security (subcommittee)
May 16th Energy and Water (full committee)
May 16th Homeland Security (full committee)
May 18th Interior (floor consideration)
May 24th Homeland Security (floor consideration)
May 24th TTHUD (Transportation/Treasury/HUD) (subcommittee)
May 25th Energy and Water (floor consideration)
June 6th TTHUD (full committee)
June 14th & 15th TTHUD (floor consideration)

Staff contacts: Glenn Vanselow at 503-234-8551 or email Glenn.
Kristin Meira at 503-234-8556 or email Kristin.

 

Judge Redden hears oral arguments on Upper Snake River BiOp


PNWA and the Inland Ports and Navigation Group have been active in the Federal Columbia River Power System (FCRPS) salmon BiOp case. On May 3rd, that case got intertwined with the Upper Snake River (USR) BiOp case. NOAA Fisheries produced two separate Biological Opinions regarding actions that might affect the status of ESA-listed fish runs. Both were challenged in court in two separate cases before Judge Redden.

The USR BiOp was produced following a lengthy adjudication process over Idaho water that involved Senator Crapo (R-ID), the State of Idaho, the Nez Perce Tribe and Idaho Water Users. American Rivers, the lead plaintiff in the USR case, argued May 3rd in District Court that the USR BiOp should be thrown out. They, along with National Wildlife Federation, lead plaintiffs in the FCRPS case, argued that the USR BiOp should be combined with the FCRPS BiOp and completed as one comprehensive Biological Opinion. All of this, they argued, should be done by expanding the current collaborative process between the federal, state and tribal governments, which Judge Redden is supervising.

The federal government, the States of Washington and Montana, the Kootenia Tribe and the Idaho Water Users argued against combining the two cases. The Nez Perce Tribe also argued against combining the two cases. The Nez Perce were parties to the USR adjudication and received several economic benefits in that settlement. They hedged their opposition to combining the two cases by reminding the Judge that they are on the other side in the FCRPS case and favor dam breaching.

In seeking the merger of the two cases, the environmental groups and CRTFIC tribes appear to be trying to drive a wedge between economic interests on the river. They appear to be setting up an argument that the Judge needs to order one of two possible actions; either take more water out of Idaho or breach the Snake River dams.

PNWA has long argued that it is not a water v. dams or flow v. dams question. Judge Redden, in his decision on this year�s river operations, cited the Northwest Power and Conservation Council�s Independent Scientific Advisory Board conclusion that the claim of a flow-survival relationship is no longer valid.

Judge Redden said he will rule in two weeks. From the bench he said he would remand the USR BiOp to have the jeopardy analysis redone. His minute order prior to the oral arguments indicated he was inclined to agree with the plaintiffs and combine the two BiOps, but Judge Redden did not reiterate that inclination in court yesterday.

Staff contact: Glenn Vanselow at 503-234-8551 or email Glenn.

 

Port of Portland presented the BEST award


Weather-sensing technology that saved over a million gallons of water, Port staff time and money last year has earned the Port of Portland a special distinction. Portland City Commissioner Erik Sten presented the Port a BEST (Businesses for an Environmentally Sustainable Tomorrow) award for its property maintenance pilot irrigation water conservation program at the Swan Island and Rivergate industrial parks.

�The Port of Portland has been doing good work to implement sustainable business practices, and has become one of the most sustainable ports in the nation,� said Mr. Sten. �Their new system automatically does what we ask homeowners to do - ensure they use only as much water as necessary. We appreciate the Port�s pilot effort, which if successful, may lead to more widely adopted use by the city and other governments for parks and landscape maintenance.�

The irrigation system uses knowledge of soil type and current weather conditions (temperature, wind, rain, solar energy) to calculate the water requirements of the crop (turf, groundcover, shrubs, trees, etc.) and determine if irrigation should take place on a given day. The port is also researching pager systems which will allow computer controlled irrigation to determine when watering is needed, and �smart� irrigation controllers with sensors to monitor and control watering on site.

The Port�s Property Maintenance Department maintains landscapes in the Rivergate Industrial District, Swan Island Industrial Park and Marine Terminals. At Swan Island, use of the technology reduced water consumption 30%. At Rivergate, the Port reduced water consumption from an average 1,284,800 gallons in 2000-2003 to 530,000 gallons in 2004-05, a reduction of 40%. All told, the system saved 1,009,269 gallons of water at both sites in 2004-05. Furthermore, says the port, the system saved staff time for labor usually spent adjusting irrigation clocks. The port also has conducted irrigation audits and installed master valves to prevent water loss in the event of a mainline break.

 

Mid-Year Meeting Registration


Registration is now open at www.pnwa.net. Our Mid-Year Meeting will be held on June 21-23rd, 2006 at the Salishan Lodge & Conference Center, along the coast and just minutes away from Newport, Oregon. Our evening reception will be held at the Oregon Coast Aquarium where all exhibits will be available for viewing. We urge you to register and make hotel reservations as soon as possible as space is limited. Be sure to join us to discuss current issues that are affecting the Columbia Snake River, Oregon and Washington Coast and the Puget Sound areas.

 

Member Highglight: Anderson-Perry & Associates


Anderson-Perry continues to set the standards for client service and satisfaction.
Since the firm�s establishment in 1975, the owners and employees of Anderson∙Perry continue to set the standards for client service and satisfaction. Originally founded in La Grande, Oregon, by Steve Anderson and Howard Perry, the firm has grown into the largest consulting engineering firm in northeastern Oregon and southeastern Washington. The office in Walla Walla, Washington, was established in 1979 with Keith Olson as manager. With over 100 engineers, technicians, and support staff, Anderson-Perry offers a full range of civil engineering, surveying, and materials testing services. Staff Contact: Alan Schroeder at 509-529-9260 or email Alan. Visit their website at Anderson-Perry & Associates