Issue 245

June 16, 2006

 

In this issue:

 

Port security notes

Walla Walla District Change of Command

BPA funds temporarily protected

Judge Redden combines two BiOp remands

Kempthorne confirmed

PNWA Mid-Year Meeting

Job Announcement: East Columbia Basin Irrigation District



Port security notes


Unfortunately, Congress missed a great opportunity to demonstrate a commitment to port security, as House and Senate conferees removed $648 million for port security from the FY06 emergency supplemental appropriations bill. This bill contains extra funding primarily for activities in Iraq and Afghanistan, and for hurricane relief.

Port security grant program

The full House of Representatives recently passed the FY07 Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill (H.R.5441) by a vote of 389-9. This bill includes $200 million in funding for the program, a $50 million increase over FY06 funding levels. PNWA and other ports groups around the country are urging the Senate to increase this program to $400 million when they consider this bill in the coming weeks. The Department of Homeland Security has said that TWIC implementation alone will cost ports between $299 million and $325 million.

Transportation Workers Identification Credential (TWIC)

The Transportation Workers Identification Credential (TWIC) has moved a step closer to implementation. Proposed rules for the program have been published in the Federal Register, and comments will be accepted until July 6, 2006, with final rule-making expected by late 2006 or early 2007. Comments can be submitted electronically at http://dms.dot.gov, identified by TSA docket number TSA-2006-24191 or Coast Guard docket number USCG-2006-24196.

Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT)

The Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) focuses on partnerships to improve security along the entire supply chain, from the factory floor, to foreign vendors, land borders and seaports. The program encourages companies to progressively build more secure supply chains, with the reward of expedited security clearance once cargo arrives at U.S. ports & borders. It will eventually extend to all international supply chain participants.

The FY2007 Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill that recently passed the House included $70.1 million for C-TPAT.

Container Security Initiative (CSI)

The Container Security Initiative (CSI) focuses on pre-screening cargo before it reaches our shores. CSI enables U.S. customs agents stationed in foreign ports to use surveillance equipment to screen U.S.-bound containers identified as "high risk," and helps prevent border and port delays.

The FY2007 Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill that recently passed the House included $139 million for the Container Security Initiative, enough to expand CSI to 58 ports.

Staff contact: Kristin Meira, 503-234-8556

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Walla Walla District Change of Command


Brigadier General Gregg F. Martin, Commanding General of the Northwestern Division of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has invited PNWA members to attend a Change of Command Ceremony at which Lt. Col. Randy L. Glaeser will relinquish command of the Walla Walla District to Lt. Col. Anthony J. Hofmann.

The ceremony will take place at 10:00 am, Friday, June 30, 2006, at the Marcus Whitman Hotel in Walla Walla. A reception will follow at the Walla Walla District headquarters across the street from the hotel. Please rsvp to Rose McNulty

PNWA Executive Director Larry Paulson presented Lt. Col. Glaeser with a Distinguished Service Award for his contribution to the port and navigation communities of the Pacific Northwest during a May 13 navigation meeting in Walla Walla . PNWA has enjoyed working with Lt. Col. Glaeser, and the Corps and PNWA have accomplished a lot during his leadership, the most significant actions being the settlement of the Snake River dredging lawsuit and completion of dredging of the Snake River navigation channel. We look forward to continuing our long partnership with Lt. Col. Hofmann.

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BPA funds temporarily protected


The Northwest Congressional delegation united in opposition to the Bush Administration�s budget proposal to use excess Bonneville Power Administration revenue to pay down the federal deficit. Our delegation added a provision to the $94.5 billion bill funding the Iraq war and hurricane relief for the Gulf states that delays implementation until the 2008 fiscal year. This gives the region and Congress time to develop a permanent solution.

PNWA opposed the Administration�s proposal. It would have increased Bonneville Power rates by about seven percent and provide no benefit to Northwest ratepayers or fish and wildlife programs. PNWA will work with the Northwest delegation, BPA and others to craft a permanent resolution of the issue

Staff contact: Glenn Vanselow, 503-234-8551

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Judge Redden combines two BiOp remands


On May 23, 2006, Judge Redden ruled that a Biological Opinion on upper Snake River operations was invalid. He ordered NOAA Fisheries to combine the remand processes for the upper Snake BiOp with the ongoing collaboration to develop a new mainstem Columbia and Snake River salmon BiOp. There is a great deal of uncertainty today about how the combination of the remands will be conducted or what the impacts may be.

The new Columbia River BiOp is due by February 2007. It is not clear whether the Judge�s order will delay its completion. The 2004 Columbia River BiOp, as modified by Judge Redden�s order to increase spill and maintain the federal agencies� proposed flow regime, remains in effect during the remand. That maintains navigation on the Columbia and Snake Rivers, decreases hydropower production, and maintains agreements on the allocation of upper Snake River water in Idaho through 2006.

The Judge�s decision to combine the two BiOps has provided an opportunity for some interests to retread familiar refrains. The Nez Perce Tribe publicly stated that their ultimate goal in these cases is to breach the four Snake River dams. Others have stated their intent to seek more water for flow augmentation, including more water from Idaho.

Whether one BiOp or two, PNWA believes the essential facts have not changed. Dam breaching, drawdown, massive flows, and increased spill are neither biologically beneficial nor cost-effective measures to rebuild the region�s fish runs. For more information on salmon, dam breaching, the court case or the economic value of the river system, visit www.pnwa.net.

Glenn Vanselow, 503-234-8551

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Kempthorne confirmed


Governor Dirk Kempthorne of Idaho was confirmed by the Senate and sworn in as the new U.S. Secretary of the Interior on May 26th. Gov. Kempthorne, also a former U.S. Senator and Mayor of Boise, takes control of a cabinet agency whose operations greatly affect life in the Pacific Northwest. Just a few of the groups within Interior are the Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the National Park Service.

Kempthorne replaces Gale Norton, who led the department for five years.

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PNWA Mid-Year Meeting


PNWA's Mid-Year Meeting is fast approaching, June 21 - 23 at the Salishan Lodge & Conference Center on the Oregon Coast. If you have not registered, register now.

Our Luncheon Keynote Speaker will be Mike Carrier, Natural Resources Policy Advistor from the State of Oregon. Mike will be speaking on "The State of Oregon's Approach to Meeting Endangered Fish Needs on the Oregon Coast and the Columbia/Snake River System"

There will also be several key U.S. Corps of Engineers speakers, Karen Durham-Aguilera, Director, Programs and Carol Angier, Civil Work Deputy to discuss project funding, endangered species and other regional issues.

Don't miss out on this opportunity to meet and greet key players that affect the future of your region.

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Job Announcement: East Columbia Basin Irrigation District


Irrigation District Manager. The East Columbia Basin Irrigation District, one of three districts operating the Bureau of Reclamation�s Columbia Basin Project is seeking a Secretary-Manager.

A qualified applicant will have a combination of education and experience that includes a bachelor�s degree, or post graduate degree, in agricultural, civil or irrigation engineering or a related discipline of engineering, business administration, public administration, physical sciences or similar disciplines. Desired experience includes progressively responsible assignments in irrigation districts or similar water resources organizations, public works municipalities or agencies or other similar public sector or private sector organizations. Successful experience in leading and managing human resources is required.

Job location is Othello, Washington and duties are District-wide. Frequent daily travel and occasional overnight travel are required. Occasional attendance at evening and weekend meetings is required. The incumbent must reside within the Cities of Othello, Moses Lake or Warden or if in a rural area, within the East District�s service area.

Salary range is expected to be $85,000-$115,000 plus comprehensive benefits depending on qualifications and experience. Recruiting is being done now to provide a period of orientation and transition prior to the present manager�s retirement. The initial position may be transitional.

Application deadline is 5:00 PM, July 31, 2006. For job description and application materials contact: