Nor�wester Issue 232���������������������������������������������������������� Tuesday, October 18, 2005

 

 

PNWA�s Legislator of the year award goes to U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA)

Newly elected President of PNWA

WRDA Section 214 extension passes Senate

Judge Redden issues order on BiOp remand, interim operations decision process

Port of Toledo welcomed as newest PNWA member

Annual Meeting a great success

 

 

PNWA�s Legislator of the year award goes to U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA)

 

PNWA President, Larry Paulson presented Senator Patty Murray with PNWA�s first ever Legislator of the Year award during the 2005 Annual Meeting in Vancouver, WA.With her outstanding service to Washington State and to her continued support for PNWA and it�s members, she is seen as a national leader on port issues and transportation, and we are proud to call her our region�s friend, advocate and Senator.

Senator Patty Murray served on her local school board as well as in the Washington State Senate, before being elected to the United States Senate in 1992. She was re-elected to the Senate by wide margins in 1998 and again in 2004, and is currently Washington's senior Senator.Senator Murray serves as the highest-ranking Democrat of the Senate Transportation Appropriations subcommittee, which writes the nation's transportation budget.

Senator Murray also has a seat on the Energy & Water Appropriations subcommittee, a key position for PNWA and its members, as this is where funding for the Corps of Engineers is decided.For our shallow draft ports, she has consistently fought to have funding restored for their projects.For the Channel Deepening project, she has been a leader in the appropriations process, ensuring that the Senate appropriations bills have consistently had the highest level of funding for the project.Congratulations to U.S. Senator Patty Murray.

 

 

Newly elected President of PNWA

 

Larry Paulson as PNWA�s new President, will be leading PNWA and its members on our Mission to Washington, DC in March 2006. Paulson was elected on October 13th, 2005 during PNWA�s Annual Meeting in Vancouver, Washington. Paulson will head a 37 member Board of Directors from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Northern California and Alaska. Please join us in welcoming and supporting PNWA�s new President.

 

Also elected to PNWA�s Executive Committee were:

Don Mann, Port of Newport, Senior Vice President

Rick Finn, Port of Portland, Treasurer

Mark Benson, Potlatch Corp, Idaho Vice President

Kim Puzey, Port of Umatilla, Oregon Vice President

Henry Yates, Port of Seattle, Washington Vice President

Ted Bottiger, Port of Tacoma, Executive Committee at large

Scott Corwin, PNGC Power, Executive Committee at large

Jim Toomey, Port of Pasco, Executive Committee at large

Patsy Martin, Port of Skagit County, Executive Committee at large

 

PNWA staff contact: Quynh Luu, quynh.luu@pnwa.net, 503-234-8553

 

 

WRDA Section 214 extension passes Senate

 

On Friday, the Senate passed by unanimous consent a stand-alone bill that extends the provisions of Section 214 of WRDA 2000 until March 31, 2006. Section 214 allows ports and other public agencies to fund Corps of Engineers positions to expedite the review of permits. That authority expired on September 30th, with the end of 2005 fiscal year.

 

Though PNWA had successfully had language extending Section 214 inserted in both the House and Senate WRDA bills, as well as the Senate Energy & Water appropriations bill, it became clear by mid-September that none of those bills would be signed into law by September 30th.Rep. Brian Baird (D, WA-3) graciously agreed to sponsor a stand-alone bill on September 14th in order to extend Section 214 for two more years.Because of the quick work of Congressman Baird�s staff, the bill moved quickly and was passed in the House by a voice vote on September 20th.Because the Senate amended the bill to reflect a shorter extension, the House will now need to agree to this change when they return from the Columbus Day recess.

 

PNWA would like to acknowledge the outstanding staff work from the offices of Rep. Baird, Senator Murray, and Senator Cantwell on this effort.We are very grateful for their diligence in preserving this authority.

 

PNWA staff contact: Kristin Meira, kristin.meira@pnwa.net, 503-234-8556

 

Judge Redden issues order on BiOp remand, interim operations decision process

 

Judge Redden issued a final order on October 7 remanding the 2004 Federal Columbia River Power System Biological Opinion (BiOp) to NOAA with instructions to complete a new BiOp within one year. NOAA had asked for two years to complete the new BiOp. Redden ruled the BiOp invalid last June. The federal government is appealing that decision.

 

Judge Redden upped the stakes in his remand order, writing,

 

�This remand, like the remand of the 2000 BiOp, requires NOAA and the Action Agencies to be aware of the possibility of breaching the four dams on the lower Snake River, if all else fails. The cooperation of the political branch (i.e., money) may mean such an action will be unnecessary. If it must be considered, an extension might be required to study its impact and to prepare for its implementation. This should be incentive enough to all those who oppose breaching the dams to make sure this remand succeeds. �Speaching� on the dams will not avoid breaching the dams. Cooperation and assistance may.�

 

�If, at any time during the remand period, NOAA concludes the Action Agencies are not making sufficient progress in developing a proposed action and/or RPA that avoids jeopardy to the listed species, NOAA shall advise the court of that circumstance immediately and shall issue a �failure report� similar to that required in the 2000 BiOp, that advises the court and the parties of those additional measures, including the breaching of dams, that may be necessary to achieve a valid no-jeopardy finding.�

 

The Judge ordered NOAA Fisheries to appear in court every 90 days to report on progress, beginning January 2, 2006. He also ordered them to collaborate with the other sovereign entities, the four Northwest states and the four Tribes involved in the lawsuit in preparing a set of interim actions for river operations until the BiOp is completed. Other parties to the lawsuit, including the Inland Ports and Navigation Group (IPNG) and the Bonneville Customer Group, are not included in the collaborative process. PNWA will work with both parties to inform the federal agencies and states of our concerns and potential impacts of proposed measures.

 

National Wildlife Federation, the plaintiff in the lawsuit, has made it clear they intend to file a motion for preliminary injunction on or about November 1 with their requested actions. They and the tribes are expected to seek drawdown of Lower Granite Reservoir to ten feet below Minimum Operating Pool. That would completely stop navigation to Lewiston, ID, and Clarkston and Wilma, WA during the critical wheat harvest and shipment season. They are also expected to request full time spill in the summer months, which would eliminate power production at the affected dams. PNWA and IPNG have already filed declarations and briefs with the Court objecting to proposed drawdowns.

 

PNWA staff contact: Glenn Vanselow, glenn.vanselow@pnwa.net, 503-234-8551

 

Port of Toledo welcomed as newest PNWA member

 

PNWA proudly welcomes our newest member: the Port of Toledo.Located on the central Oregon coast, the Port of Toledo was established in 1910 and covers 443 square miles.The Port provides many services in support of its mission to develop, promote, and sustain the economic base of the area. The Port supports the local maritime industry and other local businesses by providing or supporting moorages, shipping, repair facilities, and industrial space.The Port also features recreational moorage, launch facilities, a planned non-motorized boat park and launch, and recently held a very successful wooden boat show.

 

Contact Port Manager Bud Shoemake at info@portoftoledo.org or (541) 336-5207.Learn more about the Port at www.portoftoledo.org.

 

 

Annual Meeting a great success

 

Our 2005 Annual Meeting was a great success in Vancouver, WA.With guests speakers and members having a dialogue on what is to be expected of the upcoming year in Congress, with the federal agencies and in court. A key part of the discussions was what members of PNWA can do to support our Northwest delegation and the agencies in reaching the goals of PNWA.

 

A special thanks is due to all our speakers and our honored guests. U.S. Representative Brian Baird (D, WA-3) and U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) demonstrated their support and leadership. The Corps� Division and three District Commanders and the Coast Guard Captain of the Port helped the audience better understand the federal agency perspective. Technical sessions with industry leaders and consultants provided valuable knowledge for all in attendance.

 

PNWA had a special opportunity to meet with members of the Inland Waterways Users Board during the PNWA reception. The PNWA Executive Committee met with Assistant Secretary of the Army John Paul Woodley and the Corps� Director of Civil Works and regional Corps staff in a private meeting following the reception.

 

All of these events led to better understanding and communication on issues of great importance to the future of this region. PNWA and its members look forward to a very productive 2006.

 

PNWA staff contact: Quynh Luu, Quynh.luu@pnwa.net, 503-234-8553