In recognition of Earth Day, PNWA is presenting this special edition of the PNWA Nor�wester to highlight just a few of the environmental initiatives that have been undertaken by PNWA and its members.




Going back several years, PNWA staff co-chaired the Lower Columbia River Bi-State Water Quality Study and then served as chair for the Lower Columbia River Estuary Program in the preparation of a management plan to improve water quality and restore the river�s ecosystem. The Lower Columbia River Estuary Partnership is the successor organization and is active today in both public education and watershed restoration.


PNWA helped craft Sec. 536 of the Water Resources Development Act, which authorized $30 million in funding for ecosystem restoration projects on the Columbia River. Each year, PNWA advocates for ecosystem restoration funding under Sec. 536. We are requesting $2.2 million in appropriations for FY2008.


Beginning with its passage in 2000, PNWA has been leading a national coalition gaining extension of WRDA Sec. 214 to provide a more efficient permitting process. This provision has reduced the permitting backlog, speeding up implementation of environmental restoration and economic development projects in the Pacific Northwest and California. PNWA is working to make this provision permanent in this year�s WRDA bill.


PNWA played a key role in breaking a log jam between the Corps of Engineers, EPA and Congress, allowing the Corps to budget for environmental cleanup of the U.S. Moorings Superfund site on the Willamette River. This is the home of the federal dredges Essayons and Yaquina. PNWA is requesting $1.2 million in funding for this project in FY2008.


PNWA negotiated a settlement with the Corps of Engineers and National Wildlife Federation to prepare a Programmatic Sediment Management Plan for the Snake River. PNWA is seeking funding to allow the Corps to advance the project to an on-schedule completion in 2009.


PNWA continues to actively participate in regional forums seeking effective salmon recovery measures while maintaining a healthy environment and strong regional economy.


Towboat Industry


Foss, Shaver and Tidewater are all upgrading equipment to ensure a cleaner environment and conservation of natural resources. New tugs are being built and older tugs are being repowered with EPA Tier II compliant engines which significantly reduce particulate, NOx and CO2 emissions while reducing fuel consumption by 33%. Tidewater Barge Lines is converting a third petroleum barge to double hull. They plan to have all of their fuel barges replaced with double hull barges by 2010, five years ahead of regulatory requirements.




The region�s ports are taking the lead in environmental protection, wetland habitat and ecosystem restoration, airshed emission reduction, and water efficiency.


For the 7th consecutive year, the Port of Portland has received an American Association of Port Authorities award for their comprehensive environmental management system. They have also received the City of Portland�s Best Award for water efficiency.


The Port of Vancouver is undertaking major wetland mitigation and enhancement projects.


The Ports of Tacoma and Seattle, along with a multitude of partners (including the American Lung Association, EPA, US Coast Guard, US Navy), are funding the Puget Sound Marine Emissions Inventory, which is coordinated by the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency. They are measuring air emissions and developing and implementing air pollution control strategies for vessels and on the docks. They are modifying equipment to operate on clean propane, switching to ultra-low-emission fuels, using bio-diesel and working with cargo and cruise vessels to reduce air emissions.


Many ports are cleaning up Brownfields, formerly polluted land, and converting them to productive use. Upriver, ports like Walla Walla are engaging in watershed restoration projects. Many are planning new bio-fuel facilities to produce cleaner fuels and reduce the use of fossil fuels.




Weyerhaeuser is reducing its greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2020 while reducing its reliance on fossil fuels. They are do this by harnessing the benefits of a renewable, natural resource � biomass � as fuel and installing cleaner boilers that generate steam and electrical energy in their mills.Weyerhaeuser�s pulp and paper mills generate 72 percent of their energy from biomass.


Weyerhaeuser has sequestered 2.6 times more carbon, primarily in wood products, than it emitted last year, reduced air and water emissions, recovered 6.7 million tons of used paper, or 13 percent of the total recycled in the United States, and has obtained independent certification that all of the forests it manages or owns in North America meet the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Standard or the Canadian Standards Association sustainable forest management standard. Their environmental sustainability report is available online at


And More


These are just a few examples of how PNWA and its members are working to reduce impacts and improve the environment. Nearly every decision, process and project undertaken by our members now includes an environmental component, ranging from reducing use natural resources, recycling, clean up and environmental restoration projects, and upgrading to new, cleaner and more efficient technologies in their buildings, land development and equipment.


Plus, on Earth Day and year around, PNWA is proud to represent navigation and hydropower interests. Navigation is the most fuel efficient and least polluting way to transport cargo. Hydropower is renewable and produces no air emissions. Both contribute to a clean environment while providing for a strong regional economy.

Pacific Northwest Waterways Association                      



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