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Newport International Terminal FAQ
Why is the project needed?
How is the Port selecting the project design?
What is the status of the current environmental risk posed by the sunken ships?
What are the environmental effects of the project?
What will be done to address contaminants on the ship?
What agencies are involved in the permitting process?
Who will complete the construction of the project?
Why will in-water construction on the International Marine Terminal not begin until fall 2010?
Q: Why is the project needed?
A: The Pasley now serves as the foundation of the Port's cargo dock and has experienced critical structural failures. Over time, the Pasley has shifted and rolled toward the bay. Cracks in the hull are widening and are visible from the bay and the shore. In 1996, oil leaked into the bay due to the deteriorating condition of the hull. As a result, the cargo dock was closed in 2001 and is no longer usable. Portions of the wooden fishing dock are currently unusable due to the rotting decking and piling. The failing docks limit current activities, prevent future economic growth, and pose a potential environmental concern.
Q: How is the Port selecting the project design?
A: Thirty potential concepts were originally considered by technical staff and stakeholders. These concepts were reviewed and narrowed to 13 based on constructability, cost, short and long-term environmental effects, safety, mitigation options, schedule, maintenance requirements, and functionality and flexibility of the new dock. The 13 alternatives were then studied in more detail to refine the analyses. After this process, the following concepts, which include full remediation of both ships, remain: 1) remediate and leave the ships behind permanent retaining walls, 2) remediate and remove both ships, or 3) remediate and remove the Pasley only, and remediate the Hennebique; leaving it in place indefinitely. Final design will be based on input from technical staff, permitting agencies, the steering committee, the Port Commission, and the public.
Q: What is the status of the current environmental risk posed by the sunken ships?
A: The Pasley and Hennebique both contain residual materials such as heavy oils and asbestos, which pose ecological concerns to the marine environment. Because of the accelerating deterioration of the Pasley's hull, the Port Commission declared an emergency in May of 2008. An Emergency Response Plan is in place. The Commission underscored the serious nature of the situation -- that planning and design needed to be completed and the permitting process must proceed without delay. The Port has been conducting ongoing environmental investigations and remediation under the guidance of Landau and Kennedy-Jenks and Associates with oversight from Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. Some 8,000 gallons of Bunker-C fuel have already been removed from the Pasley. The Port will continue to work with its environmental consultants and the Oregon Deparment of Environmental Quality to plan for the remediation of both ships. Environmental contaminants on both the Pasley and the Hennibique will be completely remediated according to all applicable environmental standards.
Q: What are the environmental effects of the project?
A: A Biological Assessment and an essential Fish Habitat Assessment are being prepared to evaluate potential direct and indirect project effects to species and their habitats. These documents will describe effects to species listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and species managed under Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act. The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) will review these assessments to determine whether the project will jeopardize the survival of ESA-listed species or adversely affect their habitat. The Port will also continue meeting with NMFS and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to discuss how to best minimize, avoid, and mitigate project effects.
Q: What will be done to address contaminants on the ship?
A: Prior to removal of the Pasley, all compartments containing contaminants will be accessed and contaminants removed, treated, and properly disposed of. All contaminants will be addressed, including water contaminated with petroleum hydrocarbon in the centerline fuel tank and two wing ballast tanks. All contaminants encountered prior to and during ship removal will be managed under Oregon Department of Environmental Quality approved Contaminated Media Managment Plan (CMMP). The CMMP will provide guidelines for material handling, storage, testing, and disposal for all known and anticipated contaminants which will be encountered during ship removal operations.
Q: What agencies are involved in the permitting process?
A: Many state and federal regulatory and permitting agencies are involved in the project, including the Army Corps of Engineers, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Oregon Department of State Lands, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, and Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development. The Port will continue to work with the agencies and will submit project plans as part of the permit application process.
Q: Who will complete the construction of the project?
A: The Port plans to utilize the Construction Manager/General Contractor (CM/GC) project delivery method. This is a negotiated contract approach in which a contractor is brought in early in the design phase to engage in value engineering (identifying construction economies that can be achieved through incorporation of design revisions/refinements), which increases the likelihood of cost savings for the overall project.
The active involvement of a marine-oriented GM/GC contractor during the design process ensures that the designs are constructible and economic. The Natt McDougall Company was selected as the pre-construction contractor because it is one of few heavy construction companies qualified for demolition and construction in a marine environment. The company is well respected and has a long list of notable projects and awards. It was agreed early on that all subcontracting possible would be given to local companies.
Q: Why will in-water construction on the International Marine Terminal not begin until fall 2010?
A: The Port's ability to do in-water work is limited to November 1st through February 15th of each year. Stabilizing the Pasley cannot begin until the applicable permits have been approved.