Puget Sound Naval Shipyard takes action to reduce copper discharges and comply with Clean Water Act

by Tim Flanagan on May 28, 2009

Jeff Chew has this article in the Peninsula Daily News:

Marine trade representatives agreed to form a committee to work with the Port of Port Townsend beginning next week to come up with port haul-out and storage discounts that, medical coupled with an aggressive marketing campaign, artificial will lure new boat-work business.

The port commissioners Wednesday night struck up a conversation with Boat Haven business owners, emergency many of whom said boat-repair business was slow-to-nothing.

“I don’t think anybody in the marine trades has raised their rates except the port,” said Mark Jochems, owner of Shoreline Marine Diesel.

“I don’t have any place else to cut. I’m bare bones right now. If it gets any worse, I don’t know. I’m going to be relying on emergencies this summer.”

Jochems was among about 15 marine operators who attended the port commissioners meeting, many of them talking about lagging business.

[Read more…]

Meghan Erkkinen has this story in the Tacoma Weekly:

The Port of Tacoma’s container cargo volume was down nearly 15 percent in the first quarter of the year, gonorrhea
following national trends as the economy continues to slide. Breakbulk and auto volumes were down 50 percent and 40 percent respectively.

“2009 is shaping up to be a very challenging year for us,” said Tong Zhu, director of commercial strategy for the port. “The recession has taken a turn for the worse.”

In spite of these drops, the Port of Tacoma continues to see among the smallest drops in cargo volume among West Coast ports, and trade experts predict some growth beginning in the second half of 2010.

“There are signs that the economic downturn has diminished in its intensity,” Zhu said. “Consumers are spending slightly more.”

Zhu predicted that the economy would begin to rebound in the second half of 2009, but that in 2009 the port would still experience negative growth. In total, she predicted a 2009 container volume decline of 20 percent from 2008 and 4.5 percent in 2010, hitting a low of about 1.4 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), compared with more than 1.9 million TEUs in 2007. Zhu predicted low growth in 2010, followed by moderate growth from 2011 to 2013. The Port of Tacoma expects to see benefits from the arrival of NYK Line in 2012. Still, the port does not expect to meet 2003 container volumes until after 2013.

[Read more…]

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such as the tanker traversing Admiralty Inlet in the background on Wednesday. ” alt=”The Bush Point boat launch ramp is missing the boarding floats installed in April. They were removed late Tuesday because hinge connections had broken due to intense winds and waves as well as the wakes from passing ship traffic, cialis 40mg
such as the tanker traversing Admiralty Inlet in the background on Wednesday. – Jeff VanDerford / The Record” src=”http://media.pnwlocalnews.com/images/4430swhidbeyBUSH-Pt..jpg” align=”right” border=”1″/>[Jeff VanDerford / The Record photo] Caption reads “The Bush Point boat launch ramp is missing the boarding floats installed in April. They were removed late Tuesday because hinge connections had broken due to intense winds and waves as well as the wakes from passing ship traffic, such as the tanker traversing Admiralty Inlet in the background on Wednesday.”

The South Whidbey Record has this story:

The Port of South Whidbey has been forced to remove the boarding floats from the water at the Bush Point boat-launch ramp to prevent further damage or loss of the floats.

The action was taken Tuesday due to premature and severe deterioration of dock hardware.

The floats were launched in April and have been in use for less than two seasons, but the hinge-type connections between the individual float sections are already collapsing as a result of the large waves at that location. The floats were designed and constructed as part of the state Department of Fish and Wildlife’s redevelopment of the historic boat launch, in partnership with the port. However, the port has been forced to provide additional funding and conduct substantial repairs and improvements to address numerous design deficiencies compounded by the relentless wind and wave exposure.

Port staff is now investigating repair or replacement possibilities for the critical connection hardware to allow the floats to be relaunched as soon as possible.

[Read more…]

A press release from the EPA:

(Bremerton, page
Wash. – May 28, public health
2009) Under an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), illness
the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard (PSNS) is required to take action to reduce the amount of copper in its wastewater and comply with its federal Clean Water Act permit requirements.

According to the Navy’s own discharge reports, from May 2003 to July 2008, PSNS frequently violated its federal wastewater permit by discharging copper in excess of allowable levels. The shipyard’s wastewater is discharged into Sinclair Inlet.

PSNS is the largest naval shipyard on the west coast. The copper in its wastewater comes from sandblasting and painting of vessels in dry dock at the shipyard. The shipyard is allowed to discharge its wastewater into Sinclair Inlet, but only if it complies with its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit issued by EPA.

Edward Kowalski, EPA’s regional head of Compliance and Enforcement, said federal facilities must do their part to protect Puget Sound, just like everyone else. “The health of Puget Sound depends on everyone doing their part, beginning with complying with their permits,”said Kowalski. “Under this agreement, the Navy has committed to coming into compliance and bringing their copper levels down. They are complying with the Clean Water Act and doing the right thing for Puget Sound.”

The Navy has already begun taking action to lessen the copper in the wastewater from PSNS including:

  • Increasing the effectiveness of their process water collection system;
  • Upgrading their sewer system;
  • Improving control of on-going sources of copper to the waste water (reducing paint overspray); and
  • Improving their dry dock cleaning processes.

As a result of this work, the Navy reports it has been in compliance with its current discharge permit for the past several months. In addition, over the past few years, PSNS has been working with other federal, state and local agencies to better understand and reduce sources of fecal coliform in Puget Sound. As a result of this work, the agencies have been able to reopen several shellfish beds in the area.

EPA is in the process of updating the shipyard’s NPDES permit. A draft permit is expected to be available this summer and a final permit issued by the end of the year.

For more information on NPDES permits, visit http://cfpub1.epa.gov/npdes/home.cfm

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