Governor signs bill to boost mapping of geologic hazards in Washington State

Washington will have more information than ever about the threat geologic hazards hold for communities and citizens under a new law signed today by Gov. Jay Inslee.

Requested by the Washington

read more

Department of Natural Resources LiDAR hazard mapping receives unanimous approval from House

A catalog of detailed LiDAR maps of Washington’s geologic hazards is one step closer to reality after the state House voted unanimously Wednesday in favor of a bill requested by Commissioner

read more

Kilmer introduces two amendments to defense bill to help veterans looking for jobs and civilian shipyard workers

On Tuesday, Representative Derek Kilmer introduced two amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to help servicemembers find jobs and authorize overtime for civilian shipyard

read more

Public scoping begins on two proposals to export crude by rail

Over 120 attended the first of two public meetings last night to begin to shape Environmental Impact Statements being prepared for two companies that seek to export crude oil from Grays Harbor ports. Quinault Indian Nation President Fawn Sharp was one of the first to provide comment. “Quinault opposes oil in Grays Harbor. Fish, shellfish, and aquatic plants in Grays Harbor are central to the lives and culture of Quinault people. We oppose the sacrifice of our lives and culture for a few jobs.” Government and business leaders politely waited alongside concerned citizens from throughout the county, as they filed into a chair at the front of the Commons area at Hoquiam High School and gave their 2 minute statements. Retired teacher Wes Brosnan noted “This track is in such terrible condition that it could be sabotaged by a clever 12 year old.” Concerns ranged from catastrophic failure of the cars, or rail system, to increased overall traffic and emergency responses. Hoquiam business owner Garret Phillips added “I’m deeply concerned about the impacts of the proposed crude oil trains on traffic congestion in every community along the rail corridor, and the associated impacts to our economy, our health, and our public services.” So where do the comments go from there? Brendan McFarland with the Department of Ecology says “We take the comments and start studying them, the next public phase is when we put out a draft Environmental Impact Statement and the public gets a chance to comment on that. From there the Department of Ecology will make separate determinations on whether to permit the new, or increased petroleum exports at two sites in Hoquiam. The second, and final scoping meeting for this phase will be held April 29th in Centralia High School Commons, 813 Eshom Road. You can submit your comments without getting in front of a big crowd, either online or by mail, for details visit http://ecy.wa.gov Public comment is open through May 27th to determine what should be studied in Impact Statements being prepared for Westway Terminal Company and Imperium Renewables in Hoquiam. Though the proposals are separate, the agencies are holding a joint scoping comment period. All comments received will be considered for both proposals.

Aberdeen and Hoquiam discussing merger of Fire Departments

Aberdeen and Hoquiam have begun exploring the process of consolidation their fire and paramedic services, Aberdeen Mayor Bill Simpson told his city council last night “Over the last

read more

Environmental reviews begin for two proposed expansion projects at Port of Grays Harbor

HOQUIAM – Environmental reviews begin next week for two separate proposals in Hoquiam to expand facilities and increase capacity to receive, store and ship bulk liquids like biofuels and

read more

WSDOT to fund added SR520 costs with additional revenue

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Transportation announced it has reached agreement with its pontoon contractor for added costs associated with building pontoons for the new State

read more

New grassroots partnership aims to improve grass, roots, on Olympic National Forest

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Representative Derek Kilmer and a group of conservation, timber and local government stakeholders today announced the formation of new a partnership called the Olympic Peninsula Collaborative. Members of the partnership approved the following statement to explain its purpose and goals:

The Olympic Peninsula Collaborative will bring together stakeholders from the environmental community, the timber industry, and representatives from federal and local government around shared goals of increasing timber harvest from the Olympic National Forest while benefitting the environmental quality of our forests and watersheds. The Collaborative will work together and with federal officials to address issues that stand in the way of achieving the stated goals. Ultimately, the purpose is to show we can simultaneously create a more environmentally sound forest, provide for increased, sustainable timber harvests on the Olympic National Forest, and provide economic benefits to timber communities on the Peninsula.

I have always said that we don’t have to choose between economic development and environmental protection. This is the beginning of a long-term partnership that I hope will help prove that’s true. The Olympic Peninsula Collaborative will show we can build consensus and can bring folks together to simultaneously create a more environmentally healthy forest, provide for increased, sustainable timber harvests on the Olympic National Forest, and provide economic benefits to timber communities on the Peninsula.
- U.S. Representative Derek Kilmer

SR520 Pontoons on the move in October

ABERDEEN – Two new State Route 520 bridge pontoons left Aberdeen for Seattle this weekend, while another two pontoons will follow next week. 

Currently, eight pontoons are located in the Grays Harbor area: two pontoons completed in Cycle 2 – longitudinal pontoons Q and R – and six pontoons completed in Cycle 3 – longitudinal pontoons M, N, O and P and supplemental stability pontoons BSW and BSE. 

The Cycle 2 pontoons are currently at a moorage site in Grays Harbor, while the Cycle 3 pontoons are at the Port of Grays Harbor. Pontoons BSW and BSE were towed last weekend, and pontoons Q and R will leave next week. Pontoons M, N, O and P will move to the Grays Harbor storage site. 

Joint Council shows support for Teamster and UFCW in Western Washington

TUKWILA, Wash. - The Joint Council of Teamsters No. 28, which represents more than 50,000 members and their families across Washington, Alaska and Northern Idaho, says it will honor a grocery worker strike if one occurs. Joint Council 28 stands with the 2,600 members of Teamsters Local 38 in Everett along with the nearly 27,000 members of UFCW 21 and 367 who, on a daily basis, keep the grocery stores in our communities running.

The Joint Council will communicate with its thousands of members who work in the sanitation, recycle, composting, soft drink, beer, wine, liquor, dairy, organic food, poultry, bread and produce industries who may be dispatched by their employer to one of these grocery chains. Joint Council 28 will work with all of our affected Teamster Locals to inform the members of their right to honor pickets and not make deliveries or pickups. We will also communicate with the members we have working at grocery distribution centers who also have the right to honor picket lines. Any picket line presence at these distribution centers may affect grocery distribution statewide. However, all Washington Teamsters and their families will support Teamsters Local 38 and the UFCW if the employers force them to take the option of last resort and go on strike.