Astoria port’s woes stymie dredging effort

| Print |  Email
Thursday, March 01, 2007
astoria.jpg

ASTORIA — Plagued by political infighting and legal woes, the Port of Astoria has fired its executive director, Peter Gearin, and continues to face what has become a very public debate over how the port is operated.

Leading the list of troubles are permitting issues that have prevented dredging in some parts of the port for the last three years, which could have a serious impact on business.

The agency, which has an annual budget of about $3.5 million, oversees the Astoria-area airport, cruise ship terminals, marinas and boatyards — and the 175,000 cubic feet of sediment deposited each year in the harbor by the ever-competing forces of the Pacific Ocean and the Columbia River.

Some of that material is tainted with DDT and other chemicals. A bungled 2004 dredging operation to remove some of that contaminated material left the port saddled with hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of legal bills and a still-unresolved federal investigation.

Permits to dredge more polluted soil come from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, with input by the National Marine Fisheries Service. And while one has been issued (and the port was able to dredge its cruise ship docks), disagreement between the port and agencies over pollution levels in some areas has prevented all required dredging.

Over time, the silt gets deeper. At low tide, docks used by sardine boats and the entry to the boat yard haul-out are too shallow to use.

Port officials could not estimate when boats would be fully blocked from those areas. When it happens, three fish processing plants — which employ more than 250 people — will sit idle. The haul-out, which the port relies on for revenue, will be unusable.

Port and fisheries service officials are working on resolving the disagreement, but no one will guess how long that could take.

— Abraham Hyatt


Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

More Articles

ZoomCare rolls out new on-demand health clinics

News
Monday, March 02, 2015
zoomcarethumbBY KIM MOORE |  OB RESEARCH EDITOR

Portland-based healthcare provider ZoomCare said it plans to “remake American healthcare” by expanding its on-demand urgent care model to emergency, surgery, dental and primary care, among others.


Read more...

The Road to Reinvention

April 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Damian Smith bets on changing himself — and Portland — through consulting.


Read more...

10 Oregon companies positioning themselves for growth

The Latest
Friday, March 13, 2015
vcthumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Ten startups have secured venture capital, angel or seed funding in 2015.


Read more...

Are wolves good for business?

Contributed Blogs
Friday, March 06, 2015
030615-wolf-thumbBY JEFF DELKIN | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

As a local business owner, I believe it’s important to build our economy on a platform of conservation values.  


Read more...

Footloose

April 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

Founded 12 years ago, Keen Inc. likes to push the envelope, starting with the debut of the “Newport” closed toe sandal in 2003. Since then, the company has opened a factory on Swan Island and a sleek new headquarters in the Pearl District. The brand’s newest offering, UNEEK, is a sandal made from two woven cords and not much more.


Read more...

Beam Me Up

April 2015
Thursday, March 19, 2015
BY DAN COOK | Photos by Jason E. Kaplan

An alliance of developers, academics and timber industry executives wants to position Oregon as a front runner in the glamorous new world of wooden skyscrapers.


Read more...

The 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon

March 2015
Thursday, February 26, 2015
BY KIM MOORE | OB RESEARCH EDITOR

Employment in Oregon is almost back up to prerecession levels — and employers are having to work harder to entice talented staff to join their ranks. This year’s 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon project showcases the kind of quality workplaces that foster happy employees. 


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS