Home Back Issues March 2007 Astoria port’s woes stymie dredging effort

Astoria port’s woes stymie dredging effort

| Print |  Email
Archives - March 2007
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

How to add positivity to your team

Contributed Blogs
Friday, September 12, 2014
happy-seo-orlando-clientsBY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER

I often talk about what leaders can do. What about followers? If you’re a team member and you’d like to add positivity to your team, what might you do?


Read more...

Revenge Forestry

November/December 2014
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
BY JONATHAN FROCHTZWAJG

A flare-up in the Elliott Forest raises questions about détente in Oregon’s timber wars.


Read more...

Grape Expectations

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY HANNAH WALLACE

Well-financed outsiders from France and California are buying up vineyards and wineries in the Willamette Valley.


Read more...

What I'm Reading

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014

Nick Herinckx, CEO of Obility, and Jake Weatherly, CEO of SheerID, share what they've been reading.


Read more...

The 100 Best Companies survey is open

News
Friday, October 24, 2014

100-best-logo-2015 500pxw-1How does your workplace stack up against competitors? How can you improve workplace practices to help recruit and retain employees? Find out by taking our 100 Best Companies to Work for in Oregon survey!


Read more...

Podcast: Interview with Pete Friedes

Contributed Blogs
Wednesday, August 27, 2014

082714-thumb friedesbookTom Cox interviews Pete Friedes, author of "The 2R Manager," about becoming a Best Boss.


Read more...

Measure 91: What Oregon Businesses Need to Know

Contributed Blogs
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
91 thumbBY DIANE BUISMAN

Some common misconceptions employers have about marijuana.


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