Port Recognizes Washington Legislature for Progress on Climate, Labor and Freight Mobility
The Port of Seattle’s priorities for reducing carbon emissions, workforce training and education, and freight mobility made major strides in this Washington state legislative session. year.
A number of priorities moved forward, including the unexpected adoption of the greenest transportation package in state history, funding for the port’s Pier 66 shore power project, and critical investment in the Maritime Highschool. The port has also supported additional proposals that will promote apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship in the state,
“We appreciate how the Washington State Legislature has recognized the need for immediate action on policies that expand opportunity, reduce pollution and make our region more competitive,” noted Ryan Calkins, Chairman of the Port of Seattle Commission. “From a transportation package that invests in critical freight routes and in decarbonizing our transportation sector, to a state investment in the future success of Maritime High School and its student body, to an ongoing partnership of the state in maritime decarbonization on the waterfront, the port and the state finds common cause in areas that we know are important for our jobs and in our neighborhoods.”
Port priority issues:
- go ahead washington: The final day of the session saw the passage of the Move Ahead Washington transportation package, a $16.9 billion investment over sixteen years. The package includes port priorities including: full funding of the Puget Sound Gateway program and other freight routes; financing electrification which can support the decarbonisation of port operations; and a $3 billion investment in public transit is a historic boon for regional mobility. The package also maintains the $150 million for high-speed rail that the port was interested in, and a sustainable aviation fuel grant program that can support the deployment of alternative fuels for aviation. We will continue to work with lawmakers to better understand how this package can help fund our clean energy investments, keeping freight moving while reducing our emissions and community impact.
“Funding to electrify the transportation sector is directly aligned with the port’s commitment to eliminate seaport emissions by 2050. And at the airport, workers, travelers and residents are seeing the benefits of these investments in all of our operations – from cargo equipment on the airfield to buses circling the airport. This package will promote productivity, reduce pollution and improve the quality of life for workers and residents,” said port commissioner Toshiko Hasegawawho also sits on the Puget Sound Regional Council’s Transportation Policy Council.
- Pier 66 Shore Power Funding: The 2022 supplemental capital budget included $2 million for the Pier 66 shore power project, part of the port’s Seattle Waterfront Clean Energy Strategy. This had been proposed as part of a two-part budget line item for port infrastructure that was included in the Governor’s budget proposal in December. The final package included funding for a number of ports, with investments aimed at addressing supply chain issues, but also reducing emissions from the transport sector.
“Both the port and the Northwest Seaport Alliance are making aggressive investments in reducing carbon emissions. Shore power at Pier 66 is just one example, and we are pleased to see the state confirm its importance by partnering in the funding of this new infrastructure. This is the kind of partnership that will accelerate the reduction of carbon emissions along the waterfront, and we are grateful to the Governor and the Legislature for helping us move it forward,” said Seattle Port Commissioner Sam Cho.
- Maritime High School Funding: The 2022 Supplementary Operating Budget includes $1 million in funding for Maritime High School. The Port helped lead a group of maritime advocates in advocating for this strong investment in school recruitment and outreach, led by Northwest Maritime Center fundraising. The funds will support activities outside the classroom, such as boat trips with high school students, classroom and community visits by teachers and MHS partners, and the development of internship programs and school mentorship. One of the goals of the outreach effort is to ensure that the school’s student body reflects the diversity of the Highline School District where it is located. Senator Nguyen sponsored the request in the Senate, while Representative Tharinger was our House Champion, two key proponents who are credited with raising this priority and with whom we will partner in the future.
“Maritime High School is already a success, with students taking advantage of the breadth of maritime opportunities we see in our region. But true success will be measured by full enrolment, enabling us to reach four hundred students across four grade levels, and ensuring that the school reflects the diversity of the communities it aims to serve. The state’s partnership on outreach and recruitment is critical to demonstrating the importance of this work statewide and promoting the school’s long-term success,” said port commissioner Hamdi Mohamedwho also sits on the board of trustees of Maritime High School.
- Kelp Conservation and Restoration: On March 8, 2022, the House approved the amendments in SB 5619, including one provided by the Port. It was then sent to the governor for his signature. This bill was introduced at the request of the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) to promote the conservation and restoration of kelp forests and eelgrass beds.
The port’s proposed amendment directs the DNR to include in its recovery plan for native kelp forests and eelgrass meadows in Puget Sound and along the Washington Coast an assessment of the following: , action and pledge used by public and private entities in the Puget Sound region to raise awareness of the importance of conserving and restoring native kelp forests and eelgrass meadows and reducing related stressors to their decline.
“I have very much appreciated working with the Department of Natural Resources, Senator Lovelett and Rep. Shewmake on the passage of this legislation and their willingness to include the Port Amendment,” said Seattle Port Commissioner Fred Fellemanwho also represents the Washington Public Ports Association on the Ecosystem Coordinating Council of the Puget Sound Partnership.
“It is essential that the public gain a better appreciation of the role kelp and eelgrass play in providing critical habitat for marine species, as well as reducing the impacts of climate change on ocean acidification. , if we are to restore the Salish Sea and all who depend on it. above.”
- Learning and pre-learning: The Port was pleased to support Senator Keizer’s omnibus apprenticeship legislation, which aligns with the Port’s focus on promoting work opportunities in port-related industries. We proposed an amendment to include funding to provide complementary services for pre-apprenticeships, which Senator Keizer agreed to include in the final bill. This means that key port partners like ANEW are eligible for this source of funding, which will reduce a barrier for people entering pre-apprenticeship schemes.
- Police reform updates: The port supported HB 1719 and HB 1735 and both passed into law with minimal opposition, reaching the governor’s office in full a week before the end of the session. HB 1719 clarifies that police may use less lethal force, such as beanbag throwers, while HB 1735 amends the “use of force” law to allow offers of assistance in certain non-criminal cases, such than involuntary engagement in mental health. Governor Inslee signed both bills into law on March 4 and they contained “emergency clauses” that make them immediately applicable.
Additional issues supported by the port:
- Abandoned ship removal (SB 5598/HB 1700): Senator Lovelett and Rep. Paul introduced a bill this session to create a cohesive source of funding for the derelict ship removal account, diverting 25% of the boat excise tax to the account. This bill was a priority for port partners such as the Washington Maritime Federation and the Northwest Marine Trade Association, and the port’s subject matter experts recommended supporting this bill, and it passed without any opposition throughout the session.
- Production and use of hydrogen (SB 5910/HB 1792): Senator Carlyle’s legislation to promote the production and use of green hydrogen in Washington State was signed into law this session. Port is supporting both measures as part of our continued support for measures at Olympia that will advance key technologies to help us meet our energy challenges.
- Tax deferral for the I-405/SR-167 corridor (HB 1990): Requested by the Office of Financial Management as part of the Governor’s Transportation Budget Proposal, HB 1990 authorizes entities working on the construction of the 405/167 corridor. This would represent net savings of $70 million for the corridor, in part to fill a $450 million budget hole that is developed in the project. The Port of Seattle signed a letter ahead of the session asking that various solutions to the budget deficit be considered, and we are happy to see that solution evolve.
- Clean buildings (HB 5722): Legislation that was introduced at the request of Governor Inslee requires the Department of Commerce to adopt the state’s energy management and benchmarking requirements for “Tier 2” covered buildings (residences multi-family, non-residential, hotels, motels and dormitories larger than 20,000 square feet and less than 50,000 square feet) to maximize energy efficiency and the resulting climate and health benefits. The Port of Seattle supported this bill throughout the process, and it passed just before the end of the session.
- Amendment to the Model Law on the Control of Toxic Substances (SB 5895): Introduced at the request of member ports of the Washington Public Ports Association, SB 5895 would remove the Model Toxics Control Act requirement that Remedial Action Grant recipients have all required permits in order to receive a corrective action grant. The Port of Seattle supported SB 5895 during its passage through the Legislature, and its enactment will immediately benefit a few of our Port partners who are working on environmental cleanups on the waterfront in Everett and Bellingham, as well as in other places in the state.
Peter McGraw | Port of Seattle Media Manager
(206) 787-3446 | [email protected]