Port Angeles vision of a marine research ‘campus’ takes first sail–PDN

The Port Angeles City Council wants to energize the downtown waterfront. The Arthur D. Feiro Marine Life Center at City Pier needs more room. And the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary office is running out of space. All three entities are contributing to a joint solution, putting their money where their needs are by beginning the process last week to create a combined marine-research, public-outreach center on the waterfront.  http://peninsuladailynews.com/article/20120611/news/306119998/port-angeles-vision-of-a-marine-research-8216-campus-8217-takes

Port Angeles Harbor Natural Resource Trustees Sign Agreement

        PORT ANGELES — Local environmental restoration projects will get a boost thanks to an agreement signed today by federal, state and tribal natural resource trustees to jointly conduct Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) activities within Port Angeles Harbor.

        The NRDA process involves evaluating injuries to natural resources due to releases of hazardous materials and, potentially, asserting legal claims for compensation for those injuries on behalf of the public. Here, the trustees will be assessing injuries related to contamination within Port Angeles Harbor, including pollution from the former Rayonier pulp mill.

        The agreement sets up a Trustee Council that will undertake the assessment, including selecting any restoration projects that may ultimately be implemented to restore and compensate for the injured natural resources.

        The six trustees involved are the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe, Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, the Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service.  Each of the six trustees has designated representatives to the Trustee Council.

        Under the agreement, all trustees have an equal status and voice in decision-making, and will work together to make the best possible decisions.  The Trustee Council will operate by consensus.

        The federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) is the law that authorizes the federal government, states, and tribes to act as trustees and to seek compensation on behalf of the public for natural resource injuries.  CERCLA also outlines the assessment process that the trustees will use to quantify the injury to natural resources.

        Over time, many different activities likely contributed to contamination of the harbor. There is evidence that this contamination harmed natural resources and supporting habitats such as the subtidal, shoreline, estuary, and upland areas of the site. The parties who conducted those activities, known as potentially responsible parties, or PRPs, under CERCLA, would share in the responsibility for funding restoration activities.

        As provided in the CERCLA regulations, the trustees routinely work with the PRPs throughout this process, with the goal of reaching a legal settlement to compensate the public for any injuries.

        Compensation takes the form of projects performed by the PRPs to restore injured resources, or monetary damages to be paid by the PRPs, that the Trustees must use solely to undertake such projects.

        The NRDA process is different and separate from the process for environmental cleanup of Port Angeles Harbor.  Ecology is currently overseeing cleanup work in the harbor.  Any parties responsible for natural resource damages may also have liability for environmental cleanup.

        The Trustee Council will keep the public informed about important milestones in the ongoing NRDA, including the opportunity to comment on any draft Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan.


Media contacts:

  Brenda Francis, Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, 360-460-2230

  Roma Call, Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe, 360-297-6265

  Betty Oppenheimer, Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, 360-681-3410

  Linda Kent, Department of Ecology, 360-407-6239

  Ben Sherman, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 301-713-3066

  Doug Zimmer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 360-753-4370

General information about Natural Resource Damage Assessments: www.darrp.noaa.gov/about/nrda.html

Information about environmental cleanups being managed by Department of Ecology:         www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/tcp/sites_brochure/rayonier/rayonier_hp.htm  and  www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/tcp/sites_brochure/portAngelesHarborSed/paSed_hp.htm

        For a copy of the Trustee Council agreement, please contact Debbie Nelson at Ecology’s Southwest Region Central Records, 360-407-6365, Debbie.Nelson@ecy.wa.gov.

Biomass Town Hall Meeting in PA- March 11


UPDATE -Rayonier Mill–Documents on contaminents found

I posted this info during the last week, and received corrections from Hannah Aoyagi at ECY. Hannah had the following to say, so I’ll print both her corrections and the original for clarity:

We have a long and complicated list of documents coming up for the Rayonier Mill Study Area work, but maybe this will help to clarify.

The purpose of the Draft Supplemental Upland Data Collection Technical Memorandum is to summarize the data from recent upland sampling.  Next, these data will be combined with older data (before 2006) to paint a complete picture of contamination in the upland.

This document will be called the Upland Data Summary Report.  Although we have a great deal of data, we can’t make any interpretations until we have the full data set.

On a parallel path, Rayonier will be writing a Marine Data Summary Report.  The two data summary reports together will help Rayonier evaluate cleanup alternatives.  It’s hard to know what’s going to work on the upland without thinking about the marine cleanup, and vice versa, so we have to wait until both reports are done before we can know what cleanup might look like.

Figure 56 is probably the most informative piece for the general public.  We can do more blogs on this topic, too.

One last thing, the last line mentions the soil dioxin levels “throughout Port Angeles”—it actually just covered a four square mile area, including parts of the city and UGA.



Released last week was the 2011/Rayonier Draft Upland Data for the contaminants of concern, from Ecology.  This data is supplemental to the 2006 data.
Rayonier Draft Upland Data Memo

the Figure Section, start on Page 56 to see the test sites.

Yet to come are the Final Reports of
* contaminants throughout the Port Angeles Harbor and delineating which are Rayonier’s
and which are from other sources
* levels of dioxins found in soils throughout Port Angeles (City and UGA areas)


The correct link is below.  The large document takes awhile to load.

New State Ecology site on the Rayonier Cleanup in PA

Ecology has posted a new blog about the Rayonier Mill cleanup:


Nippon’s final hurdle for its cogeneration boiler project: – PDN & others

Nippon’s final hurdle for its cogeneration boiler project:

Air permit hearing Tuesday http://peninsuladailynews.com/article/20110515/news/305159983/nippon-8217-s-final-hurdle-for-its-cogeneration-boiler-project-air

The PDN apparently did not mention that Tuesday’s hearing may be our last chance to say anything about Nippon’s plans.

If you can’t come to the hearing (6 pm at the Port Angeles Library)you can comment on line and tell ORCA (Olympic Regional Clean Air Agency) why you oppose biomass pollution. Submit comments on line by May 17, before the hearing begins at 6 pm, to: http://www.orcaa.org/public-involvement/staff-recommendations/#nippon

Thanks. Diana Diana Somerville Freelance Writer & Editor Environment * Health * Science

Public comment meetings on Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary Draft Management Plan

Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary (OCNMS) will host public meetings in Port Angeles (February 23) and Forks (February 24) to hear public comment on its Draft Management Plan (DMP) and Proposed Rule (proposed changes to sanctuary regulations).  The meetings are opportunities for interested people to learn more about the DMP and Proposed Rule, speak directly to sanctuary staff, and most importantly provide sanctuary staff with ideas on how to improve the DMP.  Meetings will begin informally, with an opportunity for attendees to talk with sanctuary staff, followed by a brief introduction by George Galasso, Acting Sanctuary Superintendent.  At approximately 6:30 pm, members of the public will be provided opportunity to provide their comments and recommendations.
Port Angeles, February 23 6 pm to 9 pm; Clallam County Courthouse, 223 E. Fourth Street, Commissioner’s meeting room (#160). (Note: the after-hours entrance to the Courthouse is via Fourth Street, to the left of the flag poles near the main courthouse entrance).
Forks, February 24 6 pm to 9 pm; Washington Department of Natural Resources Community Room, 411 Tillicum Lane. 
On January 14, 2011, OCNMS released a Draft Management Plan (DMP) that is largely based on recommendations developed by its Advisory Council through an intensive working group and workshop process (see http://olympiccoast.noaa.gov/AboutUs/sac/sac_actions.html).  When finalized, this management plan will serve as a guide to OCNMS management on its activities for the next 5 to 10 years.
Proposed revisions to OCNMS regulations (referred to as the Proposed Rule) also were developed while reviewing our existing management plan and regulations.  The DMP and proposed regulatory changes formed a framework around which OCNMS staff wrote a Draft Environmental Assessment (DEA) document that accompanies the DMP and Proposed Rule and includes all of the federal compliance documentation to accompany the DMP.  A January 14th Federal Register notice announced availability of the DMP, DEA and Proposed Rule for public comment (Regulation Identification Number RIN 0648-BA20). 
This notice marks the end of the development phase of the management plan and the beginning of the public review phase.  These documents provide for the public to review a tangible expression of the Sanctuary’s vision for the next five to ten years.
We encourage interested members of the public to comment on the Proposed Rule and DMP/DEA.  These documents and updated information on the management plan review process is available at our web site http://olympiccoast.noaa.gov/protection/mpr/welcome.html
All comments on the Proposed Rule and DMP/DEA be received or postmarked by March 25, 2011.
In addition to comment at the public meetings, you may submit comments in the following ways:
·         Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal http://www.regulations.gov.  Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
·         Fax: 360-457-8496, Attn:  George Galasso
·         Mail: George Galasso, Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, 115 East Railroad Avenue, Suite 301, Port Angeles, WA 98362
For more information, email us at ocnmsmanagementplan@noaa.gov or call
360-457-6622 ext. 28.

To subscribe or unsubscribe from this listserv send an email to
ocnmsmanagementplan@noaa.gov  with the request in the subject line.

Olympic Environmental Council Appeals City of Port Angeles CSO project

The Olympic Environmental Council (OEC) and Tyler Ahlgren, with 30 years experience working on sewage and storm water management system designs, have appealed the City of Port Angeles Planning Commission shoreline conditional use permit (SCUP) and the City’s determination of non significance (DNS) for a “pipe and treat” sewage-storm water collection system along the Strait of Juan de Fuca shoreline to minimize combined sewer overflows (CSO). The City was formally informed of the appeal on Tuesday, January 25, 2011.

The SCUP approved at the January 12th Port Angeles Planning Commission meeting allows the construction of pipes from downtown to the waste water treatment plant (WWTP) and the newly acquired 4.8 million gallon tank, located on the former Rayonier Mill site. These facilities are designed to hold peak system flows during heavy rain periods, to prevent most sewage overflows into public waters.

The appellants, who were present and provided testimony during the Planning Commission hearing, believe the Commissioners were not provided accurate information about the project, it’s goals and impacts. During the deliberations, the Commissioners themselves complained of the complexity of what they were told, complained that the project was being presented ” ..in bits and bites,” and by their questions and comments, made it clear they did not understand what they were voting on.

“We agree that the overflow problem is serious, ” said Darlene Schanfald, representing the OEC. “However, we are disappointed and chagrined that the City and the WA State Department of Ecology have agreed to spend taxpayer dollars to fund a 19th-early 20th century approach and build it in a designated flood-tsunami zone.”

The City of Port Angeles has termed their pipe and treat approach “fastest, cheapest.” However, the nearly $50M project is not being built as the “best, safest, and long term” system. It’s not credible environmentally or economically.

The City recognizes the overflow problem is because storm water is getting into the sewage collection system, mostly due to “Inflow and Infiltration” (I&I), seepage into sewer pipes through holes, cracks, joint failures, and faulty connections. Virtually every city experiences this problem, and most have ongoing budgeted programs to fix the leaks.

Port Angeles has been required by the WA State Department of Ecology through its NPDES permit to identify and fix all sources of I&I. The appellants believe Port Angeles has not complied with these existing permit requirements, resulting in the current CSO issues.

“The City can solve these overflow problems without the huge, budget busting project it currently is pursuing,” said Tyler Ahlgren. “The I&I sources need to be identified, prioritized for inflow volumes, and fixed. This would save big money.”

“The City should hire staff to permanently fix the problem and not create a scenario that will allow continued overflows,” said Schanfald, noting that the current City project anticipates continuing overflows. “Closure of the downtown trail would then not be necessary. And overflows would cease, as would alerts to stop fishing, swimming and other recreation.”

Ahlgren added, “The solution is simple. Stop the stormwater from getting into the sewage lines and there will be no more waste water overflows into the Strait. No one disputes this.”


A great turnout today for Voices of the Strait at Peninsula College! Thanks!

Had a great audience turn out today at Peninsula College. Here’s the audience participation section, me taping them taping me on their cell phones. We all are film makers in today’s world. You can be too. Go tell a story!


Interview with Cameron Little – young filmmaker from Voices project

Science Friday, the NPR show has a quick interview with the winners of the Oceans 2030 awards for the best environmental films done by young filmmakers. Tying for first place and earning a trip back to Washington D.C. for the awards was our own Cameron Little from Port Angeles, who we collaborated with to produce the second chapter in the Voices series, “The Scuba View”. Congratulations to Cameron, a young man who really impressed me with his natural ability to understand video production.

Check out the short video that includes a few comments from him, and the other winners. And watch all the videos by these young emerging talents.

cameron little interview.jpg

Appeal filed against Nippon biomass plan – PDN

1/20 Peninsula Daily News
State appeal filed against Nippon biomass plan; foes await summer hearing on Port Townsend mill biomass upgrade
By Tom Callis
Peninsula Daily News

The second round of appeals for a biomass energy project in Port Angeles has begun, while opponents await a separate state hearing on an appeal filed in November against a biomass project proposed in Port Townsend.

Six of the seven environmental groups that lost an appeal of the shoreline substantial development permit that the city of Port Angeles gave Nippon Paper Industries USA are taking their case to the state Shoreline Hearings Board.

More at


Biomass clear of EPA rules for 3 years

Ed: I am looking into who in our delegation was petitioning the EPA to do this, and apparently Representative Van De Wege and Lynn Kessler were part of the group that asked for this. There appears to be a backstory here, and I’m contacting some individuals who gave them the technical reasons to ask for the deferal. More to follow as the week progresses.

1/17 Peninsula Daily News – Biomass clear of EPA rules for now as agency defers action for 3 years for analysis
By Tom Callis
Peninsula Daily News

Wood-burning facilities will not be regulated under the Environmental Protection Agency’s new greenhouse gas regulations that went into effect earlier this month, the federal agency announced last week.

EPA said it will defer further action on the matter for three years while it analyzes whether the burning of wood waste to produce electricity, among other uses, can really be considered “green.”

The move came after proponents of biomass energy, including Washington state officials and some members of Congress, protested the inclusion of biomass projects under the new regulations.

More at

Port Angeles City Council upholds Nippon’s biomass shoreline permit

On to the courts. The study that should have been looked at in all this is found at

http://www.ecy.wa.gov/pubs/0507047.pdf WSU already looked at how much biomass is available in each county. This information was not used by either side in this discussion.

12/7 Peninsula Daily News
Port Angeles City Council upholds Nippon’s biomass shoreline permit
By Paige Dickerson
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — The City Council upheld an earlier Planning Commission decision that allows Nippon Paper Industries USA to continue toward its $71 million biomass cogeneration project.

Four points of law were debated in Monday evening’s 3½-hour council meeting.

But in the end, council members voted 5-1 to uphold the Planning Commission’s Sept. 21 decision to grant the project a shoreline development permit.

More at

Garth Foss helps guard Strait of Juan de Fuca -PDN

11/7 Peninsula Daily NewsDAVID G. SELLARS

GARTH FOSS, THE green and white tug that is as common a sight in the Strait of Juan de Fuca as the pilot boats, oil tankers and cargo ships, is one of the most powerful tugs in the world. Known within the industry as an enhanced tractor tug, she was designed and built to be primarily responsible for providing escort and vessel assist services to oil tankers as they transit Puget Sound. She is 155 feet long and has a 46-foot beam.

More at http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/article/20101107/news/311079986/david-g-sellars-on-the-waterfront-garth-foss-helps-guard-strait-of

Hundreds say goodbye to Bob Boardman

The  fiddlers, penny whistles, harps, guitars and mandolins played,  the Lower Elwha S’Klallam drummed and sang Saturday as hundreds of people came to the Lower Elwha tribal center to say farewell to a man who touched many lives on the Peninsula. Bob Boardman was part of many circles here, from the wooden boat community, the woodworkers community, Centrum and Fiddle Tunes, the hiking community, the medical community, and the contra dance community. He was a man who was genuinely loved by all the various circles he touched, he influenced perhaps hundreds of young musicians, helped thousands of sufferers of diabetes work on controlling their disease,  and his untimely death, gored by a mountain goat in the park that he hiked and loved, was a bizarre end to a very special life.

I met Bob only briefly as part of Voices of the Strait, when he showed up for the showing I held in Neah Bay. I had heard of him for years.  He was out there apparently on part of his medical work, teaching diabetes education to the tribe. We talked before the showing, he saying that he  had heard that  I played mandolin. We talked at length about our various interests in Irish and Brazilian music. We parted with me inviting him over when he was next in Port Townsend, to play together. He died weeks later.

My wife met him in the 80’s, as he was part of the wood working and wooden boat circles in PT. She met him again years later, as she sent diabetic patients to him, and they talked together about writing grants to do comprehensive diabetic training on the Peninsula. She had the highest respect for him, as she said, that he never was a snob about his crafts, or his work. He was kind to all newcomers and professionals alike.

These are only a few of the huge number of tributes to Bob, shared today, among relatives, friends and clients. The Lower Elwha singers wrapped Susan, Bob’s wife, in a traditional robe, in which she seemed to find the strength to give a short talk about their life to the crowd. Members of the clinic that Bob volunteered at, which treated primarily veterans, got up and thanked him for his efforts in healing the wounds of war, both mentally and physically.

The hole he has left in the fabric of our small society here on the northwest corner of the United States, cannot be filled. He lived much larger than one man normally can.  Over time, the wound heals, and others take his job, and play his music. But there is no replacing Bob Boardman. I’m honored to have briefly met him, and to have  become part of that circle of friends.

“When we are dead, seek not our tomb in the earth, but find it in the hearts of men”
Rumi’s epitaph 1273 AD.

New beach for Port Angeles voiced at idea session – PDN

10/22 Peninsula Daily News

By Tom Callis
Peninsula Daily News

EDITOR’S NOTE — Click to see the 43-page presentation to the Port Angeles City Council on the proposed Port Angeles Waterfront and Transportation Improvement Plan: http://issuu.com/peninsuladailynews/docs/ptcitycouncil.3.15.00

PORT ANGELES — The idea of establishing a beach east of the Valley Creek estuary received enthusiastic support from the City Council on Thursday during a discussion of a proposed waterfront and transportation improvement plan.

David Roberts, a state Department of Natural Resources aquatic lands assistant manager, suggested creating a beach there during the public comment portion of the meeting.

The shore between Oak Street and the estuary is one of the areas slated for a makeover under the plan, which focuses on the waterfront but also will result in new entryway monuments on the west and east entrances to Port Angeles, new “wayfinding” signs to direct traffic and pedestrians to points of interest and shopping, and a citywide transportation study.

More at

Environmental Coalition challenges Nippon’s proposed biomass incinerator on Port Angeles waterfront

Environmental Coalition challenges Nippon’s proposed biomass incinerator on Port Angeles waterfront

Seven environmental groups, including the Cascade Chapter of the Sierra Club, have filed a legal appeal of the City of Port Angeles’ approval of permit to allow Nippon Paper to build a biomass incinerator at its shoreline plant on the popular Waterfront Trail along Ediz Hook.

No Biomass Burn, Port Townsend Air Watchers, the Center for Environmental Law and Policy, the World Temperate Rainforest Network, the Olympic Forest Coalition, the Olympic Environmental Council and the Cascade Chapter of the Sierra Club have joined together to take this legal action, filed October 6, 2010. 

The appeal disputes many aspects of Port Angeles’ approval of the Nippon permit, including:

*          The impact of many millions of gallons of additional water being removed by Nippon from the Elwha River each day.

*          The impact on fresh water and salt water fish, shellfish, crustaceans and other aquatic life when the river flow is reduced.

*          The impact across the North Olympic Peninsula on human health and the environmental effects of pollutants from Nippon’s proposed incinerator.

*          The climate impact of hundreds of thousands of tons of greenhouse gases emitted each year by the proposed Nippon incinerator.

*            The impact on the long-term sustainability of our forests that provide clean water, wildlife habitat, and support jobs in our local economy.

Unlike power plants that burn coal or oil or gas, biomass burning poses new threats to the health of our residents, our rivers, forests and oceans.

The Nippon incinerator is one of five biomass incinerators currently proposed for the Olympic Peninsula. Their cumulative impact raises the specter of scouring the forests clean of woody debris that naturally contribute to a healthy forest environment able to sustain wildlife, absorb rainfall and help mitigate flooding.

And it isn’t just the depletion of forest resources that has the groups concerned.

"The Elwha River needs water to support the return of the salmon," said Dr. John Osborn, Board President of the Center for Environmental Law & Policy.  "The permit we are challenging allows millions of gallons of water a day to be taken from the River for the Nippon incinerator.  Spending hundreds of millions of dollars to remove dams and then dewatering the Elwha River makes no sense."

Nippon’s smokestacks emit plumes that can be seen for miles. Local residents will be impacted and the toxic pollutants those stacks release will be carried by prevailing winds and the notoriously strong currents of the Strait of Juan de Fuca far beyond the city limits of Port Angeles.

Major increases in diesel truck traffic to and from the plant will also extend the air, water and noise pollution experienced by local residents to people and wildlife far beyond the Nippon site.

The coalition of environmental groups share a commitment to protecting our environment, including its impact on human health. The coalition’s appeal insists that Port Angeles overturn its approval of the Nippon incinerator and that Port Angeles correct many defects in its analysis of the Nippon incinerator proposal.

Public Hearing on Nippon Biomass Project – 9/22 6PM

If you live in Port Angeles and are concerned about the proposal by Nippon to build a biomass electrical generation facility at their plant, now is the time to come out and hear the latest, get updated, and express your concerns, if you have them.

The meeting will be held at the City Council Chambers, 321 E. Fifth St.

http://www.ci.port-angeles.wa.us/publicNotice.htm is the public notice. It seems like the only consideration at this meeting is to allow it to have a height variance…? Or is this just one item to be discussed?

The biggest concern I’ve heard is that the assumptions of biomass fuel availability  do not match up with demand from the facilities. Apparently, according to the EIS by Nippon,  the requirement for the biomass facility is 90,000 bone dry tons (BDT) and the current slash volume burned in Clallam county is only 30,000 BDT. Add to that the demand from the Port Townsend mill biomass project (some will have to come from Clallam because much of the pulp today comes from Clallam), and there is an apparent need to harvest a great deal more trees on the Olympic Peninsula than we are today. This is not addressed by Nippon in their EIS, but  punted to DNR. I have not heard of a response to this from DNR at this point. It seems a major issue worth addressing. Do they expect to harvest 3 times the trees (or more) to feed the electrical generation demands of Nippon and PT Paper?  Is this all really carbon neutral? Or is this simply a way to allow industry to neutralize their costs of electrical generation? I don’t know the answer, and am unsure who does at this point, as this is all very experimental.  I don’t doubt it will create much needed jobs here. I don’t doubt that it will generate electricity, and I don’t clearly understand if the community benefits from that at all (they are stating they will sell the electricity to Bonneville, which means that this will be sold to California, which has never been in doubt). Does Port Angeles or Port Townsend really benefit from the generation of electricity at these plants, other than a few jobs? It’s really not clear at this point. But what is clear, is that it appears they will need to cut way more wood to make this work.

North Olympic Land Trust Work Party – 9/21

WHEN:  Tuesday, September 21, 2010.  Meet at property at 1pm, work until 4pm.  The property is located at the end of Lake Farm road between Port Angeles and Sequim.  Address is 1095 Lake Farm Road.

PROJECT:  Trail construction for access to overlook.  This private property is protected by a conservation easement.  The property is often used for tours to promote the work of North Olympic Land Trust, but the access trail is currently in need of re-routing.  Come join us for trail blazing on this beautiful land.

RSVP:  RSVP is not required, but is appreciated so we can be sure to have adequate tools for the job.  Snacks and drinks will be provided.  Bring drinking water, clothing for our ever-changing weather, and work gloves.

If you have questions, please call Lorrie at 417-1815 or email at lorrie@nolt.org

State DOE committing to hold $4M for Harborworks through year’s end

The State Department of Ecology, after an August 3rd meeting attended by the Port Angeles Mayor, Dan DiGuilio, PA Harborworks Authority Chairman Orville Campbell, and Port of PA Board of Commissioner George Schoenfeldt, has agreed to ‘hold’  a requested $4M in remedial action grant funds for Harborworks until the end of December. The withholding, which has raised the ire of the anti-Harborworks coalition, doesn’t seem, on it’s surface, to be as controversial as some may say. While over 1500 signatures have been collected by PA people to ask the Governor to say no to more public funding for Harborworks, given it’s tenuous nature at present, it seems within the realm of normal that when a mayor and officials of an organization like this appeal for time to rectify the issues that have come up over the last month, that DOE and the State at least allow them some time to work through the issues. The DOE stated, “The practical of this decision is that the funds won’t be committed to other projects during that time”. I think that’s a reasonable answer, and gives a clear deadline for HW to work towards.

The Harborworks story is certainly typical of many smaller communities, when a group of local political leaders get together to try and forge a solution to a problem, and a group of local activists have their clear approach to the problem that is not in sync with the politicians, the friction we see seems to always happen. The gap between these two groups is pretty wide at present, and some controversial steps by some of the Harborworks staff to their opposition has exacerbated the problem.  However,  I can’t see fault in what the DOE is doing, as their letter to Harborworks clearly states that they are simply not acting either way for now, and letting Harborworks have some time to sort out the issues and see if they can get their program on track again. Perhaps Harborworks might take this opportunity to forge a closer alliance with their opposition, and come together to work a way forward. It would seem that continuing on as in the past might not be the smart way forward. Might be better to get all oars rowing in sync for a change. Whether any of this  can happen by end of calendar year  is very unclear as of today.

I think that both sides  need to stand back and understand that the goal is to cleanup the Rayonier site in a way that best utilizes this urban site for the community. Maybe if both sides backed off their established positions and reapproached each other to solve reach a mutually acceptable goal, this might find some traction and get moving again. That will take some giving on both sides.

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