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    America's Ports Hold Convention in LB, Ground Zero For Public Policy Controversies

    (Sept. 27, 2004) -- The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) is holding its annual convention in LB (Sept. 26-30). We post salient portions of its convention agenda, below.

    The AAPA is comprised of those running and using Ports in the Americas. (From its web site: "AAPA, the alliance of leading ports in the Western Hemisphere, protects and advances the common interests of its diverse members as they connect their communities with the global transportation system."

    AAPA selected LB as its 2004 convention site several years ago...before LB effectively became ground zero for major public policy battles over public health and safety related to homeland security and port-related pollution.

    Just weeks ago, a Congressionally created 9/11 Commission concluded that America's Ports remain security risks. The AAPA takes the position that Ports, and those who use them, should pay no additional taxes to fund homeland security measures.

    "The maritime community already pays billions of dollars in user fees and taxes to the Federal government, including billions of dollars each year in Customs duties. AAPA believes that Customs duties should be used as a source of security funds if Congress seeks a dedicated source of funding. AAPA opposes new taxes to fund security enhancements. A diverse constituency, including cargo vessels, the nation’s defense agencies, fishermen, recreational boaters, cruise vessels, and ferries, uses America’s ports and must also be protected," says a position paper on "Seaport Security" posted on the group's web site.

    The AAPA publication says that "Enhancing maritime security and protecting America’s seaports from acts of terrorism and other Federal crimes is a top priority for AAPA and U.S. port authorities...AAPA and its member public ports are working closely with the Department of Homeland Security and other Federal agencies to enhance maritime security and participate as strong partners in protecting our homeland" and adds:

    America’s public port authorities need Federal help. Since September 11, 2001, ports have instituted heightened security measures and have invested millions of dollars to address terrorism threats...Public port authorities are state and local entities that oversee port development and also have responsibilities for security...[S]ecurity costs are placing a large financial burden on ports...Without significant Federal support in FY’05, these new Federal requirements are likely to become unfunded Federal mandates and large financial burdens on port facilities.

    The Port of LB is within the district of Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R., HB-LB-PV), who has introduced legislation to let Ports impose fees on their users (instead of tapping U.S. taxpayers) to fund homeland security measures. The Port of LB has not endorsed Congressman Rohrabacher's measure...and to date neither has LB's elected City Council.

    Meanwhile, the Port of LB (with the adjacent Port of Los Angeles) finds itself labelled a gross environmental polluter: the South Coast Air Quality Management District has said the Ports of LB-L.A. represent the largest stationary source of air pollution in the region...and studies implicate multiple airborne toxics (mainly diesel particulate emissions) from port-related activities (from ships to trucks) in cancer and pulmonary diseases (including COPD and asthma).

    The Port of LB has instituted its own "Health Harbor" initiative to implement pollution lessening measures, and the PoLB recently announced plans to begin its first "cold ironing" of ships (plugging into dockside electrical power) in 2006. (The adjacent Port of L.A. recently began cold ironing of some ships in settlement of a lawsuit brought by an environmental group, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).)

    State legislation authored by Port-area Assemblyman Alan Lowenthal (D., LB-SP-PV) has cleared the statehouse (the Ports operate on state tidelands) and as we post sits on Governor Schwarzenegger's desk. AB 2042 requires that the Ports of LB and L.A. not worsen air pollution as they grow. The Port of LB opposes the measure...while the LB City Council has twice endorsed it. Governor Schwarzenegger could sign it, veto it, or let it become law without his signature.

    A plan by the Port of LB to expand Pier J (the hooking Pier that extends eastward from the original Port and now sits just south of downtown LB) faces opposition from NRDC, which says the PoLB's Environmental Impact Report on the project lowballs the environmental impacts. In an unprecedented development, LB's elected City Council balked at approving the EIR.

    LB Councilman Dan Baker (whose district includes the Port) cited the Port's resistance to the Council-established "no net increase in pollution" policy (reflected in AB 2042) well as explicit criticism of the Port's EIR by the South Coast Air Quality Management District, the region's clean air agency. The AQMD says the PoLB has ignored or brushed aside multiple warnings by the agency that its EIR is deficient. PoLB officials say they were in contact with AQMD staff in preparing the EIR and have received mixed messages from the agency...a claim that leaves AQMD's top management bristling.

    When two LB Councilmembers agendized a measure questioning the PoLB's lobbying for positions inconsistent with Council established policy, the Harbor's non-elected (Mayor appointed, Council approved) Board of Harbor Commissioners explicitly conditioned its planned transfer of roughly $6 million in surplus Port funds (roughly $6 million) to the LB Tidelands on Council approval of the Port's annual budget "as is" (with no changes). Two of nine Councilmembers (Gabelich and Lerch) voted against approving the Port's budget.

    The Port of LB is also the "lead agency" in conducting environmental review of an 80+ million gallon Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal that a Mitsubishi subsidiary wants to build inside the Port. Proponents note that LNG is a clean fuel and offers environmental benefits, but opponents cite homeland security and safety grounds, noting that (as the AAPA itself acknowledges) the FBI has already found that ports are a key vulnerability that has attracted interest from terrorists.

    Against this backdrop, below are excerpts of some salient sessions on the AAPA's convention agenda in LB:

    Tuesday, September 28

    Opening Ceremonies

    Mike Leone
    Port Director
    Massachusetts Port Authority

    AAPA Chairman of the Board
    Kurt J. Nagle
    American Association of Port Authorities

    Kurt Allahar
    Port Point Lisas
    AAPA Chairman, Caribbean Delegation

    United States
    Pete Reixach
    Executive Port Director
    Port Freeport, Texas -- Brazos River
    Harbor Navigation District

    The Honorable Beverly O’Neil
    Mayor, City of Long Beach
    John R. Calhoun
    President, Board of Commissioners
    Port of Long Beach
    Dick Steinke
    Executive Director
    Port of Long Beach

    Latin American
    Mauricio Suárez
    General Manager
    Sociedad Portuaria de
    Santa Marta S.A.
    AAPA Chairman, Latin American Delegation

    Capt. Allen Domaas
    President and CEO
    Fraser River Port Authority
    AAPA Chairman, Canadian Delegation

    General Session: Trade and Transportation Trends in the Western Hemisphere
    This session will discuss the global economic outlook; how trade, the economy and security may affect the U.S. presidential election; and will include brand new survey data on issues of interest to ports.

    Moderator: Valentín Morán
    General Manager
    Consorcio de Gestión Del Puerto de
    Bahía Blanca
    AAPA Vice Chairman, Latin American Delegation


    Ma Zehua
    Executive Vice President
    China Ocean Shipping (Group) Company
    Beijing, China

    Robert West
    Managing Director
    Global Insight, Inc. (fka DRI-WEFA)
    Lexington, MA

    Jean Statler
    Senior Vice President
    Wirthlin Worldwide
    Reston, VA

    Alberto Alemán Zubieta
    Panama Canal Authority
    Department of Corporate Planning and Marketing

    Luncheon Featured Speaker: The Honorable Jeffrey N. Shane, Under Secretary for Policy U.S. Department of Transportation

    Keynote Address on Working with Local Communities
    Introduction: Mr. Steinke

    Jon Hemingway
    President and CEO
    SSA Marine
    Seattle, WA

    Socratic Dialogue: The Future of Port Development in Times of Change
    A facilitated discussion on using public participation processes to reduce conflict in port management decision-making. The session will shed light on development issues faced by all ports, with a particular emphasis on community outreach.

    Karen Guglielmone
    Contract Trainer
    National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration
    Coastal Services Center
    Telluride, CO

    Ann Weaver
    Contract Program & Training Specialist
    National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration
    Coastal Services Center
    Charleston, SC

    Kathleen Broadwater
    Deputy Executive Director
    Maryland Port Administration

    Argentina M. James
    Director of Public Affairs
    Port of Houston Authority

    James McGrath
    Manager, Environmental Department
    Port of Oakland

    Lori A. Baer
    Executive Director
    Port of Palm Beach District

    Kathleen Bailey
    Port Sector Liaison
    U.S. EPA, Office of Policy,
    Economics & Innovation
    Washington, DC

    Keynote Address on the Commission on Ocean Policy

    Paul Kirby
    Port Authority Manager
    St. Vincent & the Grenadines
    Port Authority
    AAPA Chairman-Elect,
    Caribbean Delegation

    Professor Marc J. Hershman
    University of WA School of
    Marine Affairs
    Commissioner, U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy

    A Global Approach to Industry Challenges
    A panel of experts will engage in a roundtable discussion of current port issues being addressed in a variety of international forums. The session will kick off with the signing of a new MOU between AAPA and the Organization of American States.

    Discussion Leader: Capt. Domaas


    H. Thomas Kornegay, P.E., PPM
    Executive Director
    Port of Houston Authority
    AAPA Advisor to the U.S. Delegation of the IMO Marine Environmental Protection Committee

    Geraldine Knatz, Ph.D., Managing Director-Development
    Port of Long Beach
    IAPH Technical Advisor, London Convention

    Datin Paduka O.C. Phang
    General Manager
    Port Klang Authority, Malaysia
    International Association of Ports and
    Harbours (IAPH), 2nd Vice President

    César Patricio Reyes Roel
    Coordinador General De Puertos y
    Marina Mercante
    Dirección General de Puertos
    Secretaria de Comunicaciones y Transportes
    Chairman of the Executive Board OAS Inter-American Committee on Ports

    Carlos M. Gallegos
    Executive Secretary
    Inter-American Committee on Ports
    Organization of American States, Washington, DC

    David B. Sanford, II
    Lead Research Scientist
    The George Washington University
    Institute for Crisis, Disaster and Risk Management
    Washington, DC
    Member, U.S. Section, International Navigation Assn. (PIANC)

    Consequence Management in the Port Environment -- Federal Interagency Roles and Responsibilities
    U.S. Government officials will discuss available military assistance in port areas in the event of a variety of disaster situations (natural or technological disaster, major transportation accident, or terrorism event).

    Hon. John Jamian
    Deputy U.S. Maritime Administrator
    Washington, DC


    R. Adm. Kevin J. Eldridge
    U.S. Coast Guard
    Commander, Eleventh District
    Alameda, CA

    Nancy Ward
    Recovery Division Director
    Washington, DC

    Ash Chatterjee
    Chief, Plans Branch
    Response Preparedness Division, TSA
    Arlington, VA

    R. Adm. Richard M. Larrabee,
    Director, Port Commerce Dept.
    The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey

    Chris Beardsley
    Special Agent
    Los Angeles, CA

    Col. Eugenio Pino
    USMC -- U.S. Northern Command
    Director of Training & Exercise
    Peterson AFB, CO

    Capt. Warren E. Soloduk
    Assistant Secretary of Defense
    Homeland Defense
    Washington, DC

    Thursday, September 30

    General Session: Maritime Security -- Tools to Protect Your Port
    Panelists will address new ISPS requirements and discuss tools to protect your port, such as the new port security manual developed by AAPA’s Security Committee and funding needed enhancements.

    Ralph L. Tracy
    Captain of Patrol
    Port of Los Angeles
    Chairman, AAPA Security Committee

    R. Adm. Eldridge
    Leonard C. Cross
    Han-Padron Associates, LLP
    Lutz, FL

    C. Thomas Burke
    Senior Advisor To the President
    K Line America, Inc.
    Richmond, VA
    Chairman, Maritime Security Discussion Agreement

    General Session: Innovative Approaches to Port Challenges
    This session will feature a roundtable discussion on award winning port projects and activities by award winners and technical committee chairmen.

    Discussion Leader: Kenneth B. O'Hollaren
    Executive Director
    Port of Longview
    Chairman, AAPA Projects & Publications Committee

    Communications Award:
    Julia T. Nagano
    Director of Public Affairs
    Port of Los Angeles
    Chairperson, AAPA Public Relations Committee

    TBA: Winner, Overall Award of Excellence

    Information Technology Award:
    Gustavo Espinosa
    MIS Manager
    Port of Corpus Christi Authority
    Chairman, AAPA Information Technology Committee
    Georgia Ports Authority

    "Refining Client Services with Web-based Innovation"
    Award for Port Operations and Management

    Facilities Engineering Award:
    Chris Birkelo
    Director of Engineering
    Port of Hueneme/Oxnard Harbor District
    Chairman, AAPA Facilities Engineering Committee

    Doug Thiessen
    Chief Harbor Engineer
    Port of Long Beach
    Pier T Container Terminal Development
    Winner, Award of Excellence

    Environmental Award:
    Capt. Ray Skelton
    Environmental & Govt. Affairs Director
    Duluth Seaway Port Authority
    Chairman, AAPA Harbors, Navigation & Environment Committee

    Eric Schwamberger
    Marine Environmental Manager
    Port of Portland
    "Annual Environmental Objections and Targets Program"
    Award for Comprehensive Environmental Management

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