Crude By Rail Public Meeting Sees Standing Room Only Crowd in Aberdeen
Hundreds gathered at the Rotary Log Pavilion on Wednesday evening to learn about crude by rail and the projects currently being proposed at the Port of Grays Harbor.
Port Executive Director Gary Nelson spoke to the standing room only crowd, describing what bringing crude oil into Grays Harbor would entail. According to Nelson, if all 3 proposed projects came to fruition it would bring over 100 permanent on site jobs to the port, plus additional temporary jobs.
Nelson started the evening by explaining the Port’s mission statement to “best utilize our resources to facilitate, enhance and stimulate international trade, economic development and tourism for the betterment of the region.”
As to “Why Grays Harbor?” Nelson said that rail access, excess Harbor shipping capacity, and experienced labor with ILWU Local 24 make Grays Harbor an attractive port to investors.
Questions from the crowd primarily dealt with the ecological impacts as well as the increased rail traffic. Nelson answered questions directly related to port operation, but diverted many questions to the various agencies in attendance.
Imperium Terminal Services, LLC, Westway Terminal Company, U.S. Development Group, LLC, Greater Grays Harbor, Inc., Puget Sound & Pacific Railroad, the Washington State Regulatory Assistance Office, and the U.S. Coast Guard all had representation.
Nelson told the crowd that all projects are currently in the very early stages, and the conversation would continue with the public. He said that while crude by rail presents many questions, we can’t “sit on our laurels” and the port is “always looking for the next new thing” to increase local commerce.