Pier Side: Environmental cleanup and Local Economic Development Investment Fund top Thursday’s meeting

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May 18, 2021

In this issue:

Environmental cleanup and Local Economic Development Investment Fund top Thursday’s meeting

At its public meeting on Thursday, May 20, the Port of Tacoma Commission will consider the authorization of $670,000 for a total authorized amount of $1,274,000 for work associated with the environmental cleanup at Port Parcel 40/West Sitcum Terminal. The Port purchased the property in 1979 and first identified the petroleum contamination in the soil and groundwater during property development in the 1980s. The Port completed the historical environmental assessment work in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Staff is currently looking to fund the investigation with historical insurance policies, and the next step is for the Port to engage an insurance coverage attorney to evaluate available coverage and issue an opinion.

Commissioners will consider authorizing $162,000 for investments through the Port's Local Economic Development Investment Fund to the cities of Gig Harbor, Tacoma, and Pacific, and eight Pierce County non-profit organizations.

View the full agenda.

The public meeting begins at noon and will be streamed live on the Port of Tacoma’s website. You can also dial in at 253-617-4257 and use the conference ID 373 901 770#.

To deliver comments during the public testimony portion of the meeting, please send an email to comment@portoftacoma.com by 9 a.m. PT, Wednesday, May 19, 2021, that includes your name, the telephone number you will be calling from, and the agenda topic you wish to speak to. Please include “speaker” in the subject line. Written comments may be submitted to the same email address and will be provided to the commissioners.

Organizational Success

Port of Tacoma adopts 2021-2026 Strategic Plan

Strategic Plan Cover

Port of Tacoma Commissioners have approved a new strategic plan to guide the Port’s priorities through 2026. 

The new 2021-2026 Strategic Plan describes the Port’s mission and values, while also identifying five foundational goal areas where the Port will direct its focus and resources over the next five years. 

A corresponding implementation plan, including key performance measures, will be used to track and evaluate progress being made toward achieving the plan’s goals. Learn more>>

Port revenue bonds upgraded by Standard & Poor's

Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings (S&P) raised its long-term ratings from “AA-”to “AA” on the Port of Tacoma's senior-lien port revenue bonds and from “A+” to “AA-” on the Port's subordinate-lien port revenue bonds. In addition, S&P affirmed its “AA” rating on the Port's limited-tax general obligation (GO) bonds and its “AA+/A-1” long-term component rating. Learn more>>

Economic Vitality

Tacoma Tideflats and Industrial Land Use Regulations

Since 2017, businesses in the Tacoma Tideflats have been operating under interim land use regulations for industrial properties. The Tacoma City Council is currently considering new regulations to replace these interim regulations.

The Port has shared concerns with the Tacoma City Council about this proposal, which can be viewed on our website.

More information can also be found on the Manufacturing Industrial Council for the South Sound’s website.

Environmental Leadership

Remediation: Making land useful again

photo of forklift moving debris

Part of the Port of Tacoma’s environmental mission is to purchase properties with legacy contamination, work through the cleanup process, and put them back to productive use.

For more than 40 years, the Port has actively worked to transform old, industrial sites into usable properties to attract new businesses and jobs to the South Sound region.

While the process called environmental remediation can be complicated, slow, and expensive, it’s a body of work that ports are uniquely suited to undertake. Learn more>>

Deep dive into Port of Tacoma's stormwater program

photo of water running from the roof

The Port of Tacoma is committed to making strategic investments that support economic prosperity in our region, while protecting and enhancing our environment.

Through collaborative partnership with various agencies and groups, our Water Quality team is dedicated to improving the quality of stormwater runoff from Port properties on the Tacoma Tideflats by implementing best practices and empowering our tenants to comply with complex permits. Learn more>>

photo of a woman standing in a parking lot

Vote for Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy for best collaborative project!


The 2020 Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy has been nominated for an  International Association of Ports and Harbors’ Sustainability Award!

Show your support for this innovative collaboration among the Port of Tacoma, Port of Seattle, The Northwest Seaport Alliance, and Vancouver Fraser Port Authority to phase out seaport-related emissions for our local communities and to help limit global temperature rise to 1.5° Celsius.

Vote for the NWPCAS for best Collaborative Project in the Climate and Energy category.

Voting ends Sunday, May 30, at 3 p.m. PDT. Winners will be announced on June 24 at a virtual awards ceremony at the IAPH World Port Conference.

Volunteers beautify Port’s natural areas for Earth Week

photo of group picking up garbage on the beach

We were few in number but mighty in sprit as community members and Port of Tacoma Commissioner Kristin Ang embraced the April showers like true Pacific Northwesterners!

We spent Saturday, April 24, picking up trash at Dick Gilmur Habitat Restoration and Kayak Launch and pulled invasive weeds and vegetation at Gog-Le-Hi-Te Wetlands.

Thank you to all our volunteers who brought passion and enthusiasm to celebrate Earth Day with us! We appreciate Forterra for partnering with us on this environmental stewardship event.

Learn more about our habitat restoration program.

collage of people picking up trash and pulling weeds

Transportation Advocacy

Taylor Way Project: Weekend lane reduction on SR 509, May 21-24

photo of truck traveling in construction site

State Route 509 at Taylor Way will be reduced to one lane in each direction from 8 p.m. on Friday, May 21, until 6 a.m., Monday, May 24.

During this time, left turns will not be permitted from SR 509 to Taylor Way or 54th Avenue E., and vehicles entering SR 509 from Taylor Way or 54th Avenue E. will be right turn only. 

Taylor Way may be accessed on northbound SR 509 via the Hylebos Bridge.

On southbound SR 509, Fife/54th Avenue E./Hwy 99 may be accessed via Port of Tacoma Road.

Note: Trucks are not permitted on Alexander Avenue, between SR 509 and Taylor Way, daily from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. See detour routes.

Please visit the City of Tacoma's website for the latest information on the road closure and detour plans.

Drivers may experience delays. We ask everyone to use extreme caution while traveling in the area.

Community Connections

A Tacoma treasure: Helping Asia Pacific Cultural Center grow

photo of two women standing in front of art display

In 1996, Tacoma’s Asia Pacific Cultural Center was little more than a small office and a dream.

photo of a japanese figurine

In those early days, board meetings were held at restaurants and the small but inspired team dared to envision a facility that could house art displays, culinary courses, tea tasting, cultural education workshops, college and career preparation classes, guest speakers, youth programs and more.

The Washington state recently approved $1.53 million for the project, but Lua Pritchard, the APCC’s executive director and board member, says the Port of Tacoma played a huge role in helping the center get to this point.

The Port’s Local Economic Development Investment Fund provided $5,000 for the business plan in 2017, $10,000 for renderings and sketches in 2018 and $25,000 for architectural design in 2020. Read more>>

Port volunteers repack green beans to fight hunger

photo of a man repacking vegetables

What a mean, green (bean), fighting machine!

A group of Port of Tacoma employees, family members and friends spent Saturday, May 1, repacking 2,800 pounds of frozen green beans to help the Emergency Food Network (EFN) fight hunger in our community.

EFN distributes the food to more than 70 sites throughout Pierce County.

So far this year, our volunteers have repacked more than 15,800 pounds of food! Visit EFN’s website to find out how you can get involved.

a selfie of a group repacking food