Minutes of meeting on December 12, 2005

Attending: Michael Block, Laureen Boles, Ed Carreras, Eric Cheung, Jerry Conrad, James Deeples, Kurt Ferry, Morris Fine, John Hadalski, Peg Hanna, Sean Jacobs, Robert Kermon, Jack LeBeau, Lisa Magee, Susan McDowell, Perry Pandya, Kas Sellassie, Alison Tracy

Introductions/Announcements -

1. New guests included representatives from the US Coast Guard, Greenwich Terminals (Packer), O2 Diesel and Emisstar.
2. Eric announced a workshop/kick-off event in Washington, DC on February 28th for the Mid-Atlantic Diesel Collaborative. (They have a Ports subcommittee.) Sean and/or Eric to attend; others are welcome.
3. SPC: Lisa Magee and Morris Fine updated us on SPC activity and the move to Tioga. Plans to move to Tioga have not changed. They are applying for air permits - should be approved within the next month. Meetings with Philadelphia Regional Port Authority indicate that the amount of land needed for the move keeps changing and there is no set date for the move yet.

Updates - Sean updated the group on attending the National EPA CARE conference in Denver and the National Clean Diesel Policy Leaders Summit in DC. He also reported on a presentation given at the Maritime Advisory Council (MAC) quarterly meeting in Philadelphia on December 8th. The response at the MAC meeting was generally positive. Sean, Joe and Ed were at the meeting representing Diesel Difference and the Port Stakeholders group. Sean is following up with contacts made at the MAC meeting. Attendees at this meeting were not focused on emissions, but it was on the radar screen. It was suggested we attempt to get more involvement from the "river-side" of the port industry, ie. Tugboat operators, ship pilots… Ed Carreras handed over a list of the attendees sign-in sheet from the December 8th MAC meeting.
Action items:

  • Sean to reach out to those on the MAC meeting sign-in sheet.
    Sean to secure "river-side" involvement at next stakeholder meeting.

Subcommittee Reports - Sean distributed a "flow chart" outlining the charges of the 3 main subcommittees that will fall under the "gatekeeper" Port stakeholder group. For the sake of clarification, this group is referred to as the "Task Force on Philadelphia Port Environmental Issues" and the 3 subcommittees will each cover one media element: Air, Water and Land/Brownfields. Eric explained the structure of the existing Port stakeholder group and how it relates to the subcommittees and Philadelphia Diesel Difference. The mission of PDD and the Port stakeholders overlap, but is not exactly the same. It was decided that these 3 subcommittees are not ready to meet just yet. The timing will be better once we have identified a specific project that requires more technical support. Sean asked for volunteers for each subcommittee and suggested holding the initial meeting of each subcommittee over the phone as a conference call. One suggestion was to have an academia representative on each (ex- a professor at a local college or university.)
Action items:

  • Stakeholders should send his/her interest and recommendations to Sean for involvement on subcommittee(s).
    Sean to identify Chairs and potential members for each subcommittee.

Outreach - Sean has conducted some research into the Tioga-area neighborhoods. Sean will complete a similar report on the Packer-area neighborhoods before the next Stakeholder meeting. Since securing a "buy-in" to our project on the Portside is necessary to move forward, it was suggested that we coordinate this with any community/neighborhood outreach. Lisa suggested Packer might be a better choice than Tioga since she has had trouble reaching out to the Delaware River Stevedores at Tioga port in the past. She also mentioned Piers 78-82 (they deal with forest products) as a good possibility for a smaller scale project. Robert Kermon of Greenwich Terminals, the lone tenant of Packer, is going to talk to others at his office and get back to us about their interest in working together. Jerry Conrad, Security Specialist and Environmental Planner at the Coast Guard, knows of more special-interest type groups that are very in-tune with environmental problems affecting the ports. (Delaware River Keepers and others) Jerry also suggested we join the "Area committee" which is an existing group that is doing similar work to that of this port stakeholder group. It is a group of first responders, community groups, environmentalists and other special interest groups that work on area contingency plans to respond to potential environmental problems (spills, etc..). They have identified sensitive areas and staging areas for clean-ups. There will be an ecological risk assessment report at the next meeting in January.
Action items:

  • Stakeholders to send ideas to Sean for community contacts in South Phila./Packer-area neighborhoods.
    Sean to follow-up with Robert Kermon at Packer regarding interest of Greenwich Terminals.
    Sean to follow-up with Jerry Conrad regarding involvement on "Area committee" and other "special interest" port groups.

Other Business -

1. EPA study released in September focuses solely on air emissions. Our project will incorporate air, land and brownfields.
2. Inventory- Bob Kermon suggested setting up meetings with individual Port operators. They are the only ones who truly know an inventory of equipment at their port.
3. Port Electrification- Bob Kermon said cold iron/shore power is not happening in Philadelphia ports at this time. While there is a strong argument that creating this kind of infrastructure will increase commerce at Philadelphia ports, he indicated it affects too many different parties and the costs are too high for it to be practicable.

Next Meeting- Monday, January 9, 2006