Wednesday, January 25, 2006, 10:00 am
Notes of conference call

Attending call: Sean Jacobs, Joe Minott, Ed Carreras, John Hadalski, Laureen Boles, Tiffany Ladesma Groll

Report on meeting with Water Department
Sean reported on a Jan 5 meeting with the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD). The initial list of water pollution sources cited in the CARE proposal was enhanced. The updated list of concerns includes stormwater runoff (including washing of equipment and vessels), oil spills, bilge water, ballast water, antifouling additives, metal scraping from barnacle removal, fumigation/pesticides/fertilizers.

What is the drainage system like at the ports? Is the water runoff entering drains to the city sewage or is it going directly into the river?

Regulatory vs. Voluntary Measures
DEP issues national pollution discharge elimination system (NPDES) permits. (In some states, the EPA issues these permits) The Philadelphia Regional Port Authority (PRPA) would have the responsibility for preparing a stormwater pollution prevention plan (SWPPP). Sometimes these plans fall under a larger Emergency Response Plan at a port facility. It depends on the activity at the individual port as to whether or not they are required to have a SWPPP.

It was agreed that promoting a voluntary SWPPP at Philadelphia ports would be a worthwhile activity within the scope of the CARE grant.

PWD Smart Boaters' Program
Tiffany reported on a program she is administering throughout Southeaster PA targeting recreational marine pollution prevention. Marinas, yacht clubs and other recreational boating centers were surveyed on environmental concerns. They tried to entice them to step forward and participate by offering positive public recognition. From the results of the survey, a brochure was developed and distributed to the locations that were surveyed. The next step is to begin promoting the use of a "bilge sock", a device used to collect toxic materials that collect in marine vehicles and equipment. This will begin in May throughout SE PA.

Does this kind of bilge sock device exist for larger vessels/equipment on the industry side? This could also be something worth pursuing for the CARE project.
Tiffany suggested contacting two groups they have been working with:

1> Sea Grant (NOAA project) local contact is Sarah Whitney. They might be interested in helping out with the CARE project, possibly joining as a stakeholder.
2> Enviro-bond, the bilge sock vendor. They would probably know about larger scale bilge collection devices.

Next Steps
Everyone was asked to offer their suggestions on the top water issues and possible next steps:

1> Survey Philadelphia port operators on water treatment/runoff practices. Are they likely to participate? This should be done in as non-threatening way as possible. We may want to ask the PRPA to help promote such a survey to their tenants. Sample questions could be: Do you have a SWPPP? What is the drainage system at your facility? Is there a spill response plan for your facility? Etc…
2> Promote Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans to the ports. We may want to highlight the fact that having a SWPPP is a good way to keep EPA and DEP happy if they happen to come around for inspections.
3> Research the idea of a bilge sock that could be applied on a larger scale to industry. How would this fit into the ports waste management plan? It was noted that the Cardarock division of the US Navy at the Naval Yard in Philadelphia has done a lot of research on bilge water removal and antifouling additives. That might be a good place to start.

Sean will report on this call to the full Port Task Force group at the next meeting on Monday, Feb 13 and continue researching the water pollution issues at the ports. Priorities include setting up meetings with:

1> Partnership for the Delaware Estuary: Kathy Kline
2> PWD Biomonitoring office: Lance Butler, Jeff Brock
3> DEP stormwater permits division: David Burke
4> PA Fish and Boat Commission: John Pedrick, Erin Czech
5> City of Phila Vector Control office: Bill Ferraro
6> City of Phila Stormwater management: Joanne Dahme
7> Delaware Riverkeeper: Maya van Rossum
8> Delaware River Basin Commission: Thomas Fikslin