Friday, October 26, 2012

Port will ask for permit to deepen channel

Singeltary's Galveston Bay Dredge Report, trying to save Galveston Bay. ...

Port will ask for permit to deepen channel

By Kiah Collier | Tuesday, October 23, 2012 | Updated: Wednesday, October 24, 2012 11:41am

The Port of Houston Authority will apply this week for a permit allowing it to widen and deepen the waterway leading to its oldest and largest container terminal, Barbours Cut, between La Porte and Morgan's Point.

The port's governing body on Tuesday OK'd a proposed application to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The $6.2 million project will expand the north edge of the Barbours Cut Ship Channel, a tributary to the Houston Ship Channel, by 75 feet, and deepen the now 40-foot channel by 5 feet. That will enable it to handle the influx of larger ships expected after a wider Panama Canal opens in 2015.

The so-called post-Panamax ships carry more cargo but sit deeper in the water.

The authority plans a larger $120 million deepening and widening project for the channel leading to the Bayport container terminal that opened in 2007. The authority faced significant opposition to its original permit Corps of Engineers application for that project because of a proposal to dispose of dredged sand and silt in a 400-plus-acre area in Galveston Bay that is heavily trafficked by sailors.

The authority dropped the "marsh" proposal after receiving significant pushback from recreational and environmental groups and bay-area communities.

The sand and silt dredged from the Barbours Cut channel will be disposed of in an existing disposal area that is nearby.

Mark Vincent, the authority's channel development director, told port commissioners Tuesday that he doesn't expect opposition to the Barbours Cut project but that the authority will hold a public meeting to answer questions about the project.

Vincent said he expects to have the Bayport permit "in hand" by year's end and one for the Barbours Cut project in less than six months.

Also Tuesday, port commissioners awarded a $14.7 million contract to Finland-based Konecranes to purchase eight diesel-electric container-yard cranes for the Barbours Cut Terminal.

The new cranes will replace existing cranes at the end of their "expected life equipment life of 20 years," according to background material.

Tonnage up

Authority CEO Leonard Waterworth reported that overall tonnage for September increased 4 percent compared with a year earlier. That includes 39 percent higher steel tonnage, which had been down in recent months.

September operating expenses were down 27 percent, while operating revenues increased 6 percent.

Year-to-date operating expenses decreased 3 percent, while operating revenues increased 9 percent.

Revised code of ethics

Commissioners adopted a revised code of ethics on Tuesday, which they hadn't done since 1994. It is stricter than the old version in many cases and provides more guidance on what constitutes conflict of interest. Adopting a revised code of ethics was one of more than a dozen major recommendations included in a report produced by staff of the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission after a five-month-long review of the authority's operations and policies earlier this year.

The review was called for by local elected officials after the authority became embroiled in an ethics saga that resulted in the resignation of then CEO Alec Dreyer. The Harris County District Attorney's Office investigated, but cleared Dreyer of any wrongdoing. He resigned in December, saying he felt stymied by the political tangles of the job.

I guess they got one permit stipulating one height for the toxic dredge dump behind our house, and since the people in shore acres, and yacht club, didn’t want another toxic dump, they got them to just make that island behind our house bigger with another permit? I guess the next big hurricane all that mess will be in our backyard. I went and bought 50 LBS. of shrimp yesterday at Hillmans for the winter, they are having to bring shrimp in from Polacias, Texas, because they are not getting any shrimp in Galveston bay. daaa, can you see my surprised look on my face. ...something is wrong with Galveston Bay, and it will only get worse with the continued dredging of Galveston Bay. now we are going to get super tankers up to the Houston Ship channel. why can’t they just stay in Galveston $ who will pay for the increased erosion of the bulkheads and shoreline, from these bigger ships, causing bigger wave activity? I am sure the Port of Houston, and the Army corp. of engineers already have that one all worked out, with a ‘no responsibility clause’, and or, another permit that the Army Corp. of engineers never following up on, like the one they did not follow up on for the PH Robinson H L & P power plant construction permitting process. I look for the Army Corp. of engineers just to rubber stamp another pollution project to bolster it’s earnings at the Port of Houston. I am afraid Galveston Bay has lost it’s battle to survive. ...

see map of island ;

Spillway inlet outlet canal Permit 5972 Hwy 146 Bacliff Texas pdf file



see video of massive flounder kill with Seabreeze article September 6, 2012 ;

Thousands of Flounder Killed on San Leon Bacliff Shoreline (AGAIN)

additional sources for flounder kill video;