Design of Port Angeles stormwater treatment system over budget by 50 percent
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Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
A loader stacks logs at the Port of Port Angeles log yard on Marine Drive west of Port Angeles Boat Haven on Wednesday.

By Paul Gottlieb
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — Design of a stormwater treatment system for 42 acres of Port of Port Angeles industrial property will cost $150,000 — 50 percent more than budgeted.

Tenant lease rates and rates for users of the port's marine terminals and log yard might have to increase to help pay for the system, which is targeted for completion between 2015 and 2016 and does not yet have an estimated cost, port Engineer Chris Hartman said Wednesday.

Business model

“We've got to be able to have a sustainable business model at our industrial properties,” he said.

“If the cost is high enough to where it's not feasible, it might be done in phases.

“We might focus on the highest-priority properties and do it over a number of years.”

Port commissioners Tuesday approved a professional service agreement with San Francisco-based Kennedy/Jenks Consultants to complete eight design tasks for the project, including site investigation and evaluation of stormwater drainage alternatives and treatment options.

The project cannot be part of the city of Port Angeles combined sewer overflow project, which is for sanitary sewer lines and includes stormwater, because the port will be treating just stormwater, Hartman said.

The industrial area consists of two log yards at Terminals 5 and 7 that operate as one yard and jointly consists of 29 acres, he added.

“The log yard is the highest priority at this point,” Hartman said.

The design phase of the project was budgeted at $100,000 before the port advertised a request for qualifications, referred to as RFQs, to solicit proposals to do the work, Hartman said.

Contracts for engineering consulting firms are chosen based on qualifications, not the lowest bid, he said.

RFQs are advertised and a fee negotiated with the chosen firm.

Kennedy/Jenks, which has a branch in Seattle, was one of four firms that responded, none of which was from Clallam or Jefferson counties.

Port Angeles-based Northwest Territories Inc., an engineering and land surveying company with an office in Port Townsend, is a Kennedy/Jenks subcontractor on the project.

“A lot of times, we hope to be out with RFQs the year before so we have a proposal and have a better idea of what to put in the budget,” Hartman said.

More complex

“It was more complex than I assessed it to be,” he added.

“We still expect it to be within the overall capital budget.”

Untreated stormwater from the properties is collected in catch basins and discharged from outfalls directly into Port Angeles Harbor.

Pollutant levels in the stormwater must be below state Department of Ecology benchmarks, Hartman said.

When the levels rise above the benchmarks, Ecology can enforce one of three levels of corrective action.

Under Levels 1 and 2, the agency reviews the stormwater pollution prevention plan and requires implementation of additional measures to control the effluent.

Under Level 3, Ecology requires preparation of an engineering report and construction of a stormwater treatment facility.

The port is exceeding at least Level 1 corrective action at all the properties.

It has implemented additional measures at the properties, including the installation of catch basin inserts and silt fencing, both of which filter out sediment.

The port is not operating at Level 3 at any of the properties, but that is not expected to last, Hartman said.

“It's hard to meet benchmark levels without a significant treatment facility at your property,” he said.

The port's new stormwater treatment system could rely on filtration through a series of ponds or swales, construction of a treatment facility or a combination of solutions, depending on the site, Hartman said.

By taking action now, the port is adhering to its policy of being good environmental stewards of port property, port commission President Jim Hallett said.

“We don't have to be asked to do it; we just do it,” he said.

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Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5060, or at pgottlieb@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: March 13. 2014 8:13PM
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