Tacoma joins other ports at Capitol, national summit

The Port of Tacoma was one of about 20 Washington ports in Olympia Feb. 1 to talk with legislators about...

The Port of Tacoma was one of about 20 Washington ports in Olympia Feb. 1 to talk with legislators about the economic impact port activities provide throughout the state. Trade activity contributes to about one in every four jobs in the state, according to the Washington Public Ports Association.

Tacoma port commissioners met with legislators to discuss the Department of Ecology’s supplemental budget request to fund about $1.2 million for three Port-related cleanup projects.

The Port estimates it will need about $40 million in matching funds to ensure future cleanup of 235 acres of contaminated property.

The account is funded by a dedicated tax on toxic chemicals. In 2009 the Legislature removed $74 million from this dedicated account to fund unrelated programs.

Similarly, Port of Tacoma Interim Executive Director John Wolfe was scheduled to join U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood this week in San Diego for a national summit on ports.

Representatives from port-related governments, organizations and companies will come together for a two-day conference to discuss national freight policy and planning, environmental sustainability and infrastructure needs.

Wolfe plans to attend the transportation secretary’s town hall discussion on challenges and opportunities in marine transportation.

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