The Voice for Industry
March 19, 2009
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They Do It Right


We don't always agree with the actions or policies of the City of Seattle. Writing our eBulletin wouldn't be nearly as much fun if we did. But when the blue moon rises to shine on the City doing something right, we need to let you know. Such is the case with the City of Seattle's Duwamish Habitat Restoration Program associated with the Lower Duwamish Waterway Superfund site.

Today's industrial business owners and operators have a much better understanding of how past practices negatively impacted our natural environment and the Duwamish in particular. After all, they grew up with Earth Day too. Many acknowledge their opportunity to be an "everyday" environmentalist and conduct business on the Duwamish much differently then their predecessors.

The bad thing is, the federal Superfund legislation does not give you credit for good behavior today. It punishes you for what was done, possibly, before you even came along by imposing liability for past practices on today's generation, regardless of operating practices today. "The sins of the father are visited on the son," was never truer then it is under a Superfund action.

Past practices of the city utility department have caught up with the City of Seattle too. Indeed, the City of Seattle is one of the largest designated responsible parties engaged in clean up of the Duwamish Waterway. The City could have put their heads down and plowed through the inter-governmental maze of regulatory compliance with federal EPA and state Ecology, never minding what was going on around them. In this instance, however, the City looked up and took a larger view of the impacts of the clean up and restoration for the community. In particular, the maritime community.

The industrial maritime community has proven to be one of the jewels of the City's economic vitality. With so few miles of City shoreline designated for industrial use, the Waterway, and the businesses operating along its shores, are rare. With the Mayor's guidance, the City Council recognized the need to find ways to help the private sector weather the process so that we come out at the other end with businesses that are still intact and still operating along the Lower Duwamish. What they did was make scattered, un-used City-owned public lands available for a use that creates a win-win for businesses who "catch a break" and the natural environment that has no say in the matter.

On June 30, 2008, the City Council unanimously passed an ordinance authorizing a "Master Lease Agreement" with a private, habitat restoration organization, Bluefield Holdings. A Superfund action involves both a cleanup and a restoration phase.

Responsible parties identified with Superfund liability will ultimately have responsibility for creating natural habitat restoration projects as part of their Superfund liability. They may not have sufficient, or any, shoreline to set aside for this passive use and undoubtedly do not have the expertise to do these habitat projects on their own.

The Master Lease Agreement allows Bluefield to "consolidate" the City-owned properties along the Lower Duwamish, like street-ends and bridge landings, to create and, more importantly, maintain new natural habitat along the waterway. The Superfund process requires restoration projects with a life-span of at least 10 years. The city-owned properties along the Waterway can be developed without interfering with maritime and other public uses for the shoreline, as well.

Development of these city properties will result in "ecocredits" toward the restoration phase, already negotiated and approved by the regulators. The ecocredits will be sold to the businesses and property owners with Superfund liability. This probably isn't enough habitat to meet all of the restoration requirements for the Duwamish, but for small and medium sized businesses, use of these ecocredits give them a "guaranteed" means of meeting their obligation once and for all so that they can get back to the business of moving goods, creating value and providing good jobs for this community.

We think, that's a much better use of their resources then years-long litigation or habitat "garden-tending."

The bitter pill of being identified as a responsible party in a Superfund action is a hard one to swallow for any business.

Rather then ignore or vilify these businesses as some would have them; the City's actions acknowledge their value and help create an end-in-sight opportunity. Sometimes they do things right - the City of Seattle that is. This is one of those times.

The World Trade Club Recognizes One of Our Own as 2009 Trader of the Year
Long time MIC supporter, MulvannyG2 Architecture has been selected as the 2009 Governor's Trader of the Year and SonoSite Inc. has been selected as the 2009 Governor's Emerging Trader of the Year!

The Governor's Trader of the Year Award recognizes a Washington State business that has demonstrated success and industry leadership through its innovation in products or services, its contribution to the local economy, and its service to the community. The Governor's Emerging Trader of the Year Award recognizes a Washington State business that has demonstrated recent innovation and success in international activities.

Congratulations MulvannyG2 Architecture and SonoSite Inc.too! See the Kent Chamber article below for details on the March 19th reception with Lt. Governor Brad Owen to celebrate the winners of this award!

Exporting? Why not?

The Kent Chamber of Commerce presents a day focused on export activities. They will host an Export Symposium & Luncheon on March 19, 11:30-1:30pm, at the ShoWare Center. The symposium will include presentations from Washington State Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development representatives talking about Export Opportunities in Europe and Asia. In addition, Randy Gardiner, President/CEO of Red Dot Corporation will speak on his company's experience in India, China, and Europe.

Later in the day, 5:30-8:30 pm, at the ShoWare Center again, the Kent Chamber will host a reception featuring Lt. Governor Brad Owen presenting the 2009 Governor's Trader of the Year Awards. The Chamber describes the event as "a wonderful networking opportunity attended by regional businesses across a variety of sectors as well as government officials involved in international trade."

To register or find out more, go to the Events page at www.kentchamber.com.

State Of The Regional Economy
The Seattle City Council will be holding a panel discussion among local experts on the state of the regional economy on Monday, March 23, from 10:00am-12:00pm in the Bertha Knight Landes Room at Seattle City Hall. For more information contact Phyllis Shulman or Elaine Ko at 684-8805, Phyllis.shulman@seattle.gov or Elaine.ko@seattle.gov
Panel includes:
- Dick Conway, Dick Conway and Associates, economist and forecaster for business and government
- Desiree Phair, Regional Labor Economist, Employment Security, Jobs outlook in the region
- Eileen O'Grady, President Elliott Bay Associates, real estate finance and capital markets
- Susan Greenwald, Single Family Operations Director, Homestreet Bank, real estate mortgage lending
- Dr. Stan Humphies, Chief Economist, Zillow, Residential Real Estate, property values and trends

Duwamish Alive Earth Day Saturday, April 18th
Save the Date for Earth Day 2009 - Celebrate by volunteering your time and energy on a variety of projects around the Duwamish River basin.

ECOSS is sponsoring two restoration sites this year in South Park and will be participating in post-work festivities that day at Cooper Elementary in West Seattle from 2pm-5pm. To volunteer at one of our sites, contact Jordon McEntire at 206.767.0432 or jordon@ecoss.org. For more information about Duwamish Alive! please go here.

Come help keep 8th Avenue S and Gateway Park clean and free of blackberries, trash pickup, native plant care, and more! 10am 2pm. No need to RSVP, just show up.

How Do You Keep Track of the Players Without a Program?
We try to keep you informed about events that we think may have an impact on your businesses with this eBulletin. Lately the amount of transportation related construction activity within the SODO/Georgetown area has been growing. It's a challenge to provide information without going to extremes. (You can go to www.Duwamishtma.org and click on Traffic Alert to see a map with links to all the different projects that we're talking about here.)

The City of Seattle has just made our job easier, with a new service they initiated recently the SODO Consolidated Construction UPDATE. It's an electronic bulletin managed by Seattle DOT's liaison to the area, Katherine Bush. The bulletin does not limit the information to only Seattle DOT projects, but takes an area-wide approach. We'll continue to choose information from the bulletin that we think has wide audience interest to report in these pages, but if you want to get the latest on EVERY project you should consider subscribing for yourself. To be added to the UPDATE, email katherine.bush@seattle.gov.




Sounders FC March and Match
Thursday, March 19, at 4:40 p.m., up to 1,500 Seattle Sounders fans will gather for speeches in Occidental Park and then "March to the Match" to celebrate the start of the Sounders' season. Escorteed by police, the fans will head south on Occidental Ave S from Main St to Qwest Field.
The opening match kicks off at 6 p.m. with up to 34,000 spectators on hand. Occidental Ave S will be closed between S King St and S Royal Brougham Way from 4:30 - 9 p.m. Count on traffic congestion before and after the match

Viaduct will be closed THIS Weekend.
WSDOT crews will close the Alaskan Way Viaduct on March 21 and 22 as part of their semi-annual viaduct inspection. They keep a close eye on the structure's condition by visually inspecting it every three months and conducting full inspections every six months to measure any new damage or movement. The March inspection results will be posted to their Web site.

Both directions of the Alaskan Way Viaduct from the Battery Street Tunnel to Spokane Street will be closed from:
6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, March 21, and
6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, March 22.

The Battery Street Tunnel will be closed from:
11 p.m. on Friday, March 20 to 5 a.m. on Monday, March 23.

Westbound lower Spokane Street lane restriction:
Traffic is restricted on westbound South Spokane Street (through next Monday, March 23rd ) between 1st and 2nd avenues, except during the weekend. Crews will close the curb lane starting at 7 a.m. For more information call 206-240-1106.

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Spring 2009 Issue
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Past eBulletins

Viaduct, SR 519, Spokane Street Updates
Elliott Curb Bulb Doomed?
Burn Down, Start Over
Economic Climate Got You Down? Port of Seattle Report
Community-Wide By-Product Synergy






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