October 12 - Seattle's deputy hearing examiner, Anne Watanabe, has ruled against the city's Department of Planning and Development's land use code interpretation on the Port of Seattle's use of Terminal 5 for an offshore oil drilling rig, giving Foss Mari
The ruling affirms the traditional uses of Foss Maritime's facilities are consistent with long-standing practices for handling diverse cargo and mooring vessels, as well as with state law and city code.
In May 2015, the City of Seattle's Department of Planning and Development said that Terminal 5 cannot serve as a home port for Shell's Arctic drilling fleet under its current shoreline permit, because its operations don't fall under the category of cargo loading or unloading.
The port and Foss Maritime, which has a lease with the US gateway to let Shell use the terminal, immediately appealed that ruling.
Watanabe determined that Shell's contracted oil rig, Polar Pioneer, along with its fleet, was indeed engaged in cargo terminal activities when it was loaded with drilling equipment to be transported to the Arctic.
According to local media reports, Seattle mayor Ed Murray expressed his disappointment with the ruling but said he will respect it, adding that with Shell having made a business decision to halt further offshore oil exploration in Alaska, now is the time to come together to collaborate on new projects to support the growth of maritime jobs, while protecting Seattle's natural environment.
Meanwhile, HLPFI understands that Foss Maritime is looking for alternate ways to use the terminal now that Shell won't need to park its drilling rigs there.
A Foss Maritime statement said that the company will continue to work with its stakeholders as it creates family-wage jobs on its working waterfront, while it continues to seek common ground with its partners at the City of Seattle on ways it can help the local maritime industry thrive, as it has for the past century.
Foss Maritime also announced that Lam Q. Nguyen-Bull has joined the company as the vice president, general counsel and chief ethics officer. Based in Seattle, Washington, Nguyen-Bull will lead the Foss Legal and Risk Management Group, where in addition to providing counsel on legal issues and business strategies and practices, she will head up the company's ethics and compliance programmes and work to safeguard the values and reputation of Foss.
Nguyen-Bull comes to Foss from parent company Saltchuk, where she served as associate general counsel and compliance officer.