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Port authority reports activity

September 28, 2012
By LINDA HARRIS - Staff writer ( , The Herald-Star

WEIRTON - So far this year 22,500 tons of materials have passed through the Pike Island Pool, the Weirton Area Port Authority board reported this week.

Port Authority Chairman B.J. DeFelice said this month alone, 1,900 tons had passed through the pool, which he defines as the area between the locks at New Cumberland and Pike Island.

For the year to date, he said 2,500 barges and 267 tugs had passed by. He also said 11 direct jobs and 12 indirect jobs had been created within WINC and Tri-State Port Management.

DeFelice, meanwhile, said they've submitted plans to the city and obtained the necessary permits from the West Virginia Division of Environmental Protection to improve storm water collection in the northwest portion of Half Moon Industrial Park.

At this week's meeting, the authority adopted a resolution to proceed with the storm water collection project as well as developing a tariff and fee structure to cover services they provide to their customers.

"A lot of research has to be done, discussions with the state and with customers," he said. "We have to find out what the needs are, develop a generic menu ... then (tailor) it to the needs of the customers."

Also adopted were resolutions:

Endorsing a program to assist military veterans and others who wish to start a small business.

DeFelice said the program would not compete with or replace federal and state VA programs.

"The difference is the focus will be on doing business within the port's district, with an emphasis on business-to-business retail business relationships," he said.

Restricting access to the port.

DeFelice said efforts to develop truck-to-tank-to-barge intermodal oil transportation within the port necessitate Transportation Worker Identification Credentials, which brings the facility in line with U.S. Coast Guard requirements "so we can make sure who is going in or out, and if they don't have a (the identification), they're escorted. It controls access to the hazardous material (oil)."

Establishing a liaison with the West Virginia Department of Homeland Security.

Tracking and communicating with oil and gas tanker trucks coming into the terminal through radio and electronic measures, as well as scheduling, monitoring and reporting system for managing the flow of oil tankers into and out of the port.

Currently, he said roughly five to seven trucks are unloaded daily and their contents - about 200 barrels each - tanked by Apex, one of the tenants in the industrial park. "Oil from the well head is brought by truck, unloaded and put in tanks with the objective of moving it from the tanks to a barge," he said.

He said the trucks-per-day could "ramp up to 50 by the end of the year."

"Centerpoint/Apex already was designated as a hazardous site, but they didn't have the manpower," he said. "So we're providing a service to them to get the trucks properly checked in and restricting access to that portion of the property."

The board also passed a resolution restricting access to Birch Drive between the port authority office, located in the old Weirton Steel training center, and Apex.

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