“Irrational” is one word the Port of Seattle is using to describe the city Department of Planning and Development interpretation suggesting Shell oil rigs can’t use Terminal 5 without a new permit. That’s part of what the port argues in its official appeal of the interpretation, which we found in the city Hearing Examiner‘s files, hours after it was posted there late Friday:
And it came three days after a 5-hour Port Commission meeting ended with two motions passed, the second of which directed port staff to file an appeal (WSB coverage here). The port tenant that’s hosting Shell, Foss Maritime, has already filed its appeal, as first reported here hours after that meeting. The verbiage in the port’s document is notably sharper, especially in its opening assertion that “the effect of the interpretation, if affirmed on appeal, will be to make unlawful the moorage of many different kinds of vessels, including … tugboats … marine-construction vessels … cruise vessels … icebreakers … ships of state … research vessels … diving vessels … oil-spill-response vessels … seismic vessels … Seattle Fire Department fireboats.”
The appeal later also suggests that since the port is a steward of its marine environment and that hosting many different types of vessels is a key component of that, the appeal could be environmentally damaging and therefore is subject to review under the State Environmental Policy Act. Appeals typically will go before the Hearing Examiner, but usually not for a few months until their filing; we’re not seeing a date on the docket yet. Meantime, the city told WSB on Wednesday that the appeal process wouldn’t keep it from citing the port if it chose to.