Senator Murray Tours Port of Tacoma, Discusses How Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is Bringing Major Federal Dollars Home to WA Ports  – Senator Patty Murray

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ICYMI: Murray Announces Over $54 Million for Port of Tacoma Expansion Project

Senator Murray: “It was great to see firsthand today how investments from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law are paying off in a major way for Washington state’s ports—and how the Inflation Reduction Act will bring even more opportunities to compete for federal funding.”

***PHOTOS AND B-ROLL HERE***

Tacoma, WA – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, toured the Port of Tacoma’s Husky Terminal and hosted a roundtable discussion on how the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is benefitting Washington state ports in a major way. The visit comes on the heels of Senator Murray announcing a $54 million Port Infrastructure Development Program (PIDP) grant for the Port of Tacoma’s Husky Terminal Expansion project and, separately, $12 million from the Charging and Fueling Infrastructure (CFI) Grant Program in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma to develop electric truck charging hubs. 

Joining Senator Murray for the visit were Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA) Co-Chairs Kristin Ang, the Port of Tacoma Commission President, and Hamdi Mohamed, the Port of Seattle Commission President, as well as NWSA CEO John Wolfe, Port of Tacoma Executive Director Eric Johnson, Husky Terminal President Dustin Stoker, International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 23 President Jared Faker, and Leah Missik, Senior Washington Policy Manager at Climate Solutions.                       

“Our ports are truly the gateway to the world for so many people and businesses in Washington state. And the Port of Tacoma is a prime example of that—supporting over 42,000 jobs and generating $3 billion in economic activity every year,” said Senator Murray. “That’s why I’ve always championed strong federal investments in port infrastructure, staring with making sure ports were eligible for the RAISE program I created way back in 2009, which was the first time port authorities were eligible to apply for competitive federal grants!”

“It was great to see firsthand today how investments from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law are paying off in a major way for Washington state’s ports—and how the Inflation Reduction Act will bring even more opportunities to compete for federal funding,” Murray continued. “I’ve worked to secure $1.1 billion for the Port Infrastructure Development Program since the program was established in 2019, and I fought to make sure our Bipartisan Infrastructure Law included another $2.25 billion for PIDP. Ports are such an essential part of Washington state’s economy and our global competitiveness—we cannot take them for granted or let them fall behind. As Appropriations Chair, I am pushing to continue funding important programs that support our ports in the final government funding bills we’re negotiating right now.”

On the tour, Senator Murray heard about the Husky Terminal Expansion Project and the improvements the recent PIDP award will fund. Port officials also discussed the Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy—a collaborative effort between the Ports of Tacoma, Seattle, NWSA, and Vancouver Fraser Port Authority in British Columbia to reduce air and greenhouse gas emissions from shipping and port operations in their shared airshed. Murray also heard about the Port of Tacoma’s plans to pursue funding opportunities from the Inflation Reduction Act such as additional shore power projects. Shore power is shoreside electrical power that provides energy to a ship while it is docked, allowing the ship to stop burning diesel fuel. Additionally, Murray saw electric semi and yard trucks, and heard about the Port’s efforts to transition trucks and cargo handling equipment to zero emissions—the most significant components of port decarbonization efforts. The Port of Tacoma’s decarbonization efforts received a major boost from the $12 million CFI grant they received last month for shared electric truck charging hubs for the Ports of Tacoma and Seattle.

“Thanks to Senator Murray’s leadership, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act are helping The Northwest Seaport Alliance build and maintain world-class marine terminals that ensure competitiveness for trade and continued growth of jobs here in the Pacific Northwest,” said Kristin Ang, Port of Tacoma Commission President and Co-Chair of The Northwest Seaport Alliance.

“The Northwest Seaport Alliance appreciates Senator Murray for being a driving force behind increased federal investment in our ports. The additional funding is helping our gateway increase our competitive infrastructure, strengthen our workforce, and support the equitable transition to a clean energy economy,” said Hamdi Mohamed, Port of Seattle Commission President and Co-Chair of The Northwest Seaport Alliance.

Husky Terminal is one of the busiest container terminals in the Pacific Northwest region, and it provides services for vital industries throughout the region, including the agricultural sector. The Husky Terminal Expansion Project will reconfigure the yard for better truck circulation, add capacity, and optimize container storage. The project will also install upgraded power infrastructure to prepare for the electrification of cargo handling equipment. The PIDP grant will fund efforts to improve cargo throughput and enable the Port to accommodate future growth—and by moving away from diesel-powered cargo handling equipment, the project will help reduce greenhouses gas emissions in and around the port, including in neighboring communities, many of which are historically disadvantaged.

Senator Murray has been a champion of Washington state’s ports, from making sure ports were eligible for the RAISE (originally TIGER) grant program she created as Chair of the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee in 2009. The RAISE program Murray established marked the first time port authorities were eligible to apply for competitive federal grants. As a senior member—and now Chair—of the appropriations committee, Senator Murray helped create and fund PIDP; the competitive grant program was established in the Fiscal Year 2019 transportation appropriations bill, which was enacted in February 2019. Since then, Murray has played a key role in securing $1.1 billion in total funding for PIDP in our annual appropriations bills. Senator Murray also fought to make sure the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law included another $2.25 billion over five years for PIDP. 

Funding from the Port Infrastructure Development Program, which is administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration, is awarded on a competitive basis to projects across the country that improve the safety, efficiency, or reliability of the movement of goods into, out of, around, or within a port. PIDP helps improve port and related freight infrastructure to meet freight transportation needs and ensure our nation’s port infrastructure can meet anticipated growth in freight volumes. 

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