SENATE COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION

 

 

January 31, 2005                                                                                                   Hearing Room 50

3:00 P.M.                                                                                                                       Tapes  9 - 10

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:         Sen. Joanne Verger, Chair

Sen. Doug Whitsett, Vice-Chair

Sen. Rick Metsger

Sen. Floyd Prozanski

Sen. Bruce Starr

 

STAFF PRESENT:                 Judith Callens, Committee Administrator

Gary Roulier, Committee Assistant

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:         Rep. George Gilman, Chair

Rep. Terry Beyer, Vice-Chair

 

MEMBERS EXCUSED:        Rep. Chuck Burley, Vice-Chair

                                                Rep. Deborah Boone

                                                Rep. Scott Bruun

                                                Rep. Dave Hunt

                                                Rep. Kim Thatcher

 

MEASURES/ISSUES HEARD:        

                                                Freight Rail and the Oregon Economy – Informational Meeting

                                                SB 56 – Public Hearing

                                                SB 101 – Public Hearing

                                                SB 102 – Public Hearing

                                                           

 

These minutes are in compliance with Senate and House Rules.  Only text enclosed in quotation marks reports a speaker’s exact words.  For complete contents, please refer to the tapes.

 

TAPE/#

Speaker

Comments

TAPE 9, A

002

Chair Verger

Opens the meeting at 3:07. Opens an informational meeting on freight rail.

FREIGHT RAIL AND THE OREGON ECONOMY – INFORMATIONAL MEETING

012

Pat Egan

State Affairs Manager, Port of Portland. Introduces a report commissioned by the Port.

031

Lance Grenzeback

Senior Vice President, Cambridge Systematics, Inc. Submits a PowerPoint presentation (EXHIBIT A), summarizing a report entitled “Freight Rail and the Oregon Economy.”

055

Grenzeback

Forecasts a substantial increase in growth of freight tonnage in Oregon.

091

Grenzeback

Continues with a forecast for potentially congested highways in the year 2020.

112

Grenzeback

Notes that the economy has shifted to designing products to be shipped door-to-door, by truck.

140

Grenzeback

Summarizes the present state of the rail industry.

173

Grenzeback

Outlines the categories of Oregon buyers for freight rail services.

194

Grenzeback

Points out the Northwest rail corridors with significant capacity problems.

221

Grenzeback

Notes that delays, on a per train basis, are approximately twice as much in Portland as they are in Chicago.

261

Grenzeback

Comments on the lack of short-line railroad infrastructure within the state, particularly with the inability to accommodate newer, heavier railcars.

303

Grenzeback

Speaks to the advantages of utilizing the Columbia Gorge Corridor.

334

Grenzeback

Talks about the wholesale trade and food product industries.

393

Grenzeback

Discusses the public role in freight rail.

TAPE 10, A

012

Grenzeback

Continues with a discussion of public policy and possible effects on efficiency of rail service.

031

Grenzeback

Outlines some public-private partnerships in Chicago and other locations.

063

Grenzeback

Reviews some possible actions and initiatives for freight rail in Oregon.

075

Sen. Whitsett

Asks where the nearest east-west route south of the Boise Corridor is located.

081

Grenzeback

Responds that is the line that runs from San Francisco to Salt Lake City.

091

Sen. Prozanski

Asks about the rail tonnage flowing from California.

097

Grenzeback

Responds that the report dealt solely with Oregon traffic. Reviews the rail volume originating in Seattle.

104

Chair Verger

Asks what the witness would advise the state with regard to major concerns, particularly with short-line railroads.

121

Grenzeback

Answers that we would need to look at the rail system as a whole throughout the Northwest, or to look at how a short-line would fit into the system. Emphasizes the bottleneck in the Portland corridor, or “triangle.”

145

Egan

Reviews a recent study on the Portland triangle, and what improvements would have the most advantageous effect on capacity.

163

Grenzeback

Adds that the purpose of the study was not to prioritize projects, but to examine the issues, and the possible public policy roles.

181

Chair Verger

Comments that most policy makers do not have an “inside track” on how to improve this infrastructure in a cost effective way.

193

Grenzeback

Notes that the rail industry is under tremendous pressure to make their industry viable.

204

Rep. Beyer

Asks if there are fixes, other than within the Portland triangle, that would alleviate the problems within the triangle.

221

Grenzeback

Responds that as the economy and populations grow, these other areas outside the triangle will become bottlenecks.

236

Rep. Beyer

Clarifies that the triangle is the problem

238

Grenzeback

Agrees, and notes again the existing problems with the short-lines.

241

Egan

Adds that the short-lines do act as a feeder to the main rail lines, particularly for low-value products.

272

Chair Verger

Closes the informational meeting, and recesses the meeting at 3:55 p.m.

RECESS

274

Chair Verger

Reconvenes the meeting at 4:10 p.m., and opens a public hearing on SB 56.

SB 56 – PUBLIC HEARING

281

Judith Callens

Committee Administrator. Explains the provisions of SB 56, and submits the -1 amendment (EXHIBIT B).

308

Paul Donheffner

Director, State Marine Board. Presents written testimony (EXHIBIT C), and testifies in support of SB 56. Explains the purpose of the bill.

352

Donheffner

Reviews cases of severe carbon monoxide poisonings during “platform dragging.”

383

Donheffner

Outlines the levels of carbon monoxide present during these activities. Adds that other states are addressing the practice through statute.

TAPE 9, B

003

Donheffner

Summarizes coordination with the Water Sports Industry Association (WSIA), and notes that the WSIA supports the measure.

029

Chair Verger

Asks if it is correct that the reason people die so readily from carbon monoxide poisoning is that the gas “clings” rather than being expelled.

033

Donheffner

Answers that is correct, and reviews the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning.

038

Chair Verger

Notes that someone could “very innocently” cause a violation by coming up on the rear of the boat and grabbing the platform.

041

Sen. Prozanski

Asks if, under the provisions of the bill, people would have to shut down the boat motors if persons are in certain positions relative to the motor.

046

Donheffner

Answers that the intent is to prevent people from “platform dragging.”

063

Sen. Prozanski

Cautions about “fall-out” from the measure, similar to the school zone speed limit.

071

Sen. Bruce Starr

Asks about the definition of a motor boat and whether it is defined in such a way that we are throwing “too broad of a net.”

081

Donheffner

Responds that the law would only apply to those boats with a swim step or platform.

090

Chair Verger

Closes the public hearing on SB 56, and opens a public hearing on SB 101.

SB 101 – PUBLIC HEARING

092

Callens

Explains the provisions of the bill.

102

Bruce Warner

Director, Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT). Presents written testimony (EXHIBIT D) and testifies in support of SB 101.

139

Warner

Talks about the importance of the state highway system to the Oregon economy, and adds that access is a key management issue.

156

Warner

Comments that we want to make sure that our investment in our capacity is preserved. Adds that fifty percent of the non-interstate highway accidents occur at intersections.

190

Warner

Summarizes customer service ratings regarding highway access.

193

John Jackley

Executive Officer, Highway Division, ODOT. Presents written testimony (EXHIBIT E) and testifies in support of SB 101.

213

Jackley

Explains that the bill will provide administrative remedies for the department.

233

Patrick Allen

Office of Regulatory Streamlining. Presents written testimony (EXHIBIT F), and testifies in support of SB 101, and adds that his office also supports SB 102.

248

Sen. Prozanski

Asks if the bill allows the department to use the “right of eminent domain.”

263

Allen

Defers to ODOT.

267

Jackley

Responds that the question refers to SB 102.

273

Chair Verger

Closes the public hearing on SB 101, and opens a public hearing on SB 102.

SB 102 – PUBLIC HEARING

283

Jackley

Presents written testimony (EXHIBIT G), and testifies in support of SB 102. Explains the provisions of the bill.

319

Jackley

Outlines the advantages of the bill. Summarizes a project where the proposed bill would have saved ODOT over $162,000.

337

Sen. Prozanski

Discusses the provisions of the bill with Jackley.

365

Sen. Whitsett

Emphasizes that he has a problem with setting a precedent with “taking” property, and asks if the property owner could lose value by being denied access.

387

Jackley

Responds that the department is not able to transfer the easement from one party to the other. Summarizes the settlement rate for the department regarding property values.

TAPE 10, B

013

Chair Verger

Closes the public hearing on SB 102. Comments on the upcoming out- of-office meeting on February 14, 2005. Discusses arrangements with the committee.

038

Chair Verger

Adjourns the meeting at 4:37 p.m.

 

 

EXHIBIT SUMMARY

 

  1. Rail, Oregon Freight, PowerPoint, Lance Grenzeback, 32 pp
  2. SB 56, -1 amendments, staff, 1 pp
  3. SB 56, written testimony, Paul Donheffner, 7 pp
  4. SB 101, written testimony, Bruce Warner, 3 pp
  5. SB 101, written testimony, John Jackley, 1 pp
  6. SB 101, written testimony, Patrick Allen, 5 pp
  7. SB 102, written testimony, John Jackley, 3pp