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Port Risk Assessment Port of Texas City 


Port of Texas City, Texas 
Workshop Report 


Introduction 


A Port Risk Assessment Workshop was conducted for the Port of Texas City on August 21, 
2000. This workshop report provides the following information: 

• Brief description of the process used for the assessment; 

• List of participants; 

• Numerical results from the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP)'; 

• Summary of risks and mitigations discussion; and 

• Port of Texas City Attributes Summaries. 

Strategies for reducing unmitigated risks will be the subject of a separate report. 

Assessment Process 


The risk assessment process is a structured approach to obtaining expert judgments on the level 
of waterway risk. The process also addresses the relative merits of specific types of Vessel 
Traffic Management (VTM) improvements for reducing risk in the port. Based on the Analytic 
Hierarchy Process (AHP), the port risk assessment process uses a select group of waterway 
users/stakeholders in each port to evaluate waterway risk factors and the effectiveness of various 
VTM improvements. The process requires the participation of local Coast Guard officials before 
and throughout the workshops. Thus the process is a joint effort involving waterway users, 
stakeholders, and the agencies/entities responsible for implementing selected risk mitigation 
measures. 

This methodology employs a generic model of port risk that was conceptually developed by a 
National Dialog Group on Port Risk and then translated into computer algorithms by the Volpe 
National Transportation Systems Center. In that model, risk is defined as the sum of the 
probability of a casualty and its consequences. Consequently, the model includes variables 
associated with both the causes and the effects of vessel casualties. The participants are asked to 
establish scales to measure each variable. Once the parameters have been established for each 
risk-inducing factor, port specific risk is estimated by putting into the computer risk model 
specific values for that port for each variable. The computer model allows comparison of 
relative risk and the potential efficacy of various VTM improvements between different ports. 


• 1 Developed by Dr. Thomas L. Saaty, et al, to structure complex decision making, to provide scaled 

measurements, and to synthesize many factors having different dimensions. 


1 



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Port Risk Assessment Port of Texas City 

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Port Risk Assessment Port of Texas City 


Texas City Port Risk Assessment Background 

Texas City was selected for a port risk assessment at the request of the Coast Guard Captain of 
the Port (COTP) because of a major port infrastructure expansion project that is in the planning 
stages. Texas City is on the West side of Galveston Bay about seven miles NW from Galveston. 
Texas City is a privately owned port of considerable and growing commercial importance. It has 
extensive foreign and coastwise trade in petroleum, chemicals, fertilizer, and tin ore. Studies are 
underway to expand Snake Island as a container port. 2 


• 2 United States Coast Pilot; Volume 5, Atlantic Coast: Gulf of Mexico. Puerto Rico, and Virgin Islands; 27 th 

Edition, 1997. 


2 



Port Risk Assessment Port of Texas City 


Participants 

The following is a list of waterway users and stakeholders who participated in the process: 


Participant 

Organization 

Phone 

Email 

Joe Bridges 

Americana Shipping 

(813) 276-4670 

jbridges@americanaships.com 

Dean Cheramie 

Kirby Marine 

(713) 435-1663 

dean.cheramie @kmtc.com 

Jim Coonrod 

Galveston-Texas City Pilots 

(409) 740-1671 

jimcrod@swbell.net 

Richard Eames 

BP Amoco 

(409) 945-1349 

eamesrd@bp.com 

Joe Gilder 

Port of Texas (Texas City 

Terminals) 

(409) 945-4461 
xl5 

jgilder37@aol.com 

Phil Glenn 

Clean Channel 

(713)534-6195 

pglenn@pdq.net 

Alisha Goldberg 

Galveston Bay Foundation 

(281) 332-3381 

gbf@electrotex.com 

Jeremy Goodson 

Garner Environmental 

(281)930-1200 

N/A 

CAPT Wayne 
Gusman 

USCG Marine Safety Office 
Houston/Galveston 

(713) 671-5199 

wgusman@msohouston.uscg.mil 

Bing Hastings 

USCG Auxiliary 

(936) 321-5896 

binghastings@worldnet.att.net 

CWO Thomas Horan 

USCG Group Base 

(409) 766-4715 

thoran@grugalveston.uscg.mil 

Jim Jndest 

TNRCC 

(713) 767-3561 

jindest@ tnrcc.state.tx.us 

CDR Rick Kaser 

USCG Marine Safety Unit 

Galveston 

(409) 766-3609 

rmkaser@msugalveston.uscg.mil 

Tim Leitzell 

Marine Exchange of West Gulf, Inc. 

(281) 821-1208 

tleitzell@butterworthsystems.com 

Marvin Reed 

Texas Waterways Operators Assoc. 

(713) 943-5063 

mreed @ coastaltowing.com 

Tom Rodino 

Shiner Moseley & Associates, Inc. 

(361) 857-2211 

trodino@shinermoseley.com 

John Rozsypal 

USACE (Galveston Dist.) 

(409) 766-3091 

johnny.rozsypal@usace.army.mil 

John Salvesen 

Odfjell Tankers (USA) Inc. 

(713) 844-2200 

john.salvesen@houston.odfjell- 

tankers.com 

John Savage 

G&H Towing 

(409) 744-6311 

jsavage@wt.net 

CDR Pete Simons 

USCG Vessel Traffic Service 

(713) 671-5164 

psimons@vtshouston.uscg.mil 

Kelly Teichman 

T&T Marine Salvage, Inc. 

(409) 744-1222 

t2marine@aol.com 


Facilitation Team 
Members 

Organization 

Phone 

Email 

Mike Sollosi 

USCG Commandant (G-MWV) 

(202) 267-1539 

msollosi@comdt.uscg.mil 

Doug Perkins 

Potomac Management Group, Inc. 

(703) 836-1037 

dperkins @potomacmgmt.com 

Fred Edwards 

Soza & Company, Ltd. 

(703) 560-9477 

fredwards@soza.com 

Kris Higman 

Potomac Management Group, Inc. 

(757) 838-5296 

khigman @ hotmail. com 

Leanne Rebuck 

Potomac Management Group, Inc. 

(703) 836-1037 

lrebuck @ potomacmgmt.com 


3 






















































































































Port Risk Assessment Port of Texas City 


The PAWSA session in Texas City was abbreviated from a day and a half to just one day. In the 
longer session, participants contribute their input to weighting the national port risk model 
categories and factors. These stages (Books 1 and 2) were not done in Texas City. In the 
interest of time, the participants went straight to Book 3 after discussing the specific risks in 
Texas City. The purpose of Book 3 is for the participants to calibrate a risk assessment scale for 
each risk factor. For each risk factor there is a low (Port Heaven) and a high (Port Hell) severity 
limit, which are assigned values of 1.0 and 9.0 respectively. The participants determined 
numerical values for two intermediate qualitative descriptions between those two extreme limits. 
Results obtained are as follows: 

Book 3 Factor Scales - Condition List (Generic) 

Scale Value 


Wind Conditions 

a. Severe winds < 2 days / month 1.0 

b. Severe winds occur in brief periods 2.5 

c. Severe winds are frequent & anticipated 4.9 

d. Severe winds occur without warning 9.0 

Visibility Conditions 

a. Poor visibility < 2 days/month 1.0 

b. Poor visibility occurs in brief periods 2.3 

c. Poor visibility is frequent & anticipated 4.3 

d. Poor visibility occurs without warning 9.0 

Tide and River Currents 

a. Tides & currents are negligible 1.0 

b. Currents run parallel to the channel 2.0 

c. Transits are timed closely with tide 5.0 

d. Currents cross channel/turns difficult 9.0 

Ice Conditions 

a. Ice never forms 1.0 

b. Some ice forms-icebreaking is rare 2.1 

c. Icebreakers keep channel open 5.6 

d. Vessels need icebreaker escorts 9.0 

Visibility Obstructions 

a. No blind turns or intersections 1.0 

b. Good geographic visibility-intersections 1.7 

c. Visibility obscured, good communications 4.5 

d. Distances & communications limited 9.0 

Channel Width 

a. Meetings & overtakings are easy 1.0 

b. Passing arrangements needed-ample room 2.3 

c. Meetings & overtakings in specific areas 5.9 

d. Movements restricted to one-way traffic 9.0 


4 



Port Risk Assessment Port of Texas City 


Bottom Type 

a. Deep water or no channel necessary 1.0 

b. Soft bottom, no obstructions 2.0 

c. Mud, sand and rock outside channel 4.8 

d. Hard or rocky bottom at channel edges 9.0 

Waterway Complexity 

a. Straight run with NO crossing traffic 1.0 

b. Multiple turns > 15 degrees-NO crossing 2.6 

c. Converging - NO crossing traffic 4.9 

d. Converging WITH crossing traffic 9.0 

Number of People on Waterway 

a. Industrial, little recreational boating 1.0 

b. Recreational boating and fishing 3.3 

c. Cruise & excursion vessels-ferries 5.8 

d. Extensive network of ferries, excursions 9.0 

Petroleum Volume 

a. Little or no petroleum cargoes 1.0 

b. Petroleum for local heating & use 2.4 

c. Petroleum for transshipment inland 5.1 

d. High volume petroleum & LNG/LPG 9.0 

Chemical Volume 

a. Little or no hazardous chemicals 1.0 

b. Some hazardous chemical cargo 2.4 

c. Hazardous chemicals arrive daily 5.2 

d. High volume of hazardous chemicals 9.0 

Economic Impacts 

a. Vulnerable population is small 1.0 

b. Vulnerable population is large 2.9 

c. Vulnerable, dependent & small 5.3 

d. Vulnerable, dependent & large 9.0 

Environmental Impacts 

a. Minimal environmental sensitivity 1.0 

b. Sensitive, wetlands, VULNERABLE 3.2 

c. Sensitive, wetlands, ENDANGERED 5.9 

d. ENDANGERED species, fisheries 9.0 

Health and Safety Impacts 

a. Small population around port 1.0 

b. Medium - large population around port 2.3 

c. Large population, bridges 5.1 

d. Large DEPENDENT population 9.0 


5 



Port Risk Assessment Port of Texas City 


Analysis 

On average, participants from this port evaluated the difference in risk between the lower limit 
(Port Heaven) and the first intermediate scale point as being equal to 2.0; the difference in risk 
between the first and second intermediate scale points was equal to 2.7; and the difference in risk 
between the second intermediate scale point and the upper risk limit (Port Hell) was 3.9. 

Book 4 - Risk Factor Ratings (Port of Texas City) 


Fleet 

Composition 

Traffic 

Conditions 

Navigational 

Conditions 

Waterway 

Configuration 

Immediate 

Consequences 

Subsequent 

Consequences 

9.3 

21.5 

8.5 

20.6 

19.8 

14.4 


% High Risk Volume Wind Visibility Number of Economic 

Deep Draft Deep Draft Conditions Obstructions People on Impacts 

Waterway 

4.3 5.5 3.1 3.4 5.9 

2.2 

% High Risk Volume Visibility Channel Volume of Environmental 

Shallow Draft Shallow Draft Conditions Width Petroleum Impacts 

5.0 6.5 2.2 7.4 9.0 6.1 

Vol. Fishing & Tide & River Bottom Volume of Health & 

Pleasure Craft Currents Type Chemicals Safety Impacts 

3.3 2.2 4.4 8.6 2.4 

Traffic Ice Waterway 

Density Conditions Complexity 

6.2 1.0 5.4 





























Port Risk Assessment Port of Texas City 


Analysis 

This is the point in the workshop when the process quantifies local port risks. The participants 
use the scales developed in Book 3 to assess the absolute level of risk in their port for each of the 
20 risk factors. The values shown in the preceding table do NOT add up to 100. Based on the 
input from the participants, the following are the top risks to port safety in the Port of Texas City 
(in order of importance): 

1. Volume of Petroleum (9.0) 

2. Volume of Chemicals (8.6) 

3. Channel Width (7.4) 

4. Volume of Shallow Draft (6.5) 

5. Traffic Density (6.2) 

6. Environmental Impacts (6.1) 

7. Economic Impacts (5.9) 

8. Volume of Deep Draft (5.5) 

9. Waterway Complexity (5.4) 

10. % High Risk Shallow Draft (5.0) 


7 



Port Risk Assessment Port of Texas City 


Book 5 - VTM Tools (Port of Texas City) 


Fleet 

Traffic 

Navigation 

Waterway 

Immediate 

Subsequent 

Composition 

Conditions 

Conditions 

Configuration 

Consequences 

Consequences 


% High Risk 
Deep Draft 

Volume Deep 
Draft 

Wind 

Conditions 

Visibility 

Obstructions 

Number of 
People on 
Waterway 

Economic 

Impacts 

9 

0.4 

7 

0.8 

19 

0.0 

14 

0.1 

14 

0.1 

4 

1.2 

RA 


RA 

ALERT 

RA 


RA 

ALERT 

RA 


OTH 

ALERT 

% High Risk 

Volume 

Visibility 

Channel 

Volume of 

Environmental 

Shallow Draft 

Shallow Draft 

Conditions 

Width 

Petroleum 

Impacts 

9 

0.4 

4 

1.2 

14 

0.1 

14 

0.1 

1 

1.9 

2 

1.5 

RA 


RA 

ALERT 

RA 


OTH 

1|ert 

OTH 

ALERT 

OTH 




Vol. Fishing & 

Tide & River 

Bottom 

Volume of 

Health & 



Pleasure Craft 

Currents 

Type 

Chemicals 

Safety Impacts 



9 

0.4 

14 

0.1 

13 

0.3 

2 

1.5 

9 

0.4 



RA 


RA 


RA 


OTH 

ALERT 

RA 

ALERT 



Traffic 

Ice 

Waterway 







Density 

Conditions 

Complexity 







6 

1.0 

20 

-0.1 

8 

0.6 







RA 

ALERT 

RA 


RA 







Legend 

See the KEY (below). Rank is the position of the Risk Gap for a particular factor 
relative to the Risk Gap for the other factors as determined by the participants. 
Risk Gap is the variance between the existing level of risk for each factor 
determined in Book 4 and the average acceptable risk level as determined by each 
participant team. Negative numbers imply that the risk level could INCREASE 
and still be acceptable. The teams were instructed as follows: If the acceptable 
risk level is equal to or higher than to the existing risk level for a particular factor, 
circle RA (Risk Acceptable). If the mitigation needed does not fall under one of the 
VTM tools, circle OTH (Other) at the end of the line. Otherwise, circle the VTM 
tool that you feel would MOST APPROPRIATELY reduce the unmitigated risk to 
an acceptable level. 


8 


















































Port Risk Assessment Port of Texas City 


The tool listed is the one determined by the majority of participant teams as the 
best to narrow the Risk Gap. An ALERT is given if no mathematical consensus is 
reached for the tool suggested. Below are the tool acronyms and tool definitions. 


KEY 

Risk 

Factor 

Rank 

Risk Gap 

Tool 

ALERT 


RA Risk Acceptable 
AN Improve Aids to Navigation 
CM Improve Communications 
RR Improve Rules & Regulations 
SI Improve Static Navigation Info 


DI Improve Dynamic Navigation Info 
VTIS Vessel Traffic Information System 
VTS Vessel Traffic System 
OTH Other - not a VTM solution 


Analysis 

The results shown are consistent with the discussion that occurred about risks in the Port of 
Texas City area. For 10 out of the 11 risk factors for which there was good consensus, the 
participants judged the risk to be at an acceptable level already due to existing mitigation 
strategies. 

No consensus alerts occurred because votes were split between several VTM tools, as indicated: 

• Volume Deep Draft - RA (4), CM (2), RR (1), DI (1), VTS (2) 

• Volume Shallow Draft - RA (3), CM (1), RR (2), VTS (2), OTH (2) 

• Traffic Density - RA (4), DI (2), VTIS (1), VTS (2), OTH (1) 

• Visibility Obstructions - RA (5), AN (1), CM (1), DI (2), VTS (1) 

• Channel Width - RA (2), RR (1), VTIS (1), VTS (1), OTH (5) 

• Volume of Petroleum - RA (3), CM (1), DI (2), OTH (4) 

• Volume of Chemicals - RA (3), CM (1), DI (2), OTH (4) 

• Economic Impacts - RA (4), DI (1), OTH (5) 

• Health & Safety Impacts - RA (4), CM (2), OTH (4) 


9 









Port Risk Assessment Port of Texas City 


Summary of Risks 

Scope of the port area under consideration: As the first step in the port risk assessment 
process, the participants defined the port area to be discussed. They decided that the port area of 
Texas City included Texas City Channel, Texas City Harbor and Turning Basin, and the 
Industrial Canal, plus Bolivar Roads and the junction of the junction of the Texas City Channel 
with the Houston Ship Channel. 


FACTOR 

RISKS 

RISK MITIGATION STRATEGIES 

Fleet Composition 

Percent High 

Risk Deep Draft 
Cargo & 

Passenger Vessels 

Today: 

• 5 to 6 ships per day. Very few high 
risk ships in Texas City today 

• Low value cargoes attract poor ships 
but very few in this port 

• Right now the container mega-vessels 
do not service Gulf ports. The ships 
that do call are in good condition 

• Summary: risk level for Texas City is 
low 

Trends: 

• New container fleet ships being built 
and will replace older ones 

• Impact of increased container ship 
traffic if multi-modal terminal is built: 

1 ship per day for 350 ship visits per 
year. 

- Volume through pass will not 
change short term because ships 
diverted from Houston to Texas 

City. 

- Over time with full build-out there 
will be 1500 ships per year, a 
doubling in the number of deep 
draft ships, as well as diversion 
from Houston to Texas City 

• Quality of ships is high and will 
remain high 

Existing Mitigations: 

• For one container line, average age is 

7 years now; next year average age 
will be under 5 (new ships in fleet) 

• Chemical carries well maintained in 
conformance to safety regulations. No 
history of accidents 

New Ideas: 

• When container facility is active, 
there will not be a decrease in quality 
of ship, if anything, fleet will increase 
in quality 


10 



Port Risk Assessment Port of Texas City 


FACTOR 

RISKS 

RISK MITIGATION STRATEGIES 


Fleet Composition (continued) 

Percent High 

Today: 

Existing Mitigations: 

Risk Shallow 

Draft Cargo & 

• 25 barges per day 

• Low OSV traffic 

Passenger Vessels 

• Tug/tows also considered good 

• Low level of recreational boat 

quality. Age estimated ~20 years. 

• Bunkering 3-4 vessels a day due to 

activity, mostly on the north side of 
the Texas City Dike 


fuel price advantages 

• By law tug operators can stand 12 

• Tugs fleet in Pelican Cove awaiting 
access to harbor 


hours watch a day and stand 12 on 12 

• Tugs undergo major maintenance on 


off. 

30-month cycle. 


• Groundings resulting from cutting the 

• Texas Waterway Operator 


corner where Texas City Channel 

Association certificates for high risk 


crosses the ICW 

cargo carried in barges 


• Fishing vessels. Local fleet works the 
Texas City Channel and is more 

• Harbor tug quality is good 


professional in local knowledge and 

• Licensing of tug operators 


stay clear of the transiting ships 

• Conformance to regulations 


Trends: 

New Ideas: 


• Other than increases in bunkering for 

• Simulator training for Houston and 


container ships there are no changes 

Texas City (Seaman’s Church 


anticipated 

Institute) 


• Bunkering from tank barges for 

• Licensing/apprenticeship for 


container ships. Bunkering a part of 
port call 

steersman 

• Address human factors concerns 


• 800-900 x 105 PAN AM AX size 
container ships anticipated 

• Expect to get largest ships that the 
port can handle 

• Bunkering will be done by Texas City 
tug and barge 

about operator fatigue 













Port Risk Assessment Port of Texas City 


FACTOR 

RISKS 

RISK MITIGATION STRATEGIES 

Traffic Conditions 

Volume of Deep 
Draft Vessels 

Today: 

• 1750 deep draft ship visits per year (4 
per day average) 

• Run out of tugs before they run out of 
pilots 

• Observation: 8 ships per day through 

5 NM channel with run time of 45 
minutes to 1 hour. Waterway can 
physically handle larger number of 
ships 

• Adequate dockside space today 

Trends: 

• An additional 4 ships per day once 
the container terminal is developed 
(5-6 years). That is a doubling of 
deep draft ship visits 

• Turn around cycles will change. 
Container ships are rapid turn around 
where as some other fleets are slower 

Existing Mitigations: 

• Pilots self regulate Texas City 

Channel to one way traffic with large 
ships 

• Mandatory pilotage 

• Present VTS covers entire defined 
port area and Texas City Channel 

• Dedicated area tugs 

• Tug escort for all planned deep draft 
ship movements 

• If no movements scheduled, tugs may 
be as far away as Galveston 

New Ideas: 

• May have to introduce two-way 
traffic to satisfy traffic considerations 

• May need additional tugs 

• New turning basin 1500 feed wide 

NW of proposed container port in 
vicinity of front range 

• New turning basin will be outside of 
Texas City channel 

• Tractor tugs, especially for the 
volume of chemical ships. Note: even 
with a tractor tug made up to the ship, 
at seven knots it still takes Vi NM to 
get ship back under control 

• Continue working agreement with the 
harbor master 


12 












Port Risk Assessment Port of Texas City 


FACTOR 

RISKS 

RISK MITIGATION STRATEGIES 


Traffic Conditions (continued) 

Volume of 

Today: 

Existing Mitigations: 

Shallow Draft 

• 3-5% annual growth rate 

• Harbormaster office controls 

Vessels 

• 25 tows per day. Tows may have to 

movements. 


wait as much as 36-48 hours. Product 
has to go to specific docks. Tows will 

New Ideas: 


not wait in Texas City, will stay in 

• Facilities issue for tows, not a 


Bolivar Roads area 

waterway issue. 


• Some congestion in turning basin 

• Establish fleeting area on east side of 


when barges depart facilities. Have to 

Texas City harbor rather than Bolivar 


hold traffic in Texas City Channel 

• Facilities are limited so barges enter 

Road. Problem, too, because creates 
congestion in harbor 


queue system for a turn 

• Identify fleet area for barges. Require 
pilings or mooring to ensure integrity 


Trends: 

of tow 


• Do not anticipate seagoing container 

• Refine scheduling so that barges 


barges 

arrive when dock is available 

• Identify scope of authority of private 
port authority of Texas City 


Traffic Conditions (continued) 

Volume of 

Today: 

Existing Mitigations: 

Fishing & 

• Recreational traffic not using Texas 

• None discussed 

Pleasure Craft 

City today 

• Problems are at Y and ICW junction 

• 4th largest recreational boating area 
in U.S. 

• Two boat ramps on south side of 

Texas City Dike 

Trends: 

• No plans for marinas or yacht clubs 

• Do not anticipate problem of boat 
ramps near dike 

New Ideas: 

• None discussed 


13 
















Port Risk Assessment Port of Texas City 


FACTOR RISKS RISK MITIGATION STRATEGIES 

Traffic Conditions (continued) 

Traffic Density Today: Existing Mitigations: 


• Have to wait for opposing traffic to 
clear in Horn of the port 

• Y where ICW and Texas City 
Channel connect; a congestion spot 

• Two-way traffic when just one large 
ship meeting tugs and tows 

Trends: 

• Traffic increasing in channel 


• One way rule for large draft vessels in 
Texas City Channel to end of 
Industrial Canal 

• Harbormaster schedules and controls 
traffic movements 

• Former COTP moved fleeting traffic 
out of port 

• Pilots talk to each other, especially 
turning corner to harbor. 


• Expect more congestion at the Horn 

• Channel deepening to 45 feet is Texas 
City channel only. Will not include 
the port area past the Horn 

• Dredging might affect hydrodynamics 
along the Texas City Dike - sucking 
water off the flats along the dike as 
deep draft ships pass 

• Hydrodynamic problem in Industrial 
canal caused by deep draft 
movements 


• Use CH 16 for call-up and then shift 
to working frequency. Traffic on 
channels 12 and 13 is worse than on 
channel 16 

• Very limited recreational boaters and 
commercial fishing fleet 

New Ideas: 

• Plans are to create turning basin and 
deepening channel for the container 
port facility 

• Trim NW corner at Shoal Point to 
widen channel and to open visibility 
at entrance to Harbor 


Consider using specified frequency 
for bridge to bridge and harbor 
control 












Port Risk Assessment Port of Texas City 


FACTOR 

RISKS 

RISK MITIGATION STRATEGIES 

Navigation Conditions 

Wind Conditions 

Today: 

Existing Mitigations: 


• 

Wind not a major concern for ships 

• None discussed 



now 



• 

Tows crab, taking up more of the 

New Ideas: 



channel 

• None discussed 


• 

Winds frequently 20-25 knots year 
round. When from SE not a problem, 
when from NW in winter, ships 
remain at dock until abates 



• 

Winter predictions are not accurate- 
fronts stall. Creates traffic density 
problem and congestion in holding 




areas. 



• 

Spring has strongest fronts and high 
winds last throughout March and 

April 



• 

Tropical waves and depressions 
create big problem because they last 
for awhile 



Trends: 



• 

Pilots anticipate wind will be problem 
for large containerships 


Navigation Conditions (continued) 

Visibility 

Today: 

Existing Mitigations: 

Conditions 

• 

Fog- 300 hours per year 

• None discussed 


• 

Fog distributed throughout the year 

New Ideas: 


• 

Fog can blanket entire run up channel 
to port 

• None discussed 


Trends: 



• 

None identified 



15 
















Port Risk Assessment Port of Texas City 


FACTOR 

RISKS 

RISK MITIGATION STRATEGIES 


Navigation Conditions (continued) 

Tide & River 

Today: 

Existing Mitigations: 

Currents 

• Strong on ebb and flood with axis of 

• Texas City Dike protects channel and 


channel 

port from cross currents 


• Strong cross channel current once 
clear of the dike 

Trends: 

• None discussed 

New Ideas: 

• None discussed 


Navigation Conditions (continued) 

Ice Conditions 

Today: 

Existing Mitigations: 


• None discussed 

• None discussed 


Trends: 

New Ideas: 


• None discussed 

• None discussed 


Waterway Configuration 

Visibility 

Today: 

Existing Mitigations: 

Obstructions 

• Background lighting 

• Blind corner out of Industrial Canal- 

• Existing aids to navigation adequate 
but could be enhanced 


large mounds of coke 

New Ideas: 


• Horn deep draft ships can see each 
other over it but tows cannot see each 
other. 

Trends: 

• Potential back-lighting from night ops 
at proposed container port 

• Container ships will block view 
around the horn when berthed 

• Container ship terminal stacks may be 
high enough to obstruct view 

• None discussed 


16 




















Port Risk Assessment Port of Texas City 


FACTOR 

RISKS 

RISK MITIGATION STRATEGIES 

Waterway Configuration (continued) 

Channel Width 

Today: 

• Texas City Channel 400 feet wide 
widens to 550 feet at turn approach to 
Horn. 

• Industrial Canal is 250 feet wide 

• Pipe line at Horn limits depth of inner 
harbor 

Trends: 

• If number of ships doubles, then all 
large ships will have to get in a queue 
for coordinated arrivals and 
departures 

Existing Mitigations: 

• Dock space at existing facilities limits 
size of chemical carriers 

• Harbor depth restricts size of tankers 

• Harbormaster has video surveillance 
of Texas City Channel to head of 
navigation. Informs pilots and tows of 
traffic 

• Tugs and tows wait when they see 
large ships in the channel 

New Ideas: 

• Texas City Channel will be deepened 
to 45 feet, but not widened, for 
container terminals 

• New turning basin (1500 feet 
diameter) outside the channel at NW 
end of Texas City Channel 

• US ACE dredge southeast corner of 
Texas City Y 

• Plans to trim off NW corner of Snake 
Island at the Horn 

Waterway Configuration (continued) 

Bottom Type 

Today: 

• Hardspots: Pipeline crossing at the 
Horn area 

• Mostly mud and silt bottom 

• Dike can be hit by shallow draft ships 
but not deep draft ships 

• Industrial Canal is rock 

Trends: 

• None identified 

Existing Mitigations: 

• None discussed 

New Ideas: 

• Plans to relocate and deepen the 
pipeline 


17 
















Port Risk Assessment Port of Texas City 


FACTOR 

RISKS 

RISK MITIGATION STRATEGIES 

Waterway Configuration (continued) 

Waterway 

Complexity 

Today: 

• Two 90 degree turns in harbor 

• Merge at Y 

• Crossing traffic with ICW 

• Rare but possible need for large ship 
to turn in Y from Texas City into 
Houston Ship channel northbound 

Trends: 

• New turning basin at Horn will cause 
crossing situation with every turn and 
docking by container ships 

• New passenger vessel berthed on 
north wall of dike between inner 
ranges but, will have to enter channel 
below dike somewhere (do not know 
where for sure yet) 

Existing Mitigations: 

• Mandatory pilotage 

• Mandatory tug escorts for large ships 

New Ideas: 

• Open the Horn by removing point, 
increasing channel width and turning 
basin 

Immediate Consequences 

Number of 

People on 
Waterway 

Today: 

• No risk from cruise ships or ferry 
boats 

• Party boat activity where Texas City 
Channel meets Houston Ship Channel 

• Passenger barge (hotel barge) uses 

ICW 

• No gambling boats 

Trends: 

• No future development anticipated 

Existing Mitigations: 

• None discussed 

New Ideas: 

• None discussed 


18 
















Port Risk Assessment Port of Texas City 


FACTOR 

RISKS 

RISK MITIGATION STRATEGIES 


Immediate Consequences (continued) 

Volume of 

Today: 

Existing Mitigations: 

Petroleum 

Cargoes 

• 50-60 million barrels of crude per 

• Area contingency plan in place 

year coming in 

• Refined product going out 

• Oil spill cleanup companies available 

• Port has installed anchor points for 


• 700 oil tankers per year (2 per day) 

boom 


• Considerable amount of product in 
barges too 

• Mutual aid society exists 

• Two national OSRO’s with ships in 


Trends: 

Galveston 


• Growing at 3-5 % per year and will 

• No fault pollution response SOP 


continue to grow at that rate 

New Ideas: 

• Accessibility of personnel from spill 
source company to make decisions 


Immediate Consequences (continued) 

Volume of 

Today: 

Existing Mitigations: 

Hazardous 

• A lot of ship and barges traffic. 

• Oil spill companies also respond to 

Chemical 

amount not specified 

chemical spills. New task area not 

Cargoes 

• Cargoes of particular hazard (e.g.. 

fully tested or experienced yet 


benzene, ethylene): no concrete 
knowledge of specific cargoes by 

New Ideas: 


name 

• Area Contingency Plan in preparation 


• Containership manifests: element of 

stage 


doubt as to what is really in a 

• Proposed CG, International, Federal 


container 

and LECP guidelines and regulations 


X rends - 

• Work more closely with local Office 


• None discussed 

of Emergency Management 

• Communications: type and quantity 
of product in tanks available to 
concerned party 

• Improve Dynamic Navigation 
information on currents, sea state, 
approaching weather/winds 


19 
















Port Risk Assessment Port of Texas City 


FACTOR 

RISKS 

RISK MITIGATION STRATEGIES 


Subsequent Consequences 

Economic 

Today: 

Existing Mitigations: 

Impacts 

• Function of accident happens. 

• Hurricane plans in effect. All written 


Businesses are dependent on just-in- 

since 1983; therefore, so not tested in 


time shipments to satisfy operations 

action 


• Texas City is small, depends on 

• Salvage equipment available for small 


constant turnover so there is limited 

ship or brown water vessel. Respond 


reserve storage capacity 

in 2 hours time 


• Hurricane-not had a bad one since 

• Large ship grounding-tugs of 


1983 

• Shut down by Tropical Storm Francis 

sufficient horsepower available to 
break suction and unstick ship 


for two days-pilots could not board or 
move vessels. Created 72 vessel 

• Port is prepared to respond to oil spill 


backlog throughout the entire system 

New Ideas: 


(Houston Ship Channel, too). Created 

• Study impact of storm surge on 


high tides, flooding, high winds for 


three days 

Trends: 

• With containerships, 24-48 hours due 
to offload and redistribution. Customs 
and funds take 24 hours, beyond that, 
a problem 

• Damage from dockside containers 
washed adrift in storm 

various parts of port area particularly 
planned container terminal 


Subsequent Consequences (continued) 

Environmental 

Today: 

Existing Mitigations: 

Impacts 

• Wetlands: Pelican Island, Swan Lake, 

• Area Contingency Plans 


and Virginia Lake. None in the 

• OSROs on site 


defined port area but all affected by 


an uncontained spill 

• Easy to keep oil within port confines. 

New Ideas: 


Once released, quickly spreads 
beyond the port area to wetlands 

• Maps from Texas General Land 

Office identifies environmentally 


areas. 

sensitive areas along the coast 


• Roseate spoonbills south of the 

• Increase and improve marine 


Industrial Canal 

Trends: 

• None identified 

firefighting capability 


20 
















Port Risk Assessment Port of Texas City 


FACTOR 

RISKS 

RISK MITIGATION STRATEGIES 

Subsequent Consequences (continued) 

Health & Safety 

Today: 

Existing Mitigations: 

Impacts 

• 

Health and safety consequences as a 

• Alert and evacuation plans 



result of confined spill in Industrial 
Canal or Harbor itself 

• Vapor controls in loading and 
unloading product at facilities 


• 

People on the Texas City Dike for 
recreation 

New Ideas: 


• 

Workers within Texas City port area 

• Consider vapor controls in 


• 

46,000 population base within Texas 
City proper 

transferring product between ships 


• 

Type of product involved: crude oil 
spill vs. toxic chemical plume 



Trends: 



• 

None discussed 



21