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Bipartisan PNW Legislators Announce Federal Investment in Fire Safety on Lower Columbia River

July 19, 2021
Press Release


WASHINGTON, DC [07/19/21] – A bipartisan group led by Representative Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), including Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Peter A. DeFazio (D-OR), Kurt Schrader (D-OR), and Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA), announced a federal grant award of $896,375 to the Maritime Fire and Safety Association from the Port Security Grant Program.

“We appreciate the strong support from Congresswoman Bonamici and other members of the Oregon and Washington Congressional delegation,” said Liz Wainwright, Executive Director of the Maritime Fire and Safety Association (MFSA). “This funding is critical to providing a comprehensive system to effectively respond to shipboard fires and oil spills in the Lower Columbia Region. It will allow the Maritime Fire and Safety Association to strengthen our fire safety, security, and emergency response program and update our radio communication systems. We will now be able to better address the risks associated with commerce on the river system.”

“The Lower Columbia Willamette is a vital shipping channel that allows more than 50 million tons of cargo to travel through our region every year,” the Members wrote in support of MFSA’s application.MFSA is a non-profit member organization with a long track record and commitment to maintaining response preparedness to shipboard fires and oil spills on the Lower Columbia Willamette system. This funding will provide training and resources to members of MFSA and small, local fire agencies who participate in MFSA’s Fire Protection Agencies Advisory Council."

Bonamici and other PNW Members of Congress regularly support the Maritime Fire and Safety Association and their important preparedness efforts. With this support, MFSA has been able to secure funding for training and communication upgrades and other components of their work in 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019.