The Governor of the US State of Washington Jay Inslee signed a bill allowing the Port of Seattle and the Port of Tacoma to form a port development authority (PDA) as the governing body of the Seaport Alliance which will see the two ports jointly managing the marine cargo facilities and business in the Puget Sound.
While the alliance could be formed under a number of different governance structures, the port development authority structure has been recommended because it creates a separate entity for contracting, auditing and reporting purposes.
The PDA structure allows the joint commissions to meet while remaining subject to the Open Public Meetings Act and public records disclosure.
It also clarifies status as a tax-exempt entity, as well as facilitates development of the new team and governance structure through the existence of a separate entity.
Under authority of the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), the two ports have been working out the details of the Seaport Alliance. The two port commissions intend to submit a more detailed agreement to the FMC for approval later this spring.
The two ports together form the third-largest container gateway in North America, generating nearly USD 4.3 billion in economic activity in 2013.