(1) A port district or two port districts that act jointly in accordance with subsection (3) of this section may by resolution:
(a) Create a port development authority solely to manage maritime activities of the port district or districts; and
(b) Transfer to any port development authority created under this section, with or without consideration, any funds, real or personal property, property interests, or services.
(2) Port development authorities created under subsection (1) of this section may:
(a) Administer and execute federal grants or programs;
(b) Receive and administer private funds, goods, or services for any lawful public purpose related to maritime activities of the port district or districts; and
(c) Perform any lawful public purpose or public function related to maritime activities of the port district or districts, including exercise any powers of the port district or districts that created the port development authority, subject to limitations provided in this chapter.
(3) Two port districts, each located in a county with a population of more than eight hundred thousand on July 24, 2015, may jointly exercise the authority provided in this section under an agreement for joint or cooperative action executed in accordance with the interlocal cooperation act, chapter 39.34
(4) Any resolution to create a port development authority that is adopted by a port district under this section must limit the liability of the port development authority to the assets and property of the port development authority.
Findings—Intent—2015 c 35: "The legislature finds that the shipping and port industries must contend with an increasingly competitive global market. Historically, port districts competed against other local port districts. Today, port districts compete on a global scale, and the current landscape is rapidly changing with the expansion of facilities in Canada and the impending widening of the Panama Canal. The ports of Seattle and Tacoma are the third largest container trade centers in the United States, but they are in a race to hold onto this position. The legislature finds that Washington's ports need to be able to work cooperatively to protect the maritime base of the state.
The legislature intends to enable certain port districts to create port public development authorities for the management of their maritime activities and to act cooperatively under the interlocal cooperation act, chapter 39.34
RCW. The legislature intends for the port districts to be able to partner as a single management team and use financial resources strategically, while remaining separate entities and complying with federal regulations. The legislature finds that enacting this authority will help Washington remain competitive globally, protect the state's long-term economic and societal interests in port district jobs and growth, and provide a tool to allow ports to work together on behalf of the state." [ 2015 c 35 § 1