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Home > State > Executive > Public Utility Commission > Agency Subdivisions

Public Utility Commission: Agency Subdivisions

The State Office Building in Portland houses the central offices of the Board of Maritime Pilots. (Oregon State Archives Photo)

The State Office Building in Portland houses the offices of the Board of Maritime Pilots. (Oregon State Archives Photo)

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Board of Maritime Pilots
Address: 800 NE Oregon St., #15, Portland 97232
Phone: 971-673-1530
Fax: 971-673-1531
Contact: Eric Burnette, Executive Director; Susan Johnson, Administrator

Statutory Authority: ORS Chapters 670, 776

Duties and Responsibilities: The Oregon Board of Maritime Pilots (OBMP) is a part of the PUC for budget and administrative purposes. OBMP protects public health, safety and welfare by ensuring that only the best-qualified persons are licensed to pilot vessels. OBMP is an independent occupational licensing and regulatory agency for state maritime pilots.

A maritime (or marine) pilot is a local navigational and ship-handling expert who directs the course and speed of vessels based upon knowledge of wind, weather, tides, currents and local geography. Replacing a vessel lost through negligent navigation, injuries or deaths among the vessel’s crew, loss of cargo, environmental damage and cleaning up spills of hazardous materials are costly. Piloting requires education, experience and licensure, and commands salaries commensurate with other professional occupations, such as physicians and attorneys.

OBMP regulates the rates pilots charge for their services. It also monitors pilot performance and investigates pilot performance in any reportable casualty. OBMP encourages safe piloting practices. It has two full time equvalent positions and falls under the governor’s A Thriving Oregon Economy and Excellence in State Government focus areas.

OBMP receives no General or Lottery funds. Revenues are received from annual pilot license fees, board operations fee (assessed on vessels entering or leaving the Columbia River, Coos Bay, and Yaquina Bay), reimbursements from rate hearings and miscellaneous receipts.