Agencies set scope of environmental impact statement for proposed Cherry Point export project

Department of Ecology, State of Washington, July 31, 2013

SEATTLE – An environmental review of proposed bulk cargo and railroad spur projects at Cherry Point in Whatcom County will closely study their direct effects at the site and evaluate a broad range of indirect and cumulative impacts likely to occur within and beyond Washington.

Whatcom County, the Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology), and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) – known together as the co-leads – are producing a joint Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal and BNSF Railway (BNSF) Custer Spur track expansion.

The Gateway Pacific Terminal – proposed by Pacific International Terminals – would provide storage and handling of exported dry bulk commodities, including coal, grain, iron ore, salts and alumina. To support the Gateway Pacific Terminal and other industries at Cherry Point, BNSF proposes to add rail facilities and install a second track along its 6-mile branch line.

At full capacity, the shipping terminal would export 54 million metric tons per year of bulk commodities – including up to 48 million metric tons per year of coal – and could generate 18 train trips (9 round trips) per day and more than 18 deep-draft “Capesize” vessel trips per week.

Whatcom County and Ecology must follow the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA), and the Corps must follow the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The joint process enables the co-lead agencies to avoid duplication when the two laws overlap and to meet each statute’s separate requirements.

Read more…

About coalfreegorge

Coal is rearing its head again the Columbia Gorge. The new threat comes in the form of proposals to export coal from Wyoming to coal-fired power plants in China. The coal would be transported via uncovered rail cars through the Columbia Gorge. Many Columbia Gorge Communities in Oregon and Washington support a coal-free world, beginning at home, in the heart of the Columbia River Gorge, recognizing the importance of people determining what materials are allowable for transport through their communities and watersheds. This blog exists to communicate and advocate for the public interest in issues pertaining to coal transport in the Columbia River Gorge, providing an online outlet for honest discussion and information. To inform and unite local citizens about the damaging effects of coal transport through our communities. To endorse positive and considerate dialogue with the aim of mutual understanding among diverse parties. CLEAN AIR HEALTHY COMMUNITIES NO COAL EXPORTS STOP COAL IN ITS TRACKS
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