environment

Status report on Whatcom County permitting process for Gateway Pacific coal terminal

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Photo of slide featuring the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal project. Slide is from a March 20, 2012 presentation on the Environmental Review Process for the Gateway Pacific Terminal and BNSF Custer Spur Proposal, given by Whatcom County Planning and Development Services, and the Washington Department of Ecology.

UPDATE: This article was updated on February 11, 2017. It was originally published on February 1, 2017.

GPT applicant Pacific International Holdings/Pacific International Terminals, sent a February 7, 2017 letter to Whatcom County Planning and Development Services, withdrawing its three permit applications (two in 2011, and one in 2012) submitted for the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal project at Cherry Point.

Whatcom County Planning and Development Services (PDS) sent a February 8, 2017 email response to PIH/PIT, acknowledging receipt of the company’s February 7th letter in which it notified the County that it was withdrawing its three permit applications for the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal project.

In its February 8th email, Whatcom County PDS let PIH/PIT know the County would be canceling the pre-hearing conference with the Whatcom County Hearing Examiner and notifying the public and other interested parties of the permit withdrawals. 

February 1, 2017

by Sandy Robson

Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT) proponent Pacific International Holdings (PIH) is still at it, trying to bluster and bully Whatcom County into doing their bidding. It seems PIH, formerly known as Pacific International Terminals (PIT), a subsidiary of SSA Marine, wants the County to politely stand by until PIH decides if and how its company would like to force through a project, the construction of which according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, would violate Lummi Nation’s Usual & Accustomed treaty fishing rights. (more…)

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“SSA Marine’s actions defined the project as a coal terminal.”

Facebook post sharing a letter to the editor by Sandy Robson, published in the Wall Street Journal on June 12, 2016

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Mayor Gary Jensen’s Coal-Fired Pants

By Sandy Robson
mayors pants 2After reading their 2015 Whatcom County Voters’ Pamphlet, some voters could wonder if Port of Bellingham Commissioner candidate Gary Jensen’s pants are on fire. Current Ferndale Mayor Gary Jensen’s candidate statement in the “Whatcom County Official Local Voters’ Pamphlet” seems to be an odd manifesto which contradicts the mayor’s actions. (more…)

SSA Marine’s ‘Good Faith’ Attack on Xwe’chi’eXen (Cherry Point)

by Sandy Robson

In a January 5, 2015  letter sent to the United States Army Corps of Engineers (“the Corps”) by the Lummi Indian Business Council (LIBC), LIBC Chairman Tim Ballew II wrote: “The devastating environmental  impacts associated with this project, as well as the trust responsibility of federal agencies to ensure the protection of the treaty rights of the Lummi Nation, mandate the denial of any and all permits under the Corp’s jurisdiction.” (more…)

Cherry Point industries have not endorsed GPT

(This commentary was originally published in The Northern Light, Letters to the Editor, December 11-17 edition)

Commentary by Paula Rotundi

There are three existing Cherry Point businesses – BP Refinery, Alcoa-Intalco Works and Conoco-Phillips – and none of them has endorsed the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT). The GPT proposal gives our existing Cherry Point industries significant reasons for concern. For them, GPT would be a horrific neighbor. (more…)

Cole’s Op-Ed Sugar-Coats GPT Project

Commentary by Christine Westland

On August 15th, an op-ed by Craig Cole was published in the Bellingham Herald, giving a “Mary Poppins” version of the intentions and actions of SSA Marine/Pacific International Terminals (PIT) for the Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT) at Cherry Point. According to Cole, it was “human error” in 2011, when PIT accessed the Cherry Point wetlands, clearing nine acres, degrading a Native American archaeological site, and filling in 1.2 acres of wetlands while taking borings on that land without a proper permit. Professional companies who behave legally and ethically know what they are doing don’t make these kind of mistakes. For these violations, SSA Marine-owned Pacific International Terminals was sued and paid $1.6 million in fines and penalties. These actions by PIT were deceptive and show a blatant disregard and lack of respect for the Lummi Nation and Cherry Point, which was the first archaeological site to be placed on the Washington State Register of Historic Places. (more…)

Will the Real Craig Cole Please Stand Up?

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Unauthorized land clearing at Cherry Point by SSA/PIT’s engineering consultant. Photo is from Whatcom County PDS website.

by Sandy Robson

Craig Cole, the local paid spokesperson for SSA Marine/Pacific International Terminals’ (PIT) Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT) wrote an Op-Ed published on August 15, 2014 in the Bellingham Herald entitled “Gateway Pacific Terminal working to safeguard environment, job creation.” (more…)