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…)
On May 12, 2016 this letter was sent to Lummi Nation and to the individuals mentioned by name in the letter:
Dear People of the Lummi Nation:
It was probably about two years ago that I was fortunate to first attend a presentation by members of the Lummi Nation at the Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship. These tribal members, Jewell James and Jay Julius among them, shared information about your cultural heritage, and your connection and sacred responsibility to Xwe’chi’eXen. I remember being welcomed and empowered by the kind and compelling words of the speakers. We were asked to bear witness to past struggles and tragedy that the Lummi people have suffered, and the perseverance and bold efforts that propel you forward in your sacred responsibilities to protect your culture, language, way of life, lands, and waters for the benefit of many future generations. (more…)
Page one of the certified letter sent by Sandy Robson to the United States House Committee on Ethics, calling upon the committee to open an investigation into Congressman Ryan Zinke (R-MT), for potentially violating the United States House of Representatives Code of Official Conduct
March 16, 2016 | Press Release, Coal Stop Whatcom County Citizen calls for House Committee on Ethics Investigation into Congressman Ryan Zinke
News media in Billings, Montana and Bellingham, Washington, reported that Congressman Zinke had sent a March 15, 2016 letter to Glenn Fine, the Acting Inspector General at the Department of Defense (DoD), asking for an official DoD investigation into Colonel John G. Buck, Commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Seattle District, relating to his responsibilities on the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT).
News broke this past weekend in Whatcom County about a last minute coal terminal-funded PAC, formed by Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT) applicant Pacific International Terminals LLC, to support Charter Review Commission-generated Props 1, 2, and 3, and to oppose citizen-proposed Prop 9, placed on the November election ballot, via ordinance, by the Whatcom County Council. The PAC is named Clear Ballot Choices (Pacific International Terminals, LLC). (more…)
Brad Owens speaking at the June 22, 2015 NWJA-sponsored event, “Rebuilding the Middle Class: Working Families and Wages in Northwest Washington and the State,” in Bellingham, WA.
On her September 12, 2015 program, Whatcom Tea Party board member and host for the weekly “Saturday Morning Live” (SML) talk radio show on KGMI, Kris Halterman, interviewed Northwest Jobs Alliance (NWJA) President Brad Owens. Halterman’s program afforded Owens a platform to promote the same idea that NWJA previously purported in its August 20, 2015 letter to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Jo-Ellen Darcy, Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works). That idea advanced by NWJA in the letter, is that there is “an apparent motive behind the Lummi Nation’s opposition to the Gateway Pacific Terminal project (and completion of the EIS process) not connected with treaty rights.” [italicized emphasis theirs] (more…)
By Sandy Robson After 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…)
If you were a sleek and colorful little hummingbird who had unrestricted access to the immediate vicinity of 119 N. Commercial Street in Bellingham, both inside and out, on Tuesday, June 16, 2015, what would you have seen? (more…)
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…)
I am aware of two individuals, who submitted Letters to the Editor (LTEs) to Whatcom Watch (WW) in response to Editor Bob Schober’s August 2014 brief editorial, “Legal Claim Withdrawn.” In both cases, there was resistance from Schober to publishing these LTEs in which the authors expressed their views about his editorial. The LTEs were eventually published by WW; Carol Follet’s LTE was published as written, and Ellen Murphy was required to revise her LTE before WW would publish it.(more…)
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…)
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…)
The coal terminal proposals that would transport coal along railways from Powder River Basin to the West Coast, stand to cause destruction to the Lummi Nation, Coast Salish tribes, and the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians.
In particular, Gateway Pacific Terminal, proposed at Cherry Point (Xwe’chi’eXen), I believe presents huge environmental, socio-economic and cultural threats to Pacific Northwest tribes. (more…)