Residents can now officially have their say on what should be studied in the Gateway Pacific Terminal site’s environmental impact statement (EIS). The public comment period for the scoping process began September 24 and will end January 21, 2013.
The EIS will be a joint effort of Whatcom County, the Washington Department of Ecology and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Colorado-based environmental firm CH2M Hill will produce the EIS, which will comply with both National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and Washington State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) requirements.
During the scoping process, the public is invited to comment on what should be covered in the EIS document, including alternatives, affected resources, adverse impacts and measures to avoid, minimize or mitigate effects of the proposed action.
The approximately 350-acre terminal, proposed by Seattle-based SSA Marine, would annually transfer up to 48 million tons of coal and other bulk materials from trains to bulk transport ships at the terminal’s deep-water wharf.
The Burlington Northern Santa Fe Custer spur would service the terminal, and BNSF is proposing to upgrade the existing rail line with additional tracks and sidings. Those upgrades will also be considered in the NEPA/SEPA combined EIS.
Interested parties can make comments online at eisgatewaypacificwa.gov
. Comments may also be submitted to: Randel Perry, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Seattle District, c/o GPT/BNSF Custer Spur EIS Co-Lead Agencies, 1100 112th Avenue Northeast, Suite 400, Bellevue, WA 98004.
A series of public scoping meetings is also scheduled, with meetings taking place as far away as Spokane and as near as Ferndale. The meeting in Ferndale will take place from 3 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, November 29 in the Ferndale Events Center.
Public scoping meetings nearby:
Saturday, October 27
Squalicum High School
3773 McLeod Road
Monday, November 5
2501 College Way
Thursday, November 29
Ferndale Events Center
5715 Barrett Road