KGMI News Reporting, AP News
By Joe Teehan, Karen Taylor
BELLINGHAM, Wash. – A consortium of federal, state and local agencies have decided to prepare a 2-year study on the local and statewide impact of exporting coal through the proposed terminal a Cherry Point.
Wednesday’s announcement says the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Whatcom County will study the impact at the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal, while the state Department of Ecology will examine the effects of expected rail and vessel traffic, including greenhouse gases, statewide and beyond.
Backers of the GPT say they are disappointed with the wide scope of the environmental review.
Bob Watters with SSA Marine, the company proposing the terminal, says the decision to study the impacts statewide and beyond is unprecedented.
Local environmentalists opposed to the GPT are pleased with the state’s decision to conduct an extensive environmental review of the project.
Crina Hoyer with Resources for Sustainable Communities says it’s a huge victory for the community.
Both state Senator Kevin Ranker of Orcas Island and Bellingham Mayor Kelli Linville released statements saying they are pleased with the decision for a comprehensive review.