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J.E. “Sam” Ryan, CBO

5280 Northwest Drive
Bellingham, Washington 98226
Telephone: (360) 676-6907


Gateway Pacific Terminal Project

Gateway Pacific Terminal / Pacific International Terminals, Inc.

The GPT project, which is being proposed by Pacific International Terminals, Inc., is a multi-user import and export marina terminal for bulk, break-bulk, and other marine cargoes. The project will include new rail loop tracks, covered and open terminal storage areas, and a pier and trestle connection to the terminal storage area. The property is located between the BP Refinery to the north and the INTALCO facility to the south. The project area is located in the Cherry Point Industrial Urban Growth Area (UGA), which is zoned for heavy-impact industrial land use. The property is also designated as part of the Cherry Point Management Area, under the Whatcom County's Shoreline Management Program. The facility is located within the Cherry Point State Aquatic Reserve south of Birch Bay. Click here to go to the original application materials (MDP, VAR, SHR) for this proposed project.

Draft EIS Work Begins
The contract amendment between Whatcom County and consultant CH2M Hill to begin the draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Gateway Pacific Terminal/Custer Spur project has been signed.

For an overview and plain language document explaining the contracting phases, as well as the contract content, please click here. This document is intended for informational purposes only. The SEPA Co-Lead Agencies will make SEPA-based decisions throughout the EIS process; these decisions may alter the course of the contracting phases provided herein and may alter contract content in the future.The scope of work included in the contract is available at this link.

The scope of work describes what and how aspects of the environment should be studied, including methodologies, schedules and costs. Our approach to methodologies matches where we are in the study phase – at the starting point. The guidance given to the consultant on how to study impacts may evolve based on information assembled along the way. More details and information about the contract are available on Ecology’s website in a frequently asked questions document, which is available at this link.

Both contracts related to this project were signed on February 27, 2014. The contract with CH2M Hill for preparation of the draft EIS is included in the following link, contract #201205028-Amendment 4. The contract between Whatcom County and Pacific International Terminals & BNSF for payment of all costs related to the completion of the draft EIS is included in the following link, contract # 201205029-amendment 4.

Background on the Scoping Process
The scoping period for the environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Gateway Pacific Terminal and Custer Spur modifications has concluded. Scoping is a preliminary phase of the EIS process when the agencies identify potential adverse impacts and decide which of these to analyze in the EIS.

The co-lead agencies have posted the Scoping Report which summarizes comments collected at in-person scoping meetings, online and in writing, and it provides an overview of public outreach activities. The official website,, provides additional details about the scoping process, project proposals, and displays comments received.

The Washington State Department of Ecology has issued a news release on behalf of the co-lead agencies in regards to the set scope of environmental impact statement for the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal Project. Please see the news release on Ecology’s website at:

Agency Coordination
The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology), Whatcom County and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) have updated their working agreement for the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal. The agencies originally agreed in 2011 to produce a single, joint EIS. The three co-lead agencies will continue to coordinate efforts while preparing two separate EIS documents as outlined under a revised Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). An amended Communication Protocol Agreement has also been signed to refer to the collaborative effort by the County, Ecology, and the Corps to produce the separate documents to meet each agency’s respective SEPA or NEPA responsibilities. CH2M HILL will continue to be the contractor for all agencies to prepare the separate NEPA/SEPA documents.

Please see the Department of Ecology’s Gateway Pacific Terminal website for a timeline and additional information

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Visit our correspondence page to see recent and past correspondence.

Pages Last Updated February 4, 2015

Below are recent documents from 2014

Click on this link to view documents from 2013

Click on this link to view documents from 2012

Click on this link to view documents from 2011 and back.