Existing site conditions
The proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT) site is largely undeveloped. The approximately 1,500 acre site includes county roads, a residence, barn, electrical and pipeline utility corridors, pastures, hay fields, mowed utility corridors and abandoned fields. Current land uses include pastures and hay fields. The site includes two main drainages with several tributaries and approximately 600 acres of wetlands. The topography generally drains toward the Strait of Georgia. Areas to the north are mainly flat, and the south and southeast portions include sloping terrain and a ravine and bluffs along portions of the shoreline.
The BNSF Custer Spur industrial rail line (Custer Spur) was built in the 1960s to serve the Cherry Point industrial area. This spur branches from the BNSF mainline at Custer, Washington and would serve the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal. The line currently serves two refineries, the aluminum smelter, and several other industrial facilities. Lands immediately adjacent to the Custer Spur are forested, or are developed for heavy and light industry, agriculture, and rural housing. Other development along the spur includes two-lane county roadways, ditching, fencing, and access lanes for agriculture uses and houses. Within the existing and proposed right-of way for the BNSF Custer Spur improvement project there are nine creek crossings and approximately 17 acres of direct fill in jurisdictional wetlands.