Gateway Pacific Terminal proposal history
In 1992, Pacific International Terminals, Inc. (PIT) applied for permits from Whatcom County and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) to construct a deepwater multimodal terminal at Cherry Point. The applicant withdrew the application submitted to the Corps prior to initiation of environmental review under NEPA.
That same year, Whatcom County issued a determination of significance under the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) and initiated scoping. At that point, the process was delayed. Whatcom County updated the determination of significance and scoping notice in 1995 beginning the environmental review process, and issued draft and final environmental impact statements in 1996 and 1997. Whatcom County issued project permits following a series of legal proceedings and a settlement agreement in 1999.
In 2011, PIT proposed changes and updates to the Gateway Pacific Terminal proposal; the 2011 proposal included revisions to the shoreline substantial development permit issued in 1999. Whatcom County determined the requested revision to the shoreline substantial development permit did not meet the applicable revision criteria and that a new shoreline substantial development permit would be required. This SEPA process will include review of the revised proposal in light of the shoreline substantial development permit criteria. Whatcom County will use information developed through the SEPA process to inform the county’s decision, including their decision on the shoreline permit.