Pacific International Terminals, Inc. (PIT) has proposed to construct and operate a deep-water, multimodal terminal for the export and import of dry bulk commodities in the Cherry Point Industrial Urban Growth Area (UGA), which is zoned for heavy impact industrial use in Whatcom County, Washington. The project area is located between BP’s Cherry Point refinery and the Alcoa Intalco works aluminum smelter. The project area would encompass about 1,500 acres, with development occurring on about one-quarter of the area. The proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal includes two materials handling and storage areas and a wharf and access trestle. At full operation, the Terminal would have the capacity to export and import approximately 54 million metric tons per year of dry bulk commodities including, but not limited to, coal, grain products, potash, and calcined petroleum coke.
In a related project, BNSF Railway has proposed modifying rail facilities adjacent to the terminal site to support increased rail traffic to and from the proposed terminal. This proposal is interrelated to the Gateway Pacific Terminal proposal but will be the subject of a separate Corps permit application. Proposed rail modifications would include installation of receiving/departure tracks west of the BNSF mainline and would also include developing a second track along the six mile Custer Spur to the proposed terminal site. Because the projects are interrelated, potential impacts will be reviewed in a single EIS during the environmental review process.
Under Whatcom County's Shoreline Management Program, the property on which the proposed port facility would be built is designated as part of the Cherry Point Management Area where port and water dependent industrial facilities are allowable uses. The marine area, where the access trestle and wharf area are proposed, is surrounded by the Cherry Point State Aquatic Reserve.
Gateway Pacific Terminal proposal:
Custer Spur modification proposal: