FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

The geographic scope of the study has been officially determined by the Co-Lead Agencies. This marks the next step towards the EISs and studying the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT)/Custer Spur. Read more about this decision here. A list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) from the Scope of EIS Studies for GPT are also available.

Other Questions

  1. How can I participate in the next steps of the process?
  2. Who is in charge of this EIS process?
  3. Where is my comment?
  4. Why did the Applicant submit a Project Alternatives Report?
  5. Does C2 replace the GPT site plan we saw at the Scoping Meeting?
  6. What is the timeline for the EISs?

1. How can I participate in the next steps of the process?

The EISs for the Gateway Pacific Terminal and Custer Spur modifications will be supported by a robust public involvement program with opportunities for the public to participate at major milestones and throughout the process. The public can participate in the environmental review process by attending hearings or meetings and by submitting appropriate comments directly to the Co-Lead Agencies during the time periods for public comment. Public input is important because members of the public have valuable information about places and resources they value, and the potential environmental, social, and economic effects that the proposed actions may have on those places and resources.

  • January 2013 through publication of the draft EISs: Questions can be submitted, but due to the volume of questions and comments, staff will not respond to all questions individually. If warranted, staff may respond to common themes on submitted queries. Unsolicited comments will be added to the record and may be considered by the Co-Lead Agencies as they move forward with developing the EISs. Stay tuned for periodic updates. Please note that this is a public process. Comments you submit may be released in their entirety to a third-party requester as part of the agency record for this action, including identifiable personal information, such as name, physical address, phone number, or email if provided.
  • Publication of draft EISs: Public input is particularly important during the designated public review period for the draft EISs. The agencies will review and consider all comments received from the public and other agencies regarding the draft EISs.

2. Who is in charge of this EIS process?

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), the Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology), and Whatcom County, collectively referred to as the Co-Lead Agencies, are managing the collaborative environmental review processes. The Corps is leading and will issue a NEPA EIS and Whatcom County and Ecology will publish a separate SEPA EIS. This is the official website for the environmental impact statements (EISs) for the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal/Custer Spur proposals. This site is provided by the Co-Lead Agencies for the purpose of sharing information about the proposal and the environmental review process.

3. Where is my comment?

Comments received during the scoping period (which ended on January 22, 2013 at 5:00 p.m.) are included as Appendix G in the scoping report.

Comments submitted after the scoping period can be found on the View Comments page. Due to the volume of questions and comments, staff will not respond to all comments individually but will respond to themes through this frequently asked questions page. All comments will made available for public review on the view comments page.

  • If you submit a report, analysis, or other information that you would like included in the draft EISs: The Co-Lead Agencies will review the information and post your comment on the view comment page. At their discretion, the Co-Lead Agencies may share the information from unsolicited comments with the consultant team for inclusion in the draft EIS analysis. The Co-Lead Agencies will not provide a substantive response. If you would like a formal response, you will need to resubmit the information during the draft EIS comment period (date to be determined).

  • If you submit a question about the proposal or content of the draft EISs: The Co-Lead Agencies will review it and may include the response in a future update of this page. The question will be posted on the view comment page.

  • If you submit a question about the process: The Co-Lead Agencies will review it and direct you to where you can find relevant information on the website (such as "What is an EIS?") or provide an individual response.

4. Why did the Applicant submit a Project Alternatives Report?

The applicant (Pacific International Terminals, Inc.) prepared the Project Alternatives Report to support the formulation and evaluation of layout alternatives for the proposed project site. Although it was part of the site plan overview presented at the scoping meetings, the applicants officially purchased the southeast parcel (known as Parcel 15) following the NEPA/ SEPA public scoping process. Following the scoping process, the applicants reviewed how to revise their site plan layout to take advantage of the parcel in efforts to reduce wetland impacts. The report includes a discussion of the applicant’s basis for the design throughput of the Terminal and a description of the site layout configuration criteria. The Co-Leads will conduct their own alternatives development process to explore the range of avoidance and minimization opportunities on site. In addition, the Corps will consider other offsite alternatives that may complete the range of alternatives under NEPA to be considered.

5. Does C2 replace the GPT site plan we saw at the Scoping Meeting?

Yes. Whatcom County Planning and Development Services (PDS) has received and accepted the updated site development plan (designated in the Project Alternatives Report as C2) and associated project description for Major Project Permit (MDP) No. MDP2011-00001 to replace the previous alternatives that was presented at the scoping meetings. Also, the Corps has accepted the C2 design as the applicant’s updated proposed project description.

6. What is the timeline for the EISs?

The Co-Lead Agencies are preparing the draft EISs documentation with an expected release of the Draft EIS in late 2016.