EISs for the Proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal and Custer Spur Projects Begins
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 preparing environmental impact statements (EISs) to document the effects of a proposed deepwater multimodal terminal in the Cherry Point industrial area of Whatcom County and modifications to the BNSF Railway’s (BNSF) Custer Spur. The Custer Spur is a six-mile-long rail connection from the Cherry Point industrial area to the BNSF mainline at the unincorporated community of Custer, Washington. The Corps must comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and Whatcom County and Ecology must comply with the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) in reviewing permit applications relating to the proposed projects. Both NEPA and SEPA require an objective and unbiased environmental review before making decisions on any permit. The Co-Lead Agencies are responsible for providing this objective review of the proposed projects and opportunities for the public to participate in the environmental review process.
The EISs analyses will include a review of the environmental impacts, including human health effects related to the construction and operation of the Gateway Pacific Terminal facilities and modifications to the BNSF Custer Spur. The EISs analyses will also provide an assessment of whether measures can be taken to avoid or minimize those environmental impacts.
The EIS process started with scoping, which is an important step wherein the public is invited to comment on what should be covered in the document. Thousands of comments were collected at in-person scoping meetings, online, and in writing through the end of the scoping period on January 22, 2013. The comments received during the scoping process were summarized in a publicly available scoping report. After reviewing the submitted comments, the Co-Lead Agencies decided upon the scope of analysis to be covered in the EISs.
Once draft EISs arepublished, the public will be invited to review and comment on the document and participate in public meetings.
El Cuerpo de Ingenieros del Ejército de los Estados Unidos, el Departamento de Ecología de Washington y el Condado Whatcom (referidos colectivamente como los agencias Co-Lead) están preparando una declaración de impacto ambiental (DIA) para documentar los efectos de un proyecto multimodal de aguas profundas para una terminal en la zona industrial de Cherry Point del Condado Whatcom y modificaciones a la vía férrea de la desviación Custer (BNSF).
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