Making Democracy Work

Gateway Pacific Terminal at Cherry Point - a proposed Coal Export Terminal

What's New

Climate Change Report to the League of Women Voters of the United States - contributed by past Bellingham/Whatcom League Co-president Jayne Freudenberger who is currently serving as 2nd Vice President for the League of Women Voters of Washington State.

Draft EIS released on previously authorized BP Cherry Point dock North Wing


Draft EIS Work Begins The contract amendment between Whatcom County and consultant CH2MHill to begin the draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Gateway Pacific Terminal/Custer Spur project has been signed.

For an overview and plain language document explaining the contracting phases, as well as the contract content, please click here.

This document is intended for informational purposes only. The SEPA Co-Lead Agencies will make SEPA-based decisions throughout the EIS process; these decisions may alter the course of the contracting phases provided herein and may alter contract content in the future. The scope of work included in the contract is available at this link.

The scope of work describes what and how aspects of the environment should be studied, including methodologies, schedules and costs. Our approach to methodologies matches where we are in the study phase + at the starting point. The guidance given to the consultant on how to study impacts may evolve based on information assembled along the way. More details and information about the contract are available on Ecology's website in a frequently asked questions document, which is available at this link.

Both contracts related to this project were signed on 2/27/2014. The Contract with CH2M Hill for preparation of the draft EIS is included at the following link,contract #201205028-Amendment 4. The contract between Whatcom County and Pacific International Terminals & BNSF for payment for all costs related to the completion of the draft EIS is included at the following link, contract # 201205029-amendment 4.

Lummi Nation on GPT

  • * Kwel hoy': We Draw the Line - The burial grounds and treaty rights of the Lummi Nation are threatened by a proposal to build North America's largest coal terminal on their sacred landscape at Cherry Point (Xwe'chi'eXen.) If built, coal would be dumped on a historic burial site and would pollute the nearby fishing grounds. The Lummi community needs your help to stop this! This video tells the story.

  • * The Lummi Nation has unconditional and unequivocal opposition to the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal -Letter sent to Army Corps of Engineers dated July 30, 2013

Agencies involved in the EIS and permitting processes

Newspaper Articles

More Carbon than Keystone: Peabody Energy and Warren Buffett Ship Coal to China November 1, 2013 by Lou Dubose

Demand cools as fight rages over coal-export terminals - Amid a debate over coal-export terminals at Cherry Point and Longview in Washington, a big drop in export prices is raising new questions about long-term demand. Seattle Times Article Sept 3,2013

Published: Thursday, August 1, 2013, 12:01 a.m. In Our View/The coal-train reaction A terminal's full impact Everett, WA

Gateway Pacific coal terminal to get sweeping review; opponents cheer decision, The Bellingham Herald 8/1/13

Lummi Nation's stance could stop proposed coal terminal, The Bellingham Herald 8/1/13

SSA Marine pays $1.65 million to settle lawsuit over land clearing, The Bellingham Herald 8/1/13

Coal trains raise concerns in congested cities - Seattle Times 6-29-13

The Coal Lobby's Fight for Survival - Once a Washington powerhouse, it now lies in disarray at the mercy of forces beyond its control. Can a group built for war sue the Obama administration for peace? - National Journal 6-27-13

ARMY CORPS IGNORES MONTANA COAL EXPORT CONCERNS - press release from Northern Plains Resource Council 6-18-13

BNSF Railways, Coal Shippers Sued in Federal Court for Water Contamination Violations

Coal Dust? Is it a problem - read on and decide for yourself... Coal Dust at Roberts Bank, the Vancouver Sun 4/13/2012

Heavy Traffic Ahead: Rail Impacts of Powder River Basin Coal to Asia, for the first time, identifies costs, many of which will fall on taxpayers for infrastructure due to increased rail traffic - study commissioned by the Western Organization of Resource Councils

Press Releases & Public Statements by the League


PBS Newshour Pacific Northwest Weighs Environmental Risks of Cashing in on Coal Export Market, August 2, 2013

Dr Frank James talks about the public health risks from coal On June 26, Dr. Frank James spoke at Ocean Park Community Hall as part of a community dialogue about coal.

The Environmental Review Process Public Meeting for the Proposed Cherry Point Terminal - March 20, 2012 ~ Thanks to Robert Clark of the Coalition for Community Television for videotaping the March 20, 2012 Proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal Pre-Scoping Meeting which was hosted by Whatcom County, Washington Department of Ecology and the Governor's Office of Regulatory Assistance. Presenters provided an overview of the Environmental Review Process and responded to questions from the audience. Video Channel CoalFilm, LLC is creating a documentary about the proposed coal terminal at Cherry Point in Washington state. Please visit their video channel to watch various excerpts from the documentary in process including an excellent overview of the EIS taken from an interview with Jean Melious, Professor of Environmental Studies at WWU, and a partner in a national law firm with 25 years experience in Environmental Impact Assessments. All content is produced by CoalFilm, LLC.

Coal Train Facts

Coal Train Facts Great informational website giving information on both sides of the coal export pier debate.

Timeline of Activities at Cherry Point

Cherry Point Timeline For details regarding Cherry Point from 1954 until 2010.