GPT lease application denied

SSA Marine, principal financiers of the Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT) project in Cherry Point, hit another roadblock in their effort to build the coal terminal.

On June 6, GPT’s application for an aquatic land lease was denied by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources. The denial is the latest setback for the terminal, after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) denied a permit on May 9, on the grounds that the terminal would impede on tribal fishing grounds.

Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark said the decision to deny the permit directly correlated with SSA’s failure to secure a permit from USACE.

Lummi chairman Tim Ballew praised the decision in a press release.

“By denying the request for an aquatic land lease, we take another huge step toward permanently protecting Lummi’s sacred site,” he said.

SSA Marine senior vice president Bob Watters, in an interview with the Bellingham Herald, said the company was deciding on its next steps and planned to make an announcement in the coming months.

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