County sets tentative date for Cherry Point terminal meeting

Published on Wed, Feb 29, 2012 by Jeremy Schwartz

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Whatcom County planning officials have tentatively scheduled a March 20 meeting to explain to the public how the scoping process for an environmental impact statement (EIS) works.

The meeting will take place at Bellingham High School on Tuesday, March 20. No firm time has been set, though planning officials discussed the meeting running from 6 to 8 p.m.

County planning staff want to explain how the scoping process for an EIS works in preparation for the massive environmental review that must be completed for the $600 million Gateway Pacific Terminal proposed for the Cherry Point area, according to county planning emails. Official scoping hearings, for which dates have not been set, will be the public’s first chance to tell county and state regulators what they want studied in the terminal project’s EIS.

The pre-scoping meeting will not discuss details of the terminal project but instead focus on how the scoping process works in general, since details specific to the Gateway Pacific Terminal will be discussed extensively at future official scoping hearings. The venue at Bellingham High School can seat about 250 people and fit 1,000 if everyone stands.
The Gateway Pacific Terminal is slated to handle 48 million tons of dry bulk commodities, such as grain and coal, per year. It will be able to serve the world's largest bulk transport ships.