Department of Ecology says SSA Marine violated state law

Published on Fri, Aug 5, 2011 by Jeremy Schwartz

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The Washington State Department of Ecology (DOE) released a press release today saying Seattle-based shipping terminal company SSA Marine violated state law when it cleared trees and graded dirt roads at the Cherry Point site south of Birch Bay.

The DOE sent a letter to SSA Marine notifying the company that it had done work at the Cherry Point site without acquiring wastewater and stormwater permits from the DOE and had violated the state Water Pollution Control Act and the federal Clean Water Act. The permits were necessary for one acre or greater of construction activity. According to the DOE, SSA Marine had graded nine acres worth of dirt roads.

The site is the proposed spot for the $600 million Gateway Pacific Terminal that SSA Marine is planning to build. The terminal company, through its subcontractor AMEC Earth & Environmental, was conducting earth sampling at the site to collect data for the environmental review process necessary for the project to move forward.

Earlier this week, Whatcom County Planning and Development Services officials announced they will be fining SSA Marine $2,000 for doing work at the Cherry Point site without getting permission from the county. SSA Marine officials have said mistakes were made in regard to the road-grading and that steps will be taken to repair the damage.

Look for a complete story on this topic in the upcoming issue of The Northern Light.


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