Whatcom County sets tentative date for Cherry Point terminal pre-scoping meeting

Published on Fri, Feb 24, 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.

According to emails posted on the county planning website, this pre-scoping 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 p.m. to 8 p.m.

As I reported here, 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 just south of Birch Bay. 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.

Previous emails indicated the pre-scoping meeting will not discuss details of the terminal project but instead stick to how the scoping process works in general. The rationale for this is that details of the 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 high school will charge $20 for each hour county planning staff use the space.

Click here to see the collection of emails detailing planning staff’s discussions on the meeting date. The meeting date is described as set for March 20 on page 33 of the PDF document.

I first learned about the information contained in this collection of emails from Jean Melious, A Western Washington University land use professor and former Whatcom County Planning Commission chair, on her blog Get Whatcom Planning.


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