CH2M Hill was selected last week to do the Environmental Impact Statement for the Gateway Pacific Terminal at Cherry Point proposed by BNSF and Pacific International Terminals, a subsidiary of SSA Marine.
While I know CH2M Hill is a reputable firm, there were numerous other reputable firms also in the bidding. I'm concerned that Whatcom County Council selected CH2M Hill when it's a known fact that there is a high-ranking employee, John Lovenburg, who was a vice president at CH2M Hill until September 2011, who is now a vice president at BNSF after joining BNSF in October 2011.
I read the Communication Protocol Agreement, which spells out necessary communication requirements and protocols between Pacific International Terminals and BNSF (applicants), and with CH2M Hill (third party) doing the EIS. The agreement states its purpose is to "ensure that there is no conflict of interest regarding the formulation of the EIS, as well as by averting any potential appearance of improper influence."
What good is having an agreement when already there is the appearance of improper influence because of the ties between both BNSF and CH2M Hill with John Lovenburg?
I believe SSA Marine and BNSF are using their big money to stuff the Gateway Pacific Terminal down our throats. We need to tell our County Council to make better choices as we expect our governing agencies and elected officials to watch out for us. So far, they seem to have lost sight of us.