FERNDALE - People interested in a proposed Cherry Point coal export terminal will get another chance to share their views about its potential impacts with county, state and federal officials from 3 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29, at Ferndale Events Center.
The meeting is the fourth in a series conducted by the Whatcom County Planning Department, Washington Department of Ecology and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Participants are asked to offer testimony about what environmental and economic issues should be studied as part of the environmental impact statement - a key document in the lengthy process of determining whether SSA Marine of Seattle will be given the permits needed to build Gateway Pacific Terminal at an industrial site south of the BP Cherry Point refinery.
The terminal could be operating by 2017 if local, state and federal agencies approve. At maximum capacity it could ship 54 million tons of bulk commodities a year, including 48 million tons of coal, to markets in Asia.
Backers say it would generate millions in tax revenue, thousands of short-term construction jobs and more than 1,000 direct and indirect permanent jobs.
Opponents say the project would disrupt life in Bellingham and other places with excessive rail traffic that would snarl street crossings and cause health problems, while worsening climate change from coal-burning in Asia.
The meeting is not the only way to share concerns. Written comments also are being accepted.
More details about the review process and how to submit comments are online at eisgatewaypacificwa.gov/.
Reach JOHN STARK at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 715-2274.