Pacific International Terminals, the SSA Marine subsidiary pursuing the Gateway Pacific coal export terminal in Whatcom County, has agreed to pay $1.65 million to settle a lawsuit stemming from the company's unauthorized land-clearing work on the property in 2011.
RE Sources for Sustainable Communities, a Bellingham environmental organization in the forefront of opposition to the coal terminal, filed the lawsuit a few months after the excavation became public.
In a press release, SSA Marine Vice President Bob Watters continued to characterize the matter as a "nuisance lawsuit," but he said the company preferred a settlement to the costs of protracted litigation.
Company officials admitted that they made a mistake in failing to get proper permits for clearing roadways to be used geotechnical testing equipment on their property at the end of Gulf Road.
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Whatcom County officials had ordered them to repair the damage and pay a $4,400 in penalties.
The press release says the company agreed to pay $850,000 that will be used for Puget Sound environmental restoration projects, and another $800,000 to cover RE Sources' legal costs.