I support the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal to be located in the Cherry Point area of Whatcom County.
I believe in sound environmental principles, but firmly feel this can be built in an environmentally compatible manner. GPT has committed to complying with all required laws and regulations, and modified their proposal to further improve compliance. I note they are also willing to work with Lummi Nation to address concerns (though the nation declined to do so).
As a resident of the San Juans, I am aware of citizen concerns over the safety related issues of increased shipping in Haro Strait and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. No one wants a shipping accident or an unwanted fuel oil spill.
I have encouraged groups to invite representatives from the Coast Guard, the respective Pilots Associations and the Puget Sound Vessel Traffic Service to visit our communities and discuss the accurate impacts of increased marine traffic as a result of GPT. This would be a constructive step to place the issue in a more balanced perspective. Thus far, these entities have not been invited.
If GPT is not approved, the coal shipments will travel to export terminals in British Columbia.
This means Washington will have little, if any, control over the process and lose any benefits, like jobs, tax revenue, economic growth. The same ships that could operate out of Cherry Point will pass through our Salish Sea waters from B.C. Is this what we truly want? Also, keep in mind that this terminal is designed for multiple commodities, such as grain or potash.
I urge people to allow the EIS review to proceed through the process without unreasonable demands. I support a fair and balanced discussion and review of this proposal.