Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
Pacific International Terminals, Inc., is proposing the GPT project to be developed on approximately 350 acres and would include a three-berth, deep-water wharf. The proposed wharf would be 3,000 feet long and 105 feet wide, with access to suitably deep water provided by an approximately 1,100 foot-long by 50 foot-wide trestle. Upland facilities will include open air and covered commodity storage, each serviced by an on-site rail loop. A system of conveyors would connect the commodity storage areas to the trestle and wharf. The upland facilities would also contain rail unloading facilities, roadways, service buildings, storm water treatment facilities, and utility infrastructure. Development of these facilities will result in impacts to approximately 145 acres of wetlands and numerous drainage features (ditches). Mitigation for proposed unavoidable impacts to waters of the U.S. will be required to comply with the Corps' 2008 mitigation rule (33 CFR 322.1). Commodities would be delivered to the GPT by rail via the existing BNSF Railway's Custer Spur line from the Bellingham subdivision main line. BNSF Railway is proposing to upgrade its existing Custer Spur line with additional tracks and sidings, which will impact approximately 17 acres of wetlands and involve modifications to two creek crossings and several ditches. Mitigation for proposed unavoidable impacts to waters of the U.S. will be
The purpose of scoping is to assist the Corps in defining issues, public concerns, and alternatives and the depth to which they will be evaluated in the EIS. The Corps has prepared project information documents to familiarize agencies, Tribes, the public, and interested organizations with the proposed projects and potential environmental issues. Copies of the documents will be available at the public meeting and at the Web site
a. Public scoping meetings will be held to present an overview of the GPT and Custer Spur projects and to afford all parties an opportunity to provide comments regarding the range of actions, alternatives, and potential impacts. The public scoping meetings will be held as follows:
During the scoping period, a continuous “on-line scoping meeting” will be hosted on the EIS Web site at
b. Potentially significant issues to be analyzed in the EIS include but are not limited to project-specific and cumulative effects on navigation (e.g., vessel traffic and navigational safety); marine aquatic habitats, including State-designated aquatic reserves; marine aquatic species, including Endangered Species Act listed species and Washington State species of concern; Tribal treaty rights; wetland and riparian habitat and wildlife; railroad and vehicle traffic; cultural, historic, and archeological resources; air and water quality; noise; recreation; land use; and aesthetics.
c. The Corps will serve as the lead agency for compliance with NEPA, and Whatcom County Planning and Development Services (the County) and the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) will serve as the lead agencies for compliance with SEPA. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Coast Guard will serve as cooperating agencies under NEPA. The Corps will consult with the Washington State Historic Preservation Officer and applicable Tribes to comply with the National Historic Preservation Act; the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service to comply with the Endangered Species Act; the National Marine Fisheries Service to comply with the Essential Fish Habitat provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act; and applicable Tribes to comply with treaty provisions on fishing rights.
d. Development of the draft EIS will begin after the close of the scoping period. The draft EIS is currently scheduled to be available for public review and comment in January 2014.
e. A 120-day public review period will be provided for all interested parties, individuals, and agencies to review and comment on the draft EIS. All interested parties are encouraged to respond to this notice and provide a current address if they wish to be notified when the draft EIS is issued.
f. All comments received will become part of the administrative record and are subject to public release, as appropriate, in their entirety, including any personally identifiable information such as names, phone numbers, and addresses if included in the comment.