Gateway Pacific Terminal Proposed Project

Project Update:

Updated 2/9/2017
Pacific International Holdings LLC has officially withdrawn the Gateway Pacific Terminal Permits. 
On February 7, 2017, Whatcom County Planning and Development Services (PDS) received a letter from Pacific International Holdings LLC (PIH) withdrawing the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal permit applications (MDP2011-00001, SHR2011-00009 and VAR2012-00002). Whatcom County has provided PIH acknowledgement of the withdrawal and has stopped the permit process for the above referenced permits.

Consistent with the Department of Ecology and Whatcom County's co-lead agreement, any decisions about the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) Review will be made jointly by the SEPA co-leads. The SEPA co-leads (Whatcom County and Department of Ecology) have discussed with Pacific International Terminals (PIT) their interest in whether or not to continue the SEPA environmental review process. Whatcom County's Major Project Permit code, requires a project to "be consistent with applicable laws and regulations." The Army Corp of Engineer's decision may affect the future permit decision by Whatcom County. There are unique policy and legal issues related to the Gateway Pacific Terminal Project, so the co-leads will be in close communication with one another and legal counsel to determine the most appropriate path given the evolving situation.

On April 1, 2016, Pacific International Terminal (PIT) invoked a contract clause to suspend the contract for an initial 45-day period.  On May 10, 2016 PIT requested Whatcom County to extend the current contracts an additional 180 days to allow time for PIT to review and pursue alternative actions. On May 26, 2016, in response to PIT's request, Whatcom County via email agreed to a 60 day extension to the contract and provided two contract options: 1) move forward and complete the preparation of the SEPA draft EIS, or 2) Sign a not-to-exceed 180-day contract extension to complete a ramp down work plan for contract suspension. Ramp down work for the contract suspension, as outlined in the attached scope of work, includes closing out all current work tasks by; summarizing outstanding technical report issues, indexing the status of each technical report and electronically archiving the reports without further technical work.

Subsequently, all parties mutually agreed to extend the contract(s) through August 31, 2016 to allow time for PIT to finalize their decision regarding contracted services associated with the EIS preparation. Thereafter, as outlined in contract #201205028, all parties mutually agreed to extend the contract 180 days, or to March 13, 2017, whichever occurs first, to accomplish ramp-down contract activities to ensure that the work and contracts are closed out in an orderly fashion. The budget is for $51,085.00, to accomplish the ramp down work plan to close out all current work tasks for contract completion. This is a pass through contract and all monies are being fully funded by the applicants of the proposed project in a separate agreement, #201205029.

These contracts along with a memorandum have been presented to the County Council for approval at their September 13th meeting and will be provided in the council packet.The Whatcom County Council amended and approved the contract amendment by a vote of 7-0. The audio from the finance committee meeting can be found near the 57 minute mark and includes discussion on the contract amendments.  The contract amendment with CH2M and cost reimbursement agreement with PIT, Inc. have been signed by all parties.

The Gateway Pacific Terminal Project, which is being proposed by Pacific International Terminals, Inc., is a multi-user import and export marina terminal for bulk, break-bulk, and other marine cargoes. The project will include new rail loop tracks, covered and open terminal storage areas, and a pier and trestle connection to the terminal storage area.

The property is located between the BP Refinery to the north and the INTALCO facility to the south. The project area is located in the Cherry Point Industrial Urban Growth Area (UGA), which is zoned for heavy-impact industrial land use. The property is also designated as part of the Cherry Point Management Area, under the Whatcom County's Shoreline Management Program. The facility is located within the Cherry Point State Aquatic Reserve south of Birch Bay.

Please see the Department of Ecology's (DOE) Gateway Pacific Terminal website for a timeline and additional information .

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