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Army Corp of Engineers Side with Tribes over Expansion for Growth and Economic Opportunity of Dry Bulk Exports at Gateway Pacific Terminal

If you are disappointed and concerned about the Army Corp of Engineers decision to deny a permit for the Gateway Pacific Terminal, you are not alone. The Federal Government with the aid of the Army Corp of Engineers have set up a precedents that must be challenged in the courts. Not to do so, will forever negatively affect Washington jobs, farms, families, businesses and our future. It has unlawfully abused the Commerce Clause by denying landlocked states to ability to export their goods to other nations. Their decision to deny the permit, prior to the completion and outcome of the environmental impact statement, shows a federal government which has lost sight of their reason for existence. ~ Lorraine Newman

The Montana Farm Bureau sounds-off on the foolish actions of the Army Corp of Engineers.


mfbMay 11, 2016

Farm Bureau dismayed about Army Corps decision on shipping terminal

The Montana Farm Bureau is expressing its dismay regarding the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers denying a permit for the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal. The Gateway Pacific Terminal, the proposed dry bulk export facility located at Cherry Point in northwest Washington, would have served as a multi-commodity transload station from trains to vessels heading to Asia.  Although grain and coal can be shipped into Washington state from anywhere, it’s estimated that a large portion of the products would have come from Montana and Wyoming.

Pacific International Terminals (PIT), a joint venture between SSA Marine and Cloud Peak Energy, had filed for a permit that would have allowed the Gateway Pacific Terminal to handle 54 million tons of products: 6 million for agricultural products shipped to Asian Markets, including wheat, grain and forestry items and 48 million tons of coal.

The Corps determined the shipping facility would have industrialized an ancient Lummi Nation burial site and interfered with the Lummi Nation’s fishing rights.

“This was a very poor decision by the Army Corps, as the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) had not even been completed. PIT started the EIS process in 2013 and to date has spent $8 million on it,” said Montana Farm Bureau Vice President Hans McPherson who visited the Terminal at Cherry Point last year with U.S. Representative Ryan Zinke.  “The terminal would have been available to ship a large quantity of grain. Eighty percent of the grain grown by Montana farmers is exported to the Asia annually. In addition, it would have shipped clean Montana and Wyoming coal to Asia.”

McPherson noted the area is already industrialized with two oil facilities in the port. “The majority of the supporting infrastructure is already in place.  Cherry Point has an industrial zone with an aluminum smelter, industrial piers, rail connections and utilities and it’s zoned for heavy industry. Cherry Point is already a deep port so would not need dredging,” said McPherson. “It’s disturbing that the coal will now get taken to Canada 20 miles north to be shipped out instead of using this state-of-the-art environmentally friendly shipping facility providing jobs and opportunity for American workers.”

Bob Watters, Pacific International Terminals’ President, expressed his astonishment about the decision. “Looking at the set of facts in the administrative summary it’s quite obvious this is a political decision and not fact based,” Watters explained. “We are very disappointed the GPT project has become a political target rather than being addressed on the facts. The terminal promises to deliver substantial benefits through economic development, the creation of family wage jobs, and the generation of significant taxes. The designs call for the terminal to operate at the highest levels of environmental stewardship and meet all federal and state regulations,” Watters concluded.


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