Environmental Review
Gateway Pacific Terminal at Cherry Point Proposal

Project Update: On Feb. 7, 2017 the applicant withdrew all permit applications.

Photo source: DNR Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve

Pacific International Terminals, a subsidiary of SSA Marine, proposed building a deep-water marine terminal at Cherry Point in Whatcom County. The proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal would handle export up to 54 million dry metric tons per year of bulk commodities, mostly coal.

In April 2016, the Department of Ecology and Whatcom Couonty stopped work on the state draft environmental impact statement (SEPA EIS) for this project was stopped at the applicant’s request.

In May 9, 2016, the Army Corps halted the federal permitting process with a determination that the project would violate Lummi Nation treaty rights. As a result, the Corps stopped work on the federal environmental review (NEPA EIS).

Project History

October 2016Development of the EIS remains suspended until further notice.
April 1, 2016The Corps halted the NEPA EIS process. Work on the SEPA EIS is stopped.
May 2016The Corps determined that it could not issue federal permits because the proposed terminal would violate the treaty between the United States and the Lummi Nation.
2014Co-leads began work on the draft environmental impact statement.
Sept. 23, 2013The co-leads announced a revised memorandum of understanding under which Ecology and Whatcom County will produce a draft SEPA EIS and the Corp will produce a draft NEPA EIS.
Aug. 30, 2013The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers informed Ecology and Whatcom County that it would prepare a separate NEPA EIS (federal environmental review).
July 31, 2013Ecology, Whatcom County and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced the preliminary scope for the EIS.
March 29, 2013The co-lead agencies issued a summary of the comments received during the scoping public comment period.
Sept. 24, 2012 - Jan. 21, 2013Scoping Comment Period was held to decide what factors to analyze and what geographic area to consider for the environmental impact statement.
May 2012The co-lead agencies selected CH2M Hill to help prepare an environmental impact statement. The contractor was selected through Whatcom county’s public competitive bidding process.
March 20, 2012Informational public meeting held in Bellingham to explain the environmental review process. A presentation was given by the co-leads.
Early 2012Ecology and Whatcom County (co-leads) confirmed that the project would have significant impacts and issue a determination of significance.

Related documents

Related information

Additional resources

map showing site location as Whatcom County, WA

Facility Site ID: #22237

Cherry Point,
Whatcom County

Region: Northwest Regional Office (NWRO)

Meg Bommarito
Regional Planner
Northwest Regional Office
Department of Ecology


  • Gateway Pacific Terminal federal permitting process halted by Army Corps of Engineers
  • Applicant has withdrawn project permit applications. EIS preparation cancelled.


SEPA Scope of EIS Studies for Gateway Pacific Terminal

Environmental consulting contract for the Gateway Pacific Terminal proposal FAQ


May 9, 2016
Army Corps halts Gateway Pacific Terminal permitting process