Gateway Pacific Terminal Proposal
Vessel Traffic and Risk Assessment Study (VTRAS)

The Vessel Traffic and Risk Assessment Study for the Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT) has been submitted to the co-leads. This study was completed by an independent third-party consultant, Glosten Associates, and was overseen by Ecology with funding by PIT. The VTRAS is now provided to the co-lead agencies as a technical study to be used in developing the Draft EIS.


In 1992, Pacific International Terminals (PIT) applied to Whatcom County for a permit to develop a multi-use terminal at Cherry Point, Washington. The proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal was to be composed of a deep-water wharf with upland commodity storage. A shoreline substantial development permit was issued by Whatcom County in 1997, but was appealed by two state agencies and several local citizen groups.

Settlement Agreement

A settlement agreement with all parties was reached in 1999. The settlement agreement includes a condition that the Department of Ecology oversee an analysis by PIT of the additional ship traffic brought by the proposed terminal.

Next steps

Under the settlement agreement Ecology will appoint an ad hoc advisory marine safety committee that will include Ecology, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Washington Environmental Council, the Puget Sound Pilots Association, Cherry Point industries, and other parties. This technical committee will use the VTRAS and other pertinent information to recommend vessel operating protocols and other mitigation measures for GPT, consistent with those required of other Cherry Point industries.

map showing site location as Whatcom County, WA

Gateway Pacific Terminal Proposal

Facility Site ID: #22237

Cherry Point,
Whatcom County

Region: Northwest Regional Office (NWRO)

Alice Kelly
Regional Planner
Northwest Regional Office
Department of Ecology