Environmental Review
Grays Harbor Rail Terminal (GHRT) project

An Environmental impact statement (EIS) is being prepared for the Grays Harbor Rail Terminal Project (GHRT) a new proposed bulk liquids rail logistics facility at the Port of Grays Harbor in Hoquiam. Ecology and the City of Hoquiam are co-lead agencies for this environmental review, being conducted under the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA).

Study phase for environmental review

An important purpose of an EIS is to provide the public and agencies with information about the effects of a proposal. This environmental review is in the study phase. The agencies and consultant will collect information on the affected environment, analyze the likely impacts from the proposals, and determine if the impacts can be mitigated. The information gathered in this study phase will be used to develop draft EISs.

The completion of the draft EIS will be an important milestone in the process — at that point the SEPA co-lead agencies will ask for public comments. A timeline for issuing draft EIS has not been set. To be notified when this happens, please sign up to receive emails from our LISTSERV.

After public comments are considered and any revisions made, final EIS will be issued. After that, the permitting process may begin.

About environmental review

An EIS is an information document. The environmental review process is neither a decision nor a permit. It is not a “yes” or “no” about a project. The EIS will inform decisions made by agencies who are asked to make permit decisions.

Public Involvement Opportunities
Scoping period from Sept 18 to Nov 3, 2014

Click to enlarge process diagram.
Public input is a very important part of the SEPA process and there are several opportunities for individuals or organizations to submit their comments on the GRHT proposal.

The first step in the EIS process is called scoping. Co-lead agencies ask other agencies, tribes, local communities, organizations, and the public to comment on what should be analyzed in an EIS. After considering comments, the co-lead agencies will decide what should be included in a draft EIS.

Scoping comments

Agencies, affected tribes, and members of the public are invited to comment on the scope of the EIS within a 47-day expanded scoping comment period beginning on September 18, 2014 and closing November 3, 2014. You may comment on alternatives, mitigation measures, probable significant adverse impacts, and licenses or other approvals that may be required.

Scoping comments will be accepted in three ways:

Oral Comments: Oral comments will be accepted during two public scoping meetings:

  1. Aberdeen, October 16, 2014 at Aberdeen Rotary Log Pavilion, Morrison River Front Park 1401 Sargent Blvd. Aberdeen, WA 98550. The meeting will start at 1 p.m. and end at 4 p.m. The public comment period will start at 1:30 p.m. and end at 4 p.m.
  2. Elma, October 16, 2014 at Grays Harbor County Fair and Event Center, 32 Elma-McCleary Rd, Elma, WA. The meeting will start at 6 p.m. and end at 9 p.m. The public comment period will start at 6:30 p.m. and end at 9 p.m.

Ecology and the City of Hoquiam are equal opportunity agencies. If you have special accommodation needs contact Fran Sant at 360-407-6004 four days before the meeting. Persons with hearing loss can call 711 for Washington Relay Service. Persons with a speech disability can call 877-833-6341.

>> See the meeting ground rules.

Electronic Written Comments: Electronic written comments will be accepted through 5 p.m. Pacific time until November 3, 2014 via a web form at:

Other Written Comments: Other written comments will be accepted through November 3, 2014 via US Mail at the following address:

Grays Harbor Rail Terminal EIS
c/o ICF International,
710 Second Avenue, Suite 550
Seattle, WA 98104

Written scoping comments will also be accepted at scoping meetings listed above.

Documents Available

An environmental checklist or other materials indicating likely environmental impacts can be reviewed at:

After the scoping period the co-lead agencies will work to prepare a draft EIS. When the draft EIS is published there will be public hearing and public comment periods of the Draft EIS. Comments received on the Draft EIS will be included in the final EIS

For more information about SEPA reviews, please see the Citizens Guide to SEPA Review and Commenting.

For information on other proposed crude by rail facilities in Grays Harbor please see: http://www.ecy.wa.gov/geographic/graysharbor/terminals.html.


Port of Grays Harbor, Grays Harbor County at 46.9711N/ 123.8544W

Region: Southwest Regional Office (SWRO)

Ecology Point of Contact:
Fran Sant
Environmental Review Coordinator
Department of Ecology

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September 18, 2014 Comment period begins today for Grays Harbor terminal