Thursday, August 4, 2011

A Crazy Couple of Weeks for Coal

At the very time we were anticipating SSA’s re-application for permits (since they were rejected a few weeks ago for being incomplete), it turns out they were already starting work on part of their property—without any permits at all to do so. The ensuing mess is summarized below.

How did this all start?

Last week, County Councilman Carl Weimer, while walking his dog in a favorite area of Cherry Point, took the time to investigate what looked like suspicious activity on SSA’s property, which they hope to use for the Gateway Pacific Terminal. He blogged about it here:

SSA Release 1: In which SSA denies any wrongdoing:

July 29
Work on the site comes as a surprise to officials:

July 30—August 3
Analysis of what was actually done and where:

August 1st
King 5 TV--Bob Ferris and Pete Kremen agree—SSA wasn’t allowed to do that:

Radio--Carl Weimer and Bob Watters may disagree, however:

August 2
Radio—Matt Krogh and Joe Teehan discuss the lack of any permits at all for the work SSA was doing on its coal terminal (skip to 25:00 min. into broadcast):

August 3
SSA Release 2: In which SSA admits that, in fact, there may have been wrongdoing--

Bob’s response: “The fact that a multi-billion dollar international corporation illegally damaged habitat and wetlands and disregarded best management practices in an area outside the geographic scope of their permits demonstrates a lack of attention to detail that is unacceptable given SSA Marine’s size and purported environmental ethic. The fact that their first response was a strident denial of any wrong-doing in the face of contrary evidence does not reflect well on SSA’s ethics or dedication to their inferred public trust responsibility. An eleventh-hour defensive apology does nothing to alter these two facts, because their actions have already spoken louder than their words.”

Crosscut article on SSA admitting mistakes:

Skagit County Commissioners start to get involved:

The Bellingham Herald on “Cargo terminal proposal part of national debate over jobs, environment:”

In related news, the Settlement Agreement that governs the old version of this project won’t be modified despite extensive lobbying and negotiations by SSA:

Here's what YOU can do:

These calls just take a few minutes and they are what can help STOP this!

Call Public Lands Commissioner Goldmark at (360) 902-1004
Ask him “Please, don’t use Washington’s public waters for coal export.”

Call Whatcom County Council at (360) 676-6690
Ask them to ensure that Whatcom County says “No to coal export out of Cherry Point and enforce all environmental provisions.”

Call Whatcom County Council Executive Kremen at (360) 676-6717
Simply say, "Thank You for standing up for what’s right and holding SSA Marine accountable.”

Stay tuned to RE

-written by Matt Krogh, North Sound Baykeeper


  1. Hi Matt and ReSources,
    Just wondering if you can elaborate on the letter from the county's prosecuting attorney that advised against the imposition of a moratorium under state and county law.


    For us laymen, does this mean it's a "done deal," or is there something more we can do?


  2. pretty interesting finding. well, I guess a couple is very responsible citizens. It would be great if there were more people like them.


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