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Comments due on proposed oil shipping facility in Grays Harbor

Written comments in the permit review process for the Westway Terminal Company expansion at the Port of Grays Harbor in Hoquiam must be received by November 19.

Regarding the Westway Terminal expansion:

The [Final Environmental Impact Statement] found that the proposed project would cause significant and unavoidable environmental impacts to health and safety if a crude oil spill, fire or explosion occurs. There are also impacts to tribal resources.

The Washington State Department of Ecology and the City of Hoquiam issued the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) in September. The project would expand an existing facility at the Port of Grays Harbor to enable export of U.S.-produced crude oil.

The crude oil would be in rail cars. An oil train derailed alongside the Columbia River in Oregon in June, dumping 40,000 gallons of oil. Last week, the county tentatively denied Union Pacific Railroad’s plan to expand the tracks. This week, the Safe Energy Leadership Alliance called on state and federal lawmakers to prevent the next oil or coal train derailment disaster.

Local governments have little power to legislate the industry but taxpayers are still responsible for response and mitigation, according to [King County Executive Dow] Constantine.

The next steps for this project are required permits. The Final EIS is not a permit, but it provides information for those who make permit decisions. The City of Hoquiam has posted these documents:

Westway Shorelines Permit Application Review [Posted – Oct 18 2016]

Required City of Hoquiam Permits

  • City of Hoquiam Building Permit
  • City of Hoquiam Conditional Land Use Permit
  • City of Hoquiam Critical Areas Review for fish and wildlife habitat and geologically hazardous areas
  • City of Hoquiam Demolition Permit
  • City of Hoquiam Fire Department Approval
  • City of Hoquiam Grade and Fill Permit

Other Required Permits

  • City of Aberdeen Building Permit
  • City of Aberdeen Critical Areas Review for fish and wildlife habitat and geologically hazardous areas
  • City of Aberdeen Fire Department Approval
  • City of Aberdeen Grade and Fill Permit
  • City of Aberdeen Utility Services Agreement
  • Ecology National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Industrial Stormwater Permit
  • Ecology Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Notice of Registration Update
  • Olympic Region Clean Air Agency Approval Order
  • Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Construction Stormwater General Permit

 

Address your comments regarding the project to:

Brian Shay, City Administrator
City of Hoquiam
609 8th Street
Hoquiam, WA 98550
bshay@cityofhoquiam.com

To ensure delivery by November 19, I recommend email. Then you also have a receipt of sorts.

In a news release, Earth Justice noted:

In a September 7 letter to the Washington Dept. of Ecology and City of Hoquiam leaders, the Quinault Indian Nation summarized the strong legal grounds the city has for denying a permit under the State Environmental Policy Act and the Quinault’s federally-reserved treaty fishing and gathering rights.

Any person has the right to submit comments, request a copy of the application, and appeal the decisions made regarding this application subject to the provisions of City Code.

Public comment on the draft EIS for the Imperium Renewables (now REG) crude oil-by-rail expansion project ended on October 29.

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