Huxley College Graduate and Undergraduate Publications

Alternative title

Cherry Point Terminal: coal exporting ships: environmental impact assessment

College Affiliation

Huxley College of the Environment

Department or Program Affiliation

Department of Environmental Studies


This Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is based on the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) requirements for any action that has a significant, adverse impact on the environment. These requirements are set forth in Chapter 197-11 of the Washington Administrative Code (WAC). The proposed action is to move up to 54 million metric tons per year of dry bulk commodities including coal requiring approximately 487 vessels (Panamax and Capesize class) per year, each at a length of 800 to 900 feet (GPT FAQ, 2011). At half-capacity one more vessel every other day would follow this shipping route and at full operational capacity about 1-2 vessels would call at the Gateway Pacific Terminal per day. Under this proposal, the immense size and weight of the ships combined with the storage methods of coal and bunker fuel will increase the possibility and severity of fire, explosions, and oil spills. Our alternative to the proposed action evaluates use of covered and well maintained conveyor belts for coal loading, treated ballast water, higher quality bunker fuel, covered coal storage on board ships, increased regulation and maintenance, increased tugboat use and increased U.S. coast guard (USCG) presence. The alternative would allow the coal to be transported while also minimizing the associated air pollution, water pollution, and accidents such as oil spills, fires, and collisions. Under the no action plan, the Cherry Point Coal Terminal proposal would not be approved and there would be no change in the current overseas transport of coal and other dry bulk commodities through Haro Strait from a proposed terminal at Cherry Point

Document Type

Environmental Impact Assessment

Subject – LCSH (for OAI)

Coal--Transportation--Environmental aspects--Washington (State)--Cherry Point; Coal--Transportation--Environmental aspects--Washington (State)--Whatcom County; Shipping--Environmental aspects--Washington (State)--Cherry Point; Shipping--Environmental aspects--Washington (State)--Bellingham; Environmental impact analysis--Washington (State)--Cherry Point; Environmental impact analysis--Washington (State)--Bellingham

Geographic Coverage

Cherry Point (Wash.); Whatcom County (Wash.); Bellingham (Wash.)


Environmental impact statement


Western Washington University


Winter 2013

First Advisor

Bodensteiner, Leo R.,

OCLC Number



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Environmental Studies