College of the Environment Graduate and Undergraduate Publications

Alternative title

Rail transport of North Dakota crude oil to Cherry Point

Date Permissions Signed


College Affiliation

Huxley College of the Environment

Date of Award

Winter 2013

Document Type

Environmental Impact Assessment

Department or Program Affiliation

Department of Environmental Studies


Environmental Studies

First Advisor

Bodensteiner, Leo R.,1957-


The purpose of this environmental impact assessment (EIA) is to identify any environmental elements potentially impacted by the BP Cherry Point Refinery Rail Logistics Project, Both on the project site and the land (developed and undeveloped) and water bodies adjacent to the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) railway within the western portion of Whatcom County extending from Larrabee State Park to the BP refinery at Cherry Point. The elements of the environment that will be examined will be divided into two categories: environmental and built. The environmental elements include earth, water, air, plants, animals, and energy and natural resources. The built environment includes utilities, transportation, land and shoreline use, public and environmental health, public services, light and glare, and noise. The refinery brings in approximately 225,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil, and the proposed 10,200 foot rail loop project is expected to take in one oil train (consisting of 100 cars) per day transporting roughly 20,000 barrels per day, or two trains and 40,000 barrels of crude oil every other day. The crude oil shipped by rail is expected to reduce oil shipments by oil tankers by a similar amount. This document will address the impacts of the proposed action, as well as benefits and the impacts of an alternative action and a no action plan. The alternative action is to build the proposed Rail Logistics Project, but with additional mitigation to further reduce the impact(s) of the proposed project. The no action plan will be to not build the Rail Logistics Project and resulting in no impacts upon the refinery and project site. The primary environmental issues of the proposed action include a reduction in air and water quality, soil erosion, removal of vegetation and wetlands, removal of wildlife habitat, and impacts associated with train derailments and oil spills.




Petroleum refineries--Environmental aspects--Washington (State)--Whatcom County, Petroleum--Transportation--Environmental aspects--Washington (State)--Whatcom County, Railroads--Freight--Environmental aspects--Washington (State)--Whatcom County, Environmental impact analysis--Washington (State)--Whatcom County


Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subjects – Names (LCNAF)

Cherry Point Refinery

Subject – LCSH

Petroleum refineries--Environmental aspects--Washington (State)--Whatcom County; Petroleum--Transportation--Environmental aspects--Washington (State)--Whatcom County; Railroads--Freight--Environmental aspects--Washington (State)--Whatcom County; Environmental impact analysis--Washington (State)--Whatcom County

Geographic Coverage

Whatcom County (Wash.)




environmental impact statements




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