SSA Marine: "Mistakes were made and we will correct them"

Published on Wed, Aug 3, 2011 by Jeremy Schwartz

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One of the dirt roads that was cleared as part of SSA Marine's recent geotechnical work at the Cherry Point site. Photo courtesy of Whatcom County Planning and Development Services.

SSA Marine, the Seattle-based company seeking to build the $600 million Gateway Pacific Terminal near the BP Cherry Point refinery, has admitted mistakes were made going ahead with tree-clearing and dirt-road grading at the Cherry Point site where the terminal is planned. This update, via press release this morning (August 3), comes after Whatcom County planning officials told SSA Marine to stop the work altogether.

I've been following this story since county council member Carl Weimer first wrote about finding the knocked down trees and dirt roads on his personal blog (Read my previous posts here and here). Up until today, SSA Marine insisted they had county approval for the work their contractor, AMEC Earth & Environmental, had done at the Cherry Point site. County planning officials said the drilling for earth samples had been approved, but the reported clearing of tress and dirt-road grating had not  been.

SSA Marine vice president Bob Watters said today in a press release that there was a breakdown of understanding between SSA Marine and AMCE over what work was being done at the site. From the press release:

“We were on the site on Tuesday, as was Whatcom County, and we will likely be out there again on Friday with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,” Watters said.  “It’s clear that mistakes were made.  SSA Marine’s standards were not met and this is not acceptable.  We are taking the necessary steps to make this right.”

SSA Marine plans to fully cooperate with the county and complete any correctional measures the county might prescribe, Watters added.

Look for a full story on this issue in tomorrow's edition of The Northern Light.


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