Whatcom County releases names of bidders for Cherry Point terminal environmental review

Published on Wed, Feb 15, 2012 by Jeremy Schwartz

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Seven consulting firms have submitted bids to complete the environmental review of the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal, according to Whatcom County planning officials.

Bid proposals were opened on Tuesday, February 14, at the Whatcom County Courthouse. Whatcom County planning staff sought proposals from private consultants to conduct the extensive environmental impact statement (EIS) for the $600 million Gateway Pacific Terminal proposed for the Cherry Point area just south of Birch Bay.

The county received bids from the following consulting firms:

* International engineering consulting firm AECOM

* National environmental science and engineering firm Anchor QEA

* Oregon-based engineering consulting firm CH2M Hill

* Kirkland-based consulting firm EA/Blumen

* New-York-state based environmental engineering firm Ecology & Environmental Inc.

* Kirkland-based consulting firm EES Consulting

* Virginia-based engineering consulting firm ICF International

The chosen firm will study numerous possible terminal impacts, including effects on wetlands in the Cherry Point area, rail and cargo vessel traffic, air quality and human health, just to name a few. The environmental review process for the terminal will involve input from the public, and the agencies overseeing the EIS (the Whatcom County planning department, state Department of Ecology (DOE) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)) will require public outreach as part of the environmental review process.

Officials from Whatcom County, the DOE and USACE will spend about one month reviewing all seven proposals. County planning staff say the terminal’s proponents, Seattle-based SSA Marine, will only be marginally involved in the consultant selection process so as to prevent the terminal company from influencing the EIS.

Click here for a PDF of the full request for proposals, which describes in detail what the EIS must study.


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