By John Stark
The White House Council on Environmental Quality is getting involved in key issues surrounding the environmental review of potential impacts from the Gateway Pacific Terminal project proposed for Whatcom County, as well as other proposed Northwest coal terminals.
That report comes from Bloomberg BNA, a subsidiary of Bloomberg News Service that focuses on legal and regulatory issues. The reporter Paul Shukovsky, formerly of the Seattle P-I. He says the White House council called a meeting of senior agency officials to discuss their diverging views on environmental issues.
“The crux of the conflict is whether the administration will accede to demands from opponents of the export terminals that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers go beyond site-specific environmental impact statements for the five proposed projects and conduct a wide-ranging study of the cumulative impacts of all the projects together, including the effect on greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of U.S. coal in China and other Asian countries,” Shukovsky reports.
Apparently the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is having trouble with the notion of including grennhouse gas emissions on the list of environmental impacts to be studied, because there is no precedent for it.
Environmental groups and many other Bellingham residents have called for the widest possible analysis of Gateway Pacific’s impacts.