In a press release from Earthjustice, they say that the Washington state Supreme Court has agreed to hear a challenge by a tribe and others over oil terminal projects proposed at the Port of Grays Harbor.
The Quinault Indian Nation, Sierra Club and others say the projects would move billions of gallons of crude oil out of The Harbor and through the ocean and should be reviewed under a state law that provides protections for coastal resources.
But a state appellate court last October rejected that argument, saying that law didn’t apply because the projects would occur on land and not in coastal waters.
Earthjustice, representing the tribe and groups, appealed the decision. A court spokeswoman says the high court accepted the case this week.
“We have a state law on the books that demands protection for Washington’s natural ocean resources, particularly in Grays Harbor, and yet the Department of Ecology ignores it,” said Matt Baca, an attorney with Earthjustice. “Grays Harbor is beautiful, thriving, and irreplaceable, especially for the people who have depended on it since time immemorial. We are glad this important law will get its day before the Washington State Supreme Court.”
Westway Terminal Co. and Imperium Terminal Services have proposed terminals to bring crude oil by train, where it would be stored and loaded onto tankers or barges. Renewable Energy Group, which bought Imperium, said this year it would drop plans to handle crude oil.