Crude oil in Hoquiam “would cause significant and unavoidable environmental impacts”

The final Environmental Impact Statement for a crude oil project at the Port of Grays Harbor has been released.

The city of Hoquiam and Washington Department of Ecology have issued the final report for Westway Terminal after analyzing and responding to 100,000 comments received during public review of the draft version.

“We have been committed to a transparent, thorough and impartial process since our work on this proposal began,” says Paula Ehlers, section manager for Ecology. “The conclusions of the final study are similar to the draft, but include responses to all comments received, additional information in some sections, and new proposed mitigation.”

The study finds that the proposed project would cause “significant and unavoidable environmental impacts to health and safety if a crude oil spill, fire or explosion occurs.“ as well as impacts to tribal resources.

The report proposes 69 mitigation measures to offset or reduce environmental impacts from the project, including using newer rail cars, escort tugs in Grays Harbor, adding response equipment caches in key locations, and coordinating spill response training for local responders and tribes.

This study is not a permit. Officials say that it is a comprehensive data resource for those who will make decisions during the permitting process.

Ten local and state permits and 11 federal and state plan approvals will be required for the proposed project to be approved. The first permit to be considered will be Hoquiam’s shoreline substantial development permit.



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