WHATCOM COUNTY, Wash. -- Critics of the proposed coal-shipping terminal at Cherry Point are getting more time to comment on the first phase of the environmental review of the project.
The Whatcom County Council last night approved a contract with project consultant CH2M Hill for the scope of work on the environmental impact statement for the Gateway Pacific Terminal after extending the public comment period to 120 days.
County Executive Jack Louws says it was the will of the community.
Several people at the meeting asked the council for a longer scoping process.
Others said it was a delay tactic.
The council also made changes to the contract that would leave CH2M Hill more exposed to conflicts of interest with SSA Marine and the Burlington-Northern Santa Fe Railway.
Executive Louws says he will urge the consultant and the developers to accept the amended contract.