–Whatcom Business Alliance’s SEPA appeal of the DNS issued for the Cherry Point Amendments is scheduled for a March 15, 2017 hearing, at 1:30 PM–
The Whatcom Business Alliance (WBA), headed up by President Tony Larson, filed a SEPA appeal of the Determination of Non-Significance (DNS) that was issued by Whatcom County Planning and Development Services, for the Cherry Point Amendments to the 2016 County Comprehensive Plan Update. That DNS threshold determination became final on December 6, 2016, and the WBA filed its appeal with Whatcom County on December 16, 2016. The December 16 letter is shown in the attached screenshot photos.
The SEPA appeal has now been scheduled to go before the County Hearing Examiner on March 15, 2017, at 1:30 PM. It is a public hearing.
The attorney representing the WBA for its appeal of the DNS is Erin Anderson, a partner at Stoel Rives law firm’s Seattle office. Ms. Anderson has been actively involved throughout the Cherry Point Amendments process since last September.
Ms. Anderson, on behalf of the WBA, had sent a September 27th letter written on Stoel Rives letterhead, to Whatcom County Civil Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Karen Frakes, claiming, among other things, that the then-proposed (now approved) Ordinance 2016-039, imposing the 6-month temporary moratorium, “may be unconstitutional due to discrimination against interstate or foreign commerce.” The temporary moratorium prohibits the filing and acceptance of applications for County permits for any new or expanded facilities which would facilitate the increased shipment of unrefined fossil fuels coming out of Cherry Point. The September 27th letter appeared to be aimed at not only the temporary moratorium ordinance, but also at the Cherry Point Amendments themselves.
Stoel Rives is also the law firm that submitted an August 25, 2016 public records request to Whatcom County. The records request included a 3-page letter written on Stoel Rives letterhead, outlining an extremely detailed records request. The request included a “series of requests for records relating to data collected, prepared, and/or obtained related to Coal Dust and air emissions from the transport of coal and/or the return of empty coal trains by BNSF on its rail system within the state of Washington or elsewhere, prepared, collected, and/or obtained in conjunction with the Gateway Pacific Terminal, including any related quality assurance /quality control protocols or scopes of work, and further including but not limited to the following…”