Oil Terminal Expansion
Eastside Audubon's comments on oil terminal expansion.
In November the board approved a letter commenting on the draft EIS for expanding the Westway and Imperium oil terminals at Grays Harbor. Our letter focuses mainly on inaccuracies and questionable statements in the draft, concluding with the chapter’s own judgement that the document does not justify issuing permits necessary for the project to go forward.
This letter is one of a series Eastside Audubon has prepared on the subject of expanding fossil fuel transportation capacity through the Pacific Northwest. With the recent federal disapproval of the Keystone XL pipeline to the Gulf, and increasing industry efforts to allow crude oil exports, we can expect major battles to develop oil terminal sites along northwest rivers and coastal locations that provide critical bird and wildlife habitat. Grays Harbor is a prime example. Surrounded by six Important Bird Areas, the estuary hosts hundreds of thousands of resident and migratory birds every year. These include endangered Marbled Murrelets, Snowy Plovers and Streaked Horned Larks, among others.
It is hard to be sure what effect the comments of a small organization like Eastside Audubon will have on state and local permitting decisions to be made on this project. We can only know that it is important to let government agencies and elected official know that we are paying attention to the decisions they will make. And we will be prepared to take further action, in concert with other organizations, if permitting decisions are made without responding to our concerns.
View the letter here.
Photo: Western Sandpiper, by Mick Thompson.