County Council Continues Discussion on Regulations to Cherry Point With Moratorium That Will Restrict Growth and Jobs

In Cherry Point Industrial Area, Common Voices, News, Whatcom County Council by commonnw

The Whatcom County Council continued their discussion of a “temporary” Cherry Point permit moratorium during its Special Committee of the Whole meeting, on June 19th. Councilmembers had asked staff to prepare Comp Plan amendments in an effort to write regulations that would interrupt Cherry Point-based industries to expand business growth and avoid a lawsuit for Whatcom County. Some ideas Council discussed were: new fees, expanding what impacts can be identified in the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to include impacts of climate change, and requiring insurance policies for certain types of permits.

Audio Link to Council discussion (click to listen)

Last year, Council appropriated tens of thousands of dollars of local tax money to pay the Cascadia Law Group, an environmental law firm, to produce a report suggesting options for legal strategies. Cascadia Law Group partner, Rodney L. Brown, Jr., met with and discussed ways to enable Whatcom County to delay, or restrict, permitting of new projects at Cherry Point-based industries and not run afoul of the Interstate Commerce laws. The focus of their moratorium and this study was focused on the export of fossil fuel products from Cherry Point. Understandably, BP, Phillips 66, and Petro Gas have taken a dim view of this, as have many of their local suppliers.