Agency Seattle District Commander Col. John Buck said May 9 in a decision that the potential impacts were “greater than de minimis” to the fishing rights of the Lummi Nation. Because the Lummi, which filed an opposition to the project last year, are holding to their position, the Army Corps could not approve.
According to the Corps, the Lummi had cited impacts to their usual and accustomed treaty rights in its request, and had also included affidavits about their fishing practices and statements about potential impacts from the construction and operation of the terminal.
The group has guaranteed fishing rights under the Treaty of Point Elliot, which it signed in 1855. The Suquamish Port Madison, Tulalip and Swinomish reservations were also included in that treaty.
“I have thoroughly reviewed thousands of pages of submittals from the Lummi Nation and Pacific International Holdings,” Buck said. “I have also reviewed my staff’s determination that the Gateway Pacific Terminal would have a greater than de minimis impact on the Lummi Nation’s…rights and…determined the project is not permittable as currently proposed.”
Environmental review work on the highly contested $700 million project near Ferndale had been suspended last month while the decision was still pending.
A copy of the official decision can be viewed here.