For centuries, Lummi tribal fishermen have harvested, dug up clams and fished for salmon in the tidelands and waters of northwest Washington state.
Now, the tribe says a proposed $700
million project to build the nation’s largest coal-export terminal
threatens that way of life. The tribe last year asked federal regulators
to deny permits for project, saying it would interfere with the tribe’s
treaty-reserved fishing rights.
The Gateway Pacific
Terminal, a venture between SSA Marine and Cloud Peak Energy, would
handle up to 54 million metric tons of dry bulk commodities, mostly
coal, at a deep water port at Cherry Point. Coal would be shipped by
train from Montana and Wyoming for export to Asia.
the Army Corps of Engineers, the federal agency overseeing the
permitting process, finds that the proposed terminal would disrupt the
tribe’s rights to fish in its traditional areas, it won’t issue permits.
A decision is expected this week.