"SEATTLE — 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.
If 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."