(January 2015 photo of Terminal 5 by Long Bach Nguyen)
Two years ago, the Port of Seattle took a major step in its plan to “modernize” West Seattle’s Terminal 5, weeks before shutting it down as a cargo terminal. And now, it’s time for the next step: The draft Environmental Impact Statement is ready for your review and comments. This is the report that wouldn’t have happened without a group of T-5 neighbors pushing for it; at first, the port didn’t think an EIS would be needed, but the neighbors begged to differ, and launched a petition drive. The port subsequently announced last fall that discussions with potential tenants revealed the scope of operations would require an EIS after all – and now, a one-month comment period has opened, as previewed at recent community meetings we covered. Here’s the port’s official announcement:
The Port of Seattle and the Northwest Seaport Alliance are proposing modifications to marine cargo facilities at Terminal 5.
The Port of Seattle, as lead agency under the State Environmental Protection Act (SEPA), is preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the project, which includes berth deepening, dock strengthening, and power upgrades to handle larger cranes.
The Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA) is a marine cargo operating partnership of the ports of Seattle and Tacoma governed jointly by the commissions of the two ports.
“The Northwest Seaport Alliance needs to make Terminal 5 ‘Big Ship Ready’ to remain competitive in today’s global economy,” said NWSA co-chair and Port of Tacoma Commission President Connie Bacon.
“Modernizing Terminal 5 will allow us to keep good paying middle class jobs in our region. We encourage the public to weigh in over the next 30 days with their comments about the proposed improvements—either online at your convenience or by attending one of our public hearings,” said NWSA co-chair and Port of Seattle Commission President John Creighton.
The environmental review will evaluate potential impacts to earth, air, water, plants, animals, energy and natural resources, environmental health, noise, aesthetics (including light and glare), historic and cultural resources, transportation and public services.
Public comments on the Draft EIS will be accepted from May 23 to June 21, will be included in the SEPA record and may result in corrections, additions or clarification to the Draft EIS.
For tips on commenting, visit the Washington State Department of Ecology’s Citizen’s Guide to SEPA Review and Commenting.
The Draft EIS is available online at three locations:
Printed copies of the DEIS will be available at the Seattle Central Library, Delridge Library, South Park Branch Library and the West Seattle Library.
Printed copies also will be available at Port of Seattle offices, 2711 Alaskan Way, Seattle, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday – Friday, through June 21.
If you would like to receive a copy of the DEIS please contact Brenda Thomas at 206-787-3382, or email: SEPA.firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on the proposed improvements and to comment online, visit t5eis.publicmeeting.info.
Comments can also be emailed to: SEPA.email@example.com – please include your mailing address for a response. The other primary ways to comment are listed below:
The Port of Seattle is also hosting two public hearings for people to share comments on the Draft EIS:
Tuesday, June 7
5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Georgetown Campus, South Seattle College
6737 Corson Ave. So.
Thursday, June 9
5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Alki Masonic Center
4736 40th Ave. SW
If you need the assistance of an interpreter at one of the public hearing events, or want to receive a response to a question in your native language, please call the port’s language help line:
Para español, llame al (206) 787-3797 y marque 1.
Để sử dụng tiếng Việt, gọi số (206) 787-3797 và nhấn phím 2
Soomaali, wac (206) 787-3797, kadib riix 3.
សម្រាប់ភាសាខ្មែរ សូមហៅទូរសព្ទមកលេខ (206) 787-3797 ហើយចុចលេខ 4។
For other languages, call (206) 787-3797 and press 5.
We’ll be reading the draft EIS tonight; followups to come.