Friday, January 18, 2013

Fwd: 5 more days to submit your GPT scoping comments!

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Coal Train Facts" <>
Date: Jan 17, 2013 10:00 AM
Subject: 5 more days to submit your GPT scoping comments!
To: "Ryan" <>

Coal Train Facts is a registered 501(c) non-profit organization.  We aim to to provide clear, verifiable and easy-to-access information about the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal.
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Coal Train Facts

Scoping comment period closes 1/22/13

5 more days to submit your scoping comments! Because of the observation of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, comments will be received until 5pm on Tuesday, January 22, 2013.

Template letter for addressing Treaty and Archaeological Concerns

Please cut, paste and edit as you see fit, and submit to If you are including any of the relevant support documents, please use the online form, where you can attach either JPEG or PDF files.

My name is _____________________ and I live in ___________________________.   I respectfully request that various impacts upon tribal nations be given due consideration.  Please study:
  1. Potential damages to the Nooksack River, to Salish Sea ecosystems and fisheries, and to Cherry Point itself; and impacts on traditional livelihoods, natural resources, food sources, culture and religion.
  2. Possible infringement of international and  treaty rights, and the consequences of such infringement.  
  3. Any disturbance of archaeological sites, burial sites, and sites of cultural importance. 
As recognized in the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve Plan, the Lummi Nation and other tribes have treaty rights in the Salish Sea, as usual and accustomed fishing grounds. How might damaged fisheries; polluted waters, lands and air; altered ecosystems; and increasingly industrialized, crowded waterways impact traditional Native culture and spirituality; employment and livelihoods; natural resources and safe food sources? How might the construction and operations of GPT, and the transport and storage of bulk commodities, including coal, affect the full and proper observation of all relevant rights and treaties?
Xwe'chi'eXen (Cherry Point) is known to have deep spiritual and cultural significance. A burial ground and a sacred site, it is associated with the creation story of the Lummi People and the First Salmon Ceremony. For over 175 generations, Lummi ancestors lived and fished at Xwe'chi'eXen, and it was part of the (now much smaller) Lummi Reservation as established by the Point Elliott Treaty. It was the first site in Washington State to be listed on the Washington Heritage Register and is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. The 2007 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, supported by the President of the United States, includes the right to maintain and protect archaeological and historic sites. I request that  a third  party archaeological study of cultural significance at Cherry Point be done in accordance with Lummi tribal code, and approved and accepted by a Lummi Nation cultural commission.
As a non-indigenous person, I can't accurately articulate GPT's current and potential damages to culture and spirituality. That is why third-party studies done in collaboration with the Lummi Nation and other involved tribes are necessary. However, I  do understand that the impacts would be serious, and that some would likely be irrevocable and impossible to mitigate. I do understand that we in the United States, as citizens and as a nation, have a legal obligation to uphold treaties and other accorded rights, and a moral obligation to help respect and protect the sanctity of Lummi Nation's holy ground.
Thank you,
Signed ___________________________________________
Note: In the summer of 2011, SSA Marine illegally graded and cleared land without permits on the site for their proposed Gateway Pacific coal terminal at Cherry Point. Both Whatcom County and the U.S. Corps of Engineers required SSA to reach agreement on land disturbances with local Tribes. Five months later, at the time SSA submitted the new GPT application, SSA still had not resolved these outstanding violations. A description, with appendices, of these events can be found here.
Relevant Documents:
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