Shell Refinery’s plan to build a large rail yard to accept Bakken crude oil from North Dakota has inched a stop forward with action by the County, which maintains there is no need for an full environmental impact statement.
In a news release, the County said that it was making modification to a Mitigated Determination of non-significance for construction of the new rail yard on March Point. The county said the decision was made after review of the environmental information and analysis on file with the county.
The news release said, “The modified and added conditions continue to address the project’s environmental impacts. Consequently, the lead agency for this proposal has determined that it does not have a probable significant adverse impact to the environment provided that the applicable development regulations outlined in Skagit County Code and other adopted plans and standards and the conditions set out below are satisfied.“
The County Planning & Development Services Department said comments can be made up to August 28 and appeals maybe submitted no later than Sept. 11.
The list of modifications and steps Shell must take before construction can begin is long.
- The applicant shall receive and comply with all permits and approvals from Northwest Clean Air Agency requirements.
- The applicant shall receive and comply with the Eagle Non-purposeful Take Permit and Eagle Nest Take Permit from U. S. Fish and Wildlife prior to disturbance of any bald eagle nest tree.
- The applicant shall receive and comply with all permits and approvals from the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife including but not necessarily limited to the Hydraulic Project Approval.
- The applicant shall receive and comply with all permits and approvals from the Washington State Department of Ecology, including but not limited to the 401 Water Quality Certification and Coastal Zone Management Consistency.
- The applicant shall receive and comply with all permits and approvals from the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers including but not necessarily limited to the Section 404 Individual Permit.
- The applicant shall comply with applicable provisions and regulations of the Federal Railroad Administration and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.
- The applicant shall comply with all applicable provisions of Skagit County Code (SCC) 14.24, the Critical Areas Ordinance.
- The applicant shall comply with all applicable provisions of SCC 14.32, the Drainage Ordinance.
- The applicant shall comply with the International Building Code.
- The applicant shall comply with the International Fire Code.
- The applicant shall work in good faith with BNSF and other local oil refiners to develop a mutual aid agreement associated with responding to crude railcar incidents off-site of refinery property.
- The applicant shall comply with United States Department of Transportation safety advisory 2014-01.
- The applicant must fully transition out of using “legacy” DOT 111 cars in its fleet for transporting crude as soon as practicable. All new rail cars added to the applicant’s fleet will be “good faith CPC 1232” type cars unless the federal standards change.
- The applicant must not knowingly accept at its facility any rail cars that do not meet all applicable United States Department of Transportation regulations.
- The applicant shall ensure that all lighting installed for this proposal will be International Dark Sky Association Dark Sky compliant.
- The applicant shall comply with the Washington State Department of Fish & Wildlife noise buffer guidelines and distances for great blue heron colonies.
- The project will not involve any change in refining capacity, nor involve an increase in the amount of crude transported over marine waters.
- The applicant shall make a request to BNSF that trains arrive and depart during non-peak traffic hours.
- The avoidance and minimization measures listed on pages 20 & 21 of the July 17, 2014 response from Shell must be completed as proposed.