Edgemoor Neighborhood Association

Annual Meeting

May 5, 2011




The ENA annual meeting was held at Lairmont Manor and was called to order at 7:00 pm on Thursday, May 5th by President Brad Rose.  Lylene Johnson recorded the minutes. 


President Brad thanked Joel Douglas for providing Lairmont Manor for the meeting and introduced the concept of the Fairhaven Club.  Additional information is on a table in the entrance.


April Minutes were approved as amended.


Brad explained that all property owners within the boundaries of the Edgemoor Neighborhood are voting members of the ENA.  No dues are collected.  Anyone not currently receiving email updates can sign up on the website or on the signup sheet here tonight. 


Reports of Officers

President's Report (Brad Rose):

            Fairhaven Neighborhood Plan public process is beginning with a meeting May 11 from 6:30 – 8:30 at Fairhaven Middle School commons.  There will be a total of 5 meetings during May and June at that location.  Edgemoor is a stakeholder in Fairhaven because it is our urban core. 

            Post Point Water Treatment Plant expansion application has been filed.  Information is available on the city of Bellingham website.  Comments will be taken until May 18th.  The South trail will be eliminated as part of the project.

            Neighborhood Plan Amendment Process will be discussed at a hearing to be held May 12th.

            Housing Panel will meet May 12th at 6:00 p.m.

            Sign Ordinance amendment comments will be taken until May 31st.

            Boulevard Park walkway to downtown conditional use permit has been approved.


Treasurer’s Report  (Diane MacLean):

            Balance to date is $3815.96.  IRS 99N has been filed.  Post office box renewal has been paid.


Vice-President’s Report (John Erickson):

            MNAC:  Graffiti is a big issue.  The police want to know when it occurs so they can track gangs.  Gang colors are blue and red – anything else is probably not gang related.  It is the property owner’s responsibility to clean up graffiti within 24 hours.

                        Citi IQ, the planning department’s overlays of utilities and property ownership, was explained.

                        The city attorney reported that the franchise agreement with Cascade Natural Gas which allows them to use city right of ways for piping is being negotiated for a period of 10 years.  The last agreement was for 25 years.

                        The Transportation Benefit District will be meeting May 11 (5:30) at the downtown library.  The allocation of funds for sidewalks, crosswalks and Sunday bus service will be explained.


            Bob Gibb reported that the receiver in charge of the Chuckanut Ridge property has been contacted with the suggestion that ownership should be shared by the city of Bellingham and WWU.  There will be a hearing in Judge Snyder’s courtroom May 6th at 1:30 on the lawsuit filed by David Edelstein against Washington Federal regarding this property.



            Nominations and elections were held for President, Secretary and MNAC alternate.  Results were as follows:

            No nominations or volunteers for President.  It was tabled until the next meeting; the Vice President will serve in the absence of a President.

            Lauri Grove & Lylene Johnson were re-elected as co-secretaries.

            Diane MacLean was elected as MNAC alternate.

Neighborhood Plan:  Brad explained the process to date and encouraged everyone to read the plan, which is posted on the website.  There are also some copies here tonight.  The June ENA meeting will be devoted to discussion, modification and, hopefully, adoption of a plan for submission to the city.


Short Break for Conversation and Refreshments


Brad introduced the speaker, Bob Ferris of ReSources, for a presentation on the proposed Pacific Gateway Terminal Project.  He discussed the following points:


General Impacts of Project: 

v  48 million metric tons of coal transshipped annually through Whatcom County

v  26 to 30 miles of new trains daily

v  200+ Cape size ship (200+ tons) annually

v  Coal dust & diesel fumes

Health Impacts of Project:

v  Coal Dust & Diesel particulates cause heart problems and cancers

v  Noise causes sleep deprivation

v  Coal burning raises mercury levels in water (1 in 6 pregnant women have mercury levels high enough to cause birth defects

Economic Impacts of Project

v  Lower property values

v  Business isolation and access issues

v  Time – delays

v  Compromises the waterfront

Coal Dust is a Big Deal

v  Addressed in the Seward Clean Water Act

v  Ground within ˝ km of Lambert’s Pt Coal Terminal in Virginia is 20% coal dust…and they dump directly from trains into ships, without open pile storage

v  Coal dust causes black holes and dead zones in marine areas

Low Sulfer vs High Sulfer Coal Argument

v  Argument:  The coal being shipped is low sulfur, which would result in fewer emissions from Chinese power plants than Chinese coal

v  Response:  Large container ships burn bunker fuel, which is the dirtiest product of the oil refining process.  16 large container ships emit more sulfur than all the cars in the world.

Canada Gets Revenue – We Get Dust Argument

v  Roberts Bank – Vancouver – current depot – at capacity

v  Prince Rupert – different delivery route

Project:  Bait & Switch?

v  Trying to use permit from 1992 – claim “vesting”

v  Differences:           1992                                        2011

8MMT                                      54MMT

5.8 acres wetlands                  162 acres wetlands

Potash & wheat                                   88% coal

Expectations:                           Expectations:

2002  6.03MMT                                   2015  34MMT

2012  9.84 MMT                      2020  63.84 MMT

Jobs:  Too Few, Too Late, Not Us

v  280 full time vs 2000-8000 Bellingham Waterfront Redevlopment

v  Only 33 longshoremen in Whatcom County

Can We Trust the Players?

v  Only 4% of the mitigation promised has been done by PRB

v  Job estimates were 2 times reality

v  SSA has not done the research promised in 1992

Cherry Point Ecology

v  Wetland loss:  coal dust robs nearshore habitat of oxygen

v  More than 400,000 gallons of additional diesel burned by ships in port (2 tons per day)

v  Increased potential for ship collision and a major oil spill

Global Impacts

v  100MMT of carbon dioxide emitted (green house gases)

v  48 MMT of coal to China = 205,000 new Chinese manufacturing jobs

v  Ocean acidification

The Process is Just Beginning – What Can Be Done?

v  Get informed – www.re-sources.org or www.no-coal.net

v  Talk to people

v  Get involved

v  Sign petition

v  Make scoping comments: SSA wants only Cherry Pt considered re: environment impacts

v  Make noise


Answers to Questions:

v  In 1992 SSA filed for permits for a commodity terminal.  Suit was filed.  Judge told SSA & stakeholders to work out agreement.  SSA was to do studies of long-term impacts…never done.

v  Trains are usually 125 cars with 2 engines at each end.  They are too heavy to handle grades, so won’t go over passes.

v  Whatcom County is the lead agency.  DNR, Army Corps of Engineers and DOE also involved.

v  Scoping questions need to be defined.  SSA wants to look only at Cherry Point.  Need to look at the entire length of the delivery route.  Law says if an issue is raised in scoping process, regulators must address it.

v  There is disagreement over whether the original permit is still valid.

v  The draft EIS is based on scoping questions.  Answers come to agencies for review, then final EIS is done.

v  Columbia Law School and others are willing to aid with suit.

v  Portland, Longview & Tacoma have all said No to this project.  We have become the beachhead for climate change.

v  The City Club discussion can be viewed online

v  The project will require substantial public investment

v  There is the potential for increased slides along Eldridge and Edgemoor

v  Burlington Northern is currently suing coal companies for fouling ballast under their tracks, which contributes to derailments

v  Questions for the scoping process need to be clear and respectful


Notes are based upon information and discussion at the meeting, have not been checked for accuracy of information and are not guaranteed to be without error.


The meeting was adjourned at 9:10 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,


Lylene Johnson, Secretary


Minutes are subject to approval