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The primary focus on air emissions from a multi-commodity bulk cargo-handling facility is dust, not chemical pollutants. The terminal will be required to control emissions, as the project’s shoreline permit from Whatcom County provides that “No odors, dust, dirt, or smoke shall be emitted that are detectable at or beyond the property line, in such a concentration or of such duration to cause a public nuisance”.  Also in accordance with our permit, we will deploy the best pollution and abatement technology when that technology is reasonably available.

First Cherry Point Customer Commits to Sealant on Coal Trains

Sealant on Coal Trains Video

Peabody Energy is the first export customer for the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal. Peabody intends to treat all coal that it exports through Cherry Point with sealant, which is consistent with the railroad’s requirements. Peabody already has this technology in place, and uses it safely and effectively. The process is simple; each car is loaded using a low-profile shaping technique, and then sprayed with a sealant, a water-based product that has the same key ingredients found in white school glue. The sealant forms a crust over the coal, essentially creating a veneer cover. The practices will create a “belt and suspenders” approach, to eliminate potential concerns about dust in the state or in Whatcom County from Peabody’s coal shipments. Watch the video to see how it works!


Water-soluble bulk cargo stored on the site will be covered, and sprinkling systems will be installed, to minimize dust from reserves of non-water soluble materials. When loading cargo, materials will be conveyed through covered chutes on land, and in enclosed chutes over water, and landward 200′ of the shoreline. We will position the end of our loading chutes inside the ship’s hold to minimize dust.


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