Skagit County and the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology), as co-lead agencies, are jointly overseeing the preparation of an environmental impact statement (EIS) under the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) for a project proposed by the Shell Puget Sound Refinery (PSR).
The proposed project includes building a rail spur from the existing adjacent BNSF Railway line onto Shell PSR property to accommodate unit trains of 102 tank cars transporting crude oil. The facility is being designed to receive and unload a maximum of six unit trains per week. Shell would own and use DOT-117 Specification tank cars.
The crude received by rail at Shell PSR would be used to replace and supplement crude this facility currently receives by ship. The proposed project does not change refining capacity.
The project would also involve installing equipment and facilities to pump oil from rail cars to existing tanks within the refinery, construction of several stormwater retention ponds, and other safety and spill response measures. In addition, Shell PSR proposes mitigation for on-site wetland impacts through restoration of a portion of a nearby tree farm on Padilla Bay back to a tidally influenced estuary.
The co-lead agencies anticipate the environmental review process to take approximately one year depending on several factors including public comment, studies needed, and permit processes.
Learn more about various elements of the project: