The Port of Seattle and the Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA) have begun public comment period on the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the modernization of the Terminal 5.
The modernization project includes berth deepening, dock strengthening and power upgrades to handle larger cranes.
The introduction of ever-larger container vessels has triggered dramatic changes in the container shipping during the past years. Vessels with capacity for more than 10,000 20-foot-equivalent units (TEUs) are currently calling at West Coast ports, and 18,000-TEU (EEE) vessels are expected in the near future, according the NWSA.
The planned improvements at Terminal 5 will accommodate heavier cranes with a longer outreach and provide deeper drafts to simultaneously handle two 18,000-TEU vessels, the NWSA adds.
“The Northwest Seaport Alliance needs to make Terminal 5 ‘Big Ship Ready’ to remain competitive in today’s global economy,” NWSA co-chair and Port of Tacoma Commission President Connie Bacon said.
“Modernizing Terminal 5 will allow us to keep good paying middle class jobs in our region. We encourage the public to weigh in over the next 30 days with their comments about the proposed improvements—either on-line at your convenience or by attending one of our public hearings,” NWSA co-chair and Port of Seattle Commission President John Creighton commented.
The environmental review of the Port of Seattle as lead agency under the State Environmental Protection Act (SEPA) will evaluate potential impacts to earth, air, water, plants, animals, energy and natural resources. It will also analyze impact on environmental health, noise, aesthetics (including light and glare), historic and cultural resources, transportation and public services.