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Feds hold Vashon meeting to discuss Glacier’s impact on the environment

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will hold a meeting on Vashon Tuesday night to discuss the extent of the environmental review Glacier Northwest will be expected to undertake before it can resume building its barge-loading pier on Maury.

The so-called scoping

meeting is one of the first steps in the Corps’ preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement, by law one of the most far-reaching analyses of a proposed project.

At the meeting, the Corps will seek Islanders’ input on a range of issues — including the potential ecological impact of the project, possible alternatives and other public concerns, according to a news release from the Corps.

But Amy Carey, head of Preserve Our Islands, said she’s troubled by how little notice the Corps is giving Vashon residents about the meeting. The agency issued its announcment about the Vashon meeting and an earlier one in Seattle on Friday — 10 days before the first meeting.

“I don’t think it’s adequate notice for a public meeting of any kind,” she said.

Patrick Christie, a University of Washington professor and member of POI’s board, agreed.

“As a person who studies and advises widely on public process, I believe this is ... not in the spirit of meaningful public consultation,” he said in an e-mail.

Carey is working with the Corps to get the date of the meeting changed; as of Tuesday morning the agency was sticking to the May 18 date.

Meanwhile, negotiations between a conservation group and Glacier over the potential purchase of its Maury site are ongoing, Carey said.

“We’re working on two fronts,” she added.

The Corps’ Vashon meeting will begin at 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 18, at Vashon High School. An open house will be held from 6 to 7, followed by a brief overview the project. Visit POI’s Web site at www.preserveourislands.org for updated meeting information.

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