Potash public hearing postponed

A public hearing on a proposed potash facility at the Port of Grays Harbor scheduled for Wednesday has been postponed until after the first of the year.

“The postponement of the public hearing was made in response to requests from local stakeholders for additional time to review our application,” said Ken Smith, manager of corporate affairs for BHP, the company behind the potash storage and shipping facility proposal for Terminal 3.

City Administrator Brian Shay said he believes the hearing will take place some time in February, but there is no specific date or time scheduled yet. The city will announce a date, time and location as soon as one is chosen.

In November, the City of Hoquiam announced the review of BHP’s shoreline permit application was complete and showed the project would not significantly adversely impact the environment.

The proposed facility would be built near Bowerman Airport and the Grays Harbor National Wildlife Refuge and would receive potash — used to create agricultural fertilizers — by rail. The potash would either be stored or transferred directly to ships for export. When operational the facility would provide 40 to 50 full time jobs, according to BHP.

Up to 8 to 10 trains per week carrying up to 20,000 tons of potash would enter the facility. The potash would be loaded onto two to four vessels per week, a total of up to 220 vessels a year.

The city has all of BHP’s project applications online for public review at cityofhoquiam.com/newsroom/public-notices/.