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Coal-export terminal backers pull local permits at Cherry Point

In this Sept. 21, 2012, photo, members of the Lummi Nation protest the proposed coal export terminal at Cherry Point on the Gulf Road beach west of Ferndale, Wash., by burning a large check stamped "Non-Negotiable." For centuries, Lummi tribal members have set crab pots, dug up clams and fished for salmon in the tidelands and waters of northwest Washington state. But the tribe says a proposed $700 million project to build one of the nation's largest coal-export terminals north of its reservation will threaten that way life. (Philip A. Dwyer/The Bellingham Herald via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

BELLINGHAM, Wash. (AP) — Developers behind a proposed coal-export terminal at Cherry Point have formally withdrawn local permit applications but say they're still weighing their options.

Last May, the Army Corps of Engineers denied the Gateway Pacific Terminal project a key permit, saying it would violate the Lummi tribe's fishing rights.

Pacific International Holdings told Whatcom County in a letter Tuesday that it was "currently considering various alternatives," including challenging the Corps decision or modifying the project to further reduce environmental impacts.

Whatcom County Deputy Executive Tyler Schroeder says the company would have to file a new application to move forward on another project.

The terminal would have handled up to 54 million metric tons of dry bulk commodities, mostly coal. The venture between SSA Marine and Cloud Peak Energy proposed receiving coal by train from Montana and Wyoming for export to Asia.

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