Friends Ensures Added Protections for Southern Resident Killer Whales in Regard to Phillips 66 Refinery Expansion

On August 29, 2019, Friends of the San Juans appealed Whatcom County’s conditional approval of a 300,000-barrel external floating roof crude oil storage tank and an 80,000-barrel external floating roof fuel oil storage tank in a tank farm located within the Phillips 66 Ferndale Refinery.

On behalf of Friends members and the 73 living Southern Resident Killer Whales, we presented legal arguments before the Whatcom County Hearing Examiner on November 1, 2019, with support from multiple expert witnesses (including several whale scientists). The Hearing Examiner issued a (revised) final decision in this matter which will help to hold the oil refinery accountable for this project’s potential impacts to the critically endangered Southern Residents and the Salish Sea ecosystem.

Many of you wrote comment letters to Whatcom County to help support this effort – thank you for joining us to speak up for the orcas! We did it together! 

“We’re thrilled to see that Whatcom County has agreed to hold the Phillips 66 Ferndale Refinery accountable for potential impacts to Southern Resident Killer Whales. Protecting and defending this species’ survival through our legal system is a profound honor and responsibility that we don’t take lightly,” said Jennifer Barcelos, Friends’ Staff Attorney.

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Photo above by Mark Gardner.

We live in such a pivotal time. Future generations are depending on us to protect and restore what will be their environment. We support the Friends because they tackle the issues that really make a big difference in our local environment, while also squeezing maximum value out of every dollar in their budget.

Ken and Mariann Carrasco

members, Orcas Island