Nichols Brothers Expansion

NBBBI Growth

Nichols Brothers Boat Building, Inc. (NBBBI) was established on the south shore of Holmes Harbor more than forty years ago to repair small boat engines and hulls. Over the years their skills and capabilities grew to match the size and complexity of their boats. By the summer of 2003 they had completed and launched the 360-foot, 3500-ton Empress of the North. By Spring 2004 they had built and launched the fast Navy X-Craft. And by the end of 2004 they were proposing a major three-stage facilities expansion that would permit construction of vessels as large as Washington State Ferries - up to 400 feet long and 5,000 tons in weight. In May 2006 they announced orders for two $14M catamaran ferries for the San Francisco Marine Transit Authority. The Holmes Harbor community is proud of their success but wonders about the unintended consequences of such growth.

MPA (2004) HIGHLIGHTS

Originally in 2004, Their Master Permit Application (MPA) proposed a 24/7 work schedule, expanded parking facilities, 11 new portable production buildings used separately or coupled together to create an enclosure as large as a football field and nearly as tall as Boeing’s hangars (65 feet high). They also proposed a marine railway extending 1400 feet into the shallow water of Holmes Harbor, much of it several feet above the beach at low tides and a potential hazard to navigation when tides were high.

2017

Working Past Permitted Hours Neighborhood Disturbance Issue – Ongoing Scenario
Email sent this past January 2017 to the Island County Planning Director regarding the issue. It has 2 links to videos taken.

Hiller,

Unfortunately, our neighborhood is being subjected to NBBB working for the past several nights after permitted hours. Well past midnight. I have attached photos of the workers’ cars in the lot, vessel lit, and office modular fully lit. Additionally, I have included 2 videos that demonstrate the “industrial hum” from the turbine being utilized, and the worker shining his light to investigate who is filming. The second short video shows the worker returning to the interior of the vessel where the work is being performed.The noise being generated, tonight, includes back up equipment beepers, pounding, and industrial turbine noise. This is a violation of the Washington State Noise Standards, as well as, a violation of their permitted working hours. 8 am to 7pm for noise.

Video One of incident
Video Two of incident

Christine Goodwin, pres.
Friends of Holmes Harbor
P O Box 493
Freeland WA 98249

Images of the late night work

2015

The Hearing Examiner ‘s decision regarding on Nichols Bros Boat Builders Master Permit Application(MPA) of 2015. It’s been a long haul since 2004. The MPA 2004 and the MPA 2010 were withdrawn by NBBB. The 2015 was officially approved. Here is the good points:

HIGHLIGHTS:

-NO EXTRA HOUR GRANTED (NBBB CAN IN THE FUTURE RESUBMIT FOR AN EXTENSION IF “NEWLY ACQUIRED INFO FROM NOISE MONITORING RESULTS WOULD SUPPORT THE EXTENSION.”)

-ENVIRONMENTAL SHELTERS MUST BE COVERED WITH OPAQUE DARK MATERIAL WITHIN 90 DAYS AND INSPECTED BY ICPCD

-YARD LIGHTS TO BE INSPECTED, AND “REPLACED AS NEEDED, TO ENSURE THEY ARE SHIELDED AND FOCUESED DOWNWARDS. HORIZONTAL LIGHT ESCAPE SHALL BE MINIMIZED”

-NOISE MEASUREMENTS SHALL BE PROVIDED TO ICPCD EVERY 90 DAYS

IC Hearing Examiner Findings of Fact Conclusions of Law and Decision(pdf)

Comment letters from FOHH, WEAN, and MDNS that were submitted to Island County regarding NBBB MPA 2015.

MDNS = Mitigated Determination of Non-Significance

WEAN = Whidbey Environmental Action Network

FOHH Letter #1 on NBBB CPA
FOHH comments on MDNS issuance June 15
WEAN comments on NBBB Consolidated Permit Application(pdf)
MDNS comment letter
Noise study critique