BELLINGHAM (AP) — The Whatcom County Council has extended its ban on new permit applications for projects that ship crude oil and other unrefined fossil fuels out of Cherry Point.

The Bellingham Herald reports that the six-month extension was approved Tuesday and prevents shipments or exports of fuels that aren't processed in that industrial area.

In August the council approved a 60-day moratorium of shipping out of Cherry Point.

Supporters applauded the move, saying it will protect the public from dangerous fuel shipments. Others say potential changes to the industrial zone could hurt jobs and economic development.

Cherry Point is the site of two oil refineries, BP and Phillips 66, which have in recent years expanded their facilities to accept crude oil shipments by train. The moratorium, however, wouldn't affect current shipments.

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