Submission Number: MBTL-EIS-0000017 

Received: 9/11/2013 1:27:06 AM
Commenter: Amy Glasser
Organization: 
State: Washington

Agency: Cowlitz County, the Washington Department of Ecology, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Initiative: Millennium Bulk-Terminals Longview EIS
Attachments: No Attachments
Submission Text
Scoping comment: Please study the significant impacts that an additional 16 trains per day, blocking crossings for between 6 and 10 minutes will have on emergency vehicles getting to their destination in a timely fashion. It is minutes and seconds that count and if the emergency responders must turn around to take a different route, when they are stopped by a 10 minutes train, people may die. The emergency responders will have to turn around and hopefully the train will not be blocking the next crossing by the time they get there. There are dozens of cities along the train route in Washington and all those cities will be affected by the additional blocking of crossings 16 more times a day for up to 10 minutes each time the train goes by. If there is an incident where the train is backed up, the wait can be longer. The result of not getting to a home or person for an emergency can result in death or serious health damage. Other consequences could be a home burned down, the police may be too late to prevent an assault or find the offender if they are waiting 10 minutes at a crossing, or a person drowns and the responder is too late to save the person. The only way to mitigate this potentially life threatening concern is to build overpasses or underpasses at all the crossings. The cost of this would be impossible to bear for a county of our size. Please consider and study how our community and those all along the train route will be affected by these long waits 16 more times a day and measure the time delays and then assess if the danger to human health is worth the jobs you may see in 10 years (if anyone wants coal in 10 years). Supporting Documents: From coaltrainfacts.org community involvement, doctors APPENDIX E: Anticipated Impacts of Frequent Long Trains on Emergency Medical Service Response Times and Risk of Injuries at Crossings In the modern medical era, a five to ten minute delay in emergency medical service (EMS) response time can make the difference between life and death, particularly for cardiovascular events, respiratory emergencies, and trauma. The prospect of an additional eighteen trains per day – each 1.5 miles long—threatens to substantially increase the chances of critical delay in provision of emergency services to several areas in our county. Among the locations where citizens are at greatest risk of EMS delays are the arterial roads. Annually in the US, a train/vehicle collision occurs about every 90 minutes. Train/vehicle crashes are more likely than other crashes to be fatal because of the mass of the train. A 150 car freight train traveling at 50 miles per hour takes about 8,000 ft to stop (1.5 miles). Train/vehicle crashes also carry the risk of train derailment and, thus, risk to community and environment if hazardous materials are being transported.