Submission Number: MBTL-EIS-0000031 

Received: 9/17/2013 10:52:36 AM
Commenter: Leonard Higgins
Organization: 
State: Oregon

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
Prepared for Oral Testimony September 17, 2013 to the Army Corps of Engineers, the Washington Department of Ecology, and Cowlitz County regarding the proposal for the Millennium Bulk Terminals Longview (MBTL) Coal Export Terminal. My name is Leonard Higgins. I was born in Eugene and have lived in Oregon throughout my life.  I love Oregon's natural beauty and the independence of its citizens and leaders. Washington state is also well known for its natural beauty and like Oregon has a history of stewardship for its land and people. The Washington Department of Ecology website says it is made up of people who care deeply about the state’s quality of life and the public resources entrusted to their care and protection. Their mission is to protect, preserve and enhance Washington’s environment, and promote the wise management of air, land and water for the benefit of current and future generations. I'm here today asking the Army Corps of Engineers, the Washington Department of Ecology and Cowlitz County to take a thoughtful, common sense approach in setting scope for the Environmental Impact Review and Statement for consideration of the MBTL Coal Export Terminal application. Current and future generations rely on your careful consideration of the broad scope of the impacts for the proposed terminal.  In their recent letter to the federal Council on Environmental Quality, Governors Inslee and Kitzhaber said "Coal is the major source of global greenhouse gas emissions, and its share is increasing rapidly.  Increasing levels of greenhouse gases and other pollutants resulting from the burning of coal, including pollutants other than CO2, are imposing direct costs on people, businesses and communities in the U.S. and around the world.  These costs include the public health costs of increased atmospheric deposition of mercury in drinking water sources, as well as costs resulting from ocean acidification, rising sea levels, wildfires, and shrinking snow packs that are key sources of water for the western U.S." A recent draft of the latest climate assessment by the U.S. National Climate Assessment and Development Advisory Committee includes a letter to the American people that says in part: "Climate change, once considered an issue for a distant future, has moved firmly into the present. [...] Many more impacts of human-caused climate change have now been observed. Corn producers in Iowa, oyster growers in Washington State, and maple syrup producers in Vermont have observed changes in their local climate that are outside of their experience. [...as well as...] coastal planners from Florida to Maine, water managers in the arid Southwest and parts of the Southeast, and Native Americans on tribal lands across the nation." So, when setting the scope for this Environmental Impact Statement, common sense, your professional responsibility, and your responsibility to family and community require that you fully consider not only the significant direct, local impact of these coal exports, but also the regional and global considerations that will have direct impact on Washington and Oregon families.