Submission Number: MBTL-EIS-0000116
Received: 8/29/2013 7:31:00 PM
Commenter: Alden Moss
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
From:Alden Moss <firstname.lastname@example.org> Sent:Thursday, August 29, 2013 7:31 PM To:email@example.com Subject:Docket number 2013-19738: Comment on scope of EIS for Millennium Bulk Terminals Longview LLC Coal Export Terminal
Dear U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, WA Department of Ecology, and Cowlitz County Commission,
The proposal to ship coal out of Longview, WA is bad for our region's health, environment, and economy.
The problems start with the mining of the coal. At the Powder River Basin, the coal is mined through the destructive practice of strip mining. Then, this coal is shipped by rail. Studies have shown that 500 pounds of coal dust is lost off of the trains for every 500 miles traveled. This dust is very toxic and has been known to cause cancer and respiratory problems.
The trains also pose safety risks in multiple ways. Coal trains have been known to derail causing catastrophic incidents. Even when they operate normally, the trains are so long that they will block traffic for emergency vehicles.
After the coal arrives at the port, it is a major environmental hazard for the aquatic environment around it. If coal were to spill or storm water were to run off into the water, it could cause severe harm to native and/or endangered species such as salmon and eelgrass. You need to take these impacts into account when you review the permit application.
Finally, the economics of this proposal don't pan out. Very few, if any, permanent jobs would be created. The proposal seeks to use valuable port land that could just as easily be used for another purpose that will employ as many or more people. Another economic threat is the potential of harming small businesses in communities impacted by the extra train traffic. People won't want to wait ten minutes for a train, so they won't go to those places. Then, the toxic dust will bring down property values, harming the already hit communities. The biggest economic threat is that many of the developing nations that the coal is slated to be sold to are starting to phase out coal. Even India, one the most reluctant countries to switch to renewable energy, is finally starting to think about renewable energy. Eventually, there won't be much demand for coal, so all the effort would have been for nothing.
These and many more are the reasons why I urge you to reject this proposal.
Alden Moss 6680 SW Amber Ln Portland, OR 97225