Submission Number: MBTL-EIS-0000129 

Received: 9/6/2013 8:51:00 PM
Commenter: Chris Bessler
Organization: 
State: Idaho

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
From:Chris Bessler <chrisb@keokee.com> Sent:Friday, September 06, 2013 8:51 PM To:comments@millenniumbulkeiswa.gov 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,

I an writing in adamant opposition to the construction of a coal export terminal at Longview, Washington. This would call for the transport of coal on trains across the Northwest, and specifically through my hometown of Sandpoint, Idaho - the so-called "Funnel" through which ALL northern tier train traffic passes.

For the sake of the extractive and transportation industries that will benefit from this scheme, I and my family, neighbors and community will pay these costs:

- DOZENS of additional trains each day through my town will create additional visual, noise, air and water pollution directly impacting us. - These trains will dramatically increase traffic congestion and wait times at railway crossings. - These trains will pose serious safety hazards for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians at crossings; it is guaranteed, over time, there will be additional fatalities. - The trains pose an ongoing threat of derailment that could dump untold amounts of coal into our greatest natural asset, Lake Pend Oreille, and its chief tributary, the Clark Fork River. I write this comment two days after a 29-car derailment put four cars into the Clark Fork River upstream of the lake. - Local businesses that rely on our tourism assets, prompt movement around town, or a clean and quiet community and lifestyle that helps attract quality employees will be hurt directly or incrementally. I myself am a business owner employing 10 people; my company will be directly affected by these impacts.

These impacts on me and my neighbors are all real, unmitigated costs that we will pay should the coal mining and transport scheme be approved. In other words: WE pay these costs so OTHERS can reap the profit.

Of course there are larger deleterious impacts than just those on my town. Similar injury will be suffered by towns across the region. The aquatic ecosystems and fishing areas on the Columbia River will be harmed. Strip mining with its grave environmental damage will be expanded in Wyoming and Montana. Globally, the increased use of coal will escalate climate change.

The costs far, far outweigh the benefits of the coal export scheme. Please, I urge you to consider the true costs in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement. Thank you.

Yours truly,

Chris Bessler 568 Turtle Rock Road Sandpoint, ID 83864 208-610-9928