Submission Number: MBTL-EIS-0000144
Received: 9/7/2013 9:34:00 AM
Commenter: James G. Powers
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:email@example.com Sent:Saturday, September 07, 2013 9:34 AM To:firstname.lastname@example.org; RaiterG@co.cowlitz.wa.us; Danette.L.Guy@usace.army.mil; email@example.com Subject:Millennium Bulk Logistics Coal Terminal in Longview Scoping Hearing, Comments
September 7, 2013
TO: Washington Department of Ecology, firstname.lastname@example.org, 360-407-6594 Cowlitz County: RaiterG@co.cowlitz.wa.us Army Corps of Engineers, Seattle Dist., Danette.L.Guy@usace.army.mil, 206-316-3048 Submitting online Comments: email@example.com
Subject: Millennium Bulk Logistics Coal Terminal in Longview Scoping Hearing, Comments
My family and I have called the Pacific Northwest "home" for over 100 years and 5 generations. My grandparents moved here about 1900 (mom's side) and 1923 (dad's side). And now my children and grandchildren all live here. This is a special place and we do not want to see it destroyed by fossil fuel enterprises, as much of the Northeast has been.
This is why my family and I are asking you in our MOST URGENT VOICE to do the most comprehensive study possible (take a "programmatic approach") as you assess the wisdom of allowing the Millenium Terminal Project to move forward.
If approved the Millennium terminal would be the largest coal terminal in western North America. But it does not exist in isolation. It is only a "valve" in a vast infrastructure of fossil fuel extraction, transportation, burning and environmental consequences. As citizens, we rely on you, our environmental protection agencies, to act wisely as you evaluate the long-term impact these projects will have on the people and life of the region.
The social cost of CO2 Starting with the "big picture"...The Millenium Terminal is projected to transport 44 million tons of coal per year to Asian markets. This will enable the release an additional 80 million tons of atmospheric CO2 / year along with other atmospheric pollutants which blow back to us on the trade winds. The social cost of this release by 2050, according to an interagency committee of the U.S. government who published the "social cost of carbon" (SCC) tables, will be as much as $10.5 billion per year. (1)
Denying this terminal is the only rational decision to protect us.
As President Obama said in a recent speech: So the question now is whether we will have the courage to act before it's too late. And how we answer will have a profound impact on the world that we leave behind not just to you, but to your children and to your grandchildren.
As a President, as a father, and as an American, I'm here to say we need to act.
I refuse to condemn your generation and future generations to a planet that's beyond fixing.
Specific Site Concerns
Open-air Coal Storage: What environmental hazards to air, land and water are created by 44 million tons of open air coal piles 6 stories high? Can you guarantee that hazardous coal dust will not escape into the environment as it did at Westshore (2)
Water Issues: How much water will Millennium use? Another similar project projects the need for 5.3 mil. gal./day of water, or 1.9 bil. gal. per year. How will this water use affect the region?
Rail Impacts: Millennium's 14 new trains per day will be added to other fossil fuel projects in the region that estimate 72 new trains per day on the tracks. Coal trains typically haul 120-150 cars each. All of these proposals should be scoped together in considering environmental, economic and health impacts.
Shipping and Barge Impacts: The waterways of the Pacific Northwest and especially the Columbia River are among the most valuable resources we have for many reasons (including fishing & recreation). This is all at risk if you allow them to be clogged by vessel traffic and its inevitable pollution. The combined coal and crude oil proposals, now on the table, will add the following vessel traffic to the Columbia: *over 1,000 Panamax-class bulkers *over 600 coal barge tows (tug + 4 lashed barges) *over 400 crude oil tankers (340,000 barrel cargo capacity) *over 1700 crude oil barges, and
* Panamax-class bulkers Coal Barge and Tow
* Crude Oil Tanker Crude Oil Barges and Tug
What are the impacts from oil spills, coal spills, bilge pollution, leaks, wrecks, etc from these ships and vessels? Who will pay for these mishaps? The only real protection, guaranteed protection, is to not allow the projects to move forward!
Mining Concerns There are numerous impacts created by increased coal and shale oil mining that impact our region from Montana and Wyoming to Oregon and Washington. These include the environmental destruction to the lands being mined, the need for rail expansions and their impact, the increased rail traffic, noise, diesel fume pollution and coal dust pollution. An expansive scoping process must include these impacts along with the Longview proposal.
The Pacific Northwest is a place we all cherish. It should not be taken for granted. This ecosystem was gifted to us by millions (actually billions) of years of natural evolution and we humans are now it's caretakers.
We stand in a unique moment in time...between the past 4.5 billion years of nature's balancing and rebalancing, air, water, land, temperature, life - until humans could flourish here in the Pacific Northwest...and the future. We have the power to choose a clean, green, low impact future that is healthy for our citizens and protects the world from unnecessary CO2 pollution by denying new fossil fuel storage and transport permits. Or to choose to allow the fossil fuel companies to build their coal, oil and gas highways through the region and destroy what nature has created for our protection.
My hope is that your Wisdom will prevail and that you will require the broadest possible impact study of the Millennium Project and others that follow.
James G. Powers Albany, Oregon