Submission Number: MBTL-EIS-0000189
Received: 8/30/2013 2:24:00 PM
Commenter: Ron and Marci Moore
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:RON S MOORE <firstname.lastname@example.org> Sent:Friday, August 30, 2013 2:24 PM To:email@example.com Subject:Longview Coal Export
Dear Commissioners, Engineers, and Scientists,
As a teacher in Longview, I am very aware of the effects that the economy has on my students. Yes, it would be wonderful to have a few more jobs in the region. Far too many of my kids live below the poverty level, and don't get me started on what that does for motivation. However, I have visited other communities in the coal belt, most strikingly Morgantown, West Virginia. I've walked the rail lines, noting the massive amount of coal chunks and coal dust that have accumulated in a wide swath along the tracks. I even found granular coal in the sand along the banks of the Monongahela River, undoubtedly due to years of coal barge traffic and the erosion of coal that had become part of the riverscape, if not its ecology.
Morgantown has a university and a relatively brighter economic outlook than many of the communities in that area. However, coal--both literally and figuratively--has left a pall on that city. Morgantown should be a thriving university town, full of culture and promise...I would imagine that they must see the economic benefit from the coal industry, at least. I don't see any signs of promise, just a depressed, beaten-down town. There is a layer of greasy, grimy filth that has permeated the core of that community. Like Longview, Morgantown is set along a river in some pretty beautiful country. But coal has choked the life out of that region. I don't know if it'll ever improve. Fossil-based patinas don't just wash away--ever notice the staining on the buildings of Victorian-era London?
I know what coal will do to Longview. We already have abysmal air quality. Longview has its own brand of scent that wafts into our classrooms, despite HVAC systems, if we're lucky enough to have them. When the winds are wrong, the air can be quite pungent, even eye watering. Who knows what's really in our air. But, relative to Los Angeles, where I lived for nearly 40 years, we do not yet experience the deleterious effects of traffic and over-crowding. If we bring coal trains and massive coal piles to Longview, or any other community in our region, we will destroy our air and water quality, transportation, and our quality of life. This is not worth any amount of money. I'm sure the citizens of Morgantown would agree.
Thank you for your consideration.
Ron and Marci Moore Longview, WA