Submission Number: MBTL-EIS-0000297 

Received: 9/24/2013 2:17:00 PM
Commenter: Borden Beck
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
From:Borden Beck <> Sent:Tuesday, September 24, 2013 2:17 PM Subject:Protect Washington From Dirty Coal

Dear U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, WA Department of Ecology and Cowlitz County Commission:

I am concerned about our air and water quality in the gorge and elsewhere due to coal dust and the toxins contained in coal. Besides the dust that will come off uncovered coal cars, there is the real possibility and eventually inevitability (with 1000s of trains over the years) of some kind of derailment that could put a large amount of coal into the environment unexpectedly. I worry about the certain health impact to Longview residents living in close proximity to the piles of stored coal that must be turned over to stall spontaneous combustion. If I lived in Longview I would also be concerned about the delayed response time for emergency vehicles due to stalled traffic and on a personal level would find such an ongoing hassle. In order to mine the coal from the Powder River Basin, farmland and water resources are being lost with no hope of ever recovering them. As you look at issues to consider in your review of permitting, please take into account the full range of potential problems associated with this proposal, from mine to ship and even the effects of pollution blowing back to the Pacific Northwest. I also believe that all the coal export facilities should be reviewed for their cumulative impact and not just looked at piecemeal in absence of their collective and certain harm.

If mitigation is to be considered, then be sure it is real and meaningful. The problem of coal dust for instance could be reduced by requiring all coal cars to be covered and the storage facility to be sealed as well. Absent the willingness to require such and other measures, this whole project is a environmental and health disaster.

As America slowly weens itself off coal and toward conservation and alternative fuels, we should not simply export this dirty toxic resource elsewhere on the planet. Please take the high road and help us move toward cleaner sustainability and act as leaders for the planet.

I strongly oppose the construction of a coal-export terminal in Longview, Wash. that would transport coal on trains and barges through the Northwest to be exported, sold and burned in Asia. Coal exports threaten endangered species and human communities locally and globally.

This terminal would have drastic impacts on the health of our natural ecosystems and our communities. The Millennium Environmental Impact Study must evaluate the effects of dust from uncovered coal trains, pollution into the Columbia River, terminal construction and operation, diesel emissions from increased barging and railway traffic, transfer of the coal from barges to oceangoing vessels, potential for spills and threats to endangered species.

The transport and use of coal adds numerous toxins to our atmosphere -- including mercury that bioaccumulates in our seafood, carbon dioxide emissions that escalate global climate change and increase ocean acidification, heavy metals that leach into our waterways, and carcinogens that sicken both animals and people.

The study must also consider what approval of this terminal and coal exports will mean at every step in the process -- from the Powder River Basin in Montana and Wyoming to the power grids in Asia.

In addition, the coal-train traffic impacts in Longview are so great that Millennium cannot operate without massive, taxpayer-funded rail infrastructure changes currently planned as the S.R. 432 Project. Because of this, the S.R. 432 Project must also be analyzed in the Millennium Environmental Impact Study.

Thank you for your consideration of my comments.

Borden Beck 1812 SE 33rd Portland, OR 97214 US