Submission Number: MBTL-EIS-0001283
Received: 10/19/2013 1:05:43 AM
Commenter: Kenneth Zirinsky
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
My name is Dr. Kenneth Zirinsky. I am a retired physician and I reside with my family in Tacoma, Washington. My home is located within walking distance from railroad tracks that would be used by freight trains that would transport coal. My daughter has asthma.
Regarding the Millennium Bulk Terminal proposal for coal transport and coal export:
I ask you to please perform a cumulative, wide area, global Environmental Impact Statement.
I also request that you please specifically examine the health effects of the increased diesel engine exhaust that would be produced by the Millennium Bulk Terminal proposal.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined that diesel engine exhaust is “likely to be carcinogenic to humans” and stated that "it is reasonable to expect" that exposure to particulate matter (PM) in diesel engine exhaust "could contribute to" increased illness (with increased hospital admissions and increased rates of respiratory symptoms) and increased deaths due to exacerbation of asthma and other respiratory diseases. The Millennium proposal could aggravate my daughter's asthma.
Please see page 1-4 (p. 27); page 7-142 (p. 545); page 8-15 (p. 576); page 9-8 (p. 587).
Please see pages 6 & 7.
The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department has stated that "Particulate matter levels in much of Tacoma and Pierce County do not meet federal health-based standards." Please note that adding this additional freight train traffic would likely add substantial additional fine particulate pollution, aggravating an already unhealthy situation.
In June of 2012, the World Health Organization (WHO) stated that exposure to diesel engine exhaust is associated with an increased risk for lung cancer. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which is part of the WHO, concluded that “The scientific evidence was compelling … diesel engine exhaust causes lung cancer in humans.”
Please see page 2.
The California EPA's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEFHHA) and the American Lung Association have stated that diesel engine exhaust contains many known or suspected cancer-causing substances and that long-term exposure to diesel exhaust particles poses the highest cancer risk of any toxic air contaminant evaluated by the California EPA's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment.
The OEFHHA also stated that diesel engine exhaust is a major source of fine-particle air pollution and that numerous studies have linked fine-particle air pollution to increased hospital admissions, emergency room visits, asthma attacks and premature deaths among those suffering from respiratory problems.
I also request that you please examine the effects on Amtrak's passenger service of the increased freight train traffic due to the Millennium Bulk Terminal proposal.
I am worried about the possible negative impacts of increased freight train traffic on the Amtrak passenger train service.
I have traveled by Amtrak's passenger trains from Tacoma to Bellingham, Washington, to Portland, Oregon and to Sacramento, California. I have experienced train delays of one and a half hours, due to the presence of freight trains along the same train route that I was traveling. These delays of passenger trains could increase as a result of increased coal train traffic.
Thank you for considering my comments,
Kenneth Zirinsky, MD