Submission Number: MBTL-EIS-0001401
Received: 9/27/2013 7:38:00 PM
Commenter: Dan and Janet Blair
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:Dan and Janet Blair <email@example.com> Sent:Friday, September 27, 2013 7:19 PM To:firstname.lastname@example.org Subject:Comments for Millennium Environmental Impact Study
Dear U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, WA Department of Ecology and Cowlitz County Commission:
As residents of Oregon, we submit these comments in strong opposition to the construction of a coal- export terminal in Longview, WA., that would facilitate the transportion of 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. John Muir once wrote this to describe what might be called the web of life: "When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe." That seems to apply particularly to the extractive industries in our industrial society; they view the natural world as a collection of resources to exploit, with little or no awareness or care for the natural world's interrelatedness.
As the responsible government agencies consider decisions that could result in an attack on the web of life, we urge you to consider that interrelatedness. The transport and use of coal adds numerous toxins to our atmosphere: mercury that bioaccumulates in our seafood; heavy metals that leach into our waterways; carcinogens that sicken both animals and people; and carbon dioxide emissions that escalate global climate change and increase ocean acidification. We ask that you note the latest climate report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) Working Group 1, released Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, that concludes with higher confidence than ever before that human activity is contributing to climate change.
Because this coal-export terminal would have drastic impacts on the health of our natural ecosystems and our communities, the Millennium Environmental Impact Study ("the EIS") must evaluate the following:
the effects of dust from uncovered coal trains on air quality and human health; the effects of diesel emissions from increased barging and railway traffic on both human health and the viewshed of the Columbia Gorge, a National Scenic Area; pollution into the Columbia River, resulting from terminal construction and operation, and transfer of the coal from barges to ocean-going vessels; and the potential for spills, with attendant threats to endangered species.
The EIS must also consider what approval of this terminal and coal exports will mean at every step in the process, from the Powder River Basin of Montana and Wyoming to the power grids in Asia. As the John Muir quote cited above suggests, Millennium's project is "hitched" to a good deal in the Universe.
Furthermore, the coal-train traffic impacts in Longview will be so great that Millennium cannot operate without massive, taxpayer-funded rail infrastructure changes currently planned as the S.R. 432 Project. Therefore, the S.R. 432 Project must also be analyzed in the EIS.
Thank you for the opportunity to submit these comments. We trust you will give them your most serious and thoughtful consideration.
Dan and Janet Blair PO Box 330 Joseph, OR 97846 US