Submission Number: MBTL-EIS-0001524 

Received: 10/23/2013 10:00:00 PM
Commenter: Rose Ann Witt

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:Rose Ann Witt <> Sent:Wednesday, October 23, 2013 10:00 PM Subject:Docket number 2013-19738: Comment on scope of EIS for Millennium Bulk Terminals Longview LLC Coal Export Terminal
Dear U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, WA Department of Ecology, and Cowlitz County Commission:
As a biologist and American citizen greatly concerned by the very real threat of climate change, I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Longview, WA which would transport coal on trains and ships throughout the Northwest.
Coal power plants are among the largest sources of heat-trapping carbon dioxide emissions in the world. They are also a major source of pollution that causes acid rain, smog, and mercury contamination. When people talk about “clean” coal, they are usually referring to expensive, high-tech coal plants that are designed to reduce the vast amounts of pollution and carbon emissions coal causes when it is burned. Pollution-scrubbing and carbon-capture technologies do exist that can lessen coal’s air emissions. But, even with such technologies, coal is a lot dirtier than other energy sources when you consider the whole fuel cycle.
Coal power plants also represent the largest source of human-made mercury emissions. Transporting coal represents another huge environmental impact. Our current annual consumption of more than over 1 billion tons of coal per year in the United States makes up roughly 40 percent of the total freight moved in the nation, adding further to coal’s pollution and emissions profile. Transporting up to 44 million more tons of coal every year across the Northwest and the Pacific Ocean to Asia will only make a bad situation worse.
Coal is a dirty and dangerous combustible fuel that coal companies would put in open rail cars to travel through our communities and on massive cargo ships through our marine waters, fishing grounds and recreation areas. This proposal would negatively affect my community by increasing congestion and noise with more coal train traffic, polluting our air and local waterways, harming existing businesses, and delaying emergency responders. It would also damage aquatic ecosystems and fishing areas on the Columbia River, harm human health, increase tanker traffic and the potential for shipping accidents and spills, expand strip-mining in Wyoming and Montana, and escalate climate change.
In our warming world, March 2013 marked the 337th consecutive month with a global temperature above the 20th century average. In the contiguous United States, 2012 superseded 2011 as the hottest year on record. Last summer, the Arctic hit record low sea ice levels. Rapidly retreating glaciers worldwide are diminishing the global freshwater supply. And a tumultuous, increasingly unpredictable global climate is now regularly generating extreme weather events including widespread drought, wildfires, flooding and super storms which have become the new normal. Climate change is no longer imminent; it's here. Humanity increasingly risks catastrophic food scarcity, population displacement, international conflict and natural disasters on an epic scale, if we fail to transition now to renewables.
Coal export threatens the health, public safety and economic vitality of our communities ... as well as the habitability of our planet.
A healthy environment in which to raise our children should be a public birthright. As we, collectively, struggle to reverse the process of climate change, and its potentially catastrophic effects on life as we know it, our nation must start by overcoming our addiction to heavily polluting fossil fuels. Because their continued and unchecked use is environmentally irresponsible and will only compound greenhouse gas pollution, it is morally unconscionable to build yet another coal export terminal.
I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement and reject the Millennium Bulk Terminals.
Thank you.
Rose Ann Witt