Submission Number: MBTL-EIS-0001532 

Received: 10/8/2013 11:47:00 PM
Commenter: Sandy Wood
Organization: 
State: Washington

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:Sandy Wood <columbiagrove@msn.com> Sent:Tuesday, October 08, 2013 11:47 PM To:comments@millenniumbulkeiswa.gov Cc:Sandy Wood Subject:EIS Scoping Hearings
I hope that you will listen carefully to my concerns and questions and comments and remember that thousands of people, as well as the world as we know it, will be jeopardized or destroyed by the coal export terminal proposal you are considering in Longview, Washington. One Canadian study says "coal terminals, by their nature, are active sources of fugitive dust." Hundred and hundreds of coal trains, pulled and pushed by 4 diesel engines per train are all expelling diesel as well as coal dust already; at least 6 coal trains are passing us daily. The disaster is building in the Pacific Northwest. Those trains should be stopped, and the potential of increase stopped now. The coal dust is blowing from the tops of the coal train cars as they pass us daily, as well as spilling from the bottom of the rail cars. A BNSF employee told me recently, as we stood near the rails crossing our driveway, that they are X-raying the tracks every 28 days to protect us. The coal dust damages the rails, as well as the intense weight of the coal trains. Why are those coal trains being permitted to travel along the Columbia River now? He said that 200 people had been hired to repair the tracks. Is this the type of job we are supposed to be encouraging? The need to repair the tracks is mandatory, of course, but the continued damage from coal trains is not! In addition to the damage to our property by pollution, our home is being damaged by the increase in number and weight of the trains. Our home is vibrating as the trains pass. There are cracks in our walls that did not exist 3 years ago; our home was built in the 1930's and was in incredible condition before the coal trains started. What is happening to the Columbia River and the marine life therein as the trains cause vibration along their route? Our property has the Columbia River as one boundary and RR tracks as the opposite. This property has been in the family since the 1880's, BEFORE the RR. When the RR wanted to build tracks along the river shore, our ancestor demanded a move of the planned tracks to the other side of the main road. Today, that main road of the 1880's\early 1900's is a private gravel driveway; the public road is on the opposite side of the RR tracks. We are at the mercy of the RR traffic in terms of access, egress, and potential accidents and derailments. In case of emergency, how does the fire truck or ambulance get in; how do we and our neighbors on our private driveway get out? We have had water rights from a spring across the road since the 1880's; will the continued vibration destroy those rights? We have a watershed on our side of the tracks, with the stream running through the property to a short creek to the Columbia River. Pollution from coal and diesel simply isn't acceptable! Federally endangered chum salmon spawn in the creek and in the seeps along the shoreline of the Columbia River; this is the largest spawning site in the lower Columbia River. We have written environmental protection for perpetuity into the titles of our property and family property across the creek. The Shoreline Protection Act was designed to protect our river and watersheds. Why is it being ignored? Coal is a poison; diesel is a poison. As individuals with children, grandchildren, and animals under or care, we do not use chemicals in our home or on our property. We plant to encourage beneficial insects, bees, butterflies, birds, dragonflies, wildlife. We have 3 ponds with a variety of frogs and salamanders. So far, all are healthy, increasing in population, and not deformed. What damage will be done to them with the continued increase in poisons? The negatives of coal are well known; you don't need to hear he scientific data yet again. What we, as a large group of concerned citizens, are asking you to do is simply common sense. When you see a dangerous substance being transported over thousands of miles from a coal mine to a coal terminal to Asia and return, you cannot avoid the need to study the entire process and length and breadth of travel, heeding all the potentials for disaster. In addition to all the dangers of the train travel, the ships transporting the coal can lose their load, destroying the ocean. They are single-hulled, just asking for disaster. The ships are filled with water from their destination for the return to the Pacific Northwest; that water is expelled near our shores, complete with remnants of coal and aquatic invasive species, causing ongoing problems for our ocean, destroying the environment for whales to oysters and all the fish between. We know the pollutants from coal burning are returned to the West coast via the trade winds. Why are we even considering this negative of coal when so many environmentally friendly, renewable resources can be used instead? Agriculture is another huge part of the Northwest economy; why aren't all the concerns of the farmers and vintners being considered? The Native American tribal fishing rights, and their ancestral homes are being threatened. Why aren't their rights being considered? Why is the damage being done to the beneficial insects and bees being ignored? Why are the desires of a greedy foreign company being considered, especially over the specific complaints and concerned of the US public? No jobs can be justified by the destruction of our world. No amount of money or effort can mitigate the damage done. The loss of our salmon, our agriculture, our health, our way of life are game changers! The increasing severity of storms, the dramatic heat, cold, wet, dry, winds: climate change causes all of these. Many doubters are now believing in climate change, thanks to the endless dramatic events. Why are the coal companies trying to increase the speed and damage caused by climate change? Why is their wish to destroy the Pacific Northwest even being considered? Why aren't the Americans with brilliant creative minds encouraged to talk with Asia, creating new technologies, building new energy sources, creating thousands of continuing jobs? Why is the private citizen, such as the owner of the Davy Crockett, jailed and fined for pollution of the Columbia River while the coal companies and BNSF are permitted to pollute? Why is the American public funding this behavior? Why is this even a subject of conversation? What are the plans for restoring the quality of the Columbia River, streams, watersheds, private and public lands? Replacing the damage with property somewhere else isn't an option: how do you replace the Columbia River? The impact from coal needs 100% mitigation; how can you promise that? What further damage would be creating by the mitigation? Why are the American citizens required to pay for the railroad and the improvements? Why are we all subsidizing the railroad and coal companies? I ask to be a party of record, and receive complete legal answers to my questions. I ask again that that the study be complete, including coal mine to terminal to point of delivery to return, and all the potentials for disaster and destruction along the way. Thank you, Sandy Wood P O Box 871660 Vancouver, Washington 98687 columbiagrove@msn.com