Submission Number: MBTL-EIS-0001643 

Received: 10/21/2013 10:14:00 AM
Commenter: Mark Fix
Organization: 
State: Montana

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:Mark Fix <mfix@rangeweb.net> Sent:Monday, October 21, 2013 10:14 AM To:comments@millenniumbulkeiswa.gov Subject:Comments on Docket Number 2013-19738
Dear U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Washington Department of Ecology, and Cowlitz County Commission,
Dear U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Washington Department of Ecology, and Cowlitz County Commission,
Re: Docket number 2013-19738: Comment on Millennium Bulk Terminals Longview LLC Coal Export Terminal
I am Mark Fix and I would be crossed by about 3 miles of the proposed Tongue River Railroad. My ranch is about 20 miles SW of Miles City Montana on the Tongue River.
The Surface Transportation Board is looking at several alternative routes. My ranch could be crossed by two of these routes. One would follow the Tongue River and the other would go from the Tongue River over to the Yellowstone River. The route that follows the Tongue River goes through my calving pasture and a floodplain in my calving pasture. The railroad grade would prevent cattle and wildlife migration from the river to higher ground. The railroad grade forms a wall that the cattle and wildlife cannot easily go through.
The Army Corps needs to work with the Surface Transportation Board to analyze the ports sufficiently. All of the cities and towns that are crossed by the railroad will be affected by the increased traffic and severance of the towns to emergency services. The taxpayers should not bear the burden of creating underpasses and overpasses to accomodate all the train traffic.
For every ton of coal we ship to China and Asia we will get back 2 tons of carbon dioxide. This will make climate change worse.
The water in the Tongue River that I use for irrigation will be harmed from the creation of the Otter Creek mine. The water is already being impaired by coal bed methane discharges in Montana and Wyoming, as well as discharges from the Decker mine in Montana. Discharges from the Otter Creek mine will also harm our water. The agricultural land in Otter Creek will take many years to become productive again as it is strip mined. All of the cumulative affects of building the ports must be considered. The companies will get the profits and we the hardworking taxpayers will pay the costs. As you look at the proposed coal export terminal at Longview, you need to take impacts to Montana into account. These coal trains don’t just materialize at the Washington border. This proposal will increase congestion, noise, and pollution with more coal train traffic, delay emergency responders, and harm existing businesses and property values. They will also cost Montanans millions of dollars as we’re left picking up the bill for overpasses, underpasses, quiet zones and other necessary infrastructure to deal with those impacts.
The terminal at Longview could also lead to more strip-mining of coal. Arch and Ambre, the project’s co- owners, both own existing and proposed mines in Montana and Wyoming. Arch also co-owns the proposed Tongue River Railroad. Coal mining has serious impacts on land, air, and water; as well as on the agricultural economies that depend on these valuable resources. The Tongue River Railroad would condemn productive farm and ranch land that families have owned for generations and spread weeds and fires, further threatening agriculture. Given Arch’s stake in all three of these projects, it is clear that these projects are connected and shouldn’t be looked at in isolation.
I urge you to look at all of these factors as you evaluate the proposed port. Montana shouldn’t have to pay the costs of coal export.
Sincerely,
Mark Fix

Mark Fix 1198 Tongue River Road Miles City, MT 59301