Submission Number: MBTL-EIS-0001958
Received: 11/11/2013 5:23:12 PM
Commenter: Norm Hale
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
This proposal involves the shipping of coal, a carbon intensive fuel and bulk product that contains numerous toxic elements, over rail lines that cross numerous water courses (streams, and rivers)in the Columbia River watershed.
I am concerned that the increase in the well documented coal dust, coal chunks and diesel exhaust deposited in the process of this endeavor will further impact the already polluted Columbia River and adversely impact every tributary the rail lines cross. This affects our already stressed salmon fisheries and the health of the river ecosystem in general.
Since we are trying to clean up the Columbia River and restore salmon runs in the system, we don't need to be creating further potential and actual sources of damage to the ecosystem.
Please conduct a full, comprehensive study of the effects of coal dust and particles and their associated heavy metals and toxins(cadmium,lead, arsenic, methyl mercury and various sulfuric compounds)on the adverse pollutants loading of the Columbia River and the impacts of these toxins on the aquatic organisms our fisheries depend on.
Mitigation measures like "surfactants" or "sealants" are only partially effective and do nothing for leaching of water born toxins as a result of open rail car transport in the wet climate of the northwest.
I don't think there are any "reasonable" alternatives for sites or project designs in light of the costs involved and the unwillingness of Millennium, Arch Coal, Ambre Energy, Peabody Coal and BNSF to expend funds to do so. Sorry, this sounds pessimistic, but their track records lead me to this opinion.
Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter and thank you for your service to our state.