Submission Number: MBTL-EIS-0002064
Received: 11/15/2013 1:53:57 AM
Commenter: Dan Kinney
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
Dear U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, WA Department of Ecology, and Cowlitz County Commission,
Please accept these comments on both the NEPA and SEPA scopeing for the Millennium Bulk Coal Terminals proposed for Longview Washington.
As a citizen of both Yakima and the State of Washington I am concerned about the international results of the expanded strip-mining in Wyoming and Montana, and the eventual burning of these fossil fuels, on the earths natural environment, and especially the potential effects on climate change. While these broad consequences may not be subject of NEPA review, they certainly should be addressed as part of our National Energy Policy, and the recent West Coast regional agreement, the Pacific Coast Action Plan on Climate and Energy.
I am especially concerned about the effects of transporting 44 million metric tons of coal across the state each year. One of the identified potential train routes is from Pasco to Seattle, which would pass through Yakima. The increased train traffic is certain to cause increased congestion and noise. How will this effect our community? Here in Yakima the town is divided by the railroad cutting through the middle of town, dividing the West from the East. The City of Yakima has already invested millions of dollars to construct two additional underpasses under the railroad tracks so that emergency vehicles could have access to the other side of town. Additional trains would further delay normal crosstown traffic and contribute to additional congestion and increased pollution from idling vehicles. I also have concerns about the effects of increased air pollution resulting from the train engines, and the health effects from coal dust.. Additionally, what is the additional risk potential for shipping accidents and spills? Finally, what effects will the rail transportation of coal have on our local waterways, especially the Yakima River which runs in close proximity to the railroad for most of the route from Pasco to the Snoqualmie Pass , What damage would coal transportation also have on aquatic ecosystems and fishing areas on the Columbia River
I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.