Submission Number: MBTL-EIS-0002109
Received: 11/15/2013 8:16:11 PM
Commenter: Sanford Olson
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
Since the dawn of the industrial age ever-increasing amounts of carbon dioxide have been released into the atmosphere, not only warming the planet but increasing ocean CO2 content. Scientists have been measuring and reporting that oceanic CO2 absorption is causing seawater to be more acidic. The chemistry of our oceans is changing. This change now threatens the entire marine food chain.
According to the Journal Nature Geoscience 5,845-846(2012)Pteropods, which are small snail-like sea creatures important to many fish, including salmon, are experiencing thinning and dissolution of their shells resulting in increasing morbidity and mortality. This is occurring at current pH levels, levels which were not predicted to be reached until 2038. Fish eggs, embryonic fish, and a host of larval organisms at the very base of the marine food web are now threatened.
In past epochs, mass extinctions occurred when oceans became similarly acidic. However, because the chemical changes occurred over many centuries, the ancestors of today’s sea creatures were able to adapt to that slowly souring environment. The rapidity and immensity of the chemical changes now occurring may not allow marine organisms to evolve species preserving strategies.
The burning of fossil fuels by industry, transportation, and energy production are responsible for the climate and chemical changes occurring in the atmosphere and oceans. If oceanic biodiversity is important for the species we rely upon as food, it would seem illogical to continue to promote the use of fuels associated with physical and economic damages linked to atmospheric and oceanic changes.
Therefore, I request that the EIS developed for the Millennium Bulk Terminal include the potential biological, environmental, social, and economic consequences to the Pacific Northwest from burning the 44 million tons of coal to be shipped from this facility. The EIS should also include the CO2 and other GHG contributions from burned coal shipped from the other two proposed Northwest export terminals. Only when taken collectively can the cumulative effects of regional coal shipments to Asia be adequately evaluated.
I request the following concerns and questions be analyzed, in-depth, with reasonable alternatives and feasible mitigation measures identified:
1. What would be the economic cost to the shellfish industry in Washington because of ocean acidification due to increased oceanic CO2 from the burning of the 44 million tons of coal shipped from the MB Terminal and the additional millions of tons from the other proposed coal export terminals in the Pacific Northwest?
2. What would be the economic losses to the sea food and fishing industry, including jobs and capital infrastructure, as a result of the decrease or loss of important species of marine food animals due to ocean acidification from GHG’s and CO2 contributed by burning coal from the Millennium Terminal and the other proposed Northwest terminals?
3. What would be the economic costs to coastal communities of sea level rise driven by climate changing additional CO2, and GHG’s, produced from the burning of coal from the MB Terminal and others terminals proposed in the Pacific Northwest?
4. What would be the economic costs of increasing storm violence due to the CO2 added to atmospheric and oceanic systems from Millennium coal and the other proposed Northwest coal terminals?
5. What economic losses would The Columbia River system sustain because of a decline, or loss, of tourist, commercial, and recreational fishing revenue due to decrease in salmon fisheries due to ocean acidification affecting the marine food web because of CO2 contributions from Millennium Terminal and the other proposed terminals?
6. What would be the cultural and socioeconomic losses to regional Native American Tribes due to salmon declines due to CO2 contributions from the Millennium Terminal and other NW terminals?