Submission Number: MBTL-EIS-0002139
Received: 11/17/2013 1:04:21 AM
Commenter: Theodore Zook
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
Health and Safety:
Blocked Emergency Response -- Emergency vehicles, or vehicles taking personnel to hospitals to respond to an emergency, will be delayed at train crossings, at a time when seconds count.
Coal dust from terminals blown to homes and other land locations -- During wind events, coal dust will be blown from coal piles to locations up to 5 miles away, as has been observed at the Point Roberts terminal, and it will be inhaled.
Crossing Hazard -- Over the operating lifetime of the terminal, some number of people will be killed by collisions with coal trains
Derailments -- Coal trains may derail. Derailments can be caused by an accumulation of coal dust, and also by the accumulation of damage done to the rails by the huge coal trains.
Diesel PM Emissions -- Diesel particulate matter (DPM) that is less than 2.5 microns in size, the most dangerous size, is emitted by the coal trains. These particles go deep into the lungs of people who breathe the fumes and cause serious health effects including cancer.
Fire Hazard at Refineries -- Coal Dust is highly combustible. When it is blown from coal piles at the terminal on to nearby refineries, it could create a fire hazard or other hazardous conditions.
Inhalation of Coal Dust from Trains -- Coal dust from the trains will be inhaled by people. Coal dust contains toxic metals, and has respiratory health effects.
Mine health and safety Coal mining, including at surface strip mines, is an inherently hazardous activity that produces known rates of illness, injury, and death.
Nitrogen and Sulfur Oxide emissions from Coal Trains -- The coal trains will emit Nitrogen and Sulfur Oxides, which create acid rain and have direct health impacts.
Noise -- Noise from the coal trains will interfere with sleep. This impairs cognitive development in children, and has other impacts in people of all ages.
Ship emissions -- Ships approaching and leaving the terminal will emit air pollutants, including sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbon PM, and carbon monoxide. These pollutants can have serious health effects.
Spontaneous Combustion -- Powder River basin coal is well known for its tendency to spontaneously combust, causing health and safety as well as environmental problems.
Toxic metals in soil due to coal dust -- The toxic metals in coal, such as arsenic, can accumulate in soils near the coal trains, resulting in exposure to people and to the environment.