Submission Number: MBTL-EIS-0002170
Received: 11/17/2013 4:19:32 PM
Commenter: Karen Jones
Organization: Beyond Coal
Agency: Cowlitz County, the Washington Department of Ecology, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Initiative: Millennium Bulk-Terminals Longview EIS
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Testimony given on Oct 9, 2013, Longview Hearing
Karen B Jones
8802 NE 16th Way, Unit 109
Vancouver, WA 98664
Note: this testimony is as written; some parts were omitted in spoken version due to time limits.
My name is Karen Jones, resident of Vancouver, Washington, retired 30 year teacher. I’m here today, like most other speakers to ask for a full scoping study of the proposed port in Longview—economic costs; environmental impacts in this community and on world-wide climate change; and health impacts. This project puts too much at risk. In fact it puts everything at risk—our land, our people, our jobs, our river, our tax dollars and, in reality, our entire planet—What Risk? What Gain??
Just 135+ permanent jobs after construction.—and huge profits to corporations (though even that is in question as coal prices drop).
As a Vancouver resident, I have concerns about impact of trains on waterfront development. The trains will likely have a devastating impact on Vancouver’s $44M waterfront development. Who will want to live or locate their business there?-- with frequent mile long coal trains, blocking roads, leaving poisonous, lung-damaging coal dust in their wake. Crazy! All along the railroad—through the gorge and beyond, property values will be lowered; ranchers, vintners, orchardists, conventional and especially organic farmers will all lose due to coal dust deposits on their land.
What will citizens of Longview gain?? 416 acres of prime waterfront lost—that could have attracted higher value, forward-looking businesses, with more jobs. I looked at the Westshore Coal Port facility in B.C, shows that there will be huge drain on infrastructure and water supply to spray the coal piles to prevent dust from blowing; costs for treatment of this wastewater. Even so coal dust will ultimately cover neighborhoods with a sticky, dusty layer. Westshore neighbors in Tsawwassen know that:
The never ending rumble coal trains serving Deltaport are responsible for the constant layer of coal dust that anyone living in Tsawwassen is familiar with. Our extensive cleaning of surfaces before painting ensures your paint job lasts for years.—(from Warline Painting LTD website Tsawwassen, B.C.
What effects will the dredging of the Columbia for the port have on salmon & other aquatic life? Wildlife and the Columbia will also be threatened by the conveyor belt which will carry coal across the water to awaiting ships.
I could go on. But I’ll let others with a greater scientific background carry on. I just want to say how deeply saddened and outraged, I feel. I can’t help but think of how I felt as a teenager when they said Nero fiddled while Rome burned. I wondered—how could he?? Now I know---as we fiddle with coal we risk the earth and the future of our children.
My amazing grandson—lives in Washougal barely a half mile from the coal trains. What will be his heritage?? Please look into every aspect of coal’s impact on our region and beyond before you make any recommendations---and do not be beguiled by the rosy picture that Millennium and Amber Energy present. Their studies make promises that they will be unable to keep in reality. Coal pollutes; Coal kills. That is the reality.