Submission Number: MBTL-EIS-0002184
Received: 11/17/2013 7:58:02 PM
Commenter: Ed Averill
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
There is a great interest in exporting Powder River coal through various Northwest ports. The total amount of coal to be exported, if projects are allowed is huge compared to any reasonable budget for global warming limits of fossil fuel. The Longview project should not, nor any of the other projects should, be viewed separately, when the total intent is to ship enormous total amounts of coal. Please, therefore, consider this project as one of a community of such projects for all the possible negative effects.
Negative effects of burning coal include all the poisons and pollutants it puts in the air. The CO2, of course, is the cause of global warming and climate change. We don't see as often press about the acidification of the oceans, but such acidification is approaching tipping points for many species, and that includes shell fish raised and harvested in Washington and Oregon waters.
Note that separate studies by the University of Washington and Oregon State University have found that the acidification of the Pacific Ocean at our coasts has almost gotten bad enough to make oyster reproduction impossible. In both cases, solutions have been found that postpone the upcoming death of the oyster farms by a few years. Encouraging further coal burning would cause an increase in acidification, pushing us past this limit faster and farther. Please help extend this research, become knowledgeable about the issue, and include that in the analysis of this project.
Many waterways in the world, including the Columbia River and the Great Lakes, have become contaminated with methylated mercury. There is much assumption that this contamination comes from burned coal, but there is every reason to believe that coal dust is equally capable of contributing to this poisoning of our waters. The fish in the Columbia River is already sufficiently contaminated that people are told not to eat it more than twice a month. Please research the contribution to this problem from the coal dust lost in transit by coal trains as they traverse the Columbia River Gorge.
Please also study the contribution to this pollution of water related to wash water used to spray down the coal trains and coal piles. What is the plan for sequestration of this poisoned water?