Submission Number: MBTL-EIS-0002193
Received: 11/17/2013 8:35:36 PM
Commenter: Nora Workman Weaver
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
My name is Nora Weaver. I live in Bellingham, Washington.
I respectfully request that the EIS for the Millennium Bulk Coal Terminal project study the impacts that this project will have on;
• the Pine Beetle Infestation and destruction of forests in Washington State, British Columbia, and the rest of North America.
• climate change
Over the past 2 decades millions of acres of forests in North America have been destroyed by the Pine Beetle. It is widely known that the Pine Beetle's population is naturally controlled by freezing temperatures during winter. For the past 2 decades temperatures in many forests have not been cold enough for long enough (below freezing for at least 3 weeks in a row) to kill the beetle. These beetle populations have become prolific, causing millions of acres of damage to forests from New Mexico to Alaska, now prone to massive fires.
According to the American Journal of Public Health;
"In the United States and Canada, pine forest ecosystems are being dramatically affected by an unprecedented pine beetle infestation attributed to climate change. Both decreased frequency of extremely cold days and warmer winter temperature averages have led to an enphytotic devastating millions of acres of pine forest. The associated ecosystem disruption has the potential to cause significant health impacts from a range of exposures, including increased runoff and water turbidity, forest fires, and loss of ecosystem services."
(more at: http://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/abs/10.2105/AJPH.2011.300520)
From a 2010 report by journalist Tim Robbins:
Pine Beetle deforestation can "turn vast tracks of forest from carbon sinks to
carbon sources." These forests were once filters for the rising levels of co2. Now, not only are vast areas of forests dead, but when burning contribute even more co2 to the atmosphere.
North America is not the only part of the globe affected by forest pest proliferation, drought, and a warming planet. From the same article;
"Although western North America has been hardest hit by insect infestations, sizeable areas of forest in Australia, Russia, France, and other countries have experienced die-offs, most of which appears to have been caused by drought, high temperatures, or both."
We know that the scientific community around the world agrees that climate change is real, it is currently largely anthropogenically caused, and that the release of co2 from coal fired power plants is a huge factor. We know that the epidemic deforestation from pest proliferation, drought and high temperatures is caused by a warming planet.
If Millennium Bulk terminal is permitted and built, estimates are that the release of CO2 into the earth's atmosphere due to the burning of that coal in Asia (it's destination) will reach close to 125 million tons per year, once the terminal is at full capacity (44 million tons of coal exported per year X 2.86... U.S Energy Information Administration).
If this project is permitted and built, how can the resulting accumulation of Co2 and other greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of that coal that will be released into the earth's atmosphere be at all mitigated?
In addition, I request that the EIS for the Millennium Terminal project be cumulative; to include all impacts from mining the coal, transporting the coal via rail and cargo vessel; as well as all of the additional impacts from all of the other coal export terminals proposed in Washington and Oregon, as they all contribute to one ultimate problem which can not be mitigated: climate change.