Submission Number: MBTL-EIS-0002246
Received: 11/18/2013 2:08:20 PM
Commenter: Mark Gamba
Organization: Milwaukie City Council
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
Re: Scoping Comments for the Millennium Bulk Terminal Longview Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)
To: Washington Department of Ecology, US Army Corps of Engineers, Cowlitz County Commission
** Part 1 of 2 **
Millennium Bulk Terminals, Ambre Energy and Arch Coal propose to locate a 44 million ton per year coal export facility in Cowlitz County, Washington. This proposal would require that sixteen coal trains travel through the region on a daily basis (eight full and eight empty). Goods transported to and from the City of Milwaukie may share these same regional train tracks. Coal burned abroad yields pollution that returns to the Pacific Northwest and enters the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat. Also, our citizens spend time recreating and working in areas through which coal trains could pass, including Portland, Oregon, and the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area.
The City passed Resolution 55-2012 on October 16, 2012. It includes the following “Findings” that support our request for permit denial:
“According to findings from the Environmental Protection Agency and research in other communities, coal trains are likely to cause significant negative effects on public health, economy, and air and water quality.”
“Coal dust contains toxic heavy metals, including mercury, arsenic, and lead, all known to have serious adverse health effects, especially on children. These heavy metals are linked to increases in cancer, bronchitis, emphysema, black lung disease and birth defects.”
“This coal dust will have a negative effect on local businesses, homes and natural areas.”
“Mercury and other toxic air pollutants produced from burning the coal in Asian nations have been shown to adversely affect the Northwest's air, water, fish, and wildlife.”
“The City of Milwaukie is a leader in the fight for clean air and against the negative impacts from climate change, as evidenced by signing onto the US Mayors Climate Protection Agreement. The City has also committed to reducing its environmental impacts in its day-to-day operations. The Milwaukie Sustainability Team (S-Team) is a committee made up of representatives from various City Departments that meets bimonthly to discuss sustainability issues. This group created the Sustainable City Plan, which was approved and adopted by City Council via resolution in March 2009. This Plan guides the City's actions in reducing the environmental impact of the City's day-to-day operation. The plan has four target action areas, namely: Waste Reduction, Energy & Fossil Fuel Consumption, Procurement, and Ongoing City Commitment & Education. The City has further committed to participate in the Portland General Electric's renewable energy clean wind green tag program for a minimum of a year, and instituted a Green Power Challenge to encourage residents to participate.”
The following action sections of Resolution 55-2012 underscore our concerns:
Section 2. Allowing trains or barges to pass through the State of Oregon transporting coal in the volume and of the type planned is not compatible with the environmental future desired by our City residents.
Section 3. All applicable federal, state, and local laws protecting public health, safety, and air and water quality should be enforced to protect the citizens of Milwaukie and the state of Oregon from the adverse effects of coal trains and barges.
** Part 1 of 2 ** Comments continued in following comment **