Submission Number: MBTL-EIS-0002332
Received: 11/18/2013 10:16:13 PM
Commenter: John Brash
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 John J. Brash. I am a homeowner, and have been a resident of San Juan County for 35 years. I am a retired United States Naval Officer, and was a Chief Engineer in the United States Merchant Marine. A graduate of California Maritime Academy, I received a B.S. Degree in Marine Engineering. I ran 860-foot container ships and passenger ships around the world for nearly 25 years.
Based on my experience, my major concern with the proposed Millennium Bulk Terminals at Longview, Washington (coal export terminal) is the transits of bulk carrier ships through the delicate ecosystem of the Columbia River to the Pacific Ocean. I request that you please investigate the very real damage that this can cause taking the following factors into consideration:
1. Some bulk carriers approach the size of aircraft carriers, and some are larger. Most have fewer than 20 men operating them, and most are designed, built, and most importantly operated by Third World nations. The remainder will be operated by runaway flag operators who are controlled by and answer to no entity. Both these categories of ships have abysmal safety records and the chances of collision or grounding, resulting in oil spills, are significant. No matter how competent the United States bar-river pilots are, they cannot control a helmsman who speaks poor or no English. The pilot has no control over poorly-designed and poorly-maintained main engine, generators, and steering gear, which can fail and cause a grounding or collision.
2. I ask you to investigate the accident records of the above two categories of ships versus American, Japanese, and Northern European-run ships. In my opinion, Third World ships and runaway flagships should not be allowed to operate in this trade due to the potentially horrendous risks to the waters of the Columbia River and the Pacific Ocean.
Thank you for the opportunity to address these matters.