Submission Number: MBTL-EIS-0002370
Received: 11/19/2013 2:55:34 AM
Commenter: Jenny Holmes
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
The Columbia River watershed and its ecosystems are interconnected and must be treated as such in NEPA and SEPA Environmental Impact Statements. Air, land and water cannot be separated. The transportation of coal by barge and rail through the watershed, and its handling at terminals, poses serious health and environmental risks throughout the watershed. These risks must be thoroughly evaluated, taking into account the cumulative risks of all proposed coal export projects, from mining of the coal to Wyoming and Montana to the air pollution and carbon dioxide emitted by burned NW exported coal in Asia.
As a person of faith, I am especially concerned about the environmental justice implications of coal exports. Our nation has a responsibility to Columbia River Treaty Tribes to maintain the integrity of salmon runs and usual and accustomed fishing places. Coal trains and facilities pose threats to water quality and fish in the Columbia River and to areas were tribal fishing activities take place. The environmental impact process must take a full accounting of what is at stake for tribes and other environmental justice communities who would be disproportionately affected by coal export.