Submission Number: MBTL-EIS-0002549 

Received: 11/14/2013 12:38:00 AM
Commenter: Sigrid Asmus
Organization: 
State: 

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
Submission Text
From:Sigrid Asmus <essay@nwlink.com> Sent:Thursday, November 14, 2013 12:38 AM To:comments@millenniumbulkeiswa.gov Subject:Docket number 2013-19738: Comment on scope of EIS for Millennium Bulk Terminals Longview LLC Coal Export Terminal

Dear U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, WA Department of Ecology, and Cowlitz County Commission:

I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Longview, WA, which would require the transport of coal on trains from Wyoming and Montana to the West Coast, and its subsequent shipment via dangerous West Coast waters to other countries.

Coal is a dirty and dangerous combustible fuel that coal companies would put in open rail cars to travel through our communities and on massive cargo ships through our marine waters, fishing grounds, and recreation areas. The coal corporations' own statistics show that each 1.5 mile long train would off-gas about 500 pounds of dust contaminated with lead and arsenic as it travels from its environmentally unacceptable strip-mined sources to the West Coast.

I live one block from the BNSF main line from Canada to Los Angeles, and even though rail shipments might not pass through my neighborhood, they would be so tightly scheduled in the Longview area that they would have a large impact in the Seattle area, and especially on Seattles's ability to continue to do business as a major West Coast port.

This proposal would negatively affect major areas of my entire state -- public lands, ranch lands, farms and orchards and vineyards, fisheries -- as well as the health of all those who live in the many towns along the rail lines.

I don't want coal trains causing congestion and noise with more coal train traffic, polluting our air and local waterways, harming existing businesses, and delaying emergency responders.

In addition to causing immense damage to the valuable tourist industry along the towns and beaches of southwest Washington, the coal shipments would directly damage whole aquatic ecosystems and fishing areas on the Columbia River, harm human health, increase tanker traffic and the potential for shipping accidents and spills in some of the most dangerous waters in the PNW, expand strip-mining in Wyoming and Montana, and escalate climate change. Coal export threatens the health, public safety and economic vitality of our communities.

I find it unconscionable that private corporations could be permitted to cause such grievous, permanent harm. The relative handful of :"jobs" that they promise could never replace a fraction of the cost of permanent coal-dust and coal-train damage caused by these coal shipments.

Please also consider that wherever this coal is burned, its damage can only increase the speed of global climate change. We all breathe the same atmosphere, and we will all be seriously affected -- as we already can see in the change of global weather patterns -- when fossil fuels are burned and not left in the ground.

I urge you to refuse to limit your investigation of the damages caused by these proposed coal shipments to just the Longview area, and to expand your investigations throughout Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon.

We will not get a second chance. If the Longview terminal is authorized, coal corporations will use that as a lever to press for even larger coal shipments throughout the Pacific Northwest. Pease do not allow shipment of coal through the State of Washington.

I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

Thank you.

Sigrid Asmus

98199