Submission Number: MBTL-EIS-0002573
Received: 11/11/2013 4:39:00 PM
Commenter: Jerry Boyd
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
From:Jerry K. Boyd <firstname.lastname@example.org> Sent:Monday, November 11, 2013 4:39 PM To:'email@example.com' Cc:'firstname.lastname@example.org'; 'Danette.L.Guy@usace.army.mil'; 'PlacidoE@co.cowletz.wa.us'; 'RaiterG@co.cowletz.wa.us' Subject:Comments on EIS Scoping for Millennium Bulk Export Terminal project
I have lived in North Idaho and Spokane for most of the last 70 years. (I was in the US Army stationed in Maryland in 1963-1966) and attend law school in Denver, Colorado in 1968-1971.) I worked in the mines and smelters during school vacations from 1956-1963. I have observed rail traffic for most of the 70 years. I have observed rail traffic from my office window for more than 40 years.
I have noticed a dramatic variation in the amount of rail traffic from a very few trains to many trains per day, depending on the economy. Unit coal trains have been traveling trough Spokane for many years. I have not observed any significant difference in the effect of unit coal trains from any other trains carrying commodities through Spokane. From my observations, I have not noticed any difference in air quality or any other environmental quality whether there are a few trains per day or many trains per day, regardless of the nature of the commodity carried by the train. I believe increased train traffic indicates increased economic activity which translates into more jobs and economic growth.
I oppose expanding the NEPA/SEPA EIS scoping to include consideration of hypothetical and speculative effects which are not directly related to the project or projects being considered for approval or permitting. Consideration of effects of increased rail traffic through Spokane or elsewhere is simply a waste of limited resources. Consideration of hypothetical effects possible uses of coal or any other commodity shipped by rail is clearly inappropriate for an EIS. NEPA requires the Federal agency to include in every recommendation or report on proposals for major Federal actions significantly affecting the quality of the human environment a detailed statement on: "(i) the environmental impact of the PROPOSED ACTION, (ii) any adverse environmental effects which cannot be avoided should the PROPOSAL be implemented, (iii) alternatives to the PROPOSED ACTION, (iv) the relationship between local short-term uses of man's environment and the maintenance and enhancement of long-term productivity, and (v) any irreversible and irretrievable commitments of resources which would be involved in the PROPOSED ACTION should it be implemented." Emphasis added. NEPA Section 102(C) [42 USC Section 4332(C)].
SEPA is substantially similar to NEPA as it relates to the scope of an EIS.
SEPA and NEPA do not require an agency to hypothesize or speculate about possible impacts from using common carriers to ship goods or possible use of a commodity that has been shipped by a common carrier. The EIS should focus on the Proposed Action being considered for approval or permit. No approval or agency action is required or is being sought by the railroads to ship coal. No major agency action is required to authorized railroads to ship coal. The railroads have all of the approvals necessary to make such shipments. Again, the agencies should not waste their limited resources to speculate about the effects of shipping coal by rail or the ultimate use of coal by some end-user.
Jerry K. Boyd 4133 S. Stone St. Spokane, WA 99223 email@example.com 509-448-9440
Jerry K Boyd 717 W. Sprague Ave. Suite 1200 Spokane, WA 99201-3505 Direct Dial (509) 455-6039 FAX (509) 838-0007 firstname.lastname@example.org