Submission Number: MBTL-EIS-0002587
Received: 11/19/2013 12:46:00 AM
Commenter: James Bylenga
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:James Bylenga <firstname.lastname@example.org> Sent:Tuesday, November 19, 2013 12:27 AM To:email@example.com 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 transport coal on trains and ships throughout the Northwest.
This proposal would negatively affect my community by increasing congestion and noise with more coal train traffic, polluting our air and local waterways, harming existing businesses, and delaying emergency responders. It would also damage aquatic ecosystems and fishing areas on the Columbia River, harm human health, increase tanker traffic and the potential for shipping accidents and spills, expand strip- mining in Wyoming and Montana, and escalate climate change.
I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.
I have personal experience working right near an at grade railroad crossing in North Idaho, and can say that an increase in rail traffic there would drastically hinder my work and could damage my physical and mental health. As a boat inspector for the Bonner County Soil and Water Conservation District (as a part of the Idaho State Department of Agriculture's Aquatic Invasive Species Program) I worked 12 hour shifts at the boat inspection station on highway 95 in Samuels (about 20 min north of Sandpoint, ID). This station was about 150 yards from the at grade railroad crossing at Samuels Rd and 95. During one shift, about 10-12 trains would go by per day. Every train would blow its horn 3-5 times. The noise from the horns was painful to my ears, and I would not be surprised if it damaged my hearing. When possible, I would plug my ears with my fingers, but if I was inspecting a boat, my hands were full, and I could not plug my ears. Also, a major part of my job was communicating with the public about where there boat had been and educating them about the threat of aquatic endangered species. The noise not only from the horns, but the trains themselves, made it impossible to communicate with the public. If rail traffic increased substantially, and it was a busy day for boaters passing through this station, it would severely hinder the important work we do there. If our work is hindered, it would be more likely that a contaminated boat would enter the Columbia River Watershed. This has serious implications, as one boat contaminated with zebra or quagga mussels could lead to the spread of these invasive species through out the entire watershed that covers the entire northwest. It has been estimated that introduction of these species could result in an annual cost to just the Idaho taxpayers of $100 million. Beside the fact that important public work could be hindered at this site, anyone, including myself, that would be this close to the rail line for extended periods of time would have increased adverse health impacts due especially to breathing the diesel exhaust from the trains' engines. This diesel particulate matter has been shown to cause cancer and asthma.
Also, I am a fisherman and enjoy eating fish from the waterways in the northwest. It has been shown that coal burnt in Asia deposits mercury in the waters of the northwest already. I do not want the resources of the US (that are to be used in our best interest) to be sold to another country only for the mercury pollution only to fall into my waterways and pollute the fish I want to eat and feed my (if I am lucky) children. Mercury (and in this case methyl mercury) is a bio accumulating neurotoxin.
James Bylenga 517 S 1st Sandpoint, ID 83864