Submission Number: MBTL-EIS-0002602
Received: 11/12/2013 6:24:00 PM
Commenter: Victoria Colewood
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:Victoria Colewood <email@example.com> Sent:Tuesday, November 12, 2013 6:04 PM To:firstname.lastname@example.org 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 am writing to express my concern about the human and environmental impact of the export terminal proposed for Longview, WA. This could provide certain known health risks associated with the pollution produced and also impact on the wildlife - thus unethical and a detrimental contribution to tourism.
Threats from mining in the would be exacerbated if the proposed coal export terminal is permitted. Local drinking water supplies is at risk from contamination of toxic heavy metals like arsenic, cadmium, and selenium. Additionally coal mining wreaks havoc on land, waterways, and wildlife habitat.
The cheapest and fastest route from the western coal fields of the Powder River Basin goes straight through the Pacific Northwest A report from the Wildlife Foundation noted that "To date, Big Coal has proposed at least six export terminals in Washington and Oregon. If all of them are built we could see 150 million tons or more of coal moved by rail, barge, and tanker every year through those states.
The dangers the Pacific Northwest faces from exporting coal included:
Diesel emissions and coal dust from mile-and-a half long rail cars would reduce air quality and deposit toxic elements such as mercury into waterways; Port construction and a huge scaling up of barge traffic would harm crucial fish habitat; Burning more coal in Asia would drive global warming, ocean acidification, mercury deposition, and other crises that affect species like salmon and steelhead that help power the economies of Washington and Oregon
In March 2011, Washington Governor Christine Gregoire announced planned to close the state's last coal-fired electrical generating plant by 2025. Citing a need to reduce pollution, develop renewable power, and curb the state's greenhouse gas emissions, the Governor joined state legislators, labor unions, and conservation groups to herald the end of the state's coal burning era."coal-2
Oregon had already announced plans to shutter the Boardman Coal Plant by the end of the decade. Boardman is the state's only remaining coal-fired power plant -- and its largest single carbon polluter. Instead of burning coal, officials trumpeted that a biofuel refinery would be built in Boardman, and will make ethanol out of poplar trees, wheat straw, and corn stalks. Governor John Kitzhaber said the new plant "will support the long-term development of renewable energy resources and boost economic rural development."
Longview, WA: The proposed Millennium Bulk Logistics Longview Terminal is located on the Columbia River Estuary and would potentially become a "mega-terminal," the largest West Coast export facility in the nation, exporting up to 60 million tons of coal a year. The estuary is important for shallow-water salmon, smelt, and other marine species.
Cherry Point, WA: The proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal near Bellingham, WA, could ship up to 54 million tons of coal per year. Seattle based SSA Marine joined Peabody Energy, the country's biggest coal company, to promote this expansion in Whatcom County. (Goldman Sachs owns a portion of SSA's parent company.) SSA Marine already found itself in hot water with Whatcom County, when one of its contractors cleared trees in a wetland without the necessary permits Located within the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve this facility is near one of the region's most important herring spawning grounds.
Port of St. Helens,OR: Near Clatskanie, OR on the Columbia River, Kinder Morgan Energy Partners plans a facility that could ship as much up to 30 million tons of coal annually (received by rail from the Powder River Basin in Wyoming and Montana). To build this port, Kinder Morgan will partner with a subsidiary of Ambre Energy, the Australia-based company involved in Longview. As with the Longview project, there are allegations that information about the project's impacts have been kept from the public. Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber warned that the terminal "should not happen in the dead of night. We must have an open, vigorous public debate before any projects move forward.
I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.