Submission Number: MBTL-EIS-0002724 

Received: 11/16/2013 12:50:00 PM
Commenter: John Kersting
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:John Kersting <johnkersting@yahoo.com> Sent:Saturday, November 16, 2013 12:51 PM 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,

Thank you for giving us an opportunity to comment and your efforts to honor competing interests. Our Local Community, Statewide interests, National and International children and long term health are paramount and thank you for the efforts you have made so far.

However, I continue to adamantly oppose the construction or expansion of any export terminal in my home state Washington either at Longview or any other port for transporting MORE coal. The 44 million additional tons is a huge addition and must not be treated as business as usual or it's known or unknown risks minimized or ignored. Coal dust and waste are already known toxic elements on trains and ships throughout the Northwest. We refuse to continue being the pawns of corporate greed worshiping the promises of jobs or accepting other media and governmental manipulation to benefit a few at our expense. This is unacceptable.

As is the case in Montana where my brother lives, this proposal would hurt or harm communities by increasing congestion and noise with more coal train traffic, further polluting air and local waterways, harming existing businesses and delaying emergency responders.

This is not what MAY happen, this is what IS and has been happening to communities such as Missoula, with train yards in neighborhoods raising pollution counts significantly. 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.

It is hypocritical to minimize the certain damage by refusing to conduct studies showing the cumulative damage caused by the increased toxic loads by all pollutants in our ecosystem. There is an alarming and ever-growing toxic load in babies and nursing mother's milk well established in peer reviewed literature that cannot be ignored! As a decades long Special Education Teacher and long time Environmental Journalist I know that these loads already cause significant birth defects, long term health issues and higher rates of disabilities in our state, nation and internationally.

Having been to China, which has ongoing air, water and land pollution crisis after crisis on an ongoing basis which my brother and I have witnessed, continuing the excuses such as "They will get it from somewhere" are almost criminal negligence on an international level we refuse to ignore and you should too.

That there have been no local studies showing the level of damage, injury and danger is irrelevant in the face of the fact that we will be exposed to the tons of dust, "acceptable" spills, engine exhaust and end use devastation of air, water, land and climate caused by coal burning. I believe contrary studies are ignored, repressed and prevented by vested interests, another immoral act by our capitalistic system designed for one thing- profit at minimal cost with no unmandated social responsibility.

We, my family, all my friends, coworkers, local, statewide, national and international concerned and educated community are mandating your role to define and defend the responsibility to protect our citizens from the clear and present danger of participation in climate change, increased pollutant load and irresponsible delays to transition to clean energy sources. Manipulation of the public with well funded disinformation about jobs, health concerns and minimizing impact do not mitigate your responsibility to protect us. If we ship this coal to China, we are enabling their goods to be cheaper than producing it here, killing American jobs. China is number two and we are number one in carbon pollution, this must stop, now.

Our National and State-wide leaders promised over and over for decades to transition to non-fossil fuels and improve our environment. I believe corporate manipulation have turned these into lies and I am unimpressed by the actions of responsible agencies. Direct actions speak louder than words. I have yet to see direct, powerful coordinated progress by the US in international national, state or local moves to make a cohesive, dedicated strategic plan to stop selling, using and maintaining fossil fuel use in the US or internationally- as Germany and other nations have done.

The small steps in the right direction like closing the Centralia plant do not prevent PSE from using and even expanding use of the Costrip Coal Plant, burning 10 million tons of coal each year- a huge liability and pollution source for a local example.

I urge you to consider and do research into these clear and presently dangerous and unacceptable impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

I appreciate that this climate of corporate control keeps many good agencies and people from taking strong actions, so I am thankful for all the honest and courageous people and efforts that have been made, I recognize things have been and could be much worse.

Thank you for your attention and action on this critical issue.

John Kersting 2404 Olympia Ave NE Olympia, WA 98506

John Kersting 2404 Olympia Ave NE Olympia, WA 98506 360-970-5550