Submission Number: MBTL-EIS-0002763
Received: 11/14/2013 2:15:00 PM
Commenter: Kate McBride
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:Kate McBride <firstname.lastname@example.org> Sent:Thursday, November 14, 2013 2:16 PM To:email@example.com Subject:Docket number 2013-19738: Comment on scope of EIS for Millennium Bulk Terminals Longview LLC Coal Export Terminal
Nov 14, 2013
US Army Corps of Engineers, Cowlitz County, Washington Department of Ecology WA
Dear Washington Department of Ecology,
Please accept these scoping comments for the environmental impact statement for the Millennium Bulk Terminal (MBTL) proposal for Longview, WA.
My name is Kate McBride. I am a fourth generation Gorge area resident and represent Hood River City Council. The Council signed a very strong resolution opposing any coal transportation through the Gorge in April 2012. I will mail you a copy of the resolution. Coal transportation will threaten the safety of our residents and put large strains on our city's budget. Smoldering hot spots on coal barges and sparks from trains and additional coal dust on or near railroad tracks will cause more wildfires in the Gorge. Our emergency personnel are not trained, equipped, or funded to handle this type of disaster. The unique topography that causes strong and gusty winds happens because of wind hitting the Cascade Range and funneling through the Columbia River Gorge. This makes it a haven for windsurfers and kiteboarders. This is also what makes coal shipments in the Gorge a disaster waiting to happen. I will mail you three wind charts from summer 2013, showing the wind gusting between 38 and 42 mph at the base of Cook Underwood Road and Hwy 14 in Washington (Hatchery). These are not occasional happenings in the Gorge. In fact during June and July of this year we had 43 days that the wind averaged 25 plus mph. Of those, 26 days averaged over 30 mph. 25 days it blew for 20 hours each day with an average high speed of at least 25 MPH. This is why coal is blowing off the trains now. This is why it is nearly impossible to fight fires in the Gorge in tinder dry summers. I will also mail you an affidavit from Ross Bluestone, who witnessed coal blowing off of a train close to where the wind speed measuring was done at the Hatchery. The chart for this particular day, July 21, will be mailed to you. An environmental study to learn what the consequences of these disasters could be in the National Scenic Area should be done. Train and coal companies should be held liable for any firefighting costs and damage done as a result of these disasters. I urge the Governors of both States to use the power the people have given you, to stop the permitting of coal transportation through our states.
The Army Corps of Engineers should refrain from making a decision on any permits until an area-wide EIS is completed to analyze the impacts of all three coal export proposals in the Pacific Northwest.
Ms. Kate McBride 813 Marian St Hood River, OR 97031-1946 (541) 490-4813