Submission Number: MBTL-EIS-0002812 

Received: 11/10/2013 1:24:00 PM
Commenter: Gini Paulsen

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:Gini Paulsen <> Sent:Sunday, November 10, 2013 1:23 PM Subject:Just say NO to coal trains

I am writing you to oppose and protest the presence of coal trains in Washington State, which includes terminating those which are now traversing this state, bringing coal from Montana and Wyoming into, and across WA State.


From extracting coal from the earth to burning it as fuel, coal is Black Death. The extraction and mining of coal destroys the environment in which this extraction occurs, laying waste to lands and hugely polluting and poisoning fresh waters, killing off vegetation and the creatures that depend for their existence upon forests, fields, streams and rivers, many of which are of benefit to humans. Reclaiming the lands that are devastated by coal mining operations takes decades, if not centuries. The same cannot be said for the pollution of water - our rivers and streams.

Extraction from coal mines results in Black Lung Disease for miners, due to heavy, persistent exposure to coal dust, that very coal dust that swirls off coal trains as they traverse WA state. There is no remedy for Black Lung Disease, other than lung transplants, a hugely expensive drastic medical procedure.

Coal dust spreads into the atmosphere, it descends on the fresh waters where the coal trains traverse, polluting and poisoning the environment ceaselessly.

Humans who live near where coal trains pass by are highly likely to become ill of various diseases, especially respiratory and heart diseases, but also cancer, since coal is a carcinogenic substance.

When coal is burned for fuel the resultant smoke makes the air unbreathable. The only way to improve the air is to stop burning coal, and the way to do that is to severely restrict the amount of coal available. Although filters can be used to trap coal that is burned, this is a very expensive procedure that many power plants that burn coal do not invariably use.

Burning coal also contributes to the escalating global warming which is already having devastating consequences for catastrophic weather phenomenon. The costs of remediation of these increasingly frequent and severe environmental catastrophes is beyond remedy, as communities are devastated. As well, deaths from such environmental catastrophes as forest fires, tornadoes, heavier than usual rains, upsets and destroys the entire ecological system, as well as the economics of a society.

Those who will be working in the transport of coal on trains are likely to experience greatly impaired health.

Communities through which coal trains pass and disembark are also at increased risk for life-threatening illnesses, including shortened life expectancy. Children and seniors are at especially high risk. IN some instances coal trains delay and disrupt other activities since the tracks on which the coal trains cross streets, roadways, and bridges.

The number of coal trains that are planned, if these coal trains are allowed, will be huge, with each train hauling 100 or possibly more cars laden with coal in each trip.

Once the coal is shipped overseas to such places as China, and other nation which are heavy users of coal there is no way to control its use. And the effects of coal burning are not limited to those areas, since the coal dust and soot from burning are swept into the atmosphere, there to travel and disseminate across wide areas.

The costs of allowing coal trains into, through and out of Washington State, at Longview and at Bellingham, are far higher than has been calculated because these will affect all of those residing in WA state, especially those living close to train tracks.. The benefits will be only for a relatively few number of persons, most of whom will escape the costs. This includes the owners of coal mines, investors such as Warren Buffet which owns BNSF.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. In fact, mining, transporting and burning fuel are likely to result in tons of attempted cures as we then try to remedy the extensive damages to the environment on which we depend for our survival, to humans, to other creatures (e.g., pollinators such as bees) on which we humans depend.

Do not allow coal trains into WA State, and especially do not allow ports at Longview (and at Bellingham) to ship out coal by the hundreds of tons, where its use will surely have a boomerang effect on WA state.

Virginia M. Paulsen 16238 12th Ave NE Shoreline, WA 98155