Submission Number: MBTL-EIS-0002947
Received: 11/17/2013 12:44:00 PM
Commenter: Diane Winn
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:Diane Winn <firstname.lastname@example.org> Sent:Sunday, November 17, 2013 12:24 PM 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.
As a public health nurse who spent over 25 years conducting research at the University of California Irvine on safety and injury prevention, I am very concerned about three very important safety issues related to the transporting of coal by rail.
One is the issue of train derailments. The heat and the mud slides last year impacted the integrity of the rails which caused a number of freight train derailments. Not all of the derailments involved coal trains, but several did and four people were crushed and died in two of these derailments. The increase in heavy trains loaded with coal will only cause further degradation in the integrity of the rails which will lead to more derailments. Not only am I concerned about preventing an increase in deaths at the time of derailment but I am also concerned about the impact the spillage that derailed coal trains loaded with toxic materials will have on the health and safety of the environment and communities adjacent to the derailment sites.
Much of my research related to transportation related crashes with some involving collisions between motor vehicles and trains. This past year I reviewed child pedestrian death data for Oregon and found 2 cases of young teens being killed by trains. Each year there are a number of auto train crashes in the US. There is little chance of surviving a collision with a train and there are so many communities that are transected by the rail. With the tremendous increase in train traffic that would occur with this proposed project, I am concerned about an increase in deaths and injuries from train crashes, especially at grade level crossings.
And finally, the last point relates to an issue mentioned in the previous paragraph. The increase in train traffic will tie up rail crossings for extended periods of time and will delay the ability of emergency response personnel to respond. Time is critical when responding to a person experiencing a heart attack, stroke, traumatic injury or other acute medical emergency.
I therefore urge you to study these three issues as part of your scoping process for this proposed coal export project.
Thank you, Diane Winn, RN, MPH
Diane Winn 1500 SW 11th Ave #401 Portland, OR 97201 714-470-4528