Submission Number: MBTL-EIS-0002951 

Received: 11/18/2013 5:07:00 PM
Commenter: Tova Woyciechowicz
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:Tova Woyciechowicz <tova@oregonrural.org> Sent:Monday, November 18, 2013 5:07 PM To:comments@millenniumbulkeiswa.gov Subject:Scoping Comments on Proposed Millennium Bulk Terminals-Longview Shipping Facility Project

November 18, 2013 Millennium Bulk Terminals EIS c/o ICF International 710 Second Avenue, Suite 550 Seattle, WA 98104

Re: Scoping Comments on Proposed Millennium Bulk Terminals-Longview Shipping Facility Project

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the EIS scoping for the Millennium Bulk Terminals - Longview, LLC project. Oregon Rural Action (ORA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit membership-based community organization working to promote social justice, agricultural and economic sustainability, and stewardship of the region's land, air and water. We are based in La Grande, Oregon but have members throughout Northeastern Oregon and as far south as Malheur County and across the Snake River into Idaho. We are a member group of the Western Organization of Resource Councils (WORC). We are aware of comments already submitted by WORC, Northern Plains Resource Council, and our board member Norm Cimon. We agree with, and support those comments.

Our members own and operate agricultural operations, small businesses, and homes that, depending on the rail routes chosen, may be directly affected by the coal dust and congestion caused by the heavy rail traffic upstream from the Longview Millennium Bulk Terminal. We ask that the impacts on Eastern Oregon be considered in the EIS process. Our farmers ship grain, wheat, and other commodities and will be negatively affected by competing traffic and increased wear and tear on the train tracks. Please address how the coal dust that is carried far and wide in the Columbia Basin Inversion will affect farmer's crops, public health, and the environment. Air and water quality will be impacted all along the way. We will all be affected by the CO2 and other pollutants released during the transportation of the coal as well by the ultimate burning of the coal in Asia. Please take a comprehensive look at impacts all along the way.

It is ironic that in a time when both Oregon and Washington states are in the process of shutting down the only coal fired power plants in their states, in part to greatly reduce greenhouse gas and mercury emissions in their states, coal projects that will mostly benefit out of state and out of country interests are proposed to come on line in Oregon and Washington. It is important that the EIS clearly identify the net effect of eliminating coal fired power plants in Oregon and Washington while increasing burning of U.S. coal in Asia. It is our understanding that much of the air deposition of mercury in the Pacific Northwest already originates from China. And the effect of greenhouse gas emissions on climate change is the same whether it's emitted in Boardman, Oregon or in Asia.

Other questions of concern to our members include:

Where is the coal coming from to source the 48 million ton/year terminal and how much of it will come through Oregon towns and communities by way of the Union Pacific?

What are the cumulative impacts of increased train traffic from the Longview proposal, in combination with potentially increased train traffic for a proposed Coyote Terminal at the Port of Morrow?

How will increased pollution from coal dust and diesel fumes affect the health and property values near the ports and in the communities affected by rail traffic?

How will the impact of massive coal shipments for Longview, Port of Morrow and other proposed coal export terminals in the region impact grain producers who market their crops internationally and must compete for limited rail capacity?

As noted above, Oregon Rural Action also endorses the scoping comments submitted by WORC, Northern Plains Resource Council, and our board member Norm Cimon.

Respectfully,

Tova Woyciechowicz Energy Community Organizer Oregon Rural Action 1119 Washington St. La Grande, OR 97850

Office: 541-975-2411 Cell: 541-406-0061 Join us! www.oregonrural.org