Submission Number: MBTL-EIS-0003475 

Received: 10/2/2013 2:45:00 AM
Commenter: Nicole Sibert-Faaborg
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:Friends of the Columbia Gorge <Advocacy@GorgeFriends.org> on behalf of Nicole Sibert-Faaborg <sibertfaaborg@yahoo.com> Sent:Wednesday, October 02, 2013 2:55 AM To:Placido, Elaine Subject:Docket number 2013-19738: Comment on scope of EIS for Millennium Bulk Terminals Longview LLC Coal Export Terminal

Oct 2, 2013

Director Elaine Placido 207 4th Ave. N. Kelso, WA 98626

Dear Director Placido,

Please accept these scoping comments for the environmental impact statement for the Millennium Bulk Terminal (MBTL) proposal for Longview, WA.

As a resident of the Columbia Gorge, I appreciate you taking the time to listen to my concerns. I have spent the last few months educating myself on the proposed "coal shute" through the Columbia Gorge. As I reflect on the decisions being made, I am extremely scared for my community. I have not been able to find one good reason to allow this project to be approved. I know that jobs and money for schools have been promised. However, these are short-term proposals while ignoring long-term devastation to our region.

Decisions such as this, will impact our communities and region for generations. It will change living in the Northwest for the worse, and encourage our children to leave the region they now call home.

As a mother of two small children, I thank you for taking the time to consider my concerns for their future.

The proposal to export coal from the Powder River Basin, through the Columbia River Gorge to Longview for export to Asia would result in significant adverse effects to the local, regional, and global environment. The impacts of strip mining, transporting, and burning the coal in Asian power plants must be included in the scope of analysis for the environmental impact statement (EIS).

Coal pollution is already a problem in the Gorge from just a few coal trains per day, with large amounts of coal polluting Gorge lands and waterways. Adverse effects of coal spilling into waterways and into sensitive plant and wildlife areas in the Gorge from open-top coal cars must be analyzed in the EIS. The threat of fugitive coal affecting agriculture and forestry must also be examined in the EIS.

Existing rail traffic in the Gorge is near capacity. Approval of the MBTL project would result in the need to expand rail capacity in the Gorge with new tracks and sidings. Rail lines in the Gorge follow the Columbia River and cross many tributaries and wetlands. Impacts from the construction of new tracks would cause adverse effects to water quality, fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats. These impacts must be analyzed and avoided.

There are three pending proposals for coal exports in the Pacific Northwest. All would transport coal from the Powder River Basin through the Columbia River Gorge to export facilities. The combined impacts of past, present and reasonably foreseeable uses and developments must be thoroughly explored in the EIS.

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.

Sincerely,

Mrs. Nicole Sibert-Faaborg 1635 5th St Hood River, OR 97031-6724 (503) 475-4249