WOW. A Washington state record was set by you and tens of thousands of others concerned about coal export. Ambre Energy's proposed Millennium coal export terminal in Longview, Washington drew over 200,000 public comments during the 90-day scoping period, which closed November 18, 2013.
Residents traveling from Longview and from as far away as Beijing hand-delivered over 3,000 comments to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Army Corps) on the final day of the comment period. They made a stop at the Seattle Army Corps office to showcase some of the 200,000+ public comments calling for a broad review of the proposed coal export terminal.
“I live downstream from the proposed site, and Longview would experience all the impacts with coal train congestion, pollution, and economic loss. Longview should take the long view – as we can do better, and we deserve better,” said Les Anderson, Longview resident, as he stood outside the Army Corps office.
Many commented on the necessity that a broad scope of review be taken by the Army Corps, Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology), and Cowlitz County when considering impacts from the proposed terminal. If built, the Longview terminal would export up to 44 million tons of coal each year to Asia and would be the biggest coal export terminal in North America.
“China is moving forward, away from coal and onto cleaner, safer, more efficient sources of energy,” said Calvin Quek, Head of Sustainable Finance, Greenpeace East Asia. “Like with cigarettes, U.S. coal companies are desperate to sell this coal as use declines in America, but China isn't buying it. As the financial markets have shown: it’s getting harder and harder to profit from such a dirty, dangerous and increasingly unwanted commodity.”
In Seattle, residents showcased comment cards to convey the need for the Army Corps, Ecology, and Cowlitz County to evaluate a broad array of impacts in the Environmental Impact Statement of the proposed terminal, including local and regional congestion issues from up to 16 coal trains per day (full and empty) traveling through the region, health impacts from increased coal dust and diesel emissions, the cumulative impacts from the other proposed coal export terminals, and the climate and health impacts of burning the coal in Asia. In a letter released on November 18, 2013, twenty Washington State Legislators expressed that the county, state, and federal reviews must be comprehensive, cumulative, data-driven, and take into consideration the full range of impacts and externalities.
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