We were very pleased to see the state Department of Ecology and Cowlitz County using their authority to raise questions about the vast threats of coal exports.
It is great that the state of Washington is including rail impacts along the entire train line. These trains don’t just materialize at the Washington border. The impact of increased coal traffic on emergency response times and air quality in Washington, Montana, and Idaho cities and towns would be significant.
Greenhouse gases are air pollutants and should be part of any responsible environmental study of projects with this magnitude. This should include evaluation of impacts associated with the project from greenhouse gas emissions including those from terminal construction and operations, rail and vessel traffic, and end-use coal combustion.
Last fall, thousands showed up to the public hearings to voice their concerns about transporting dirty coal through their local communities, and an astounding 215.000 comments were gathered in the effort to help determine the scope of threats to be studied. Coal is the dirtiest , most carbon-intensive fossil fuel. We do not support coal exports because they would hurt our region’s leadership in the clean energy economy.
According to Gov. Jay Inslee, coal export is the biggest environmental issue facing our state. Shipping up to a hundred million tons of coal a year to Asia through West Coast ports would spread toxic coal dust along the rail line, pollute our air and water, and endanger families’ health.