Have a Say in Coal Exports

Public hearings start this weekend.
This post is part of the research project: Northwest Coal Exports

If you’re concerned about coal export proposals in the Northwest, now is the time to speak up.

Government agencies are now accepting public comments about two of the five coal export plans:

Port of Morrow, Oregon. A coal terminal on the Columbia River proposed by Ambre Energy, an Australian coal company, appears to be on a fast track for approval. Read more about the very serious problems with this scheme and why it demands further review. The public has until October 31, 2012 to submit comments.

Cherry Point, Washington. The coal terminal proposed for the Bellingham area would be the biggest in North America and it would multiply coal trains through the Puget Sound region by 10 times over current levels. Government agencies have just begun “scoping” their review—that is, determining which factors they will consider when they conduct the Environmental Impact Statement for the project.

Opponents of the coal terminals are arguing for a broad scope that would evaluate the full range of impacts from coal shipments. They are also arguing that it is inappropriate to review the five coal export plans in isolation from one another. It would be fairer to consider all of them at once under an area wide Environmental Impact Statement to assess the cumulative impact of these proposals. The public can submit scoping comments now.

The public is invited to attend hearings about scoping for the Cherry Point proposal. There will be seven hearings held around Washington, starting this Saturday in Bellingham. The details are below:

  • Bellingham, WA: Sat. 10/27, 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. At Squalicum High School, 3773 East McLeod Road, Bellingham, Washington 98226-7728

  • Friday Harbor, WA: Sat. 11/3, 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Friday Harbor High School, 45 Blair Avenue, Friday Harbor, Washington 98250
  • Mount Vernon, WA: Mon. 11/5, 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. McIntyre Hall, 2501 East College Way, Mount Vernon, Washington 98273
  • Seattle, WA: Tues. 11/13, 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. North Seattle Community College, 9600 College Way North, Seattle, Washington 98103
  • Ferndale, WA: Thurs. 11/29, 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Events Center, 5715 Barrett Road, Ferndale, Washington 98248
  • Spokane, WA: Tues. 12/4, 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Spokane County Fairgrounds, 404 North Havana Street, Spokane Valley, Washington 99202
  • Vancouver, WA: Wed. 12/12, 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Clark College, Gaiser Student Center, 1933 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver, Washington 98663
  • Seattle, WA: Thurs. 12/13, 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Washington State Convention Center, Ballroom 6F, 800 Convention Place, Seattle

For more information, the Bellingham Herald’s John Stark has an excellent account of the scoping and review process for the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal at Cherry Point.

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