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Amanda Fritz (#9106)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Comment:
To whom it may concern:

This letter is submitted to the the public record for the Gateway Pacific Terminal coal export project proposed at Cherry Point, Whatcom County, Washington, facility site ID #22237.

The impacts of coal export at Cherry Point extend far beyond the terminal, reaching into every community located along the rail line between the coal mines and the export terminal, and even to communities outside the state that will be affected by the climate impacts of these proposals.

As an elected decision maker in the City of Portland, I deal with many projects that coordinate and emphasize policies of sustainability especially as it relates to environmental and climate related actions. We in the Northwest pride ourselves in achieving environmental protection goals that will aid the entire region in achieving climate action benchmarks. Proposed coal export plans for the Pacific Northwest jeopardize all of our past and future gains on this front. Recently I sponsored a Resolution that was unanimously passed by City Council that opposed the shipment of Coal by rail through our community. We support job creation. Job creation must provide a sustainable and healthy environment for our region. New economic development must therefore occur in a way that is balanced with the protection of public health, the environment and existing economic activity in our respective jurisdictions and the region as a whole.

I have a responsibility to safeguard my constituents’ economic interests, health, and the natural environment. Therefore, I respectfully request that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Washington Department of Ecology, and Whatcom County (collectively “the lead agencies”) fully disclose and carefully assess the impacts of the Gateway Pacific Terminal on our community and the broader region.

Pacific International Terminals, a subsidiary of SSA Marine, proposes to export 48 million tons of coal annually. This coal will travel in uncovered rail cars from the Powder River Basin through dozens of individual communities in Oregon and Washington en route to the proposed Whatcom County terminal. Aside from the impacts of coal export at and near the terminal, the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) must examine the impacts of coal trains and the coal export industry on communities along the transportation route, and national treasures like the Columbia River Gorge. . This includes the direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts of coal export on public health and safety, local economies, water and air quality, public investment, climate change, resources of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. These impacts are described in greater detail below:

Alternatives Analysis

I urge the lead agencies to complete a robust analysis of alternatives to coal export at Cherry Point, including export of other commodities, the use of the property by other industries, and a “no action” alternative.

Public Safety Impacts: The safety of our community is my highest priority. The increase in train traffic has the potential to harm our community by leading to more frequent accidents, including train derailments and delays in emergency response time.

Public Health Impacts: Coal is commonly transported in open top rail cars, contaminating local air quality, infrastructure, open spaces, farms, forestland, streams and rivers with coal dust, chunks of coal, and diesel pollution. The EIS must take a hard look at the impacts coal export.

Climate Change: Burning coal leads to increased emissions of greenhouse gases and climate change. In turn, the EIS must assess the negative impacts to quality of life, public health, and the environment which are associated with climate change. This includes the impacts of climate change in our community; ocean acidification, increased likelihood of reduced snowpack, flooding, summer droughts, and forest fires risk, and quality of coastal and near-shore habitat. We must all share the responsibility to reduce climate change by making each decision as if our planet’s survival is at stake.

Economic Impacts: A strong economy is vital to the well-being of our community. Increased train traffic has the potential to slow the growth of existing businesses and damage property, thus reducing the likelihood that new businesses will take root in this community. Coal trains’ blockage of freight traffic at intersection must be evaluated and considered.

Cumulative Impacts: The lead agencies should assess the cumulative impacts of the Gateway Pacific project and existing rail traffic, as well as projected increases in rail traffic from other coal export proposals. Currently, five ports are considering coal export proposals, which, together, could transport more than 140 million tons of coal through the region. For example, the lead agencies should assess the cumulative impacts resulting from the emissions of greenhouse gasses that would result from the proposed combustion, mining and transportation of coal that would be handled by the proposed coal export facility at Cherry Point. In doing so, the lead agencies should assess the totality of greenhouse gas emissions associated with all of the coal export facilities that are currently proposed for the West Coast, and the lead agencies should not only consider the total emissions but also the resulting impacts to climate change and the associated impacts on human health and natural resources resulting from rising temperatures, changing climatic patterns, rising sea levels, and increasing ocean acidification.

It is important that the Army Corps of Engineers conducts and area-wide Environmental Impact Statement that assesses the cumulative impacts of the five Northwest coal export proposals.

Thank you for considering my requests, and for your careful analysis of these impacts at affect us all.



Sincerely,

Amanda Fritz
Commissioner, City of Portland
Attached Files:

Amber Waldref (#4991)

Date Submitted: 12/04/12
Location: Spokane, WA
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

Cathy Wolfe (Thurston County Commissioners) (#12045)

Date Submitted: 01/14/13
Location: Olympia, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Christine Rolfes (WA State Senator) (#12170)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Olympia, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Files:

Dow Constantine (#8832)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
Comment letter attached as pdf.
Attached Files:

Dow Constantine (King County Executive) (#11595)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
Attached is a comment letter on the EIS scoping process for the Gateway Pacific Terminal project. I will send a paper copy via U.S mail. Thank you very much.

James Bush
Communications Specialist
for King County Executive Dow Constantine
Attached Files:

Frances Stewart (#5659)

Date Submitted: 12/26/12
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Howard Rosenfeld (#2274)

Date Submitted: 11/03/2012
Location: Friday Harbor, WA
Comment:
As an elected legislator I would like the results of this process be presented in a format that will give comparisons of advantages, like the number and kind of permanent jobs, disadvantages, like environmental impacts, and how the disadvantages can be impacted. This could be accomplished with a three column document. Electeds and the public need to be able to see the pluses and minuses in a easily understandable format.

Jason Wiener (#9772)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Missoula`, MT
Comment:
Please see the attached file.
Attached Files:

Katherine Haque-Hausrath (#10003)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Helena, MT
Comment:
Re: Comments Upon the EIS for the Proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal and Custer Spur Projects

To whom it may concern:

I am a City Commissioner in Helena, Montana. On June 7, 2012, the Helena City Commission sent a letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) requesting that the Corps consider the impact of increased coal train traffic when conducting its environmental review of the permitting for the numerous proposed coal export terminals. Please see attached for a copy of this letter.

I am writing today to request that the Corps, the Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) and Whatcom County prepare a comprehensive programmatic environmental impact statement (“PEIS”) that includes the impacts from increased coal train traffic for the numerous proposed coal export terminals in Oregon and Washington. The Corps has a legal duty to conduct this comprehensive programmatic EIS (PEIS) under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), because the permitting of these proposed coal terminals will have significant environmental impacts that are not otherwise being reviewed under NEPA.

As you know there are numerous proposed and pending coal-export terminal projects in Oregon and Washington. Taken together, the announced capacity of the planned U.S. projects is approximately 150 million tons of coal per year. Operating at full capacity, these plans would mean up to 40 coal trains – each about a mile and half long – moving through the Pacific Northwest, every day year-round. These trains will pass through Helena, Montana and result in a significant adverse effect on our community which should be considered in any environmental review of these proposals.

To ensure each individual permitting action accounts for the significant cumulative impacts of multiple proposed Northwest coal export terminals, the Corps must first prepare a PEIS that carefully analyzes the combined impacts of multiple, similar coal export terminal proposals. Such a process would allow for a comprehensive and explicit consideration of the collective impacts of multiple distinct decisions. I strongly urge that this PEIS be conducted prior to or at least concurrently with the EIS for the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal and Custer Spur Projects.

Such analysis is allowed for, and most likely required, under NEPA. Under the pertinent NEPA regulations, this environmental review must collect, analyze, and consider connected and cumulative actions for any federally supported project. Further, “cumulative” and “similar” actions should be discussed within a single environmental impact statement, necessitating the development of a PEIS. The scope of the PEIS should include those impacts felt by communities like Helena, including potential increases in air pollution, traffic congestion, and impacts to local and regional businesses.

Helena, and other Montana cities, will be significantly impacted from coal that will be transported by train from the Powder River Basin in Montana and Wyoming to terminals along the Pacific Coast. The railroad tracks that bisect Helena are crossed by only four routes with grade separations. All other crossings are at grade, which results in stoppage of traffic flow on many of our streets including two major arterials. Both are heavily used by people coming and going from work. The crossing at one of these arterials, Montana Avenue, has been a problem for years, but funding has not been available to construct a grade separation. The increased train traffic will cause much more frequent delays there. The increased traffic delays will result in significant additional emissions of air pollutants, including greenhouse gases, from numerous cars idling for additional hours per day. It will also have a significant impact on the City’s ability to adequately provide emergency services.

Citizens who live near the tracks already complain about the noise of train horns and are urging the city to install the necessary equipment at crossings to implement railroad quiet zones. Again, lack of funding constrains the City.

In addition, the increased diesel exhaust would exacerbate our wintertime air quality problems during air inversions and increase numerous health ailments for people along the tracks.

Finally, any environmental analysis of these proposals must consider the negative effects burning the large volumes of coal would have on the climate. There is not currently a domestic demand for the coal that will be mined in the Powder River Basin. Instead, this coal will be shipped overseas to Asia, where it will permanently shape the developing energy markets there. With access to this coal, countries in Asia will build new coal-fired power plants. This will lock in reliance on coal as a source of energy for the life of these power plans (thirty-plus years), with an astronomically negative effect on climate change.

Helena is already being negatively impacted by warmer weather from climate change. For example, Helena is facing an increased risk of catastrophic wild fire in the drainage basin that is one of our principal municipal water supplies. Such a fire would eliminate this source of water for decades and render useless a multi-million dollar water treatment plant. This risk of fire has significantly increased due to the epidemic of mountain pine beetles and the warmer winters we have been experiencing for over a decade which have allowed pine beetles to multiply more rapidly.

Please ensure that your environmental reviews of these proposals consider the effects on the City of Helena and other impacted communities. Specifically, we urge you to conduct a comprehensive PEIS that includes an analysis of all of the indirect and cumulative environmental impacts, including the impacts on Montana communities, from all proposed coal ports in the Northwest.

Thank you for carefully reviewing and considering my comments. I look forward to reading your response to comments.

Sincerely,

Katherine Haque-Hausrath, Esq.
Helena City Commissioner
Attached Files:

Kenneth Dahlstedt (Skagit County Board of Commissioners) (#7699)

Date Submitted: 01/08/13
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Kevin Ranker (#10851)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Olympia , WA
Comment:
Please see attachment.
Attached Files:

Kirsten Hytopoulos (#6416)

Date Submitted: 12/13/12
Location: Bainbridge Island, WA
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

Larry Phillips (King County Councilmember) (#2866)

Date Submitted: 10/15/12
Comment:
see attached
Attached Files:

Matthew Mead (Governor of Wyoming) (#12162)

Date Submitted: 01/22/13
Location: Cheyenne, WY
Comment:
Attached please find Governor Mead's comments on the scope of the proposed environmental impact statement for the above project. The originals will be mailed separately to Secretary McHugh and Lt. General Bostick.

If you have trouble opening the attachment, please contact me immediately.

Sincerely,



Melissa Martinez
Executive Assistant to the Governor
Office of Governor Matthew H. Mead
State Capitol
Cheyenne, Wyoming 82002
307-777-7434
Attached Files:

Michael Lilliquist (#12068)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
See attached file: EIS_Scoping_Letter_Lilliquist.pdf
Attached Files:

Mike McAuley (#12065)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
21 January 2013

From: Mike McAuley
Commissioner , Port of Bellingham
1801 Roeder Ave.
Bellingham, WA 98225

To: GPT/Custer Spur EIS
c/o CH2MHill and Co-lead Agencies
1100 112th Ave. NE, Suite 400
Bellevue, WA 98004

Re: Gateway Pacific Terminal Scoping Comments

Dear Sir or Madam,

As the only government body with elected representation tasked by the people of Whatcom County to focus strictly on the fulfillment of certain, “essential transportation and economic development needs of this region while providing leadership in maintaining greater Whatcom County’s overall economic vitality” and, given that the Gateway Pacific Terminal project meets county and state thresholds of significant impact, it is, therefore, incumbent upon representative of the Port of Bellingham, on behalf of the citizens of Whatcom County whose interests the port serves, to request that the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT) project, as proposed, include a robust assessment of transportation and economic impacts, both positive and negative, created by the project.

It should be noted that in 2010 the Port of Bellingham submitted a letter to the Washington State Department of Natural Resources in support of a potential terminal at Cherry Point. While not specific in drawing distinctions regarding the commodities supported by a terminal, the Port of Bellingham has a long standing position generally in favor of a deep-water terminal at that location.

Because an EIS is designed less as a tool to find what is ‘right’ about a project and more intent on finding those actions that will create significant environmental burdens or consequences, it is important for the port to be interested in issues pertaining to the purview of the port and within the bounds of law; specifically, the economic and transportation impacts of the project.

Per Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 197-11-444, the EIS is required to consider the following:
2(c) Transportation
(i) Transportation systems
(ii) Vehicular traffic
(iii) Waterborne, rail, and air traffic
(iv) Parking
(v) Movement/circulation of people or goods
(vi) Traffic hazards


The Washington State Department of Ecology and Whatcom County have determined GPT to be a project of significant impact, it is, therefore, wise to consider not only the immediate environmental impacts at the site but also the wider impacts upon the infrastructure required to support the terminal

While the burden and risk associated with the commodities carried on the rail are to be borne by private entities, the rail line itself does cross a significant number of public roadways and will create impacts at or near those crossings. An example of an analogous situation is the addition of a multi-acre shopping center at a busy intersection; there is a local standard for Level of Service (LoS) that is acceptable at that intersection, with the addition of the shopping center that LoS will be reduced if not mitigated by improvements. In regards to the GPT project there will be additional and easily measurable traffic at the intersections of public roadways with the BNSF line.

On behalf of the citizens of Whatcom County, I believe that the Port of Bellingham has a direct interest in understanding and mitigating transportation impacts to public properties owned by the port, notably in the City of Bellingham’s Fairhaven and Waterfront Districts but also, in general, impacts that may accrue at various crossings throughout the county causing notable delays to commerce on county roadways.

There are quantifiable costs for traffic delays that prevent business, commercial or commuter activities from ready access to truck routes, state highways and major county roadways historically utilized by Whatcom County businesses and residents. As such, please include in the EIS a complete analysis and possible mitigations for traffic impacts that consider both the additional burdens from auto traffic and the effects of increased rail traffic throughout the county.

Furthermore, per WAC 197-11-448 the EIS may consider “the general welfare, social, economic, and other requirements…in making final decisions.”

Private enterprise should not unduly burden the public by shifting responsibilities and costs onto that public when that enterprise has no broad public purpose. This statement is reinforced by Whatcom County Code, Section 20.88.130(6): the proposed major development “Will not impose uncompensated requirements for public expenditures for additional utilities, facilities and services, and will not impose uncompensated costs on other property owned.”

Whereas the Port of Bellingham is chartered to directly serve the public within the bounds of Whatcom County and indirectly the public in our region, it is inherent in that charter that the port’s representatives have “pledge[d]…to be a responsible trustee of our publicly owned assets”, in part, by appraising projects of significance, such as GPT, where the project has wide ranging economic impacts.

To that end, it is in the best interest of the people of Whatcom County that, as a commissioner for the Port of Bellingham, a request be made that the EIS thoroughly consider the economic impacts, both positive and negative, of the GPT proposal on Whatcom County’s various cities, the county itself and the region serving or being served by Whatcom County.

The Port of Bellingham was chartered by a vote of the people 92 years ago to serve public interests throughout Whatcom County and, by extension of those interests, the northwestern region of Washington State. The port owns, on behalf of the people of Whatcom County, substantial real estate holdings directly affected by the proposed project. Furthermore, as a key economic development agency for Whatcom County, the port has an interest in efforts that impact the county and regional economy. It is in the spirit of fully understanding the effects of the project on this county that I, as a representative of the citizens of Whatcom County on the commission of the Port of Bellingham, request the NEPA and SEPA processes engage a robust analysis of the transportation and economic impacts in developing the Gateway Pacific Terminal EIS.

With most sincere regards,




____________________________________________
Mike McAuley, Commission Vice-President


*hard copy to follow via US Mail

na San Juan County Council (#2375)

Date Submitted: 10/30/12
Location: Friday Harbor, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Files:

na San Juan County Council (#5684)

Date Submitted: 12/26/12
Location: Friday Harbor, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Files:

Paul Greelee (Washougal Councilmember) (#1936)

Date Submitted: 10/31/12
Location: Washougal, WA
Comment:
Paul Greenlee
City Hall
1701 C Street
Washougal, WA 98671

GPT/Custer Spur EIS c/o CH2M HILL, 1100 112th Avenue NE Suite 400 Bellevue, WA 98004
comments@eisgatewaypacificwa.gov

RE: Scoping Comments on the Gateway Pacific Coal Export Terminal at Cherry Point

To whom it may concern:

Please consider this letter as part of the public record for the Gateway Pacific Terminal coal export project proposed at Cherry Point, Whatcom County, Washington, facility site ID #22237. The impacts of coal export at Cherry Point extend far beyond the terminal, reaching into every community located along the rail line between the coal mines and the export terminal. As a elected official for the City of Washougal, Washington, located along the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) rail line, I respectfully request that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Washington Department of Ecology, and Whatcom County (collectively “the lead agencies”) fully disclose and carefully assess the impacts of the Gateway Pacific Terminal on our community.

Pacific International Terminals, a subsidiary of SSA Marine, proposes to export 54 million metric tons of coal annually. This coal will travel in uncovered rail cars through dozens of communities, including Washougal, en route to the proposed Whatcom County terminal. Aside from the impacts of coal export at and near the terminal, the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) must examine the impacts of coal trains and the coal export industry on our citizens, local environment, and quality of life. This includes the direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts of coal export on public health, traffic, existing businesses, public infrastructure, water quality, air quality, agriculture, climate change and quality of life. These impacts are described in greater detail below.

Washougal has five (5) at-grade crossings and only one grade-separated crossing. BNSF is single-track through Washougal, with a double siding (total three tracks) less than 100 yards east of the grade crossing at our 32nd St. Our primary arterial, Evergreen Way (the old Evergreen Highway) parallels the tracks just 50 yards to the north. That intersection, 32nd at Evergreen, is the busiest intersection in our city. Facts on the ground severely limit the storage space for stopped, crossing and turning, traffic at 32nd/Evergreen. So it seems likely that a heavily laden train, west-bound from a dead stop in that siding would likely close that grade crossing for long time. Effectively closing not only the North/South grade crossing on 32nd, but also our primary East/West arterial with stopped cars. In our city, housing is predominately north of the tracks and the jobs are south of the tracks as is the Police Station and the Fire Station.

The economic, and public safety impacts, of cutting our city in half, at those crossings, are beyond our ability to evaluate and to mitigate. Nor should it be our responsibility.

Similarly the impacts on public health and welfare, are beyond our ability to evaluate or mitigate. We have concerns about noise, particulates and sulfur from the trains themselves, as well as the stalled automobile and truck traffic stalled at crossings. We can only imagine the potential impacts of coal and coal dust dropped or blown from the trains into our community, or into the Columbia River (Threatened and Endangered Species!) and the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area.

While we certainly support economic development by and for all of our communities in Washington, we certainly would require a broad analysis of net gains. For example, if a rail terminal would create 150 jobs at the terminal, but would effectively cost 300 jobs at a mill, because the rail traffic at-grade crossings effectively cuts truck traffic access to the mill, on balance, the rail terminal is a net loss. To put a fine point on it, neither Washougal, nor any other community should have to give up its larger economic future for small gains elsewhere. Any economic analysis of the Gateway Pacific Terminal, which fails to consider the economic impacts to the broader community fails in total.

Conclusion
The Gateway Pacific Terminal will have major impacts throughout the rail corridor. Washougal is hopeful (I, personally, would say, insistent.) that examination of impacts, and the mitigation required for those impacts will extend across the entire transportation route. Washougal City Council enacted a resolution this past spring enumerating many of our concerns, and asking that the City of Washougal be a party of interest, and that testimony be taken, locally, here in Clark County.

Thank you for your consideration,
Paul Greenlee
Council Member
City of Washougal, Washington
Attached Files:

Reuven Carlyle (#11248)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Olympia, WA
Comment:
Please see the attached scoping comments letter from eleven state representatives.
Attached Files:

Reuven Carlyle (#11597)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Olympia, WA
Comment:
Please see this revised version of the scoping comment letter from twelve state representatives. Thanks.
Attached Files:

Robert Hawks (#3956)

Date Submitted: 11/29/12
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

San Juan County Council San Juan County Council (#2166)

Date Submitted: 11/01/12
Location: Friday Harbor, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Files:

San Juan County Council San Juan County Council (#3968)

Date Submitted: 11/30/12
Location: Friday Harbor, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Files:

Seth Fleetwood (Bellingham City Council) (#14354)

Date Submitted: 01/14/13
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Files:

Steve Stuart (Clark County Commissioners) (#11973)

Date Submitted: 01/21/13
Location: Vancouver, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Terry Wechsler (#1147)

Date Submitted: 10/23/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
On October 19, 2012, 53 member of the U.S. House of Representatives (see list at the bottom of this e-mail) wrote to Secretaries McHugh and Salazar of the Departments of the Army and Interior, respectively, urging "efficient and expeditious approval of permits necessary for construction of new coal export facilities" which would include, presumably, the Gateway Pacific Terminal. They cite the needs of the economy to bolster their request.

I am a resident of the Pacific Northwest where five proposed coal terminals are in various stages of permit applications and the US Army Corps of Engineers -- the apparent target of the October 19 letter -- is in the process of determining whether to conduct a regional cumulative impact assessment -- the apparent subject of the letter.

You have received many comments to date, and will undoubtedly receive more, requesting a thorough economic impact assessment to determine what the NET economic contribution of these coal terminals would be given public costs associated with infrastructure needs and impacts on local economies, environments, and human health.

A study of the signatories of the Oct. 19 letter urging the Secretaries to direct their "agencies" to expedite consideration of pending permit applications appears to be a) partisan (less than 10% of signatories are Democrats), and b) submitted by representatives of states not directly adversely impacted by activities related to the terminals proposed in this region (I believe only 4% of signatories represent populations in the Powder River Basin, Oregon, or Washington).

I urge you to resist political pressure and comport with the dictates of NEPA and SEPA, and conduct a thorough EIS for GPT which considers fully all significant adverse impacts of the five proposed coal terminals in Oregon and Washington, including those to local, state, regional, and national economies. If Congress (and I would note that 53 members of the House do NOT represent Congress) wishes to set aside the mandates of NEPA for short-term, short-sighted, and ill-conceived economic expediency, the proper avenue is through the legislative -- and not the political -- process.

Signers of the 10/19/12 letter to the Secretaries are:

Amodei, Mark, Rep (R, Nev.)
Bachus, Spencer, Rep (R, Ala.)
Bishop, Rob, Rep. (R, Utah)
Bucshon, Larry, MD, Rep. (R, Ind.)
Canseco, Francisco “Quico”, Rep. (R, Tex.)
Capito, Shelley Moore, Rep. (R, W.Vir.)
Chaffetz, Jason, Rep. (R, Utah)
Coffman, Mike, Rep. (R, Colo.)
Conaway, K. Michael, Rep. (R, Tex.)
Costello, Jerry, Rep. (D, Ill.)
Critz, Mark, Rep. (D, Penn.)
Duncan, Jeff, Rep. (R. S.Car.)
Gardner, Cory, Rep. (R, Colo.)
Gibbs, Bob, Rep. (R, Ohio)
Gosar, Paul A., Rep. (R, Ariz.)
Griffith, H. Morgan, Rep. (R, Vir.)
Guthrie, Brett, Rep., (R, Ken.)
Hastings, Doc, Rep. (R, Wash., 4th Dist.)
Holden, Tim, Rep. (D, Penn.)
Johnson, Bill, Rep. (R, Ohio)
Jordan, Jim, Rep. (R, Ohio)
Kelly, Mike, Rep. (R, Penn.)
Kinzinger, Adam, Rep. (R, Ill.)
LaTourette, Steven C., Rep. (R, Ohio)
Labrador, Raul, Rep. (R, Id.)
Lankford, James, Rep. (R, Okla.)
Latta, Robert E., Rep. (R, Ohio)
Lummis, Cynthia M., Rep. (R, Wyo.)
Matheson, Jim, Rep. (D, Utah)
McKinley, David B., Rep. (R, W.Vir.)
Murphy, Tim, Rep. (R, Penn.)
Nunnelee, Alan, Rep. (R, Miss.)
Pearce, Steven, Rep. (R, N.Mex.)
Peterson, Collin, Rep. (D, Minn.)
Rehberg, Dennis, Rep. (R, Mont.)
Renacci, James B., Rep. (R, Ohio)
Rogers, Harold, Rep. (R, Ken.)
Rokita, Todd, Rep. (R, Ind.)
Schilling, Bobby, Rep. (R, Ill.)
Scott, Tim, Rep. (R, S.Car.)
Shimkus, John, Rep. (R, Ill.)
Shuster, Bill, Rep. (R, Penn.)
Simpson, Michael K., Rep. (R, Id.)
Smith, Adrian, Rep. (R, Neb.)
Stivers, Steve, Rep. (R, Ohio)
Terry, Lee, Rep. (R, Neb.)
Thompson, Glenn “GT”, Rep. (R, Penn.)
Thornberry, Mac, Rep. (R, Tex.)
Tiberi, Patrick J., Rep. (R, Ohio)
Tipton, Scott, Rep. (R, Colo.)
Upton, Fred, Rep. (R, Mich.)
Whitfield, Ed, Rep. (R, Ken.)
Wilson, Joe, Rep. (R, S.Car.)

Thurston County Thurston County Commissioners (#6602)

Date Submitted: 01/10/2013
Location: Olympia, WA
Comment:
Thank you for the opportunity to provide public comment on the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) regarding the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal at Cherry Point, a facility to be used primarily for coal export.

Our greatest priority as Commissioners is ensuring the health and safety of our community. Impacts of this project to public safety, public health, the environment, and economy are numerous; our constituents are becoming increasingly concerned by this proposal. We are respectfully requesting that the US Army Corps of Engineers, Washington Department of Ecology, and Whatcom County (the “lead agencies”) fully disclose and carefully assess the impacts of the Gateway Pacific Terminal in our community.

*Environmental and Health Impacts
In Bucoda, a small town here in Thurston County, the rail lines pass within 200 feet of the main street and many residential homes. This community -- along with others, including Tenino, East Olympia, and Nisqually -- could see up to 20 coal trains rolling through town every day. Since the coal is transported via open top rail cars without covers, Thurston County is at risk for contamination of its farmlands, forests, lakes, streams and rivers. Coal is a toxic material that contains heavy metals, mercury, arsenic, and lead. Exposure to these toxins in high concentrations is linked to cancer and birth defects.

The EIS should specifically analyze the potential health risks to our population, especially the very young, elderly, and pregnant, and degradation of our beautiful surroundings. Additionally, we request that all railroad crossings in Thurston County be studied for safety and the impact on safety the increased train traffic would have.

*Climate Change
We have worked hard to reduce the county’s greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on fossil fuels. We’ve amended our transportation policies, completed a baseline emissions inventory and forecast, and developed a Climate Action Plan. As you are aware, burning coal leads to increased emissions of greenhouse gases and climate change. The related health impacts of climate change are great:

• Thermal stress from heat waves
• Degradation of air quality
• Infectious and chronic diseases
• Extreme weather events affecting public safety
• Psychological stress, social disruption, and economic disparities

It is our hope that the EIS will assess the negative impacts to quality of life, public health, and the environment associated with climate change.

*Economic Impacts
Washington is a national leader in creating clean-energy jobs and innovating, developing, demonstrating, and marketing clean energy technologies and practices that promote sustainable global economic development. Coal export promotes the most destructive and unsustainable energy development practices.

A thorough economic analysis should be conducted as part of the environmental review process. Such an analysis could approximate a net gain or loss to the economy.

*Conclusion
These are but a few of our concerns with this project. We’ve attached the Resolution Opposing Coal Export we passed on August 7, 2012 for further documentation.

Threats from this project to our community and way of life are extraordinary. We join other communities affected by this proposal and urge the lead agencies to prepare an exhaustive, area-wide EIS which accounts for the broad range of direct, indirect, and reasonably foreseeable impacts from coal export on our community.

Thurston County Commissioner Sandra Romero
Thurston County Commissioner Karen Valenzuela
Thurston County Commissioner Cathy Wolfe

Will Reichardt (Sheriff, Skagit County) (#3967)

Date Submitted: 11/30/12
Location: Mount Vernon, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image: