EIS Home > EIS Library > Scoping Report > Appendix G - All Scoping Comments > Public (# - A)

(Rev.) Robert H. Anderson (#8831)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Location: Anacortes, WA
Comment:
As a lifetime informed environmentalist and pastor who cares for the health and well-being of congregations, I ask for a full EIS from initial mines through wind-borne contaminants from burning fuel in China. My wife is asthmatic and has had strokes that require immediate ER evacuation. Had we been transporting her to Skagit Valley Hospital in Mt. Vernon during the recent 45 minute stalled coal train incident, she would likely now be dead! Please consider the death-by-delay impacts grade crossing closures locally might cause.

In addition, to avoid such toxic exposure and delay possibilities as coal trains pass through our area (and every crossing from mine to port), we would surely seek to do all our shopping in locations like Oak Harbor that would avoid such threats to our time and health. If others follow our example there could be massive negative impact on the economy of businesses "across the tracks". So I ask you to consider adverse economic impacts on communities divided by grade crossings.

I agree with the numerous comments by many citizens regarding dangers from wind-blown coal dust to crops in our agricultural valley, and to people's lungs, and spills in vulnerable maritime waters. I also worry about return pollution from China's use of coal, wafting into our lungs on the Pacific winds as they re-enter our state, aggravating my wife's asthma even further. I urge you to expand the EIS studies to include ALL impacts that start at the mine, follow the transfer process to port, to China and back. Only such a full study will determine the extent of true impact of this coal proposal. Thank you.

- - (#6861)

Date Submitted: 01/11/2013
Comment:
NO NO NO COAL TERMINALS DESTROYING THE ENVIRONMENT OF THE WESTERN STATES!!!
STOP DESTROYING THE LAND, WATER & AIR!
EMPLOY GOOD JOBS!

209 signers Physicians of Whatcom and Skagit Counties (#9180)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Comment:
Physicians of Whatcom and Skagit Counties Request a Comprehensive Health Impact Assessment (HIA) be Included in the EIS

A direct impact of the proposed coal shipping terminal at Cherry Point would be eighteen or more 1.5 mile long trains traveling across the state and through our communities each day, and more than 400 ships traversing our waterways each year. This will result in increased airborne pollutants from diesel engines and coal dust. The increased train traffic will also cause significant delays at rail crossings, increased risk of vehicle and pedestrian injuries along the tracks, and increased noise pollution. As a group of local physicians, we are concerned about the health impacts of this proposal.

We believe the risks to human health from massive coal shipments across our state and through our communities are numerous and complex. We respectfully request a comprehensive Health Impact Assessment (HIA) addressing these issues along the entire rail and shipping corridor from the mines to the Pacific Ocean. In addition, because the GPT proposal is not isolated, but is being considered along with multiple other ports with associated cumulative impacts, we request that a comprehensive HIA (to encompass all of the ports in the Pacific Northwest) be performed to best elucidate the impacts on human health.

Supporting documentation and specific EIS requests are in the attached pdf file.

We thank you for your attention to thorough evaluation and full disclosure of the potential health impacts of GPT.


Dale Abbott, MD
Camilla Allen, MD
Daniel Austin, MD
Diane Arvin, MD
Barbara Bachman, MD
Laura Backer, MD
Kristi Bailey, MD
Jennifer Bates, MD
Jeffrey B. Black, MD
Terri Blackburn, MD
Pete Beglin, MD
Claire Beiser, MD, MPH
Don Berry, MD
Richard Binder, MD
Nancy Bischoff, MD
Bruce Bowden, MD
Kirk Brownell, MD
Allan Buehler, MD
David Cahalan, MD
Soren Carlsen, MD
Monica Carrillo, MD
Erin Charles, MD
Vishal Chaudhary, MD
Michael Chmel, MD
Joshua Cohen, MD
Andrew Coletti, MD
Keith Comess, MD
Paul Conner, MD
Kirstin Curtis, ARNP
Jan Dank, MD
Marc Davis, MD
Joe Deck, MD
Frances DeRook, MD
Katherine Dickinson, MD
Peter Dillon, MD
Thang Do, MD
Mark Doherty, MD
Kevin Dooms, MD
Jim Eggen, MD
Jerry Eisner, MD
David Elkayam, MD
Laurie Emert, MD
John Erbstoeszer, MD
Worth Everett, MD
Kerri Fitzgerald, MD
Anneliese Floyd, MD
Ryan Fortna, MD, PhD
Dianne Foster, ARNP
Randy Frank, DO
Eric Frankenfeld, MD
Jonathan Franklin, MD
Anthony Gargano, MD
Ken Gass, MD, PhD
Jeremy Getz, MD
Robert Gibb, MD
Stan Gilbert, MD
Martha Gillham, MD
Corinne Gimbel-Levine, ARNP
Lorna Gober, MD
David Goldman, MD
Aaron Gonter, MD
Erin Griffith, MD
Tung M. Ha, DO
Deborah Hall, MD
Tom Hall, MD
William Hall, MD
David Hansen, MD
James Harle, MD
Emil Hecht, MD
Grayce Hein, ARNP
Michael Hejtmanek, MD
Harry Herdman, MD
David Hoeft, MD
Marcy Hipskind, MD
John Holroyd, MD
Jim Holstine, DO
Sherry Holtzman, MD
Will Hong, MD
John Hoyt, MD
Bao Huynh, MD
Kellie Jacobs, MD
Meg Jacobson, MD
Gertrude James, ARNP
Frank James, MD
Helen James, MD
Lisa Johnson, ARNP
Bree Johnston, MD
David Jessup, MD
Mitchell Kahn, MD
Mara Kelley, MD
Daniel Kim, MD
Annie Kiesau, MD
Carter Kiesau, MD
Gail Knops, MD
Joost Knops, MD
Ann Knowles, MD
Andrew Kominsky, MD
Pamela Laughlin, MD
Shawna Laursen, MD
Sandy George Lawrence, MD
Josie Lee, MD
Tyler Leedom, DO
Kathy Leone, MN, ARNP
Rick Leone, MD, PhD
Linda Leum, MD
Hank Levine, MD
Chris Lewis, DO
Jason Lichtenberger, MD
Serge Lindner, MD
Kelly Lloyd, MD
Bill Lombard, MD
Jena Lopez, MD
Jonathan Lowy, MD
Leasa Lowy, MD
Thomas Ludwig, MD
John MacGregor, MD
Bruce Mackay, MD
Margaret Mamolen, MD
Troy J. Markus, D.O.
Vincent Matteucci, MD
Dick McClenahan, MD
Kelly McCullough, MD
Marianne McElroy, PA
Monica Mahal, MD
Scott McGuinness, MD
Judson Moore, PA
David Morison, MD
Gib Morrow, MD
Larry Moss, MD
Sara Mostad, MD, PhD
Ward Naviaux, MD
John Neutzmann, DO
Casey O’Keefe, MD
Karen O’Keefe, MD
Deborah Oksenberg, MD
David Olson, MD
Rob Olson, MD
Patricia Otto, MD
Tracy Ouellette, MD
Mark Owings, MD, PhD
Evelyn Oxenford, ARNP
Clark Parrish, MD
Mike Pietro, MD
Trevor Pitsch, MD
Denise Plaisier, PA
Suneil Polley, ND
Ronda Pulse, MD
Gita Rabbani, MD
Andris Radvany, MD
Jon Ransom, MD
Christoph Reitz, MD
Susan Rodgers, ARNP
George Rofkar, MD
Niles Roberts, MD
April Sakahara, MD
William Scott Sandeno, MD
Paul Sarvasy, MD
Neal Saxe, MD
James Schoenecker, MD
Julie Seavello, MD
R. Milton Schayes, MD
Barbara Schickler, ARNP, CNM
Melana Schimke, MD
Luther Schutz, MD
Miriam Shapiro, MD
Janine Shaw, MD
John Shaw, MD
Mary Ellen Shields, MD
Hannah Sheinin, MD
Russell Sheinkopf, MD
Lora Sherman, MD
Alan Shurman, MD
Don Slack, MD
Robert Slind, MD
Chris Spilker, MD
Bonnie Sprague, ARNP
Robert Stewart, MD
Scott Stockburger, MD
Berle Stratton, MD
Jenny Sun, MD
Gregory Sund, MD
Erin Swanda, CNM, ARNP
Mary Swanson, MD
Warren Taranow, DO
Michael Taylor, MD
M. Greg Thompson, MD, MPH
Chad Thomas, MD, PhD
Stuart Thorson, MD
Teresa Thornberg, MD
Loch Trimingham, MD
Elizabeth Vennos, MD
Steve Wagoner, MD
April Wakefield Pagels, MD
Heather Whitaker, ARNP
Sara Wells, ARNP
Anne Welsh, MD
Greg Welsh, MD
Matt Werner, MD
Susan Willis, ARNP
David Wisner, MD
Steven Wisner, MD
Todd Witte, MD
Ginny Wolff, MD
Greg Wolgamot, MD, PhD
Stephen Woods, MD
Darla Woolman, PA
Chao-ying Wu, MD
Jessica Yoos, MD
Ellen Young, MD

(209 signers total)
Attached Files:

212 signers Physicians of Whatcom and Skagit Counties (#10992)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Comment:
Please find attached a copy of the Physicians' Position Statement, first released in 2011. We ask that this document be considered in the scoping process.

As of January 21, 2013, this document is endorsed by the following 212 individuals:

Dale Abbott, MD
Camilla Allen, MD
Daniel Austin, MD
Diane Arvin, MD
Barbara Bachman, MD
Laura Backer, MD
Kristi Bailey, MD
Jennifer Bates, MD
Jeffrey B. Black, MD
Terri Blackburn, MD
Pete Beglin, MD
Claire Beiser, MD, MPH
Don Berry, MD
Richard Binder, MD
Nancy Bischoff, MD
Bruce Bowden, MD
Kirk Brownell, MD
Allan Buehler, MD
David Cahalan, MD
Soren Carlsen, MD
Monica Carrillo, MD
Erin Charles, MD
Vishal Chaudhary, MD
Michael Chmel, MD
Joshua Cohen, MD
Andrew Coletti, MD
Keith Comess, MD
Paul Conner, MD
Kirstin Curtis, ARNP
Jan Dank, MD
Marc Davis, MD
Joe Deck, MD
Frances DeRook, MD
Katherine Dickinson, MD
Peter Dillon, MD
Thang Do, MD
Mark Doherty, MD
Kevin Dooms, MD
Jim Eggen, MD
Jerry Eisner, MD
David Elkayam, MD
Laurie Emert, MD
John Erbstoeszer, MD
Worth Everett, MD
Kerri Fitzgerald, MD
Anneliese Floyd, MD
Ryan Fortna, MD, PhD
Dianne Foster, ARNP
Randy Frank, DO
Eric Frankenfeld, MD
Jonathan Franklin, MD
Anthony Gargano, MD
Ken Gass, MD, PhD
Jeremy Getz, MD
Robert Gibb, MD
Stan Gilbert, MD
Martha Gillham, MD
Corinne Gimbel-Levine, ARNP
Lorna Gober, MD
David Goldman, MD
Aaron Gonter, MD
Celest Gotchy, ARNP
Erin Griffith, MD
Tung M. Ha, DO
Deborah Hall, MD
Tom Hall, MD
William Hall, MD
David Hansen, MD
James Harle, MD
Emil Hecht, MD
Grayce Hein, ARNP
Michael Hejtmanek, MD
Harry Herdman, MD
Marcy Hipskind, MD
David Hoeft, MD
Robin Holmes, MS, ARNP
John Holroyd, MD
Jim Holstine, DO
Sherry Holtzman, MD
Will Hong, MD
John Hoyt, MD
Bao Huynh, MD
Kellie Jacobs, MD
Meg Jacobson, MD
Gertrude James, ARNP
Frank James, MD
Helen James, MD
Lisa Johnson, ARNP
Bree Johnston, MD
David Jessup, MD
Mitchell Kahn, MD
Mara Kelley, MD
Daniel Kim, MD
Annie Kiesau, MD
Carter Kiesau, MD
Gail Knops, MD
Joost Knops, MD
Ann Knowles, MD
Andrew Kominsky, MD
Pamela Laughlin, MD
Shawna Laursen, MD
Sandy George Lawrence, MD
Josie Lee, MD
Tyler Leedom, DO
Kathy Leone, MN, ARNP
Rick Leone, MD, PhD
Linda Leum, MD
Hank Levine, MD
Chris Lewis, DO
Jason Lichtenberger, MD
Serge Lindner, MD
Kelly Lloyd, MD
Bill Lombard, MD
Jena Lopez, MD
Jonathan Lowy, MD
Leasa Lowy, MD
Thomas Ludwig, MD
John MacGregor, MD
Bruce Mackay, MD
Margaret Mamolen, MD
Troy J. Markus, D.O.
Vincent Matteucci, MD
Dick McClenahan, MD
Kelly McCullough, MD
Marianne McElroy, PA
Monica Mahal, MD
Scott McGuinness, MD
Judson Moore, PA
David Morison, MD
Gib Morrow, MD
Larry Moss, MD
Sara Mostad, MD, PhD
Ward Naviaux, MD
John Neutzmann, DO
Casey O’Keefe, MD
Karen O’Keefe, MD
Deborah Oksenberg, MD
Bob Olson, Sr., MD
David Olson, MD
Rob Olson, MD
Patricia Otto, MD
Tracy Ouellette, MD
Mark Owings, MD, PhD
Evelyn Oxenford, ARNP
Clark Parrish, MD
Mike Pietro, MD
Trevor Pitsch, MD
Denise Plaisier, PA
Suneil Polley, ND, Lac
Ronda Pulse, MD
Gita Rabbani, MD
Andris Radvany, MD
Jon Ransom, MD
Christoph Reitz, MD
Susan Rodgers, ARNP
George Rofkar, MD
Niles Roberts, MD
April Sakahara, MD
William Scott Sandeno, MD
Paul Sarvasy, MD
Neal Saxe, MD
James Schoenecker, MD
Julie Seavello, MD
R. Milton Schayes, MD
Barbara Schickler, ARNP, CNM
Melana Schimke, MD
Luther Schutz, MD
Miriam Shapiro, MD
Janine Shaw, MD
John Shaw, MD
Mary Ellen Shields, MD
Hannah Sheinin, MD
Russell Sheinkopf, MD
Lora Sherman, MD
Alan Shurman, MD
Don Slack, MD
Robert Slind, MD
Chris Spilker, MD
Bonnie Sprague, ARNP
Robert Stewart, MD
Scott Stockburger, MD
Berle Stratton, MD
Jenny Sun, MD
Gregory Sund, MD
Erin Swanda, CNM, ARNP
Mary Swanson, MD
Warren Taranow, DO
Michael Taylor, MD
M. Greg Thompson, MD, MPH
Chad Thomas, MD, PhD
Stuart Thorson, MD
Teresa Thornberg, MD
Loch Trimingham, MD
Elizabeth Vennos, MD
Steve Wagoner, MD
April Wakefield Pagels, MD
Heather Whitaker, ARNP
Sara Wells, ARNP
Anne Welsh, MD
Greg Welsh, MD
Matt Werner, MD
Susan Willis, ARNP
David Wisner, MD
Steven Wisner, MD
Todd Witte, MD
Ginny Wolff, MD
Greg Wolgamot, MD, PhD
Stephen Woods, MD
Darla Woolman, PA
Chao-ying Wu, MD
Jessica Yoos, MD
Ellen Young, MD
Attached Files:

212 signers Physicians of Whatcom and Skagit Counties (#10997)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Comment:
Attached please find a copy of the Physicians' Position Statement from 2011. We would like this document to be considered in the EIS scoping process for GPT.

As of January 21, 2013, this document is endorsed by the following 212 healthcare professionals from Whatcom and Skagit Counties:

Dale Abbott, MD
Camilla Allen, MD
Daniel Austin, MD
Diane Arvin, MD
Barbara Bachman, MD
Laura Backer, MD
Kristi Bailey, MD
Jennifer Bates, MD
Jeffrey B. Black, MD
Terri Blackburn, MD
Pete Beglin, MD
Claire Beiser, MD, MPH
Don Berry, MD
Richard Binder, MD
Nancy Bischoff, MD
Bruce Bowden, MD
Kirk Brownell, MD
Allan Buehler, MD
David Cahalan, MD
Soren Carlsen, MD
Monica Carrillo, MD
Erin Charles, MD
Vishal Chaudhary, MD
Michael Chmel, MD
Joshua Cohen, MD
Andrew Coletti, MD
Keith Comess, MD
Paul Conner, MD
Kirstin Curtis, ARNP
Jan Dank, MD
Marc Davis, MD
Joe Deck, MD
Frances DeRook, MD
Katherine Dickinson, MD
Peter Dillon, MD
Thang Do, MD
Mark Doherty, MD
Kevin Dooms, MD
Jim Eggen, MD
Jerry Eisner, MD
David Elkayam, MD
Laurie Emert, MD
John Erbstoeszer, MD
Worth Everett, MD
Kerri Fitzgerald, MD
Anneliese Floyd, MD
Ryan Fortna, MD, PhD
Dianne Foster, ARNP
Randy Frank, DO
Eric Frankenfeld, MD
Jonathan Franklin, MD
Anthony Gargano, MD
Ken Gass, MD, PhD
Jeremy Getz, MD
Robert Gibb, MD
Stan Gilbert, MD
Martha Gillham, MD
Corinne Gimbel-Levine, ARNP
Lorna Gober, MD
David Goldman, MD
Aaron Gonter, MD
Celest Gotchy, ARNP
Erin Griffith, MD
Tung M. Ha, DO
Deborah Hall, MD
Tom Hall, MD
William Hall, MD
David Hansen, MD
James Harle, MD
Emil Hecht, MD
Grayce Hein, ARNP
Michael Hejtmanek, MD
Harry Herdman, MD
Marcy Hipskind, MD
David Hoeft, MD
Robin Holmes, MS, ARNP
John Holroyd, MD
Jim Holstine, DO
Sherry Holtzman, MD
Will Hong, MD
John Hoyt, MD
Bao Huynh, MD
Kellie Jacobs, MD
Meg Jacobson, MD
Gertrude James, ARNP
Frank James, MD
Helen James, MD
Lisa Johnson, ARNP
Bree Johnston, MD
David Jessup, MD
Mitchell Kahn, MD
Mara Kelley, MD
Daniel Kim, MD
Annie Kiesau, MD
Carter Kiesau, MD
Gail Knops, MD
Joost Knops, MD
Ann Knowles, MD
Andrew Kominsky, MD
Pamela Laughlin, MD
Shawna Laursen, MD
Sandy George Lawrence, MD
Josie Lee, MD
Tyler Leedom, DO
Kathy Leone, MN, ARNP
Rick Leone, MD, PhD
Linda Leum, MD
Hank Levine, MD
Chris Lewis, DO
Jason Lichtenberger, MD
Serge Lindner, MD
Kelly Lloyd, MD
Bill Lombard, MD
Jena Lopez, MD
Jonathan Lowy, MD
Leasa Lowy, MD
Thomas Ludwig, MD
John MacGregor, MD
Bruce Mackay, MD
Margaret Mamolen, MD
Troy J. Markus, D.O.
Vincent Matteucci, MD
Dick McClenahan, MD
Kelly McCullough, MD
Marianne McElroy, PA
Monica Mahal, MD
Scott McGuinness, MD
Judson Moore, PA
David Morison, MD
Gib Morrow, MD
Larry Moss, MD
Sara Mostad, MD, PhD
Ward Naviaux, MD
John Neutzmann, DO
Casey O’Keefe, MD
Karen O’Keefe, MD
Deborah Oksenberg, MD
Bob Olson, Sr., MD
David Olson, MD
Rob Olson, MD
Patricia Otto, MD
Tracy Ouellette, MD
Mark Owings, MD, PhD
Evelyn Oxenford, ARNP
Clark Parrish, MD
Mike Pietro, MD
Trevor Pitsch, MD
Denise Plaisier, PA
Suneil Polley, ND, Lac
Ronda Pulse, MD
Gita Rabbani, MD
Andris Radvany, MD
Jon Ransom, MD
Christoph Reitz, MD
Susan Rodgers, ARNP
George Rofkar, MD
Niles Roberts, MD
April Sakahara, MD
William Scott Sandeno, MD
Paul Sarvasy, MD
Neal Saxe, MD
James Schoenecker, MD
Julie Seavello, MD
R. Milton Schayes, MD
Barbara Schickler, ARNP, CNM
Melana Schimke, MD
Luther Schutz, MD
Miriam Shapiro, MD
Janine Shaw, MD
John Shaw, MD
Mary Ellen Shields, MD
Hannah Sheinin, MD
Russell Sheinkopf, MD
Lora Sherman, MD
Alan Shurman, MD
Don Slack, MD
Robert Slind, MD
Chris Spilker, MD
Bonnie Sprague, ARNP
Robert Stewart, MD
Scott Stockburger, MD
Berle Stratton, MD
Jenny Sun, MD
Gregory Sund, MD
Erin Swanda, CNM, ARNP
Mary Swanson, MD
Warren Taranow, DO
Michael Taylor, MD
M. Greg Thompson, MD, MPH
Chad Thomas, MD, PhD
Stuart Thorson, MD
Teresa Thornberg, MD
Loch Trimingham, MD
Elizabeth Vennos, MD
Steve Wagoner, MD
April Wakefield Pagels, MD
Heather Whitaker, ARNP
Sara Wells, ARNP
Anne Welsh, MD
Greg Welsh, MD
Matt Werner, MD
Susan Willis, ARNP
David Wisner, MD
Steven Wisner, MD
Todd Witte, MD
Ginny Wolff, MD
Greg Wolgamot, MD, PhD
Stephen Woods, MD
Darla Woolman, PA
Chao-ying Wu, MD
Jessica Yoos, MD
Ellen Young, MD
Attached Files:

214 Signers Physicians of Whatcom and Skagit Counties (#11586)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Comment:
The following 5 healthcare professionals in Whatcom County have asked to be added to the list of individuals signing the Scoping Document submitted 3 days ago by the large group of Whatcom and Skagit Phsycians:

Bob Olson, Sr, MD
Deborah Benz, MD
Robin Holmes, MS, ARNP
Erin Swanda, ARNP
Celest Gotchy, ARNP

This brings the total number of signers to 214.

Thank you for your consideration.

A Bigelow (#3865)

Date Submitted: 12/05/2012
Location: Portland, OR
Comment:
Coal trains in the Gorge is an oxymoron: on the one hand noisy, long trains dribbling coal and carcinogenic coal dust and on the other hand a protected and cherished scenic area. Coal trains on the scale needed to make export profitable will make railroad crossings useless -- impassable to emergency vehicles for unconscionable amounts of time per day. I worry that the coal dust will blow into the Columbia and add to that river's already troublesome load of pollutants and will have a bad effect on the river's fish, including the salmon we are spending so much money to protect.

A Bonvouloir (#12691)

Date Submitted: 01/16/13
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of the Proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal coal export in Washington State.

Chemical warfare for profit, anyone?

This facility, as part of a larger scheme to strip-mine coal in Montana and Wyoming, transport it across the Northwest and ship it to Asia, would negatively affect the health of human communities and ecosystems in the region:

* Coal dust and diesel exhaust will contribute to serious respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.

* Coal dust creates exposure to toxic metals including mercury, a known neurotoxin, and is linked to increases in asthma, especially in children. Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad studies estimate that up to 500 pounds of coal dust could be lost from each car en route.

* More coal burning in Asia means more toxic air pollution, including mercury, travelling back across the Pacific to pollute West Coast rivers, lakes and fish.

There are currently five coal export proposals that would transport as much as 150 million tons through the Northwest. I urge the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct an area- wide Environmental Impact Statement to assess the cumulative impact of these proposals.

A Finkbonner (#5166)

Date Submitted: 12/20/2012
Comment:
Lets keep this out of The great northwest! We don't need anything more affecting the quality or quanity of our marine, wild life! As it is now we have enough traffic! can you even imagine what it would be like!!? The number of long term jobs this gateway will produce is no where worth the sacrafices we will all endure. We vote NO!!

A Leonhardtt (#13574)

Date Submitted: 01/22/13
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

A R (#6672)

Date Submitted: 01/10/2013
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
I am a 70 year old retired school teacher who lives in the Ferndale, Custer area of Whatcom County. This winter I have observed many news reports of the rail line from Seattle to Bellingham being closed because of landslides, and, in fact, a car on a freight train was derailed right near the shoreline. Surely with all those long coal trains that would come to Whatcom County, landslides would have a possible detrimental effect if a coal train were derailed. Please investigate the effect of landslides on coal trains.

A Stanger (#3862)

Date Submitted: 12/05/2012
Comment:
Coal is Sooo yesterday. Get your heads out of the 19th century. Hey, this is the 21st century and times have changed. I'm 60 years old and I know this, where are you people from? Get with it and dump the whole coal thing. Enough damage has already been done. The times are changin'.

A Willard Earch (#13580)

Date Submitted: 01/14/13
Location: Spokane, WA
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

A. Schuumans (#4463)

Date Submitted: 11/29/12
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

A. Michael Dianich (#5621)

Date Submitted: 12/12/12
Location: Corbett, OR
Comment:
See attahed.
Attached Image:

Aaron Haslam (#12969)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
Location: Ashland, OR
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington. This proposal would negatively affect my community by increasing traffic, polluting our air and water, harming existing business, delaying emergency vehicles, increasing shipping traffic and noise, damaging aquatic ecosystems at the terminal site, increasing the potential for serious shipping accidents and exacerbating climate change. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement. Coal is the oldest form of energy production, it is simply outdated! Coal production and use is also one of the most polluting sources of energy forms there is. Please spend your time and money to investigate and invest in clean energy, it is now time to move away from harmful energy sources, so that everyone and every living thing will be safe from human energy consumption.

Aaron Lindell (#8532)

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

Aaron Rayburn (#8582)

Date Submitted: 01/14/13
Location: Portland , OR
Comment:
Jan 14, 2013

US Army Corps of Engineers

Please accept these scoping comments for the environmental impact statement for the Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT) project located at Cherry Point, Washington.

As an Oregon native, I am greatly moved by this proposition to increase coal transport through the fragile Columbia River Gorge. I urge you to not turn this national treasure into an industrial highway. I do not want to breath the toxic heavy metals from these coal cars. Neither do you.

The proposal to export up to 48 million tons of coal per year from the Powder River Basin, through the Columbia River Gorge to Cherry Point 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).

In particular, the proposal would have severe impacts on the Columbia River Gorge, which is the most likely rail transportation route from the Powder River Basin through the Cascade Mountains to the proposed terminal. The Columbia River Gorge is world-renowned for its natural scenic beauty, diversity in plants and wildlife, cultural resources and recreation. To protect its outstanding resources, the Gorge is a federally designated National Scenic Area. This law requires protection and enhancement of scenic, natural, cultural and recreation resources and air quality. The EIS must evaluate the transportation of coal by rail in open coal cars through the Gorge, and the likely expansion of tracks and siding in the Gorge that would be necessary to accommodate up to 18 additional trains per day, for consistency with the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Act.

Air quality in the Columbia River Gorge is already degraded. Increased coal train traffic would worsen air quality and visibility. The human health and the environmental impacts of diesel emissions and coal dust from up to 18 trains per day must be analyzed.

Coal pollution is already a problem in the Gorge from just a few coal trains per week, 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.

Additional trains would block at-grade crossings in the Gorge, interfering with commerce, recreation, tourism and emergency services.
Wind-blown coal debris from coal trains has also been documented to be a safety threat to highway travelers. These impacts must be included in the scope of the EIS.

Existing rail traffic in the Gorge is near capacity. Approval of the GPT 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.

Train-caused fires are a regular occurrence within the Columbia Gorge, resulting in damage to native plants, sensitive wildlife habitat and property. Increased train traffic and transporting coal in open-top cars would only worsen this existing problem. Increased risk of fire from coal trains must be analyzed in the EIS.

There are five 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.

Coal-burning power plants are the primary source greenhouse gases driving global climate change. The GPT project would feed Asia's growing appetite for coal and accelerate climate change. Greenhouse gas emissions from the mining, transportation and burning of coal must be analyzed in the EIS. Coal combustion in Asia releases other air pollutants, such as mercury, that are deposited in the United States.
The EIS must analyze the impacts of mercury pollution from coal powered plants receiving coal via the proposed export facility.

The purpose and need for the proposed project should be broadened to look at economic development and environmental needs for the region and for the global climate. The range of alternatives considered in the EIS should include alternatives that better address the economic and environmental needs of the region and do not expand global reliance on fossil fuels that are responsible for causing catastrophic climate change. The alternatives analysis should include alternative transportation routes that do not pass through federally protected areas like the Columbia River Gorge. Mitigation measures should include covered rail cars to reduce the amount of coal pollution from coal trains.

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 five coal export proposals in the Pacific Northwest.

Sincerely,

Aaron C Rayburn
Oregon's 1st Congressional District
240 NW 20th Avenue #1
Portland, Oregon 97209

Sincerely,

Mr. Aaron Rayburn

Aaron Rist (#8628)

Date Submitted: 01/17/2013
Location: Spokane, wa
Comment:
As a Railway employee I can attest to the fact that coal trains only significant impact is on the Rails themselves. Which means more maintenance for us. That's a good thing more jobs along the entire rail line. As well as all the money that brings to the northwest economy. Means more train crews and more maintenance crews. The concerns about "coal dust" are really unfounded we where informed at the last town hall meeting that as a company we had to take steps in the Powder river area to lessen the impact of dust on the rail bed itself. Ultimately they started spraying the full cars with a compound that stops 95% of the coal dust. thus reducing its effect on our roadbed and the environment. By the time they trains arrive here in the northwest they have rattled most of the dust to the bottom of the cars and I have never personally seen dust coming off a car. In Spokane steps have been taken to minimize grade crossings there are only a hand full of them left. So I don't see how 10 more trains a day maximum would really cause any more problems. That's only another train every 2 hours. Most people wouldn't notice. The smear campaign that's taking place has blatant lies about the number of trains and their impact. Trains are the most efficient and Eco friendly way to move large volumes of cargo long distances. We want more jobs in the northwest and we want them to be good paying with benefits. That's the type of jobs BNSF provides. Allow them to help our economy.

Aaron Silverberg (#12405)

Date Submitted: 01/20/13
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington and transporting strip-mined coal from Montana and Wyoming on trains and ships throughout the Northwest. This proposal would negatively affect my community by increasing congestion and noise with more coal train traffic, polluting our air and local waterways, harming existing businesses, delaying emergency responders, damaging aquatic ecosystems and fishing grounds at the terminal site, increasing tanker traffic and the potential for serious shipping accidents and escalating climate change. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

The global avg. CO2 measure is 392ppm and rising. At 500 ppm, scientists have documented that ocean acidification will be so high that calcification will go to zero (0). That's right, the end of shellfish in the oceans. Consider the damage from rising seas to every ocean front property in America and around the world. Consider storms that will dwarf Hurricane Sandy.
Consider droughts and floods and massive crop failures. Consider temperatures that will either kill or cause us to use even more cooling systems driving the CO2 even higher!!

Stopping China's insane levels of fossil fuel consumption (to produce a lot of throwaway goods that end up in landfills) and curbing our own are the two most likely ways to even begin to get a handle on worldwide CO2. (stabilization is 350 ppm or lower)

The Army Corps of Engineers is human too!!!

What kind of a world do you want your children and grandchildren to live in?

Aaron Westgate (#4480)

Date Submitted: 12/07/12
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Files:

Aart Dolman (#12750)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Comment:
Dear Mr. Perry, I have attached my written testimony about the Gatreway Pacific Terminal. Sincerely Aart Dolman
Attached Files:

AB Kamenjarin (#7464)

Date Submitted: 01/05/13
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Abby Brockway (#7465)

Date Submitted: 01/04/13
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Abby Brockway (#13583)

Date Submitted: 01/22/13
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

Abigail Bucklin (#8565)

Date Submitted: 01/13/13
Location: Shoreline , WA
Comment:
Dear Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Ecology and Whatcom County Council:

I moved to the northwest three years ago, first to Portland and then to Seattle. I came here a few years after I graduated from college because I was in awe of the natural beauty of the west, and to attend graduate school and teach. For two years I lived in Portland and then in Oregon. I am a teacher, writer and scholar and historical researcher. I have traveled extensively through the Columbia River area, and the forests of the northwest. I have also visited many national parks, and I have camped in many of the public campgrounds built by the army corps of engineers.


I oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington and transporting strip-mined coal from Montana and Wyoming on trains and ships throughout the Northwest, and the entire Ambre energy project.

This proposal would negatively affect my community and the northwest lands I have come to love by increasing congestion and noise with more coal train traffic, polluting our air and local waterways, harming existing businesses, delaying emergency responders, damaging aquatic ecosystems and fishing grounds at the terminal site, increasing tanker traffic and the potential for serious shipping accidents and escalating climate change. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

There are currently five coal export proposals that would transport as much as 150 million tons through the Northwest. I urge the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct an area wide Environmental Impact Statement to assess the cumulative impact of all these proposals.

I realize that progress and preservation have often been at odds with each other. There is such a thing as responsible development. In now way is a large scale coal mining and export project in ANY way shape, or form, responsible development. It will pollute groundwater, and the air we breath, and ruin the mountains of the west.

Development is not an inevitability or an urgent necessity, especially when it comes to development of fossil fuels- in this case, coal. The fact is, that fossil fuel resources are limited. They are of a finite and limited quantity. So the logic that there will be some kind of long term benefit to civilization from the development of these resources is inherently flawed. At best, the project is short sighted. We are using resources at a rate faster than we can reproduce them, and unless we take on a policy that is more far sighted in regards to the development of our natural resources, I fear for the future generations of the students that I teach, and my children.

They may not get to see the landscape I have come to love. Mountains, forests and open space are part of the American landscape and character. Time and again we have gone to nature, and our state and national parks, to find ourselves. To be renewed. To meditate on the majesty of creation. To spend time with out families and rest from the anxieties of everyday life.

As well as being a teacher, I am also a writer, poet, artist and historian. I am working on a biography of a northwest conservatism from Oregon named Samuel Boardman. He was a pioneer, and a civil engineer who founded the town in Oregon that now bears his name.

From reading his accounts of the natural landscape and description of the land he helped to preserve, I can honestly say I do not believe the west the pioneers envisioned would have included a project like this.

As a poet and painter, I look to nature as a source of inspiration. My point is that the development of this project and other industrial projects like it is that it is not only damaging environmentally, but culturally as well. I am loath to see this country stripped bare of precious natural resources in favor of commercial and industrial development. When we do this we lose something of our national character. Costs are not always able to be measured in dollars. There are other costs- psychological costs- as well.

People have needs, yes. But on projects both large and small we must consider if the cost out weights the benefit. And in this case, both environmentally and culturally, it does.

And, I'd also like to add that exporting coal to Asia is not even benefiting the energy needs of Americans. While there may be benefits in regards to job creation in the short term, most of the benefit will be to the owners of the Ambre Energy company through the enormous profits that they reap- at a huge cost to the citizens of the northwest.

Thank you for your consideration of my request.

Regards,

Abigail Bucklin

Abigail Bucklin (#9639)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Shoreline, WA
Comment:
Dear Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Ecology and Whatcom County Council, and other Project Administrators.

I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington and transporting strip-mined coal from Montana and Wyoming on trains and ships throughout the Northwest. I oppose the whole project and all of its parts on environmental and health grounds. This proposal would negatively affect my community by increasing congestion and noise with more coal train traffic, damaging the aesthetic value of the rivers of my state, polluting our air and local waterways, harming existing businesses, delaying emergency responders, damaging aquatic ecosystems and fishing grounds at the terminal site, increasing tanker traffic and the potential for serious shipping accidents and escalating climate change.

I am a teacher of English and History. Some of the best art produced in the West has been inspired by the beauty of nature. Time and again, people look to nature to heal and restore the spirit, whether this takes the form of a weekend hiking trip with our families, or summer vacations in National Parks. I myself am an avid hiker and I have been to many mountains in Wyoming and Montana. I have lived in Oregon and Washington- I moved here from New England for the breathtaking natural scenery that is now dissapearing at an alarming rate, all in the name of progress. In this case, the benefits are small and the costs are enormous, however hard to measure.

Being out in nature is good for our health, Those that are outside regularly have less risk of disease and lower stress. My point is that there is a cost to the human psyche here. Many enjoy the Columbia River for its beauty and aesthetic value, which will be ruined by coal barge traffic. How do you measure a benefit to the human spirit? A fishing trip a father takes with his son? Just because something can't be measured in dollars doesn't mean it isn't valid. Of course, this makes cost benefit analysis difficult- how can you compare pivotal, poignant moments that touch the soul in a cost benefit analysis? None the less, they are there, and should be counted.

I am a writer, poet and musician as well, and I look to nature for inspiration. I've traveled extensively throughout the west, and I've been to several of the proposed sights along the Columbia River. I visited the Port of Morrow for a historical research project, and it saddens me to think that a terminal will be built there.

I am saddened to think of the kind of landscape that will be left behind for my students and future children.

There is a value to our landscape and community that goes beyond dollars. I am not opposed to all kinds of development, but I am opposed to reckless, unsustainable development, especially when it is rushed forward. For a project of this scale that affects a large region of the country, it is important that we adequately weigh the costs with the benefits. These energy exports are not even going to benefit Americans, while the cost to out nation will be huge. And for what? Several more years of coal exports, that will subvert the gains we have been making in regards to renewables. Personally, I don't think it is fair that we as Americans are going to denigrate our landscape so Ambre Energy can get rich and we can sell cheap coal to Asia.

For me, and for many, experiences in nature are spiritual experiences. A project like this would force me to be reminded, daily, that the mountains of the west are being stripped bare, as the coal trains passed through my city, dirtying the air. Our communities will bear most of the cost, and who will benefit from this project? I have heard it said that it will create jobs. This may be a short term benefit, but the owners of Ambre Energy are the ones who stand to benefit the most from this project at a great cost to the community. I see the allure of the promise of 'jobs', especially in times like these. But these are not the kind of jobs we want. When we push industry forward, when we damage nature, we also harm ourselves. We harm our psyche. We should be investing in green jobs and exploring the right ways to make progress. We only have one planet to live on, for now. And jobs are not guaranteed. We don't know exactly what kind of jobs are going to be available, whether they will hire locally or not, and whether they will treat their employees well. The jobs themselves will depend on fluctuating markets, but the damage will be permanent and more long lasting.

Fossil fuels, coal included, are a finite resource. There are limited quantities. Period. The logic in projects like this is inherently flawed, because the cost is long term and the benefit is necessarily short term. Activities like strip mining have little long term benefit in relation to the huge environmental costs that will last for generations and centuries to come. The costs are not always measurable in dollars. They can be measured in the lives of plants and animals, the cleanliness of the air. And then, there are other costs that are even more difficult to quantify. The project is short sighted at best.

I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

There are currently five coal export proposals that would transport as much as 150 million tons through the Northwest. I urge the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct an area wide Environmental Impact Statement to assess the cumulative impact of these proposals.

Thank you.

Abigail Bucklin

Abigail Kahler (#9227)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Comment:
I object to the amount of water traffic this will bring and the potential effects on local environment.

Abigail LaMarine (#3319)

Date Submitted: 11/20/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

Abram R. Jacobson (#11580)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Bellingham , WA
Comment:
2013 January 18

Comment on the Gateway Pacific Terminal EIS scope

This comment will be confined to the economic impacts that must be considered and balanced in the EIS evaluation process. The more significant impact- the global carbon budget, and the rapidity with which we warm the planet and acidify the oceans –is actually outside the decision-making authority of the jurisdictions involved.

The comment to follow is in two sections, and at the end of each section there is a conclusion for that section.

1. Costs of mitigating impacts on surface transport along entire rail route
The potential tax revenues from the GPT are estimated to be on the order of several million dollars per annum, once the facility is operating. This provides the financial scale against which to measure adverse economic impacts, that is, incremental requirements on public infrastructure to mitigate the train impacts.

There are > 20 cities along the train route from mine to port which have vital surface transport, at grade, crossing the Burlington Northern train tracks. The GPT at 54 million tons/annum capacity will necessitate another 18 train passages per day, at 1.5 miles/train. At 20 miles/hour speed, that added cumulative closure time is (18X1.5/20) = 1.4 hours. Since however the other urban obstacles impede the train speed for other reasons, we need to consider a lower mean passage speed. At 10 miles/hour speed, the added cumulative closure time would be 2.8 hours.

Bellingham is one of those cities, neither the biggest (Seattle) nor the smallest, just rather typical. A significant increase in train traffic would require mitigation (above-grade bridges) for pedestrians, bicyclists, cars and trucks to cross the tracks at several points in Bellingham. These points would include at a minimum F Street, Lower Cornwall Ave, and Harris Street. How much would each vehicle/pedestrian bridge cost? Based on other cities’ recent costs for comparable improvements, e.g. that of Ferndale, it is safe to posit a cost of approx $35-million per bridge.

Thus the required infrastructural mitigation costs for Bellingham would probably be on the order of 3X$35-million, or about $105-million. Legacy railway laws from the 19th Century ensure that about 95% of such mitigation expenses must be borne by the public, through taxes. Thus Bellingham’s mitigation liability would be on the order of $100-million. For the twenty cities along the corridor, individual requirements would differ. Some cities (like Seattle) would have greater costs just due to scale. Others, like Mt. Vernon, Edmunds, and Everett, would have greater costs due to their peculiar layout.

However, just to get a conservative order-of-magnitude estimate, I will assume that on average those cities bear costs like the estimated Bellingham costs. That’s

20X($100-million) = $2-billion
of publicly funded mitigation. At a tax-revenue rate of $5-million/annum, it would take how many years for the accrued taxes to offset the up-front infrastructure costs? The answer is
($2-billion)/($0.005 billion/annum) = 400 years.

So, the public will be required to make infrastructural mitigations up-front, but over a four-century payback period that money will be recovered in taxes.

The point of this exercise is to show that the estimated taxes are too small and too localized (Whatcom County, and Ferndale) to balance the huge infrastructure incremental liabilities all the way along the rail corridor. Any payback period longer than 20 years is an absurd and punitive action against the cities along the rail corridor.

Conclusion 1: The EIS scope must include cumulative infrastructure liabilities all the way along the rail corridor, not just in the immediate vicinity of the port.



2. Northern inland waters ship traffic effects on aquatic habitat
The inland waters from Cape Flattery to the Strait of Georgia are a nexus for extremely challenging aquatic-resource challenges. All five species of salmon are in decline. Herring- a principal feedstock for salmon –are in decline. Killer whales (orcas) are in decline. Unfortunately, we do not understand why these declines are occurring, only that they are occurring. There are huge economic and ecologic services we receive from these natural resources that are in decline.

The GPT project will ship 54-million tons per year out of Cherry Point. These mammoth cape-class ships dwarf any current shipping in the area. They will daily ply the coastal waters linking Cherry point, Peapod Rocks, Rosario Strait, Smith Island, the Strait of Juan de Fuca all the way out to the edge of the Nitinat Shelf before escaping to deeper and more open waters. What will be the effect of this significant increase in ship traffic on the five species of salmon, on the feedstock for those salmon, and on the apex predator (the killer whale) which is entirely dependent on those salmon? What will be the outcome for our treaty obligations to protect the Lummi Nation’s aboriginal take?

Conclusion 2: The EIS scope must include cumulative fisheries and other ecological impacts for the entire hundred-mile inland-water habitats to transited by the planned shipping.
Attached Files:

Adam Brown (#5266)

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

Adam Brunelle (#13568)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Portland, OR
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington. This proposal would negatively affect my community by increasing traffic, polluting our air and water, harming existing business, delaying emergency vehicles, increasing shipping traffic and noise, damaging aquatic ecosystems at the terminal site, increasing the potential for serious shipping accidents and exacerbating climate change. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

More than anything, coal plants take biomass that has compressed over many many centuries, burn it, and pump it into the air. Besides the incredible damage that coal plants do to the air, water, and soil, they also are responsible for radiation (more than a nuclear power plant!), immeasurable health impacts (including more measurable ones, like asthma), and coal has the distinction as the planet's most dangerous energy source when it comes to exacerbating climate change.

Let's not forget that the climate change tipping point is a very real thing with unimaginably difficult consequences. No more coal plants should ever be approved, lest we want to test that theory. It's time to stop living in the past and allowing big energy companies to dictate public policy. The government is meant to protect the common good, at least to some degree, and may be our best option to work around the challenges ahead from the climatic changes we have already guaranteed will continue to happen. Adaptation is important. Resilience is important. Spend your time, as a government, approving renewable energy projects... and finding ways for them to occur and places for them to be sited. Stop wasting your time on ruining the planet's ecosystem, its biodiversity, its oceans, its air, its future.

Seriously. You know it's time to stop the nonsense with COAL.

Adam Gillman (#8560)

Date Submitted: 01/17/2013
Comment:
I am concerned about the effects that the coal dust, from the uncovered trains will have on air quality, given the many pollutants and toxins, which exist in coal dust.

Adam Karon (#9864)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Comment:
I’m concerned about the long-term benefits/consequences for the Pacific Northwest and Bellingham looking 10, 15, 25, 50, 75, 100, 200, 5000 years into the future.

Adam Lutt (#3062)

Date Submitted: 11/18/2012
Comment:
This is not a question. This needs to happen to keep this country from shutting the door on coal as a profit. Just because the US thinks its' ready to move away from coal (Its' not) doesn't mean we cannot generate jobs and revenue off of what we have in our own country.

Adam Sripranaratanakul (#14619)

Date Submitted: 01/16/13
Location: Tacoma, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Adam U (#10514)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Deming, WA
Comment:
I am concerned that the coal trains will decrease air quality, increase noise, and reduce tourism/economy for the people of Bellingham and the areas surrounding the railway. I am also concerned that the port facility will disrupt the marine ecosystem by ruining eelgrass beds, reducing herring spawning habitat, threatening food sources for endangered salmon and Southern Resident killer whales.

Basically, the entire operation threatens every reason I moved to the Bellingham area.

-Adam

Addie Pobst (#5877)

Date Submitted: 01/03/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
I am against the plan to export coal from Cherry Point, including transporting it by rail through Washington state. I believe that the negative environmental impacts of the project, including disruption critical herring spawning habitat, reduced regional air and water quality, destruction of wetlands and wildlife habitat, as well as increases in rail traffic through our communities, vastly outweigh the economic benefits provided to our region.

I also believe that a serious assessment of the environmental impacts of this project must consider the impact of increased coal consumption in China on the air quality of the PNW. Out atmosphere is not separate.

Adela Santisteban (#4732)

Date Submitted: 12/13/2012
Location: Everett, WA
Comment:
I am employed in the construction and engineering industry, and have been for over 25 years, most of that in hydroelectric and natural gas power sector. I remain proud that I have never been involved in construction and design of coal fired power plants. There is no such thing as clean coal power.

I am voicing my opinion against this train system of coal transport, because of
1) I am inherently agains export of our own natural resources out of country, even as we have exported jobs, and to a country which has extremely poor environmental policies and practices regarding carbon emissions, and
2) the proposed coal train follows an extremely fragile coastline, actually hugging the shore for most of the line between Seattle and Everett, which I use for my work commute.
And-
I do not condone the idea of 'job creation' by the construction involved in the coal train plan. Unfortunately in the United States we continue to ignore the need for creating jobs in the 'green' industrial sector.

Additionally, I would like to remind the panel that the rail system between Everett and Seattle is often shut down because of mudslides during the winter, caused by rain. In just the last 2 weeks the train has been shutdown 3 times, each time for 48 hours. What is the plan for the coal train during these mudslide periods? Hold everything up down at the King Street station?

Thank you-

Adela Santisteban

Adele Reynolds (#7739)

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

Adena Mooers (#7407)

Date Submitted: 01/14/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
My mother was born and lived her entire life in Bellingham. She died of a type of lung cancer caused by air pollutants. She never ever smoked.
I am aware that China burns a lot of coal for power and has a really bad air pollution problem. Their air pollution drifts across the pacific ocean to us on the pacific coast where our lung cancer deaths are higher than other places in the United States.
Please study the effects of coal burning in China on the effects of human health in the Pacific Northwest.

Adina Parsley (#7520)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Comment:
I live near Ferndale and near the rail line that would be used for Cherry Point terminal and am concerned about the potential effects of rail traffic on our environment and our health.

I have read the comment from Richard Steinhardt on Dec. 5, 2012, requesting the study of the impact of copper release and I would also like this impact to be studied and to be studied all along the rail corridors from mining sites to terminals on the west coast. Please include impacts on agricultural land, livestock and human health as well.

Adina Parsley (#7526)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Comment:
I have lived near Ferndale for several years and enjoy the natural beauty and wildlife and marine life of the area. I have read the comment from Joseph K. Gaydos, VMD, PhD submitted to GPT/BNSF Custer Spur EIS Co-Lead Agencies on Nov. 3, 2012. I, too, would like the impacts studied in the EIS that he raises.

Thank you.

Adina Parsley (#7539)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Comment:
I live in beautiful Whatcom county because of its natural beauty and environmental diversity. I am concerned about the effects of the proposed GPT at Cherry Point, particularly the effects of coal dust that would be released from mining, shipping and storing.

I have read the comment from Michael Riordan that was submitted Dec. 22, 2012, regarding potential impacts. I ask that the EIS include studies regarding the impacts he raised.

Thank you.

Adina Parsley (#7546)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Comment:
I live near Ferndale and am concerned about the impact of the proposed coal terminal on our water supply.

I have read and concur with the comment from Terry Wechsler on November 30, 2012. Please study the direct and cumulative impacts on water quality and quantity that would result from the operation of the coal terminal, including during potential droughts.

Adina Parsley (#7560)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Comment:
I have lived in Whatcom county for several years, having moved here for the magnificence of the Puget Sound area. Living near the rail line as I do, I am particularly concerned with the impact on the air that I breathe.

I have read the comment from Arthur M. Winer, PhD, submitted on Jan. 7, 2013. I, too, ask that the EIS include all pollutants, unregulated as well as regulated, and include air monitoring all along the rail corridors, not just fixed stations. Since there are operational coal terminals already, this type of monitoring can be done now and extrapolated to the weather and geographical environment of the proposed GPT.

Please do a thorough study of the impacts on air quality.

Adina Parsley (#7669)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Comment:
One of the reasons I moved to Whatcom county several years ago was because of the unique combinations of sea, wetlands, islands, land and mountains. The Salish Sea is a treasure of biodiversity. I am concerned about the impacts of the GPT on this treasure.

I have read and concur with the comment of Bill McGown submitted on Dec. 17, 2012. I, too, am concerned about the increased vessel traffic and ship sizes and would like to see a comprehensive study of the impacts these ships would have on the sea bottom and subsequent displacement of sediment.

Please study the presence of toxic sediment present on the sea floor and the impacts there would be from disturbances from these vessels. To start, look at the anchorings of ships already calling on BP and Alcoa wharves for a projection of how much disturbance there would be from the proposed traffic of 487 vessels per year at GPT.

Adina Parsley (#7690)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Comment:
I have lived in Whatcom county for several years, enjoying the beauty, peace, quiet and health of the area and its land and sea biodiversity.

I have read and share the same concerns expressed by Mary Ruth Holder in a comment submitted Jan. 6, 2012.

Please study the amount of coal dust that would be lost from mining, shipping via rail, storage, loading/unloading at the terminal site and from "empty" coal cars returning to the mining sites. Please include in the study any mitigation of coal dust that the mining and shipping industry claims--actual effectiveness of the methods and actual use by these companies. Please include any cost to the taxpayers that would occur for these possible mitigations. And finally, please study the cumulative effects over time of these contaminants on the land and water quality over the entire rail corridors involved in all of the projected west coast coal terminals.

Adina Parsley (#7706)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Comment:
I currently live near Ferndale, the rail line and the proposed Cherry Point terminal site so I am very concerned personally about the impacts of the proposed coal terminal.

I agree with Joseph Knight on his comment from Jan. 3, 2013. I, too, request a thorough study of rail capacity, from the sites of the mines through to the coast, taking into account all five of the proposed coal terminals on the west coast. This study needs to address the needs of the coal trains, freight trains and passenger trains who share the rail and the impacts of one upon the other. Also needed is the determination of who would be responsible for the cost of any crossing upgrades or of any rail expansion.

Please include a detailed and comprehensive study of the cumulative impacts of coal train traffic on all the communities and industries of Idaho, Washington, and Oregon that are affected by one and all of the proposed terminals.

Adina Parsley (#7744)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Comment:
For the past several years I have lived near Ferndale and several miles from the proposed Cherry Point terminal site.

I agree with the comment of Michael Riordan, submitted Jan. 10, 2013, (http://www.eisgatewaypacificwa.gov/get-involved/comment/7362).

I, too, ask for a comprehensive study of the dispersion of coal dust from the terminal site and ask that the EIS measure wind speeds and direction at the site, model how often wind gusts will create fugitive dust storms, and design mitigations to eliminate fugitive dust reaching the fragile aquatic environment, such as halting loading operations when winds are over a certain speed (14 mph is the standard at Seward) and requiring covered coal storage.

I also ask that the EIS study the impact of an earthquake on coal storage and subsequent potential contamination of land and water.

Adina Parsley (#8286)

Date Submitted: 01/17/2013
Comment:
I have read and share the same concerns expressed by Dr. Gary Greene on Jan.3, 2013 (http://www.eisgatewaypacificwa.gov/get-involved/comment/5913). I, too, would like the studies described by Dr. Greene to be included in the EIS:

"(1) how will fugitive coal particles be incorporated into natural sediments, if at all;
(2) how concentrated will the particles become and what will be the toxicity to benthic organisms, especially Pacific sand lance; and
(3) how far will the particles be distributed from their point of entry into the water.

All sub-tidal PSL habitats should therefore be located and mapped within close proximity to the coal-loading facilities and along the bulk carrier routes, where coal is likely to be introduced into the marine environment. Coal toxicity associated with dissolution or any other chemical processes that occur in marine and estuarine environments also need to be addressed. If potential impacts are found, how will they be mitigated?"

Adina Parsley (#8509)

Date Submitted: 01/17/2013
Comment:
I have lived in Whatcom county for several years, having moved here for the magnificence of the Puget Sound area, its unique combinations of sea, wetlands, islands, land and mountains. The Salish Sea is a treasure of biodiversity.

I have read and concur with the concerns expressed by Sanford Olson on Oct. 27, 2012 (http://www.eisgatewaypacificwa.gov/get-involved/comment/1567).

I, too, request that a thorough, comprehensive, Vessel Traffic Study including all potential increased vessel traffic occurring due to expansion, or development, of import/export terminals in Washington, Oregon and Canada. This study needs to address:

1. The ability of the VTS to safely and efficiently handle the increased traffic.

2. The accessibility of experienced Pilots to meet the increased traffic demand.

3. The availability of capable tugs, with trained crews and appropriate
equipment, to respond to any vessel in distress within reasonable time to
control or prevent any of the above mentioned hazardous events.

4. The ability of the US Coast Guard to provide sufficient boarding examinations to ensure vessel, maintenance, performance, safety, and that these vessels pose no security risk to the homeland.

5. That oil spill response capability is robust, locally resident, using current Best Practices, and is adequate to manage spills resulting from a collision or other hull damage to any vessels sailing in Washington or British Columbia waters

6. That existing navigational aids are adequate for all weather and visibility
conditions typical for the region.

7. Ensuring US ballast water regulations are verifiably enforced.

Adina Parsley (#8527)

Date Submitted: 01/17/2013
Comment:
I have lived in Whatcom county for several years, having moved here for the magnificence of the Puget Sound area, its unique combinations of sea, wetlands, islands, land and mountains. The Salish Sea is a treasure of biodiversity. I love riding the ferries to the San Juan Islands which are treasures in themselves.

I have read and concur with the concerns expressed by Sanford Olson on Jan. 5, 2012 (http://www.eisgatewaypacificwa.gov/get-involved/comment/6044). I, too, request "that the GPT Environmental Impact Statement fully and completely include the linked and cumulative activities of transporting 50 million tons of strip-mined coal from Montana and Wyoming by rail to the proposed export terminal at Cherry Point and then transporting those millions of tons by ship through the Salish Sea to Asia.

Please conduct a thorough, comprehensive, vessel traffic study which should at least include the following:

1. The increased risk of collision or grounding of vessels while
navigating the narrow, reef strewn, shipping lanes around the San Juan and
Gulf Islands.

What measures, if any, would be needed to reduce the risks to vessels,
shorelines, and public safety from shipping accidents?

2. The increased risk and consequences to the economy, wildlife, and the
environment by any oil or cargo spill in or near the San Juan or Gulf Islands.

Are local and regional oil spill resources adequate to limit and then clean up a significant spill?

What would be the economic consequences of a large spill on the shellfish,
tourism, recreational boating and fishing industries of the San Juan Islands?

3. Given that tankers containing bitumen already use our waters, what
technology and spill response capabilities exist, or would be required, to
limit and clean up a spill of that product?

What are the unique characteristics of bitumen that would pose a threat to the environment in the event of a spill?

4. The harmful effects on marine mammals of mechanical and surface sound
propagation into the Salish Sea and the waters surrounding the San Juan and Gulf Islands.

How will additional ship noise affect the foraging, rearing of young, social
interactions, and possibly survivability of endangered Southern Resident
Killer Whales?

5. The environmental risks of greater and greater numbers of ships using the
Strait of Juan de Fuca and Unimak Pass, Alaska as the prime great circle route to Asia.

What facilities and capabilities exist to assist vessels in distress while
in the continental waters off Washington, British Columbia, or the Aleutian
Islands?

Are oil spill resources capable of responding to a spill in these waters?

What would be the environmental consequences of being unable to contain a spill in these more remote waters?

A comprehensive regional vessel traffic study is particularly necessary now because not only is the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal adding ships to the already significant existing traffic but expansions are proposed for the tar-sands pipelines at Burnaby, BC and Anacortes, WA. Expansions of these facilities will contribute additional vessel transits to the increasingly crowded waters of the Salish Sea and beyond.

Additionally, since there are currently five coal export proposals that would transport as much as 150million tons of coal through the Northwest, I urge a comprehensive, inclusive, area wide Environmental Impact Statement to assess the cumulative environmental impacts from all of the proposed coal export terminals.

Adina Parsley (#9029)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Comment:
I have lived in Whatcom county for several years, having moved here for the magnificence of the Puget Sound area. Living near the rail line as I do, I am particularly concerned with the impact on the air that I breathe.

I share the same concerns as Sara Mostad, MD, PhD, as expressed in her comment from Jan. 9, 2013 (http://www.eisgatewaypacificwa.gov/get-involved/comment/6353).

I, too, request a Health Impact Assessment be conducted regarding the expected health impacts from air pollution (diesel emissions from trains, ships and terminal machinery, coal dust from trains, ships and terminal sites, heavy metal contaminants of coal dust, toxins drifting back from coal combustion in Asia).

I, too, request that this assessment determine how many excess deaths and hospitalizations would occur in all areas impacted from the mining sites, through the rail corridors and at the coal terminals on the west coast. I further request that lost life expectancy be evaluated and that the financial costs to impacted individuals and communities be evaluated.

Adina Parsley (#10644)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
After living in multiple places throughout the US, I have lived in Whatcom county for several years since my retirement, drawn here by its physical beauty and by its reputation for awareness of its stewardship role of its magnificent environs.

I agree with the concerns raised by Carolyn Gastellum in her comment of Jan. 12, 2013 (http://www.eisgatewaypacificwa.gov/get-involved/comment/6908) and by James Wells in his comment of approximately Jan. 19. 2013.

I, too, request that the EIS fully study the various statutes that fall under the category of the public trust doctrine.

Under SEPA and NEPA, federal and state agencies have an obligation to consider the broader implications of the various coal terminal projects including climate change impacts. NEPA and SEPA clearly require greenhouse gas (GHG) contributions to be considered and these contributions must include the full scope of the projects from the mining to the shipping to the burning of the coal in Asia.

From SEPA: “[A] lead agency shall not limit its consideration of a proposal's impacts only to those aspects within its jurisdiction, including local or state boundaries.” (Wash. Admin. Code sec. 197-11-060(4)(b))

From SEPA: “The agency perspective should be that each generation is, in effect, a trustee of the environment for succeeding generations. Particular attention should be given to the possibility of foreclosing future options by implementing the proposal.” SEPA, WAC sec. 197-11-440(5)(c)(vii)

The agencies should broadly consider the public interest in this case, first because the effect of greenhouse gas emissions is relevant to public interest since global warming and ocean acidification represent a very serious threat to our environment and the livability of our planet, and second because the project needs to use government resources rather than just private assets.

One of these assets is the water of the Nooksack River which would be drawn upon in an attempt to reduce coal dispersion from the terminal site. As explained on the WA Department of Ecology web site: "The essence of the [Public Trust] doctrine is that the waters of the state are a public resource owned by and available to all citizens equally for the purposes of navigation, conducting commerce, fishing, recreation and similar uses and that this trust is not invalidated by private ownership of the underlying land." The EIS must determine any public interest served by GPT use of this water resource.

As pointed out by James Wells, the GPT project will also require exercise of a key government power, which is: Eminent Domain. This is another point whether the question of the Public Interest is applicable.

I request that the EIS take into consideration the end use of the coal, which is the purpose of the proposed coal terminals.

The SEPA standard itself recognizes the world-wide scope of environmental issues.
SEPA considers “each person’s” right to a “healthful environment” to be “fundamental and inalienable” Rev.Code Wash. Sec. 43.21C.020(3), “[r]ecognize[s] the worldwide and long-range character of environmental problems,” and directs agencies, “where consistent with state policy, [to] lend appropriate support to initiatives, resolutions, and programs designed to maximize international cooperation in anticipating and preventing a decline in the quality of the world environment….” (RCW 43.21C.030(1)(f).)
The GPT and other terminals are simply against public policy in view of our local and national policies regarding GHGs and global climate change.

Adrian Farnsworth (#13378)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Battle Ground, WA
Comment:
Our Pacific Northwest waters MUST be protected! I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington.
This proposal would negatively affect my community by increasing traffic, polluting our air and water, harming existing business, delaying emergency vehicles, increasing shipping traffic and noise, damaging aquatic ecosystems at the terminal site, increasing the potential for serious shipping accidents and exacerbating climate change. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

Adrian Tuohy (#8794)

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

Adriana N/A (#5205)

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

Adriana Stagnaro (#11636)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Comment:
To Whom It May Concern:

I am a student of environmental studies at Gonzaga University and have been hearing updates on this issue for some months now. I’d like to offer a few suggestions for improvement based on my recent studies: Knowing that the coal mined in the Powder River Basin is upward of 60% carbon and particularly “dirty” with impurities, and considering that we face a global catastrophe in the making called climate change due greatly to the amount of carbon dioxide and other green house gases released into the atmosphere, I suggest that the scoping includes an investigation into the amount of heat-trapping particles expected to be released into the atmosphere from the extracting, transporting and processing abroad of the PRB coal while this terminal is in use. This suggestion lacks real defining lines, but I’m sure you can read into my plea—we need to weigh the global harms against the economic benefits of burning said coal instead of leaving it in the basin. We can’t afford to be releasing any more heat-trapping gases without a simultaneous effort behind trapping these gases in action too. Perhaps in the future we would find it viable to burn the coal from the basin, but surely now, while we are so far beyond the sustainable number of ppm of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, this is not the time. An estimation of this added amount of carbon dioxide is necessary.

To be more specific, please estimate the green house gases released at the extraction site: from running the machinery to extract at the basin site and the estimated loss of carbon capturing biota at the extraction site. Also along the railroad, in gases released from fuel needed to power all locomotives and the carbon capturing biota removed to put in new railroads, as well as any other unpredicted sources of green house gas emission. Also at the terminal, especially in the construction of the terminal in the same two ways: carbon capturing biota lost and the fuels burned, as well as any other sources of gas emission. Also during transportation over seas in the quantity of fuel used. Also at the expected plants and factories where the coal will finally be burned in Asia in quantity of fuel burned.

When calculating these green house gases released, the alternatives that should come to mind are any and all efforts to lessen the amount of transportation, machinery, scarring on the extraction site, and coal extracted. Due consideration of this case should find the whole enterprise impossible when we think of the additional carbon released into an already overly carbon heavy atmosphere. We need to take this seriously, for people alive today who are suffering from a rising global temperature and for those to be born who will live their lives on a wholly hotter planet in the near future. These decisions are crucial.

A second suggestion is to make a calculation for the opportunity cost of propagating the coal industry. For each terminal installed supplying x amount of coal energy, using x amount of laborers and x amount of technology, and accruing x amount of money from connected energy, manufacturing, transporting, distributing and marketing firms, what loss does that amount to for the next-best industry to take on the job of powering those firms? The opportunity cost of any decision is that the benefits of the next-best option were lost. What if in this case, the next-best option was actually a clean energy industry? What if by promoting the coal industry we have directly delayed the development of a cleaner industry? Can we calculate the lost time, energy, funding, and network developing that could have gone to a next-best industry? This, of course is a difficult task. Yet, there needs to be an economic evaluation of this enterprise that sincerely estimates the lost resources that could have gone to developing a new safer, healthier energy industry.

A third suggestion is to investigate the effects of increased rail traffic on biodiversity, particularly threatened and endangered species. Habitat fracturing will occur as a result of increased railroads and rail traffic across the Northwest. We have large animals that need lots of room for roaming, and unique species with other specific habitat needs. How can we expect their chances of survival to change with the introduction of this new traffic? Populations like grizzly bears, woodland caribou, and lynx may increasingly be road-kill victims. We can calculate to find the expected increase in deaths per year with increased traffic, and then speculate how those lost individuals will affect the population’s likelihood to thrive. Other threatened species like gophers, fishers and jackrabbits may find life near the railroads difficult because of noise and vibration disturbances and the settling of coal particles in their habitat. Marine animals like the Pacific Harbor porpoise, Orca and Humpback whales will face increased water traffic and pollution; how will these changes affect them? Also important are the ecological implications as one species becomes compromised; we need to investigate how then connected species are also compromised, especially those ecological chains or webs that lead to keystone and threatened species. These issues need to be looked at along the BNSF railroad, at GPT, along the route across the Pacific, and if possible the affects upon Asian biota.

Adrielle Fuller (#3238)

Date Submitted: 11/20/2012
Location: Beaverton, OR
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington. This proposal would negatively affect my community by increasing traffic, polluting our air and water, harming existing business, delaying emergency vehicles, increasing shipping traffic and noise, damaging aquatic ecosystems at the terminal site, increasing the potential for serious shipping accidents and exacerbating climate change. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

I don't know if you have kids, but I know I want my daughter to grow up to have the best future possible.

Sincerely,

Adrielle Fuller

Adrienne Lederer (#13377)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I QUESTION THE construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington. This proposal would SUPOSSEDLY affect my community by increasing traffic, polluting our air and water, QUESTIONABLY delaying emergency vehicles, increasing shipping traffic and noise, damaging aquatic ecosystems at the terminal site,DOUBTFULLY increasing the potential for serious shipping accidents and exacerbating climate change. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.
YOU'VE THOUGHT OF EVERY MIGHT BE SITUATION. I SUGGEST YOU ALL SHOULD WAIT UNTIL ALL THE STATE AND FEDERAL AGENCIES ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS BEFORE SCARING PEOPLE.

Ahsley Callahan (#2851)

Date Submitted: 11/05/12
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

Aida Kraus (#11237)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Blaine, WA
Comment:
This industrial endeavor does not fit into our community. The jobs created by this plan result in far too few versus the pollution of an area that should have remained a farming community. In the first place, this should never have been classified as an industrial area. There is enough land south of here, in the Mt. Vernon, Burlington to Anacortes area where this should be concentrated, and not over the last vestige of pristine shoreline of our state. Some days the stink of the plant, let alone the many industrial fires polluting the air, is unacceptable. Tourism and residential areas do not pollute and there are enough alternate energy sources in this day and age to concentrate on these developments and do away with coal, coal dust, oil and refineries. BRITISH PETROLEUM can go to THEIR islands, they do not have to be in America.

Aidan Tro (#276)

Date Submitted: 09/26/12
Location: Olympia, WA
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington. This proposal would negatively affect my community by increasing traffic, polluting our air and water, harming existing business, delaying emergency vehicles, increasing shipping traffic and noise, damaging aquatic ecosystems at the terminal site, increasing the potential for serious shipping accidents and exacerbating climate change. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

Continuing TP pursue more coal power is a move in the wrong direction.
We say we want clean power, so let's start funding infrastructure for wind and solar power.

Sincerely,

Aidan Tro

Aileen Jeffries (#6929)

Date Submitted: 01/12/2013
Location: Winthrop, WA
Comment:
Cherry Point herring are a keystone species, providing food for a number of other species; their status is currently fragile, and would likely be further stressed by activities associated with the coal port. Any activity that has the potential for accident that would result in marine environmental degradation, as this one does, should have a thorough analysis. An accident, and perhaps just the increased activity, has the potential to damage the herring spawning success which has repercussions through the entire marine food chain. This coal port should not be allowed without a comprehensive study of the potential for irreversible damage.

Aileen Robathan (#10167)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Comment:
Sample comment:
 
Dear GPT/BNSF Custer Spur EIS Co-Lead Agencies,
 
I am a homeowner in San Juan County.I am concerned about the continued vitality of the Salish Sea, where coal ships would make over 950 transits per year if the Gateway Pacific Terminal were to be built.  I request that the GPT Environmental Impact Statement include the entire coal transportation corridor so that communities along the rail and marine routes are given due consideration.
 
I am especially concerned about the impacts of coal dust emissions from the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal on the marine environment.  Questions that concern me, and which objective, rigorous and comprehensive studies should address include:
What will be  the rate of coal dust emissions from stock piles, in addition to other local sources, such as conveyor belts, as well as emissions from rail sources within the terminal (e.g., unloading)?  This study should focus upon an understanding of factors that influence coal dust emission rates including wind strength, averages and extremes.
What will be the impact of coal dust in the marine environment, and upon vulnerable species and ecosystems in particular?
If there is no positive assurance and insurance from those involved against any potentially significant impacts, please consider a no build option.
 
Sincerely,  Aileen D. Robathan

Aimando Nunes (#3874)

Date Submitted: 11/30/12
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Aimee Stenersen (#5616)

Date Submitted: 12/12/12
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Files:

Aimee Wade (#6936)

Date Submitted: 01/12/2013
Comment:
The proposal to export up to 48 million tons of coal per year from the Powder River Basin, through the Columbia River Gorge to Cherry Point 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).

In particular, the proposal would have severe impacts on the Columbia River Gorge, which is the most likely rail transportation route from the Powder River Basin through the Cascade Mountains to the proposed terminal. The Columbia River Gorge is world-renowned for its natural scenic beauty, diversity in plants and wildlife, cultural resources and recreation. To protect its outstanding resources, the Gorge is a federally designated National Scenic Area. This law requires protection and enhancement of scenic, natural, cultural and recreation resources and air quality. The EIS must evaluate the transportation of coal by rail in open coal cars through the Gorge, and the likely expansion of tracks and siding in the Gorge that would be necessary to accommodate up to 18 additional trains per day, for consistency with the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Act.

Air quality in the Columbia River Gorge is already degraded. Increased coal train traffic would worsen air quality and visibility. The human health and the environmental impacts of diesel emissions and coal dust from up to 18 trains per day must be analyzed.

Coal pollution is already a problem in the Gorge from just a few coal trains per week, 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.

Additional trains would block at-grade crossings in the Gorge, interfering with commerce, recreation, tourism and emergency services. Wind-blown coal debris from coal trains has also been documented to be a safety threat to highway travelers. These impacts must be included in the scope of the EIS.

Existing rail traffic in the Gorge is near capacity. Approval of the GPT 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.

Train-caused fires are a regular occurrence within the Columbia Gorge, resulting in damage to native plants, sensitive wildlife habitat and property. Increased train traffic and transporting coal in open-top cars would only worsen this existing problem. Increased risk of fire from coal trains must be analyzed in the EIS.

There are five 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.

Coal-burning power plants are the primary source greenhouse gases driving global climate change. The GPT project would feed Asia's growing appetite for coal and accelerate climate change. Greenhouse gas emissions from the mining, transportation and burning of coal must be analyzed in the EIS. Coal combustion in Asia releases other air pollutants, such as mercury, that are deposited in the United States. The EIS must analyze the impacts of mercury pollution from coal powered plants receiving coal via the proposed export facility.

The purpose and need for the proposed project should be broadened to look at economic development and environmental needs for the region and for the global climate. The range of alternatives considered in the EIS should include alternatives that better address the economic and environmental needs of the region and do not expand global reliance on fossil fuels that are responsible for causing catastrophic climate change. The alternatives analysis should include alternative transportation routes that do not pass through federally protected areas like the Columbia River Gorge. Mitigation measures should include covered rail cars to reduce the amount of coal pollution from coal trains.

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 five coal export proposals in the Pacific Northwest.

AJ Smith (#1597)

Date Submitted: 10/26/12
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
The GPT proposal is a much needed infrastructure project and I fully support it.

Because the site requires no dredging and will accommodate deep draft ships, there is no better alternative.

Please choose a scope of review that is reasonable and fair. Do not hold this project to a higher standard than other development or infrastructure projects, or we will be setting a dangerous precedent for our economic future.

With regards,

AJ Smith
PO Box 2174
Bellingham, WA 98227=

Aja Woodrow (#8477)

Date Submitted: 01/17/2013
Location: Leavenworth, WA
Comment:
I am concerned about the increased rail traffic along the Chumstick Valley. Air quality can become poor in the winter and extra train traffic will make it worse.
Has the EIS analyzed for air quality under prolonged high pressure winter weather with inversion?
Also,
It is 2013, surely we can move beyond bronze-age energy sources.

Ajay Bilson (#11544)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Comment:
Hi, I’m Ajay Bilson a Senior of Bellingham High School and I’m here to write about the coal dust that may come through the new trains if you allow the new terminals to be build and thus, needed to be scoped in order to precede in building those terminals. The reasons why this need to be scoped because if you either not build the new terminals or regulate this in some way it could lead the particles of the coal to travel to our town of Bellingham, Washington thus, resulting in smut covering our streets that will hamper our environment appeal and also result in lung related problems that could lead to disabilities affecting their work and possibly death. This is proven by a. based by the World Socialist website (http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2010/01/blac-j11.html) that over 10000 miners have died in the past 10 years and since the residents in this town live in close proximity to the trains should be treated as those miners. Plus in Coal Trains Facts website (http://www.coaltrainfacts.org/key-facts) they stated that 500 pounds a ton is escaped from these trains and based by our weather conditions (wind and rain) it is difficult to even control these leakages of coal dust. So I wish that the EIS should consider either a. don’t permit the construction of the terminals because of health concerns and lack of control over coal dust. Or b. Investigate ways to limit the release of coal dust so that it is at minimal health concerns and environmental damages and includes these precautions into the deal of allow those trains to go through. But if you care about an individual say on the matter I believe that you should not build the terminals at all. This isn’t because of health or how good looking our environment should be but if we don’t just draw a line to the corporation’s greed and risks of our plant then who will. So, to illiterate I wish you should study coal dust and its affect and this can be done by studies and experiments.

Akna Lum-Reesene (#5518)

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

Al Watkins (#5652)

Date Submitted: 12/26/12
Location: Tacoma, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Al & Anne Bridges (#3124)

Date Submitted: 11/13/12
Location: Wenatchee, WA
Comment:
Nov 13, 2012

Scoping Hearing Comments Cherry Point Scoping Comments WA

Dear Scoping Hearing Comments Scoping Comments,

I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington. This proposal would negatively affect my community by increasing traffic, polluting our air and water, harming existing business, delaying emergency vehicles, increasing shipping traffic and noise, damaging aquatic ecosystems at the terminal site, increasing the potential for serious shipping accidents and exacerbating climate change. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

We are not that 'hard up' for exports, which would despoil our environment!
Al and Anne Bridges

Sincerely,

Al & Anne Bridges
PO Box 3263
1601 Maiden Lane Unit-102 Zip 98801
Wenatchee, WA 98807-3263
(802) 457-1768

Al & Bernie Toutant (#12317)

Date Submitted: 01/22/13
Comment:
Ladies and Gentleman,

Please see to it that the EIS fully addresses the adverse environmental impacts in the Spokane area. We are particularly concerned about derailments in in the Spokane area. Please address the emergency response time and capabilities of the full- time and volunteer response teams. Also, please address the effect of derailments on our surface waters, our Spokane Valley Rathdrum Praire Aquifer, air quality, and our human, flora and fauna enviroments.

Sincerely,
Al & Bernie Toutant
EIS - Gateway Pacific Coal Terminal - diesel exhaust Ladies and Gentleman:
Please see to it that EIS fully addresses the adverse environmental impacts in the Spokane area. We ride our bikes through the Latah Creek valley south of i-90. We are particularly concerned about the increased particulates in the air from diesel exhaust due to the dramatic increase in the number of trains heading west through Spokane.. As minimum we urge only the newest diesel engines or only retrofit engines meeting current diesel engine standards.

Sincerely,

Alan Bell (#3499)

Date Submitted: 11/22/12
Location: Custer, WA
Comment:
To whom it may concern,

In the spring of 2000 I received a letter from the Wiliams Pipeline Co.informing me that unless I demanded that they cease and desist they would survey my property for their G.S.X Georgia Strait Crossing project. Their plan was to pipe gas across the border at Sumas to Cherry Point. The across the Strait of Georgia to Vancouver Island. I wrote the letter and they tried to survey anyway. They would take the easement across my property by Eminent Domain.

I then attended a county council meeting when Williams first proposed the G.S. X.. The council voted against the project pending further details. The first EIS was rejected as incomplete. They then submitted another EIS. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) endorsed both EISs.

Myself and my neighbors formed a coaition against the project. We attended meetings, with Williams and representives from FERC. We sent letters to all the property owners on the pipeline route to alert them to the facts about the project. We worked with fishermen, the tribes and others with environmental concerns to stop the pipeline.

After months of meetings and discussion, a meeting was held that was not announced to the public to decide if the pipeline could be constructed. The hearing examiner found for the pipeline however; the Williams legal representative noted a procedural technicality that the council had failed to deny permission in a timely fashion. I reminded the chair tha the council was against the pipeline from the start. At that point the Williams lawyers left the meeting. About one week later, Williams cancelled the proposed pipeline.

I see many parallels between the GSX and the proposed coal terminal. Again a few large companies want to jeprodize our county for their own greed. They will probably be supported by the federal government. Eminent domain will be exercised to allow for more train tracks and infrastructure.

I don't know if public input or the lack of demand for gas caused the GSX to fail,but I do know that when the government and big business fail to recognize the will of the majority they will fail.

At the end of it all the Williams Co. just walked away. All the time and effort that we put into protecting our property and environment was not an issue. Therefore, I propose that the coal port
proponents offer a bond to cover the time effort and expense that we have to put forth to save our environment for our children and generations to come.

Respectfully,
Alan F. Bell
8302 Valley View Rd.
Custer, Wa. 98240

Alan Bell (#4235)

Date Submitted: 12/05/12
Location: Custer, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Files:

Alan Fritzberg (#10356)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Dear Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Ecology and Whatcom County Council:

I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington and transporting strip-mined coal from Montana and Wyoming on trains and ships throughout the Northwest. This proposal would negatively affect my community by increasing congestion and noise with more coal train traffic, polluting our air and local waterways, harming existing businesses, delaying emergency responders, damaging aquatic ecosystems and fishing grounds at the terminal site, increasing tanker traffic and the potential for serious shipping accidents and escalating climate change. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

There needs to be an objective accounting for the costs involved in getting the coal out of the ground in Montana or where mined, transported to the Gateway Pacific Terminal by rail, shipped to China or elsewhere by ship and finally the cost to us from global warming impact and pollution effects of other toxic materials released from coal burning.

There are currently five coal export proposals that would transport as much as 150 million tons through the Northwest. I urge the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct an area wide Environmental Impact Statement to assess the cumulative impact of these proposals.

Alan Haney (#7585)

Date Submitted: 12/13/12
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

Alan HObbes Buchanan (#1952)

Date Submitted: 10/28/12
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Alan Kemble (#915)

Date Submitted: 10/20/12
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Gentlemen:

My name is Alan Kemble, a Bellingham resident & homeowner for 22 years. I am writing to you to draw attention to the adverse impact numerous additional coal trains will have on Bellingham's waterfront development plans because of seriously impeded traffic at downtown rail crossings.

At the planned additional 18 trains per day (by the applicant's estimate), each 1.5 miles long, this would seriously impede both commercial traffic and emergency service vehicles moving between downtown and the waterfront and cause serious economic damages to businesses and city tax revenue. It is probable that some of the hoped for development may even fail to take place because of these problems, which will cause a loss of both construction jobs and ongoing permanent employment.

If the project is nevertheless approved mitigation should include, at a minimum, the provision of bridges to replace grade crossings at "C", "F" & Wharf Streets and the vehicle entrance to Boulevard Park. The expense should be fully borne by the applicant or BNSF; the latter's spokesmen have already stated that their contribution will be only in the range of 5-10%. This is totally unacceptable. Failure to cover these costs should cause the project to be terminated.

It is imperative that the scope of the EIS should include a study of the impacts on the city of Bellingham.


Alan Kemble
1204 E. Maplewood Ave
Bellingham, WA 98225
Tel: (360) 734-8412

Alan Kemble (#1846)

Date Submitted: 10/26/12
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Gentlemen:

Part of the impact statement must include a study of the expected additional shipping volume between the Cherry Point terminal and the open ocean. It seems likely that there will be up to 400 additional (very large) ships traversing these inland waters which already have substantial traffic.

The risk of collision, especially in adverse weather conditions, will increase greatly. This carries with it the serious risk of pollution of our coastlines from bunker fuel and cargo released into the waters.

We will also be at risk from the marine organisms on the vessels' hulls and the possible discharge (albeit illegal) of ballast waters originating in China. The impact on marine life in Puget Sound might well be devastating over the long term.

Please ensure that the scope of the study expands to take in these possible impacts.


Alan Kemble
1204 E. Maplewood Ave
Bellingham, WA 98225
Tel: (360) 734-8412

Alan Kemble (#8636)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Location: Bellingham , WA
Comment:
Gentlemen:

Please study and evaluate the aggregate impact of the multiple coal terminals proposed for Washington and Oregon. The overall accumulated impact on both the economic and natural environment is likely to be considerable, particularly in the Columbia Valley.

It is important that the scope of the study be broad rather than concentrating on one narrow aspect.

Alan Kemble

Alan Ness (#8064)

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

Alan Olson (#13558)

Date Submitted: 01/22/13
Location: Roundup, MT
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

Alan Rosen (#13605)

Date Submitted: 01/16/13
Location: Lummi Island, WA
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

Alan Sanders (#10029)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Birch Bay, Wa
Comment:
It seems to me that any adverse effects from GPT will not recognize artificial borders. For an EIS to be valid it needs to be, at the very least, regional in scope. An export terminal, such as GPT, relies on regional infrastructure (i.e. rail) to function. What will the effects of increased rail traffic have from the coal fields to Cherry Point? How will increased tanker traffic thru Puget Sound effect the marine environment?
Also, there are a total of 5 coal export terminals being proposed for this region. If they are all built what will the cumulative effects be on air and water quality?
A project of this nature does not function in a vacuum. The EIS needs to take take the entire region into account.

Alan Sanders (#10077)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Birch Bay, Wa
Comment:
I'm concerned about the effects of coal dust on the Cherry Pt. Aquatic Reserve as well as the surrounding area. Will the coal dust sit on the surface of the water or sink down? If it sits on the surface, will that shade the eel grass? What effect will that have? If it sinks, how far down the water column will it go and how will that effect the herring stock, and how will that, in turn, effect the rest of the food chain in North Puget Sound?
I live in Birch Bay, so I know what the winds are like out here. How far will the coal dust travel on strong winter winds? How will it effect the water in Birch Bay? Birch Bay has not only been one of the fastest growing areas in Whatcom county but also serves as a regional resort area. Birch Bay is also home to many species of sea birds as well as a stopping point for many migratory birds. Consequently, the health of Birch Bay is important for both environmental as well as economic reasons.
What will happen to the fledgling salmon run up Terrell Creek and into Lake Terrell? Will all the hard work of the last 10 years to restore that run by the Whatcom Conservation District and Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association be lost?
The water table here is very shallow and most of us get our drinking water from wells. What will the coal dust do to the drinking water? Finally, how will all of this effect property values? What will the economic effect be to not only individual home owners but to the county tax rolls? Will loss of property tax revenue from lowered property values offset any potential increase from GPT?

Alan Scott (#7467)

Date Submitted: 01/04/13
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Alan Scott (#13588)

Date Submitted: 01/03/13
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

Alan Shurman (#8579)

Date Submitted: 01/17/2013
Location: Maple Falls, WA
Comment:
I am a physician (cardiologist) and resident of Whatcom County, Washington state. I feel obligated to provide my input to the EIS scoping process in view of the multiple potential adverse impacts of the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal project on the health of the residents of our region, quality of life, and environment.

Many objective scientific studies have documented a number of dangerous health effects of both diesel particulate matter and dust from the transported coal. The increase in heart and lung disease, including life-threatening episodes such as heart attack or asthma, constitutes a serious public health concern. Additionally, the substantially increased number of trains associated with the proposed project holding up traffic at crossings will lead to delays in emergency assistance and transport of seriously ill individuals. In my field of cardiology I am acutely aware that minutes count when treating heart attack victims and can mean the difference between successful treatment and recovery, and debilitating heart damage or even death.

Because of these issues it is crucial that the EIS include a comprehensive Health Impact Assessment utilizing the best available scientific methods to assess the potential health impacts of the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal project.

There are many other indirect potential negative health effects of the proposed project related to adverse impacts on our ecosystem, particularly marine life such as the endangered chinook salmon. I know these topics have been addressed in multiple other comments submitted during this scoping process.

Thank you for your consideration

Alan Shurman (#13620)

Date Submitted: 01/17/13
Location: Maple Falls, WA
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

Alan Stein (#614)

Date Submitted: 10/09/12
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Dear Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Ecology and Whatcom County Council:

I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington and transporting strip-mined coal from Montana and Wyoming on trains and ships throughout the Northwest. This proposal would negatively affect my community by increasing congestion and noise with more coal train traffic, polluting our air and local waterways, harming existing businesses, delaying emergency responders, damaging aquatic ecosystems and fishing grounds at the terminal site, increasing tanker traffic and the potential for serious shipping accidents and escalating climate change. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

There are currently five coal export proposals that would transport as much as 150million tons through the Northwest. I urge the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct an area wide Environmental Impact Statement to assess the cumulative impact of these proposals.

Alan Stein

Alan Stein (#1561)

Date Submitted: 10/27/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
October 26, 2012


GPT/BNSF Custer Spur EIS Co-Lead Agencies
1100 112th Avenue Northeast
Suite 400
Bellevue, Washington, 98004

To the Co-Lead Agencies:

I live in Bellingham, WA in close proximity to the BSNF rail line on which up to 18 additional daily coal trains (9 full, 9 empty) would travel if the Gateway Pacific Terminal were built.

I have many concerns regarding the potential for damage to the environment, community health and for significant adverse economic consequences to business, public lands and private property as a result of the transport of 50+ million tons of coal per year. In the following commentary, I have identified my specific request for studies in CAPITAL LETTERS.

I REQUEST THAT STUDIES ON THE POTENTIAL NEGATIVE HEALTH, ENVIRONMENTAL AND ECONOMIC IMPACTS DUE TO THE TRANSPORT OF COAL BY RAIL AND ITS TRANSSHIPMENT BY COAL SHIPS IN THE SALISH SEA HAVE AN EXTENDED TIMEFRAME OF AT LEAST 50 YEARS.

I have worked for many years in the design of advanced medical equipment. Safety and efficacy studies of such devices must be established over the long term. Further, unanticipated adverse events due to the device are considered the responsibility of the manufacturer. Medical equipment companies maintain reserves and substantial liability insurance in order to compensate for unintended adverse effects.

IN THIS LIGHT, I WOULD FURTHER REQUEST THAT STUDIES BE PERFORMED TO CLARIFY WHETHER GPT, BURLINGTON NORTHERN OR CURRENTLY UNKNOWN SHIPPING COMPANIES WOULD BE FINANCIALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR LONG TERM NEGATIVE IMPACTS OF THE PROPOSED COAL PORT AND TRANSPORT OF 50+ MILLION TONS OF COAL PER YEAR TO THE COAL PORT BY RAIL AND ITS TRANSPORT BY SHIP TO FOREIGN MARKETS.

This extended timeframe is critical!

Who could have imagined that the Fukushima nuclear disaster resulted from a tsunami subsequent to an underwater earthquake? In our area, a mega-thrust earthquake originating along the Juan de Fuca plate is a real possibility. STUDIES SHOULD CLARIFY WHO WOULD END UP PAYING FOR THE CLEANUP IF THE GPT COAL PORT WAS COMPROMISED DURING SUCH A NATURAL DISASTER – THE CITIZENS OR GPT.

Similarly, recall the disastrous Exxon Valdez oil spill. A similar situation could occur in the Salish Sea subsequent to a shipwreck containing coal. AGAIN, STUDIES SHOULD CLARIFY WHO WOULD END UP PAYING – THE CITIZENS OR GPT OR THE SHIPPING COMPANY.

AND SUCH STUDIES SHOULD CLARIFY WHETHER THE LIABILITY FOR SUCH DISASTERS WOULD INCLUDE FULL ENVIRONMENTAL AND ECONOMIC RESTITUTION ALONG THE LINES OF THE PENALTIES THAT BP AGREED TO AS A RESULT OF THE RECENT BP GULF OIL SPILL.

I am particularly concerned about negative economic effects to private property and businesses due to the transport of coal. STUDIES MUST BE UNDERTAKEN TO CLARIFY BOTH SHORT TERM AND LONG-TERM IMPACTS ON PROPERTY VALUES AND BUSINESS DISRUPTION. Let me clarify through examples. Regarding property values, there may be little perceived effect during the construction phase. However, once the transport of 50+ million tons of coal commences, it is likely that there would be downward pressure on property values due to noise and vibration and the inevitable dust. STUDIES SHOULD CLARIFY WHO WOULD BE RESPONSIBLE FOR MITIGATING THE LOSS OF PROPERTY VALUE SINCE, FOR MOST FAMILIES, A HOME IS THEIR MOST SIGNIFICANT ECONOMIC INVESTMENT AND LONG TERM ASSET – GPT OR BURLINGTON NORTHERN. FURTHER, THESE STUDIES SHOULD ALSO CLARIFY WHO WOULD BE RESPONSIBLE FOR OFFSETTING THE REDUCED CITY REVENUES AS A CONSEQUENCE OF REDUCED PROPERTY TAX COLLECTIONS ON HOMES THAT HAVE LOST THEIR VALUE DUE TO PROXIMITY TO THE RAILROAD – THE CITIZENS, GPT OR BURLINGTON NORTHERN.

Similarly for businesses, there may be little perceived effect during the construction phase. However, once the transport of 50+ million tons of coal commences, one can anticipate significant negative impacts to hotels, restaurants, the marina and other small businesses that are near the railroad tracks or involved in fishing, and tourism within the Salish Sea. STUDIES SHOULD CLARIFY WHO WOULD BE RESPONSIBLE FOR MITIGATING THE LOSS OF BUSINESS – THE CITIZENS, GPT OR BURLINGTON NORTHERN. FURTHER, THESE STUDIES SHOULD ALSO CLARIFY WHO WOULD BE RESPONSIBLE FOR OFFSETTING THE REDUCED CITY REVENUES AS A CONSEQUENCE OF REDUCED TAX COLLECTIONS ON BUSINESSES THAT HAVE LOST INCOME DUE TO PROXIMITY TO THE RAILROAD OR THAT OPERATE WITHIN THE SALISH SEA – THE CITIZENS, GPT OR BURLINGTON NORTHERN.

FINALLY, I REQUEST THAT THE GPT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT INCORPORATE THE ABOVE REQUESTED STUDIES IN A MANNER THAT ENCOMPASSES THE ENTIRE TRANSPORTATION CORRIDOR SO THAT COMMUNITIES ALONG THE RAIL AND MARINE ROUTES ARE GIVEN DUE CONSIDERATION.

Thank you,

Alan Stein, PhD
1808 Taylor Avenue
Bellingham WA 98225

Alana Mawson (#14059)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington, the transport of strip-mined coal from Montana and Wyoming on trains throughout the Northwest and the export of coal by ship through the Salish Sea and the Pacific Ocean. The proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal would negatively affect communities in the Pacific Northwest by increasing congestion and noise with more coal train traffic, polluting the air and local waterways, harming existing businesses, delaying emergency responders, and damaging aquatic ecosystems and fishing grounds at the terminal site. In addition, the proposal would threaten endangered orcas, salmon and herring, increase high-risk freighter traffic in the Salish Sea and Pacific Ocean -- and thus the potential for serious shipping accidents and oil spills -- and escalate climate change. I urge you to consider these significant impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

There are currently five coal export proposals that would transport as much as 150 million tons of coal annually through the Northwest and the Salish Sea. All the ships from these proposed projects are bound for China, meaning their routes will impact the San Juan Islands, the Strait of Juan de Fuca or the Columbia River, and then Unimak Pass along Alaska’s Aleutian Peninsula. Therefore, I urge the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct an area-wide Environmental Impact Statement to assess the cumulative impact of these proposals.

Oil and Coal companies need to begin to look towards alternative energy as oil, tar sands, coal all have devastating effects on humans and wildlife while destroying the environment.

Alana Nikore (#4780)

Date Submitted: 12/13/12
Comment:
I am glad the Mayor is doing an economic impact study, including traffic safety.
Please also consider the great impact to our health, as soot from the coal, which the shippers refuse to cover, cause lung cancer and other health issues.
This also affects the economy as people will want to stay away from such from environmental toxins, avoiding and leaving neighborhoods that sit on the bluff like Queen Anne and Northwest Ballard.
Last, money cannot buy our air quality back; if we allow the coal trains, we have auctioned off our precious, limited natural resources and visibility to natural beauty.
We could say NO to coal trains and look back on this time in history as one in which we acted with foresight and courage.
Thank you,
Alana Nikore
98105

Alana Quigley (#9593)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Mount Vernon, WA
Comment:
We live in Mount Vernon, WA literally a couple blocks from major railway tracks. We have small children as do all of our neighbors. We are not only greatly concerned about the environmental effects of MORE coal trains, but also the quality of life effects. I cannot count how many trains come through here every day, every night, week after week. 1am, 2am, 3am; blowing their whistles like mad men. Waking our children, rumbling our house, etc. The other thing is that it isn't like the trains roll along the outskirts of town. Every single one of them passes right through the middle of town hindering traffic, including emergency vehicles and public transportation. It is already a horrendous issue here. I can't even begin to imagine what it will be like with twice the amount of trains coming through, or more. Please, no more trains. I fear that if the train traffic gets any worse, we will have to consider leaving our home. We love our home, we love our town, we love our neighbors and our children love their schools and friends. We love Washington and all the beauty it possesses. Please. No more trains.

TRAFFIC PROBLEMS and LOCAL BUSINESS: There are concerns that diverse existing businesses would be compromised and/or lost in order to accommodate coal traffic. Increased traffic delays at city rail crossings and on I-5, waterfront accessibility issues, and increased noise and pollution would likely all impact local jobs and businesses. Mitigating the disruption to the flow of traffic would require the building of over- and underpasses, which would, themselves, cause disruption to local commerce. Attempts to repair the interrupted flow of commerce would likely include the building of over- and underpasses. These mitigation efforts, themselves, would entail physical disruption to and displacement of the surrounding businesses. Projects such as these often take years to complete, and cost many millions of dollars at each site. There are concerns that damages to local business would already be done by the time that such mitigation measures would be completed.

COST TO TAXPAYERS: A recent study conducted by a Billings-based transportation consultant and released by the Western Organization of Resource Councils (WORC) outlines economic costs associated with rail system, road and infrastructure upgrades that would be required by proposed coal export projects. The study indicates that these costs, added to mitigation measures, could total in the billions and would most likely be borne by state and local governments. In difficult economic times like now, this would be a tremendous financial burden on state and local governments, not to mention the working families that would have to pay higher taxes as a result. A thorough analysis of these problems needs to be conducted as part of the environmental review process.

OPPORTUNITY COSTS Another possible consequence of the project may be to discourage new businesses and residents from locating to the area because of traffic gridlock, loss of quality of life, or diminished attractiveness of waterfront redevelopment projects cut off from the rest of the city due to rail line delays. This, too, needs to be part of the environmental review process.

QUALITY OF LIFE COSTS: The Northwest is a region noted for spectacular physical beauty, an emphasis on “quality of life,” and a dedication to clean, healthy living and environmental stewardship. It is considered a prime tourist destination spot and a highly desirable place to live; it is both agriculturally rich and a haven for innovative business. The pollution, traffic, noise, and degradation of our waters and fisheries that would come with significant coal train and ship traffic is at odds with our enjoyment and stewardship of this region. While there are many sources of noise from trains (high-pitch screeching, idling engines; moving cars, etc.), horn sounding is the most significant. Federal rules governing the blowing of locomotive engine horns require that engineers of all trains sound horns for at least 15-20 seconds at 96-110 decibels (dB) at all public crossings. Decibels in the range of 80-105 are labeled extremely loud, whereas those above 105 are dangerous. No one can dispute that having to listen to and look at 18 mile and a half-long trains running over our landscape every day would significantly diminish our quality of life. Environmental impact studies should include estimates of changes in property values from those closest to railways.

MARINE IMPACTS: Cherry Point herring are a keystone species, providing food for a number of other species. Their status is currently fragile, and would likely be further stressed by activities associated with the coal port. Increased noise pollution, increased water pollution, threatened food sources (i.e. herring), and a degraded marine environment would pose challenges to killer whales and salmon, both icons for this region. Ballast water carried from Asian ports and released into local waters could introduce invasive species. This needs to be part of the environmental impact studies.
COAL DUST: Coal dust is notoriously difficult to control. BNSF estimates that each uncovered car loses between 500 pounds and a ton of coal dust en route. It is unknown how much coal dust will be released into the air, onto the land, and into the water from the from the 80-100+ acres of open, continuously turned-over, coal heaps in storage at the terminal site. There are concerns about train derailments, the effects of dust on human health, local clean water supplies, and on the marine environment. The methods of containing coal dust, especially in adverse weather conditions (wind, rain) are unproven, and it is uncertain which party would pay for dust mitigation measures. The leaching of toxic heavy metals from coal ash into water supplies is also a proven problem. Exposure to arsenic, cadmium, barium, chromium, selenium, lead and mercury can cause any number of health problems, including cancers and neurological diseases. It is unknown if and to what extent these heavy metals might leach out from the coal and/or fugitive coal dust, from the train cars and at the terminal storage site into local water supplies and into the marine environment. There are potential implications for the safety of the water we drink and the seafood we eat. These must all be studied thoroughly and clarified.

CLIMATE CHANGE IMPACTS: By law, an Environmental Impact Statement can consider “interdependent systems” that transcend geographic boundaries. As the only purpose of coal transport and export is to link coal mining to coal combustion, the environmental impacts of coal mining in the Powder River Basin and coal combustion in Asia should be studied and considered. If there is strong consensus among climate scientists that burning of fossil fuels is contributing to global climate change, then there needs to be a thorough analysis of the impact of burning this much additional coal.

Alanna Steele (#7749)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
As a future nurse, I serve as an advocate for quality health. The Gateway Pacific Terminal and railways will run coal trains that will severely impact the quality of health by polluting an ecosystem that many organisms live in. The heightened amount of coal dust and diesel people will be inhaling will negatively affect their respiratory systems.

Not only that, coal train traffic will cause emergency health care providers (ambulances) from immediately caring for a patient in crisis. With 1.5 mile long coal trains running through, there will be traffic forcing ambulances to wait in order to help someone in critical care.

The solution to this problem is to eliminate coal trains all together.
Coal trains do not advocate for the quality of life. Instead, coal trains destroy the quality of life.

-Alanna Steele

Alanna Taylor (#477)

Date Submitted: 09/25/12
Location: Redmond, WA
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington. This proposal would negatively affect my community by increasing traffic, polluting our air and water, harming existing business, delaying emergency vehicles, increasing shipping traffic and noise, damaging aquatic ecosystems at the terminal site, increasing the potential for serious shipping accidents and exacerbating climate change. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

I regularly travel with my family to Bellingham and other areas of Whatcom County to pick fruit and to enjoy ourselves on day trips. I would not choose to do this anymore if there was a big coal export terminal and coal pollution hanging around. It would be very sad to see such a stunningly beautiful area, an area I actually lived in for many years, fall victim to such a negative change. Again, please consider all of the impacts above in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

Sincerely,

Alanna Taylor

Albert Hyde (#13640)

Date Submitted: 01/20/13
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

Albert Kaufman (#4629)

Date Submitted: 12/12/2012
Location: Portland, OR
Comment:
Hello, I think that bringing coal through our area is the wrong way to go. Every check box above would be impacted - from noise issues (more trains = more noise) to seizmic issues (rumbling trains multiplied shake foundations of buildings); to a thousand other issues - esp. air quality and deterioration of our quality of life in the Pacific Northwest. This process needs to be stopped and discussions need to be had about all of it. I am against coal being brought through this area ever under any circumstances.

Albert Marshal (#6545)

Date Submitted: 01/04/13
Comment:
I wish to follow up on my e-mailed comments of December 23.

The recent grounding of the Kulluk oil rig near Kodiak Island must be recognized for what it represents: a failure of risk analysis methods currently in use. It shows that more serious and carefully thought out methods are needed. Too many risks have been discounted because they are unlikely. Because the aggregate of many small risks can be quite substantial, these small risks cannot be dismissed.

Also, I note that mud slides continue to disrupt rail traffic north of Seattle; are these tracks safe for heavy coal train traffic? I fear not.

Sincerely, Prof. Albert W. Marshall

Albert Marshall (#5470)

Date Submitted: 12/23/12
Comment:
I wish to ask that the risks of accidents be carefully studied as a part of the EIS for the Gateway Pacific Terminal proposed for Cherry Point. I am particularly sensitive to this issue because I worked for over 10 years studying the mathematical theory of system reliability (mostly for the Boeing Company); the system for exporting coal will not be immune from accidents.

First, the possibility of a serious marine accident due to a new and substantial increase in both ship traffic and vessel size must be addressed. Each year, NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration responds to 150-200 incidents in U.S. coastal waters, the majority of which are oil spills and vessel collisions or groundings. Well known incidents abound. Such incidents are both more likely and more damaging in the confined crowded waters of the Salish Sea than they are on other coastal waters. The size of ships is another factor of concern. According to the Wall Street Journal ( November 13, 2012), super large ships that were constructed to carry iron or to China have been denied permission to dock at Chinese ports because they bring unacceptable risks of serious accidents. For us, risks include oil spills from collisions, groundings, and during refueling. Spills of coal at existing coal terminals have been well documented. Accidents can occur due to equipment malfunction or by crew errors.

One approach to the study of accident risks is to begin by estimating the probability of a serious accident on a single visit of a coal carrying ship. Data from Office of Response and Restoration should be available to provide a basis for estimating this probability, denoted here by the letter p. The number of inter-accident visits will have a geometric distribution with expected value 1/p. The geometric distribution is discussed in most elementary texts on probability theory, or see page 660 of the book
Marshall, Albert W. and Ingram Olkin (2007). Life Distributions.
Vessel traffic can be used to convert trips numbers to time intervals between accidents.

Preferably, such analysis will be refined by considering various kinds of accidents separately. Costs associated with each kind of accident can then be incorporated in this part of the EIS. Another refinement which would take into account the possibility that two coal ships are involved in the same accident would require the use of a bivariate geometric distribution, which is not as well known as the univariate case. For this, see, for example,
Marshall, Albert W. and Ingram Olkin (1985). A Family of Distributions Generated by the Bivariate Bernouli Distribution. Journal of the American Statistical Association, Vol. 80, p. 335.

A second issue is the risk of accidents due to coal train traffic. The rail tracks run close to water in many places; they are regularly blocked by mud slides between Seattle and Bellingham, and they have been known to derail trains. A slide could easily occur at the time a coal train was on the tracks. Coal ending up in water cannot be good. Rail accident risk can be studied using the same methods as used for water traffic.

Proper analysis of the hazards of accidents is complex, but necessary because of the very high costs that they can impose on us all.

Sincerely,
Prof.Albert W. Marshall

Albert Marshall (#13046)

Date Submitted: 01/20/13
Comment:
I am writing to ask that the issue of coal dust and high winds be addressed in the EIS for the proposed coal terminal at Cherry Point.
As a long time resident of Lummi Island, I know that this area is subject to very high winds, from the south, the west, and from the northeast. As a result, there is a real danger that, should the coal port be built, airborne coal dust will become a threat over a wide range. Obviously this would be a public health hazard, and also a threat to the life in the marine waters downwind from the facility.

I understand that the Westshore Terminal in British Columbia has not been entirely successful in controlling coal dust; I see no reason why a Cherry Point facility would be any more successful. Attempts at control would likely involve the use of water which could well be put to better uses. Moreover, the coal dust laden water could well become a hazard itself.

Coal dust transport by high winds and the resulting public health issues need to be carefully studied in the EIS.

Sincerely, Dr. Albert W. Marshall

Albert Seger (#13407)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Sagle, ID
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington. This proposal would negatively affect my community by increasing traffic, polluting our air and water, harming existing business, delaying emergency vehicles, increasing shipping traffic and noise, damaging aquatic ecosystems at the terminal site, increasing the potential for serious shipping accidents and exacerbating climate change. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement. Trains are already spilling coal, killing Moose and other wildlife, and dumping tons of Carbon Dioxide into the air (the main contributor to global warming) across North Idaho. An additional 40 coal trains per day would release more than
30,000 tons of carbon dioxide per day into an already damaged environment.

Albert Snow (#13648)

Date Submitted: 01/16/13
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

Albert Strasser (#1813)

Date Submitted: 10/27/12
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

Albert Strasser (#2106)

Date Submitted: 10/27/12
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

Alborz Monjazeb (#6711)

Date Submitted: 01/08/13
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Dear Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Ecology and Whatcom County Council:

I live on the rail line and I adamantly oppose the proposed terminal and increase in coal trains. I am concerned about the health impacts of my children.
Noise, air, ground, and water pollution from these trains are not justified or offset by the potential gains of this proposal, and even if they were it would not be lawful nor proper to allow certain interests to engage in and profit from activity known to be harmful to another citizen's interests in life (health), liberty, and property.

Please uphold your fiduciary duties and reject the coal and rail corporation proposed terminal and corresponding increase in coal trains.

Thank you for your service.

Alden Ramel (#6219)

Date Submitted: 01/07/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I would like you to study the impact of coal dust or flakes on Lake Whatcom. This is our drinking water source and coal dust contamination could compromise the health and wellbeing of a significant portion of our community.

Aldo Huerta (#11068)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Comment:
Hi my name is Aldo Huerta, I am 23 years old and I have been living here in Bellingham for the last 15 years. The effect of the new coal train that is proposed disrupts and plagues the communities here in the state of Washington. Having this coal train maneuvering through Bellingham and Ferndale has a major impact not only on marine life, but also to public health. Cherry Point has had lavish waters for salmon and lingcod fisheries. Increased marine traffic could possibly result in harm for both fisheries and fisherman. Though herring are the number one source for nutrition for salmon and lingcod, boats passing through these waters daily will disrupt the habitat of these fish. This traffic could harm the population and spawning of these fish. No one will know what the coal dust that lays on the water and land will do to this fish and to the human population, due to control difficulties.
Accords to Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR), coal has effects on the respiratory system, cardiovascular and mainly the neurological system. Since coal dust is an air pollutant it can cause asthma, chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Coal has many negative effects on the human body that can cause much harm. If there are numerous trains that travel through Whatcom County a day, with thousands of pounds of coal on board, there is no telling what can happen to each and one of us a month from now, a year or even 10 years from now. There are no alternatives other than not having this coal train running through a community so beautiful and clean.

Aldo Huerta (#11070)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Bellingham, wa
Comment:
Hi my name is Aldo Huerta, I am 23 years old and I have been living here in Bellingham for the last 15 years. The effect of the new coal train that is proposed disrupts and plagues the communities here in the state of Washington. Having this coal train maneuvering through Bellingham and Ferndale has a major impact not only on marine life, but also to public health. Cherry Point has had lavish waters for salmon and lingcod fisheries. Increased marine traffic could possibly result in harm for both fisheries and fisherman. Though herring are the number one source for nutrition for salmon and lingcod, boats passing through these waters daily will disrupt the habitat of these fish. This traffic could harm the population and spawning of these fish. No one will know what the coal dust that lays on the water and land will do to this fish and to the human population, due to control difficulties.
Accords to Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR), coal has effects on the respiratory system, cardiovascular and mainly the neurological system. Since coal dust is an air pollutant it can cause asthma, chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Coal has many negative effects on the human body that can cause much harm. If there are numerous trains that travel through Whatcom County a day, with thousands of pounds of coal on board, there is no telling what can happen to each and one of us a month from now, a year or even 10 years from now. There are no alternatives other than not having this coal train running through a community so beautiful and clean.

Alec McDougall (#13298)

Date Submitted: 01/14/13
Location: Mount Vernon, WA
Comment:
We strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington and transporting strip-mined coal from Montana and Wyoming on trains and ships throughout the Northwest. This proposal would negatively affect my community by increasing congestion and noise with more coal train traffic, polluting our air and local waterways, harming existing businesses, delaying emergency responders, damaging aquatic ecosystems and fishing grounds at the terminal site, increasing tanker traffic and the potential for serious shipping accidents and escalating climate change. We urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

There are currently five coal export proposals that would transport as much as 150 million tons of coal through the Northwest. We urge the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct an area wide Environmental Impact Statement to assess the cumulative impact of these proposals.

And all of this says nothing about the cumulative effect of burning all of that coal in some foreign country and the pollution that would cause!

Alen s. Federspiel (#8490)

Date Submitted: 01/17/2013
Location: Stanwood, Wa
Comment:
Shipping this much coal out of this country is the definition of a third world country, dont you people get it ,there is more to life then just making more money. Think about it. The
U S A has become like England was in the 1800, only we are being run by a bunch of multinational companies and the people dont even realize it.

Alex Brede (#10783)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
For the last 22 years I have lived and worked in Whatcom and Skagit Counties. I strongly agree with Kate Bowers testimony at the November 29 scoping meeting in Ferndale, WA. To summarize:
SSA/Carrix should be required to post a bond of 500 billion dollars at minimum. The EIS must measure the cost of a worst-case scenario, from a spill of 470 thousand gallons of bunker fuel in the San Juan Islands, to an explosion at the terminal or a derailment in a highly populated area, such as downtown Mt. Vernon. The bond must be set up so that it is replenished as funds are withdrawn; and make SSA/Carrix guarantee any and all damages associated with activities related to the terminal regardless of who is ultimately held by the courts to be liable – the coal owner (some subsidiary of Peabody Energy), the coal transporter (BNSF), or the terminal operator (PIT).
The economic and environmental risks posed to communities all along the rail corridor, adjacent to the terminal, and in the inland waterways through which the tankers would travel are tremendously high, while the benefits these communities stand to receive to marginal at best.
I would like to the economic and environmental impacts of a large spill to be thoroughly studied.
Thank you.

Alex Evans (#10308)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
Location: Hood River, OR
Comment:
Dear Washington Department of Ecology,

Please accept these scoping comments for the environmental impact statement for the Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT) project located at Cherry Point, Washington.

I have lived at the base of Mt. Hood in the Columbia River Gorge for my entire life. This area of the world is one of the most beautiful and pristine places that exists. Compromising this enviornment would be a crime against our children and our combined future. Please carefully consider the impact that this project would have. Please consider ANY other option.

The proposal to export up to 48 million tons of coal per year from the Powder River Basin, through the Columbia River Gorge to Cherry Point 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).

In particular, the proposal would have severe impacts on the Columbia River Gorge, which is the most likely rail transportation route from the Powder River Basin through the Cascade Mountains to the proposed terminal. The Columbia River Gorge is world-renowned for its natural scenic beauty, diversity in plants and wildlife, cultural resources and recreation. To protect its outstanding resources, the Gorge is a federally designated National Scenic Area. This law requires protection and enhancement of scenic, natural, cultural and recreation resources and air quality. The EIS must evaluate the transportation of coal by rail in open coal cars through the Gorge, and the likely expansion of tracks and siding in the Gorge that would be necessary to accommodate up to 18 additional trains per day, for consistency with the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Act.

Air quality in the Columbia River Gorge is already degraded. Increased coal train traffic would worsen air quality and visibility. The human health and the environmental impacts of diesel emissions and coal dust from up to 18 trains per day must be analyzed.

Coal pollution is already a problem in the Gorge from just a few coal trains per week, 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.

Additional trains would block at-grade crossings in the Gorge, interfering with commerce, recreation, tourism and emergency services.
Wind-blown coal debris from coal trains has also been documented to be a safety threat to highway travelers. These impacts must be included in the scope of the EIS.

Existing rail traffic in the Gorge is near capacity. Approval of the GPT 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.

Train-caused fires are a regular occurrence within the Columbia Gorge, resulting in damage to native plants, sensitive wildlife habitat and property. Increased train traffic and transporting coal in open-top cars would only worsen this existing problem. Increased risk of fire from coal trains must be analyzed in the EIS.

There are five 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.

Coal-burning power plants are the primary source greenhouse gases driving global climate change. The GPT project would feed Asia's growing appetite for coal and accelerate climate change. Greenhouse gas emissions from the mining, transportation and burning of coal must be analyzed in the EIS. Coal combustion in Asia releases other air pollutants, such as mercury, that are deposited in the United States.
The EIS must analyze the impacts of mercury pollution from coal powered plants receiving coal via the proposed export facility.

The purpose and need for the proposed project should be broadened to look at economic development and environmental needs for the region and for the global climate. The range of alternatives considered in the EIS should include alternatives that better address the economic and environmental needs of the region and do not expand global reliance on fossil fuels that are responsible for causing catastrophic climate change. The alternatives analysis should include alternative transportation routes that do not pass through federally protected areas like the Columbia River Gorge. Mitigation measures should include covered rail cars to reduce the amount of coal pollution from coal trains.

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 five coal export proposals in the Pacific Northwest.

Alex Hyman (#13218)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
When you look at the consequences of the coal exportation, there is a clear course of action. That obvious course of action is to say no to exporting coal.

I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington and transporting strip-mined coal from Montana and Wyoming on trains and ships throughout the Northwest. This proposal would negatively affect my community by increasing congestion and noise with more coal train traffic, polluting our air and local waterways, harming existing businesses, delaying emergency responders, damaging aquatic ecosystems and fishing grounds at the terminal site, increasing tanker traffic and the potential for serious shipping accidents and escalating climate change. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

There are currently five coal export proposals that would transport as much as 150 million tons through the Northwest. I urge the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct an area wide Environmental Impact Statement to assess the cumulative impact of these proposals.

In addition to the local and regional environmental and public concerns, this is also a global issue. Instead of providing a cheap and environmentally disastrous source of energy to one of our largest rivals (at little economic benefit to ourselves) we should be encouraging to take a step forward towards environmental responsibility and sustainable energy.

As a community and a nation, we should absolutely say NO to coal exportation. We should make the right choice for the planet and its inhabitants, and move towards sustainable, environmentally conscious energy sources.

Alex Kypuros (#10849)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Camano Island, WA
Comment:
Hello Sir or Madame,

My name is Alex Kypuros and I am a resident of the Stanwood/Camano community. The Gateway Pacific Terminal Project has been on my mind of late when I think of the long term future of the town in which I live. Stanwood is a small town, and the results of economic depression have had a serious effect on local business. Many of these small local businesses exist off of our Main Street. The train tracks in Stanwood that the proposed coal trains would move on exist right off of our Main Street. I would ask that you study the effect that the coal trains would have on our local businesses.

My other mail concern addresses the effects that the additional 18, mile and a half long coal trains a day will have on our local agriculture. Most of the farmland in our area is located on land near or adjacent to the train tracks that the proposed coal trains will run on. I would also ask that the EIS look into and carefully consider the effect that coal dust expelled from passing coal trains would have on crops and livestock located in the Stanwood area near the passing route of coal trains.

Mitigations to local Stanwood businesses to make up for lost customers and lower profits should be addressed in the final proposal. Mitigations should also be considered for the long-term effect of coal dust build-up in local crops and cattle, after studies discover the effects that such coal dust would have on the quality and contamination of crops, fields, and livestock.

Thank you for your time and I appreciate your consideration.

Sincerely,

Alex Kypuros

Alex Marr (#3600)

Date Submitted: 11/29/2012
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
My concern relates to waste discharge from vessels using the terminal.
You have stated that vessels will be required to replace bilge water at least 200 miles offshore.
However you have not described regulation relating to discharge of holding tank waste. I would expect your regulation to be more restrictive than standard Coast Guard rules.
Please reply to this email regarding:
1. What is the requirement on discharge of holding tank by vessels.
2. What monitoring procedure or method will be used to enforce violation of waste discharge
3. What is the penalty for violation of waste discharge regulations

Alex Marr (#4603)

Date Submitted: 11/29/12
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

Alex McLean (#2210)

Date Submitted: 10/27/12
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

Alex Oshiro (#13843)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington, the transport of strip-mined coal from Montana and Wyoming on trains throughout the Northwest and the export of coal by ship through the Salish Sea and the Pacific Ocean. The proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal would negatively affect communities in the Pacific Northwest by increasing congestion and noise with more coal train traffic, polluting the air and local waterways, harming existing businesses, delaying emergency responders, and damaging aquatic ecosystems and fishing grounds at the terminal site. In addition, the proposal would threaten endangered orcas, salmon and herring, increase high-risk freighter traffic in the Salish Sea and Pacific Ocean -- and thus the potential for serious shipping accidents and oil spills -- and escalate climate change. I urge you to consider these significant impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

There are currently five coal export proposals that would transport as much as 150 million tons of coal annually through the Northwest and the Salish Sea. All the ships from these proposed projects are bound for China, meaning their routes will impact the San Juan Islands, the Strait of Juan de Fuca or the Columbia River, and then Unimak Pass along Alaska’s Aleutian Peninsula. Therefore, I urge the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct an area-wide Environmental Impact Statement to assess the cumulative impact of these proposals.

Stop killing us by raping and polluting our planet for profit and greed.

Alex Ramel (#7116)

Date Submitted: 01/13/2013
Comment:
1. It is crucial that the impact on greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of the coal transmitted via this proposed terminal be considered in the EIS. Although these emissions will occur off site, they are none-the-less significant to the EIS for several key reasons:
a. Without this project, these emissions would not occur. The coal market in the United States has been declining and without access to a new market, it is likely that for the foreseeable future the coal in question would remain in the ground unburned.
b. The magnitude of the impact is enormous. Based on an assumption of 48 million metric tons of coal, and using the Department of Energy’s value of 2.86 tons of CO2 per ton of coal (http://www.eia.gov/coal/production/quarterly/co2_article/co2.html), this project will result in 137.3 million metric tons of CO2 emissions per year. For comparison, the entire state of Washington’s GHG emissions were 101.1 million metric tons from all sources in 2008 (https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/publications/publications/1002046.pdf).
c. Offsetting this impact would be a correspondingly enormous task. For example, the State of California has recently established a market mechanism for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. At the first auction, the price of a ton of CO2 was established at $10.02 (http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/20/californias-co2-now-has-a-price-but-a-low-one/). If this project were to offset its greenhouse gas footprint, the offsets purchased at this price would cost $1,375,545,600 per year.
d. Unfortunately, an alternative opportunity to address these carbon emissions does not exist. There are no binding regulatory standards in place through international treaty. These emissions will impact Americans and Washingtonians, but outside of this EIS, we will not have another opportunity to consider those impacts.

2. The EIS should properly account for the real possibility that the terminal will prove to be economically defunct, and should therefore disclose, for every impact analyzed in the EIS, whether that impact will persist should the proposed terminal cease or curtail operations at some point in the future. This is not a hypothetical concern, a coal export facility was attempted in California in the 1990’s and closed only 6 years after opening due to unfavorable economics (http://daily.sightline.org/2011/09/12/gambling-on-coal-and-losing/).

Present economic operation of the terminal and the export of coal depends upon coal mining companies securing leases of federal public lands which are below market rates. Recently several members of the US Senate have called for an investigation of these below market rates (http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/04/us-usa-coal-investigate-idUSBRE9030GT20130104). A change in policy could lead to an increase in future lease prices/ royalty payments, which could increase the cost of this project’s coal enough in Asian markets to dramatically reduce the proponent’s capacity to find customers for their product. This is just one example of the many possible scenarios in which market conditions could change in a way that is unfavorable to the proponents

It is quite possible that the GPT will be constructed, but would not operate at capacity for more than a handful of years. This terminal could end up defunct and derelict much like the Long Beach terminal in California. The EIS needs to carefully account for this contingency. The proposal is being sold to the community as a job creation project and it is important that if these jobs are to dissipate that the project proponent be required to undo the damage that has been done.

a. For every significant impact identified in the EIS, determine whether the impact will persist despite non-operation of the facility. For example, shading of eel grass beds by the pier will have a continuous impact on those beds and the species that depend on them, whether or not the terminal is in operation. Every impact in the EIS should be evaluated with this contingency in mind.

b. In all cases where non-operation of the facility will none-the-less result in an ongoing impact, identify a strategy to provide appropriate mitigation in the contingency that the project is not operating as anticipated and providing the promised jobs. Such contingencies should include appropriate engineering and estimated costs to restore the site to its original state. Given that these circumstances are likely to arise in a situation in which the project proponent is experiencing financial difficulty, it is important that the plan be in place and agreed to before construction commences and that bonding or other mechanisms are in place in order to ensure that cleanup will happen despite possible bad fortune for the proponent. All necessary steps should be taken to ensure that the public and the community are not saddled with environmental impacts that have no longer have any corresponding job creation.

Alex Waddell (#11277)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: bellingham, wa
Comment:
I Belive that we should stop Construshon of the Coal Train terminal in bellingham. I belive we should do this because of the damage uit will cause to us. The coal that passes though will leave sediment behind that will, after continus layers kill small plant life, animal's and can even possibly kill humans. The large amounts of sediment will contaminate the watter we drink as well as the fish that we eat. We humans will both breath, eat and drink this sediment and cause damage to our body's over time which can prove fateal

Alex Zecha (#8040)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
Marine Vessel Traffic- The construction of the GPT facility will add an estimated 900 vessel transits to the Northern Rosario Straits, which is already a very heavily traffic area. The Cherry Point refinery alone handles 850 annual transits. The proposed terminal could easily double this number. By 2017, there will be significant increased traffic in the area, due to the upgrade of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline, which will add 600,000 barrels of capacity per day to an existing terminus. The addition of new vessel traffic as a direct result of the operation of the proposed facility to existing maritime traffic in this area creates an extremely high risk environment in the heart of a very ecologically sensitive area.

Compounding the problem is the fact that the proposed terminal is directly adjacent to a refinery which serves numerous large oil tankers, as well as substantial tug and barge traffic. This exponentially increases the consequences of any accident, since the oil spilled as a result would be cargo, not just bunker fuel. This means that the volumes would be very substantially higher.

Salish Sea fisheries support over two thousand people directly dependent on commercial fisheries. The recreational fisheries in this area contribute hundreds of millions of dollars to the local economies in both the United States and Canada. The consequence of an oil spill in this area as the result of a collision between two vessels, an allision with one vessel, or an grounding would be devastating to the local environment, with a significant possibility of permanent and irreversible harm. The financial impact as a result of the damage could easily reach into the billions of dollars.
On the basis of this, the EIS for the proposed terminal should include a comprehensive risk assessment of marine traffic. The scope of the risk assessment should include, at a minimum, the following;
1-An analysis of existing and future marine traffic volume in the Salish Sea with a focus on the type of vessel, cargo carried, and potential harm resulting from that type and volume of cargo.
2-An analysis of the likelihood of an accident (either a collision, allision, or grounding) as a result of the new traffic.
3-An analysis of the type and degree of economic and environmental damage that could result from such an accident. This should include consequential damage due to the interconnected nature of waterways users.
4-An analysis of the response capabilities that exist to deal with the damage as well as recommendations for what needs to be done to align the existing resources with projected needs.
5-An analysis of what preventative measures should be taken in order to prevent an accident from happening in the first place.
6-An analysis of the effects of weather-caused delays to a spill response or casualty response (weather being a significant contributing factor in many marine accidents).
7-Weather-caused delays (including track closure due to mudslides) to delivery of bulk material to the GPT terminal (delays here would cause a backup of vessels in the approaches to the terminals-this would have significant consequential impacts to area vessel traffic and a cascading effect on risk levels)
8-An analysis of the potential for accidents which directly or indirectly cause injury or fatalities to humans resulting from the increase in vessel traffic (there are a number of ferry routes which cross or run in proximity to the transit routes of the commercial traffic). Due to the ripple effect of displaced traffic, as well as the result of a disabled vessel being severely subject to weather-related influences, this should address all traffic from Admiralty Inlet to Lasqueti Island, as well as extending west to Port Angeles.

Potential mitigation/prevention measures which should be considered are some or all of the following;
1. Deliver a decision of “no action” to the proposed terminal.
2. Extending the existing vessel traffic separation zone closer to the vicinity of the proposed terminal.
3. Requiring the terminal operator to keep an assist tug of a size/power required to hold the largest vessel served by either the refinery or the bulk terminal stationary in winds up to a certain speed (to be determined in the risk assessment).
4. Requiring the terminal operator to carry a catastrophic liability insurance policy in the event a major marine accident occurs as a result of traffic serving the terminal. The degree of liability on the policy should correspond with the economic value assigned in the risk assessment (see item 3, above).
5. Require that the terminal operator preposition casualty response gear (type and quantity to be determined in the risk analysis) in areas identified in the risk analysis to provide for an effective and timely response to an accident. Such an accident could involve humans (ferry traffic), bulk cargoes (GPT vessel traffic), or oil (terminal traffic fuel or refinery traffic cargo or fuel).
6. Require the terminal operator to fund spill response vessel operations to an extent to be recommended in the risk assessment.
7. Require the terminal operator to fund a US Coast Guard/Canadian Coast Guard accident prevention council that provides recommendations for improving regulatory guidance that reduces the likelihood of an accident, provides for more effective response in the event of an accident, correlates the legal and regulatory framework between the two countries and addresses emerging issues pertaining to marine safety. This council could partner with legislative committees, other similar organizations (for example; the Pacific States Oil Spill Task Force) to enhance effectiveness.

Alex Zecha (#8042)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Comment:
The Environmental Impact Statement should include the following items in its scope;
• Ultimate Project Size- the GPT application is for a pier and upland facility on a site that could accommodate volumes much higher than what’s stated in the application and/or significant future expansion; for planning purposes, it may be prudent to take the applicant’s estimates of export volume and number of trains per day as minimum planning numbers. The potential exists for the applicant to exceed the volume stated in the application or upgrade the capacity of the facility at a later date (or dates, should there be multiple subsequent upgrades). In this manner they would be subject to a reduced scope of EIS (relative to one which encompasses the more comprehensive build-out had it been done in a single phase) and required to submit to a far lower permitting, mitigation, and regulatory compliance threshold.

This is not just a reasonably foreseeable action, but also one which has occurred in the very recent past. This took place when the developers of the Millennium Bulk Transport facility in Longview, Washington applied for a 5 million ton/year facility but were found to have actually intended to end up with a facility capable of handling 45 million tons/year. Whether this is done intentionally or in response to emerging market conditions, the end result is the same.

This is a significant, direct, and cumulative impact in that any decisions made regarding EIS scope, potential mitigation measures, and permit issuance will be based on a volume of product that is lower than what may be handled in the future. This would delegitimize the applicability of any findings of an EIS, undermine the efficacy or relevance of any mitigation measures, and/or unreasonably prejudice permitting approval decisions in favor of the applicant and at the expense of impacted parties. This effectively negates any constructive attempts at mitigation, rendering permanent and irreparable harm to any activity, party, or environment which would otherwise be mitigated or protected through a finding of no action.

The costs of this would be born entirely by impacted constituencies and jurisdictions, since the EIS and associated review, permitting decision, and mitigations would not be addressing the true scope of the entire multi-stage project. Consequently, the review and compliance threshold would be much smaller and the aggregate impact of the project will be greater than that subject to review.

The EIS should consider alternatives for this potential outcome, including a proposed mitigation which accounts for the possibility of future terminal expansion which may not have been included in the initial EIS scoping process. This mitigation would require the applicant to limit their activities to the volume defined in the existing permit and agree that any further expansion would be subject to the full review given a facility constructing a new project equal in size/volume to the total capacity planned post-upgrade.

Alex Zecha (#8075)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Comment:
The proposed terminal will require that 9 or more trains per day be run in order to serve its needs. These trains, in many instances will block traffic to areas that are on accessible through grade crossings. Although there may be projections regarding the speed of trains or the interval between them, reality is such that the trains serving the proposed facility will occasionally be idle.

An idle train blocking vehicle access to an area served only through grade crossings constitutes a substantial adverse impact to the parties wishing to access the affected area. Such a situation constitutes a severe threat to public safety in that it prevents access to the affected area by emergency response vehicles.

I would like to request that the EIS analyze those areas along the railroad which are accessible only by grade crossings and itemize them.

Since the impact in these areas is so severe, the EIS should consider a decision of "no action" regarding the construction of the proposed terminal. Potential alternatives include either of the following;
1-Require that the terminal developer mitigate the impact to the affected areas by funding the construction of grade separations or alternative access routes. This cost could be shared to the amount allowed by law with the railroad. Such routes could be in the form of a bridge (where appropriate), a dock and a water taxi, a landing zone for a police or medevac helicopter and the funding of the craft required to use these alternatives.
2-Require that the areas identified be designated as "no-idle zones". In these areas, the railroad wouldn't be allowed to operate a train below a given speed (10-15 miles per hour or whatever is appropriate for the locale and conditions). There should be a penalty for non-compliance on the part of the railroad, to be paid in equal parts by both the terminal operator and the train operator. The penalty should be significant enough to deter non-compliance; for example something on the order of $1000 per minute for violations. A method of recording train speeds in the affected areas should be arrived at if it isn't already. This method should be accessible to any interested party.

Alex Zecha (#8239)

Date Submitted: 01/17/2013
Comment:
The GPT facility will require an increase in rail traffic capabilities. There is currently a desire to build a rail siding in downtown Bellingham. BNSF and GPT both claim that the siding is needed to benefit other users, although a WSDOT study found that there was sufficient capacity to permit future growth in the amount of traffic seen there prior to the beginning of the permit process for the coal terminal. The WSDOT study noted that there was sufficient capacity to add two Sound Transit trains and an Amtrak train.
This siding would block all vehicle access to two city parks, two shipyards, a ferry terminal, a Coast Guard station, a highly used boat ramp and community boating center, what is probably the most popular and heavily used city park in the city, and a major part of the city's commercial port. It would close completely two city streets, both of which see heavy use.

The EIS should study the need for this siding and identify whether or not its construction is necessary for the operation of the GPT alone or that other existing demands also require it. If the need is solely due to the new traffic demands from the terminal, than the terminal operator should be held liable for the capital cost of construction and required mitigation.

The EIS should identify and analyze alternatives to both the siding and the need to site it in the desired location (where it impacts the most people and has the highest economic impact on neighboring properties and revenue-producing businesses). It may be that a different location comes at a slightly higher cost or offers a slightly lower benefit, but the benefit should be weighed not just against project cost. The benefit should be weighed in a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis which includes the economic costs of siting a siding in the middle of an urban area. Some of the impacts which should be analyzed include;
1-The long-term economic impacts to local businesses due to the blocking of vehicle access or proximity of idling locomotive engines. Some of the surrounding businesses operate on very small margins and further impacts may be the final straw for their operation. This impact local tax bases, payroll for those employed there, and revenue for supporting businesses which serve the affected business and it's employees.
2-The impact to the local culture and quality of life for local residents. While this is difficult to quantify, a community which has a recreation culture centered around the water is segregated from the water is very significant. The loss of emergency vehicle access to a heavily-used park will heavily limit the opportunities to use the park and the type of use the park has historically enjoyed. Mitigation for this impact should be considered, including grade separations which include parking for users vehicles which are lost due to siding encroachment. Such mitigation may be in the form of a covered structure similar to a parking garage which allows the park users to retain historic access and parking spaces.
3-The health impact due to fugitive coal dust emissions and diesel exhaust emissions. This is very significant due to the fact that most fugitive dust occurs within 30 miles of where the cars are loaded/unloaded, the fact that an unloaded coal car has a very high amount of residual dust as a result of the high percentage of surface area subject to winds created by the train’s motion or which already exist in the local environment. This is also very significant due to the fact that locomotive engines has emissions control systems which are designed to operate effectively when under load-their efficiency at low-load conditions is very poor or nil. This results in a very high level of particulate matter (PM2.5) being discharged from each idling locomotive engine into the surrounding, densely populated atmosphere. These factors combine to create a high-level chronic pollution issue in the surrounding neighborhoods. This is an extremely significant adverse impact due to the health risk it presents.

If the siding is found to be necessary for the operation of the coal terminal, it should be included as part of the permit process for the terminal. The cost of mitigation or potential alternatives for the existing siding plan should be borne by the party(ies) who benefit from the increase in rail traffic in a manner proportional to the financial benefit that said traffic yields. Since the local community derives almost no benefit whatsoever from the terminal, but the terminal operator derives very substantial benefit, the cost for these mitigation measures should be borne by the GPT operator exclusively.

Alex Zecha (#8263)

Date Submitted: 01/17/2013
Comment:
With regards to mitigation of potential impacts of the proposed terminal or mitigation of its consequential and directly related impact in the form of train traffic, the parties preparing the EIS should be cognizant of the following WAC code;

197-11-450
Cost-benefit analysis.
A cost-benefit analysis (WAC 197-11-726) is not required by SEPA. If a cost-benefit analysis relevant to the choice among environmentally different alternatives is being considered by an agency for the proposal, it may be incorporated by reference or appended to the statement as an aid in evaluating the environmental consequences. For purposes of complying with SEPA, the weighing of the merits and drawbacks of the various alternatives need not be displayed in a monetary cost-benefit analysis and should not be when there are important qualitative considerations.

The impact to the local environment and local economies as a result of the increase in train traffic can be extremely significant and extremely adverse. What constitutes a "reasonable" mitigation is subject to interpretation, but a reasonable person would hold that it is one which substantially restores the surrounding communities to the condition or economic state that they enjoyed prior to the increase in rail traffic. This is an "important qualitative decision". As such, determinations regarding the type and nature of mitigation which restores the surrounding communities to their original state or compensate affected parties, as well as alternatives to the proposal which safeguard the interests of affected communities, should not be subject to a cost-benefit analysis per the WAC.

Alex Zecha (#8860)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Comment:
Please include in the EIS an analysis of the impacts to local endangered and threatened species as a result of the increase in vessel traffic serving the new facility. The Salish Sea area is home to several endangered species including southern orcas. Ship strikes are are demonstrated source of orca fatalities.
Potential mitigation measures which may alleviate this include maintaining vessel speeds for vessels serving the proposed terminal) below 12 knots while within a certain range of the destination. In the absence of other compelling data I would suggest keeping vessel speed below 12 knots while eastward of longitude 123 deg, 30'.
Thank you,
Alex Zecha

Alex Zecha (#9028)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Comment:
Please review the attached document for scoping suggestions/requests.
Attached Files:

Alex Zecha (#9235)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Comment:
There is considerable debate on the quantity and effect of fugitive coal dust as a result to the material being shipped via rail and handled as it gets transferred to ships for export.
Coal dust, particularly when evaluated as a long-term chronic pollution source (per WAC 197-11-060 (4) pasted below) can present extremely adverse impact to persons and the environment in surrounding communities. Additionally, the routing of the train to the proposed terminal passes by a number of critical areas, including an aquatic reserve and several aquaculture sites which contribute substantial revenues to local and state economies.
In order for the effect of the fugitive coal dust on surrounding areas to be properly analyzed per existing state law, the EIS should undertake a comprehensive analysis of the quantity and distribution of fugitive coal dust from the train carrying the material, the machinery trans-shipping it, and the stormwater runoff from the surrounding areas.
This analysis should include a comprehensive evaluation of the long-term chronic effects of the pollutant on persons and the environment, including the effect on the railroad ballast for the tracks serving the facility.
If the agencies developing the EIS determine that there is a potential for the fugitive dust to compromise the structural properties of the railbed, there should also be a risk assessment of the consequences of a derailment. This should include the direct impacts of a coal train derailment and the consequential impacts should there be a derailment of an adjacent train, many of which carry very large quantities of extremely dangerous cargoes.
The consequences of such an accident (involving multiple derailments) could be catastrophic in terms of their effect on human life and the environment. Therefore they must be analyzed as part of the EIS.

Alexa Taylor (#9705)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Lopez, WA
Comment:
My name is Alexa Taylor and I used to live in King County where I taught water quality for King County/Metro for 17 years. Over that time I learned a great deal about how thoughtless acts can cause terrible outcomes. Our waters and our wildlife are already in danger and should not be tampered with; bringing coal transport to the Salish will bring a great deal of money to the few and long term disasterous consequences to our beautiful waters.

I am especially concerned about the impacts to orca, marine mammals and birds. Questions that concern me, and which objective, rigorous and comprehensive studies should address include:

How would the noise, pollution and physical presence of the additional huge vessels affect our orca populations (including the endangered Southern Residents)?

How would construction and operation, including the vessel noise, of the coal port and the continuous transiting of coal ships affect other marine mammals, fish, birds, and the food web that supports them?

If there is no positive assurance and insurance from those involved against any potentially significant impacts, please consider a no build option.



Sincerely,

Alexa Taylor

Alexander Beesley (#8411)

Date Submitted: 01/17/2013
Comment:
i think the good things about the cole trane out way the bad.

Alexander Benson (#12306)

Date Submitted: 01/22/13
Location: Bothell, WA
Comment:
While I am a great admirer of the Army Corp of Engineers, the construction and use of a coal terminal to export coal is, on it's face, shortsighted.
We are discussing the construction of a terminal at Cherry Point to export coal to a nation, China namely, that has acquired a reputation for growth in alternative energy. Even if the terminal creates jobs, the long term prospects for those jobs is bleak.
The transport of coal is also an incredibly dirty process. It is a particulate carbon that leads to a number of medical conditions, such as black lung, for those who come into contact with it.
Coal dependency is also a symptom of our failure to escape a dependency on non-renewable resources that promises to disappear within the next 50 years.

Alexander Gryter (#3875)

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

Alexandra Amonette (#13651)

Date Submitted: 01/11/13
Location: Richard, WA
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

Alexandra Hepburn (#14126)

Date Submitted: 01/17/13
Location: Edmonds, WA
Comment:
I am deeply concerned about the potential impact of coal exports on my community. Coal exports pose great threats to the health, safety, and environment of the Pacific Northwest. In addition, burning this coal would be a huge step backward in combating global warming, which is THE crucial issue we face as a global community.

We need to have a thorough review of the risks and impacts to our communities - from mine to rail, from port to plant, and from plant to our region's air.

Please support a cumulative and comprehensive area-wide environmental impact statement is conducted that takes into account the impacts of all six proposed coal export terminals currently on the table.

Alexandra Perkins (#5573)

Date Submitted: 12/29/2012
Comment:
We've known for decades that coal is dirty. Very dirty. But as the world population grows, so does the demand for cheap energy. At 1.3 billion, the Chinese population is the largest in the world, and is also the largest consumer of coal on the global market. In the United States, by contrast, natural gas usage surpassed that of coal consumption in 2010, a trend that will continue growing. American coal companies are feeling the heat.
At the Washington State Convention Center on December 13, a public hearing was held to address a proposal for the export of coal from the Powder River Basin in Wyoming and Montana to China. Peabody Energy, Arch Coal, and Australian-based Ambre Energy are among the coal mining companies using and building train routes and shipping terminals across the Northwest to send coal overseas. Five terminals in Washington and Oregon have been targeted. The northernmost terminal is Cherry Point, just north of Bellingham. To arrive in Bellingham, the coal would travel by rail up from the Columbia River and through Olympia, Tacoma, and Seattle, before arriving at its destination. 48 million tons of coal would be exported annually from Cherry Point.
Does that sound like a lot?
Proponents of the project say that it will boost local economies by creating new jobs. But economic and environmental costs, both global and local, far outweigh any short-term benefits the project has to offer.
The transport of that immense amount of coal will create problems with traffic and noise, putting a strain on businesses located nearby. At full operation, the cities of the Puget Sound, including Seattle, would experience nine 1.5-mile long coal trains passing through their downtown areas every single day. Each train would consist of 125-150 cars. Concerns have been raised as to the noise problems this will create, the impact the heavily loaded trains will have on the rail system, and any damage done to local infrastructure due to train vibrations. This hugely expanded amount of train traffic will also create much more car traffic. The number of full time jobs created by the project is unclear, though the number ranges from 89 to 213 by 2026. The costs of the project, from infrastructure repair paid for by the taxpayer to a decrease in property values to the loss of natural habitats, will far outweigh the economic benefits that so few jobs would reap.
Many large-scale projects such as these that affect communities face fierce opposition from those who don't want to see it, smell it, or hear it in their backyards. But really, who does want coal dust from 13.5 miles of coal trains floating around in their hometown air? To prevent extensive local air pollution, coal and rail companies have discussed possibilities of using sealant on top of coal cars and to unload the cars in enclosed areas. It seems likely, however, that at least some of the dust will escape.
It is by now fairly common knowledge that coal is one of the dirtiest forms of energy we use. Coal puts twice the amount of carbon into the atmosphere as natural gas. Whether coal is burned in the United States or in China, the negative net effect on the global climate will be the same. After a summer of uncontrollable wildfires, massive droughts throughout the Midwest, and a fall of the most devastating hurricanes we have seen in history, it is time to act against the coal export proposal to prevent local environmental and economic problems, as well as global consequences, in our near future.

Alexandra Starr (#6667)

Date Submitted: 01/08/13
Comment:
I am a longtime resident of the area and I live very close to the railroad track. Over the last few years the horn noise level has been increased,
therefore I am very concerned about the increase in train traffic.
This would mean more noise from high decibel horns, screeching wheels and loud rumbling that lasts for many minutes.
I would like the EIS to study the impact of sleep deprivation and health problems due to this noise incease.
I would also like a study done on the effects of the increased train traffic on the stability of the surrounding hills and homes.

Thank you,
Alexandra Starr

Alexandra Starr (#7337)

Date Submitted: 01/14/2013
Comment:
I am a longtime resident of Bellingham. The quality of the air and water of this region is of the utmost importance to me.
1. The mega vessels carrying the coal to China will have to navigate through the the Islands of the Puget Sound. There will be the risk of collisions and spills.
If an accident occurs, the Fishing industry and Tourism will suffer greatly. Many Whatcom county residents rely on these jobs to survive.
Who will be financially responsible if there is an accident causing pollution of the waters in the area?
There should be an in depth study done on this particular part of the project.
2. Sending coal to China for burning will result in higher pollution of the west coast of the US.
Dr Jaffe is an atmospheric chemist at University of Washington-Bothell, and his findings show an increase of pollutants at the top of Mt Batchelor in Oregon. These pollutants come from China via the Jet Steam.
According to the EPA Air Quality Index, over 301 is hazardous to health. This past week Bejing had an index of 755.
Please study what the impact on our health will be, and the related monetary cost too.
Thank you,
Alexandra Starr

Alexandra Starr (#8872)

Date Submitted: 01/16/13
Comment:
I am a Bellingham resident and am very concerned about the future city finances if the Gateway Pacific Terminal is built.
The waterfront revitalization would be adversley affected with the large number of trains going though the area.
The entrances to the waterfront would be regularly blocked by very long trains.
To mitigate this, more crossings and overpasses have been suggested, but the BNSF railroad would only be liable for 5% of the cost.The taxpayers of Bellingham would have to pay the remainder of the enornmous cost.
Please study the impact on the local waterfront economy and the devaluation of homes near the railroad track.
Also study the drop in the number of jobs in the area due to businesses not wanting to build there because of the delay at crossings.
The number of jobs estimated by GPT (200-400) does not come near the number of jobs that has been estimated by the development of the waterfront (5,000 plus).

Thank you,
Alexandra Starr

Alexandra Starr (#13656)

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


Alexandra Wiley (#3420)

Date Submitted: 11/26/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I frequently visit Seattle and Tacoma. This press release from Seattle mayor Mike McGinn outlines some of my concerns:

"Coal trains would significantly increase delays at railroad crossings
Study examines traffic and safety impact of increase in coal trains

SEATTLE - An increase in coal trains running through Seattle would increase delays at railroad crossings by between one and three hours per day by 2026, according to a Parametrix study commissioned by the Seattle Department of Transportation. These delays could increase police and fire response times for emergencies in the affected areas, particularly in SODO.

"This study suggests that 18 coal trains per day, each one more than a mile long, could significantly increase traffic delays between our waterfront and our maritime and industrial businesses," said Mayor Mike McGinn. "The public and policymakers need to take a close look at these findings as we examine the proposal to export more coal."

"This study raises serious concerns about the impact to public safety and our transportation network," said Councilmember Mike O'Brien. "I will be sharing these findings with my colleagues and urging them to consider the impacts of coal trains on our city."

A proposed coal export terminal at Cherry Point in Whatcom County could lead to as many as 18 coal trains per day traveling through Seattle, bringing coal mined in Wyoming to the terminal for export to markets in Asia. The Seattle Department of Transportation commissioned Parametrix to study the impact of these trains on traffic and public safety in Seattle.

The study found that daily gate down times at railroad crossing would increase with coal train operations. The increase is dependent on the length of train, how fast it is travelling, and how many daily trains are scheduled.

In 2015, the estimated additional daily gate down time for coal trains could be 31 to 83 minutes. This could represent an increase in daily gate down time of approximately 18% to 49% at Broad Street and 15% to 39% at both Holgate and Lander Street.
In 2026, the estimated additional daily gate down time for coal trains could be approximately 67 to 183 minutes. This could represent an increase in daily gate down of approximately 39% to 108% at Broad Street and 31% to 86% at Holgate and Lander Streets.
In turn, vehicles could be lined up for a longer period of time at railroad crossings. Depending on the time between gate closures, vehicle queues may not fully dissipate before the next gate closing, meaning some drivers would have to wait for multiple trains to pass before being able to cross to the other side of the tracks.

The study also examined impacts to public safety, finding that blockage from the proposed coal trains would impact emergency vehicle trips to and from the waterfront. Blocked train crossings affect response time for fire responses, technical rescue groups, hazardous materials responses, and emergency medical responses where rapid response times are especially important. Delays would not only affect local area responses, but could also affect the ability to send more safety resources from one area of the city to another as needed.

Another finding of the study was that in the past 10 years, trains of all kinds were directly involved in a total of four collisions at Broad Street, Wall Street, and Holgate Street. A total of 127 improper crossings were recorded within a 24-hour period at the Broad Street, South Holgate Street, and South Lander Street crossings alone involving vehicles, bicycles and/or pedestrians. Improper crossings occur when vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians cross the tracks when the red lights start to flash or the railroad gates were down. This type of behavior could increase with more delays and could increase the potential for train collisions with vehicles, pedestrians, or bicyclists, and blocking incidents."

Additionally, I would like to know the impact the rail traffic will have on the operations at existing Container Shipping Terminals in both Tacoma and Seattle.

Alexandra Wiley (#7801)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Please examine the delays that can occur between Bellingham Fire Department stations and Squalicum Marina. The Bellingham Fire Department serves commercial and recreational tenants at the Port of Bellingham; and marine fires, accidents and chemical spills are not uncommon in the harbor. Rail delays at the F Street crossing will hamper the emergency response times for this site. Thank you.

Alexandra Wiley (#7807)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Please examine the potential impacts of ballast water from the vessels that will be shipping cargo from the terminal.
When the product is loaded, will the ballast be flushed into Bellingham Bay?
Will this water be imported from contaminated ports in Asia? Will there be invasive species brought along?
There is great concern regarding material that has arrived from the Fukushima nuclear disaster on our outer coastline. Will these vessels also be carrying affected material from Asian ports?
Thank you for your consideration.

Alexandra Wiley (#9671)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Please consider the impacts of contaminated ballast water brought from Asian ports.
When the Cape size ships arrive in Puget Sound water, the ballast water will be replaced with coal, potentially leaving behind pollutants and invasive species.
Will this ballast water require testing and/or treatment before it is released into Puget Sound? After Fukushima's nuclear disaster, is there potential for irradiated material arriving from Asian ports?

Alexandrea Spaulding (#11710)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Hi I am Alexandrea Spaulding, a home owner and resident of the Columbia neighborhood in Bellingham WA. I am writing regarding the impacts of the heavy coal trains and the shaking of our house. I would like scoping to include measuring the impacts of the shaking of the homes in the neighborhoods near the tracks. When these heavy trains are passing, our home shakes, my water glass next to my bed rattles in the middle of the night, the table lamps rattle and pictures on the wall end up slightly askew. The movement and the sound of the rattling wake me up. We've had guests ask us if there had been an earthquake in the middle of the night. I've noticed new cracks in the seams of our drywall. Our home was completely remodeled 5 years ago. I would like it measured what the impacts are to my home, to the structure of my home. I can only imagine the impacts to my home of experiencing the equivalent of 9 small earthquakes every day if the number of heavy coal trains were to be increased to the proposed 9 loaded with coal. I understand from other neighbors that live further from the rail tracks that they also experience their home shaking. I would assume one could measure the earth movement when these trains go by in several locations along the neighborhoods near the rail, and then access existing information from earthquake experts about the structural impacts of multiple earthquakes of a certain intensity over time. Mitigations and alternatives to consider would be to limit the number and weight of the trains allowed to pass through. Thank you for your consideration.

Alexandrea Spaulding (#11727)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Hi I am Alexandrea Spaulding, a home owner and resident of the Columbia neighborhood in Bellingham WA. I am writing regarding the impacts of the heavy coal trains and the shaking of our house. I would like scoping to include measuring the psychological and health impacts of the shaking of the homes in the neighborhoods near the tracks. When these heavy trains are passing, our home shakes, my water glass next to my bed rattles in the middle of the night, the table lamps rattle and I am often woken up in the middle of the night from the shaking and resulting noise--as is my infant son. I would like it measured what the impacts are to the residents of nearby neighborhoods of having regularly interrupted sleep as a result of the heavy trains and the shaking of the homes. As part of the measurement process you could survey neighbors about the number of times they are awoken by the heavy and long trains passing by, and then you could access interrupted sleep data available from sleep researchers regarding the long term impacts of continued interrupted sleep. Common sense says that it is detrimental to ones health to have interrupted sleep. Harder to measure but worth noting is it is really disconcerting to be in ones own home-- our sacred and special place and have it shake from time to time. We never know when it's going to happen. Sometimes I'm just sitting on the couch and the couch will shake for a minute or two while a train passes. It's really unsettling. Mitigation or alternatives to consider would be to limit the number and weight of the trains allowed to pass through, and to limit the time of day they are allowed to pass to not interrupt sleep. Thank you for your consideration.

alexis bowen (#3050)

Date Submitted: 11/17/2012
Location: Mount Vernon, wa
Comment:
As a newcomer to the Skagit Valley the draw is the clean water, the lack of any major traffic problems and the clean, fresh air. To have that all compromised-and it would, with many more trains screaming through this peaceful valley would be insane. There are railway crossings on college way have been requiring work for months, so as not to remove a muffler as one crosses. What guarantee would we have that there would be any infrastructure that would'nt cost taxpayers a fortune to handle this any many other concerns? Ambulances/fire/rescue would be at risk of losing their patients/patience in emergency situations - that's not an option. So to conclude, I agree with a writer in Thursdays Skagit Valley Herald suggesting modification of Boeing cargo planes to handle coal shipments and load up right at Cherry Point.

Alexis Braided Hair (#5261)

Date Submitted: 12/04/12
Location: Lame Deer, MT
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

Alfred Butler (#4231)

Date Submitted: 12/05/12
Comment:
RE: Scoping meeting, Spokane WA, 12/4/2012 - Gateway Pacific Terminal / Custer Spur modifications
Some additional comments.

I previously emailed comments, however I have some additional thoughts that may be worth sharing. I will try to avoid duplication with the information contained in my first email.

While waiting outside prior to admission to the building, some friendly discussions occurred between proponents and opponents of the project. As a project proponent, I tried to listen to, and categorize some of the concerns I heard expressed by opponents. The purpose of this email is to comment on three of these concerns.

Concern: Where will the coal trains run? Isn’t Spokane a “choke point” on the BNSF system?
Response: Both BNSF and UP have access to the mines where the coal is loaded. The coal will move on which ever railroad offers the lowest rate. While it is possible that all the coal may move over either BNSF or UP, the most likely option would be that each railroad will handle some of the new coal traffic. The UP line that would be handling this coal traffic crosses southern Idaho, eastern Oregon, and on into Portland OR on the south bank of the Columbia river; not even close to Spokane.

Concern: How will the BNSF handle all these additional trains without tying Spokane up with impossible gridlock?
Response: Coal trains will move through the Spokane Valley and Spokane without stopping. BNSF will be able to add additional trackage, called “double track” so that trains moving in the opposite direction can pass each other without one having to move into a siding and stop while the opposing train passes on the mainline. In most instances BNSF owns enough right-of-way to add the second track without having to buy additional land. As you would expect any prudent business to do, they will add capacity to their physical plant as dictated by business needs. Much of the BNSF right-of-way in the vicinity of Cheney has already been graded for the installation of a second main track.

Concern: Won’t there be major delays at grade crossings, especially affecting emergency vehicles?
Response: Thanks to the elevated viaduct through downtown Spokane there are no grade crossing issues in Spokane proper that will be affected by additional coal trains. The “Bridging the Valley” project will construct 3 new grade separations (overpasses or underpasses) on high traffic arterials at Pines Rd, Barker Rd, and Harvard Rd in the Spokane Valley. The BTV project addresses grade crossing issues in the 42 mile corridor between Spokane WA and Athol ID. Cheney WA, about 20 miles west of Spokane, has several at grade crossings but only one has sufficient traffic volume to justify the cost of grade separation. This is “F” street, also known as the “S Cheney Plaza Rd”. Perhaps the railroad and/or the coal shippers could be convinced to kick in some monies to help expedite these crossing separation projects.

Thank you for considering these additional comments.
Alfred Butler

Alfred Butler (#4479)

Date Submitted: 12/04/12
Location: Otis Orchards, WA
Comment:
RE: Scoping meeting, Spokane WA, 12/4/2012 - Gateway Pacific Terminal / Custer Spur modifications

I attended this meeting today. I did not speak in the verbal presentations forum but did file hard copies of the attached documentation. We had some lively discussions in the parking lot before the doors opened. People were courteous and willing to listen to the various viewpoints that were brought up.

Once inside I was very favorably impressed by the displays presented documenting the planning for the terminal. It appears to me that the preliminary planning for the terminal has been very well thought out and I see no valid reason why it should not be built.

While waiting outside I met a group of Longshoremen from Bellingham. They presented some excellent reasons why this terminal should be built. Important are the fact that this terminal will handle other bulk export products in addition to coal. Grain and Potash were mentioned. The fact that the terminal is a deep water (85 feet) port will allow the largest ships the ability to load.

Here in Spokane the biggest concerns seemed to be about the impact of additional coal trains upon people’s lives. I would like to comment on some of these areas.

1) Coal dust. This is a non-issue as far as I am concerned. We have 4-6 coal trains per day running through Spokane and never do you see any coal dust blowing off of the loaded coal cars. See my attached document “Coal dust details.doc” for more details.

2) Coal train routings, Grade crossings, emissions from diesel locomotives, and job opportunities. These points are addressed in the attached document “Spokane area details.doc”.

3) Positive effect upon our negative Balance of Trade with China. See attached documents “Foreign Trade with China.doc” and “China Trade deficit.xls”. This is a huge plus for selling coal, or anything else that we can, to China. Since 1985 our total trade deficit with China totals 2.9 TRILLION dollars!

4) China and coal. As much as we might like to, we cannot stop China from buying coal. If they don’t buy our Powder River Basin low sulfur dioxide coal, they WILL BUY dirtier coal with higher sulfur dioxide from other places such as India and South Africa, as well as continuing to mine and burn their own low quality coal.

Thank you for taking my comments.

Alfred Butler

see attached
Attached Files:

Ali Sacash-Johnson (#5168)

Date Submitted: 12/20/2012
Location: Vancouver, WA
Comment:
We are residents of the Felida neighborhood in Vancouver, Wash., and walk our stroller to the train tracks on which the coal trains will run. We like trains. Just not ones spreading around coal dust.

We are 100 percent against this project because we don’t want more dirty coal trains spreading toxic dust on the blackberries we pick and eat without washing in the summer, on our playgrounds and in our backyard sand box.

We don’t want dirty air to lower our property values, which will mean less revenue for our county and town.

We don't want coal dust contaminating the Columbia River, Lake River and Vancouver Lake - places where we boat and swim with our children and our dog.

I don’t want toxins from coal dust in my breast milk.

Specifically for the members from the Whatcom County Council:

We vacation to Bellingham and boat in the San Juans every summer and as avid skiers visit Mt. Baker in the winter. We think what you have up there is so beautiful and magnificent. Knowing that this coal terminal was nearby would forever change our perception of what Whatcom County stands for.

I am sure the county could attract other kinds of industries besides coal. Putting a coal terminal in Whatcom County will make me NOT want to visit Whatcom County with my family any more, no matter how good the snow.

Please. We kindly urge you to deny this project.

Ali Sacash-Johnson (#6002)

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

Ali Segersten (#12054)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Hi my name is Alissa Segersten, mother of 5 and author of 2 books focusing on whole foods and food allergies. I would like the EIS to consider the damaging effects of mercury on a person’s body.

Mercury from coal is cytotoxic and therefore harms both human cells and bacteria. It’s a potent antimicrobial; that’s why it’s been used as a preservative in vaccines. As our exposure to mercury increases, we run the risk of killing off colonies of beneficial bacterium in our intestines. Without friendly bacteria, food cannot be properly broken down leading to nutrient deficiencies, depression, food intolerances, and a susceptibility to many other diseases and disorders. Mercury also damages the brush border of the intestines, causing a leaky gut. This is the place where the disaccharidase enzyme is secreted—the enzyme that breaks down starches. The number of people unable to digest grains and other starches is on the rise. Food allergies and gluten Intolerance are increasing at an alarming rate. In fact, food allergies among children have climbed 18 percent from 1997 to 2007, according to the CDC. The increase of mercury in our environment plays a large role in this.

Unfortunately once mercury enters the body, it is very difficult to get rid of. Now, 1 in 88 children have autism and with boys, that number is 1 in 54! According to 40,000 parents of autistic and ADD children, the most effective treatment for their children is the removal of heavy metals through chelation therapy.

Mercury is also a potent mitochondrial disrupter. This means that mercury exposure is linked with diabetes, chronic fatigue, digestive disorders like low stomach acid, and diseases like Multiple Sclerosis.

New research indicates that the cost of autism to our society in the US is a staggering $126 billion dollars annually. The cost of food allergies? Over 5 million dollars annually. The cost of diabetes is expected to reach $3.4 TRILLION by the year 2020!

The health epidemics we are facing today go far beyond food…..it’s the chemicals that are bio-accumulating in our environment from industry that are the real issue.

It would be prudent to put research into these areas before moving forward. I would like the EIS to study the cost of mercury (from coal burning plants, coal dust along railways, and the increase in coal dust entering the Salish Sea) to public health; to our children and to all future generations. Thank you.

Alice Berg (#11338)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Spokane , WA
Comment:
I am very concerned about the employment that we have here in the United States. I know that we have abundance of sources with the technical web site as well as the natural resources. I would like to see the rail and highway transport to be successful, but not at the expense of the environment and human health. However we are a country of innovative talent and can have the environment quality and healthy environment for human quality.

My comment to the Environmental Agencies the U S Army Corps of Engineers is to see that all of the resources are used to complete a healthy environment for both the human and the green earth so that there will not be problems with current environment and the future environment. We need the resources for our employment status and for our Green earth.

By using our technology and our integrity we can go forward and produce a good environment as well as a healthy economy.

Alice Bowden (#10694)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Maple Falls, WA
Comment:
My name is Alice Bowden, and I am a Whatcom County resident who does not get involved. However, this time, I must make an exception. The potential of the GPT actually coming into existence concerns me gravely. I grew up in a town with coal trains, and my grandfather, who died of black lung disease, was a coal miner. I know what it is like to be around coal.
We have built, with time and hard work, a lovely area with tourism, farming, healthy businesses, a booming population and a university. We have taken great care with our environment and have worked very hard to protect animals and plants in our environment.
Coal trains and Bellingham/Whatcom County as we know them today are not compatible with this. The coal on the trains is filthy. The dust goes everywhere. The town looks dirty - because it is dirty. It sure won't look attractive to tourists. The dust settles on the ground used as cropland. It settles in the streams; it works its way everywhere. I am very worried that our crops and farm animals, streams, fish, wetlands, etcetera, will be terribly damaged.
The trains are noisy and extremely intrusive. Try speaking over a train. It doesn't work. Time how long it takes the trains to go across a railroad crossing. That is how long you will wait to cross every time a train goes through, whether you are the first person waiting or the last person in line. Remember, you have to wait for all the cars ahead of you to clear. It takes a lot of time to do this. Emergency services will have to wait to cross also, including ambulance, fire, and police. People can actually die because a train delays emergency services.
Of course, this is the best case scenario. If an accident happens it is much worse. The harm to humans and the environment would be devastating. And how can we rely on an effective remedy if something goes wrong? Will there be a guarantee of money and resources by GPT for whatever is needed to repair after a catastrophe?
There would be a few jobs created. But, nobody can guarantee that those jobs would always be filled by local people. Nobody can claim that the big money generated by this venture would profit Bellingham enormously. The huge profits from the enterprise would go to wealthy investors who live elsewhere.
My grandfather worked with coal because he had no options. We have options. I can't imagine turning Bellingham and Whatcom County into a coal area if we are not desperate, and WE ARE NOT DESPERATE! We don't need to harm, and risk catastrophe to, our beautiful area in order to benefit a few.

Alice Dews (#6855)

Date Submitted: 01/11/2013
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
We have moored our sailboat at Shilshole Bay Marina for over 17 years. Whenever we’re on the boat we’re disturbed by the roar and rumble of freight and passenger trains, which pass along the shore very close to the marina. The exhaust from the diesel engines of the trains is evident by black streaks which run down the sides of the boat when it rains. These streaks are very difficult to scrub off. We’re breathing these toxic diesel fumes whenever we visit the marina.

If coal trains are allowed to use these tracks at a rate of 18 trains a day, with over 100 cars/per train, there would be a huge increase in noise and diesel exhaust, as well as coal dust which would have an adverse effect on our health.

The increased noise, diesel exhaust and coal dust would have an adverse effect on all the boaters who moor their boats at Shilshole—over 1000 boats, their owners and visitors.
This could make Shilshole the least desirable marina in the Seattle area, resulting in many vacancies and loss of revenue to the Port of Seattle.

Alice Dews (#6856)

Date Submitted: 01/11/2013
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
As long term residents of Ballard we make frequent use of Golden Gardens Park for recreation and exercise. We’ve also spent many Saturday mornings volunteering in the work parties sponsored by Friends of Golden Gardens and Earth Corps. We, along with 100’s of other volunteers, have helped restore the vegetation in the park by removing invasive species, such as ivy and blackberries, and planting native shrubs and trees. The noise of the freight and passenger trains which pass by frequently disturb the tranquility of the park and the diesel fumes from the engines pose a health risk.

The increase of train traffic by the addition of 18 coal trains per day, each with over 100 cars, would result in a huge increase in noise and pollution by diesel fumes. The coal dust from the cars carrying coal would also adversely affect the environment.

Golden Gardens is one of the most popular parks in Seattle, with hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. People come from all over the city to walk the trails, picnic, play sports, use the off-leash park, and enjoy the beach, and the views of Puget Sound and the Olympics. The increased noise, diesel exhaust, and coal dust would adversely affect all the visitors who use this popular park.

Alice Dews (#9364)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Comment:
The burning of diesel fuel to transport coal to the west coast by train and the burning of bunker fuel to transport the coal across the ocean to China will increase the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by a significant amount. However, the largest increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will be from the burning of the coal in China. Every ton of coal burned releases 1.87 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The proposed 48 million tons per year to be shipped overseas when burned would cause over 88 million tons of carbon dioxide to be released into the atmosphere every year. All of this carbon dioxide will accelerate global warming, which is already having a huge impact around the globe.
Scientists predict that global warming in the Pacific Northwest will cause increased droughts and floods, increased forest fires and sea level rise. The cost of recovery from these effects should be considered. The effects of global warming worldwide are evident in the rapid melting of glaciers, devastating storms, droughts, extreme heat and sea-level rise. According to the Third National Climate Assessment the consumption of fossil fuels by humans is the main driver of climate change. The proposed export of coal from the U.S. to China would contribute to global warming. This would not only adversely affect people living in the Pacific Northwest, it would adversely affect 7 billion people around the world.

Alice Flegel (#8487)

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

Alice Goodman (#14131)

Date Submitted: 01/17/13
Location: Burien, WA
Comment:
I am deeply concerned about the potential impact of coal exports on my family and community. Coal exports pose great threats to the health, safety, and environment of the Pacific Northwest. In addition, burning this coal would be a huge step backward in combating global warming

Friends of mine who live in Edmonds already say that the coal trains are heavier, shake the house, and leave dust in the air. That is just a few trains. What will happen to their quality of life when it is triple the number of existing trains?

Please support a cumulative and comprehensive area-wide environmental impact statement is conducted that takes into account the impacts of all six proposed coal export terminals currently on the table.

Alice Gustafson (#5868)

Date Submitted: 12/27/12
Location: Bow, WA
Comment:
To the Agencies Involved:

I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington and the transporting of coal from Montana and Wyoming on trains and ships throughout the Northwest.

This proposal would negatively affect my local community (Bow, Washington) and the nearby communities in Skagit and Whatcom Counties where we go for goods and services, including medical care. The negative effects include the following:

1. increase of congestion and noise with more coal train traffic and its potential for increased train accidents,

2. the pollution of our air and local waterways,

3. the harm to existing businesses and their employees, many of whom will likely lose their jobs if the terminal is built,

4. the delay of emergency responders and the inability of those needing immediate medical attention to get to hospitals,

5. the damage to aquatic ecosystems and fishing grounds at the terminal site,

6. the increase in tanker traffic with its potential for serious shipping accidents, and

7. the escalation of climate change.

I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

There are currently five coal export proposals that would transport as much as 150 million tons through the Northwest. I urge the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct an area wide Environmental Impact Statement to assess the cumulative impact of these proposals.

Thank you for the opportunity for input.

Alice Johnston (#1435)

Date Submitted: 10/24/12
Location: Blaine, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Alice Kelly (#14079)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Comment:
Our family lives 6 blocks from the train tracks and 2 blocks from Eastern Washington University in Cheney.
Imagine having a series of four loud blasts of the train whistle at each of 5 crossings in Cheney for every train, 24 hours a day, such that it is close to impossible to sleep with the windows open in the summer.
According to BNSF spokesperson Gus Melonas, there are 50 trains per day on average; one to 5 of those are very long coal trains. In addition, there are trains from a Union Pacific track that run parallel to the BNSF tracks. I have clocked 3 trains in 30 minutes.
Most people in Cheney –EWU staff and students, school children, babies, senior citizens, nursing homes residents and others – live closer to the track than we do. Merchants along First Street report they are forced to stop talking when a train passes, disrupting business.
Stress, anxiety, anger, disturbed sleep, all result from this annoyance.
We psychologists are aware of considerable research on the adverse effects of sleep loss – both mental and physical.
What will happen to Cheney residents when up to 62 more coal trains per day are added to already heavy train traffic?

Alice King (#4721)

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

Alice Owen (#13660)

Date Submitted: 01/14/13
Location: Edmonds, WA
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

Alice Park (#9144)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
Dear NEPA/SEPA Reviewers,

We at the Community Coalition for Environmental Justice (CCEJ), GotGreen, and the Wilderness Inner-city Leadership Development (WILD) Program strongly request that the NEPA/SEPA EIS for the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal include an environmental justice and adverse health impact assessments in its environmental impact statement for the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal/Custer Spur coal to China project.

Our respective missions call for environmental justice advocacy. The mission of CCEJ is to “achieve environmental and economic justice in low income communities of color”. Got Green's mission includes “ensuring that the voices of low income communities and communities of color are included on issues related to the green economy”. WILD’s mission is to provide opportunities for students to lead Chinatown International District (CID) neighborhood projects related to environmental justice, empowering action through environmental education and intergenerational learning.

Specifically, it is our understanding that the Pacific International Terminals’ proposed Gateway Pacific marine terminal at Cherry Point Whatcom County would provide storage and handling for the export and import of up to 54 million metric tons per year of commodities, primarily coal from the Powder River Basic of Wyoming and Montana. This would mean that 9 full northbound long trains or 18 trains trips a day with possibly 1.5 mile long trains would run through the tunnel adjacent to Seattle’s Chinatown International District (CID) and that the number of trains would increase as business expands.

This proposal presents serious environmental justice problems for the CID with lasting effects. Running 18 plus coal trains a day would exacerbate the air quality of the CID, which already has the poorest air quality in the City of Seattle. It is likely to lead to significant public health impacts on the vulnerable youth, elderly, immigrants and the poor living at the CID as well as the numerous visitors who come to the CID to shop, eat and play. They are likely to suffer respiratory health impacts from diesel particulate matter associated with increased train traffic/coal dust, the health effects associated with mercury and other heavy metal pollution from open-pit coal trains, and acid rain degradation of their living conditions in low income senior housing located in rehabilitated historic buildings. The likely ravages to the CID will also discourage visitors from coming to the CID and kill the businesses, shops and restaurants present in the historic community.

We ask that the NEPA/SEPA Review:

• Include an environmental justice assessment and a health impact assessment on the CID neighborhood where vulnerable elderly, poor and immigrant populations live, work and visit, and
• Engage our organizations as partners in this endeavor.

We appreciate the opportunity to provide input into the EIS review scope. We look forward to the inclusion of our concerns in the NEPA/SEPA review process and partnering with you on the assessment effort. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Alice Park
CCEJ Board Chair
PO Box 95938
Seattle, WA 98145-2938

Inye Wokoma
Board Chair, Got Green
PO Box 18794
Seattle, WA 98118

Hyeok Kim
Director Interim CDA

Cc: Bernie Matsuno, Dept. of Neighborhoods
Running Grass, Environmental Justice, Dept. of Environmental Protection Agency

Alice Royer (#8364)

Date Submitted: 01/10/13
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
Folks,
I am very much against digging coal out of the ground, in Montana, then shipping it across WA, where I live, and then shipping it to China. The carbon footprint all the way along is not acceptable. The people affected in Montana do not want it. In WA, the air pollution is unacceptable. And it does not help fight global warming, shipping coal across the Pacific.
Please do not permit this devastation to happen.
Thank you,
Alice Royer

Alice Shapiro (#3973)

Date Submitted: 12/05/2012
Comment:
I have many concerns, but I will highlight just a few:
Air quality--
increased exposure to diesel particulate matter, which is associated with both cardiovascular and pulmonary problems, including asthma, cancer and heart disease
respirable coal dust emissions, even in lower concentrations and for shorter periods of time (than of a coal mine worker, for example) can increase the risk for cardiovascular and pulmonary issues, especially for children and the elderly

Mercury emissions/water pollution--
mercury from burning of coal in China has already been traced back to fish in our Columbia River. Mercury is a known to cause neurological and other health problems.

Global warming--
the burning of coal anywhere increases the rate at which our planet is warming. We have had much evidence of late (hurricane Sandy, typhoons in the Philippines, etc.) to indicate the immediate need to take action. We are damaging not only our local environment and economies, but the global environment as well

It is way past time to take action to protect our health and the health of our planet. We depend upon our governmental agencies to protect us.

Alice Shapiro (#10525)

Date Submitted: 01/17/13
Location: Portland, OR
Comment:
Please accept these scoping comments for the environmental impact statement for the Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT) project located at Cherry Point, Washington.

The proposal to export up to 48 million tons of coal per year from the Powder River Basin, through the Columbia River Gorge to Cherry Point 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).

In particular, the proposal would have severe impacts on the Columbia River Gorge, which is the most likely rail transportation route from the Powder River Basin through the Cascade Mountains to the proposed terminal. The Columbia River Gorge is world-renowned for its natural scenic beauty, diversity in plants and wildlife, cultural resources and recreation. To protect its outstanding resources, the Gorge is a federally designated National Scenic Area. This law requires protection and enhancement of scenic, natural, cultural and recreation resources and air quality. The EIS must evaluate the transportation of coal by rail in open coal cars through the Gorge, and the likely expansion of tracks and siding in the Gorge that would be necessary to accommodate up to 18 additional trains per day, for consistency with the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Act.

Air quality in the Columbia River Gorge is already degraded. Increased coal train traffic would worsen air quality and visibility. The human health and the environmental impacts of diesel emissions and coal dust from up to 18 trains per day must be analyzed.

Coal pollution is already a problem in the Gorge from just a few coal trains per week, 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.

Additional trains would block at-grade crossings in the Gorge, interfering with commerce, recreation, tourism and emergency services.
Wind-blown coal debris from coal trains has also been documented to be a safety threat to highway travelers. These impacts must be included in the scope of the EIS.

Existing rail traffic in the Gorge is near capacity. Approval of the GPT 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.

Train-caused fires are a regular occurrence within the Columbia Gorge, resulting in damage to native plants, sensitive wildlife habitat and property. Increased train traffic and transporting coal in open-top cars would only worsen this existing problem. Increased risk of fire from coal trains must be analyzed in the EIS.

There are five 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.

Coal-burning power plants are the primary source greenhouse gases driving global climate change. The GPT project would feed Asia's growing appetite for coal and accelerate climate change. Greenhouse gas emissions from the mining, transportation and burning of coal must be analyzed in the EIS. Coal combustion in Asia releases other air pollutants, such as mercury, that are deposited in the United States.
The EIS must analyze the impacts of mercury pollution from coal powered plants receiving coal via the proposed export facility.

The purpose and need for the proposed project should be broadened to look at economic development and environmental needs for the region and for the global climate. The range of alternatives considered in the EIS should include alternatives that better address the economic and environmental needs of the region and do not expand global reliance on fossil fuels that are responsible for causing catastrophic climate change. The alternatives analysis should include alternative transportation routes that do not pass through federally protected areas like the Columbia River Gorge. Mitigation measures should include covered rail cars to reduce the amount of coal pollution from coal trains.

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 five coal export proposals in the Pacific Northwest.

This is too important a health and environmental issue to not have very complete studies of all impacts. It is the duty of our public officials to protect us. Please do the tasks we have entrusted to you.

Alice Suter (#14048)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Comment:
Do we want what is under the ground in the US to come back to us in the Northwest from China in the form of polluted air?

I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington, the transport of strip-mined coal from Montana and Wyoming on trains throughout the Northwest and the export of coal by ship through the Salish Sea and the Pacific Ocean. The proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal would negatively affect communities in the Pacific Northwest by increasing congestion and noise with more coal train traffic, polluting the air and local waterways, harming existing businesses, delaying emergency responders, and damaging aquatic ecosystems and fishing grounds at the terminal site. In addition, the proposal would threaten endangered orcas, salmon and herring, increase high-risk freighter traffic in the Salish Sea and Pacific Ocean -- and thus the potential for serious shipping accidents and oil spills -- and escalate climate change. I urge you to consider these significant impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

There are currently five coal export proposals that would transport as much as 150 million tons of coal annually through the Northwest and the Salish Sea. All the ships from these proposed projects are bound for China, meaning their routes will impact the San Juan Islands, the Strait of Juan de Fuca or the Columbia River, and then Unimak Pass along Alaska’s Aleutian Peninsula. Therefore, I urge the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct an area-wide Environmental Impact Statement to assess the cumulative impact of these proposals.

Alice & Donald Hack (#4113)

Date Submitted: 12/05/12
Location: Longview, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Alice Perry Linker (#4862)

Date Submitted: 12/16/2012
Location: Vancouver, WA
Comment:
I ask that the EIS fully address the following issues:
The effects of airborne or waterborne coal dust on human, especially children's, health, including, but not limited to, potential increased childhood and adult asthma;
The content of the surfactant and its effect on human and animal health;
The first-responder issues created by multiple daily trains through small and larger communities that are bisected by rail;
The effects of carbon emissions on water quality, increasing acidity in estuaries and the ocean, and the changes in climate.
I would especially like to see the EIS present the broad spectrum of the impact of coal on the natural and human environment.
Thank you for accepting my comments on the scoping process.
I ask that I be notified when the EIS is released.

Alicelia Warren (#484)

Date Submitted: 09/25/12
Location: University Place, WA
Comment:
I urge you to oppose the proposed Cherry Point, WA coal export terminal. The citizens of WA State will get coal pollution at least twice from this project..First, the coal will come across the state of WA and be loaded at the terminal, creating huge amounts of coal dust pollution. Then when China and other countries burn it, the pollution will cross the Pacific Ocean and visit us again. Any assurances that the dust will be contained mean nothing. Coal companies routinely fight against and thwart pollution controls. Why should this project be any different?

The health of people in WA and Asia will be adversely impacted by more production and burning of coal. The Obama Administration and governments around the world need to be spending money on alternative fuels rather than continuing to rely on non-sustainable coal.

I urge you to consider the health of people and the environment over the profits of coal companies through the Environmental Impact Study regarding the Cherry Point Terminal proposal.

Sincerely,
Alicelia Warren

Alicia Bemiss-Powell (#5345)

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

Alicia Cohen (#3866)

Date Submitted: 12/05/2012
Location: portland, or
Comment:
I request EIS informayion covering: noise (horns, rumbling, etc) impacts on human health and well-being due to proposed coal trains. The effects of diesel locomotives, diesel ships and other pollutions (including that which travels from Asia to North America) on air quality and human health. Traffic delays, due to spike in rail usage, and other effects on jobs & local businesses. Taxpayer investment in infrastructures and upgrades that ultimately benefit privately-held corporations. The effects of a degraded marine environment and/or altered regional identity on fisheries, property values and quality of life. Global impacts (“interdependent systems” that transcend geographic boundaries--i.e., as the only purpose of coal transport and export is to link coal mining to coal combustion, the environmental impacts of coal mining in the Powder River Basin and coal combustion in Asia should be studied and considered).

Alicia Swaringen (#13004)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
Location: Eugene, OR
Comment:
Considering all the facts about climate change, exporting coal is one of the very last things we, as Americans, should be even considering!!
There are so many negatives, only an irrational person would waste any time in wanting this project to go through.

I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington. This proposal would negatively affect my community by increasing traffic, polluting our air and water, harming existing business, delaying emergency vehicles, increasing shipping traffic and noise, damaging aquatic ecosystems at the terminal site, increasing the potential for serious shipping accidents and exacerbating climate change. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

Aliena Hook (#8131)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Comment:
I am a student at Whatcom Community College and I am greatly concerned about the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal and the effects that it will have on the northwest and around the world. I am especially concerned about the environmental effects that the terminal will have. The health effects for our local community and worldwide are significant. Also, the environmental effects such as increases in CO2 emissions, leaching and coal dust pollution, risk of species depletion and loss of local jobs are all significant impacts. Please study the environmental effects of the coal terminal and coal energy. The impact of coal has already been extensively studied and coal is dirty. It causes hundreds and thousands of problems that most do not have solutions.

I believe that the northwest and the world should invest in more renewable sources of energy and not increase the coal and fossil fuel industries. Alternatives have already been in effect and have great success such as wind and solar power.

Alisa Brooks (#11359)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Shoreline, WA
Comment:
To GPT/BNSF Custer Spur EIS Co-Lead Agencies,

I will speak to just two of the thousands of species who will be unavoidably adversely affected by innumerable unavoidable significant impacts from, the Mountain top removal/strip mining to transport by train to the increased numbers of cargo ships that will traverse our neighborhoods and waterways.

-Puget Sound is the second largest estuary in the USA and is fed by 16 major rivers. -Local salmon depend on these tributaries for survival. Chinook are listed both as threatened and endangered.
-The Southern Resident Killer Whale community is also listed as endangered, their diet consists of 80% Chinook salmon. The SRKW population struggles to thrive, their numbers stand at 84.

-Coal dust laden with toxic metals will pollute our neighborhoods and waterways, settling in critical habitat areas.
-Slides & derailments are real. Since mid November there have been approx. 75 slides in the Seattle to Everett corridor alone.
-December 17th, a mudslide in south Everett derailed 7 cars carrying 11 containers; nine of those containers were knocked over and some were split open.
-The open coal trains are at high risk for dumping toxic elements and compounds in these critical habitat areas of Puget Sound.
-Open port at Cherry Point subject to high winds distributing coal dust in adjacent aquatic reserve
-Increased number of cargo ships to transport this toxic fossil fuel across the planet increases the risk of oil spills through out Puget Sound basin, the Salish Sea, and the Pacific.

Chinook Salmon and Southern Resident Orca are in critical decline and are protected under the ESA, which stated purpose is to protect their species and also the ecosystems upon which they depend. We cannot risk contamination of their already fragile and decimated numbers and contamination of their home and food supply.

Your time and consideration of this important proposal is very much appreciated.

Thank you,

Alisa Lemire Brooks
Attached Image:

Alisa Huckaby (#9688)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Richland, WA
Comment:
Thank you for providing the opportunity to provide comment. The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process requires that the potential direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts resulting from this proposal be identified and analyzed. I request you consider my comments as described below in your preparation of the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal and Custer Spur Projects EIS.

Spontaneous combustion of coal is a well-known phenomenon, especially with Powder River Basin (PRB) coal. This high-moisture, highly volatile sub-bituminous coal will not only smolder and catch fire while in storage piles, but has been known to be delivered to a facility with the rail car partially on fire. It is requested the EIS analyses review the environmental and human health and safety effects related to the operation of the Gateway Pacific Terminal facilities including modifications to the BNSP Custer Spur in conjunction with spontaneous coal combustion. In particular, spontaneous coal combustion should be analyzed in relation to transportation of the coal to the Gateway Pacific Terminal facilities as well as storage and handling at the facilities.

The most likely scenario is smoldering coal that may emit noxious gases. However, more serious consequences of spontaneous combustion should also be evaluated. For example, the much more serious scenario of dust explosions induced by spontaneous combustion should be evaluated. Because human health and environmental harm are associated with spontaneous combustion and coal dust explosions (induced by coal dust explosions), the review should clearly evaluate the associated potential direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts.

In addition, within the field of dry bulk materials handling, it is known that dust explosions can be hazardous. Everywhere where bulk handling takes place one of the important factors to know is the sensitivity of the handled materials for self-heating, fire and explosions. For a dust explosion to occur, five ingredients, also known as the “dust explosion pentagon” are required. These ingredients are:
• a fuel, in the case of dust explosions the fuel consists of combustible dust;
• an oxidizer, which provides the oxygen for the chemical reaction;
• the concentration of the dust must be within the explosibility range;
• an ignition source to start the chemical reaction;
• confinement to create the pressure rise.
Again, because human health and environmental harm are associated with spontaneous coal dust explosions, the review should clearly evaluate the associated potential direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts relating to ignitibility and explosivity of a dust cloud during dry bulk materials handling.

In summary, it is requested the EIS analyses review the environmental and human health and safety effects related to the operation of the Gateway Pacific Terminal facilities during which spontaneous combustion of coal and coal dust explosions may occur.

Lastly, so that I may know that you have received my comments, I request a notification be sent to me at: alisah@charter.net or 1524 Ridgeview Ct., Richland WA 99354.

Sincerely,

Alisa Huckaby

Alison Johnston Lohrey (#2285)

Date Submitted: 11/04/2012
Location: Friday Harbor, WA
Comment:
Every single aspect of this money scheming plan is wrong with the only benefit being financial gain for a few. In the midst of and near tipping point of environmental disaster evidenced all around us (ie: the latest SUPER STORM SANDY), the thought of of digging, shipping, & burning ton after ton of global temperature raising coal (so dirty that it is illegal to burn in the United States) is not only ludicrous but monsterous insanity. I have lived on San Juan Island for thirty one years. Our livelihood in the San Juans is based on the pristine beauty of the inland waters. The existence of life in these waters is already a game of Russian roulette. Any proposal of this kind would inilate our fragile environment. JUST say NO. It is time we all understand the fragility of our planet. IT IS PAST TIME!

Alison Longley (#9077)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Location: Friday Harbor, WA
Comment:
As a resident of San Juan Island and a biologist who has worked in a fish cannery, an oyster hatchery, and at the Friday Harbor Marine Biological Laboratory, I am writing to you regarding the potential impact of the proposed coal terminal on the natural environment at and near Cherry Point in relation to vessels and the industrial site.

Please consider the effects of dust and runoff from coal loading operations and from coal storage piles on the marine environment and its flora and fauna in the region of Cherry Point and the adjacent Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve. This study should include the effects of shading (from built structures, vessels, and from coal released) on eelgrass and species dependent on the integrity of the eelgrass, and the effects of toxins in the dust and runoff on the flora and fauna at all stages of development. In particular, please consider the effects on herring of that area, since as a keystone species, herring are, directly and indirectly, an important food source for many other species in the region, including seals and orca.

Since the terminal, as proposed, will include areas for storage of coal in large, uncovered piles, and since to prevent spontaneous combustion in these piles, the coal must be rotated regularly, dust and runoff can be expected.

Covering the piles and trapping runoff may not be practical mitigation measures because of the problems of spontaneous combustion and the size of the areas needed for coal storage. Please consider not allowing construction of the coal terminal as the best preventive measure for these likely impacts of the proposed project.

Thank you,
Alison Longley

Alison Longley (#9082)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Location: Friday Harbor, WA
Comment:
As a resident of San Juan Island and a biologist who has worked in a fish cannery, an oyster hatchery, and at the Friday Harbor Marine Biological Laboratory, I am writing to you regarding the potential impact of the proposed coal terminal on the natural environment and human health and economic activity in relation to vessels and the industrial site.

Please consider the impact of fuel oil and coal spills, both those released during the ordinary course of proposed operations, and those released during a catastrophic spill. When considering the likelihood of a catastrophic spill, consider the increase in vessel traffic from activity at all proposed terminals, including those in Canada.

Please consider the effects of these spills on the natural environment of Puget Sound and consider the geographical extent of the potential oil spill(s). Consider effects on marine-related human activity including fishing, tourism, hatchery operations, and marine biological stations in the area, and consider the effects on residents who choose to live in Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands because of their relatively unspoiled nature. Please consider the effects of both types of spill on land values in the affected areas. And please consider the impact of both limited “ordinary” spills and catastrophic spills on the health of humans who consume fish and other marine products from this area.

Please consider whether there is any possible mitigation measure that would completely prevent these significant adverse effects from releases of coal and oil into the environment. Consider not allowing construction of the coal terminal as the best preventive measure for these impacts of the proposed project.

Thank you,
Alison Longley

Alison Longley (#9091)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Location: Friday Harbor, WA
Comment:
As a resident of San Juan Island, a biologist who has worked in a fish cannery, an oyster hatchery, and at the Friday Harbor Marine Biological Laboratory, and as a citizen of the world, I am writing to you regarding the potential impact of the proposed coal terminal on climate change and ocean acidification. These are issues that affect both the human and natural environment, and they relate to the ultimate burning of coal shipped from the proposed terminal at Cherry Point (and other proposed coal terminals).

Please consider the amount of CO2 and other greenhouse gasses that will be added to the global atmosphere from the burning of coal proposed for shipment, both on a yearly basis and over the expected lifetime of the proposed coal terminal. Please also consider the effects of sea level rise and increased severe weather events on operations of the terminal and vessels serving it.

Please consider the contribution of this CO2 to increased acidity of the oceans, the operations of shellfish fisheries and hatcheries worldwide, and the economic impacts of ocean acidification. Consider the lag time of this effect, and consider the impact on both a yearly basis and over the lifetime of the proposed terminal. (Basic information on ocean acidification and its effects on shellfish can be found at the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s website):

http://pmel.noaa.gov/co2/story/Ocean+Acidification


Considering that each year of delay in reducing the use of fossil fuel increases the cost of reducing climate change (information can be found at the Union of Concerned Scientists’ website):

http://www.ucsusa.org/assets/documents/global_warming/climate-costs-of-inaction.pdf

please consider the positive economic impact of not permitting the proposed coal terminal at Cherry Point with its associated ultimate emissions of CO2 into the atmosphere.

Finally, in light of the serious implications of world-wide climate change and ocean acidification, please consider whether, in this instance, a realistic decision not to permit the well-publicized coal terminal proposed for Cherry Point may encourage similar decisions for other projects, and that overall, this example of practical recognition of the importance of avoiding release of greenhouse gasses will contribute to the changes in policy which are needed to effectively reduce climate change and acidification of our oceans.

Thank you,
Alison Longley

Alison Longley (#13697)

Date Submitted: 01/22/13
Location: Friday Harbor, WA
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Files:

Alissa French (#6830)

Date Submitted: 01/11/2013
Comment:
I am concerned that the coal train will affect water quality of the bays and rivers and degrade resources here already.

Please study impact of coal dust residue on waterways and people.

Please study the impacts of noise and traffic.

Don't do it. Let's stop relying on coal if these studies shown proven effects.

As an alternative, create more green jobs or jobs researching alternative energy sources or transportation methods.

Allain Van Laanen (#11115)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Bellingham , Wa
Comment:
I ask that the agencies carefully consider the full implications of building a terminal to export a material, coal, that has negative net value when considering the social cost of carbon. The social cost of carbon is a concept that has been accepted by several major branches of the US government.

When choosing the best types of infrastructure development for our future economy, I recommend that materials with positive value should be given preference over materials with negative value. Re skill coal workers to build light speed rail ~ wind and solar wave power. Begin to take the necessary steps to stop hazardous waste exposure to millions of families whose water and air are so polluted lives are affected.

The farms and rivers and oceans front where rails cross millions of miles loaded with coal leaving dust in its wake every trip. To build such an export terminal in the harbor of a pristine marine parks and preserved, occupied supporting a thriving fisheries industry is sensless and puts every aspect of a vibrant community at risk for loss and collapse.

Please support the world in leaving the coal and other toxic wastes where they lie and begin to utilize other more ecosystem friendly energy systems.

Allan McCoy (#10287)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
Location: Vancouver, WA
Comment:
Dear Washington Department of Ecology,

Please accept these scoping comments for the environmental impact statement for the Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT) project located at Cherry Point, Washington.

The proposal to export up to 48 million tons of coal per year from the Powder River Basin, through the Columbia River Gorge should probably be by covered cars to contain coal dust.
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 five coal export proposals in the Pacific Northwest.

Allen Evans (#5738)

Date Submitted: 12/12/12
Location: Portland, OR
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

Allen Jett (#13698)

Date Submitted: 01/20/13
Location: Anacotes, WA
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:


Allen Matsumoto (#1918)

Date Submitted: 10/27/12
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

Allen Matsumoto (#2508)

Date Submitted: 11/07/2012
Comment:
I would like you to study very closely the potential role of threshold effect on potential impacts of train traffic in particular, for each EIS topic in which train traffic impacts are a factor.

It seems reasonable to speculate that while increasing the number of trains up to a certain point might allow for linear extrapolation of the impact of those trains relative to a lesser frequency, increasing that frequency by an order of magnitude or more could expose a threshold past which the impacts are less predictable, in both severity and characteristic nature.

The hypothetical thresholds represent the point at which a system reaches its limits to absorb change and remain essentially stable, and the impacts take on import not predicted by sub-threshold stresses to the system.

So absent data sourced from existing systems in which the current rail traffic meets the maximum projected rail traffic for full-scale Cherry Point terminal projections, I would request that no assumptions be made that impacts can be extrapolated safely from existing systems with lower frequency.

Rather, that a special point be made to either verify or conduct full studies of the EIS topics for those existing systems if they do meet the projected Cherry Point projections for rail traffic frequency, or that special focus be brought to particularly rigorous methodology for extrapolation, with no untestable assumptions about what that extrapolation curve would look like.

Allen Matsumoto (#2509)

Date Submitted: 11/07/2012
Comment:
I would like you to study closely the physical and mental health impacts of the projected levels of Cherry Point terminal train traffic at full projected operational capacity.

While studies have demonstrated physiological effects of traffic noise,* supporting the need for EIS attention in this area, we need to know that studies that control for duration of exposure as well as dB(A) levels comparable to those that are projected have been evaluated, or where absent, performed.

The same is true, perhaps more importantly, for studies of psychological effects.

*(E.g., "Traffic Noise and Risk of Myocardial Infarction," Babisch, Beule, Shust, Kersten, & Ising, Epidemilogy, Jan 2005, Vol 16, Issue 1, pp 33-40)

Thanks,

Allen

Allene Soshea (#2855)

Date Submitted: 11/05/12
Location: Snohomish, WA
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

Allison Engle (#2743)

Date Submitted: 11/03/12
Location: Friday Harbor, WA
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

Allison Lovell (#3322)

Date Submitted: 11/20/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

Allison Ostrer (#5034)

Date Submitted: 12/13/12
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
Dear Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Ecology and Whatcom County Council:

I want clean energy and clean jobs for Washington State workers.

I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington and transporting strip-mined coal from Montana and Wyoming on trains and ships throughout the Northwest. This proposal would negatively affect my community by increasing congestion and noise with more coal train traffic, polluting our air and local waterways, harming existing businesses, delaying emergency responders, damaging aquatic ecosystems and fishing grounds at the terminal site, increasing tanker traffic and the potential for serious shipping accidents and escalating climate change. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

There are currently five coal export proposals that would transport as much as 150million tons through the Northwest. I urge the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct an area wide Environmental Impact Statement to assess the cumulative impact of these proposals.

Allison Ostrer

Allison Ostrer (#12851)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
People of Washington REJECT coal!

I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington and transporting strip-mined coal from Montana and Wyoming on trains and ships throughout the Northwest. This proposal would negatively affect my community by increasing congestion and noise with more coal train traffic, polluting our air and local waterways, harming existing businesses, delaying emergency responders, damaging aquatic ecosystems and fishing grounds at the terminal site, increasing tanker traffic and the potential for serious shipping accidents and escalating climate change. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

There are currently five coal export proposals that would transport as much as 150 million tons through the Northwest. I urge the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct an area wide Environmental Impact Statement to assess the cumulative impact of these proposals.

Allison Raszler (#10336)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Spokane, WA
Comment:
Army Corps of Engineers, please do not allow the export of coal from Washington state. I am a lifelong resident of Washington state, and the proposed project at Cherry Point raises some serious concerns about its potential impacts.
First of all, Cherry Point and the Bellingham area are home to several important natural features including wetlands, shorelines, and marine habitats. If this project goes forward, it is setting up Washington shorelines to be turned into industrial sites. Please study the impacts of piles of coal on shorelines as well as the impacts of constant noise and marine traffic on species which inhabit shoreline areas. The proposed Cherry Point project not only inhibits shoreline, but also herring grounds. Please study the impacts of this project on the herring grounds, because these are the primary source of food for Chinook salmon, which in turn are the primary food source for the imperiled Puget Sound Orca whales. Additionally, I think it is necessary to study the impacts of marine traffic and noise on the ability of Puget Sound Orcas to migrate and reproduce. Also, the Cherry Point project will create a stream of hazardous waste. This waste can wreak havoc on coral populations, which is an important impact to study, since coral reefs all over the world are dying due to the heat and waste in our oceans. The proposed facility also cuts into wetland areas. The impacts on endangered or threatened species of dredging and filling the wetland areas to build the Cherry Point facility needs to be studied. Also, the impacts on the health of surrounding habitats should the wetlands be destroyed needs to be examined.
The impacts of air pollution should be studied. Air pollution doesn’t stay near to home, the more coal China burns, the more toxic air pollution will travel across the Pacific Ocean to contaminate the rivers, lakes, and fish in the Pacific Northwest. Specifically, the burning of coal will lead to an increase in mercury and ozone pollution. Mercury and ozone levels should be studied in relation to the effects they will have on rivers, lakes, and fish in Washington state. Coal ash disposal releases lead, boron, selenium, cadmium, thallium, and other pollutants. The effect of the release of these pollutants on human health should be considered as part of the Cherry Point project.
The coal export terminal would result in a dramatic increase in the number of open-car coal trains traveling across Washington. The cumulative effects of coal dust exposure and coal train traffic for all five proposed ports needs to be taken into consideration, along with the traffic impacts and effects of coal dust for the increase in trains for the Cherry Point project. If all five projects are approved, that means upwards of 40 additional trains will be passing through Spokane, WA daily. This increase in coal traffic will have serious effects on the already poor air quality in the area. The effects of additional open-car coal transportation through Spokane on the area’s air quality needs to be studied. Additionally, the increased number of trains, as well as cargo ships at the ports, will undoubtedly also increase the amount of pollution coming from diesel exhaust. The effects of diesel exhaust exposure can lead to lung disease, heart disease, and various cancers. Both the cumulative release of diesel exhaust from all five proposed ports and the effects of diesel exhaust from just Cherry Point needs to be considered, as it could greatly diminish the quality of life for many cities across the Pacific Northwest. The impacts of the coal trains are widespread, they will generate noise, create collision hazards, and impede rail crossings. The potential impacts of noise and collision hazards need to be studied for all towns and cities the trains will be passing through on their way to Bellingham. This would be important to study because increased traffic delays at busy crossings would clog commuter traffic and could slow response time for emergency responders. Additionally the increased rail traffic could limit access to neighborhoods, schools, and business corridors. The effects of coal train traffic on the Colombia River, specifically access of tribes to fishing grounds and salmon survival rate need to be considered.
When the coal arrives at the terminals, it is kept in large piles. This exposes the coal to wind and other weather conditions, which can lead to the spread of coal dust for miles into the surrounding communities. The human health impacts of the spread of coal dust from wind and runoff need to be considered for all of Whatcom county and the Puget Sound area. Additionally, the spread of coal dust by wind and run-off could carry dust into the bay and eventually to the ocean. The impacts of coal on all endangered and threatened species should be considered in the study.
If the proposed coal export terminals move forward, they will significantly increase the amount of coal mined for export. In order to meet export goals, the coal companies will most likely have to open up new areas of mining and expand existing coal mining operations. Coal mining causes significant air pollution from blasting, drilling, and hauling. Additional mining would increase the air pollutants in coal fields and the effects of this on the environment and on the health of the coal miners should be studied. New mines would increase pollution in already impacted communities, put more communities at risk and industrialize thousands of acres of agricultural lands and wildlife habitats. Coal mining will also pollute the water supply. Strip mining severs and destroys the aquifers in the Powder River Basin, which are critical sources of groundwater for agriculture and wildlife. The effects of increased strip mining on drinking water that comes form these aquifers need to be considered. Additionally, the effects strip mining might have on the ability of farmers to continue using the aquifers for irrigation need to be considered.
The final consideration concerns global warming pollution and toxic air contaminants. Poorly regulated Asian coal plants are major sources of pollutants leading to global warming. It is estimated that the burning of coal shipped through Washington ports would produce approximately 208 million tons of pollution contributing to global warming. The effects of the 208 million tons of pollutants needs to be studied in terms of its effects on global warming. Coal is a carbon-intensive fossil fuel, and I believe that if the ports are built and coal is exported to Asia, it will make it virtually impossible to stabilize climate pollution at safe levels. If the fast-growing Asian economies continue to invest in long-lived, capital-intensive coal power infrastructure at their current rate, we will be irrevocably locked in to global emission trajectories that guarantee catastrophic climate disruption

Allison Raszler (#10337)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Spokane, WA
Comment:
Army Corps of Engineers, please do not allow the export of coal from Washington state. I am a lifelong resident of Washington state, and the proposed project at Cherry Point raises some serious concerns about its potential impacts.
First of all, Cherry Point and the Bellingham area are home to several important natural features including wetlands, shorelines, and marine habitats. If this project goes forward, it is setting up Washington shorelines to be turned into industrial sites. Please study the impacts of piles of coal on shorelines as well as the impacts of constant noise and marine traffic on species which inhabit shoreline areas. The proposed Cherry Point project not only inhibits shoreline, but also herring grounds. Please study the impacts of this project on the herring grounds, because these are the primary source of food for Chinook salmon, which in turn are the primary food source for the imperiled Puget Sound Orca whales. Additionally, I think it is necessary to study the impacts of marine traffic and noise on the ability of Puget Sound Orcas to migrate and reproduce. Also, the Cherry Point project will create a stream of hazardous waste. This waste can wreak havoc on coral populations, which is an important impact to study, since coral reefs all over the world are dying due to the heat and waste in our oceans. The proposed facility also cuts into wetland areas. The impacts on endangered or threatened species of dredging and filling the wetland areas to build the Cherry Point facility needs to be studied. Also, the impacts on the health of surrounding habitats should the wetlands be destroyed needs to be examined.
The impacts of air pollution should be studied. Air pollution doesn’t stay near to home, the more coal China burns, the more toxic air pollution will travel across the Pacific Ocean to contaminate the rivers, lakes, and fish in the Pacific Northwest. Specifically, the burning of coal will lead to an increase in mercury and ozone pollution. Mercury and ozone levels should be studied in relation to the effects they will have on rivers, lakes, and fish in Washington state. Coal ash disposal releases lead, boron, selenium, cadmium, thallium, and other pollutants. The effect of the release of these pollutants on human health should be considered as part of the Cherry Point project.
The coal export terminal would result in a dramatic increase in the number of open-car coal trains traveling across Washington. The cumulative effects of coal dust exposure and coal train traffic for all five proposed ports needs to be taken into consideration, along with the traffic impacts and effects of coal dust for the increase in trains for the Cherry Point project. If all five projects are approved, that means upwards of 40 additional trains will be passing through Spokane, WA daily. This increase in coal traffic will have serious effects on the already poor air quality in the area. The effects of additional open-car coal transportation through Spokane on the area’s air quality needs to be studied. Additionally, the increased number of trains, as well as cargo ships at the ports, will undoubtedly also increase the amount of pollution coming from diesel exhaust. The effects of diesel exhaust exposure can lead to lung disease, heart disease, and various cancers. Both the cumulative release of diesel exhaust from all five proposed ports and the effects of diesel exhaust from just Cherry Point needs to be considered, as it could greatly diminish the quality of life for many cities across the Pacific Northwest. The impacts of the coal trains are widespread, they will generate noise, create collision hazards, and impede rail crossings. The potential impacts of noise and collision hazards need to be studied for all towns and cities the trains will be passing through on their way to Bellingham. This would be important to study because increased traffic delays at busy crossings would clog commuter traffic and could slow response time for emergency responders. Additionally the increased rail traffic could limit access to neighborhoods, schools, and business corridors. The effects of coal train traffic on the Colombia River, specifically access of tribes to fishing grounds and salmon survival rate need to be considered.
When the coal arrives at the terminals, it is kept in large piles. This exposes the coal to wind and other weather conditions, which can lead to the spread of coal dust for miles into the surrounding communities. The human health impacts of the spread of coal dust from wind and runoff need to be considered for all of Whatcom county and the Puget Sound area. Additionally, the spread of coal dust by wind and run-off could carry dust into the bay and eventually to the ocean. The impacts of coal on all endangered and threatened species should be considered in the study.
If the proposed coal export terminals move forward, they will significantly increase the amount of coal mined for export. In order to meet export goals, the coal companies will most likely have to open up new areas of mining and expand existing coal mining operations. Coal mining causes significant air pollution from blasting, drilling, and hauling. Additional mining would increase the air pollutants in coal fields and the effects of this on the environment and on the health of the coal miners should be studied. New mines would increase pollution in already impacted communities, put more communities at risk and industrialize thousands of acres of agricultural lands and wildlife habitats. Coal mining will also pollute the water supply. Strip mining severs and destroys the aquifers in the Powder River Basin, which are critical sources of groundwater for agriculture and wildlife. The effects of increased strip mining on drinking water that comes form these aquifers need to be considered. Additionally, the effects strip mining might have on the ability of farmers to continue using the aquifers for irrigation need to be considered.
The final consideration concerns global warming pollution and toxic air contaminants. Poorly regulated Asian coal plants are major sources of pollutants leading to global warming. It is estimated that the burning of coal shipped through Washington ports would produce approximately 208 million tons of pollution contributing to global warming. The effects of the 208 million tons of pollutants needs to be studied in terms of its effects on global warming. Coal is a carbon-intensive fossil fuel, and I believe that if the ports are built and coal is exported to Asia, it will make it virtually impossible to stabilize climate pollution at safe levels. If the fast-growing Asian economies continue to invest in long-lived, capital-intensive coal power infrastructure at their current rate, we will be irrevocably locked in to global emission trajectories that guarantee catastrophic climate disruption

Allison Vaughan (#7423)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
Allowing new coal trains to come through this state would not only be hypocritical (given our commitment to cut green house gas emissions in half by 2050) but an ethically abysmal decision. The delays of emergency first responders is dangerous to our city (Seattle currently has some of the fastest in the country, resulting in the highest rate of survival of cardiac arrest in the world) & the pollution from these trains would be damaging to our health & the health of the environment around us. I have asthma, I also like to walk around downtown & by the waterfront. A coal carrying train would prevent me from doing this. I like sea otters, blue herons & other ocean creatures, the coal terminals would be slowly killing them. Keep these trains out of my state!

Allison Warner (#11140)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Camano Island, WA
Comment:
Please evaluate the magnitude of use of this project of water per day and per annum for dust control to the hydrologic cycle on the site, and the indirect effects to the Nooksack river, as well as an overall cost benefit evaluation of the cumulative environmental costs of this project versus its purpose and need and any purported benefits. where will this water infiltrate, how will it be contained, will it be contaminated, what kind of safety measures are proposed. Any bond amount should include the costs of a spill of dust control water containment to adjacent areas, and a true risk assessment needs to be provided.

Allison Warner (#11520)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Camano Island, WA
Comment:
My name is Allison Warner and I am a Wetland Ecologist, currently employed by the Tulalip Tribes. I live on Camano Island and have been a resident since 2000. I raised my daughter who attended school in Stanwood and consider Stanwood-Camano my community.

My concerns with the Pacific Gateway Terminal are both local and regional and national. The foreseeable, irreversible and many un-mitigatable impacts to our regional economy, environment, and to irreplaceable resources are so wide-reaching and large in scope, it is impossible to conclude this project is in the public interest therefore the agencies must select a no-action alternative as the preferred alternative.

NATIONAL, AND STATE IMPACTS
This is a federal project and as such NEPA requires evaluation of all on and off-site impacts of the project. If the analysis includes all onsite and offsite impacts of this project, it must be concluded that the no-action alternative is the preferred alternative. Under NEPA, 33 CFR 320.4(a)(1), the decision whether to issue a permit will be based on an evaluation of the probable impacts, including cumulative impacts, of the proposed activity and its intended use on the public interest. All factors which may be relevant to the proposal must be considered including the cumulative effects thereof: among those are conservation, economics, aesthetics, general environmental concerns, wetlands, historic properties, fish and wildlife values, flood hazards, floodplain values, land use, navigation, shore erosion and accretion, recreation, water supply and conservation, water quality, energy needs, safety, food and fiber production, mineral needs, considerations of property ownership and, in general, the needs and welfare of the people. Subject to the applicable guidelines and criteria (of Sections 320.2, 320.3 and 320.4), a permit will be granted unless the district engineer determines that it would be contrary to the public interest.

While the purpose and need, to provide a coal export terminal, may provide some economic benefit to those employed there, it cannot be concluded this project is in the public interest, in fact, is not only directly opposed to our state and national interests, by sending coal to China so that we may further increase the CO2 in the atmosphere and be subject in Washington State to the returning particulant-polluted air (see Cliff Mass, UW climatologist blog dated July 7, 2012 http://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2012/07/asian-haze-is-not-gone.html; see also June 2, 2012 http://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2012/06/coal-trains-really-bad-idea.html ); it also directly conflicts with regional economic growth and numerous State and regional economic studies and initiatives. It cannot be concluded that the national, regional and statewide impacts are outside the scope of this EIS in that they are a direct and predictable result of the permitting of this facility.

In its public interest review, the EIS must perform a review of the conflicts this project presents to a multitude of statewide initiatives to improve regional economies, transportation, and climate change and sea level rise initiatives. The EIS must consider the conflicts of this project to Statewide initiatives to bolster and sustain Washington’s agriculture economy, and Washington’ unique fisheries, with a special consideration of the location in Whatcom County and its proximity to the agriculturally important Skagit Valley, and as such must study the potential impacts on the local agricultural economy.
A large part of the state’s economy depends on freight for its competitiveness and growth. Freight-dependent sectors, in general, include agriculture, mining, construction, manufacturing, wholesale, retail, transportation, and warehousing. In 2008 freight-dependent sectors accounted for 33 percent of the state’s GDP, 71 percent of business income, and 39 percent of state’s employment The domination of the rail lines resulting from this project, with said rail lines documented in WA 2006 and 2010-2030 state rail studies as being at or near capacity within Stanwood and Marysville and Burlington, Mt Vernon areas, with a single commodity that is being “funneled” through Washington State, is a direct conflict to our regional economy’s use of the rail lines. ( See the preliminary traffic studies performed by Gibson Traffic Consultants, too large to download here, but available at http://www.powerpastcoal.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/traffic-study-Marysville.pdf , and http://www.powerpastcoal.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/traffic-study-Mt-Vernon.pdf , and http://www.powerpastcoal.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/traffic-study-Stanwood.pdf as well as numerous others provided at http://www.powerpastcoal.org/library/ ) This is a direct and forseeable impact from permitting of this facility and is un-mitigatable in any way that doesn’t involved spending billions of taxpayer money in upgrading and improving rail transportation. The economic cumulative effects to local state and federal government expenditures for the foreseeable needed infrastructure improvements need to be evaluated.

Due to the fact that this project cannot go forward without the expansion of Custer spur and the many, many other significant rail improvements that would be required all along the Puget Sound to the Columbia River and even in Spokane, the interrelatedness of those projects must be considered in this EIS. The agencies cannot arbitrarily decide to separate these “indirect” impacts from the project, when they would be in fact a direct result of the project being approved. These cannot be considered “phases” of the development, but rather within the NEPA concept of “all interrelated aspects” of the proposed action.

Washington States’ 270 million a year shellfish industries are already experiencing impacts from ocean acidification- resulting in State expenditures (on Nov 27, 2012, Governor Gregoire signed an executive order creating a 42 point program to address the dramatic situation http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2012/nov/27/governor-calls-for-action-to-fight-acidification/#axzz2Ig4cqccm- November 27, 2011, Kitsap Sun) . This is just one of the many statewide initiatives that are in direct conflict with a permit to allow 48 million tons per year of coal be burned into our atmosphere- there is no national boundary for this issue. While we cannot prevent China from burning coal, we can decide it is not in the public interest to allow this US coal to be transported by rail and shipped there to be burned. This is an indirect environmental and economic impact to our environment that must be considered by the EIS. Upon signing the executive order, Gregoire said Washington State produces nearly 85 percent of the oysters, clams and mussels produced along the U.S. West Coast, including Alaska. The industry employs more than 3,200 people, directly and indirectly.

According to Jane Lubchenco, administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, who joined the Governor at Tuesday's presentation, along with U.S. Reps. Norm Dicks, D-Belfair, and Brian Baird, D-Vancouver, the panel has produced a "remarkable report" that could serve as a "beacon" for national action.
"Nowhere on the planet is a local response more urgently needed than here in Washington," Lubchenco said. "Ocean acidification is already affecting Puget Sound and Hood Canal." Please evaluate the effects of burning of coal shipped due to the permitting of this project and cumulatively of the other terminals if permitted on the WA state shellfish industry. Include in this analysis losses of public expenditures such as the $3 million invested with this program to help shellfish hatcheries adapt to more acidic conditions and establishing a new center for ocean acidification at the University of Washington.

In addition, see the section below on local effects to crabbing industry.

Climate change:
I agree with the comments by Carolyn Gastellum (6908) of Mt Vernon WA, regarding the requirement in SEPA for considering the effect of the action on future generations, and the public trust doctrine aspects of NEPA and SEPA. I agree particularly with the below comments excerpted from her comment letter, but reiterate all of the coments in her letter.
“From SEPA: “The agency perspective should be that each generation is, in effect, a trustee of the environment for succeeding generations. Particular attention should be given to the possibility of foreclosing future options by implementing the proposal.” SEPA, WAC sec. 197-11-440(5)(c)(vii)

Therefore, through a cumulative analysis for the proposed GPT, determine the total amount of CO2 emissions that would result from the mining, transport by rail, export by cargo ship, and burning of 48 million tons of Powder River Basin coal over the life of the project. How will all these emissions impact and accelerate climate changes in Washington state? In particular, what will be the impacts on the glaciers of the North Cascades, on ocean acidification that is detrimental to marine ecosystems and shellfish, on precipitation that contributes to river and stream flow in the summer months that is crucial to salmon and agriculture?” I would add that this is one of the key reasons that the EIS must do a cumulative impacts analysis of ALL of the proposed terminals.

“What are the projections for extreme weather events in Washington that may increase due to the possible burning of coal that might be exported from Cherry Point and Longview? (And the other export terminals)What would be the projected economic impacts due to climate change-induced extreme weather events like landslides in the winter due to greater than normal precipitation or drought in the summer due to a decrease in precipitation in our state?

“How much would the burning of the Powder River Basin coal in Asia that is proposed to be exported from both Cherry Point and the Longview Terminal offset the goals established by Washington State to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as adopted by our state legislature in 2008?

“Washington State adopted greenhouse gas reduction standards via legislation adopted in 2008. (RCW 70.235.070(1)(a). The statute establishes that by 2020, emissions shall be reduced to 1990 levels. By 2035, GHG emissions are to be 25 percent below 1990 levels and by 2050, they are to be 50 percent below 1990 levels.” (James Wells, Don’t Pee In The Pool!, January 5, 2013)” Allowing this terminal to be built is in direct conflict to this state goal, and will result in a loss of public expenditures to achieve those goals, and in enacting the above legislation. Finally I agree with her request of the agencies to “do a rigorous cumulative analysis of CO2 emissions from the GPT as well as the four other coal export terminals that are being proposed in Washington and Oregon. What would be the overall climate change effects due to burning approximately 150 million tons of coal over the life of the proposed export terminals?”In addition the CO2 emissions from the additional diesel engines hauling the trains, and shipment through Straits of Juan de Fuca and Puget Sound.
I agree with the comments from James Wells of Bellingham WA (submitted but not yet online) in comment on this same subject and similarly request that the agencies should consider Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and other pollutant emissions from the coal at its point of combustion in Asia. In addition I agree withall of his comments on what should be included in the public interest review (some excerpts below).
The plan is to export over 48 million metric tons of coal per year to China, where it will be burned, resulting in air pollution that will cause impacts in the United States (in addition to the effects on nearby populations in China). The pollution includes carbon dioxide (CO2), a greenhouse gas that also causes ocean acidification. The combustion also releases harmful pollutants such as mercury and other particulates, in addition to CO2, which do not adhere to national boundaries, and therefore we are affected ultimately by the returning particulates and CO2 generated by the indirect affect of this project- burning of US coal in China. This particular coal, if shipped to Asia to be burned, will create the pollutants. Therefore the full effects should be considered. Both NEPA and SEPA require the full affects of the project be considered.
“[A] lead agency shall not limit its consideration of a proposal's impacts only to those aspects within its jurisdiction, including local or state boundaries.” (Wash. Admin. Code sec. 197-11-060(4)(b))

Some key points from James’ comments, although I incorporate all of his comments by reference here. “A key consideration is the concept of the Public Interest. The agencies should broadly consider the public interest in this case, because the project needs to use government resources rather than just private assets. The effect of greenhouse gas emissions is relevant to public interest, because global warming and ocean acidification represent a very serious threat to our environment and the livability of our planet, and affect our local environment and economies directly and significantly.
In the case of GPT, there are at least three major government-controlled resources that are required for the project to go forward:

- The pier requires a shoreline lease from the WA State Department of Natural Resources
- The coal is mined from federal government land in Montana and Wyoming
- Large water withdrawals from the Nooksack River are needed for dust control and other purposes

This request to use government resources is profoundly different from meeting regulatory requirements for an activity on private land. The applicants have no title to the government resources, and so for access to be granted, the proposed activity needs to be in the public interest. This is especially applicable to the waters of the state due to the Public Trust Doctrine, as explained on the WA Department of Ecology web site: "The essence of the [Public Trust] doctrine is that the waters of the state are a public resource owned by and available to all citizens equally for the purposes of navigation, conducting commerce, fishing, recreation and similar uses and that this trust is not invalidated by private ownership of the underlying land."
In another example, leases to mine coal from public lands have been granted on the basis that the coal will provide a stable domestic energy supply. The current practice of shipping coal from federal lands to British Columbia for export to Asia is in conflict with the justification for the coal leases, and a massive expansion of such export would also be. No export terminal should be permitted prior to conducting a complete review of the basis for the lease to mine the subject coal, and coal whose lease was justified on the theory of providing for domestic energy supplies should not be allowed to be exported.
The GPT project will also require exercise of a key government power, which is: Eminent Domain. This means seizing land from other private owners, whether or not they want to sell, in order to allow the project to occur. This is another point whether the question of the Public Interest is applicable.

The project is also inconsistent with certain federal or state laws or policies.
- EPA has Recognized CO2 as a Pollutant
The US EPA has declared carbon dioxide to be a pollutant, and has started to regulate CO2 emissions. The New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) state that any new coal-fired power plant in the US must meet a very tight standard for low CO2 emissions. If we build a new export terminal for the purpose of supplying coal to be burned in a manner that does not meet these new standards, then that undermines the entire purpose of the NSPS standards. The EPA has also commented on a different coal export proposal that resulting CO2 emissions should be considered.

- WA State GHG Reduction Standards
Washington State adopted greenhouse gas reduction standards via legislation adopted in 2008. See RCW 70.235.070(1)(a). The statute establishes that by 2020, emissions shall be reduced to 1990 levels. By 2035, GHG emissions are to be 25 percent below 1990 levels and by 2050, they are to be 50 percent below 1990 levels. The coal terminal, if permitted, would emit tens of millions of metric tons of CO2 per year, wiping all of those reductions, and more. Since CO2 is a global pollutant, it would be futile to reduce local emissions while facilitating an increase elsewhere. [For reference, all GHG emissions in all of WA state are about 100 million metric tons / year]
The SEPA standard itself recognizes the world-wide scope of environmental issues. SEPA considers “each person’s” right to a “healthful environment” to be “fundamental and inalienable” Rev.Code Wash. Sec. 43.21C.020(3), “[r]ecognize[s] the worldwide and long-range character of environmental problems,” and directs agencies, “where consistent with state policy, [to] lend appropriate support to initiatives, resolutions, and programs designed to maximize international cooperation in anticipating and preventing a decline in the quality of the world environment….” (RCW 43.21C.030(1)(f).)”

LOCAL IMPACTS
I agree with the comments of Dr Gary Green of Orcas Island (http://www.eisgatewaypacificwa.gov/get-involved/comment/7362 ) and request the EIS fully consider impacts to herring and sandlance spawning , as well as crabbing, by addressing:
“1) how fugitive coal particles will be incorporated into natural sediments, if at all; 
2) how concentrated the particles will become and what the toxicity will be to benthic organisms, especially Pacific sand lance; and 
3) how far the particles will be distributed from their point of entry into the water. 
Finally, he says, “All sub-tidal PSL habitats should therefore be located and mapped within close proximity to the coal-loading facilities and along the bulk carrier routes, where coal is likely to be introduced into the marine environment. Coal toxicity associated with dissolution or any other chemical processes that occur in marine and estuarine environments also need to be addressed. If potential impacts are found, how will they be mitigated?”

The current plan to protect herring as described in the 1999 settlement agreement, is to monitor for changes to herring habitat– does this include actual spawning area, egg production (productivity), changes in beach moisture, temperature and level of chemical, metals and coal dust on the beaches? Monitoring cannot be considered mitigation for impacts to herring, since once coal dust and metals have contaminated the site, it will be too late and the condition is irreversible. Because these impacts are foreseeable and may be irreversible once occurring, a monitoring plan simply cannot be adequate. Further, once spawning area, egg production or changes to the beach moisture due to impervious surfaces and drainage pattern changes have occurred with grading and clearing and filling of the site, these are also irreversible changes within any reasonable time span to correct the “monitored” problem. A true risk assessment needs to be undertaken for herring and crab habitats and evaluation of potential effects of changes to stream outlets, littoral drift patterns and flow patterns, as well as fugitive coal dust by looking at coal facilities in other locations and effects to their fisheries (Norfolk VA and Chesapeake Bay for example) , not just reviewing the applicants submitted information for their coal dust prevention methods. I agree with the comments of Dr Michael Riordan (http://www.eisgatewaypacificwa.gov/get-involved/comment/7362 and http://www.eisgatewaypacificwa.gov/get-involved/comment/5517 ) regarding the local wind patterns and force at the site and the likely impacts to surrounding waters from coal export operations, and the studies he requests should be conducted. This impact is the most clearly foreseeable given the existing studies discussed by Dr Riordan in his comment and least mitigatable and irreversible effect due to the nature of fine dust particles. It is not like a substance that can be scooped up or cleaned as it can fill interstitial spaces of sand and small gravel grains and also leaches toxic metals including mercury and copper, as well as increasing the level of acidity into the environment. I ask that the effects from toxic metals, filling of interstitial spaces of the sand grains and acidity changes should coal dust accumulate in the waters surrounding the loading platform and Cherry Point vicinity be evaluated in advance of the project to determine the likelihood of irreversible impact. I also agree with comments by Mary Ruth Holder of Mt Vernon, WA (http://www.eisgatewaypacificwa.gov/get-involved/comment/6108 ), and Richard Steinhart of the San Juan Islands (http://www.eisgatewaypacificwa.gov/get-involved/comment/3850 ).
Impacts to the Community of Stanwood- Camano.

As a member of the Stanwood Camano community, I daily travel the SR 532 corridor through Stanwood and utilize its businesses I addressed comments related to coal train traffic and Stanwood businesses and residents at the November 5, 2012 Mt Vernon hearing and submitted a written copy there. Gibson Traffic Consultants study (linked above) performed for Stanwood should be reviewed and the recommended needed further evaluations undertaken by this EIS, to address issues they raise . The effects of increased wait times and traffic delays to the numerous festivals that have been an essential component to Stanwood and Camano economic revitalization, and so depended on by local businesses needs to be considered, specifically the level of traffic generated by Snow Goose Festival, Tulip Festival, Northwest Glass Quest and Mother’s Day Studio Tour. In addition the impacts of increased rail traffic and conflicts to the use of the BSNF by Amtrack, a key component of Stanwood planned revitalization, specifically with increased projected population in Snohomish County of additional 225,000 people by 2020.( http://www.ofm.wa.gov/pop/gma/comparison.pdf )
Level of Service (LOS)on arterial roads is an important element of transportation planning for local governments, and public expenditures are made to maintain or improve Level of Service. The impacts on Level of Service of this proposal without mitigation for at grade rail crossings needs to be evaluated. Potential costs to local governments for maintaining level of service in the face of doubling of rail traffic need to be included in the public interest review. It is extremely unlikely that Burlington Northern or the applicant will be able to mitigate fully for all of the at grade rail crossings, and as such public expenditures will likely be required as a result of this project, and need to be considered in the economic analysis of this projects impacts. In addition safety the crossing at Old Pioneer Highway north of downtown, where southbound traffic travelling at 50 miles per hour speed limit will experience sudden stops from vehicles turning right in the common travel route to Stanwood downtown and Camano from the Conway- La Conner area. This will create a dangerous situation that will need to be mitigated.

Vessel traffic:
Impacts to local water dependent tourist industries and vessel traffic, including effects of a major spill and environmental impacts:

I agree with the comments of Bill McGowan, who operates a water taxi between Bellingham and the San Juans about the impacts of vessel traffic. (http://www.eisgatewaypacificwa.gov/get-involved/comment/5001 ). GPT at peak operation would have an average 1.5 Panamax and cape class bulkers calling daily, all passing through the Straits of Haro and Rosario. Those ships can carry 470,000 gallons of bunker fuel in addition to 100,000 metric tons of coal.
Increasing to greater than one shipping vessel per day increases the risk of collision , and the other risks discussed by Bill McGowan associated with the vessel traffic in addition to potential for vessel collisions need to be examined cumulatively by extrapolating the 487 container ships per year calling on GPT. Further I would expand that the extreme environmental sensitivity of the Strait of Juan de Fuca area makes creating a major shipping route through this area entailing the largest shipping vessels in the world through these narrow passages is another aspect of the public interest that is against this project. ), I agree with the comments of Sanford Olson of Lopez Island (http://www.eisgatewaypacificwa.gov/get-involved/comment/1567 and http://www.eisgatewaypacificwa.gov/get-involved/comment/6044 ) regarding vessel traffic and needed studies, and scope of impact evaluations.

MITIGATION
No expenditures that are a direct result of this project such as upgrades and alterations to at grade rail crossings should be borne by the public, in order to mitigate for impacts caused by increased rail traffic, including safety and level of service considerations. Any bond or mitigation dollars required of the applicant should fully account for impacts to communities like Stanwood, Camano and Marysville, who are under severe austerity and reduced budgets already from the current national economic crisis.
SSA Marine is the subsidiary of Carrix Inc. that runs terminal operations. Carrix is 51% owned by the Hemingway family (CEO Jon Hemingway: http://www.ssamarine.com/company/executive_bios/bio_Hemingway.html ), 49% by Goldman Sachs. SSA created a subsidiary, Pacific International Terminals (PIT), which has NO ASSETS, to build and operate Gateway Pacific Terminal. If a significant “event” were to occur, PIT could be dissolved in bankruptcy faster than we could say, “Who’s liable?” Given this fact, SSA and Carrix need to be made to guarantee all obligations of PIT, including union contracts, incident response and cleanup, and site restoration when the coal market dries up and they leave town.

I agree with the comments made by Kate Bowers of Bow WA, at the Mt Vernon scoping hearing – that SSA/Carrix should be required to post a bond. She suggested 500 billion dollars, but I request the EIS measure the cost of a worst-case scenario, from a spill of 470 thousand gallons of bunker fuel in the San Juan Islands, to an explosion at the terminal or a derailment in a highly populated area like downtown Mt. Vernon. The bond should be set up so that it is replenished as funds are withdrawn; and make SSA/Carrix guarantee any and all damages associated with activities related to the terminal regardless of who is ultimately held by the courts to be liable – the coal owner (some subsidiary of Peabody Energy), the coal transporter (BNSF), or the terminal operator (PIT). SSA/Carrix will have the responsibility to undertake legal action to get their money back if they’re not liable but, in the meantime, the public shouldn’t have to wait decades to receive the final paltry settlement the Supreme Court approves, a la Alaska citizens and the Exxon Valdez oil spill.

I am strongly opposed to the coal export terminal on the grounds of our national state and regional public interest being significantly undermined by the wide-spread and far reaching impacts of permitting this facility
Attached Files:

Allison Warner, Gibson Traffic Consultants, Inc. (#14670)

Date Submitted: 01/17/13
Location: Everett, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Files:

Allison White (#2336)

Date Submitted: 11/05/2012
Comment:
GPT/Custer Spur EIS
c/o CH2MHILL
1100 112 Avenue NE, Suite 400
Bellevue, WA 98004

Dear Sirs,

I am a resident of Skagit County and live on the south side of Mt. Vernon. I am very concerned about the effects of the coal trains’ added noise and traffic congestion on my community.

The added noise and congestion of the coal trains will affect many aspects of life for my family, community and businesses in Skagit County. The added noise will make it unbearable to be in our yards and even to sleep at night.

There are 6 rail/road intersections in Mt. Vernon. The added trains and noise will significantly impact our community. The noise, inconvenience, frustration and time spent waiting for the added trains will greatly affect our ability to drive to work, school and utilize our local businesses, medical offices, libraries, and the social commitments in our daily lives. This will be detrimental to our quality of life. The coal trains’ effects on the 3 rail/road intersections in the small downtown Mt. Vernon area will make driving there almost impossible thus decimating those businesses and the heart of our city.

Based on the project information document, filed by the GPT, there will be 18 more trains going through Mt. Vernon per day. When this is added to the current number of 15 trains per day, the cumulative number of 33 trains going through our community will have an overwhelmingly harmful impact on our lives.

Mitigation to the noise issues may be to establish quiet zones in Mt. Vernon. Ways to minimize the noise of the horns on the trains should also be studied.

I request that the GPT Environmental Impact Statement encompass the effects of the noise and traffic congestion on the quality of life for the people and the harmful effects on our local businesses in Mt. Vernon.

Sincerely, Allison White

Alma Fleshman (#1380)

Date Submitted: 10/22/12
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Alon Heath (#4243)

Date Submitted: 12/09/12
Location: Vancouver, WA
Comment:
Dec 9, 2012

Army Corps of Engineers and Department of Ecology WA

Dear Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Ecology: Army Corps of Engineers and Department of Ecology,

The reality of global warming has presented every thinking person with the imperative of eliminating the use of fossil fuels, especially coal.
Any project enhancing that use is certain to exacerbate the problem.
The oil industry is facing the reality by embracing alternative energy technologies. The coal industry must follow that example. "Clean coal" is not an alternative.
The U.S. should present an example of environmental conscientiousness to the world by rejecting the argument that China will get coal somewhere and we can help the trade imbalance and coal industry profitability by selling U.S. coal to them.
Elimination of fossil fuels is admittedly a long term goal and because of that we must do what can be done as soon as it can be done.
The Army Corps of Engineers can act in recognition of this goal by emphasizing the improbability of success of the proposed safeguards of contamination by the transport of coal to the U.S. West Coast.

Sincerely,

alon heath
11701 NE 32nd St
Vancouver, WA 98682-8725
(360) 896-8852

Alta Dauel (#1016)

Date Submitted: 10/21/12
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
Oct 21, 2012

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington and transporting strip-mined coal from Montana and Wyoming on trains and ships throughout the Northwest.

The project will harm imperiled wildlife species and their designated critical habitat, interfere with recreational and tribal fishing, transform the region with rail congestion, and dramatically increase carbon pollution that is driving climate change. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

HUMAN BEINGS DON'T HAVE THE RIGHT TO DESTROY THE PLANET AND ALL THE CREATURES IN IT.

Sincerely,

Alta Dauel
PO Box 30580
Seattle, WA 98113-0580

alvin casimir (#8561)

Date Submitted: 01/17/2013
Location: belling, wa
Comment:
Alvin casimir
i was wondering what are they goiong to do about about the wild life that is at risk and might decline in poppulation our even come exstint. The harm that they are going to create for the natural wild life around the pacific north west out ways the amount the of money that they are going to make from the droping of excess coal and rain run off that may leak out into the ocean. The problem is going to start with the the bottom feeders, if the bottom feeders go and it will turn into the domino effect from smallest to biggest. The fish realy on the plankton and the coal so toxic to the planton it will stop the fish population or slow the reproductive rate.the cucumer that live on the ocean floor will also become toxic and it has been big busisness for cucashans and natives that live in PNW and that will have the same affect as the fish. So I ask what are they going to do if they cannot replace these wonderful species and what about the job that they are going to but a stop and the men that rely on their jobs. What are they going do?

Alvina Andussies (#3560)

Date Submitted: 11/20/12
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Alvina & Kurt Andussies (#7521)

Date Submitted: 01/10/13
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Files:

Alwyn Jones (#2506)

Date Submitted: 11/03/12
Location: Lopez Island, WA
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

Alys Kennedy (#2287)

Date Submitted: 11/04/2012
Comment:
I have lived in Whatcom County for nearly three quarters of my life, and currently live only about a mile from the train tracks on the North end of town. The reason I chose to live in this area was because of the quiet small town atmosphere and the access it provided to the beaches and forests of the area. I am deeply concerned that with the addition of 18 coal trains running through Bellingham and other parts of the county that quiet will no longer exist in this area. Already, with the recent increase of more coal trains traveling to B.C. the quiet days and nights have been severely compromised. I find that my sleep is often interrupted by the sound of the trains traveling through my neighborhood; I find that when I am outdoors, either in my garden, or walking a trail, or along the beaches, the quiet serenity of this area is greatly interrupted by the sound of train whistles, the clack-clack and rumble of the wheels on the tracks, and the loud roar of the train engines as they pull the long train through our beautiful town and county. I find this quite stressful, and I am sure it is also stressful for others who live in the area, including the wildlife of this area. Therefore, I am requesting that a study be conducted on the impact noise has on human and wildlife health. Thank you.

Alys Kennedy (#2288)

Date Submitted: 11/04/2012
Comment:
I have lived in Whatcom County for nearly three quarters of my life, and currently live only about a mile from the train tracks on the North end of town. Bellingham, especially the North end of Bellingham, is honeycombed with old, abandoned coal mines. I am deeply concerned that with the addition of 18 coal trains running through this area will create ground vibrations on a frequent, near constant basis. Already, there are people in this area who have issues with sink holes related to the old abandoned mines. Thus, I am requesting that a study be conducted on the impact ground vibration will have from the constant travel of trains through this area . Thank you.

Alys Kennedy (#2289)

Date Submitted: 11/04/2012
Comment:
I have lived in Whatcom County for nearly three quarters of my life, and currently live only about a mile from the water on the North end of town. Bellingham, especially the North end of Bellingham, is honeycombed with old, abandoned coal mines. I am deeply concerned that the frequent passage of huge ships in this area will create vibrations and currents/waves in the water that will have an effect on the old, abandoned coal mines that already have sea water in them from the Sound. Already, there are people in this area who have issues with sink holes related to the old abandoned mines. Thus, I am requesting that a study be conducted on the impact ground vibration will have from the constant travel of these enormous vessels passing through this area on a frequent basis. Thank you.

Alys Kennedy (#2290)

Date Submitted: 11/04/2012
Comment:
I have lived in Whatcom County for nearly three quarters of my life, and currently live only about a mile from the train tracks on the North end of town. I grew up in an area that burned coal for heat and cooking and I am quite aware of the coal dust dirt it creates and the toxicity it creates, even when it is not being burned. I originally moved to Bellingham in the late 1960's because this was a clean, quiet, small town. Over the years Bellingham, like most other places in the U.S. has grown considerably. However, even with all that growth it has remained a pretty clean town - until recently. With the recent increase of coal trains traveling to Canada I have noted that increasing black coal dirt on my car, my house windows and window screens, my porch, my outdoor furniture, and on vegetation in my garden. Now with the prospect of an additional 18 coal trains traveling through this area on a daily basis I am deeply concerned about even more of an increase in coal dust. I am told that there can be some sort of chemical sprayed on the full coal box cars so that the dust will not blow off. Apparently that is not currently being done - and also raises questions about what sort of chemical will be used and whether or not it too is toxic. I want to know, will they also spray the empty coal box cars with this same chemical to prevent the coal dust from the empty box cars from blowing everywhere? I would like a study conducted on what impact coal dust will have in the air, in the water, and on the ground along the tracks and in the surrounding areas will have on human life, wildlife, and plant life in this area and all along the long route the trains will travel. Thank you.

Alysia Privrat (#5730)

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

Alyson Hurlbutt (#14061)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Comment:
Please take a minute to read this letter. I know you've seen it before, have skimmed it, deleted it instead of reading it again... Please read it one more time.

I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington, the transport of strip-mined coal from Montana and Wyoming on trains throughout the Northwest and the export of coal by ship through the Salish Sea and the Pacific Ocean. The proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal would negatively affect communities in the Pacific Northwest by increasing congestion and noise with more coal train traffic, polluting the air and local waterways, harming existing businesses, delaying emergency responders, and damaging aquatic ecosystems and fishing grounds at the terminal site. In addition, the proposal would threaten endangered orcas, salmon and herring, increase high-risk freighter traffic in the Salish Sea and Pacific Ocean -- and thus the potential for serious shipping accidents and oil spills -- and escalate climate change. I urge you to consider these significant impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

There are currently five coal export proposals that would transport as much as 150 million tons of coal annually through the Northwest and the Salish Sea. All the ships from these proposed projects are bound for China, meaning their routes will impact the San Juan Islands, the Strait of Juan de Fuca or the Columbia River, and then Unimak Pass along Alaska’s Aleutian Peninsula. Therefore, I urge the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct an area-wide Environmental Impact Statement to assess the cumulative impact of these proposals.

Alyssa Krafft (#11209)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Nine Mile Falls, WA
Comment:
I, along with my 8 month old son, live in Spokane surrounded by rail lines. This week, as in many weeks of the year, we are suffering from stagnant air conditions that cause air pollution in our city. On these days, I avoid exposing my young son and his developing lungs to the particle pollution in our air due to, among other things, diesel emissions from cars and the existing trains that run right through the heart of our city. I am vehementley opposed to an increase in train traffic through my city by rail cars carrying coal to port terminals on the coast. Not only would the increased train traffic expose my child to significantly more diesel emissions (which have been proven to be a danger by the American Lung Association, the EPA and many other organizations), it would also expose him to dangerous coal dust flying off the train cars (which has also been proven to be a significant health hazard). In the event there was a derailment in or near our community, the results could be devastating to the land, air and our water sources.
Additionally, I am absolutely opposed to the mining of coal from the pristine Powder River Basin area of Montana. We need to be examining clean energy sources instead of relying on dirty coal. The amount of fossil fuel it will take to get this coal to China, where it will be burned by a country with the lowest environmental standards and the worst air pollution in the world, is staggering. The entire project, from start to finish, will absolutely contribute to ocean acidification and global warming. It will put our beautiful puget sound marine life and water at risk. And though it might create some jobs, they will eventually be gone once the coal is gone, which is inevitable. And the ones who will benefit the most are the multinational corporations that will make millions while making our home dirtier and less pleasant to live in. I will not stay in a city that is convoluted with dirty, noisy trains carrying toxic coal to foreign markets. The entire project, from mine to terminal, is dangerous and bad news for all of Washington's citizens.

Alyssa Sleva (#14647)

Date Submitted: 01/16/13
Location: Tacoma, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Amanda Bailey (#6963)

Date Submitted: 01/12/2013
Location: Seattle, Wa
Comment:
I am writing in hopes that you will take into consideration all the people that depend on you to be their voice in regards to the coal trains issue. It is very important that we (all of us involved in these decisions – both making them and living with them) establish the right examples on dealing with energy demands as they are only going to continue to get more difficult.

It is interesting to me that those who are for the coal terminals and shipments from the sprawling strip mines of Montana and Wyoming have a lot to gain monetarily, and yet, those who are opposed are standing up for safety, the environment, a better future and all those things that government spending could instead be going towards. I know that this coal proposal is meant to be an economic gift in these uncertain times, but the gift would not be for us. We have to stick together to stay focused on what we stand for as a city, a state, a region and even a country in order to not only be role models for other peers, but really, for our children who will have to endure the continued climate change issues already beginning to directly effect us from the pollution from China and others developing without regulations in place to protect their own families. Look at where our ozone is thinning. This is not just happenstance!

Let’s get that EIS to give us the data needed as legs to stand on! Let’s protect the people of our cities and ports from the dangers of combustive coal fires and coal dust toxically thick in the air, and instead, focus on what we can do within our communities and regions to improve solar and wind (and tidal/wave) energy systems, look for better forms of storage/battery options, continue to support each other by looking for ways to build safe and healthy neighborhoods that stimulate local economy! Coal is quickly becoming a thing of the past because we are learning from mistakes and making better choices. Coal dust polluting our water, our lungs and our environment is a mistake. Coal trains are not a quick fix to larger world issues of energy usage, depletion of resources, economic uncertainty - they are the mistake. Let’s not make this one happen - beginning with saying no to the Cherry Point Terminal! We all need to agree in order to be successful, so let’s trust and believe in one another that we can get through this together!

Sincerely,

Amanda Bailey
A Seattle resident looking to start a family in a world where people still care about one another

Amanda Bailey (#8589)

Date Submitted: 01/14/13
Comment:
Message:

In regards to the coal trains issue, it is very important that we (all of us involved in these decisions – both making them and living with them) establish the right examples on dealing with energy demands as they are only going to continue to get more difficult.

It is interesting to me that those who are for the coal terminals and shipments from the sprawling strip mines of Montana and Wyoming have a lot to gain monetarily, and yet, those who are opposed are standing up for safety, the environment, a better future and all those things that government spending could instead be going towards. I know that this coal proposal is meant to be an economic gift in these uncertain times, but the gift would not be for us. We have to stick together to stay focused on what we stand for as a city, a state, a region and even a country in order to not only be role models for other peers, but really, for our children who will have to endure the continued climate change issues already beginning to directly effect us from the pollution from China and others developing without regulations in place to protect their own families. Look at where our ozone is thinning. This is not just happenstance!

Let’s get that EIS to give us the data needed as legs to stand on! Let’s protect the people of our cities and ports from the dangers of combustive coal fires and coal dust toxically thick in the air, and instead, focus on what we can do within our communities and regions to improve solar and wind (and tidal/wave) energy systems, look for better forms of storage/battery options, continue to support each other by looking for ways to build safe and healthy neighborhoods that stimulate local economy! Coal is quickly becoming a thing of the past because we are learning from mistakes and making better choices. Coal dust polluting our water, our lungs and our environment is a mistake. Coal trains are not a quick fix to larger world issues of energy usage, depletion of resources, economic uncertainty - they are the mistake. Let’s not make this one happen - beginning with saying no to the Cherry Point Terminal! We all need to agree in order to be successful, so let’s trust and believe in one another that we can get through this together!
Sincerely,

Amanda Bailey
A Seattle resident looking to start a family in a world where people still care about one another

Amanda Goodwin (#6647)

Date Submitted: 01/07/13
Comment:
To Whom It May Concern,
The Cherry Point Coal Terminal project will affect me specifically because my husband, my son and I live in Seattle (in the proposed route) and all suffer from mild asthma, which is aggravated by polluted air. I would like to know how much coal dust will end up in the air around Seattle as a result of this project. I would like the effects of the coal dust on people's health and especially the health of children who already suffer from asthma to be studied. I am also concerned about coal dust settling on farmland along the train route. My family and I eat local fruit and vegetables, and I would like to know how much our health would be affected if coal dust were introduced to the ecosystem. We also drink water, and I the extraction and transport of large quantities of coal may adversely affect the purity of our water and make us sick. I hope the study will not only look at how the extraction and transport of large quantities of coal will affect the surrounding farmland and water supply in ideal conditions, but also in unlooked for accidents and disasters like train wrecks, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions.
My family also rides the train a lot, and I fear this project may crowd out existing passenger trains and eliminate the possibility for enhancing the passenger train system in the future. AMTRAK is a big employer and jobs would be lost if train routes were eliminated. I think the possibility of creating jobs through an expansion of passenger rail would be lost with so many coal trains dominating the rails. Could you include this lost opportunity in your assessment? What's more, I am worried the many coal trains would destroy the scenery for the passenger trains from spilled coal in accidents or coal dust in the air.
I am also a member of Cascade and a cyclist, and many cycling paths go along train tracks. I would like the study to include the impacts on cycling in and around Seattle. I am worried that cycling paths will now be cut off by a never-ending parade of coal trains and that the air where I usually cycle will be unhealthy to breathe. Cycling tourism is a mainstay of the economies of many small towns around Seattle that I visit. If cyclists stop frequenting these small towns because of the inconvenience of being constantly cut off by the coal trains and the dirty air, businesses in these towns that are dependent on visiting cyclists may fail.
Speaking of tourism, my family hosts a constant stream of family and friends that come to Seattle to visit. They come because they have heard that Seattle and its surrounding areas are beautiful. Coal dust may have an adverse effect on the beauty of Seattle and its surroundings, which would directly affect the number of visitors we would have, my family personally and the whole city of Seattle. Can this study include the cosmetic impact this project would have and the economic impacts that would result if Seattle lost its attraction as a beautiful city and tourists stopped coming?
I also ride a bus route that sometimes is delayed by a train blocking the way forward. If this project goes forward, my bus will probably have to be rerouted so as to avoid the train tracks entirely. King County Metro, Seattle's bus system, does not have funds to add 20 extra minutes to all the routes that go over train tracks so as to avoid them. It may have to completely re-work the bus system. Or it may just drastically cut the number of buses that cross the tracks. I would like this study to include the impacts to King County Metro buses and its passengers and the cost of re-routing and infrastructure.
Finally, I would like this study to include the impact to the environment if all of this coal is burned. We already have exceeded the recommended amount of particles of Carbon Dioxide in our atmosphere. Earth's atmosphere is fragile and as a resident of this planet, I would be affected if the whole planet heated up to unliveable temperatures due to an excess of CO2. Even if we are not burning the coal ourselves, we would be responsible for the effects of its burning if we aided its transport. And we would participate in the effects if they were world-wide.
I also request that the impacts of going ahead with this project including all of the long-term environmental, commercial, and human costs it will encompass be placed alongside an analysis of the alternative of doing nothing and leaving the coal in the ground.
Sincerely,
Amanda Goodwin
Seattle resident
Sustainable West Seattle board member

Amanda Grove (#13096)

Date Submitted: 01/20/13
Comment:
I am extremely concerned about the proposed coal export terminal at Cherry Point. I anticipate reasonably foreseeable adverse effects to our community should this be permitted.

Increased train traffic will impact access to the waterfront. Please evaluate the impact to our tourism industry, future waterfront development, emergency response access, and citizens access to parks, recreational opportunities and businesses on the waterfront. In addition, I ask that you evaluate the likely adverse health impact related to coal dust to people living, as I do, near the tracks particularly within 1/4 mile of the tracks.

We as a nation are charged with addressing climate change and policy calls for reduced reliance on coal, yet our county is expected to house an export terminal that will provide coal to China. Please include in the scope for the EIS the carbon dioxide emissions of the coal shipped through GPT over the project's lifetime, and how this additional source of emissions will impact climate change.

I purchased a home in Bellingham and have read that Entrepreneur magazine states small homes near rail lines decrease 5-7% in value. The increased noise and traffic issues related to more trains in our downtown will impact citizens quality of life. Please access the costs to home owners in terms of property values should this project be completed as planned. In addition, please complete a study that identifies the expected taxpayer burden for any railway crossing improvements or associated mitigation.

Thank you,
Amanda Grove

Amanda Lutsock (#14602)

Date Submitted: 01/16/13
Location: Tacoma, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

amanda morgan (#8756)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Location: bellingham, wa
Comment:
I HAVE LIVED IN BELLINGHAM MY ENTIRE LIFE. THE COAL TRAIN PROPOSAL IS JUST OUTRIGHT WRONG AND IRRESPONSIBLE TO ALL RESIDENTS OF WHATCOM COUNTY. WE WILL BECOME A WHORE (EXCUSE THE EXPRESSION) TO THE COAL MINE AND CHERRY POINT PIMPS. DO YOU THINK THESE OWNERS ARE GOING TO LIVE HERE??...OF COURSE NOT!!
WHO WANTS TO LIVE NEXT TO NOISY TRAIN TRACKS!???
I DO NOT WANT OUR RESIDENTS TO BECOME PROSTITUTES.
I DO NOT WANT COAL TRAINS IN OUR CITY......NO! NO! NO!

Amanda Parrish (#5223)

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

Amanda Rudisill (#414)

Date Submitted: 09/25/12
Location: Olympia, WA
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington. This proposal would negatively affect my community by increasing traffic, polluting our air and water, harming existing business, delaying emergency vehicles, increasing shipping traffic and noise, damaging aquatic ecosystems at the terminal site, increasing the potential for serious shipping accidents and exacerbating climate change. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

I grew up in Pennsylvania and I know first hand how filthy coal is.
Coal dust everywhere--incredible pollution. Do not allow this to happen to Washington, The Evergreen State. Do not allow it to become the EVER GREY STATE

Sincerely,

Amanda Sue Rudisill

Amanda Swan (#13699)

Date Submitted: 01/22/13
Location: Spokane, WA
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

Amanda Timmins (#1625)

Date Submitted: 10/29/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Being a lifelong resident of Whatcom County, I have witness the deterioration of the marine environment caused by the increased commerce plied on our Salish Sea. The pristine beauty and abundant sea life has been ever diminished never to return. It breaks my heart to see more destruction even faster given the possibility of this project. Many of us feel absolutely helpless in the face of the pressures being placed upon us from above. I do not understand how these forces have the right to forever ruin what’s left of our communal environment. It brings visions of a Dickensian world so close. We must try to stand up for what we believe is right. It is simply wrong when big money dictates to the small disenfranchised how it will be. Everything about this ‘project’ is wrong; a few short term jobs is not going to sustain the future. Only a clean and safe environment will sustain the future of commerce in Whatcom County. Only people without a conscience will promote coal. Will we wake up only when it’s too late?

Amanda Varona (#4640)

Date Submitted: 12/13/2012
Comment:
I'm furious that this train is being considered and planned for. In addition to all the other attendent troubles, we have record numbers of children with asthma. That, alone, should keep this project out of our communities, and the fact that it is being considered has more to do with corporate profits than our communities' health.

We will not go quietly into that good night, and the trouble that will ensue if this is approved will cost the monied interests more than they planned on, you can count on that.

Say NO to this dead and dying industry and let's focus our attention and energy and resources on the future, on sustainable forms of energy that will bring good, long-lasting jobs in the future, energy that won't kill us.

Amanda Varona (#4704)

Date Submitted: 12/12/12
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
Dear Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Ecology and Whatcom County Council:

I am furious that this coal export train is being considered. There are record numbers of children with asthma and the inevitable coal dust will further harm their health. That, alone, should be enough to say no to corporate interests who want this coal train running through towns and neighborhoods,in their last dying gasp of this dying energy source. Wake up!

I believe the protests that could come if this is approved would cost far more than profits earned. We will not give up or give in. Coal is a dead and dying industry. Let's move on to other healthier, sustainable forms of energy for our jobs.

amanda varona
900 N. 73rd Street
Seattle, WA 98103

Amanda Wedow (#7150)

Date Submitted: 01/13/2013
Location: Lopez Island, WA
Comment:
I am a wildlife biologist and nature enthusiast that observes and monitors bird populations in the San Juan Islands. Seabirds, whether migratory or residents, utilize the region for habitat, foraging, and nesting. Recent scientific studies have noted significant declines of seabirds in the Salish Sea over the last thirty years. This includes 11 birds listed as Washington state species of concern for sensitive, threatened, endangered, or a candidate for listing. The current system is already fragile for these species, and I am concerned about further impacts to their environment. The EIS should measure vessel impact (noise, traffic, and potential oil spills) on marine bird habitat, nesting sites, and foraging resources. What would be required to mitigate these impacts (if possible) and who will pay for them?

Amara Zee (#2662)

Date Submitted: 11/03/12
Location: Friday Harbor, WA
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

Amaya Garcia- Costas (#13451)

Date Submitted: 01/21/13
Location: Billings, MT
Comment:
Hello,

I am a resident of Billings, Montana. I live about 2 miles from the rail road, and probably have to cross it for one reason or another a couple times a week. I am concerned about the plans to build and expand more coal export terminals in the West Coast, and how that is going to impact train traffic through Billings. Our City council and other elected leaders have taken three or four years just to agree on where to put lights on the streets to alert drivers about traffic disruption due to trains. They have no resources or, really, viable ideas on what to do if our train traffic increases due to this coal export. The citizens of Billings need help. I am asking for my city to be included in any studies on the impacts of these trains so that we know what it is that we need to plan for, including air quality changes.

Thank you,

Amaya

Amaya M. Garcia Costas, Ph.D.
Office 131
Department of Biological and Physical Sciences
Montana State University-Billings

Amber Favro (#11720)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Bellingham, wa
Comment:
Greetings, we are Bellingham High students in Bellingham, Washington. We are concerned that the coal train will have a negative impact on our food supply, because we believe that the coal dust will be a hazard to our cities health. In response, we would like to know how the coal dust will stay sealed in the trains while transporting the coal.
The significance of the food crops constantly dusted by coal dust by passing by trains has a high risk on our health. While the crops are growing, the soil will be negatively affected. The coal dust could affect people health, being ingested and inhaled in the air. It could also affect insects in crops. The farmers’ incomes could also be negatively affected.
With this concerns, we have found that the National Geographic Daily News have supported that the coal trains would be running back and forth from the powder river Basin of Wyoming to carry coal to the new port. “The trains pass just a few hundred yards from the craft and vegetable stands of the Bellingham Farmers Market.” Our crops and food are in danger by the GPT project and this frequent use could potentially cause health hazards. However, to mitigate these concerns, we can make sure that the trains would be covered and sealed. With that, to be sure, we can do some test runs with risk free products to reassure that the coal will be sealed in the trains.
Taking consideration of this concern, please study how building this project will have an effect on our city by reliable sources and reliable data, because we want to be sure that we will have a positive outcome to our city.

Amber Joy (#479)

Date Submitted: 09/25/12
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
I just have to say WE NEED TO STOP/SLOW DOWN the use of dirty energy.
We have to stop it now. We've put it off for too long and much damage has been done to air, water and lungs. We just can't afford to keep putting off these tough decisions.
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington. This proposal would negatively affect my community by increasing traffic, polluting our air and water, harming existing business, delaying emergency vehicles, increasing shipping traffic and noise, damaging aquatic ecosystems at the terminal site, increasing the potential for serious shipping accidents and exacerbating climate change. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

Sincerely,

Amber Joy

Amber Joy (#4046)

Date Submitted: 12/06/2012
Location: Seattle, Wa
Comment:
Energy that destroys the earth and poisons people. Jobs that destroy the earth and poison people are not the kind of jobs we need.

All of the above is a huge worry. "Corporate Coal" has proven to be bad employers and mountaintop removal is CRAZY. If the producers cannot/willnot mine in a responsible manner then we don't want them.

Amber Joy (#4343)

Date Submitted: 12/07/12
Location: SEattle, WA
Comment:
Dec 7, 2012

Army Corps of Engineers and Department of Ecology WA

Dear Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Ecology: Army Corps of Engineers and Department of Ecology,

Coal is poisoning the earth and the people who live on it. In the mining and use and moving of it we are being poisoned. We need to invest NOW in clean energy so we can figure it out. We are destroyed the planet and ourselves.
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington and transporting strip-mined coal from Montana and Wyoming on trains and ships throughout the Northwest. It would increase traffic, pollute our air and water, harm small businesses, delay emergency vehicles, and increase hipping traffic and noise. The coal export terminal would also hurt our environment by damaging aquatic ecosystems at the terminal site, increasing the potential for serious shipping accidents, and exacerbating climate change. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

There are currently five coal export proposals that would transport as much as 150 million tons through the Northwest. I urge the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct an area wide Environmental Impact Statement to assess the cumulative impact of these proposals.

Sincerely,

Amber Joy
1005 Terrace St Apt 1105
Seattle, WA 98104-2415
(206) 111-1111

Amber Matter (#7406)

Date Submitted: 01/14/2013
Location: Redmond, Wa
Comment:
I object to the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal at Cherry Point, outside bellingham for enviromental and human health reasons. The End

Amber Parmley (#8531)

Date Submitted: 01/17/2013
Location: East Wenatchee, WA
Comment:
Please consider the economic and environmental effect transportation of coal has through and around our area in which we have many rivers (Columbia and others). The increased train traffic will greatly impact our businesses that are located along the river and railroad tracks, and any spills and on-going dust will greatly affect the human as well as wildlife populations. Any effects will have astronomical, long term affects on the tourism industry.

Please do not allow transportation of coal through Washington State and the northwest.

Amber Suddaby (#4103)

Date Submitted: 12/05/12
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Ambika Kellems (#9034)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
I moved to Whatcom county several years ago because of the beauty, peace, nature and recreational opportunities available here. I have worked in Bellingham as a health caretaker and am very concerned about the health and climate effects of the projected coal terminals on the west coast.

The project application for GPT alone calls for the export of 48 million tons of coal annually to burned in Asia and that will be greatly magnified if more or all of the projected terminals are operating. Coal-fired plants are known to be the greatest source of the emissions exacerbating climate change.

Plus the increased rail and vessel traffic with their diesel and gas emissions will also contribute to climate impacts.

Please include in the EIS the impacts on climate that would occur due to the mining, shipping, and burning of coal on ocean acidification, acid rain, greenhouse gas emissions, mercury emissions and particulate matter pollution.

This evaluation must be part of a comprehensive study that includes the aggregated impacts that would occur if all five proposed coal terminals were constructed and operating at proposed maximum volumes, which would result in an estimated 40-50 additional trains daily through much of the rail corridor from mining sites to the coast and an estimated 974 transits per year of coal ships.

Ambika Kellems (#9037)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
I moved to Whatcom county several years ago because of the beauty, peace, nature and recreational opportunities available here. I have worked in Bellingham as a health caretaker and I now have a newborn great-grandson here. I am very concerned about the health effects of the projected coal terminals on the west coast.

I request that the EIS include a comprehensive and cumulative Health Impact Assessment, to include:

(1) Impact of air pollution from diesel-powered trains and ships transporting coal from the mines through the various rail corridors to the proposed coal terminals on the west coast;

(2) Impact of air pollution from the coal dust and its heavy metal contaminants, from the mining, shipping, storage and loading/unloading at the terminals;

(3) Impact of toxins (mercury, for one) that will blow back to the west coast from coal combustion in Asia;

(4) Impact of noise pollution from the increased rail and vessel traffic on cognitive development and performance of children, on mental health, on the quality of sleep.

Known health risks from the above air pollutants include cancer, heart disease, stroke, and chronic lung diseases (asthma, emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis, lung development in children and adolescents). Children, teens and the elderly are especially vulnerable. Known health risks from mercury and lead are impairment of neurological development. Infants, children and pregnant women are particularly at risk.

To be worth truly reflecting the impacts, this study should include all air and noise pollution from the mining sites, along all involved rail corridors, and at all projected coal terminals at full operating capacities. It should determine how many excess deaths and hospitalizations and cancers would be expected to occur, should measure lost life expectancy and should determine the projected financial costs to the affected persons, their insurance programs and the public.

Ambika Kellems (#9067)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
One of the reasons I moved to Whatcom county was its proximity to the Salish Sea, the San Juan Islands, the Orcas and dolphins and the fishing opportunities (the latter for my son and grandson). I am very concerned about the impacts on this area from the projected coal terminal at Cherry Point, which apparently is to be located right in the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve.

Please include in the EIS a comprehensive study of the various impacts that the construction and operation of the proposed GPT would have on the diverse and extensive aquatic and marine resources, both along the projected routes of the coal ships and at the site of the GPT terminal itself.

I request that this study include:

(1) Impacts of the construction of the terminal, including sea-floor disturbance, increased turbidity, noise from pile-driving and seismic surveys:
--on the vegetated shallows, eelgrass beds and kelp beds and their ability to provide habitat and nursery functions for the diverse ecosystem of Cherry Point,
--on the fishery resources for salmon, lingcod and crab fisheries (commercial, tribal and recreational), particularly but not limited to the pacific herring population which is already greatly reduced;

(2) Impacts of the standard operation of the terminal, including permanent shading from the pier and wharf, toxins from the outfall pipes, night lighting and noise from vessel and loading operations:
--on the vegetated shallows and eelgrass and kelp beds and their ability to provide habitat and nursery functions for the diverse ecosystem of Cherry Point,
--on the fishery resources for salmon, lingcod and crab fisheries (commercial, tribal and recreational), particularly but not limited to the pacific herring population which is already greatly reduced;

(3) Impacts of the contamination of coal dust and the high PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) it includes from up to 48 tons of coal in uncovered piles or lost during loading, including the increased risks during wind, surf, storms and earthquakes:
-- on the vegetated shallows and eelgrass and kelp beds and their ability to provide habitat and nursery functions for the diverse ecosystem of Cherry Point,
--on the forage fish resources for salmon, lingcod and crab fisheries (commercial, tribal and recreational), particularly but not limited to the pacific herring population which is already greatly reduced,
--on the various species already on the endangered or threatened species' lists, including Puget Sound Chinook salmon, Nooksack Coastal cutthroat trout, Puget Sound bull trout, Puget Sound steelhead trout, Southern Resident Orcas and the gray whale, and on their food sources,
--on marine mammals such as whales, Orcas, seals and porpoises and on their food sources;

(4) Impacts of spills, including both direct spills of coal into the water during loading or other operations and direct spills of fuel or oil:
--on the vegetated shallows and eelgrass and kelp beds and their ability to provide habitat and nursery functions for the diverse ecosystem of Cherry Point,
--on the forage fish resources for salmon, lingcod and crab fisheries,
--on the various species already on the endangered or threatened species' lists and on their food sources,
--on marine mammals such as whales, Orcas, seals and porpoises and on their food sources;

(5) Impact of invasive species on the outside of vessels or in discharge of ballast water:
--on the vegetated shallows and eelgrass and kelp beds,
--on the forage fish resources,
--on the various species already on the endangered or threatened species' lists,
--on marine mammals such as whales, Orcas, seals and porpoises.

Ambika Kellems (#9440)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
I moved to Whatcom county several years ago because of the beauty, peace, nature and recreational opportunities available here. I have worked in Bellingham as a home health caregiver and am very concerned about the economic effects of the projected coal terminals on the west coast.

I ask that the EIS study the economic impacts on all communities and businesses that would be affected by the proposed west coast terminals, from the mining sites through the various rail corridors to the various projected coal terminals and through the marine corridors to Asia.

At minimum, this study should include:

(1) Impacts on businesses along rail corridors and near the proposed terminals, including:
--disruption of client traffic to and from the businesses,
--disruption of delivery of goods to the businesses,
--impact of increased noise,
--increased need for cleaning of resultant coal dust;

(2) Impacts on commercial, tribal and recreational fisheries including:
--impacts of coal dust, diesel particulate and other emissions from ships and terminal machinery on fish stocks and marine resources,
--impacts of disruption of fishing routes and practices due to increased shipping traffic;

(3) Impacts on agricultural productivity, including:
--impacts of soil and water contamination due to coal dust and other pollutants from increased rail traffic on crops, livestock, reproduction capabilities,
--impacts of rail lines disrupting connections between fields,
--loss of water available for irrigation due to demands for water from the terminal operation;

(4) Impacts on tourism, including:
--disruption of accessibility to waterfront areas,
--disruption of ferry service and its ability to maintain schedules,
--impact of noise pollution,
--impact of loss of wildlife,
--impact of loss of reputation for environmental stewardship, fishing, recreational opportunities, desirability as retirement location;

(5) Health costs of increased incidences of respiratory disease, heart disease, cancer and death due to increased air, water and soil contamination from rail traffic, coal dust, ship traffic, terminal operations, etc.;

(6) Costs to the taxpayers for rail crossings upgrades and other improvements needed for public safety;

(7) Impact of having approximately 1500 acres of HII (heavy impact industrial zoned land) dedicated to coal storage and buffer zones, which would provide the least labor intensive use of all commodities and which would also forestall future options because of contamination.

I further request that these impacts be part of a comprehensive study that includes the aggregated impacts that would occur if all five proposed coal terminals were constructed and operating at proposed maximum volumes, which would result in an estimated 40-50 additional trains daily through much of the rail corridor from mining sites to the coast and an estimated 974 transits per year of coal ships.

Ambika Kellems (#9447)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
One of the reasons I moved to Whatcom county was its proximity to the Salish Sea, the San Juan Islands, the Orcas and dolphins and the fishing opportunities (the latter for my son and grandson). I am very concerned about the impacts on this area from the projected coal terminal at Cherry Point, where giant bulk carrier coal ships would make approximately 950 transits per year if the GPT were constructed.

I ask that a comprehensive study of the various impacts of increased marine traffic be included in the EIS and that this study include all areas impacted from the multiple proposed coal terminals on the west coast and through the proposed routes of the coal ships.

At minimum, this study needs to include:

(1) Impact on other marine traffic:
--including freight carriers, ferries, commercial fishing, and recreational boating,
--including safety issues such as increased risks of collisions and interference issues such as abilities of other marine traffic to maintain schedules and routes,
--including impact on available anchorages, including docking and undocking at the BP refinery and Alcoa wharves;

(2) Impact on the health and sustainability of the marine ecosystems, orca population, birds and crab, herring and salmon fisheries:
--including the risks of collision and/or interference with maneuverability of Orcas and whales,
--including disruption of marine mammals' ability to communicate with one another and to find food;

(3) Impact of an oil and/or coal spill (in an industry with a high rate of both safety incidents and structural failures) from coal ships carrying up to two million gallons of bunker fuel and limited by poor maneuverability:
--including impacts on marine life and ecosystems, fisheries, shoreline communities, tourism and Puget Sound economy,
--including the budget cuts facing the WA oil spill response team.
--including the cumulative effects with the "slow speed" spill of toxins entering the water from the oil refineries in Puget Sound;

(4) Impact of ballast and potential non-native, invasive species being discharged into Washington waters;

(5) Impact of increased air pollution from diesel-powered ships, including the health of humans and wildlife, the health of our economy and tourism;

(6) Impact of acute and chronic noise pollution:
--including the effects of the disruption of whale and dolphin communications,
--on the health of humans,
--on the health of wildlife and marine ecosystems,
--on the tourism industry.

I further request that these impacts be part of a comprehensive study that includes the aggregated impacts that would occur if all three of the proposed coal terminals in Washington were constructed and operating at proposed maximum volumes, in addition to the British Columbia facilities, which would result in an estimated 974 transits of giant bulk carriers every year calling on Washington ports.

Ambika Kellems (#9451)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
I moved to Whatcom county several years ago because of the beauty, peace, nature and recreational opportunities available here. I have worked in Bellingham as a home health caregiver and am currently retired. Since I live within a few miles of the rail line near Ferndale, I am very concerned about the increased rail traffic that will occur if the GPT is constructed and operating.

I request that the EIS include a comprehensive study of the impacts of increased rail traffic and that this study include all areas impacted from the mining sites through the various rail corridors to the multiple proposed coal terminals on the west coast.

Please include in this study:

(1) Impacts on other rail users for non-coal freight and for passenger service, including safety issues and abilities to maintain schedules and ability to maintain rail beds,

(2) Impacts on patients and emergency responders facing critical delays at crossings closed for passage of long coal trains,

(3) Impacts on vehicular and pedestrian access to waterfront areas due to more frequent and longer crossing closures, including access for/to businesses, ferries and recreational areas,

(4) Impact on the rail bed from unusually long, heavy and frequent trains, including cumulative damage from weight, vibration and coal dust accumulation and including known increased risks of derailment due to coal dust accumulation in the rail bed,

(5) Impact of the weight and vibration of such trains on the stability of the rail corridor in areas prone to mudslides, including cumulative effects over time,

(6) Impact on property in the rail corridors, including cumulative, long-term damage to the integrity of structures from vibration and coal dust and including impact on property values from same,

(7) Evaluation of the cost to the taxpayers for the direct and indirect costs of any upgrades of crossings or expansions of rail lines, of safety measures and of public health expenses,

(8) Impact of chronic noise exposure, including increased train whistles, sound of wheels on the tracks, and screeching of braking, on the health and quality of life of humans and wildlife and its effects on tourism and property values within hearing distance,

(9) Impact on public health due to the increased likelihood and severity of train/vehicle collisions involving long and heavy coal trains,

(10) Impact of likelihood of increased train derailments due to coal dust accumulation in the road bed, increased risks of mudslides, increased risk of collisions, and increased damage to the rails from the increased rail traffic,

(11) Impact on the health of people and of the environment from a hazardous waste dump on either land or into water (or both) due to derailment or collision.

To give an accurate picture, the study must include the aggregated impacts of increased rail traffic that would occur if all five proposed coal terminals were constructed, causing an estimated 40-50 additional trains daily through many of the rail corridors.

Amelia Pryor (#2056)

Date Submitted: 10/27/12
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Amelia Pryor (#8473)

Date Submitted: 01/17/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I live in retirement in a small house on the bluff above Bellingham. I can see the bay and some islands.
My major concerns are that the regulatory apparatus we are using to make this decision to disrupt our environment forever is flawed. We need more detailed studies before we even consider releasing this havoc onto our beloved land and sea. The only jobs may well be the cleaning up of environmental disasters. Our citizens deserve better.
Amelia Pryor
2512 Monroe Street
Bellingham, WA 998225

amerinda alpern (#8100)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Comment:
My concern is that the scoping be large enough to include the site where the coal is mined, the route that the coal must travel, the transferring of the coal material to barges, trains and/or ships. It must also include the endpoint burning of the coal and the air quality impact it will have as the pollution blows back to the West Coast. Anything less, does not accurately describe to total impact on all populations and the total environment as a whole.

Amina Giles (#5519)

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

Amy Amy Andersen Ross (#4769)

Date Submitted: 12/14/2012
Location: Edmonds, WA
Comment:
I live near the train tracks in an area deemed by the City of Edmonds as a Hazardous Landslide Area. When large, heavy trains run all the homes in this area shake, tremble and rattle. This is a big concern for the stability of the ground with potential of the loosening of soil and landslides.
Attached Image:

Amy Britton (#5256)

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

Amy Bruce (#5583)

Date Submitted: 12/30/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Will you please study the impact of traffic delays a grade rail crossings due to increased rail traffic and the impact that the increased traffic will have on the environment around those crossings.

Amy Bruce (#5584)

Date Submitted: 12/30/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Will you please study the impact of increased acidification of coastal waters due to fugitive coal dust from the coal pile at Cherry Point and ship loading at the terminal.

Amy Bruce (#5585)

Date Submitted: 12/30/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Will you please study the impact of collisions and spills in the Salish Sea due to increased ship traffic.

Amy Bruce (#5586)

Date Submitted: 12/30/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Will you please study the impact of the environmental and health impacts due to increased diesel particulates from trains and ships servicing the Gateway Pacific terminal.

Amy Bruce (#5587)

Date Submitted: 12/30/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Will you please study the impact on the decreasing herring population in the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve which feeds our salmon population.

Amy Bruce (#5588)

Date Submitted: 12/30/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Will you please study the impact on the salmon migratory corridors in the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve.

Amy Bruce (#5589)

Date Submitted: 12/30/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Will you please study the impact of the Gateway Pacific Terminal on the marine mammals (seals, otters, etc) in the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve.

Amy Bruce (#5590)

Date Submitted: 12/30/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Will you please study the impact of the Gateway Pacific Terminal on the freshwater wetlands adjacent to the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve.

Amy Bruce (#5591)

Date Submitted: 12/30/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Will you please study the impact of United States natural resources (coal) being shipped to China.

Amy Bruce (#5592)

Date Submitted: 12/30/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Will you please study the effects of burning coal on the increase in global warming.

Amy Bruce (#5593)

Date Submitted: 12/30/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Will you please study the effects of burning coal that is shipped from the Gateway Pacific Terminal on the population of China living near Chinese power plants.

Amy Bruce (#5594)

Date Submitted: 12/30/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Will you please study the effects of Gateway Pacific Terminal on all of the valuable ecological resources of the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve.

Amy Bruce (#5595)

Date Submitted: 12/30/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Will you please study the effects that mining the coal to be shipped will have on the areas where it is mined.

Amy Clark (#13427)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Yakima, WA
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington. This terminal would negatively affect my community by increasing train traffic, idling car congestion at railroad crossings, polluting our air and water, harming existing business, delaying emergency vehicles, increasing shipping traffic and noise, damaging aquatic ecosystems at the terminal site, increasing the potential for serious shipping accidents and exacerbating climate change. I do not believe that a huge coal export terminal is a wise choice for our national or regional future. The terminal itself will contribute to increased climate change through pollution. However, coal used in Asia will increase climate change in large ways, damaging the health and environment of the emerging world but also the health
and environment of all in the world. Please consider these larger
regional and world impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

Amy Driver (#14637)

Date Submitted: 01/16/13
Location: Olympia, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Amy E (#1981)

Date Submitted: 10/28/12
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Amy Glasser (#89)

Date Submitted: 09/26/2012
Location: Custer, WA
Comment:
Regarding: GPT project, Cherry Point, WA, specifically the Custer Spur

Scoping comment: Please study the significant impact smoldering or burning coal cars parked/idling directly next other types of cargo trains waiting on the Custer Spur will have on the environment. Other trains have highly combustible materials in them and we know that coal cars spontaneously combust.

My husband and I live directly next to the Custer Spur and we will be significantly impacted if the GPT project is approved. We live across the street where the BNSF plans to build additional side rails to park and maintain trains heading to Cherry Point. The plans that I have reviewed indicate additional side rails will be built along the spur, specifically between Portal Way and Ham Road. Currently there are already trains that are parked across the street on the 1 existing side rail a short ways up from the Ham Road crossing east. These trains are often loaded with flammable liquids. If the terminal is built, the additional backed up trains will be loaded with coal on some trains and combustibles on others. We know that coal cars are combustible and smolder frequently. This extreme heat would be in close proximity to the other trains idling next to them just feet away. I am very concerned that the radiant or direct heat (if one of the cars is on fire) coming from the coal cars could affect the contents of the other trains parked and potentially ignite those other cars.
In addition to the Custer Spur side rails; there will be many other locations along the route that will also be subjected to coal cars parked/idling next to other highly combustible material for many hours at a time. The increased coal cars all along the route from Cherry Point to the Powder River Basin should be studied to fully understand the risks that may occur.
Please study the impacts of smoldering and actually in flames coal cars parked next to other train cars containing different types of flammable gases and liquids.

Amy Glasser (#90)

Date Submitted: 09/26/2012
Location: Custer, WA
Comment:
Regarding: GPT project, Cherry Point, WA.

Scoping comment: Please study the significant impacts that an additional 18 trains per day, blocking crossings for between 6 and 10 minutes will have on emergency vehicles getting to their destination in a timely fashion.

My husband and I live next to the Custer Spur and will be directly impacted if the GPT project is approved. I am also a Social Worker/Mental Health Therapist and I work with children and adults of all ages, many of whom have compromised health.
As my family and friends age, I am concerned that if there is an emergency for me, my family or my neighbors, the responder will not be able to get to the person in time to save their life. It is minutes and seconds that count and if the emergency responders must turn around to take a different route, when they are stopped by a 10 minutes train, people may die. I currently count 125 cars that go by my home and that takes about 5 minutes. The coal trains will have 150 cars and will probably go slower (coal is heavier and the cars are more at risk of derailment). The emergency responders will have to turn around and hopefully the train will not be blocking the next crossing by the time they get there. On the 17th of July at about 1:30 in the afternoon a train was traveling by and stopped on the tracks as I was leaving for work. There was a man from BNSF in a truck at the crossing and when the train actually stopped on the track and didn’t move, he said to me laughing “this is going to be a while”. An inconvenience for me but what if I was an EMT and had already waited 5 minutes and then the train just stopped?
There are 120+ cities along the train route in Washington and all those cities will be affected by the additional blocking of crossings 18 more times a day for up to 10 minutes each time the train goes by. If there is an incident where the train is backed up, the wait can be longer. The result of not getting to a home or person for an emergency can result in death or serious health damage. Other consequences could be a home burned down, the police may be too late to prevent an assault or find the offender if they are waiting 10 minutes at a crossing, or a person drowns and the responder is too late to save the person. Our county only has 5 deputies. They already have a lot of ground to cover and they would be further hampered by additional blocked crossings. We already see trains waiting on I-5, near the waterfront and on the Custer Spur. 18 more trains will only add to the delays.
The only way to mitigate this potentially life threatening concern is to build overpasses or underpasses at all the crossings. The cost of this would be impossible to bear for a county of our size.
Please consider and study how our community and those all along the train route will be affected by these long waits 18 more times a day and measure the time delays and then assess if the danger to human health is worth the “200” jobs we may see in 10 years (if anyone wants coal in 10 years).

Supporting Documents:

From coaltrainfacts.org community involvement, doctors
APPENDIX E: Anticipated Impacts of Frequent Long Trains on
Emergency Medical Service Response Times and Risk of Injuries at
Crossings
In the modern medical era, a five to ten minute delay in emergency medical
service (EMS) response time can make the difference between life and death, particularly for cardiovascular events, respiratory emergencies, and trauma. The prospect of an additional eighteen trains per day – each 1.5 miles long—threatens to substantially increase the chances of critical delay in provision of emergency services to several areas in our county.
Among the locations where citizens are at greatest risk of EMS delays are the
arterial roads in western Whatcom County—particularly Birch Bay-Lynden Road and
Slater Road. These roads are highly traveled by EMS and other vehicles. Thus, frequent prolonged closures could have a life-threatening impact. While there are alternative routes around any one crossing at these locations, the detours themselves are long and would still result in significantly prolonged emergency response times.
Other affected locations include multiple highly visited areas along the
Bellingham waterfront. Access to the downtown waterfront is significantly limited whe
D and F streets are simultaneously closed by rail traffic, as alternate routes are long and inconvenient. Boulevard Park, Fairhaven Harbor, and Marine Park are completely cut off when trains pass through the Fairhaven area. Similarly, several Chuckanut residential neighborhoods and parts of Larrabee Park are completely cut off from services while trains pass.
While the impact of EMS delays is of considerable concern in Whatcom County,
it may be an even greater problem for neighboring Skagit and Snohomish Counties that have a greater number of arterials that will be interrupted by rail traffic.

Web searchable database at:
http://safetydata.fra.dot.gov/OfficeofSafety/publicsite/Query/statsSas.aspx

Amy Glasser (#91)

Date Submitted: 09/26/2012
Location: Custer, WA
Comment:
Regarding: GPT project, Cherry Point, WA.

Scoping comment: Please consider the financial impacts the community taxpayers will bear from the rail improvements and construction that will occur if the terminal is built.

My husband and I are homeowners and taxpayers in the county and have been for the past 9 years. I am also a social worker/therapist in this community and see that services to my clients are being cut due to decreasing tax revenue. Our property taxes keep increasing and fees increase but we still do not have the money to provide for the basic needs of our citizens. SSA Marine claims this project will bring a lot of revenue to the community however I do not see that as possible when BNSF does not pay the majority of costs to improve and upgrade rail lines. I would like you to study where the money will come from to build the necessary railroad improvements for this huge project. As I taxpayer, I do not want my tax dollars going to a project that has a mission to ship 48 million tons of coal to Asian. On a local or global level, this is not healthy.
I have been researching how much BNSF are required to pay for rail upgrades, improvements and repairs and the number is stunning. BNSF has sued coal companies for the damage the coal has on their tracks so clearly the tracks will require continuous cleaning to be safe and who will pay for that? The railroad is only required to pay minimal amounts of the costs of upgrades, repairs and maintenance, so again, please study who will pay. History shows us that accidents or incidents that large corporations are responsible for result in years of litigation when we try to get these corporations to pay the cost of cleanup and mitigation after the fact. Who will pay?
There will be over 120 communities that will be required to pay the cost of the rail work, even when they have absolutely no change of receiving any possible revenue. The cost to these cities must also be studied when deciding if this project is in the best interest of the people and the communities they live in.
Please study the costs of rail work that will be required to accommodate a project of this magnitude from Cherry Point to the Powder River Basin and analyze whether we will in fact increase our revenues or, as I propose, spent more than we get.
If the costs of this project are not borne by BNSF and SSA Marine, then clearly we cannot afford this venture financially, let alone for many other reasons that will be identified in other comments.

Amy Glasser (#106)

Date Submitted: 09/27/2012
Location: Custer, WA
Comment:
Regarding: GPT project, Cherry Point, WA.

Scoping comment: Please study the impact of 9 fully loaded trains of coal traveling by daily on the stability of the land, and the foundations of houses that are in close proximity to the tracks.

I live on the Custer Spur along with my family. I chose to live next to the track but I did not anticipate that the railroad would be transporting 18 more trains a day carrying 48+ million tons of heavy coal by my home yearly. We will be directly impacted if the GPT project is approved. We can feel the vibrations of the trains from at least ¼ mile away depending on the season. The wetter the season, the more we can feel the vibrations as we are surrounded by wetlands. Our neighbors from up the street can feel their home vibrate. I am concerned about the significant impact the increased trains will have on the foundations of the homes along the train route.
Our home is on flat land however the homes on Chuckanut Drive and many other roads along the route are not on flat land and in fact their homes are on cliffs and hillsides overlooking the train tracks.
Please study the geography of the train route to determine the impact the 18 additional trains (9 fully loaded with coal) will have on the structural integrity of homes. At a minimum, homes may need expensive repair and a worst case scenario is the home slides down the hillside and it is a total loss and people are injured or killed.

Amy Glasser (#144)

Date Submitted: 09/30/2012
Location: Custer , WA
Comment:
Regarding: GPT project, Cherry Point, WA.

Scoping comment: Please consider and study the significant impacts on sleep from the noise created by 18 trains blowing horns at crossings throughout the night.

My name is Amy Glasser. My husband, 2 dogs and I live on the Custer Spur (at a crossing and across from where the rail yard is proposed to be built) and will be directly impacted if the GPT project is approved. I am also a Social Worker/Mental Health Therapist and I work with children and adults of all ages. I would like the EIS to examine the impact of noise at the crossings next to and near homes, day care centers and hospitals (all locations that entail people sleeping/napping).
I am concerned that the noise pollution from 18 additional trains will result in increased sleep disturbances and the related health consequences associated with sleep deprivation (even if the person does not actually wake up from the train horns).
I have attached many references that identify the expected consequences of this level of disturbance for all people along the train line, from Cherry Point to Montana and Wyoming. Risks include but are not limited to higher risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and a lack of focus at school, on the road, and on the job. As a mental health therapist a good majority of my clients have sleep difficulties which result in increased depression, irritability, lethargy and stress. The additional 18 trains per day will exacerbate the already huge problem.
The emergent consequences that I would like you to evaluate is the cost to society and human life when the driver has a severe crash from being tired because the train kept waking him up throughout the night. Or the parent who cannot get a good night sleep loses patience with his/her child and abuses them. Or the man with a heart condition dies from a heart attack that was induced by a lack of sleep from the noise pollution. All unintended but not unforeseen.
One of the long term unintended consequences can be seen in the financial cost of the increased medical care (both physical and mental health) that will be paid by the people, employees and the government (our tax dollars) when people require increased medical care from sleep deprivation.
I would suggest that the EIS evaluation the mitigation options that will be useful but quite expensive to the county and along the route. We could request that BNSF build overpasses/underpasses throughout the route from Cherry Point to Montana and Wyoming. They could use high technology and have cameras and alert systems that tell conductors when cars are approaching and then the newly installed gates come down and the horn is sounded at the crossing (not hundreds of yards in advance), only if the cameras show that a car is not stopping for the crossing. They can build quiet zones in urban areas. They could close off some low use roads to emergency vehicles only (the gates can only be raised by an emergency vehicle). They could install traffic lights at crossing with cameras on them. The conductors can remotely change the light to red so drivers will stop (like they do at regular traffic lights without a horn blaring) . If they see cars going through the light, then they can use their horns to warn the traffic to stop. All of these options would probably offset any revenue we may get as the railroad is not required to pay for the work on the above mitigation options. But these are ways to mitigate the noise issue. This would also not mitigate the increased noise from screeching train wheels as coal is a lot heavier and causes more noise from the trains in general. This cannot be mitigated at all unless the trains are only half full of coal (possibly less noisy).
I would like to see you consider an alternative to this project all together that will generate revenue and create jobs short and long term. We can build assembly plants for wind turbines and then build a huge windmill farm at the Cherry Point, BP area. Eminent domain could be used if BP won’t agree that there land near Cherry Point should be used for the greater good. We would have clean energy, no noise pollution to people (no homes are there), no other health consequences to people, animals and the environment and maybe become the 1st county in the country to power our own county with wind (community owned perhaps).

Thank you for considering this potential impact when drafting the EIS.


Amy Glasser

Supporting Documents

1.
The Relationship Between Sleep and Health
Not getting enough sleep can have profound consequences on a daily and potentially long-term basis for your health and mental well-being.
We all have some sense of the relationship between sleep and our ability to function throughout the day. After all, everyone has experienced the fatigue, bad mood, or lack of focus that so often follow a night of poor sleep. What many people do not realize is that a lack of sleep—especially on a regular basis—is associated with long-term health consequences, including chronic medical conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease, and that these conditions may lead to a shortened life expectancy. Additional research studies show that habitually sleeping more than nine hours is also associated with poor health.
Researching the Link Between Sleep Duration and Chronic Disease
There are three main types of study that help us understand the links between sleep habits and the risk of developing certain diseases. The first type (called sleep deprivation studies) involves depriving healthy research volunteers of sleep and examining any short-term physiological changes that could trigger disease. Such studies have revealed a variety of potentially harmful effects of sleep deprivation usually associated with increased stress, such as increased blood pressure, impaired control of blood glucose, and increased inflammation.

The second type of research (called cross-sectional epidemiological studies) involves examining questionnaires that provide information about habitual sleep duration and the existence of a particular disease or group of diseases in large populations at one point in time. For example, both reduced and increased sleep duration, as reported on questionnaires, are linked with hypertension, diabetes, and obesity. However, cross-sectional studies cannot explain how too little or too much sleep leads to disease because people may have a disease that affects sleep, rather than a sleep habit that causes a disease to occur or worsen.

The third and most convincing type of evidence that long-term sleep habits are associated with the development of numerous diseases comes from tracking the sleep habits and disease patterns over long periods of time in individuals who are initially healthy (i.e., longitudinal epidemiological studies). We do not yet know whether adjusting one’s sleep can reduce the risk of eventually developing a disease or lessen the severity of an ongoing disease. However, the results from longitudinal epidemiological studies are now beginning to suggest that this is likely.
Sleep and Health (0:36)
Dr. Orfeu Buxton describes how animal and human studies suggest that adequate sleep is crucial for a long and healthy life.

Below are some of the studies that look at the relationship between sleep habits and risk for developing certain medical conditions.
Obesity
Insufficient sleep has been linked to a high probability for weight gain.
Several studies have linked insufficient sleep and weight gain. For example, studies have shown that people who habitually sleep less than six hours per night are much more likely to have a higher than average body mass index (BMI) and that people who sleep eight hours have the lowest BMI. Sleep is now being seen as a potential risk factor for obesity along with the two most commonly identified risk factors: lack of exercise and overeating. Research into the mechanisms involved in regulating metabolism and appetite are beginning to explain what the connection between sleep and obesity might be.

During sleep, our bodies secrete hormones that help to control appetite, energy metabolism, and glucose processing. Obtaining too little sleep upsets the balance of these and other hormones. For example, poor sleep leads to an increase in the production of cortisol, often referred to as the "stress hormone." Poor sleep is also associated with increases in the secretion of insulin following a meal. Insulin is a hormone that regulates glucose processing and promotes fat storage; higher levels of insulin are associated with weight gain, a risk factor for diabetes.

Insufficient sleep is also associated with lower levels of leptin, a hormone that alerts the brain that it has enough food, as well as higher levels of ghrelin, a biochemical that stimulates appetite. As a result, poor sleep may result in food cravings even after we have eaten an adequate number of calories. We may also be more likely to eat foods such as sweets that satisfy the craving for a quick energy boost. In addition, insufficient sleep may leave us too tired to burn off these extra calories with exercise.
Diabetes
Researchers have found that insufficient sleep may lead to type 2 diabetes by influencing the way the body processes glucose, the high-energy carbohydrate that cells use for fuel. One short-term sleep restriction study found that a group of healthy subjects who had their sleep cut back from 8 to 4 hours per night processed glucose more slowly than they did when they were permitted to sleep 12 hours. Numerous epidemiological studies also have revealed that adults who usually slept less than five hours per night have a greatly increased risk of having or developing diabetes.

In addition, researchers have correlated obstructive sleep apnea—a disorder in which breathing difficulties during sleep lead to frequent arousals—with the development of impaired glucose control similar to that which occurs in diabetes.
Heart Disease and Hypertension
Even minor periods of inadequate sleep can cause an elevation in blood pressure.
Studies have found that a single night of inadequate sleep in people who have existing hypertension can cause elevated blood pressure throughout the following day. This effect may begin to explain the correlation between poor sleep and cardiovascular disease and stroke. For example, one study found that sleeping too little (less than six hours) or too much (more than nine hours) increased the risk of coronary heart disease in women.
Sleep Deprivation and Cardiovascular Risk (0:31)
Dr. Janet Mullington discusses how studies suggest a link between sleep deprivation and increased risk for cardiovascular disease.
There is also growing evidence of a connection between obstructive sleep apnea and heart disease. People who have apnea typically experience multiple awakenings each night as a result of the closing of their airway when they fall asleep. In addition to these sleep disturbances, apnea sufferers also experience brief surges in blood pressure each time they wake up. Over time, this can lead to the chronic elevation of blood pressure known as hypertension, which is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Fortunately, when sleep apnea is treated, blood pressure may go down.
Mood Disorders
Given that a single sleepless night can cause people to be irritable and moody the following day, it is conceivable that chronic insufficient sleep may lead to long-term mood disorders. Chronic sleep issues have been correlated with depression, anxiety, and mental distress. In one study, subjects who slept four and a half hours per night reported feeling more stressed, sad, angry, and mentally exhausted. In another study, subjects who slept four hours per night showed declining levels of optimism and sociability as a function of days of inadequate sleep. All of these self-reported symptoms improved dramatically when subjects returned to a normal sleep schedule.
Immune Function
It is natural for people to go to bed when they are sick. Substances produced by the immune system to help fight infection also cause fatigue. One theory proposes that the immune system evolved "sleepiness inducing factors" because inactivity and sleep provided an advantage: those who slept more when faced with an infection were better able to fight that infection than those who slept less. In fact, research in animals suggests that those animals who obtain more deep sleep following experimental challenge by microbial infection have a better chance of survival.
Bookshelf
• Sigurdson K, Ayas N. 2007. The public health and safety consequences of sleep disorders. Canadian J Physiol Pharmacol. 85:179-183.
• Hublin C, Partinen M, Koskenvuo M, Kaprio J. Sleep and mortality: a population-based 22-year follow-up study. Sleep. 2007 Oct 1;30(10):1245-53.
• Patel SR, Ayas NT, Malhotra MR, White DP, Schernhammer ES, Speizer FE, Stampfer MJ, Hu FB. A prospective study of sleep duration and mortality risk in women. Sleep. 2004 May 1;27(3):440-4.
Life Expectancy
Considering the many potential adverse health effects of insufficient sleep, it is not surprising that poor sleep is associated with lower life expectancy. Data from three large cross-sectional epidemiological studies reveal that sleeping five hours or less per night increased mortality risk from all causes by roughly 15 percent.
Of course, just as sleep problems can affect disease risk, several diseases and disorders can also affect the amount of sleep we get. While an estimated 50 to 70 million Americans suffer from some type of sleep disorder, most people do not mention their sleeping problems to their doctors, and most doctors do not necessarily ask about them. This widespread lack of awareness of the impact of sleep problems can have serious and costly public health consequences.
2.
Guidelines to protect health from night noise pollution
Noise has emerged as the leading environmental nuisance in Europe, and excessive
noise is an increasingly common public complaint. One in five Europeans is
regularly exposed to sound levels at night that could significantly damage health.
The WHO night noise guidelines for Europe provide ground-breaking evidence of
how exposure to night noise can damage people’s health, and recommends
guideline levels to protect health. The new limit is an annual average night
exposure not exceeding 40 decibels (dB), corresponding to the sound from a quiet
street in a residential area. Sleepers that are exposed to higher levels over the year
can suffer mild health effects, such as sleep disturbance and insomnia. Long-term
average exposure to levels above 55 dB, similar to the noise from a busy street, can
trigger elevated blood pressure and heart attacks. One in five Europeans is
regularly exposed to such noise levels
______________________________________________________________________

3.
TRAIN HORN NOISE - HEALTH AND WELL BEING IMPACTS
ARLINE L. BRONZAFT, PH.D.
Noise- Unwanted, Unpredictable and Uncontrollable Sound
Early laboratory work in the 1950s had concluded that noise or unwanted sound did not impede mental and psychomotor performance but Glass and Singer (1972) in an extensive survey of previous noise studies, as well as their own studies, found that unpredictable and uncontrollable high intensity noise led to degradation in quality of task performance. Since then greater attention has been paid to the unpredictable and uncontrollable aspects of unwanted sounds. In fact, the research dealing with the health impacts of noise is very much focused on the unpredictable and uncontrollable nature of the intrusive sounds. Thus, noise today is defined as unwanted, uncontrollable, and unpredictable sound.
Auditory and Non-Auditory Impacts of Noise
That loud sounds may be damaging to hearing is sufficiently supported in the literature (National Institutes of Health, 1990). However, sounds that may not be loud to affect hearing and which come in bursts, in a way that is unpredictable and uncontrollable, can have dire consequences for the listener, especially if the intrusive sounds occur over a period of time. If the source of the noise is an agent or agency that has demonstrated little concern for the individual suffering from the impacts of the noise, and, as a result, has done nothing to abate the noise, then the noise becomes even more disturbing to the individual.
What are the effects of noise exposure? Noise acts very much like other stressors and can bring about the following responses: heart rate increases, blood pressure rises, mouth dryness, rises in blood cholesterol levels and excessive secretion of hormones. If the noise exposure is sustained over a period of time, these cited stress reactions can bring about high blood pressure, cardiovascular disorders, or insomnia. There is a body of literature ( Bronzaft, 2002; Kryter, 1985 and 1994; Fay, 1991; Passchier-Vermeer, 1993.) that supports the potential danger of noise to our physiological well-being. Looking at the wide body of literature on the effects of noise on mental and physical well-being, one has to conclude as Passchier-Vermeer and Passchier (2000) did after they examined the literature on noise and health: “Exposure to noise constitutes a health risk.”
Noise has also been linked to mental stress and distress. Recently, a study by Kozo Hiramatusu and others found that people living near an air base evidenced greater mental instability, depression and overall nervousness as expressed in surveys subjects were asked to complete. In a Bronzaft, et al. paper (2000), individuals identified six emotional responses to noise with annoyance ranking first and anger second.
Noise and Quality of Life
In addition to documented physiological health impacts, noise may dramatically affect an individual’s quality of life. Individuals living near a constant noise source may not yet have measurable physiological symptoms but their quality of life may be substantially diminished. In comparing two groups of residents, one living within a flight pattern and one residing in a non-flight area, Bronzaft et al. (1998) found that higher percentages of people exposed to the aircraft noise indicated that they could not open their windows, talk on the telephone, converse with others in their homes, or listen to their radios and televisions, or sleep well.
The subjects of Bronzaft, et al. investigation may not yet manifest serious physical illnesses but they perceived themselves to be in poorer health. This was not an unexpected finding because these people were coping with aircraft noise daily. This finding can be generalized to individuals who are living with other noise sources that are continuously intruding upon their lives. Furthermore, the fact that people coping with noise intrusions perceive themselves to be in poorer health and experience a lesser quality of life, one could hypothesize a future marked by increased health problems. It has been found that a patient’s perception of health in general is a valid indicator that has proven useful in detecting health outcomes (Davies & Ware, 1981; Ware, 1986).
Noise and Sleep
The Bronzaft et al. study (1998) noted that people living in the flight pattern community, identified as being bothered by the noise, reported themselves to have sleep difficulty. While night flights are of special concern in the area of sleep deprivation, the young, the old and the infirm often tend to sleep during the day, and thus day flights may prove intrusive to these individuals. Sleep difficulty as experienced by the subjects in the Bronzaft, et al. study may have long-term health consequences. Furthermore, sleep loss may impair task performance the next day, rendering individuals less productive in the workplace (Pollak, 1991). Dr. Pollak also cautions about a secondary effect for people living near intrusive noises. Their inability to sleep may cause them to turn to tranquilizers and other drugs and these drugs in turn may have harmful health implications.
Even subtle noises at night that may not awaken people may disrupt sleep quality (Heaner, 2004) and Maschke, et al (2004) conclude as follows:
“Noise-induced activations may interfere with normal sleep stages and cause awakenings. Undisturbed sleep brings about health, well-being, efficiency and optimism. Long-term sleep disturbances, however, may induce adverse health effects of various kinds and intensities.”
Effects of Noise on Children
That noise in the home or school affects the mental development of children has been supported by a large body of studies (Bronzaft, 2002). Children’s language development, cognition and learning are impaired by noise. However, one must also examine the impact on the development of children who are reared in homes where their parents are being bombarded by noises. Children’s development depends on good parent-child relationships and parents who are stressed by intrusive noises may not provide the kind of environment for their children that would make for healthy development.
Learned Helplessness
Individuals who are unsuccessful in stopping the noise feel as if they have lost control over their lives. Feeling that you lack “control over your life” brings about a feeling of “learned helplessness” and this adds to the distress and in turn exacerbates the adverse affects on the body. Having promises broken by an agency in control of abating noise contributes to learned helplessness.
Noise: Pervasive and Disturbing
That our society is becoming noisier and that more people are being disturbed by noise is evidenced by the growing number of anti-noise organizations that are being formed around the world. Noise complaints are not restricted to major metropolitan areas but have also been registered in quieter suburban areas and rural communities. Historically complaints have not been a very good measure of noise disturbance because too few people actually complain (Borsky, 1980). Very likely one factor contributing to lower numbers is the fact that local authorities have not been as responsive to noise complaints as they should be. Too many citizens have found that their complaints “fall on deaf ears” and as a result have given up complaining to the authorities. Thus, numbers of noise complaints have been underestimated.
In a recent study, Bronzaft, et al. (2000) found that 62% of the respondents to an international noise survey claimed to be bothered by noises in the neighborhood. This was an unusually high response that might be explained by the fact that people who responded to the survey were more knowledgeable about the dangers of noise. Yet, this study does indicate that a large number of people worldwide are actually bothered by noise. In New York City, the Quality of Life Hotline to the Police Department records noise as its number one complaint, with the second largest number of complaints a distant second. In 2001, approximately 85% of the complaints to the Hotline were about noises. With the voices of so many being raised against noise pollution, one cannot say that anyone complaining about noise is unusual or being unreasonable.
Generalizing from Studies to Particular Cases
Studies on community noise are conducted on populations located near noisy sources such as airports, railroads and highways. In order to get valid and reliable information on the relationship between noise and health, it is necessary to collect data on large populations. However, the results elicited by this research can be generalized to individuals who are living with other types of noises that are similarly bothersome and disruptive, namely in this case, loud train horns.
The residents being asked to live with these loud train horns are very much like their counterparts in the research in that they expect quiet times in their homes so that they can watch television, listen to their stereos, converse, read or relax. They expect even more quiet when they are trying to fall asleep and they expect to get a good night’s sleep, undisturbed by intrusive horns. In homes where there are outdoor areas to be enjoyed, it is reasonable to assume that owners of these homes can best enjoy these outdoor areas without disruptive noises. They are no different from the many community residents in studies whose reactions were examined after they have been intruded upon and exposed to noisy jets or nearby noisy traffic. ( see their comments below) Thus, it is appropriate to apply the findings of the noise research to the case at hand, namely the people reacting against the very loud train horns that are disturbing their ability to carry out their everyday functions in their homes.
A question is frequently raised as to whether individuals bothered by noise are overly sensitive to noise. That is the wrong question to ask. Rather one should ask as to whether a reasonable person would be bothered by the noise. Would a reasonable person find the overhead planes upsetting, or would a reasonable person be bothered by a neighbor’s loud stereo system, or would a reasonable person be irritated by repeated rail horn blasts that are heard day and night? The body of literature on the effects of noise on people clearly addresses the “reasonable person” issue by noting that large numbers of people are disturbed by intrusive, uncontrollable and unpredictable noises and these noises adversely affect their mental and physical health.
Are Noise Meter Readings Always Necessary to Determine if a Noise is Unreasonable?
Must one rely on noise meter readings to answer the question as to whether certain noises would be deemed bothersome? No! From experience alone, one can determine whether certain sounds would be disruptive to ongoing activities or proceedings. For example, audiences in theaters are asked to turn off beepers, cell phones, and to open their candy wrappings before the play commences. Recently, the New York City Council has imposed fines users whose cell phones ring in “places of public performance.” In courtrooms judges request observers to turn off their beepers and cell phones and to refrain from whispering or speaking to each other. Judges are very aware that court proceedings require “quiet in the courtroom.”
Additionally noise meter data and the statistics that they generate often fail to adequately assess noise impacts. The 65 dB DNL that has been used in the United States by the Federal Aviation Administration to determine the level at which residents would be intruded upon by overhead aircraft, is receiving considerable criticism in the United States for a number of reasons. The 65 db DNL average has been set too high in that people living within the 55 db DNL area complain about noise impacts. This measure does not include the low frequency sounds to which people are often exposed. Averages also fail to give fair weighting to the impact of individual bursts of sound, e.g. a single airplane flying or a single train horn in the middle of the night can awaken a person from sleep (Stenzel, 1996). Thus, it would be inappropriate to assess train horn noise impacts using DNL.
Complainants Speak for Themselves
The European Court of Human Rights gave much weight to personal testimony of people who said they were affected by nighttime aircraft noises (Case of Hatton and others v. the United Kingdom, 2001). In Berkeley Keep Jets Over the Bay Committee v. Board of Port Commissioners, 91 Cal. App. 4th 1344, 111 Cal. Rptr. 2d 598 (Cal. App. 1st Dist. 2001), over 1,000 Berkeley, Californian residents registered their concern over the proposed Airport Development Plan and described how jet overflights disrupted their sleep. This court too has given weight to personal testimony. Similarly, the U. S. Federal Aviation Administration in its quest to learn more about how people feel about jets flying over their homes are holding hearings around the country to listen to personal accounts; thus not strictly relying on noise measurements to provide them with pertinent information.
Thus, it follows that the complainants in the train noise case must have the opportunity to express their own feelings and that these expressions be given the weight they most certainly deserve. Below is just a sample of the comments made by individuals adversely effected by the train noise.
E. Z. “...those of us next to the Dyke Road tunnel will continue to suffer day
and night. None of us will be able to secure a proper night’s sleep, our
children’s schoolwork will continue to suffer, babies and shift-workers
will be unable to rest during the day, those of us who work at home will
have our capacity to earn a living affected and our gardens will remain
unusable.”
J. C. “I am a keen gardener and bonsai collector and every evening after work I
like to spend in the garden. My peace and relaxation have been completed
ruined. The train horns are constant, they are sounded early in the morning
before 7 a.m. and late at night, after 10 p.m. There is no respite...I have
also been unfortunate enough to be walking past a new train when the
horn sounded. I was frightened out of my skin and the noise level
actually hurt my ear drum.
J. B. “These train horns have made my life unbearable because:
I cannot go to bed when I choose...I have to get up early as it is
impossible to have any sleep after 6:00...having a door or window
open is out of the question...holding a conversation on the phone -
you have to ask the caller to old on until the train has passed by.”
A. C. “The horn is very emotionally disturbing and causing great stress...I sometimes
find myself getting very emotionally worked up when the horn starts blowing.”
J. A. “However the new trains contain horns that are excruciatingly loud. They
are louder than my alarm clock and they go off approximately very 10 minutes
during the day, and start at about 5:30 in the morning and on Saturday the
last train left at 12:55 at night. Every time the horn goes off it wakes me up.”
J. P. “The effect on our daily lives is considerable...Sleep deprivation is one of the
worst effects...I have been woken up startled in the middle of the night on
occasions.”
D. W. “As someone who often works from home, I find it greatly disturbing. And to
know that there are no moments in the day when one can be free of this
frustrating nuisance is a deterioration in our quality of live. Relaxing in
our garden is confined to minutes rather than hours...”
L.P. “What were the consequences of this type of sleep deprivation and sustained
assault from noise on me and my fellow residents? Headaches. Frayed
tempers. Children’s schoolwork suffered through poor concentration.
Adults couldn’t work effectively. Babies were unable to get their
afternoon naps.”
These statements, the other statements on record, plus the thousands of citizens who have signed petitions to express their distress at a train noise underscore the need for immediate corrective action.
Concluding Comments
The residents living with these train horns share with so many others similarly inflicted the pain and discomfort from intrusive noises that have robbed them of their right to use their homes in the manner to which they are entitled. They also share with so many others exposed to unwanted noises the anger and distress of being robbed of a decent quality of life. They, like these others, also fear that if the noises continue, they may suffer greater physical and psychological harm. This fear is real in light of the growing numbers of studies warning people about the hazards of noise to health. In my opinion, these residents are reasonable to demand that their peace and quiet be restored. To do otherwise is to subject them to stress, unhappiness, a diminished quality of life, and potential adverse health effects. We should be especially aware of the effects on children - from the noise itself disrupting their activities and their sleep - and from the stress to the parents who may find it more difficult to deal with their children as they cope with the intrusive noise from the train horns.
From what I have learned, it appears that the new louder noise horn was introduced without actually testing the impacts on residents. Furthermore, the highly annoyed estimates used in the Rail Report, rely on the Schultz curve, a work that is over 25 years old and not in keeping with later studies, indicating that those in charge of this report failed to consider the latest research on noise and its effects. Relying on the data that generated the Schultz curve underestimates the amount of annoyance to individuals. Such reliance also neglects the translation of annoyance into stress and then into actual mental and health effects.
In light of the efforts by cities around the world, including the Noise Report recently issued by London’s Mayor and the efforts by the Mayor of New York to update its noise code, it is unthinkable that an agency, such as the present railroad agency, would inflict sounds that are even “noisier than required” on residents living near the railroad without carefully researching the impacts on residents.
________________________________________________________________
4.
Health, Safety and Livability Impacts of Train Horn Noise
Compiled for the HAND Neighborhood 1/30/09
Noise is defined in research literature as “unwanted, unpredictable and uncontrollable sound.”
The negative effects of loud, uncontrollable noise on people’s health and on the livability of a
community are well documented, with some of the major effects listed as follows.1
1. Noise interrupts sleep.
Sleep disturbance is one of the most serious effects of environmental noise. World Health
Organization guidelines say that for good sleep, sound level should not exceed 30 dB(A) for
continuous background noise, and individual noise events should not exceed 45 dB(A). 2
While night noise usually the concern, the young, old and infirm often sleep in the day, and
day-time noise can be intrusive. Even noises that may not awaken people may disrupt sleep
quality.3
Sleep difficulty may have long-term health consequences. The inability to sleep may also cause
people to turn to tranquilizers and other drugs, which may have harmful health implications.4
2. Interrupted sleep harms health.
Effects as serious as elevated blood pressure are attributed to typical road noise levels. Sleep
disturbance occurs with levels as low as the sound of a refrigerator (40 decibels). Noise can
delay falling asleep, or cause repeated awakening which a person may not recall, but which
affects health by contributing to tiredness and stress-related conditions such as high blood
pressure, coronary disease, ulcers, colitis, and migraines. Chronic interference with sleep can
affect cognitive performance, reading and memory, and elevate stress hormone levels.
3. Loss of sleep decreases community safety.
An estimated hundred thousand car crashes a year occur as a result of drowsiness. Sleep
deprived drivers are equal to drunk drivers as a serious threat to themselves and everyone else
on the road.5
4. Loss of sleep increases the risk of getting sick.
While research has shown that sleep boosts the immune system at the cell level, a recent study
shows that even small sleep disturbances increase the risk of getting sick. People who tossed
and turned as few as 25 minutes a night were five times more likely to get sick from a cold.6
5. Continued exposure to noise constitutes a serious health risk.
Noise acts like other stressors and can result in heart rate increases, blood pressure rises,
mouth dryness, rises in blood cholesterol levels, and excessive secretion of hormones. If the
noise exposure is sustained over a period of time, these stress reactions can result in high
blood pressure, cardiovascular disorders, or insomnia.7 There is evidence that sleep loss may
lead to premature death, cardiovascular disease, and the development of diabetes.8
6. Noise increases mental stress.
Noise has been linked to mental stress and distress. Individuals identify six emotional
responses to noise, with 72% being annoyed, 40% angry, 30 % feeling helpless or upset, and
12% made physically ill.9 These emotions, if sustained, may lead to illness, a fact confirmed by
a growing body of studies linking noise and illness.10
7. Noise affects the whole body.
Women who don’t get seven hours of sleep erase much of the health benefit from exercising
regularly, at least in preventing cancer. Exercise and sleep both affect body systems including
hormone levels, the immune system, and weight. 11
8. Noise increases obesity.
Increasing sleep deficits (or interrupted sleep) brings about physiologic changes in the hormonal
signals that promote hunger and therefore likely contribute to obesity.12
9. Noise damages hearing.
Loud sounds may damage hearing.13 Sounds that come in unpredictable and uncontrollable
bursts can have dire consequences for the listener, especially if the intrusive sounds occur over
a period of time.14
10. Noise has negative effects on children.
Noise in the home or school affects the mental development of children.15 Children’s language
development, cognition and learning are impaired by noise.
11. Noise increases the community-wide burden of disease.
The burden of disease of noise exposure is being studied. Health effects of noise and noiserelated
health outcomes may include cardiovascular disorders, cognitive impairment, hearing
loss, tinnitus, sleep disturbance and annoyance. Considering various types of noise, WHO
experts cited:16
§ “There is sufficient evidence for the association between community noise and ischemic heart
diseases, and limited/sufficient evidence for the association [with] hypertension.”
§ “The burden of disease caused by community noise induced tinnitus has probably been so far
largely underestimated.”
§ “There are four components of cognitive impairment related to noise – reading, recall,
recognition, and attention showing consistent relationship with noise exposure.”
12. Noise reduces quality of work.
Unpredictable and uncontrollable high intensity noise leads to degradation in quality of
task performance, health risks, and reduction in quality of life.17 Sleep loss may impair task
performance, rendering individuals less productive in the workplace.18
13. Noise reduces quality of life.
Individuals living near a constant noise source may not yet have measurable physiological
symptoms but their quality of life may be substantially diminished. A higher percentages of
people exposed to aircraft noise indicated that they could not open their windows, talk on the
telephone, converse with others in their homes, or listen to their radios and televisions, or sleep
well.19
People coping with noise intrusions perceive themselves to be in poorer health and experience
a lesser quality of life. Perception of health is a valid indicator that has proven useful in detecting
health outcomes.20


5.
Noise and Noise Pollution FAQ
Learn the answers to common questions about noise and noise pollution. FAQ about noise.
________________________________________

This Noise and Noise Pollution FAQ lists some Frequently Asked Questions about noise.
Noise FAQ

What is noise?

Noise is defined as unwanted sound. A sound might be unwanted because it is loud, distracting, or annoying.
Read more: What is noise?

How is noise measured?

Literally speaking, noise can't be measured directly, since there is no instrument for objectively detecting how "unwanted" something is. What can be measured is the loudness or intensity of sounds, sometimes called "noise levels." Sound intensity is usually measured in decibels (dB).
Read more: What is a decibel?

What are typical decibel levels of some common sounds?

A whisper is 30 dB, conversational speech is 60 dB, and someone shouting at you from an arm's length away is 85 dB. Noise levels of home appliances range from 50 dB (a refrigerator) to 95 dB (a food processor). Lawn equipment and power tools have noise levels of 80–120 dB.
See more: Decibel comparison chart

How many decibels can the human ear handle?

Immediate and irreversible nerve damage can be caused by sounds at 140 dB or higher (120 dB in young children). However, damage also occurs at lower sound levels, and this harm accumulates over time. Any sound above 85 dB can cause wear and tear on your earsthat reduces your hearing acuity over time.
Read more: Safe noise exposure limits

What is the loudest sound possible?

Sound is normally carried in air as a pressure wave. When the pressure of a sound wave becomes as high as the air pressure itself, the sound becomes a shock wave. Normal air pressure at sea level is 14.7 pounds per square inch (psi), or 101,325 pascals (Pa), which is equivalent to 194 decibels (dB). So 194 dB is the loudest sound possible in air at sea level; beyond that point it becomes a shock wave. (Sound waves that are transmitted through water or other substances would have different limits.)

What are the effects of noise on human health?

Noise has direct physiological effects such as hearing damage (including hearing loss and tinnitus, or ringing in the ears), as well as cardiovascular and hormonal disturbances. Indirect effects include sleep loss,interference with concentration and learning, mood changes and aggression, and social isolation.
Read more: How noise affects you

How does noise affect babies and children?

Because the ear canal of a young child is smaller than an adult's, sound pressure is up to 20 dB greater than that in an adult ear. In addition to the threat to a child's hearing, noise causes physiological and mental stress, and significantly impacts learning and cognitive development. Background noise also interferes with speech perception and language acquisition.
Read more: Hearing protection and children

What is "white noise"?

White noise is a sound similar to radio static, or the sound a fan makes, that is often used to mask unpleasant sounds. Some people find it helpful for sleeping, and it can be a soothing sound for babies.
Read more: What is white noise?
Noise Pollution FAQ

What is noise pollution?

Noise pollution is manmade sound in the environment that may be harmful to humans or animals.
Read more: What is noise pollution?

What are the most common sources of noise pollution?

Worldwide, the most common sources of noise pollution are cars, trucks, and other motor vehicles. Planes and trains also contribute to noise pollution. Other sources include factory machinery, power tools, and construction equipment.
Read more:Examples of noise

What problems does noise pollution cause for people?

The World Health Organizationcites seven categories for the ways noise adversely affects human health:
1. Noise-induced hearing impairment
2. Interference with speech communication
3. Sleep disturbances
4. Cardiovascular and physiological effects
5. Mental health effects
6. Effects on performance of tasks
7. Annoyance and effects on behavior
Read more: How noise affects you

What problems does noise pollution cause for animals?

Wild animals rely on their hearing for detecting predators, finding mates, establishing territory, and recognizing warning alerts. Unnaturally high levels of noise can damage their hearing and can also mask more subtle sounds that they need to hear in order to survive and reproduce. They may also react with a fight-or-flight response to artificial sounds such as aircraft noise, thereby using up valuable energy reserves to flee from a non-existent predator. If noise in an area becomes too intrusive, animals may shift to a new territory or alter their migration patterns, which can create new complications for their mating and survival.


6-23

Berkeley Keep Jets Over the Bay Committee v. Board of Port Commissioners, 91 Cal. App. 4th
1344, 111 Cal. Rptr. 2d 598 (Cal. App, 1sr Dist.2001). Borsky, P. N. (1980). Review of community response to noise. In Proceedings of the
Third International Congress on Noise as a Public Health Hazard (Freiburg), ASHA Reports 10, eds. J. Tobias, G. Jansen, and W. D. Ward.
Rockville Maryland: American-Speech-Language- Hearing Association.
Bronzaft, A. L. (2002) Noise pollution: A hazard to physical and mental well-being. In R. B. Bechtel and A. Churchman (Eds.)
Handbook of Environmental Psychology. NY: John Wiley & Sons.
Environmental Science and Engineering. The Netherlands: Gordon and Breach.
Bronzaft, A. L., Ahern, K.D., McGinn, R., O’Connor, J. & Savino, B. (1998). Aircraft noise: A potential health hazard. Environment and Behavior 30, 101-113.
Bronzaft, A. L., Deignan, E., Bat-Chava, Y., & Nadler, N. B. (2000). Intrusive community noises yield more complaints. Noise Rehabilitation Quarterly, 25, 16-22,34.
Bronzaft, A. L. (2002) Noise pollution: A hazard to physical and mental well-being. In R. B. Bechtel and A. Churchman (Eds.) Handbook of Environmental Psychology. NY: John Wiley & Sons.
Environmental Science and Engineering. The Netherlands: Gordon and Breach.
Cardwell, D. (September 25, 2002). The New York Times, Metro B4).
Public Report No. R-2711-HHS). Santa Monica: CA: RAND.
Fay, T. H. (Ed.) (1991). Noise and health. New York: The New York Academy of Medicine.
Glass, D. C. & Singer, J. E. (1972). Urban Stress: Experiments on Noise and Social Stressors.
New York: Academic Press.
Heaner, M. ( October 12, 2004). Snooze alarm takes its toll on a nation. The New York Times.
Hiramatsu, K., Yamamoto, T, Taira, K., Ito, A. & Nakasone, T. (1997). A survey on health
effects due to aircraft noise on residents living around Kadena air base in the Ryukyus.
Journal of Sound and Vibration, 205, 451-465.
Kryter, K. D. (1994). The handbook of hearing and the effects of noise. San Diego: Academic Press.
Kryter, K. D. (1985). The effects of noise on man. 2nd.ed. Orlando: Academic Press.
Meschke, C. Hecht, K. & Wolf, U. (2004). Nocturnal awakenings due to aircraft noise.
Do wake-up reactions begin at sound level 60 dB(A)? Noise and Health, 6, 21-33.
National Institutes of Health (1990). Noise and hearing loss. Consensus Conference, JAMA, 263, 3185-3190.
Passchier-Vermeer, W. (1993). Noise and health. The Hague: Health Council of the Netherlands.
Passchier-Vermeer, W. & Passchier, W. F. (2000). Noise exposure and public health.
Environmental health Perspectives, 108, 123-131.
Pollak, C P. (1991). The effects of noise on sleep. In T. H. Fay, (Ed), Noise and health.
New York: New York Academy of Medicine.
Stenzel, J. (1996). Flying off course. New York, N. Y. Natural Resources Defense Council.
Ware, J. E. (1986). The assessment of health status applications of social sciences to clinical
medicine and health policy. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

Amy Glasser (#567)

Date Submitted: 10/09/2012
Location: Custer, WA
Comment:
Please consider and study the significant impacts that combined coal and diesel particulates will have on the health of the people living on the train line when an additional eighteen, mile and a half long trains will be traveling the route from the Powder River Basin to Cherry Point.

My husband, 2 dogs and I live on the Custer Spur (at a crossing and where the rail yard is proposed to be built) and will be directly impacted if the GPT project is approved as my husband already suffers from asthma. I am also a Social Worker/Mental Health Therapist and I work with children and adults of all ages. Many clients suffer from asthma and respiratory illnesses already. I would like the EIS to examine the impact dust and diesel particulates on the people’s respiratory systems. This study must not only include the health impacts to people but also the financial costs the community will bear when the uninsured or underinsured population goes to the emergency room for treatment or the costs to children in the form of missed school days due to respiratory illnesses exacerbated by the enormous increase in diesel and coal dust particulates in the air.
There are many studies that have determined that diesel and coal dust result in increased frequency and increased severity of asthma, COPD and other respiratory illnesses.
The people who live within approximately 5 miles of the proposed terminal will be affected along with everyone living along the train route from Cherry Point to Montana and Wyoming. In addition to the coal dust blowing off loaded trains coming from the mines, the trains that leave empty will be coated with dust and coal particles inside and out. This dust will impact the area closest to the plant. Please study this impact on the environment along the train route. There can be no argument that coal dust does blow as the railroad has sued the coal companies for adversely affecting their tracks by the coal particulates degrading the tracks. Health studies show that the combinations of coal dust and diesel particulates are particularly harmful to living beings.
It is documented that 100 tons of coal is blown off the coal train cars yearly so that is dust that will be expected all along the route. We also know that the Whatcom County area can be very windy consistently, thus causing more blow. Unfortunately we must also assume that unusually strong winds may occur that will be strong enough to affect the area and beyond more drastically that the usual amount of expected blowing of the dust. Since storms are increasing in intensity in recent years, we must also assume that wind storms will also increase in intensity.
It would be important to study a baseline of people who do not live near coal terminals or on the train routes with people who currently do. I believe you will find elevated rates of health issues that would be cause for extreme concern as the health of the people you represent are your responsibility and must be considered above money.
It would be also important to study prevailing winds and trends to determine if the climate in this area will result in even more risk of air pollution and the subsequent health concerns in the future. Scientists are finding that global climate change is accelerating at a speed they had not anticipated. This fact must be studies as it relates to storms that will affect the way the coal is contained (or not).
I do not see how this issue can be mitigated as all current mitigation techniques have failed to adequately resolve the problem. If there is a way to capture coal and diesel particulates from the air, then the issue may be resolved. If there is a way to power all the trains with other forms of power (not diesel) and cover the trains with sealable covers, then those would be ways to mitigate this health concern. Otherwise I can see no alternative but to deny the permit to build a terminal that’s method of receiving their product (coal) is by train (diesel).
Attached are references that demonstrate the reason why the coal and diesel particulates in the air will cause significant risk of major health problems.

Thank you for considering this potential impact when drafting the EIS. This health risk must be studied further to determine the risk to the people living in the county and along the route.


Amy Glasser

Supporting Documents:

Northwest Coal Exports
Some common questions about economics, health, and pollution.
Eric de Place
September 2011
Sightline Institute is a not-for-profit research and communications center—a think tank—based
in Seattle. Sightline’s mission is to make the Northwest a global model of sustainability—strong
communities, a green economy, and a healthy environment
Does rail transport release coal dust?
Coal dust escapes from the open-top rail cars used for transporting coal and can create safety and
congestion problems for rail traffic. In 2005, for example, coal dust that had accumulated in ballast,
the layer of crushed rock that supports rail tracks, caused two derailments. Coal dust deposits
sometimes even cause spontaneous fires.
The Burlington Northern / Santa Fe Railway (BNSF) has studied the problem and found that as much
as a ton of coal can escape from a single loaded coal car, while other reports show that as much as 3
percent of a coal car’s load, which is typically 100 tons or more, can blow away in transit.30 The US
Department of Transportation classifies coal dust as a “pernicious ballast foulant” that can weaken
and destabilize rail tracks.31 It is not clear how much coal dust might escape in the Pacific Northwest,
but one watchdog group has verified that coal and coal dust does escape from open rail cars traveling
along Puget Sound coastlines.32
To reduce or eliminate coal dust from escaping, shippers can fill cars less full or cover them with tarps
or chemical sprays, but these measures run up the cost of moving coal, so coal shippers rarely employ
them by choice.33 A March 2011 ruling from the US Surface Transportation Board, which oversees
railway operations, allows BNSF to require coal shippers to cover their loads or otherwise control
dust.34
How effective those measures will be is anyone’s guess: Powder River Basin coal is notoriously difficult
to handle. One technical analysis finds that, “PRB coal is extremely friable and will break down into
smaller particles virtually independent of how the coal is transported or handled.” According to the
study’s authors, “PRB represents the extremes of handling problems.”35
The same analysis found that:
Spontaneous combustion of coal is a well-known phenomenon, especially with PRB coal. This
high-moisture, highly volatile sub-bituminous coal will not only smolder and catch fire while in
storage piles at power plants and coal terminals, but has been known to be delivered to a power
plant with the rail car or barge partially on fire…36
Outside of confined environments, Powder River Basin coal does not spontaneously explode or burst
into full flame, but under the wrong conditions it can self-ignite and burn slowly even while it is riding
the rails—a troubling proposition for railroad workers and communities along the tracks.
Is coal dust harmful?
Coal dust is more than a nuisance. It degrades water quality and may pose a danger to residents’
health. Coal workers who are exposed to dust, for example, suffer elevated rates of bronchitis,
emphysema, and black lung disease.37 In Liverpool, England, researchers found that, even after
correcting for economic and environmental factors at home, children exposed to coal dust from the
nearby docks were more likely to miss school because of respiratory problems, including wheezing and
coughing.38
Sightline FAQ • Northwest Coal Exports • September 2011 5
In Norfolk, Virginia, home of the Lamberts Point Coal Terminal, soil samples contain up to 20 percent
coal by weight at a site less than 1 kilometer from the docks, 3 percent coal at a site 5 kilometers away,
and 1 percent coal as far as 12 kilometers away. High coal levels in soil along railroad tracks suggest
that trains are another pathway for contamination. Researchers in Norfolk also found arsenic levels
were 5 times higher than background soil concentrations nearby, and hypothesize that the coal export
terminal is at least partially responsible for the difference because coal often contains arsenic.39
A group of 160 doctors and other health professionals in Whatcom County, Washington, published a
position statement documenting a number of health-related problems with coal exports. In addition
to the risks of coal dust, the doctors raise concerns about the impacts of the trains themselves, which
generate noise, create collision hazards, and delay emergency medical response by impeding rail
crossings. Trains are also responsible for hazardous air pollution from diesel engines, a documented
threat to health in Washington.40
The BNSF rail yards in Spokane—an important linkage point between the Powder River Basin and
Washington’s Pacific ports—would see increased rail traffic that is almost certain to increase harmful
pollution there. A 2010 study by the Spokane Clean Air Agency identified lung cancer risks in Spokane
that appear closely related to residents’ proximity to the BNSF railyard, where diesel engines generate
prodigious quantities of small particulate pollution—the most health-threatening major air pollutant
in the Northwest. Researchers ruled out numerous alternative explanations and concluded that “the
BNSF railyard appears to be the only other air pollution source in the vicinity of Hillyard that can
account for its differential lung cancer risk.”41
Is Powder River Basin coal better for the environment than China’s coal?
Powder River Basin coal is lower in ash and sulfur than some other kinds of coal, but it also produces
less energy per pound than the coals that are more commonly burned in modern power plants.42 To
produce the same amount of energy from Powder River Basin coal requires mining, shipping, and
burning about 50 percent more.43 After accounting for those differences, coal from the Powder River
Basin is somewhat cleaner than China’s domestic sources of coal, but it is still coal—an extremely
polluting form of energy.
Coal is a highly impure form of fuel, and burning it releases numerous hazardous substances, including
radioactive materials such as uranium and thorium. In fact, the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge
National Laboratory has estimated that coal plants have released hundreds of thousands of tons of
uranium, and that radiation from coal plants is a greater threat to Americans than is radiation from
nuclear plants.44
The true costs of coal are daunting. Researchers at the Harvard Medical School recently pegged the
annual cost of coal—including harm to public health, mining damage, pollution, and subsidies—at
$345 billion per year in the United States alone.45 A 2010 report from the National Research Council
finds that the non-climate damages from burning coal are 20 times higher than the damages from
natural gas, the next dirtiest and costliest fossil fuel in use.46 And a 2009 report from the National
Academy of Sciences determined that US coal burning results in $60 billion per year in health costs
alone.47

23. Douglas L. Cope and Kamal K. Bhattacharyya, A Study of Fugitive Coal Dust Emissions in Canada, “Chapter 8:
Coal Terminals: Fugitive Dust Emissions and Control,” prepared for The Canadian Council of Ministers of the
Environment, November 2001.
24. Andrew Jensen, “Judge Allows Lawsuit: Seward Coal Facility Faces Clean Water Act Suit,” Alaska Journal of
Commerce, January 24, 2011, http://www.peninsulaclarion.com/stories/012411/new_775559217.shtml.
25. Mary Pemberton, “Alaska Railroad Takes Steps to Reduce Coal Dust,” Ventura County Star, July 9, 2010, http://
www.vcstar.com/news/2010/jul/09/alaska-railroad-take-steps-to-reduce-coal-dust.
26. Erik Olson, “Westshore provides glimpse of Longview’s potential future with coal,” The Daily News, February 12,
2011, http://tdn.com/news/local/article_35ad9c0c-3634-11e0-8eea-001cc4c03286.html.
27. Douglas L. Cope and Kamal K. Bhattacharyya, A Study of Fugitive Coal Dust Emissions in Canada, “Chapter 8:
Coal Terminals: Fugitive Dust Emissions and Control,” prepared for The Canadian Council of Ministers of the
Environment, November 2001.
28. Ryan Johnson and R.M. Bustin, “Coal dust dispersal around a marine coal terminal (1977–1999), British
Columbia: The fate of coal dust in the marine environment,” International Journal of Coal Geology, Volume 68,
Issues 1-2, 1 August 2006, Pages 57-69., http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0166516206000206.
29. William J. Bounds and Karen H. Johannesson, “Arsenic Addition to Soils from Airborne Coal Dust Originating
at a Major Coal Shipping Terminal,” Water, Air, & Soil Pollution, June 21, 2007, 185: 195-207, http://www.
springerlink.com/content/98146r1160021h13/; and Joe Lawlor, “Coal Dust, Piles an Issue for Southeast Newport
News,” July 16, 2011, http://articles.dailypress.com/2011-07-16/news/dp-nws-cp-nn-coal-dust-20110716_1_coaldust-
coal-piles-coal-terminals.
30. Eric de Place, “At Least the Website is Clean,” Sightline Institute blog, August 10, 2011, http://daily.sightline.
org/2011/08/10/at-least-the-website-is-clean/.
31. “Surface Transportation Board Authorizes Tariff Rules on Coal Dust but Strikes Down Specific BNSF Tariff,”
Troutman Sanders LLP, Washington Energy Report, http://www.troutmansandersenergyreport.com/2011/03/
surface-transportation-board-authorizes-tariff-rules-on-coal-dust-but-strikes-down-specific-bnsf-tariff.
32. Gary Chittim, “Traces of coal found along Washington railways,” King 5 News, August 16, 2011, http://www.
king5.com/news/environment/Coal-Found-Along-Washington-Railways-127907523.html.
33. Josh Voorhees, “Railroads, Utilities Clash Over Dust From Coal Trains,” New York Times, January 25, 2010,
http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2010/01/25/25greenwire-railroads-utilities-clash-over-dust-from-coal-55265.html;
and Joe Deaux, “Regulations Could Derail Railroad Profits,” The Street, August 21, 2011, http://www.thestreet.
com/story/11215990/1/regulations-could-derail-railroad-profits.html.
34. Surface Transportation Board, “Decision, Docket No. FD 35305, Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation:
Petition for Declaratory Order,” March 3, 2011, http://www.troutmansandersenergyreport.com/wp-content/
uploads/2011/03/Coal-Dust.pdf.
35. Roderick J. Hossfeld and Rod Hatt, “PRB Coal Degradation: Causes and Cures,” PRB Coal Users Group, http://
www.prbcoals.com/pdf/paper_archives/56538.pdf.
36. Roderick J. Hossfeld and Rod Hatt, “PRB Coal Degradation: Causes and Cures,” PRB Coal Users Group, http://
www.prbcoals.com/pdf/paper_archives/56538.pdf.
37. Occupational Safety and Health Guideline for Coal Dust, U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration,
http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/healthguidelines/coaldust-greater5percentsio2/recognition.html.
38. Liverpool from Bernard Brabin et al., “Respiratory morbidity in Merseyside schoolchildren exposed to coal dust
and air pollution,” Archives of Disease in Childhood, 1994; 70: 3015-312, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/
articles/PMC1029784/pdf/archdisch00564-0049.pdf.
39. William J. Bounds and Karen H. Johannesson, “Arsenic Addition to Soils from Airborne Coal Dust Originating
at a Major Coal Shipping Terminal,” Water, Air, & Soil Pollution, June 21, 2007, 185: 195-207, http://www.
springerlink.com/content/98146r1160021h13/.
40. “Whatcom Docs Position Statement and Appendices,” Coal Train Facts, http://www.coaltrainfacts.org/whatcomdocs-
position-statement-and-appendices.
41. Charles E. Studer, “Health Risk Study for the Burlington Northern / Santa Fe Railroad Spokane Railyard,” Spokane
Regional Clean Air Agency,” June 16, 2010, http://www.spokanecleanair.org/documents/Study_Reports/BNSF%20
Spokane%20Railyard%20Health%20Study.pdf.
42. Coal quality from Wyoming State Geological Survey, “Wyoming Coal Quality,” http://www.wsgs.uwyo.edu/
coalweb/library/science/wyquality.aspx.
43. Union of Concerned Scientists, “How Coal Works,” http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/coalvswind/brief_coal.
html.

http://ijt.sagepub.com/content/8/2/345.abstract. A Chronic Inhalation Toxicity Study of Diesel Engine Emissions and Coal Dust, Alone and Combined

http://daily.sightline.org/2011/03/15/are-coal-export-terminals-good-neighbors/

Amy Glasser (#568)

Date Submitted: 10/09/2012
Location: Custer, WA
Comment:
Regarding: GPT project, Cherry Point, WA.

Scoping comment: I believe that my property value will decrease drastically if this project is approved. Please consider this.

My family lives on the Custer Spur (at a crossing and close to where the rail yard is proposed to be built) and will be directly impacted if the GPT project is approved.
We moved to Custer in 2003 and planned to make Custer our last stand. We bought a small home surrounded by 10 acres of beautiful wetlands. In the past 9 years we have planted many trees and preserved the grounds. We are currently working with the CREP program to ensure the wetlands are preserved and the area continues to be inviting to the salmon, the birds and other wildlife.
We put our saving in to this investment assuming it was going to be our final home. My husband has put hundreds of hours improving our property and this will be for nothing if our wetlands are negatively affected and our property value is decreased. We knew we were buying next to the train tracks and were willing to contend with the 5 or so trains per day. After all, this is the county and if it isn’t a few trains, it is something distracting at times. We did not plan or intend to live next to an industrial park. If this project is completed, BNSF will have built a train rail yard across the street from my home. We will also have to live with train horns 18 more times a day and the added pollution from the coal dust and diesel particulates from the terminal. On the evening of July 25th 2012, 9 trains came by between midnight and 9:00am. This is not usual but if this does occasionally happen, how backed up with the trains be when there are another 18 trains a day?
We are very concerned about the impact this project will have on our property value. There are many people all along the route that will also be affected as the increased train traffic affects their homes value. We had hoped to stay here but if this plan is approved my family and my business will be leaving the area.
Please study the financial impact this plan will have on property values and the subsequent effects on revenues from decreased property tax assessments. Along with this study, please also consider the business taxes that will decrease as businesses leave the area. Those businesses pay taxes also and that revenue stream will certainly decrease, especially along the Bellingham waterfront and all along the train route.

Amy Glasser

Amy Glasser (#886)

Date Submitted: 10/20/2012
Location: Custer, WA
Comment:
Re: Please scope the impact of shipping 48+ million tons of coal to countries that will burn that fuel and produce huge amounts of greenhouse gases. I also believe that given there is a proposal to build an additional 4 plants which if combined will send 150 million tons of coal to Asia, we must consider the cumulative effect of these proposals on our community and the planet in general.

We all know that climate change is real. We had the warmest year on record. The ice caps are melting at a rate faster than even the scientists have expected. The US is the largest fossil fuel producers on the planet. Our state is closing their only coal plant because it is so bad on the environment, yet we want to mine, transport, ship and allow China to burn that dirty fuel? We don’t want China to ship us toys that have lead in them yet we will ship them cheap coal to burn and further degrade our environment. That cheap coal will also power the factories that will produce cheap products that will be shipped back to us. Why would we want to give China a way to undercut and sell us cheap goods when we want to build up our own manufacturing industry?

We all want to have this planet healthy for our children and grandchildren and it will not be if the planet is so warm that skin cancer and respiratory illnesses are the norm, coastal cities are flooded and farms are constantly experiencing drought.

This is a personal issue, a community issue, a state issue, a national issue and a global issue. I understand that this EIS is supposed to only cover our local environment however it is impossible to consider permitting a project that primary purpose is to ship coal to Asia to burn and thus increasingly affect the health of the planet and locally, the residents in Whatcom County.

Please study the significant impact this project (burning 48 million tons of additional coal per year along with the other 4 proposals on the west coast) will have on the acceleration on global warming. There are numerous studies that indicate that the burning of coal is resulting in the health dangers to people and the planet. This must be studied as it would be insane to call an Environmental Impact Statement without considering the planet as part of our environment.

Please study whether we should be condoning this proposal or looking at building wind turbine factories, solar panel factories and then solar and wind farms at the site.

Amy Glasser
Custer, WA

Amy Glasser (#1030)

Date Submitted: 10/22/2012
Location: Custer, WA
Comment:
Scoping comment: Please study the impact on the people and environment that the Custer Spur expansion will result in when 18 coal trains and 2 BP expansion trains plus the current average of 5 trains a day are emitting diesel particulates in the air traveling to and from the terminal and additionally idling on the waiting area on the Custer Spur.

I live next in Custer and our home is directly next to the Custer Spur. The plans I see for the Custer Spur rail improvements include 4 new side rails and between Valley View Road and Ham Road. The distance between Valley View and Ham Road is about 1 ½ miles. I have been told that the trains will be approximately that length but some numbers say 125 cars and other numbers report 150 cars per train. This would be important when these trains are stopped waiting on the side rails, especially if they are longer than the distance between the 2 intersections. If the train is longer, the train would be forced to block the intersection for short or long periods of time.
We currently see that the trains waiting in that area between Valley View and Ham Road do in fact idle. The increase of 18 trains (for the coal terminal) and the additional 2 trains (1 each way daily) from the new BP expansion plan, will certainly affect the environment. Those trains will be idling with diesel exhaust continuing to be emitted in to the air and around the sensitive wetlands and California Creek. We can see that currently an average gasoline cargo train has 2-3 engines per train. Coal trains have an average of 4-6 engines per train. Even if we were to take the lowest number, we would be adding:
BP new project: 1 train, 2 engine trains going back and forth x 365 days a year = 1460 (3 engines 2190).
GPT completed project: 9 trains 4 engine going back and forth x 365 a year=26,280 minimum to a maximum of 39,420 diesel incidents per year.
This is a total of between 27,740 and 41,610 additional diesel engines per year spewing toxic pollutants in to the air, wetlands and our lungs just on the Custer Spur.
Please study the effects of between 27,740 and 421,610 additional diesel engines emitting toxins in the air on people’s lungs within 2000 feet of the train tracks.
Another important study is the effects of 4 probable waiting trains at a time on the Spur at most times. That is fairly a consistent 4 diesel engines continually emitting diesel particulates.
Please study the actual length of the trains to be absolutely certain the trains will fit between Valley View Road and Ham Road so the trains do not idle on the actual crossings.
In order to mitigate these additional diesel incidents related to these 2 projects, please mandate that the trains must be shut off if they are to idle for more than 5 minutes. If that is not possible then at a minimum the homes within 2000 feet from the proposed new side rails should be purchased as the health to the residents living within ½ mile will certainly be directly affected by the trains idling on the side rails.
It is also important to begin to mandate that trains that travel through our county must begin to convert to Electric engines. In several European countries, their trains are powered by electricity. They also do not blow horns as all crossings have gates and lights and they expect drivers to know the rules of the road, including, you stop when the gates come down or if the light turns red. We do not honk our horns going through intersections when the light is green because one assumes that the person who has a red light will stop. And I think we have a lot more deaths from cars than trains.

Please mandate that the railroad come up with alternatives to blowing horns all through the day and night, especially when there is no traffic coming (rural areas). Several countries in Europe (including Switzerland) do not honk horns on thier trains. Lights are flashing and gates go down. Drivers are expected to stop.

Amy Glasser

APPENDIX A: Pulmonary Impacts of Airborne Pollutants (including diesel particulate matter):
The notion that air pollution can have a direct and measurable impact on human health is not a new one. On Dec. 5, 1952, a London temperature inversion led to an increase in airborne fossil fuel pollutants that caused an estimated excess 4000 deaths. Similar acute events have been observed in
Belgium and Pennsylvania (Schenker, M. editorial 1993, New Engl J Med 329(24):1807-1808). Since that time, and particularly in the 1990's and 2000's, numerous studies have been conducted that demonstrate measurable adverse effects associated with pollutant levels, not just associated with severe inversions, but at ongoing levels that currently exist in the United States.
Airborne pollution can be measured by multiple parameters, including carbon monoxide, ozone, NO2, NO3, and particulate matter (PM). Much focus has been on PM2.5, which refers to particulate matter with particle diameter < 2.5 microns. These particles appear to be particularly deleterious to health, as the small size enables deposition in the distal pulmonary air spaces. The EPA has recognized this, and strengthened PM2.5 standards 2006 to 35ug/mm3 daily, and 15ug/mm3 annual average. PM2.5 in the Puget Sound area is usually between 5 and 30, often 40, with spikes up to 60 ug/mm3. The majority of particulate matter is derived from combustion of fossil fuels, particularly diesel. Coal dust also contributes to particulate matter. The pulmonary health impact of air pollution has been measured in many ways. These include measurements of lung function (pulmonary function studies), measurements of lung inflammation, increased rate and severity of asthma attacks, increased ER visits and hospital admissions, and remarkably, even increased death rates (mortality rates). These studies show data of statistical significance, and some of the studies have even been done in the Puget Sound area, with exposure to everyday pollutant levels that are often below national EPA guidelines.
Listed below are key findings of relevant studies, divided into sections regarding A) impaired pulmonary development and function; B) increased childhood asthma attacks, ER visits, and hospitalizations; and C) increased mortality and decreased life expectancy. These studies are not relegated to obscure journals; most of these are in major peer-reviewed medical journals. A more complete description of each listed study can be found at the end of this appendix in "Summary of Studies," and further details can be found in the primary references.
A. Impaired pulmonary development and function:
Airborne pollution has been associated with:
▪ Reduction in pulmonary development in adolescents, measured by decreased pulmonary function test (PFT) results in adolescents. (Gauderman, W. et al. 2004. The effect of air pollution on lung development from 10 to 18 years of age. New Engl J Med 351(11):1057-1067).
▪ Decreased pulmonary function in young, healthy people, measured at pollution levels far below EPA standards. (Thaller, E. et al. 2008. Moderate increases in ambient PM 2.5 and ozone are associated with lung function decreases in beach lifeguards. J Occup Environ Med. 50:202-211.)
▪ Measurable pulmonary inflammation, induced by airborne particulate matter, which may be undetectable by symptoms or pulmonary function tests. (Ghio, A. J et al. 2000. Concentrated ambient air particles induce mild pulmonary inflammation in healthy human volunteers. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 162: 981-2000).
B. Childhood asthma attacks, ER visits, and hospital admissions:
Airborne pollution has been associated with:
▪ Increased frequency and severity of asthma attacks in children; a 10ug/m3 increase in PM2.5 was associated with a 1.2 fold increase chance of having a severe attack (including a prolonged attack lasting >2 hr). Study done in Seattle; Seattle area shown to range between 10 and 60 ug/m3, with most days between 10 and 40. (Slaughter, J. C. et al. 2003. Effects of ambient air pollution on symptom severity and medication use in children with asthma. Ann Allergy Asthma & Immunol 91:346-353.)
▪ Increased ER visits in children, with a relative risk of 1.15 for every increase in PM10 of 11ug/mm3. This study was conducted in Seattle, and the effect was observed even when PM2.5 was below the National Ambient Air Quality Standards of 15ug/mm3. (Norris, G. et al. 1999. An association between fine particles and asthma emergency department visits for children in Seattle. Environ Health Perspect 107:489-493.)
▪ Increased hospital admissions for children with asthma, with an odds ratio of 1.93 for those living within 200m of roads traveled by diesel trucks. Diesel trucks are noted to produce as much as 10x as much particulate matter as gasoline-powered vehicles. (Lin, S. et al. 2002.
Childhood asthma hospitalization and residential exposure to state route traffic. Environ Res Sect A 88:73-81.)
▪ Increased risk of hospital admissions for pneumonia, acute bronchitis, and asthma. Children < 5 were particularly susceptible. Increased risk of 4-7% were observed for each interquartile range. (Ostro, B. et al. 2009. The effects of fine particle components on respiratory hospital admissions in children. Environ Health Perspect 117(3):475-480.)
C. Increased mortality and decreased life expectancy:
Airborne pollution has been associated with:
▪ Increased mortality in more heavily polluted cities. A relative risk of 1.26 was identified for living in the most heavily polluted city than the least polluted city. This relative risk was equivalent to that of a 25 pack-year smoking history. (Dockery, D. et al. 1993. An association between air pollution and mortality in six US cities. New Engl J Med 329(24): 1753-1759.)
▪ Increased cardiopulmonary mortality in cities with higher particulate matter, with relative risk of 1.26-1.31, corresponding to 8 to 10 deaths/year/100,000 people in metropolitan areas (Pope, C. A. III et al. 1995. Particulate air pollution as a predictor of mortality in a prospective study of U.S. adults. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 151: 669-674.)
▪ Increased cardiopulmonary mortality, with a linear relationship of 4%, 6%, and 8% increased risk of all-cause, cardiopulmonary, and lung cancer mortality for each 10 ug/m3 increase in PM 2.5 (Pope, C. A. III et al. 2002 Lung cancer, cardiopulmonary mortality, and long-term exposure to fine particulate air pollution. JAMA 287: 1132-1141.)
▪ Increased risk of all-cause and cardiopulmonary mortality associated with long term exposure to PM 2.5 and constituents. A 10 ug/mm3 increase in PM 2.5 was associated with a mortality hazard ratio of 2.05. The ranges of PM 2.5 in this study are similar to those observed in the Seattle area. (Ostro. B. et al. Long-term exposure to constituents of fine particulate air pollution and mortality: results from the California Teachers Study. Environ Health Perspect 118(3):363-369.)
▪ Decreased life expectancy, of 0.7 to 1.6 years of life expectancy due to long-term exposure to PM2.5 of 10 ug/mm3. Accordingly, improving air quality can result in a measurable increase in life expectancy, demonstrating that public policy regarding protection of air quality can have a measurable impact on life expectancy. (Pope, C. A. et al. 2009. Fine-particulate matter air pollution and life expectancy in the United States. New Engl J Med 360(4):376-386.)
The conclusion that airborne pollutants pose a significant and measurable health risk was also found by the American Lung Association, in its review "State of the Air 2011". Specifically, they concluded that the data collectively shows increased risk of death from respiratory and cardiovascular causes, including strokes and lung cancer; increased mortality in infants and young children; increased numbers of heart attacks, especially among the elderly and in people with heart conditions;
inflammation of lung tissue in young, healthy adults; increased hospitalization for cardiovascular disease, including strokes and congestive heart failure; increased emergency room visits for patients suffering from acute respiratory ailments; increased hospitalization for asthma among children, and increased severity of asthma attacks in children. According to the American Lung Association, "The evidence warns that the death toll is high. Although no national tally exists, California just completed an analysis that estimates that 9,200 people in California die annually from breathing particle pollution..." (http://www.stateoftheair.org/2011/assets/SOTA2011.pdf)
The EPA also conducted a thorough review of the current research on particle pollution in December 2009. The Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee consisted of a panel of expert scientists, who concluded that particle pollution caused multiple, serious threats to health. They found that pollution causes early death (both short-term and long-term exposure), cardiovascular harm (heart attacks, strokes, heart disease, congestive heart failure), respiratory harm (worsened asthma, worsened COPD, inflammation), and may cause cancer and reproductive and developmental harm. (America Lung Association, State of the Air 2011) Puget Sound is also in particular danger from airborne pollutants. The National-Scale Air Toxics Assessment (NATA), a study also by the EPA, indicated that the Puget Sound region ranks in the country’s top 5% of risk for exposure to toxic air pollution, with risks including cancer, heart disease, lung damage, and nerve damage. "According to this study, diesel- and gasoline-powered engines account for over 90 percent of the risk from air toxics to Puget Sound residents," said Craig Kenworthy, Executive Director of the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency. "If we're serious about protecting public health, we must redouble our efforts as a region to reduce pollution from vehicles and diesel pollution in particular. "http://www.pscleanair.org/news/newsroom/releases 2011/03_11_11_NATA.aspx
Consistent with this view, the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency (representing King, Kitsap, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties) assembled the Particle Matter Health Committee, which felt that federal standards were not sufficiently protective for human health, and set goals for PM2.5 of 25ug/mm3 daily, and 15ug/mm3 annual average. (The 2006 EPA standards for PM2.5 are 35ug/mm3 daily, and 15ug/mm3 annual average.) It is noted that of the four represented counties, two violate the federal standards, and three violate the goals of the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency.
(http://www.pscleanair.org)
In summary, the adverse effects of air pollutants, which largely represent diesel combustion particular matter but would also include coal dust, are not hypothetical. A multitude of studies show real and measureable effects, not only in high exposure areas (such as coal mines) but also with normal routine environmental exposures (even within federal guidelines), and in the Puget Sound area. These effects can be measured in many ways, and include direct measurements of inflammation in the lungs and pulmonary function tests, increased asthma attacks, increased ER visits, increased hospital admissions, and even increased mortality rates (including by cardiopulmonary causes, lung cancer, and remarkably, even overall mortality). The represented studies have statistically significant data, show a linear effect, and indicate that there is no purely safe threshold.
This is not a hypothetical issue. The data indicates that adding additional large sources of diesel and particulate matter pollution in the Puget Sound region would exacerbate human health problems that are already documented to be present.
References/Summaries of Studies: Mortality & Life Expectancy
Pope, C. A. et al. 2009. Fine-particulate matter air pollution and life expectancy in the United States. New Engl J Med 360(4):376-386.
The life expectancy of 51 metropolitan areas spread across the United States was compared from 1979-1983 and 1999-2000. During this time period, particle air pollution decreased by an average of 6.52 ug/mm3, and life expectancy increased 2.72 years. Prior indirect calculations reportedly showed a loss of 0.7 to 1.6 years of life expectancy due to long-term exposure to PM2.5 of 10 ug/mm3. In this study, after adjustment for socioeconomic, demographic, and proxy variables for smoking, a decrease of PM2.5 of 10ug/mm3 was associated with an increase in life expectancy of 0.61 years. This study shows that public policy (enforcement of clean air standards) can have a measurable impact in life expectancy.
Dockery, D. et al. 1993. An association between air pollution and mortality in six U.S. cities. New Engl J Med 329(24): 1753-1759.
8111 people living in 6 different cities were studied over a 14-16 year period (111,076 person-years). The 6 cities chosen have varying levels of pollution, which were stratified with 6 measurements (including particulate matter). Causes of death were analyzed. Increased mortality was associated with cigarette smoking (RR 1.59 for current smokers, 1.26 for a 25 pack-year history), obesity (RR 1.08), and ambient air pollution (RR 1.26 when comparing the most and least polluted cities, p< 0.001). The increased mortality was restricted to cardiopulmonary-related deaths (including lung cancer), persisted after controlling for hypertension, smoking, and occupational exposure, and showed a dose-response curve when examining the cities from least-polluted to most-polluted. There was not an increased risk of death due to non-cardiopulmonary causes. This study demonstrates that people living in more polluted cities have a significant mortality increase that is equivalent to a 25 pack-year smoking history.
Pope, C. A. III et al. 1995. Particulate air pollution as a predictor of mortality in a prospective study of U.S. adults. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 151: 669-674.
Data from 552,138 people living in 151 US metropolitan areas was used to determine relative risk for death by living in more polluted cities (as measured by particulate air pollution, predominantly generated by burning fossil fuels). Increased mortality due to cardiopulmonary causes was associated with current smoking (RR 2.28) and living in cities with higher particulate matter (RR 1.26 when measured by sulfite particles, and 1.31 when measured by elevated fine particles, p<0.001). The association with air pollution was consistent among smokers and nonsmokers. This corresponds to an increase of 8 to 10 deaths/year/100,000 people. This study confirms Dockery's observations that deaths due to air pollution in US communities can be measured.
Ostro. B. et al. 2009. Long-term exposure to constituents of fine particulate air pollution and mortality: results from the California Teachers Study. Environ Health Perspect 118(3):363-369.
Data from the California Teachers Study (encompassing 45,000 active and former teachers, with 2600 deaths, over a 5 year period) was analyzed to examine correlates between air pollution (with monthly averages of PM 2.5 constituents) and mortality causes. Long term exposure to PM 2.5 and constituents was associated with increased risk of all-cause and cardiopulmonary mortality. A 10 ug/mm3 increase in PM 2.5 was associated with a HR of 2.05. The ranges of PM 2.5 in this study are similar to those observed in the Seattle area.
Pope, C. A. III et al. 2002 Lung cancer, cardiopulmonary mortality, and long-term exposure to fine particulate air pollution. JAMA 287: 1132-1141.
This is a very large study encompassing 500,000 adults in 51 metropolitan areas of the US over 16 years. Causes of death were compared with measures of pollution. Elevated all-cause mortality, cardiopulmonary mortality, and lung cancer mortality was observed with statistical significance in more polluted areas, even after extensively controlling for smoking, BMI, diet, education, occupational exposure, and regional differences. No association with non-cardiopulmonary mortality was observed. The increase in mortality was found to be linear with elevated pollution, with each 10 ug/m3 increase in PM 2.5 (particulate matter <2.5 um) associated with a 4%, 6%, and 8% increased risk of all-cause, cardiopulmonary, and lung cancer mortality. The all-cause mortality risk was found to be comparable to moderate obesity. This study reaffirms prior findings of other studies that particulate matter is associated with a measureable increase in mortality in the U.S., and further defines a linear dose response relationship.
References/Summaries of Studies: Pulmonary development & effects
Gauderman, W. et al. 2004. The effect of air pollution on lung development from 10 to 18 years of age. New Engl J Med 351(11):1057-1067
Children's Health Study: The lung function of 1759 adolescents (average age at start of study 10y) in 12 California communities was measured annually for eight years. This age is an important period of lung maturation, as measured by increases in FEV1 and FVC. Children living in the more polluted communities (as measured by particulate matter, O3, NO2, and airborne carbon) showed significant deficits in pulmonary development as compared to those living in less polluted communities (multiple parameters showed p<0.05). For example, children in the most polluted community had a 5x greater risk of having low FEV1 (using the clinical definition as < 80% predicted value) by the age of 18 (7.9% vs 1.6%). The effect was similar to exposure to passive smoking that was shown in prior studies, and less pronounced as a history of personal smoking. Exposure-response relationship nearly linear, with no discernible safe thresholds (review of study by Pope, NEJM 351(11):1132-1134.) This study indicates that current levels of pollution in some areas have a negative impact on lung development in adolescents.
Thaller, E. et al. 2008. Moderate increases in ambient PM2.5 and ozone are associated with lung function decreases in beach lifeguards. J Occup Environ Med 50:202-211.
The change in lung function (FVC and FEV1) in the morning vs afternoon was measured in 142 lifeguards, and correlated with daily pollution indices (primarily PM2.5 and ozone). Normally, pulmonary function increases throughout the day, but in this study the pulmonary indices declined with increasing pollution. The magnitude was not huge, but many measurements showed statistical significance. An important aspect of this study is that statistically significant decreases in pulmonary performance could be demonstrated in young healthy adults at exposures far below EPA Air Quality Standards. (EPA has an unhealthy level of PM2.5 at 35ug/mm3 for 24hr, and 15 ug/ml for annual exposure. The measurements in the study only exceeded 35ug/mm3 once over the three year study period, yet significant effects could be measured.)
Ghio, A. J et al. 2000. Concentrated ambient air particles induce mild pulmonary inflammation in healthy human volunteers. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 162: 981-2000. 38 healthy young volunteers (average age 18-40, no history of allergies, asthma, or other pulmonary disease) were exposed to ambient air (control; 8) or concentrated air particles from ambient Chapel Hill air (30) for 2 hours. Exposure to the concentrated air particles was associated with measureable increases in inflammation, as determined by neutrophils counts on BAL specimens obtained 18 h after exposure (8.44 vs 2.29% for the bronchial fraction, and 4.20 vs 0.75% in the alveolar fractions). The data is statistically significant. The increases in inflammation were despite no reported symptoms or changes in pulmonary function tests. Although the exposures were to higher concentrations that are typically found in US polluted areas, it is noted that the exposure was for only 2 hr rather than years. This study shows that particulate matter can induce measurable pulmonary inflammation which may be asymptomatic or undetectable by PFTs.
Slaughter, J. C. et al. 2003. Effects of ambient air pollution on symptom severity and medication use in children with asthma. Ann Allergy Asthma & Immunol 91:346-353.
133 children in the greater Seattle area with asthma were monitored for asthma attacks, which were correlated with daily pollution measurements over 28 to 122 days. Severity of attacks was recorded by subjective self report, as well as recording the dosage and puffs of medication. Pollution measurements consisted of particulate matter (PM) and carbon monoxide (CO) at 12 area stations. PM2.5 was found to correlate more with time than locale. Of note, the Seattle area appears to vary between 10 and 60 ug/m3, with most measurements between 10 and 40. Each 10ug/m3 increase was associated with a 1.2 fold increase chance of having a severe attack (including a prolonged attack lasting >2 hr), with a 1.08 fold increase in rescue inhaler use. Time spent indoors vs outdoors was not recorded, and thus the true impacts may be greater than the observed effects.
References/Summaries of Studies: ER visits and hospitalization rates
Norris, G. et al. 1999. An association between fine particles and asthma emergency department visits for children in Seattle. Environ Health Perspect. 107:489-493.
The Seattle-King County Dept. of Public Health issued a report that showed that the hospitalization rate for children with asthma was >6x greater for children living in the inner city than in suburbs. Thus, this study was created to determine if an association with air pollution exists. Daily air pollution data was collected and correlated with data for ER visits in 6 Seattle area hospitals over 15 months. The majority of the ER visits were at Seattle Children's Hospital. Every increase in PM of 11 ug/mm3 was associated with a relative rate of 1.15 for ER visits. These changes were seen even when PM2.5 was below the National Ambient Air Quality Standards of 15ug/mm3.
Lin, S. et al. 2002. Childhood asthma hospitalization and residential exposure to state route
traffic. Environ Res Sect A 88:73-81.
417 children (age 0-14) who were hospitalized for asthma exacerbations were compared to 461 controls who were admitted for other reasons. After controlling for age, education and poverty levels, home addresses were analyzed for area traffic information. Children hospitalized for asthma were more likely to live on roads in the highest tertile of vehicle miles traveled. An odds ratio of 1.93 was associated with living within 200m of roads traveled by trucks and trailers, as compared to control subjects. It is also noted in the paper that heavy duty diesel trucks emit as much as 100x as much particulate matter as gasoline powered vehicles (reference not reviewed; Hildemann L. M. et al. 1991. Environ Sci Technol 14:138-152).
Ostro, B. et al. The effects of fine particle components on respiratory hospital admissions in children. Environ. Health Perspect. 117(3):475-480.
ICD-9 codes for admissions for children < 19 and <5 (for hospital admissions in 6 California counties from 2000-2003, in which county air pollution statics were available) were correlated with multiple pollutant levels. Children <5 were found to be particularly susceptible. Increased risks of 4-7% were observed for admissions for pneumonia, acute bronchitis, and asthma for each interquartile range.

Amy Glasser (#1031)

Date Submitted: 10/23/2012
Location: Custer, WA
Comment:
Re: Please scope the impact of shipping 48+ million tons of coal to countries that will burn that fuel and produce huge amounts of greenhouse gases. I also believe that given there is a proposal to build an additional 4 plants which if combined will send 150 million tons of coal to Asia, we must consider the cumulative effect of these proposals on our community and the planet in general. The increase in air pollution from the mining, transporting, shipping and burning of coal will excelerate global climate change.

We all know that climate change is real. We had the warmest year on record. The ice caps are melting at a rate faster than even the scientists have expected. The US is the largest fossil fuel producers on the planet. Our state is closing their only coal plant because it is so bad on the environment, yet we want to mine, transport, ship and allow China to burn that dirty fuel? We don’t want China to ship us toys that have lead in them yet we will ship them cheap coal to burn and further degrade our environment. That cheap coal will also power the factories that will produce cheap products that will be shipped back to us. Why would we want to give China a way to undercut and sell us cheap goods when we want to build up our own manufacturing industry?

We all want to have this planet healthy for our children and grandchildren and it will not be if the planet is so warm that skin cancer and respiratory illnesses are the norm, coastal cities are flooded and farms are constantly experiencing drought.

This is a personal issue, a community issue, a state issue, a national issue and a global issue. I understand that this EIS is supposed to only cover our local environment however it is impossible to consider permitting a project that primary purpose is to ship coal to Asia to burn and thus increasingly affect the health of the planet and locally, the residents in Whatcom County.

Please study the significant impact this project (burning 48 million tons of additional coal per year along with the other 4 proposals on the west coast) will have on the acceleration on global warming. There are numerous studies that indicate that the burning of coal is resulting in the health dangers to people and the planet. This must be studied as it would be insane to call an Environmental Impact Statement without considering the planet as part of our environment.

Please study whether we should be condoning this proposal or looking at building wind turbine factories, solar panel factories and then solar and wind farms at the site.

Amy Glasser
Custer, WA

Amy Glasser (#2262)

Date Submitted: 11/03/2012
Location: Custer, WA
Comment:
Scoping comment: Please study the impact of the combination of existing trains currently traveling through our county combined with the additional 18 trains being proposed by GPT (and the BP expansion that will also include 1 more round trip of a train though the county on a daily basis), on the health of our community and those along the train route (both human and environmental).

I live next to the tracks on the Custer Spur. I already live with the 5-6 trains that go by day and night. I bought in to that when I bought my home. I did not expect the train to turn in to a rail yard a few hundred feet from my home and I certainly would not have bought my home if I knew that there would be an additional 18+ coal trains traveling by day and night. I have learned a lot by educating myself about this project and I have significant concerns about diesel particulates that will be released in to the air and waterways and the effects this will have on the health of our citizenry and our planet.

The average number of engines on each coal train will be 4. That would be 18 trips x 4 engines x 365 days = 26,280 diesel engines emitting diesel particulates though our county and the entire state.
The are an average of 14 trains that currently travel through Bellingham and they have an average of 3 engines per train. That amounts to 14 trips x 3 engines x 365 days = 15,330 diesel engines traveling yearly by our homes.
The new BP train expansion and loop is stating it will only have 1 train but are they really building that loop for 1 train or will that number creep up as years go by. Even if it is just 1, that would be 2 trips x 3 engines x 365 days = 2,190 more diesel engines emitting particulates in to the air year.
BNSF also discussed another 5-6 trains a day with other commodities as a possibility. That would be a minimum of 8 trains x 2 engines (low estimate) x 365 days a year = 5840 more diesel engines per year.

That is a total (minimum) of 49,640 diesel engines traveling through our county yearly emitting diesel particulates in to the air for us to breathe, water to absorb, fish to drink and plants and wildlife to live on (water and food contamination). What is an acceptable amount of diesel particulates for us to breathe? The Whatcom Docs have plenty of research that states that diesel particulates increases of that magnitude will cause an increase in respiratory illness in our county. 1,2, Many of these victims do not have ample insurance to cover the costs of medical care. Who will be paying for there care and ours? Asthma is a very costly illness with tests, medications, complications, missed school or work and loss of physical capabilities to name just a few of the impacts. It also disqualifies an individual payer from getting private insurance, costing citizens more. Please study the financial impacts the increased respiratory illnesses will have on the community and individuals (health costs, sick days at work, missed school days for children, mental health issues associated with asthma, lack of exercise from illness, contributing to obesity and other costs the community will bear).

Please study the significant impact diesel particulates from a total of 40+ trains a day with 142 diesel engines spewing particulates in to the air daily. Please also include in your study the amount of particulates that will be released in to air as these trains idle on the Spur. There are 4 side rails and if just 3 are used at a time that is 3 trains x 4 engines continually spewing diesel particulates in to the air 365 days a year. I live near the Spur and I already see a train consistently waiting on the Spur. With the increase from BP and this project, I think it is safe to say, trains will be idling there often. Please measure the amount of carbon emissions these train trips emit in to the atmosphere and the impact just the increase in trains will have on global climate change. I think that a Hurricane Sandy proved to us all the freak storms are here to stay and global warming is the major contributor.
Please mandate that the trains plug in to electrical power grids while instead of idling at side rails.3 Some trains in Europe are powered by electricity and this technology can be applied here to begin to power our trains without harming our health and the planet’s any more than it has already.

Amy Glasser
Custer, WA 98240

References

1. APPENDIX A: Pulmonary Impacts of Airborne Pollutants (including diesel particulate matter):
The notion that air pollution can have a direct and measurable impact on human health is not a new one. On Dec. 5, 1952, a London temperature inversion led to an increase in airborne fossil fuel pollutants that caused an estimated excess 4000 deaths. Similar acute events have been observed in
Belgium and Pennsylvania (Schenker, M. editorial 1993, New Engl J Med 329(24):1807-1808). Since that time, and particularly in the 1990's and 2000's, numerous studies have been conducted that demonstrate measurable adverse effects associated with pollutant levels, not just associated with severe inversions, but at ongoing levels that currently exist in the United States.
Airborne pollution can be measured by multiple parameters, including carbon monoxide, ozone, NO2, NO3, and particulate matter (PM). Much focus has been on PM2.5, which refers to particulate matter with particle diameter < 2.5 microns. These particles appear to be particularly deleterious to health, as the small size enables deposition in the distal pulmonary air spaces. The EPA has recognized this, and strengthened PM2.5 standards 2006 to 35ug/mm3 daily, and 15ug/mm3 annual average. PM2.5 in the Puget Sound area is usually between 5 and 30, often 40, with spikes up to 60 ug/mm3. The majority of particulate matter is derived from combustion of fossil fuels, particularly diesel. Coal dust also contributes to particulate matter. The pulmonary health impact of air pollution has been measured in many ways. These include measurements of lung function (pulmonary function studies), measurements of lung inflammation, increased rate and severity of asthma attacks, increased ER visits and hospital admissions, and remarkably, even increased death rates (mortality rates). These studies show data of statistical significance, and some of the studies have even been done in the Puget Sound area, with exposure to everyday pollutant levels that are often below national EPA guidelines.
Listed below are key findings of relevant studies, divided into sections regarding A) impaired pulmonary development and function; B) increased childhood asthma attacks, ER visits, and hospitalizations; and C) increased mortality and decreased life expectancy. These studies are not relegated to obscure journals; most of these are in major peer-reviewed medical journals. A more complete description of each listed study can be found at the end of this appendix in "Summary of Studies," and further details can be found in the primary references.
A. Impaired pulmonary development and function:
Airborne pollution has been associated with:
▪ Reduction in pulmonary development in adolescents, measured by decreased pulmonary function test (PFT) results in adolescents. (Gauderman, W. et al. 2004. The effect of air pollution on lung development from 10 to 18 years of age. New Engl J Med 351(11):1057-1067).
▪ Decreased pulmonary function in young, healthy people, measured at pollution levels far below EPA standards. (Thaller, E. et al. 2008. Moderate increases in ambient PM 2.5 and ozone are associated with lung function decreases in beach lifeguards. J Occup Environ Med. 50:202-211.)
▪ Measurable pulmonary inflammation, induced by airborne particulate matter, which may be undetectable by symptoms or pulmonary function tests. (Ghio, A. J et al. 2000. Concentrated ambient air particles induce mild pulmonary inflammation in healthy human volunteers. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 162: 981-2000).
B. Childhood asthma attacks, ER visits, and hospital admissions:
Airborne pollution has been associated with:
▪ Increased frequency and severity of asthma attacks in children; a 10ug/m3 increase in PM2.5 was associated with a 1.2 fold increase chance of having a severe attack (including a prolonged attack lasting >2 hr). Study done in Seattle; Seattle area shown to range between 10 and 60 ug/m3, with most days between 10 and 40. (Slaughter, J. C. et al. 2003. Effects of ambient air pollution on symptom severity and medication use in children with asthma. Ann Allergy Asthma & Immunol 91:346-353.)
▪ Increased ER visits in children, with a relative risk of 1.15 for every increase in PM10 of 11ug/mm3. This study was conducted in Seattle, and the effect was observed even when PM2.5 was below the National Ambient Air Quality Standards of 15ug/mm3. (Norris, G. et al. 1999.
An association between fine particles and asthma emergency department visits for children in Seattle. Environ Health Perspect 107:489-493.)
▪ Increased hospital admissions for children with asthma, with an odds ratio of 1.93 for those living within 200m of roads traveled by diesel trucks. Diesel trucks are noted to produce as much as 100x as much particulate matter as gasoline-powered vehicles. (Lin, S. et al. 2002.
Childhood asthma hospitalization and residential exposure to state route traffic. Environ Res Sect A 88:73-81.)
▪ Increased risk of hospital admissions for pneumonia, acute bronchitis, and asthma. Children < 5 were particularly susceptible. Increased risk of 4-7% were observed for each interquartile range. (Ostro, B. et al. 2009. The effects of fine particle components on respiratory hospital admissions in children. Environ Health Perspect 117(3):475-480.)
C. Increased mortality and decreased life expectancy:
Airborne pollution has been associated with:
▪ Increased mortality in more heavily polluted cities. A relative risk of 1.26 was identified for living in the most heavily polluted city than the least polluted city. This relative risk was equivalent to that of a 25 pack-year smoking history. (Dockery, D. et al. 1993. An association between air pollution and mortality in six US cities. New Engl J Med 329(24): 1753-1759.)
▪ Increased cardiopulmonary mortality in cities with higher particulate matter, with relative risk of 1.26-1.31, corresponding to 8 to 10 deaths/year/100,000 people in metropolitan areas (Pope, C. A. III et al. 1995. Particulate air pollution as a predictor of mortality in a prospective study of U.S. adults. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 151: 669-674.)
▪ Increased cardiopulmonary mortality, with a linear relationship of 4%, 6%, and 8% increased risk of all- 2.5 (Pope, C. A. III et al. 2002 Lung cancer, cardiopulmonary mortality, and long-term exposure to fine particulate air pollution. JAMA 287: 1132-1141.)
▪ Increased risk of all-cause and cardiopulmonary mortality associated with long term exposure to PM 2.5 and constituents. A 10 ug/mm3 increase in PM 2.5 was associated with a mortality azard ratio of 2.05. The ranges of PM 2.5 in this study are similar to those observed in the Seattle area. (Ostro. B. et al. Long-term exposure to constituents of fine particulate air pollution and mortality: results from the California Teachers Study. Environ Health Perspect 118(3):363-369.)
▪ Decreased life expectancy, of 0.7 to 1.6 years of life expectancy due to long-term exposure to PM2.5 of 10 ug/mm3. Accordingly, improving air quality can result in a measurable increase in life expectancy, demonstrating that public policy regarding protection of air quality can have a measurable impact on life expectancy. (Pope, C. A. et al. 2009. Fine-particulate matter air pollution and life expectancy in the United States. New Engl J Med 360(4):376-386.)
The conclusion that airborne pollutants pose a significant and measurable health risk was also found by the American Lung Association, in its review "State of the Air 2011". Specifically, they concluded that the data collectively shows increased risk of death from respiratory and cardiovascular causes, including strokes and lung cancer; increased mortality in infants and young children; increased numbers of heart attacks, especially among the elderly and in people with heart conditions;
inflammation of lung tissue in young, healthy adults; increased hospitalization for cardiovascular disease, including strokes and congestive heart failure; increased emergency room visits for patients suffering from acute respiratory ailments; increased hospitalization for asthma among children, and increased severity of asthma attacks in children. According to the American Lung Association, "The evidence warns that the death toll is high. Although no national tally exists, California just completed an analysis that estimates that 9,200 people in California die annually from breathing particle pollution..." (http://www.stateoftheair.org/2011/assets/SOTA2011.pdf)
The EPA also conducted a thorough review of the current research on particle pollution in December 2009. The Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee consisted of a panel of expert scientists, who concluded that particle pollution caused multiple, serious threats to health. They found that pollution causes early death (both short-term and long-term exposure), cardiovascular harm (heart attacks, strokes, heart disease, congestive heart failure), respiratory harm (worsened asthma, worsened COPD, inflammation), and may cause cancer and reproductive and developmental harm. (America Lung Association, State of the Air 2011)
Puget Sound is also in particular danger from airborne pollutants. The National-Scale Air Toxics Assessment (NATA), a study also by the EPA, indicated that the Puget Sound region ranks in the country’s top 5% of risk for exposure to toxic air pollution, with risks including cancer, heart disease, lung damage, and nerve damage. "According to this study, diesel- and gasoline-powered engines account for over 90 percent of the risk from air toxics to Puget Sound residents," said Craig Kenworthy, Executive Director of the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency. "If we're serious about protecting public health, we must redouble our efforts as a region to reduce pollution from vehicles and diesel pollution in particular. "http://www.pscleanair.org/news/newsroom/releases 2011/03_11_11_NATA.aspx
Consistent with this view, the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency (representing King, Kitsap, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties) assembled the Particle Matter Health Committee, which felt that federal standards were not sufficiently protective for human health, and set goals for PM2.5 of 25ug/mm3 daily, and 15ug/mm3 annual average. (The 2006 EPA standards for PM2.5 are 35ug/mm3 daily, and 15ug/mm3 annual average.) It is noted that of the four represented counties, two violate the federal standards, and three violate the goals of the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency.
(http://www.pscleanair.org)
In summary, the adverse effects of air pollutants, which largely represent diesel combustion particular matter but would also include coal dust, are not hypothetical. A multitude of studies show real and measureable effects, not only in high exposure areas (such as coal mines) but also with normal routine environmental exposures (even within federal guidelines), and in the Puget Sound area. These effects can be measured in many ways, and include direct measurements of inflammation in the lungs and pulmonary function tests, increased asthma attacks, increased ER visits, increased hospital admissions, and even increased mortality rates (including by cardiopulmonary causes, lung cancer, and remarkably, even overall mortality). The represented studies have statistically significant data, show a linear effect, and indicate that there is no purely safe threshold.
This is not a hypothetical issue. The data indicates that adding additional large sources of diesel and particulate matter pollution in the Puget Sound region would exacerbate human health problems that are already documented to be present.
References/Summaries of Studies: Mortality & Life Expectancy
Pope, C. A. et al. 2009. Fine-particulate matter air pollution and life expectancy in the UnitedStates. New Engl J Med 360(4):376-386.
The life expectancy of 51 metropolitan areas spread across the United States was compared from 1979-1983 and 1999-2000. During this time period, particle air pollution decreased by an average of 6.52 ug/mm3, and life expectancy increased 2.72 years. Prior indirect calculations reportedly showed a loss of 0.7 to 1.6 years of life expectancy due to long-term exposure to PM2.5 of 10 ug/mm3. In this study, after adjustment for socioeconomic, demographic, and proxy variables for smoking, a decrease of PM2.5 of 10ug/mm3 was associated with an increase in life expectancy of 0.61 years. This study shows that public policy (enforcement of clean air standards) can have a measurable impact in life expectancy.
Dockery, D. et al. 1993. An association between air pollution and mortality in six U.S. cities. New Engl J Med 329(24): 1753-1759.
8111 people living in 6 different cities were studied over a 14-16 year period (111,076 person-years).
The 6 cities chosen have varying levels of pollution, which were stratified with 6 measurements (including particulate matter). Causes of death were analyzed. Increased mortality was associated with cigarette smoking (RR 1.59 for current smokers, 1.26 for a 25 pack-year history), obesity (RR 1.08), and ambient air pollution (RR 1.26 when comparing the most and least polluted cities, p< 0.001). The increased mortality was restricted to cardiopulmonary-related deaths (including lung cancer), persisted after controlling for hypertension, smoking, and occupational exposure, and showed a dose-response curve when examining the cities from least-polluted to most-polluted. There was not an increased risk of death due to non-cardiopulmonary causes. This study demonstrates that people living in more polluted cities have a significant mortality increase that is equivalent to a 25 pack-year smoking history.
Pope, C. A. III et al. 1995. Particulate air pollution as a predictor of mortality in a prospective study of U.S. adults. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 151: 669-674.
Data from 552,138 people living in 151 US metropolitan areas was used to determine relative risk for death by living in more polluted cities (as measured by particulate air pollution, predominantly generated by burning fossil fuels). Increased mortality due to cardiopulmonary causes was associated with current smoking (RR 2.28) and living in cities with higher particulate matter (RR 1.26 when measured by sulfite particles, and 1.31 when measured by elevated fine particles, p<0.001). The association with air pollution was consistent among smokers and nonsmokers. This corresponds to an increase of 8 to 10 deaths/year/100,000 people. This study confirms Dockery's observations that deaths due to air pollution in US communities can be measured.
Ostro. B. et al. 2009. Long-term exposure to constituents of fine particulate air pollution and mortality: results from the California Teachers Study. Environ Health Perspect 118(3):363-369.
Data from the California Teachers Study (encompassing 45,000 active and former teachers, with 2600 deaths, over a 5 year period) was analyzed to examine correlates between air pollution (with monthly averages of PM 2.5 constituents) and mortality causes. Long term exposure to PM 2.5 and constituents was associated with increased risk of all-cause and cardiopulmonary mortality. A 10 ug/mm3 increase in PM 2.5 was associated with a HR of 2.05. The ranges of PM 2.5 in this study are similar to those observed in the Seattle area.
Pope, C. A. III et al. 2002 Lung cancer, cardiopulmonary mortality, and long-term exposure to fine particulate air pollution. JAMA 287: 1132-1141.
This is a very large study encompassing 500,000 adults in 51 metropolitan areas of the US over 16 years. Causes of death were compared with measures of pollution. Elevated all-cause mortality, cardiopulmonary mortality, and lung cancer mortality was observed with statistical significance in more polluted areas, even after extensively controlling for smoking, BMI, diet, education, occupational exposure, and regional differences. No association with non-cardiopulmonary mortality was observed. The increase in mortality was found to be linear with elevated pollution, with each 10 ug/m3 increase in PM 2.5 (particulate matter <2.5 um) associated with a 4%, 6%, and 8% increased risk of all-cause, cardiopulmonary, and lung cancer mortality. The all-cause mortality risk was found to be comparable to moderate obesity. This study reaffirms prior findings of other studies that particulate matter is associated with a measureable increase in mortality in the U.S., and further defines a linear dose response relationship.
References/Summaries of Studies: Pulmonary development & effects
Gauderman, W. et al. 2004. The effect of air pollution on lung development from 10 to 18 years of age. New Engl J Med 351(11):1057-1067
Children's Health Study: The lung function of 1759 adolescents (average age at start of study 10y) in 12 California communities was measured annually for eight years. This age is an important period of lung maturation, as measured by increases in FEV1 and FVC. Children living in the more polluted communities (as measured by particulate matter, O3, NO2, and airborne carbon) showed significant deficits in pulmonary development as compared to those living in less polluted communities (multiple parameters showed p<0.05). For example, children in the most polluted community had a 5x greater risk of having low FEV1 (using the clinical definition as < 80% predicted value) by the age of 18 (7.9% vs 1.6%). The effect was similar to exposure to passive smoking that was shown in prior studies, and less pronounced as a history of personal smoking. Exposure-response relationship nearly linear, with no discernible safe thresholds (review of study by Pope, NEJM 351(11):1132-1134.) This study indicates that current levels of pollution in some areas have a negative impact on lung development in adolescents.
Thaller, E. et al. 2008. Moderate increases in ambient PM2.5 and ozone are associated with lung function decreases in beach lifeguards. J Occup Environ Med 50:202-211. The change in lung function (FVC and FEV1) in the morning vs afternoon was measured in 142 lifeguards, and correlated with daily pollution indices (primarily PM2.5 and ozone). Normally, pulmonary function increases throughout the day, but in this study the pulmonary indices declined with increasing pollution. The magnitude was not huge, but many measurements showed statistical significance. An important aspect of this study is that statistically significant decreases in pulmonary performance could be demonstrated in young healthy adults at exposures far below EPA Air Quality Standards. (EPA has an unhealthy level of PM2.5 at 35ug/mm3 for 24hr, and 15 ug/ml for annual exposure. The measurements in the study only exceeded 35ug/mm3 once over the three year study period, yet significant effects could be measured.)
Ghio, A. J et al. 2000. Concentrated ambient air particles induce mild pulmonary inflammation in healthy human volunteers. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 162: 981-2000. 38 healthy young volunteers (average age 18-40, no history of allergies, asthma, or other pulmonary disease) were exposed to ambient air (control; 8) or concentrated air particles from ambient Chapel Hill air (30) for 2 hours. Exposure to the concentrated air particles was associated with measureable increases in inflammation, as determined by neutrophils counts on BAL specimens obtained 18 h after exposure (8.44 vs 2.29% for the bronchial fraction, and 4.20 vs 0.75% in the alveolar fractions). The data is statistically significant. The increases in inflammation were despite no reported symptoms or changes in pulmonary function tests. Although the exposures were to higher concentrations that are typically found in US polluted areas, it is noted that the exposure was for only 2 hr rather than years. This study shows that particulate matter can induce measurable pulmonary inflammation which may be asymptomatic or undetectable by PFTs.
Slaughter, J. C. et al. 2003. Effects of ambient air pollution on symptom severity and medication use in children with asthma. Ann Allergy Asthma & Immunol 91:346-353.
133 children in the greater Seattle area with asthma were monitored for asthma attacks, which were correlated with daily pollution measurements over 28 to 122 days. Severity of attacks was recorded by subjective self report, as well as recording the dosage and puffs of medication. Pollution measurements consisted of particulate matter (PM) and carbon monoxide (CO) at 12 area stations. PM2.5 was found to correlate more with time than locale. Of note, the Seattle area appears to vary between 10 and 60 ug/m3, with most measurements between 10 and 40. Each 10ug/m3 increase was associated with a 1.2 fold increase chance of having a severe attack (including a prolonged attack lasting >2 hr), with a 1.08 fold increase in rescue inhaler use. Time spent indoors vs outdoors was not recorded, and thus the true impacts may be greater than the observed effects.
References/Summaries of Studies: ER visits and hospitalization rates
Norris, G. et al. 1999. An association between fine particles and asthma emergency department visits for children in Seattle. Environ Health Perspect. 107:489-493.
The Seattle-King County Dept. of Public Health issued a report that showed that the hospitalization rate for children with asthma was >6x greater for children living in the inner city than in suburbs. Thus, this study was created to determine if an association with air pollution exists. Daily air pollution data was collected and correlated with data for ER visits in 6 Seattle area hospitals over 15 months. The majority of the ER visits were at Seattle Children's Hospital. Every increase in PM of 11 ug/mm3 was associated with a relative rate of 1.15 for ER visits. These changes were seen even when PM2.5 was below the National Ambient Air Quality Standards of 15ug/mm3.
Lin, S. et al. 2002. Childhood asthma hospitalization and residential exposure to state route traffic. Environ Res Sect A 88:73-81.
417 children (age 0-14) who were hospitalized for asthma exacerbations were compared to 461 controls who were admitted for other reasons. After controlling for age, education and poverty levels, home addresses were analyzed for area traffic information. Children hospitalized for asthma were more likely to live on roads in the highest tertile of vehicle miles traveled. An odds ratio of 1.93 was associated with living within 200m of roads traveled by trucks and trailers, as compared to control subjects. It is also noted in the paper that heavy duty diesel trucks emit as much as 100x as much particulate matter as gasoline powered vehicles (reference not reviewed; Hildemann L. M. et al. 1991. Environ Sci Technol 14:138-152).
Ostro, B. et al. The effects of fine particle components on respiratory hospital admissions in children. Environ. Health Perspect. 117(3):475-480.
ICD-9 codes for admissions for children < 19 and <5 (for hospital admissions in 6 California counties from 2000-2003, in which county air pollution statics were available) were correlated with multiple pollutant levels. Children <5 were found to be particularly susceptible. Increased risks of 4-7% were observed for admissions for pneumonia, acute bronchitis, and asthma for each interquartile range.


2. APPENDIX C: Cardiovascular Impacts of Airborne Pollutants (including particulate matter):
Review of the scientific literature indicates that the human body, in particular the cardiopulmonary system, is not equipped to safely process the toxic side effects of air pollution any better than it is able to process cigarette smoke. Almost all of the same physiologic reactions that occur in response to cigarette smoke occur in response to exposure to air pollution, in particular the fine particulate matter of diesel exhaust. The cardiovascular impacts of airborne pollutants have been thoroughly documented in a recent comprehensive review by the American Heart Association, with 426 peer reviewed journal article references (Particulate Matter Air Pollution and Cardiovascular Disease: An update to the Scientific Statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation 121:2331-2378). The conclusions of the American Heart Association, which are based on numerous studies in major peer-reviewed journals, are summarized below:
▪ Short-term exposure to PM2.5 over a period of a few hours to weeks can trigger cardiovascular-related events and mortality, including myocardial infarction (heart attacks),heart failure, arrhythmias, and strokes.
▪ People particularly at risk include the elderly, patients with pre-existing coronary artery disease, those with diabetes or obesity, and perhaps women.
▪ Long-term exposure to PM2.5 appears to increase the risk even more than short-term exposure.
▪ Cardiovascular risk appears to extend below national standards, with no safe threshold (harmful effects extend to below the PM 2.5 15ug/mm3 standard).
▪ Long-term exposure to elevated concentrations of ambient PM 2.5 at levels encountered in the present day environment reduces life expectancy by several months to a few years.
▪ Most recent studies indicate that the absolute risk for mortality due to particulate matter is
even greater for cardiovascular than for pulmonary diseases. (See Appendix A for the pulmonary impacts).
American Heart Association comprehensive review:
Particulate Matter Air Pollution and Cardiovascular Disease: An update to the Scientific Statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation 121:2331-2378 HYPERLINK "http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/121/21/2331.full.pdf"
http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/121/21/2331.full.pdf
Brook RD. 2008.
Cardiovascular effects of air pollution. Clin Sci (Lond).115:175–187.
Pope CA 3rd, Muhlestein JB, May HT, Renlund DG, Anderson JL, Horne
BD. 2006.
Ischemic heart disease events triggered by short-term exposure to fine
particulate air pollution. Circulation.114:2443–2448. Simkhovich BZ, Kleinman MT, Kloner RA. 2008.
Air pollution and cardio- vascular injury epidemiology, toxicology, and mechanisms. J Am Coll Cardiol. 52:719–726.


3, Idle Reduction Technologies - US Environmental Protection Agency
www.epa.gov/smartway/technology/idling.htm
In both cases, the EPS system reduces main engine idling by providing an ... into” an electrical power source instead of using its diesel engines while at the rail yard. .... An automatic engine shut-down/start-up system not only turns off the main .... common understanding of requirements and ease of implementation; and (2)

Amy Glasser (#2524)

Date Submitted: 11/07/2012
Location: Custer, WA
Comment:
Scoping comment: Please study the impact of the combination of existing trains currently traveling through our county combined with the additional 18 trains being proposed by GPT (and the BP expansion that will also include 1 more round trip of a train though the county on a daily basis), on the health of our community and those along the train route (both human and environmental).

I live next to the tracks on the Custer Spur. I already live with the 5-6 trains that go by day and night. I bought in to that when I bought my home. I did not expect the train to turn in to a rail yard a few hundred feet from my home and I certainly would not have bought my home if I knew that there would be an additional 18+ coal trains traveling by day and night. I have learned a lot by educating myself about this project and I have significant concerns about diesel particulates that will be released in to the air and waterways and the effects this will have on the health of our citizenry and our planet.

The average number of engines on each coal train will be 4. That would be 18 trips x 4 engines x 365 days = 26,280 diesel engines emitting diesel particulates though our county and the entire state.
The are an average of 14 trains that currently travel through Bellingham and they have an average of 3 engines per train. That amounts to 14 trips x 3 engines x 365 days = 15,330 diesel engines traveling yearly by our homes.
The new BP train expansion and loop is stating it will only have 1 train but are they really building that loop for 1 train or will that number creep up as years go by. Even if it is just 1, that would be 2 trips x 3 engines x 365 days = 2,190 more diesel engines emitting particulates in to the air year.
BNSF also discussed another 5-6 trains a day with other commodities as a possibility. That would be a minimum of 8 trains x 2 engines (low estimate) x 365 days a year = 5840 more diesel engines per year.

That is a total (minimum) of 49,640 diesel engines traveling through our county yearly emitting diesel particulates in to the air for us to breathe, water to absorb, fish to drink and plants and wildlife to live on (water and food contamination). What is an acceptable amount of diesel particulates for us to breathe? The Whatcom Docs have plenty of research that states that diesel particulates increases of that magnitude will cause an increase in respiratory illness in our county. 1,2, Many of these victims do not have ample insurance to cover the costs of medical care. Who will be paying for there care and ours? Asthma is a very costly illness with tests, medications, complications, missed school or work and loss of physical capabilities to name just a few of the impacts. It also disqualifies an individual payer from getting private insurance, costing citizens more. Please study the financial impacts the increased respiratory illnesses will have on the community and individuals (health costs, sick days at work, missed school days for children, mental health issues associated with asthma, lack of exercise from illness, contributing to obesity and other costs the community will bear).

Please study the significant impact diesel particulates from a total of 40+ trains a day with 142 diesel engines spewing particulates in to the air daily. Please also include in your study the amount of particulates that will be released in to air as these trains idle on the Spur. There are 4 side rails and if just 3 are used at a time that is 3 trains x 4 engines continually spewing diesel particulates in to the air 365 days a year. I live near the Spur and I already see a train consistently waiting on the Spur. With the increase from BP and this project, I think it is safe to say, trains will be idling there often. Please measure the amount of carbon emissions these train trips emit in to the atmosphere and the impact just the increase in trains will have on global climate change. I think that a Hurricane Sandy proved to us all the freak storms are here to stay and global warming is the major contributor.
Please mandate that the trains plug in to electrical power grids while instead of idling at side rails.3 Some trains in Europe are powered by electricity and this technology can be applied here to begin to power our trains without harming our health and the planet’s any more than it has already.

Amy Glasser
Custer, WA 98240

References

1. APPENDIX A: Pulmonary Impacts of Airborne Pollutants (including diesel particulate matter):
The notion that air pollution can have a direct and measurable impact on human health is not a new one. On Dec. 5, 1952, a London temperature inversion led to an increase in airborne fossil fuel pollutants that caused an estimated excess 4000 deaths. Similar acute events have been observed in
Belgium and Pennsylvania (Schenker, M. editorial 1993, New Engl J Med 329(24):1807-1808). Since that time, and particularly in the 1990's and 2000's, numerous studies have been conducted that demonstrate measurable adverse effects associated with pollutant levels, not just associated with severe inversions, but at ongoing levels that currently exist in the United States.
Airborne pollution can be measured by multiple parameters, including carbon monoxide, ozone,
NO2, NO3, and particulate matter (PM). Much focus has been on PM2.5, which refers to particulate
matter with particle diameter < 2.5 microns. These particles appear to be particularly deleterious to health, as the small size enables deposition in the distal pulmonary air spaces. The EPA has recognized this, and strengthened PM2.5 standards 2006 to 35ug/mm3 daily, and 15ug/mm3 annual average. PM2.5 in the Puget Sound area is usually between 5 and 30, often 40, with spikes up to 60 ug/mm3. The majority of particulate matter is derived from combustion of fossil fuels, particularly diesel. Coal dust also contributes to particulate matter.
The pulmonary health impact of air pollution has been measured in many ways. These include
measurements of lung function (pulmonary function studies), measurements of lung inflammation, increased rate and severity of asthma attacks, increased ER visits and hospital admissions, and remarkably, even increased death rates (mortality rates). These studies show data of statistical significance, and some of the studies have even been done in the Puget Sound area, with exposure to everyday pollutant levels that are often below national EPA guidelines.
Listed below are key findings of relevant studies, divided into sections regarding A) impaired
pulmonary development and function; B) increased childhood asthma attacks, ER visits, and
hospitalizations; and C) increased mortality and decreased life expectancy. These studies are not
relegated to obscure journals; most of these are in major peer-reviewed medical journals. A more
complete description of each listed study can be found at the end of this appendix in "Summary of Studies," and further details can be found in the primary references.
A. Impaired pulmonary development and function:
Airborne pollution has been associated with:
▪ Reduction in pulmonary development in adolescents, measured by decreased pulmonary
function test (PFT) results in adolescents. (Gauderman, W. et al. 2004. The effect of air
pollution on lung development from 10 to 18 years of age. New Engl J Med 351(11):1057-
1067).
▪ Decreased pulmonary function in young, healthy people, measured at pollution levels far
below EPA standards. (Thaller, E. et al. 2008. Moderate increases in ambient PM 2.5 and ozone
are associated with lung function decreases in beach lifeguards. J Occup Environ Med. 50:202-
211.)
▪ Measurable pulmonary inflammation, induced by airborne particulate matter, which may be
undetectable by symptoms or pulmonary function tests. (Ghio, A. J et al. 2000. Concentrated
ambient air particles induce mild pulmonary inflammation in healthy human volunteers. Am J
Respir Crit Care Med 162: 981-2000).
B. Childhood asthma attacks, ER visits, and hospital admissions:
Airborne pollution has been associated with:
▪ Increased frequency and severity of asthma attacks in children; a 10ug/m3 increase in PM2.5
was associated with a 1.2 fold increase chance of having a severe attack (including a prolonged
attack lasting >2 hr). Study done in Seattle; Seattle area shown to range between 10 and 60
ug/m3, with most days between 10 and 40. (Slaughter, J. C. et al. 2003. Effects of ambient air
pollution on symptom severity and medication use in children with asthma. Ann Allergy
Asthma & Immunol 91:346-353.)
▪ Increased ER visits in children, with a relative risk of 1.15 for every increase in PM10 of
11ug/mm3. This study was conducted in Seattle, and the effect was observed even when PM2.5
was below the National Ambient Air Quality Standards of 15ug/mm3. (Norris, G. et al. 1999.
An association between fine particles and asthma emergency department visits for children in
Seattle. Environ Health Perspect 107:489-493.)
▪ Increased hospital admissions for children with asthma, with an odds ratio of 1.93 for those
living within 200m of roads traveled by diesel trucks. Diesel trucks are noted to produce as
much as 100x as much particulate matter as gasoline-powered vehicles. (Lin, S. et al. 2002.
Childhood asthma hospitalization and residential exposure to state route traffic. Environ Res
Sect A 88:73-81.)
▪ Increased risk of hospital admissions for pneumonia, acute bronchitis, and asthma. Children
< 5 were particularly susceptible. Increased risk of 4-7% were observed for each interquartile
range. (Ostro, B. et al. 2009. The effects of fine particle components on respiratory hospital
admissions in children. Environ Health Perspect 117(3):475-480.)
C. Increased mortality and decreased life expectancy:
Airborne pollution has been associated with:
▪ Increased mortality in more heavily polluted cities. A relative risk of 1.26 was identified for
living in the most heavily polluted city than the least polluted city. This relative risk was
equivalent to that of a 25 pack-year smoking history. (Dockery, D. et al. 1993. An association
between air pollution and mortality in six US cities. New Engl J Med 329(24): 1753-1759.)
▪ Increased cardiopulmonary mortality in cities with higher particulate matter, with relative
risk of 1.26-1.31, corresponding to 8 to 10 deaths/year/100,000 people in metropolitan areas
(Pope, C. A. III et al. 1995. Particulate air pollution as a predictor of mortality in a prospective
study of U.S. adults. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 151: 669-674.)
▪ Increased cardiopulmonary mortality, with a linear relationship of 4%, 6%, and 8% increased
risk of all-cause, cardiopulmonary, and lung cancer mortality for each 10 ug/m3 increase in PM
2.5 (Pope, C. A. III et al. 2002 Lung cancer, cardiopulmonary mortality, and long-term exposure
to fine particulate air pollution. JAMA 287: 1132-1141.)
▪ Increased risk of all-cause and cardiopulmonary mortality associated with long term exposure
to PM 2.5 and constituents. A 10 ug/mm3 increase in PM 2.5 was associated with a mortality
hazard ratio of 2.05. The ranges of PM 2.5 in this study are similar to those observed in the
Seattle area. (Ostro. B. et al. Long-term exposure to constituents of fine particulate air pollution
and mortality: results from the California Teachers Study. Environ Health Perspect 118(3):363-
369.)
▪ Decreased life expectancy, of 0.7 to 1.6 years of life expectancy due to long-term exposure to
PM2.5 of 10 ug/mm3. Accordingly, improving air quality can result in a measurable increase in
life expectancy, demonstrating that public policy regarding protection of air quality can have a
measurable impact on life expectancy. (Pope, C. A. et al. 2009. Fine-particulate matter air
pollution and life expectancy in the United States. New Engl J Med 360(4):376-386.)
The conclusion that airborne pollutants pose a significant and measurable health risk was also found by
the American Lung Association, in its review "State of the Air 2011". Specifically, they concluded that
the data collectively shows increased risk of death from respiratory and cardiovascular causes,
including strokes and lung cancer; increased mortality in infants and young children; increased
numbers of heart attacks, especially among the elderly and in people with heart conditions;
inflammation of lung tissue in young, healthy adults; increased hospitalization for cardiovascular
disease, including strokes and congestive heart failure; increased emergency room visits for patients suffering from acute respiratory ailments; increased hospitalization for asthma among children, and increased severity of asthma attacks in children. According to the American Lung Association, "The evidence warns that the death toll is high. Although no national tally exists, California just completed an analysis that estimates that 9,200 people in California die annually from breathing particle pollution..." (http://www.stateoftheair.org/2011/assets/SOTA2011.pdf)
The EPA also conducted a thorough review of the current research on particle pollution in
December 2009. The Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee consisted of a panel of expert
scientists, who concluded that particle pollution caused multiple, serious threats to health. They found that pollution causes early death (both short-term and long-term exposure), cardiovascular harm (heart attacks, strokes, heart disease, congestive heart failure), respiratory harm (worsened asthma, worsened COPD, inflammation), and may cause cancer and reproductive and developmental harm. (America Lung Association, State of the Air 2011)
Puget Sound is also in particular danger from airborne pollutants. The National-Scale Air
Toxics Assessment (NATA), a study also by the EPA, indicated that the Puget Sound region ranks in the country’s top 5% of risk for exposure to toxic air pollution, with risks including cancer, heart disease, lung damage, and nerve damage. "According to this study, diesel- and gasoline-powered engines account for over 90 percent of the risk from air toxics to Puget Sound residents," said Craig Kenworthy, Executive Director of the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency. "If we're serious about protecting public health, we must redouble our efforts as a region to reduce pollution from vehicles and diesel pollution in particular. "http://www.pscleanair.org/news/newsroom/releases 2011/03_11_11_NATA.aspx
Consistent with this view, the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency (representing King, Kitsap,
Pierce, and Snohomish Counties) assembled the Particle Matter Health Committee, which felt that federal standards were not sufficiently protective for human health, and set goals for PM2.5 of 25ug/mm3 daily, and 15ug/mm3 annual average. (The 2006 EPA standards for PM2.5 are 35ug/mm3 daily, and 15ug/mm3 annual average.) It is noted that of the four represented counties, two violate the federal standards, and three violate the goals of the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency.
(http://www.pscleanair.org)
In summary, the adverse effects of air pollutants, which largely represent diesel combustion
particular matter but would also include coal dust, are not hypothetical. A multitude of studies show real and measureable effects, not only in high exposure areas (such as coal mines) but also with normal routine environmental exposures (even within federal guidelines), and in the Puget Sound area. These effects can be measured in many ways, and include direct measurements of inflammation in the lungs and pulmonary function tests, increased asthma attacks, increased ER visits, increased hospital admissions, and even increased mortality rates (including by cardiopulmonary causes, lung cancer, and remarkably, even overall mortality). The represented studies have statistically significant data, show a linear effect, and indicate that there is no purely safe threshold.
This is not a hypothetical issue. The data indicates that adding additional large sources of diesel
and particulate matter pollution in the Puget Sound region would exacerbate human health problems that are already documented to be present.
References/Summaries of Studies: Mortality & Life Expectancy
Pope, C. A. et al. 2009. Fine-particulate matter air pollution and life expectancy in the UnitedStates. New Engl J Med 360(4):376-386.
The life expectancy of 51 metropolitan areas spread across the United States was compared from 1979-1983 and 1999-2000. During this time period, particle air pollution decreased by an average of 6.52 ug/mm3, and life expectancy increased 2.72 years. Prior indirect calculations reportedly showed a loss of 0.7 to 1.6 years of life expectancy due to long-term exposure to PM2.5 of 10 ug/mm3. In this study, after adjustment for socioeconomic, demographic, and proxy variables for smoking, a decrease of PM2.5 of 10ug/mm3 was associated with an increase in life expectancy of 0.61 years. This study shows that public policy (enforcement of clean air standards) can have a measurable impact in life expectancy.
Dockery, D. et al. 1993. An association between air pollution and mortality in six U.S. cities. New Engl J Med 329(24): 1753-1759.
8111 people living in 6 different cities were studied over a 14-16 year period (111,076 person-years).
The 6 cities chosen have varying levels of pollution, which were stratified with 6 measurements
(including particulate matter). Causes of death were analyzed. Increased mortality was associated with cigarette smoking (RR 1.59 for current smokers, 1.26 for a 25 pack-year history), obesity (RR 1.08), and ambient air pollution (RR 1.26 when comparing the most and least polluted cities, p< 0.001). The increased mortality was restricted to cardiopulmonary-related deaths (including lung cancer), persisted after controlling for hypertension, smoking, and occupational exposure, and showed a dose-response curve when examining the cities from least-polluted to most-polluted. There was not an increased risk of death due to non-cardiopulmonary causes. This study demonstrates that people living in more polluted cities have a significant mortality increase that is equivalent to a 25 pack-year smoking history.
Pope, C. A. III et al. 1995. Particulate air pollution as a predictor of mortality in a prospective study of U.S. adults. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 151: 669-674.
Data from 552,138 people living in 151 US metropolitan areas was used to determine relative risk for death by living in more polluted cities (as measured by particulate air pollution, predominantly generated by burning fossil fuels). Increased mortality due to cardiopulmonary causes was associated with current smoking (RR 2.28) and living in cities with higher particulate matter (RR 1.26 when measured by sulfite particles, and 1.31 when measured by elevated fine particles, p<0.001). The association with air pollution was consistent among smokers and nonsmokers. This corresponds to an increase of 8 to 10 deaths/year/100,000 people. This study confirms Dockery's observations that deaths due to air pollution in US communities can be measured.
Ostro. B. et al. 2009. Long-term exposure to constituents of fine particulate air pollution and
mortality: results from the California Teachers Study. Environ Health Perspect 118(3):363-369.
Data from the California Teachers Study (encompassing 45,000 active and former teachers, with 2600 deaths, over a 5 year period) was analyzed to examine correlates between air pollution (with monthly averages of PM 2.5 constituents) and mortality causes. Long term exposure to PM 2.5 and constituents was associated with increased risk of all-cause and cardiopulmonary mortality. A 10 ug/mm3 increase in PM 2.5 was associated with a HR of 2.05. The ranges of PM 2.5 in this study are similar to those observed in the Seattle area.
Pope, C. A. III et al. 2002 Lung cancer, cardiopulmonary mortality, and long-term exposure to fine particulate air pollution. JAMA 287: 1132-1141.
This is a very large study encompassing 500,000 adults in 51 metropolitan areas of the US over 16 years. Causes of death were compared with measures of pollution. Elevated all-cause mortality, cardiopulmonary mortality, and lung cancer mortality was observed with statistical significance in more polluted areas, even after extensively controlling for smoking, BMI, diet, education, occupational exposure, and regional differences. No association with non-cardiopulmonary mortality was observed. The increase in mortality was found to be linear with elevated pollution, with each 10 ug/m3 increase in PM 2.5 (particulate matter <2.5 um) associated with a 4%, 6%, and 8% increased risk of all-cause, cardiopulmonary, and lung cancer mortality. The all-cause mortality risk was found to be comparable to moderate obesity. This study reaffirms prior findings of other studies that particulate matter is associated with a measureable increase in mortality in the U.S., and further defines a linear dose response relationship.
References/Summaries of Studies: Pulmonary development & effects
Gauderman, W. et al. 2004. The effect of air pollution on lung development from 10 to 18 years of age. New Engl J Med 351(11):1057-1067
Children's Health Study: The lung function of 1759 adolescents (average age at start of study 10y) in 12 California communities was measured annually for eight years. This age is an important period of lung maturation, as measured by increases in FEV1 and FVC. Children living in the more polluted communities (as measured by particulate matter, O3, NO2, and airborne carbon) showed significant deficits in pulmonary development as compared to those living in less polluted communities (multiple parameters showed p<0.05). For example, children in the most polluted community had a 5x greater risk of having low FEV1 (using the clinical definition as < 80% predicted value) by the age of 18 (7.9% vs 1.6%). The effect was similar to exposure to passive smoking that was shown in prior studies, and less pronounced as a history of personal smoking. Exposure-response relationship nearly linear, with no discernible safe thresholds (review of study by Pope, NEJM 351(11):1132-1134.) This study indicates that current levels of pollution in some areas have a negative impact on lung development in adolescents.
Thaller, E. et al. 2008. Moderate increases in ambient PM2.5 and ozone are associated with lung function decreases in beach lifeguards. J Occup Environ Med 50:202-211.
The change in lung function (FVC and FEV1) in the morning vs afternoon was measured in 142
lifeguards, and correlated with daily pollution indices (primarily PM2.5 and ozone). Normally,
pulmonary function increases throughout the day, but in this study the pulmonary indices declined with increasing pollution. The magnitude was not huge, but many measurements showed statistical significance. An important aspect of this study is that statistically significant decreases in pulmonary performance could be demonstrated in young healthy adults at exposures far below EPA Air Quality Standards. (EPA has an unhealthy level of PM2.5 at 35ug/mm3 for 24hr, and 15 ug/ml for annual exposure. The measurements in the study only exceeded 35ug/mm3 once over the three year study period, yet significant effects could be measured.)
Ghio, A. J et al. 2000. Concentrated ambient air particles induce mild pulmonary inflammation in healthy human volunteers. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 162: 981-2000.
38 healthy young volunteers (average age 18-40, no history of allergies, asthma, or other pulmonary disease) were exposed to ambient air (control; 8) or concentrated air particles from ambient Chapel Hill air (30) for 2 hours. Exposure to the concentrated air particles was associated with measureable increases in inflammation, as determined by neutrophils counts on BAL specimens obtained 18 h after exposure (8.44 vs 2.29% for the bronchial fraction, and 4.20 vs 0.75% in the alveolar fractions). The data is statistically significant. The increases in inflammation were despite no reported symptoms or changes in pulmonary function tests. Although the exposures were to higher concentrations that are typically found in US polluted areas, it is noted that the exposure was for only 2 hr rather than years. This study shows that particulate matter can induce measurable pulmonary inflammation which may be asymptomatic or undetectable by PFTs.
Slaughter, J. C. et al. 2003. Effects of ambient air pollution on symptom severity and medication use in children with asthma. Ann Allergy Asthma & Immunol 91:346-353.
133 children in the greater Seattle area with asthma were monitored for asthma attacks, which were correlated with daily pollution measurements over 28 to 122 days. Severity of attacks was recorded by subjective self report, as well as recording the dosage and puffs of medication. Pollution measurements consisted of particulate matter (PM) and carbon monoxide (CO) at 12 area stations. PM2.5 was found to correlate more with time than locale. Of note, the Seattle area appears to vary between 10 and 60 ug/m3, with most measurements between 10 and 40. Each 10ug/m3 increase was associated with a 1.2 fold increase chance of having a severe attack (including a prolonged attack lasting >2 hr), with a 1.08 fold increase in rescue inhaler use. Time spent indoors vs outdoors was not recorded, and thus the true impacts may be greater than the observed effects.
References/Summaries of Studies: ER visits and hospitalization rates
Norris, G. et al. 1999. An association between fine particles and asthma emergency department visits for children in Seattle. Environ Health Perspect. 107:489-493.
The Seattle-King County Dept. of Public Health issued a report that showed that the hospitalization rate for children with asthma was >6x greater for children living in the inner city than in suburbs. Thus, this study was created to determine if an association with air pollution exists. Daily air pollution data was collected and correlated with data for ER visits in 6 Seattle area hospitals over 15 months. The majority of the ER visits were at Seattle Children's Hospital. Every increase in PM of 11 ug/mm3 was associated with a relative rate of 1.15 for ER visits. These changes were seen even when PM2.5 was below the National Ambient Air Quality Standards of 15ug/mm3.
Lin, S. et al. 2002. Childhood asthma hospitalization and residential exposure to state route
traffic. Environ Res Sect A 88:73-81.
417 children (age 0-14) who were hospitalized for asthma exacerbations were compared to 461 controls who were admitted for other reasons. After controlling for age, education and poverty levels, home addresses were analyzed for area traffic information. Children hospitalized for asthma were more likely to live on roads in the highest tertile of vehicle miles traveled. An odds ratio of 1.93 was associated with living within 200m of roads traveled by trucks and trailers, as compared to control subjects. It is also noted in the paper that heavy duty diesel trucks emit as much as 100x as much particulate matter as gasoline powered vehicles (reference not reviewed; Hildemann L. M. et al. 1991. Environ Sci Technol 14:138-152).
Ostro, B. et al. The effects of fine particle components on respiratory hospital admissions in
children. Environ. Health Perspect. 117(3):475-480.
ICD-9 codes for admissions for children < 19 and <5 (for hospital admissions in 6 California counties from 2000-2003, in which county air pollution statics were available) were correlated with multiple pollutant levels. Children <5 were found to be particularly susceptible. Increased risks of 4-7% were observed for admissions for pneumonia, acute bronchitis, and asthma for each interquartile range.


2. APPENDIX C: Cardiovascular Impacts of Airborne Pollutants (including particulate matter):
Review of the scientific literature indicates that the human body, in particular the cardiopulmonary system, is not equipped to safely process the toxic side effects of air pollution any better than it is able to process cigarette smoke. Almost all of the same physiologic reactions that
occur in response to cigarette smoke occur in response to exposure to air pollution, in particular the fine particulate matter of diesel exhaust.
The cardiovascular impacts of airborne pollutants have been thoroughly documented in a recent comprehensive review by the American Heart Association, with 426 peer reviewed journal article references (Particulate Matter Air Pollution and Cardiovascular Disease: An update to the Scientific
Statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation 121:2331-2378). The conclusions of the American Heart Association, which are based on numerous studies in major peer-reviewed journals, are summarized below:
▪ Short-term exposure to PM2.5 over a period of a few hours to weeks can trigger cardiovascular-related events and mortality, including myocardial infarction (heart attacks),heart failure, arrhythmias, and strokes.
▪ People particularly at risk include the elderly, patients with pre-existing coronary artery disease, those with diabetes or obesity, and perhaps women.
▪ Long-term exposure to PM2.5 appears to increase the risk even more than short-term exposure.
▪ Cardiovascular risk appears to extend below national standards, with no safe threshold (harmful effects extend to below the PM 2.5 15ug/mm3 standard).
▪ Long-term exposure to elevated concentrations of ambient PM 2.5 at levels encountered in the present day environment reduces life expectancy by several months to a few years.
▪ Most recent studies indicate that the absolute risk for mortality due to particulate matter is
even greater for cardiovascular than for pulmonary diseases. (See Appendix A for the pulmonary impacts).
American Heart Association comprehensive review:
Particulate Matter Air Pollution and Cardiovascular Disease: An update to the Scientific Statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation 121:2331-2378 HYPERLINK "http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/121/21/2331.full.pdf"
http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/121/21/2331.full.pdf
Brook RD. 2008.
Cardiovascular effects of air pollution. Clin Sci (Lond).115:175–187.
Pope CA 3rd, Muhlestein JB, May HT, Renlund DG, Anderson JL, Horne
BD. 2006.
Ischemic heart disease events triggered by short-term exposure to fine
particulate air pollution. Circulation.114:2443–2448. Simkhovich BZ, Kleinman MT, Kloner RA. 2008.
Air pollution and cardio- vascular injury epidemiology, toxicology, and mechanisms. J Am Coll Cardiol. 52:719–726.
3, Idle Reduction Technologies - US Environmental Protection Agency
www.epa.gov/smartway/technology/idling.htm
In both cases, the EPS system reduces main engine idling by providing an ... into” an electrical power source instead of using its diesel engines while at the rail yard. .... An automatic engine shut-down/start-up system not only turns off the main .... common understanding of requirements and ease of implementation; and (2)

Amy glasser (#2682)

Date Submitted: 11/09/2012
Location: Custer, WA
Comment:
Scoping comment: Please coordinate a Programmatic EIS for the Gateway Pacific Terminal Project and the 4-5 other proposed sites for coal terminals on the west coast.

I was just visiting Nevada and read about a Programmatic EIS that is being completed for a several State project to build huge solar farms in the region. This project has resulted in a PEIS because the states realized that the impact of the project could not be focused just on 1 State or 1 project specific area. This project will employ many people and is green energy with no harm to the environment or people, yet it warranted a PEIS.

I implore you require a PEIS for these deep water terminals and the cumulative effect of 140+ million metric tons of coal being transported by diesel train, to the port where the coal will sit uncovered. Then we will ship all this coal by ship (using incredibly dirty bulk fuel) and then to China to burn dirty coal (in the factories that are undercutting our US labor force) and thus come right back to us in the form of cheap goods, mercury and other poisons in the air that continue to contribute massively to global climate change, human illness and environmental catastrophes (train derailments, dead zone of water, ruined fisheries and animal endangerment.

Amy Glasser
Custer, WA

Amy Glasser (#3049)

Date Submitted: 11/16/2012
Location: Custer, WA
Comment:
It is my understanding that currently the EIS is only going to include the rail lines along the Custer Spur. I urge you to study the significant impact the increase of 18 more trains traveling between the Powder River Basin and Cherry Point will have on the environment and the people residing near the tracks all along the route.

It would make absolutely no sense to stop the EIS at the end of the Spur. The impact of the diesel particulates and coal dust emissions on the residents, businesses and environment all along the train route must be studied to ensure that there is no environmental or human health damage. What is an acceptable amount of coal dust or diesel particulates that we can breathe before it is considered significant?
It is also responsible to study what the impact of a significant increase in horns and wait times at the train tracks crossings will have on the health of the people (both physical and mental health) in all of the communities along the route. Should the health of someone in Marysville be discounted just because he/she doesn't live in Ferndale or Custer?
The environmental study must not stop at the intersection of Portal Way and Arnie Road in Custer.
Amy Glasser
Custer WA

Amy Glasser (#4157)

Date Submitted: 12/08/2012
Comment:
Please consider expanding the scope of the EIS to include at a minimum, 5 miles around the proposed terminal site. I have read that the current scope is only1 mile around the proposed terminal. I am not certain why that small amount of area was decided on but it seems clear that the scope must be larger as we see that winds clearly blow more that 1 mile as seen by those dramatic pictures from the BC terminal when it has those unusual winds. We also know there is a dead zone of water surrounding the BC plant and is about 5 miles around that plant.
It is important to study the entire area that will be impacted from this project. I believe the entire planet will be affected, but for this comment i am focusing on the identified 1 mile area you have identified as being studied and that is way to small an area.
Amy Glasser
Custer

Amy Glasser (#4405)

Date Submitted: 12/11/2012
Comment:
Please study the impact this project will have on the culture, burial grounds, fishing grounds and water rights of the Lummi Nation.

If the GPT terminal project is permitted, my home, which is on the Custer Spur, next to the tracks, at the crossing, 750 feet away from the proposed rail yard and only a few miles from the proposed terminal will be virtually worthless to us. Land and home. Our dream of retirement here in peaceful Custer will be over. Dramatic yet true.

I am sure that there will be Lummi Nation residents that will have to deal with the same issues as me. The difference between my personal story and The story of the Lummi Nation is that I have only been here 9 years.

The Lummi Nation has been here over 2000 years and Cherry Point has been their sacred land for over 250 years. They are federally recognized and their status is equal to that of the State. This is not our land to give away or permit it's useage to a corporation of any sort. It is their ancestral burial grounds and this is sacred land.

The Lummi people not only have the same concerns as the rest of the community regarding health, noise, traffic and cost but they have other even more significant reasons to be concerned about this proposed terminal.

It is essential for the EIS to consider the significant impacts this project would have on the Lummi Nation’s fishing grounds, their water from the Nooksack River, their cultural and spiritual environment along with the historical and archaeological significance of Cherry Point.

I do not see any way to mitigate the fact that the land, the water at Cherry Point, along with river rights are not yours to permit to anyone. I do not think legally it is within the power of the County, State or Federal Government to permit take them over to allow corporations to use them and in this case, destroy what is Lummi. It is Lummi Nation territory and I stand with them in saying no to the eventual decimation of their land. Please study the effects this project will have on the Lummi Nation.
We must respect treaty rights as this was not our land to begin with.

Amy Glasser (#5096)

Date Submitted: 12/18/2012
Comment:
Scoping comment: Please study the impact of having invasive species of plant and animal life attached to the ships come in to our local waters.

I travel to Canada often. I constantly notice the signs about not bringing any invasive species in to the States. If I do so, I will be fined. I understand the consequences of bringing species in to our ecosystem that will contaminate our waters with organisms and species we do not want here.
I have also been told that these ships dump ballast water a few miles from the coast and if those species are allowed to be dumped with the water, there may also be significant impact on marine life in the ocean.
Who is going to inspect all the ships that load and unload at Cherry Point? Who will pay for the inspectors that will probably have to be there around the clock to be sure the ships do not contaminate our waters?
I have been told there are very few inspectors to do all the inspections that are currently needed. The likelihood of thorough inspections of these hundreds of ships per year is minimal. Our fragile ecosystem will be significantly affected without ensuring proper constant inspections.
If the ships cannot ensure they will arrive with no invasive species on them, then they should not be allowed to travel in our waters.
Please study what potential organisms and species that may end up in our ecosystem and the impact they will have on our indigenous species in and around Cherry Point.

Amy Glasser (#5108)

Date Submitted: 12/19/2012
Comment:
Please study the significant impact a derailment of a coal train would have on the health of the water, air, wildlife and people from the Powder River Basin to Cherry Point.

We have seen many derailments of coal trains this past year. The railroad is considering having only 1 conductor and no other personnel operating the trains during route. This is to save money, one must assume, because it certainly couldn’t be about decreasing the risk of a derailment.

We have seen heavy coal trains derail and kill 2 women and pollute the air, water, and probably the health of those near those derailments.

I am not a scientist but I do live on the Custer Spur where there is a major bend next to my property. I like many other people want studies to determine:
1. The likelihood of a derailment along the route based on speed, weight of the trains, number of operators and other variables that the engineers would know
2. The probability of a derailment when traveling around Chuckanut Drive and other sensitive terrains prone to landslides along the route from the Powder River Basin to Cherry Point.
3. Whether the railroad will assure community that no trains will be operated by only 1 person. These trains should have a minimum of 2 people at all times.
4. The new safety measures enacted since that rash of derailments this past year.
5. The emergency plans that will take place should a derailment occur, with no fire, with a fire, with no injuries and with injuries.
6. An amount of money that will be put in to a fund, in case there is a derailment. We certainly cannot assume the companies involved will willingly pay for damages, should a derailment occur as has been the case in most every other energy company related major environmental accidents. This fund should cover not only environmental clean-up and restoration but also a human health fund to cover the cost of anyone involved directly by a derailment or indirectly by health issues relating to air and water pollution from a spill of coal in to our ecosystem. The dollar amount can be determined by studying the many derailments this year and finding comparable accidents that would closely mimic an accident on this route and then average the number.

Amy Glasser (#5426)

Date Submitted: 12/27/2012
Comment:
Scoping comment: Please consider this alternative for our community.

In the interest of maintaining our county as a green, clean, tourist destination and location of fresh foods and quiet living, I would like to propose that an alternative to the GPT project is to invite wind and solar companies to build their manufacturing plants here and place wind turbines on the property near and around the plant.
I am certainly not an expert or even aware of how the details would work but it would seem like finding a way for either the federal, state or local government to acquire the land (through either eminent domain or purchase) and use it to help the county and state be clean and more energy efficient. We could be the model for the country. Businesses and tourists will want to come here because we can claim we build and use alternative energy to maintain our county. The air will be cleaner and our health will improve.
This proposal was mentioned to me (I cannot take credit for it) however I certainly endorse this idea and hope the agencies will see that our county, state, country and planet need this to happen now more than ever.
Another alternative (also mentioned by someone other than me) would be to have the federal government give the land back to the Lummi people as it was their land in the first place.
Coal is not going to be the answer, especially as we see natural gas prices being so low and technology improves the way we extract natural gas. Although this not a renewable energy, I am realistic that we cannot yet depend on renewable energy resources to fill all of our needs yet. Coal is a lot more destructive to the planet than gas and clearly we in Washington do not want coals pollution as seen by our closing of our last coal powered plant. Why would we want to ship it to China? Don’t we hate that they ship us lead based toys yet we would be willing to ship them mercury and other toxins that are pollutants from coal? Both make children sick and can kill them in large doses.
Please consider this type of alternative. It will cost us less, provide more jobs than 216 in 10 years and be better for the planet and our community. Please do not allow money and a few jobs be the way of the future, given the known consequences this project will result in.

Amy Glasser (#5429)

Date Submitted: 12/27/2012
Comment:
oping comment: Please study the impact the heavy coal cars will have on the existing gas pipe lines that are parallel (just feet away) to some of the train tracks and under other tracks .

I live next in Custer and our home is directly next to the Custer Spur. There are natural gas lines that parallel the train lines next to my home. They are less than 15 feet away from the tracks. I am very concerned that the increase of 18 trains a day with the extremely heavy coal being transported in them will result in extreme stress on these pipelines, possibly causing a rupture, gas leak or explosion. These pipelines travel under the tracks on Kickerville Road, in Custer and I must assume that is not the only place where the lines actually go under the tracks.
I also believe that other gas lines such as butane gas may also be in close proximity to the tracks. These gas lines may also be affected by the constant vibrations of the coal cars. These trains will be in addition to the trains that already travel by. If there is a leak or a rupture, there would certainly be a concern about the safety and lives of those nearby. We have already seen the horrible consequences of gas explosions and nobody wants to see that again.
Please study the impacts the additional coal trains will have on the integrity of the existing gas lines from Cherry Point to the Powder River Basin. I believe there are already existing laws about how close gas lines can be the trains and they may already be out of compliance for repair and maintenance. Please also study the safety record and compliance record of the companies that utilize these pipelines as there is documentation that there are numerous incidents of poor maintenance and repair. If we cannot make sure these corporations take care of their lines and equipment now, can we afford to take the chance by further stressing the gas lines along the route and hoping they will take better care of their pipelines when they there is more risk?

Supporting Documents:

1. Report: Land Use Planning In Proximity to Natural Gas and Hazardous Liquid
Transmission Pipelines in Washington State June 2006
Land Use/Transmission Pipelines - June 9, 2006 Page 1

Cascade Pipeline compliance, non-compliance
Attachment A
FIRST (1ST) CAUSE OF ACTION (OVERPRESSURE) - See Complaint
SECOND (2nd) CAUSE OF ACTION (CORROSION CONTROL - MONITORING)
Whatcom District [9.1]:
9.1 Finding(s): Cascade exceeded the frequency interval for gas pipeline atmospheric corrosion control monitoring inspection. No records are available for the Bellingham shut-down Section I009 (install approx. 1957-60) of approximately 2,570 services. This section was inadvertently excluded from atmospheric corrosion control monitoring since installation.
Cascade’s reply to the above finding, dated 01.13.10, identified that the last atmospheric corrosion survey inspection 2570 services designated Section I009 in Bellingham was on 12.01.03. Cascade identified that upon discovery of their error they began the survey on 09.23.09 and completed it on 12.25.09.
Cascade’s reply included 387 pages of services for shut down Section I009. None of the pages submitted included the following:
a. The signature of the person who completed the survey,
b. The date the survey work was completed,
c. The condition of each of the services.

This is a violation of WAC 480-93-018(4), which requires the Company to record and maintain records of the actual value of any required reads, tests, surveys or inspections performed. The records must include the name of the person who performed the work and the date the work was performed. The records must also contain information sufficient to determine the location and facilities involved. Examples of the values to be recorded include, but are not limited to, pipe to soil potential reads, rectifier reads, pressure test levels, and combustible gas indicator reads. A gas pipeline company may not record a range of values unless the measuring device being used provides only a range of values.
This is also a violation of 480-93-180(1), failure to follow Cascade procedures (CP 754.033), because the Company failed to record the date of the survey on each page, the person completing the survey failed to record their signature, and they failed to record a condition/grade for each service that was surveyed.

THIRD (3rd) CAUSE OF ACTION (CORROSION CONTROL - RECORDS)
Whatcom County District [9.3]:
9.3 Finding(s): Atmospheric corrosion was noted at the following locations and/or records do not indicate that Cascade has inspected pipeline for atmospheric corrosion of pipeline on the inside of welded or tack-welded pipe support slippers. Examples follow:
1. 2500 Meridian, Bellingham - 481(a) and (b)
2. 1411 Girard, Bellingham (Kentucky Fried Chicken) – 481(a) and (b)
3. 901 Dupont St., Bellingham (Dupont Cleaners) – 481 (b)
4. 5744 Ferndale, Ferndale (Ferndale Grain) – 481(b)
5. Alley N. of Front St., Lynden W. of Meter #179841 - 481 (b) Cascade did not remediate location identified in report and photos – Staff identified a meterless riser.
6. Judson St. Alley S. of Front St. E. of 511 Front St., Lynden (2 meter manifold) - 481 (b)
7. Judson St. Alley S. of Front St., Lynden (Meter 648163 - 481 (b)
8. Judson St. Alley S. of Front St., Lynden (11-12 meter manifold) - 481 (b)
9. Aldrich Rd. & Larrabee Rd., Bellingham to Ferndale line - 481(b)
10. 3219 Meridian St., Bellingham – 481(a) and (b)
11. 2801 Meridian & W. Illinois NW Corner (Assoc. Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry), Bellingham - 481(a) and (b)
12. Meter #572694, Bellingham – - 481(a) and (b)
13. 2615 Meridian, Bellingham - 481(a) and (b)
14. 2710 Meridian, Bellingham – 481(a) and (b)
15. Meter #616227, Bellingham – 481(a) and (b)
16. Meter 631409, Bellingham to Ferndale line – 481(b)
17. Aldrich Rd. & Larrabee Rd., Bellingham to Ferndale – okay to remove already listed in #9 above
18. Judson St. Alley S. of Front St. W. of Meter #255793, Lynden – 481(b)
19. 523 Front St., Lynden Meter #585429 - 481 (b)
a. Tack-welded slipper for pipe support
20. Judson St. Alley S. of Front St., Lynden Meter #186095-481 (b)
a. Tack-welded slipper for pipe support
21. Judson St. Alley S. of Front St. W. of Meter #255793, Lynden
a. Welded slipper for pipe support - 481(b)

Transmission Pipelines and Land Use: Special Report 281
A Risk Informed Approach
Transportation Research Board

Amy Glasser (#5430)

Date Submitted: 12/27/2012
Comment:
Scoping comment: Please consider the impact the coal trains would have on the wetlands and wildlife along the train routes.

My name is Amy. My husband, 2 dogs and I live on the Custer Spur (at a crossing and close to where the rail yard is proposed to be built). We bought our home 9 years ago and bought it to live quietly in the county where we could take care of piece of land and preserve it. The county seemed to encourage that by having many restrictions on where we could build and what we could do close to the wetlands. We are very lucky to be able to participate in a wetlands restoration program (CREP) where we get to truly enrich the land. My dogs roam our 10 acres and will at times drink from the many ponds on the property. Some of this water is within 50 feet of the train tracks. If this project is approved along with the PB rail logistics project, there will be another 20 trains per day, 18 of which will combine coal with diesel particulates. The empty cars will blow dust in greater amounts than we would think and thus empty car dust blow must be studies, along with full trains.
We know that the railroad has sued the Coal companies for the damage the coal dust has caused the train tracks. During the fall, winter and spring those gullies along the Custer Spur (and certainly in many places along the route) get full of water and feed in to local tributaries and wetlands. I am concerned about the effect on the water supply and on the wetlands if coal and diesel particulates are dissolving in to the water.
Please study the impact of coal dust and diesel particulates on the wetlands that surround the Custer Spur. Maps included in the BNSF plans do not seem to note that a good portion of the train route has water accumulating along the side of the track during the rainy seasons. What affects will these by-products have on the fish, the wildlife that drinks that water and rely on the vegetation and small animals for food? When we see the effects on the water surrounding the Westport terminal, the EIS must include studies on all the water along the Spur and the entire train route. If SSA Marine and the Railroad have the same plans, then we must learn from the mistakes made at Westport.

Supporting Documents:

Northwest Coal Exports
Some common questions about economics, health, and pollution.
Eric de Place
September 2011
Sightline Institute is a not-for-profit research and communications center—a think tank—based
in Seattle. Sightline’s mission is to make the Northwest a global model of sustainability—strong
communities, a green economy, and a healthy environment

Does rail transport release coal dust?
Coal dust escapes from the open-top rail cars used for transporting coal and can create safety and
congestion problems for rail traffic. In 2005, for example, coal dust that had accumulated in ballast, the layer of crushed rock that supports rail tracks, caused two derailments. Coal dust deposits sometimes even cause spontaneous fires. The Burlington Northern / Santa Fe Railway (BNSF) has studied the problem and found that as much as a ton of coal can escape from a single loaded coal car, while other reports show that as much as 3 percent of a coal car’s load, which is typically 100 tons or more, can blow away in transit.30 The US Department of Transportation classifies coal dust as a “pernicious ballast foulant” that can weaken and destabilize rail tracks.31 It is not clear how much coal dust might escape in the Pacific Northwest, but one watchdog group has verified that coal and coal dust does escape from open rail cars traveling along Puget Sound coastlines. To reduce or eliminate coal dust from escaping, shippers can fill cars less full or cover them with tarps or chemical sprays, but these measures run up the cost of moving coal, so coal shippers rarely employ them by choice. If chemicals are used, these chemicals will be washed off at the terminal site and potentially get in to our water supply.
A March 2011 ruling from the US Surface Transportation Board, which oversees
railway operations, allows BNSF to require coal shippers to cover their loads or otherwise control dust.
How effective those measures will be is anyone’s guess: Powder River Basin coal is notoriously difficult to handle. One technical analysis finds that, “PRB coal is extremely friable and will break down into smaller particles virtually independent of how the coal is transported or handled.” According to the study’s authors, “PRB represents the extremes of handling problems.”
The same analysis found that: Spontaneous combustion of coal is a well-known phenomenon, especially with PRB coal. This high-moisture, highly volatile sub-bituminous coal will not only smolder and catch fire while in storage piles at power plants and coal terminals, but has been known to be delivered to a power plant with the rail car or barge partially on fire…
Outside of confined environments, Powder River Basin coal does not spontaneously explode or burst into full flame, but under the wrong conditions it can self-ignite and burn slowly even while it is riding the rails—a troubling proposition for railroad workers and communities along the tracks.
Is coal dust harmful?
Coal dust is more than a nuisance. It degrades water quality and may pose a danger to residents’
health. Coal workers who are exposed to dust, for example, suffer elevated rates of bronchitis,
emphysema, and black lung disease.37 In Liverpool, England, researchers found that, even after
correcting for economic and environmental factors at home, children exposed to coal dust from the nearby docks were more likely to miss school because of respiratory problems, including wheezing and coughing.
Sightline FAQ • Northwest Coal Exports • September 2011 5
In Norfolk, Virginia, home of the Lamberts Point Coal Terminal, soil samples contain up to 20 percent coal by weight at a site less than 1 kilometer from the docks, 3 percent coal at a site 5 kilometers away, and 1 percent coal as far as 12 kilometers away. High coal levels in soil along railroad tracks suggest that trains are another pathway for contamination. Researchers in Norfolk also found arsenic levels were 5 times higher than background soil concentrations nearby, and hypothesize that the coal export terminal is at least partially responsible for the difference because coal often contains arsenic.
A 2010 study by the Spokane Clean Air Agency identified lung cancer risks in Spokane
that appear closely related to residents’ proximity to the BNSF railyard, where diesel engines generate prodigious quantities of small particulate pollution—the most health-threatening major air pollutant in the Northwest. Researchers ruled out numerous alternative explanations and concluded that “the BNSF railyard appears to be the only other air pollution source in the vicinity of Hillyard that can account for its differential lung cancer risk.”
Douglas L. Cope and Kamal K. Bhattacharyya, A Study of Fugitive Coal Dust Emissions in Canada, “Chapter 8:
Coal Terminals: Fugitive Dust Emissions and Control,” prepared for The Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment, November 2001.
Andrew Jensen, “Judge Allows Lawsuit: Seward Coal Facility Faces Clean Water Act Suit,” Alaska Journal of Commerce, January 24, 2011, http://www.peninsulaclarion.com/stories/012411/new_775559217.shtml.
Douglas L. Cope and Kamal K. Bhattacharyya, A Study of Fugitive Coal Dust Emissions in Canada, “Chapter 8: Coal Terminals: Fugitive Dust Emissions and Control,” prepared for The Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment, November 2001.
William J. Bounds and Karen H. Johannesson, “Arsenic Addition to Soils from Airborne Coal Dust Originating at a Major Coal Shipping Terminal,” Water, Air, & Soil Pollution, June 21, 2007, 185: 195-207, http://www.springerlink.com/content/98146r1160021h13/; and Joe Lawlor, “Coal Dust, Piles an Issue for Southeast Newport News,” July 16, 2011, http://articles.dailypress.com/2011-07-16/news/dp-nws-cp-nn-coal-dust-20110716_1_coaldust-
coal-piles-coal-terminals.
“Surface Transportation Board Authorizes Tariff Rules on Coal Dust but Strikes Down Specific BNSF Tariff,”
Troutman Sanders LLP, Washington Energy Report, http://www.troutmansandersenergyreport.com/2011/03/surface-transportation-board-authorizes-tariff-rules-on-coal-dust-but-strikes-down-specific-bnsf-tariff.
Gary Chittim, “Traces of coal found along Washington railways,” King 5 News, August 16, 2011, http://www.king5.com/news/environment/Coal-Found-Along-Washington-Railways-127907523.html.
Josh Voorhees, “Railroads, Utilities Clash Over Dust From Coal Trains,” New York Times, January 25, 2010, http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2010/01/25/25greenwire-railroads-utilities-clash-over-dust-from-coal-55265.html; and Joe Deaux, “Regulations Could Derail Railroad Profits,” The Street, August 21, 2011, http://www.thestreet.com/story/11215990/1/regulations-could-derail-railroad-profits.html.
Roderick J. Hossfeld and Rod Hatt, “PRB Coal Degradation: Causes and Cures,” PRB Coal Users Group, http://www.prbcoals.com/pdf/paper_archives/56538.pdf.
Occupational Safety and Health Guideline for Coal Dust, U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/healthguidelines/coaldust-greater5percentsio2/recognition.html.
William J. Bounds and Karen H. Johannesson, “Arsenic Addition to Soils from Airborne Coal Dust Originating
at a Major Coal Shipping Terminal,” Water, Air, & Soil Pollution, June 21, 2007, 185: 195-207, http://www.
springerlink.com/content/98146r1160021h13/.
“Whatcom Docs Position Statement and Appendices,” Coal Train Facts, http://www.coaltrainfacts.org/whatcomdocs-position-statement-and-appendices.
Charles E. Studer, “Health Risk Study for the Burlington Northern / Santa Fe Railroad Spokane Railyard,” Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency,” June 16, 2010, http://www.spokanecleanair.org/documents/Study_Reports/BNSF%20
Spokane%20Railyard%20Health%20Study.pdf.

Amy Glasser (#8692)

Date Submitted: 01/17/2013
Comment:
When I began to research this proposed project I spoke with Sheriff Elfo about the potential impacts on emergency responders. In speaking with him he mentioned something about the reason why trains idle on the Custer Spur for so long currently is because they pay less taxes if they do not have their loads delivered to the facilities too early. I am not exactly sure of what he meant so I would like you to study whether GPT plans to idle trains on the Spur so they will save money? Doing this will cause more environmental damage as those trains emit constant diesel and coal particulates and also create noise throughout the day and night, affecting sleep, animal habits, people's physical and mental health. The effects on all the living creatures within a 750 foot distance from the proposed rail yard/side rails should be studied to assess what dangers to health will be created with these constant idling trains, especially if it isn't necessary, but only to save them money. To mitigate for some of the damage, please consider mandating the trains turn off their engines if idling for any period to time.
Amy Glasser

Amy Grondin (#13345)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Port Townsend, WA
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington. This proposal would negatively affect my community by increasing traffic, polluting our air and water, harming existing business, delaying emergency vehicles, increasing shipping traffic and noise, damaging aquatic ecosystems at the terminal site, increasing the potential for serious shipping accidents and exacerbating climate change. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

In addition, coal that we send over seas will come back to us in the form of pollution. We do not need addtional carbon released into our environment. This carbon will be absorbed by the ocean and cause the ocean's pH to drop. Drops in ocean pH take out our marine food web at the building blocks level, no phytoplankton and zooplankton means no food for small fish. No small fish? NO big fish!

Amy Gulick (#5004)

Date Submitted: 12/17/12
Location: North Bend, WA
Comment:
Comments for Proposed Gateway Pacific Coal Terminal
I am surprised and saddened that in the year 2012, knowing what we know today about the negative impacts of burning fossil fuels, both to the planet and people, that we are even considering building the Gateway Pacific coal terminal near Bellingham, or anywhere else for that matter. But here we are. And here is what I’d like you to consider.
1) What are the cumulative impacts of transporting the coal from its source to the terminal to its final destination? This would include the exposure to diesel exhaust from coal trains and cargo ships, the exposure to coal dust, the increase in stress caused by longer wait times at train crossings, the increased risk to public safety as emergency services will be delayed, and the impact on wildlife as the coal trains will pose a barrier to habitat connectivity.
2) What are the cumulative impacts of burning the coal at its final destination in China and other parts of the world? We need to know how much carbon will be emitted into the atmosphere, and how this will exacerbate the effects of global warming. We also need to know how much lead, mercury, and selenium will be emitted into the air and water, and what health effects this will pose to people and wildlife.
3) What are the cumulative impacts on noise pollution? What decibel levels will people and wildlife be exposed to, and what will be the frequency of exposure.
It is beyond unthinkable that in 2012, we continue to race full throttle down the fossil fuel tracks throwing ourselves in front of an out-of-control carbon freight train.
Thank you.
Amy Gulick

Amy Hagopian (#7468)

Date Submitted: 01/04/13
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Amy Howard (#5154)

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

Amy Link (#9429)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Comment:
Hello, my name is Amy Link and I am a Stanwood resident, mother and working person. My sons are grown and will be starting families in the not too distant future. I am writing out of profound concern for our unique and largely unspoiled environment, as well as concern for the human inhabitants AS WELL as making a destructive economic decision. I encourage studying/projecting the economic growth of this area without this project coming in. The waterfront is just about to come into play in a useful, beautiful, and economically vibrant way in the Bellingham area. We are all looking at good urban renewal solutions and enhancements to our hometowns.
Down in Stanwood and the surrounding communities, we are trying to establish ourselves as healthy, rural destinations. We are thrilled to have the new train platform and are making some developmental decisions based on it's importance in our small town. It is right in the downtown area. The coal trains coming through will 1. Monopolize the track 2. Create noise, pollution, and very specific health risks 3. Endanger a variety of wildlife areas and populations and 4. Grossly limit our area's development and economic growth, as a destination and a lovely place to call home.
The call for jobs is a SIREN CALL right now...and these coal train/depot jobs are going to jeopardize our future long term growht in a very real way. The numbers are not even that great when compared to what will happen naturally if this destructive project is denied. It simply appears attractive because it is a package deal. However, It is, after all, yet another example of the very few benefiting and the general population living with the damage incurred....haven't we seen enough of that? For goodness' sake let us grow without this cancer riding our rails and poisoning our lives and homes. Our beautifully unique part of the country should not be stripped of it's birthright potential to serve many people in many ways with as little damage done as possible. One has only to look around the country to see the legacy of developmental missteps, lost opportunities for healthy, thriving communities. Do not relegate Western Washington to that abused population. PLEASE.
Thank you for your serious and thoughtful consideration on this important decision.

Amy Lum (#11039)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Orcas, Wa
Comment:
I am gravely concerned about what the impact of transporting such a vast quantity of coal will have environmentally and on the quality of life for people who live along the transport route. As a resident of the San Juan Islands and a volunteer oil spill responder, I cannot see how transporting huge amounts of coal on supertankers can be safe or sane in this fragile ecosystem. The tankers will bring an increased risk of oil spill to the area, and the damage would be irreparable. There are so many reasons why this proposed terminal is a bad idea.

Amy Margolis (#2577)

Date Submitted: 11/08/12
Location: Deming, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Amy Mower (#455)

Date Submitted: 09/25/12
Location: Maple Falls, WA
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington.

This proposal would negatively affect my community by:

1) increasing traffic,
2) polluting our air and water,
3) harming existing business,
4) delaying emergency vehicles,
5) increasing shipping traffic and noise,
6) damaging aquatic ecosystems at the terminal site,
7) increasing the potential for serious shipping accidents and
8) exacerbating climate change.

I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

Sincerely,

Amy Mower

Amy Mower (#3783)

Date Submitted: 12/02/12
Location: Maple Falls, WA
Comment:
December 1, 2012

I live in Maple Falls, WA, near Silver Lake Park, just off the Mount Baker Highway State Route 542.

Please include the following study in the EIS for both the coastal rail corridor and Highway 9 rail corridor, or any other alternative interior rail corridor which might be considered for the project proposed by SSA Marine:
a geological impact assessment of the risks to train cars and cargo, abutting communities and environment should an earthquake occur in the Boulder Creek fault zone.

I have attached a PDF copy of a report entitled Understanding Earthquake Hazards in Washington State, Modeling a Magnitude 6.8 Earthquake on the Boulder Creek Fault Zone in Whatcom County. This Report was prepared for earthquake preparedness by FEMA, Washington DNR and other governmental agencies.

I also refer you to other map sources, such as http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/shakemap/global/shake/BoulderCreek6.8_se/#Instrumental_Intensity

The Boulder Creek fault zone is well within damage range of the rail tracks and nearby LNG gas pipelines which run from Canada to Sedro Wooley. The combination of earthquake, LNG pipelines and railroad traffic, might well be a big problem for all of us.

The fault shake zone, as shown in the attached report, reaches from the fault near Kendall all the way west to Bellingham, and south to beyond Sedro Woolley, and north into Canada.

Thank you for your consideration and for adding to the EIS this Boulder Creek Fault Zone earthquake study for both the coastal rail corridor and any potential interior rail corridor for this proposed project.

Sincerely,

Amy Mower
PO Box 2004
Maple Falls, WA 98266
Attached Files:

Amy Mower (#3784)

Date Submitted: 12/02/12
Location: Maple FAlls, WA
Comment:
December 1, 2012

I live in Maple Falls, WA, near Silver Lake Park, just off the Mount Baker Highway State Route 542.

I am very concerned about the potential impact of the proposed Coal Port and shipping of coal upon threatened or endangered wildlife, both their habitat and their forage. I am specifically concerned about the WA Candidate Species, the Western Grebe.

I bring your attention to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. 2012. Threatened and Endangered Wildlife in Washington: 2011 Annual Report, pages 155-158. I have attached to this email letter a PDF of those four pages of the 2011 Annual Report.
As indicated on page 7 of the 2011 Annual Report which may be found at http://wdfw.wa.gov/publications/01385/wdfw01385.pdf
Western Grebes are Candidates for listing as state Endangered, Threatened or Sensitive status in Washington.

Page 157, see attached, of the 2011 Annual Report states that in Washington’s inner marine waters, wintering western grebe populations have historically gathered around “fish stocks like the Cherry Point herring [emphasis added]”.

Page 157 of the 2011 Annual Report also states that “changes in food resources have played a role in the decline of wintering populations of [the western grebe] in Washington”.

Any further loss of the Cherry Point herring population will likely have a significant adverse impact upon Western Grebes.

Therefore I request, as part of the EIS for the SSA Marine Cherry Point proposal, that the following two studies be conducted:
1. a comprehensive study of the impacts of the proposed coal port facilities, the handling and loading of coal, escaped coal dust and spills in handling and loading of coal, upon:

a) marine birds, during all seasons, including but not limited to Western Grebes and other migratory birds, and

b) the Cherry Point herring population, and

c) all marine birds and animals that eat the Cherry Point herring.

2. a comprehensive study of the impacts of spills of coal, as well as spills of ship fuel and bilge and ballast water, as a result of shipping accidents likely to occur in the Salish Sea, Rosario Straight and the Straights of Juan de Fuca, Alaskan waters and all other waters through which the ships loaded with coal at Cherry Point would pass, upon all marine birds, mammals and all other marine wildlife, vegetation and habitat.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Amy Mower
PO Box 2004
Maple Falls, WA 98266
Attached Files:

Amy Mower (#3785)

Date Submitted: 12/02/12
Location: Maple Falls, WA
Comment:
I live in Maple Falls, WA, near Silver Lake Park, just off the Mount Baker Highway State Route 542.
Impacts of the proposed project will clearly affect the WA coastal rail corridor, but if a decision is made after the completion of the EIS to move the rail corridor inland along Highway 9, those same impacts will affect any interior rail corridor and must also be scoped now even if not currently included in the pending application.
Please include the following studies in the EIS for both the coastal rail corridor and the Highway 9 rail corridor, or any other alternative interior rail corridor which might be considered for the project proposed by SSA Marine:
1. a health impact assessment in form and substance as requested by the Whatcom Docs; and
2. a noise and vibration impact assessment including not only train horns but also the noise and vibration of the engines, the train cars, the wheels, both with full cars and empty cars; and
3. an economic impact assessment in form and substance as requested by Protect Whatcom ; and
4. a marine species and habitat impact assessment for both the Cherry Point coastal area and all coastal areas where coal transport ships will travel, assessing risks of spills, impact of noise and vibration, and other compliance issues under the Clean Water Act Section 404; and
5. a geological impact assessment for impacts caused by coal trains’ weight and vibrations on hillsides, cut banks, wetlands, and gas pipelines near the rail tracks; and
6. a second geological impact assessment of the risks to train cars and cargo, abutting communities and environment should an earthquake occur in the Boulder Creek fault zone. That fault zone is well within damage range of the rail tracks and nearby gas pipelines.
Thank you for your consideration and for adding to the EIS these studies for both the coastal rail corridor and any potential interior rail corridor for this proposed project.
Sincerely,
Amy Mower
PO Box 2004
Maple Falls, WA 98266
__________________________________________________

Amy Mower (#4015)

Date Submitted: 12/06/2012
Location: Maple Falls, WA
Comment:
Several years ago significant new information was discovered about the Boulder Creek Fault Zone in Whatcom County.

Please conduct the following study for the Cherry Point EIS:

a geological impact assessment of the risks to train cars and cargo, communities abutting the train tracks, LNG gas pipelines which run parallel to the interior rail tracks, and the natural environment should an earthquake occur in the Boulder Creek fault zone.

When the study is conducted, please address the geological impacts for both:

a) the coastal rail corridor currently proposed by SSA Marine; and

b) the Highway 9 rail corridor, or any other alternative interior rail corridor that might be considered for the project proposed by SSA Marine.

For copy of a report entitled Understanding Earthquake Hazards in Washington State, Modeling a Magnitude 6.8 Earthquake on the Boulder Creek Fault Zone in Whatcom County, I refer you to:

http://www.dnr.wa.gov/Publications/ger_seismic_scenario_boulder_creek.pdf.

This Report was prepared for earthquake preparedness by FEMA, Washington DNR and other governmental agencies.

I also refer you to other map sources, such as:

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/shakemap/global/shake/BoulderCreek6.8_se/#Instrumental_Intensity

The Boulder Creek fault zone is well within damage range of the rail tracks and nearby LNG gas pipelines which run from Canada to Sedro Wooley. The combination of earthquake, LNG pipelines and railroad traffic, might well be a big problem for all of us.

The fault shake zone, as shown in the attached report, reaches from the fault near Kendall all the way west to Bellingham, and south of Sedro Wooley, and north into Canada.

Thank you for your consideration and for adding to the EIS this study of the Boulder Creek fault Zone’s earthquake impact for both the coastal rail corridor and any potential interior rail corridor for this proposed project.

Amy Mower (#4018)

Date Submitted: 12/06/2012
Location: Maple Falls, WA
Comment:
I am very concerned about the potential impact of the proposed Coal Port and shipping of coal upon the WA Candidate Species, the Western Grebe. I am also concerned about the impact of the proposal upon all other threatened or endangered wildlife, as well as upon their habitat and their forage.

First, I bring your attention to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. 2012. Threatened and Endangered Wildlife in Washington: 2011 Annual Report, pages 155-158, which may be found at:

http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/endangered/species/western_and_clark's_grebes.pdf

Second, as indicated on page 7 of the 2011 Annual Report which may be found at :

http://wdfw.wa.gov/publications/01385/wdfw01385.pdf

Western Grebes are Candidates for listing as state Endangered, Threatened or Sensitive status in Washington.

Third, page 157 of the 2011 Annual Report states that in Washington’s inner marine waters, wintering western grebe populations have historically gathered around “fish stocks like the Cherry Point herring [emphasis added]”.

Page 157 of the 2011 Annual Report also states that “changes in food resources have played a role in the decline of wintering populations of [the western grebe] in Washington”.

Any further loss of the Cherry Point herring population will likely have a significant adverse impact upon Western Grebes.

Therefore I request, as part of the EIS for the SSA Marine Cherry Point proposal, that the following two studies be conducted:

1. a comprehensive study of the impacts of the proposed coal port facilities, the handling and loading of coal, escaped coal dust and spills in handling and loading of coal, upon:

a) marine birds, during all seasons, including but not limited to Western Grebes and other migratory birds, and

b) the Cherry Point herring population, and

c) all marine birds and animals that eat the Cherry Point herring.

2. a comprehensive study of the impacts of spills of coal, as well as spills of ship fuel and bilge and ballast water, as a result of shipping accidents likely to occur in the Salish Sea, Rosario Straight and the Straights of Juan de Fuca, Alaskan waters and all other waters through which the ships loaded with coal at Cherry Point would pass, upon all marine birds, mammals and all other marine wildlife, vegetation and habitat.

Thank you.

Amy Mower (#4025)

Date Submitted: 12/06/2012
Location: Maple Falls, WA
Comment:
I am very concerned about train traffic issues along the Mt Baker Highway stretch of Highway 9 should the agencies determine to adopt an alternative, interior train route for the coal trains which parallels Highway 9.

Therefore, please conduct the following studies as part of the EIS for the proposed Cherry Point port and the train traffic in Whatcom County:

1. the social/cultural and human health impacts upon the Mt. Baker District High School as well as the District’s business offices in Deming.

The High School campus and playing fields, as well as the District’s Business Offices, all sit within a stone’s throw from the train track which would be used for any alternative routing of the coal trains. The daily passing of 18 coal trains past the High Scholl will have numerous impacts, not the least of which are impaired study concentration; noise; fumes; and particulate matter from full and empty coal train cars. Students, teachers and other professionals will be exposed to all impacts whether inside the buildings, playing on the playing fields, or walking from place to place on campus.

2. the social/cultural and human health impacts upon the Nooksack Indian Nation Casino as well as tribal offices and businesses and residences in Deming.

As with the Mt. Baker District High School and District Offices, the Casino, tribal offices and businesses are even closer to the train tracks and will be subject to all the impacts which the High School and District Offices are subject as mentioned above.

3. the economic impact upon the multiple commercial properties and businesses which line the Mt. Baker Highway including but not limited to:

a. the Nooksack Natiion Casino
b. the Nooksack businesses such as convenience store, gasoline station, doctors’ and dentists offices, and tribal business offices
c. the Deming Library
d. the Mt. Baker vineyard in Deming
e. many acres of commercial blueberry farms, including the Williams Farm in Deming
f. many acres of commercial raspberry farms in Deming and Nugent Corners
g. acres of commercial strawberry Schartners farm in Nugent Corners
h. organic commercial vegetable farm (Spring Frog) in Nugent Corners
i. Christmas tree growers in Deming and Nugent Corner

The economic impact likely would arise from the concern about coal dust getting blown onto any vegetation, vegetables and fruit within a mile of the train tracks, as well as getting in people’s lungs and on their cars when they stop at businesses, as well as building up on windows and roofs and walls of buildings.

4. the economic impact upon Tourism for the entire Mt. Baker Highway corridor, which is a scenic highway drawing many visitors for its scenic beauty as well as for recreational activities. Driving past mile and a half long coal train cars within a few hundred feet of the highway, and dust covered farms and dust covered businesses is not going to be attractive to tourists, let alone the safety issues of coal dust blowing onto the Highway in all weather.

5. the safety aspects of coal dust on the Mt. Baker Highway pavement in rain, snow and ice, whether or not it would create a slick surface that would increase highway accidents.

There is no mitigation for all of these cumulative impacts other than not granting the proposed application.

Amy Mower (#6980)

Date Submitted: 01/12/2013
Comment:
Alice Kelly
Department of Ecology
Northwest Regional Office
Randel Perry
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,
Regulatory Branch, Northwest Field Office
Tyler Schroeder
Planning and Development Services, Whatcom County

Dear Lead Agencies,

I urge the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Washington Department of Ecology and Whatcom County Planning and Development Services to conduct a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for the Cherry Point GPT proposal that carefully and fully analyzes the combined environmental (including but not limited to impacts of carbon emissions produced from transport of coal and by burning it in Asia; and impacts upon animal, plant, water and air, atmosphere, oceans, inland waterways, ecosystems), human health, social and economic impacts of:

1. multiple, similar coal export and/or dry bulk commodity terminal proposals and related development in the States of Washington and Oregon; as well as

2. the integral development of coal mining and related development in Wyoming and Montana; as well as

3. the integral expansion of rail tracks and increase in rail traffic; as well as

4. the integral expansion of ocean shipping, both along the coasts of Oregon, Washington, British Columbia and Alaska, as well as across the ocean to China.

In order for the Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement to comprehensively assess the environmental, human health, social and economic impacts of the proposed actions listed above, the Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement should include but not be limited to, studies and assessments of the following:


a) the impacts of the individual terminal proposals; and

b) the cumulative, collective impact of all of the terminal proposals, since the impacts collectively upon the environment, human health, society and the economy will exceed the individual impact; and

c) the impact of increased rail traffic due to, and interdependent with, the terminal proposals, both as specified in the applications and as reasonably and foreseeably required as the terminals reach their maximum capacity. The locales reviewed must include not only in WA and Oregon but also increased rail traffic in Montana and Wyoming and points in-between for getting the coal from the mines to the coastal terminals; and

i) the impact of increased rail traffic in WA should look at the impact on both the coastal rail tracks and the inland rail tracks running next to State Highway 9; because the inland rail line may well be considered as the route for the trains transporting coal given limitations on the coastal route structure and capacity; and

d) the impact of the newly proposed railroad track lines in Wyoming and Montana such as the Tongue River Valley rail proposal, as well as the impact of any newly proposed railroad track lines in Washington and Oregon, both as specified in the applications and as reasonably foreseeably required as the terminals reach their maximum capacity; and

i) the impact of increased rail traffic in WA should look at the impact on both the coastal rail tracks and the inland rail tracks running next to State Highway 9; because the inland rail line may well be considered as the route for the trains transporting coal given limitations on the coastal route structure and capacity; and

e) the impact of increased ocean shipping traffic along the coasts of WA and Oregon, and up along the coasts of British Columbia and Alaska; and

f) the impact of overlap of increased rail and shipping traffic due to coal transport with increases proposed for oil rail and shipping traffic for oil sourced not only from Canada but also oil sourced from within the United States; and

g) the impact of overlap of increased rail and shipping traffic due to coal transport with increases proposed for natural gas rail and shipping traffic sourced not only from Canada but also natural gas sourced within the United States; and

h) the impact of the overlap of increased rail traffic with newly proposed extension of natural gas pipelines running from Sedro-Woolley, WA north to Canada and south into Oregon, which will may well be installed parallel to stretches of the existing inland rail line along State Highway 9 since there is already an LNG pipeline laid there. The new LNG pipelines are part of a proposed liquefied natural gas export terminal in Warrenton, Oregon
http://www.oregonlive.com/business/index.ssf/2012/04/oregon_liquified_natural_gas_e.html ,
near the mouth of the Columbia River, and a pipeline expansion in Washington designed to serve the terminal. This overlap of traffic is of concern because the inland rail line may well be considered as the route for the trains transporting coal given limitations on the coastal route structure and capacity. Research should be done, as part of the PEIS, to determine the safety for humans and for the environment of having larger pipelines next to increased rail traffic and increased weight of train cars and engines.

see Ted Sickinger, "Feds to conduct joint review of Oregon LNG terminal and Washington pipeline expansion," The Oregonian, July 17, 2012 http://www.oregonlive.com/business/index.ssf/2012/07/feds_to_conduct_joint_review_o.html

It has been reported by the Sierra Club that there is a 700’ hazard zone on either side of an LNG pipeline that could be acutely impacted in the event of a pipeline rupture or leak. These leaks and ruptures may be caused by human error, corrosion of the pipeline, or by natural geologic movement. This represents a public safety threat for landowners and communities along the proposed route should the LNG pipeline be approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; and

i) to the extent not otherwise listed above, the impact of all aspects of both the SHORT TERM and the LONG TERM effects and impacts of mining, transporting and burning the coal coming into all of the proposed ports and being shipped overseas and burned in Asia; and

j) the impact on global warming and climate change as impacted by the burning of coal in Asia, as well as impacted by coal dust fugitive from transportation and shipping, as well as impacted by coal mining itself; and

k) the impacts, of all of the various impacts as listed above, as assessed and identified over the near term and over time, both as specified in the applications and as reasonably foreseeably required as the terminals reach their maximum capacity.


The local, county, state and regional impacts listed above are interdependent given the product coal and its source and the delivery and shipping requirements. Thus, a Programmatic EIS is appropriate given the magnitude of the projects and the breadth of impacts upon this country, this region, the climate and the environment.

Without a Programmatic EIS that models all possible rail expansion, and that models all possible coal impacts on land, fresh and salt water, air, plants and animals, traffic, health, economy, the regulators have no basis on which to identify indirect impacts or measure cumulative impacts which include reasonably foreseeable future activities.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,
Amy L. Mower

Amy Mower (#6982)

Date Submitted: 01/12/2013
Location: Maple Falls, WA
Comment:
Please scope, research and analyze the impact of the overlap of increased rail traffic with newly proposed extension of natural gas pipelines running from Sedro-Woolley, WA north to Canada and south into Oregon, which will may well be installed parallel to stretches of the existing inland rail line along State Highway 9 since there is already an LNG pipeline laid there.

This overlap of traffic is of concern because the inland rail line along Highway 9 may well be considered as the route for the trains transporting coal given limitations on the coastal rail route structure and capacity.

The new LNG pipelines are part of a proposed liquefied natural gas export terminal in Warrenton, Oregon, near the mouth of the Columbia River, and a pipeline expansion in Washington designed to serve the terminal.

Research should be done, as part of the PEIS, to determine the safety for humans and for the environment of having larger pipelines next to increased rail traffic and increased weight of train cars and engines.
see Ted Sickinger, "Feds to conduct joint review of Oregon LNG terminal and Washington pipeline expansion," The Oregonian, July 17, 2012
__http://www.oregonlive.com/business/index.ssf/2012/07/feds_to_conduct_joint_review_o.html_________

It has been reported by the Sierra Club that there is a 700’ hazard zone on either side of an LNG pipeline that could be acutely impacted in the event of a pipeline rupture or leak.

These leaks and ruptures may be caused by human error, corrosion of the pipeline, or by natural geologic movement.

This represents a public safety threat for landowners and communities along the proposed route should the LNG pipeline be approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Thank you for your consideration.

Amy Mower (#8427)

Date Submitted: 01/12/13
Location: Maple Falls, WA
Comment:
Alice Kelly
Department of Ecology
Northwest Regional Office
Randel Perry
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,
Regulatory Branch, Northwest Field Office
Tyler Schroeder
Planning and Development Services, Whatcom County
Dear Lead Agencies,
I urge the U.S.n Army Corps of Engineers, Washington Department of Ecology and Whatcom County Planning and Development Services to conduct a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for the Cherry Point GPT proposal that carefully and fully analyzes the combined environmental (including but not limited to impacts of carbon emissions produced from transport of coal and by burning it in Asia; and impacts upon animal, plant, water and air, atmosphere, oceans, inland waterways, ecosystems), human health, social and economic impacts of:
1. multiple, similar coal export and/or dry bulk commodity terminal proposals and related development in the States of Washington and Oregon; as well as
2. the integral development of coal mining and related development in Wyoming and Montana; as well as
3. the integral expansion of rail tracks and increase in rail traffic; as well as
4. the integral expansion of ocean shipping, both along the coasts of Oregon, Washington, British Columbia and Alaska, as well as across the ocean to China.
In order for the Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement to comprehensively assess the environmental, human health, social and economic impacts of the proposed actions listed above, the Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement should include but not be limited to, studies and assessments of the following:

a) the impacts of the individual terminal proposals; and
b) the cumulative, collective impact of all of the terminal proposals, since the impacts collectively upon the environment, human health, society and the economy will exceed the individual impact; and
c) the impact of increased rail traffic due to, and interdependent with, the terminal proposals, both as specified in the applications and as reasonably and foreseeably required as the terminals reach their maximum capacity. The locales reviewed must include not only in WA and Oregon but also increased rail traffic in Montana and Wyoming and points in-between for getting the coal from the mines to the coastal terminals; and
i) the impact of increased rail traffic in WA should look at the impact on both the coastal rail tracks and the inland rail tracks running next to State Highway 9; because the inland rail line may well be considered as the route for the trains transporting coal given limitations on the coastal route structure and capacity; and
d) the impact of the newly proposed railroad track lines in Wyoming and Montana such as the Tongue River Valley rail proposal, as well as the impact of any newly proposed railroad track lines in Washington and Oregon, both as specified in the applications and as reasonably foreseeably required as the terminals reach their maximum capacity; and
i) the impact of increased rail traffic in WA should look at the impact on both the coastal rail tracks and the inland rail tracks running next to State Highway 9; because the inland rail line may well be considered as the route for the trains transporting coal given limitations on the coastal route structure and capacity; and
e) the impact of increased ocean shipping traffic along the coasts of WA and Oregon, and up along the coasts of British Columbia and Alaska; and
f) the impact of overlap of increased rail and shipping traffic due to coal transport with increases proposed for oil rail and shipping traffic for oil sourced not only from Canada but also oil sourced from within the United States; and
g) the impact of overlap of increased rail and shipping traffic due to coal transport with increases proposed for natural gas rail and shipping traffic sourced not only from Canada but also natural gas sourced within the United States; and
h) the impact of the overlap of increased rail traffic with newly proposed extension of natural gas pipelines running from Sedro-Woolley, WA north to Canada and south into Oregon, which will may well be installed parallel to stretches of the existing inland rail line along State Highway 9 since there is already an LNG pipeline laid there. The new LNG pipelines are part of a proposed liquefied natural gas export terminal in Warrenton, http://www.oregonlive.com/business/index.ssf/2012/04/oregon_liquified_natural_gas_e.html Oregon, near the mouth of the Columbia River, and a pipeline expansion in Washington designed to serve the terminal. This overlap of traffic is of concern because the inland rail line may well be considered as the route for the trains transporting coal given limitations on the coastal route structure and capacity. Research should be done, as part of the PEIS, to determine the safety for humans and for the environment of having larger pipelines next to increased rail traffic and increased weight of train cars and engines.
see Ted Sickinger, "Feds to conduct joint review of Oregon LNG terminal and Washington pipeline expansion," The Oregonian, July 17, 2012 http://www.oregonlive.com/business/index.ssf/2012/07/feds_to_conduct_joint_review_o.html
It has been reported by the Sierra Club that there is a 700’ hazard zone on either side of an LNG pipeline that could be acutely impacted in the event of a pipeline rupture or leak. These leaks and ruptures may be caused by human error, corrosion of the pipeline, or by natural geologic movement. This represents a public safety threat for landowners and communities along the proposed route should the LNG pipeline be approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; and
i) to the extent not otherwise listed above, the impact of all aspects of both the SHORT TERM and the LONG TERM effects and impacts of mining, transporting and burning the coal coming into all of the proposed ports and being shipped overseas and burned in Asia; and
j) the impact on global warming and climate change as impacted by the burning of coal in Asia, as well as impacted by coal dust fugitive from transportation and shipping, as well as impacted by coal mining itself; and
k) the impacts, of all of the various impacts as listed above, as assessed and identified over the near term and over time, both as specified in the applications and as reasonably foreseeably required as the terminals reach their maximum capacity.


The local, county, state and regional impacts listed above are interdependent given the product coal and its source and the delivery and shipping requirements. Thus, a Programmatic EIS is appropriate given the magnitude of the projects and the breadth of impacts upon this country, this region, the climate and the environment.
Without a Programmatic EIS that models all possible rail expansion, and that models all possible coal impacts on land, fresh and salt water, air, plants and animals, traffic, health, economy, the regulators have no basis on which to identify indirect impacts or measure cumulative impacts which include reasonably foreseeable future activities.
Thank you for your consideration.
Sincerely,
Amy L. Mower

Amy Mower (#11641)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Maple Falls, WA
Comment:
I am very concerned about the lack of information regarding completion of requirements of the original, many years old, 1999 Settlement Agreement with SSA Marine, Ecology, DFW, Whatcom County, and other parties.

It is my understanding that the following requirements under the Settlement Agreement remain incomplete or not yet started:

1. Tidal Current Study

2. Vessel Traffic analysis

3. Vessel Safety Committee

4. Vessel Mooring Study and Plan

5. Spill Prevention, Preparedness and Response Plans

6. Stormwater Management Plan

7. Baseline and Annual Monitoring – Sediment, Tissue and Water Quality

8. Herring Behaviour Studies

9. Wetlands and Habitat Mitigation Plan

10. many smaller tasks still outstanding under the Settlement Agreement, such as wave dampening, littoral drift, construction schedule, public access conveyance

If only those plans and studies had been performed on a timely basis as originally anticipated under the Settlement Agreement. If the studies and plans had been performed, we would have a historical baseline of data of at least 10 or more years.

As it is, we still need these reports as part of the Scoping of the Cherry Point proposal.

Please include in the Scoping of the Cherry Point proposal all of the unfinished studies which were required of SSA Marine under the Settlement Agreement, and please update any studies which had been completed under the Settlement Agreement.

The Scoping of all of these studies should require that the covered impacts be studied for the duration of the life of the proposed Port facility and the duration of any residual coal dust or debris or spills, as well as vessel fuel, for the duration of the life of the proposed Port facility.

Thank you for your consideration.

Amy Nielsen (#14653)

Date Submitted: 01/16/13
Location: Tacoma, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Amy Pashov (#1258)

Date Submitted: 10/24/2012
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
I live in Whatcom County, out at Gooseberry Point, an area which is very windy. I'm concerned about the coal dust that will be blown from this industrial site. I'm worried about the health impacts, the well water that I drink, the food in my garden, the eagles that nest in my trees and the people in my neighborhood, many of whom have the same concerns as myself.

Please study the impact of airborne coal particles and take into consideration the impact of the winds, especially when it's being moved from train to terminal and terminal to ship.

Amy Pashov (#1347)

Date Submitted: 10/25/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I am a Whatcom county resident and I am concerned about the location of this proposed industrial coal site with regards to tsunami hazards that are obviously present in this area. I am also concerned that this large amount of coal will be traveling through urbanized areas where trains could cut off access for quick escape in the event of a tsunami evacuation, or worse, contribute to the devastation with coal spillage.
The environmental impacts of such a large stockpile of coal in this area would be devastation to the environment adding tremendously to any damage done by a tsunamis impact. In addition, please consider in your study who would be responsible for the cleanup of the coal damage in the event of ANY disaster or malfunction?
Please let us not forget the very sad lessons we must learn from our Pacific neighbor Japan and the destruction and problems left in the wake of the recent tsunami at the industrial site of Fukoshima Daiichi. Placing a large coal terminal on our pristine coastline in a tsunami prone area raises the potential harm leveled in the event of any major natural disaster. I urge you to investigate this matter and to protect our local inhabitants.

Amy Pashov (#1556)

Date Submitted: 10/27/2012
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
I am a Whatcom county resident and I am concerned about the location of the proposed industrial coal site with regard to tsunami hazards that are obviously present in this area.
Please let us not forget the sad lessons we should have learned from the destruction and devastation that occurred as the result of the recent tsunami at Fukoshima Daiichi in Japan. Placing a large coal terminal on our pristine coastline in a tsunami prone area increases my concern about the potential harm that would occur in the event of any major natural disaster.
If there were to be a tsunami here, the environmental impact of a large stockpile of coal would be devastating to the environment. I am concerned that the increased number and length of coal trains traveling through this area would cut off access for quick escape in the event of an evacuation, or worse, contribute to the devastation with spillage from the coal trains or the terminal. Related to this is my concern about who would bear the responsibility for the cleanup of this area, specifically that which is caused by coal damage in the event of such a disaster or, for that matter, any malfunction of the plant.
I urge you to investigate this matter; i.e, the cumulative impact of the damage that would be caused by adding a coal terminal at Cherry Point if there were to be a tsunami and the effect it would have upon our local inhabitants.

Amy Pashov (#9512)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
I would like to request that the following be considered in the scoping process regarding the problem of air pollution from ships. Please measure the impact on air quality. Coal ships emit large quantities of pollutants from burning bunker fuel, one of the dirtiest fuels.

Amy Pashov (#9519)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
I would like to request that the following be considered in the scoping process . Emissions from the coal ships as they cross the Pacific Ocean will contribute to regional and global quantities of greenhouse gases, toxic air pollutants, acid rain pollutants, and particulate matter.

We all share the same atmosphere and ocean, and these have no national boundaries.

Amy Pashov (#9520)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
Please include in the scoping reveiw the issue of coal dust in inland waterways. Some of the coal dust that leaves the coal trains will enter the surface stream system, degrading water quality for drinking, farming and aquatic species.

Amy Pashov (#9523)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
Please include in the scoping process the issue of coal dust in marine environments. Coal dust will blow from coal piles and loading operations into the marine environment, with substantial environmental consequences that may cause permanent harm to the ecosystem as a whole.

Amy Pashov (#9526)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
Please consider in the scoping process the impact of shipping more coal to China. All of the effects we see from coal in the United States will also occur in China. In many cases the effects will be worse because of China's higher population density. This pollution will return to us here in the US via the winds and ocean currents. We will be exposed to the coal when it is mined, transported, stored, moved, shipped and burned.

I urge you to consider the true cost of coal and protect the citizens and the environments of this planet as a whole.

Amy Pashov (#9528)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
Please consider in the scoping process the following: The diversion from clean energy alternatives. Both the United States and China have ambitious goals for the development of clean energy, but these goals will not be met if capital is instead spent on further expanding big carbon infrastructure.

Building coal depots and supporting the expansion of mining and coal trains will not lead us to the future we and our children deserve.

Amy Pashov (#9530)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
Please review the issue of the eel grass as part to the scoping process. The eel grass beds near Cherry Point, which are a major source for much marine life, will be destroyed by terminal operations including clearing, shade, coal dust, disturbance from ships, and other pollutants.

The herring, the salmon, the crabs and all the animals up the food chain, include ourselves will be adversely impacted by the destruction of this habitat.

Amy Pashov (#9534)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
Please consider in the scoping process the bigger issue that is at stake: Cheap coal imports from the United States will encourage continued use of coal in China, increasing pollution and climate change problems which affect the whole world. Our actions do not live in isolation, we are interconnected in many ways and thus our responsibility is global.

I urge you to measure the true cost of coal!

Amy Pashov (#9535)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
Please consider this impact mining will have on the endangered species near the coal mines, depots and shipping lanes. One of the endangered species such as the Sage Grouse will be at increased risk due to the land destroyed by the strip mines.

Protect endangered species, not big polluting business.

Amy Pashov (#9538)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
Please consider that the building of coal depots will serve as a gateway for further environmental degradation. Once an area has had some level of impact, it becomes more acceptable to permit other polluting activities because the area is no longer pristine.
Our communities should not become industrial wastelands.

Don't open the Gates to Coal!

Amy Pashov (#9542)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
Please consider the greenhouse gas emissions from coal burning. When the coal is combusted in China, it will cause emissions of greenhouse gases especially carbon dioxide, contributing to global warming and ocean acidification.

Please notice the "dinasaur" in the room and include global warming in this scoping process.

We are local citizens urging you to think and act globally! Leave the fossils underground!

Amy Pashov (#9544)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
Please consider the greenhouse gas emissions from mining and transporting of coal.

Trains, mining equipment, terminal equipment, and ships all emit greenhouse gases, most notably carbon dioxide, which contributes to global warming and ocean acidification.

We can no longer afford to risk the health of the planet upon which we all depend!

Amy Pashov (#9545)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
Please consider in the scoping process the issue of groundwater contamination in and near mines. Strip mines generally reach groundwater and once this water is contacted by the mine, it can never again be used for a life-giving purpose. Clean water is a diminishing resource on the planet and needs to be protected and preserved if we are to survive.

The option that a few may pollute and destroy what is needed by the all is unacceptable!

Amy Pashov (#9554)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
Please take into consideration the issue of groundwater contamination at the terminals.

Water spray is used to try to mitigate coal dust and for fire suppression. The resulting runoff is supposed to be captured and “managed” but the process is never perfect. Groundwater under and near the terminal site will be contaminated over time and will become unusable for any life-giving purpose.

Also the proposed terminal at Cherry Point will be the single biggest user of freshwater from the Nooksack river diverting water from other uses such as farming and the surrounding water table, affecting the many drinking wells in this area.

I live at Gooseberry Point and my drinking water is from several local wells in this vicinity. I have no wish to drink polluted water and the drinking water in our community deserves to be protected.

The pollution from the water containment ponds is right above many natural streams and is very near wetlands and nearby Lake Terrell. Lake Terrell has recently undergone a costly and successful habitat restoration and the water used at the proposed coal terminal would pollute these areas and reverse these efforts.

We cannot live in a world with polluted water; clean water is a basic human right and must be protected at all cost! I urge you to measure the true cost of coal!

Amy Pashov (#9557)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
Please consider as part of the scoping process the issue of the Harbor porpoises. Harbor porpoises were once the most numerous marine mammals in Puget Sound, but their numbers and range have declined due to shoreline development, disturbance, and entanglement. Terminal operations at Cherry Point would further diminish their food supply and increase disturbance, putting this small population at risk.

Amy Pashov (#9558)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
Please include the scoping review the issue of hazardous oxide pollutants from coal burners. The coal burners will emit nitrogen and sulfur oxides, which cause acid rain and have other health effects.

These emissions will create severe health effects or death for thousands of people in China.

Amy Pashov (#9560)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
Please consider the concern regarding the herring which live near Cherry Point. The building of the proposed coal depot would cause the herring to be driven to extinction by terminal operations. The salmon as well as the local fisherman depend on the herring to live.

Amy Pashov (#9562)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
Please review as part of the scoping process the issue of increased shade on marine environments. The new terminal will cast certain areas into permanent shadow, killing the existing marine plants and animals.

Amy Pashov (#9566)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
Please research the issue of invasive species. Invasive marine animals from Asian waters will come to the Puget Sound in the ballast water or on the outside hulls of the coal ships. These invasive species create havoc in existing ecosystems and can result in extinctions.

Increased vessel traffic increases this risk of cross contamination not only here in our waters but along the entire transportation route (Alaska, China, Canada, etc.).

Amy Pashov (#9567)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
Please consider in the scoping process the issue of climate change which is occurring now worldwide at great cost to everyone. If coal is exported to China and then is combusted to result in greenhouse gas emissions, this also leads to increased emissions in the United States because polluters can point to a convenient scapegoat and use this as a basis for not reducing emissions here at home. Our community can and must lead by example and I urge you to consider the true cost of coal.

Amy Pashov (#9570)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
Please consider in the scoping review the issue of dust contaminants in the marine environment. Dust flying off the coal piles or off a listing vessel during loading will land in the marine environment, with a variety of serious impacts to marine plants and animals.

Amy Pashov (#9574)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
Please consider in the impacts from the unloading of the coal once it has left the US waters. The same issues we would face here at home, such as the destruction of the marine environment, would occur during the unloading of the coal abroad. The inpact of a coal depot does not end at our border and our actions have ramifications beyond our backyard.

I urge you to consider the true cost of coal!

Amy Pashov (#9577)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
Please consider the impact that increased noise from the proposed coal shipping to marine life. Increased noise volume from massive and numerous coal ships will confuse and otherwise impact sea life, especially marine mammals such as whales, dolphins, sea lions, sea otters, seals etc.

This would be a problem not only at the depots but along the entire transportation route up through Canada, Alaska and across the ocean.

I urge you to consider the true cost of coal!

Amy Pashov (#9581)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
Please include in the scoping process the problem of mercury pollution coming from the coal burners in China which will travel across the Pacific Ocean back to the United States shores thereby increasing mercury levels here. Mercury is deposited in the fat tissues of fish such as tuna and salmon and then these concentrated levels of toxins moves up the food chain.

What goes around comes around and I urge you to consider the true cost of coal!

Amy Pashov (#9583)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
Please consider the concern of the massive increase of coal use in Asia that is occurring. One of the greatest environmental threats in the world is the huge increase in coal use and resulting pollution in Asia, especially China. It is not a good choice to participate in making this even worse. This is both economically and ethically irresponsible.

Amy Pashov (#9586)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
Please consider the impact of increasing ocean acidification. Carbon dioxide emissions from various sources (coal burners, coal transport), will add to acidification of oceans, which destroys sea life and causes economic harm as well. Acidification will wipe out the coral reefs and the marine life which depend upon it. The coral reefs are fundamental systems in the environment becuase of the variety of species which depend upon it. It also affects more locally our shellfish industries and habitats.

I urge you to consider the true cost of coal!

Amy Pashov (#9587)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
Please consider the risks and the potential devastating affects of oil spills. The increased traffic in the Salish Sea will increase the risk of a serious oil spill. When this occurs, there will be severe environmental and economic damage. And as we have seen with other disasters it is not the perpetrator who ends up paying the costs, but inevitably it is the communities which are most affected that bear the burden in the loss of livelihoods, environments, and of course financially.

Amy Pashov (#9588)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
Please consider the Orcas population as part of the scoping process. The southern resident Orcas, which are endangered, could be driven to extinction by any one of the following impacts: an oil spill, adverse impacts on their food supply, habitat degradation, noise and water pollution or by being hit by the increased vessel traffic in the region.

Amy Pashov (#9589)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
Please include the issue of ground level ozone pollution in the scoping process. The pollution from the coal burners in China travels back across the Pacific Ocean to the United States, making ground level ozone pollution worse and adding to the number of days when health standards are exceeded.

Amy Pashov (#9591)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
Please include the concern regarding the salmon population. Chinook salmon will be impacted by a number of factors including harm to the herring that they eat. The herring that spawn at Cherry Point have a different annual life cycle than other herring, so they are available to eat when other herring are not.

Amy Pashov (#9594)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
Please address the concern of ship interference with marine mammals. A high number of very large ships will make it more difficult for animals such as Orcas to hunt and otherwise move around in their range.

Amy Pashov (#9595)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
Please address the concern of ship interference with marine mammals. A high number of very large ships will make it more difficult for animals such as Orcas to hunt and otherwise move around in their range.

Amy Pashov (#9598)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
Please consider as part of the scoping the broader impact of the terminals in China. For all of the concerns listed for terminal operations at Cherry Point, a similar set of problems will occur at the terminal(s) in China. All the issues that must be addressed here such as air, water, soil and noise pollutions, rail, road and vessel traffic, environmental degradation, etc., will be the same for our Asian neighbors. We have no right to outsource our moral responsibilities, but rather we should lead by a good example.

Amy Pashov (#9599)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
Please include in the scoping process the issue of water pollutants from ships. Ships in international waters are not effectively regulated, and these ships discharge pollutant directly to the ocean waters that they travel through. Having worked on vessels I know that this is a very common practice, even if it is not legal or moral. The impact that this would have on the environments these vessel would pass through must be taken into consideration.

Amy Pashov (#9602)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
Please include in the scoping investigation the issue of water pollution in China that would be caused by the export of coal from our coasts. Coal handling and coal (ash) waste causes huge water pollution problems, which will occur in China at the sites of the coal burners.

Amy Pashov (#9603)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
Please include the concern regarding the wetlands. The proposed project includes the destruction of significant wetlands in many places along the route including but not limited to the Cherry Point location. These wetlands are critical habitats and sources of biodiversity.

Amy Pashov (#9604)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
I would like to request that the concern regarding the accumulation with other terminals be part of the scoping process. There are other coal terminals being proposed. Any realistic assessment of impacts should consider the accumulative effects of all of the terminals together.

I urge you to consider the true cost of coal!

Amy Pashov (#9605)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
Please consider in the scoping process the following information: The applicants attempts to bypass reviews that are required by federal law. The applicant attempted to repurpose an ancient and smaller existing non-coal permit for the enormous proposed coal terminal. This attempt to bypass federal law does not inspire confidence that the applicant will comply in good faith with all applicable laws.

Amy Pashov (#9606)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
Applicants attempts to bypass reviews that are required by federal law. The applicant attempted to repurpose an ancient and smaller existing non-coal permit for the enormous proposed coal terminal. This attempt to bypass federal law does not inspire confidence that the applicant will comply in good faith with all applicable laws.

Amy Pashov (#9608)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
Please take the following concern into consideration:

The assumption is that a polluting project is allowed unless explicitly prohibited. Current permitting processes often follow a script where a new activity will be permitted unless serious egregious problems can be proven. A better process would be for the applicant to demonstrate that the project creates net benefit for the community.

Amy Pashov (#9609)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
Please investigate the Clean Water Act violations by the applicants. The applicants violated the Clean Water Act by engaging in illegal clearing of federally protected wetlands. Under the law, this should result in a minimum of a 6 year development moratorium.

Amy Pashov (#9610)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
Please review and investigate into the conflict of interest. I understand and am concerned that some of the people involved directly or indirectly in the permitting process have interests in the corporations that will profit from the terminal.

Amy Pashov (#9611)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
Please investigate and take into consideration the damage to Native American cultural resources. The site of the proposed terminal has a substantial likelihood of containing currently unknown native American cultural sites including burials.

Amy Pashov (#9612)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
Please investigate and take into consideration the deception about “multi-commodity terminal” The entire purpose of the proposed terminal, as has been applied for, is to export coal. The “multi-purpose” terminology is a deliberate attempt to obscure this fact.

Amy Pashov (#9614)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
Please investigate the efforts to reduce information available to decision makers. Under threat of lawsuit, Whatcom County Council members have been advised to avoid reading or hearing any information about the proposed project. So, the people who will ultimately vote on permitting the project are required to be the least informed about it.

Amy Pashov (#9616)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
Please investigate the issue of historical non-compliance and accident rates. The actual performance of big carbon industry is never as good as what appears in a permit application. While evaluating each potential impact, the permitting agencies should apply historical rates of accidents and non-compliance both industry-wide and specific to the applicants, in order to get a complete picture of likely impacts.

Amy Pashov (#9617)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
Please review the concern regarding the limited opportunities for public participation. The EIS / permit process only allows for 2 public comment windows, one very near the beginning of the process and one near (but not at) the end. The process should add, at a minimum: (1) Opportunities for the public to introduce new evidence while the EIS is in process; and (2) The ability to comment on the "Final" EIS that was produced in response to public comments on the draft EIS.

Amy Pashov (#9620)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
Please take into consideration the loss of community rights.

The current process does not give local communities any say, other than "commenting", on whether they accept very serious local impacts. This gives multi-national corporations, which reflect substantial foreign ownership, more say in these communities than the residents themselves.

Amy Pashov (#9621)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
Please take into serious consideration the loss of property rights. Property may be seized by eminent domain for railroad or terminal development. This is particularly likely if an additional rail route through eastern Whatcom County is developed.

Amy Pashov (#9622)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
Please investigate into the misleading and false statements by applicants. The applicant has provided numerous misleading statements, such as the falsehood that the terminal will not notably increase train traffic compared to some imaginary alternate case of (impossibly expanded) exports through Canada.

Amy Pashov (#9623)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
Please investigate into the misleading and false statements by applicants. The applicant has provided numerous misleading statements, such as the falsehood that the terminal will not notably increase train traffic compared to some imaginary alternate case of (impossibly expanded) exports through Canada.

Amy Pashov (#9624)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
Please investigate into the limited opportunity to provide spoken comments. The permitting agencies should make provision to allow all interested parties to provide their comments in person, at all affected communities. No person should be denied the opportunity to comment in person simply because "time is up" at an insufficient number of public meetings.

For an example, the city of Marysville did not even have a public scoping meeting. I have elderly family and handicapped friends who could not travel the distance to one of the handful of scoping meetings held in other cities. However, their town will be very heavily impacted by the coal trains, in fact cut right in half the entire length. Why would they not have been afforded at the bare minimum a night to learn about this huge impact on their lives and to have their voices heard? This is a gross mishandling and should be should be rectified for them and for the other communities who have suffered the same injustice.

Amy Pashov (#9625)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
Please review the current interpretation of permitting law as part of this scoping process.

Local officials are barred from representing the interests of their constituents. Under current interpretations of permitting law, local bodies like county councils are barred from considering the broad interests of the community in deciding whether to grant the permits. They are only allowed to consider the few questions that the law allows. These are biased in such a way as to favor the granting of permits – even when to do so would cause harm to the community concerned or to local ecosystems or to both.

Amy Pashov (#9626)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
Please take into consideration the current practice of "rounding people out of existence".
Sometimes a project of this type is allowed to go forward even with demonstrated health effects because the number of people adversely affected is not “significant.”

This should not be allowed if adverse health effects are likely to occur to any population!

Amy Pashov (#9627)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
Please take into consideration as part of the scoping process the rights of nature.

Natural ecosystems have a right to thrive which should not be ignored. In the legal system, nature is viewed simply as property: something that the “owner” has a right to destroy at will (look at what happens where coal mining is going on). This is a core ingredient in the recipe for ecological collapse that we have been putting together for the last 200 years. The only remedy is to recognize that nature has rights, too.

Amy Pashov (#9628)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
Please consider the following in the scoping process: The world has a right to a sustainable energy future. Our current energy system is creating a risk of world ecological collapse. Its main sources (coal, oil, natural gas) are finite. The urgent policy need is to adopt a level of energy usage, and source of energy, that will not destroy the planet and which will be reliably available over time.

Amy Pashov (#9630)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
Please consider the following comment as part of the scoping process:
The world has a right to a natural climate and the propose coal projects fly in the face of this right.

Amy Pashov (#9632)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
Please consider the following concern as part of the scoping process: The violation of Native American rights to resources. The project will involve impacts on Native Americans such as loss of fishing, in some cases violating explicit treaty rights that have been agreed to by the United States government.

Amy Pashov (#9634)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
Please consider the following safety issue as part of the scoping process.

In case of a fire there would be flammable fuel at the refinery and combustible coal piles within a very close distance to each other not only at the depot, but also while traveling on the same rail lines (with product going in both directions) and out on the ocean water ways. The combined impacts of such a high risk situation should be studied and investigated thoroughly.

Amy Pashov (#9636)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
I am a resident of Whatcom County living out at Gooseberry Point and my concern is the cumulative effect of the pollution levels of the BP refinery, Conoco Phillips refinery and the aluminum smelter Alcoa, in relation to the proposed coal terminal on the local inhabitants and the environment.

The geographical proximity of these four entities needs to be considered. The cumulative effect of having these three large polluting industries within just a few miles of each other has to be addressed together when considering building the largest coal terminal in the United States in the same area. Anything short of this would misrepresent the true impact on the environment that the proposed coal terminal would create.

Each one of these industries may be just below the critical level for a “known” adverse health impact by itself, but the combined impact of all three of them may significantly endanger human and animal health as well as the natural environments (i.e. soil, water, food resources, etc.).

When there are more than two entities a system ceases to behave in a “classical way” and becomes known as non-linear (or chaotic) meaning that small effects can magnify greatly throughout in a chaotic fashion. A linear system implies that small causes produce small effects; by contrast, a non-linear system implies that small causes potentially produce large and unpredictable effects.

Consider, for instance the cumulative effects of the deposit of heavy elements and other toxins coming from all four sources on both the human population and the entire ecosystem. Pollutants travel great distances on the wind, in ground water, sea currents etc. and they build up in living systems.

What are the long term effects as well as the short term risks and impacts? The cumulative effect of exponential buildup and accretion of toxicity in various environmental systems must be taken in consideration when estimating the environmental impact. How will these long term cumulative effects be measured? (For example, how will the deposit of heavy metals affect a yet unborn baby? Will there be an increase of toxicity levels in the food chains, etc.? I urge you to study these issues.


___________________________________________________________________________________
*For more information see chaos and complexity theory and non-linear dynamics, the studies of which go back all the way from Poincare to Mandelbrot and Prigogine and many other scientists.

Amy Priest (#956)

Date Submitted: 10/21/12
Location: Nordland, WA
Comment:
Oct 21, 2012

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington and transporting strip-mined coal from Montana and Wyoming on trains and ships throughout the Northwest.

The project will harm imperiled wildlife species and their designated critical habitat, interfere with recreational and tribal fishing, harm the region with rail congestion, dramatically increase carbon pollution that is driving climate change, and further pollute our air and water with mercury, soot, and other toxins, including carcinogens. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

Given the significant negative effects that proposed coal export terminals would have on our environment and public health, I urge you to delineate all of these dangers in your Environmental Impact Statement, with the implication that the permit be denied.

Sincerely,

Amy Priest
PO Box 213
Nordland, WA 98358-0213

Amy Raymond (#3822)

Date Submitted: 12/01/12
Location: Langley, WA
Comment:
Please don’t export coal to China. I lived in China for three years and the smell of coal dust in the air is disgusting. It is bad enough to ruin your appetite and just make you feel sick. The Chinese need to solve their energy problems domestically as do we in the U.S. I personally love trains. I think they are smart transportation and want to see them more widely used. They need to first be safer and more convenient. It would be sad somehow to see the upswing in train transport come from our exporting our natural resources to a foreign country. It seems like another big piece in our business people’s desire to find win the race to the bottom. Adding low-wage jobs, exporting precious resources that will not be used efficiently or wisely in China add up to a very poor idea. I am totally against short term gain unless it does not pose any long term harm. The burning of coal in China is something that we already know causes long lasting harm. If you have been to China you absolutely know this smell. It is disgusting. Global warming is very real. Coal is contributing to this and I do not want to see these massive exports of any natural resource leaving the country.

Please consider how unpopular this move is before continuing any further.

Amy Raymond
Langley WA

Amy Regehr (#11431)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Comment:
Since the coal train has started passing my house, I have seen an enormous increase in the dust and allergens in and around my home. It has flared up my asthma so bad that I am now on an inhaler. My sleep is interrupted every night due to the vibrations and noise that the train makes as it rounds the corner at innapropriate speeds for such heavy loads. The vibrations have knocked pictures and shelves off my walls and cracked my plaster in several rooms. In my 1920's farmhouse the original plaster is a treasure and hard to repair. Once it begins to crack it will continue to disconnect from the lath and have to be replaced, decreasing the authentic value of my home. The changes in my health as well as the safety of my home are more important to me than anything. I have had to make changes in my life to be able to cope with this coal train system which is unacceptable. It has made me contemplate whether to sell my dream home so that I can live healthy and happy. What happened to people first! When trains control my life it has gone too far! Thank you for your time!

Amy Robinson (#11646)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Comment:
I am a Washington native and have lived in Bellingham for 20 years. I own 2 small businesses in Bellingham, my husband works at Trader Joes and we are raising 2 kids. I have a BS in environmental science. I have researched both sides of this topic and the risks outweigh the benefits. I urge our local government to keep Bellingham coal free. It would destroy our quality of life here and change the face of Bellingham. Our energy would be better spent on a more sustainable industry, for example tourism.

Please listen to the citizens of Bellingham!
Amy Robinson

Amy Robinson (#11647)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Comment:
I am a Washington native and have lived in Bellingham for 20 years. I own 2 small businesses in Bellingham, my husband works at Trader Joes and we are raising 2 kids. I have a BS in environmental science. I have researched both sides of this topic and the risks outweigh the benefits. I urge our local government to keep Bellingham coal free. It would destroy our quality of life here and change the face of Bellingham. Our energy would be better spent on a more sustainable industry, for example tourism.

Please listen to the citizens of Bellingham!
Amy Robinson

Amy Sullivan-Greiner (#13932)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington, the transport of strip-mined coal from Montana and Wyoming on trains throughout the Northwest and the export of coal by ship through the Salish Sea and the Pacific Ocean. The proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal would negatively affect communities in the Pacific Northwest by increasing congestion and noise with more coal train traffic, polluting the air and local waterways, harming existing businesses, delaying emergency responders, and damaging aquatic ecosystems and fishing grounds at the terminal site. In addition, the proposal would threaten endangered orcas, salmon and herring, increase high-risk freighter traffic in the Salish Sea and Pacific Ocean -- and thus the potential for serious shipping accidents and oil spills -- and escalate climate change. I urge you to consider these significant impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

There are currently five coal export proposals that would transport as much as 150 million tons of coal annually through the Northwest and the Salish Sea. All the ships from these proposed projects are bound for China, meaning their routes will impact the San Juan Islands, the Strait of Juan de Fuca or the Columbia River, and then Unimak Pass along Alaska’s Aleutian Peninsula. Therefore, I urge the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct an area-wide Environmental Impact Statement to assess the cumulative impact of these proposals.

Oil from the Exxon-Valdez disaster is still found in the Prince William Sound in Alaska, twenty years after the event. It is the persistence of such damages that require the utmost caution in dealing with oil and coal, and the companies that deal in these commodities have not demonstrated their ability or willingness to address those damages in potentia or actuality.

Amy Van Pelt (#3924)

Date Submitted: 11/28/12
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Amy Van Pelt (#5597)

Date Submitted: 12/30/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
The projected numer of additional vessels traveling through the Salish Sea as a result of the proposed deep water port at the Gateway Pacific Terminal concerns me greatly. I would like you to study the impact on fish populations affected by the creation of the deep water port and increased tanker traffic. The herring population in the vicinity of the port could suffer greatly, and that would have a detrimental effect on the entire marine life food chain.

Amy Van Pelt (#5598)

Date Submitted: 12/30/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I would like you to study the impact of the noise of the additional tanker traffic on the resident orca population. This endangered species already faces many challenges to its survival; the noise from a great many additional tankers could lead to a decline in the population of the J, K and L pods.

Amy Van Pelt (#5599)

Date Submitted: 12/30/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
The proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal, if built, would cause an very large increase in the amount of rail traffic through Whatcom County, along the sensitive shoreline area and through towns and neighborhoods with at-grade rail crossings. I would like you to study the impact on emergency response times at rail crossings. In addition, I would like the Environmental Impact Statement to incude detailed information about the cost of any mitigating infrasturcture, i.e. overpasses at rail crossings.

Amy & Michael Pryce (#1216)

Date Submitted: 10/17/12
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Ana Justin (#14321)

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

Ana Salinas (#14029)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Comment:
I do not live in the Northwest area that will be so adversely affected by the Gateway Pacific Terminal's project of coal exporting, but I do stand with the people of that area in opposing such a dirty, polluting project.

I urge you who are in the position of approving or rejecting this environmentally disastrous plan to REJECT it for the sake of the people and wildlife that live in that entire area.

Ana Salinas (#14158)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Comment:
I do not live in the Northwest area that will be so adversely affected by the Gateway Pacific Terminal's project of coal exporting, but I do stand with the people of that area in opposing such a dirty, polluting project.

I urge you who are in the position of approving or rejecting this environmentally disastrous plan to REJECT it for the sake of the people and wildlife that live in that entire area.

Analiese Burns (#1027)

Date Submitted: 10/22/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
As a resident of Bellingham, small business owner, and mother of two; I am gravely concerned about the Gateway Pacific Terminal proposal at Cherry Point, Washington. The proposal will generate profits for a few individuals while burdening the rest of us with reduced economic security, community safety hazards, and environmental health impacts. The EIS analysis is the one opportunity to expose the full costs of the project.

On behalf of the public, I implore you to conduct an EIS analysis that encompasses all impacts from mine to sea and from sea to plant. Please do all in your power to ensure that before any permits are approved for coal export proposals in the Pacific Northwest, a cumulative and comprehensive area-wide environmental impact statement is conducted and takes into account the impacts of ALL the proposed coal export terminals currently on the table.

At a minimum, I believe the EIS scope should include:
-Safety impacts from increased rail traffic from Montana to the Pacific coast
-Economic impacts to cities across the west coast caused by disruption from train traffic
-Environmental and health impacts from coal dust and exhaust along the entire corridor from Montana to the Pacific Ocean
-Impacts to economically important fisheries up and down the west coast
-Impacts resulting from increased shipping traffic including noise, wave energy, shipping lane capacity, spill response needs
-Job losses to Bellingham resulting from rail traffic cutting off a working marina and future job center along the waterfront
-Reduced potential for new industries, businesses, and tourism to Whatcom County because of increased industrialization and associated health and safety risks
-Construction related noise, air pollution, water quality impacts, wildlife/wetland impacts
-Source materials and associated mining and transport impacts
-Cumulative impacts of all coal export terminals and trail traffic currently proposed

Thank you in advance for your cumulative and area-wide review.

Analisa & Brandon Lee & Adams (#749)

Date Submitted: 10/13/12
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Anamo Roloff (#1256)

Date Submitted: 10/11/12
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Anastasia Carlson (#1974)

Date Submitted: 10/29/12
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Anatta Blackmarr (#12996)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
Location: Oak Grove, OR
Comment:
I am writing to urge you to end the Bush Tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent. Repealing those tax cuts would generate nearly $1 trillion over the next ten years.

I also encourage you to end the subsidies and tax breaks for the oil and gas industry and the timber industry. Cutting harmful fossil fuel subsidies is another crucial step towards generating needed revenue.

Anderson Kevin (#1890)

Date Submitted: 10/27/12
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

Andra Millage (#6940)

Date Submitted: 01/12/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I moved to Bellingham nearly 20 years ago because, in my mind, it was the perfect embodiment of a small town with "city" amenities, natural beauty, and the collective consciousness of a town with a vision toward a green and sustainable future. Building of the coal terminal and the increased rail traffic that would be required by it would destroy the town I love on so many levels. The pollution created by both the terminal and train would cause irreparable damage to the air, wetlands and bay. The additional train traffic would isolate many towns along the route, creating life-threatening situations for many along its corridor. Due to a warming environment, the rainfall in winter has caused more slope instability for homes along its path-----an increase in train traffic will further destabilize even more properties. The bump in employment that is being advertised by GPT will be only temporary in nature, as the net employment for the area will be negative once the terminal is completed. I encourage all the agencies involved to address the impact that each of the issues raised will have on our town, our environment, the quality of lives for its citizens not only now but well into the future.

Andre Entermann (#1702)

Date Submitted: 10/26/12
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

Andrea Albro (#12090)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Olympia, WA
Comment:
My name is Andrea Albro, and I have a B.A in Social Ecology. I am deeply concerned about the multitude of negative effects potentially caused by the proposed coal terminal at Cherry Point, as well as the additional impacts caused by additional terminals that the coal industry has proposed to build throughout the Pacific Northwest region. Further, this project's impact is not limited to the Pacific Northwest region, but also will affect communities all along the rail corridor as the trains that will carry the coal from the mines in Wyoming and Montana. Because the effects of moving such a massive amount of coal comprise more than a local issue, but a regional and even global issue, I would like to request that the GPT Environmental Impact Statement encompass the entire transportation corridor so that communities along the rail and marine routes are given due consideration.



Questions that concern me, and which objective, rigorous and comprehensive studies should address include:



My primary concern is the risk to public safety as a result of long traffic delays at rail road crossings that are anticpated as a result of the substantially increased train traffic going through various cities and towns as the trains make their way to the proposed terminals. My father died a while ago, but for several years before he died, he experienced a series of strokes, some minor, but many that were life-threatening. If this project is built and long waits at at-grade crossings become commonplace, I am concerned that there will be families who will lose loved ones as a result of it, as stroke victims must get to the hospital for treatment very quickly in order to avoid death or serious impairment. What number of people with stroke or other serious illnesses will needlessly die or experience impairment as the result of long waits at train crossings? On a related note, how significantly would fire fighters and police throughout the region be hampered from responding quickly in emergencies by long waits at train crossings?



What will be the effect on health and quality of life for those living near the rail corridor of the increased noise from rail traffic due to vibration and use of horns as a safety precaution when going through at-grade crossings. Some of such noise can be mitigated by use of "quiet zones' per Federal Railroad rules. But only a portion of the noise is reduced through the use of such zones. Further, would the increased stress from traffic congestion caused by trains transporting coal to regional terminals, along with increased noise, ultimately cause significant indirect health impacts as a result of higher stress levels among people living near the rail corridor? Furthermore, studies in other communities have found that it is low income people who are more likely to live adjacent to rail lines. Since the health care costs of low income people are more frequently borne by the public; what will this cost in tax dollars. How will this inequity directly or indirectly contribute to an increase in social problems in our region?





What would be the long term health effects on people living near the rail corridor of the breathing of coal dust containing arsenic, mercury and lead, and diesel exhaust from the trains transporting the coal? How long might it take for such effects to appear and who would pay the increased healthcare costs?



What other additional short- and long-term health care costs are likely or possible as a result of the degradation of air, soil and/or water quality? Who will pay these costs?



How will regional wildlife, vegetation, Marine species, fish and fisheries, wetlands and streams and water quality be impacted, in both the short- and long-term, by coal dust and toxins associated with diesel exhaust of the trains transporting coal to regional terminals?



To what degree are the positive economic impacts of the jobs potentially created by the terminal and its construction outweighed by the direct and indirect negative impacts on overall jobs in the region? The negative impacts would be due to such things as loss of tourism dollars, outmigration due to a decrease in the desirability as a place to live of the waterside communities adjacent to the rail corridor throughout the region, and the consequent loss of tax revenues, and the negative impact on existing businesses of substantially increased rail traffic through local communities?



How will development of the terminal create negative impacts on overall quality of life by reducing recreational and scenic opportunities for local people and tourists due to increased train traffic and the unsightiness of large industrial complexes located along the water?



Traffic: Increased rail traffic through local cities could be mitigated by the re-routing of existing rail lines and/or the construction of new overpasses. Who would pay for such infrastructure? Would the costs be borne by the taxpayers of local jurisdictions or by the state? To what degree would these costs outweigh any potential economic benefit of the proposed GPT terminal development?

What would be the cost to the local economies of increased infrastructure development, emergency management, public safety and maintenance of the rail lines?



According to the Parametrix analysis, four street crossings in Seattle between Belltown and the waterfront, and four crossings in Sodo, would be blocked as many as 18 times a day for an average of five minutes. What economic effect would this produce on businesses and the tourist industry in downtown Seattle.



What is the likely long-term potential for a large spill of coal into local waters, and what would be the effect on fisheries and other aquatic life? What would be the cost of cleanup for such an incident and how much of that cost would the public ultimately bear?



Would the property values of those living close to the rail lines be substantially and negatively impacted due to real environmental degradation as a result of the increased rail traffic? To what extent would property values be impacted due to the percieved risk of environmental hazards, whether or not any had actually occurred? How much property tax revenue will be lost as a result of a reduction in property values?



To what extent would passenger train traffic be limited by the increase in coal train traffic (at a time when global warming and rising gas prices suggest that passenger trains should be utilized more extensively)?



What would be the economic impacts on the region should China decide develop more of its domestic coal production after the terminal is built? Would the region experience an overall economic downturn because of a combination of loss of expected employment opportunities, and the subsequent inability to turn to tourism dollars to replace the revenues which had been expected from the terminal, because scenic, recreational, and touristic opportunities would be lost once the waterfront land had been given over to several large industrial sites. One possible mitigation in such a case would be to tear down the terminal complexes, but at what cost?



What would be the impact on the region if Australia and New Zealand become significant competitors in the export of coal after the terminals were built? Would there be fewer jobs than originally anticipated?



What are the environmental impacts on the Western United States of increased coal usage in China? To what extent will increased coal usage in China contribute to worldwide global warming?



Washington has a reputation as a green state. What will be the impact of loss of that reputation if the plant is built?



Will there be an increased risk of litigation due to negative environmental, health, and social impacts arising out of ? Who would pay these costs and to what extent would they nullify any potential economic benefits from the proposed coal trains and terminals?



I am deeply concerned that the EIS sufficiently consider long-term and indirect effects associated with the proposed project.

Andrea Avni (#5031)

Date Submitted: 12/14/12
Location: Vashon Island, WA
Comment:
Dear Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Ecology and Whatcom County Council:

I STRONGLY OPPOSE the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington and transporting strip-mined coal from Montana and Wyoming on trains and ships throughout the Northwest.

The environmental costs to the planet are WAY TOO HIGH. Coal is the past. I urge you to focus efforts on renewable energy so we have a planet for our children to inherit.

This proposal would negatively affect my community by increasing congestion and noise with more coal train traffic, polluting our air and local waterways, harming existing businesses, delaying emergency responders, damaging aquatic ecosystems and fishing grounds at the terminal site, increasing tanker traffic and the potential for serious shipping accidents and escalating climate change. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

There are currently five coal export proposals that would transport as much as 150million tons through the Northwest. I urge the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct an area wide Environmental Impact Statement to assess the cumulative impact of these proposals.

Andrea Avni

Andrea Bonnicksen (#1837)

Date Submitted: 10/30/12
Location: Edmond, WA
Comment:
I strongly oppose the Peabody Coal plan to transport by rail tons of coal per year up Puget Sound. Here are key reasons to oppose the plan:
1. NOISE POLLUTION. These coal trains area heavy, loud, and long. They blow horns and creak. It is possible from 2 miles away to tell the difference between a regular freight train and a coal train just by the noise.

2. HEALTH RISKS. Studies have shown that remarkable amounts of coal dust are sent into the air from these trains. Hapless citizens have to breathe this.

3. PROPERTY VALUES. The trains will be literally across the street from untold numbers of homes along the route. Who would buy a house or condo with dozens of coal trains going through each day, including early in the morning for up to 5 minutes each?

4. NO NEED. The coal is headed for Asia. The only thing driving this is greed and profit for the few. The citizens will not benefit.

5. ROAD AND FERRY TRAFFIC. These are long trains. They will tie up traffic in a dangerous way and will also contribute to air pollution as cars idle at crossings waiting for these 5 minute trains to go by.

6. BEAUTY. The Puget Sound coastline is a treasure. Industrial, noisy, dirty, unnecessary trains will harm the natural beauty of our land and leave bad impressions with tourists.

I recently moved from Illinois to Edmonds WA, which is a charming community. Coal trains will measurably harm the city, not to mention property values. Protect this area! Reject the coal train plan.
Sincerely,
Andrea Bonnicksen

Andrea Bonnicksen (#6694)

Date Submitted: 01/09/13
Location: Edmonds , WA
Comment:
TO: Washington State Department of Ecology, Army Corps of Engineers, and Whatcom County
I am writing to urge decision makers preparing the EIS for coal trains to take into account the local health and environmental impacts of additional coal trains through my community of Edmonds WA. Adding 18 trains a day to the proposed route will have significant adverse impacts on Edmonds and other communities along the rail line. These impacts must be considered in preparing the EIS. They include the following:
1. Health risks from coal dust sent into the air as the trains go by. These risks will be greater in the event of derailment or an accident. The large number of mudslides along the corridor in late 2012 and early 2013 illustrate how factors can precipitate accidents and release of coal dust.
2. Interference with vital transportation services. These trains will be over a mile long and will tie up traffic (rail, road, ferry) for long minutes each day, 18 times a day.
3. Tourism and aesthetics. The communities along the corridor attract tourists by virtue of their beauty and efforts of towns to retain vibrant waterfronts. The coal trains will have significant economic impacts on the towns, made worse by traffic jams, noise, and dirt.
These negative impacts are not counterbalanced by sound values and goals. To dirty the Puget Sound coastline in order to export coal to other countries where it will be released and contribute to pollution is a warped game plan.
Sincerely,
Andrea Bonnicksen

Andrea Boyle (#7572)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Location: Arlington, WA
Comment:
NO COAL TRAINS!

Andrea Castrolang (#5246)

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

Andrea Castrolang (#5269)

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

Andrea Doll (#2719)

Date Submitted: 11/12/2012
Comment:
See Attached
Attached Image:

Andrea Doll (#2812)

Date Submitted: 11/05/12
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

Andrea Durbin (#7708)

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

Andrea Elliott (#1611)

Date Submitted: 10/25/12
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Thank you for the opportunity to offer thoughts on the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal.

I am opposed to the terminal being built for the purpose of exporting coal primarily because I believe the trains used to transport that coal will have a very negative impact on the environment. I would add my support to others who suggest a clean air study be done with that much coal passing through Bellingham. I am also very concerned about the impact those trains will have on the parks that boarder our coast line. I am an avid walker and hiker and very much appreciate walking in natural beauty while breathing clean air.

On the economic side of the equation, I also wonder if any study has been done to project the possible reduced value of homes that will be within hearing distance of the trains and be affected by coal dust coming off of train cars carrying coal.

I appreciate this opportunity to state my concerns and look forward to reading the impact statement when it is complete.

Andrea Elliott
2208 Lopez Street
Bellingham, WA 98229

Andrea faste (#4414)

Date Submitted: 12/11/2012
Comment:
How much time will traffic be interrupted by train delays?

Andrea Finley (#1122)

Date Submitted: 10/15/12
Location: Lopez Island, WA
Comment:
Dear Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Ecology and Whatcom County Council:

I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington and transporting strip-mined coal from Montana and Wyoming on trains and ships throughout the Northwest. This proposal would negatively affect my community by increasing congestion and noise with more coal train traffic, polluting our air and local waterways, harming existing businesses, delaying emergency responders, damaging aquatic ecosystems and fishing grounds at the terminal site, increasing tanker traffic and the potential for serious shipping accidents and escalating climate change. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

There are currently five coal export proposals that would transport as much as 150million tons through the Northwest. I urge the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct an area wide Environmental Impact Statement to assess the cumulative impact of these proposals.

This is going in the opposite direction from sustainability. I support developing other means of producing power that don't have the ability to destroy our environment.




Andrea Finley
100 Vera Lane
Lopez Island, WA 98261

Andrea Hendrick (#6726)

Date Submitted: 01/10/2013
Location: Eastsound, WA
Comment:
I am a resident of Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands and am concerned about the possibility of damage caused by accidents during the shipping of huge quantities of coal through our waters.
Accidents do happen, despite th argument that they are "not frequent" and "are unlikely". In a single day the Arco Anchorage tanker spilled 239,000 gallons of oil into the harbor of Port Angeles - and that was regular oil, not the bunker fuel the coal tankers will be carrying. Only a few weeks ago a coal tanker crashed into a pier in the Vancouver, Canada harbor, fortunately not spilling its oil but unfortunately dumping an unknown quantity of coal int the harbor and demolishing the pier.
How many risks are we willing to take to supply China with coal to foul the air and hasten the acidification of the oceans?

Andrea Hendrick (#6734)

Date Submitted: 01/10/2013
Location: Eastsound, WA
Comment:
I am a concerned resident of the San Juan Islands. In addition to the risks of oil spills in the pristine waters of the Salish Sea - also consider the harm that ballast water and organisms attached to tankers from the Asian seas present to our ecosystem.The rules of ballast release 200 miles offshore are frequently disregarded and even allowed due to harsh weather conditions. The degradation of our waters continues. Please do not hurry it along by allowing more and larger carriers when a decision to stop this is still possible.

Andrea Hopkins (#12795)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
Location: Bend, OR
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington. This proposal would negatively affect my community by increasing traffic, polluting our air and water, harming existing business, delaying emergency vehicles, increasing shipping traffic and noise, damaging aquatic ecosystems at the terminal site, increasing the potential for serious shipping accidents and exacerbating climate change. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

I a long-time resident of the Northwest, and preserving and protecting the environment is of upmost importance. We must consider other sources of energy to provide to the world. The knowledge and skills to work diligently in this direction is in our hands.

Andrea Linton (#509)

Date Submitted: 09/25/12
Location: Langley, WA
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington. This proposal would negatively affect my community by increasing traffic, polluting our air and water, harming existing business, delaying emergency vehicles, increasing shipping traffic and noise, damaging aquatic ecosystems at the terminal site, increasing the potential for serious shipping accidents and exacerbating climate change. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

Take a look at what these facilities look like in other communities and think about whether you want this for our neighbors and families.

Sincerely,

Andrea Linton

Andrea Needham (#13700)

Date Submitted: 01/22/13
Location: Mount Vernon, WA
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

Andrea Netherwood (#4368)

Date Submitted: 12/06/12
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
Dear Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Ecology and Whatcom County Council:

I understand many things in life come down to economics. Unfortunately, short-term financial gains can sometimes have harmful after effects. Currently, we tend to be a species that thinks short-term, but that kind of thinking can have lasting devastating impacts on communities and the ecosystem. This isn't a hippie-dippy issue or a matter that should be dismissed and left for future generations to handle. We need to be less short-sighted and think about our ecosystem and future generations. Instead of continually making the same short-term gain choices with long-term consequences time and time again, I urge everyone involved to think long-term about this and to consult with scientists and ecologists about what impacts the decisions we make today will have on current and future generations.

I thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

Andrea Netherwood

Andrea Netherwood
416 35th Ave. S.
Seattle, WA 98144

Andrea O'Neal (#9043)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Comment:
I am concerned about the lack of study when it comes to profit vs. what an accident could do to the environment. I choose that you do not build the terminal.

Andrea Pike (#10181)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Comment:
I live in Bow, Washington. I hear every train that passes below our home on Colony Mountain. I drive to work on Chuckanut Drive and am grateful to live near the last remaining natural forested mountains touch the salt waters of the Salish Sea. Skagit Valley is home to river otters, a huge variety of Raptors, mink, coyotes, and deer. They drink from the streams that feed the sea. Near our home the largest stream is Colony Creek. I am concerned about noise from an increase in loud coal trains for myself, and the town of Blanchard which has 4 RR crossings. I worry about coal dust entering the waters of the creeks and ditches & marshlands of this pristine ecology. I worry about emergency vehicles waiting to cross the tracks if there is a huge increase in numbers of trains and the length of these trains while we wait. I worry about the expense of trying to clean up the filth of coal dust that will fly off into the waters and air. Will it poison the ditches and streams and the salt water into which these drain? Will it poison the air of the communities through which these trains pass? Who pays for the clean up? Can coal dust even be cleaned out of water and air? Will people die waiting in ambulances for the long and multiple, noisy, smelly coal trains to go by? Will animals and bitds die from the polluted waters? Will communities die because people won't be able to wait to cross the tracks to shop in towns like My. Vernon? And all so that we can ship our resources to China? I want to see studies on these issues.

Andrea Pike (#10186)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Comment:
I live in Bow, Washington. I hear every train that passes below our home on Colony Mountain. I drive to work on Chuckanut Drive and am grateful to live near the last remaining natural forested mountains touch the salt waters of the Salish Sea. Skagit Valley is home to river otters, a huge variety of Raptors, mink, coyotes, and deer. They drink from the streams that feed the sea. Near our home the largest stream is Colony Creek. I am concerned about noise from an increase in loud coal trains for myself, and the town of Blanchard which has 4 RR crossings. I worry about coal dust entering the waters of the creeks and ditches & marshlands of this pristine ecology. I worry about emergency vehicles waiting to cross the tracks if there is a huge increase in numbers of trains and the length of these trains while we wait. I worry about the expense of trying to clean up the filth of coal dust that will fly off into the waters and air. Will it poison the ditches and streams and the salt water into which these drain? Will it poison the air of the communities through which these trains pass? Who pays for the clean up? Can coal dust even be cleaned out of water and air? Will people die waiting in ambulances for the long and multiple, noisy, smelly coal trains to go by? Will animals and birds die from the polluted waters? Will communities die because people won't be able to wait to cross the tracks to shop in towns like My. Vernon? And all so that we can ship our resources to China? I want to see studies on these issues.

Andrea Rogers Harris (#6270)

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


Andrea Schadewitz (#426)

Date Submitted: 09/24/12
Location: Richland, WA
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington. This proposal would negatively affect my community by increasing traffic, polluting our air and water, harming existing business, delaying emergency vehicles, increasing shipping traffic and noise, damaging aquatic ecosystems at the terminal site, increasing the potential for serious shipping accidents and exacerbating climate change. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

What happened to common sense?

Andrea Thomas (#8963)

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

Andrea Thompson (#12623)

Date Submitted: 01/20/13
Location: Portland, OR
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington. This proposal would negatively affect my community by increasing traffic, polluting our air and water, harming existing business, delaying emergency vehicles, increasing shipping traffic and noise, damaging aquatic ecosystems at the terminal site, increasing the potential for serious shipping accidents and exacerbating climate change. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

Its time we start really considering the effects of our actions over the profits. This is a dangerous proposition you are considering. The cost of the damage it will do will strongly out way the income and energy resources we'll receive.

Andrea Warner (#9858)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
The EIS should include the impact that the rail traffic will have on cities and their infrastructure, as well as the potential for increased landslides in unstable hillsides from 18 trains per day. There has already been an increase in landslides between Bellingham & Seattle this year; could the increased rail traffic already be a contributing factor?

Increased trains all lead to negative impact on our human environment as I have checked above and this must be a part of the EIS process. Should there be a derailment which is a real possibility with that many trains, the human as well as natural environment will be horribly impacted.

I have other concerns about SSA's project, such as the increased vessel traffic and the potential for ship mishaps in our Salish Sea waters and what the consequences of that would be on our human and natural environment. I don't know how that could be addressed in the EIS, but push for it to be.

Andrea Xaver (#13702)

Date Submitted: 01/16/13
Location: Mount Vernon, WA
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Files:

Andrea and James Gutman (#13721)

Date Submitted: 01/17/13
Comment:
We are writing in opposition to the proposed construction of the coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington, the transport of strip-mined coal from Montana and Wyoming on trains throughout the Northwest and the export of coal by ship through the Salish Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Pollution including traffic congestion and The proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal would negatively affect communities in the Pacific Northwest by increasing congestion and noise with more coal train traffic, air pollution and local waterways thereby, harming existing businesses, delaying emergency responders, and damaging aquatic ecosystems and fishing grounds at the terminal site. In addition, the proposal would threaten endangered orcas, salmon and herring, increase high-risk freighter traffic in the Salish Sea and Pacific Ocean -- and thus the potential for serious shipping accidents and oil spills -- and escalate climate change. I urge you to consider these significant impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

There are currently five coal export proposals that would transport as much as 150 million tons of coal annually through the Northwest and the Salish Sea. All the ships from these proposed projects are bound for China, meaning their routes will impact the San Juan Islands, the Strait of Juan de Fuca or the Columbia River, and then Unimak Pass along Alaska’s Aleutian Peninsula. Therefore, I urge the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct an area-wide Environmental Impact Statement to assess the cumulative impact of these proposals.

Andreas Mark (#6656)

Date Submitted: 01/08/13
Comment:
To those who will be working on the above subject:
Please see to it that the EIS fully addresses the environmental impacts to all waterways, lakes, rivers, streams and aquifers along the proposed rail line. I am concerned about derailments, as well as the exponential increase in diesel and coal particulate pollution.


Ladies and Gentlemen:
Please see to it that the EIS fully addresses the potential risk to human health as well as the economic impacts to the town of Cheney Washington. Of particular concern is the fact that it is primarily a college town with a large student population that will be dramatically impacted by the proposed route which proceeds through downtown Cheney. Also address the emergency response time and capabilities of response teams for the large population in the Cheney area that live on the “other side of the tracks.”

Thank you for attention to these concerns.
Andreas Mark


Ladies and Gentlemen:
Please see to it that the EIS addresses the adverse health effects to those who live in close proximity to the proposed route in the Spokane area. I am particularly concerned about the effects due to the exponential increase in vibration, sound, diesel and coal dust particulates caused by the dramatic increase in the number of trains heading west through Spokane.

Andrei Brewer (#13461)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

Andrew Compain (#617)

Date Submitted: 10/09/12
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Dear Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Ecology and Whatcom County Council:

When all aspects of the proposed Cherry Point Terminal are considered, it seems an unbiased review of the benefits versus losses and potential losses to our city of Bellingham, Whatcom County, Washington state, the Puget Sound and the entire NW USA are easy to weigh and after all the information is even briefly reviewed the conclusion has to be that it would ultimately be devastating to the city and the entire region to have large export coal terminals here.

I fail to understand how the interests of a few large corporations can be allowed to have an enormous impact on the quality of life, health and well being of so many.

I too join the millions of people who oppose coal trains, coal terminals and coal transport ships in Washington State.

If we listen to those who minimize the possible effects and impact, we will lose the way of life we now know in coastal Washington and it will be gone forever. There will be no chance to reverse course. We must protect our land, sea and quality of life and keep from selling it for $0.05 on the dollar.

I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington and transporting strip-mined coal from Montana and Wyoming on trains and ships throughout the Northwest. This proposal would negatively affect my community by increasing congestion and noise with more coal train traffic, polluting our air and local waterways, harming existing businesses, delaying emergency responders, damaging aquatic ecosystems and fishing grounds at the terminal site, increasing tanker traffic and the potential for serious shipping accidents and escalating climate change. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

There are currently five coal export proposals that would transport as much as 150million tons through the Northwest. I urge the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct an area wide Environmental Impact Statement to assess the cumulative impact of these proposals.

Andrew Compain

Andrew Compain (#7154)

Date Submitted: 01/13/2013
Comment:
It is ridiculous that the profit of a few (including the few jobs that may be generated) can be put ahead of the many that will suffer long term from the transport of a substance (coal dust) that will escape (under the best circumstances) and cause harm to the environment and human health. In the worst case scenario, the damage will be catastrophic in both environmental damage as well as economic damage to the overall region (Whatcom county, WA).

Please close the case on this review and declare it an unacceptable level of damage caused to our human and physical environment, even IF everything goes right!

Andrew Earl (#8359)

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

Andrew Eckels (#581)

Date Submitted: 10/10/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
My name Is Andrew Eckels, I am nineteen years old, and a student at Western Washington University. I am writing because I am concerned about the CO2 emissions that will occur when China burns this coal. I would like the impact of the CO2 emissions created by burning this coal on our environment to be scoped. These impacts include, but are not limited to, melting glaciers, acidification of our oceans, and increased floods and droughts.
These impacts are significant because melting glaciers will threaten our water and food supply, acidification of the ocean will threaten our marine life which will threaten our fishing and tourist industry, and our food supply. changing weather patterns will affect our skiing industry, and our ability to produce food in this country.

Andrew Fisher (#3367)

Date Submitted: 11/21/2012
Location: Blaine, WA
Comment:
Has anyone studied the facility over the border near the Tawwassen Ferry Terminal and determined if there have been any adverse effects on the surrounding communities.

Custer, Ferndale, Blaine, Semiahmoo and most importantly Birch Bay will be in closest proximity and are most likey affected by either winds patterns and /or water quality degradation.

Andrew Harris (#13653)

Date Submitted: 01/22/13
Location: Orcas , WA
Comment:
As a resident of Orcas Island and a physician, I am concerned about multiple health and safety concerns:
• Spills into the waters off Cherry Point, as happened at Westshore, will affect marine habitat in the Strait of Georgia.
• Increased bulk carrier ships in Haro Strait will endanger orca populations, seals, dolphins and other marine life.
• Increased coal train traffic through the Columbia Gorge and Washington will pollute the air with diesel emissions and coal dust containing mercury, lead, arsenic and cadmium.
• The poorest of our citizens, who tend to live near the tracts, are disproportionally affected.
• Railroad crossings all along the rail lines will be tied up for 5-7 minutes for each train, impeding ambulances and other emergency vehicles. In a stroke or heart attack, seconds are critical.
• For people living within earshot of the tracks, the incessant rumbling of trains has been found to contribute to sleep disorders, hypertension, heart disease, depression and anxiety.
• We in the Northwest are the recipient of toxic emissions of coal burning in Asia, riding on the trade winds. What we ship overseas comes back to haunt us as mercury, nitrous oxides, sulfur dioxide, ozone and 50 other toxic chemicals.
• The more cheap coal America supplies to China, the longer China's economy will depend on coal as its chief energy source.
• Powder River Basin coal may have slightly less sulfur content, but there is nothing "clean" about coal as a fuel.
• Coal burning is a leading cause of greenhouse gas emissions. For this reason the State of Washington has decided to close it's only coal burning power plants by 2025. Why should we facilitate the burning of coal elsewhere on the planet?
• The few jobs created at the highly-automated coal export facilities are dirty, toxic jobs with a higher incidence of cancer, chronic lung disease and asthma, as has occurred in Australia and Newport News, VA.
• The burden of toxicity of transporting and burning coal will fall heaviest on young children, the elderly, and people with pre-existing lung and heart disease.
For these and a myriad other reasons, coal exports should not be approved without a comprehensive EIS and HIA.

Thank you for your consideration.

Andrew Harris, MD

Andrew Kluess (#4818)

Date Submitted: 12/15/2012
Location: Shoreline, WA
Comment:
The environmental impact of this proposed coal terminal is not acceptable in any way. The impact on air quality from coal dust and increased diesel exhaust from trains and ships in Western Washington is unacceptable. The impact of additional trains blocking traffic through Seattle, delaying vehicle trips and leading to further carbon dioxide release into the atmosphere is unacceptable. The construction of the terminal itself will disrupt the Puget Sound marine environment and is unacceptable. Finally, the additional release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere caused by burning the coal that would be shipped through this terminal to countries outside the United States is completely unacceptable. Climate change caused by greenhouse gasses is already causing global environmental damage that cannot be mitigated. Under no circumstances should this terminal be approved.

Andrew LeTourneau (#5989)

Date Submitted: 12/12/12
Location: Portland, OR
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

Andrew McCormick (#6179)

Date Submitted: 12/13/12
Location: Kirkland, WA
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Files:

Andrew Monko (#7692)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
My name is Andrew Monko and I live in Seattle, WA. I graduated from WWU in Bellingham in 1992. I agree with the comments of Michael Riordan (submitted 1/10/13) about the potential impacts on the marine and local environments due to wind-blown coal dust from the proposed Cherry Point Terminal. The eco-systems of this region must be protected, as well as the health of current and future citizens in the area. Please completely study the impact of this terminal.

Thank you,

Andrew Monko

andrew scheldt (#11157)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: spokane, wa
Comment:
They say an extra 40 trains a day will come through Spokane if this is approved. We do NOT want coal dust being sprayed on our land. Spokane has a big history with trains and pollution from those trains in our river and lands. The City has taken big steps over the last 75 year's to clean up all of the mess from railways along our river. Not to mention why do we want to send more coal to. China so they can pollute atre world with more coal burning.

Andrew Springer (#6398)

Date Submitted: 01/09/2013
Location: Sedro Woolley, Wa
Comment:
Starting at 5 years old I spent summers helping my father on the roof of homes installing solar panels and later, California energy compliance and reduction calculations for his engineering firm. In college I helped to build a solar car and traveled to Indianapolis to race it. So, when folks write me off as a "destroy the planet" conservative I take great offense. This nation has been made great by it's natural resources and continues to thrive as a result. The outsourcing of these jobs overseas does not mean that we consume less, just that we go deeper in debt to countries who have no environmental concern at all. At the end of the day, we all live on the same planet and have to deal with each other's waste. As other countries step in to take our place, our ability to influence the direction of environmental policies will significantly weaken. The taxes and revenue generated by the exports could go a long way into further development of more environmentally friendly technologies. Shutting off the spigot of our current energy supply will only do one thing, slip us further behind the rest of the world. Please consider supporting the Bellingham terminal.

Andrew Stone (#5716)

Date Submitted: 12/12/12
Location: Portland, OR
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

andrew stone (#11926)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Fairview, OR
Comment:
I live in Portland, OR. I am educated as a systems ecologist. I am an educator. And I vote.

I am commenting on the proposed coal export terminal at Cherry Point Washington. I have been frustrated thus far with the limited scope of impact(s) considered in local hearings I have attended.

The only competent and conscionable way to asses this project is to consider the full effects on human health, air, water, surrounding ecosystems, and other human traffic of the mines, rail corridors, and port facility.

The impacts of coal burning in China and other intended export destinations should also be considered. This includes not only climate change but mercury bioaccumulation and ocean acidification.

Any argument the coal will make its way overseas anyway, or that overseas users will acquire coal elsewhere should be ignored. We take control over our own country. I am a voting, tax-paying citizen and I expect no less. Jobs arguments or the rights of private companies also hold no weight in comparison to the potential health, environmental and traffic / safety concerns raised by this project.

For me this project will likely mean decreased air quality due to to exhaust and coal dust. It will likely affect a number of endangered and threatened species in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area such as several species of salmon and peregrine falcons who live and / or feed within a few dozen feet of the railroad. Beacon Rock is closed to climbing for half the year due to peregrine nesting. On the other side of the tracks is a wildlife reserve that the State Park Rangers cannot enter without permission. The peregrines feed there, and the rail line bisects the park and the preserve.

It will likely mean an end to small businesses and tourism in many small towns along the gorge that are already struggling economically. Many of them back up directly to the rail line. With the addition of coal trains they will have more than one train every hour rattling within feet of their businesses all day every day. And that's ignoring the coal dust and the proximity to schools in many of those towns.

Only a comprehensive assessment including all costs and benefits can determine the validity of this project. I look forward to such a complete assessment.

Andrew Tinker (#14614)

Date Submitted: 01/16/13
Location: Tacoma, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Andrew Wargo (#2862)

Date Submitted: 11/13/12
Comment:
I ask that the following questions be addressed during the environmental review process for the Proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal and Rail expansion:

Will The noise from freight trains increase because of this project? What are the cumulative effects of increased noised upon human health and wildlife populations? I find that current noise levels from freight trains, (and continuous sounding of horns through Bellingham) to be disturbing to my sleep patterns. My job as a requires me to drive a vehicle with several crew members as passengers, and to operate machinery. Increased noise levels would further disturb my sleep and make me prone to accidents. I am concerned that increased noise from trains would disturb sleep patterns of myself and others living within earshot of rail tracks. I am concerned that disturbed sleep patterns make us more accident prone, especially while operating motor vehicles. Can noise from trains be mitigated if additional trains came through Bellingham each day?

I moved to Bellingham 6 years ago to enjoy the high quality of life here. I particularly enjoy the parks and trails in and near the City and am concerned about the potential effects of additional trains upon these treasured resources.

I enjoy trail running. This aerobic activity requires good air quality. How will additional diesel exhaust and coal dust impact air quality?

How will additional train traffic affect access and quality of popular public spaces such as Boulevard Park in Bellingham? Will trains on the track limit access? Will additional noise lower the quality of experiences in the Park?

How will the proposed terminal structure affect salmon life cycles, including juvenile salmon habitat and habitat of salmon food sources such as herring?

How will increased shipping in the Puget Sound affect vulnerable orca and salmon populations?

Would the proposed terminal destroy valuable wetlands?

Would the proposed terminal impact Cultural Resources such as Native burial grounds or Traditional fishing areas?

Thank You,

Andrew Wargo
Bellingham WA 98225

Andrew Winser (#1509)

Date Submitted: 10/24/12
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Andrew Zuilua (#7470)

Date Submitted: 01/04/13
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Andria Tetlow (#13399)

Date Submitted: 01/14/13
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

Andronetta Andronetta Douglass (#560)

Date Submitted: 10/09/2012
Location: Blaine, WA
Comment:
My husband and I live in Bay Crest North in Birch Bay. We are in a residential community with a large number of young children, including my 4 grand daughters. One has asthma. We are experiencing a drought, which occurs about once a year. There is substantial burnable material in our dry wetlands. These come right up to the fences in our neighborhood. BP is also an area with high risk of fires.
We have concerns about spontaneous combustion of Power River Basin Coal in the Gateway Pacific Terminal Coal storage site. According to the Major Project Permit and Shoreline Substantial Development Permit for GPT, which can be viewed on-line, the coal will ultimately be stored in five huge piles at the terminal site, which is adjacent to the Cherry Point Refinery. These piles will be at least 60-feet high and will cover a total area of 2.5 miles.

It is documented that Powder River Basin (PRB) coal is a high moisture, highly volatile sub-bituminous coal which can easily smolder and catch fire while in storage piles. PRB coal has been known to be delivered in rail cars partially on fire. Therefore, it seems likely that the piles of coal planned for storage at Cherry Point will be a fire hazard over time, and may cause fires. The fact that this terminal is in close proximity to the Cherry Point Refinery is also very unsettling and the potential for fire at one location to ignite fire in the other should also be studied. We have strong winds almost daily which buffet the coast and blow inland. These winds will exaggerate any fire hazards.

Stockpiles of coal are known to emit concentrations of carbon monoxide, hydrogen, and hydrocarbons like methane and propane. If there is a fire at the coal terminal, additional toxic gases will be released into the atmosphere, quite the same as if we were burning the coal here instead of in Asia. Toxic plumes of chemicals such as mercury, sulfur, and other heavy metals will endanger the health and safety those of us who live in close proximity to the terminal.

The geographic scope of fire potential could be unlimited, depending on size of fire and reaction time. Certainly, Birch Bay and Ferndale, Custer would be adversely affected by fires, but all of Whatcom County would be duly concerned about fires at or near the terminal.

The costs of damages from potential fires should be studied and calculated as a significant risk in the EIS. In the case of fighting this kind of fire, our ground water would be contaminated by the runoff. No amount of water will change the potential for smoldering coal deep within the piles and there is no mitigation for the capricious winds. Whatever water is sprayed onto or into the coal piles will simply cause further problems with runoff and groundwater contamination. The toxicity and volatility of coal have not been mitigated sufficiently at other sites. We have not seen proven methods of mitigation. We do not want to be an experiment for unproven methods.

Andronetta Andronetta Douglass (#693)

Date Submitted: 10/14/2012
Location: Blaine, WA
Comment:
Comment: Please consider and study the significant impacts that combined coal and diesel particulates will have on the health of the people living on the train line when an additional eighteen, mile and a half long trains will be traveling the route from the Powder River Basin to Cherry Point.

My husband, extended family and I live in Birch Bay, down wind from the proposed GPT. I would like the EIS to examine the impact dust and diesel particulates on the people’s respiratory systems. This study must not only include the health impacts to people but also the financial costs the community will bear when the uninsured or underinsured population goes to the emergency room for treatment or the costs to children in the form of missed school days due to respiratory illnesses exacerbated by the enormous increase in diesel and coal dust particulates in the air.
There are many studies that have determined that diesel and coal dust result in increased frequency and increased severity of asthma, COPD and other respiratory illnesses.
The people who live within approximately 5 miles of the proposed terminal will be affected along with everyone living along the train route from Cherry Point to Montana and Wyoming. In addition to the coal dust blowing off loaded trains coming from the mines, the trains that leave empty will be coated with dust and coal particles inside and out. This dust will impact the area closest to the plant. Please study this impact on the environment along the train route. There can be no argument that coal dust does blow as the railroad has sued the coal companies for adversely affecting their tracks by the coal particulates degrading the tracks. Health studies show that the combinations of coal dust and diesel particulates are particularly harmful to living beings.
It is documented that 100 tons of coal is blown off the coal train cars yearly so that is dust that will be expected all along the route. We also know that the Whatcom County area can be very windy consistently, thus causing more blow. Unfortunately we must also assume that unusually strong winds may occur that will be strong enough to affect the area and beyond more drastically that the usual amount of expected blowing of the dust. Since storms are increasing in intensity in recent years, we must also assume that wind storms will also increase in intensity.
It would be important to study a baseline of people who do not live near coal terminals or on the train routes with people who currently do. I believe you will find elevated rates of health issues that would be cause for extreme concern as the health of the people you represent are your responsibility and must be considered above money.
It would be also important to study prevailing winds and trends to determine if the climate in this area will result in even more risk of air pollution and the subsequent health concerns in the future. Scientists are finding that global climate change is accelerating at a speed they had not anticipated. This fact must be studies as it relates to storms that will affect the way the coal is contained (or not).
I do not see how this issue can be mitigated as all current mitigation techniques have failed to adequately resolve the problem. If there is a way to capture coal and diesel particulates from the air, then the issue may be resolved. If there is a way to power all the trains with other forms of power (not diesel) and cover the trains with sealable covers, then those would be ways to mitigate this health concern. Otherwise I can see no alternative but to deny the permit to build a terminal that’s method of receiving their product (coal) is by train (diesel).
Attached are references that demonstrate the reason why the coal and diesel particulates in the air will cause significant risk of major health problems.

Thank you for considering this potential impact when drafting the EIS. This health risk must be studied further to determine the risk to the people living in the county and along the route.


Andronetta Douglass

Supporting Documents:

Northwest Coal Exports
Some common questions about economics, health, and pollution.
Eric de Place
September 2011
Sightline Institute is a not-for-profit research and communications center—a think tank—based
in Seattle. Sightline’s mission is to make the Northwest a global model of sustainability—strong
communities, a green economy, and a healthy environment
Does rail transport release coal dust?
Coal dust escapes from the open-top rail cars used for transporting coal and can create safety and
congestion problems for rail traffic. In 2005, for example, coal dust that had accumulated in ballast,
the layer of crushed rock that supports rail tracks, caused two derailments. Coal dust deposits
sometimes even cause spontaneous fires.
The Burlington Northern / Santa Fe Railway (BNSF) has studied the problem and found that as much
as a ton of coal can escape from a single loaded coal car, while other reports show that as much as 3
percent of a coal car’s load, which is typically 100 tons or more, can blow away in transit.30 The US
Department of Transportation classifies coal dust as a “pernicious ballast foulant” that can weaken
and destabilize rail tracks.31 It is not clear how much coal dust might escape in the Pacific Northwest,
but one watchdog group has verified that coal and coal dust does escape from open rail cars traveling
along Puget Sound coastlines.32
To reduce or eliminate coal dust from escaping, shippers can fill cars less full or cover them with tarps
or chemical sprays, but these measures run up the cost of moving coal, so coal shippers rarely employ
them by choice.33 A March 2011 ruling from the US Surface Transportation Board, which oversees
railway operations, allows BNSF to require coal shippers to cover their loads or otherwise control
dust.34
How effective those measures will be is anyone’s guess: Powder River Basin coal is notoriously difficult
to handle. One technical analysis finds that, “PRB coal is extremely friable and will break down into
smaller particles virtually independent of how the coal is transported or handled.” According to the
study’s authors, “PRB represents the extremes of handling problems.”35
The same analysis found that:
Spontaneous combustion of coal is a well-known phenomenon, especially with PRB coal. This
high-moisture, highly volatile sub-bituminous coal will not only smolder and catch fire while in
storage piles at power plants and coal terminals, but has been known to be delivered to a power
plant with the rail car or barge partially on fire…36
Outside of confined environments, Powder River Basin coal does not spontaneously explode or burst
into full flame, but under the wrong conditions it can self-ignite and burn slowly even while it is riding
the rails—a troubling proposition for railroad workers and communities along the tracks.
Is coal dust harmful?
Coal dust is more than a nuisance. It degrades water quality and may pose a danger to residents’
health. Coal workers who are exposed to dust, for example, suffer elevated rates of bronchitis,
emphysema, and black lung disease.37 In Liverpool, England, researchers found that, even after
correcting for economic and environmental factors at home, children exposed to coal dust from the
nearby docks were more likely to miss school because of respiratory problems, including wheezing and
coughing.38
Sightline FAQ • Northwest Coal Exports • September 2011 5
In Norfolk, Virginia, home of the Lamberts Point Coal Terminal, soil samples contain up to 20 percent
coal by weight at a site less than 1 kilometer from the docks, 3 percent coal at a site 5 kilometers away,
and 1 percent coal as far as 12 kilometers away. High coal levels in soil along railroad tracks suggest
that trains are another pathway for contamination. Researchers in Norfolk also found arsenic levels
were 5 times higher than background soil concentrations nearby, and hypothesize that the coal export
terminal is at least partially responsible for the difference because coal often contains arsenic.39
A group of 160 doctors and other health professionals in Whatcom County, Washington, published a
position statement documenting a number of health-related problems with coal exports. In addition
to the risks of coal dust, the doctors raise concerns about the impacts of the trains themselves, which
generate noise, create collision hazards, and delay emergency medical response by impeding rail
crossings. Trains are also responsible for hazardous air pollution from diesel engines, a documented
threat to health in Washington.40
The BNSF rail yards in Spokane—an important linkage point between the Powder River Basin and
Washington’s Pacific ports—would see increased rail traffic that is almost certain to increase harmful
pollution there. A 2010 study by the Spokane Clean Air Agency identified lung cancer risks in Spokane
that appear closely related to residents’ proximity to the BNSF railyard, where diesel engines generate
prodigious quantities of small particulate pollution—the most health-threatening major air pollutant
in the Northwest. Researchers ruled out numerous alternative explanations and concluded that “the
BNSF railyard appears to be the only other air pollution source in the vicinity of Hillyard that can
account for its differential lung cancer risk.”41
Is Powder River Basin coal better for the environment than China’s coal?
Powder River Basin coal is lower in ash and sulfur than some other kinds of coal, but it also produces
less energy per pound than the coals that are more commonly burned in modern power plants.42 To
produce the same amount of energy from Powder River Basin coal requires mining, shipping, and
burning about 50 percent more.43 After accounting for those differences, coal from the Powder River
Basin is somewhat cleaner than China’s domestic sources of coal, but it is still coal—an extremely
polluting form of energy.
Coal is a highly impure form of fuel, and burning it releases numerous hazardous substances, including
radioactive materials such as uranium and thorium. In fact, the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge
National Laboratory has estimated that coal plants have released hundreds of thousands of tons of
uranium, and that radiation from coal plants is a greater threat to Americans than is radiation from
nuclear plants.44
The true costs of coal are daunting. Researchers at the Harvard Medical School recently pegged the
annual cost of coal—including harm to public health, mining damage, pollution, and subsidies—at
$345 billion per year in the United States alone.45 A 2010 report from the National Research Council
finds that the non-climate damages from burning coal are 20 times higher than the damages from
natural gas, the next dirtiest and costliest fossil fuel in use.46 And a 2009 report from the National
Academy of Sciences determined that US coal burning results in $60 billion per year in health costs
alone.47

23. Douglas L. Cope and Kamal K. Bhattacharyya, A Study of Fugitive Coal Dust Emissions in Canada, “Chapter 8:
Coal Terminals: Fugitive Dust Emissions and Control,” prepared for The Canadian Council of Ministers of the
Environment, November 2001.
24. Andrew Jensen, “Judge Allows Lawsuit: Seward Coal Facility Faces Clean Water Act Suit,” Alaska Journal of
Commerce, January 24, 2011, http://www.peninsulaclarion.com/stories/012411/new_775559217.shtml.
25. Mary Pemberton, “Alaska Railroad Takes Steps to Reduce Coal Dust,” Ventura County Star, July 9, 2010, http://
www.vcstar.com/news/2010/jul/09/alaska-railroad-take-steps-to-reduce-coal-dust.
26. Erik Olson, “Westshore provides glimpse of Longview’s potential future with coal,” The Daily News, February 12,
2011, http://tdn.com/news/local/article_35ad9c0c-3634-11e0-8eea-001cc4c03286.html.
27. Douglas L. Cope and Kamal K. Bhattacharyya, A Study of Fugitive Coal Dust Emissions in Canada, “Chapter 8:
Coal Terminals: Fugitive Dust Emissions and Control,” prepared for The Canadian Council of Ministers of the
Environment, November 2001.
28. Ryan Johnson and R.M. Bustin, “Coal dust dispersal around a marine coal terminal (1977–1999), British
Columbia: The fate of coal dust in the marine environment,” International Journal of Coal Geology, Volume 68,
Issues 1-2, 1 August 2006, Pages 57-69., http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0166516206000206.
29. William J. Bounds and Karen H. Johannesson, “Arsenic Addition to Soils from Airborne Coal Dust Originating
at a Major Coal Shipping Terminal,” Water, Air, & Soil Pollution, June 21, 2007, 185: 195-207, http://www.
springerlink.com/content/98146r1160021h13/; and Joe Lawlor, “Coal Dust, Piles an Issue for Southeast Newport
News,” Ju