EIS Home > EIS Library > Scoping Report > Appendix G - All Scoping Comments > Public (D - E)

D Covert (#8916)

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

D Deloff (#7339)

Date Submitted: 01/12/13
Location: Beaverton, OR
Comment:
Jan 12, 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.

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).

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.

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.

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,

Ms. D. Deloff

D Goldsmith (#13829)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Comment:
I urge you to thoroughly study all impacts, short, long term and cumulative of the proposed coal export project from mines to the east of us to the proposed burning in Asia where they are currently suffering the effects of highly toxic smog. The mining, shipment, stockpiling and reshipment of coal will have deleterious effects on human communities, plant, animal, fish, reptile, amphibian and insect life. Stress on infrastructure includes weight, noise, pressure, heat, traffic delays and vibration. All of these should be studied in the widest possible environmental impact study.

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.

D McDougall (#5473)

Date Submitted: 12/22/12
Location: Lopez, WA
Comment:
You are in a position to help save our world for future generations, and indeed for our own generation.
Give thought to the long run, and not to short term gains.
Isn't all the mess washing up on our shores from Japan's tragic tsunami enough environmental damage for one lifetime?
Let us know compound it with coal washing ashore.
Save our lovely shorelines, and our health.
Thank you,
D.McDougall

D Rosenkutter (#2187)

Date Submitted: 10/30/12
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

D. Deloff (#6942)

Date Submitted: 01/12/2013
Comment:
Shipping coal by rail through the Columbia River gorge raises many questions regarding the environment that have not yet been adequately addressed.

I, therefore, oppose the action.

D. Brady Green (#12774)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Hello Folks: Attached are my comments on the "Proposed GPT & BNSF Expansion & Modification Projects."

Thank you very much for considering my comments. This is a very significant project for Whatcom County and beyond.

Sincerely, Brady

D. Brady Green
Attached Files:

D. Gordon Graham (#13479)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Mukilteo, 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.

This proposal would also exacerbate our planet's poisoned air, seas and soils. I'm sure you know that given the recent publication of the climate assessment report.

D. Pat and Mary W. Patterson (#12839)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
We are:
D. Pat and Mary W. Patterson

Our request is that the agency expand the study sufficiently to determine the stability/instability of the railroad route at least within Skagit and Whatcom Counties. Historical reports have previously published data which determined that a high percentage of that rail line in that area is “INSTABLE”.

What will be the impact of the additional volume and weight of heavy coal trains for the coal terminal when added to an unstable rail line?
Could such instability cause damage to the structure and foundations of homes that reside near the rail line?

The risk from this instability is a threat to residents and travelers, locals who drive regularly, and school buses on roads near the rail route or crossings.

Thanks for your consideration.

Dacelle Peckler (#13985)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Comment:
I am a small business owner, farmer and veterinarian who is not exempt from the clean air and water act, however these damaging and mega-profitable companies have already made an irreparable damages to this state, this country, this ecosystem and have depleted the ozone faster than any other industry outside of the oil industry. This must stop. Sustainable and low impact to NO impact energies must be found. Every child knows, to leave it nicer than you found it so that others who come after you may enjoy it too. A five year old knows to treat this planet more kindly, to be a better shepherd. Not a single new plant needs to be built until a ZERO impact long term philosophy can be established.

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.

Dahrl Norris (#2927)

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

Daimon Sweeney (#9994)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Comment:
I am a Bellingham resident and have lived near Puget Sound for 37 years. The health of Puget Sound impacts my life through the economic impact of water-based industries. In addition I question whether the public interest in preserving the health of state waters and the species that inhabit them is served by the GPT and other proposed coal terminals.

What I would like scoped is the impact of invasive species discharged in ballast water or traveling on the hulls of ships docking at Cherry Point or any of the other proposed coal terminals.

The impact of invasive species is illustrated in the Great Lakes. Since the 1800s some 160 foreign species are estimated to have been introduced to the Great Lakes, with a new one introduced every eight months on average. Ballast water is the primary suspected vector.

These species have disrupted native fish populations time after time and have devastated fisheries and species. At one time it was estimated that 90% of the biomass in the lakes was of one invasive species, the alewife. Currently there is an electric barrier up in one canal in an attempt to stop invasive Asian carp from migrating into the lakes from the Mississippi and Illinois river systems, where they have proliferated. Water fleas and crayfish have been introduced as well.

The empty ships coming from China will discharge many millions of gallons of ballast water per year at our coastline if the GPT or other terminals are approved.

They will bring not only species native to the place they take on the ballast water, but that water will almost surely harbor species from other parts of the world brought there in the same way by other ships.

At risk is the degradation or destruction, in Puget Sound and the Salish Sea, of economically important species, endangered species, and components of the environmental system on which they depend. Fishing, tourism, and all supporting and dependent industries could be depressed all around Puget Sound as well as the Salish Sea.

Infrastructure damage is another potential. Zebra and quagga mussels in the Great Lakes are estimated by the US Fish and Wildlife Service to cost $5 billion in damage over ten years by clogging pipes and other underwater structures. Of course, that damage will not stop after10 years, nor will the competition posed by these species to native mussels and fish as they reduce available food and occupy spawning grounds.

Such economic impacts will be borne by individual landowners, businesses, local governments, the state, and the federal government through damage to infrastructure owned by each entity, and will impact budgets and taxes, creating social damage as well.

The introduction of invasive species is nearly inevitable given the enormous quantities of ballast water involved and the decades of discharge contemplated. The nature and effect of these species is, however, completely unpredictable, and therefore their potential damage is literally incalculable.

Given that the GPT and other coal ports would be putting at risk the the irreplaceable public resources of the waters of Puget Sound and the Salish Sea, the economically important species residing in them, the endangered species, their essential but otherwise unprotected substrate species such as the herring population at Cherry Point, along with underwater public and private facilities and structures, I request that the potential impacts on all these elements be examined.

In particular, one way to do this would be to project the damage if creatures equivalent to the zebra and quagga mussels were introduced.

Daimon Sweeney (#10860)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Comment:
I am a 37 year resident of the Puget Sound area, currently in Bellingham as I have been for 19 years. The quality of the natural environment is an essential part of life in this area, contributing to the enjoyability and economic vitality of the region and to numerous industries from tourism to fisheries and their related activities.

The specific concern of this comment is that coal transport ships docking at Cherry Point or any other US coal terminal would be discharging millions of gallons of polluted ballast water at the shoreline.

I am unable at this time to ascertain how many millions of gallons would be involved but with nearly 500 projected ship arrivals a year of the size of these ships, millions of gallons may be conservative.

Empty ships need ballast water. This water will be taken onboard at the Chinese port of departure.

Because that port will be where the coal is offloaded there is likely to be a great deal of coal dust in the water along with whatever other pollutants it may contain. This being a port in a country notoriously lax on environmental controls, it is very probable that the water will be significantly or highly polluted by US standards.

If that is so, I must ask whether domestically generated discharges of water of this quality and quantity would be permitted under existing shoreline management regulations.

The discharge of polluted water in shoreline areas is rightly regulated due to its negative impact on marine life of all kinds. These waters and shorelines are in the public trust.

We may require all sorts of coal dust controls in operations on US soil, but whatever success is gained will be at least partially offset by bringing back coal dust from the Chinese port and discharging it directly into our coastal waters, along with whatever industrial or sewage pollution may be present in that water.

We would be, in effect, importing Chinese pollution to some of our most sensitive coastal areas.

I request that the quality of the water at the Chinese point of departure be analyzed, including the projected coal dust content of that water based on coal handling procedures there, and that all other pollutant content be analyzed and quantified, as pollution is defined by applicable US law.

Based on that analysis I request that the total pollutant load added to US coastal waters be calculated and evaluated according to applicable US law.

If the discharge of that quantity and quality of water does not meet current standards for shoreline discharge, I request that such discharge be prohibited.

Dale Cox (#1621)

Date Submitted: 10/29/2012
Location: , WA
Comment:
I have many concerns over allowing the Gateway Pacific terminal at Cherry Point, WA for shipping tons of coal to China. I own property in Bellingham, WA close to the tracks that run through downtown and again in Seattle close to the tracks.

I wonder if the EIS will consider the fact that we will be polluting air, water and affecting human health not once but twice. Once as we haul tons of coal 24/7 through dense population centers polluting the air and water and again when the Chinese burn it with few environmental regulations and the airborne particulates crosses the Pacific and lands on us. Is it Ok that we supply the very material that will cause world wide pollution including global warming by the Chinese?

When we lived in Seattle the trains made a large amount of noise just moving through the city, but they also greatly added to that noise level by constantly blowing their powerful horns at all hours. This can disrupt human sleep cycles, it did that to our former neighbors and they moved. The Pigeon Point community tried to get Burlington Northern RR to stop blowing their horns at night and were told they are required to blow these horns at every street or driveway crossing the tracks without a cross guard protecting the tracks. There are hundreds if not thousands of these in Seattle alone. Needless to say they still blow their horns at all hours and this will expand exponentially with the Cherry Point Terminal.

Also the polluting diesel emissions from the train engines will increase exponentially.

I believe properties that are close to the tracks will lose value as owners and tenants avoid renting them due to the above mentioned reasons. If they are un-rentable or abandoned they can have a severe negative environmental impact by the accumulation of trash and other sources of pollution as the properties are not maintained.

I am very concerned that the greed of a few corporations, along with a few short sighted unions and politicians eager for short term jobs will trump the health and well being of thousands, perhaps millions of people. An honest evaluation, free of corporate lobbying should rule against this potential health and environmental catastrophe.

Dale Hofland (#2237)

Date Submitted: 10/23/12
Location: Mount Vernon, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Dale Malmberg (#13276)

Date Submitted: 01/20/13
Comment:
I would like to ask that the Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed Coal Train include the impact on the Communities of Mount Vernon and Burlington WA. My reason for asking you to include these communities is as follows:

1. 38 trains a day, one every 38 minutes will cause life saving delays for our emergency first responders. With emergency response, seconds matter and lives will be lost due to this delay.
2. The impact on local business due to the delays affecting where people do business.
3. The increased noise level.
4. The local environmental concern of coal dust and it's effect on the local populations health.
5. The fact that 95% of the cost of building bridges over the railroad will impact local governments that already have limited funds.
6. The decrease of quality of life associated with long delays caused by frequent delays at train crossings.
7. The increased diesel exhaust affecting the air quality and affecting the health of the local population, especially during inversion weather conditions.

Please include the Mount Vernon and Burlington Areas in the Environmental Impact Statement.

Sincerely, Dale Malmberg

Dale McCart (#13818)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Comment:
Paradise written by John Prine

When I was a child my family would travel Down to Western Kentucky where my parents were born And there's a backwards old town that's often remembered So many times that my memories are worn

And daddy won't you take me back to Muhlenberg County Down by the Green River where Paradise lay Well I'm sorry my son but you're too late in asking Mister Peabody's coal train has hauled it away


Well sometimes we'd travel right down the Green River To the abandoned old prison down by Adrie Hill Where the air smelled like snakes and we'd shoot with our pistols But empty pop bottles was all we would kill

repeat #2

Then the coal company came with the world's largest shovel And they tortured the timber and stripped all the land Well, they dug for their coal till the land was forsaken Then they wrote it all down as the progress of man

repeat #2


When I die let my ashes float down the Green River Let my soul roll on up to the Rochester dam I'll be halfway to Heaven with Paradise waiting Just five miles away from wherever I am

repeat #2


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.

Dale Miller (#6932)

Date Submitted: 01/12/2013
Location: Poulsbo, WA
Comment:
Who will really benefit from this? Where does the money really go that could be earned from this ill advised project? Big banks and the coal industry will benefit. The rest of us will eventually pay the price.

Dale G. Miller

Dale Petersen (#28)

Date Submitted: 09/24/2012
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
As a 3rd generation Washingtonian and 21 year resident of Sandy Point within sight distance of the proposed terminal, I am against it for the following reasons:
1. It will further degrade the herring biomass which has been in decline since Cherry Point development. This adds to salmon decline.
2. More development brings more people to Whatcom County which is already being trashed. Population has doubled in the last 40 years. We don't want to become a Seattle or a California and ruin what is left. More people are a threat to agriculture.
3. We should not export coal from the US. In 500 years we may be the only country with lots of coal which by then could be converted to cleaner energy.

Dale Petersen (#2134)

Date Submitted: 11/01/2012
Comment:
I am against a Gateway terminal as a third generation Washingtonian and a resident of nearby Sandy Point because:
1. It will lead to more population to Whatcom County which has been degrading with the population doubling the last 40 years.
2. We should not export our energy. We may need it in 500 years or less.
3. A terminal will be detrimental to crab, herring and salmon all of which have declined with more shoreline industrial development.

Dale Petersen (#2864)

Date Submitted: 11/13/12
Comment:
My input on this matter:
I am against a Gateway terminal as a third generation Washingtonian and a resident of nearby Sandy Point because:

1. It will lead to more population to Whatcom County which has been degrading with the population doubling the last 40 years.

2. We should not export our energy. We may need it in 500 years or less.

3. A terminal will be detrimental to crab, herring and salmon all of which have declined with more shoreline industrial development.

Dale R Petersen

Dale Prugar (#7109)

Date Submitted: 01/13/2013
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Comment:
Dear GPT/BNSF Custer Spur EIS Co-Lead Agencies,

I am a property owner 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 oil and coal spill risks. Questions that concern me, and which objective, rigorous and comprehensive studies should address include:
•How will GPT's marine vessel traffic increase collision risks with tankers and other cargo ships in the area?
•What would be the effects on our region of a catastrophic oil and/or coal spill?

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

Sincerely,

Dale W. Prugar

Dale Prugar (#9778)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Comment:
Dear GPT/BNSF Custer Spur EIS Co-Lead Agencies,



I am a land owner 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 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,

Dale W. Prugar

Dale Prugar (#9783)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Comment:
Dear GPT/BNSF Custer Spur EIS Co-Lead Agencies,

I am a land owner 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 increased likelihood and potential consequences of introduction of Asian invasive species from ballast water discharges as well as from organisms attached to the ships. Questions that concern me, and which objective, rigorous and comprehensive studies should address include:
•What invasive species could be introduced because of the release of ballast water, and how would these species impact the Salish Sea ecosystem?
•What invasive species could be introduced as a result of organisms attached to the outside of the ships, and how would these species impact the Salish Sea ecosystem?
•What will be the cost of the introduction of invasive species on our regional economy (tourism, commercial/recreational fisheries and property values)?

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

Sincerely,

Dale W. Prugar

Dale Prugar (#9787)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Comment:
Dear GPT/BNSF Custer Spur EIS Co-Lead Agencies,

I am a land owner 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 (GPT) 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 shipping on air pollution. An objective, rigorous and comprehensive study should be undertaken to see what impact of air pollution associated with increased vessel traffic will have on our region and what impact these increases will have upon air quality standards.

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

Sincerely,

Dale W. Prugar

Dale Prugar (#9789)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Comment:
Dear GPT/BNSF Custer Spur EIS Co-Lead Agencies,



I am a land owner 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,

Dale W. Prugar

Dale Wilson (#3787)

Date Submitted: 12/02/12
Comment:
Dale Wilson
834 Gillette Rd Lot A
Colville, WA 99114-9615

December 2, 2012

The Honorable Gateway Pacific Terminal EIS


Dear null EIS:


Do not approve the gateway terminal. Our earth is in enough stress, and we must stop our perpetuation of her demise through such reckless development. There will be no jobs or people left if we don't stop the madness of our own development.


Sincerely

Dale Wilson

Dale & Betty Carroll (#1536)

Date Submitted: 10/23/12
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Dale & Marcia Gillingham (#768)

Date Submitted: 10/11/12
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Dallas Betz (#2380)

Date Submitted: 11/04/12
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Dear Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Ecology and Whatcom County Council:

I agree with the suggested message of the anti-coal movement, but I'd like to share my personal thoughts in addition.

If there is any benefit to coal mining and shipping, it is short term and short sighted, and we'll pay for in terms of the health of our people and our environment in the future. We are being manipulated by dollar signs in the eyes of corporations.

And not only is coal transport and burning not healthy for the environment and population of the US, but of the whole world. We cannot in good conscience sell dirty coal to nations that don't yet have their own health and safety standards in place to protect themselves. If we don't burn here for health and environmental reasons, we should not sell it to other countries.

Please consider more sustainable and healthy options for our people and our planet. Your children and grandchildren will thank you.

(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.)



Dallas Betz
2521 Iron Street
Bellingham
Bellingham, WA 98225

Dallin Jensen (#13625)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Cheney, WA
Comment:
I strongly oppose using the Cherry Point site to export coal to China.
Higher CO2 levels are already effecting shellfish off the Washington State coast, and we should be encouraging other countries to move to renewable, sustainable resources, instead of enabling them to use to dirtiest form of power out there. I've also read a large portion of the west coasts air pollution blows over from China, and I do not want that problem to be worse than it already is. I also do not want more coal trains going though my community (Cheney, WA) than we already have. Right now we have trains going through every half hour, and it is obnoxious enough despite knowing they are carrying food to people who need it. I also am concerned about coal dust in my community from these coal trains.

Damon Maguire (#14017)

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.

This has to be the worst idea I've heard of in decades. With what we now know about climate change, it's insane.

Dan Baggott (#12323)

Date Submitted: 01/22/13
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
I live in Seattle. I strongly oppose the construction of the Proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal coal export in Washington State.

Coal companies like Peabody, Arch, and Ambre Energy are trying to build massive export terminals in Oregon and Washington to sell publicly-owned coal from Wyoming and Montana to Asia. This industry plan would release more climate change pollution every year than the Keystone XL pipeline, all to maintain big profits for coal executives.
Trains carrying at least 48 million pounds of coal will travel through most of Washington's population centers, leaving traffic jams and clouds of harmful coal dust in their wake.

This proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal 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 my neighborhood and city - indeed, the entire Northwest region:

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

* Increased traffic idling caused by blockages from 2 additional hours of train traffic per day (in Seattle alone) will result in harm to human health and the environment along the entire coal train route from Wyoming. For instance, very recent studies have indicated that babies who are exposed to lots of traffic-related air pollution in the womb and during their first year of life are more likely to become autistic.
Please assess the additional greenhouse gas emissions, particulate matter pollution, and other air and water pollution from stalled and idling traffic thanks to this and all of the proposed coal export projects (cumulative effects). Please assess the additional burden, increased epidemiological risks, and impacts on the respiratory and neurological health of embryos, babies, children and adults along the entire train route from Wyoming. For example, please assess whether the increased traffic pollution from the coal trains, as well as the cars that will be forced to idle while waiting for those trains to pass, might increase the risk of developing autism for the babies -whether in the womb or newly born - who are exposed to that pollution.

* Coal dust creates exposure to toxic metals including mercury, a known neurotoxin, and is linked to increases in asthma and serious neurological problems, 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, traveling back across the Pacific to pollute West Coast rivers, lakes and fish. When the coal shipped to Asia is burned in Asia, it will release toxic mercury that will blow back to the West Coast. Please estimate the minimum, maximum, and likely amount of additional mercury pollution that will be faced by babies, pregnant women, children and adults on the West Coast, particularly here in Washington. Please calculate the increased risk of damage to these groups from this increased pollution.

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

Dan Bakke (#2054)

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

Dan Belenky (#8989)

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

Dan Burwell (#3569)

Date Submitted: 11/21/12
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Dan Burwell (#4784)

Date Submitted: 12/13/12
Comment:
To Whom It May Concern:

Attached please review a comment letter regarding the Gateway Pacific Terminal. I have also sent 4 previous letters which should have been received by your office on or about 11/17/12. Can you confirm receipt of these 4 mailed letters? Thank you for receiving my comments.

Dan Burwell
Attached Files:

Dan Carpita (#4560)

Date Submitted: 12/11/12
Location: Enumclaw, 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.

Grandpa once told me that it is easier to keep the horse in the barn than it is to put him back in once he's gotten out. This is an opportunity to keep the polluting from happening so that we don't have to try to clean it up, later. It doesn't matter where on the planet we burn the coal the end result is the same. The jobs arguement is a hollow one, creating jobs takes innovation not doing the same thing, wrapped in a new package, over again expecting that this time it will be different.

Thank you for standing with our children and grandchildren down to the 7th generation.




Dan Carpita
39235 258th Ave SE
Enumclaw, WA 98022

Dan Carpita (#12429)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
Location: Enumclaw, 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.

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.

Because we no longer live in isolation from the remainder of the World, it is time to consider the health of the Planet when making environmental decisions. Recent headlines concerning the quality of air in Bejing should frighten everyone who can think for themselves. I give China the right to poison themselves if that is their desire, but I do not give them the right to poison my children and grandchildren, not to I give the unihibited right to those whose greed enables others to poison OUR PLANET.

Dan Christofferson (#8476)

Date Submitted: 01/17/2013
Location: Everett, WA
Comment:
I support the Gateway project and believe the EIS process should be done in the normal way. this is a perfect use for a industrial zoned parcell of land and will be very benificial to the residents of Whatcom County and the whole State, creating many Construction Jobs, and Long term Employment for our citizens, not to mention all the additional tax revenue.

I also belive there should be some mitigation to make the Rail road system capable of moving through our cumminities safely and quickly by building Overpasses or underpasses, a feww additional train to supply grains and coal to the terminal will have an ipact but no one wants to addres the fact that the refinery are importing more and more oil by rail with no comments from the public.

Rail Road transportation is a very important part of our economic health and should be addressed regionally, to eliminate all rail road crossings so our export and imported pruducts ca reach the destinations unimpeded.

Dan Freeman (#12410)

Date Submitted: 01/20/13
Location: Clinton, 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.
As a species we cannot afford to continue to "kick the coal can down the road" and keep burning coal, or any other dirty energy source, without severe consequences to an Earth that is FINITE.
The definition of "Insanity" is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. What shall we call doing that which you know will destroy the Earth and the environment where we ALL live, for short term profit, yet doing it anyway? It looks to me like we are a collective of sociopaths bound and determined to destroy that which has been our support for centuries, our environment, our children's environment, their children's environment, well I think you get the idea. Or do you?

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.

Dan Freeman (#13548)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Clinton, 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.

My Congressman, Rick Larsen, said at a public meeting that "China is going to burn a lump of coal so it may as well come from us." I was outraged by the idiocy of this statement. It appears that as long as there's a profit to be made, short-term, then it's ALL GOOD as far as Larsen is concerned and the future of our children be damned.
I know people that think of Larsen as a "liberal" but in my opinion he's just another hack wholly owned by the businesses he votes to favor.

Dan Gates (#14106)

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

Dan Gore (#5263)

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

Dan Hannafious (#2620)

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

Dan Karney (#13975)

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.

Dan Kruzich (#8274)

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

Dan Madden (#7580)

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

Dan McFadden (#4078)

Date Submitted: 12/07/2012
Location: Redmond, WA
Comment:
As a lifelong resident of Washington state, I am most concerned about the proposed coal export terminal at Cherry Point. The increased ship traffic would put our orcas, fish, bird and marine mammals in real peril. It would be a travesty to allow the natural beauty of our state to be destroyed simply for the pursuit of an old energy technology. Please, do not allow this to happen.

Dan McShane (#11211)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
1) Evaluate the accumulative impacts of multiple coal terminals being constructed in the Pacific Northwest.



2) Evaluate the the relative impacts to rail and shipping traffic for this site compared to other proposed sites at Longview, WA, Coos Bay, OR, Port of Saint Helens, OR and Morrow, OR- Port of Saint Helens,OR.



3) Evaluate train traffic impacts to street crossings and along the entire rail route and how such impacts will impact level of service (LOS) for each community impacted and the costs of maintaining the level of service.



4) Evaluate loss man hours from delays at rail crossings.



5) Estimate the total CO2 emissions from mining the coal, transporting the coal by rail and ship, and burning the coal and compare to other potential sources of electric and provide alternative ways and costs for off setting the the CO2 emissions. Mitigation should pay for all off setting all CO2 emissions.



6) Complete studies on herring and crab populations at the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve and quantify the loss of habitat and mitigation for loss habitat.



7) Quantify the loss of local fish and crabbing opportunities both in terms of lost working hour and monetary impacts to fishermen.


8) I strongly support the request for the appropriate studies and mitigation regarding fish and wildlife impacts at the site as commented on by the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife.

9) Evaluate air quality impacts to the air shed at Chery point due to emissions assocaited with the increased ship traffic, train traffic, and terminal opperation on air quality ataiment levels with all industrial opperations and expected additinal industrial uses at the Cherry Point area.

10) Quantify potential episodic point sources of air pollutants and noise at rail sidings due to increased siding use and consider the impacts of additional rail sidings to mitigate for these impacts.

Dan Miller (#14164)

Date Submitted: 01/07/13
Location: Bow, WA
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:


Dan Morris (#6282)

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


Dan Moseley (#10171)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Hello. My name is Dan Moseley. I have owned and operated a mid-sized business in Bellingham for the past 12 years and love the lifestyle Bellingham has to offer me and my employees. I love our city, and chose this community because of its natural beauty, the accessibility to outdoor pursuits, and the community focus on sustainable living. I have many questions about the impacts of the terminal at Cherry Point.

NOISE How will the noise and vibrations of unusually long, heavy and frequent trains impact property values and the structural integrity of homes and other buildings close to the tracks? How will chronic noise exposure affect the health and quality of life of people living, working and playing nearby?

TRAFFIC PROBLEMS How will the coal trains affect motor vehicle traffic, transportation, emergency vehicle response times and the flow of commerce along the rail corridor?

FISHERIES & THE SALISH SEA How will tourism; boating; collision risks; oil/coal spill risks; salmon, crab, and herring fisheries; orca whales; and the general beauty, vitality and livability of the Salish Sean and environs be affected by coal port construction and operations, and the the over 950 annual transits of immense coal ships?

HUMAN HEALTH & SAFETY How will cancer, heart disease, asthma and other health risks be affected by air and water pollutants associated with coal transport and export? How will additional rail and ship traffic affect accident and collision rates? Toxic air crosses the Pacific Ocean from Asia to the West Coast of the United States; what would be the local public health impacts of Powder River Basin coal combustion in Asia?

COST TO TAXPAYERS How much will we, the taxpayers, ultimately pay for costs affiliated with coal transport and export? Will such direct and indirect costs include necessary upgrades and additions to rail infrastructure; safety measures; public health expenses; the building of under- and overpasses and other attempts at mitigating adverse impacts; lost local businesses and jobs; damaged tourism trade; and decreased property values?

EFFECT OR TOURISM How will the elimination of multiple parking spots at Boulevard Park in addition to the excess noise at many of our most popular tourist hotels effect the flow of tourist through our beautiful city? How many jobs will be lost due to this?

Please include these areas of study in the EIS for the proposed coal terminal at Cherry Point.

Sincerely,
Dan Moseley

Dan Polinder (#11600)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Comment:
Dear Sir or Ma’am,

I am a life-long resident of northern Whatcom County, and plan to remain here for the duration of my life. I oppose this project, for several reasons.

It is clear that the science of global warming is now an accepted fact, and that the burning of fossil fuels is accelerating the process. If for no other reason than this, this and associated projects that encourage the exportation or use of fossil fuels should be halted.

The train system that would be used would require substantial upgrades in order to even carry the weight over time that this project would entail, and in some areas (specifically North Seattle to Everett) has shown an inability to remain open during our winter weather. Each project that would be required to upgrade the system should also be included in your environmental review prior to approving the overall plan.

The train system runs through significant population areas, and the day to day economic impacts of traffic delays, increased pollution from both the engines and the cargo, increased dangers to pedestrian and car traffic, will be a burden not to the train system, but to the local populations. At the very least, the railroad and coal participants should have to both address any long term effects, and compensate local communities for all costs associated with increased train traffic due to this project.

Our local waterways would be effected environmentally, and the increased traffic, and the size of the ships needed for the economic feasibility of the project is simply too much for our waterways. There should be at the very least a trust fund set aside and funded by the participants to assure the cleanup of any eventual and inevitable spill.

This project does not profit anyone in our local community, with the exception of a few, mid level jobs after the construction phase, while the negative consequences will affect a vast majority of the population from Wyoming to Custer who live near the rails or the terminal, as is in my case. This is not an project that reflects our heritage, our history, our regional philosophy, or an ever growing population in this world that is becoming aware of the destruction fossil fuel burning is causing. Rather, it is a project that profits only a very few, and profits them greatly, at the expense of our beautiful Pacific Northwest.

Please say no to this project, and say yes to the future of our next generation of proud Washingtonians.

Thank you,

Dan Polinder
Custer, WA.

Dan Ringler (#699)

Date Submitted: 10/15/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
EIS should include the impact of burning additional millions of tons of coal on human health. Since CO2 is an atmospheric polutant, this much additional polution should be taken into account. The question is much larger than Cherry Point. It is, should the USA ship millions or billions of tons of coal to foreign countries where it will cause significant detrimental effect on the planet and eventually human health and welfare.

Dan Roberts (#8983)

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

Dan Sabo (#8213)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
My name is Dan Sabo and I moved to Bellingham, nearly 11 years ago, because of the relatively pristine natural environment of Whatcom County. I am very concerned about the additional coal trains significantly diminishing the quality of life, in Bellingham, and am recommending that the following concerns be studied. The downtowns of Bellingham and Fairhaven are very vibrant and the vibrancy of these districts is growing, with the future development of the GP waterfront properties being a significant opportunity for the city.

Whether as a mixed-use or a primarily residential neighborhood, the GP properties could be severely impacted by the increase in coal train traffic. This neighborhood has the potential to significantly increase Bellingham property tax collections and the values of properties in the downtown and surrounding neighborhoods. This potential and how it could be affected by increased train traffic should be studied.

There would also probably need to be costly improvements made to the road infrastructure and railroad crossings, so that this neighborhood would not be completely walled-off from the rest of Bellingham. These potential costs should be studied.

Dan Sabo (#8215)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
My name is Dan Sabo and I have lived in Bellingham, for nearly 11 years. One of the things I most cherish about this city is the wonderful neighborhoods and parks that line and overlook the shores of our bay. This is one of the reasons that I moved here and I spend considerable amounts of time, walking and bicycling, along these shores and in these neighborhoods.

The increased coal train traffic proposed has the potential, it would seem, to significantly impact the property values (and, by corollary, our tax rolls) of these neighborhoods, which are among the choicest in our city. This should be studied.

Also, it would seem to me that the increased train traffic would significantly diminish the pastoral experience of being in the parklands, along the shores of Bellingham Bay. It is my experience that the vast majority of people who have moved to Bellingham (people who often are modestly or fairly wealthy retirees) have moved here, in large part, because of these wonderful parks and the easy access to our waterfront. The impact on this population and the future of this type of in-migration to Bellingham should be studied. The image of Bellingham, both in Washington state and nationally, has the potential to be quite negatively affected by this. This should be studied, as well.

Dan Sabo (#8217)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
My name is Dan Sabo and I have lived in Bellingham, for nearly 11 years. I am concerned about the rail lines that the proposed coal trains would travel on. These rail lines are frequently shut down, because of landslides and mudslides. In fact, recently a freight train derailed on this line, south of Everett. It would seem to me that the potential for costly and damaging derailments of these open-topped coal cars is significant. This should be studied.

As well, Amtrak uses these rail lines. As it is, Amtrak passenger trains have to wait, on side tracks, to let freight trains go by. To relieve highway congestion in the area, we should be increasing the frequency of passenger trains and working to ensure that they run faster. The coal trains would further clog these rail lines and slow Amtrak trains even further. The economic costs of this and its impact on increased road congestion should be studied.

Dan Sabo (#8218)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
My name is Dan Sabo and I have been living in Bellingham for nearly 11 years. I hear proponents of this project optimistic about the number of new jobs that will be created. However, it seems possible to me that there could be a significant loss of jobs, relating to people or businesses leaving the area, due to the undesirability of having so many long coal trains passing through. This is a subject that demands serious study.

Dan Sabo (#8220)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
My name is Dan Sabo and I have lived in Bellingham for nearly 11 years. It is well known that the mining, transportation, and burning of coal has significant impact on air pollution and destabilizing climate change. Is it more prudent to permit this process and allow American coal to be burned in polluting Chinese power plants or to leave the coal in the ground, for the time being, until a time when we have much cleaner-burning power plants and we use the energy here, at home? This should be studied.

Dan Senour (#9281)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Anacortes, wa
Comment:
I request that the GPT Environmental Impact Statement encompass the entire transportation corridor so that communities along the rail near where I live and marine routes are given due consideration. Questions that concern me, and which objective, rigorous and comprehensive studies should address include:
How does noise and vibration of unusually long, heavy and frequent trains impact property values and the structural integrity of homes and other buildings close to the tracks? How will chronic noise exposure affect the health and quality of life nearby?
How do coal trains affect motor vehicle traffic, transportation, emergency vehicle response times and the flow of commerce in communities along the rail corridor?
How will tourism; boating; collision risks; oil/coal spill risks; salmon, crab and herring fisheries be affected? How will orca whales, the beauty, vitality, and liveability of our salt water environs be affected by coal port construction and operation?
What will be done about highly toxic coal dust and increased diesel fumes from trains and ships? How will cancer, heart disease, asthma and other health risks be affected by air and water pollution associated with coal transport and export? How will additional rail and ship traffic affect accident and collision rates? Toxic air pollution crosses the Pacific Ocean from Asia to the west coast of the United States; what would be the local public health impacts of Powder River Basin coal combustion in Asia? In light of recent reports of lethal air pollution in China, how can it be OK to support and encourage more coal burning with North American coal?
What will be the ultimate costs connected with coal transport and export? Will such direct and indirect costs include upgrades and additions to rail infrastructure; safety measures; public health expenses; construction of crossings and other attempts at mitigating adverse impacts? What will be the cost of lost local businesses and jobs; damaged tourism trade; and decreased property values? In short, what are the subsidies that the public pays for such projects and coal shipment specifically?
Could it be best to leave a possible resource where it is rather than deal with the damage done to extract it? Are the benefits fairly distributed and worth the consequences?

Dan Silkiss (#1830)

Date Submitted: 10/30/12
Comment:
Last week I requested copies of the blank Scope Report to be filled out.

I expect to comment on this important subject and attend the next meeting.
Kindly respond with the necessary paperwork.

Many thanks,
Dan Silkiss - Lopez Island

Dan Silkiss (#2755)

Date Submitted: 11/13/2012
Location: Lopez Island, Wa
Comment:
Alice Kelly - N W Regional Office, Dept. of ECOLOGY
Randel Perry - U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, Regulatory Branch, N W Field Office
Tyler Schroeder - Planning & Development Services, Whatcom County

A hearty thank you, to the above panel , for convening on November 3rd and listening to my
comments and many others, regarding the impact of Coal transportation in our area of the Salish Sea,
as well as shipping to domestic and foreign destinations.

My earlier statement, typed on your official documentation and sent prior to the Nov. 3rd session,
apparently never reached you, nor was it recorded in the Records. In fact it seems that the system is set up,
so that any record also disappears from the writer's files. I understand that others had similar difficulties.
Is it possible that you can have some "experts", set up a sound workable system for tracking "Comments".

I will now attempt to write this, while adhering to your EIS specifications.

My Background is very diverse, covering many years in the U.S. and International arenas.
I have held executive positions in many firms and my own business.
The range is: International - Banking, Chemical, Pharmaceutical, Nuclear, Forensics, Environmental, Botanical etc.
Sailed on Cargo, Ships, Tankers, Transports
Chartered - Airlines, Tankers, Constructed Port Terminal facilities for bulk liquid chemicals
Meetings in Washington, D.C. with FDA, Corps of Engineers, Commisioner Atomic Energy
Major University Hospital Physicians, Major International Chemical Companies
Very active over many years with environmental activities.
I shall be pleased to discuss any topic you may wish to cover.

After living on the East Coast for many years,and visiting many Stateside and Foreign countries,
my wife and I decided to settle in the jewel - Lopez Island in the midst of the San Juan Islands.

(1) Probable Significant Adverse Impacts
Mining the Coal - and all related Handling, Shipment, Concurrent Polution at all Handling Points
inclusive of Shipments to Domestic and Foreign Destinations.

My early testimony to the Panel, suggested that with due diligence, interpretation and drive, it may be possible
for the Panel to evidence good cause as to why Toxic Coal and its hazardous by-products, should be
be discontinued at the source. Specifically, all Mines should be shut down immediately.
This method would minimize the difficult task of monitoring Coal hazards at all points of distribution.
In effect we would be preventing many related diseases, within the United States and Foreign countries.
Otherwise, we remain complicit in introducing diseases and death to Mankind, Animals, Fish, Botanicals etc.
on terra firma and or all fresh or marine waters.

References: There is a mountain of indisputable data which can easily be confirmed be in the
records of the following agencies:
Center for Disease Control - cdc.gov/anthracite diseases
ie. Dust - Pulmonary diseases ( various )
Silicosis - grinding anthracite ( note, grinding also occurs during loading, shipment and unloading )
Pneumonoconiosi
Ischemic Heart disease
Retinal disease
Aortic Aneurysm
Carcinogenic Lymphoma
There exists increased cases of asthma in children
Exposure to Lead, Selenium, Mercury etc.

Community Health Impacts of Coal Mining and Transportation
Coal Trains, Truck, release coal dust into the air.

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health ( NIOSH )
Contains many references to the handling and safety of many products, including COAL.

Other factors: The powerful currents in our waters.
Several years ago, my wife and I were fishing near Lopez Island,
between Long Island and Shark Reef. Our 18' Bayliner started to spin around rather fast.
We heard a loud roar, glanced back towards Shark Reef and saw a high tunnel of water bearing down on our stern.
Think of a train coming at you. I gunned the throttle to about 25 knots, while veering away
at a 45 degree angle. Several months later we encountered a similar but smaller incidence
between the West end of Charles Island and the outer banks.
This an example of Tidal Bores, which any boat or large vessel may someday encounter
and end up crushed, on the Rocks.
In the South Pacific, We were headed south on a large solid North Atlantic Cargo ship.
Soon a 180 mile typhoon was bouncing us about like a roller coaster, as 90 foot mountains of water
tried to tear us apart . We somehow got through. despite much damage on deck.
A ship, one day ahead of us, was picked up and hurled 2 miles inland on an atoll.
It was a complete disaster for ship, crew and cargo.

The above examples are caused by Natural causes. Terrorist actions are another possibility in current events.

Economy: I can relate to those protesters present, who were concerned with Jobs and the Workforce.
Of course, most of us are aware that we must improve economic conditions here.
But factor in, the relationship of costs for incurring many diseases.
The difference of staying healthy vs. occupational hazards is quite evident.
Rather than exporting disease and Death to any country, for the $$$$$'s gained, is not
in our interest, nor those of American citizens.

As I had suggested, at the beginning of the meeting, our knowledge panel can investigate
and state that it in our countries best interest to STOP mining coal at its source.
In the long run the miners, their families, and all of us would benefit.
The savings in Health and related Resources, would far outweigh other considerations.

Should you wish to discuss this matter further, I am willing to meet with you.

Good luck in your mission.
Dan Silkiss

Dan Silkiss (#7527)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Location: Lopez Island, WA
Comment:
We have known & traveled throughout the San Juan Islands for 32 years
and resided on Lopez Island since 1985.
My concern relates to ALL the Subjects Areas indicated above.
May I suggest to all the knowlegable Panel Members that further insight and actions
taken to pursue this important subject with other other Federal Agencies;
may prove these many concerns can be reduced or entirely eliminated.

It is irrefutable, and evident from numerous Medical and Scientific Studies and Reports that both Oil and Coal contain toxic substances that are injurious to Humans and all other species and resources in our Natural Environment.

By eliminating Coal Mining and Hazardous Oil extraction at its Source, most of the
Toxic elements affecting the above listed areas can be reduced. In the long run
We are specifically dealing with reality and known Poisonous Elements.

Public comments have already covered many sound views relating to our concerns.
I recognize that this is not an easy task in view of our Energy requirements and the
Powerful Corporate and Economic interests opposed to such views.
All this pales in comparison to saving our Planet and it's inhabitants . Must we all
go down together? Let us concentrate on workable soutions to Stop the major problems at the Source, thus eliminating the chance of adverse incidents.

We all must contribute to finding a workable solution.

Many thanks for all your efforts,
Dan Silkisst

Dan Silkiss (#7528)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Location: Lopez Island, WA
Comment:
We have known & traveled throughout the San Juan Islands for 32 years
and resided on Lopez Island since 1985.
My concern relates to ALL the Subjects Areas indicated above.
May I suggest to all the knowlegable Panel Members that further insight and actions
taken to pursue this important subject with other other Federal Agencies;
may prove these many concerns can be reduced or entirely eliminated.

It is irrefutable, and evident from numerous Medical and Scientific Studies and Reports that both Oil and Coal contain toxic substances that are injurious to Humans and all other species and resources in our Natural Environment.

By eliminating Coal Mining and Hazardous Oil extraction at its Source, most of the
Toxic elements affecting the above listed areas can be reduced. In the long run
We are specifically dealing with reality and known Poisonous Elements.

Public comments have already covered many sound views relating to our concerns.
I recognize that this is not an easy task in view of our Energy requirements and the
Powerful Corporate and Economic interests opposed to such views.
All this pales in comparison to saving our Planet and it's inhabitants . Must we all
go down together? Let us concentrate on workable soutions to Stop the major problems at the Source, thus eliminating the chance of adverse incidents.

We all must contribute to finding a workable solution.

Many thanks for all your efforts,
Dan Silkisst

Dan Von Neida (#8907)

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

Dan White (#678)

Date Submitted: 10/13/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I am a resident of South Hill and I am very concerned about the loss of value my property is likely to suffer as a result of the use of the rail lines through the Bellingham waterfront.

One study ( http://www.entrepreneur.com/tradejournals/article/print/120353037.html , The effect of freight railroad tracks and train activity on residential property values. By Robert A. Simons & Abdellaziz El Jaouhari | Summer, 2004 ) determined that housing under certain conditions near rail lost 5 to 7% of it's value.

Compounding the effect of the loss as described in that study, the potential that Boulevard Park - currently the most used park within the City of Bellingham and a short walk from my house - will likely lose much of its appeal due to the additional rail traffic adds to the potential loss in my property value.

Please study the effects that the much increased rail traffic will have on my home value and please address ways to mitigate this loss for me and the many other residents potentially effected.

Dan White (#684)

Date Submitted: 10/14/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I am concerned that there is potentially inaccurate and biased information in the public sector concerning whether or not additional coal trains would travel through Bellingham to Canadian shipping ports (whether or not GPT is built).

If inaccurate information is used in the EIS scoping effort as the base line to compare the against impact of GPT bound coal trains then the resulting EIS will incorrectly quantify the impact of GPT coal trains traffic through Bellingham.

One of the project developer’s primary statements regarding the need for the GPT terminal is that coal trains will increase through Bellingham and Whatcom County anyway due to increased coal shipments to Asia from Canada. Using this as a basic assumption, the developers then make the argument that since the area would suffer the negative impacts of the additional train traffic anyway, GPT should be built to seize the positive economic values and jobs of the coal terminal.

The developers claims of “coal trains anyway” appears to be incorrect based on the April 2012 study put forward by Salish Law, PLLC (http://www.coaltrainfacts.org/salish-law-pllc-will-the-trains-coming-anyway ). This study, based on its documented research, dispels the developer’s claims. The Study determines that any growth in coal shipping from Canada will be supplied by Canadian coal shipped solely through Canada.

To accurately access the foreseeable impacts of the additional (and cumulative) rail traffic on Bellingham and Whatcom County, it is important to determine an accurate “baseline”.

Please study the current, planned and reasonably forecasted growth in coal and all other rail traffic that is to occur for the rail lines in Bellingham/Whatcom County in order to provide a non-partisan, technically based “base line” to then use to study the impacts of increased rail traffic due to the GPT proposal.

Dan White (#685)

Date Submitted: 10/14/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I am concerned about the potential for blocked road traffic in Bellingham that would result from the development of the GPT terminal. Stated plans for the project call for 9 loaded trains and nine returning empty trains for the Cherry Point Site.

Assuming the average time per GPT bound train at each rail crossing is 5 minutes (source: Gibson Traffic Consultants Memorandum to Bellingham City Planner June 2012), and that there are 9 at-grade crossings in downtown Bellingham and a total of 15 at-grade crossings in Bellingham and its immediate environs, simple math yields a significant amount total of time that Bellingham would suffer blocked roadways on a daily basis:

18 trains/day x 5 min rail crossing time/train x 9 downtown crossings = 810 min or 13.5 hrs per day.
18 trains/day x 5 min rail crossing time/train x 15 total B’ham crossings = 1350 min or 22.5 hrs per day.

Within a 24 hour period, downtown intersections would be blocked for a cumulative time of 13.5 hours. Assuming downtown businesses operate from, say, 9am to 6pm which is 38% of the 24 hour day, downtown traffic would suffer from a cumulative 5 hours daily of blocked rail crossings (38% x 13.5 hrs).

Using the same analysis, all of Bellingham and its immediate environs would suffer from cumulative blocked crossings of 22.5 hours per day.

The impacts from these cumulative road blockages are quite significant. Downtown businesses will lose retail sales because shoppers will drive to more convenient locations. Waterfront re-development will be damaged and the general economic well-being of the small businesses that now form the basis for downtown Bellingham will be at risk.

Not only will city residents suffer inconveniences due to this large cumulative time of blocked roadways, but more significantly, emergency vehicles will be delayed which will result in loss of life.

The arithmetic does not count the additional delays while stopped vehicular traffic resumes. Nor does it account for exceptional delays that will certainly happen when any particular crossing could be blocked for longer periods. Finally, the math does not consider the other rail traffic that is present now and that will most likely increase over time. Blocked crossings and stalled traffic should be calculated based on the total and cumulative amount of rail traffic.

Bellingham is one of some 120 cities with at-grade crossings across the complete rail path from the Powder River Basin where the coal would be mined to its rail destination at Cherry Point. Each of these cities will suffer economic and health impacts due to this enormous increase in rail traffic.

With 95% of the costs of rail crossing upgrades the responsibility of the state and local governments, the economic burden for citizens is unrealistic. The only realistic mitigation for these enormous costs is for the commercial concerns that will benefit from the development, that is the coal company who owns the product, the rail company and terminal that ship the product be responsible for changing the at-grade rail crossings so that vehicular traffic is not blocked.

Dan White (#1169)

Date Submitted: 10/24/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I am concerned about the potential for coal train derailments that will be associated with train delivery of coal to GPT.

Using the information provided by the online site Coal Train Facts (http://www.coaltrainfacts.org/coal-train-derailments ) , there were 36 coal train derailments in the United States and Canada since July 2010. Two fatalities were involved in one derailment.

Given that GPT would be the largest single coal export terminal in North America at full development, the risk of associated coal train derailments is quite large. The impacts (listed by increasing severity) include the costs of cleanups, the temporary property damage, permanent ecological damage to land water and animals, and human fatalities.

Please study the impacts of the potential for coal train derailments. What is the statistical likelihood that trains delivering coal to GPT would have derailments; what would be the short term costs; the long term environmental damage; and the risk to human life?

In addition to analyzing the statistical likelihood of derailments and their severity, please determine how the effects can be mitigated. In areas that are particularly sensitive such as within city limits where there is a greater risk to human population and along waterways (once in Whatcom County, the railroad runs next to the waterfront for quite some distance) where there is increased risk of permanent ecological damage what steps can be taken to prevent derailments. Finally - who will be responsible for the costs of both prevention and cleanup?

Dan White (#2294)

Date Submitted: 11/04/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I am concerned that the GPT project developers have overstated the economic benefits of the project. Since much of the deliberation that will eventually decide if permits are to be issued and the project goes forward are based on comparing the benefits versus the impacts, it is critically important that the agencies involved have a clear analytical calculation of the value.

To that end, I ask you to review the proposed economic benefits put forward by the developer. Are the direct jobs reported accurate? What is the basis used to calculate the indirect jobs? Since some of the indirect jobs would be for transient rail and marine personnel, how many of those jobs would be based in Whatcom County? What is a realistic estimate for induced jobs and what methodology has the developer used to make its estimate of induced jobs? What will be the tax benefit to each of the taxing authorities who are to receive revenues? Who are the tax authorities that will benefit?

In addition to a quantified value of the project, I ask you to also create a reasonable estimate of the additional costs for mitigating the growing list of significant impacts of the project. Some of the large and very significant costs will include: cost of new rail crossings, increased social and emergency services costs, costs to remediate the GPT terminal site at the end of the project life.

For those foreseeable impacts that cannot be mitigated (train and marine wrecks, fatalities due to delayed emergency services response, long term negative health effects, as examples) how will you evaluate benefits versus costs?

Dan White (#2946)

Date Submitted: 11/15/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I am concerned about the surfactant proposed to be sprayed onto the open coal rail cars to prevent coal dust. Recent news articles have indicated that the shipping coal companies and the transporting rail line, BNSF, are disputing who has the responsibility for spraying the surfactant.

With no clear responsibility established, how can the public be assured that the surfactant is used, used correctly, and used in adequate volumes to be effective?

Also, is the surfactant toxic? Is it water soluable? If it is water soluable how would it withstand rain and moisture in the open coal rail cars for the 1,000 mile plus distance from the mines to Cherry Point? Again, if the surfactant is both toxic and soluable, what will be its impact on the wetlands and marine habitat at Cherry Point and offshore into the San Juan Islands?

Please study the use of the proposed surfactant. Who will be responsible for it; will it be effective in eliminating coal dust; is it safe for use in wetlands and a marine environment?

Dan Williams (#4476)

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

Dan & Belinda Hisey (#2393)

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

Dan & Karen De Ruwe (#1059)

Date Submitted: 10/15/12
Location: Otis Orchards, WA
Comment:
Dear Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Ecology and Whatcom County Council:

Thank you for exporting coal and creating jobs. Coal trains are no more unhealthy or a hazard than grain cars and other trains that travel across our states in any given day. The add is very deceptive and has nothing to do with blocking roads and causing delays for emergency crews. Keep up the good work of mining and exporting coal. We are in total support.




Dan & Karen De Ruwe
8504 N Campbell Rd
Otis Orchards, WA 99027/9205

Dan & Pat Montague (#11370)

Date Submitted: 01/16/13
Location: Olympia, 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.

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.

The world must change it's dependence on coal.
It will make the difference in the survival of mankind. Exporting coal to China or anywhere else in the world does not make sense for the rich or the poor of this world. We are all in this together. DO NOT allow these coal exports to happen.
Thank you.

Dan & Pat Montague (#12488)

Date Submitted: 01/21/13
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.

Given the urgent need to leave coal in the ground in order to protect the Earth's climate, it would be completely unwise and irresponsible for the State of Washington and the United States to facilitate the mining and burning of coal via the Cherry Point project. I urge you to raise these issues in your assessment.

We, the United States, must assume major responsibility for the climate change that is happening right now. To continue mining coal and exporting coal to other countries is only hastening the problems of climate change. There are new technologies that are climate friendly.
The United States should and must promote those technologies rather than continuing on the same path of coal and petroleum use.

Spreading coal dust across the Puget Sound and western Washington will be a disaster for Washington, for humans, as well as for all other living organisms, for farmland, for the delicate balance of the Puget Sound which is in itself in a precarious situation of degradation. If we continue to destroy other forms of life on this earth it will soon become uninhabitable for us. The pressure for short-term gain by corporations should play no part in these decisions.

Dan and Jane Coombs (#4421)

Date Submitted: 12/12/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Aside from the obvious problems of public health and excessive train traffic issues that need very thorough scoping we feel that one of the most critical areas of concern may not get adequate evaluation. In the year 2000 the DNR created an aquatic preserve that included the spawning grounds of the Cherry Point herring. Before that time SSA marine had agreed to perform an in-depth study that includes a 2 year acoustic trawl measurement of spawning herring, a toxin accumulation study of caged mussels, a light and noise study on the herring, an identification of the exact route the herring follow from deeper water to their spawning grounds and a study to monitor the response of herring embryos to toxins likely to be present in shipping and handling of coal products. It's been 12 years and SSA Marine has not performed any of these studies. Failure to do the required studies could very likely lead to litigation from a number of concerned groups. I am a recreational fisherman who enjoys fishing for Coho salmon and Sea run Cutthroat trout from Sandy Point north to Point Whitehorn. I have many friends and there are alot of Sandy Point residents who enjoy the same type of sport fishing opportunities. In addition, there a quite a few local commercial fishers (some Tribal) who depend on the local salmon fishery and thus the current herring stocks, for their economic well being. The already agreed to studies mentioned above should therefore be a "must do " before any thought of permitting can take place. In addition, there should be limits set on how much water SSA Marine can draw at certain times from the Nooksack River and a foolproof plan on how the water that is sprayed on the coal piles is handled so that it does not run off into the ocean or end up contaminating the local groundwater.
Just like the city of Bellingham has recently asked you, we urge the scoping entities to look at the bigger picture of the negative global effects of shipping and burning this amount of coal (the dirtiest of all energy sources=an energy dinosaur !). This in spite of several Western states moving away from coal and moving towards natural gas and other much more effective sources of energy. As 20 year residents of Whatcom County whose children strive for good paying jobs, we feel very strongly that for the long term, the coal terminal has far more negatives than positives.

Dan and Jane Coombs
1063 Sterk Lane
Bellingham,Wa

Dan and Karen De Ruwe (#836)

Date Submitted: 10/15/12
Comment:
Your billboards are deceptive and untrue. Coal trains are less in numbers than grain trains, car trains, lumber and all others. Coal trains do not hold up emergency crews anymore than any other trains. Coal may be dirty but it is still used for heating purposes and if we have the ability to mine it then you should not stand in the way. If we can export it and make money then that should be okay also. They are creating jobs and in this economy, we should be thankful for all the jobs we can get. We have too many tree huggers, ecologists, that haven't got enough to do so they have to inflict their beliefs on everyone else. If you are going to put up billboards, do so honestly and not in a deceptive manner.
Dan and Karen De Ruwe

Dana Barton (#13647)

Date Submitted: 01/22/13
Location: Rockport , WA
Comment:
01/22/2012

I work, reside, and own property in Skagit County Washington. I oppose the construction of the Gateway Pacific Terminal at Cherry Point Washington and the proposed increase in transportation of coal from Montana and Wyoming on trains and ships throughout the region.

Please address in the Gateway Pacific Terminal EIS the profound and far reaching impacts to human health and the environment that could effect the Pacific Northwest Region and areas beyond. Some of the potential impacts that required serious, comprehensive, and broad regional analysis include:

• The impact of increased train traffic through all of the communities on the route between Montana, Wyoming and the Cherry Point Terminal. Analysis should include financial and human health impacts to businesses in all towns along the effected rail lines.
• Pollution impacts to air and water resulting from coal mining and coal dust loss all along the transportation route from where the coal is mined to the Terminal.
• Impact to Puget Sound fisheries and aquatic ecosystems from increased tanker traffic and the potential for ship accidents along the shipping routes.
• Environmental damage resulting from strip mining of coal that will be exported through this terminal.
• Long range environmental, climate change, and health impacts from burning this coal in Asia.


Thank you,
Dana Barton

Dana Bodnarchuk (#4754)

Date Submitted: 12/14/2012
Comment:
I live in the Stanwood area about 1/2 a mile from the RR track and 2 crossings. My concern is the noise and whistles from the trains due to the crossings. With 18 plus trains a day will it ever be quit again? Living in the country is not a quiet experience any longer due to the current trains and will be even worse with the proposed coal trains.

I took the train from Stanwood to Canada and saw a Washington that I never knew existed. It's hard to watch the beautiful Washington we have known slowly disappear due to over development due to greed.

I could go on and on with complaints about every aspect of this proposal. I know you get my point so will keep it short.

Thanks,

Dana Dal Porto (#4545)

Date Submitted: 12/10/12
Location: Quincy, WA
Comment:
As an interested member of the public, I have followed much of the development and extraction of coal resources in the western United States and Canada. In the case of the coal being considered for transport to ports in Washington State and other west coast ports, this coal is really dirty. This coal creates terrible air pollution. I believe this dirty coal will adversely affect air quality over the entire globe. My first comment is that this coal should not be exported to anyone, especially China with their miserable lack of controls on air polluting industry. By allowing the export of this dirty coal, we are adding to the world's misery just allowing it to be exported.

The second comment I have is that the transport of millions of tons of this filthy coal will cause enormous costs to American tax payers in infrastructure upgrades and repair. Americans will have to upgrade and maintain miles and miles of rail tracks and bridges to carry this weight on our rail lines. The wear and tear on equipment, roads, crossings, bridges and infrastructure will eventually be borne by the local governments and agencies because you must know the costs will be sent back to local governments and not paid by the shippers.

My third point concerns the transport of this dirty coal. I have heard so many numbers for the rail cars I do not know the actual figure but each and every car will leave a plume of dust and residue the entire way in addition to the large increase of diesel particulates from the trains themselves. As of now it is probable that these dirty coal cars to come through my community. Quincy, Washington already has 158 diesel generators that the Washington State Department of Ecology has allowed to be permitted in my town without any diesel emission controls. Ecology is not protecting us now because we already have dirty air and these coal trains will only add to our misery. The air quality on the train routes will cause health hazards for local residents. Who will pay for the health risks to western residents? The same health risks for humans extends to the domestic and wild animals along the train tracks. Northwest residents have spent millions on salmon recovery. How will this coal dust and train traffic affect the migrating fish? I believe the risk to human health and the environment is too large and is just cause for this rail traffic to not be allowed through northwest communities.

Point number four is the hazard to Puget Sound with the large increase in ship traffic in and around our already busy ports. This product is going to require many ships every day in our shipping lanes and these ships will compete with ships carrying northwest products, not dirty coal from Canada to China.

This coal shipping is a bad idea. The product is hazardous to the environment and the costs to northwest citizens is not worth the value of continued development of the Gateway Pacific Terminal. My recommendation is for the agencies in charge of this project to consider all of the negatives and to deny construction of this terminal anywhere in Washington State. I read in your email announcement that the agencies will explore "possible mitigation" to reduce impacts from the project. Mitigation is not possible in this mess. Just deny Gateway Pacific as a bad idea.

Thank you for considering my comments,

Danna Dal Porto
16651 Road 3 NW
Quincy, WA 98848

Dana Hedricks (#10351)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Stevenson, 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 Columbia Gorge is my home, and more importantly, home to my newborn son. We care deeply about long lasting impacts to our ecosystem.

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.

Dana Higgins (#12367)

Date Submitted: 01/21/13
Location: Hood River, OR
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.

The counties in the Gorge area and the federal government have spent millions of dollars in this area to protect and restore our streams and waterways for salmon and other fish habitat. I am concerned about the potential impact to these areas from coal dust, and potential spills or shipping accidents. I am also concerned as a taxpayer that we will have wasted millions of dollars trying to protect our resources, only to have a large corporation destroy it and most likely pass the bill for the cleanup, once again, onto the taxpayers as we have seen happen in Portland's port Superfund cleanup.
I believe this project will have SIGNIFICANT environmental and economic impacts throughout the Gorge area as well as at the terminal site and 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.

Dana Ledford (#13001)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
Location: Oak Harbor, WA
Comment:
We don't need it and I feel we don't need anything like this in our area. I STRONGLY oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington. This proposal will hugely impact and affect my community. It will increas traffic, potentially pollute our air and water, possibly delay emergency vehicles, and will increase shipping traffic and noise. It will damage 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.

Dana Steele-Sierk (#12276)

Date Submitted: 01/22/13
Location: Marysville, WA
Comment:
This is not a form letter. I live in Marysville and I am extremely concerned about the potential of increased train traffic through our city. I don't like the idea of the coal trains for many reasons, but the greatest personal impact they will have on residents of Marysville is to cut our city in half for twice as many minutes/hours a day. My family is pretty typical in that my kids must cross the tracks to get to and from school every day and my husband must cross the tracks to get to and from work. Trains move through town at varying paces, but some are slow and can take 10 minutes at a crossing. Increasing the amount of time we have to wait at this intersections so that a large coal company can make money selling coal to China is short sighted and selfish. At least three cities are bisected by trains and hundreds of thousands of drivers are impacted daily by the trains already. One company and a couple thousand jobs should not trump hundreds of thousands of residents who will be negatively impacted by this plan.
Please, work towards a cleaner, healthier environment for all of us - increased idling cars and increased coal train activity is not good for our future and for our environment. With ocean acidification becoming increasingly alarming, we should be running in the opposite direction of coal trains and their impact on our cities and our Puget Sound.

Dana Wylder (#11826)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Naples, ID
Comment:
First of all, I believe that we should not be exporting our coal. We should keep it in the USA, unused as part of our strategic energy reserves. It should be used only if necessary. I am concerned about the burning of the coal on global warming.

Second, I am worried about several of the effects of the transport of the coal by rail.

The coal trains will have negative effects on air and water quality for both humans and for plants and animals. Even though I live in a rural area, I would worry about the coal dust and increased diesel exhaust on air quality along the route. All the houses and businesses in my town of Naples are within a few hundred feet of both of the two major tracks that pass through town. At least one of these tracks belongs to BN. Our public school, post office and store are about 100' from one track and 300' from the other. There are many more houses near the tracks beyond town. the people in cars on the long stretches of highway where the train and highway run parallel to each other, are also exposed. The speeds of the cars and trains are often similar enough that cars drive along side a single train for a long while. I am sure this pattern is repeated in many rural areas and the general car traffic and winds will pick up the accumulating coal dust.

Then there is traffic congestion, not just in Spokane, the local city, but out here in the country too. My local fire department and ambulance service must cross the railroad line to reach the highway. Much of the population lives on the far side of the tracks from the fire station. The county cannot afford to duplicate services on each side of the tracks. The rail traffic is already heavy. How many crucial seconds may be lost, while our emergency services wait for trains to pass.

The impact of increased rail traffic on car and train collisions at the many signal free crossings in rural areas should also be considered.

Increased rail traffic will also increase wildlife death. Routes should be chosen that avoid passing near wildlife refuges and wildlife corridors. The BN trains on our local tracks take a heavy toll on the moose population.

The increased rail traffic would put water quality at risk. The railroad lines frequently chose routes along steams and rivers. Our local BN tracks cross Lake Pend Oreille on a long trestle bridge. I have been lead to believe that the city of Sandpoint takes its water from very near this bridge.

Please consider these things carefully.

Thank you,
Dana Wylder

Dana D. Heald (#14165)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Location: La Conner, WA
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

Dane Bowen (#14075)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Comment:
Energy independent doesn't mean sell our resources to other countries at the cost of our own country.

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.

Dane Breslin (#8665)

Date Submitted: 01/17/2013
Location: Spokane, WA
Comment:
My name is Dane Breslin and I am a senior student at Gonzaga University in Spokane WA majoring in Public Relations and Environmental Studies. Please study how the increase in train traffic in Spokane will affect traffic congestion, as well as a study on the positive and negative economic impacts on the city of Spokane. The study should also include how the trains will affect land value for the properties near the track in the long term and how much the tracks will cost Spokane to make crossings or alternative bridges. Additionally, 18% of of air quality problems are a result from the diesel fumes coming off trains. A study should be done to calculate what percent increase in sure particulates will occur if the trains are allowed through the town. Lastly, the study should include how the trains will affect the Spokane aquifer and the Spokane River as well as how carbon dioxide in the mines will affect global carbon dioxide levels if all of it is burned. Thank you for considering my comment.

Dane Breslin
1006 E. Desmet Ave.
Spokane WA

Danica Sheridan (#6636)

Date Submitted: 01/10/2013
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
I believe that the proposal to have a coal plant - a coal plant that is reportedly going to be the largest in North America- in Cherry Point is a terrible idea. Im a college student at the University of Washington currently studying environmental sciences as well as animal biology and am very concerned about what these decisions will do to the impact of not just our state but our planet. We are in the middle of a crisis with global warming, just yesterday morning there was a broadcast declaring 2012 as the warmest year in recorded history. CO2 is the one of the main greenhouse gases that contribute to this phenomenon and by allowing the Cherry Point coal plant to have its permits and go forth with its construction plans you would be setting Washington back by leagues from where we were regarding pollution. We pride ourselves on doing all of the things we have done to be more green, we have recycled more in the last year than we threw in the trash (at least here in Seattle), and we have even gotten rid of every single plant that ran on coal. Why in the world would we be ok with a new humongous coal plant? I really dont think the majority of us are. The plant has stated that they will create between 300-450 permanent jobs for the local community and thus bringing up the economy. If you think about the impacts the coal plant would have you can see just how many other jobs it would impact negatively. For example CO2 effects the oceans by creating Calcium Carbonate which inhibits shellfish from forming their shells. Washington makes a huge amount of its revenue on the shellfish industry and by allowing the coal plant to exist at Cherry Point we will have even more pollution to contribute to an already growing problem. For me and I'm sure for others there are many more Cons than Pros in this list. Deny their request for permits to build. If we do not have a healthy planet, whats the point of making a profit? we should be more focused on trying to find more green and affordable solutions to energy, not going back to something we know causes so much damage.

Daniel Balch (#13116)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
Location: Wenatchee, WA
Comment:
send the coal overseas and let it be burnt there. Trust me it will be consumed somewhere. Better there than here.

Daniel Bastian (#12609)

Date Submitted: 01/20/13
Location: Bend, OR
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington, and other sites in the Pacific Northwest. 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. These coal shipments will do little for the economy of the areas it passes through, benefitting just a few large corporations. Our environment doesn't have a price tag--it's not for sale. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

Daniel Blaustein-Rejto (#6965)

Date Submitted: 01/12/2013
Location: Corvallis, OR
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 neighboring communities 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.

More importantly to youth, such as myself, the construction would indirectly escalate climate change. The coal and much of the harmful air pollution it can cause would be exported overseas. Nevertheless, the impacts of its CO2 emissions would affect human health and quality of life across the globe. Moreover, its contributions to climate change would impact vegetation's viability, the yield of important agricultural crops, plant and animal migration patterns, and vectors of human and plant pathogens to name a few impacts of climate change that are currently occuring, and projected to see a continual rise over the coming decades. 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.

Daniel Blaustein-Rejto (#7354)

Date Submitted: 01/12/13
Location: Corvallis, OR
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 neighboring communities 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.

More importantly to a youth such as myself, it will directly escalate climate change. We can ship our coal and its deadly air pollution abroad. Nevertheless, its CO2 emissions will impact us all, particularly my generation which is so actively opposed to fossil fuels and the devastation they cause. 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.




Daniel Blaustein-Rejto

Daniel Conrad (#13857)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Comment:
The last thing China needs now is to burn more coal!

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.

Daniel Davis (#3741)

Date Submitted: 12/03/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I live in the Fairhaven Pocket Neighborhood within 1,000 feet of the Burlinghton Northern rail line on two sides of my home. This is the rail that will be used to carry the coal trains to Cherry Point. Our property is directly in line with the prevailing winds. As an organic vegetable gardener, I want you to study the increase of particulate matter (DPM) that will be released daily and how will this affect the health of my garden to include vegetables, birds, bees, insects, worms and other wild life that visits.

Daniel Davis (#3743)

Date Submitted: 12/03/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I live in the Fairhaven Pocket Neighborhood within 1,000 feet of the Burlinghton Northern rail line on two sides of my home. Our property is directly in line with the prevailing winds. I have several neighbors who suffer from asthma and other respiratory conditions. How will the increased rail trafftic affect my neighbors? How many more people will be projected to develop asthma and other repiratory conditions? Please study the effect of DPM on the health of citizens affected by the prevailing winds.

Daniel Davis (#3747)

Date Submitted: 12/03/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I live in the Fairhaven Pocket Neighborhood within 1,000 feet of the Burlinghton Northern rail line on two sides of my home. Our property is directly in line with the prevailing winds. Studies have shown that during wind events, coal dust will be blown from the coal cars to adjacent areas. Please study how this will increase the amount coal dust landing on my property and my neigbors property and any adverse effects to property values.

Daniel Davis (#3750)

Date Submitted: 12/03/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Coal dust from the 18 additional trains will be inhaled by people. Coal dust contains toxic metals,and has respiratory health effects. My neighborhood is down wind within 1,000 feet of the tracks. An article in the "Bellingham Herald" on November 27 reported a study which showed that children who lived in homes with the highest levels of pollution from traffic were three times more likely to be autistic than those with the lowest exposure. Other studies, including studies provided to the EIS scoping effort by the “Whatcom Docs” report the high level of toxicity in both coal dust and diesel fumes and their likely negative health effects. Please scope dangers to human health (especially the health of children) as a result of coal dust blowing from the trains.

Daniel Drahn (#1574)

Date Submitted: 10/28/2012
Location: Lopez Island , WA
Comment:
My family and me, like many others, breathe the air. I understand the coal fired power plants are being completely phased-out in the United States for air quality reasons. How does it make sense to sell the coal to China, so that they can burn it? We have seen smoky-haze from as far away as China in our skies in the past. I also understand that the EIS must include an evaluation of potential project impacts wherever they may occur.

The scope should include an estimate the total annual carbon load represented by project shipments, projected range of increased air carbon levels, and a list of countries potentially affected. At minimum the EIS should report the range that project shipments could increase existing carbon levels above current US maximum standards under normal expected wind and weather conditions.

Daniel Drahn (#2338)

Date Submitted: 11/05/2012
Location: Lopez Island, WA
Comment:
I am a 20 year resident of Lopez Island, raising my family and working as a Professional Civil Engineer. Like most residents and visitors I am greatly attached to our local waters. I am a scuba diver, fisherman and recreational boater/camper. I have a stake, as do many in the continued health and well-being of our pristine waters and marine environment.

I understand that the developer proposes using Panex and Capesize freighters, operating and staged in Rosario Straight. The shear size, limited-maneuverability and fuel capacity of these ships, running or anchored in close proximity; create some serious concerns in a number of resource areas.

Marine Traffic Safety:
Size, momentum and maneuverability of these vessels in these narrow, rocky channels, subject to fog, strong currents and wind leads to

1. increased grounding risk, while operating, being tug-directed or at anchor..
2. increased collision risk while operating, being tug-directed or at anchor, decreasing boater safety and safety of all operation vessels.

Please include a study of increased hazard to marine safety for all vessels in the area resulting for the proposed shipping and staging plan.

Daniel Drahn (#2344)

Date Submitted: 11/05/2012
Location: Lopez Island, WA
Comment:
I am a 20 year resident of Lopez Island, raising my family and working as a Professional Civil Engineer. Like most residents and visitors I am greatly attached to our local waters. I am a scuba diver, fisherman and recreational boater/camper. I have a stake, as do many in the continued health and well-being of our pristine waters and marine environment.

I understand that the developer proposes using Panex and Capesize freighters, operating and staged in Rosario Straight. Each fueled freighter carries as much bunker fuel as a half-full oil tanker. The shear size, limited-maneuverability and fuel capacity of these ships, running or anchored in close proximity; create some serious concerns in a number of resource areas.

Powerful tides, which sweep our islands four times a day, widen environmental concerns far beyond our little islands. Incoming tides reach B.C. protected waters, including the Gulf Islands, the Sunshine Coast and Vancouver Island, possibly extending as far north as Desolation Sound. Outgoing tides sweep out of the Straight of Juan de Fuca, mixing with headwaters of Puget Sound. It is likely that polluted water in the straight will pump and feed Puget Sound, potentially reaching Hood Canal and as far south as Budd Inlet.

Please consider the increased likelyhood and reasonable expected outcome of a fuel oil spill caused by collision grounding or sinking of proposed vessels. Identify the probable extent of damage to beaches, marine organisms, marine mammals and birds. Estimate the economic effect, on the San Juans, surrounding straights, Gulf Islands, and other Canadian and US Protected waterways that may be affected.

Daniel Drahn (#2347)

Date Submitted: 11/05/2012
Location: Lopez Island, WA
Comment:
I am a 20 year resident of Lopez Island, raising my family and working as a Professional Civil Engineer. Like most residents and visitors I am greatly attached to our local waters. I am a scuba diver, fisherman and recreational boater/camper. I have a stake, as do many in the continued health and well-being of our pristine waters and marine environment.

I understand that the developer proposes using Panex and Capesize freighters, operating and staged in Rosario Straight. Each fueled freighter carries as much bunker fuel as a half-full oil tanker. The shear size, limited-maneuverability and fuel capacity of these ships, running or anchored in close proximity; create some serious concerns in a number of resource areas. In addition, I understand that other large vessels may be staged in and around our islands, increasing normal vessel pollution to pristine waters. Anchoring or idling nearby will also increase the likelyhood of sewage spills and normal fuel spills.

Please include the study of possible increased pollution from staging and operation of proposed vessels in Rosario Straight. Quantify the measures proposed to increase readiness for a containable fuel spill. Identify the cost of increased readiness and who will be paying for it.

Thank-you

Daniel Finn (#2497)

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

Daniel Fremont (#10902)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
To Whom It May Concern:

Hello, my name is Daniel Fremont, I am a new resident to the beautiful city of Bellingham. I also attend Whatcom community college, where I am working towards my future in the field of environmental science. I am writing this scope on behalf of the proposed plans for cherry point being turned into the Gateway Pacific Terminal. My main concern is about the environmental issues that will be involved with the coming and going of copious amounts of coal, and how this beautiful city will react, as well as the county itself.

I moved up to Bellingham roughly 5 months ago from Tacoma WA, mainly because of its beauty and community involvement. I noticed that Bellingham was the cleanest city I have ever visited, and coming from Tacoma, fell in love. So with this in mind brings my first question, how will Bellingham be affected in 50 years with all the exposure of coal dust, diesel fumes and constant noise pollution from the 28 trains that will travel through? How will this affect the wonderful people of Bellingham having to wait 15 minutes out of every 45 minutes of the day for a train to creep by? How long will the trains take to travel through town? It seems that the few trains that travel through the city already take long enough to completely pass, and there is already enough noise pollution, so how much more is the city going to have to deal with.

I am all for jobs, and giving this small community something that will help it grow, but how many jobs will actually be created? According to gatewaypacificterminal.com, apparently after full construction, there will be 4,400 jobs, but how many fields of work will be available? If Seattle pushed past the coal trains, as well as Tacoma and Everett, then Bellingham, the city that outlawed plastic bags, should be more then willing to say no to coal.

Coal comes from underground, just like oil. Oil is horrible for the environment, when being used or god forbid, spilled. Oil spills have devastating affects when they occur, and take many months, if not years, to clean up. When coal is being shipped, especially in open rail cars, coal dust enters the air. This is something that needs to be taken seriously. How will breathing in coal dust everyday affect us? What will coal dust do to our already polluted waters; the ones were fighting so hard to keep clean? Not to mention the various chunks of coal that end up falling out of the cars? While working at Hardware Sales one day, I met a man that claimed he is able to heat her house for free, because of the amount of coal he is already finding along the tracks. If it is possible to find along the track, how will 28 trains per day affect the amount of coal “lost”? How can anyone think this is okay, and that mediations will make things better?

In the end, whatever the outcome, this can be taken as a true fact. If GPT is allowed to build at Cherry Point, Bellingham will no longer be the beautiful city I moved to. The city will no longer be clean, or green, but black, loud, and warn. In a thriving city, where local business is what keeps it humble, Gateway Pacific Terminal is not welcomed.

Daniel Fremont (#10904)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
To Whom It May Concern:

Hello, my name is Daniel Fremont, I am a new resident to the beautiful city of Bellingham. I also attend Whatcom community college, where I am working towards my future in the field of environmental science. I am writing this scope on behalf of the proposed plans for cherry point being turned into the Gateway Pacific Terminal. My main concern is about the environmental issues that will be involved with the coming and going of copious amounts of coal, and how this beautiful city will react, as well as the county itself.

I moved up to Bellingham roughly 5 months ago from Tacoma WA, mainly because of its beauty and community involvement. I noticed that Bellingham was the cleanest city I have ever visited, and coming from Tacoma, fell in love. So with this in mind brings my first question, how will Bellingham be affected in 50 years with all the exposure of coal dust, diesel fumes and constant noise pollution from the 28 trains that will travel through? How will this affect the wonderful people of Bellingham having to wait 15 minutes out of every 45 minutes of the day for a train to creep by? How long will the trains take to travel through town? It seems that the few trains that travel through the city already take long enough to completely pass, and there is already enough noise pollution, so how much more is the city going to have to deal with.

I am all for jobs, and giving this small community something that will help it grow, but how many jobs will actually be created? According to gatewaypacificterminal.com, apparently after full construction, there will be 4,400 jobs, but how many fields of work will be available? If Seattle pushed past the coal trains, as well as Tacoma and Everett, then Bellingham, the city that outlawed plastic bags, should be more then willing to say no to coal.

Coal comes from underground, just like oil. Oil is horrible for the environment, when being used or god forbid, spilled. Oil spills have devastating affects when they occur, and take many months, if not years, to clean up. When coal is being shipped, especially in open rail cars, coal dust enters the air. This is something that needs to be taken seriously. How will breathing in coal dust everyday affect us? What will coal dust do to our already polluted waters; the ones were fighting so hard to keep clean? Not to mention the various chunks of coal that end up falling out of the cars? While working at Hardware Sales one day, I met a man that claimed he is able to heat her house for free, because of the amount of coal he is already finding along the tracks. If it is possible to find along the track, how will 28 trains per day affect the amount of coal “lost”? How can anyone think this is okay, and that mediations will make things better?

In the end, whatever the outcome, this can be taken as a true fact. If GPT is allowed to build at Cherry Point, Bellingham will no longer be the beautiful city I moved to. The city will no longer be clean, or green, but black, loud, and warn. In a thriving city, where local business is what keeps it humble, Gateway Pacific Terminal is not welcomed.

Daniel Fremont (#10909)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
To Whom It May Concern:

Hello, my name is Daniel Fremont, I am a new resident to the beautiful city of Bellingham. I also attend Whatcom community college, where I am working towards my future in the field of environmental science. I am writing this scope on behalf of the proposed plans for cherry point being turned into the Gateway Pacific Terminal. My main concern is about the environmental issues that will be involved with the coming and going of copious amounts of coal, and how this beautiful city will react, as well as the county itself.

I moved up to Bellingham roughly 5 months ago from Tacoma WA, mainly because of its beauty and community involvement. I noticed that Bellingham was the cleanest city I have ever visited, and coming from Tacoma, fell in love. So with this in mind brings my first question, how will Bellingham be affected in 50 years with all the exposure of coal dust, diesel fumes and constant noise pollution from the 28 trains that will travel through? How will this affect the wonderful people of Bellingham having to wait 15 minutes out of every 45 minutes of the day for a train to creep by? How long will the trains take to travel through town? It seems that the few trains that travel through the city already take long enough to completely pass, and there is already enough noise pollution, so how much more is the city going to have to deal with.

I am all for jobs, and giving this small community something that will help it grow, but how many jobs will actually be created? According to gatewaypacificterminal.com, apparently after full construction, there will be 4,400 jobs, but how many fields of work will be available? If Seattle pushed past the coal trains, as well as Tacoma and Everett, then Bellingham, the city that outlawed plastic bags, should be more then willing to say no to coal.

Coal comes from underground, just like oil. Oil is horrible for the environment, when being used or god forbid, spilled. Oil spills have devastating affects when they occur, and take many months, if not years, to clean up. When coal is being shipped, especially in open rail cars, coal dust enters the air. This is something that needs to be taken seriously. How will breathing in coal dust everyday affect us? What will coal dust do to our already polluted waters; the ones were fighting so hard to keep clean? Not to mention the various chunks of coal that end up falling out of the cars? While working at Hardware Sales one day, I met a man that claimed he is able to heat her house for free, because of the amount of coal he is already finding along the tracks. If it is possible to find along the track, how will 28 trains per day affect the amount of coal “lost”? How can anyone think this is okay, and that mediations will make things better?

In the end, whatever the outcome, this can be taken as a true fact. If GPT is allowed to build at Cherry Point, Bellingham will no longer be the beautiful city I moved to. The city will no longer be clean, or green, but black, loud, and warn. In a thriving city, where local business is what keeps it humble, Gateway Pacific Terminal is not welcomed.

Daniel Grove (#4666)

Date Submitted: 12/13/2012
Location: Mercer Island, WA
Comment:
This terminal should be considered cumulatively with all other proposed coal terminals on the west coast.

The idea that we're considering polluting our environment in order to enable other countries to damage the world through global warming and atmospheric pollution is just unbelievable. The number of jobs created through this project will be infinitesmal, while the damage that this does would be very high. Our children and grandchildren will suffer significantly due to this project if it goes through.

Please reject this the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal with prejudice.

Daniel Gundersen (#14117)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Stevenson, 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

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.

As a resident in the Columbia River Scenic Area, I oppose increased rail traffic spewing coal dust thru this beautiful Gorge.

Stop this insanity. It's time to switch to renewable energy and not cater to the profit barons of greed.

Daniel Hannon (#5627)

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

Daniel Larguier (#6222)

Date Submitted: 01/07/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I am concerned that the Gateway Pacific Terminal instead of providing employment in Bellingham will actually reduce employment because of the destruction of the herring spawning grounds at Cherry Point that are important for the salmon. This will affect the fishing industry in the county.

Please investigate the consequences of losing this century long vital industry (fishing). Will this result in net loss of jobs and reduced taxes for the county.

Daniel Larguier (#6223)

Date Submitted: 01/07/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I am concerned that the Gateway Pacific Terminal instead of providing employment in Bellingham will actually reduce employment because of the destruction of the herring spawning grounds at Cherry Point that are important for the salmon. This will affect the fishing industry in the county.

Please investigate the consequences of losing this century long vital industry (fishing). Will this result in net loss of jobs and reduced taxes for the county.

Daniel Larner (#12378)

Date Submitted: 01/20/13
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of the Proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal coal export in Washington State.

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.

I have three adult children and so far one grandchild living locally in Bellingham. The toxic effects of burning diesel fuel have been well documented, and the advent of 90 locomotives pushing 18 coal trains through Whatcom County will fill the air with these particulates for my grandson to breathe. Unacceptable! When we add the pollution and the greenhouse effects that will return to us from the coal being burned in China, this ends up being a self-inflicted disaster. Please reject these proposals!

Daniel Mitchell (#8346)

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

Daniel O'Connor (#11360)

Date Submitted: 01/16/13
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
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. 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. 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.

Daniel Pike (#12102)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Mr. Randel Perry, US Army Corps of Engineers, Regulatory Branch
Northwest Field Office
Mr. Tyler Schroeder, Whatcom County SEPA Official Planning and Development Services, Whatcom County
Ms. Alice Walker, Northwest Regional Office, Department of Ecology

Dear Mr. Perry, Mr. Schroeder, and Ms. Walker:
Thank you for your efforts to collect and assess impact concerns regarding the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal at Cherry Point. As a citizen, and as the Mayor of Bellingham at the time this proposal was first brought forward, I have several areas of concern I would like to see fully mitigated before this project is considered for construction. The specific concerns I have are related to the following:
• transportation impacts
• impacts to current and potential employment
• impacts to regional air quality
• cost impacts to local, regional, state and federal governments
• impacts to past and potential public investments
Transportation impacts: This project will impact transportation routes, both freight, commute, and non-commute between Montana and Bellingham. These impacts include increased blockage of at-grade crossings, visual distraction resulting in slowed traffic movements, and disruption of normal and accustomed freight and comute patterns, to the detriment of people and freight relying on the status quo. I would request that these impacts be investigated and mitigated, and that any assigned mitigation should be borne by the proponents.
Impacts to current and potential employment: Several employers have indicated to me that this proposal will hert there current business situation and/or future business plans, to the detriment of their companies and current and prospective employees. To the extent allowed, I request a full economic assessment of this project, including not only what resources, taxes and additions G{PT adds to the local economy, but also what its detriments are likely to be, including issues such as a less positive environment for the types of businesses, focused on sustainability and quality of life, that have targeted this region over the past couple of decades.
Impacts to regional air quality: Please fully address the concerns raised by area physicians and others regarding the detrimental impacts to local air quality. I am particularly concerned with the impacts of diesel emissions from the increased number of diesel locomotives necessary to meet the needs of this project if fully developed. I am also concerned about the potential impact of the emissions to our CMAQ determination, and what impact a degradation of our current compliant CMAQ status to noncompliant would mean to existing businesses in our region.
Cost impacts to local, regional, state and federal governments: As proposed, this project will impose considerable costs to mitigate public safety and transportation challenges created by the large increase in rail traffic. Traditionally, these costs are largely borne by governments at all levels, but at this time in particular, and with a project of this scale, those costs are beyond the ability of government and taxpayers to provide. Please examine how these costs will be borne, and ensure they are appropriately assigned to the proponents.

Daniel Potoshnik (#7723)

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

Daniel Radel (#7611)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Location: Acme, WA
Comment:
My name is Daniel J. Radel and I am concerned about the blowback of coal particulates from China. Several years ago I was in the Hoh Rainforest Visiter Center to ask the Park Ranger a question. He was busy recording pollution readings that they took there. He stated that I wouldn't believe what floated over from China. The Government is already aware and monitoring this. It will not get better but worse. The impact of additional coal burning from coal shipped from Cherry Point will be substantial and add to our already poor air quality. NOAA is already reporting that the blowback from China has sent air quality plummeting below our standards on more that few instances along the West Coast. The effect of this will be far reaching effecting the health of humans and wildlife. I would ask that you study this and project what the added particulates will do to we who live on the coast of the Western United States of America.

Daniel Radel (#7622)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Location: Acme, WA
Comment:
My name is Daniel J. Radel and I am concerned about pollutants entering the Nooksack River Valley both in the water but also the land. The river exists in a valley which funnels all the water and what the water carries into the river itself. By the time it reaches the river the valley acts as a concentrator for all the coal particulates as well as all the diesel emissions from the additional coal trains. The already tenuous health of the river will be further compromised by this. All of this will flow downstream and into Bellingham Bay. This will affect many marine species including salmon, herring and orcas. Salmon are the great fertilizers of our forests bringing the purest form of nitrogen form the only place it is found; the deep waters of the ocean. I ask that you study the wide ranging effects of a diminished salmon run on our forests as well as the effect on the marine life on Bellingham Bay. If we lose this link in the chain of life the consequences will be wide ranging and deadly to the health of the Nooksack River from the deep gorges of the mountains and the forests that surround them to the salt water marine species.

Daniel Radel (#7627)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Location: Acme, WA
Comment:
My name is Daniel J. Radel and I am concerned about the noise and vibration from additional coal train traffic. For the four years I lived in Nugents Corner/Everson the train passed by my backyard. The vibration from the two-four trains shook my house and knocked artwork off the walls. Add the required whistle blast at the nearby crossings and I found my nerves frayed and sleep diminished. I would ask that the effects of this be studied on both humans and livestock. The Noocksack Valley has many dairy farms both cattle and goat and I believe milk production will be diminished. The human cost is also concern as sleep is important to all of us especially our youth in school.

Daniel Remsen (#13495)

Date Submitted: 01/21/13
Comment:
My name is Daniel Remsen and I live in Bellingham, Washington.

I respectfully request that several issues be studied.

Most importantly, I request that a programmatic EIS occur. To examine each of the bulk terminals currently proposed in Washington and Oregon separately is to ignore that they will have cumulative effects. While no single facility might be deemed harmful beyond mitigation, we must know, as citizens who put our trust in regulatory agencies, that our environment is also safe from the greater harm that may follow the development of ALL these facilities and the additional facilities that may follow their construction.

I also wish to see studied the on-site, near-site, local and regional effect of not just the additional trains that GPT would generate, but also of all the trains that GPT proponents say will inevitably be coming through western Whatcom County on their way to Canadian terminals. How many trains is that? Is there a chance that they will have rail congestion and increased accident rates on or near the GPT site and the surrounding community? What will the impacts be on traffic and emergency response times? What will the effects be on taxes and the economy given that many at-grade crossings exist in the immediate area of the GPT site and that they will need expensive upgrades?

Please study the effect on tourism as the reputation of the area is based on clean, green outdoor living and recreation. Will we lose visitation? Our economy is partially dependent upon Canadian shoppers and the taxes they pay here. Will this cause hardship for those who depend on trade for their livelihood?

I wish to see studied the health effects on all who live near the proposed GPT site. The coal dust that settles all around the terminals to the north is evident there. Will that have consequences for us?

I also respectfully request that various impacts upon tribal nations be given due consideration. Please study:
1. Potential damages to the Nooksack River, to Salish Sea ecosystems and fisheries, and to Cherry Point itself; and impacts on traditional livelihoods, natural resources, food sources, culture and religion.
2. Possible infringement of international and treaty rights, and the consequences of such infringement.
3. Any disturbance of archaeological sites, burial sites, and sites of cultural importance.
As recognized in the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve Plan, the Lummi Nation and other tribes have treaty rights in the Salish Sea, as usual and accustomed fishing grounds. How might damaged fisheries; polluted waters, lands and air; altered ecosystems; and increasingly industrialized, crowded waterways impact traditional Native culture and spirituality; employment and livelihoods; natural resources and safe food sources? How might the construction and operations of GPT, and the transport and storage of bulk commodities, including coal, affect the full and proper observation of all relevant rights and treaties?

Xwe’chi’eXen (Cherry Point) is known to have deep spiritual and cultural significance. A burial ground and a sacred site, it is associated with the creation story of the Lummi People and the First Salmon Ceremony. For over 175 generations, Lummi ancestors lived and fished at Xwe’chi’eXen, and it was part of the (now much smaller) Lummi Reservation as established by the Point Elliott Treaty. It was the first site in Washington State to be listed on the Washington Heritage Register and is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. The 2007 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, supported by the President of the United States, includes the right to maintain and protect archaeological and historic sites. I request that a third party archaeological study of cultural significance at Cherry Point be done in accordance with Lummi tribal code, and approved and accepted by a Lummi Nation cultural commission.

As a non-indigenous person, I can't accurately articulate GPT's current and potential damages to culture and spirituality. That is why third-party studies done in collaboration with the Lummi Nation and other involved tribes are necessary. However, I do understand that the impacts would be serious, and that some would likely be irrevocable and impossible to mitigate. I do understand that we in the United States, as citizens and as a nation, have a legal obligation to uphold treaties and other accorded rights, and a moral obligation to help respect and protect the sanctity of Lummi Nation's holy ground.

Thank you, Daniel Remsen

Daniel Reyes (#2307)

Date Submitted: 11/04/2012
Location: Anacortes, WA
Comment:
Scoping Statement
11/04/2012

My name is Daniel Reyes and I Live in Anacortes Washington. I am very concerned that the addition of four Tethys Enterprises Inc. water trains per day will violently impact the delicate ecology of the area where they have plans to build a water bottling plant. I am especially concerned for the Great Blue Heron whose rookery is along the Highway 20 train route. Not only will the Herons and their rookery be affected by the train noise and disruption, they and other creatures will be displaced and/or destroyed by the building of additional rail transportation infrastructure.
Tethys Enterprise Inc. will transport 18,000 tons of products each day. According to public records, Tethys will require four 100-car trains a day. Moreover people will have to construct (off of the main track) new berms; track, trusses, overpasses, and sidings (train car staging areas). Please initiate a programmatic Environmental Impact Statement and investigate the enormous impact that the Tethys beverage bottling plant proposal will have on the Great Blue Heron and other flora and fauna.

Daniel Reyes
910, 4th Street
Apt. #14
Anacortes, WA 98221

Daniel Rosenfeld (#12201)

Date Submitted: 01/16/13
Location: Renton, WA
Comment:
Jan 16, 2013

The Army Corps of Engineers

I strongly oppose the construction of the Proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal coal export in Washington State.

Sincerely,

Daniel Rosenfeld

Daniel Rosner (#4673)

Date Submitted: 12/13/12
Comment:
While preparing the EIS, I urge responsible agencies to fully assess not only *environmental impacts*, but also what impacts the coal trains will have on *transportation mobility, waterfront economies, and public health*. The number of additional coal trains proposed to pass though these densely populated areas is completely unprecedented. The full impact of these coal trains on the entire region
*must* be clearly understood before any decisions are made to allow the project. It is important to understand whether or not the true regional costs outweigh the isolated benefits that would be enjoyed in the Cherry Point area.


Daniel Rosner
Tacoma, WA

Daniel Rundquist (#9016)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Comment:
As a college student in my early 20’s I still have a lifetime ahead of me, so thinking about the future is a must. I want more invested into renewable energies, and more available for mass transportation. With more invested in renewable energy and transport, it will reduce the impact we make on the world. A coal terminal may have a margin for profit, but the impact on our world would not in my eyes be worth it. Please consider the no action alternative.

Daniel Schaffer (#240)

Date Submitted: 09/24/12
Location: Spokane, WA
Comment:
I am a voting constituent and a retired physician interested in the health of our community. 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.

Daniel Schaffer (#3817)

Date Submitted: 12/04/2012
Location: Spokane, WA
Comment:
I wish to go on record as being opposed to the increased shipment of coal by train through the city of Spokane for the following reasons: increased coal dust and diesel particulates in the air in the downtown and residential areas through which the trains pass; increased disruption of traffic at on-grade intersections throughout the local area; the potential damage of our local aquifer in the event of a derailment and spill of raw coal; and the ultimate harm to the environment of burning coal that is too dirty to burn in our own country.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Daniel J Schaffer, MD
3319 W 23rd Ave
Spokane, WA 99224=

Daniel Spero (#11680)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Comment:
To Whom It May Concern,
I am a senior in high school in Bellingham, Washington. I have lived here for my whole life, and although I will be moving away next year for college, I am interested in seeing Bellingham stays just as pristine as it is now. With the construction of the Cherry Point Terminal and the accompanying coal trains, the local environment could be seriously threatened.
The average uncovered coal train loses between five hundred and a thousand pounds of coal en route from its origin to its destination. Additionally, there have been thirty nine coal train crashes nationwide since 2006. The coal lost during transit degrades the rail lines, increasing the likelihood of derailment. Train derailments can kill both the crews of the train and any people who are in the immediate vicinity of the crash. In addition to this, much of the rail line in Whatcom County runs directly along the coast, this proximity to the water increases the possibility of a coal spill into Puget Sound.
These problems are difficult to mitigate. Requiring the coal cars to be covered would improve the everyday pollution, but it does not eliminate the risk of a train derailment. If the coal trains are going to be safely implemented, the track should be moved away from the Sound, and more research should be put into how to properly contain a coal spill. However, BNSF railroad has stated that an alternative inland route is “impractical.” If the company is unwilling to take steps toward mitigating this problem on their own, I do not know if there is a readily available solution. Keeping Bellingham clean should be everyone’s top priority here, so I think that research should be focused on how to keep coal out of our ecosystem with the coal trains.
Sincerely,
A Concerned Citizen

Daniel Spilman (#13801)

Date Submitted: 01/16/13
Comment:
Unfortunately the effects of projects like this are no longer seen as local. The final product of this terminal, the ability to burn more coal in Asia, will affect the next several generations. Our Earth can not absorb the result of this facility coming on line.

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.

Daniel Yeatts (#11199)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Spokane Valley, WA
Comment:
It is amazing to me that proponents of sending coal to Asia do not seem to care about what buring that coal will do to not only Asia, but to the world, in the form of pollution.
That is not even counting for the staggering amount of coal dust the trains produce.

And, while I not familier with the entire rail system that would be involved, here in the Spokane area, it is not capable of that much of an increase in traffic without causing a lot of vehicle traffic congestion at the numerous crossings. That will also cause even more polution from the cars.

Daniel D. Lourie (#14167)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Location: Bozeman, MT
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

Daniel G. Duggin (#14166)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
Location: Bow, WA
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

Daniella Smith (#12111)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Comment:
Hello my name is Daniella Smith and I am a resident of Whatcom County. In this scoping process, I would like the impact of coal dust on Bellingham’s surrounding ecosystems, wildlife, and nature to be studied, particularly areas right along the train tracks and the bay. These ecosystems will be directly affected by the construction of a larger terminal at Cherry Point, and also by the continuous stream of coal dust from trains passing every 41 minutes. It has been calculated that these trains would lose three percent of their coal during transit. That means that five hundred pounds of coal dust will be lost in the travel along Bellingham’s waterfront. This coal dust will cover areas along the train tracks, places like Bellingham’s beautiful Boulevard Park that is filled with healthy, clean nature and that is also a huge tourist attraction in Bellingham. The cover of coal dust in Bellingham’s parks and along the waterfront will have a significant impact on the health of the organisms that reside in the sea, and also the trees that keep Bellingham’s air supply one of the cleanest in the United States.

Is there a possible way to cover these trains during their travel from Wyoming/Montana to the Cherry Point Terminal?

If so, what would be in these “covers” to make them efficient and truly keep the coal dust from escaping?

If this is a possibility, who would fund the project to cover the coal trains?

How would this mitigation, and others that might be applied, be regulated? (The company may agree to the mitigation to receive their permit, but how would we be assured they would follow through with the agreement to cover their trains after receiving the permit? Would the penalty just be a fine if they did not contend with the agreement?)

Overall I would like to know how coal dust has effected ecosystems in other areas that transport coal, and how it will effect the nature specific to Bellingham with the new coal trains. I would also like to know, if mitigations are applied, how they will be implemented and enforced.

Danielle Adams (#12876)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Files:

Danielle Montague-Judd (#4312)

Date Submitted: 12/09/12
Location: Wanship, UT
Comment:
Dear Mr. Perry:

I am concerned about the Cherry Point coal export terminal not only because of the climate impacts of burning coal, but also because of the significant costs associated with extracting and transporting the coal to the terminal.

If permitted, the Cherry Point terminal will generate a massive increase in trains traveling through the region. The environmental impact study on this project needs to consider the consequences on communities throughout the affected region.

I urge the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct an area-wide Environmental Impact Statement that includes Montana and Wyoming to assess the cumulative impact of coal export facility proposals.

Thank you for considering these comments.

Sincerely,


Danielle Montague-Judd
1820 Fox Run Rd.
Wanship, UT 84017

Danne Neill (#2009)

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

Danny Langdon (#1454)

Date Submitted: 10/25/2012
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
GATEWAY PACIFIC TERMINAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT SCOPING REQUEST

Dear Sir/Madam,

My name is Danny Langdon. I live at 5 Oval Court, Bellingham, WA, 98229. What a wonderful, special environment we live in here in Whatcom County and Bellingham. It’s relatively quiet, certainly surrounded by beautiful waterways, majestic forests, great flora and fauna. Just walking in the area gives one a sense of peace and serenity. It’s why I and so many others came to this area of the world and would like to maintain it for our children and their children.

I am writing about the proposal to build a coal export terminal at the Cherry Point Reserve here in Whatcom County. I am specifically concerned with the transportation of coal to the terminal as it passes through Bellingham and Whatcom County. I am concerned how it will adversely affect the well-being of citizens in terms of their general health and quality of life. Specifically, in addition to the coal dust that will surely exist and impact health, I am asking that you address the noise level. As I and others walk Boulevard Park, it isn’t hard to hear the train whistle repeatedly blowing as it passes through town. When I am with my granddaughter she holds her fingers to her ears to protect herself from the noise! You can live a mile or more away and still hear it. I am trying to image its effect 21 or more times around the clock. The impact on those living adjacent to the tracks, as well as within a few blocks, cannot be good for sleeping patterns, as they disrupt psyche and serenity. I know I would get upset hearing that whistle late into the evening and during the night daily, let alone during the day time when I talk and walk on the many trails along the rail line.

Please study the direct and indirect impacts of intermittent train whistles and the rumble of hundreds of coal cars as they pass by homes and businesses within Bellingham and Whatcom County. We need to know the impact it will have on sleeping patterns, anxiety levels, structural damage, and the general well-being of the citizenry. What are the decibel levels that we can anticipate having to constantly hear and their impact on individuals and groups? What effect does the sound have on animals, birds, and fish adjacent to the track in terms of breeding, negative migration from the track area, as well as their well-being as species? Ask yourself, would you live next to the tracks with all that constant sound?

In conclusion, when you do the above suggested study, please see that it is done in an area that fairly replicates our environment in this County, rather than in major cities. We live in a peaceful environment, rich with life, and we deserve to know the specific impact it will have and how it may well change our lives and well-being.

Thank you.

Danny Langdon

Dante Garcia (#6626)

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

Darby Ringer (#11312)

Date Submitted: 01/16/13
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.

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.

Recently, trains leaving Seattle for Bellingham and Vancouver have been cancelled due to mud slides. There have been many cancellations. Frequent mudslides make transportation via railroads an ineffective and impractical way to ship coal. Please stop coal exportation from happening.

Darci Long (#10417)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Mukilteo, WA
Comment:
The study needs to include the impact these additional very heavy trains will have on the slopes, the people living above the train track and the environment. It is only January and there have been over 120 slides on the Everett to Seattle rail line this winter. BNSF has been taking down tall trees on the slopes to reduce the vibration to the ground these trees cause when they blow in the wind. The addition of up to 18 very heavy trains per day will increase the vibration to the slopes, which could cause further slides.
The taking down of the trees has increased the amount of noise and vibration in the homes above the tracks. The study needs to include the impact on property values and the structural integrity of homes and other buildings in proximity to the tracks. In addition, how will the additional noise, vibration and exposure to coal dust effect those living in the area of the tracks.
There are bald eagles living near the homes above the tracks. How will the coal trains effect the natural habitat and health of the eagles as well as the marine animals and coastline.

Darcie Davenport (#1333)

Date Submitted: 10/18/12
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Darcy Haughian (#5698)

Date Submitted: 01/01/2013
Comment:
I have many concerns but the one that turns my stomach is the thought of the polluted ballast in the Chinese ships that will be spilled into our beautiful puget sound to make way for the weight of the coal to be exported. The filthy water from China harbors to weight down the ships before sailing to our coast, will include toxic chemicals and pollutants, algae and other aquatic plants, sea life, critters not know to our waters that will do unthinkable damage to our coastal environments and waters. Our own sea life is teetering due to our own pollution as is evidence in the decline of the orca whale populations and salmon. But we still fish and get shellfish out of our waters here in the Pacific Northwest. The constant dumping of polluted water from China to make way for coal will devastate our waters and marine life as well as our quality of life.

Darcy Riggins-Schmidt (#2139)

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

Darcy Schmidt (#123)

Date Submitted: 09/28/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I live in Whatcom County and 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. The noise from the existing trains is already waking up my family every night. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

Darien Payne (#4711)

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

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.

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.

Transporting coal across the Northwest has environmental impacts on a local, regional, and global scale. All of the environmental impacts are negative. The potential economic benefits are heavily outweighed by the negative environmental consequences. We must develop renewable energy and environmentally beneficial ways to stimulate our economy and grow jobs.





Darien Payne
4924 322nd Ave SE
Fall City, WA 98024

Darlene Compton (#4992)

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

Darlene Demello (#1337)

Date Submitted: 10/11/12
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Darlene Mindrum (#9740)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Bow, WA
Comment:
There are numerous reasons why I oppose the proposed coal terminal. It will increase undesirable noise, diesel fumes, and admitted coal dust lost from rail cars. This would have a negative effect not only on the health of those living or working near the rail lines but also on streams and air quality far removed from those lines. The increased number of trains will cause inconvenience and delays for commuting workers as well as for customers trying to reach local merchants. The addition of more trains would also be a barrier to emergency vehicles, preventing them from reaching their target destinations in an effective, timely manner. The increased volume of the trains would literally split these communities in half. There is almost no one that would not be affected negatively in some way. I feel strongly that the tradeoffs for our communities are not worth the negative impacts of this project.

Darlene Schanfald (#170)

Date Submitted: 09/24/12
Location: Sequim, WA
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington. This proposal would negatively affect several communities by increasing traffic, polluting the 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. And ths is just at Cherry Point. Getting the goal there means having many of the same polluting impacts to communities en route. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

Darol Streib (#14168)

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

Darold Hanson (#1687)

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

Darrel Lloyd (#5984)

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

Darrel Weiss (#6549)

Date Submitted: 01/05/13
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Thank you for considering my perspective.

IMMEDIATE CONCERNS
Please consider how train traffic will affect auto traffic flow in the downtown Bellingham area. I commute from my home nearby to the downtown Bellingham waterfront many times a month and believe the effects of increased rail traffic will dramatically and negatively impact several of the routes I regularly take.

More train traffic at rail crossings that I frequent, especially in auto traffic areas near the waterfront – for example, off Roeder, on Cornwall, accessing Boulevard Park, and Marine Park -- will adversely affect many businesses and organizations where I do business, as well as places that offer (exceptional) recreation opportunities. I value these areas and believe that additional rail traffic will have a considerable impact upon them.

Perhaps the greatest intersection of concern is the Roeder and F Street intersection. Traffic to Roeder would be forced to Bay Street overpass and this would not be a good traffic situation. This is significant considering the possibility of conflicts with future plans and plans already in place for waterfront re-development in that area. (The streets and parks listed in the previous paragraph are other specific examples of areas of immediate concern.)


LARGER & FARTHER REACHING CONCERNS
I also have strong concerns about the impacts of this proposed project on the region, a significant portion of this country, and the world. (It is a large and enormously far-reaching project.) Some of the more urgent of my concerns relate to :

* Impacts and side effects of coal extraction and transport – effects that are too expansive to address in this comment

* Impacts of significantly increasing heavy rail traffic through many communities, large, small, and in between – including communities well beyond our region

* Impacts on the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve – The proponents of this project have vowed to study the Reserve yet have done little, if anything of significance, to collect baseline data on precisely the area that is central to their project. GPT proponents have not demonstrated a serious intention to protect the best interests of the area. (On several occasions they have demonstrated a preference for cutting corners on environmental-related processes in favor of their own special interests.) I believe the increased traffic (land and sea), noise, pollution, and increased risks of a serious accident will have a permanent and detrimental effect upon many and various species and habitat. Because wildlife habitat is being lost at a rapid and steady rate, I believe we have a compelling obligation to protect wildlife that rely upon marine, land, and air habitat in the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve area as well as areas adjacent to and in the vicinity of this project.

* Impacts on air quality for millions (perhaps billions) of people resulting from the extraction, transport, and incineration of coal – potentially extremely far reaching

FINAL POINTS
Once habitat is lost, it is almost certainly lost forever. I don’t believe it is possible to mitigate the inevitable damage that will result from this project to local habitat, which includes: forage fish spawning habitat (including surf smelt and Pacific herring), macro algae habitat (including eelgrass beds and kelp beds), migratory and resident bird aggregation areas, freshwater wetland areas (adjacent to the reserve), salmon habitat, bald eagle habitat, great blue heron habitat, Dungeness crab habitat, ground fish rearing area, marine mammal habitat, and shellfish habitat in and near the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve.

This is a huge project, with huge potential downsides for an area that is already facing a serious loss of unique and important habitat. I urge you to consider these concerns and deny any GPT activity that would adversely affect the quality of life of citizens of this area or adversely impact the natural habitat of our region.

THANK YOU.

Darrell Chapman (#12769)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Comment:
I am a big supporter of building this new terminal. It is long overdue. The North West Washington Counties, not just Whatcom County or the City of Bellingham, need this project to change the face of the Pacific North West. This project is not just about the coal that will be the catalyst to build the terminal, because over time, after the construction that will create many jobs, things will change. Very probably down the road of time coal could change to natural gas, Hopefully there will be more products shipped to Asian Pacific ports than what we now import from that region.

If the people who want kill the port facility because of their short-sightedness regarding the shipping of coal on the rails, and the temporary storage on barges, succeed, they will only hurt the people who want jobs to feed their families and the economy of this entire region.

For the time being the coal trains will continue to roll, as the 14th amendment to the Constitution, and the Railroad Act of 1864 dictate. They will just go to Canada, and nothing but harm will come to the region.

It all comes down to the science, as I told many in the environmental community. When the EIS is done it will say who’s scientific facts hold up. If they are proved right on the harm to the people, no one will want the coal or the port, but if those who want jobs are proved right, then will the environmental community still want to kills the jobs? Only time will tell.

Build the “Port” now. Find a way to fix the rail crossings, and create thousands of jobs in this region for years to come.


Darrell Chapman
Executive Board member
Washington State Building Trades

President Snohomish County Labor Council

425-923-7742

Darrell Hirte (#11732)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Wallace, ID
Comment:
As part of this process for consideration of the Cherry Point site, it seems to me that a greater amount of logic should be applied.
I am not opposed to the principle of coal export. Any consideration that opponents give to the global warming issue seems to me to be beyond the purview of the EIS, both on a macro and micro scale. China is going to obtain the energy somewhere, and they may burn it cleanly or not, and it may have an effect on global warming, but that is not within the power of any U.S. government - federal, state, or local - agency to control.
My comment is specifically directed at the transportation question in two areas:
(1) LOCATION OF TERMINAL. The applicant(s) have their own reasons for the proposed Whatcom County location, but logistical study definitely would indicate it's a poor choice insofar as rail access from the Wyoming/Montana area, regardless of any maritime advantages the Cherry Point site may have. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see, when studying a map, that the location is a logistical nightmare for the remaining rail network.
(2) INADEQUACY OF EXISTING RAIL NETWORK. Given the potential estimated number of coal unit-trains required, it is obvious that the one remaining through carrier (BNSF) is in no position to take on the increased traffic efficiently, if at all. There are several choke-points which would be extremely costly - if not impossible - to alleviate.
Most significant is the poorly designed mainline over Stevens Pass with its lethal Cascade tunnel (ask the employees!), which is already operating at near capacity. BNSF chose a number of years ago to essentially cap their tonnage capacity to the Washington Coast - by first mothballing the former NP line through Stampede Pass, and then by passing on the golden opportunity to acquire the far superior former Milwaukee Road line over Snoqualmie Pass, which incidentally was designed and engineered to be the most direct route with the best grades and tunnel design. Further, its freight line bypassed Spokane; Spokane residents have justifiably voiced concerns about BNSF trains clogging arterials etc.
It's a given that BNSF wants the traffic, but its very doubtful they can handle it without sacrificing service levels throughout the Northwest. For that reason alone, I feel more consideration needs to be given to the two alternate rail routes: rebuilding of the NP Stampede Pass line and/or the former Milwaukee line through Snoqualmie Pass.

Darrell Phare (#8318)

Date Submitted: 01/17/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Prop wash, by the tanker and by the tugboats that dock these monsters is of serious detriment to the natural ecosystem. Aside from the pollutants and impacts to air, health, environment, habitats, quality of life, etc., the damage to what is not seen, that what is under water has far-reaching and long lasting impacts. In my lifetime, I witnessed the decline of the shoreline and near shore environment and wild life. The herring are gone, the smelt are gone, the beach is littered with aluminum fragments and garbage from the shore activities and from the life on tankers while they are in the area. I have seen the impact to the natural tidal flows and sand drift from the piers that jut out from the shore (the function like dams or solid jetties, in actuality). This area of our, the Lummi tribe's homeland, was heavily relied on by our tribe for fishing, clamming, gathering of fruits, berries, materials for our cultural needs and medicines and is still an area of high spiritual use and is regarded as a particularly sacred area by our People. This area is a part of our life and culture, not a resource to be insulted. We were powerless to stop the previous desecration to the "Cherry Point" coastline by Mobile, Intalco, Arco, BP, but we are turning to our Treaty of Point Eliot of 1855, for the purpose that it was signed, to protect us and our future generations from the greed of humans and the disregard for all life to which this area was entrusted. Humans are the only ones that are disregarding their responsibility.
The prop wash and the impacts of the docks to tidal flow and sediment transport work together to keep a large part of the sea bottom in a constant flux being constantly churned and moved about, the aluminum and other pollutants mixed into the sand to become a part of that chemistry. This toxic time-release mixture creates an environment that either kills off a species or makes them toxic for the consumption of fish and humans alike. The more props churning the area, the more damage and toxin transfer. Adding activity is like turning the mixer up another notch and right now its mixing up a storm, one that will only become worse. This cannot go forward!

Darrell Phare (#12416)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
Location: Bellingham, 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.

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.

The proposed coal terminal at Cherry Point, when considering the beach strewn with aluminum 'pebbles' from Intalco, run-off and 'incidental'
affluents from Arco, and BP, the combined ship traffic, roiling of the water from prop wash, increased traffic out of Juan de Fuca Straits, this is a valuable seafood area, herring spawning grounds, and an important site to the neighboring tribes. Don't compound the mistakes already made at Cherry Point out of greed of the few. The true value of the area is work that is being done by many to return this area to it's highest and best use: an important place for LIFE!

Darrell Phare (#13162)

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

This damage to our environment will occur every inch of the transportation route from mine to destination; and then the global impacts will begin. Now is the point where we open our eyes and head in the opposite direction NOT close our eyes and step on the accelerator toward destruction.

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.

Darrell Phare (#13182)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Location: Bellingham, 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.

This damage to our environment will occur every inch of the transportation route from mine to destination; and then the global impacts will begin. Now is the point where we open our eyes and head in the opposite direction NOT close our eyes and step on the accelerator toward destruction.

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.

darren bowler (#4137)

Date Submitted: 12/07/2012
Comment:
In attendance of the hearing in Spokane, WA., I was struck with the following response after listening to rail road employees in particular. Then I will keep my thoughts constrained to the four topics outlined in the scoping. All rail road employee testamonies were either from conductors or engineers who spend vertually all of their travel time at the head end of a train in an air conditioned cab. This means that they are upwind from any coal dust that might blow off behind them. It is no wonder that they "see no coal dust". I, having worked in the rail yard and on locomotives, have seen plenty of coal dust caked to railway equiptment behind or downwind of the locomotive cabs. Look at the coal cars coated with dust. I have also seen plenty of other lubricants, antifreeze and raw sewage leaking onto the balast right over our aquifer, our drinking water.
First scoping topic, sustainable, renewable energy is no new concept and only suffers from the lack of pollitical will in becoming a reality in America. Other countries are decades ahead of us in energy independence with combinations of alternative sources. The false dicotamy, "coal jobs or no jobs" is based in fear of the unfamiliar and needs to be exposed for what it is.
Second scoping topic, potentially affected resources, a concept that we Americans are historicaly short sighted in considering. Counting the long term cost and unintended consequences of our decisions is profoundly deficient and unpopular. How much of our current problems are the result of an unwillingness to look down the road with blinders and filters removed? Had early rail roaders considered the long term consequences of manifest destiny, one would hope that our history of native genocide might look a bit better. There is little that will not be affected by the decision to support the communist Chinese becoming number one world power and number one dirty power consumer. It's much harder to clean up a mess than it is to avoid making one. The idea that if we don't sell it to them then the Canadians will, is falacious reasoning.
Third scoping topic, unavoidable adverse impacts on our immediate economic condition will be short term. However, investment in energy independence from both middle east and far eastern entanglement will be in our long term interest. It wasn't that long ago that MacCarthyites pursued communist sympathisers with relentless fervor. Now they mysteriously crave to hop on their band waggon? The support of the monopolistic centralized power brokers stranglehold on Americans wreaks of China's dictatorial abuse of it's own people. On this grounds alone we should run from this proposal.
Fourth scoping topic, we must avoid repeating the historical pattern of abuse of native people and their land we stole. If you want to know what the rail road will do, given the chance, look at what they've done. To minimize and mitigate the effects of what they will do, the supporters of fossil fuels in this proposal, a fierce public exposure of the science behind human causation of global climate change is of extreem importance. The idea that this local issue should be passed on to an international authority defies principles of conservatism, local control is far preferable than far off centralized loss of control. With this in mind, federal subsidies must be stripped from large fossil fuel corporate interests and reallocated to the local small businesses for the retooling of American workers in sustainable technology.

Darren Smith (#11358)

Date Submitted: 01/16/13
Location: Bainbridge Island, WA
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington that will use strip-mined coal from Montana and Wyoming to ship outside the country. This proposal would negatively affect my community by polluting our air and local waterways, harming existing businesses, increasing tanker traffic 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.

Darrin Rankin (#12274)

Date Submitted: 01/22/13
Location: Bellingham, 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 am also concerned with the negative impacts on the local American Indian communities, their fishing grounds and their traditional way of life. 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.

DARRTL JOZWIK (#7543)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Location: GILLETTE, WY
Comment:
I support the Proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal/Custer Spur. I believe all aspects will be able to be done in a safe, environmentally safe, and responsible manner. Thanks!

Darryl Sclater (#252)

Date Submitted: 09/24/12
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
I am a citizen of the state of Washington and 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.

Darryll Wolfe (#6334)

Date Submitted: 01/08/2013
Location: Camano Island, WA
Comment:
The trains are coming if they stop in Ferndale or go to Vancouver B.C..
The jobs created during construction and the distribution should be here in the U.S..
Those individuals worried about an inconvience while waiting for a train should have thought of this before moving on the wrong side of the tracks.

Darvel Lloyd (#5995)

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

Darvel Lloyd (#5996)

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

Dave King (#12875)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
Location: Portland, OR
Comment:
Exporting coal will cause all kinds of health and safety problems for communities along the train routes and at the terminals. The use of the coal will likely put us over the tipping point for out of control global warming as well as cause a massive increase in pollution. The coal will be used to power even more sweat shops making the employment situation even worse here at home.
So for all these reasons please reject the proposals to export coal.

Sincerely, Dave King

Dave Anderson (#872)

Date Submitted: 10/18/12
Comment:
I have lived in Bellingham since 1977. I write to register my opposition to the coal terminal proposed by Gateway Pacific.

The railroad has always had adverse impacts upon life in Bellingham. Much of the waterfront is spoiled by the track. Noise, in the form of whistles and switching, is a nuisance to me at my residence on the South Hill and at my office in the Eldridge neighborhood.

The prospect of 18 additional trains daily is objectionable in itself. The fact the trains will contribute to pollution is an additional cause of concern.

Please record my request that the effects of a proposed terminal be thoroughly studied and my own opposition to the project.

David B. Anderson

Dave Anderson (#10799)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
To: Whatcom County, the Washington State Department of Ecology and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,

My wife and I live on Cliffside Drive, Bellingham, WA. Our home is one of 42 homes on Cliffside Drive (representing approximately 100 residents). We live within 200 yds of the RR tracks.

We are concerned about the adverse effects from increased diesel emissions and from coal dust particles. We are concerned about this pollution to the air. My wife has asthma. We are also concerned about the pollution to surface water and waters of Bellingham Bay and Nooksack River estuary. Each coal railcar loses roughly 500 pounds of coal dust during each trip to the coast – more than 30 tons per train on average. This coal dust goes into air, water, and land. It also accumulates on the tracks, increasing the risk of derailments.15 In addition to coal dust; all of these trains are powered by diesel engines. In areas where the trains will be idling, the unhealthy increase in diesel emissions could be substantial.

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.

Because airborne coal dust exposure and environmental contamination is a direct impact of GPT, we respectfully request that the EIS include a Health Impact Assessment that would address the following questions:
1. How much coal dust from the mining and transportation of coal can be expected along each section of the rail corridor from the Powder River Basin to the proposed terminal?
2. How much coal is lost from residual dust still on the cars as they leave the coal terminal after unloading (so called “carryback coal”)? How much of the “carryback coal” is expect to be lost in Whatcom County in particular?
3. How much accumulation will result after 50 years of transport (the operating life of the terminal)?
4. How many coal train derailments can be expected along the rail corridor per year of operation of the proposed export terminal?
5. What will be the effect of contamination from coal dust and spills on farm land along the rail corridor?
6. What will be the effect of contamination from coal dust and spills on grazing animals used for human consumption?
7. What will be the effect of contamination from coal dust and spills on fresh water supplies for humans and animals?
8. What will be the effect of contamination from coal dust and spills on marine habitat for fish and other seafood?
9. How many people can be expected to be affected by the increased exposure to mercury and other heavy metal contaminants of coal, such as cancer, including current and projected populations?
10. How many children and adults can be expected to have increased risk of asthma and other respiratory diseases, including current and projected populations?
11. What health and safety impacts may be present at the coal port itself, including increased rates of cancer that have been reported at a large coal port?
12. What is the economic cost of these health impacts? Who pays for the costs?
13. What is the cost of cleanup of the cumulative environmental contamination? How effective is the cleanup? Who pays for the cost?
14. Medical research comes forth at an intense pace. When new health impacts of coal dust and combustion are inevitably identified or quantified, how can the public be assured that their health will be weighed in the balance of ongoing risks/benefits of GPT operations?

And the impact of Diesel Particulate Matter be included
1. How much DPM and toxins (detailed above) will people be exposed to at 50 feet, 100 ft, 200 ft, etc up to 2 miles from the tracks when a train goes by? We request this data to be shown in an easy-to-understand format, including maps with "pollution contours" (isopleths).
2. What neighborhoods will be exposed to even greater DPM and toxins due to trains idling on sidings, both existing and future (a study by Communitywise indicates an additional siding in Bellingham is likely)? How much DPM and toxins will these areas be exposed to?
3. How much DPM and toxins (detailed above) will result from the ships, including ships that are at anchor (staging), at the dock, or in transit?
4. What will the impact of temperature inversion weather conditions be on air pollutants? How high may the concentrations get?
5. How many people live within 50 ft, 100 ft, 200 ft, 500 ft, 1000 ft, 1 mile, and 2 miles along the entire transportation route from Powder River Basin to Cherry Point to the Strait of Juan de Fuca, including current and projected populations?
6. How many of the people living, going to school, or working within the distances above are children, including current and projected populations? Elderly? Have any form of pulmonary or cardiovascular disease?
7. How many increased asthma attacks, ER visits, and hospitalizations will result, including current and projected populations, and including under temperature inversion conditions?
8. How many increased strokes will result, including current and projected populations, and including under temperature inversion conditions?
9. How many increased myocardial infarctions (heart attacks) will result, including current and projected populations, and including under temperature inversion conditions?
10. How many COPD exacerbations will result, including current and projected populations, and including under temperature inversion conditions?
11. How much cancer will result, including current and projected populations?
12. How much acrolein, acetaldehyde, formaldehyde, heavy metals (including but not limited to mercury, lead, and arsenic), 1,3-Butadiene, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or other toxins will be deposited cumulatively? This should be analyzed in a cumulative fashion, (i.e. additive) over the next 50 years (the operating life of the terminal).
13. What are the effects of chronic exposure of the above compounds on: Neonatal and childhood development? Blood and lymphatic systems? Respiratory system? Cardiovascular system? Reproduction? Cancer?
14. What is the cost of cleanup of the cumulative environmental contaminants? How effective is the cleanup? Who pays the cost?
15. What is the economic cost of all of the health impacts combined? Who pays for the costs?
16. Medical research comes forth at an intense pace. When new health impacts of diesel particulate matter are inevitably identified or quantified, how can the public be assured that their health will be weighed in the balance of ongoing risks/benefits of GPT operations?

Respectfully,
Dave and Teresa Anderson

Dave Anderson (#10819)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
To: Whatcom County, the Washington State Department of Ecology and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,

High Bank destabilization.

I live at 3947 Cliffside Drive. Cliffside Community is built along the cliff overlooking Bellingham Bay. There are 42 homes on Cliffside Drive, Bellingham, WA (approximately 100 residents). The BNSF train track runs very close to our homes. Proximity of tracks to our homes ranges from 70’ to 200 yds.
And just east of Cliffside Drive, the tracks are within a few feet of the edge of the bluff.

I have serious concerns about the destabilization of our high bank from the vibrations caused by additional train traffic, from the significant weight of coal trains and from the way that the rail companies route their drainage water away from their tracks.
Currently when the coal trains rumble by, I feel the vibrations in my house, and glasses in the cupboards clink.

1. Please do studies, do actual, local measurements on the effects that the vibrations from increased coal train traffic would have on bank destabilization for our properties and for the bluffs all along the shoreline corridor of Bellingham, Chuckanut, Everett, Edmonds, Seattle, etc.
2. Include studies on how BNSF routes the drainage of water away from their tracks and the impacts that has on our properties and our high banks.
3. Include costs to mitigate these problems and who would pay for them.

Respectfully submitted,
Dave Anderson

Dave Balie (#3570)

Date Submitted: 11/21/12
Location: Bow, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Dave Braun (#1900)

Date Submitted: 10/25/12
Location: Spokane, WA
Comment:
Dear Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Ecology and Whatcom County Council:

I do not live in Whatcom County.

Whatcom County's decisions however affect me. In Spokane.

This is not a simple, isolated issue. It poses a daisy-chain of effects. It's huge.

I oppose 60 trains per day moving through my city, moving poisons through my city, to profit the fossil fuel industry and provide cheap fuel to a competing nation with no regard to the environment.

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.




Dave Braun
724 West York
Spokane, WA 99205

Dave Braun (#5390)

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

Dave Elmendorf (#7988)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Location: Lynden, Wa
Comment:
This area has been designated as an industrial area. Since this proposed use is industrial, lets move along with providing Whatcom County residents with some good jobs.

Dave Fasules (#5203)

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

Dave Johnson (#13527)

Date Submitted: 01/22/13
Comment:
I believe the negatives outweigh the positives: relatively few jobs versus a big increase in rail and traffic congestion, increased noise and diesel pollution and coal dust spread along the rail routes.

We should not be burning more mostly imported oil in order to facilitate another Country's burning more coal.

Here is what should be on the table as minimum conditions:

1) Double tracking the entire route with over or under passes built for any road crossings.

2) Electrification of the entire route using renewably generated domestic electricity. This would eliminate the diesel pollution and have benefits for all other rail traffic.

3) A requirement for covering coal cars with a mechanical lid that completely eliminates fugitive coal dust.

Dave Johnson, Spokane, WA

Dave King (#5991)

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

Dave King (#7405)

Date Submitted: 01/14/2013
Comment:
I am concerned with the effects of exporting coal to Asia on global warming, health of people along the train route, the blocking of roads by long trains and numerous other environmental effects some of which will be a surprise.

But my biggest concern is for the continued export of jobs that are currently here, to Asian employers with lowered energy costs because of the export of cheap coal.

We need millions of jobs building and exporting clean energy infrastructure as soon as possible in order to avoid the rapidly developing climate catastrophe.

Dave King (#13426)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Florence, 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.
This coal if exported it will fuel more brutal sweatshops accelerating the race to the bottom.

Dave Kreimer (#3932)

Date Submitted: 12/05/2012
Location: Seattle, Wa
Comment:
I can hear the trains from my home. I don't want to hear 18 more per day. This would be an exponential increase in the amount of rail traffic over current levels. And, I believe that it would seriously impinge on my quality of life.

The intensity of my objections to this proposal is a 10 on a scale of 10. It is simply unacceptable to expect the citizens along the railway to endure this massive intrusion so that some fat cats can get rich by raping the land and polluting the air.

THIS IS A FUCKED UP PLAN THAT NEEDS TO BE STOPPED.

Dave MacDonald (#6705)

Date Submitted: 01/08/13
Location: Seattle, 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. 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.

My biggest concern is with the inefficiency of transporting. It takes so much dirty energy and is stupendously wasteful that I am stunned that our society would even consider it.

Dave McDougall (#3363)

Date Submitted: 11/21/2012
Location: Kent, WA
Comment:
It seems that the EIS has already been limited to the Gateway Pacific Terminal facilities and modifications to the BNSF Custer Spur only. What about communities, like Kent, all along the way of the rail line that may be subject to the environmental impacts of significantly increased train traffic carrying heavy loads of coal on a daily basis throughout the day/night? How do we get a say in the process? I live within 100 yards of both major rail lines and while I've accomodated my living to the current level of rail activity, the significant increase resulting from the proposed level of coal train operations will make living in my home unbearable, unhealthy, and less safe as well as diminish my property's value.

Dave Miller (#1896)

Date Submitted: 10/26/12
Location: Camas, WA
Comment:
Oct 26, 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.

I am also very concerned about wildlife deaths due to additional train traffic through the wildlife refuges in the western Columbia gorge - Steigerwald Lake, Franz Lake, and Pierce National Wildlife Refuges. In March 2012 I began collecting data on wildlife killed by trains along
2.5 miles of track at the Pierce refuge (just east of Beacon Rock on the Washington side). I found evidence (corpses/skeletons) of 23 animals which had been killed along the tracks, mostly elk, deer,
coyote:
http://i831.photobucket.com/albums/zz238/behindthewaterfall/Pierce%20Body%20Count%2020120311/Bodies.jpg

I returned in July 2012 and found 6 new animals killed - 5 elk, 1 turkey vulture:
http://i831.photobucket.com/albums/zz238/behindthewaterfall/Pierce%20Body%20Count%2020120709/DSC_0248.jpg
http://i831.photobucket.com/albums/zz238/behindthewaterfall/Pierce%20Body%20Count%2020120709/DSC_0249.jpg
http://i831.photobucket.com/albums/zz238/behindthewaterfall/Pierce%20Body%20Count%2020120709/DSC_0250.jpg
http://i831.photobucket.com/albums/zz238/behindthewaterfall/Pierce%20Body%20Count%2020120709/DSC_0251.jpg
http://i831.photobucket.com/albums/zz238/behindthewaterfall/Pierce%20Body%20Count%2020120709/DSC_0256.jpg

Additional train traffic will certainly result in more wildlife being killed by trains.

If all the proposed coal export projects go through, the train tracks will essentially become a fence, since there will be a train on the tracks most of the time -- preventing wildlife migration into and out of the gorge refuges.

I am also very concerned about the cumulative effects of contaminants from the trains - coal dust, diesel exhaust, and wheel lubricants - which will pollute the air, streams (which are used by endangered fish for spawning), and soil near the tracks.

Given the significant effects that proposed coal export terminals will have on our natural resources and public health, strict oversight is essential.

Sincerely,

Dave Miller
3509 NW 3rd Ave
Camas, WA 98607-8322

Dave Nichols (#10222)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Comment:
One would assume the current regulations relating to rail and ship transport of coal would suffice?
Why must millions of dollars be wasted to re examine what is already in place?
Perhaps the need for these agencies to perpetuate and justify their existence covers most of it.
This is why the peope of the world suffer increasing costs of living that are extremely diffiucult for the poor.
No regard is given by the green crowd who already have their standard of living at a satisfactory level!

Dave Plemons (#5126)

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

Dave Potter (#12884)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
Location: Klamath Falls, OR
Comment:
Coal is dirty. It is very polluting at each stage from digging it [inc. destroying W. Va. mountains, creeks, small farms and small communities], to handling/loading it to transporting it. Coal should be phased out. Its use should not be expanded. And its pollution - so long accepted in the Eastern U.S. - should not be accepted in our Puget Sound or anywhere in the West. I grew up in Washington State and now live in Oregon. We do not want or need coal profiteers to bring us the pollution so surely involved with coal.

Therefore I write to support that 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.

Dave Reagan (#5254)

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

Dave Reagan (#8146)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Location: Cheney, WA
Comment:
BNSF Railway's line between Spokane and the Tri-Cities in Washington runs beyond my front yard. Thus, I have had years of opportunity to watch and listen to their freight trains. I have never seen coal dust or grain dust blowing from their unit trains, and do not believe there will be any significant impact on my community from running more such trains. The railroad moves more freight more economically and more environmentally friendly than any other form of transportation. I believe the railroad will comply with all environmental laws in those states where it will be moving these trains. I also believe that if we build the coastal transload facility, it will help resolve our crushing trade imbalance with Pacific Rim countries and China. It will also create much-needed jobs, both at the transload facility and in with the railroad itself. I also believe that concerns of more trains hindering vehicular traffic are baseless. Unit trains generally only stop for crew changes and fuel, and not switching which can tie up crossings. I support the facility and encourage everyone to support it as well.

Dave Shelman (#4267)

Date Submitted: 12/11/2012
Comment:
In this (and every likely) proposed development project related to coal export on the west coast, there are compelling reasons to incorporate consideration of their cumulative impact. Nowhere is this potential affect more concentrated than in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area (CRGNSA).

As I understand the scope of these projects, all coal being transported to NW ports will travel through the CRGNSA. There are a whole range of measurable and predictable negative impacts to this national resource. These include environmental (air, soil and water), economic, recreational and the less tangible yet real quality that led to the NSA designation 26 years ago: its striking visual beauty.

Because of the complex and far reaching effects of these multiple projects, it seems to me that the lead agency for this EIS should be at the federal level.

Dave Shelman (#5628)

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

Dave Voigt (#4605)

Date Submitted: 11/29/12
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
See attached.
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Dave Werntz (#12366)

Date Submitted: 01/21/13
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I am writing to provide scoping comments on the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal project at Cherry Point. I live in Bellingham, Washington, in part because of its high quality of life where I can raise my family in a safe and healthy natural environment. I cross the rail lines almost daily to access the waterfront in and around Bellingham. I also enjoy walking along the beach at Cherry Point and paddling around the San Juan Islands to observe fish and wildlife (including rare and endangered Cherry Point herring, but also eelgrass, water and shore birds, salmon, and orcas) and other natural and cultural resources.

My family and community will be directly impacted by the proposed terminal through increased congestion and noise from coal train traffic, loss of access to our waterfront, exposure to higher levels of toxic pollution in our air and local waterways, delays for emergency responders, economic stress to local businesses, destruction and loss of fish and wildlife habitat at the terminal site, increasing tanker traffic and the potential for serious shipping accidents, and worsening climate change. The impacts of coal export at Cherry Point extend far beyond the terminal and reach every community along the rail lines from the coal mines to the export terminal to the San Juan Islands, Haro and Rosario Straits, and Straight of Juan de Fuca. I request that you to consider these direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement, as well as treaty rights of Indian nations.

There are currently five coal export proposals that would transport as much as 150 million tons through the Northwest. I request the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct an area wide Environmental Impact Statement to assess the direct, indirect, and cumulative impact of these proposals on public health, quality of life, water quality, air quality, state or federally listed fish and wildlife, wetlands and other fish and wildlife habitat, and commercial and Indian fisheries.
I also request that you fully disclose and mitigate potential impacts from development, congestion, pollution, oil spills, sea level rise and acidification, invasive species, and other reasonably foreseeable risks to marine, terrestrial, and public environments resulting from the proposed project.

Dave Wood (#3849)

Date Submitted: 12/04/2012
Location: Cocolalla, ID
Comment:
I would like to go on record as being against any increase in coal trains as they currently run, as well as decreasing the current transport of open coal cars. Watching them travel through our communities is a horrible site, as the coal dust rolls off the back of the cars to pollute the land, air and ultimately the water. This has a huge impact on wildlife both flora and fauna (including us humans).
There is no reason we should continuing coal production, clean coal is a myth.

Dave & Kristi Vanselow (#5956)

Date Submitted: 01/03/13
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Bellinghams waterfront Developement Plans are among the largest and most expensive on the West coast , The plans include Residential developement in the form of High end Condos, Commercial Developement, Parks, trails. It will promote the wonderful waterfront lifestyle we have in this seaside haven of Bellingham, you will be able to walk on the beach and listen to the birds and the waves or enjoy a concert in the park .This wonderful dream was about to become a reality.

Wait! What is that noise ? Did anyone see these trains coming ?There is no worse noise then the high pitch screeching of freight trains, moving squeeky train cars and train horns honking, bringing massive disruption to Boulevard park, the homes, condos and business's along the waterfront.Who will buy an expensive high end condo when they will not want to leave the windows open.

My husband and I were part of that dream, we bought a waterfront condo at the Riptide, with plans to retire and move into the condo in 2015. Not much of a dream if the coal trains come.

As far as were concerned you can develope the waterfront, or you can bring in the trains. Cant accomodate both !

Dave & Sherry Sloggins (#1537)

Date Submitted: 10/22/12
Comment:
see attached
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Dave &Pam Voigt (#3885)

Date Submitted: 11/30/12
Location: Marysville, WA
Comment:
see attached
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Daveen Jones (#2049)

Date Submitted: 10/27/12
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
See attached.
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Daveen Jones (#2127)

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

Daveen Jones (#6986)

Date Submitted: 01/12/2013
Comment:
I saw an article in the Bham Herald that said the state Dept. of Ecology is asking for the public to take photos of a second round of the "king tides" that have been predicted to wash ashore in the Puget Sound region Jan 14-17. The first round included a storm surge which that damaged a restaurant in Birch Bay Dec 17. The article says these tides offer a glimpse of the effects of sea level rise from global climate change. I'd like to see the Gateway Pacific project review include future effects of these more frequent surges and sea level rises upon the new terminal development shore and land area.

Daveen Jones (#6996)

Date Submitted: 01/12/2013
Comment:
I have been collecting recent articles about the slides of mud, rocks, trees, and debris onto the railroad tracks between Seattle and Everett mainly, but further north as well that plague the passenger train travel every winter. They continue to send the freight trains through and despite cleanup by road crews and slide sensors, the increased use along these tracks by more and longer coal trains coupled with an unpredicted slide while a train is passing could result in a derailment in an area near or into the water of the Salish Sea and unreachable by easy means to clean up. I think this should be studied in your review.

Daveen Jones (#7001)

Date Submitted: 01/12/2013
Comment:
I have heard the safety of the huge ships that are carrying the coal and winding through the San Juans on their way to the sea is something that should be studied. Also, there is an increased risk to our shores being affected by invasive species being transferred here in their ballast. Can these ships be made safer and can the ballast being taken up in Asia be purified somehow. I think you should study this.

Daveen Jones (#7002)

Date Submitted: 01/12/2013
Comment:
The Gateway Pacific Terminal map shows several streams and many wetlands and a topography sloping down to the Salish Sea with its eel grass beds which feed the local herring which in turn feeds the salmon runs that local fishers (animal and human) depend. Your review should include a design study of the development of the entire project, and its future expansion, and should address the safety of the transfer of the coal over the water and its stockpiling over that sloping land.

Daveen Jones (#7007)

Date Submitted: 01/12/2013
Comment:
Coal left in the ground for future emergency use is not polluting or contributing to Climate Change. Coal sent to Asia to be burnt now will only extend the day when these nations change to a non-polluting greener option. Plus extending the burning of coal will not only be bad for the health of those in Asian countries, but it will be sending the pollution back in the airstream to us and affecting our health as well. Climate Change is real and it does need to be addressed in this review as it is as important as other issues.

Daveen Jones (#8311)

Date Submitted: 01/17/2013
Comment:
Those of us who live in the Puget Sound region know it to be a very special, truly amazing place. The people who visit us and the tourists who come here are astounded by the natural beauty and by the way the people who live here value greenways, parks, and beaches, locally grown food, culture and the arts, the natural world around us, and clean energy. We understandably feel very protective of the treasure that is our home and cannot help feeling that this one project will change it all, that it does not belong here, and that it goes against everything we believe in. I think you should study the effects the project will have on our quality of life.

Daveen Jones (#10487)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Comment:
Those of us who live in the Puget Sound region know it to be a very special, truly amazing place. The people who visit us and the tourists who come here are astounded by the natural beauty and by the way the people who live here value greenways, parks, and beaches, locally grown food, culture and the arts, the natural world around us, and clean energy. We understandably feel very protective of the treasure that is our home and cannot help feeling that this one project will change it all, that it does not belong here, and that it goes against everything we believe in. I think you should study the effects the project will have on our quality of life.

Davey Davis (#14635)

Date Submitted: 01/16/13
Location: Tacoma, WA
Comment:
see attached
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David Addison (#13810)

Date Submitted: 01/16/13
Comment:
Before giving rubber-stamp approval to this project, an unbiased Environmental Impact Statement of the entire area is merited. The very negative impacts that the transport of strip-mined coal from Montana and Wyoming will cause should be considered by themselves. The adverse effects experienced by the humans at the proposed portal end on a 24/7 basis must not be ignored.

Currently, five different coal export proposals are on the table. Somehow, the negative effects have been conveniently swept under the nearest rug. Until sensible reasoning exists in the review process, table every single on of them. Quick approval of any one of them will be felt for years.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on this matter.

David Ambrose (#2613)

Date Submitted: 11/03/12
Comment:
See attached.
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David Ammon (#10811)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Issaquah, WA
Comment:
Hello,
I was born and raised in the area where Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia come together, coal country. I have personally witnessed the effects of mining, transporting and burning coal and there were always greater problems than promised or anticipated. The words "clean" and "coal" are mutually exclusive. It is time for Washington to be a part of the American forefront of creating energy and jobs from renewable and ever present, inexhaustible sources at our finger tips. We are continually behind the curve on research because the government funds are finite and the corporate ability to obscure information is much less so. The true impact of letting this happen will not appear in any study as I am sure you know due to the unforeseen. This is true of any project but this is unnecessary and supports business interests that do not have our interests or that of our environment in mind. This is bad on so many levels I am baffled why we are even wasting public money studying it. That ship has sailed but we have a chance to stop all the others from our shores. Please consider every aspect of this project. Do not just allow them to make "adjustments" to cover a process of approval rather than one of real evaluation of the impacts on our beautiful state.
Thank you,
David Ammon

David Anderson (#8955)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Comment:
Corporations as a while have can I do to helpproven to be trust worthy. I don't trust any of the rusty is being put out into the public aperture regarding this horrible idea. What

David Anderson (#10745)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
To: Whatcom County, the Washington State Department of Ecology and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,

We live at 3947 Cliffside Drive very close to the RR tracks.

We are concerned about the increased train traffic’s adverse affect on us, as well as the entire region from mines to ports.

We are one of 42 homes on Cliffside Drive, Bellingham, WA. This represents approximately 100 residents. These homes are very close to the BNSF RR tracks, ranging in proximity from 70’ to 200 yds.

Cliffside Drive is the only street by which we can access our homes. The RR tracks cross it at the entrance to our community. Increased train traffic will cut off the only road access to our community, thus delaying essential and emergency services. This would be a very serious impact. As it is now, long coal trains cause delays for us; usually 4 – 8 minutes for a coal train to pass.

An increase of 18-20 trains daily, especially the long coal trains, will greatly increase delays for residents traveling to and from our homes as well as for the businesses, trades people, and deliveries that cross the tracks many times each day. 18 trains daily, multiplied by 5 minutes is 90 minutes of delay, daily.

We have a number of elderly residents and we are also concerned about emergency services being delayed or prevented from reaching our residents. At times, trains are stopped, completely blocking the crossing.

At our crossing, we do not see an easily mitigated option. Perhaps a train trestle could be built and the Cliffside Drive road could be dug down to pass under it. But local tax payers cannot afford this. SSA and BNSF would have to bear the cost.


1. Please include in the EIS what such mitigations would cost and who would pay for them.

2. Please include the impact on our Cliffside community from the proposed increase of train traffic, the delays, the blocking of roads in the EIS studies.

3. Please research and include the impacts to our access and our health in the event of a derailment.

4. And please research these traffic concerns, and derailment concerns for the entire rail corridor that these coal trains will travel from mines to ports and back. There are a tremendous number of communities and businesses that would be impacted by the proposed coal train traffic and proposed coal terminals at Cherry Pt and the others along the Pacific coast.

5. The impact on the entire region needs to be included in the EIS.

6. And please include studies on the cost of rail improvements, adding side rails, safety improvements to the RR crossings and who would pay for those.

Respectfully,
David Anderson

David Anderson (#10816)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
To: Whatcom County, the Washington State Department of Ecology and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,

My wife and I live on Cliffside Drive in Bellingham, WA. We are one of 42 homes on Cliffside Drive, Bellingham, WA. This represents approximately 100 residents. These homes are very close to the BNSF RR tracks, ranging in proximity from 70’ to 200 yds.
We are concerned about the increase of coal trains traveling through our community. We would be adversely impacted by the noise of trains sounding their horns, the noise from the heavy engines pulling the coal trains and the terrible screeching sound of metal on metal. Currently we experience these disturbances day and night. It disturbs our sleep, and it would be terrible to have this noise disturbance increase.
I am a shift worker so some days I am trying to sleep during day hours and at other times of the month sleeping nights.

Studies show that this kind of noise disturbs sleep - (http://www.coaltrainfacts.org/docs/appendix-D.pdf )

Because of the health impacts that will be a direct result of the GPT terminal, we respectfully request that the EIS include a Health Impact Assessment that addresses the following questions:

1. How loud are train engines? Squeaking wheels? Whistle blasts? How loud it this 50 feet, 100 ft, 200 ft, etc up to 2 miles from the tracks? We request this data to be shown in an easy-to-understand format, including maps with "sound contours" (noise isopleths).
2. How much vibration does a coal train produce? How intense is this at 50 feet, 100 ft, 200 ft, etc up to 2 miles from the tracks?
3. How many people live within 50 ft, 100 ft, 200 ft, 500 ft, 1000 ft, 1 mile, and 2 miles along the entire route from PRB to Cherry Point?
4. How much noise and/or vibration wakes an average person? A light sleeper?
5. How much noise or vibration distracts a working person? A concentrating student?
6. For each train along the entire route, how many crossings are there? How many whistle blasts per crossing? How many whistle blasts in total for a single train traveling from Montana to Cherry Point? How many whistle blasts per day in all (x 18 trains)? How many of these are at night during sleeping hours (8 PM to 8 AM)?
7. For each train, including engine noise, vibration, squealing wheels, and whistle blasts, how many people will be awakened, based on current and projected populations? How many children? How many adults? How many elderly? All calculations must include projected populations as well, since the terminal has an operating span of 50 years.
8. How many times per night will a person be awakened, from noise or vibration, who lives various distances from the tracks (including distances: 50 ft, 100 ft, 250 ft, 500 ft, 1000 ft, 0.5 miles, 1 miles, and 2 miles) in all areas and communities along the route, including Helena, Missoula, Spokane, Olympia, Tacoma, Seattle, Everett, Shoreline, Mt. Vernon, Bellingham, and all areas between?
9. How many awakenings per night, including all people along the entire route up to 2 miles away from tracks, including all trains, based on current and projected populations?
10. Considering the noise and vibration, multiple awakenings and resultant fatigue, how many people may potentially have increased blood pressure, or elevated stress hormones, including current and projected populations?
11. What is the total economic cost of increased blood pressure, elevated stress hormones?
12. Considering the noise and vibration, multiple awakenings and resultant fatigue, how many arrythmias, or heart attacks could potentially result from the increased noise, including current and projected populations? What is the total economic cost of the arrythmias, or heart attacks?
13. Considering the noise and vibration, multiple awakenings and resultant fatigue, how many strokes could potentially result from the increased noise, including current and projected populations? What is the total economic cost of the strokes?
14. Considering the noise and vibration, multiple awakenings and resultant fatigue, how much increased mental disease may result from associated stress, including but not limited to: depression, mental instability, neurosis, hysteria, and psychosis, including current and projected populations? What is the potential economic cost of the increased mental disease?

15. Include the costs of mitigations and who would pay for those.
To mitigate train noise, some cities have established quiet zones, in which safety modifications are made to public crossings; exempting trains from their horn soundings at the modified crossing. However, the high cost of significant improvements at public crossings borne by cities and taxpayers has been a deterrent. Moreover, once a crossing is converted into a quiet zone, liability shifts from the railroad to the city for any traffic or personal injury incurred within the quiet zone. (http://www.coaltrainfacts.org/key-facts#noise)

David Anderson (#10822)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
To: Whatcom County, the Washington State Department of Ecology and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,

High Bank destabilization.

I live at 3947 Cliffside Drive. Cliffside Community is built along the cliff overlooking Bellingham Bay. There are 42 homes on Cliffside Drive, Bellingham, WA (approximately 100 residents). The BNSF train track runs very close to our homes. Proximity of tracks to our homes ranges from 70’ to 200 yds.
And just east of Cliffside Drive, the tracks are within a few feet of the edge of the bluff.

I have serious concerns about the destabilization of our high bank from the vibrations caused by additional train traffic, from the significant weight of coal trains and from the way that the rail companies route their drainage water away from their tracks.
Currently when the coal trains rumble by, I feel the vibrations in my house, and glasses in the cupboards clink.

1. Please do studies, do actual, local measurements on the effects that the vibrations from increased coal train traffic would have on bank destabilization for our properties and for the bluffs all along the shoreline corridor of Bellingham, Chuckanut, Everett, Edmonds, Seattle, etc.
2. Include studies on how BNSF routes the drainage of water away from their tracks and the impacts that has on our properties and our high banks.
3. Include costs to mitigate these problems and who would pay for them.

Respectfully submitted,
David Anderson

David Arntson (#10345)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Bothell, WA
Comment:
2012 LNG Export Study
Dear Secretary Steven Chu,
The recent economic study on liquefied natural gas exports by NERA Economic Consulting is a flawed report that must be rejected by DOE.

This industry-friendly group only concludes that LNG export is good economics by focusing on all the money that would flow out of our pockets and go to the natural gas industry and the wealthiest people in our country. The report completely ignores or unfairly dismisses the real costs to hard-working Americans and their communities -- increased costs to heat our homes and businesses, the loss of jobs in industries most affected by LNG exports including domestic manufacturing, and projected costs associated with environmental destruction due to fracking and healthcare costs for those affected by polluted air and water.

The DOE has a responsibility to conduct a complete environmental and economic assessment of LNG exports to truly determine if it is to the benefit of the American public. A full environmental impact statement for LNG exports must be conducted, including the impacts in fracked communities. I deserve to know what the real costs will be to us when sending natural gas overseas. Additionally, rules must be put in place to protect our interests before DOE authorizes any exports.

David Badion (#11087)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
I have concerns about coal on a couple of issues. On one level I'm not opposed to moving coal trains through the city to Bellingham as long as measures are taken to cover the coal. Much like we require citizens to cover their loads when they make trips to the dump, etc. This would greatly reduce the potential release of coal dust into the air.
More importantly I'm greatly distressed that we would be exporting such a dirty fuel to China. We are not requiring China to institute measures to reduce air pollution in their country. Perhaps this is not possible. The short view is that this is China's problem and not ours, but I we need to think more globally. Sending cheap coal to China, to be burned with few if any environmental controls contributes to more greenhouse gases being released into the air and exacerbating global warming.

David Bailey (#4909)

Date Submitted: 12/15/12
Location: Kenmore, WA
Comment:
You have a great responsibility as you scope this environmental review for the proposed Pacific Gateway Terminal.This is not only an issue local to Whatcom County. Communities along the rail corridor serving the proposed terminal will see environmental, health, traffic, and economic impacts.

The coal trains and terminals have the potential to cause harm to the atmosphere (coal dust) and to Puget Sound (runoff, dust and coal spills) fisheries.

This is not only an environmental issue. It’s an issue of economic development. Up to 18 trains a day, each a mile-and-a-half long, will cause unscheduled delays at street-level crossings and slow the movement of goods and workers. It will use up finite rail capacity that our industries like aerospace rely on to move parts and finished products.
It’s also an issue of health and social justice, with some of our most vulnerable communities living along the rail corridor. I urge you to conduct an area-wide and cumulative review of impacts on: the environment; health, equity, and social justice; the rail system; and freight, transit and passenger vehicle traffic.

The financial burden of these impacts should not fall on local communities along the rail corridor. Your EIS should analyze and quantify the costs of mitigating these impacts.
Finally, your review should recognize that this is just one of five coal export terminal proposals in Washington and Oregon. We are counting on you to conduct a thorough and comprehensive review.

As a region, let’s put our energy toward clean technology, green energy, transit, and value-added manufacturing. Let’s send a message to the nation and the world that we need to end our reliance on finite, polluting energy sources. Let’s pursue lasting economic development that sustains rather than harms our environment.

Short term gain in jobs is far outweighed by long term, permanent degradation of our environment.

We can do better. Thank you.

David Bain (#12047)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Bothell, WA
Comment:
Overview

I am a marine mammal mammalogist with over 35 years of experience in my profession. I served on Canada's Resident Killer Whale Recovery Team and as a peer-reviewer for NMFS in its efforts to develop recovery plans and critical habitat designations for Southern Resident Killer Whales. I am a board member of NGOs concerned with killer whale conservation, including NaWhaRe, Orca Conservancy, and Preserve Our Islands. I have a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of California at Santa Cruz.

I am writing to raise numerous concerns over the proposal to build the Gateway Pacific Terminal at Cherry Point. While I share the concerns of many who have already submitted comments regarding potential impacts on people in the region, I will focus my suggestions for scoping on impacts on the marine environment.

Many of these points have been addressed before. First, the proposed Georgia Strait Crossing (GSX) pipeline, which was to carry natural gas from Cherry Point to Vancouver Island, was thoroughly reviewed by Canada’s National Energy Board Joint Review Panel (although concerns over climate change and ocean acidification have increased since that review).

Second, the review of the proposed dock expansion and subsequent shipping of gravel from Maury Island addressed points that are shipping-specific that were not covered in the GSX review.

Third, the terminal would include construction in Critical Habitat for endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales, and coal dust from trains passing over salmon migration routes has the potential to effect prey availability in killer whale Critical Habitat.

The scope of the review should cover all relevant points raised in the first two items, and the completed EIS provide all the information needed to conduct a thorough Section VII consultation for all ESA and SARA listed species in the Salish Sea and along the shipping route to reasonably foreseeable destinations, including but not limited to killer and humpback whales, marbeled murrelets, and listed salmonids. I emphasize consideration of SARA listed species, as many of these are transboundary species, so what happens in the US will affect the Canadian populations of these species. Further, the review should provide information sufficient to assess incidental takes of marine mammals, including but not limited to killer, humpback, fin, right, sperm, minke, and gray whales, Dall’s and harbor porpoises, white-sided dolphins, California and Steller sea lions, harbor and northern fur seals, and sea otters along the shipping route from Cherry Point to ports across the Pacific to which coal can reasonably be expected to be exported.

Concerns raised in the GSX Review

In particular, the GSX review addressed the effects of noise on harbor porpoises, killer whales, Steller sea lions, and other marine mammals; the effects of construction on intertidal and subtidal plants (eel grass, kelp, etc.) and the impact of adding structures to the seafloor on movement and survival of benthic organisms; the potential for hydrocarbon explosions and their effects on marine life.

Concerns raised in the Maury Island Review

The Maury Island review focused on the effects of noise on marine mammals, other effects of vessel traffic such as potential collisions, and the impact of nearshore structures on eel grass and other species in local habitat.

Concerns over Killer Whales and other Endangered Species

The effects on killer whales and other endangered species will require special attention. Prey availability is a primary constituent element of killer whale critical habitat. Thus inland activities that affect prey availability need to be reviewed. These include impacts of coal dust on salmon throughout the Columbia Basin, as well as coastal creeks and rivers supporting salmonids that enter the Salish Sea. As noise can impair echolocation ability, and hence the effective prey availability, the effects of noise from shipping need to be carefully evaluated. The effects of coastal construction, as well as coal dust, on survival of species critical to the food chain leading to killer whales, such as eel grass and kelp, zooplankton, herring and other forage fish, juvenile and adult salmon, as well as other predators on these species need to be considered.

Other important considerations on effects on prey availability include climate change and ocean acidification. Climate change would be accelerated by burning of coal that would remain in the ground if not burned overseas. Estimates of a 40% reduction in prey availability for killer whales by 2040 have been hypothesized in the absence of effective controls on greenhouse gas emissions, so whether exporting coal would accelerate or increase the magnitude of this impact needs to be considered. In addition, burned coal would contribute ocean acidification which is likely to reduce mollusk populations in the Salish Sea. Larval mollusks are likely a key food source for forage fish, so the effect of reductions in their populations on prey available to killer whales needs to be considered.

The effects of chemical pollution need to be considered. This includes impacts on air quality, water quality, and food safety. Air quality is already occasionally unsafe due to emissions from whale watching and other vessels, and cetaceans lack cilia to expel particulates making them more vulnerable to airborne contaminants than other species such as humans. Air quality may be impacted by combustion products, coal dust, and volatile components of unburned fuel.

Water quality may be impacted by heavy metals and other contaminants in coal. These contaminants may bioaccumulate and be ingested, raising further concern about prey safety, as they are already contaminated with PCBs.

Other issues to be considered are taxonomic status and stock boundaries of species found in the Salish Sea. Their legal status depends on whether a population is eligible for ESA listing when it becomes threatened with extinction, and stock status depends on which individuals are considered to be members of the same stock. For example, the taxonomy in common usage for killer whales a half century ago is commonly recognized as inaccurate, but a thorough taxonomic update has not been completed. There have been numerous updates of stock structure of harbor porpoises in the North Pacific in recent decades, suggesting additional work is still needed to clarify stock boundaries and update stock conservation status.

Summary

In summary, construction of the Gateway Pacific Terminal will not only have an impact on habitat in its immediate vicinity, but it is reasonably foreseeable that the transportation of coal to the terminal will impact species that migrate through waters surrounding the terminal, and hence these inland impacts on the marine environment must be included in the scope of the EIS. Similarly, it is reasonably foreseeable that coal will be shipped from the terminal, and the impact of additional ship traffic needs to be considered. It is reasonably foreseeable that combustion of coal will emit carbon dioxide that will contribute to climate change and ocean acidification, and these changes in turn will affect Critical Habitat of multiple ESA listed species. It is also reasonably foreseeable that the human population in the region will increase, resulting in increased shipping traffic and environmental degradation, and the cumulative effects of these impacts with the impacts enabled by construction of GPT need to be considered. Thus to allow weighing the impacts on killer whales, the scope of the EIS should include impacts throughout salmon bearing watersheds at the coal beds and along rail lines to the terminal, in the marine environment from the terminal along shipping routes to foreign ports, and the airshed for combustion products, including the air and water beneath it. The Martinez ruling in the Maury Island case emphasized the importance of considering all relevant issues at once to determine significance, and not subdividing issues for separate consideration until the result was that the small number of points considered together were insignificant in each of many separate reviews. The reviews of the GSX pipeline and Maury Island Dock have more extensive scopes than I had time to restate here, and those issues should be included in the scope of this EIS where relevant. Finally, while my concern is primarily over the impact on marine life, the economic and health impacts on people who make their living in sectors that would be negatively impacted by loss of marine life, such as ecotourism and fish and shellfish harvesting, as well as cultural and health impacts on Native Americans, should be included in the scope of the EIS.

David Behrendt (#6816)

Date Submitted: 01/11/2013
Location: Edmonds, WA
Comment:
I am very concerned about the broad implications of this project, especially the danger of expanding coal burning anywhere/everywhere in the world. My particular personal concern, though, relates to the fact that I live approximately three blocks from the railroad line that would carry so many additional trains daily through my neighborhood in Edmonds, Wash. Coal dust, railroad noise, traffic congestion -- especially near the Washington State Ferry terminal in Edmonds -- and associated hazards are very troubling. All of these things I mention are obviously relevant to the whole Gateway Pacific Terminal Project, so omitting any of them from your study would seriously undermine the credibility of the entire EIS.

David Benedicktus (#6146)

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

David Bill (#10955)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Lopez Island, WA
Comment:
I’m writing with the hat of commercial salmon fisherman and owner of permitted shellfish farm in Lopez Sound in San Juan County. I’m also an investor in two other shellfish farms in the San Juans.

I’m requesting that the Environmental Impact Statement research the world wide impacts due to climate change and on shellfish and the seafood industry in Washington State. Potential impacts of particular concern are:

Climate change due this coal being burned. Obviously a challenging impact to quantify, but undoubtedly the biggest environmental and economic impact of this project will be the climatic effects of the increased CO2 due to burning this huge quantity of coal.
Arguments claiming this coal will be burnt even if we successfully block the Gateway Pacific Terminal don’t stand up in an ethical hearing. It’s like saying, “There are lots of suppliers of heroin/meth/what-have-you to the community so it doesn’t make any difference if I become a dealer.” Coal is the drug of choice with demonstrated serious effects. Those that traffic in the stuff, need to be held responsibility for the effects that come of their trafficking.
The societal costs of the increase in climate change due to the coal transported through this terminal can and must be addressed in the EIS. Drawing on the work of scientists and economists estimating the cost of climate change for the world, such as study published by the DARA group in September 2012, (which estimated the total cost in 2030 at roughly 3.2% of world GDP) and attributing the amount of that climate change due to the coal burned in this project relative to the carbon dioxide or equivalent emissions from all human sources would arrive at a good enough order of magnitude environmental cost of this project.
But some may argue that since gateway pacific is just a part of the whole, it shouldn’t be held responsible for entire climate effects of the coal transported. While I disagree, a method to answer this objection is: Review the amount of coal to be transported by this project and the greenhouse gas contributions of the entire project, which would include the carbon footprint of constructing the infrastructure and then the transportation and finally, the actual burning of the coal itself. Assign a portion of that impact to the construction of this terminal, based on the total cost of the infrastructure involved.
Finally, a mitigation measure would require that the company mitigate the Carbon footprint of this project through some carbon sequestration or investments in efficiency.

Ocean acidification. Puget sound shellfish growers are already experiencing difficulties producing seed as the water in their hatcheries have become more acidic due to the increased dissolved CO2 in the oceans. Growers in Willapa Bay have experienced a multi year run without recruitment of natural oyster “set” which has been blamed on the increased acidity of the upwelled ocean water. Again, mitigation could be required of the applicant as part of the proposal.

Ballast water. Of significant impact to the marine ecosystem will be the release of the ballast water that is carried in the ships when they arrive at the terminal. How will this affect the health of the marine ecosystem in general, and specifically the economically important shellfish industries in Washington State.

Impact of potentially catastrophic vessel accident on the shellfish and fishing industries in Washington state. Potential impacts from such an event range from the contamination of the shellfish or fishing grounds to the deterioration of a market based on the deterioration of the perception of the region’s pristine environment. Much the same thing happened after the Valdez spill with Alaska salmon.

respectfully and in gratitude for this open process,

David Bill

David Bledsoe (#4418)

Date Submitted: 12/12/2012
Location: Friday Harbor, WA
Comment:
Please study the potential impacts of increased ship traffic and the prospects for spills, discharges, underwater noise, collisions, and other ship and cargo mishaps on the marine environment in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Haro Strait, and surrounds.

David Boleneus (#4292)

Date Submitted: 12/09/12
Location: Spokane, WA
Comment:
david boleneus
9910 N Ridgecrest Dr
Spokane, WA 99208-9378

December 9, 2012

The Honorable Gateway Pacific Terminal EIS


Dear null EIS:


As a supporter of the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal in Whatcom County, I encourage you to complete the environment impact statement process based on the same strict federal and state environmental regulations that have been protecting our region for years.

This proposed export terminal project presents Whatcom County with an incredible opportunity to strengthen its economy and improve our area region's quality of life in an environmentally responsible way. We can - and must - grow the economy and protect the environment at the same time.

The critics make it sound like we have to choose between the economy and the environment. I believe that's a false choice. The Northwest has been a national leader in the trade industry for generations, and we can continue to lead the way in an environmentally conscious manner. The Cherry Point project will do just that.

If you will check, you will note that the Cherry Point location is situated between an existing refinery (and its offshore supertanker unloading/loading facility) and an aluminum smelter (and with another offshore large bulk carrier loading/unloading facility). Nearby there is a second refinery with a third attendant offshore loading/unloading facility. The obvious conclusion is that Cherry Point is an ideal location for this project. Furthermore, the proposed Cherry Point coal facility is exactly eighteen air miles distant from the large Point Roberts coal loading/unloading and multi-modal container port now operating adjacent to the city of Vancouver British Columbia. Nearly all B.C. coal shipped from mines to the east in the Canadian Rockies is trans-shipped from Point Roberts by very large ocean bulk carrier ships. None of these facilities have blemished records.

As our region's economy continues to struggle, it is essential not to over-regulate or delay the approval process of this project.

I urge you to support both the creating of new, much-needed Northwest jobs to strengthen our economy through increased exports by completing this environmental impact statement in a fair and expedient manner.


Sincerely

david boleneus

David Britton (#1530)

Date Submitted: 10/23/12
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

David Brusco (#10775)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Comment:
The coal will be sold to China one way or another. Most likely the coal will be shipped out of the Point Roberts in Canada, in which case the coal will pass via train through the pacific northwest anyhow. Lets keep the jobs in the pacific northwest instead of giving the canadians more work!!!
I'm guessing Warren Buffet can afford some overpasses to cut down on traffic problems in the effected towns.
I cant think of a better place for the terminal. Have any of you been to Cherry Point/Ferndale out by the refineries? Its in the middle of nowhere!!!
Keep the jobs here!!!

David Buetow (#10531)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Comment:
I am concerned about the effects of the coal dust left on the beaches as the train cars rumble along the Salish Sea. How will this be mitagated and how will we know the shell fish and fish are safe to eat by humans, sea life, birds and other animals that depend on this resource? The winds blow strong on this entire route allowing the dust to contaminate the waters and shore line along the route.

David Buetow (#10536)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Comment:
I have a grave concern with the effects of the trains moving along the shore lines. The effect they will have on the stablility of the hill sides due to land slides caused by continued vibrations from the long and heavy train cars. The added coal dust deposited to the plant life along the route that is essential to the stablility of the slopes.

David Cahill (#1602)

Date Submitted: 10/25/12
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Thank you for allowing us to make comments via e-mail. My comments concern the impact of the proposed additional trains passing through the City of Bellingham. In my opinion, the redevelopment of the former Georgia Pacific (GP) site has the potential to provide many, many more permanent environmentally friendly, high paying jobs than the coal export terminal. In addition, the former GP site has the potential to provide both low-, moderate- and upper-income housing that is essential to service the expected jobs as the area develops. For 25 years, I was involved in the development or substantial rehabilitation of housing which was financed in part or in whole using federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME Investment Partnership (HOME) funds. A requirement for the use of these federal funds is a NEPA environmental assessment. One of the conditions of the NEPA assessment for housing projects is a review the impact of noise upon the proposed project. Noise levels of railroad traffic is a part of that assessment. If adverse noise levels exceed the levels specified by the federal agency and cannot be mitigated, the project cannot be built with federal funds. In the past, the use of these federal funds was essential for bringing additional private and state funding, such as state housing trust funds or federal pass-through funds, for the development of the projects. If the federal funds are not available, it is unlikely that any needed low- income housing would be built in the former GP area or in the adjacent downtown area . If I am not mistaken, potential housing in the former GP site and downtown has been included by the City of Bellingham in meeting the State’s Growth Management Act requirements.

My request is that the EIS include a review of the impact the additional trains would have on the ability of the City of Bellingham to use federal funds in the development of housing on the former GP site and downtown and the potential, if any, for the City to need to make zoning adjustments or to seek additional annexations under GMA to make up for housing that might be lost in those area. Thank you.

David M. Cahill

David Camp (#2870)

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

Scoping Hearing Comments Cherry Point Scoping Comments WA

Dear Scoping Hearing Comments Scoping Comments,

Please halt the Cherry Point coal terminal. Washington has little to gain by becoming the transhipment point connecting Wyoming coal with Chinese polluters. It's bad enough that we have to endure severe pollution of our coastal waters by coal being shipped out; it's even worse that we have to tolerate massive mercury pollution of even our inland rivers and lakes by the airborne pollution that drifts back across the Pacific from that coal being burned in China.

Worst of all, the carbon footprint of this filthy coal is roughly doubled by sending it halfway around the world, loading it on and off ships and trains. The most destructive fuel to our precious climate is made twice as bad by sending it abroad. So let's not do it.

We've recently seen record heat and drought across our nation. Two American cities have recently been drowned by mega-storms. Other nations are suffering much worse. All as we have just seen the warmest decade in recorded history, following another warmest decade, which followed yet another.

Chances of severe catastrophe are very real. We cannot afford to send American coal to China via Cherry Point or anywhere else. Please halt this disaster now.

Sincerely,

David Camp
2729 W Westover Rd
Spokane, WA 99208-9754
(509) 468-4779

David Camp (#5657)

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

David Cantlin (#8143)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Location: Tacoma, WA
Comment:
Rail transportation will cut down on raod traffic. Fewer pollution problems with rail. The region also need the jobs and the Nation needs the capabilities. Rail Transportation is the most safe and efficient way to move freight.

David Carter (#3861)

Date Submitted: 12/05/2012
Location: Portland, OR
Comment:
I live and work in a community close 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 am requesting 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 I feel that objective, rigorous and comprehensive studies should address, include:
NOISE: How will the noise and vibrations of unusually long, heavy and frequent trains impact property values and the structural integrity of homes and other buildings close to the tracks? How will chronic noise exposure affect the health and quality of life of people living, working, and playing nearby?
TRAFFIC PROBLEMS: How will the coal trains affect motor vehicle traffic, transportation, emergency vehicle response times and the flow of commerce in communities along the rail corridor?
FISHERIES & THE SALISH SEA: How will tourism; boating; collision risks; oil/coal spill risks; salmon, crab and herring fisheries; orca whales; and the general beauty, vitality, and livability of the Salish Sea and environs be affected by coal port construction and operations, and by the over 950 annual transits of immense coal ships?
HUMAN HEALTH & SAFETY: How will cancer, heart disease, asthma and other health risks be affected by air and water pollution associated with coal transport and export? How will additional rail and ship traffic affect accident and collision rates? Toxic air pollution crosses the Pacific Ocean from Asia to the west coast of the United States; what would be the local public health impacts of Powder River Basin coal combustion in Asia? What will be the long term global costs to the morbidity and mortality of both human beings and wildlife should we endlessly yield to powerful private commercial interests promoting the mining, transport and burning of fossil fuels?
COST TO TAXPAYERS: How much will we, the taxpayers, ultimately pay for costs affiliated with coal transport and export? Will such direct and indirect costs include necessary upgrades and additions to rail infrastructure; safety measures; public health expenses; the building of under- and overpasses and other attempts at mitigating adverse impacts; lost local businesses and jobs; damaged tourism trade; and decreased property values?

David Ciprut (#8356)

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

David Clausen (#14170)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
Location: Friday Harbor, WA
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

David Culver (#819)

Date Submitted: 10/19/2012
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
My name is David Culver. I am a resident of Whatcom County west of Ferndale. I am a vegetarian and I grow vegetables in my organic garden for my wife and me to eat. My home is 2.8 miles from the proposed Gateway Pacific Coal Export Terminal location at Cherry Point.
I am concerned about the possible adverse impact of coal dust fallout from the coal terminal’s 80 acres of coal piles.
There is a coal export terminal in British Columbia just north of Ferndale called the Westshore Terminal. In 2011 it had an annual throughput of 27.3 million tons of coal.
A comprehensive study done in Canada found that the Westshore Terminal emits 715 metric tons of coal dust per year into the surrounding area near the terminal.
See:
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.

Coal dust can travel for miles.
I have attached a picture of the Westshore Terminal on April 17th, 2012.

We have lots of windy days here in Western Whatcom County and I am concerned about coal dust fallout from the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal 2.8 miles away, with a projected throughput of 48 million tons per year.

Coal is toxic to any living thing. Here is a list of the toxic heavy metals found in coal.

Arsenic, Barium, Cadmium, Lead, Mercury, Nickel, Selenium, Strontium, Vanadium.

If this coal dust falls on my soil it will be there forever. There is no way I could have it removed to make the soil safe again
There are many homes with vegetable gardens in our area and they all add to the significance of this possible adverse impact from the Gateway Pacific Terminal.

I want you to study the following:
1. How far does coal dust travel when blown by the wind?
2. If coal dust falls on my organic garden soil, will the vegetables I grow there be safe to eat?
Attached Image:

David Culver (#898)

Date Submitted: 10/21/2012
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
My name is David Culver. I live west of Ferndale and I often play in the waters of Bellingham Bay, along with many others every day.

I am concerned about the integrity of the railroad tracks at the north end of Bellingham Bay. The sand bank that supports the tracks has a number of areas where it is slipping down toward the waters of the bay. The railroad is concerned enough about this possibility that they have installed movement sensors into the soil along the tracks so they would have a warning of the ground slipping and causing damage to the tracks.

If a coal train were to have a derailment there the rail cars and all of the toxic coal that they carry would end up in Bellingham Bay poisoning the near shore and marine environment for years to come.

I want you to study what measures would have to be taken to guarantee that a derailment could never happen there.

David Culver (#4573)

Date Submitted: 12/12/2012
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
I live west of Ferndale. I am an outdoors person and the waters of the Georgia Straight and particularly the waters of Bellingham Bay and the Cherry Point Marine Reserve are very special to me. I am very concerned about the risk of a catastrophic oil spill from a ship collision or sinking.
The local fishing industry here is a significant part of the local economy. An oil spill would devastate that industry and would really hurt the local economy.
Please study the effects to our local economy an oil spill would cause.
Please study the effects to our local fishing industry and our local tourism industry an oil spill would cause.

David Culver (#4577)

Date Submitted: 12/12/2012
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
I am very concerned about the threat of an oil spill from a ship collision or ship sinking.
There are many ships currently plying the waters of the Georgia Straight and this northern portion of Puget Sound. Adding 487 more ships per year to the mix of vessels currently using these waterways will add significant risk of a major oil spill.

Please study the risk of ship collisions from the addition of 487 ships per year to the current load of ships using these waters.

What is the risk now and how will that change with the addition of 487 more ships to the total ship count using these waters?

David Culver (#4591)

Date Submitted: 12/12/2012
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
I am concerned about the economic viability of Bellingham and Whatcom County. For years this area has been known and loved by many because of its clean air and clean water. The community is clean and vibrant with a diverse mix of ethnic backgrounds, which adds to the significance of its reputation in the world.

Please study the effects of adding 18 trains per day to our current railroad traffic load.

18 trains x 5 engines per train = 90 more train engines per day. How will the diesel pollution from 90 more train engines per day affect our clean air?

How many parts per billion of PM 2.5 (Particulate Matter 2.5 microns in size) pollution do we have now?

Current parts per billion of PM 2.5 as measured against the quantity of current levels of train traffic should make it possible to extrapolate what the effect would be to adding 90 more train engines per day to the current PM 2.5 readings. What will the readings be after one year of having the increased level of train engines?

What will the readings be after 5 years of this increased rail traffic?

How long will it take to change this area from one of clean air and water to an area known as a polluted industrial zone?

If people move away from this area it will have a negative effect on our local economy. How many people will move away from this area knowing that to stay would be submitting their lungs to the diesel pollution that 90 more train engines per day would bring?

David Culver (#9242)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
My concern is water usage at the Cherry Point Coal Export Terminal.

I want you to study what happens to the water that is sprayed on the coal piles to mitigate wind-blown coal dust.

I am concerned the water, which after flowing through piles of toxic coal is now toxic itself, will contaminate our ground water. Water is the most important substance to human life and we will not accept the pollution of our drinking water supply.

David Culver (#9247)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
My concern is water catchment at the Cherry Point Coal Export Terminal.

I want you to study the drainage of surface water per the project documents. How will the flow of water runoff from the coal piles combined with rain water be collected and stored?

The water that falls as rain and runs over the ground will be just as contaminated as the water that flows down through the coal piles. As it flows along the coal dust covered ground, where does it go and how is it controlled?

If it is collected in a catchment system where does the ever increasing supply of water go from there?

In winter there won’t be a lot of evaporation, and there will be an ample supply of rain water adding to water already in the water runoff catchment ponds. Where does the water flow to from the catchment ponds?

That water will be toxic to any living thing. It is not acceptable to allow it to be dumped into the waters of the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve. Likewise it is not acceptable to allow it to flow into our ground water system. Please study where it will go and what measures would need to be taken to assure that the toxic pollution in the water is eliminated before it is allowed to flow into our pristine environment or our drinking water supply.

There will be a buildup of toxic coal dust sludge in the bottom of the catchment pond. How will the sludge be handled and how will the pond be cleaned of sludge when it is determined that the sludge has reduced the capacity of storage volume for water?

Where will the toxic sludge be taken and who will have to deal with the toxicity it contains?

David Cunningham (#5012)

Date Submitted: 12/14/12
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
To whom it may concern,

I am concerned about the number of long slow trains going through our city (Bellingham) if the Gateway Pacific Terminal is approved. I am especially concerned about what happens when there is a slide on the tracks south of Bellingham and all the coal trains have been backed up start rolling again as they would have to clear up the backlog and it would seem to me that that could constitute an almost constant flow of rail traffic for some extended portion of the day. Please look at how that would affect all the communities that the trails would be moving through. Thank you for your consideration of my concerns.

Sincerely,
David J. Cunningham

David Curley (#12944)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
Location: Bellingham, 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.
Burning coal produces more global warming gases per unit of energy than any other carbon fuel. I ask that you compute the total cost, in energy consumed and in global warming gases produced, per unit of energy created, for the whole production and transportation chain proposed, from the mines in Wyoming to final use in China. I would like to see a comparison to other sources of energy for China, including renewable sources of energy.
I ask you to compute the total environmental costs of increasing use of coal for energy in China as those costs are experienced in China, and across the Pacific. I ask that you compute the total added costs of air borne pollution that would originates in Chinese coal burning and would be deposited in streams, lakes and along our marine shores in the Western states that would be affected.

David Czuba (#573)

Date Submitted: 10/07/12
Location: Bellingham, 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. It further denigrates the legacy of the native American tribes who viewed the land not as property, but as sacred before pioneer arrivals. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

Sincerely,

David Czuba

David Dassey (#12717)

Date Submitted: 01/16/13
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Comment:
As a public health physician, member of the American Public Health Association and Physicians for Social Responsibility, I strongly oppose the construction of the Proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal coal export in Washington State.

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.

David Dehlendorf (#11413)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Friday Harbor, WA
Comment:
After living and working in Seattle for 22 years, my wife Susan and I retired to San Juan Island in 2002. After exploring other possible retirement locations, we chose San Juan Island primarily because of its pristine environment (land, sea, and air), outstanding recreational opportunities (boating, wildlife, hiking, etc.), the best near shore whale (orca) watching in the world, and the tranquility of its lifestyle. We are concerned that these elements would be under threat if the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal coal exporting project near Cherry Pint becomes operational, with hundreds of additional coal carrying ships passing close to our shores every year.

It is not without reason that the New York Times ranked the San Juan Islands number 2 on its list of “The 41 Places to Go in 2011”. Our local economy is based upon tourist dollars and spending on real estate, etc. made by retirees such as my wife and me, as well as purchasers of second homes, who are all attracted to our islands because of the factors listed above. Any damage to these attractants would have a significant negative impact on our entire county's economy and lifestyle, much more so than would be the case for mainland counties with more diverse economies.

Unfortunately, all of the positive factors that led my wife and me to choose San Juan Island for our retirement home would be threatened if the EIS for the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal facility does not thoroughly assess its risks to our environment, economy, etc. Specifically, I request that you assess the following risks and concerns:

1) The risk of an accident in the Salish Sea involving one of the coal ships that could result in the spilling of bunker fuel and/or coal that contaminates our waters and fouls our shoreline;

2) The emission of air contaminates and greenhouse gases by passing coal ships that fouls the air we and other animals breath and contributes to global warming; and

3) The impact of underwater low-frequency and high-frequency noise from ships that negatively impact marine mammals, including orcas, that use ecolocation and social communications underwater to navigate and forage for food.

Not only should these risks be evaluated from the perspective of the human occupants of our county, they need to be analyzed from the perspective of the orcas, other marine mammals, and other marine and upland vertebrates and invertebrates that live in and transit our nearby marine waters. Without them, our lifestyle and economy would be in ruins.

Without adequately addressing these risks and their possible mitigants, the personal lives and the economy of San Juan Island and the other islands of San Juan County would be threatened by the proposed project.

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


Sincerely,
David Dehlendorf
165 Byron Rd.
Friday Harbor, WA 98250
Tel. 360-378-1082

David Dehlendorf (#11771)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
I am a retiree living on San Juan Island. My wife and I also own a small condo in the Fremont district of Seattle, the address of which is above. We spend time in our Seattle condo almost every month. We are concerned about the negative impact on us and others of coal trains transiting the I5 corridor, including through downtown and suburban Seattle, because of the negative effects they would have on waiting times for cars at railroad grades and air pollution.

In your draft EIS, please evaluate the impact of train traffic throughout the I5 corridor, particularly in Seattle, from increased waiting times at railroad crossings, including for emergency response vehicles and personnel, as well as for Port of Seattle train and truck traffic. Please also evaluate the risk and impact of coal dust and pollutants from train cars and engines on air quality in this corridor.

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

Thanks.

David Dehlendorf

David DeRemus (#13715)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Comment:
The continued usage of coal and other fossil fuels is killing our planet.

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.

David Dresser (#12700)

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

This coal is destructive to the environment in the processing of mining, destructive to the environment from where it is mined to where it is loaded on ships, destructive to the region where the ships are loaded, destructive if lost at sea, destructive to the people in Asia who use this stuff. So the proposal threatens great loss in every way but one. Some people will make a lot of money; mostly the executives of the coal companies.

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.

David Edwards (#13585)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Eugene, OR
Comment:
This being a form letter does not negate the fact that it represents my feelings.

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.

David Ehrensperger (#13969)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Comment:
This is important to me as an American citizen.

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.

DAVID ELKAYAM (#10141)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Bellingham , WA
Comment:
Gateway Pacific Terminal EIS
c/o CH2M HILL,
1100 112th Avenue NE Suite 400
Bellevue, WA 98004

Dear Scoping Committee,
I am a an Allergy & Immunology physician practicing in Bellingham, working in a predominantly outpatient, community care setting. Every day I care for patients with asthma.
I am deeply concerned about the potential health impacts of massive coal export from our region.
There are many potential serious health impacts that merit close scrutiny. I request that the Environmental Impact Statement for the Gateway Pacific Terminal include a comprehensive Health Impact Assessment.
In particular, this Health Impact Assessment, should include careful study and modeling of Diesel Pollution and its health impacts.
I specifically request that you determine diesel pollution effects on admissions for asthma, heart attack, stroke; cardiopulmonary and all-cause mortality; rates of cancer; health care costs for excess morbidity of asthma, cardiovascular disease, cancer.
I request that these health impacts be assessed throughout the state, not just Whatcom County, as the coal trains would pass through all the major population centers in the state en route to the Gateway Pacific Terminal.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Sincerely,
David Elkayam, MD
Bellingham Asthma, Allergy & Immunology Clinic

David Evans (#4665)

Date Submitted: 12/13/2012
Location: Vancouver, Wa
Comment:
Congress spends about half of its discretionary budget on military endeavors.

https://www.warresisters.org/sites/default/files/FY2013piechart-english-color_0.pdf

It maintains more than 800 offshore bases and 12 aircraft carriers, 3 or 4 of which are deployed on a given day. Much of this adventurism is to establish and defend a global carbon-based energy system that is warming our planet past a disastrous tipping point. Most of current expenditure and suffering that results from sustaining this dirty finite system can be avoided if renewable energy projects were developed to replace this 20th century anachronistic system that relatively few people gain profit from.

Military spending is a terrible job creator:

http://www.ciponline.org/research/entry/military-spending-poor-job-creator

Millions of people could be employed building and maintaining proven solar, wind, geothermal, tidal and wave power stations and a new energy grid based on these clean, more localized power projects if Congress could be convinced to direct discretionary spending in a meaningful way towards these projects. The money is already there, but it is currently being spent on wars over oil, gas and pipelines.

Such an endeavor could quickly (in five short years the US mobilized and produced enough ships planes and other materiel, including atomic bombs, to win a global war on two fronts) provide us with sustainable energy, make us more secure, encourage other nations to do the same, and eliminate the need for shipping dirty coal to China or anywhere else.

David Evans (#4866)

Date Submitted: 12/16/2012
Location: Vancouver, Wa
Comment:
Congress spends about half of its discretionary budget on military endeavors.

https://www.warresisters.org/sites/default/files/FY2013piechart-english-color_0.pdf

It maintains more than 800 offshore bases and 12 aircraft carriers, 3 or 4 of which are deployed on a given day. Much of this adventurism is to establish and defend a global carbon-based energy system that is warming our planet past a disastrous tipping point. Most of current expenditure and suffering that results from sustaining this dirty finite system can be avoided if renewable energy projects were developed to replace this 20th century anachronistic system that relatively few people gain profit from.

Military spending is a terrible job creator:

http://www.ciponline.org/research/entry/military-spending-poor-job-creator

Millions of people could be employed building and maintaining proven solar, wind, geothermal, tidal and wave power stations and a new energy grid based on these clean, more localized power projects if Congress could be convinced to direct discretionary spending in a meaningful way towards these projects. The money is already there, but it is currently being spent on wars over oil, gas and pipelines.

Such an endeavor could quickly (in five short years the US mobilized and produced enough ships planes and other materiel, including atomic bombs, to win a global war on two fronts) provide us with sustainable energy and make us more secure. Other nations are already ahead of the curve on this.

It's time that Congress begins doing what is good for We, the People and our planet, rather than what business lobbyists pay them to do for them.

David Evans (#5758)

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

David Fievez (#6291)

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

David Flanagan (#9533)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I am a resident of Bellingham, but am writing to urge you to consider the significant adverse global impact that coal exports through GPT (and similar proposed export terminals along the US West coast) will have on global climate.

2012 was a record-shattering year for US temperatures. 2013 has started off with extreme heat in the southern hemisphere and extreme drought in the US. The climate science is well-established, and everyone involved in this EIS process knows that coal is one of the dirtiest (in terms of climate impact) fuels there is. The only safe thing to do with coal is leave it in the ground.

As part of the EIS, please consider the cumulative climate impact of the carbon dioxide emitted when the coal exported (through all US ports) is burned. Please also consider the cumulative climate impact of the black carbon emitted from the coal burning.

David Flanagan (#9536)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
The projected rate of sea-level rise due to global warming has increased with every major assessment of global warming. Currently, the Greenland ice sheet is melting much faster than anticipated, and there are concerns that ice melt and sea-level rise is accelerating.

Also climate science is clear that global warming will cause an increase in extreme weather events, including torrential rains and storm-surge related flooding.

It can reasonably be foreseen, therefore, that sea level will be significantly higher than it is today during the planned operating lifetime of the GPT coal export terminal. As part of the EIS please study the elevation of the site and how prone it would be to flooding in a future of higher seas, heavier rains, and stronger storm surges. Please study the impact of floods on coal stored at the GPT site, and the impact of coal-contaminated storm runoff on the aquatic ecosystems nearby.

David Flanagan (#9549)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Shipping coal from Cherry Point is an economically risky venture. If built, operation of GPT will be vulnerable to disruption by:

- mudslides on the railroad tracks (a common occurrence in winter)

- sabotage of the railroad tracks by opponents of the coal trains

- damage to the pier or coal conveyer system caused by an out-of-control ship, as recently happened at the coal terminal to the north in British Columbia.

- global economic downturn, such as the one in 2008, which suppressed demand for commodities and idled a large portion of the world's shipping fleet. (Business cycles are cyclical, and recessions impacting the demand for coal are very reasonably forseeable)

- global climate treaties that reduce demand for dirty fossil fuels. (The global community has attempted such treaties before, and as global climate change worsens, it seems reasonably foreseeable that other treaties limiting carbon emissions will be enacted.)

- a turn by China and other Asian countries away from coal and toward renewable energy sources. (The current record levels of air pollution in Beijing will surely cause China to question its current heavy reliance on coal.)

It can be reasonably foreseen, therefore, that there will be short (e.g. mudslides) and long (e.g. recession) interruptions of normal operations at GPT, up to and including completely bankruptcy. As part of the EIS you will certainly be studying the environmental impact of coal storage and coal handling on the site. But in addition to studying these impacts during normal site operation, please also study the significant adverse impact that an unattended mountain of coal would have when the terminal was idled. For example, GPT presumably has plans to actively reduce dust from coal stored on site (by spraying the stored coal, for example). But during a disruption, when the workforce was laid off, how would dust formation be prevented?

David Flanagan (#10132)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I'm a resident of Whatcom county and would like you to consider the environmental impact of the power plant that generates the power to run the conveyers, reclaimers, loaders and other heavy machinery proposed for the GPT site.

The plans submitted with the permit application do not seem to show a power plant or electrical substation of any sort, so it is unclear to me how all the machinery will be powered. Will coal be burnt on site to provide power? Will power be generated with diesel fuel? With other petroleum products from the nearby refineries?

Please determine what the power source will be and what its impact (such as from exhaust) will be on human health and on the nearby waters and the herring spawing grounds.

David Flanagan (#10137)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I'm a parent in Bellingham with children in Bellingham public schools. My daughter's school is 0.3 miles from the BNSF railroad tracks and my son's school is 0.6 miles from the tracks.

I'm concerned about the impact of particulate matter in diesel exhaust from trains going to and returning from GPT. Please study the environmental impact of these particulates, particularly PM(2.5) and smaller particles that can penetrate deep into the lungs. Please specifically include research on the impact of particulates on the immature lungs of children and young adults.

I'm also concerned about the impact of train noise on the ability of students who live and attend school near the train tracks to sleep and study without interruption. Please consider this environmental impact as well.

Finally, please keep in mind that these trains will run from the Powder River Basin all the way to GPT (and to similar proposed terminals along the west coast). Please consider the cumulative impact of coal trains on cardiovascular health, sleep, and studies of all children along the entire length of all the train routes.

david frederick (#3471)

Date Submitted: 11/28/2012
Location: bellingham, wa
Comment:
The export of any product of the United States should have a positive effect on our balance of payments - ie importing more than exporting. I would like to see some effort made in the study to quantify the possible positive effects.

David Gard (#12504)

Date Submitted: 01/21/13
Location: Spokane, WA
Comment:
I am very concerned over the potential negative environmental impacts that would result from construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington. I would like to be sure that the environmental and health risks associated with increased diesel exhaust and escaping coal dust be thoroughly evaluated. I would also like for the impact on groundwater and drinking water be thoroughly evaluated as well. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

David Gavareski (#7487)

Date Submitted: 01/09/13
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

David Gilroy (#11625)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Vancouver, wa
Comment:
1-21-13

Alice Kelly
Northwest Regional Office, Department of Ecology
Re: Gateway Pacific Coal Port

My name is David Gilroy. Briefly my background is as follows:

I am a lifelong resident of Washington State mostly in Clark County.
I worked for over 10 years for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge in the 70s and 80s.
More recently, I lead the efforts to restore Salmon habitat on a local creek that is part of our home owner’s association common area resulting in Clark County awarding us a Sammy Award in 2005 for our efforts.
For the past 20 plus years I have been a sales manager of Dust Control Systems for material handling. My customers include all types of mining including coal mining, in particular Powder River Basin Coal. I have two coal user customers in Washington State, Trans Alta Centralia and Weyerhaeuser, Longview where my Dry Fog Dust Suppression Systems are used. I have numerous customers in the Powder River Basin, several coals-fired power plants there and most of the PRB coal mines.

I believe I have a unique perspective in that I have a history of environmental stewardship and at the same time a deep understanding of the coal industry as it relates to dust control.

In 2008, I was actively involved in the revision process for Coal handling Rules being conducted by the U.S.E.P.A. (40 CFR Part 60 Standards of Performance for Coal Preparation and Processing Plants). The New Rule was published in 2009. After much testimony from various groups and individuals the EPA made a determination of the Best Demonstrated Technology (BDT) for coal handling as follows:

“BDT for coal-handling equipment used on subbituminous and
lignite coals consists of four technologies--fabric filters, passive
enclosure containment systems (PECS), fogging systems, and wet extraction scrubbers. “

My understanding of the EPA rule is that the Gateway Project will need to use one or more of the EPA mandated Best Demonstrated Technologies for their on-site material handling systems. These technologies if properly applied can drastically reduce the amount of dust that can be produced from the transfer of PRB Coal. Any dust that does escape from the transfer points can be contained inside of buildings where the dust can be cleaned up and properly disposed of.

My company manufactures on of the specified BDTs, Dry Fog Dust Suppression Systems or ‘fogging systems” that are considered as having the ability to have ZERO visible emissions from PRB coal conveyor transfer points by the State of Wyoming. In Wyoming the most recent PRB coal fired power plants in Gillette use our system on their transfer points, crushers, screens, rail car loading and storage systems.

It is important to note that any facility that handles PRB coal has a vested interest in providing an effective means to control dust generation. This is due to the highly explosive nature of PRB coal dust if there is a high enough concentration of airborne dust present in an enclosed area. Simply said they do not want to have explosions that can harm or kill their employees or damage their facility. Therefore, I think it is reasonable to assume that the developers of this project will comply with latest EPA regulations as well as other regulations that address dust issues for human health (OSHA for respiratory dust) and fires (NFPA) for these facilities including rail car dumpers and ship or barge loaders. You may refer to our website www.nodust.com to see many of the described dust control applications.

Regarding outdoor storage areas or open storage piles:

During the same EPA review process they considered testimony on controlling dust from open storage piles. They rejected the request for requiring Enclosed Storage and provided the following regulation from the CFR:

“(1) the fugitive coal dust emissions
Control plan must identify and describe
the control measures the owner or
operator will use to minimize fugitive
coal dust emissions from each open
storage pile.
(2) For open coal storage piles, the
fugitive coal dust emissions control plan
must require that one or more of the
following control measures be used to
minimize to the greatest extent
practicable fugitive coal dust: Locating
the source inside a partial enclosure,
installing and operating a water spray or
fogging system, applying appropriate
chemical dust suppression agents on the
source (when the provisions of
paragraph (c)(6) of this section are met),
use of a wind barrier, compaction, or
use of a vegetative cover. The owner or
operator must select, for inclusion in the
fugitive coal dust emissions control
plan, the control measure or measures
listed in this paragraph that are most
appropriate for site conditions. The plan
must also explain how the measure or
measures selected are applicable and
appropriate for site conditions.”

Our firm is a supplier materials used for the construction of manmade Wind Barriers or Wind Fences using DustTamer Fabric. Recently, we supplied materials for the construction of Wind Fence 100 feet tall by 1,500 feet long to protect a large PRB Coal Storage Pile. Wind fences are semi permeable structures that are placed upwind from the pile to reduce the velocity of air movement across the pile. Wind Fences replicate natural wind breaks such as a line of trees. The objective is to reduce air movement to below the velocity required to either prevent dust being generated as the wind blows across the pile as well as from dust that is already airborne from activities such as stacking out via conveyors and or equipment working the pile. I will attach whatever information that I can here, but again refer you our website www.nodust.com for more information, including a paper on Storage Piles from the Journal of Air Pollution Control. My point is that dust from storage piles can be controlled using one or more of the above listed means as identified by the EPA.

Regarding ship loading. The most effective means of control dust from ship loading activities is to use fogging systems at the discharge point of the loader and/or across the ship hold itself. I have used this technology successfully at the Port of San Diego and Port of Long Beach where regulators were requiring that no dust emissions could escape into the water from the ship hold.

In conclusion, from my experience and in my opinion, all of the material handling and storage issues as it relates to dust can be addressed using existing technologies under current EPA Regulations.

Regards,

David F. Gilroy
Sales Manager
Dust Solutions Inc.
14300 NE 20th Ave.
D102-185
Vancouver, WA 98686
Attached Files:
Attached Image:


David Goldman (#6226)

Date Submitted: 01/07/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I am writing to voice my concern about the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal that would be used to transport coal through our region. I have a background in science, including environmental science, and while I understand the need for good jobs in our community, I believe that the best jobs come from industries and careers that keep our workers, community members and environment healthy. I believe that the proposed coal terminal would have a significantly negative impact on our air and water qualities. Please do not approve the Gateway Pacific Terminal project. Let's invest in projects that provide good jobs and a healthy community.

David Gow (#2261)

Date Submitted: 11/03/2012
Comment:
I am writing in regard to the Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT) project's assumptions regarding rail and vessel traffic in the environmental impact review. Specifically, I request investigation, characterization and assessment of the impact weather-related delays are likely to have on: (1) the transportation of coal in (a) the proposed rail corridor and (b) in the waters approaching and in the vicinity of Cherry Point; (2) the effect these delays will have on projected transportation impacts on communities in the study area.

The GPT project's list of "Frequently Asked Questions" (http://bit.ly/GPTfaqs) describes expected rail traffic from the project as a maximum of 9 trains per day. The GPT project describes the trains in this project as originating in the Powder River basin in Wyoming.

I hereby request an investigation and characterization of the number of days per year any segment of the rail route is likely to be closed for weather or other reasons (e.g. mudslides, derailments, etc.), and assessment of proposed transportation impacts in the GPT communities expressed as Maximum Trains Per Day When Route Is Clear.

The GPT project depicts the location of Cherry Point on the Strait of Georgia (http://bit.ly/GPTwhere). The number of transport ships expected to use the GPT pier is stated as a maximum of "1-2 vessels every day" or 487 ships per year (http://bit.ly/GPTfaqs). Vessels must first pass through the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the San Juan Islands archipelago to access Cherry Point .

I hereby request an investigation and characterization of the number of days per year traffic in these waters are likely to be slowed or impassable due to weather conditions or other reasons, and assessment of proposed vessel traffic levels in the waters based upon Maximum Vessels Per Day & Year Adjusted For Sailing Conditions. I further request an assessment of the demands these changes are likely to have on piloting services, emergency vessel assistance services, and spill response readiness in the Straits, based upon Maximum Vessels Per Day Adjusted For Sailing Conditions.

I further request results of the above investigations, characterizations and assessments be used to restate volumes of vessel traffic, rail traffic and resulting conclusions throughout the environmental impact review.

David Green (#6866)

Date Submitted: 01/11/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I’m a recreational fisherman and concerned about the health of wildlife that may be affected by the Pacific Gateway terminal operations.

The EIS needs to study what will be released into the environment and the effect it will have on the aquatic food chain (plankton and nekton) from:

-Vessel traffic including noise, turbulence, wakes,possible collisions, and ballast dumping
Terminal operations especially coal dust and toxic spills
The shading from anchored ships and the docks in regards to predation, migratory changes and spawning
-The increased train traffic including derailment (possibly dumping coal and toxins) along the coast and exhaust

David Griffith (#4668)

Date Submitted: 12/13/2012
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
Comments for EIS on Proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal Custer Spur

Introduction

I am a resident of Seattle’s Queen Anne community, and have lived in full view of the BNSF Railroad tracks for more than 35 years. I am deeply concerned not only about how the huge increase in coal traffic will impact my neighborhood, but also its adverse affects on my city, the state of Washington, and the planet as a whole. I am hoping the Washington Department of Ecology and the Army Corps of Engineers will give serious consideration to a “NO BUILD” alternative for the coal terminal at Cherry Point. Potential destructive forces at work in this project include health hazards, environmental hazards, threats to vegetation, our food supply, and Washington’s fishing industry, in addition to significant impacts on traffic and noise.

Neighborhood Impacts

First, let me write about my neighborhood concerns. The BNSF tracks are only a few hundred yards from one of Seattle’s largest p-patch sites. Here, more than a hundred gardeners tend to vegetable plots that provide hundreds of dollars per plot of fresh produce each year. Surplus food from this facility helps meet the critical needs of local food banks. In our backyard, I have my own garden plot. The EIS study must examine the threat to our community, and others along the BNSF route on the loss of locally grown food damaged by coal dust, and additional diesel pollution from the coal trains. An additional impact will be the health degradation to gardeners who will be exposed to the coal dust.

We have long been exposed to noise pollution from the BNSF trains during all hours of the day. The EIS study also needs to examine the impact of increased noise pollution, not only in the Queen Anne/Magnolia area, but in all residential communities.

City of Seattle Impacts

Second, let’s look at the impacts on the City of Seattle. There are numerous parks along the BNSF tracks that city residents enjoy because of access to clean air and water. The most popular ones include Elliott Bay and Myrtle Edwards Parks as well as the Seattle Art Museum Sculpture Park, Golden Gardens Park and Carkeek Park. Visitors to these parks will be subjected to airborne particles including coal dust, and the residue will eventually work its way into local streams and Puget Sound. The EIS study must consider the environmental and health impacts in these pristine areas.

Hundreds of bicyclists use the bike path that parallels the BNSF tracks through Interbay for commuting.. They are doing their best to reduce their own carbon emissions. But the last thing they want to do, is to breathe the noxious fumes and dust released from the trains. This path is away from traffic and intersections. There is no good alternative for bikers to use to commute downtown to work.

South of downtown are two major sports stadiums that draw tens of thousands of fans to events on more that 100 occasions every year. How will these fans be impacted by more noise, more dust and pollution, and more traffic delays? Traffic delays in this area will also impact Port of Seattle truckers, who will be forced into long waits at rail crossings and may be have to forgo their next load, causing a loss of income. And in an emergency situation, a blocked intersection may mean the difference between life and death. The EIS study must also examine these health and economic losses, along with the impact of additional pollution caused by increased vehicle engine idling due to traffic delays.

By my own calculation, based on one pound of coal dust and particles lost per rail car per mile, the City of Seattle will be the recipient of more than 16 tons of coal material every day. That’s 16 tons, and what do we get? A big mess to clean up, and who is going to pay for it? This coal dumping has the potential of creating an urban wasteland that includes several blocks of prime waterfront property downtown, and stretches through residential and commercial land adjacent to the tracks in Interbay (between the Queen Anne and Magnolia neighborhoods), the western edge of Ballard and the Shilshole Bay marina area, plus the exclusive neighborhood of Blue Ridge and the plush gated community of Richmond Highlands. What happens to the businesses in this area because they lose customers due to noise and pollution? Who pays for their losses? And what about the neighbors who suffer from the inhalation of fumes and dust? Who is going to pay their medical bills? Coal trains do not belong in an urban environment.

State of Washington Impacts

Third, on a statewide perspective, there are cities and towns all up and down the BNSF corridor that will experience environmental impacts similar to Seattle’s. There are also neighborhoods in these areas that have problems similar to the ones affecting Queen Anne. The EIS study must also examine environmental degradation to these locations. Since there are hundreds of miles of track in the state, there will be hundreds of tons of particulate matter dumped across Washington every day. Who pays for this destruction?

Global Impacts and Conclusion

And last, but not least, there is the global impact that coal has on climate change. Even if this coal is not burned in the United States, it will still contribute to increasing the level of CO2 in the atmosphere. Of all the energy sources, coal is by far the worst polluter. Plus it gives off other toxins, such as lead, selenium, and mercury. The EIS study should also examine the contribution of the coal shipped overseas to global pollution and global warming once it has been consumed. And most of all, the Department of Ecology and Army Corps of Engineers, must be willing to recommend, based on harm to Seattle, to its neighborhoods, to the state of Washington, and to the planet, that no coal terminal be built.

Respectfully submitted,

David Griffith
P O Box 19479
Seattle, WA 98109

David Gugish (#1286)

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

David Hall (#1626)

Date Submitted: 10/29/2012
Location: Lopez Island, WA
Comment:
Hurricane Sandy is the latest baddest weather storm, but this is just what global climate change models predict as the CO2 from fossil fuel burning (coal, petroleum).
This project to bring massive amounts of coal through our ports flies in the face of good stewardship of our planet. It is driven, no doubt, by those who intend to make huge profits.
However, our air is not for dumping pollutants, especially now that we KNOW what the effects are.
Allowing this upgrade of the coal economy at the same time we finally will close down the one coal-fired plant in Washington State is testimony to corporate indifference to the real costs of their waste products, which end up without their paying the cleanup in our common air.
DO NOT PERMIT THESE FACILITIES.
David C. Hall, MD

David Hall (#14171)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
Location: Bow, WA
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

David Halpern (#9698)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Friday Harbor, Wa
Comment:
To those considering allowing coal transportation and or storage in or through the Puget sound and Salish Seas: I was born in Seattle and have lived in the Pacific Northwest all my life. I have witnessed the continuous erosion of our environment during my lifetime, a process that should happen in geologic time, instead, speeding ahead on a man-made clock that favors short-term business interests over long-term preservation of the natural resources and beauty of our area. I used to have to portage rapids in my kayak because the salmon runs were too thick. Now it's rare to see a single fish on those same rivers. Flooding in former agricultural valleys now costs us all in terms of destroyed uninsured homes that should never have been permitted. The list goes on. Forestry, mining, strip malls. I urge you to abandon the drive to allow coal transportation, which most certainly would take more from our area than it would bring. Don't use the current slow economy to fuel policies that trade the natural beauty of our area (a benefit for ALL who live here) for the short term profit of a very few. If jobs is your arguement, focus your efforts on eco jobs, tourism, farming, all or which are hands-on vocations with low potential for long-term resources depletion of degradation. Thnak you - David Halpern

David Halseil (#7513)

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

David Hardy (#5540)

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

David Hellene (#371)

Date Submitted: 09/24/12
Location: Seattle, 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.

The railroad tracks (and trains) are some of the most dangerous in the country now.

Do we really want to help China contribute to the Global Warming?

David Henry (#9272)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
ATTN: Legal Counsel, DOE and USACE EIS Scoping Process
RE: Gateway Pacific Terminal cargo

There are many legal questions that you are more than aware of here, but here but I am curious if you have considered the following:

1) If the cargo is solid or liquid that is an EPA regulated toxicant/pollutant, are the impacts of its transportation considered part of the scoping process of the action?

2) If the cargo is combusted into a gas (without EPA regulation) and transported back to the source area, are those resulting impacts considered part of the scoping process?

3) If this were a river, would it be allowed by Federal and state law to take a regulated pollutant upstream into Canada and dump it back in the river and not consider the impacts when the pollutant returns to US waters?

EPA studies in international transportation of air pollution suggests that downwind fallout from Asia would wipe out the air quality improvements in the US (See attached report) The Pacific air flow makes this situation similar to the situation in a river where the pollutant, in this case coal,is brought upstream and combusted and dumped back downstream in a far more harmful form. Why is this not legally required to be part of the EIS process?

In the case of Gateway Pacific Terminal, is Chapter 4 of NEPA (that requires "to look beyond the life of the action to address additive, countervailing and synergistic effects of the sustainability of resources, ecosystems, and human communities.") being integrated into the scoping process?

It is apparent that the scoping of this action must consider:

1) The upwind combustion of all potential products exported from this terminal including coal and Canadian tar sands oil on the downwind areas in particular Western Washington marine waters.

2) The cumulative impact of all 5 proposed terminals, including the rail transportation from Wyoming across Montana, Idaho, and Washington, the impacts on residential roads, and marine areas from Edmonds to Cherry Point along Puget Sound. (Highlight dangerous I-5 Cook Road exit) increased shipping traffic along with the existing Canadian terminal and future terminals on marine safety, and finally include potential spills in the narrow gap in the tumultuous waters of the Aleutians Islands, especially winter transportation (i.e The Kulluk)

3) The economic impacts of downwind fallout on marine plankton, shellfish larvae, and WA state's $270 million-a-year shellfish industry that is one of the biggest in the world and employs roughly 3,200 people. This also includes salmon industry, local subsistence uses, forestry, and sea level rise.(See attached WA state report on the economic impacts of acidification)

4) The impacts of Asian Ballast Water on shellfish and fishing industries of Puget Sound already impacted by 30 listed species of Asian species displacing native species including the Chinese Mitten Crab, Asian Green Crab, Purple Varnish Clam. Ballast water impacts must be included in the EIS scoping Process.

5) Impact on unique Cherry Point Eelgrass meadow and forage fish populations.

On January 1, 1970, NEPA set forth a bold new vision for America. 43 years later will you uphold the law with new scientific knowledge that can document cumulative global impacts of actions?

Finally, the last legal question to consider is: was the EIS process affected when advocates illegally entered the website tampered with public comments, and when people were hired to take limited spaces available for the public to testify? If the public involvement process was affected, what is the mitigation?
Attached Files:

David Herrick (#4765)

Date Submitted: 12/14/2012
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
On occasion, proposals come to light which have few if any redeeming merits. I thought the Coal Trains sounded like a colossally bad idea from just about any imaginable metric.

But I went to the hearing meeting in Seattle yesterday not so much to be further convinced (though I was--just when I thought I'd heard every angle about this wrong-headed idea, something else would pop up like the simple and elegant recording of a current coal train going by a lady's apartment in Bham--positively deafening).

Rather I wanted to see if there were some valid arguments beyond the "almighty jobs" argument (as used unsuccessfully recently at the presidential level). Nope and nada. Their sole argument. repeated again and again.

Who would balance a paltry 1000 (maybe) permanent jobs against the plethora of problems you have in your minutes regarding this proposal?

Frankly, this is such a dumb proposal that its sad to be taking public energy and funds away from other more needy concerns (like how to create clean jobs promoting new technology).

Best,

David A. Herrick, C.P.A.

David Higgins (#3099)

Date Submitted: 11/13/12
Location: Walla Walla, 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. I love my Grandchildren and know that BURNING COAL anywhere in the WORLD is like putting a GUN to their HEADS. This proposal would negatively affect my community polluting our air and water, harming existing business, increasing shipping traffic and noise, damaging aquatic ecosystems at the terminal site, increasing the potential for serious shipping accidents and Exacerbating Climate
Change and DOOMING US to a Nightmarish Future. I urge you to consider
these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

Sincerely,

David Higgins
346 S Palouse St
Walla Walla, WA 99362-3027

David Hirdler (#14172)

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

David Hoopes (#2591)

Date Submitted: 11/06/12
Location: Friday Harbor, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

David Hopkinson (#150)

Date Submitted: 09/30/2012
Location: Bellingham, Se
Comment:
Subject: Scoping for Draft EIS for Proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal

I'm concerned about train derailment. I live in Bellingham and often take the Amtrak to Portland, OR in order to visit my daughter. The train passes beneath Chukanut Drive on a single track. There is a steep slope to one side of the rails and the water of Bellingham Bay on the other. At one location, there is water on both sides of the track. My understanding is that the rail bed is fill, rather than original land.

With each trip to Portland, while passing over this section of track, the possibility of a derailment is apparent. Coal trains cause excessive vibration which impacts the stability of the rail bed. Coal-trains deposit coal dust, which over time tends to soften the rail-bed, due to the loss of drainage.

http://www.bnsf.com/customers/what-can-i-ship/coal/coal-dust.html

Impacts: regarding the impact of additional coal-train traffic. These questions are specific to potential for derailment and track below Chuckanut Bay, but should be applied along the entire rail line where there is 1) difficulty of access and 2) proximity of wildlife, including aquatic wildlife.

1. What would be the increased probability, over time, of derailment?
2. What would be the risks of spilled coal to nearby aquatic wildlife?
3. Would increased probability of derailment be equal for passenger and coal-trains?
4. What equipment is required where there is no flat, stable ground to serve as a crane platform?
5. How long would it take to deploy equipment to clear a derailment?
6. What costs would be associated with delaying train traffic and clearing a derailed train?
7. How long for a derailment to be cleared, so as to allow the resumption of rail traffic?
8. What plans exist for rescue operations in the case of injured passengers and train staff?

Possible mitigations: Cover coal cars or spray to prevent dust-fall at all sensitive locations. Enhance stability of the rail bed according to necessary engineering specifications so as to be less susceptible to increased weight and vibration. Periodic testing of rail-bed for stability and conditions necessary for adequate drainage. Storage of emergency equipment at a nearby location. Set aside funds for insurance or disaster mitigations.

Sincerely,

David Hopkinson
1446 Franklin, B
Bellingham, WA 98225

David Hopkinson (#585)

Date Submitted: 10/05/12
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
October 5, 2012

Subject: Scoping for Draft EIS for Proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal

I once lived in Houston, where auto emissions and refineries resulted in air pollution. Respiratory problems, allergic reactions and asthma attacks were frequent. I believed then that I had allergy problems, but allergy treatments did not seem to help.

Bellingham has clean air. I can breathe without problems.
I'm concerned about increased levels of air pollution – both coal dust and diesel particulate - as a consequence of increased coal-train traffic, specifically in this city, but also through any populated area along the rail line or near the proposed terminal.

In Bellingham, air samples taken within Boulevard Park and further inland could measure the spread of airborne pollution. This is a location where the population is dense, and where people crowd the park for recreation. The breeze from the Bay is fairly constant. This would be an ideal location to assess the distance that airborne particles travel, by taking samples both upwind and downwind.

From the coal mines to the terminal at Cherry Point, thousands of people live and work adjacent to the rail lines. How many will be affected by increased air pollution by the proposed project? Please do studies which 1) estimate the amount of increase in air pollution to be expected by more coal-trains, and which 2) predict the number of persons expected to be negatively impacted by that increase. How many among those who are vulnerable are likely to be affected by air-pollution due an increased number of coal trains and the proposed terminal? What will be the increase in their rates of cancer?

Please study the distance that coal and diesel airborne pollutants travel, with and without prevailing winds, up to five miles from the rail line in Bellingham and wherever else people live close by. Please measure the accumulation of particles where they come to ground (presumably becoming airborne again under the right conditions). Please study the wind speed above which loading or unloading at a terminal or storage site is likely to result in airborne coal dust escaping from the site.

Research:
http://www.coaltrainfacts.org/whatcom-docs-appendix-a
http://www.coaltrainfacts.org/whatcom-docs-appendix-b
http://www.coaltrainfacts.org/whatcom-docs-appendix-c

Mitigations: Require high efficiency diesel engines to be used with coal-trains. Do not allow diesel engines to remain at idle, while stationary, near populated areas. Cover or spray coal to reduce the amount of dust. Require that coal piles at coal storage sites be protected from wind. Prohibit unloading or loading of coal when the wind speed is above a defined level.

Respectfully,
David Hopkinson

David Hopkinson (#593)

Date Submitted: 10/10/12
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
October 11, 2012

Mr Tyler Schroeder, Whatcom County
Mr Randel Perry, U.S. Corps of Engineers
Ms Alice Kelly, Washington State Department of Ecology

Subject: Scoping for Draft EIS for Proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal in Whatcom County.

I live in Bellingham. I retired five years ago and moved here with my wife Judy. I have met several people who work in the local fishing industry or are involved with the well-being of fishing locally. They are very concerned about the proposed project.

My purpose here is to express my concern, relation to the proposed GPT at Cherry Point, regarding the impact on the local fishing industry as a consequence of (1) an increase in the presence of a larger number of cape-class, dry-cargo ships and (2) the building of a pier so large that it will accommodate the simultaneous loading of two cape-class, dry-cargo ships and one smaller ship.

SSA Marine may be reluctant to take responsibility for any impact of dry-cargo ships after they have been loaded and leave the pier, or before the ships dock at the pier, for that matter. I ask that ship traffic be considered as an impact upon the local fishing industry, which is an important part of our economy. The impact of increased ship traffic would not occur without the operation of the GPT. That makes SSA Marine responsible for a foreseeable impact upon the navigation of fishing boats. There will be an increase in the danger of operating a fishing boat near huge dry-cargo ships, especially in bad weather. Fishing is already a risky business.

Please evaluate the risk increase for the fishing industry as a consequence of and increased number of large cargo ships, both in terms of (1) reduced income due to increased difficulties of navigation, and (2) an increased risk of collision.
Alternatives: A smaller pier, accommodating less ship traffic.

Mitigation: Liability insurance purchased by SSA Marine, for ships docking at the GPT pier which are operating within a defined distance from the pier, and within which fishing boat traffic is also likely.

Respectfully,
David Hopkinson

David Hopkinson (#874)

Date Submitted: 10/07/12
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
October 7, 2012

Mr Tyler Schroeder, Whatcom County
Mr Randel Perry, U.S. Corps of Engineers
Ms Alice Kelly, Washington State Department of Ecology

Subject: Scoping for Draft EIS for Proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal in Whatcom County.

I am a Whatcom County resident who lives in Bellingham, having moved here when I retired five years ago. My purpose in writing is to express my concern regarding the true number of jobs in relation to the proposed GPT at Cherry Point.
In the Bellingham Herald today, I read that 823 school children in the county are homeless, I assume because their parents are either unemployed or underemployed. I was a psychologist before retiring. Patients who are now adults described the damage due to unemployment, ensuing poverty, and the loss of their homes. The experience of being homeless leaves enduring emotional scars.
http://www.thenewstribune.com/2012/10/06/2322082/report-823-whatcom-county-students.html
There will be an upsurge in employment among skilled workman as the terminal is built. It is less clear what employment levels will exist when the GPT is operational. CommunityWise Bellingham had a study done which suggests that the GPT may actually result in a net loss of jobs. The number of jobs may go up during construction, and then plummet to a lower level than previously.
http://www.communitywisebellingham.org/economic-impacts-of-the-gpt-development/
I ask that the impact of the proposed terminal upon employment in Whatcom County be included in the scope of the EIS. It is important to know if a net loss of jobs a reasonable expectation. The study cited should be validated by an independent re-evaluation of the data, or by a replication study which gathers additional data, if necessary. SSA Marine is conducting a slick marketing campaign by confidently predicts an optimistic outlook for employment and the local economy, if only the GPT is built. We need facts, interpreted from data that has been collected by politically neutral professionals.
No action does not seem a desirable alternative on the issue of potential employment. A mitigation would be verified employment data from other coal terminals, transparent, made widely available. My question: How many permanent jobs are likely to go to local workers?
“Good Jobs Now” is a rallying cry by those who need them. Unfortunately, desperation driven by unemployment is divisive, as well as destructive. If it turns out that “Good Jobs Now” is a false hope, one which in the long run might undermine our community, this should be taken into account when granting permits. Accurate estimates of employment by politically neutral technical consultants might encourage a more realistic appraisal of the impact of the GPT proposal upon jobs.
Respectfully,
David Hopkinson

David Hopkinson (#2556)

Date Submitted: 11/06/12
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Files:

David Hopkinson (#3254)

Date Submitted: 11/16/12
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I grew up in a house where an oil furnace had replaced a coal furnace. Near a window and close to the furnace in the basement, a wood partition was obviously a place for coal. It was empty, by then, but decades after the last coal delivery, it was not clean. Nor was the basement clean. Evidence of coal dust remained everywhere and no amount of cleaning removed it. The ceiling was unfinished. When people walked overhead, a fine coal dust powder would descend. In every crack and crevice of every surface of the basement, tiny amounts of coal dust remained. Until I came to Bellingham, I had never heard of fugitive coal dust, yet I grew up with it. That I had asthma as a child might not be a surprise, but that is not the reason that I am writing this comment.
What I learned as a child is that coal dust never goes away. You can cover it up, as perhaps we should have done, but it is still present, a covert contaminant that somehow becomes a presence. Coal dust is inert, but is moved by forces that act upon it. I am concerned about the forces present at Cherry Point when coal is being delivered, when it is stored, and when it is being loaded onto ships.
Wind, water, and gravity, will all have their way with the coal dust: first, as it is being unloaded; second, as it is washed down; and finally, as it is being loaded onto dry cargo ships. The core of the GPT proposal is a remarkably long “conveyer belt”, running from from the Powder River Basin to Cherry Point. It will differ in scale, but not in kind, from the system which brought coal to the house where I grew up. The amount of coal will be enormous. The amount of coal dust will be enormous, too.
Please study the fugitive coal dust that will be a consequence of the GPT. Study the adverse impacts that will result as coal dust is carried by the wind and by water runoff. Estimate potential damage to the natural environment and to nearby communities. Of particular concern are the herring which spawn near Cherry Point, and the Eel Grass – crucial links in the food chain which support the salmon upon which we all depend in this part of the country.
There are times when this part of the Pacific Northwest is subject to strong winds. Rain rarely falls in heavy doses, but it can be constant for weeks at a time. I am told that 1.5 million gallons of water per day will be needed to wash the stored coal. Where will dirty water go? What will prevent it from contaminating the nearby bay? Contamination seems inevitable.
Mitigations will be proposed, but fugitive coal dust is notoriously difficult to control – perhaps impossible. Cherry Point and the surrounding area needs to be protected it is an Aquatic Reserve. The fact that SSA Marine has damaged the wetlands already in the absence of a permit to do work raises suggests they will act in good faith as regards environmental protection. The consequences of their failure to act responsibly can be absorbed painlessly as “a cost of doing business”. However, this not a business model that deserves to be permitted to proceed with the proposed GPT project.
A reasonable alternative would be to ship a cargo that is far less damaging than coal, or preferably, to ship a cargo that is not damaging at all. The best alternative is no action – no permit to build the GPT.
David Hopkinson

David Hopkinson (#3259)

Date Submitted: 11/20/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
What's in it for those who live in Whatcom County for GPT to be permitted? A worst-case scenario would be adverse impacts and assumption of debt for infrastructure mitigation, followed by long-lasting collapse of the overseas market for coal. Between short-term economic benefits and long-term sustainability, what will be the overall balance for people in Whatcom Cty? Short-term profits will be externalized to non-local corporations for the most part, while associated costs of mitigations to local infrastructure will be externalized by the GPT to taxpayers at various levels of government.
- Please study short-term (5 year) economic burdens that Whatcom County will be required to assume, and whatever economic benefits may also be an outcome for the County.
- Please study the long-range (20+ year) economic costs and benefits for Whatcom County and also for taxpayers at other levels of government.
Balance of national import/export payments will bring little consolation to people in Whatcom County who are devastated by a failed project, or even those with multiple negative impacts due to a successful project. Projects for shipping coal-export were ruinous for Portland and Los Angeles.
- Please study whatever reasons exist to believe that this project will turn out differently.
- Please study the economic viability of coal export at GPT over the next 20 years as this might impact the income level of the people of Whatcom County.
Promised numbers of jobs at GPT are based upon projections. There is confusion regarding jobs that will be involved in construction of the GPT vs. permanent, operational jobs. There is confusion about direct jobs, presumably permanent, on-site jobs, and indirect jobs, presumably those involving related work such as transport of coal, and new jobs as a predicted for the larger economy.
- Please study how many temporary construction jobs are likely to go to *local* workers, and how much the income from such jobs will benefit Whatcom County.
- Please study how many permanent (onsite) jobs are likely to go to *local* workers at GPT, and what might be the expected income that will benefit Whatcom County.
- Please study the expected increase in jobs which are not directly involved in the GPT or coal-export, and whether that income from those jobs might be expected to benefit Whatcom County.
- Please study the costs to taxpayers in ratio to each of the jobs in each of the above categories.
- Please study the net loss of jobs in Whatcom County, including loss of potential jobs at the waterfront as planned to be redeveloped, and loss of existing jobs due to: reduced tourism, diminished business in downtown Bellingham, loss of jobs in agriculture and fishery and other, related jobs.
- Please study losses that may be expected for existing businesses on the waterfront, which may have diminished levels of customer traffic and reduced profits due to coal-trains blocking crossings?
David Hopkinson

David Hopkinson (#3265)

Date Submitted: 11/20/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Determination of the boundaries of the scope of the EIS cannot be defined only by the requests for what should, or should not, be included during the scoping process. Those proposing the GPT would prefer to restrict the scope to the area surrounding the terminal and the adjacent rail spur – a minimum scope to include only “things that we can control”. This ignores adverse impacts of coal trains coming and going from the Powder River Basin to Cherry Point and back, as well as adverse impacts that are due to a significant increase in maritime traffic as a consequence of the GPT.
Citizens concerned with climate change want to include studies of increased pollution produced by the delivered coal as it is burned in China and enters the atmosphere and the ocean thus expanding the scope of the EIS to a global scale. This enlargement to a maximum may be of scientific interest, but studies of atmospheric and oceanic pollution which occur only as a result of burning coal delivered through the GPT would be dauntingly complex, perhaps impossible to do.
There must be consideration of what is reasonable to expect of an applicant, including limitations upon costs to be imposed, in order to conduct an adequate array of studies. Scoping is not an invitation to exhaustive or excessive demands upon the applicant. Nor is it an occasion for the applicant to avoid significant adverse consequences of the project by overly restricting the boundaries of what should be studied. (Scope beyond “things we can control” - or beyond things that anybody can control – may be the largest part of the problem with the proposal).
As regards the scope of the EIS for the GPT, a reasonable degree of scope should include adverse impacts reasonably to be expected from an expanded number of extraordinarily long, heavy trains using rail beds that were not designed for that purpose, on rail lines not designed for an expanded amount of train traffic. The increase in train traffic will have adverse impacts upon town and cities all along the rail line, disrupting business and transportation patterns which now exist. These adverse impacts should be included in the scope of the EIS. They would not exist without the GPT.
Adding maritime traffic to shipping routes that are already crowded, particularly at choke points such as passages among the islands off the coast of Washington and Umiak Pass in the Aleutians, poses increased risks of ecological maritime disaster, not to mention the possibility of loss of human life. Such an increase in risks would not exist without coal shipped from GPT. These risks must be taken into account and calculated as a study within the EIS.
Summary: A reasonable upper and lower boundary for scoping an EIS for the GPT is to be found in what is practical and what is practicable. The proposal creates not just a shipping terminal, but also a “conveyor-belt” which will move coal from the Powder River Basin to overseas ports. Reasonable boundaries of the scope would include studies of adverse impacts due to the entire process by which the coal is transported, not merely what is adjacent to the terminal at Cherry Point.
Respectfully,
David Hopkinson

David Hopkinson (#4920)

Date Submitted: 12/14/12
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I am grateful that you responded to the issue of the Ferndale hearing being highjacked by hired place-holders by creating a lottery system. The lottery worked well, I thought.

For that matter, I am grateful that you held hearings at all. All of you on the dias acted above and beyond the call of duty. Thank you for your patience. Participation by the public was greatly enhanced.

What happened before the Seattle hearing concerned me. The entire crowd (close to 2000 people) was funneled into the space in front of the doors to the rooms where the hearings would be held. Packed rather closely together, we had to stand in place for an uncomfortably long time.

This was not a bad plan, given the large turnout and the limited space available, but it failed to take into account that some people were disabled, with crutches, canes or other indicators of mobility problems. Others were eighty and ninety years old - obviously frail.

I became concerned that some among those least able to continue to stand any longer might fall to the floor. Given the way that a large number of people had been crowded together, as if into a funnel, there would have been no possibility of providing additional space to anybody who fell. For that matter, there was no way for anybody to leave the situation. It was not the intention of those managing the crowded, but we were effectively trapped.

Before retirement, I was a psychologist who helped people with panic disorder and phobia for being trapped. There are more of them around that any of us might imagine, and generally, they don't do well with crowds.

If even just one person among those least able to stand were to fall, the situation could have gotten out of control. The reaction to a person falling could have set off people who could not see what was happening. It is not possible to predict what would have happened next. The situation was potentially panic-inducing, and therefore, dangerous.
I pushed my way through to the front, but was unable to locate the person in charge.

I am telling you this because some feedback should be provided to the people who managed the crowd at the Convention Center. I don't fault anybody, it's just that this kind of situation calls for additional considerations in the future.

1) people should not been crowded so closely together and open exit lanes provided; 2) an individual visibly identified as the person in charge, could have stood on a chair and spoken to the crowd (using a public address system), informing people what was going to happen, and when; and, 3) chairs or benches should have been made available on the periphery of the crowd for those who could no longer stand.

Thanks again for listening.
David Hopkinson, Ph.D.

David Hopkinson (#5005)

Date Submitted: 12/15/12
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
The 3 Laws of Ecology:

Everything has to be somewhere.
This means to me that coal dust never goes away and that the pollution from burning coal (atmospheric and oceanic) will remain with us forever. Please include in the scope of the EIS an estimate of the amount of coal dust from the terminal at Cherry Point per year, and the burned coal pollution being generated from overseas by the coal that has been exported there from Cherry Point.

Everything is connected to everything else.
This means to me that all of the NW coal terminal ports and all of the coal trains must be included in an area-wide study. Please do an AREA-WIDE study that will show the cumulative consequences of exporting coal when every export proposal is taken into consideration. To limit the scope to Cherry Point is, um, pointless.

There is no free lunch.
Citizens otherwise uninformed (which is most of them) need access to an accurate appraisal of the costs to taxpayers, costs which remain in the background of the proposal for the terminal: infrastructure modifications, loss of current jobs, economic impacts of coal trains, damage to local business and the fishing industry, etc.
Include in the scope, please, overall estimated costs in terms of damage to the local economy, all along the rail line and in every town and city nearby. Also include in the scope the probable damage to flora and fauna due to fugitive coal dust, as well as a comprehensive health assessment as has been requested by Whatcom Docs.

David Hopkinson

David Hopkinson (#5875)

Date Submitted: 12/27/12
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Not every harm can be mitigated. Few people are aware that human activity contaminates the natural environment, nor do they understand that some contamination will be irrevocable. A medical research setting in Houston required a space without any background ionizing radiation. A vault lined with lead was constructed, similar to a bank vault in appearance, with a large steel door. The vault was constructed using steel salvaged from pre-WWII battleships, built prior to atomic testing. All other steel is contaminated with small amounts of radiation, some portion of which is a consequence of human activity, such as the testing of atomic weapons. It is estimated that there have been 2000 atomic tests to date.
“Coal plants emit radiation in the form of radioactive fly ash

which is inhaled and ingested by neighbors, and incorporated into crops. A 1978 paper from Oak Ridge National Laboratory

estimated that coal-fired power plants of that time may contribute a whole-body committed dose of 19 µSv/a to their immediate neighbors in a radius of 500 m.[34]

The United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation

's 1988 report estimated the committed dose 1 km away to be 20 µSv/a for older plants or 1 µSv/a for newer plants with improved fly ash capture, but was unable to confirm these numbers by test.[35]

When coal is burned, uranium, thorium and all the uranium daughters accumulated by disintegration — radium, radon, polonium — are released.[36]

Radioactive materials previously buried underground in coal deposits are released as fly ash or, if fly ash is captured, may be incorporated into concrete manufactured with fly ash.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Background_radiation

)
Unfortunately, amounts of ionizing radiation may be so slight as to be dismissed without recognition of how contamination of the natural environment accumulates. That which occurs with coal-fired power generation on the other side of the world using coal exported locally may have local consequences due to dissemination of the accumulating end-use-products throughout the world. Ionizing radiation is just one example of a consequence which grow in significance as it accumulates over time. It also illustrates the danger of examining only specific consequences of projects piece-by-piece, without ever examining the impact of all projects. Put another way, not only did the scientists who created the first atomic bomb fail to recognize the danger of radiation, surely none of them would have expected 2000 subsequent atomic tests, tests that would create a new source of radioactive pollution, contamination which previously originated only outside of our world.
Historically, an EIS has been limited to examination of local consequences of permitting a project. Certainly, the scope of an EIS cannot include every possible consequence, everywhere. On the other hand, absence of inclusive estimates of pervasive consequences has unquestionably resulted in an increasingly polluted world. Please conduct an area-wide scope of consequences of coal-export. Include estimates of contamination world-wide, and local contamination, over time, due to coal-export. We need to understand the big picture, and the blowback.
David Hopkinson

David Hopkinson (#7336)

Date Submitted: 01/14/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
I am in agreement with comment # 5787, below:

Name: Knight, Joseph
Date: Jan. 3, 2013
City: Everson
Part: Rail
Human environment: Traffic or safety
EIS process: EIS/regulatory process
Comment: Two recent documents on rail capacity and rail freight offer the kind of data that calls out for a comprehensive review of the impacts of coal trains in Washington and Oregon. Both offer useful information. However, each examines only some of the impacts that can be expected if the coal terminals are built in Washington and Oregon. They, and numerous other studies and articles, some of which can be found at the following URL show how incompletely we know or understand the probable consequences of delivering Powder River coal to Northwest terminals for export to Asian markets. (See http://www.mrsc.org/subjects/transpo/coaltrans.aspx).

The first document, Pacific Northwest Marine Cargo Forecast Update and Rail Capacity Assessment: Final Report (December 2011) prepared by BST Associates and Main Line Management, forecasts a steady growth in all forms freight train traffic through 2030. These estimates include liquid, dry bulk, and container trains. The estimate for coal train lengths of 115 to 120 cars is inconsistent with GPT’s plan for 150 car trains. However, this is a relatively minor difference. What is not minor is the assertion that most of the rail corridors can accommodate the projected growth. Some of the projections are based on 2008 data and some on 2010 data. All were made before the announcement of the plan to build six coal terminals in Washington and Oregon. The possibility of such ports is alluded to, but no data from the various proposals appears to have been included in the study.

Although rail capacities are assessed based on future rail expansion, nowhere does the report indicate the cost to the public for these improvements. In fact, it leaves open the assumption that because the railroads (Burlington Northern and Union Pacific) will determine what improvements are needed, that these costs will be carried by the railroads themselves and not the public.

Finally, the report does show that the rail corridor from Everett to Vancouver, BC is directly affected by the GPT proposal. That is, “the growth in bulk export commodities may lead to sustained capacity constraints along this segment” (p.35). The document provides a graph that illustrates this capacity problem through the year 2030. Also, the section of rail below Everett grows substantially. For example, the number of trains from Auburn to Seattle, part of the Powder River coal route, grows to 103 trains per day by 2020.

The second report, Heavy Traffic Ahead: Rail Impacts of Powder River Basin Coal to Asia by Way of Pacific Northwest Terminals (July 2012), prepared by the Western Organization of Resource Councils provides cost estimates and revenue values to the various commodities shipped by rail throughout the Pacific Northwest. The estimated cost of rail improvements “could well exceed $5 billion” (p.49). It also reports that the railroad revenue in 2010 for shipping a wide range of agricultural products as $1,574,925,482 (p. 43).

Neither report identifies the cumulative value of the all the products shipped by rail though the Northwest either for domestic use or for export. Moreover, neither estimates the altered value of these goods if they have to compete for scarcer railroad resources in order to deliver product to market in a timely manner or by contractually obligated dates. While each report contains valuable information, there is not to my knowledge a detailed and cumulative assessment of what the costs to the greater public (that is agricultural interests, regional industries, the tax payer, etc.) would be if coal were shipped to the various proposed ports in Washington and Oregon.

The coal terminal at Cherry Point is only one of five proposed for the Northwest. In other words, it is only part of a proposal. It is directly affected by as well as directly affects the other proposed terminals in Washington and Oregon. Because Cherry Point is part of a greater economy, I think it only fair and reasonable that a detailed and comprehensive study be made 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. Therefore, I am specifically asking that the scope of the EIS for the coal terminal proposed for Cherry Point include a comprehensive economic and social analysis of the railroad impacts on the Northwest as if one or all the proposed terminals were to be approved.

David Hopkinson (#7363)

Date Submitted: 01/14/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
My name is David Hopkinson and I live in the York District of Bellingham, with my wife, Judy. We are both retired. I share the concerns raised by Mary Ruth Holder, comment #6108, below:

Name: Holder, Mary Ruth
Date: Jan. 6, 2013
City: Mount Vernon, WA
Part: Rail
Human environment: Air quality, Human health, Traffic or safety, Other human environment topic
Natural environment: Wildlife or vegetation, Marine species, fish or fisheries, Wetlands or streams, Water quality, Other natural environment topic
Comment: Please include in the scope of the EIS: impacts of fugitive coal dust from trains en route to and from GPT and coal mines in the Powder River Basin.

The term “coal dust” in my comment includes fine particles of coal that can become airborne and small “chunks” of coal that may fall from trains. Others have submitted comments requesting that the EIS include a rigorous study of impacts on aquatic and terrestrial habitats and the lungs and homes of residents and workers at the proposed coal terminal from coal dust blowing from coal piles, stacker reclaimers, conveyor systems and other equipment at the proposed GPT, and from rail cars along the Custer Spur. I add my voice to those requests. But I also request that the scope of the EIS include a study of the risk and all impacts of fugitive coal dust en route to and from the coal mines in the Powder River Basin to the GPT terminal at Cherry Point.
It is reasonably foreseeable that the BNSF would use the rail line through Mount Vernon to transport coal to Pacific International Terminals Inc.’s planned Gateway Pacific Terminal project and via the BNSF Custer Spur expansion project (projects referred to as” GPT”) for purposes of exporting 48 million metric tons of coal annually to Asia upon full build out of the terminal. It is also reasonably foreseeable that coal would be transported by train in open unit cars and that some amount of coal dust would blow or spill from the unit cars en route to and from GPT. Lobbyists for GPT and BNSF have represented to the officials and residents of Mount Vernon where I live that there will be no coal dust from the trains to and from GPT because of a BNSF requirement that “surfactants” will be sprayed on every unit car to GPT as the cars leave the mines. I ask that you delve into this matter more deeply than those who may be easily mollified by lobbyists’ representations. Please conduct studies to answer my questions raised in this comment.

What was the goal of the Item 100, Coal Dust Mitigation Requirements, BNSF tariff # 6041-B issued July 14, 2011, Providing Rules and Regulations Governing Unit Train and Volume All-Rail Coal Service, Also Accessorial Services and Charges Therefor Applying As Provided in Price List? The tariff requires a certain coal loading profile and the spraying of a chemical “topper agent (e.g. surfactant)” on loaded Powder River Basin coal. Was not the goal of this tariff to reduce coal dust from fouling railroad ballast in the vicinity of the mines by 85% (rather than 100% reduction of fugitive coal dust in communities along the route from the mines to GPT)? Would surfactants eliminate 100% of the coal dust along the entire transportation route and if not, what is the expected effectiveness? Would the surfactants remain intact and effective over the number of miles from the mines to the GPT, including in all weather conditions and despite jostling of unit cars, so that no coal dust would escape? Would the coal loading profile ensure that no coal dust would escape all along the rail route despite all possible transportation and weather conditions? If the loading profile alone would be sufficient, why did BNSF also include the requirement for surfactant use in its tariff? If the BNSF tariff requirements are 100% effective, what then are the “chunks” of material that look a lot like coal observed on sills the open unit cars of coal trains (en route to and from Westshore terminal) that can be observed from above the rail line through Mount Vernon? What of the coal dust that has been observed along the rail line? Even if coal is loaded as BNSF would require and sprayed with surfactants, would coal dust nevertheless escape into the environment as a consequence of a derailment or other mishap, increasingly frequent events for coal trains?

What is the chemical composition of the surfactants and could their use harm the environment or human health, particularly if used on enormous numbers of coal unit cars traveling from the mines to GPT over the life of the project? If so, in what ways? Could rain or melting snow wash these chemicals from coal cars into the environment ? Could winds blow them there? Could they get into groundwater, surface water, drinking water? Could they harm people or organisms? What data is available and what data is lacking on the impacts of their use? What water source (and who owns the water rights to this source) would be used for the mixing and/or application of the surfactants? How would run off, rinse or other waste water from the spraying operation be treated and discharged? What permits are applicable to this operation and how are they enforced? Are the extant water rights adequate to realistically support the assertion that all cars will be sprayed with surfactant?

There is an action before the U.S. Surface Transportation Board (STB), Western Coal Traffic League, American Public Power Association, Edison Electric Institute and National Electric Cooperative Association, Finance Docket 35557, challenging BNSF’s tariff. What is the status of this legal action at the time of the EIS? Those challenging the BNSF tariff claim, among other things, that BNSF’s coal dust requirements and predicted 85% coal dust reduction are “based on junk science.” See, STB Finance Docket No. 35557, Reasonableness of BNSF Railway Company Coal Dust Mitigation Tariff Provisions, Reply Evidence and Argument of Western Coal Traffic League, American Public Power Association, Edison Electric Institute and National Rural Electric Cooperative Association pp. 5 – 12, dated November 15, 2012. Please study this claim. What is the present enforcement status of the BNSF tariff? See, Gambrel, D. January 2012. PBR Dust Control – Next Steps Kick Off in 2012. Coal Age, www.coalage.com [currently available at http://coal.epubxp.com/i/53542/21].
Peabody Coal, with whom GPT boasts it already has an agreement for export of 24 million metric tons of coal annually, presently represents it will comply with the BNSF tariff. But what happens if BNSF’s tariff is declared illegal by the STB? Will Peabody nonetheless comply? Would other coal companies that might contract with GPT (for the export of the remaining 24 million metric tons of coal that the terminal’s at least 48 million metric tons of coal capacity would allow) comply?

Perhaps particularly in light of the uncertainties surrounding the use, environmental and health impacts, effectiveness and legality of BNSF’s tariff requirements, please also study whether there would be releases of fugitive coal dust (both airborne and otherwise) from trains if GPT is permitted. Please also study all environmental and health impacts of such releases. Could coal dust escape from the loaded open unit cars on a trip to GPT? How much residual coal might remain in the unit cars returning from GPT to the mines and could coal dust escape during the return trip? Can coal fall or blow from the sills along the top of the unit cars or leak from the doors or bottom hoppers of the open cars en route?

Please determine all parts or mechanisms of the unit cars that would allow the emission or spillage of coal dust. Would coal dust from any part or mechanism of the unit cars on trips to or from GPT be carried by air currents? Please analyze whether high wind speeds, cross-winds, and other “peak” or “worst case” scenarios would result in coal dust emissions. Please also study whether expected wind speeds and train speeds during general operation of the trains would result in coal dust emissions. Please study how far air borne coal dust could travel under all wind, train speed and rail traffic conditions. Would coal dust blow into my house, yard and garden and those of my neighbors in the West Hill area of Mount Vernon, located just above the railroad tracks? What distance would coal dust blow into neighborhoods, schools, farms, waterways and landscapes throughout the Skagit Valley and in all 121 communities along the rail route? Would coal dust damage the appearance or exterior coatings and/or any building materials of my house, the houses of my neighborhood, downtown (especially brick and mortar) buildings in Mount Vernon and in communities all along the rail line? What would be the incremental cost of building maintenance for homes and businesses thus affected by coal dust? How would these impacts accumulate over the life of the GPT project?

How would the length of the trip from the Powder River Basin to GPT affect the impact of coal dust emissions? Please include a determination of which communities along the entire rail route may experience the greatest volume and impact of coal dust emissions from just the GPT trains and cumulatively with all coal trains traveling to and from other proposed WA and OR coal ports and explain why. What impacts would fugitive coal dust from GPT and GPT cumulated with other planned and existing northwest coal ports in WA, OR and B.C. have on waterways, landscapes and habitats and the animals, plants and organisms that depend on them?

In conducting your analysis, please also take into account the properties of the Power River Basin coal that is being transported through our communities – for example, moisture content, evaporation rates, friability, tendency for spontaneous combustion – and how these properties produce coal dust during rail transit. Would the unit cars carrying coal to the GPT continue to be uncovered? What alternative methods to those currently required by the BNSF tariff exist to prevent fugitive coal dust from escaping into the environment?

Please also conduct a detailed analysis of whether and to what extent there could be health impacts from fugitive coal dust as a result of the significant increase in coal trains through our community. How would the increasing and repeated exposure to coal dust impact people’s health over the life of GPT? Also, please study the costs of health care due to an increased exposure to these pollutants from increased rail traffic for the GPT. Who would pay for the health care of residents who live and work in communities all along the rail line from the mines to GPT and who experience health impacts? Will the mitigation of health damages from 18 additional daily trains to GPT include a requirement for GPT and BNSF to establish a fund up front to pay for treatments made necessary by the impacts of their project? Could emergency vehicle service in Mount Vernon and other communities be impaired by the addition of 18 daily coal trains across at-grade crossings? If so, would this exacerbate the health problems associated with an increase in diesel locomotive exhaust from the additional trains?

David Hopkinson (#8162)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
My name is David Hopkinson. I live in Bellingham.

I am concerned about fugitive coal dust and submitted a prior comment on that topic (#585). Comment #7362 (attached) submitted by Dr. Michael Riordan concerning coal dust is far more detailed and technical than my comment, and I would like to express my full support for comment #7362, which expresses my concerns in far greater detail. Dr. Riordan speaks to my concerns, and I support his request for studies on fugitive coal dust. Thank you.
David Hopkinson
Attached Files:

David Hopkinson (#8166)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
My name is David Hopkinson and I live in Bellingham. I am concerned about coal dust becoming fugitive during the process of loading from the Cherry Point Terminal to cargo ships. Dr. Michael Riordan submitted a comment on this topic (#5517, attached) on Dec. 22. His comment cannot be improved upon by me, so I will simply express my full support for his.
Thank you.
David Hopkinson
Attached Files:

David Hopkinson (#8322)

Date Submitted: 01/17/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
My name is David Hopkinson. I live in Bellingham. I am in agreement with the concerns about water quality that were expressed in comment #7010 (included below) by Jeffrey S. Margolis. of Deming, on Jan 12.

Name: Margolis, Jeffrey
Date: Jan. 12, 2013
City: Deming
Part: Industrial site
Human environment: Air quality
Natural environment: Wildlife or vegetation, Wetlands or streams, Water quality
Comment: Jeffrey S. Margolis 5455 Potter Road-Van Zandt Deming, WA 98244
GPT/Custer Spur EIS c/o Ch2M Hill1100 112th Avenue NE, Suite 400 Bellevue, WA 98004
I, Jeffrey S. Margolis am seeking answers pertaining to ground water and cold dust impacts on farmlands in close proximity to the Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT).
I own and operate, Everybody’s Store, a General Store in eastern Whatcom County. The sale in house and by mail order, of artisan cheese is a major component of my business. One of our most profound offerings is a cheese known as Nokkelost. Traditionally regarded as a festive Norwegian delicacy, the heritage of Nokkelost with its unique combination of spices, goes back to the 11th Century and the city of Leyden in the Netherlands. A millenium later in 2000, owing to presence of nitrates in Nokkelost manufactured in Norway, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration embargoed the commercial importation of Nokkelost cheese.
At that juncture we chose to initiate our own American rendition of Nokkelost and at the present time Everybody’s is the sole North American source for this gourmet delight. We commissioned the Pleasant Valley Dairy, located at the intersection of Grand View Road and Kickerville Road, the only dairy in the region that makes “Raw Milk Cheese” to manufacture Nokkelost for us. We advertise this cheese in “The Viking”, a national Norwegian cultural magazine. After thirteen years of association we have an abiding interest in preserving the vitality of Pleasant Valley Dairy.
Quite fundamentally, Pleasant Valley Dairy is dependent on abundant pure water for growing grass and for their cows to drink. The grass requires clean air and pure water and we would like to be assured that effluvia from GPT does not impede either the microbial cycle or that of absorption, respiration and photosynthesis.
By virtue of its land contract GPT is entitled to 5 million gallons of water per day from PUD 1. The water, drawn from the Nooksack River, is to be used to
control dust and suppress spontaneous fires. We know that GPT has dug test wells. Are we to assume that 5 million gallons of water daily is inadequate? How much water is actually required to operate the terminal? It would appear that the wharf might have the capability of shipping more than the specified 49m tons per year because its size might be almost as accommodating as the Kooragang port in Waratagh Australia that handles 105mt. What is the water budget for this potentiality? In either case how much water might be drawn from aquifers beneath the terminal? Having read at sometime that tracers placed in the vicinity of Mt, Baker have been picked up on Orcas Island I am under the illusion that the aquifer extends from Mt. Baker to the San Juan Islands. This needs to be examined with regards to extractive impacts especially in light of climatic changes and diminishing glacial snow pack. Will impacts involve seawater intrusion that could affect the ability of local farmers to irrigate? It is also conceivable that water used for the coal pile will be filtered and reprocessed and then be returned to the ground water aquifer. Is this the case?
What do we know about the construction and composition of the patio upon which the coal sits? I am under the impression that the "patio" is gravel. Is there some sort of filament or impermeable blanket beneath the gravel to channel 100% of leachate into a sedimentation pond? Similarly is the pond sealed or might the applicant be depending on clay to prevent the intrusion of coal water leaching into the aquifer? How would it known if this system were failing?
What is to be done with the sediment from the settling pond? What is the disposition of the water from the ponds? What water standards are being employed? In what manner is it either recycled or being disposed of? Can we be sure that water quality in aquifers as well as the ocean itself will not deviate from the level at which it currently is at?
In contradistinction to the overarching aquifer from Mt. Baker to Orcas Island, what consideration is being given to the study of proximate wells? We would not want a statistical argument that has local effects obscured by the enormity of the entire watershed. Could GPT compromise the productive ability of Pleasant Valley Dairy?
Above we raised the issue of interrupted or inhibited photosynthesis. With regard to agricultural impacts: According to G. Naidoo and Y. Naidoo published in ’Biomedical and Life Sciences Volume 13, Number 5, Coal Dust Pollution Effects on Wetland Tree Species in Richards Bay, South Africa
“in this study, the effects of coal dust on four, sympatric, wetland tree species in Richards Bay Harbour were investigated. We tested the hypothesis that leaf micromorphology influenced dust accumulation and that coal dust occluded stomata and reduced photosynthetic performance of three mangroves, Avicennia marina, Bruguiera gymnorrhiza and Rhizophora mucronata, and a mangrove associate, Hibiscus tiliaceus. To investigate leaf micromorphology, leaf blade material of the four species was prepared following standard procedures and viewed under scanning electron microscopy. Gas exchange and chlorophyll fluorescence measurements were made at saturating light
(>1000 μmol m−2 s−1) and high temperature (>25 °C) on leaves that were either covered or uncovered with coal dust. There was no evidence of occlusion of stomata by dust. Dust accumulation in A. marina and H. tiliaceus was exacerbated by the presence of a dense mat of trichomes on the undersurface of the leaves, as well as by the sticky brine secreted by salt glands in the former species. Coal dust significantly reduced CO2 exchange, Photosystem II (PS II) quantum yield and electron transport rate (ETR) through PS II in A. marina and H. tiliaceus but not in the other two mangroves. Reduction in photosynthetic performance was attributed to reduction in light energy incident on the photosynthetic tissues.
Surely a coal dust dispersion model exists which presumes a reasonable understanding of the characteristics of coal dust dispersal. Is it possible to construct a theoretical model, a matrix of indices which quantifies fluctuating levels of agricultural production owing to varying degrees of interruption or inhibition of photosynthesis? I want to see model created and applied to the actual five mile wide sector adjacent to GPT in order to estimate the dollar value of lost agricultural production due to coal dust on plants.
It is possible to say that the national reputation of Everybody’s Store’s rare and premier Nokkelost cheese as well as our county’s milk, greens, berries and a hoard of agricultural goods are tied to the public’s perception of our region as being fairly pure and uncontaminated. A Gary Indiana or Baton Rouge it is not. The farmers and people of this region implicitly own a latent Whatcom County brand which effectively legitimizes and encourages the sale of its hearty northwest grown ag products. Will contaminated air and water from GPT undermine the good faith and trust that consumer’s have in our goods?
These answerable questions, linked to the design and operation of GPT deserve to be incorporated into the GPT EIS.
Yours very truly, Jeffrey S. Margolis

David Hopkinson (#8388)

Date Submitted: 01/11/13
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
My name is David Hopkinson. I live in Bellingham. Washington, with my wife, Judy. Both of us are retired. We love Bellingham.
Having lived in Kent, Ohio, where the railroad line bifurcated the town, we are concerned that this beautiful place will become something similar.
The town of Kent was built adjacent to the railroad for convenience. As the town grew, the fact that the tracks divided the town became destructive to quality of life, to the health of residents, and to all of the business located in the downtown area.
I fully agree with every part of the comment of Debbie Milburn, of Helena, Montana, dated January 7, 2013. Her remarks hold true for everybody who lives close to the rail lines upon which coal will be shipped to the West Coast for export.
I also believe that the federal government must look systemically at the effect of all these proposals on rail communities in considering impacts to the environment, human health, traffic, economies, etc. Without a programmatic, area-wide EIS that models all possible rail expansion, regulators have no basis on which to identify indirect impacts or measure cumulative impacts which include reasonably foreseeable future activities. We should stop addressing proposed expansions in the Powder River Basin in a piecemeal fashion, and conduct an area-wide rail PEIS so that all potentially impacted populations can be given proper notice of how they may be impacted.
People like Debbie - that would be us, as well - have no way to know how to address potential impacts on their family, their property, and their environment without a systematic determination of how much coal may be extracted from the Otter Creek Mine at peak operations for shipment to terminals on the Columbia River or elsewhere on the west coast of North America. Her situation is the same as all residents of rail communities from the Powder River Basin to the West Coast. Thank you.

There is a large copy of a photo in the Herald Building iin Bellingham. The scene is from near downtown. A column of greasy, black smoke rises into the air. The picture was taken not long after the infamous pipeline explosion, which killed two boys who had been fishing in Whatcom Creek.
I share the concern of Chris Symonds, of Bellingham, dated 01/09/2013. Printed here for your convenience:
(begin quote)
I have been a resident of Bellingham, Whatcom County, Washington since 1975. My husband and I have raised our family in this practically pristine environment, enjoying all of its natural beauty over the years.
I am first and foremost concerned about the environment we live in and the environment we will pass on to our children and grandchildren. The impact I wish to have scoped is the physical vibration/movement of increased coal train traffic on the Olympic Pipeline.
Having gone through the 1999 Olympic Pipeline explosion in Whatcom Falls Park (Bellingham, WA), it
became apparent that not a single cause was responsible for the explosion, rather a series of events from: a 1994 damage caused by excavation work, failure to repair the damage, faulty computer system which failed indications of pressure building, faulty pressure valve and failure by the company to train its employees. Tragedy ensued with 3 deaths and extensive damage to the environment.
There are approximately 400 miles of pipeline from Cherry Point to Portland, OR, that parallels the Railroad transporting people and goods, including coal. The geography alone begs to ask the question
“Could increased rail traffic vibrations, weight of coal, damage to the infrastructure of the rails directly
or indirectly affect the pipeline?” Furthermore, under the Washington Pipeline Safety Act (House Bill 2420) would the Washington State Utilities andTransportation Commission have a role in conducting an inspection or become a part in oversight?
Being that the Olympic Pipeline explosion had a horrific effect on 3 families, the surrounding environmental destruction and the emotional scars received by most all Bellingham/Whatcom County citizens at that time, I believe the coal train impact question on the pipeline merits investigation and response.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Sincerely,
CHRIS SYMONDS" (end quote)

I share the concerns (quoted below) by John Watts, former member of the City Council of Bellingham. Comment #4183
(begin quote)
Concerns Based on Reality. Several recent events and actions lend credence to concerns by citizens, including these:
• The coal conveyor & access damage at the nearby Westshore Coal Terminal in BC resulting from a late night collision by a large Bulk Carrier vessel with a pilot on board.
• The railroad bridge collapse south of Bellingham on the BNSF main line used by heavy coal trains. • The derailment of a coal train east of Tri-Cities, spilling 34 loaded cars. • The protracted delays of traffic in Skagit County due to a stalled coal train with brake problems.
• The unseemly acts by the GPT Applicant to recruit allies to pack public meetings designed to gather citizen concerns.
• The repeated dismissals of legitimately expressed citizen concerns as only NIMBYism by GPT spokespersons.
• The ongoing media advertising campaign designed to influence public opinion during the 120-day EIS Scoping period, which advocates multiple coal terminals -not just GPT- which seems like a concerted effort on behalf of an entire industry. Doesn't that justify a programmatic EIS approach is necessary?

There is likely available statistical information on the frequency and severity of both large bulk vessel and coal train accidents. I request that this information be researched and applied to the rail and marine traffic projected by the Applicant for GPT.
Additionally, the costs to the natural environment, existing businesses, residents, governments services and facilities need to be ascertained for inclusion into the EIS evaluation.
A programmatic EIS appears necessary to include all of the possible impacts, whether to the GPT site or anywhere along the proposed transport routes.
It would also include impacts to the atmosphere, the oceans and inland waterways, the land, human health and impacts to each ecosystem likely to be affected over time. (end quote)

David Hopkinson (#8549)

Date Submitted: 01/13/13
Comment:
Does GPT mean Gambling Public Trust?

I am concerned that the GPT proposal represents nothing more than a deliberate depletion of publicly owned coal for speculative private gain, at needless sacrifice of the human and natural environment.
When any plan seems too good to be true, often, it likely is!

Since our country has an announced goal of energy independence, why allow the export of non-renewable resources like Powder River Basin Coal?
Why not leave the coal unneeded for current domestic purposes in the ground for future emergencies, similar to we do with the strategic petroleum reserve?
Temporary over-supply of coal, petroleum & oil, natural gas, bio-fuels from subsidized corn, and the like, has historically happened over time, so why not plan for it?

Shouldn't our national energy policy be determined by the Federal Administration & Congress, not the wildly fluctuating global market involving 3rd-world countries?
A good practice would be to pace ourselves, emphasize energy efficiency, conservation, and development of alternate, renewable sources?

And, why would the US wish to weaken its future strength by quickly selling off its natural assets as non-value added commodities to its main competitor?
Such unprecedented shortsightedness needs to be strongly questioned, both from a public policy point of view and as a risky investment that depends on windfall profits over a few years.

Loss of coal resources, instability of promised tax revenues and jobs, impacts to public health & safety and degradation of the environment, all seem to exact a heavy price to pay for a private equity gamble masquerading as beneficial and sustainable, economic growth for the public.

While the Applicant's [SSA] other corporate collaborators are not risking significant capital themselves, SSA -backed by Goldman Sachs- really is taking a big risk.
Peabody Coal will get paid by its Asian customers before it ships one lump of coal;
BNSF will be paid for what it hauls on its tracks for Peabody; ultra-large Bulk Carriers will be paid before they take on any coal cargo for Peabody. But, GPT is the one critical facility for which substantial investment is essential, because without it being permitted, built and operated, none of the other transactions mentioned would become enabled, nor would SSA earn any revenues from its Cherry Point proposal.

I therefore request the MAP Team press this Applicant -SSA-Marine- for its pro forma expectations for payback to confirm or deny that GPT is truly a project meant to sustain itself for the long life expectancy it claims.
While corporations and investors are free to take substantial monetary risks to earn higher returns, it is not healthy to collateralize those risks by foisting a deception upon local governments, citizens and the impacted natural environment. Solid, sustainable business is not usually predicated upon quicksand-like foundations, as the GPT proposal appears to be.

David Hopkinson (#9128)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
I am retired and live in Bellingham. Because I struggle with respiratory problems - coughing as I write this due to a bronchial infection - air quality here has been important to me. I assume older people (like me), children, and those with impaired health are particularly vulnerable to the impact of diesel particulates.
My concerns are reflected well in a scoping comment (6353), submitted by Dr. Sara Mostad on Jan. 9, 2013. She requests an area-wide comprehensive health impact assessment, with attention to diesel particulates that coal export will impose upon all who live in proximity to the many locomotives and cargo ships.
- begin quote:
"There are many potential serious health impacts that merit close scrutiny. I request that the Environmental Impact Statement include a comprehensive and cumulative Health Impact Assessment.
In particular, this Health Impact Assessment should include careful study and modeling of the air pollution from the diesel locomotives and ships transporting coal through our region.
I specifically request that you determine how many excess deaths and hospitalizations would be expected, across the entire state of Washington, from diesel particulate matter associated with the diesel locomotives and ships from the Gateway Pacific Terminal. Such an analysis, should, at a minimum, compare baseline and expected rates of asthma, stroke, heart attack and cancer. There is abundant peer-reviewed medical research establishing irrefutable links between diesel pollution and the above noted diseases."
- end quote of Dr. Sara Mostad -
I am in full support of her scoping request.
David Hopkinson

David Hopkinson (#10578)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
My name is David Hopkinson. My wife and I visit Cherry Point because the area is beautiful and peaceful. It makes me sad to think of losing that. If the permit to build a coal-export terminal is granted, I expect that the Cherry Point area will be ruined, and that marine life forms, plants in the area, and wildlife on land will suffer.
I expect this because both construction and industrial operations have side effects in the form of toxic dust, noxious gases, and so on. Mitigations are always less than perfect, often far less.
Here is a copy of a statement written by James Wells of Bellingham, which he may well have posted as a scoping comment. (attached as a .pdf) I fully agree with what he says,
" ... at any place in the permit application where the applicant states that an impact will be minimized due to “new technology” or “state of the art” controls, the applicant should prove the truth of such statements. For instance, the applicant should be able to point to at least one other facility, already operating somewhere in the world, where similar processes are resulting in 100% containment of all pollutants."
- end quote
The lofty claims of intended environmental protections as described in the coal-export proposal are unlikely to be found consistently in operation upon the ground. The overarching goals of employees are to 1) get the job done as quickly as possible, and 2) to cut costs by any means available, whenever possible. There are no incentives for workers to do otherwise. Health, safety, and environmental protection are so far down the list of priorities as to be almost non-existant.
Where there are promises made without significant consequences which will be applied for failure to protect the environment, then protection failure is a certainty, and the permitting process an exercise in futility.
Therefore, I agree with James Wells when he says,
"...it is upon the applicant to prove, not by papers and diagrams, but by actual example somewhere in the world, that their design will result in zero losses of coal or any other material into the environment.
Additionally, if the applicant submits estimates of losses to the environment, and if those estimates are used as the basis for permitting, then the applicant should agree that, if actual losses exceed those estimated, then the facility will immediately cease operations until a sufficient redesign and rebuild has been accomplished to eliminate the excess losses."
- end quote.
Thank you.
David Hopkinson
Attached Files:

David Hopkinson (#10606)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
My name is David Hopkinson and I live in Bellingham. When I was a small boy in Milwaukee, my grandfather would take me down to the RR station and we would watch the trains together. I have always had a fondness for trains, but what I am learning about the consequences of rail traffic in conjunction with a coal-export proposal at Cherry Point is changing my perspective. I share with you Scoping Comment #3850, which talks about train traffic. I am in agreement with this scoping comment, and I wish to see the issue of copper release by trains studied.
Thank you.
David Hopkinson
-----------------------
Name: Steinhardt, Richard (#3850)
Date: Dec. 5, 2012
City: Deer Harbor
Part: Rail
Natural environment: Wildlife or vegetation, Marine species, fish or fisheries, Wetlands or streams, Water quality
EIS process: Area of potential effect
Comment: Please study the cumulative release of copper from rail traffic into marine and wetland environments, and please study the potential effects of rail traffic-generated copper pollution on the local marine and wetland ecosystems.
Copper is an environmental contaminant that is highly toxic for aquatic plants and animals. See:
http://magazine.mining.com/Issues/0904/ImpactsCopperAquaticEcosystemsHumanHealth.pdf.
For railways that are close to the marine shoreline or to wetlands, cumulative copper releases could present a significant source of pollution. Wetlands that lack an outlet and poorly flushed marine areas would be at greater risk. Many miles of the railway that would carry the increased traffic generated by the Gateway Pacific Terminal Expansion are located near the marine shoreline or near wetlands. Copper pollution from the expanded terminal could impact the unique and ecologically significant Cherry Point herring population.
The study cited below found that about 9.4 kilograms (20 lbs) of copper was released into the environment per kilometer of railway per year. Twenty pounds of copper per kilometer per year equals 200 pounds of copper for every six miles of railway per year. This is for rail stretches where the trains are not accelerating or braking. Larger amounts of copper would be released at railway terminals and in maneuvering areas, such as at the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal. The Gateway Pacific Terminal is upland from the Cherry Point Herring spawning grounds. The negative impact of copper from railways on this genetically unique strain of herring could be significant. The contamination would be cumulative over the life of the terminal. If the Gateway Pacific Terminal expansion is approved, copper contamination could pose a significant threat to the aquatic ecosystems that are near the railways that experience increased traffic.
Approximately 80% of the copper pollution generated by railways is released to the atmosphere and soil. This measurement of copper release from railways into the environment is derived from the following reference:
"Long-term Management of Track Ballast- A Case Study In Prevention and Recycling of Large Waste Flows" Ulrich Kral, Vienna University of Technology and Paul H. Brunner, Vienna University of Techology presented at the 2010 ISWA World Congress
This study shows that significant amounts of copper are released from level sections of railways where trains are neither accelerating nor braking. 9.4 kilograms of copper per kilometer of railway were estimated to be lost to the environment per year. 9.4 kilograms per kilometer per year equals 200 pounds per six miles per year.
http://www.railway-research.org/IMG/pdf/b4_kral_ulrich.pdf
http://www.iswa.org/uploads/tx_iswaknowledgebase/Kral.pdf
The results of this study show, that gravel, contact wire, and brake pads are sources of equal importance for copper release from the railroad stretch investigated.
The following sections are taken from Kral and Brunner (2010):
"The railway line segment investigated runs mainly horizontal in open land with a length of one kilometer. Trains neither accelerate nor reduce their speed during this section. Figure 4 displays the corresponding copper balance. The total operational copper emissions are shared in ratio of 80/20 on the "catenary wire" and "rolling stock" components (Figure 4). The 80% of the operational copper losses cross the system boundary, which is copper transported into the atmosphere, and accumulated in the planum and the adjacent soil as well as on the surface of the rolling stock (Figure 5). The remaining 20% of copper losses enter the track ballast with a mass flow of about 3,7 kg Cu/a. The current copper emissions entering "track ballast" result from the sources "catenary wire" and "rolling stock" in similar size. Cast iron brakes are mainly responsible for copper emissions. It is likely that this source is much more important on routes with increased brake use, such as railway stations and maneuvering areas."
"As a first result, the study reveals, that 80% of copper emissions occurring during the operation of 1 km railway line are lost to the environment and do not enter the ballast body. Never-the-less, the remaining 20% taken up by the ballast are important for waste management, as old ballast has to be handled as waste and hence must be managed carefully to fulfill the goals of waste management as well as to minimize costs. Up to now, the effects of the remaining 80% of copper emissions have not been investigated systematically, and therefore reliable information about the fate and effect of the copper is lacking."

David Hopkinson (#10627)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
My name is David Hopkinson and I live in Bellingham with my wife, Judy. We moved here from Houston, where we were glad to leave the threat of hurricanes behind us. Here, there is a different kind of threat. I read a book, Cascadia's Fault, which made clear that the PNW may be, in a sense, "overdue" for a major earthquake due to the fault off of the coast.
The prospect of a possible major quake and possibility of a tsunami has been on my mind in conjunction with the proposal for a coal-export terminal at Cherry Point.
I quote in full a scoping comment (#1311) which speaks to my concerns. Please include studies of the risk of quake and tsunami as they might impact the proposed terminal, answering the many questions raised by Chom Greacen (below).
_____________________
Name: Greacen, Chom
Date: Oct. 25, 2012
City: Lopez Island
Part: Multiple/not listed
Human environment: Human health, Traffic or safety, Other human environment topic
Natural environment: Wildlife or vegetation, Marine species, fish or fisheries, Water quality
EIS process: Alternatives, Area of potential effect
Comment: This comment concerns seismic risks and tsunamis.
The EIS study needs to analyze the risks and impacts of earthquakes/tsunamis to coal bulk carriers and the export terminal. A study by Oregon State University (see http://oregonstate.edu/ua/ncs/node/13426) found that the northern “Cascadia subduction zone”, from WA to Vancouver island have a 10-15% chance of a mega-quake (magnitude 8 or greater) within the next 50 years. Another study by scientists at the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC), Canada's premier agency for geoscientific information and research (under the Department of Natural Resources) also found the chance of up to 14% of a “great earthquake within 50 years. But the chance could be significantly higher (up to 40%) if the quakes occur in “clusters”, a concept not totally well understood by scientists yet (Source: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/hazards/about/workshops/PacNWworkshoptalks/AdamsCascCondProbUSGS06.pdf).
Questions:
In the worst case scenario, what would be the magnitude and location of quakes and tsunamis? What would be the extent and nature of destruction and damages to the coal vessels and export terminal caused by the “worst case” quakes and tsunamis?
The nuclear disaster at Fukushima Daiichi complex was designed to withstand the “worst case” quakes and tsunami only to find out in hindsight that quakes worse than “worst case” do happen and the facilities were far from being 100% quake- or tsunami-proof as the engineers/government claimed. Are ships or the dock designed and built to be “earthquake-proven” or “tsumani-proven”? If so, how? If not, why not?
What would the resulting impacts (on ecology, property, public health, economy, etc.) from “worst case” damage to coal carriers and export terminal look like? What’s our current capacity to respond to or clean up spills or related damages? Is that sufficient? What would sufficient capacity look like? How long will it take to restore the health of our marine environment, shoreline ecology and island economy? What would be the estimated damages in dollars if such a “worst case” event were to happen?
Are there arrangements and plans being made by any agency or companies involved to increase our collective preparedness in case of such disastrous events? By whom? Is there sufficient funding to increase our preparedness to deal with such disastrous events? If not, where should the fund come from? SJ residents are not benefiting from increasing shipping traffic but have to bear a lot of risks.
Are there any provisions that require businesses that benefit from coal export (from mining companies to railways, terminal and shipping companies) to pay for increased preparedness and set aside sufficient funds for clean up activities and compensation damages (without residents having to engage in decades-long lawsuits to seek justice and redress)?
If the risk of a major earthquake and tsunami that can adversely affect coal carriers and terminal is not zero and there is no positive assurance that the resulting devastating impacts can be mitigated, the project should not get built in the first place.

David Hopkinson (#10645)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
I share the concerns in comment # 5001, submitted by Bill McGowen on Dec 17, 2012 (below). Adding huge cargo ships to the existing traffic among the San Juan Islands and the Bay cannot be good. I believe that Bill has raised a very important question about anchors and the damage that they do. Please include these questions raised in comment #5001 in scope of the EIS.
Thank you.
David Hopkinson
_____________________

Name: McGown, Bill
Date: Dec. 17, 2012
City: Bellingham
Part: Vessel
Human environment: Traffic or safety
Natural environment: Marine species, fish or fisheries, Water quality, Other natural environment topic
Comment: Scoping Comment for the GPT/Custer Spur EIS
12/17/12
I operate a water taxi between the San Juan Islands and Bellingham WA. I am on the water every day between March 1st and the end of October each year. I travel throughout the all of the islands and I see the oil tanker ships coming and going to the Mobile Refinery all year. I have witnessed some issues which will impact the proposed coal terminal at Cherry Pt. Stated simply, we do not have room in the San Juan Islands for anchored coal ships. If we tried to anchor these ships in the small areas we do have, they will tear up the contaminated sediments in the bottom of the bays which will have a huge negative impact on shell fish, crab and nursery fish throughout the whole area.

The docks at the Mobile Refinery cannot be accessed in all weather and often there is a backup of ships that need to be staged for transfer of materials, this same situation will happen for the proposed coal terminal. They will not be able to have too many ships waiting in the wings and in a situation where there is a backup of coal delivery, either from weather or coal trains, the ships will have to wait somewhere to be loaded. I can see that this will be a big problem since the coal ships are much larger and deeper than the Oil Tankers. The Oil Tankers already impact the area by anchoring down off of Smith Island or in some cases when there are too many for that area they anchor in Bellingham Bay. The areas that are most protected for large ship anchoring is only about 100 feet deep. The Coal ships are almost 50 feet deep so this does not leave a large margin for error.

These ships, if they can find a place to anchor at all, they will put down huge anchors and chain. As the ships swing at anchor their anchor chains will dredge up the sediment in the bay in a wide swath. I estimate that this circle of damaged bottom sediment could be as large as 700-800 feet in diameter. Week after week these ships will come and go and new ships will be anchored again in the same general areas. Each time these ships will carve a 700-800 foot divot in the bottom of the bay. By the time you add the Oil tankers to the Coal ships we will have a massive displacement of the sea bottom. This can’t be good for the environment.

I see no mitigation for this problem. We have to face the fact we have the limited area available for transport ships and I feel that we are already maxed out with the Oil Tankers. We must not allow this marine traffic jam to happen in the first place. I think we need to study the impacts of the current Oil Tankers in order to understand what is going on and how this could change for the worse as you add the proposed volume of coal ships on top of this problem. We should study how this will impact fisheries throughout the anchoring areas as the sea floor is displaced over and over each week and this sediment is carried around in the currents. There are tons of polluted layers in these sediment from years of agricultural and industrial materials that were dumped into the rivers. These layers are best left undisturbed and I believe these ships will carve a huge swath into these sediments. We need to see a study that look into this possibility.

Check this out if you want to see what it could look like in the San Juan Islands

http://hamptonroads.com/2011/02/coal-ships-create-sight-hampton-roads-waters

Regards,

Bill McGown
Leap Frog Water Taxi
355 Harris Ave Suite 108
Bellingham, WA 98225
360-220-0538

David Hopkinson (#11381)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
My name is David Hopkinson. I live in Bellingham.
A permit is a contract which presumes that the parties are able and willing to act with integrity. This means that there is demonstrated willingness to be transparent, with stated intentions and subsequent actions being both internally consistent and externally in accord. When you start out with duplicity in the application, what hope is there for integrity after the permit is granted?
I am in support of a recent submission by James Wells, with I have included below:
(begin quote)
This comment is about the Purpose and Need section of the GPT permit application. There is reason to believe that this section of the permit application contains provided information that is one or both of:
1) Not factually true, and/or
2) Somewhat factually true, but misleading as to whether the result will in fact be a net benefit to the public interest, or not.
The relevant sections of the Permit application are quoted and are in square brackets [“like this”].
[“operate a multimodal marine terminal …. multiple dry bulk commodities”] – What’s questionable is the word “multimodal”. At present the only material for which construction is planned is coal. Most of the structures build to support coal export are expressly not usable for other goods as long as the coal terminal is in operation, and other goods such as food-grade products way be precluded from export in the vicinity of a coal terminal. I recommend that all references to “multimodal”, or references to multiple commodities, should be updated to only refer to the materials actively planned to be exported through the terminal – at present, only coal.
[“to meet international and domestic demand”] – This is inaccurate, since there is no plan to export items to meet domestic demand. That would be quite a trick.
[“Gateway Pacific Terminal would further advance the … environmental protection goals of the WDNR-designated Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve.”] – This is inaccurate. It is impossible that installing a coal terminal at the location would advance environmental protection goals, as compared to the current situation of no development. In fact, the statement is stunning in its audacity – it is a bald faced lie. In addition to correcting this section of the Purpose and Need, please reflect also for a moment on what this says about the credibility of the applicant with respect to being truthful. If Cherry Point is our daughter, and the suitor says obviously untrue things like this, do we want that suitor to marry her?
[“Gateway Pacific Terminal would further advance the economic development … goals of the Whatcom County Comprehensive Plan’s Cherry Point Industrial UGA …”] – This is questionable. I request that the agencies consider whether development of a coal export terminal precludes the most effective development of the site, using key measures such as total economic value creation and jobs per acre. For instance, the presence of coal dust emissions from the coal piles could stop further development of the very substantial acreage on the property that is not planned for terminal development.
[“The need to ship bulk cargo to and from Asia and other markets to meet current and future market demand;”] – This is questionable, both in its accuracy and desirability of the result. In a world that is rapidly becoming constrained with respect to acceptable carbon emissions and other limits, it is rational to expect that the quantities of low-value bulk cargo to be shipped across large oceans should go down in quantity, not up, if proper decisions are being made. In fact, building structures that are specifically designed to facilitate vast increase of trans-ocean shipments should be regarded as very poor policy. Instead, our best future development should concentrate on high value goods, which, if they are shipped overseas, return the highest achievable value per ton shipped. Broadly, such goods should be those that are valued in dollars per pound, rather than dollars per ton.
[“The need for deep-water, bulk marine terminals in the Puget Sound region”] – This is extremely questionable with respect to desirability. Deep-water, bulk terminals necessarily cause traffic in extremely large ships. The Puget Sound area is already at or beyond capacity to safety handle traffic from such large ships. Puget Sound does not need more deep-water bulk marine terminals. If such terminals are needed in Washington State, which is doubtful, then they should be sited with direct access to open ocean.
[“The need for community and economic development in Whatcom County”] – This is extremely questionable. The agencies should evaluate the NET economic development effects of the coal terminal, including but not limited to a careful examination of the professional reports on this and related topics provided by CommunityWise Bellingham. It should also be noted that the private sector in Whatcom County added over 2,400 jobs in 2012, more than ten times the projected direct employment of the terminal when operating.
[“existing and future market demands … current and forecasted Pacific Rim demand … Forecasted growth in trade … ”] – Considering that the only material currently planned for export is coal, the reference to future market demands is deeply troubling, because it reveals that the purpose of the coal terminal is to supply further expansion in the use of coal in Asia. Let’s put this very directly: The expansion in the use of coal in Asia is a serious threat to the United States, through worsened climate change. There is no circumstance under which we should actively participate in this harmful activity, which is bad climate policy and aggravates an existing national security risk.
[“Because of their physical nature (large quantities of voluminous, dry materials), dry bulk commodities are shipped in bulk rather than as containerized cargo”] – This is a good illustration of one of the reasons why coal and similar materials are not desirable for export development. They are so stunningly low in value per ton or per cubic yard that they require the largest ships on the planet in order to ship any appreciable value.
[“In 2008, the average size of bulk carriers had increased 11 percent over the previous 5 years. This increase reflects the deployment of Capesize vessels into the international bulk carrier fleet.”] – This represents a problem rather than a fun and exciting new trend to latch on to. As noted above, the state of Washington will realize far more value by marketing premium products, whose value is measured in dollars per pounds, to the world. Such goods will not be compatible with shipment in bulk carriers.
[“the need for multimodal, deep-water bulk marine terminals is not being met in the Pacific Northwest region”] Oh really? Let’s see the study. In such a study, and listing of demand for coal exports should be excluded, unless the applicant is willing to surrender the imaginary “multi-commodity” label for the proposed port. If this purported demand is composed of demand for coal, the applicant should come clean, to the extent possible to anyone in the coal business, and acknowledge the entire real purpose of the facility, which is to export coal.
[“The proposed project would help to … the Governor’s 6-Point Export Plan (Office of the Governor 2010).”] – That’s questionable. Please carefully evaluate the Governor’s plan and determine whether a plan for Washington exports includes development of export of Non-Washington materials.
[“The Terminal is consistent with the goals of the WDNR’s Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve designation for the area and with the Reserve’s Management Plan (WDNR 2010), which specifically allows this proposed development.”] This is questionable. These plans do include potential provision for a port. However, the scale of the proposed port at 48 million metric tons per year is vastly greater than anything that has previously been contemplated. In 2010, the year most recently cited, the active permit for the site envisioned a port with less than 10 million tons per year capacity, so it is reasonable to assume that the management plan was consistent with that scale of activity. In order for these plans to be cited in support of the proposed terminal, each plan should be reopened and evaluated to consider specifically the commodity of coal at a scale of 48 mmtpa.
[“The site must also possess unique features and characteristics”] This section makes no mention of the constrained nature of the waters between the proposed terminal and the open ocean. The rather bland statement that such a site “Is located on the West Coast of the US” conjures up an image of having a ready interface with open ocean, but this simply is not accurate.
Broadly, with respect to Purpose and Need, I ask the agencies to consider what types of major infrastructure investments are appropriate for a future whose outlines whose outlines include:
- Critically important reductions of carbon pollution emissions world-wide
- The impacts of climate change and ocean acidification, which are already occurring
- The critical importance of high value, premium products to our current and future economy
I ask that the agencies develop information in the EIS that will help the staff of various agencies to make excellent, forward-looking decisions, which do not contribute to aggravating serious climate and ocean problems that are already occurring, and which help us to set a course for us to continue to have a healthy future in our county, state, and country." (end quote)

David Iversen (#2242)

Date Submitted: 10/23/12
Location: Stanwood, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

David Kerlick (#238)

Date Submitted: 09/24/12
Location: Seattle, 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.

Moreover, coal burning is a greenhouse gas generator with catastrophic effects for the entire earth,which is also part of any sane environmental review.

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

David Kershner (#12043)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Lummi Island, WA
Comment:
Dear Co-Lead Agency Representatives,

I am a resident of Lummi Island, which is less than 10 miles from the proposed GPT project at Cherry Point. I am writing to urge you to include in the scope of the EIS for the project an accurate assessment of the increase in train and marine vessel traffic that will be associated with this project. Without such an accurate assessment, it will be impossible to perform a valid assessment of significant impacts of the project.

The developer of the GPT proposal has claimed that the project will not significantly increase train or shipping traffic going through Western Washington because the proposed capacity of GPT of 48 million tons of coal will simply be shipped through Western Washington to Canadian ports if the project is not approved. This argument is simply not supported by the facts. Canadian ports are developing new capacity, but there is no evidence to suggest that more than 12.5 metric million tons of capacity at those ports will be available for US coal. By contrast, US coal companies is seeking approval for approximately 140 million metric tons of capacity for US coal at terminals or proposed terminals in Washington and Oregon.

In evaluating the impacts of increased train traffic and marine vessel traffic on communities in Western Washington, it is incumbent on the agencies to establish a valid baseline condition. Clearly, there will be a substantial increase in train traffic and marine vessel traffic resulting from the GPT project, the human health, environmental, and economic impacts of which must the thoroughly analyzed.

As a result, I request that the agencies include within the scope of the EIS an analysis of the impacts of increased train traffic on communities along worst-case scenario rail routes. I also request that the agencies consider in the analysis the increased risks to the marine environment of the Salish Sea of increased marine vessel traffic associated with the project.

For an analysis of the evidence regarding Canadian port capacity, please see the attached report prepared by Sightline Institute (www.sightline.org/wp-content/uploads/.../canada-coal_2012.pdf).

Respectfully,

David Kershner
Attached Files:

David Kershner (#12079)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Lummi Island, WA
Comment:
Dear Co-Lead Agency Representatives,

I am a resident of Lummi Island, which is less than 10 miles from the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal at Cherry Point. I am very concerned about the cumulative impacts of multiple coal export facilities being proposed for Washington and Oregon.

I am writing to encourage you to broadly address cumulative impacts in your EIS for the GPT project. I call your attention to the attached letter from the US Environmental Protection Agency to the Corps of Engineers regarding the scope of NEPA review for the proposed Port Morrow coal export project. In its letter, the EPA requested that the Corps of Engineers consider in the EIS “the cumulative impacts to human health and the environment from increases in greenhouse gas emissions, rail traffic, mining activity on public lands, and the transport of ozone, particulate matter, and mercury from Asia to the United States.” The EPA goes on to “recommend that the Corps conduct a thorough and broadly-scoped cumulative impacts analysis of exporting large quantities of Wyoming and Montana-mined coal through the west coast of the United States to Asia.” It follows that the agencies in charge of the EIS process for the proposed GPT project need to conduct an equivalently thorough and broadly-scoped cumulative impacts analysis as part of the GPT EIS, given that GPT is projected to export more coal than any of the other proposed export projects now under review.

In the EPA’s letter (attached), the agency notes that, “transporting 8.8 million tons of coal with eleven trains, twelve loaded barges, and two Panamax ships per week, has the potential to significantly impact human health and the environment.” Combining those proposed shipments with the proposed shipment of as much as 130 million metric tons of coal from four other terminals, including Cherry Point, clearly will have significant adverse impacts on human health and the environment.

Respectfully,

David Kershner
Attached Files:

David Kleiman (#13722)

Date Submitted: 01/17/13
Comment:
You do not have to do the bidding of big industry. Do what is best for the country and the earth and do not allow the port to be built.

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.

David Kracke (#8580)

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.

Have you read the air pollution news out of Beijing...fine particulates at almost 1000 per cubic yard of air! Are you kidding! We cannot be party to a country with such incredible disregard for the environment, for the safety of its citizens and obviously for the safety or well
being of citizens of the USA. We should not be sending coal to the
Chinese through any port, and to think that we are going to threaten the Columbia River gorge with coal dust pollution from coal going to china...no way. We are better than that. The Chinese need to clean up their own act before we should ever contribute to the nightmare that is their energy production industry.

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,

Mr. David Kracke

David Kracke (#13294)

Date Submitted: 01/14/13
Location: Portland, OR
Comment:
Please see what is happening in Beijing today regarding the incredible level of micro-particulates in the air due primarily to coal burning there. The reported levels over the weekend approached 1000 micro-grams per cubic meter of air! We cannot be party to this kind of rampant, irresponsible pollution. The USA should not participate in this type of activity, but if we allow these coal exports, not only will we pollute our air (especially within the Columbia River gorge), but we also contribute to China's terrible problem (which is also our problem in that air pollution is a trans-boundary problem).

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.

David Krilanovich (#7077)

Date Submitted: 01/13/2013
Comment:
I live on Lummi Island.
My concern is that we live downwind from where they would have the coal stock pile. We get such heavy winds and what are they going to do about it? The winds range up to 60 mile an hour and sometimes 50 mile an hour winds for a week straight.

Please study the impacts of coal dust into the Hales’ Passage and onto Lummi Island.
The other concern I have is all of the shipping. That is a dangerous waterway to navigate and I have learned that it’s not a requirement to have a pilot boat. Please study the impacts of vessel traffic through the waterways and the erosion of the shore due to their wake.

One of their plans is to pull water from the Nooksack to calm the coal dust. Please study the impacts to Salmon from pulling water out of the Nooksack River, I have to commute to work every day from Lummi and I have to cross the tracks and get held up once in a while already. Please consider the ‘no action’ alternative.

Thank you, David Krilanovich

David Kurtz (#6653)

Date Submitted: 01/08/13
Comment:
To whom it may concern:

My name is David Kurtz and I am writing this scope comment to address the health effects of emissions from diesel particulates on people with asthma living within 1,500 feet from a rail line.

The scale of the proposed terminal would require a dramatic increase in the number of diesel-burning locomotives and marine vessels affecting Puget Sound airsheds. Diesel particulate matter is a particularly noxious form of air pollution, as it is of sufficiently small size (PM 2.5) to embed in the lung tissue. Diesel particulate matter is associated wit both pulmonary and cardiovascular issues, including cancers, heart disease, and asthma. Children, teens, and the elderly are especially vulnerable.

The Health Risk Study for the BNSF Railroad Spokane Railyard was commissioned by the Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency in spring of 2010, following serious health concerns raised about a nearly identical railyard in Stockton, CA. The study by SRCAA summarizes and cites scientific correlations between diesel and particulate matter pollution and adverse health effects, outlines the similarities between the Spokane and Stockton railyards, and provides critical information about the Spokane railyard and its own risks.
Excerpt from the study:
 The residents just to the north of the BNSF railyard, within less than 1000 feet from the centroid of the BNSF’s emissions production area, are estimated to be exposed at or above 50 and 100 in a million risk of cancer due to the Spokane BNSF railyard operations. There are approximately 150 residences in this area with a possible population of 500 – 600, suggesting that over 70 years one could expect a significant number of occurrences of cancer in that residential area.
 The residents to the northeast, northwest and south of the BNSF railyard could experience cancer risks between 10 and 25 in a million risk. Hundreds of residences in west Millwood are in this area.
 Based on extrapolation of the risk vs. distance data, one might see an elevated risk influence as far away as 5 miles to the east and west of the Spokane BNSF railyard, depending upon the wind direction.
 Diesel exhaust has been strongly linked to many major chronic and/or terminal ailments. These include cancer, emphysema, auto-immune disorders, asthma, stroke, heart and lung conditions of all types, and the underdevelopment of children’s lungs. Fine particles in diesel exhaust penetrate our lungs and remain there indefinitely to create and/or worsen both lung and heart conditions.
 “Studies show an association between exposure to diesel exhaust and lung cancer, as well as cancers of the bladder and soft tissues. The immune suppressing effects of diesel exhaust can also increase the susceptibility to cancer among those exposed. Several extensive and detailed reviews have been conducted on the body of literature relating long-term exposure to diesel exhaust particles and lung cancer. In addition, over 40 studies conducted among those populations exposed to diesel exhaust have found increased rates of lung cancer associated with diesel exhaust particles exposure.
 “Exposure to diesel PM is a health hazard, particularly to children whose lungs are still developing and the elderly who may have other serious health problems. In addition, the diesel PM particles are very small. By mass, approximately 94 percent of these particles are less than 2.5 microns in diameter (PM 2.5). Because of their tiny size, diesel PM is readily respirable and can penetrate deep into the lung and enter the bloodstream, carrying with them an array of toxins. Population-based studies in hundreds of cities in the U.S. and around the world demonstrate a strong link between elevated PM levels and premature deaths, increased hospitalizations for respiratory and cardiovascular causes, asthma and other lower respiratory symptoms, acute bronchitis, work loss days, and minor restricted activity days.
 Diesel PM emissions are the dominant toxic air contaminant (TAC) in and around a railyard facility…”
The study can be found at the following link: http://www.spokanecleanair.org/documents/Study_Reports/BNSF%20Spokane%20Railyard%20Health%20Study.pdf.

Please address this issue in the EIS for the reasons stated above.

Sincerely,

David Kurtz

David Lawrence (#7332)

Date Submitted: 01/12/13
Location: Springfield, OR
Comment:
Jan 12, 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.

Exporting up to 48 million tons of coal a year from the Powder River Basin through the Columbia River Gorge to Cherry Point for export to Asia would result in a slow-moving eco-catastrophe. The impacts of strip mining, transporting and burning the coal in Asian power plants must be included in the scope of analysis for the EIS.

Severe impacts on the Columbia River Gorge -- the most obvious rail route from the Powder River Basin through the Cascade Mountains to the proposed terminal -- would be unavoidable. The Columbia River Gorge is designated as a National Scenic Area. The 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, including the expansion of tracks and sidings in the Gorge to accommodate up to 18 additional trains per day, for possible conflict with the existing Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Act.

Air quality in the Columbia River Gorge already is degraded. Increased coal train traffic would worsen air quality and viewshed. 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,

Mr. David Lawrence

David Lawrence (#7537)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Location: Springfield, OR
Comment:
I oppose the coal terminal and the likely hauling of coal to it through the Columbia RIver Gorge.

David Leaf (#6961)

Date Submitted: 01/12/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
As a biologist, I am extremely concerned about further stressing the herring population at Cherry Point. Increased ship traffic at Cherry Point from China will bring increased air pollution from diesel fumes as well as water pollution from spills and additional threats from invasive species. Further decline in herring directly affects Chinook salmon and local Orcas. The only argument for the Gateway Pacific Terminal is a modest long-term economic benefit. The number of jobs generated by this facility fails to compare the large number of local jobs that are at risk (64% of the economy in the San Juan Islands is related to tourism). Protecting the herring stocks helps preserve the marine ecosystem and the local economy.

As a sea kayaker, I'm quite concerned with the significant increase in train traffic which blocks access to launches at Boulevard Park, Marine Park and Larrabee State Park. The launch at Larrabee will be particularly impacted as it only large enough to accommodate a back up of 2-3 trailers. During crabbing season, the launch is used extensively and would not be able to handle a cohort of greater than 5 cars, who were delayed in crossing the BNSF tracks.

Finally, as a citizen, I'm appalled that coal is being shipped to China for cheap, dirty energy. Our taxes will need to be used to mitigate climate change. As I have seen no evidence that BNSF or SSA will mitigate the costs to infrastructure, economic growth, property values - I'm also very concerned that taxpaying public will need to foot those expenses as well.

David Leppanen (#10055)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Please consider all the potential impacts of eight trains per day in each direction, especially if something causes the track to be out of service in an area where there is only a single track to accomadate travel. With eight or more trains already in the pipeline where will they be kept in a holding pattern, especially if several are right on the heels of each other? What if the track closuer lasts several days or longer?

David Lotz (#6303)

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

David lowrance (#3010)

Date Submitted: 11/15/2012
Location: bellingham, wa
Comment:
I have lived in Fairhaven for over 10 years. Only the last few years has the noise level of train horns been unbearable. I have not had a good night sleep in years. The impact has been tremendous on my health and relationship. Something needs to be done asap.

There is no consistency to the pattern of horn blows except 4 blows. It is up to the individual operator to do what he wants. There may be a policy, but is not followed. The trains in the early morning, 3am, are the most obnoxious. Sometimes it is a constant blow for 1/2 a mile. It is obvious that the operator purposely blows the horn as loud as he can just to wake people up.

We have been forced to sleep in the basement and are still woken up.

When I am woken up, I view the tracks from my home (15 blocks away) and look to see what type of train passes when the noise is excessive. In every and all cases it is a freight train with coal cars.

Amtracs volume level is bearable and nowhere near the levels of the coal/freight trains. Therefore an adjustment is possible for the freight trains.

Question: If the goal of the horns is to warn people on the tracks of the approaching train, why is there a set of horns on some locomotives facing to the rear of the train? There is no logical reason for this.

Question: Why doesn't the railroad turn the volume down? There is always a way to co-exist within a community. There have been many complaints about the noise for many years. There has been no effort by the railroad to address this issue leading me to believe that they do not care about the community.

Solutions:
Ban all train horns and make the railroads create secure crossings.
Create a noise ordinance in Bellingham that has a set decibel level.
or the easiest solution would be for the railroad just to turn down the volume.

David Lukens (#3847)

Date Submitted: 11/29/12
Location: Lynden, WA
Comment:
I admire how well gateway pacific has shown concern about our community. That said, please continue to build this terminal. I'm excited for your company and all the good jobs.

David Lukens
Lynden Washington

David MacLeod (#4008)

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

David MacLeod (#9674)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I am concerned about seismic risks and tsunamis, and what the impact would be if a major earthquake or tsunami were to occur where the proposed terminal is to be located. I would like these potential impacts to be included in the scoping process.

There is a scoping comment by Chom Greacen dated Oct. 25, 2012 that was very well stated, and with which I agree. The comment reads as follows:

"The EIS study needs to analyze the risks and impacts of earthquakes/tsunamis to coal bulk carriers and the export terminal. A study by Oregon State University (see http://oregonstate.edu/ua/ncs/node/13426) found that the northern “Cascadia subduction zone”, from WA to Vancouver island have a 10-15% chance of a mega-quake (magnitude 8 or greater) within the next 50 years. Another study by scientists at the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC), Canada's premier agency for geoscientific information and research (under the Department of Natural Resources) also found the chance of up to 14% of a “great earthquake within 50 years. But the chance could be significantly higher (up to 40%) if the quakes occur in “clusters”, a concept not totally well understood by scientists yet (Source: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/hazards/about/workshops/PacNWworkshoptalks/AdamsCascCondProbUSGS06.pdf).

Questions:
In the worst case scenario, what would be the magnitude and location of quakes and tsunamis? What would be the extent and nature of destruction and damages to the coal vessels and export terminal caused by the “worst case” quakes and tsunamis?

The nuclear disaster at Fukushima Daiichi complex was designed to withstand the “worst case” quakes and tsunami only to find out in hindsight that quakes worse than “worst case” do happen and the facilities were far from being 100% quake- or tsunami-proof as the engineers/government claimed. Are ships or the dock designed and built to be “earthquake-proven” or “tsumani-proven”? If so, how? If not, why not?

What would the resulting impacts (on ecology, property, public health, economy, etc.) from “worst case” damage to coal carriers and export terminal look like? What’s our current capacity to respond to or clean up spills or related damages? Is that sufficient? What would sufficient capacity look like? How long will it take to restore the health of our marine environment, shoreline ecology and island economy? What would be the estimated damages in dollars if such a “worst case” event were to happen?

Are there arrangements and plans being made by any agency or companies involved to increase our collective preparedness in case of such disastrous events? By whom? Is there sufficient funding to increase our preparedness to deal with such disastrous events? If not, where should the fund come from? SJ residents are not benefiting from increasing shipping traffic but have to bear a lot of risks.

Are there any provisions that require businesses that benefit from coal export (from mining companies to railways, terminal and shipping companies) to pay for increased preparedness and set aside sufficient funds for clean up activities and compensation damages (without residents having to engage in decades-long lawsuits to seek justice and redress)?

If the risk of a major earthquake and tsunami that can adversely affect coal carriers and terminal is not zero and there is no positive assurance that the resulting devastating impacts can be mitigated, the project should not get built in the first place."

David MacLeod (#9680)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
As we all know, access to clean water is essential to all of us. I am extremely concerned about how much water would be needed for use at the proposed terminal, and how this might affect all of Whatcom County. Especially so, since there are already concerns about the impact of climate change (largely due to the burning of coal) on our water supply. I ask that these impacts be included in the scoping process.

Terry Wechsler has an excellent comment posted on Nov. 30, with which I agree, re-pasted below.

Comment:
"I live in Bellingham, which has great water because we divert all we need from the Middle Fork of the Nooksack River to Lake Whatcom. We get melting glaciers and snow pack. Ferndale used to drink glacier water; now it drinks ground water, and from what I hear, they don’t like it so much.

Pacific International Terminals claims they would use a state-of-the-art dust and fire suppression system for that 80 acre pile of coal that’s about six stories high. That system requires ...water. 1.9 billion-with-a-“B” gallons of water per year from PUD, though the Project Information Document (PID) averages it to 5.3 mil. gallons per day. To put that in context, that’s more water than Ferndale uses daily; half of what all of Bellingham uses. It’s about a third of the water PUD currently supplies to six industrial and fifty irrigation customers in the Cherry Point area.

The PID describes a system that will use less water when it rains, more in the summer dry months when, of course, the Nooksack has the lowest flow. And according to a study done by a professor at Western for her master’s thesis,[1] because of the effects of global climate change on the Nooksack, summer flow in the Middle Fork could decrease by over 8% in the future.

The EIS must consider future water resources based on changing climate scenarios and determine how GPT’s state-of-the-art dust suppression system, that depends on our best water source, would impact this region’s homes, farms and industries in the worst case scenario over the proposed life of the terminal. For Ferndale, the EIS must specifically address whether it will EVER be possible for PUD to supply their water in the future if the largest coal terminal in North America were competing with you.

[1] Dickerson, Susan E., Modeling the Effects of Climate Change Forecasts on Streamflow in the Nooksack River Basin. MS thesis. Western Washington University, Bellingham, 2010. Web Nov. 29, 2012, http://kula.geol.wwu.edu/rjmitch/Dickerson.pdf."

David Martin (#8483)

Date Submitted: 01/17/2013
Location: Hayden, Id
Comment:
As an owner of cabin on Stuart Isl. that necessitates traveling back and forth by boat from Anacortes to Stuart Isl., my concern is the location of another coal pile similar to the one across the border south of Vancouver, British Columbia. If the coal trains, coal piles, coal piles in ships, etc. were covered, my concern would be significant lower. But there doesn't seem to be much concern about blowing coal dust all over the upper coast of Washington aand into the coastal waters that we use. And there are numerous reports and studies on the impact of coal dust on people - breathing/respiratory systems, vegetation and food we eat, the quality of water that we drink, marine life, and the list goes on. We don't want the Pacific NW to end up looking like West Virginia where the coal and railroad companies have had unrestricted access, little transporation regulation, ignoring air quality and the list goes on.

The rationale and hype seems to be around jobs and very little else. I don't want the Pacific NW to be and feel like West Virginia where coal jobs have been traded for an enviornment and culture where no one wants to live.

Save our Pacific NW - it is worth it.

D.L. Martin

David Martin (#12353)

Date Submitted: 01/21/13
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
In addition to the increase of noise, rail traffic resulting in auto traffic problems, added polution here (in town and at strip mines, I object to providing the cheapest fuel available to China, our manufacturing competitor, so they can provide more jobs for themselves and underprice our products in the international market place. Any polution resulting from burning of coal may affect them immediagtely, but will also drift over to us, too.
If you want cheap fuel and more jobs for China our coal will do ai. Each job we gain in Whatcom County will result in many more there. Gateway Pacific Terminal may just help China buy even cheaper fuel than they can buy through already established ports. Please think that over before making Whatcom county a part of a greater problem.

David McDougall (#3529)

Date Submitted: 11/29/2012
Comment:
My concern is that the up front definition of the EIS defacto has has all but dismissed or certainly discounted public comments from areas specifically outside the location of the terminus in question (ergo why Whatcom County is directly involved but no other counties along the proposed rail route). Therefore I say again, "...I want to know who is taking concerns and input from citizens living in communities along the extensive rail route to the terminus?". My fear and suspicion is by defining away areas outside of the terminus by specifically addressing the terminus region only, comments and concerns of a far greater number of citizens and communities will not be heard muchless addressed. My position is the EIS focus is wrong in that it is targeting the terminus area exclusively at the expense of the rest of the entire state. I recognize that the present EIS comment system does not restrict me or anyone from commenting. That's not my point. My point is the the subject, or more precisely, the scope of the present EIS is wrongly and severely restrictive and shows a conscious effort to dismiss the importance of the vast majority of citizens in this state. Am I wrong?

David McDowell (#8709)

Date Submitted: 01/17/2013
Location: Mt.Vernon, WA
Comment:
Our family is in favor of digging up, packaging and selling resources to generate jobs. In this case we do have some serious concerns that won't go away. Our house is 4 blocks from the tracks and we hear all of the trains. We notice an increase in rail traffic especially after the mud slides south of here. The trains tie up vehicle and emergency traffic and it can take 10 minutes to clear to normal traffic, this multiple times a day. The noise is noticeable, whistles are especially annoying but so is air traffic. More trains through our town just increases the stress of living close to the tracks, as we do. The thing that really bothers me and my family, which all live on the west coast, will be the pollutants that will come back via the prevailing winds after the Asians receive and burn the coal. This is the real issue for me and my family. God Bless

David McGuire (#11050)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Marysville, WA
Comment:
I live in Marysville, WA with my wife and, like many people in this city, we commute to the Bellevue/Seattle area for work. When we moved to this city we knew that every way to get to the freeway was over a train crossing and have come to accept how trains can affect travel times. However, this site will possibly create new massive traffic jams for us and possibly add up to 10 minutes to our commute each way. As a worst case scenario this could add 100 hours to our commute each year unless massive traffic revisions are made, which by my understanding are incredibly expensive. Even multiplying our issues by 10000 people, which seems very conservative, and you are talking about a massive lose in time and productivity. I can't imagine how one shipping terminal that will create far less than 1000 permanent jobs. I can say if we had known about these types of proposals we would have likely reconsidered our decision to live in this city and I imagine others will do the same. That will also result in lost jobs in our own area. With all the other issues that have been brought up about this terminal, I simply can't see how this can be view as beneficial for our region.

David Michalek (#5997)

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

David Mildrexler (#12357)

Date Submitted: 01/21/13
Location: Corvallis, OR
Comment:
Please accept these scoping comments for the environmental impact statement for the Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT) project located at Cherry Point, Washington.

I study Earth system science at Oregon State University. The reality of climate change and the future climatic changes we have already committed ourselves too is extremely alarming and sobering to say the least. Please take the time to learn about climate change before you make decisions that are critical to our future.

I am vehemently opposed to shipping any coal through the PNW. I am 110% opposed to coal passing through the Columbia River Gorge. I grew up in the NE Portland hiking in the Gorge and still do frequently today. I do not want my native region enabling the destruction of our planet and ultimately the entire socio-economic systems that we rely upon. We should not send coal for Asia to burn. As my Masters Advisor once said at U Montana, "we are in China's tailpipe."

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.

David Miller (#13458)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Eugene, 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.

China, a major buyer of this coal, has already wrecked their environment with coal and other toxic air pollutants (the yellow river does not reach the sea and you can't safely breath in Beijing without a gas mask.) Why should we help them kill themselves when they are also leading the world in renewable energy investment and silicon solar cell production. Let's not offer them more fuel for quick dirty growth when they have demonstrated they are capable of transitioning to stable, steady, clean growth.

David Moershel (#5267)

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

David Moore (#13633)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Seattle, 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, causing extra huge expense for constructing new rail and traffic infrastructure, 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. The implications of long term commitment of Asian countries to coal fired electricity would be disastrous. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

David Morgan (#13010)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
Location: Newport, OR
Comment:
I strongly oppose any coal exports from the U.S. which would contribute to the already looming "installment plan" disaster for our atmosphere and for life as we know it on this planet. To enable other countries to dramatically increase the green house gas loading of our atmosphere is a gargantuan exercise of blind corporate egotism. It is a suicidal act and should be stopped literally "in its tracks."

David Mullins (#7547)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Location: Battle Ground, Wa
Comment:
We need jobs. Please support this endeavor.

David Murphy (#5311)

Date Submitted: 12/21/2012
Location: Ferndale, Wa
Comment:
If you like more jobs, more traffic, more train noise, more housing, more stores, more coal dust, poor air for us to breath coming in from china, add massive amount of of polution for the china people to beath, which I like none of the above. You can move to L.A. and its all ready there. Do not wish to have none of this here. Try rebuilting the salmon aset which would work a lot better for this area. I can already hear trains in the mddle of the night. So no on the terminal. Merry Christmass for christs sake

David Myers (#8626)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Location: Billings , MT
Comment:
Mr Randel Perry, Greetings,

I am a Montanan who favors increasing the potential to export MT and WY coal which the construction of export terminals will support. Coal is a world commodity and, MT coal should expand its access to world markets. We in MT certainly do not refrain from buying products from Asia. We should not limit ourselves to curtail selling MT products such as coal to Asian buyers.

David Myers

David Neevel (#1822)

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

David Newman (#270)

Date Submitted: 10/03/2012
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington. The negative impacts of this terminal are almost too numerous to mention. The rail shipment of dirty coal -- often extracted by destroying the environment from which it was taken -- exposes many communities across our state to hazardous pollution of air and water. Miles-long coal trains will create horrendous traffic problems everywhere including the Seattle waterfront, harming existing business, delaying emergency vehicles and increasing shipping traffic and noise. It will damage aquatic ecosystems at the terminal site, and increase the potential for serious shipping accidents and exacerbating climate change. More jobs will be lost than created, and many communities will be permanently damaged.

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

Sincerely,

David Newman

David Nice (#10086)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Pullman, WA
Comment:
I support construction and operation of the proposed coal terminal facility. I believe that problems with noise and coal dust can be reduced by adding sound deflecting and sound absorbing structures and vegetation (solid walls, acoustic mirrors, and trees and shrubs) and by spraying the coal before unloading (and recapturing the water that runs off and retrieving the coal dust). Road/rail intersections carrying heavier traffic may need better warning signals, and busy pedestrian routes may need pedestrian bridges. Opponents of the coal terminal should recognize that a fair amount of the coal traffic currently goes via the Columbia River gorge and then north to near Vancouver, BC. The proposed terminal would help to reduce the mileage covered by the coal trains and so reduce diesel exhuast emissions.
My understanding is that if the terminal is not built, Asian coal customers will still buy US coal shipped via terminals in the Vancouver, BC, area and from non-US sources. Some of the non-US coal may be higher in sulphur and, therefore, more dangerous to the environment than our own lower-sulphur coal. Perhaps we could work harder to sell the Asian coal customers scrubbers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

David Nierman (#8822)

Date Submitted: 01/16/13
Comment:
January 16, 2013

This is a very bad concept for numerous reasons! Just several are:

The coal dust pollution at cherry creek is a very real threat to the environment and people living in close proximity to the terminal.

Where I live in the Wenatchee Valley are a number of small towns with only one rail line which bisects these communities. Currently 20 trains a day go through these towns. When this happens emergency services and all traffic comes to a standstill. These long slow coal trains would exacerbate this existing problem.

Until China cleans up their coal fired plants to our standards we should not ship them any coal. We should not enable them to pollute their environment and the world environment.
David G. Nierman
Dryden WA=

David Olson (#3994)

Date Submitted: 11/29/12
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Files:

David Oriman (#6181)

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

David Ostlund (#7095)

Date Submitted: 01/13/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
As a long time resident of Bellingham, Washington and the North Puget Sound, I have serious concerns about the ramifications of the Gateway Pacific Terminal project. First and foremost, the quality of life in and around the Bellingham area is unparalleled and my fear is that the increased rail traffic and the nature of the proposed cargo will damage that. With respect to rail traffic, I am most concerned about the increase in time at crossings, the noise pollution around some of my family's favorite parks, and the potential for particulate pollution. The environmental impact, both along the rail route and at the terminal site, are also of grave concern to me. I urge you to consider the long-term consequences to the fishery, the land at and around the terminal, and the ecosystems along the rail line. Their value is of utmost importance to our community.

Please consider the air quality, noise, traffic, human health, and environmental ramifications of this project carefully and with the well-being of all those who live in potentially impacted areas in mind. In your scoping, please also recognize the impact this will have on all the residents of Washington State who live on or near the rail line.

David Patton (#1871)

Date Submitted: 10/29/12
Location: Seattle, 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 human health especially in children, 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. 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.

In addition, please reveiw the human health, environmental health and the entire extent that coal, coal dust and coal transportation can impact communities that this coal will travel through, stand for extended periods, and port cities intended for export.




David Patton
1911 NW 75th Street
Seattle, WA 98117

David Peeler (#13102)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Location: Olympia, 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.

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, including the transportation corridors and burning of the additional fossil fuels.

David Penrose (#1173)

Date Submitted: 10/24/2012
Location: BELLINGHAM, WA
Comment:
Our quality of life and local economy is significantly influenced by visitors to Bellingham and Whatcom County. The Bellingham Bay Marathon, Half Marathon & 5K draws over 5,000 participants, their families and friends each September to greater Bellingham. The event fills area hotels and significantly boosts revenue for restaurants, grocery stores and other businesses. These visitors come for a great event in a community that strives to be environmentally friendly. For tourism, the perception of our community environmental efforts is equal in importance to the reality of such efforts.

With two of our races of length 26.2 and 13.1 miles and these train rails running through downtown and the along the waterfront in the county, the marathon and half marathon courses must frequently travel across, adjacent to and over the train tracks. The Bellingham Bay Marathon already must take special participant safety precautions and race timing measures to accommodate the current level of train traffic. Adverse impact on race logistics and participants' experience due to increased train traffic, increased noise or reduced air quality will have a detrimental affect on event registration volume. This in turn will negatively affect our local economy. As a fundraising event, any adverse impact on race registration will reduce the tens of thousands of dollars the Bellingham Bay Marathon contributes to local youth organizations.

As President of the Bellingham Bay Athletic Organization board, which manages the Bellingham Bay Marathon, Half Marathon & 5K, I would like to see clear, proven results from the EIS that show NO impact on noise, air quality and human health before supporting Gateway Pacific Terminal. Unless infrastructure in constructed to easily bypass active train tracks, I am VERY concerned how ANY increase in train traffic will affect this event.

David Perk (#5019)

Date Submitted: 12/16/12
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
Dear Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Ecology and Whatcom County Council:

After attending the public hearing in Seattle on December 13th it is painfully obvious that the impacts of the mining, transport and consumption of the coal proposed for export at the Gateway Pacific Terminal far exceed the proposed scope of the Environmental Impact Statement for any single terminal.

The multiple, distinct impacts of coal train traffic can be found in each of the four states through which coal trains will travel. These impacts should be included in the scope of the EIS.

The expansion of coal mines and the creation of rail lines to move it affect citizens of the state of Montana. These impacts should be included in the scope of the EIS.

The shipping of the coal to Asian buyers impacts the commercial, sport and subsistence fisheries of Washington and Oregon. These impacts should be included in the scope of the EIS.

The consumption of the coal by Asian power plants will result in CO2 absorption by ocean waters, increasing their acidity. This is in direct conflict with Washington State's effort to preserve its shellfish industry.

A comprehensive carbon accounting is needed. The public deserves to know to what extent the exported coal will raise the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. This increase should be published in the context of the target temperature of the Copenhagen Agreement.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers should expand the scope of the Gateway Pacific Terminal draft EIS to include these areas of study.

Sincerely,

David Perk
Seattle

David Perk (#5298)

Date Submitted: 12/18/12
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
Dear Mr. Perry:

Att: Randel Perry, USACE

Since attending the Seattle public hearing on the draft EIS for the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal I have come to realize that the project's social, economic and environmental impacts far exceed the scope of the draft EIS as currently defined.

Communities all along the route of the coal trains coming from and returning to Montana will be effected. The effects of the coal transport should be included in the draft EIS for the Gateway Pacific Terminal, as has been requested by thousands of Washington State citizens, numerous newspaper editorial boards and many municipal, county and state officials.

If permitted, the Gateway Pacific Terminal will generate a massive increase in trains traveling through the region. The environmental impact study on this project needs to consider the following questions and concerns from communities along the way.

What is the cost of infrastructure needed to prevent increased train traffic from imposing devastating impacts on local businesses and public safety?

Who will pay for that infrastructure: local taxpayers or the rail companies, coal companies and their Asian customers?

What are the air quality and public health implications of dozens of coal trains passing through communities?

How will massive increases in coal train volume on rail lines that are already at or near capacity affect other shippers, including agricultural commodities that currently move approximately 40 million tons per year to ports in Washington and Oregon for export markets?

How will increases in coal train volume affect Amtrak passenger service through the Pacific Northwest and the vital tourism economy of the region?

How will increased coal related train traffic affect existing businesses near the railroad in towns and cities along the route?

I urge the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct an area-wide Environmental Impact Statement that includes Montana and Wyoming to assess the cumulative impact of coal export facility proposals.

Sincerely yours,

David Perk

David Perk (#6252)

Date Submitted: 01/08/2013
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
I am concerned that the existing ventilation systems of Seattle's train tunnel are insufficient for the proposed number of trains traveling to the Gateway Pacific Terminal.

The evironmental impact statement should analyze the capabilities of the Seattle train tunnel's existing ventilation system, in order to determine whether any mitigation strategies are needed, including additional ventilation infrastructure, emission capture devices, reducing or increasing train length, timing of train traffic, and use of alternative types of train engines.

The EIS should analyze the potential health impact of vented and unvented train exhaust and coal dust to the population of Seattle, including residents and visitors in the vicinity of the Seattle train tunnel's ventilation system, and train workers and train passengers using the tunnel.

David Perk (#6359)

Date Submitted: 01/09/2013
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
The Gateway Pacific Terminal's environmental impact statement should analyze the extent to which coal dust from coal trains and the downwind results of coal consumption would increase mercury levels in Washington State waters.

Since Washington State’s water quality standards are being revised to account for increased fish consumption, the EIS should analyze which streams, rivers, tidelands and coastal waters would register increased levels of mercury, and what mitigations could be taken to preserve acceptable water standards, particularly in regards to sports, subsistence and commercial fisheries.

Reference:
"Washington moves forward to adopt new water quality standards for toxics," http://www.ecy.wa.gov/news/2012/314.html.

David Presser (#9271)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Comment:
Pollution for Profit

100% of coal production results in pollution. Every single aspect, from the land from which the coal is taken to the air where the coal is burned, and all points in between, the result is a contaminated earth in which we live. It’s frustrating to live in a world, live in a society, where the consequences of increasing the pollution to the planet is encouraged by profit.

Really? Is this really a question? Do I wish to coat America from Wyoming to Bellingham with coal dust? Fill the air with more diesel fumes? Pollute the world with additional train blasts and rumbling? Substantially increase the contribution of carbon dioxide to our atmosphere? Risk the receiving nations having no sulfur dioxide scrubbers to avert acid rain on our forests and farmland? Is that what you’re asking comments on?

Clearly the answer is “no”. I do not wish to consume our natural resources in a way that substantially increases the damage to the area in which we live and the planet overall.

I do wish we could devise another route to profit to our coal producers.

David Presser
Washington Gorge resident

David Randall (#303)

Date Submitted: 09/25/12
Location: Spokane, 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.
The rich are killing the earth, their children, all of us for short term greed. They must be stopped.

Sincerely,

David Randall

David Randall (#4993)

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

David Ridgway (#1790)

Date Submitted: 10/31/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
My wife and I live in South Bellingham not far from the railroad tracks. We are currently impacted by the noise from the passing trains. We have many concerns about the proposed coal export terminal , resulting train traffic and it's direct impact on our lives and those of our neighbors.The issues of health, safety, environmental degradation, noise pollution and lowered property values are direct concerns. The disruption of traffic flow and emergency services along the trains route seem problematic. If the proposed terminal is allowed the resulting degradation to our community and quality of life, long championed here, will have negative impacts on the local economy and desirability for future generations. The environmental impacts along the route and surrounding the terminal will be as disastrous as they have proven near other similar facilities. The marine ecology, currently struggling at Cherry Point, will not have a chance to rebound. The impacts of air and water pollution from China will be harmful and do nothing to stop the escalation of climate change. The few jobs the terminal will create are not worth the extensive environmental, health, safety and economic damage the project will incur to communities along the train route and near the terminal.
Please include studies of all the above concerns in your scoping for this project.

Thank you,
David

David Robinson (#1060)

Date Submitted: 10/15/12
Location: Curlew, 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.

It is immoral and unethical to further the use of coal! It is destroying our climate and our future! Any one who supports the gas, oil and coal industry are equal to the same immoral regimes in the past that supported apartheid. People that support the gas, oil and coal industry are supporting an industry that is bent on destroying the environment just to make a buck. This outrageous direction by our "energy companies" to extract all the carbon to dump them into our skies for energy will be found to be the most destructive force, and it will stop when the people wake up and take their money out of these immoral companies like they did when they opposed the South African apartheid regime!

david robinson
pobox 151
curlew, WA 99118

David Rowe (#5953)

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

david rudo (#5049)

Date Submitted: 12/18/2012
Location: seattle, Wa
Comment:
This project will be a disaster at all levels. Globally it will result in the palutents in the coal coming back to the U S in the air and ocean currents. It will create more green house gases.

The scope of this project should include all of the future proposed terminals because of the global impact. It should include all of the possible impacts along the route that the coal would travel from the mine to the destination in China, and the return of the polutents back to the U S.

David Sackman (#1432)

Date Submitted: 10/25/2012
Location: Sedro Woolley, WA
Comment:
Question:

From your website, the following statement was made:

The EIS analyses will include a review of the environmental impacts, including human health effects related to the construction and operation of the Gateway Pacific Terminal .facilities and modifications to the BNSF Custer Spur The EIS analyses will also provide an assessment of whether measures can be taken to avoid or minimize those environmental impacts.

If I'm reading this correctly, the scope of your study would be only to look at the construction and operation of the Gateway Pacific Terminal facilities and modifications to the BNSF Custer Spur. If this is correct, when will you be looking at the real impact on most of us regarding traffic, noise, air polution, ect that the rest of the multiple counties will be faced with when these trains are transporting the coal to the terminal?

David Sackman (#3017)

Date Submitted: 11/16/2012
Location: Sedro Woolley, WA
Comment:
1. Air quality will be affected due to the increase of more trains running back and forth through our county. For those people with breathing problems, the increase of air pollution from both the exhaust of the train and coal dust left from the open cars will have a detrimental effect.

2. Traffic at all rail crossings will be impacted. I am a 9-1-1 dispatcher. I hear from fire and ambulance drivers at least once a week saying that they've been delayed by a train. With an increase of trains, longer trains, this interruption of emergency services will only increase, putting our citizens at more risk. Recently, I've read of at least 2 coal trains derailing, causing concern for safety of these trains traveling through our cities. Train crossings are already constantly in poor condition. Driving over these RR crossings at the posted speed limits would cause damage to your vehicles. If you are pulling a trailer, you just about have to come to a stop before crossing them. More train traffic would cause these crossing to deteriorate even faster.

3. Concerns regarding the coal dust leaving their cars and reaching our water ways causing a negative impact on our fishing.

4. Proponents talk about the increase of jobs in the region. I don't believe their numbers. I do know that the country of China wants our coal. They need it to produce cheap energy and with that, they will be able to produce cheaper products and ship them back to us which hurts our economy. There are too many negative issues with this plan and not enough positive issues to proceed. The proponents of this plan cannot provide adequate measures to offset all the negative impacts this proposal involves. In short, this proposal will only benefit a few people in our region while costing the majority of the rest of us living here. I have no doubt that if we were able to vote on this proposal, it would be overwhelmingly defeated.

Thank you for the opportunity to share my concerns

David Sandstrom (#4438)

Date Submitted: 12/04/12
Location: Spokane, 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.

I also urge you to look into the financial impact on the Spokane, WA area as most of the financial burden for upgrades has been shunted off on the municipalities. What does Spokane gain, financially from the Proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal.



David Sandstrom
724 E 31st Ave
Spokane, WA 99203

David Schneider (#12089)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal/Custer Spur
NEPA and SEPA Scoping Comments
David Schneider
Bellingham


1) The GPT terminal as proposed will increase rail traffic between coal mines in Wyoming and the GPT terminal, north of Bellingham. Train traffic impacts the environment in a number of ways (outlined in more detail below). As a consequence:

All environments impacted by increased rail traffic need to be part of the EIS. At a minimum, this includes the rail corridor to be used through Washington State. At a minimum, the corridor of analysis should be a width equal to the distance the sound of train horns will travel at a level audible to humans.

2) The GPT terminal will increase shipping traffic in Washington State waters. As a consequence:

All environments impacted by increased shipping need to be part of the EIS. At a minimum, this includes all waters that will have increased shipping traffic in Washington State.

3) Change is measured against baseline growth. Baselines in the EIS must be realistic, and based on evidence. Where evidence does not exist, a reasonable attempt must be made to generate the evidence through research and expert analysis. For example, some GPT proponents claim that baseline rail traffic will increase at the same rate irrespective of GPT. The claim is that coal, at the same volume on the same rail corridor, will be transported to Canada for overseas export. A full expert analysis of such claims must be undertaken. Given most of the coal exported from Canadian ports is higher value metallurgical coal, and not cheaper thermal coal produced by the Wyoming mines, and that Canadian export capacity is constrained, there is strong prima facie reason to question such claims.

4) Impacts to be considered must include: direct impacts, indirect impacts and cumulative impacts.

5) Impacts identified in (4) above must also be considered over time. For example, it is reasonable to believe that positive impacts may accrued in the short term while negative impacts accrue over a longer time period. The EIS should include all of short (within one year), medium (1 to 5 years) and long term (5 to 30 years) impacts as part of cumulative impacts.

6) An alternative of “no action” must be considered as one of the potential optimal actions.


7) One way to quantify intensity, or severity of impact, of the proposed GPT on the human environment (natural and physical environment and the interaction of people with that environment), is to conduct a full analysis of how property values will be affected by increased GPT related rail traffic. A full analysis of how property values will be affected must be part of the EIS. This analysis should also include secondary effects of changes to property values, such as changes to property tax revenues by all levels of government, and impacts on financial and investment markets where affected property is used as collateral or equity within the financial system.

Property Values - Increased freight rail traffic will diminish the value of affected real property relative to non-affected real property. The negative effect following from increased freight rail traffic is multi-dimensional and cumulative. Negative effects on real property prices are reasonably expected to follow from:
i) noise effects (annoyance to painful);
ii) health and safety effects (emergency vehicle delay, interrupted sleep);
iii) air quality effects (diesel particulates, coal dust);
iv) land use effects (recreation – decreased access to parks, ability to enjoy parks);
v) traffic effects (traffic delays at level crossings); and
vi) socioeconomic impacts (tourism, livability, branding as a “green” community, and loss of economic development)

It is published that prospective homebuyers view locating near train track with about 15 freight trains per day very negatively, and would rather locate beside an interstate highway.[1] Expected diminished property values will be one of the most tangible methods for assessing cumulative adverse impacts from increased freight rail traffic following from the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal and Custer Spur Projects (GPT).

a) a comprehensive, peer reviewed, literature review must be conducted on the direct, indirect and cumulative relationships between change of intensity of freight rail traffic and property values. The study must identify any non-linear relationships, and inflection points, [2] between freight train intensity (proximity, frequency, duration, decibels, ground vibration), and property values.

b) all expected direct, indirect and cumulative affects to property values attributable to increased GPT related train activity must be identified and to the extent possible quantified using an econometric analysis. Econometric methods, real estate sales data and other available data exist making quantification possible, though new research assembling and analyzing the data may be required. A study may need to be conducted in a region that could generalize to regions along the coal mine to GPT rail corridor. A conclusion that GPT related freight train impacts on property values cannot be considered due to the existence of little or no evidence is unacceptable.

c) Alternate methods of property valuation should be applied. For example, best methods by professional assessors should be applied to make a parallel analysis.

d) all affected property in the rail corridor from mines in Wyoming to GPT must be included in the economic analysis.

e) the economic analysis must include an estimate of net change to property tax revenue following from expected decreases to property values.

f) impacts on financial and investment markets needs to be analyzed where affected property is used as collateral or equity within the financial system. Federal agencies such as FDIC may have a direct interest in this analysis.

g) proposals for mitigating real property owners for negative affects must be identified.

h) the econometric analysis might also be able to quantify potential benefits to real property values from effective mitigation (benefits from sound barriers, overpass construction etc.)

i) A particular focus should be on the cumulative and long term economic impacts of increased rail traffic on the proposed Waterfront Development on the old Georgia Pacific site, City of Bellingham. In addition to reducing any development, delays in development also should be considered.

(8) Economic Benefit from Construction and Operations Phase if Impact Assessment is Limited to Whatcom County. At the Scoping meeting in Ferndale, multiple longshoreman came to the microphone and stated they now work out of Whatcom County and look forward to working as Longshoremen in Whatcom County. This has a significant impact on how direct and induced jobs must be properly calculated in an economic impact evaluation.

a) How many new (not relocated) jobs for Whatcom residents (are longshoremen or other workers currently living in Whatcom but working out of county and will be shifting to GPT?);

(9) The impact to the Bellingham “Green” Brand must be quantified. Most employers in the area cite outdoor opportunities as one of the best assets to quality of life in the area. How will GPT slow/limit population and job growth related to tourism and a “creative class.”

Footnotes:

[i] Simons, RA. El Jaouhari, A. “The Effect of Freight Railroad Tracks and Train Activity on Residential Property Values.” The Appraisal Journal. Summer 2004; 223-233.
[ii] For example, one might find that livability decreases exponentially after hitting some threshold of number of freight trains a day. Eg. no problem if there are five trains a day; big problem if there are ten.

David Shaw (#5262)

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

David Shelman (#5300)

Date Submitted: 12/18/12
Location: Corbett, OR
Comment:
Dec 18, 2012

US Army Corps of Engineers

Topics 2 and 3 of the Scoping search:
1. The panel of agencies administering this EIS should be as broad as
the potential global, national, regional and local consequences.
2. This project, nor any single proposal, should be evaluated as a
stand-alone project. The cumulative impact of the half dozen proposed and anticipated projects must be taken into account.
3. The Gateway Pacific Project, and the other coal export projects,
must be seen as linear developments, 1000 miles long. The nature of the material being moved and the sheer volume of it will have impacts all along these routes as well as in the local terminal communities.

Nowhere will these impacts be more concentrated than in the Columbia River Gorge. The Gateway Pacific project and every other proposed or anticipated coal shipping port in Washington and Oregon, will rely on transporting the coal through the 80 miles that comprise the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. The NSA designation was made federal law by act of Congress in 1986, in recognition of the spectacular natural beauty of this area. The Act charged the U.S. Forest Service, the states of Washington and Oregon, local counties and a special commission with protecting it from development that would diminish the qualities that led to its NSA designation.

The EIS must decide if this project, including the cumulative effect of all NW coal projects, will legally violate this NSA. Regardless of the legal determination, will it undermine the protections that have been put in force? Will it diminish the experience for NSA residents, businesses, recreationists and tourists?

My wife and I hike in the Gorge and proudly bring our visitors to it.
I am an artist and the Gorge is my frequent outdoor studio. So this matter is very close to home for us and our neighbors.

I urge this panel first, to determine if it has sufficient representation to adequately fulfill the EIS requirements; second, to evaluate the cumulative effect of multiple projects, and third, to specifically investigate the proposal's impact on the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area.

Sincerely,

Mr. Dave Shelman

David Siden (#1756)

Date Submitted: 10/22/12
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

David Sielaff (#3602)

Date Submitted: 11/29/2012
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
How will cancer, heart disease, asthma and other health risks be affected by air and water pollution associated with coal transport, storage and export?

Toxic air pollution crosses the Pacific ocean from Asia to the west coast of the United States; what would be the local public health impacts of Powder River Basin coal combustion in Asia?

David Sielaff (#3603)

Date Submitted: 11/29/2012
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
How will the coal trains affect motor vehicle traffic, transportation, emergency vehicle response times and the flow of commerce in communities along the rail corridor?

David Sielaff (#3604)

Date Submitted: 11/29/2012
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
How much will the project destroy significant wetlands? These wetlands are critical habitats and sources of biodiversity.

David Sielaff (#3605)

Date Submitted: 11/29/2012
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
How will groundwater be contaminated by strip mining? Once this water is contacted by the mine, it can never again be used for a life-giving purpose.

How will some of the coal dust that leaves the coal trains and enter the surface stream system, degrade water quality?

David Sklover (#8299)

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

David Slawson (#10646)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Olga, WA
Comment:
I am a retired law professor and practicing lawyer and so know some of the legal problems that the proposed massive shipping of coal through the inland waterway will involve. The one that concerns me most is the ability of our state or local governments to obtain compensation for the accidents that are sure eventually to occur, which will cause widespread damage to the environment, private and government property and the tourist business to the San Juans. The legal responsibility is fairly clear: the owners of the vessels that carry the coal or oil will be responsible. Moreover, if the vessel itself is wrecked and so becomes salvage, it (for what it's worth, wrecked) itself is available to be salvaged for payment. But because almost all large shipping vessels these days are registered under foreign flags, and often have only corporate "shells" - i.e., no assets - in the foreign countries where they are registered, the legal responsibility will be worthless in most cases. There will be little or no money available to pay compensation, and either the state or local governments will have to pay for the cleanup or no one will pay for it, and the environmental and property damage will be permanent.

David Smith (#6820)

Date Submitted: 01/11/2013
Location: Friday Harbor, WA
Comment:
Dear GPT/BNSF Custer Spur EIS Co-Lead Agencies,

I am a property owner 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 oil and coal spill risks. Questions that concern me, and which objective, rigorous and comprehensive studies should address include:

How will GPT's marine vessel traffic increase collision risks with tankers and other cargo ships in the area?
What would be the effects on our region of a catastrophic oil and/or coal spill?
If there is no positive assurance and insurance from those involved against any potentially significant impacts, please consider a no build option.


Sincerely,

David Smith

David Smith (#11743)

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



I am a property owner on San Juan Island. 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 (GPT) 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 shipping on air pollution. An objective, rigorous and comprehensive study should be undertaken to see what impact of air pollution associated with increased vessel traffic will have on our region and what impact these increases will have upon air quality standards.



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



Sincerely,

David Smith

David Smith (#11753)

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



I am a property owner on San Juan Island. 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,

David Smith

David Sprau (#9099)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Location: Warren, OR
Comment:
I'm 68 years old and have lived near railroads, and worked for them all my working life. I am retired now, and have no dog in this race- but can't help expressing my opinion about all this publicity I am hearing. All of this hand wringing about coal dust and pollution and noise is ridculous. A railroad train of 100 coal cars is much preferable to one hundred, or even fifty, seperate highway trucks and does no harm to the public infrastructure (roads and highways) like trucks would do, and will keep our highway congestion problem from getting worse still. And any noise they make is over in just a couple of minutes where trucks would go on making noise and spewing exhaust for several hours in order to move the same amount of tonnage. A train of 100 cars passing over a highway crossing at 35 MPH would be moving 52 feet per second, therefore the train would be over the crossing in one hundred minutes, or just over a minute and a half. If it operated at 50-60 MPH this time would reduce to about one minute flat. People who complain about delay at crossings just dont seem to understand this elementary math. Also I see editorials claiming Mrs Housewife's clean wash will be all dirtied with coal dust; and that's ridiculous too. In the first place, nobody hangs wash out anymore, and in the second place, coal loads are wetted and/or covered, and prove-ably don't spew dust over anything. //

David Stalheim (#887)

Date Submitted: 10/20/2012
Comment:
One of the purposes of SEPA and an Environmental Impact Statement is to inform decision-makers about the permit application. I will call your attention to County Code WCC 20.88.130(6): in order to approve this development, the project "[w]ill not impose uncompensated requirements for public expenditures for additional utilities, facilities and services..."

All public expenditures that will be imposed as a result of this project must be identified in order to determine the public expense and required expenditure. This standard is not geographically limited to Whatcom County, but all public expenditures.

This standard needs to include impacts during construction, during operation, and if (when) the project ceases to operate. Impacts are quite distinct in all phases of a major project like this. Consideration of the public cost to address environmental damage from abandoned coal piles on the property must also be included. Review of the public costs associated with cleaning up other major toxic dumps should be reviewed, such as the public costs associated with the Bellingham waterfront, Holden Mine, or Libby, Montana.

Public expenditures that will likely be required include rail crossings, roads and highways, wetland mitigation, project compliance (enforcement) monitoring, marine spill response, fire and police protection, stormwater systems, schools (including increased enrollment during construction), public health (Medic services), water systems, parks and recreation,

It is essential that the EIS include the information that addresses this criterion for issuance of a major project permit. The EIS needs to identify what requirements will be imposed, and the expected cost of those requirements, so that the true cost of this project can be ascertained. Then, either the applicant agrees to compensate the costs -- or the project permit application must be denied.

David Stalheim (#6937)

Date Submitted: 01/12/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
It took someone walking their dog to find illegal land clearing and road-building at the coal terminal site. Not only were trees cleared and roads built, but wetlands were impacted in violation of local, state and federal laws. If regulatory agencies were unable to find this violation until reported by citizens, what assurance would the public have that all the safeguards and promises that Gateway Pacific Terminal makes will be enforced?

Federal, state and local governments have seen their workforce decline over the past four years due to the economic recession. These reductions are not split equally amongst the various functions of government, and have been most impactful on those agencies that are expected to monitor and enforce protections of the environment.

For example, the largest reductions in the workforce in Whatcom County was the Planning and Development Services Department - the same department that we expect to oversee preparation of this EIS. From 2007 to 2014 (staff levels in adopted budget), their staff levels declined 42.4%, or 32 employees. No other County department comes close to seeing this amount of reduction in workforce.

Not only can we expect that the EIS will not have adequate attention from PDS staff, we can expect that there will be less ability for staff to monitor and enforce mitigation and conditions associated with approval of North America's largest coal export facility.

The EIS needs to identify measures to implement the measures. In other words, just saying that there are ways to minimize and mitigate the proposal is meaningless unless there are ways to enforce those measures.

I ask that the EIS explore the ways to ensure that measures to avoid, minimize and mitigate the effects of the proposal get implement. One way that should be explored would be dedicated funding from the project to hire dedicated staff for federal, state and local agencies to monitor and enforce these measures.

Otherwise, the measures might be nothing more than broken promises.

David Stalheim (#7139)

Date Submitted: 01/13/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Understanding the economic contributions of the coal port is essential to show the project won't "impose uncompensated requirements for public expenditures for additional utilities, facilities and services…" This is one of several requirements under Whatcom County's code that must be met for the project to proceed.

With eighteen coal trains per day, each a mile and one-half in length, one of the biggest public expenditures that might be necessary would be separating traffic and pedestrians from coal trains through expensive grade separated crossings.

In Washington State alone, there are 75 cities and 19 counties along the coal train route, all with at-grade rail crossings. Many of these communities have already expressed concerns regarding the impact and public costs they believe will be required due to the coal trains.

The City of Blaine wants an overpass so "Marine Drive is not blocked."

The City of Ferndale is particularly concerned that "funding of the proposed Thornton Street grade separation…be considered."

Mt. Vernon is concerned that "lengthy delays at rail crossings…will cause a significant reversal to..revitalization of its downtown."

With eleven public at-grade crossings, the City of Marysville worries that if the applicant doesn't pay the costs for rail crossing improvements, the public will be required to "divert precious…resources that are programmed for existing needs."

Communities all along the coal train route know first-hand what the impact of additional coal trains might be, including the expense that might be needed to separate traffic and pedestrians from coal trains.

Constructing grade separation of vehicles and rail is extremely costly, and the railroad and developers rarely contribute more than 5% of the project costs, leaving millions to be borne by taxpayers. Ferndale's Thornton Street grade separation is projected to cost $37.8 million.

Gateway Pacific Terminal and SSA Marine claim the coal terminal would "significantly enhance tax revenues." The claims of tax benefits is misleading. Only those taxing districts that are allowed to collect more revenue from new construction would see enhanced tax revenues.

The tax benefits from this project, using the applicant's own numbers, would pay for no more than one grade-separated crossing -- maybe two.

I would like the EIS to explore all crossings from Cherry Point to the Powder River Basin. The EIS should consider the adopted transportation level of service in each city and county, and determine whether the project would result in failed level of service to that city and county.

I would like the EIS to also explore the costs needed to meet level of service standards, and the financial obligations that should be paid by GPT to ensure that the economic conditions of each of these cities and counties is not adversely impacted.

Finally, I would like the EIS to explore how to expedite BNSF approval of traffic and pedestrian safety improvements at railroad crossings. One of the largest sources of delay to cities and counties when making crossing improvements is caused by the railroad itself. Railroads in the United States enjoy special rights not afforded to other private property, making cities and counties wait endlessly for permission to make necessary improvements. These delays are costly and can be avoided by requiring the railroad to mitigate this impact by entering into agreements with Washington State to expedite the process, including donating right-of-way and/or easements without charge to complete the improvements caused by the increased coal train traffic.

David Stalheim (#9914)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Comment:
Property taxes paid by Gateway Pacific Terminal will not provide any direct increase to school district revenues, including the Ferndale or Blaine School Districts which bisect this property. As a result, any impact caused by the project during construction or operation needs to be presented in the EIS and measures to mitigate the adverse environmental impact identified.

Gateway Pacific Terminal and SSA Marine commissioned a study by FCS Group that says there will be "$1,425,000 in revenues or "tax savings" for rate payers in the Ferndale School District" and another "$809,000...in the Blaine School District." As they properly footnote, however, the tax levies are fixed annual payments, and additional valuation by GPT will not increase the revenue for that school district.

Without any revenue from GPT to schools, the question is whether or not the project will result in significant adverse environmental impacts on schools. The answer is yes.

The project application claims "an average of approximately 1,100 direct jobs" would be generated from construction of the project over a 4-year period, as well as another 1,500 induced and indirect jobs. (PID, 5.5.3.4) The applicant admits that an "influx of workers may increase demand on public service providers and infrastructure, such as schools..." and that more "information is required on..the capacity...to accommodate a potential influx of people to the area." (PID, 5.5.4.1)

The applicant, however, inaccurately states that the "addition of new jobs and tax revenue generated by the project [along with] increased tax revenues would offset increased demand for these services." (PID, 5.5.4.1) This is simply false, and the EIS needs to dismiss these inaccuracies and document both the anticipated demand on school services during construction and operation, and the financial impact that this project would cause as result of that impact.

Understanding the economic contributions of the coal port is essential to show the project won't "impose uncompensated requirements for public expenditures for additional utilities, facilities and services…" This is one of several requirements under Whatcom County's code that must be met for the project to proceed.

The FCS Group study has been thoroughly reviewed, and some assumptions that they make should probably be dismissed or updated. First, the FCS Group information used tax levy and property tax values that were one year out-of-date. The EIS needs to use the most current values for the most accurate presentation of the facts to be used during the permitting process.

Second, despite the fact that the current assessed values of GPT parcels favors the Blaine School District, and despite the fact that the site plan appears to place most of the improvements on that part of the GPT parcels in the Blaine School District, the FCS Group assumed that most of the improvement values would go to the Ferndale School District. This issue needs to be reviewed critically as it could result in significant errors in mitigation measures applied to those two school districts.

The EIS needs to objectively quantify the impacts to schools beyond the boundary of this project. Construction workers or permanent workers are not likely to limit their impact to the Ferndale and Blaine School Districts. What impact would 40 new families with children have if they all located in the Kendall area that is in the Mt. Baker School District? Would that district have the facilities to accommodate this sudden influx of students? Would that district have adequate revenues to pay for additional teachers and support staff?

If the applicant's claims of workers are accurate, then clearly the potential for significant adverse impacts on schools will result, and this impact needs to be disclosed and mitigation measures identified.

The EIS must also look at the impact caused by school bus delays due to increased coal trains. How many school buses cross the coal train route, and what impact would that have on the school district? With 18 trains per day, each 1 1/2 miles in length, the proposal will likely result in a significant impact on the environment.

David Stalheim (#10814)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Comment:
Whatcom County has no duty or obligation to vacate streets or rights-of-way in order to accommodate the development as proposed. Vacating county roads is a legislative policy decision, and a reasonable alternative must consider that Whatcom County might exercise its considerable discretion and choose not to vacate county roads, thus requiring a very different development proposal from what was submitted.

Gateway Pacific Terminal's application indicates that they "will petition Whatcom County for vacation of specific County owned rights-of-way within the project area." (PID, pg. 1-12). No application has apparently been made to vacate these rights-of-way, but review of the Project Information Document and attachments indicates that the project would need to vacate Henry Road, Lonseth Road and Gulf Road in order to proceed as proposed.

Vacating a public road requires that owners of the road frontage "show the…county road is useless as part of the county road system and that the public will be benefited by its vacation and abandonment." (RCW 36.87.020) The applicants provided no information that the roads are useless, making evaluation of the proposal and providing EIS scoping comments impossible.

Even if a petition were submitted and did demonstrate that the roads are "useless", the county "may vacate the road or any portion thereof." (RCW 36.87.060).The operative word is "may". There simply is no mandate or property right that the applicant can enjoy that requires Whatcom County to vacate the rights-of-way as would be required to accommodate the development depicted in the proposed project layouts. Street vacations are a legislative policy decision, not an adjudicatory matter.

As such, the EIS must recognize the significant discretion that Whatcom County has in deciding whether or not to grant a street or road vacation -- if one is ever applied for. The EIS must consider that vacation of these rights-of-way is not mandated and a reasonable alternative needs to be identified that does not require these road vacations. This information is essential to help inform decision-makers as to the myriad of choices they have with respect to this significant project proposal.

The EIS should also explore whether vacation of Henry Road would be inconsistent with the Whatcom County Shoreline Management Program. Henry Road appears to terminate within 200 feet of the Ordinary High Water Mark, making it within the jurisdiction of the Shoreline Management Act. Public access to shorelines of the state include the ability of the public "to view the water and the shoreline from adjacent locations". (WCC 23.20.03A)

Henry Road already provides this opportunity to view the water and the shoreline, and vacation of this road would be contrary to the public access goals of the Shoreline Management Program. I have attached photos that illustrate the Henry Road dead-end location and significant views of shorelines of the state that are enjoyed at this public access point.

Vacating streets and the impact on public access to the shorelines was an issue when another portion of Gulf Road was proposed to be vacated in 1993. Public hearing minutes show considerable opposition to the road vacation as the road provided access to a beach and "to one of the most beautiful views in the county." Clearly, public access to the shorelines will continue to be a major issue in this permit application, and vacating roads that provide legal public access to view the water cannot be dismissed without identification of reasonable alternatives. Whatcom County might exercise its considerable discretion and choose not to vacate roads required for the development as proposed.

Finally, it is essential to note that the EIS cannot ignore this subject under the mistake that street or road vacations are exempt from SEPA review. SEPA rules do not exempt vacation of streets or roads from EIS requirements "where a rezone or any license governing emissions to the air or discharges to water permits is required." (WAC 197-11-800(2)(h))

In this case, the Notice of Application indicates that a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Industrial Stormwater Permit and Construction permit are required, as well as a Northwest Clean Air Agency Approval to Construct. Whatcom County must include the vacation of streets or roads within the EIS as it is not exempt under State Environmental Policy Act rules.

The vacation of streets or roads associated with this project needs to be disclosed in the EIS, and significant adverse impacts (loss of public access to view shorelines) and reasonable alternatives that avoid these impacts need to be identified.
Attached Image:

David Stalheim (#10824)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Comment:
The 1996 project should be included as a reasonable action alternative. This alternative meets the objectives stated in the application, namely to respond to global demand for dry bulk commodities, further industrial development of Cherry Point and expand exports from Washington. It is also the applicant's own alternative prior to the revised proposal.

The 1996 project meets the purpose of an EIS because it meets the applicants objectives but comes at a much lower environmental cost. Consider that the 1996 plan had only three trains per day compared to nine in the project application.

Not only were there fewer trains, but they were far shorter trains. The 1996 plan that would ship other dry bulk commodities indicated train sizes of only 4,400 feet in length compared to trains now projected to be 8,500 feet in length.

The number and length of trains in the 1996 alternative would result in far lower environmental cost, and the public and decision-makers should be able to compare these alternatives.

The 1996 proposal had only 140 ships calling on the new pier at Gateway Pacific Terminal. The new proposal would have 487 calls to the port, significantly increasing the environmental cost associated with the increased shipping on our environment.

The 1996 proposal would have impacted just six acres of wetlands. The current proposal projects that 162 acres of wetlands would be impacted, clearly resulting in a higher cost to the environment.

Finally, the 1996 proposal identified approximately the same number of jobs. Thus, the current proposal does not increase the economic benefit to the community but significantly increases the environmental cost.

The 1996 proposal is still an active application and must be considered as a reasonable alternative to the current proposal. It needs to be included in the EIS as an action alternative, and new studies as required and promised for that alternative need to be completed as part of this new EIS.

David Stalheim (#10840)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Comment:
Less than 2% of the project site would be covered in buildings, yet the applicant has suggested that variances from road setbacks are necessary on a project site that encompasses 1,200 acres.

The applicant cannot create a hardship by their own actions and then claim that a hardship exists that warrant an exception from setbacks from public roads. The zoning variance setback would allow structures to locate closer to Henry Road, which is the road the public travels to access the public beach off Gulf Road. The project will create a significant visual impact on this access route, and granting of the variance would increase that impact.

The hardships are entirely caused by the applicant due to the commodities and length of trains that they have chosen for this project. An alternative needs to be explored in the EIS that does not require the granting of the zoning variance, which likely would need to be denied based on failure to meet criteria of the Whatcom County Zoning Code for approval of zoning variances.

I have attached a photo of the Henry Road corridor where the zoning setback variance is requested.
Attached Image:

David Stankewitz (#14091)

Date Submitted: 01/21/13
Comment:
I support coal shipping through the Cherry Point Terminal.

David Stanley (#4766)

Date Submitted: 12/14/2012
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
Build it. If we don't someone else will.

David Stetler (#4045)

Date Submitted: 12/06/2012
Location: Everett, WA
Comment:
While some of the environmental concerns by rail transport of coal could be reduced by covering the open coal cars with tarps or other means, the eventual burning of the coal overseas would cause its pollution to reach us by atmospheric transport due to natural weather patterns. This is a lose/lose scenario with the only winners being the coal mine owners, railroads, and the relatively few people hired in this future environmental disaster. Global warming is already melting the polar ice, raising the oceans, changing weather patterns, and causing the oceans' ph to become more acidic, which is already causing problems for shellfish farmers, and the possible broken food chain in our seas, which could destroy fisheries and starvation for populations dependant upon them. We must push for non-carbon burning alternatives for power generation. Stop the subsidies given big oil and coal, and use the savings to develop green alternatives. The natural world and our health depend on a new direction.

David Strauss (#12862)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
Location: Seattle, 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.

But this is not fundamentally a NIMBY concern. In fact, the proposal promises short term benefits of jobs and economic vitality. In contrast, alternative proposals regarding clean energy promise similar benefits but with long term benefits.

The Cherry Point project is wrong locally, nationally and internationally.

David Strong (#13684)

Date Submitted: 01/21/13
Location: Billings, MT
Comment:
I am pasting my letter in here in the email, and I will be attaching it as a Word document. Thank you. – David Strong


January 21, 2013

Mr. Randel Perry
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Seattle District
c/o GPT/BNSF Custer Spur EIS Co-Lead Agencies
1100 112th Avenue Northeast, Suite 400
Bellevue, WA 98004

Dear Mr. Perry:

This letter is testimony regarding the scoping hearing for the Cherry Point Port expansion.

The people of Billings are terribly confused about what impacts to expect from the West Coast coal exports. An insufficient amount of investigative journalism is taking place. More likely, the press is spoon-fed information through press releases and such by the coal and railroad industry. For instance, on December 13, 2012 a respected local television station, KTVQ, reported that we could expect to see 48-54 million tons of coal exported from the Powder River Basin to Cherry Point annually, and that, as a consequence, we would see an additional 8-10 trains each day running through Billings. But according to the Terry Whiteside study, 50 million tons of coal would result in about 19 additional trains each day running through Billings (loaded and empty). The railroad industry’s figure of 8-10 trains/day does not include loaded and empty trains, only loaded at best. The actual number of trains per day running through Billings should be corrected to 16-20 trains. Yet the television station was unwilling to correct its story.

We in Billings, Montana need to be part of an Environmental Impact Study in order to make informed decisions about how to evaluate and mitigate what promises to be the most rapid and largest increase in rail traffic in the history of this region. All the trains that go to Cherry Point will be passing through Seattle and Spokane. Spokane and Billings are pinch points for the railroad and can expect nearly identical numbers of trains passing through them and share many of the same design flaws of the railroad and city relationship, e.g. bisecting the city and blocking several crossings.

How can we really mitigate impacts? If it turns out that a bypass of Billings is the only mitigating measure reasonable, then we may well waste much money, local, state, and federal, trying to stave off the effects piecemeal.

What can we do to make sure that the railroads and coal companies do not require taxpayers and citizens to bear the external cost of shipping coal this way? If we are going to pay for mitigation measures as taxpayers and citizens, we need to face that fact early on.

We will experience more noise. We will experience more cracking of infrastructure, such as foundations and walls of the buildings nearby.

No one knows exactly what the extent is of coal dust. No scientific studies have been carried out. Nor do we know what the health and other impacts are of the coal dust, including the possible impacts to the blue ribbon trout stream, Yellowstone River, which these trains will pass along for 80 miles.

No one knows what the impacts will be to health, but pulmonary physicians have claimed that with more trains they will be seeing more patients in their offices with diesel fumes related asthma problems.

There will be congestion. The crossing bars will be down as much as 12 hours a day if all of the West Coast ports are developed. This will create frustration on the part of automobile drivers. Many will be late for work. The citizens will be stuck idling while they could be being productive. Some will miss airplanes – the airport is most directly reached by the 27th St. downtown railroad crossing.

Women in labor may be caught by railroad traffic trying to reach hospitals from either I 90 or the south side of Billings. Police, fire trucks, ambulances and other emergency services will be blocked from the most direct route between the south and north sides of Billings. The police station, fire station, and hospitals are located on the north side.

How dangerous is it for this many trains and many coal trains to be passing through a city such as Billings? We want an intelligent and informed discussion of this point.


Other points to consider:
General quality of life in downtown lowered -- no longer as friendly and inviting for pedestrians with additional air pollution, dust, grime, and noise.
o Lower property values.
o The presence of trains being a reason to shop elsewhere.
General social justice and quality of life problems arising from the community divided not only by tracks but by the real barrier of active trains.

Coal traffic would displace or slow agricultural shipping, and agriculture is a much larger part of our economy than is coal. This town needs to know, and our region needs to know what impact to expect on agriculture.

Just as the county line of Whatham County is not the end of the impacts that development of this Cherry Point Port will have, neither is the Washington state line the end of the impacts. Furthermore, the Army Corps of Engineers is a federal agency, not a state agency. It should be able to include any portion of the United States that is significantly impacted by this Cherry Point Port development. Billings, Montana will suffer virtually the same kinds of impacts as Spokane, Washington. I can’t imagine that federal law allows for discrimination in the treatment cases of equals.

I respectfully request that the Environmental Impact Study for the Cherry Point Port expansion for coal include Montana as a whole and Billings in particular.

Thank you.


David Strong


David Strong
Attached Files:

David Strubhar (#10384)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Comment:
While the environmental concerns relating to the movement of the coal to the terminal and of the storage of the coal before loading need to be adequately addressed, and regulations enforced, in the end the coal needs to ship from the U.S., producing U.S. taxable revenue and jobs for U.S. citizens. Coal can be moved and used in an environmentally responsible way, and we need to do that as soon as possible.

David Struck (#8377)

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

David Sturtz (#7854)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Location: Auburn, Wa
Comment:
I support the expansion of coal exports through Washington State.

David Swindale (#562)

Date Submitted: 10/09/2012
Comment:
From the project discription it appears the EIS only addresses the terminal and six miles of rail spur and not the impacts of transporting the coal across the state through numerous communities. Is this correct?

David Taylor (#14269)

Date Submitted: 01/22/13
Location: Anacortes, WA
Comment:
See attahced.
Attached Image:

David Thomas (#4837)

Date Submitted: 12/15/2012
Comment:
I am a tourist visiting friends in the San Juan Islands. I am writing to request a review of the impacts of water use to supress dust pollution at Gateway Pacific Terminal from the piles of coal awaiting shipment.

We need a comprehensive review of the effect of water used or consumed on the local reserves of water for human, agricultural, and livestock consumption. Dust is light and the winds are infamous for their intensity, speed, and strength. The facilities at Westshore in Delta, BC, which ships 24 million tons p.a. (half the proposed GPT levels) already create a significant need and burden as aresult of required water for dust suppression.

One possible mitigation is full enclosure of coal mountains within a large custom-built structure (e.g. they do this in Indonesia) and fully enclosed (airtight) delivery to bulk carriers. Please study the feasibility of enclosure requirements and the real cost of mitigating coal dust and water needs.

David Thurman (#12861)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
The coal being shipped to China is only the first step endangering the environment of Wahtcom County. Cola burned in dirty plants in China will produce huge amounts of polution. Polution which will visit Whatcom County year after year.

Allowing coal to be shipped and burned in China is a temporary gain for Wahtcom County, but a long term disaster. Anough air polution is accelerate the increase in temperatures , increase diseases of the lungs and the only ones to gain will be Chinese factories and power plants and the US coal companies.

But at what cost.

David Turnoy (#822)

Date Submitted: 10/19/2012
Location: Eastsound, WA
Comment:
Oct 17, 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.

Sincerely,

David Turnoy
178 Lovers Ln Apt A203
Eastsound, WA 98245-9122
(360) 376-4165

David Turnoy (#1829)

Date Submitted: 10/30/12
Comment:
Hi,

My spouse and I live on Orcas Island. We value the very clean environment of the San Juans. We are also very concerned about moving to alternative forms of energy as climate change worsens. One of the concerns we have about the proposed coal program is that all the coal shipped through our pristine waters to China will then be burned, with some of its pollution coming back to us on the winds. Please research how much of that coal will come back to us in the air from being burned in China, and please tell us the impact this will have on rates of cancer and other illness and on the earth's temperatures. This should be significant to everyone who lives in the Northwest.

Thank you,
David Turnoy

David Turnoy (#1843)

Date Submitted: 10/29/12
Comment:
Hello,

My spouse and I live on Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands. We moved here in retirement to enjoy the natural beauty of this enchanted region. Hearing of the proposal for a coal terminal at Cherry Point and the resulting large number of huge coal-carrying ships that will be sailing through the straits near our island if the proposal goes through, we are fearful of the chance of an accident, whether it be the ship running aground, bumping into another boat, or any other possible accident that seems inevitable with the greatly increased traffic.

Related to this, would you please research/scope the following?
What are the different dangers that might arise from this increased traffic and from the number of trips and the size of the ships?
What are the chances that an accident might happen?
How can these chances be mitigated?
What would be the likely short-term and long-term negative effects from an accident involving one of these coal ships, especially if the spill of oil or coal is involved?

Thank you,
David Turnoy

David Turnoy (#1931)

Date Submitted: 10/31/12
Comment:
Hello,

My spouse and I live on Orcas Island. Like many others in this area, we enjoy spending time on the water of the Sound. We recently got a tandem kayak which we will be paddling around the Sound. I am concerned about the wake from the huge coal ships, and I am even more concerned about getting hit by one. My understanding is that the coal ships are so big that even if they spot a hazard, they can't stop for miles.

Could you please scope/research the impact of these ships on boaters in the Sound? Not only will residents like us be affected, thousands of tourists will be negatively impacted as well. I think part of this scoping should therefore include the effect of these big ships on the businesses of local boating companies (kayak tours, whale watching tours, etc.). How many tourists will no longer come to the San Juans because of the impact on boating? How will be local boating businesses be impacted? Will there be permanent and irreparable harm?

Thank you,
David Turnoy

David Turnoy (#2341)

Date Submitted: 11/04/12
Comment:
Hi,

My spouse and I live on Orcas Island, and we really enjoy all the wildlife in the waters around us. Of course, much of the wildlife is dependent on the fish in Puget Sound for survival. We are concerned that the coal ships currently proposed will impact the fish who reside here. These ships will make lots of noise, affect the air quality, could cause stronger currents, could have oil or coal spills, and there could be other unforeseen consequences. Could you please scope/research the impact of the coal ships on the fish in the waters around the San Juan Islands?

Thank you,
David Turnoy

David Turnoy (#2345)

Date Submitted: 11/03/12
Comment:
Hi,

My spouse and I live on Orcas Island, and we really enjoy all the wildlife in the waters around us. We are concerned that the coal ships currently proposed will impact the otters who reside here. These ships will make lots of noise, affect the air quality, could cause stronger currents, could have oil or coal spills, and there could be other unforeseen consequences. Could you please scope/research the impact of the coal ships on the lives of otters in the waters around the San Juan Islands?

Thank you,
David Turnoy

David Turnoy (#2346)

Date Submitted: 11/02/12
Comment:
Hi,

My spouse and I live on Orcas Island, and we really enjoy all the wildlife in the waters around us. We are concerned that the coal ships currently proposed will impact the harbor seals who reside here. These ships will make lots of noise, affect the air quality, could cause stronger currents, could have oil or coal spills, and there could be other unforeseen consequences. Could you please scope/research the impact of the coal ships on the lives of harbor seals in the waters around the San Juan Islands?

Thank you,
David Turnoy

David Turnoy (#8353)

Date Submitted: 01/17/2013
Comment:
Dear GPT/BNSF Custer Spur EIS Co-Lead Agencies,

I am a resident of Orcas Island. 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 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,
David Turnoy

David Voigt (#7836)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
Please see attached letter addressing two key issues:
1) An alternative rail access route following Slater Rd would be preferable to the Custer Spur improvements.
2) An alternative that provides covered storage (sheds) for all bulk stockpiles (especially coal) at GPT should be included in the EIS.
Thank you,
Attached Files:

David Waddell (#7598)

Date Submitted: 12/13/12
Location: Lake Forest Park, WA
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

David Wallace (#11758)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Baltimore, Md
Comment:
I grew up on a farm in Skagit Valley, and though I currently live in Baltimore while attending graduate school, I still consider the valley my home. Coal is an inefficient, non-renewable and environmentally harmful source of energy. The few jobs that might be created by the coal trains are not worth the added traffic and pollution for Skagit Valley.

I am concerned about the impact of these trains on traffic congestion throughout the valley, in particular in the northwest in the Edison Bow, and Blanchard area. Please study the impact this is likely to have on emergency vehicles and, in particular, emergency evacuation for students at Edison Elementary.

Also, please look at the likely loss of business revenues in towns all along the train route, as there are many communities who straddle the tracks.

David Walseth (#5629)

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

David Walseth (#5977)

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

David Walton (#5210)

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

David Warren (#11856)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: SEATTLE, Wa
Comment:
In addition to the general problems of shipping unsecured loads of coal, there is another major problem that does not seem to be taken into account. The route of the track from Seattle to Bellingham. These tracks run along the bottom of hills that commonly slide. This leads to a couple of problems.
1) The tracks are closed due to mud slides enough that your estimated number of trains per month can not be met, or even likely can not even be approached.
2) Due to the number of planned trains, the likelihood of a train with coal being on the tracks during one of these slides is much higher than that of any one train currently running. This could lead to a major spill into the sound, or other sensitive area. As no oil tankers are allowed into these waterways, it seems odd that you would allow coal to go through and cause the same sort of hazard.

David Weber (#5260)

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

David Weber (#5356)

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

David Westerlund (#1039)

Date Submitted: 10/20/12
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Dear Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Ecology and Whatcom County Council:

I just returned with my daughter from Mountain School at the North Cascade Institute. 5th graders learned about the water cycle and the connectedness of biotic and abiotic systems. To not consider the cumulative impacts of construction of a coal terminal is to pretend that no cumulative impacts exist. And that is simply not true.

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.
Thank you.



David Westerlund
1460 Iron Street
Bellingham
Bellingham, WA 98225

David Westerlund (#1824)

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

David Westerlund (#4498)

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

David Whitacre (#12511)

Date Submitted: 01/21/13
Location: Boise, ID
Comment:
There are so many reasons that this coal terminal (and exporting coal at all) are bad ideas. Not only would these thousands of coal trains through our communities be harmful to human health and our environment, but we do not need ANYBODY burning coal! The more coal we burn, the greater the chance that global warming and ocean acidification will be out of control, and the planet damaged beyond recovery for centuries.

PLEASE DO NOT BUILD the Cherry Point coal terminal!

David Wieland (#7385)

Date Submitted: 01/14/2013
Location: Silverdale, Wa
Comment:
I simply cannot support the increased mining, shipping, or burning of any amount of coal or fossil fuels in my community. The proven detriments to our public and environmental health more than outweigh any "job creation" which may occur as a result of this proposal moving forward. I would choose a longer and healthier life over the chance to work in a coal terminal any day. Please consider the holistic health of our communities before moving forward with allowing any increased shipping of coal through Washington state.

David Wilbur (#8843)

Date Submitted: 01/16/13
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
Dear Scoping Consultants,
As a lifelong asthma sufferer, I am extremely concerned about the effect of millions of tons of coal moving through Western Washington. I could find no definitive measurements of the airborne particulates released by the current coal trains with which to assess future releases. Although the transportation industry has made efforts to reduce the release of coal dust, the actual measurements of airborne dust are not published in a manner which would allow anyone to judge the impact on the health of those downwind of the rail line and shipping terminal.
It is known that daily hospital admissions for lung problems are directly related to airborne particulates1,2,3. The EIS should require measurement of amount and size characteristics of coal dust and train diesel exhaust over the shipment route. This information should then be used to study and predict the effects on the health of those living near the entire train route and proposed terminal.
Only complete elimination of coal dust and diesel particulates would fully mitigate this issue. If no action is taken to mitigate these health effects, the coal and shipping companies should be held fully liable for providing continuing health payments to those effected, possibly to a general fund rather than to individuals.
Sincerely yours,
David Wilbur

1 Catherine J.Karr , CaroleB.Rudra, KristinA.Miller, TimothyR.Gould, TimothyLarson, Sheela Sathyanarayana, JaneQ.Koenig 2009 Infant exposure to fine particulate matter and traffic and risk of hospitalization for RSV bronchiolitis in a region with lower ambient air pollution. Environ. Res. 109, 321-317


2 Karr, C., Lumley, T., Schreuder, A., Davis, R., Larson, T., Ritz, B., Kaufman, J., 2007. Effect of subchronic and chronic exposure to ambient air pollutants on infant bronchiolitis. Am. J. Epidemiol. 165, 553–560.

3 Karr C, Lumley T, Shepherd K, Davis R, Larson T, Ritz B, Kaufman J. A case crossover study of wintertime ambient air pollution and infant bonchiolitis. Environ Health Perspect 2006;114:277–281.
Attached Files:

David Willard (#10637)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Comment:
My concern is the Train and Coal Pollution ! The health issues for those digging, transporting and for those especially who live near and or around where they transport the coal. The gridlock the trains will produce through our Communities. It does bother me to watch the POLLUTION that has been created and is still created for greed. Lets stop supporting the China fuel drain and POLLUTION that they produce. Marine life and our Peoples health and home issues should take priority over 1,000 long term jobs. If we really want to create JOBS in this country, than we all really need to BUY AMERICAN.

David Williams (#46)

Date Submitted: 09/24/2012
Comment:
The coal shipping facility at Cherry Point will improve our local economy and not damage any environments or wildlife. We have enough regulations and restrictions in place already to ensure that. More local industry can only improve our economy. In these economic conditions, we need all the industry, jobs and income we can get. Do not restrict this facility because the radical left-wing environmentalist minority demands it.

David Williams (#10601)

Date Submitted: 01/17/13
Location: Coupeville, 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.

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.

Plus, every pound of coal we send to China will be returned to us in the form of soot and smoke from the prevailing winds from China to the continental United States amd Canada.

David Winkel (#11246)

Date Submitted: 01/21/13
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.

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.

David Young (#8680)

Date Submitted: 01/17/2013
Location: Mount Vernon, WA
Comment:
I have several concerns that are bothering me about the coal export terminal at Cherry point.
First I would like traffic congestion addressed in a review of the impact on traffic on all of the town along the way as the number of coal trains and their length will cause severe traffic issues in Edmonds for Ferry traffic in Moun Vernon as there are multiple rail crossings which have high traffic loads at present which will cause back-ups at each of these crossings multiple times a day. We now have amtrak, freight trains,oil tanker trains, and some coal trains utilizing our rail system. When the volume of additional Oil trains (March point) and additional Coal trains being discussed are considered they will greatly affect our quality of life, air pollution, Coal dust and deisel fumes and taking valued time waiting for trains to clear the track. Potential for derailment, rail crossing safety etc.

My 2nd area of concern is the routing of the trains along the unstable high bank terrain between Edmonds and Everett. This winter alone 70 slides have briefly blocked the train tracks between these 2 cities. This problem is a continuing problem every winter and I would like to know what happens when we have a slide that takes out one of the trains and dumps their coal into the Puget Sound. Also the stacking up of trains while track clearing is done.
Thanks for listening

David Young (#8681)

Date Submitted: 01/17/2013
Location: Mount Vernon, WA
Comment:
I have several concerns that are bothering me about the coal export terminal at Cherry point.
First I would like traffic congestion addressed in a review of the impact on traffic on all of the town along the way as the number of coal trains and their length will cause severe traffic issues in Edmonds for Ferry traffic in Moun Vernon as there are multiple rail crossings which have high traffic loads at present which will cause back-ups at each of these crossings multiple times a day. We now have amtrak, freight trains,oil tanker trains, and some coal trains utilizing our rail system. When the volume of additional Oil trains (March point) and additional Coal trains being discussed are considered they will greatly affect our quality of life, air pollution, Coal dust and deisel fumes and taking valued time waiting for trains to clear the track. Potential for derailment, rail crossing safety etc.

My 2nd area of concern is the routing of the trains along the unstable high bank terrain between Edmonds and Everett. This winter alone 70 slides have briefly blocked the train tracks between these 2 cities. This problem is a continuing problem every winter and I would like to know what happens when we have a slide that takes out one of the trains and dumps their coal into the Puget Sound. Also the stacking up of trains while track clearing is done.
Thanks for listening

david zike (#11308)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: seattle, wa
Comment:
I am against the rail line because of the effect it will have on the hillsides that are always closed for mudslides anyway. Also the effect of the traffic especially in downtown Seattle will be horrendous. There is no reason to ship the coal to Bellingham if it can be offloaded and shipped in Tacoma.

David & Add Hall (#1203)

Date Submitted: 10/24/2012
Location: Lopez Island, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

David & Alicia Lanz (#1422)

Date Submitted: 10/23/12
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

David & Maria Schwartz (#5891)

Date Submitted: 01/02/13
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

David & Shawn Hughes & Melvin (#775)

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

David & Sheila Berry (#2588)

Date Submitted: 11/08/12
Location: Mt Vernon, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

David & Shelley Hendricks (#1845)

Date Submitted: 10/26/12
Comment:
Hello, we are Dave and Shelley Hendricks. We were born here and have lived here all of our 60+ years. Over that time we have seen this community change a great deal. Downtown Bellingham, Bellis Fair, hospitals, I-5, refineries, Intalco, Uniflite, the fishing industry, WWU, GP, just to name a few. The house that I grew up in was taken by the south bound lane of I-5 and we had to move. After 43 years of employment at GP it closed and I was unemployed. At one time more then 1000 people worked there. Good family wage jobs are hard to come by here in Whatcom county. Now SSA Marine wants to build at Cherry Point, a site at which many other companies have tried to build and offer good jobs but got little or no support from the County, gave up and took their plans and jobs with them. We have heard the complaints of those who don't want SSA Marine and their coal trains here. They seem to us to be mostly obstructionist and of little merit. The trains will probably come whether SSA Marine builds here or not. And we understand that many of those complainants don't even live here. Their opinions should carry no weight at all. Whatcom county residents are who you should only be listening to. And so we would ask that you proceed quickly to approve the SSA Marine project, get those good family wage jobs and start collecting the tax monies that will be generated!.

Dave and Shelley Hendricks
3232 Laurelwood Ave
Bellingham

David & Susan Peterson (#6556)

Date Submitted: 01/05/13
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
We live adjacent to the BNSF Railroad tracks along Chuckanut Shore, Bellingham, Wa. The attached photo showing the damage to tile in our kitchen sink began with the arrival of heavy coal trains going by. If this kind of damage happens with just four trains, what can one imagine will result in 18 coal trains a day coming by if the coal terminal at Cherry Point is allowed to be built? These trains shake the house, which has withstood many things since being built in 1942. Pictures have to be straightened daily, and one can only imagine the unseen damage being done .

The economic damage to homeowners like us - multiplied by thousands of other households along the proposed coal train pathway - would be huge and uncompensated. And for what? Just so a very few- already wealthy - become even more wealthy to the detriment of everyone else. The few jobs that this project is supposedly bringing pale in comparison to the huge losses the rest of us will sustain.

Thank you for studying the economic losses to be borne by homeowners adjacent to the tracks and including it in your EIS.


We live along the BNSF tracks south of Bellingham, WA and request that you include a study of blocked railroad crossings in your EIS scoping.
Over a year ago, in fact, Saturday, Dec.3, 2011, between 6:30 until after 7:00 A.M., an extremely long North bound freight train was stopped , for no discernable reason, with the rear pusher engines blocking the crossing at Yacht Club Road. With no one visible at any time to contact, bells clanging and lights flashing on cross arms the entire time and with no way to cross, the question needs to be answered " Next time, when there is a real life threatening emergency, what will happen?" That particular morning I only wanted to go to the grocery store, but what I found out that morning there is no phone number to call and even contacting the Federal Railroad Administration ( Office of Railroad Safety) on December 11, 2011 - 13 months ago - has not yielded a response.
This is not the only time we have felt trapped on the wrong side of the tracks, but it is one example of the potential problem faced daily.
The prospect of seeing 18 more mile long coal trains, and their negative potential to block crossings and cause life threatening emergencies must be included in your EIS.

Respectfully,

David and Susan Peterson
Attached Image:

David A Orsatti (#12069)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Mount Vernon, WA
Comment:
Dear NEPA/SEPA Review Board,
I am very concerned that the coal transportation and export will have a negative impact on our local and global environment.
I have worked at Mount Rainier Nat. Park as a Federal Ranger and currently work in an electrical manufacturer that supplies product to the renewable energy and recreational boating industry. The coal export plan does not benefit my job or industry and the environmental damage could be detrimental to both. Please consider the impacts of this plan to other jobs that depend on a clean Pacific Northwest and oceans that have not been turned into acidic, lifeless bodies of water.

Thank you for your due consideration of my comments.

David Aaron Orsatti

David and Beth Finn (#13616)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Washougal, WA
Comment:
We live approximately 3 miles from the RR tracks in a newly constructed house and hear the trains all night long as it is, whether the windows are open or not. We have seen first hand the mess that the few
coal trains a week are currently depositing along the tracks. When
Mt. St. Helens' blew in 1980, the super dense ash (much heavier than coal dust) blew throughout the Portland metro area for months, extending my hay fever from 6 weeks to 3 months and was still visible
up to 2 years even after a massive clean up effort. The winds coming
through this area hit 60 miles per hour at our house many times a year and can blow at a constant 20-30 miles an hour for hours and sometimes for days resulting in the coal dust being blown near and far. The costs of abatement and the loss of jobs and income in tourism and the cost of improvements associated with just getting around the trains would be 100's of times more costly than the benefit of the few jobs that would be created in our state. We urge you to go to other ports around the world where coal export is king and view the devastating effect it has had on the livability of the export site and the communities along the rail lines and waterways which feed it..

Consequently we strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington. As noted above, this facility 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. we urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

David and Susan Defferding (#14169)

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


David/Ms. Molly Robinson/Detweiler (#959)

Date Submitted: 10/21/12
Location: Curlew, 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.

Given the significant effects that proposed coal export terminals will have on our natural resources and public health, strict oversight is essential. You have to study the cumulative effects of the number of trains and shipments over the whole life span of the project, not just one load at a time. This study has the cover the whole shipment route from Wyoming to WA, including the "costs to clean air" from the trains exhaust to the dust coming off the trains, etc. this project is a no-brainer dead end! Stop being a shill for industry!

Sincerely,

david/MS. Molly robinson/Detweiler
PO Box 151
Curlew, WA 99118-0151

Davis Patton (#7996)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

Dawn Aiken (#4731)

Date Submitted: 12/13/2012
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
Investing in new transportion infrastructure for a dying industry makes no sense. Coal is dying because it's a limited resource and there are more cost-effective forms of energy. When you take into acount the devestating damage that coal mining and burning have on air, water, and land, the cost of using coal is outrageous. Why also pay for infrastructure to support it?

In addition to the human safety and health hazards, supporting coal is just bad economics. Let's invest in infrastructure for clean energy because clean energy has a a future. Our state has no business spending another dime on a doomed industry. We can't afford it. Let's have some integrity, resist big corporations, protect our people, and invest in something that will bring greater rewards down the road!

Dawn Hanson (#5718)

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

Dawn Hawthorne (#6148)

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

Dawna Lahti (#11442)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Comment:
Dear Gentlepersons:
I am using this venue provided by a Seattle TV station so I hope this is the correct place to voice my opinions. I am an RN and am concerned for the exposure of humans to coal dust from the mining to the transport as the dust exposure is damaging to lung tissue.
Therefore, as a purist, I'd say there ought to be no use of coal at all. Thar is ridiculous, however. In the Puget Sound we are generally blessed with winds that sweep away pollution, but we have been , for three weeks, under an unusual inversion where the air smells bad and is bad for sensitive populations to breathe. It feels like the plague of darkness in Egypt and that is before additional coal trains are instituted. The corridor from the East up the Washington coast is subject to frequent landslides. These disrupt our transit on a regular basis and , as the slope is moving into the sea, can be expected to continue as a problem. The wetlands, as well as the enclosed sea of Puget Sound are environmentally sensitive areas which would be terribly impacted by a spill (made so much more likely as more long coal trains ply the rails through the slide-prone areas..
If this load must , indeed be transported to Asia (which is unpopular here as 20% of our pollution is reputed to come from the coal burning there as it is), then I recommend strongly that an inland route be explored at the expense of the buyers. There is much land in WA where the population is sparse and the contamination can be spread with little human impact. The Puget Sound is NOT one of these.
Respectfully,
Dawna Lahti RN

Dawna Seely (#5320)

Date Submitted: 12/22/2012
Comment:
Bellingham has been planning for a great residential and retail waterfront bayside community. Many trains running through it would ruin the whole atmosphere of that community including problems with noise, air quality, health, and even access. Please look into rerouting rail around Bellingham, perhaps through rural Whatcom County, up the Highway 9 corridor, or elsewhere.

From a business standpoint, there is more to be gained in jobs, business, and tax revenue from a thriving business and retail waterfront district than from running rail through our downtown.

Let's leverage our beautiful location and natural resources to create a clean, desirable, top-class community rather than an industrial highway with falling property values.

Dawna Seely (#5321)

Date Submitted: 12/22/2012
Comment:
Globally I am concerned about the further proliferation of burning fossil fuels that this project facilitates, including the effects of greenhouse gases, heavy metals, and harmful particulates from diesel and coal dust.

Locally I have concerns about the Puget Sound ecosystem and the likely effects on herring, Orca whales, noise transmitted through the water, pollution of water with its effects on shellfish, and the likelihood of a major marine disaster.

Please include in the EIS the environmental harm that will be done by the mining and transportation of the coal (land and sea).

Dawna Seely (#5322)

Date Submitted: 12/22/2012
Comment:
Many, many towns along the current railways will have drastically increased rail traffic if this project goes through. I don't think it is fair that towns should have to bear the costs of overpasses and other infrastructure changes that will be necessary to deal with this increased rail traffic. Please include in the EIS the effects of increased rail traffic, and the accomodations necessary to deal with it. The costs of improvements shoud be paid by the companies that stand to profit from the mining, transportation, and use of the coal.

Dawna Seely (#9330)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Comment:
All the reasons listed at this link http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/05/02/1088274/-101-Reasons-to-be-Concerned-About-Coal-Export
deserve consideration. We all want healthy happy lives. Of course we don’t want all of these impacts. Considering all of the above problems I don’t think this is a good idea for Bellingham and WA State. Please do not build this terminal here and elsewhere. We want to focus on renewable energy as an alternative instead of coal.

Dawne Adam (#4767)

Date Submitted: 12/14/2012
Comment:
I am concerned about the proposed expansion of the export terminal at Cherry Point for a number of reasons. The amount of noise and air pollution that will result from increased transportation of coal to this site is likely to be harmful to nearby residents (I lived for a year in an apartment right above one of the transport terminals in Seattle, and the noise was deafening). The wildlands and the wildlife that depend on them are likely to be harmed by the noise, pollution, and traffic - many studies of marine and land animals have shown the deleterious effects of disruptive environmental factors on breeding and nesting. The water quality in the harbor will likely suffer - how could it not with such an increase in the transport of polluting products and the resulting increase in potential for hazardous spills and waste production?

There is also the larger question of why America's energy policy is dependent on private business interests. If private companies weren't interested in making the profit that increased coal shipments would produce, a redesign and expansion of this port would not be considered. Why isn't there a governing port authority in this area to consider the appropriate uses of the harbor? What is to prevent these private rail companies from charging exorbitant fees to use the port and to restrict access to it according to their interests?

Finally, there is the question of how this proposed expansion squares with climate change and efforts to mitigate its effects. If we allow private companies to set policy by enabling their efforts to ship coal overseas, how can we control fossil fuel consumption generally or encourage the development of alternative sources of energy?

It is unfortunate that our national energy policy is dependent on piecemeal efforts by private industry and activists to work out discrete problems of growth and environmental impact without an overall structure within which to consider long-term planning and use. Since this is the case, however, whatever can be done to discourage the ongoing use of "dirty" fuel at the expense of developing clean energy sources should be done.

Daya Goldschlag (#4444)

Date Submitted: 12/10/12
Location: Spokane, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Files:

Daydre Phillips (#10408)

Date Submitted: 01/17/13
Location: Bellingham, 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.

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.

Also, I am very concerned about the Lummi Nation's land and their ancestors. We should not be building on it and should not be using their fishing grounds for giant coal ships.

Also, I live on South Hill and hear the trains - I do not want more trains because it would hurt the value of my home, and my health.

Also, I understand that the access to Boulevard Park would be blocked or else that 18 trains a day would be going by and it would be unhealthy to use it. It is a very important place for local people to play and meet.

Also, I do not want the pollution that would come from China once the coal is burnt. It is not good for the world.
Also, China will use the coal to run factories to take away more of our jobs. I think this is wrong.
It is wrong to burn the coal because of climate change.

Please please do not permit coal trains to pass through Bellingham and please do not allow the building of a facility.

It is crazy to think about having the giant ships in our waters. Of course, one day there would be a spill or it would kill some fishermen or recreational boaters.
My husband is a recreational boater.

DE Fox (#2601)

Date Submitted: 11/04/12
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

De Griffith (#3770)

Date Submitted: 12/03/2012
Location: Spokane, WA
Comment:
Dec 3, 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, and the proposed rail traffic through Spokane, 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,

De Griffith
2217 E Lacrosse Ave
Spokane, WA 99207-4421

DeaMark Wichar (#5736)

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

Dean Brett (#10242)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
The EIS should look at alternatives to the shipment of coal from Wyoming to China. The shipping is occurring because Congress decided that the coal should not be burned in the USA. Instead it is being shipped at great cost (environmental and financial) across the country, across the Pacific, to China where it will then be burned. The same degrading environmental effects will occur, plus the environmental effects of the shipment. All that is really happening is the shipment of American jobs to China. Either burn the coal here or export only to countries with environmental protection equal to our own. If the coal is too dirty to be burned here, it is too dirty to be shipped to China and burned there.

Dean Bryant (#4436)

Date Submitted: 12/05/12
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
Dear Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Ecology and Whatcom County Council:

As a fellow civilian government employee, I urge you to save this precious resource for the generations to come who will possess technology to extract the hydrocarbons in an environmentally responsible and efficient manner. As you know we have gone over the tipping point to reverse dramatic changes to our climate and humanities' only hope is to lessen the damage. Our founding fathers gave the people power over corporations and as a representative of the people it is your duty to lessen climate change by not allowing the exportation of this coal.

Furthermore, 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.


Dean Bryant
7735 26th PL SW
Seattle, WA 98126

Dean Evenson (#12331)

Date Submitted: 01/22/13
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
My comment is about asking for an investigation of the adverse impacts of burning the amount of coal predicted to go through the GPT on the level of pollutants such as heavy metals, general pollution, and particles that end up in the air. This should include the effect of pollution in China, the amount of pollution carried by the wind currents from China to the USA, as well as the global effect of climate change. The investigation should include as a study the effect on human health as well as the effect on the health natural systems. Also, a study should be activated about the effect of the results of creating more global warming which would result in global expenses due to climate change.=

There needs to be a study of the adverse impact that the GPT and all the ocean ships (water discharge, possible spill, etc.) will have on the struggling Orca Whale population and the health of the Puget Sound eco system. There needs to be a study done of the economic impact of the loss of Orca whales to the tourist business.=

Dean Fiedler (#7545)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Location: Mount Vernon, WA
Comment:
I am first and foremost opposed to the construction of the GPT based on the increased amount of rail traffic that will be coming through Mount Vernon. This will cause the Railroad crossings to be closed longer and more often & create traffic backups, and pose potential problems for emergency response vehicles. The amount of coal being transported by rail, in the uncovered cars also increases the amount of toxic coal dust in the air. I know they put some sort of substance on top to prevent that from happening, but it is not 100% effective, and some coal dust does get circulated into the air during transport. This will effect the human and natural environment negatively in my opinion. Please do not Export Coal through Mount Vernon & Skagit Valley to Cherry Point for these reasons.

Dean Fournier (#5032)

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

I strongly oppose the construction of the Gateway Pacific coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington, and the transporting of coal from Montana and Wyoming through our neighboring Northwest states. This proposal would negatively affect the entire Northwest through coal particles flying off uncovered rail cars, polluting our air and waterways.

The railroad tracks along much of Puget Sound's east shore, including my portion of Seattle, sit at the foot of steep bluffs that are prone to slides -- which routinely stop train traffic at best, and at worst can derail a train and dump its cargo (especially uncovered cargo) onto the rail bed and/or into the immediately adjacent Sound. Even at best, the prospect of trains with uncovered coal cars stopped for many hours and sometimes days, waiting for the track ahead to be cleared of a slide, will constitute a continuing danger to shoreside Puget Sound communities.

At the terminal site, fishing grounds and entire aquatic ecosystems would be irreparably damaged by the project -- at the cost of many generations-old jobs in the catching and processing of fish. Marine traffic dangers in Rosario and Haro Straits would be greatly enhanced by the increased tanker traffic, and the tourist-rich San Juan Islands themselves would be exposed to coal dust blow-off from passing ships. I urge you to consider all these impacts in the scope of the upcoming Environmental Impact Statement.

There are currently five coal export proposals that would transport as much as 150 million tons through the Northwest. I urge that the Corps be sure that the Environmental Impact Statement is wide enough in scope to assess the overall effect of these proposals.

In assessing the project's claimed benefits, please recognize that construction jobs are temporary by their nature, and that employment opportunites at the proposed Terminal itself will inevitably be susceptible to reduction and ultimate termination as China finds less-distant sources of coal or alternative fuels -- and/or develops its own fossil fuel potential.

Sincerely,

Dean Fournier

Dean Herbert (#2178)

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

Dean Luce (#14279)

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

Dean Lynch (#3543)

Date Submitted: 11/28/12
Location: Spokane, WA
Comment:
Dear Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Ecology and Whatcom County Council:

I have serious concerns about 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 uncovered trains have the capacity to spread coal dust throughout the path which includes Spokane, the largest city between Seattle & Minneapolis and the Columbia Basin a major food basket for the nation and the world. I don't think we know what the long term impact will be upon agriculture and I don't think we want to risk it for short term gain.

The size of the trains and the number of them will interrupt ground transportation as most of the crossings are at grade. This will interfere with local commerce and increase the possibility of vehicle-train collisions.

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.




Dean Lynch
1004 E Rockwood Blvd
Spokane
Spokane, WA 99203

Dean McDaniel (#9098)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Comment:
Don't be like our moron legislators in DC. For heavens sake, just get it done. People and taxing need the revenue. Please don't follow Washington's do nothing attitude.

Dean Ringenback (#4553)

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

Dean Ruud (#3858)

Date Submitted: 12/05/2012
Location: Sprague, WA
Comment:
I live in Sprague, Washington. We are directly on the rail line.

1) Noise: Currently we average 45 Trains a day passing through our small community. We have 3 RR Crossings which means that we currently average 405 rail horn blasts per day. My current understanding is that we will now have an additional 18 trains of coal added to that daily total. This would mean 63 trains or 567 horn blasts in 24 hours. I do not know if the empty trains are going to return on the same track - if they do that means an additional 36 trains/day rather than 18/ day. That would translate into 81 trains/day or 729 (high decibel) horn blasts per day. This would also translate to one train passing through every 17.7 min. The noise pollution increase alone is unacceptable not to mention the increased risk to our children and elderly.

2) Water: To the immediate West of our community is Sprague, Lake. It is located just south of I-90 and the RR track run immediately along the N. shoreline. This lake is a major source of revenue in our local community through tourist (sports fisheries) dollars. It is critical to our economy and to our community life style and way of life. On the whole Sprague, Lk. is a spring fed aquatic system. In large part the waters coming into the lake via ground water come from waters migrating (generally) North to South with outflows in the form of springs. There have been "Rail-bed Destabilization" issues in the past along the Sprague Lake segment due to ground water springs up-welling below the rail-bed and causing liquefaction as a result of vibration due to passing trains. (regularly the trains are required to slow to 15 mph along the length of the lake during the Spring runoff season to prevent derailment) This raises two concerns: a) With the increased traffic on the rail slowing trains along the lake will be less likely if the rail company is to meet scheduling demands. b) Derailment of a 'full' trainload of coal into Sprague Lk. would devastate the fishery as well as the Lake ecology. (clean up and mitigation would be staggering)

Will there be "Appropriate Bonds" of sufficient worth posted by the RR and by Coal Company (ea) - specifically to cover complete clean up and mitigation liability in the event of a coal (or other) derailment into Sprague Lake. Additionally will the rail company make the necessary investments into the rail bed along Sprague Lake to insure against Spring seasonal rail-bed destabilization. The latter is of particular concern given both the weight and frequency of the new trains being proposed.

Am out of time for the moment will have to submit more at another time.
Sincerely
Dean Ruud

Dean Smith (#2794)

Date Submitted: 11/05/12
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

Dean Smith (#5947)

Date Submitted: 01/04/2013
Location: Everett, WA
Comment:
Add our concern about noise from the long, heavy coal trains passing through Everett. Interview people living near the tracks and ask about the effect of the current coal trains on their sleep and the sleep of their children. I live three blocks from the tracks and am awakened whenever a coal train passes. I know people in the area whose children never get a good night's sleep now that we hae just a few coal trains. They are much louder than the ordinary trains that have been using these tracks.

Ask how many land slides there have been between Edmonds and Everett since the coal trains have been running. Ask how commuter rail service has been affected. Ask how Amtrak service on the Empire Builder run has been affected.

Please make seismic measurements for as much as three blocks away from the tracks. Are the hillsides beyond the bluffs in Everett likely to be affected?

Ask what the impact would be on Snohomish county if it were determined that the coal trains cannot run on the tracks built on fill at the base of the fragile bluffs. Ask what the impact would be of moving the tracks and ask who would pay for that impact.

Dean Smith (#6485)

Date Submitted: 01/04/13
Location: Everett, WA
Comment:
Dear Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Ecology and Whatcom County Council:

I have attended two of the hearings and been unable to speak. Please ask people who live near the tracks if they are awakened at night by the longer, louder coal trains. Please ask how many landslides there have been between Edmonds and Everett since long, heavy coal trains have been running. Please ask parents how it is already affecting their children. (Ask if they can sleep through the night.)

Dean Tuckerman (#47)

Date Submitted: 09/24/2012
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
The first thing i want to say is there are no other alternatives and there is no mitigation possible to this project. The only answer is no project.

Now i would like to submit a statement in it's entirety (including footnotes) from the League of Women's Voters of Whatcom County to tis national organization. This statement says what i want to say in better form than i could.

Position Paper - West Coast Coal Terminals
presented by: The League of Women Voters of Bellingham/Whatcom County
The League of Women Voters of the United States (LWVUS) Statement on Climate Change is:
Global climate change threatens the integrity of the earth's climate system and there is a need to act without delay to substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
To reduce the likelihood of severe damage to both human societies and natural ecosystems the League supports:
 The preservation of the physical, chemical and biological integrity of the ecosystem and maximum protection of public health and the environment.
 Energy goals and policies that acknowledge the United States as a responsible member of the world community through sound use of energy resources with consideration of the entire cycle of energy production and emphasis on conserving energy and using energy-efficient technologies.
In addition, the League believes that policy makers must take into account the ramifications of their decisions on the nation as a whole as well as on other nations.1
LWVUS has advocated for government action that impacts positively on the public health, particularly eliminating carbon emissions and mercury in our waters and soils.2 The League of Women Voters of Bellingham-Whatcom County in Washington finds itself at the center of a controversy with international implications for global climate change and direct environmental impacts. The goal of this paper is to encourage the national organization to take a position in opposition to development of coal terminals on the Pacific Coast, and to endorse specific actions recommended by LWVWC as it reaches out to other Leagues impacted by those terminals.
The Problem of Coal as an Energy Source
Efforts are underway nationally by environmental groups to address our nation’s reliance on coal as an energy source,3 but suddenly the focus has shifted to exports, which have increased more-or-less steadily, from 40 to 80 million short tons4 per annum since 2001.5 In the next few years, demand for sub-bituminous coal in the Pacific Rim could reach 250 million short tons per annum, up from 140 millions short tons today.6
Coal is the most carbon-intensive fuel we can use to generate energy,7 and the major contributor to CO2 emissions in the United States.8Each short ton of Powder River Basin coal burned, contributes over 2.8 short tons of CO2 to the atmosphere.9Unfortunately, as this country weans itself from coal, there is increasing demand overseas, particularly in China, which could lead to demand for up to a billion tons of coal in the future according to Peabody Energy.10 This accounts for predictions that China’s contribution to greenhouse gases from coal burning over the next 25 years will exceed that of all other industrialized countries combined.11
2
In addition to its contribution to greenhouse gases, coal contains toxic substances including mercury, only 35% of which is captured by pollution control devices during burning.12None is “captured” from dust released when coal is mined, transported by freight, stored out-of-doors at waterfront terminals awaiting shipment, or being loaded on ships; hence the term “fugitive” coal dust. Mercury is a serious health hazard. It damages the human heart, brain, kidneys, lungs, nervous and immune systems.13 Fetal exposure can impact neurological development and impair cognitive functioning of children.14
The U.S. as an Emerging Major Coal Exporter to the Pacific Rim
The U.S. shipped less than 18 million short tons of coal to Asia in 2010,15 and prospects for increasing exports in the future were deemed constrained because U.S. coal was more expensive than that of the largest exporter, Australia and the other exporting nations, in part because of shipping costs.16 That is changing due to China’s exploding demand for coal, coupled with numerous factors that are internationally constraining exports. Suddenly, U.S. coal is more competitive.17However, there is not enough export capacity at existing U.S. coal terminals, e.g. McDuffie Coal Terminal in Mobile, AL,18 and Lamberts Point Coal Terminal in Norfolk, VA.19Those terminals ship coal to ports in the U.S. and Europe with excess capacity going to China; but volumes are extremely limited (possibly less than 5 million short tons per annum combined). It’s much more expensive to ship from the Gulf and/or inland than from the west coast.20Not surprisingly, with the sudden surge in demand in China, there is a major push on to “move the coal,” and particularly to build coal terminals on the U.S. West Coast.
Permit applications are pending for two huge coal terminals in Washington: one proposed by Ambre Energy of Australia, and U.S. mining operator Arch Coal, in Longview, WA;21 and another proposed by Pacific International Terminals (PIT), a subsidiary of SSA Marine, a “privately-held”22 Washington-based stevedoring company, at Cherry Point, Washington, just north of Bellingham. Combined, the two terminals could ship over 100 million short tons of coal per annum to Asia.
In Cowlitz County, Washington, Arch Coal originally filed a permit application to expand the existing Millennium Bulk Logistics Longview Terminal to add the capacity to ship 5.7 million short tons of coal, but during the discovery process when environmental groups challenged the permit with a lawsuit,23 documents revealed the company planned to ship up to 60 million short tons without conducting an environmental review to determine impacts of shipping that volume of coal.24 The original application was withdrawn,25 to be re-filed reflecting intended coal shipments.
3
In Whatcom County, Washington, the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT) would be built at Cherry Point, an area zoned for heavy industry on the coast of the Georgia Strait between Bellingham and the Canadian border. Cherry Point is a unique site because of its deep water which accommodates cape sized shipping vessels – (1000 ft. long and often over 200 dead weight ton capacity) – without dredging. That, combined with the relatively flat land and rail access, makes it the ideal location for a deep-water shipping terminal.26 SSA originally applied for, and received, permits from Whatcom County to build a terminal to ship 8.2 million tons of commodities listed as feed grains, petroleum coke, iron ore, sulfur, potash, and wood chips..27, 28 That volume required 140 ship calls per annum.29 Those permits apparently did not consider rail impacts on Whatcom or other communities along freight lines.
A coalition of environmental groups and the League of Women Voters of Bellingham-Whatcom County (collectively referred to as WEC) appealed the 1997 permits granted by Whatcom County, and the Washington State Departments of Ecology (ECOL) and Fish & Wildlife (WDFW) joined the appeal. At issue was failure of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), upon which the county relied in granting permits, to address environmental impacts to the fisheries and uplands. In 1999, the agencies and WEC appellants entered into a Settlement Agreement with PIT.30The agreement addressed environmental issues including:
 Mitigating impacts on inland wetlands and on macro algae in the coastal waters in the Strait of Georgia which form the basis for the food chain in the Cherry Point region, particularly for herring;
 Monitoring the dwindling Cherry Point herring population;
 Ballast water exchange requirements (because of the introduction of foreign species into the coastal waters); and
 Handling and treatment of sediment produced by operations and storm water runoff from stored commodities to minimize impacts on the land and water.31
SSA Marine did not begin construction on the terminal. Rather, in 2010 they initiated permit proceedings anew for a vastly expanded terminal from which the major product to be exported is up to 48 million short tons of coal.32 They formally filled a Joint Aquatic Resources Permit Application (JARPA) in February of 2011.33 In March, Peabody Energy Corporation, the largest U.S. coal producer, accounting for nearly 20% of U.S. coal production,34 announced it had entered into a contract with GPT to initially ship up to 24 million short tons of coal through the Gateway Pacific Terminal.35Environmental groups challenged permit applications filed with Whatcom County (June 10, 2011),36 claiming SSA sought to avoid full environmental review of the proposed terminal.37On June 23, 2011, Whatcom County Planning
4
& Development Services returned the applications as incomplete stating a new permit must be requested, and that the Shoreline Management Act – which contains stringent environmental review – would govern.38
The Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT) and Millennium Bulk Terminal would have enormous impacts on nearby communities and waterways. At full operation, SSA projects that one train per day would arrive at GPT to deliver other commodities, but eight trains per day would deliver coal, each with 170 cars.39According to BNSF, each coal car loses about 3% of the loaded weight as fugitive coal dust along rail routes during transport from mines to power plants.40As discussed above, Millennium terminal could ship 60 million short tons of coal per year; GPT could ship 48 million short tons of coal; combined there could be trains from the Powder River Basin transporting 108 million short tons of coal per year to the coast of Washington. This could result in the release of over 3 million tons of coal dust en route from Wyoming and Montana to the west coast. For that reason, 130 Bellingham physicians have signed petitions asking elected officials to ensure that the review of potential environmental impacts of the coal terminal includes measuring the impacts on populations exposed to fugitive coal dust.41This might be difficult to measure but it will be even more difficult to predict future impacts on waterways of fugitive coal dust which finds its way there from the air, as well as runoff and leaching from the land.
Conclusion
Those opposing the construction of coal terminals on the west coast have taken the position that because coal’s impacts on the environment and human health are known, we need not wait ten years to 1) measure effects of mercury levels on our waterways, 2) measure the deteriorating health caused by exposure to fugitive coal dust along our nation’s rail lines, 3) measure particulates released from the burning of U.S. coal in the Pacific Rim, or 4) measure the effects of the contribution to greenhouse gases of 100 million short tons of U.S. coal burned abroad. Terminal proponents argue China will burn coal whether it originates here or from Australia or another coal producing region. That may or may not be true because opposition to coal is a growing worldwide movement. But if it were true, it would not make conscionable that which is not. Seldom can acting locally have a profound impact on matters of global scale. This is such an opportunity, which is why the League of Women Voters Bellingham-Whatcom County urges a position in opposition to the building of terminals on our western shore for the shipping of U.S. coal to the Pacific Rim.
5
1 http://lwvwa.org/issues.html#climate_change.
2 http://www.lwv.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Clean_Air_Defense&Template=/TaggedPage/ TaggedPageDisplay.cfm&TPLID=144&ContentID=16882.
3 See, e.g., Sierra Club’s “Beyond Coal” campaign, http://www.sierraclub.org/coal/; Climate Solutions’ “Power Past Coal” campaign, http://climatesolutions.org/; Earth Justice’s “Climate and Energy” focus, http://earthjustice.org/our_work/climate_and_energy.
4 A short ton is 2,000 pounds. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Short_tons.
5 U.S. Coal Supply and Demand:2010 Year in Review, U.S. Energy Information Administration, June 1, 2011,Fig. 8.http://www.eia.gov/coal/review/.
6 Gelsi, Steve, Peabody Energy to Boost Coal Exports, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL MARKET WATCH (quoting a Peabody spokesman), Mar. 1, 2011, http://www.marketwatch.com/story/peabody-hopes-to-boost-us-coal-exports-2011-03-01?rss=1.
7 Dep’t of Energy & Environmental Protection Agency.Carbon Dioxide Emissions from the Generation of Electric Power in the United States(July 2000): 1, 7, www.eia.gov/cneaf/electricity/page/co2_report/co2emiss.pdf.
8 Id. at 3, 7, 8.
9 Hong, B.D. & E.R. Slatick, Carbon Dioxide Emission Factors for Coal, Energy Information Administration, Quarterly Coal Report, Jan.-Apr. 1994, DOE/EIA-0121(94/Q1) (Washington, DC, Aug. 1994): 1-8, http://www.eia.gov/cneaf/coal/quarterly/co2_article/co2.html.
10 Lobsenz, George, Peabody: China, India Leading Coal “Supercycle,” Coal Power, Dec. 1, 2010. http://www.coalpowermag.com/environmental/297.html.
11 Bradsher, Keith & David Barboza, The Energy Challenge: Pollution from Chinese Coal Casts a Global Shadow, New York Times, June 11, 2006.
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/11/business/worldbusiness/11chinacoal.html.
12 Mercury: Basic Information. http://www.epa.gov/mercury/about.htm.;Mercury in Coal, United States Geological Survey (USGS), Eastern Energy Resources Science Center (EERSC), http://energy.er.usgs.gov/health_environment/mercury/mercury_coal.html.
13 Mercury: Basic Information. http://www.epa.gov/mercury/about.htm.
14 Mercury: Health Information. http://www.epa.gov/mercury/effects.htm.
15 EIA 2010 Year in Review, Exports and Imports, http://www.eia.gov/coal/review/coal_exports_imports.cfm.
16 EIA International Energy Outlook 2010 - Coal, http://www.eia.gov/oiaf/ieo/coal.html. For a discussion of other factors impacting U.S. coal prices and world competition, see id. – Future Role of the United States in World Coal Trade, Report #:DOE/EIA-0484, July, 27, 2010,http://www.eia.gov/oiaf/ieo/wct.html.
17 Id., see also Parker, Mario, Norfolk Southern Sees More Coal Export Demand, China Shipments, Bloomberg.com, Oct. 9, 2009, http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=conewsstory&tkr=ANR:US&sid=aKVID1s4nOY8#; McCabe, Robert, After Rough Year, Coal Exports Look to Rebound, The Virginian Pilot, Oct. 18, 2009, http://hamptonroads.com/2009/10/after-rough-year-coal-exports-look-rebound.
18 The Alabama Port Authority owns McDuffie, which has capacity to ship 30 mil. short tons of coal per annum. http://www.asdd.com/facilities_mcduffie.html. If one clicks the photo on this page, there is a larger image showing a coal terminal operating at 15.6 mil. sta.
19 Owned by Norfolk Southern Railroad, Lamberts Point has capacity to ship 48 mil. short tons of coal per annum. http://www.nscorp.com/nscportal/nscorp/Customers/Coal/Transload/lamberts_point.html.
20 SSA, the proponent of a coal terminal at Cherry Point, obliquely claims that U.S. coal will reach China, but through Canadian ports if its terminal is not built, e.g. http://www.gatewaypacificterminal.com/economic/national.shtml, but this is not true. Canadian ports are at capacity. ______________ [discussion & support]
21 Factbox-- Proposed, Existing Capacity for U.S. Coal Exports, REUTERS, June 9, 2011, http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/09/usa-coal-exports-idUSN0915182220110609; see also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ambre_Energy, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arch_Coal.
22 SSA’s parent company, Carrix, announced on July 5, 2007, that Goldman Sachs Infrastructure Partners “committed to a significant equity investment in the Company, positioning Carrix to capitalize on the substantial growth opportunity in the global port operations industry.” http://www.ssamarine.com/070607.html. Goldman Sachs bought a 49% interest in Carrix/SSA, leaving the Hemingway family’s CEO, Jon Hemingway, in place to proceed with the company’s operations, and “giv[ing] SSA the financial resources to pursue technology and expansion projects.”Goldman Sachs Acquires 49% Equity Stake in SSA Marine, AMERICAN SHIPPER, June 6, 2007,http://www.americanshipper.com/CPC/CPC_story.asp?news=62743. 23 Earthjustice sued on behalf of Climate Solutions, Columbia Riverkeeper, Sierra Club,and Washington Environmental Council. Earth Justice Press Release, Dec. 13, 2010, http://earthjustice.org/news/press/2010/coalition-challenges-permit-allowing-dirty-coal-export-to-asia-from-wa-port.
6
24 Olson, Erik, Millenium Offers to Delay Coal Exports, Conduct Environmental Review, The Daily News, Mar. 7, 2011, http://tdn.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/article_cbcdfc36-4921-11e0-b022-001cc4c002e0.html.
25 http://www.eho.wa.gov/CaseDetails.aspx?cid=4614.
26 http://www.gatewaypacificterminal.com/project/where.shtml.
27 Documents pertaining to the current permitting process, including historical documents, have been compiled by the state at a secure website, after creation of a “MAP,” or Multi-agency Permit, Team by the Governor’s Office of Regulatory Assistance. http://www.ora.wa.gov/documents/map_information.pdf. Due to the myriad permits required from federal, state, and local regulatory bodies for construction projects of large magnitude, the governor’s office created the MAP system to facilitate communication and to “streamline” the process. Supposedly accessible by the public, one must gain permission to access the secure server hosting the MAP Team web page for the SSA project – referred to as “GPT” -- by requesting the User ID (“CherryPoint1”) and a password. E-mail MAP Team Project Lead Scott Boettcher, scottb@sbgh-partners.com, or call 360-480-6600.
28 In Re: Major Development Permit and Shoreline Substantial Development Permit by Gateway Pacific Terminal, Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Major Development Permit and Shoreline Substantial Development Decision, Council of the County of Whatcom, Washington, File Nos. MDP92-0003 & SHS92-0020, Mar. 19, 1997, https://secureaccess.wa.gov/ofm/iprmt24/Portals/_1357/images/default/MDP%20SHS%20Permits.pdf.Those permits, at page 10, seem to indicate shipping volume in excess of 8.2 mil. tons, or other commodities, would require additional permitting from the county.
29 Id.
30 The environmental co-appellants are North Cascades Audubon Society, Ocean Advocates (which no longer exists), People for Puget Sound, and Washington Environmental Council. https://secureaccess.wa.gov/ofm/iprmt24/Portals/_1357/images/default/17%20Settlement%20Agreement.pdf.
31 Settlement Agreement, Pacific International Terminals, Shoreline Substantial Permit No.SHS 92-0020 & Shoreline Hearings Board Nos. 97-22 and 97-23, Appendices A-F, https://secureaccess.wa.gov/ofm/iprmt24/Portals/_1357/images/default/Settlement%20Agreement.pdf.
32 Gateway Pacific Terminal JARPA Project Information Document Ch. 4, The Proposed Action at 4-49, 51, https://secureaccess.wa.gov/Portals/_1357/images/default/GPT_PID_Ch4_2011-02-28.pdf.
33 https://secureaccess.wa.gov/Portals/_1357/images/default/ GATEWAY%20PACIFC%20TERMNAL%20PROJECT%20JARPA%2020110228(3).pdf.
34 EIA Annual Coal Report 2009 No. EIA/DOE No. 0584, Feb. 3, 2010, http://www.eia.gov/cneaf/coal/page/acr/table10.html
35 Peabody Energy to Export Up to 24 Million Metric Tons of Coal Through Gateway Pacific Terminal, Coal Geology, Mar. 3, 2011. http://coalgeology.com/peabody-energy-to-export-up-to-24-million-metric-tons-of-coal-through-gateway-pacific-terminal-in-whatcom-county/14824/.
36 The county created a web page where it posts GPT permit related documents: http://www.co.whatcom.wa.us/pds/plan/current/gpt-ssa/.
37 The Sierra Club, Climate Solutions and Re Sources retained Earth Justice, the firm that challenged the Millennium Bulk Terminals permit in Longview. The Earth Justice letter to Whatcom County can be read at http://www.sierraclub.org/coal/wa/downloads/Whatcom_County_Letter.pdf.
38 Tyler R. Schroeder, Whatcom County Planning Supervisor, to Cliff Strong, Pacific International Terminals, Inc., June 23, 2011, http://www.co.whatcom.wa.us/pds/plan/current/gpt-ssa/pdf/20110623-gptdetermination.pdf.
39 Pacific Int’l Terminals, Inc., Project Information Doc. Ch. 4, The Proposed Action, Table 4.5, Trains per Day by Operation Phase at 4-53. https://secureaccess.wa.gov/Portals/_1357/images/default/GPT_PID_Ch4_2011-02-28.pdf.
40 http://www.bnsf.com/customers/what-can-i-ship/coal/coal-dust.html.
41 Stark, John, Hundreds Turn Out to Mayor’s Cargo Terminal Meeting, Bellingham Herald, June 2, 2011. http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2011/06/02/2041354/hundreds-turn-out-to-mayors-cargo.html.

Dean Tuckerman (#9089)

Date Submitted: 01/17/13
Comment:
My name is Dean Tuckerman and I live in Bellingham. I request that various impacts upon tribal nations be given due consideration. Please
study:
Potential damages to the Nooksack River, to Salish Sea ecosystems and fisheries, and to Cherry Point itself; and impacts on traditional livelihoods, natural resources, food sources, culture and religion.
Possible infringement of international and treaty rights, and the consequences of such infringement.
Any disturbance of archaeological sites, burial sites, and sites of cultural importance.
As recognized in the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve Plan, the Lummi Nation and other tribes have treaty rights in the Salish Sea, as usual and accustomed fishing grounds. How might damaged fisheries; polluted waters, lands and air; altered ecosystems; and increasingly industrialized, crowded waterways impact traditional Native culture and spirituality; employment and livelihoods; natural resources and safe food sources? How might the construction and operations of GPT, and the transport and storage of bulk commodities, including coal, affect the full and proper observation of all relevant rights and treaties?

Xwe’chi’eXen (Cherry Point) is known to have deep spiritual and cultural significance. A burial ground and a sacred site, it is associated with the creation story of the Lummi People and the First Salmon Ceremony.
For over 175 generations, Lummi ancestors lived and fished at Xwe’chi’eXen, and it was part of the (now much smaller) Lummi Reservation as established by the Point Elliott Treaty. It was the first site in Washington State to be listed on the Washington Heritage Register and is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.
The 2007 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, supported by the President of the United States, includes the right to maintain and protect archaeological and historic sites. I request that a third party archaeological study of cultural significance at Cherry Point be done in accordance with Lummi tribal code, and approved and accepted by a Lummi Nation cultural commission.

As a non-indigenous person, I can't accurately articulate GPT's current and potential damages to culture and spirituality. That is why third-party studies done in collaboration with the Lummi Nation and other involved tribes are necessary. However, I do understand that the impacts would be serious, and that some would likely be irrevocable and impossible to mitigate. I do understand that we in the United States, as citizens and as a nation, have a legal obligation to uphold treaties and other accorded rights, and a moral obligation to help respect and protect the sanctity of Lummi Nation's holy ground.

Thank you,

Dean Tuckerman

Dean Wenick (#13662)

Date Submitted: 01/22/13
Location: Seattle , WA
Comment:
Hello -


I would like to weigh in, at the last moment, with a comment about the proposed coal trains.


First of all, all the environmental and public health concerns seem sound and are important to me. Secondly, the nuisance factor of more trains is real and something I'd like to avoid.


But, third, and maybe most important is that these coal exports are a matter of national security and should be blocked for that reason. This coal is obviously a valuable resource. It may be even more valuable to us in the United States in the future. As we look for new sources of energy new technologies may develop to allow us to use this coal at home in the future. If we ship it off to be burned elsewhere we would be depriving ourselves a potential source of energy.


As long as we are importing fossil fuels it does not make sense to export them at the same time.


Thank you for the consideration.


Sincerely,


Dean Wenick

Deana Krow (#2103)

Date Submitted: 10/27/12
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

Deanne Kanenaga (#7936)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Comment:
I had read early on in this process that the medical community expressed concerns that the air quality in the County and city would be significantly compromised by the coal trains. Please provide the impact of the coal trains on the air quality in transport and unloading processes.

Thank you.

Deb Abbey (#309)

Date Submitted: 09/25/12
Location: Edmonds, 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.

It is completely unnecessary to build a new terminal when there are so many existing terminals.

The number of jobs created does not mitigate the detrimental aspects of creating the proposed terminal.

Thank you,

Sincerely,

Deb Abbey

Deb Blaha (#12254)

Date Submitted: 01/22/13
Location: Lake Forest Park, 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.

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.

Also there are many mudslides along this route, posing additional threats and risks.

Deb Dearce (#7604)

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

Deb Langhans (#2614)

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

Deb Merchant (#13362)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Beaverton, OR
Comment:
Stunned is how I feel about a proposal to bring coal exports to the Pacific Northwest! I cannot and will not ever support such a move. 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 implore you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

Deb Steinkamp (#8403)

Date Submitted: 01/11/13
Location: Bellingham, , WA
Comment:
Please see the attached letter.

Deb
Attached Files:

Deb Zucker (#1815)

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

Debbi Cleary (#5037)

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

In your history, you have tampered with the natural filtering process by straightening rivers and blocked wildlife paths by building dams... both crucially harming the northwest. Please don't let these proposed coal terminals come in here to combine with the already large environmental problems we spend so much money to recover from.

On top of stopping the coal companies proposed action, I believe it is largely your responsibility to work with the EPA to make it against the law for a business to destroy our environment to make money by selling our resources to other countries... does that make sense to you when we are trying to become energy independant? You have some power - please be a responsible leader and put it to GOOD.

Debbi Cleary

Debbie Clough (#14174)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Location: Mount Vernon, WA
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

Debbie Milburn (#6266)

Date Submitted: 01/07/13
Location: Helena, MT
Comment:
Dear Mr. Perry:

Please excuse the first comment I sent using WORC's canned response. I meant to replace it with a personal testimony, but technology confused my efforts.
My husband and I own property that includes 1 mile of active rail line near Helena, MT. We have first-hand experiences with railroad traffic. As we have watched the current coal traffic run past our house, our opinions about furthering future coal production have evolved.
Please consider the following issues when developing an EIS regarding the shipping of Powder River Basin coal across Montana to the proposed Cherry Point, WA, export terminal:
- Invasive, noxious weeds and increased rail traffic - railroad beds are fertile sites for noxious, invasive weeds and trains are a constant vector for spreading those seeds. Adjacent property owners face a continuing battle to contain this unwanted, destructive vegetation. Annual spraying of toxic chemicals may slow the process, but those efforts never completely address the problem.
- Property values and increased rail traffic - There would be significant impacts on property values all along the route.
- Environmental concerns due to increased rail traffic - Consider impacts to wildlife habitat, as well as increases in noise and pollution to traditional ranch and farm lands.
- Infrastructure – increased rail activity through towns will be major challenges to communities along the route. Delays, traffic disruption and new infrastructures will become new local burdens.
- Jobs - the number of jobs attributed to coal development (whether miners or rail employees) can just as easily be shifted to the development of cleaner sources of energy.
- Coal is a very dirty source of energy - The hidden costs of burning coal need to be taken into account when making decisions about coal production, transportation and use. Use of coal contributes to much of the exorbitant health care costs in the US. Coal causes the acceleration of climate change. To ignore global warming is to do so at our own peril in the near future. While the US is still dependent on some coal, current and future efforts and monetary resources need to be directed toward cleaner sources of energy. New technology needs to be developed to further the shift to solar, geothermal and wind power, as well as better recovery techniques for natural gas that have less impact to the environment than dirty coal. Coal needs to be phased out. Coal mining companies should be encouraged to focus their attention and resources on producing cleaner energy.
- Shipping coal to China - Chinese plants have less environmental safeguards and will affect more than just the health of that country’s population. Atmospheric currents will carry the pollution right back to the US. To argue that the US might as well be the country to satisfy Asia’s demand for coal is bogus. The US should be setting a better example for the world. The US should be demonstrating leadership in the development of cleaner sources of energy and promoting more conservation here and abroad. The bottom line of any company should not be the only or most important consideration for continuing the mining and use of coal. The use of coal is NOT strictly a local concern. There is much more at stake for the US economy as a whole, when the many hidden costs are taken into account.

Sincerely, Debbie Milburn

Debbie Raplee (#7255)

Date Submitted: 01/14/2013
Location: Kent, wa
Comment:
To whom this may concern:
As I understand, there is a very real possibility of increased train traffic within the City of Kent. Pacific International Terminals has submitted applications to develop the largest coal export facility in North America, which would travel through Kent.
There are numerous significant adverse impacts to the businesses, residents, quality of life and potential public safety.

Train traffic through Kent currently delays and backs up traffic numerous times per day. In addition the numerous malfunctions of the crossing arms which delay traffic when there is no train. It is the length of trains that can cause the frustration of businesses and residents. These coal train will be up to a mile and a half, 18 times per day initially. How much will this increase as production increases? I have personally seen aid cars, police and fire held up due to train travel through Kent. What about the lives waiting desperately on the other side for help? With an increase in train traffic, how many more pedestrians will attempt to cross in an effort to get to their destination without delay? How many deaths, emotional and psychological traumas will be the result, and at what cost?

Now is the time, it is imperative if this goes through, that railroads contribute substantially to the building of railroad separation intersections within the City of Kent. Cities and taxpayers cannot and should not have to fund the expansion of the railroad business.

Debbie Rowe (#5255)

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

Debby Keith (#5448)

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

Debi Stromberg (#12808)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
Location: Happy Valley, OR
Comment:
I believe in investing in businesses working on new, clean or renewable energy sources rather business carrying or promoting coal use.

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.

Deborah Bassett (#9063)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Comment:
I am writing to express my concern about the proposed coal terminal at Cherry Point in Bellingham, WA. The hazards of the proposed coal project to the environment, public health, air quality, traffic etc. are significant and well-documented. The Pacific Northwest has a well-earned reputation as an increasingly rare part of the U.S. where the natural environment is still protected and valued. I urge you to reconsider this terminal and the long-term adverse impact it will have on the region, the tourism economy, public health, and the environment.

Deborah Bassett (#13310)

Date Submitted: 01/13/13
Location: Wilmington, DE
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 the beautiful Bellingham community and nearby tribal lands by increasing congestion and noise with more coal train traffic, polluting the 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.

Whatcom County's most precious economic resource is its unspoiled natural environment that brings visitors and tourists from all over the world and has earned it acclaim as one of the nation's most beautiful small towns. Although I currently live on the east coast, in the decade I lived in Washington State, I spent many happy days in Bellingham, both for business and for pleasure, and would like to continue to do so.

As a Native person who conducts research in Native health, I am also concerned about the impact the coal export terminal would have on the nearby tribal lands of Lummi Nation and the health of its citizens.

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.

Deborah Benz (#5059)

Date Submitted: 12/14/12
Location: 98226, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Deborah Bonnville (#852)

Date Submitted: 10/13/12
Location: Lopez Island, WA
Comment:
For consideration:

I have been a homeowner and voter in the San Juan Islands for 35 years. I have raised my family here and now my daughter is raising her family here.
The impact of transporting coal across our country and then shipping across the seas to China brings far to many risks to our environment and potentially to all Life.
I don't want to see coal shipped to China in my area or any other.

Respectfully,
Deborah Bonnville
1356 Elliot Rd
Lopez Island, WA
98261

Deborah Bornzin (#5879)

Date Submitted: 12/31/12
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Files:

Deborah Buchanan (#1992)

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

Deborah Coehlo (#5296)

Date Submitted: 12/19/12
Location: Bend, OR
Comment:
Dec 19, 2012

US Army Corps of Engineers

I have concerns regarding the impacts of 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, in particular, through the Columbia River Gorge. This proposal would negatively affect the Columbia River Gorge by increasing traffic congestion and noise with more coal train traffic which would impede the vital tourism economy of the Gorge. I am also concerned about polluting our air and impairing visibility in the National Scenic Area and impacts to water quality in the Columbia River.

I am also concerned about the impacts of train traffic on delaying emergency responders, damaging aquatic ecosystems and fishing grounds at the terminal site, and the potential for serious shipping accidents.
Finally, regardless of how this coal is shipped, once burned it accelerates climate change worldwide. I urge you to consider all of these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.Finally, as a health care provider for children and families, I cannot ignore studies linking coal pollutants to chronic respiratory conditions in children. These problems last a life time.

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

Sincerely,

Dr. Deborah Coehlo

Deborah David (#2961)

Date Submitted: 11/14/12
Location: Sandpoint, ID
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 Sandpoint ID 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.

Sandpoint ID is already inundated with trains as it is, if 60 more are added (making 120) along with the length of these trains many areas in Sandpoint will be brought to a standstill. Traffic will be blocked, emerengency access cut off. There are several crossings in Sandpoint I can hear nearly everyone from my house, some of which are over a mile away and four closer ones at 1/2 mile away. These trains would pretty much kill the town of Sandpoint, housing values are already down and the addition of more trains would pretty much finish us off with no means to even sell and try and start over somewhere else. Jobs would dry up and tourists would stop coming.

I can't express enough the total unfairness of this action by rich corporations effecting small communities that are already living on the blink. If this has to happen the least you could do is require the coal companies to buy out those people who want to leave instead of having to live a life breathing coal dust and hearing horns blasting 24 hours a day. This is a tourist town and even eventually that will go away. No one likes smelling coal or hearing horns so loud one has to stop talking to the person next to them. How many people will die just because emergency vehicles cannot get to them. What about if there is a fire, this community is a surrounded by forests it would be a huge disaster.

And it is so completely unfair to constantly allow those with money, power to do whatever the hell they want without any regard to what happens to those poorer then them and the environment.




Deborah David
212 Crooked Lane
Sandpoint, ID 83864

Deborah Dills (#13381)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Bellingham, 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.

Our family moved to Bellingham from Texas "because" it was rated in many places rated almanacs as the Best Place To Live int he country. Not only was the cost of living good, but rated the quality of life to be outstanding. If the coal trains come to our town, I am afraid there will be a massive move out of the area, including our family because of the noise of the trains, and the coal dust emitted in the air as it passes through town.

Our family says NO to the Coal Trains. I know personally what living in a coal community is like-Hazelton PA is where I used to live and it's a dirty, dusty place. It's like living in Hell.

NO COAL TRAINS IN THE
NORTHWEST-NONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11

Deborah Fisher (#1041)

Date Submitted: 10/19/12
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
Oct 19, 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 global warming pollution. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

Given the broad impact that proposed coal export terminals will have on our natural resources and public health, strict oversight is essential.

Any project which pollutes and harms the animals in the region inevitably affects our own health and quality of life--fish contamined with tumors and various pollutants end up on our plates, for one. As a resident of Seattle, I am lucky to live in one of the most beautiful parts of the world: we can and must protect it! We cannot be healthy or beautiful without a healthy, balanced beautiful ecosystem.

Don't destroy our wildlife, our history, our native peoples, or our future for the sake of an ill-conceived and dangerous project. We're all in this together--please don't let us down!

Sincerely,

Deborah Fisher
7733 21st Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98117-4311

Deborah Gesellchen (#13468)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Port Angeles, 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. There are safer and cleaner fuel sources. They need to stop being lazy, greedy and uncaring of human life. No matter the cost of cleaner fuels... It can't buy one single human life.

Deborah Hall (#3426)

Date Submitted: 11/26/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I am a family physician in Bellingham who daily treats patients with chronic diseases. I am concerned about the proposed location of the Gateway Pacific Terminal and the rail lines leading to and from there. Most worrisome is the affect that diesel particulate matter (DPM) can have on the health of our community.
DPM has been clearly linked to CVD, asthma, certain cancers
Increases in DPM will be inevitable with the increased train traffic
The GPT will involve a concentrated corridor of DPM along the rail lines that run through highly populated areas.
Levels specific to these corridors are what are needed to be studied
We need to know specifically how much increased illness, ED visits, hospitalizations, and deaths will be predicted with this project from CVD, asthma and cancer, and which populations (how far from the tracks) will be at most risk.

Deborah LaPlace (#12645)

Date Submitted: 01/20/13
Location: Mount Angel, 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. START THINKING ABOUT THE EFFECTS THESE THINGS HAVE ON HUMAN HEALTH, NOT PROFIT FOR BIG CORPORATE.

Deborah Leavenworth (#11076)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Kent, WA
Comment:
I agree the the economy could use a boost, but at what cost. I already wait for several trains a week, Living in the Kent area it is common to have to stop for several minutes to wait for an extremely log train to pass. I am against this whole thing. It truly will cost more than our environment can accomodate.

Deborah Margulies (#1704)

Date Submitted: 10/26/12
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

Deborah Markowitz (#3000)

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

Deborah Martin (#8668)

Date Submitted: 01/17/2013
Location: Anacortes, Wa
Comment:
Hello,
My name is Deborah Martin. I've been a resident of Skagit county for 45 years and am Washington State born.
I agree with the very thorough and accurate comments submitted by San Olson of Lopez Island.
A Vessel Traffic Risk Assesment (VTRA) must be fully and formally prepared for the urgent look at emergency prevention and response issues that will affect the Salish Sea and all areas of impact. We have an urgent need to protect the environment of these areas to retain existing life and commerce.
I have serious concern for marine saftey at Unimak Pass. A runaway bulker would be catastrophic. This impact must be thoroughly studied.
Thank you for your professionalism.
Sincerely,
Deborah Martin

Deborah Martin (#8671)

Date Submitted: 01/17/2013
Location: Anacortes, Wa
Comment:
Hello,
I'm glad for this important look at how we will procede to support a healthy region for the people and vital supporting species and elements that exist here.
I request that the studies be undertaken as described by Dr. Gary Greene of the University of Washington, in his comments of January 3, 2013.
I speak specifically to the urgency of supporting the forage fish of the region as a critical aspect of the life chain that other species, regional commerce and vitality depend on.
Sincerely,
Deborah Martin

deborah moggio (#375)

Date Submitted: 09/25/12
Location: Ocean Park, WA
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of coal export terminals at Longview and 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,

deborah moggio

Deborah Reilly (#6475)

Date Submitted: 01/04/13
Location: Vashon, WA
Comment:
Dear Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Ecology and Whatcom County Council:

I strongly object to the mining and transportation of coal anywhere in the United States but especially here in the Pacific NorthWest. It will create a vast destruction of lands in the states it is mined and numerous health and economic risks here at home only to ship it overseas to Asia.
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.

Deborah Scott (#3014)

Date Submitted: 11/16/2012
Location: Mount Vernon, WA
Comment:
I am very concerned about the railroad aspects of this project. In Skagit County, major hospital/medical facilities are on one side of RR tracks & large portion of population in on the other side. Even 3 trains a day impacts how fast people can reach medical facilities. 8-10 more trains per day will definitely have an adverse impact. People will die waiting for trains to pass through. Environmentally this will also be totally devastating. Coal & coal dust is toxic! This is NOT going to benefit people here. We should not have to pay the price so companies can get rich sending coal to China!

Deborah Stephenson (#13766)

Date Submitted: 01/16/13
Comment:
A mountainless, coal-blackened planet is not MY vision for the future!

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.

Deborah Stewart (#5515)

Date Submitted: 12/20/12
Location: Portland, OR
Comment:
Dear Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Ecology and Whatcom County Council:

Please do not approve the export terminal at Cherry Pt. and transport plans through OR and WA. My grandchildren live 3 blocks from the tracks just north of Seattle. I use Amtrak frequently and know how many grade crossings there are that would be affected. i make personal, moral sacrifices to help reduce global warming and do not think sacrifices of safety, human health, earth's health for the sake of encouraging burning of coal in Asia are moral. And I oppose any public spending to facilitate such operations.

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.

Deborah Virgovic (#603)

Date Submitted: 10/11/2012
Comment:
How is this EIS tying in with other proposed terminals for coal transportation and with the ACOE proposed Skagit River Flood Management EIS?

Deborah J. Cruz (#10139)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
I respectfully request that the following study be conducted concerning the Gate Pacific Terminal and related activities.

I am deeply concerned about the impact that the level of noise and vibration currently has in the Puget Sound and Cherry Point Reserve due to shipping practices. I am even more concerned with the level of noise and vibration that will be increasing and occurring on a regular basis if the Gateway Pacific Terminal is built at Cherry Point.

It is known to some extent that many marine species including, but not limited to the whales, herring and salmon, are sensitive to sound and vibration both above the surface and within the depths. It’s also known that to some extent that human-made noise and vibration have a negative impact on marine life. I’ve also seen some reports concerning noise and vibration having negative impacts on the sea grasses. Noise and vibration is known to potentially severely disrupt feeding patterns, communication patterns, reproductive patterns and even growth patterns of many species of marine life.

GPT, if allowed, will be engaged in intensive construction over the next several years and adding on almost 500 cape sized ships a year that will be thundering in through the Sound, idling and loading at Cherry Point and then thundering back out of the Sound. This does not include the additional vessel traffic that will be associated with support operations like tug boats, increased Coast Guard presence, etc. It is also known that various areas within the Sound will act as echo chambers, amplifying the noise of ships movements. Sound and vibration impacts will not only come from the ship traffic, but construction of the GPT facility and the daily operations of the pier and nearshore equipment and operations.

The Cherry Point Workgroup, in developing the Cherry Point Environmental Aquatic Reserve Management Plan (November 2012, p. 27-30), also expressed concerns about the effects of stress on marine life within the Reserve due to noise and vibration.

• Most commercial fish react to loud noise; these reactions are most pronounced in migratory schooling fish which rely on hearing to detect environmental cues, such as approaching predators.

• Physical impacts have been documented with construction project noise, such as pile driving (Laughlin 2005). Noise is expected to increase from construction and operation of the new pier.

• The proposed pier alignment encroaches on the Cherry Point herring prespawn holding area, making potential impacts of noise associated with vessel traffic, barging and berthing, and loading and offloading materials of particular concern.

• It is unclear how vessels frequenting herring spawning grounds or industry pier operations affect herring spawning success, feeding behavior, or individual health (Settlement, 1999).

• Further study is needed to comprehensively assess the impacts.

Sufficient uncertainty exists from published studies and local conditions that one cannot make a definite statement that ship noise does or does not have any effect. Additional study is necessary to judge the effects of current and future increases in vessel traffic. Research is necessary to ascertain whether underwater sounds like those found at Cherry Point can affect herring or other species of concern at any life stage. (Cherry Point Environmental Aquatic Reserve Management Plan, November 2010, pg 156)

Sound and vibration impacts could have a significant and cumulative adverse impact on the already delicate and compromised Cherry Point and Puget Sound ecosystems, affecting the food web from the grasses on up to the whales, social patterns of many species and also have negative impacts on our commercial and tribal fishing and tourist industries which are significant culturally and economically, especially here at Cherry Point.

I agree completely that this impact needs to be studied very thoroughly and the study needs to be specific to Cherry Point for construction and ship traffic and the entire Puget Sound for ship traffic. It will also need to include the whole of the ecosystem(s), not just certain elements of it.

Deborah J. Cruz (#10142)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
I respectfully request that the following study be conducted concerning the Gate Pacific Terminal and related activities.

I am very concerned about the current existence of invasive species being brought into area oceanic waters, the Puget Sound and Cherry Point and the negative impact these species are already having our local ecosystems. I am even more concerned about the potential increase of invasive species with the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal.

It’s known that foreign species are brought into local ecosystems through ballast water and on the hulls and keels of incoming ships and a myriad of other means. However, Ballast water has been identified by the EPA “as one of the most ‘universal and ubiquitous vectors’ for the transport and discharge of non-native species in marine and coastal areas (2008). (Cherry Point Environmental Aquatic Reserve Management Plan, November 2010, pg 25)

Some of these species may be harmless while others are not. The proposed GPT terminal will be increasing incoming ships from Asian waters (and possibly other areas) not only in significant numbers (almost 500 ships a year), but these ships will be up to cape-size having extensively larger ballast tanks and hull areas for invasive species to be brought through.

Invasive species are already taking hold throughout the Sound and Salish Sea and even here at Cherry Point.

• The “2012 State of the Sound: A Biennial Report on the Recovery of Puget Sound” report by the Puget Sound Partnership (November 2012, pg 184) and

• “A Baseline Assessment of Priority Invasive Species in the Puget Sound Basin” report by the Washington Invasive Species Council (February 2011 pgs 39,67, 75 and 79), cited several examples of invasive species throughout the Puget Sound and Whatcom County.

• “The Cherry Point Environmental Aquatic Reserve Management Plan” (November 2010), hereafter “The Plan,” also cites examples of and concerns about invasive species. “Non-indigenous submerged aquatic vegetation has found a foothold in the nearshore and is displacing certain types of native algae. The causes of species decline in and around the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve have not been well studied or understood” (pg 25).

• The Plan also states “The rising level of maritime shipping is increasing the risk of invasion by non-native species in Puget Sound and the Strait of Georgia. . . . . The risk of non-native aquatic plant and animal species being introduced through ballast water is a serious one. Non-native aquatic plant and animal species can displace, disturb, consume, and compete with native species (CRS 2007). Even harder to manage, non-native organisms may also be attached to the hulls of commercial vessels. This is an identified problem at Cherry Point (Markiewicz, A. et al, 2005). (pg 161)

The Chinook salmon, which is the main food staple for our Southern Resident Orcas and a primary fish for our fishing industry, forage throughout the Salish Sea as juveniles. When they’ve reached maturity, they head out to the Pacific Ocean and eventually come back to their birthplaces to spawn. Invasive species could potentially have a negative impact anywhere along this feeding route.

Our marine food web is extensive and already compromised. Eel grass beds are in decline (invasive species are already taking over), which means a decline in the herring population, then the salmon population, then the whale population. This in turn will have a significantly adverse impact on our marine life and our fishing and tourist industries as well.

I agree completely that this impact needs to be studied very thoroughly and the study needs to include the entire area of ship movement routes.

Deborah J. Cruz (#10143)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
I respectfully request that the following study be conducted concerning the Gate Pacific Terminal and related activities.

The proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal (hereafter GPT) is no small project and its footprint will be significant. It will have environmental, social, health and economic impacts. These impacts will affect local, regional, national and global conditions. It will have impacts in the immediate future as well as the long-term future. In order to adequately and accurately assess the potential impacts of the proposed GPT we will need to consider, extensively, many things. There is one impact that is interwoven into all the issues and in all times and spaces. This impact is climate change. To properly and realistically assess the impacts of the GPT, we need to incorporate climate change into our thinking and assessments.

“We must embed climate change assumptions into our natural resource management plans and strategies to enable the most effective environmental restoration and protection possible. Accounting for climate change projections in these plans is important from both a cost perspective and a natural resource perspective, especially for our future generations. As a public official making decisions that impact not only our community today, but also millions of future Puget Sound’s residents and their natural environment, I refuse to let future generations pay for the consequences of our current lifestyles. By taking steps today to limit climate change, we can save money, natural resources and the quality of life we all value for our region’s future residents tomorrow. This is an imperative.” Ron Sims, King County Executive, National Wildlife Federation “Sea-level Rise and Coastal Habitats in the Pacific Northwest: An Analysis for Puget Sound, Southwestern, Washington, and Northwestern Oregon,” (July 2007, pg i)


Regional, State and local agencies and organizations are moving to find ways to address climate change and it cannot be excluded from the discussions surrounding GPT. First of all, the GPT project involves the largest shipping port transporting overseas for consumption, coal, a fossil fuel primarily made of carbon (CO2) that is significantly responsible for the greenhouse gas emissions causing the rising temperature of our planet. Besides contributing to the green house effect, coal burned overseas find its toxic waste residue carried on the winds across the ocean back to settle on Pacific Northwest waters and lands. Secondly, we are already witnessing the effects of that warming in the Salish Sea, the Puget Sound and even Cherry Point.

Climate change pressures in Puget Sound include changes in stream flow timing and volume, air and water temperature, loss of snow-fed water supplies, sea level rise, and ocean acidification. These pressures could have serious consequences for human health, including reduced water supply, losses to agriculture and forest industries, losses of fish and wildlife, impaired functioning of natural systems, and increased frequency, and intensity of extreme weather event such as droughts, floods, heat waves, wildfires, and heavy rain and snow storms. Other impacts to natural resources and Puget Sound communities will vary, but these are not as readily predictable. (2012 State of the Sound: A Biennial Report on the Recovery of Puget Sound, Puget Sound Partnership, pg 146)

. . . Potential impacts to the aquatic reserve from climate change and global warming include ocean acidification, sea level rise, and increased storm severity. Nearshore resources that are temperature sensitive, such as crab larvae and herring spawning, may be affected by increases in water temperatures. Projections vary, but range from a 7- to- 23 inch rise in global average sea level by 2090-2099. Climate change could result in increased coastal erosion, all or some of which may result in changes to species abundance and distribution. Sea level rise and increased erosion can increase pressure to install hard shoreline armoring structures. A reduction in the availability of tidal marsh/tidal flat habitats could occur, as sea levels rise combined with increased river flow increases the salinity of the nearshore area while decreasing the availability of tidal marsh areas. Commercial shellfish communities (e.g., oysters and clams) and migratory shorebird populations that utilize these flats for habitat and feeding may also decline. . (Cherry Point Environmental Aquatic Reserve Management Plan, November 2010, pg 28-29)

Climate change is expected to have significant impacts on the Pacific Northwest (PNW). . . [other] Impacts include: changes in ocean upwelling, increased water temperature, and photo enhanced toxicity, all or some of which may result in changes to species abundance and distribution . . . sea level rise could increase the vulnerability of coastal areas to storms and associated flooding . . . A recent study that modeled the potential impact of sea-level rise on key coastal habitats in the Pacific Northwest estimated that the Nooksack Delta, Lummi Bay, and Bellingham Bay could result in a a 22-percent loss of swamp (including tidal swamp), a 22-percent loss of brackish marsh, and a 42-percent loss of estuarine beach. No information was available for Cherry Point, which has several scattered salt marsh habitats that could be affected by changes in salinity and rising water levels . . . The EPA states that commercial shellfish communities (e.g., oysters and clams) and migratory shorebird populations that utilize these flats for habitat and feeding also may decline accordingly. The commercial and recreational shellfish activities in the Reserve may also be affected by these changes. And changes in the composition of tidal wetlands could diminish the capacity for those habitats to support salmonids, especially juvenile Chinook and chum salmon (Glick, 2007). (Cherry Point Environmental Aquatic Reserve Management Plan, November 2010, pg 168-169)

Cherry Point has already seen a dramatic decline in its herring population, a species of herring that will be very important as the consequences of climate change continue to be felt in the days to come. Rumor has it the decline is due in part to an illegal and un-permitted pier expansion project at one of the other industrial facilities located within the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve. Similarly, eelgrass beds are also declining and they are an important solution to reducing ocean acidification, which is reported to be occurring within the Reserve as well. In all the reports I’ve read, none of the agencies or organizations could (or rather, would) say with any certainty the cause of these declines and other problems encountered within the reserve. All did say there needed to be more studies conducted to determine not only what possible factors have contributed to the current decline of the quality of the Reserve (and the Sound), but also to gather the more accurate information in which to assess what more and specific actions are necessary to not only protect what remains, but to restore what we can.

What I request is an extensive and thorough study of climate change and it’s impacts on Cherry Point and how GPT will not only be a contributing force but could be a casualty of it as well. Some of the specific points to be studies would include, but not limited to:

• Ocean Acidification (eelgrass beds, herring populations, soil and microbial changes)
• Sea level Rise (impacts on the GPT facility, water treatment, discharges, etc and salinity changes.)
• Air, soil and water contamination of toxic substances coming from the unburned and burned coal
• Effects on entire the food web (within Cherry Point, the Sound and the Salish Sea)
• Effects of the loss of tidal lands, marshes, etc.
• Effects on migratory and resident bird and other wildlife populations
• Surface and depth water temperatures on marine plant and wildlife (including insects and microbes)
• Changes due to the timing and flows of freshwater sources into the Reserve including the lowered ability of diluting toxic substances and contaminants or increasing their presence
• Physical coastline changes including erosion, swamping, flooding, etc
• Economic impacts of resources that will be compromised (water, tribal and commercial fishing, tourism, etc.)

Even more significant is cumulative effect of the proposition of six fossil fuel shipping terminals throughout the Pacific Northwest as climate change will be affected by and will affect each of the other facilities in similar ways. When adding the climate change impacts altogether, my guess is the results will be staggering for the Pacific Northwest. These studies and assessments need to be completed and thoroughly review prior to approving any of the proposed terminals. To approve any one of the terminals without these studies could be signing a death warrant for the entire Salish Sea and our combined goal is to save and retore it, not consign it to destruction.

While our knowledge of climate change may be limited, it’s imperative for future generations that we make the best attempt we can to map out what’s happening and what we can do to rectify the conditions that are threatening a vast majority of human and natural communities here at home and across the globe.

To the extent that it can be identified, quantified, and mitigated, uncertainty is a component of planning, not a reason to avoid planning. . . the natural complexity (variability in geographic space and in time, such as decadal climate variability) of these systems is a key part of planning for the future. (The Washington Climate Change Impacts Assessment: Evaluating Washington’s Future in a Changing Climate, A report by The Climate Impacts Group University of Washington (June 2009, pg 20)

Deborah J. Cruz (#10144)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
I respectfully request that the following study be conducted concerning the Gate Pacific Terminal and related activities.

I live out in the county, in the northeastern corner of Ferndale amongst the numerous berry farms. I am on a private well and assumed the well is in part, fed by the Nooksack River and Bertrand Creek, as well as rainfall.

I understand that the Gateway Pacific Terminal (hereafter GPT) will be requiring the use of several million gallons of water daily, not only for basic daily operations, but to keep coal dust from the 80 acres of coal piles at a minimum. I am concerned that the GPT will be drawing most of its water from the Nooksack River as well.

It is my understanding that the in-stream flow of the Nooksack, particularly in the summer months, has been below the legal average over the past few years. It is also my understanding that the Bolt decision and the State’s “first in time, first in use” give the Lummi priority over the waters of the Nooksack. If the in-stream flow is insufficient to provide the Lummi what is needed to maintain the salmon populations, how will GPT be able to meet the standards set on keeping coal dust in check?

Also, I’ve been told that there over 450 irrigation permits for local farmers pending (and have been pending for some time now), many of whom need access to the Nooksack and other water resources as well for agricultural uses. Given the “first in time, first in use” policy, how will the County and the State determine who is next in line after the Lummi, to draw from the Nooksack?

I am also concerned with the impact that climate change will have on our access to water, particularly from the Nooksack. A major (if not all) of the water in the Nooksack and other water sources such as the Bertrand Creek are and will be severely affected by the untimely melting of the glaciers.

I would like to request that the appropriate studies be conducted (or completed) concerning Whatcom County’s water resources, quality, use and distribution and the economic and environmental impacts and specifically what are the GPT water requirements and how will those requirements impact the availability of water. How will GPT’s water use impact our agricultural community? How will it impact the availability of water in my personal well?

It will be important to address these concerns as GPT’s water requirements could severely disrupt, if not outright destroy Whatcom County’s agricultural community and one of its primary economic industries. Whatcom’s agricultural community plays a significant role in the food security for the area as well as the region and by far takes precedence over coal for Asia.

Deborah J. Cruz (#10146)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
I respectfully request that the following study be conducted concerning the Gate Pacific Terminal and related activities.

The Gateway Pacific Terminal (hereafter GPT) will be a facility that could potentially create a number of adverse health concerns not only at the site, but through its associations, support adverse health concerns across the country and even across the globe.

It is imperative to conduct a full Health Impact Assessment. There are far too many questions that need answering and information that is needed to make a responsible decision regarding the GPT.

Some areas of the proposed Health Impact Assessment should include, but not limited to the following:

Define all possible chemical elements, pollutants that come from the coal itself, from the equipment used to mine, transport and store coal, and any elements that come as a result of combining of coal and other natural elements (e.g. acid rain) that could have an adverse impact on health.

Contamination of water and soils due to coal handling (including burning) regionally and abroad, particularly mercury, lead, beryllium, arsenic and other toxic elements related to coal.

Rail-related noise that will impair sleep, increase stress, cause cognitive impairment, high blood pressure, fatigue and amplify mental health disorders and could have a significant health impact in the young and elderly.

Diesel particulate matter emitted by both the trains along the entire rail route and the ships that will be transporting the coal overseas causing lung cancer and other respiratory conditions (like asthma, emphysema, COPD and bronchitis), strokes, cardiovascular conditions, cognitive deficiencies. Studies need to address long-term and acute exposures.

Mining conditions and incidents that cause a variety of illness, particularly respiratory, injuries and death.

Nitrogen, CO2, Sulfur Oxide and other elements that pose health risks.

Ability and efficiency of emergency medical personnel and equipment to reach those in need and provide services in a timely manner.

Potential for increased and more serious traffic and rail accidents, with the amount, size, length and speed of the coal trains.

Potential exposure to toxic elements due to spills and derailments.

Coal dust related health conditions.

Pollutant and chemical exposure based on different distances from roadways and railways.

Pollutant and chemical exposure based on variations in weather patterns (both normal temperature and temperature inversions)

Effect pollutants and chemical exposure has in immune systems.

Role of genetics in determining individual response to polluntants and chemical exposure (including diabetes, obesity, etc.)

Health impacts of soot from coal-burning, whether locally or abroad.

In order to make responsible decisions concerning the GPT, we need to have as much information as possible and the consequences of the GPT are too large and costly to ignore. It is absolutely necessary to outline specifically the health impacts of this project and identify who would be affected the hardest or most by those impacts.

Deborah J. Deborah J. Cruz (#11589)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
Shipping Impacts

It appears that shipping practices, policies and regulations in the Salish Sea are outdated and not keeping pace with the current and future demand and capacity. I respectfully request a comprehensive and cumulative study of vessel impacts throughout the Salish Sea. Due to the potential severity of negative impacts, the study needs to be inclusive of all vessel traffic, not just the proposed GPT traffic and needs to include the whole of the Salish Sea (Straights, Sound, Cherry Point, etc.) as the vessel traffic does not begin or end just at Cherry Point.

There are a number of shipping issues that need to be investigated and policies and procedures re-examined for existing traffic and this needs to be done well in advance of adding any further new traffic, particularly the massive shipping requirements of the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal (hereafter GPT). The GPT will add new dimensions to shipping traffic and we need to have the foundation of our shipping policies updated and solidified before taking on new problems, if we even can take them on.

Also, I believe that as part of the 1999 Settlement, SSA Marine was required to provide a Vessel Traffic Analysis (among other required conditions), which has yet to be completed.

General Environmental Impacts:

First and foremost is the fact that the current shipping routes throughout the Salish Sea are in environmentally sensitive waters and ecosystems that are already being compromised by unchecked human activity. There are substantial declines in some populations such as the herring. There is an increase in coastal riparian and marine habitat degradation due to shipping traffic both in the traffic itself and the industries that have created and continue to support that traffic.

Our waters are home to 12 federally protected species and seven state protected species. There are numerous wildlife strikes and an increasing presence of invasive species that further compromise the integrity of native species. There is also seabed soil disturbance from propellers and water displacement created by the waves of ships in motion. Noise and vibration of ships movements are also effecting the communication, reproductive, feeding and growth patterns and habits of marine life, plant, microbial and animal. Some of these impacts I have covered more in depth in other comments, but the background is necessary to include in this vessel traffic and potential spills comment.

Wildlife strikes

Because our waterways are the home to many different species of marine wildlife and also part of many species’ migratory routes as well as human commercial and recreational activity, wildlife strikes is an issue that needs to be dealt with, particularly when we start talking about our whale population, although the strikes will include other species including dolphins, seals and more.

“In the interest of brevity, while recognizing that strike can impact many species, the discussion will be limited to whales. Of all the animals, they are often the most difficult to see, the hardest to avoid, and can also damage many medium to smaller size ships and vessels.( Cherry Point Environmental Aquatic Reserve Management Plan, November 2010, pg 157)

All types and sizes of vessels may hit whales, but the most lethal and serious injuries to whales are caused by relatively large vessels (gene )rally 80 meters or longer). . . .
With the highly endangered populations, or smaller population segments, significant impacts may occur. (Cherry Point Environmental Aquatic Reserve Management Plan, November 2010, pg 160)

Douglas et al (2008) reported on ship strikes in Washington State. In their research, the increased vessel traffic through northern Washington, into the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and to Cherry Point, Seattle and Tacoma is discussed. An estimated 11,000 vessels greater than 300 gross tons passed through the Strait in 1999, and it is expected to increase to 17,000 by the year 2025. As traffic will increase, the risk of strike also increases. The types of ships that call upon the piers at Cherry Point, in general, are large tankers and cargo ships. While it is often assumed these ships travel at less than 14 knots, which would lower the risk of a strike, Douglas et al (2008) reports of a female fin whale on the bow of the “New York” Alaska tanker, which has a maximum speed of 16 knots. This tanker most likely struck the fin whale outside of the inland waterways and brought her in to the general vicinity of Cherry Point, near Ferndale, Washington. As Laist et al (2001) discusses the size of a ship and the speed are two risk factors, coupled with the increasing vessel traffic in an area used by whales, that can set the stage for a collision (Laist et al, 2001).

NOAA has researched ways to reduce the possibility of ship strikes and admits that this is a complex problem to address. No easy technological advances are present or are expected in the foreseeable future that would assist mariners in substantially reducing their chances of collisions. (Cherry Point Environmental Aquatic Reserve Management Plan, November 2010, pg 160)

With the increase in the numbers and sizes of ships, the more prevalent strikes will become and their needs to be a way to report the strikes, care and disposition of injured wildlife and liability for the costs. There will also need to be monitoring and tracking of how the strikes will be impacting any given species. The more endangered the species the more significant even one strike will become to the survival of that species.

Habitat destruction and environment disruption of anchorage areas. (See below)

Vessel Traffic Management

Anchorage areas are limited and need to be accurately identified and studied to determine which ships will be able to use what areas and at what times and by who. Any anchorage areas will also need to be included in any environmental impact studies beyond just vessel traffic. The potential for environmental disturbance and destruction of these areas will also need to be studied as the number, type and frequency of anchorage needs may exceed our ability to accommodate without significant alteration or destruction of the area(s) ecosystems (particularly shellfish, crab and nurseries), particularly given the size of proposed ships anchors and chains. These areas will include, but are not limited to, Cherry Point, Bellingham Bay, Anacortes, Smith Island and existing and potential anchorage areas. This will be particularly important with the depths of the proposed coal container ships being nearly 50’ deep and some anchorage areas only 100’ deep.

Given the proposed GPT traffic of nearly 500 ships per year and the size of the vessels incoming expected to be the largest ships known, we will need to study, evaluate and update the need of having a continued tug(s) and pilot presence in the area. The potential cost and who will be responsible (government or private) to supply various different services will need to be determined as well.

We will need to study wind, current and weather seasonal patterns that will affect incoming, anchoring, staging and outgoing vessels including, sea fog, at any given point in time. In addition, existing procedures for weather-related conditions that could compromise vessel safety will need to be studied, re-evaluated and updated. Projected changes due to climate change must also be incorporated as changes will occur and we must be prepared to adapt to them. Since GPT is planning services and activities well out into the future, so should any preparedness and impact studies be projected as well.

Identify and study ship captain training and licensing, pilot training and licensing, tug master training and licensing for all vessels operating in the Cherry Point (and the rest of the Salish Sea) including updates as necessary to accommodate the proposed GPT vessel types and traffic. It will need to be established who will be responsible for financing any upgrades and what that cost and timeliness of modifications will be. This study must also look to the issue of foreign ship’s personnel and interpreters. “If we perform an error analysis of accidents that have occurred in our data collection period (1995 to 2005), we find that 75% (3 of 4) of the accidents have been preceded by human errors, while 25% (1 of 4) have been caused by mechanical failures.” (Assessment of Oil Spill Risk due to Potential Increased Vessel Traffic at Cherry Point, Washington (August 31, 2008, pg 44). Given the increase in the numbers, size and toxicity of cargo being transported through the Salish Sea, vessel manpower competency will become critical to maintaining a safe and healthy Salish waterway.


While the Assessment of Oil Spill Risk due to Potential Increased Vessel Traffic at Cherry Point, Washington (August 31, 2008) did an initial vessel traffic analysis for the BP pier addition, it is now well out of date and should not be used in lieu of conducting a new analysis. This EIS report will need to include all Salish Sea vessel traffic, all types of vessel traffic, the proposed GTP vessel traffic numbers and any increased vessel traffic statistics from the other industries in light of projected increases in oil and tar sands oil production and shipments.

Ship Construction

Shipping vessel integrity, both foreign and domestic, is an apparent concern even before the introduction of the cape-size vessels expecting to navigate our waters. Ships are designed and built as per the regulations of the country where it was built which will have varying construction quality and environmental standards. Of concern are those ships coming from developing nations particularly those ship flying under “flags of convenience” where maintenance and safety regulations are enforced and it appears that a high percentage of our vessel traffic in the Salish Sea are ships registered under flags of convenience.

We will need to accurately identify which ships should be allowed into the Salish Sea and which ships to disallow. I am led to understand that the oilrig, Deepwater Horizon (massive Gulf oil spill of April, 2010) operated under a flag of convenience (Marshall Islands). Also, it needs to be determined which ships will be calling into which ports, particularly the proposed GPT ships and whether or not they will be flying under flags of convenience or Chinese flags, which puts the quality of ship construction and crew skill and training into serious question. The additional ships proposed by the GPT are single hulled, not double-hulled, as required to prevent devastating spills, it takes 6 miles for one to come to a stop and they are prone to catastrophic failures. They also contain massive tanks for bunker fuel storage. That means that if there is an accident in Puget Sound or Alaska’s Inside Passage, there could be a catastrophic coal or bunker fuel spill. Additionally, for those ships that are allowed but there is question as to the level of their ability to safety navigate, some form of tracking, whether tug/pilot escort, etc. may need to be required and monitored.

Shipping accidents and near accidents

The narrow and complex shipping lanes between Cherry Point and the open ocean already have substantial traffic. Introducing nearly 500 additional very large ships per year on top of existing industry shipping traffic (BP, Ferndale Refinery, etc.) will make existing problems with shipping lane congestion substantially worse. This also doesn’t include shipping expansion plans of these existing industries. There are already significant challenges with ship-to-ship collisions (commercial and recreational) and near collisions, ships running aground and other such incidents. We “ . . . could see up to a 62% increase in accident potential.” (Assessment of Oil Spill Risk due to Potential Increased Vessel Traffic at Cherry Point, Washington (August 31, 2008, pg 67).

Tug, Coast Guard, and other emergency crew response times will need to be studied, especially in situations where there is a massive coal or bunker fuel spill. Currently there appears to be inadequate response times to groundings and driftings due to the lack of available vessels, where those vessels are located, how they are equipped and the level of competency of their manpower in various situations.

With the addition of the larger coal vessels, existing updated or modified vessel traffic rules and plans will need to be studied and this will include reviewing speed limits, restrictions on ports/anchorage areas, traffic backup contingency plans, spill reporting and clean up, etc.


Spills and Other Marine Contamination Incidents

Cherry Point currently receives 850 annual transits from the three existing marine piers at the BP, Intalco and Conoco-Phillips sites. Adding on GPT’s vessel traffic would raise this number to 1800 ships, and these ships would be carrying environmentally disastrous materials including coal, oil and bunker fuel. A cumulative study needs to be conducted on the possible negative impacts of any spills and any other form of possible contamination (e.g. fugitive coal dust) of these materials on water quality, marine wildlife and ecosystems and human health.

What will also need to be studied and updated is the federal and state requirements on agreements of liability on all vessels containing toxic cargos and fuels in the event of accidents and spills and the enforcement of those agreements.

Because of the existing and projected vessel traffic and toxic cargos being transported throughout the Salish Sea, spills are a very real threat. “Ecology has also begun tracking oil spills over 150 gallons at Cherry Point. Between December 1997 and June 2008, there have been seven spills . . . (Cherry Point Environmental Aquatic Reserve Management Plan, November 2010, pg 26)” and near spills have not be studied or accounted for. “Spill Prevention, Preparedness, and Response – Ecology’s legislative direction is to implement a “zero spills” strategy for Puget Sound and other state waters. (2012 State of the Sound: A Biennial Report on the Recovery of Puget Sound, Puget Sound Partnership, pg 181). Existing and projected GPT vessel traffic will need to be incorporated into this strategy. Currently there are no safeguard measures for these vessels, such as tug escorts, to ensure protection of our waters from vessel collision.

During almost 30 years of operations, accumulations of coal in the marine sediments around Westshore Terminals grew to levels of 1–12%. Source: 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, Vol. 68, No. 1–2 (August 2006), pp. 57-69 (Fig. 8).

Vessel traffic within the Cherry Point region is predicted to increase within the next 10 to 20 years. In general, increased vessel traffic can increase the risk of spills, discharges, potential impacts from fugitive dust and noise, introductions of invasive (non-native) species from ballast water, and wildlife strikes. Major expansions at the Port of Vancouver will likely increase vessel traffic density in the approaches to and from Cherry Point. The area is also frequently used by commercial and recreational crab-fishing vessels, commercial trawlers and by seasonal whale-watching tours. Large vessels load and unload raw materials and products at the three current facilities located in the Cherry Point area. These facilities have shown a steady increase in productivity, expansion, and commercial growth, which along with the proposed pier, could result in a significant increase in regional and international vessel traffic transporting raw material and finished products. The refineries have necessary procedures and technologies in place to significantly reduce the likelihood of oil spills or minimize spill volumes, such as the Oil Spill Prevention Plan, the Oil Spill Response Plan, the Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure Plan, the Integrated Contingency Plan, and Oil Handling Personnel Training. However, the possibility exists for future spills, which could be particularly catastrophic to Cherry Point herring, Southern Resident Killer Whales and diving bird populations. (Cherry Point Environmental Aquatic Reserve Management Plan, November 2010, pg 29)

A recent example of what could happen here at Cherry Point is the December 2012 Westshore Terminal mishap where a bulk carrier attempting to dock careened into one of the trestle, destroying parts of the pier and structures and equipment. Environmental consequences of the accident have yet to be determined but it is a good example of the conditions and situations that SSA Marine, Whatcom County, the State of Washington and the US government will need to be prepared to address and it would behoove the authorities to wait, watch and gather the impact information from this event prior to even considering the proposed GPT.

Since shipping is a derived demand, projection of future vessel traffic is inherently uncertain. (Assessment of Oil Spill Risk due to Potential Increased Vessel Traffic at Cherry Point, Washington (August 31, 2008, pg 52). If this statement is true, and I believe it is, the uncertainty in and of itself should require a “no action” response as there is far too much at risk and incalculable costs to allow for it.

Deborah J. Deborah J. Cruz (#11866)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
I respectfully request the following physical Cherry Point Reserve Impacts of the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal (hereafter GPT). Extensive changes will occur as a result of allowing the GPT project at Cherry Point and surrounding areas. It is impossible to construct such a massive facility (the largest export terminal) and not have significant negative impacts on the land, air, water and wildlife locally, regional and globally. This particular comment will be addressing the some of the specific impacts of the facility and pier itself. Impacts on marine wildlife are the subject of another comment.

The Cherry Point Environmental Aquatic Reserve Plan (hereafter Plan)has specific foci and goals that it is required to meet. The primary focus of this plan is to protect, enhance and restore habitats used by Cherry Point herring stock, salmon, migratory and resident birds, Dungeness crab, groundfish rearing areas and marine mammals, as well as the protection of submerged aquatic vegetation and water quality. (Cherry Point Environmental Aquatic Reserve Management Plan, November 2010, g 4). The Technical Advisory Committee and the Cherry Point Workgroup identified the following current and potential threats to habitats and species of the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve: shoreline modification, including overwater structures, loss of riparian vegetation, armoring, and derelict gear; pollution from groundwater contamination, stormwater runoff, point discharges, and air deposition; disturbance from unsustainable recreational activities; artificial light and excessive intermittent sound; vessel traffic, including oil spills; invasive species; and habitat impacts due to climate change. (Cherry Point Environmental Aquatic Reserve Management Plan, November 2010, pg 1).

All of these activities operations and conditions (and more), will need to be studied and evaluated before any approval of the GPT can be even remotely considered.

Area Habitats

The proposed GPT facility will impact 162 acres of wetlands and altering more than 2 miles of existing waterways (and more if the entire shipping route of the Salish Sea is included). The area wetlands are significant habitats and stopover havens for migrating wildlife. Again, Wetlands and Habitat Mitigation have been required under the 1999 Settlement and again, this condition has not yet been met to my knowledge.

Terrell Creek just north of the reserve feeds into an estuary that supports juvenile salmonids and extensive work by any number of organizations over the years have attempted to restore and preserve the Creek and its surrounding wetlands. Studies need to be done to determine any negative impact GPT may have on the Creek and adjacent lands such as contaminated water run-off, fugitive coal dust, disruption due to construction and operations, etc. Also upland from the Reserve is the Birch Bay Great Blue Heron colony which will also need to be studied for impacts if not already apart of the Terrell Creek studies.

The nearshore is designated as habitat for the following salmon species listed under the federal Endangered Species Act: Puget Sound Chinook salmon, Nooksack Coastal Cutthroat, and Puget Sound Bull Trout, and Puget Sound Stealhead. The Cherry Point nearshore is also used by char and cutthroat tagged in British Columbia (Ptlomey, R. pers. comm.) (Cherry Point Environmental Aquatic Reserve Management Plan, November 2010, pg 22). GPT construction and operations need to be studied for negative impacts on species as well as the State’s sensitive species.

Armoring

Armoring will also have to be reviewed as it has significant impacts if not done properly. In fact, in many places, armoring is being removed throughout the Puget Sound in order to restore ecological functions. “Armoring also occurs along the shoreline at Gulf Road, as well as, residential bulkheads located at Point Whitehorn. Loss of submerged aquatic vegetation has likely occurred from overwater structures, and may be limited to the vicinity of such structures, but this has not been well studied at the site. A study of the Arco pier found that shading from the pier appears to limit the growth of marine vegetation” (Shapiro & Associates, 1994). (Cherry Point Environmental Aquatic Reserve Management Plan, November 2010, pg 25) . . . Construction of new hard shoreline armoring in residential areas, or to support the new pier could result in similar impacts, such as, interrupting sediment transport processes that sustain habitats, modifying intertidal slopes and substrates, and removing aquatic and riparian vegetation. As a result, degradation of habitats used by forage fish, salmon, Dungeness crabs, groundfish and other fish and wildlife species could occur. (Cherry Point Environmental Aquatic Reserve Management Plan, November 2010, pg 28). “Because of these adverse impacts on coastal processes and shoreline habitat, the goal is to decrease the amount of new armoring that occurs on Puget Sound, while also seeking opportunities to reduce armoring where feasible.” (2012 State of the Sound: A Biennial Report on the Recovery of Puget Sound, Puget Sound Partnership, pg 69) Whatcom armoring at the time of this report was less than 5% and it needs to stay that way.

Water and Other Discharges

Water will be used in order to contain coal dust on 80 acres of coal piles. What will need to be studied here is the amount, composition and range of any run-off and the impacts that the contaminated run-off will have on local water supplies, affected soils and air quality. It will also need to include the life of the contamination and possible clean up scenarios along with associated costs and who will be responsible.

What also needs to be incorporated is the stormwater run-off of the other Cherry Point industries. For example “[BP] on-site wastewater treatment plant and discharges an average 3,500,000 gallons of combined treated process wastewater and stormwater per day (Cherry Point Environmental Aquatic Reserve Management Plan, November 2010, (pg 183). What are the run-offs of Intalco and Conoco-Phillips into Cherry Point? Are there other run-offs that need to be identified and accounted for? The cumulative run-off must be accounted for and it’s impact must be considered as a whole and it must be determined just how much Cherry Point can absorb before becoming severely debilitated. Signs now are indicating that we’ve already surpassed that point given the reduction of the herring and salmon populations.

Other discharges in addition to water will need to look at chemicals such as oils, greases, cleansing agents and other toxic chemicals and metals.

Studies will need to be conducted to ensure that GPT does not contribute to any furthering of low dissolved oxygen acidification rates, which are already becoming apparent and difficult to counter

Pier Construction

Impacts of the pier and its construction must also be evaluated, in fact, has been required by the 1999 Settlement (overwater structures), which to my knowledge has not yet been completed. The pier has the potential to create shading over vital eelgrass and algae beds, that will destroy spawning and feeding grounds for a variety of marine life, including the herring, which is a necessary food step for the salmon, seals, whales and other marine life. With the shading effect, we will also need to study the effects of the microbial and other life that exists not only in the eelgrass and algae, but those that exists in the soil surrounding the piers and their role in the environment. In addition to the shading and lighting effects, fill and pilings need to be reviewed for impacts.

In fact, existing piers and there impacts on their respective areas should be studied first to see what impacts have already taken place and what any additional impacts GPT would have on the entire Reserve.

It will also be impossible not to damage or destroy some portion of the grass beds in the construction process of the pier. Soil disturbance due to heavy equipment used in construction, noise and vibration of construction equipment during construction will need to be evaluated. Operation of the pier will also have specific impacts that will need to be looked including nighttime lighting, noise and vibration of incoming, idling, loading and outgoing vessels. What also needs to be studied is the potential changes in the wave energy or currents will have on the movement patterns of sediment, energy and water flows and thus wildlife movement, feeding and spawning patterns. Wave shading and propagation studies have not been conducted to my knowledge and will be a important factor in the health of the Reserve.

Construction of the new pier or expansion of existing overwater structures could degrade shoreline ecological processes, habitats and species proposed for conservation. Depending on the location, design, level of use, and management, overwater structures may have a significant impact on ecosystems and species. Of particular concern are the potential impacts of additional shoreline modifications, such as, how the new pier will affect juvenile salmon rearing, migration corridors, herring spawning and pre-spawn holding habitat (Settlement Agreement, 1999). (Cherry Point Environmental Aquatic Reserve Management Plan, November 2010, pg 27)

Growing evidence indicates that aquatic plants and algae, including seagrasses and kelp, can effectively
draw down carbon dioxide from the surrounding seawater, thereby increasing seawater pH. This is especially the case in semienclosed areas and those with slower water circulation. Additional evidence indicates that seagrasses and kelp can effectively sequester carbon from the water in underlying sediments following their decomposition, removing this carbon from the system. Preserving, and where possible restoring, Washington’s abundance of native seagrasses and kelp offers an important means of remediating acidification and hypoxia in local waters. Ocean Acidification - From Knowledge to Action: Washington State’s Strategic Response, Washington State Blue Ribbon Panel on Ocean Acidification, November 2012, pg 61-62)


Fugitive Coal Dust

Fugitive Coal will be a potential problem both inland and in the waters. Coal dust will not able to be contained 100% of the time. What needs to be studied is the effect coal dust will have on both terrestial life as well as marine life as the coal dust can be carried over land and over water. Some reports indicate that the Westshore Terminal emits 715 tones of coal dust each year and was impacted by a massive windstorm in April 2012 and photos are available of the huge clouds of coal dust that were swept away.
We need to know what amount of coal dust will have a negative impact on any component (wildlife, plant life, etc.) of either land or water ecosystems. We need to know far away the dust can have an impact and the degree to which the impact will occur and how it will get there and under what conditions and the economic costs of loss. This will include losses to the fishing, agriculture and tourist industries as well as any costs for clean up and restoration. Given this area’s inversions, storms, wind changes, etc., it will be important to know how far spread any damage can be. Fugitive coal dust will come from several sources including the coal train cars, coal storage areas and loading operations.


Air Pollution

This past summer I was out at Cherry Point and had the “opportunity” to photograph a vessel at the BP pier spewing huge black clouds of smoke while it sat at the pier and I watched as the smoke wafted away over the waters. It took some time to dissipate and it was alarming. Unfortunately the online comment process doesn’t appear to accept photographs or I’d have included them.

Studies need to be done to determine the existing level of air pollution being generated from the other industries located out at Cherry Point. “These facilities at Cherry Point contributed an average of 92 percent of all monitored industrial air pollutants from stationary sources in Whatcom County in 2005 and 2006.” (Cherry Point Environmental Aquatic Reserve Management Plan, November 2010, pg 26), then be updated with projected air pollution from GPT.

Studies need to include weather patterns that will hold pollution stationery and for what periods of time and over what geography. They will need to identify the composition (particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, volatile organic compounds, and carbon monoxide, coal dust etc.) and what the health effects will be. Air pollution must be studied both from a facility standpoint and from vessel traffic. “Marine vessels account for 22 per cent of the NOx emissions . . . Marine vessels are the largest single source of SO2 in the airshed emitting 33 per cent of the SO2 emissions. Agriculture is the dominant source of PM10 (21 per cent).” (Cherry Point Environmental Aquatic Reserve Management Plan, November 2010, pg 165). The studies will also need to include the impact on ocean acidification, which is a prevalent problem throughout Puget Sound.

General

Studies done under the original 1992 permit will not be adequate due to the change in the size of the proposed GPT facility, its intended, primary cargo (coal) and changes that have occurred in the natural environment of both Cherry Point and the Salish Sea in the last 14 years. New studies need to be done to incorporate all the changes and new conditions.

It is my understanding as well, that the proposed GPT site will also be required to adhere to the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve Management Plan (hereafter Plan) dtd November 2010. In reviewing the goals (pg 2) of the Plan. Also the DNR is required protect any land adjacent to the Reserve and those responsibilities are also outlined in the Plan. Another goal is to ensure GPT does not impede or have a negative impact on any goals of 2012 State of the Sound: A Biennial Report on the Recovery of Puget Sound Report developed by the Puget Sound Partnership. Goals are listed in Appendices A-D (pgs 201 – 243).

I cannot envision how the proposed GPT project will support these goals, in fact, I can only see where the GPT will undermine or make impossible any of these goals and therefore should receive a “no action” response.

Deborah J. Deborah J. Cruz (#12083)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
I respectfully request the following economic areas be studied as part of the EIS for the Gateway Pacific Terminal (hereafter GPT). These areas of study should not be confined to just the GPT site or Whatcom County. Cities and towns all across the rail route from Montana and Wyoming will be similarly affected and not being able to have a direct voice, they need to be incorporated into this EIS. Since the GPT project begins in the mines in Montana and Wyoming and ends in China, so too, should the EIS begin in Montana and end in China.

There is a lot of confusion, misinformation and lack of information concerning the potential negative impacts of the GPT. Comprehensive infrastructure and economic impact studies need to be conducted because of the significant and cumulative impacts on existing area business and future development projects

Industry Impacts

First and foremost, a study on the economic impacts of the agriculture, fishing and tourist industries need to be conducted. The proposed GPT will have potentially devastating impacts in these areas.

Agriculture: GPT’s water usage could impact the Whatcom County’s agricultural community significantly as water resources are at a premium and still unsettled (a separate comment has been submitted to cover this impact). In addition to water, fugitive coal dust needs to be studied to see if and how much impact it will have on area agriculture. This study will need to include reporting, clean up and financial liabilities for crop and livestock damages and compensation for losses in revenues. Also noise and vibration studies as they relate livestock (particularly dairy cows) for they will have similar effects on land animals and plants as they do on marine life (and humans for that matter). Studies will also need to be done on the impact of derailments in agricultural areas.

Fishing: GPT could have a pronounced effect on the fishing industry by contributing to the decline of the salmon and shellfish populations due to habitat contamination and destruction. The fishing industry will be impacted by the sheer number and size of GPT calling vessels either through collisions, accidents, disrupting marine life feeding and movement patterns, etc. They will also be very adversely affected by any spills and those need to be spelled out.

Tourism: Assuming the reputation of a “coal town” is going to keep tourists away from this area. Currently tourism is one of Whatcom County’s primary industries (along with agriculture and fishing) because of our reputation for clean air, awesome natural landscapes and seascapes and healthy living. Projected train traffic will inhibit use of park and access to business and shops and prevent new businesses from opening up especially on the water side of the tracks. Water tourism will be affected by the congested ship traffic and disruption of the marine life, particularly the whales.

Jobs: More realistic, comprehensive studies need to be done to settle the dispute between job loss and job gain. An extensive study looking at what jobs will be provided by GPT, who will get them (and who won’t), what jobs will be lost (fishing, tourism, agriculture), what wages will be and how our unemployment rate will be affected. Since we’re including employment projections for GPT, we will also need to include employment projections for other development plans like the Bellingham Waterfront Development project.

Quality of Living Impacts

Most of these impacts will be related to proposed and project railway projects throughout the entire county. Comprehensives studies need to be conducted to determine the following with an added emphasis on what population will be most affected by the impacts (e.g. elderly, disabled, low income):
• health and economic impacts of rail noise,
• air quality and pollution (particularly concerning diesel particulate matter),
• restricted access to residences and businesses on either side of the tracks (e.g. Boulevard Park)
• traffic congestion due to increased rail traffic
• general quality of living for those people who have homes very near railways
• safety issues concerning potential numbers and kinds of rail accidents
• access to emergency services on either side of the tracks (response times in particular)

Infrastructure Impacts

Again, a number of these impacts will be related to railway projects. Comprehensive studies will need to be conducted to determine the extent of new and renovation infrastructure projects will need to be done so we know what’s going to be done and who is going to be financial responsible. This will include rail crossings, rail line expansions, sidings, bridges, overpasses, etc. This will also include studies that look to the maintenance and upkeep of each of these and other projects and their associated financial costs.

Also, a comprehensive study should be done to identify Whatcom County’s liability for the GPT facility, should SSA Marine decide to abandon the site. We already have enough Superfund and clean up sites and it will be imperative to know what the cost of the GPT facility is if SSA it loses it’s coal contracts, goes bankrupt or coal demand declines. I am assuming that the proposed facility will be unusable for anything but coal transport because of toxic nature of the coal.

Property Values

Studies will need to be done to determine the potential impacts on property values and what properties will be affected and at what levels. There should also be discussion of what to do with devalued properties and displaced property owners. Eminent domain practices should also be examined and where they would apply and how and who will be compensated.

Other Points

Another area of study is derailments. Environmental and economic factors need to be examined about potential derailments including where derailments take place (rural areas or urban areas), what will be the contamination factor on affected areas, clean up responsibility and financial liability for clean up and damages. There already have been several derailments just in the last year so this is something that Whatcom County will need to be prepared for.

Studies need to be conducted on the projected needs of adding safety personnel including emergency medical personnel, law enforcement officers, environmental health officials, judicial officials (for increases in lawsuits)l

Studies need to be conducted on projected on-reimbursed government expenses. Governments at all levels will incur significant expenses related to permitting and administering the project, that are not covered by the applicant. For instance, Whatcom County has spent thousands of dollars so far on activity even before permitting officially began and those municipal organizations that are on the direct rail route and nearest the GPT will be most affected. Municipalities need this information in order to prepare to cover such eventualities should the GPT be approved.

There will be potentially more economic studies required as more information about details of the proposed GPT gets sorted out and flexibility in the EIS process needs to be available to accommodate new information on impacts that wasn’t available before or during the EIS process.

Debra Boswell (#5225)

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

Debra Covert-Bowlds (#3571)

Date Submitted: 11/20/12
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Debra Goldman (#3729)

Date Submitted: 12/03/2012
Location: Everson, WA
Comment:
I want to ask you to consider what we should tell our children if we do permit this coal terminal?
Consider this:
~International health organizations and leaders are expressing to our children, in consensus, that they must prepare themselves for an uncertain climate future and that the burning and mining of fossil fuels directly contributes to climate change and if not stopped is likely to lead to devastating impacts to all life on this planet.
~Furthermore, our children are watching as we phase out coal burning in the United States in defense of our communities and environmental health.
~We instill in our children that we as a nation stand for the protection of human rights, yet we are discussing the possibility of permitting a coal terminal that will ship an outdated resource to China to burn and pollute a nation and her people. As well this will pollute our community here at home.

I ask that you study what will be the psychological affect on our children’s trust in us, both parents and elected officials, if we do permit this coal terminal?

Debra Goldman (#6154)

Date Submitted: 01/07/2013
Location: Everson, WA
Comment:
My name is Debra Goldman and I live in Whatcom County. I am here before you speaking as a mother of two children.

I want to ask you to consider what we should tell our children if we do permit this coal terminal?
Consider this:
~ International health organizations and leaders are expressing to our children, in consensus, that they must prepare themselves for an uncertain climate future and that the burning and mining of fossil fuels directly contributes to climate change and if not stopped is likely to lead to devastating impacts to all life on this planet.
~ Furthermore, our children are watching as we phase out coal burning in the United States in defense of our communities and environmental health BUT are will to sell and ship this dirty fuel source to Asia.
~ We instill in our children that we as a nation stand for the protection of human rights, yet we are discussing the possibility of permitting a coal terminal that will ship an outdated resource to China to burn and pollute a nation and her people. As well this will pollute our community and the planet.

I ask that you study what will be the psychological affect on our children's trust in us, both parents and elected officials, if we do permit this coal terminal?

Debra Goldman (#7967)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Location: Everson, 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.

I am concerned that the mining and transport of coal and the daily operations of the Gateway Pacific Terminal would have significant adverse impacts on air quality. The effects would be felt here in Whatcom county as well as all along the entire rail route from the Powder River Basin to Washington state. This past week in Beijing, China, they have grappled with record-breaking levels of air pollution. PM2.5 measurements are taken on a scale from 1-500. Over the weekend of Jan. 12-13, Beijing saw levels over 700. The World Health Organization considers levels above 25 to be unsafe.

I urge you to consider how much air pollution will be increased both locally, regionally, nationally and globally by the burning of 900 million tons of coal shipped to China from Gateway Pacific Terminal.

Sincerely, Debra Goldman

Debra Hunt (#13387)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Kalama, WA
Comment:
I oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington, and ask that you not allow this terminal to be built. The bottom line is 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. While I understand that it could create revenue for Washington, the environmental impacts/price are much to high to accept. I ask that you strongly consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement, and do not allow this terminal to be built. Thank you for your consideration of my letter.

Debra Jewell (#6544)

Date Submitted: 01/04/13
Comment:
I am writing in regards to the proposed coal trains running out of Whatcom County. I will literally be held captive, in my home, if this happens. I live on the west side of I-5, in Marysville. There is not a single way for me to avoid going across a railroad track to get to my grocery store, my gym, my doctor, etc. Literally every place that I frequent is on the other side of the train tracks. I already get caught, numerous times a week, sitting at a light, waiting for a train. My husband has missed his computer van to work, waiting for trains to pass. If there are up to 18 more trains a day, passing through Marysville, I will have great difficulty getting anywhere. If we try and sell our house, it will not sell because noone will want to deal with this problem. This will cause the value of the homes on the west side of the freeway to decline. Less worth, less taxes for schools. Not to mention the health of everyone in the area. I have no doubt we will be inhaling large quantities of coal dust. The coal companies can tell us all that it will be safe, but I think everyone knows how good the word of these large coal corporations are. It's all about the money. Who cares if it causes people to have cancer. I am totally opposed to these coal trains. We should be going GREEN!!!!! The coal is being shipped to China. Why should our health and way of life be changed to supply China with coal?
Thank you for your time.
Debra Jewell

Debra Lancaster Ph.D. Biology (#12078)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I have lived in Whatcom County since 1995. I have seen environmental degradation in some areas. I am very concerned about the increased transport of coal through Whatcom County to the proposed Gateway Pacific Coal Terminal. In particular I would like the EIS to focus on the impacts of coal dust on human health, the health of other wildlife (both terrestrial and aquatic), and our precious water resources (also related to human and other wildlife health).

Debra Lisser (#14175)

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

Debra Long (#470)

Date Submitted: 09/25/12
Location: Lynnwood, 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.
Please..we do not want filthy coal traveling through our beautiful state of Washington. Don't listen to the coal company's empty promises of keeping our forests and waters clean. Don't sell out. We want jobs, but not as a trade for the guardianship of our Evergreen state.
Thank you,
Debra Long

Sincerely,

Debra Long

Debra Lozon (#285)

Date Submitted: 09/26/12
Location: Seattle, 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.

It is time we move away from energy sources that negatively impact our planet, and embrace new clean alternatives. If not now, then when?

Sincerely,

Debra Lozon

Debra Manfield (#12763)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
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. Do you really desire to have a part in endangering people's lives?

Debra Munger (#1044)

Date Submitted: 10/19/12
Location: Lone Oak, TX
Comment:
Oct 19, 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 global warming pollution. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

Given the broad impact that proposed coal export terminals will have on our natural resources and public health, national scrutiny and oversight is essential. A thorough analysis and consideration of alternatives is necessary to best inform public policy decisions for the Northwest and for the nation.

Sincerely,

Debra Munger
7599 Shoreline Dr
Lone Oak, TX 75453-5253

Debra Pennington Davis (#3170)

Date Submitted: 11/15/12
Location: White Salmon, 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.

My family lives in the Columbia River Gorge, and our unique region would only be harmed by an increase of coal traffic. We can't afford for toxic coal dust to threaten our world famous orchards, fisheries, and sports tourism. The acid rain that would blow back across the Pacific after coal was burned would also threaten some of our region's main economic resources.

Train tracks divide the only road that accesses Bingen Point. Bingen Point is where my husband works. It is home to a growing industrial communuity that includes a Boeing Insitu campus. If the coal proposal goes through, Bingen Point will be completely isolated, severed from all emergency services, for long stretches of each day.

These are big concerns, but even bigger are the global dangers of 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.




Debra Pennington Davis
P.O. Box 766
White Salmon, WA 98672

Debra Petosa (#12630)

Date Submitted: 01/20/13
Location: Mukilteo, 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. Our bluffs along the tracks have been experiencing increased land slides, studies need to be done on the impact of the inceased train traffic will have on the lands that we live on. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

Debra Sharp (#13393)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Sequim, WA
Comment:
I live on Pugent Sound and do not need more poluted air from additional ships taking dirty coal to be buned in China. I stand with my neighbors in the BEllinham area opposing this export terminal. We do not need the few jobs this industry supports enough to cause the harm this terminal will create.

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.

Debra Slater (#13094)

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 am also concerned specifically about increasing mercury contamination in fish and seafood which is directly due to coal burning and extraction. Sport fishing, clamming, and crabbing, oyster farms, etc., and commercial fisheries are very popular and big business in the Pacific Northwest.

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

Debra Smith-Hicks (#1022)

Date Submitted: 10/22/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I live on West North Street in Bellingham, just a few blocks from the railroad tracks to be used for the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal. The proposed terminal presents an immediate and serious concern to my family by increasing rail traffic in our neighborhood. The proposed terminal would increase daily traffic by eighteen coal trains (nine full, nine empty), each 1 ½ mile long. Please include in your EIS review the study of air quality and health impacts, especially to children and the elderly, resulting from the increase in diesel particulate in the local air due to this increased rail traffic. Thank you.

Debra Smith-Hicks (#1210)

Date Submitted: 10/24/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I am a Bellingham resident and very concerned about the continued existence of healthy populations of salmon -especially king salmon- as it is vital to our local economy. Please study the impact the proposed Cherry Point terminal on the health, survival and reproduction of king salmon. Four hundred or more ships will be used annually based on the forty-eight million tons of coal planned for shipping. Each ship carries more than 100,000 tons of coal. These ships may result in the discharge of coal dust into the marine environment, as well as a host of toxic materials including lead, cadmium, mercury, nickel, tin, antimony, arsenic, strontium and thorium. Coal also contains polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which are toxic to many species of marine life. Thank you for studying this as part of the EIS review.

Debra Willer (#9796)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Mount Vernon, WA
Comment:
I am opposed to the Cherry Point Gateway Pacific Terminal. I believe the proposed terminal will have an overwhelmingly negative impact on my community, Mount Vernon, and surrounding Skagit County communities.

The rail lines through Mount Vernon currently carry about 20 trains per day, close to the estimated capacity of 24 trains per day. Adding coal trains would put these rail lines over their capacity limit. Currently, trains travel through Mount Vernon's 3 major crossings, Kincaid Street, Riverside Street, and College Way, on average every 72 minutes . Adding coal trains would block these intersections every 38 minutes. This is a health and safety concern, since emergency responders' response time would be delayed. The increased train traffic would also negatively impact Mount Vernon's economic growth. Since our retail district is located on the west side of the tracks from I-5, business-related traffic (e.g., tourist traffic during our annual Tulip Festival) would be delayed.

I am also concerned about the health and environmental impacts from coal dust as the trains travel through the community. The additional noise from increased train traffic would add stress to those living in proximity of the rail lines. Coal dust particulates would create a health hazard, especially impacting people with asthma, young children, elderly, and other high-risk populations.

Finally, I question the wisdom of basing a long-term project with so many negative factors on the exploitation of a non-renewable resource, one which will be shipped to China, a country with a long history of environmental abuses.

The human and environmental costs are too high--please consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

Debra K Raplee (#8603)

Date Submitted: 01/14/13
Comment:
To whom this may concern:
As I understand, there is a very real possibility of increased train traffic within the City of Kent. Pacific International Terminals has submitted applications to develop the largest coal export facility in North America, which would travel through Kent.
There are numerous significant adverse impacts to the businesses, residents, quality of life and potential public safety. Train traffic through Kent currently delays and backs up traffic numerous times per day. In addition the numerous malfunctions of the crossing arms which delay traffic when there is no train. It is the length of trains that can cause the frustration of businesses and residents. These coal train will be up to a mile and a half, 18 times per day initially. How much will this increase as production increases? I have personally seen aid cars, police and fire held up due to train travel through Kent. What about the lives waiting desperately on the other side for help? With an increase in train traffic, how many more pedestrians will attempt to cross in an effort to get to their destination without delay? How many deaths, emotional and psychological traumas will be the result, and at what cost?
Now is the time, it is imperative if this goes through, that railroads contribute substantially to the building of railroad separation intersections within the City of Kent. Cities and taxpayers cannot and should not have to fund the expansion of the railroad business.

Dee na (#914)

Date Submitted: 10/20/12
Comment:
Longview, WA is in the mix for a coal terminal on the Columbia River on the pretense that it's good for jobs. We have a lot of traffic from the huge ocean going ships already as they venture to our local mills Kalama, Vancouver and Portland's terminals. Be that as it may, pollution is the ultimate outcome of all these industries. Watch dogs are needed and severe consequences for insurrections. Trickle-down economics will not care nor protect our pristine environment.

Sent from my iPhone=

Dee Marie Ramirez (#13604)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Salem, 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.

Don't do it. Do NOT construct a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington.

Deirdre Morris (#2579)

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

Delaney Dechant (#6304)

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

Delaney Dechant (#6420)

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

delia stclaire (#11205)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: coeurdalene, id
Comment:
I do not want your coal trains here in my beautiful area. It will ruin our already fragile environment. I am against coal trains in our area and I say NO!!!!!

Dell Goldsmith (#5462)

Date Submitted: 12/24/12
Location: Portland, OR
Comment:
Evaluate the effects of dangerous gases from the burning of coal (the final use of all this shipment) and from the additional diesel and other fossil fuels used to mine it, expand or build new construction, ship it (by rail, truck or barge) store it and burn it. The effects of these gases on vegetation, aquatic invertebrates, land invertebrates, fish, amphibians, reptiles, wildlife of all kinds, domestic animals and humans should all be considered especially in those weather patterns that return air pollution to the Pacific NW. Lung and eye health should be protected. Dangerous gases from fossil fuel burning include but are not limited to NO x, CO2, CO, SO 4. This list is not exhaustive and all should be studied for their effects on the environment.

The best alternative is to leave coal in the ground. Cleaners should be studied that trap and neutralize these gases and care should be taken to manage the liquid effluent that results.

Dell Goldsmith (#5464)

Date Submitted: 12/23/12
Location: Portland, OR
Comment:
Increased particulates from coal mining, coal loading, coal trains, coal barges coal storage, coal project construction and coal and diesel burning should all be considered for their effects on human health, particularly on those living close to these operations and to those who would be affected by increased particulates from burning. This includes but is not limited to, effects on the normal as well as the compromised human lung, the lungs of children and the lungs of wildlife. The effects of particulates on vegetation, on aquatic insects, fish, amphibians, reptiles, domestic animals, birds and arthropods should all be considered. The effects on drinking water from rivers, streams and reservoirs should be included. Immediate and cumulative effects should be taken into account including the stirring up of coal dust that is deposited near terminals and along railroad tracks but may be dispersed by derailments, earthquakes, new construction, windstorms or other weather or human caused events.

Dell Goldsmith (#5465)

Date Submitted: 12/23/12
Location: Portland, OR
Comment:
This comment is related to the human and natural environment and the effects of coal burning which cannot be ignored in the EIS. The coal to be transported to be, stored at and shipped out of Pacific NW ports is scheduled for burning. This will increase global and local weather effects, making weather patterns more volatile and causing both drought and wild fire in some areas and flooding in other areas with concomitant damage to the human, built and wildlife and plant environments. The best alternative is to leave this coal in the ground, concentrate on energy conservation and renewable energy.

Dell Goldsmith (#5466)

Date Submitted: 12/23/12
Location: Portland, OR
Comment:
The burning and transport of the tons of coal proposed to be shipped from the Pacific NW will contribute to an increase in ambient temperature. This will accelerate temperature increases which will melt polar and mountain ice and permafrost, further contributing to carbon loading in the environment. This cannot be ignored in our EIS process because it will affect us locally and globally. The best alternative is to leave this coal in the ground, increase conservation and renewable energy development.

Dell Goldsmith (#5467)

Date Submitted: 12/23/12
Location: Portland, OR
Comment:
The effects globally and locally of the burning of coal shipped from the Pacific NW cannot and should not be ignored. These effects include ocean acidification and and resulting effects on marine life and human life. These effects can be mitigated by leaving the coal in the ground and by energy conservation and use of renewable energy.

Dell Goldsmith (#5468)

Date Submitted: 12/23/12
Location: Portland, OR
Comment:
This comment relates to multiple issues:human and all species health,including invertebrates and arthropods, ocean and fresh water pH levels and vegetative effects, polar ice melting and all impacts from the release of the millions of tons of CO 2 released to the atmosphere from coal mining and transport with eventual burning. Alternatives to these catastrophic effects should be considered including leaving the coal in the ground (the best alternative) and increasing energy conservation and renewable energy sources.

dell goldsmith (#7238)

Date Submitted: 01/14/2013
Location: Portland, Or
Comment:
I live in Portland, Or. and have worked as a biologist. I know that even very small particles (including but not exclusive of coal, diesel and dust) can have devastating and cumulative impacts on human, wildlife, aquatic, bird, insect and other invertebrate life and plants). The impact of this small particle pollution should be studied all along the affected area from the mine to the coast and beyond since this dust will also come back from burning in Asia. I agree with comments written previously by Mary Ruth Holder on these areas of concern.

dell goldsmith (#7310)

Date Submitted: 01/14/2013
Location: Portland, Or
Comment:
I live in the Portland area and use passenger rail and highways for travel. I am concerned about impacts of the proposed Gateway Coal Terminal on farmland, rail and roadway infrastructure, traffic management, waterways and air. This enormous increase in rail and marine traffic will affect everyone who lives and works in the area. Farmland and parkland will be affected as people are cut off for long periods of time from their normal areas of living, working and recreating. The noise, pollution and vibration from these trains will stress over- and underpasses, roadbeds, bridges and nearby structures. The weight, heat, stress and vibration frequencies of this increased traffic must be thoroughly studied. I agree with Joe Knight's comments on these issues and ask that you study the short term, long term and cumulative impacts.

dell goldsmith (#7827)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Location: Portland, Or
Comment:
Dear Staff: I live in Portland, Or. and have friends and family in the Seattle/Bellingham area. I am very concerned about the possibility of coal, heavy metal and diesel particulates from the coal depot, mining, shipment and burning proposed by the Gateway Pacific Project. The safest alternative is to leave this coal in the ground. I agree with comments submitted by Dr. Michael Riordan and request that you study thoroughly the short, long-term and cumulative damage posed by these fine particles dispersed by winds, vibration, accidents, earthquakes and tsunami.

dell goldsmith (#7911)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Location: Portland, Or
Comment:
I have lived in the Portland area for over 30 years and have friends and relatives in the NW. My training includes studies of biological systems. We love this beautiful area and work to rehabilitate damage to it and try to preserve it. I am opposed to the Gateway coal project and to the mining, shipping, storage and burning of coal. It should be left in the ground.

I agree with Bill McGown, comment no. 5001 on the damage done by anchors and anchor chains. This should be thoroughly studied for environmental impact on invertebrates, marine animals of all kinds and on marine plant life. The probability of accidents, ship discharges and sea bed damage should be thoroughly studied especially when these pollutants are discharged to an already damaged sea bed due to anchor and chain drag.

dell goldsmith (#8771)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Location: Portland, Or
Comment:
I live in Portland, Or. and have training as a biologist. I have friends and family in the Pacific NW in areas that could be affected by the Gateway Project. I agree with San Olson's comments of Oct. 27, 2012 and Jan. 5, 2013 and request that they be thoroughly studied. I am concerned by the large increase in traffic with huge ships through challenging weather and waters. An accident or grounding of even one of this huge vessels would spill fuel and cargo with devastating effect locally in beautiful and productive marine areas and then more widespread as currents carry the pollution. There are few rescue and containment resources on the majority of this route. I urge you to study all the ramifications including current and wind patterns that carry pollution from a distance and deny this permit if safety cannot be assured.

dell goldsmith (#9471)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Portland, Or
Comment:
Dear Staff: I have lived in the Portland area for over 35 years, have friends and family in the Pacific NW and have training as a biologist. No matter where one lives, global warming, pollution of air and water and acidification of the oceans will affect us and our children. I agree with James Wells who writes in detail about these issues. It will not due ethically, legally or environmentally to endorse the idea that if we do not do this damage some one else might. We have to thoroughly study the impacts of the proposed mining, shipping, storing, loading, shipping again and again and burning of this dirty fossil fuel. The impact on plants, insects, marine invertebrates, marine life and all life must be thoroughly studied. I look to you to do this in depth study of local, international, short term, long term and cumulative effects. Thank you.

dell goldsmith (#9488)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Portland, Or
Comment:
I live in Portland, Or. and have for 37 years. I have training as a biologist and mental health therapist. I have friends and relatives throughout this area. I am concerned about the health effects of diesel and coal particulates all along the line from the mine, through rail and shipping corridors, to coal dumps to reloading into ships, to furnaces in Asia. Throughout there will be deleterious effects on plant life, insect and other invertebrate life, marine life, wildlife, domestic animal and humans due to diesel and coal particulates and heavy metal contamination. Who will pay for these increased health costs--for the medical care, hospitalizations, lost years of work and life and mental health consequences? These risks should be thoroughly studied. I agree with Dr. Sara Mostad and the Whatcom Co. Docs on these issues (comment #6353). Thank you.

dell goldsmith (#9500)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Portland, Or
Comment:
I have lived in the Pacific NW for 37 years and have friends and relatives in the area. We love this beautiful place and try to protect it and enjoy it with minimal damage. The hugely increased marine vessel traffic, anchoring, docking and loading which is proposed will put the Salish Sea and estuary waters at risk from pollution, noise, collisions with other ships and wildlife, fuel leakage, bilge pumping, heavy metal pollution and diesel and coal particulates. The communities and counties that depend on a healthy marine and inland water environment for food and recreational income not to mention their own heath will be disproportionately affected by these activities. The few jobs that might be created in areas of the mines or coal dumps will not benefit these communities and there will be a net negative impact. All of these effects should be thoroughly studied. I agree with Dr. Joseph Gaydos's comments on these topics.

dell goldsmith (#10230)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Portland, Or
Comment:
I have lived in the Portland area for 37 years and have many friends and relatives in the Pacific NW. We and our children and grandchildren, indeed, every person on the earth will be affected by this massive coal mining, shipping, dumping, re-shipping and burning of coal. The US is reducing coal burning as it tries to address the awful destruction going on in our air, water and climate. The coal proposed for shipment and burning in Asia is subsidized by US tax dollars, thus making it cheap. A few will prosper, temporarily, from this but the long term effect on the earth, its inhabitants and descendants will be catastrophe. I agree with statements from Carolyn Gastellum, #6908.

l look to you for a thorough study of the effects of this project on the immediate inhabitants of the Pacific NW, including plants, animals, marine species, reptiles, amphibians and on our children and grandchildren as provided in NEPA and SEPA. Short, long term and cumulative effects must be considered. We can see today the toxic effects of air pollution, largely from coal burning and diesel particulates in cities in the US and Asia. The effects of global warming and ocean acidification will be even more devastating.

dell goldsmith (#10876)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Portland, Or
Comment:
Dear Staff:
I have lived in the Pacific NW for 37 years and have training in biology and ecology. I have friends and family in many communities in this area. We love this beautiful place and do not want to see the enormous damage that this coal project would bring to us and everyplace in the world due to climate change and impacts to air, ocean and fresh water.

In particular, I ask that you thoroughly study the impact of the huge amounts of water proposed to be used to quell coal dust and spontaneous combustion of the vast coal dumps at any port that participates. Where will this water come from? What will be the effect on current and future human communities? How will this affect marine and fresh water life of all kinds? What will be the quality of the run off water from the dump? What plant, wildlife and human communities will be damaged by diversion of this much water? How will the amount of glacier water and changes in weather patterns be affected by global warming and glacier shrinkage. I agree with comments made by Terry Wechsler on Nov. 30, 2012, #3621 and look to you for a careful study. Thank you.

Dell Rhodes (#10254)

Date Submitted: 01/20/13
Location: White Salmon, 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 EIS for the Gateway Pacific Terminal project must evaluate ALL of its potential environmental impacts from the coal's point-of-origin to its burning in Asian power plants. Of particular concern to me is the proposed movement of millions of tons of coal per year through the Columbia River Gorge, a development that certainly will have significant adverse effects on the environment and, consequently, on human health and safety.

The Columbia River Gorge is world-renowned for its plant and wildlife diversity, for its cultural resources and for its scenic beauty. To protect these, the Gorge is a federally designated National Scenic Area. The EIS of the current proposal must evaluate the effects of transporting coal by rail in open coal cars through the Gorge for consistency with the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Act.
Included must be:

(1) analyses of the human health and the environmental impacts of diesel emissions and coal dust from up to 18 trains per day.
Geological formations in the Gorge produce an air inversion problem, especially when there is less air movement in the winter months. The EIS must also analyze the impacts of greenhouse gases and other air pollutants such as mercury from coal powered plants receiving coal via the proposed export facility.
Degradation of air quality would be an especially problematic direct and indirect effect of coal transport.

(2) analyses of the effects of coal spillage must be undertaken and thoroughly considered. Coal pollution is already a problem in the Gorge from just a few coal trains per week, The possibility that fugitive coal will affect sensitive native plants, agriculture,
forestry, and water quality must be examined. Additionally, the
increased risk of fire from coal spillage must be evaluated, especially as train-caused fires already occur with unfortunate frequency within the Columbia Gorge,

(3) existing rail traffic in the Gorge is near capacity. Approval of this project will not only increase rail traffic but may also result in the need to expand rail capacity with new tracks and sidings. Rail lines in the Gorge follow the Columbia River and cross many tributaries and wetlands. Both increased traffic and the construction of new tracks will probably affect adversely water quality and fish, wildlife, and native plant habitats. These impacts must be projected and avoided.

The purpose and need for the proposed project should be broadened to look at economic and environmental impacts on the local, regional and global levels. The range of alternatives considered in the EIS should include those that better address these impacts. In particular, the alternatives should include 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.

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 past, present and reasonably foreseeable impacts of strip mining, transporting, and burning of the transported coal must be thoroughly explored in the EIS. 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.

Delton Young (#4906)

Date Submitted: 12/15/12
Comment:
Co-Lead Agencies:

My perspective on the proposed GPT stems from 45 years as a mountain climber, a professional mountain guide, a nature photographer, and father and concerned citizen.

The impact on the region from such a vast and long-term project must be considered in the broadest possible perspective (i.e., scope). There are many types of impact that would degrade our region, including large amounts of pollutants from so many diesel engines running through our city every day for years; the enormous amounts of coal dust that will settle everywhere from the mines in Wyoming, through the precious Columbia Gorge, and through the full length of Washington state to the Canadian border. The traffic issues, noise and pollution all along the way must be seriously considered. Such a large number of very long trains coming through the Puget Sound region every day for many years is a nightmare scenario for those of us who see Washington state as still a relatively decent place to live and work. The last thing we need is a vast, dirty, noisy polluting project to run for years through our city and region.

Also, it must be taken into account that these 50 million tons of coal will generate horrific quantities of pollution and C0-2 and much of that particulate matter will come right back across the ocean to us here on the West Coast. And, as to the heat-trapping gasses: the world is slowly and painfully moving toward renewable sources of energy. 30 years from now, our children and grandchildren will surely ask us "what were you thinking back in 2012-2013 to allow such a massively destructive project to go forward?" Further, it is not a legitimate argument to say that " if we don't send the coal someone else will. " That is the reasoning of a sociopath -- "I have no responsibility for my actions because others do the same thing."

Thank you for considering my comments.

Del Y

--
Delton W. Young PhD, ABPP
Diplomate, American Academy of Forensic Psychology
Interlake Psychiatric Associates PLLC

interlakepsychiatry.com

Demi Fair (#10116)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
My name is Demi Fair, and I request that the EIS study the impacts the construction of the Gateway Pacific Terminal would have on our marine environment and air quality, as well as the impact on human health for those who live near the railroad and GPT. I also request that the EIS evaluate the impact on global climate change that will occur as a result of providing vast amounts of coal for China to burn to further develop its economy. I am concerned this proposal will damage aquatic ecosystems and fishing grounds at the terminal site, and increase tanker traffic and the potential for shipping accidents and spills. Please take it to consideration how this proposal may expand strip-mining in Wyoming and Montana and escalate climate change.


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.I would like to see no action taken in building this terminal. Thank you.

Demi Fair (#13228)

Date Submitted: 01/20/13
Comment:
Dear Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Ecology and Whatcom County Council:

My name is Demi Fair, and I request that the EIS study the impacts the construction of the Gateway Pacific Terminal would have on our marine environment and air quality, as well as the impact on human health for those who live near the railroad and GPT. I also request that the EIS evaluate the impact on global climate change that will occur as a result of providing vast amounts of coal for China to burn to further develop its economy. I am concerned this proposal will damage aquatic ecosystems and fishing grounds at the terminal site, and increase tanker traffic and the potential for shipping accidents and spills. Please take it to consideration how this proposal may expand strip-mining in Wyoming and Montana and escalate climate change.

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.I would like to see no action taken in building this terminal. Thank you.

Den Mark Wichar (#4228)

Date Submitted: 12/06/12
Comment:
Were i in charge of setting process for hearings, i would not set up chaotic free-for-all as currently in place. I would have people sign on one of two papers, one pro & one con, & then call names for testimony first from one list & then the other. Current process is unfair & absurd.

Den Mark Wichar

Den Mark Wichar (#10861)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Vancouver, WA
Comment:
Proponents of the coal terminal present their proposal as tho it would only affect the Port. The Port is the LEAST concern. Losses everywhere else -- in jobs, economy, environment, & so on -- canNOT be made up by the contentment of a few people at the Port & in venal corporate offices outside the Pacific Northwest. It is outrageous that self-serving outsiders propose to come into our region & damage everything that makes us in the PacNW unique. Big Coal & their followers simply do not get it. They are not welcome here. Coal is dead & dirty & should stay in the ground, sequestered forever. We will NOT tolerate endless coal trains passing thru our towns, carrying lumps of ecological degradation. We will not leave this planet & future generations unprotected. We will defend them, with everything we've got.

Dena Jensen (#3886)

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

Dena Jensen (#4447)

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

Dena Jensen (#6032)

Date Submitted: 01/05/2013
Location: Blaine, WA
Comment:
I am a three year resident of Birch Bay, WA and a decade long fan of Bellingham, WA, a city that originally drew me to the Pacific Northwest. Bellingham had appeared on many magazines' top 100 lists of the best places to live and enjoy the outdoors in America and I confirmed that with some awesome vacations over that decade.

One of my favorite places in Bellingham is Boulevard Park and I have thought many times about how it is one of those rare outdoor jewels that has been carefully created, and fought for, for the public to be able enjoy. There are so very few places in Bellingham for the public to congregate at and enjoy miles of shoreline of Bellingham Bay that I cannot imagine compromising and/or closing such a valuable sanctuary for this active, bustling seaside town full of people who live and have moved here to enjoy the beauty and the remaining natural gifts of its location.

Please study the real impending threats of landslide, noise, pollution, and property encroachment the weighty coal trains, (and necessary sidings) bound for (and slightly less significantly, away from) the GPT would cause for the amazing public resource of Boulevard Park, the natural environment and species surrounding it, and those residents living immediately above the park.

Dena Jensen (#7809)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Location: Blaine, WA
Comment:
My name is Dena Jensen and I am submitting my fourth comment for study. As a fallible human, I know that it is true that we all make choices that can actually have dire consequences for those we know and love, neighbors, strangers, pets, wildlife, and the rest of the natural and manmade world. We do not intend these effects and would probably, in all cases, take them back if we could. In a few cases we are lucky enough to listen to the advice of people with a broader view, who have made or suffered from the same mistakes before, who are not in the hurry we are, and who do not serve to gain some anticipated, relatively instant gratification from it.

In the case of the Gateway Pacific Terminal and coal storage facility, I think many expert people are warning us of dire consequences to an area we love and are proud to call home, as well as to our own health and that of our dearest children and other loved ones. I feel we must take these warnings extremely seriously. We cannot allow our fervor for a particular perceived path of financial gain and growth to blind us to the freedom and well being we possess right now to choose a different path to progress that will actually increase our health and resources, rather than devastate them.

I write today to agree with the concerns expressed in the second comment (http://www.eisgatewaypacificwa.gov/get-involved/comment/7362) of Dr. Michael Riordan, a retired particle physicist who has taught at Stanford and U.C., about the transmittal of coal dust with the extreme wind conditions we frequently experience in the Cherry Point area, and beyond, in Whatcom County. He says that "Indeed, the terminal project information document admits that coal dust can be kept within acceptable levels 'except for potentially high concentrations of fugitive coal dust during occasional high-wind events.' Such high-wind conditions unfortunately occur all too frequently at Cherry Point."

Please take in Dr. Riordan's expert information toward a study of the dangers of the transfer of coal dust by our Whatcom County winds and I encourage you by way of his admonition below.

"The plans for this coal terminal should therefore be scrutinized closely by regulators and compared with what has happened in actual practice at other bulk shipping terminals employing similar technologies — under similar weather and marine conditions. Abstract paper designs, engineering calculations, and computer simulations are not by themselves sufficient. Unanticipated events occur that can lead to the release of large amounts of coal dust. The best way to avoid them is to learn from real-world experiences and take measures to prevent recurrences."

Dena Jensen (#9550)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Blaine, WA
Comment:
My name is Dena Jensen and am a resident of Birch Bay. I live about two and a half miles from the Grandview entrance to the BP Oil Refinery and have family living on Aldergrove Rd. in Ferndale, less than two miles from where BP Oil Refinery's petroleum storage tanks are bordered by Aldergrove Rd. (called Point Whitehorn Rd. on some maps). I am writing today to reiterate the significant threat noted in a comment by Mike Crum "EIS Scoping Comment on Impacts of Fire at the Proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT)" :
http://www.eisgatewaypacificwa.gov/sites/default/files/comment-attachments/pdf/crum%20jan%2010%20EIS%20Scoping%20Comment%20on%20Impacts%20of%20Fire%20at%20GPT.pdf

Please take Mike's comment terribly seriously, as we know accidents happen at industrial sites. In order to minimize the effects of such accidents and to prevent tragic loss to our environment and human loss, suffering, and the law suits and financial devastation that often accompany such accidents we must know with certainty that the components within the industrial sites are situated to prevent a holocaust and other catastrophes should human or mechanical error ensue (which it will).

Dena Jensen Dena (#6103)

Date Submitted: 01/06/2013
Location: Birch Bay, WA
Comment:
I moved to Birch Bay, WA three years ago to enjoy the cool and temperate climate and take advantage of the natural environment found here. In educating myself about the Gateway Pacific Terminal and the coal storage facility to be located nearby at Cherry Point, one of the very first things I learned is one that has remained as one of my deepest concerns and I feel, as one of the most urgent issues to be studied.

The fact that over a year ago well over 100 (it was 160 at that time) Whatcom county doctors were uniting to get the word out that there is no acceptable level of coal dust blowing about in the air when considering the health of people living in that same area. Time and again, since my attendance at that early meeting I have heard people (a number of them workers at coal storage facilities) say that there is no way to completely contain coal dust when it is being transported and stored.

Please study this and if it is in any way true that coal dust will inevitably be moving about in our air, as coal moves through our county and is transferred from trains, to storage, to vessels, please study also the health effects on humans, and all local wildlife, especially those of endangered and threatened species.

If it is true that there is no acceptable level of coal in our air and that coal will escape into our air here in Whatcom county, however inadvertently, and even in the most minimal quantities, we cannot compromise the health and well-being of our residents, and by law, that of our endangered species, simply in the name of commerce and jobs (especially when, but still regardless of the fact, that many other options remain to add/create jobs and promote commerce).
Attached Image:

Dena Poling (#3288)

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

Denis Heidtmann (#13277)

Date Submitted: 01/20/13
Comment:
I attended a meeting of Oregon DEQ discussing the Morrow Terminal.
The scope that DEQ said they could consider was so narrow that nothing of value would be studied. It was like going to a doctor about circulatory disease and being told your heart is pumping fine--don't worry.

Do not let this narrow view dominate the EIS work. The whole system which supports the coal exporting and the results of its use, from the extraction in Montana to the jet stream's depositing of the combustion products back in this country must be reviewed. In addition to all these direct impacts on the United States, the global climate impact of the conversion of the coal to carbon dioxide should be included in your work.

Thank you for your attention.

-Denis Heidtmann

Denis Martynowych (#4722)

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

Denis Morrison (#9966)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Issaquah, WA
Comment:
My name is Denis Morrison a resident of Issaquah Washington.

My day job is as a Courier for FedEx servicing the entire zip code city of Snoqualmie Washington. I also write and author international travel journals whenever I return from such trips. My 24 year daughter A’Lise lives with me currently because of her inability to find full time work (until next week) for several years following her graduation from Washington State University (WSU) Pullman.

I once heard that the exhaled breath (Carbon Dioxide of all things) of Jesus is still with us even if it has been defused over time. If that troubles you, try Homer as the source.

First and foremost, I agree whole heartedly with the opinion of expressed by James Wells of Bellingham Washington whose blogs of January 5th and January 20th 2013 and going back to January 25, 2012, which can be viewed at the Daily KOS website. His blog summarize his opinion and opposition to the construction of the Gateway Pacific Terminal in Bellingham Washington. (Cherry Point WA Coal Export Terminal) or whatever it is currently or eventually called. My same opinion will obviously persist if the Australians continue their endeavor to build a similar facility in Longview Washington.

Bloomberg News posting by Maria Gallucci on 11/26/2012 indicates, “The Alliance for Northwest Jobs and Exports” comprised of 40 coal companies (a vested interest in constructing the terminal), transportation firms, labor and business councils is pushing for construction. Stay tuned for name changes if the heat gets too intense.

Anyway, if the concept of a breath exhaled over 2000 years ago, might possibly still be around today, even if diluted, why wouldn’t the burning of coal in a country far, far away, but tomorrow, possibly cause the same effect? The concept works for me as a potential reality
.
Anyone remember WPPSS (Washington Public Power Supply System or Whoops as it became known) $2 billion failure. Maybe that’s too long ago, in 1983. Essentially a promise by business that lots of great things would happen, but then that went bad. Maybe Hanford is more current and it’s perpetual story of attempts to clean up the site, including the State of Washington suing the Federal Government to try and get them to participate in the cleanup. That worked out well as well.

Yes, it would be nice to have jobs in Washington, but there are better ways.
Is it really a matter of proximity and disappears as a problem because it is out of sight? If Oregon or British Columbia decided to buy the same coal from Montana and Wyoming, stoke up some new coal burning plants and burn it next door to us, would we just wince at our new CO2 levels or just cough it off as being from a place, far, far away?

Thanks for listening/reading.

Denis Morrison

Denis Pastor (#11220)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
It's obvious from the checked boxes above I believe this is a very bad idea! Everyone wants jobs but this is an environmental disaster waiting to happen. Every year year after year there are accidents on the tracks running north from Seattle, every year there are mud slides happening on the tracks running north from Seattle. There will be accidents and perhaps natural disasters like tsunami, we must protect our coast line from the additional trains this would be asking for a huge accident.
I oppose any addtional coal tains.

Denise Attwood (#5444)

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

Denise Banaszewski (#6576)

Date Submitted: 01/09/2013
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
My husband and I are adamantly opposed to all of the proposed coal terminals in Washington. Our planet simply cannot tolerate any more carbon emissions.

Sincerely,
Denise Banaszewski and Peter Truog
Seattle residents

Denise Dambronski (#5235)

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

Denise McDougall (#7876)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Location: lopez, wa
Comment:
Hello, my name is Denise and I live on Lopez Island and I want to address the importance of an accurate wind study as proposed by Dr Michael Riordan of Orcas Island. An accurate environmental study should/must be made regarding fugitive coal dust before any terminal is built at Cherry Point. For whenever industry plays catch up, the environment always suffers damage and often times it is irreparable. How much wiser, and cheaper, it is to prevent environmental problems than to try and fix them after they have occurred.
Thank you.

Denise McIntosh (#9921)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: LOPEZ ISLAND, Wa
Comment:
My name is Denise McIntosh and I live on Lopez Island in Washington State. Having lived near the ocean for my entire life, I am very concerned about our rapidly declining oceans. Since the subject is so vast, I would like to focus on the Cherry Point Pacific herring.
I am concerned that many more huge tanker ships will further jeopardize the Cherry Point Pacific herring, which are an important forage fish for endangered salmon and orca whales.
The following excerpt was taken from a study by NOAA- Technical Memorandum NMFS-NWFSC-67 in 2006: “Finally, the BRT noted that Pacific herring play important roles in the Georgia Basin
ecosystem. If the fundamental biological processes necessary for Pacific herring were to be
disrupted in the future, such that the metapopulation ceased to function effectively, the
consequences for other species could be substantial. Although these consequences are difficult
to predict, it is worth noting that Pacific herring are important forage fish for both Pacific salmon
and killer whales, so collapse of the Pacific herring DPS could have serious negative effects on
these other protected species.”

I request you study the potentially detrimental impacts that particulates from coal dust could present on the Cherry Point Pacific herring. I would also like a study determining the effects of ballast water leaving these ships could have on the herring population and the food chain they feed.

Denise Meyer (#14176)

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

Denise Morgan (#10508)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Anacortes, wa
Comment:
I ask that the terminal not be approved. The environmental impactof coal dust on our beautiful valley will be too great. Also, the impact on our intersections from the number of extra trains each day will have an enormous impact on quality of life for residents of the valley. The frequency of trains could also impact the ability of emergency crews to cross the intersections.

Denise Spielman (#12768)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
Location: Portland, OR
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of the Gateway Pacific coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington. As you know, coal travels in open gondola train cars, meaning that coal dust particles continuously fill the air as train cars go whizzing by. Any train coming within just a few miles of Portland, Oregon, where I live, will negatively affect my community's air quality, both with coal dust and with diesel exhaust from the train engines, which will damage both air quality and aquatic ecosystems at the terminal site and along the Columbia River. With the volume of coal-loaded trains will come the inevitable accidents that no one can predict. Please don't take chances with our already-fragile environment. How can we, in good conscience, further damage the air and water quality for our children? How many years will it take until those of us in northwestern Oregon will all be forced to wear breathing masks and goggles?
Even if you could guarantee that the coal would be loaded into air-tight container cars, and could somehow decrease the diesel particle emissions from the train engines, the added traffic of the trains would still negatively impact every community along the rail system with its inevitable increase of noise and disruption to community traffic - especially emergency traffic. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

Denise Thomasin (#3887)

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

Denise Tschann (#12990)

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.

In addition we should attempt to find alternatives to dirty energy resources and put our efforts toward cleaner renewable energies. These efforts and improvements need to come form the general population in the form of reduced use, more efficient appliances and less extravagance on our part. From Utility companies in the areas of their own methods of producing, distributing and encouraging the economical and wise use of energy. And lastly from manufacturers of goods and services to increase energy saving products, production which in itself is energy efficient and the transportation of goods and services in
energy efficient methods. It is something we must all do our part in
achieving, and it is not a hardship, just a change of the way we do business on a daily level.

Denise Wolf (#2716)

Date Submitted: 11/12/2012
Location: Mount Vernon, WA
Comment:
To Whom It May Concern,

I am opposed to coal train coming through Washington State to Cherry Point. Current freight and passenger trains already cause plenty of delays in traffic patterns. The train track go right through Mount Vernon and Burlington. These trains would impede emergency services. Minutes can be critical and waiting for a mile long train is unacceptable.

I support finding cleaner energy and creating new jobs in this area instead of sending our coal overseas to areas without good environmental clean air standards.

Sincerely,

Denise A Wolf
Mount Vernon, Wa

Denise & Douglas Dare (#790)

Date Submitted: 10/07/12
Location: Cypress, CA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

DenMark Wichar (#14234)

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

Dennis Bexell (#7591)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Location: Conway, WA
Comment:
I live quite close to the railroad tracks going north and south from bellingham to seattle. the extra train traffic would be an extreme annoyance to me. also, the coal dust side effect on the local ecology would be detrimental. why should we help china to pollute the air? it doesn't make any sense except for enriching a few involved.

Dennis Dowell (#4215)

Date Submitted: 12/08/12
Comment:
Most everyone knows by now, the many problems that would be created by the

multiple train loads of coal passing through Mount Vernon and many other

local areas of Skagit county. So I feel more emphasis for opposing the coal

trains should be made about the lives lost after their creation.

Who would be designated the first or next casualty from fireman or EMT's or

police not being able to reach their assignment in a timely matter, a wife,

mother, children, yourself?

And, how can we fight global warming, if we are helping China and Japan and

other country's burn coal at increasing rates, which produce the plumes of

dust and fumes to encircle the globe? China might not care about their own

people breathing in coal smog filled cities to maintain their rush forward.

Who would volunteer to be the first victim? Take two steps forward.!!!

By Dennis Dowell Mount Vernon, Wa

Dennis Garrettson (#3172)

Date Submitted: 11/15/12
Location: Spokane, WA
Comment:
Dear Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Ecology and Whatcom County Council:

DON'T ALLOW CORPORATE INTERESTS TO DOMINATE and DESTROY and PROFIT from our communities' degradation. WE CAN DO BETTER!!

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.




Dennis Garrettson
9 E 30th Ave.
Spokane, WA 99203

Dennis Hopkins (#12727)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
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. There are crossings in our neighborhood that would interrupt the flow of traffic for hours considering the length and number of trains passing through each day.

Dennis Lowenthal (#7517)

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

Dennis McLerran (#12096)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
See attachment.
Attached Files:

Dennis Padovan (#11137)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Anacortes, WA
Comment:
I believe thorough evaluations of the following circumstances and consequences should be included in the Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed Cherry Point coal shipment facility.

The distribution of high and low concentrations of coal dust in the environment and ecosystems along the coal shipping routes and around the Cherry Point coal shipment facility.

The effects of exposure to high and low concentrations of environmental coal dust contamination on potentially exposed human populations, domestic animal populations, agricultural fields, terrestrial ecosystems, aquatic ecosystems, and marine ecosystems. These evaluations should include influences on human health; domestic animal health; natural biodiversity; natural plant population health, growth, and propagation; and natural invertebrate and vertebrate population health, reproduction, and normal behavior. Both short term and long term effects should be addressed and evaluated.

Air pollution and the production of greenhouse gases are global problems which should not be ignored by local Environmental Impact Statements just because resulting environmental consequences will occur at a geographically removed location. Environmental Impact Statements rely on the best scientific knowledge not feigned political ignorance so the significant contribution to increased greenhouse gas production and a significant impact on climate modification cannot be ignored in the environmental impact statement for the Cherry Point coal shipment facility. Emissions from coal shipments by both train and ship plus the final utilization of the coal will produce large quantities of atmospheric pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions. The Environmental Impact Statement should provide realistic estimates of these quantities and realistic evaluations of the potentially dangerous consequences of their contribution to climate change.

The impact of greatly increased ship traffic to the area must be addressed in the Environmental Impact Statement. The potential impacts of bilge water contaminants and introduction of invasive marine life must be evaluated. The disruptions of increased ship movement and noise on marine mammals, birds, and fish should also be evaluated.

Dennis Parent (#1620)

Date Submitted: 10/25/12
Comment:
Dear Army Corps of Engineers,
As a longtime (34 years) commercial fisherman, my views are practical when it comes to economic issues. Having said that, I am deeply opposed to the coal train proposal for Cherry Point and anywhere else in the Northwest. This idea is wrong for our region for many reasons, a few of which I will discuss below.
As a fisherman, I am keenly aware of the intricate and delicate balance of nature, and the survival of salmon in particular. As you know, the area around Cherry Point is especially sensitive due to the presence of herring there. When you have an ocean ecosystem already under stress, which we certainly have in the Salish Sea, the likely loss of this critical resource and the ripple effect it would have up and down the food chain, is unacceptable.
In addition to that, the presence and operation of super sized coal ships is a direct threat to the Orca pods that live in our area. These Orcas are already an endangered species. The very significant increase of noise from these giant ships, which their giant propellars and sonar devices, could very well be the final straw which would force the Orcas to leave our area for good. Could they somehow survive elsewhere? What would be the effects upon our overall marine ecosystem without the ultimate predator? How sad would it be to forever lose this icon of our entire region?
As taxpayers, we are spending tens of milllions of dollars to save and protect our Puget Sound and our salmon runs. Where is the logic here, to risk everything for the sake of a relative few jobs in northern Whatcom County? I cannot see the risk versus reward equation making any sense for citizens of Washington or Oregon. It sounds like the taxpayers would also be on the hook for much if not all of the needed infrastructure changes, such as bridges, overpasses, etc, to ensure the public safety with regard to the constant rail traffic.
As a resident west of I-5 near Burlington, I dread the prospect of dealing with such constant train traffic while trying to get to retail areas and medical facilities on the east side of the tracks. I am also concerned for my familiy's health in constantly transiting those areas, due to invisible coal dust. In Skagit County, those rails are dividers and I fear for the survival of many businesses, particularly in downtown Burlington & Sedro Wolley. I don't see myself fighting the trains to go there.

I am also concerned about the significant additional noise pollution which the nearly continuous coal train traffic would bring to the Skagit Valley. In addition to added stress for humans, pets, and livestock in our farming community, there is the serious question of effects upon the large numbers of migratory birds that visit here annually.
Lastly, I cannot ignore the long term implications of China burning all this coal over the next decades. I am dismayed that global climate change was not once brought up during the presidential debates by either party. We cannot ignore the climate change crisis away. For the sake of our children and grandchildren, this coal must stay in the ground. As President Obama says, we must gradually shift to non fossil fuels. In this goal, the United States must lead. Selling massive amounts of coal to China or India is the opposite of leading.
I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.


Sincerely,
Dennis Parent

Dennis Shogren (#9713)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Bothell, WA
Comment:
There's no better way of transporting large bulk materials and grain than the railroads. They have been the major mover of goods in this country since the late 1800s. 21st century railroading is safer than ever before and this new terminal will be a boon for the area economy and for creating family supporting wages earning jobs. The jobs will just go elsewhere if we don't built this terminal because the demand for coal and grain is just getting higher. We need the jobs and the tax revenue that goes along with it. The BNSF railway is a good steward to the environment and the newer type locomotives that are being used are far better in fuel efficiency and reduced air pollution than ever before. I fully support building the Gateway Pacific Terminal and Custer Spur!

Dennis Smith (#708)

Date Submitted: 10/15/2012
Location: Deming, WA
Comment:
Hello my name is Dennis Smith.
I have lived in the South Fork Valley for more than 3 decades. I currently work with small business helping to limit industrial waste water and storm water runoff into adjoining water bodies. My work involves the tracking of heavy metals and other pollutants generated and leaving their facilities. This tracking of pollutants is required by the Washington State Department of Ecology in order to acquire and maintain their state required NPDES permit. Accumulative effects of rainfall on rail cars delivering coal to the Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT) must be investigated.

Storm water pollution has direct negative unavoidable impact on state fisheries. GPT can mitigate coal pollution runoff at the site, but mitigation is not possible along the train route. To determine the actual impact of cumulative runoff of storm water along the entire rail corridor, catch basin points need to be established to collect leachate (polluted rainwater that has perculated through both loaded and empty cars of coal) samples for lab testing.

I am very concerned. These effects are forseeble, cumulative and they need to be studied.

Dennis Smith (#3541)

Date Submitted: 11/26/12
Location: Deming, WA
Comment:
Re: GPT EIS Scoping Comment Nov. 29 Ferndale Meeting

Hello. My name is Dennis Smith. I have lived in Whatcom County for nearly 40 years. My reason for writing has to do with several items of concern as listed below, but most of all I wish to see a “broad range” of issues studied and discussed within the scoping document. The larger impacts of climate change must be fully addressed as well as the potential loss of jobs due to sending millions of tons of cheap coal to China and its impact on U.S. manufacturing. In addition, the negative impact that the coal terminal would have on Bellingham and Whatcom County’s reputation as a place of natural beauty. Future tourism, waterfront development impacts and local property taxes stand to be impacted by GPT operations. Rainfall leaching threw coal being delivered, stored, and shipped from the terminal also creates a foreseeable impact that must be fully mitigated or else it will seem hypocritical to the many businesses currently having to comply with the state’s storm-water regulations and other agencies that are vested in a clean Puget Sound, strong fisheries, wildlife habitat, and recreational activities. Lastly, there should be some consideration given to the lack of “long-term sustainability” of coal versus alternative such as grains, fruits, wood, and other renewable products.

Please include my comments as part of the Nov. 29, 2012 Ferndale. Wa. Scoping Hearing. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Dennis Smith

dennis swanson (#2349)

Date Submitted: 11/05/2012
Location: mount vernon, wa
Comment:
I wish to state my objection to the project. The impact of rail traffic through Skagit, as well as other Western Washington counties is staggering. Mount Vernon for one small town as an example is already congested. Adding up to 18 one and a half mile long trains per day will have significant impact on our community. Public safety issues such as fire department access, police response, business interuptions, noise, dust,etc. all related to the added train traffic. BNSF already does a terrible job maintaining their at grade crossings, check out College Way in Mount Vernon and you will see what I mean.

I suggest that this project be kept in areas of our state where the population is much more sparse.Points along the Snake an Columbia Rivers, where there is rail access to barge and shipping terminals and a lot fewer communities will be affected.

Dennis Swanson (#4112)

Date Submitted: 12/04/12
Location: Mount Vernon, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Dennis Walker (#5765)

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

Dennis & Meg Ryan (#758)

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

Denny Lange (#1821)

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

Denny Miller (#14177)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

Derek Cook (#5008)

Date Submitted: 12/14/12
Location: Kirkland, WA
Comment:
Dec 14, 2012

Scoping Hearing Comments Cherry Point Scoping Comments WA

Dear Scoping Hearing Comments Scoping Comments,

My name is Derek Cook. I am a resident of the Puget sound area, a registered nurse, and a parent of two young boys. My wife is an RN as well. We are extremely concerned about the proposed coal terminal and associated increase in rail traffic. It is no mystery that the mining and burning of coal pollutes our air and water, and has lasting and extreme negative impacts on our health. The extent of these health impacts, however, is generally not known by the general public. As nurses, we care deeply about community health outcomes. Allowing the terminal and increased rail cars would have devastating effects on our health, both on community and global levels. Each rail car full of coal can lose between 500 lbs and 1 ton of coal dust en route. This is astonishing! The dust would contaminate communities and habitats all along the route, putting mercury, arsenic and other toxins into our air, water, parks, and the lungs of our children. A recent Harvard study states "We estimate that the life cycle impacts of coal and the waste stream generated are costing the U.S. public a third to over one half a trillion dollars annually.
Accounting for the damages conservatively doubles to triples the price of electricity from coal per kWh generated, making wind, solar, and other forms of non-fossil fuel power generation, along with investments in efficiency and electricity conservation methods, economically competitive....mercury pollution from coal causes retardation and cardiovascular disease, with health impacts and lost productivity evaluated at $5.5 bn/yr plus restricted consumption of fish (otherwise healthy); seafood and allied industries losses...air pollution from coal causes lung disease, with particulates and oxides of nitrogen and sulfur killing over 24,000 people annually, including 2,800 from lung cancer (2005), heart
disease: 38,200 non-fatal heart attacks annually with lives lost evaluated at $187.5 bn/yr. Specifically with rail cars carrying coal:
M: Deaths in RR accidents: 246/yr.
E: Lives lost assessed at $1.8 bn/yr.
Q: 70% of U.S. rail traffic dedicated to shipping coal. Diesel trucks also deliver coal to processing and power plants.

The relatively small number of short term jobs building the coal terminal and required infrastructure are nowhere near worth these extreme costs that effect us all. Not only are we talking about the cost to society in health damage, we are talking about the very lives and health of our citizens, our children, and all who will come in future years. Please, do not allow the slow devastation of many for the benefit of the few.
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,

Derek Cook

Derek Detheimer (#7480)

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

Derek Dexheimer (#4366)

Date Submitted: 12/06/12
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
Dec 6, 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,

I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington specifically, and any coal export terminal generally.
These terminals would increase traffic, pollute our air and water, expose citizens to known carcinogens, delay emergency vehicles, and increase shipping traffic and noise. Coal is also the most carbon-intense fuel and its continued use will exacerbate climate change. The pollution created at its point of use will also eventually wander over the ocean to the Northwest, causing acid rain and other pollution. In addition, exporting this fuel could cause legal liability in the future for the harm caused at its point of use.

I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement and deny all coal export terminals.

Sincerely,

Derek Dexheimer
1211 S Lucile St Unit C
Seattle, WA 98108-2381
(425) 213-7944

Derek Hoshiko (#4411)

Date Submitted: 12/11/2012
Comment:
Thank you for accepting comments. I ride the Sound Transit Sounder train for commuting to Seattle from Mukilteo which already gets delayed because of freight. I am concerned that this additional traffic will further impact the commuter rail.

Also, it is important to strongly consider the responsibility we have as a society dealing with climate change to take action to mitigate further climate pollution. These trains are a key place where we need to take a stand.

Some people argue jobs vs environment, but the negative economic impacts due to the trains may more than offset gained jobs by job losses and/or increased public health costs.

Please consider these arguments in your study. It is my hope that the project will be denied to move forward because of these, among other reasons to not move forward.

Derrick Belone (#8569)

Date Submitted: 01/17/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Hi, my name is Derrick Belone, a member of the Navajo Nation from New Mexico. Although I am far from home, I have been a resident on the Lummi reservation, attending Northwest Indian College studying Native Environmental Science. Peabody coal has done mining in New Mexico and it has created many issues since I was child, I know what coal can do to the atmosphere and how it contributes to climate change and health risks. I am proposing that you consider the Native cultural values of the Lummi tribe and the land. Salmon is a cultural value that has been very important to the Coast Salish tribes; it will aggravate the changes of salmons spawning grounds, routes, and life cycles. The salmon represents the way of life through the cultural teachings; it is also a important sleeve to the cultural dressings of the tribe to protect their traditions for generations to come. The coal train project is going to have many impacts on cultural aspects, land, water, species, atmosphere and people. Therefore, please consider the values of the Coast Salish tribe’s traditions, as a Navajo, traditional values are very important and this coal train project has hit close to my homeland issues and how we were exploited with the mining of coal. The affects that it had on our environment, health risks and led us toward poverty with the Native community which is not well with addressed and we now suffer from regaining the strength we once had through our land. Consider the way of life and how important it is to protect the balance of the natural world.

Detleff &Kathleen Wieck (#2041)

Date Submitted: 10/26/12
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Deva Clifford (#9061)

Date Submitted: 01/17/13
Comment:
Hello. My name is Deva Clifford and I live and work in Bellingham. I love our city, and chose this community because of its natural beauty, the accessibility to outdoor pursuits, and the community focus on sustainable living. I have many questions about the impacts of the terminal at Cherry Point and the transfer of 42 million tons of coal through my community.

NOISE How will the noise and vibrations of unusually long, heavy and frequent trains impact property values and the structural integrity of homes and other buildings close to the tracks? How will chronic noise exposure affect the health and quality of life of people living, working and playing nearby?

TRAFFIC PROBLEMS How will the coal trains affect motor vehicle traffic, transportation, emergency vehicle response times and the flow of commerce along the rail corridor?

FISHERIES & THE SALISH SEA How will tourism; boating; collision risks; oil/coal spill risks; salmon, crab, and herring fisheries; orca whales; and the general beauty, vitali