EIS Home > EIS Library > Scoping Report > Appendix G - All Scoping Comments > Public (F - I)

F and N Breckenridge (#13087)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
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.

This all in the name of short-term profit. The long-term environtal and health consequences are simply too great. We phase out coal here because of global warming and export it with a clear conscience to China and others to pollute the environment. Like Pontius Pilot we have clean hands.

Fabrice Van Putten (#3890)

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

Faith Morgan (#963)

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

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

I live in Port Townsend, where just off shore, these whales are seen all year round. The Salish Sea is a very unique and already imperiled habitat. We've done a fair job of protecting it, but this coal terminal would be a very bad thing. We do not need such a dirty industry right here on the water. It seems we've decided to ignore the obvious, for this to even have been considered. If we don't become stewards of our world, it will be our ending.

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.

Sincerely,

Faith Morgan
2566 Hancock St
Port Townsend, WA 98368-8528

Faith Rose (#4172)

Date Submitted: 12/09/2012
Location: Bozeman, MT
Comment:
Currently, there are four coal-export terminal projects pending before the Corps: the Gateway Pacific Terminals (“GTP”) site at Cherry Point, Washington; the Millennium Bulk Logistics (“MBL”) site at Longview, Washington; the Oregon Gateway Terminal at the Port of Coos Bay, Oregon; and the Coyote Island Terminal site at the Port of Morrow, Oregon. Additional permit applications are anticipated for the Kinder Morgan project at the Port of St. Helens, Oregon, and the RailAmerica proposal at the Port of Grays Harbor, Washington. Additionally, existing export terminals at port facilities in British Columbia that are already receiving coal shipments are considering expansions.

Taken together, the announced capacity of the planned U.S. projects is approximately 150 million tons of coal per year. Operating at full capacity, these plans would mean approximately 60 coal trains—each about a mile and a half long—moving through Montana , Idaho , and the Pacific Northwest everyday. These trains will pass through Bozeman, Montana and numerous other cities along the rail line from the mines to the ports.

This comment will focus on Bozeman, MT as the area of my residence, but will result in a significant adverse effect on all communities along the rail line, and therefore these comments should be considered to extend to all communities along the rail line in any environmental review of these proposals.

To ensure each individual permitting action accounts for the significant cumulative impacts of multiple proposed Northwest coal export terminals, the Army Corps of Engineers must first prepare a PEIS that carefully analyzes the combined impacts of multiple, similar coal export terminal proposals.

Such analysis is allowed for, and most likely required, under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Under Section 1508.25(a)(1) and (2) of the Council of Environmental Quality’s NEPA regulations, this environmental review must collect, analyze, and consider connected and cumulative actions for any federally supported project. Further, “cumulative” and “similar” actions should be discussed within a single environmental impact statement, necessitating the development of a PEIS.

The railroad tracks in Bozeman bisect a significant portion of the city’s residential, commercial, and industrial activities, and the crossings at North Rouse Avenue, Wallace Avenue, Griffin Avenue, and Story Hill Road restrict access to Kelly Canyon, Bridger Canyon, and the Bridger and Bangtail Mountain ranges for residential, commercial, and recreational access. Additionally, the response time of emergency services, including law enforcement, fire departments, and emergency medical services, will be increased to the aforementioned areas, resulting in potentially life-threatening delays.

The increased noise, air pollution, and inconvenience could lead to significant reductions in property values; and an increase in response times for emergency services could lead to increased property insurance and health care costs.
Increased train traffic, whether by an increased number of trains or cars per train, will cause significant increases in diesel exhaust, coal dust emissions, and noise pollution; and the longer and more frequent delays in vehicle traffic will result in increased emissions of air pollution from numerous cars idling for additional hours per day. These increases in pollution can reasonably be expected to have negative health impacts.

Increased diesel emissions and coal dust will negatively affect the agricultural sector of the Greater Bozeman area, especially farms and ranches adjacent to the rail line. This could cause significant negative impacts in local agricultural production, as farms and ranches may need to relocate to avoid contamination of their fields and pastures.
Bozeman’s large and growing high-tech sector is a major factor in the economic vigor of our city, and the location of high-tech businesses in Bozeman is closely related to quality of life, which will be negatively impacted by increased train traffic. This could lead to a loss of new businesses locating in Bozeman, the exodus of existing businesses, a reduction in construction jobs and all the supporting businesses and services needed to support these businesses and their employees.

Increased noise and air pollution may negatively affect tourism, as most of the city’s hotels and many other tourist facilities are located close to the railroad tracks. Shortened stays due to these impacts would significantly reduce income among this critical economic sector in our area.

The citizens of Bozeman would bear the costs to upgrade several railroad crossings and build new infrastructure to mitigate traffic delays and safety concerns, resulting in increased taxes.

Mounting evidence demonstrates the negative health impacts of coal mining, process, transport, and combustion. Studies show living near major transportation routes and industrial areas correlates with higher rates of respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses, due to diesel emissions, coal dust particles, and exhaust from idling automobiles.

Increased train traffic through the northern portion of the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem and through the I-90 corridor may have a detrimental effect on the waterways, wildlife populations, and health of the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem. As tourism and outdoor recreation is integral to Bozeman ‘s economy, the ecological and economic effects of increased coal transport through the northern portion of the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem must be analyzed.

Any environmental analysis of these proposals must consider the negative long-term effects of burning huge volumes of sub-bituminous coal. Domestic demand for sub-bituminous coal from the Powder River Basin has been rapidly declining due to more stringent emissions standards and access to cheaper and cleaner fuels. Coal exports from the Powder River Basin will permanently shape global energy markets. With access to cheap, abundant PRB coal, countries in Asia will be induced to build a new fleet of coal-fired power plants capable of burning the more corrosive, higher-alkaline coal. These new plants, with a minimum thirty-year life span, will lock in reliance on coal from the Powder River Basin and forestall the transition to cleaner energy sources in these developing markets.

There has been a huge groundswell of opposition to this mining, increased rail activity and port expansion throughout the Northwest and the USA, as evidence by the Whatcom County doctors report and hundreds of others, many of them listed at: http://www.powerpastcoal.org/statements/.

The true cost of coal must be assessed and to our environment, our quality of life and the health of all living forms on the planet. Any EIS must be a PEIS that considers all aspects of the LONG TERM effects of mining, transporting and burning this coal, or it will be a deliberate falsification of the implications of this project.

Faith Van De Putte (#2074)

Date Submitted: 10/29/12
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Faith Van De Putte (#10954)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Lopez Island, WA
Comment:
Subject: Docket number COE-2012-0016: Proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal coal export proposal draft EIS scoping comments

I am fourth generation on the South end of Lopez Island in the San Juan Islands. As someone who knows the island and waters surrounding it intimately I am concerned about the increased vessel size and traffic and would like you to consider the impact of the increased noise on the fish, marine mammals and seabird of the area.

There is already considerable tanker traffic and even though they are a couple of miles from shore I can feel the vibration of their motors while standing on land. The proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal coal port would increase size of vessels plying these waters and the number of passages. Noise disturbance has been found by the International Whaling Commission Scientific Committee (IWC/SC) Standing Working Group as a “potential population level threat to marine mammals.” (IWC/SC 2004) Most of the studies I have seen focus on the effects of much smaller whale watching boats on the orcas and I would like to see the impact of Panamax vessels on the orca populations. What is the cumulative vessel noise in the San Juan island with the increased traffic.

Qwiaht is a local non-profit dedicated to science for stewardship. They have been studying juvenile chinook salmon in Whatmough Bay on the South end of Lopez island for the last five years. They have found that the juvenile salmon have a varied diet but a strong preference for herring and sand lance. Do we know what the effect of the ship's noise is on these migrating salmon, herring and sand lance? Our salmon and herring stocks are already threatened and we know little about the life cycle of sandlance please add these to the scope of your EIS.

The waters off of the South end of Lopez are feeding and nesting grounds for many species of sea birds including the endangered marbled murrelet. How will the increased noise of the bigger vessels and increased traffic impact the birds? Does it affect the migratory patterns of the fish that these birds depend on? My understanding is that herring and sandlance are favorite foods of many seabirds as well as our salmon and we need to know if the increased vessel traffic will be stressing the fish, marine mammals or seabirds and if it will affect any of their migratory patterns.

Thank you for considering these questions in your EIS.
Sincerely,
Faith Van De Putte

Fallon Julie Fallon (#7776)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Location: Tacoma, wa
Comment:
This Pacific Terminal should not be allowed. It will affect the quality of life and the environment for years, long after it is gone. This project will affect water quality , air quality and many other environmental concerns. Its much easier to stop a project of this magnitude before it begins that after it has left the station. NO- Don't sell our environment for a bunch of empty promises .

Fallon Julie Fallon (#7777)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Location: Tacoma, wa
Comment:
This Pacific Terminal should not be allowed. It will affect the quality of life and the environment for years, long after it is gone. This project will affect water quality , air quality and many other environmental concerns. Its much easier to stop a project of this magnitude before it begins that after it has left the station. NO- Don't sell our environment for a bunch of empty promises .

Fay Mafnas (#3201)

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

Fay Mafnas (#10005)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Stanwood, WA
Comment:
The Stanwood Area Merchants Association (SAMA) is an organization comprised of merchants, large and small, serving customers in the greater Stanwood area. We have some concerns about the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal and increased train traffic and ask that you study any and all possible negative impacts on the Stanwood Area Merchants.
Please study the following:
1. How will the proposed increase of train traffic negatively impact the financial viability of merchants in Stanwood's business core, particularly East Stanwood?
2. What percentage of shoppers will be forced to avoid the downtown core area, particularly East Stanwood, and choose other places to shop in order to avoid the train delays?
3. How will the increased train traffic hamper future economic revitalization in East Stanwood?

We know other cities have similar concerns and appreciate that the co-lead agencies will address these for us. Thank you,
Stanwood Area Merchants Association
(submitted by David Thompson and Fay Mafnas)

Felicia Staub (#12587)

Date Submitted: 01/16/13
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 people and ecosystems in the
region:

* Coal dust and diesel exhaust that will be emitted from the trains will contribute to serious respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.
This will increase the incidence of childhood asthma which is already far too huge.

* 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, for Asia and thus the world. This pollution will then travel back across the Pacific to pollute West Coast air and via rain our rivers, lakes and fish.

* A vast increase in train traffic, clogging up our roads.

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 proposal for a coal export terminal in Bellingham should be the first to be eliminated as in addition to the impacts mentioned above will also have very detrimental effects to the riparian zone of the harbor which is very sensitive.

Felicity Devlin (#12994)

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

With Seattle now having to plan for the impact of rising sea levels due to global warming, it's extraordinary that we're considering projects that we know will contribute to the climate crisis.

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.

Felictas Kerps (#3290)

Date Submitted: 11/20/2012
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

Fenella Raymond (#6507)

Date Submitted: 01/09/2013
Comment:
How will the toxic metals in coal, such as arsenic, accumulate in soils near the coal trains, resulting in exposure to people and to the environment?

Fenella Raymond (#6512)

Date Submitted: 01/09/2013
Comment:
How would the noise, pollution and physical presence of the additional huge vessels affect our orca populations and other marine life? This is particularly concerning given the recent publicized research that suggests sonar pollution of Puget Sound is already at unacceptably high levels.

Fenella Raymond (#6514)

Date Submitted: 01/09/2013
Comment:
How would construction and operation of the coal port; up to 100 acres of pulverized coal in open, near-shore storage; and the coal ships themselves (size, pollution, noise, anchor dragging, etc) impact the crab, herring and salmon fisheries?

Fenella Raymond (#6516)

Date Submitted: 01/09/2013
Comment:
How will the project impact wetlands, which currently provide critical habitats and sources of biodiversity?

Fenella Raymond (#6522)

Date Submitted: 01/09/2013
Comment:
Strip mining currently renders groundwater unusable for drinking or other usage by humans. Is there a way to remedy this, and if so will a resolution be implemented?

Fenella Raymond (#6526)

Date Submitted: 01/09/2013
Comment:
What will the impact of coal dust that leaves the coal trains be on surface stream water quality?

Fenella Raymond (#6527)

Date Submitted: 01/09/2013
Comment:
Chronic noise exposure will affect the health and quality of life of people living, working and playing near the rail lines. How will this be remedied?

Fenella Raymond (#6530)

Date Submitted: 01/09/2013
Comment:
What will the impact of coal transport, storage and export be on cancer, heart disease, asthma and other health risks?

Fenella Raymond (#6532)

Date Submitted: 01/09/2013
Comment:
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?

Fenella Raymond (#6534)

Date Submitted: 01/09/2013
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?

Fenella Raymond (#6538)

Date Submitted: 01/09/2013
Comment:
Have studies been completed regarding the effects on our region of a catastrophic oil and/or coal spill? If so, where can results of those studies be found?

Fenella Raymond (#6539)

Date Submitted: 01/09/2013
Comment:
This project is of great concern for many reasons. One reason is that taxpayers will likely ultimately pay for costs directly and indirectly associated with GPT, including but not limited to necessary upgrades and additions to rail infrastructure, public health expenses, building of underpasses and overpasses, and other attempts to mitigate adverse impacts on a variety of fronts.

Fenella Raymond (#6541)

Date Submitted: 01/09/2013
Comment:
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?

Ferdi Businger (#8769)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Location: Anacortes,, WA
Comment:
I am adamantly opposed to this project for multiple reasons.

1. Air quality. As we saw this past week, pollution due to coal burning plants resulted in some of the worst air quality in Beijing that they have ever had. As we saw with the forest fires in Russia this past summer, this pollution crosses the Pacific and impacts our air quality. I don't know if this EIS addresses this issue. If it doesn't it should.

And then there is the local issue of coal dust released during the transportation and loading of the coal.

2. Water quality and vessel transportation. I'm concerned with impacts of spills and coal dust on water quality in the Salish Sea. We have one of the most pristine island archipelagos in the world. This increase of boat traffic, the risk of spills, the potential for coal dust, the impact on recreational boat traffic and the increase in noise are all unacceptable tradeoffs.

3. Larger issues. Anthropomorphic global warming is real and presents a difficult challenge for policy makers. Does it make sense to ship coal to China were it will add measurably to atmospheric CO2? Are we embarking on a path of short-term gain, long-term pain?

Along those lines: I also question why we would sell off our resources in this way, bankrupting future generations who might develop a clean energy generating use for coal here at home.

4. Scope of EIS. I don't know if the EIS deals with these larger issues. If it doesn't it should. As we saw with the heavy smoke in the Northwest from forest fires burning in Asia, this decision will impact our air quality as surely as if this coal was being burned in our back yard. This has to be part of the discussion or it will literally come back to haunt us.

Sincerely,

Ferdi Businger

Fern Leopold (#2324)

Date Submitted: 11/05/2012
Comment:
Whatever the small financial gain in jobs and income for Whatcom County is dwarfed by the costs to the rest of us for the following
reasons:

1. Unless taxpayers build overpasses, traffic will experience even more time-consuming delays - which would also waste gasoline and further add to air pollution. Emergency vehicles would be delayed and, in cases of stroke, heart attack, or horrific accidents, would no doubt contribute to many deaths or needless impairment.

2. Coal dust along the route degrades the very air we breathe, degrades homes and property, and threatens the health of people living nearby.

3. We must encourage the Chinese to find cleaner sources of energy - and not only for their poor people. We now know that air pollution from China (and forest-fire smoke from Russia) hits our shores and also British Columbia's and already contributes to our air pollution . Burning coal , which this coal train proposal will make easier for the Chinese to get, also will further degrade our ocean and produce acid rain to destroy our forests and crops.

Really, I foresee only problems if the coal trains become a reality. So much profit for the coal companies and railroads at
such a great cost to the rest of us!

Your very concerned,

Fern Leopold

Fernando Arcuelo (#7474)

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

Feryll Blanc (#14243)

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

Figueroa Cristiana (#10128)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Olympia, WA
Comment:
Please include the following analyses in the EIS:

1. Impacts from increased rail traffic to communities located along potential rail routes from the source of the raw material to the proposed facility at Cherry Point:
The analysis should include risk assessments from the increased exposure to fine and ultrafine particulates, organic and semivolative compounds such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) from fugitive dust and fuel exhaust to any sensitive populations (like schools or hospitals) located within a 5-mile radius of the routes.

The analysis should also include noise levels impacts. For instance, schools that are located in the proximity of the rail lines are particularly prone to impaired functioning due to frequent interruptions from excessive noise. Likewise, impacts from changes to local traffic patterns at any of the affected communities must be analyzed.

2. Impacts from fugitive emissions generated while loading and unloading at the proposed facility:
Particular attention must be placed on contamination of the marine ecosystem from coal loading and unloading including increase of PAHs in the water column and sediment and changes to turbidity. In addition, an air dispersion model needs to be used to predict the concentration of air emissions at the fenceline and beyond. A human health risk assessment based on those predicted concentrations is needed.

3. Impacts to the marine habitat at Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve:
A full ecological study is necessary of the impact of additional ship traffic. The study should address the impacts of a more energetic nearshore as a consequence of increased frequency and intensity of boat wakes. Such changes in nearshore energy lead to changes in underwater and beach morphology. Coarser sediments are left behind after erosion of the finer sediments that are essential for habitat of forage fish and eelgrass.

4. Impacts of the project's immediate carbon footprint: A cumulative impact analysis is needed of the additional equivalent CO2 emissions from transporting and handling the material from its source to its final destination.

5. Cumulative and comprehensive atmospheric pollution impact of the project:

An analysis of the additional atmospheric loading of CO2, particulate, NOx, SOx, and hazardous air pollutants that will result from coal combustion at its destination in Asia is needed. The analysis should include the global impacts such as climate change as well as regional and local human health impacts. Refer to literature from Dan Jaffe's group at University of Washington that has documented the transport of air pollutants from Asia to WA. The project may also have an impact on regional haze that should be evaluated.

6. The impact during construction of the site on the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve, and the surrounding natural environment, needs to be evaluated.

7. The impacts from changing the current land cover at the proposed site (such as native vegetation) to impervious surfaces need to be evaluated. Such impacts will likely include: increased stormwater volumes, water quality impacts, and impacts to wildlife.

In terms of evaluating this proposed project and any alternatives, use economic valuation techniques to determine the loss of ecosystem services, and the added pollution loading, that will result from this project. See for instance: http://www.pugetsoundnearshore.org/technical_papers/social_values.pdf.

fiona m (#4735)

Date Submitted: 12/13/2012
Comment:
disclaimer - *i do not want my email address to be released or posted publicly*

given what we know about global warming, train and vehicle emissions, human stress levels, and idling traffic at railroad crossings, i am confused as to why any entity would increase coal productions and coal movement especially along the waterfront in seattle. as i understand it, bellingham has or wants the coal so we do not need coal trains snarling seattle traffic and causing increased pollution in seattle due to idling vehicles at train crossings. also the pollution emitted from almost 20 new trains must be a lot. why would seattle need this when we are not asking for the coal or mining the coal? waterfront activities should be devoid of stress since stress and other negative influences cause mental, physical, and spiritual problems that turn into health ailments. we are putting a lot of money into our new waterfront and the trains will cause another barrier, another hazard/safety issue, another health/health care problem, and another environmental problem.

it is 2012 and time to get onboard with global warming and the ill effects we will all face (and we cannot undue) because some company/ies want to make more money.

Fletcher Davis (#13532)

Date Submitted: 01/22/13
Comment:
Comments on Gateway Pacific Terminal Scoping Process

1. What is the estimated cost of infrastructure improvements to accommodate the 15 to 18 daily mile and a half long trains that will travel to and from Powder River Basin and Bellingham? Who pays for those? Should the company that receives the profits from the coal be subsidized by taxpayers?

2. What effect with this entire enterprise have on the Salish Sea marine environment, from toxins to noise from shipping traffic - specifically the toxins in all waterways for the length of the transportation into the sea, and sound's effect on whales and other life in the Salish Sea?

Thank you for your attention.

Fletcher Davis=

Florence Wagner (#1204)

Date Submitted: 10/14/12
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Florence Wagner (#12481)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
Location: Lopez Island, 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.

Coal is filthy! We don't want the beautiful waters of the San Juans fouled by ships and barges spilling their cargos of coal. Increased traffic of coal heading to the far east will hamper one of our biggest businesses..tourism. It will affect our marine life in a harmful way.
And worst of all....it's nasty and dirty. We should be putting our efforts and our money into clean renewable energy. Try windmills! I wouldn't object to a string of clean white windmills carefully placed along the waterways where there's almost always good air movement!
Please...don't ship coal thru or around our islands.

Florence Wagner (#12864)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Location: Lopez Island, 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.

There are times when "environment" must be considered over "Big Business". This is one. #1.Fishing is business. A great deal of it is done in this area, and fleets of coal barges will not allow the current level of fishing. #2.Boating for pleasure is a big part of tourism in the NW. Barges loaded with coal, or freighters, low in the water with heavy coal loads, are not condusive to whale-watching and pleasure. #3. We, in the NW, clean our beaches and try to keep our waters clean and healthy..where marine life and mammals can flourish. This is not compatible with moving tons of coal out to sea thru our clean channels. Coal is dirty..in any form. Find a green way to supply energy and leave the coal buried!

Floris van Spronsen (#6259)

Date Submitted: 01/08/2013
Location: Lopez, Wa
Comment:
Several studies (Club of Rome) about the final economical impact already show that the total costs of health and environmental damage done by building and using this Gateway Pacific Coal terminal, will reach far beyond the profits that ever can be generated with it.

Floris van Spronsen (#6260)

Date Submitted: 01/08/2013
Location: Lopez, Wa
Comment:
Several studies (Club of Rome) about the final economical impact already show that the total costs of health and environmental damage done by building and using this Gateway Pacific Coal terminal, will reach far beyond the profits that ever can be generated with it.

Floy Dalton (#1174)

Date Submitted: 10/09/12
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Floyd Cable (#3846)

Date Submitted: 11/29/12
Comment:
> Many homeowners in Bellingham have bought homes in recent years because it has become a great place to live- far removed from the days of "Smellingham,"
when it was notorious or its air and water pollution.
> I am a proud Bellingham homeowner, and had felt secure in that investment until it began to appear that the Cherry Point coal terminal could become reality.
> As the economic landscape has changed throughout the country, the change for the better in the quality of life in Bellingham has made that aspect of life in the city all the more important in attracting new residents and businesses to Bellingham.
> Opening a coal terminal at Cherry Point runs counter to one of the more successful positive currents in the Bellingham economy. The disruption and noise of multiple hours of very long trains running through the heart of town (and near two of our town's most important & attractive features, the harbor and shore line), the dust from the coal cars, and the diesel exhaust from the endless trains are all antithetical to what much of what makes Bellingham a great place to live.
> Although it is harder to measure in terms of economic impact on the city and the county, the negative impact on our economy would have to be huge if we were to become infamous for the coal trains and the coal terminal. The trains and the terminal would be great things to scare off home buyers and businesses, big and small, that are attracted to Bellingham precisely because it has such a good quality of life. The only people who could claim any improvements in quality of life may be the relatively modest number of people employed at the terminal and the handful of rail crews (few of whom would be resident in the area). And will we ever see the harbor development really take off if the coal trains are making life and traffic crossings more complicated and inconvenient? (Which would be true even if the trains were somehow hermetically sealed and no coal dust was dumped in town')
> I, along with the homeowners in the country and the country, have already lost a lot of equity in our homes thanks to the downturn in the realty market, which is just beginning to show some signs of life The coal trains would have a devastating impact on the value of homes and the economic resources of homeowners close ill .
> Every time someone says that opponents to the coal terminal and the coal trains are engaging in NIMBY-based obstructionism, I would like to ask, "How close is YOUR home to the rail line?"
My own home is only a couple of blocks away. I bought that home because at the time it seemed a great place to live for many years to come. If the coal trains come, it will not be nearly as good a place to live -- and it could be dangerous to one's health and well-being. It certainly won't be as pleasant a place to live. I wouldn't be able to leave -- who would buy the home?
> Not In My Back Yard/NIMBY is a very reasonable position to have when we know that the coal trains can damage the health, well-being, and economic security of those whose backyard is adjacent to the proposed industrial changes. Even if your own neighborhood is not immediately adjacent to the coal line, the impact will be far more widespread, and the benefits will accrue to relative few, and the disadvantages will be shared by many.

Forrest Rosser (#12613)

Date Submitted: 01/20/13
Location: Portland, OR
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington or anyplace else on the West Coast (e.g. Oregon
Coast, Columbia River, etc.). It is time to consider the massively
negative effects of burning coal upon our planet. Let's not be part
of the problem. Let's be part of the solution.

Fran Post (#6603)

Date Submitted: 01/10/2013
Location: , WA
Comment:
I am very concerned about the many effects on the environment created by coal transportation, both the increased train traffic and the proposed port expansions. Our climate is changing and I believe that fossil fuels are directly responsible for this change. I believe the health of individuals and the communities in which they live are far more important than fueling dirty coal plants in China.

Fran Post (#11282)

Date Submitted: 01/16/13
Location: Port Townsend, WA
Comment:
This is a very bad deal for all of us who live in the North West! 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.

Fran Recht (#10934)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Depoe Bay, Or
Comment:
Please consider these comments for your scopiong. I work in the coastal resources management field and am concerned about a range of topics, both short term and long term. In each of the areas below, I would like the EIS to address, as required, the direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts-- which includes the impacts to the global as well as the local environment from climate change impacts.

Human health/other human environment topic: effects of short term coal dust in the air, locally; effects on human health throughout the whole chain: mining, transporting, loading and unloading, burning in Asia, air-pollution in Asia (Beijing has just had another health crisis due to airpollution), effects of air pollution that comes back across the Pacific to the west coast; effects on human health of climate change from burning coal-- both direct and indirect (more flooding, storms, droughts, food chain disruptions, sea level rise, ocean acidification). Also effects on human health due to increased air pollution from increased traffic for workers going to and from work; also accidents related to increased traffic.

Wildlife or vegetation: effect of coal dust on wildlife, vegetation; effect of increased train traffic on wildlife mortality, migration corridors; effect of climate change on wildlife . Addressing critical habitat of any listed species along the transport path.

Marine species, fish, or fisheries: effect of coal burning on ocean acidification, coastal hypoxia, addressing and protecting Essential Fish Habitat of managed species, including habitat areas of particular concern; addressing and protectin critical habitat of listed species; addressing effect of coal dust, coal cchemicals on fish chemo-receptors, smell and homing, effects of ship pollution, discharges, ballast water and invasive species in estuary, nearshore.

Wetlands or streams: water quality-- water chemistry, turbidity of coal dust run-off. Impacts on wetlands and streams of any additional tracks, spurs that may be necessary.
Run-off from roads resulting from additional traffic from workers.

Natural environment topic; again cumulative impacts, both short and long terms and very long term of mining, transporting, and burning more coal on the natural environment, in the local area as well as globally-- EIS's usually take a very short timeframe, while the impacts of increased CO2 dissolving in the ocean, staying in the atmosphere are long term (e.g. upwelling of acidic water today, is water that resulted from CO2 burned from the start of the industrial revolution).

Frances Ambrose (#7538)

Date Submitted: 01/09/13
Location: Mount Vernon, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Files:

Frances Badgett (#11881)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I am a frequent traveler by rail from Bellingham to Seattle and Portland, and I am very concerned about the stability of the slopes along the tracks between Mount Vernon and Seattle. On recent trips, my family and I experienced two delays on two different trips because of mud slides along the tracks. I request that you study the effect of increased rail traffic between Vancouver, BC and Oregon. I would like the study to include the kind of trail traffic proposed for the GPT (miles of coal freight trains, with both empty and full cars, north- and south-bound).

Thank you,

Frances Badgett

Frances Badgett (#11890)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I am a frequent traveler by rail between Bellingham and Portland, OR. Several times on my last few trips, my family and I experienced significant passenger train delays because our train had to yield to cargo trains. I would like for you to create a study of the effects of an increase in length and frequency of cargo trains as projected by the GPT proposal.

Thank you,
Frances Badgett

Frances Badgett (#11901)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I am very concerned about the environmental and social justice of using the proposed site for this project. The Lummi Nation has expressed their disapproval for the GPT on their heritage lands. I would like for the agencies to create a document detailing the history of the site, including any oral history of the spiritual and generational significance of the site, and a companion letter explaining the justification for this particular location.

Thank you,
Frances Badgett

Frances Badgett (#11916)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Waterfront access:

I have spent many of my own volunteer hours trying to get the City of Bellingham and the Port of Bellingham to create a good outcome for the former GP property, known as the Waterfront District. I am deeply concerned that the increase in rail traffic and intensity from current levels to the proposed levels would further cut Bellingham off from the Waterfront District. A frequent sentiment among the citizens and elected leaders of our community is that we wish to re-establish a connection to our waterfront, from which we have been cut off for the past century. Please create a study about the effect of this project on the waterfront redevelopment and the long-term effect on whatever is built on our waterfront.

Thank you,
Frances Badgett

Frances Badgett (#11921)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Cherry Point is already host to BP, and I am concerned about adding additional heavy industry to that part of our county, particularly as we have Cherry Point Herring and other species that rely on the health of our water, soil, and air. Please study the effects of this project on sensitive species and the entire Whatcom ecosystem.

Thank you,
Frances Badgett

Frances Badgett (#11928)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I am disappointed to see that none of your categories above lists global climate change. I am extremely concerned about the cumulative impact of the mining, processing, and shipping of coal from the United States to China, particularly given that Beijing had historically high levels of particulate air pollution just last week. Please study the effects of coal on climate change, and how not only this location, but all five proposed locations (if built) would affect global climate change, ocean acidification, and sea level rise.

Thank you,
Frances Badgett

Frances Badgett (#11933)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I live very close to the train tracks in Bellingham, and I am very concerned about the existing train noise, not to mention the increase in train noise we would experience if this project were to be completed. Please do a study of how the sound would affect the neighborhoods along the tracks, and what kind of negative health effects the increase in sound could create.

Thank you,
Frances Badgett

Frances Barbagallo (#5422)

Date Submitted: 12/27/2012
Location: Deming, WA
Comment:
I am concerned that the promise of new jobs is dominating a thorough study of the impact of the Gateway Pacific Terminal on Whatcom County. It is important that we look at the number of jobs that will be lost, or will never materialize, as a result of the changes in Whatcom County due to increased train traffic, degradation of the environment and to marine shipping from the port at Cherry Point itself. It is commonly known that companies & families choose to locate in Whatcom County because it is an attractive place to live and work – will future employers have the same impetus after a change to include a large coal-based industry? What will be the impact of traffic delays, increased noise and pollution on the local economy? Access to the waterfront will be increasingly difficult and local businesses will suffer as a result. What will be the specific number of jobs created and/or lost? The scoping process needs to include a thorough analysis of the impact, positive and negative, on the job market in Whatcom County.

Frances Barbagallo (#9726)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Deming, wa
Comment:
As requested by Robin Reid, I would also like you to address the impacts of oil, fuel, coal or other pollutant spills on the ecology and economy of northwest coastal Washington. Over the lifetime operation of the GPT, how many oil, fuel, coal and other pollutant spills will occur and what impacts will these spills have on the ecology and economy of this sensitive region? Please provide scenarios that include the effect of the predicted movement of the Cascadia Fault and the effect of resultant tsunamis on vessel oil spills. For each spill, how many wild populations of birds, fish, invertebrates, mammals and other species will be damaged? How will sensitive ecosystems like eelgrass, salt marshes and wetlands be affected?
Jobs are promised with this project, but how many jobs will be lost due to damage to the recreational and fishing economies? It has been reported that a major oil or fuel spill in the Strait of Jan de Fuca would cost 165,000 jobs and $10.8 billion. Please construct scenarios on the impacts of both major and minor spills as well as the scenario of diminished development in the economic sector.

Frances Chapple (#6918)

Date Submitted: 01/12/2013
Location: Salem, OR
Comment:
Transporting open containers of coal through the NATIONAL SCENIC AREA,the Columbia River Gorge, would cause air pollution and be detrimental to both human and natural environments. Cold dust is EXTREMELY detrimental to health. In addition,these very long trains would be passing through towns,such as Salem,contaminating the air and having a very deleterious effect on our health,especially that of people with breathing difficulties. Additionally,how long are we expected to wait at railroad crossings as trains go by ? This would be a very real imposition on the residents of the towns through which the trains pass.

Finally,as every informed person knows,the problems related to climate change are becoming increasingly apparent; exporting coal to be burned in other parts of the would continue to add to global carbon dioxide.

It should be clear to everyone that transporting coal by rail to be exported is an EXTREMELY BAD IDEA and must not be allowed to happen.

Thank you,

Sincerely,

Frances Chapple

Frances DeRook (#6728)

Date Submitted: 01/09/13
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Dear Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Ecology and Whatcom County Council:

I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington and transporting strip-mined coal from Montana and Wyoming on trains and ships throughout the Northwest. The impact of this proposal is regional and global. Please consider the following in particular: the effects of increased rail traffic on local geology, seismic stability of buildings along the railroad tracks, also the effects on local animal species, especially waterfowl and the cherry point herring a fish that is a major food source for salmon. How would the shadows, congestion and noise of ships in particular affects these species? Also, please investigate the potential for serious shipping accidents with their attendant local pollution. 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.

Frances Greenlee (#6145)

Date Submitted: 01/07/2013
Location: Bend, Or
Comment:
I am simply appalled at the potential of shipping coal out of the U.S. It's bad enough we're having to utilize it ourselves.

We are desperately trying to clean up our environment -- not add to the unsustainable carbon dioxide which the burning of coal adds to our health problems and the planet's warming.

We need to be concentrating on reducing this harmful waste not only to our own environment, but not to add to other country's hideous air problems. This will come home to haunt us.

Just because someone wants to export coal, does not mean it should be allowed.

The harmful effects of coal shipment cannot warrant allowing it:
1) air quality problems as a result of burning
2) air and water quality problems as a result of shipment - whether by train or barge:
potential contamination of water and aquatic life -- not IF but WHEN. It is inevitable
there will be spills. Stock-piling and transfer of coal from train/barge to ships will
create unimaginable devastation to the communities affected.
3) Rail shipments mean traffic tie-ups where roads/rails cross.
4) Vegetation, and other living things will be impacted along rail lines -- to say nothing of the impact on terminal locations.
5) The EPA must pay attention to comments made by scientists about the fall-out of toxic materials associated with coal.

The Environmental Assessment program must consider all the environmetal negative effects -- and not be concerned about the fiscal benefit of the bottom line to those wanting to sell this resource.

The affect on all living things must be the highest priority.

Why else have EIS statements?

Frances Greenlee (#8259)

Date Submitted: 01/17/2013
Location: Bend, Or
Comment:
As an Oregonian, and a life-long citizen of the northwest region of our country (82 years old); I have taken great pride in the environmental movement to protect our native land, waters and air. A clean environment means a healthier environment for all living things.

The proposal to now begin to ship coal across the northwest by rail or barge is abhorent to me. We all know how environmentally disastrous coal is: the mining, transporting and burning of it has to be phased out.

The impact of burning coal is affecting our climate. It's bad enough to have it used to produce electricity at the source of the mining. But, outside of producing hideously ugly jobs, we should be phasing it out -- not increasing its use.
Our balance of payments must be resolved in other ways.

The EIS MUST INCLUDE all the negative consequences of coal dust in the air, land, and waters -- including the Pacific bays where it would be loaded on ships.
This so-called resource has been exploited to our detriment -- both in health consequences and climate change. Even in China, the air is so polluted people have to wear masks to breathe.

We must begin to shift our reliance on energy to clean energy sources. . . .this current move to exploit coal must cease -- not be encouraged.

Of the many consequences affecting our lives, coal is worst. And, I emphasize again, that if the true environmental consequences of coal is examined by your agency, any idea of shipping it abroad would be downgraded. Listen to those people who have expertise in the field. . .the biologists -- in particular.

Frances Greenlee (#11324)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Bend, Or
Comment:
I live in Bend, Oregon and have been an Oregon/Northwest resident all of my 82 years.

One of the issues which has not been brought to mind in this discussion of mining and shipping coal from Powder River to the west coast ports is:

WHAT IS THE BENEFIT TO CURRENT AND FUTURE RESIDENTS OF THE U.S -- or other nations bent on using dirty coal?

We really must weigh the benefits vs jobs/income/poor health/environmental damage.

I personally feel that with the threat of climate change due to our unlimited prosecution of energy at all costs, that we are living to regret that decision. . .surely drought, unprecedented forest fires, loss of ice in the polar regions, rising sea levels, and devastating storms should give us pause to continue using coal.

Also, I understand that coal mining was allowed only for consumption in our country -- not to be exported. Even our exportation of coal to Canada is in violation of this code.

We need to be pursuing the cleanest form of energy we can, rather than continuing to depending on the dirtiest form -- from coal, which we all know is detrimental to all living things!

Frances Hannah (#7297)

Date Submitted: 01/11/13
Location: Vancouver, WA
Comment:
Jan 11, 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).

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.

Let's proceed the correct way, carefully!

Sincerely,

Ms. Frances Hannah

Frances Mead (#14099)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
The citizens here in the Pacific Northwest intend for this to become a fossil-free area as soon as possible. Please practice good citizenship and refrain from efforts to force this offensive coal terminal upon this region!!

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.

Frances Troje (#13363)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Bellevue, WA
Comment:
I oppose the Coal Train proposals on many fronts: First: the desecration of the coal extraction sites ... coal should remain underground. Secondly, the extravagant transportation system needed to load, transport, unload and export is sum negative ... same expenditures allocated to education and much-needed existing infrastructure repairs and replacement is a sum positive. Third, wherever it is burned it is a "world pollutant issue" ...
directly harms the communities in China where it is burned with acid rains and air pollutants which is but a fraction of the airstream-spread pollution to neighboring nations ... in fact ... all the way eastbound to Canada and US. Globally - a disaster driven by an entitlement assumed by the already wealthy.

Frances Vanderbeck (#11640)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Comment:
My concern has to do with the vessels coming from the East filled with water. Once it is dumped, it seems to be it could include species that would be harmful to Puget Sound and the Washington coast.

Frances Wade (#12561)

Date Submitted: 01/16/13
Location: Bigfork, MT
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.

Rather than further polluting our world to increase the already obscene profits of the fossil fuel companies at the expense of the general populace, stop the insanity. Stop putting the profit for the few over the protection of the many.

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.

Frances Wilson (#12635)

Date Submitted: 01/20/13
Location: Pasco, 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 consider the pollution that this will cause in the northwest as well as the impact that burning this coal in China will have on the problem of climate change.

Frances Allen Freeman (#10999)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Comment:
There is great risk to the Cherry Point Herring Fishery and also to the proposed development of the waterfront redevelopment project in Bellingham. The intense activity and coal dust fall-out at the Cherry Point terminal will be detrimental to the herring. 10 trains per day in each direction will mean 10 minutes of almost every hour the trains on the tracks along the waterfront, along with the noise will prevent businesses from locating there and people from frequenting the district.

Frances Jean Nelson (#12355)

Date Submitted: 01/21/13
Location: Anacortes , WA
Comment:
My name is Frances Jean Nelson and I live in Anacortes, Washington. I 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,

Signed, Frances Jean Nelson


Note: In the summer of 2011, SSA Marine illegally graded and cleared land without permits on the site for their proposed Gateway Pacific coal terminal at Cherry Point. Both Whatcom County and the U.S. Corps of Engineers required SSA to reach agreement on land disturbances with local Tribes. Five months later, at the time SSA submitted the new GPT application, SSA still had not resolved these outstanding violations. A description, with appendices, of these events can be found here. http://www.coaltrainfacts.org/ssa-land-and-cultural-disturbance

Relevant Documents:

Point Elliot Treaty, http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Point_Elliott

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unpfii/documents/DRIPS_en.pdf

Announcement of the U.S. Support for the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples & Initiatives to Promote the Government-to-Government Relationship & Improve the Lives of Indigenous Peoples, http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/153223.pdf

Information on Cherry Point, http://www.coaltrainfacts.org/lummi-nation-xwechiexen-cherry-point-gathering
Sovereignty and Treaty Protection for the Lummi Nation, http://treatyprotection.org/

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - To unsubscribe from the COAL-WA-SKAGIT-LEADERS list, send any message to: COAL-WA-SKAGIT-LEADERS-signoff-request@LISTS.SIERRACLUB.ORG Check out our Listserv Lists support site for more information: http://www.sierraclub.org/lists/faq.asp To view the Sierra Club List Terms & Conditions, see: http://www.sierraclub.org/lists/terms.asp

I'm nearly 75 and I thought the country was going to wind machines, solar
panels, etc, and really getting into the 'lower our carbon' thing. I thought I could relax in my old age and just enjoy life. I can scarcely believe it that some greedy idiots are open mining coal in Wyoming and Montana and shipping it to China.
Worse yet, these trains go right through my county and will ship out of
Cherry Point, over the site of an Indian burial ground.
I know they don't know the waters between here and the open oceans. Ask
any ferry boat skipper in Washington state or Canada. The chances are good
of having an accident and spilling coal in the Salish Sea.

The number of trains going though our county will just about tie up all
transportation east to west by the time they get to full speed. These
tracks are old and have to be constantly repaired. The bridges are what
really worry me. Most of them are about a hundred years old and will not
take this strain very long.
Are the investors in the strip mines willing to put in a new rail system
from Montana or Wyoming to the point of shipment to insure that their
product gets to Cherry Point? I doubt it.
This is one of the most unpopular ideas yet with people where the coal is
mined all the way cross country to the shipping point. We have
to stop these idiots--right now.

Frances J Nelson

Francie Hansen (#7506)

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

Francine St. Laurent (#8123)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I am a student at Western Washington University and I am concerned about the impact of coal trains running through Bellingham will have on air quality from the site of coal extraction all the way through Bellingham and to Cherry Point. I would like a study to be conducted to determine the amount of coal dust would be generated and dispersed based on the number of coal trains and load capacity proposed, and how that coal dust would affect the greater Bellingham area community, particularly on the elderly and children.

Francis Schilling (#13844)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Comment:
I have had my breath taken quite literally away so many times in my life by the natural beauty of our nation's beautiful mountains, forests and coastlines. No picture, no video, no second hand account and no great numbers of them could prepare one for the grandeur and the sheer immenseness of the beauty and majesty of those places. Those moments and that pristine majesty are priceless! What does it say about a country and its people that they would treat these natural shrines with such cavalier disrespect by allowing their wholesale destruction just to quench the insatiable thirst of outrageous greed?

There is absolutely no justification for destroying more of these natural treasures to obtain and distribute more of a filthy resource that is both sufficiently abundant elsewhere and on its way to irrelevance as we understand more and more about its combustion's destructive effects on our planet. Add to that the waste choked, poisoned streams, oceans and aquifers and the human cost is utterly unacceptable!

Thus, 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.

Frank Backus (#1006)

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

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

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

The project would harm imperiled wildlife species and their designated critical habitats, interfere with recreational and tribal fishing, transform the region with rail congestion, and lead to dramatically increase carbon pollution that drives climate change. Please 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, very strict oversight would be especially essential.

Sincerely,

Frank I Backus
450 NE 100th St Apt 624
Seattle, WA 98125-8028

Frank Bettendorf (#13873)

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


Frank Donahue (#5280)

Date Submitted: 12/20/12
Location: Dallas, OR
Comment:
Transporting coal through the Northwest to coastal ports is a very bad idea for the environment and public health. Every added trip through our countryside and cities will belch diesel smoke and particulates into the air that our citizens breathe. The hazardous effects of diesel emissions are known and recognized, from off-road equipment to school buses, and we don't have the technology to eliminate them. Running trains to western ports will add to the deaths and respiratory illness already happening, with young people being the most at risk. Additional air pollution will be released into the air by every car waiting at a grade crossing for a train to pass.
Then the coal smoke will return to us from the destination countries via the jetstream. Satellite photos show the existing smoke plumes returning to the West Coast. Most of the coal burned by the importing countries won't be subjected to any form of emission control; we'll get the worst of it right back on our continent.
There's an economic argument that the hazards and additional health impacts are outweighed by coal's benefits to commerce and employment. Please focus on this: back in the 60's when the hazardous nature of asbestos became well-known, especially by the company doctors who treated the employee victims, the companies let their bottom lines outweigh the deaths. One corporate baron even said that, since the employees made a good living from mining the asbestos, it wasn't so bad that they died from it also. We have a chance here to avoid the health outcome before the doctors count the additional deaths. Coal will have to go the way of asbestos: a very handy resource for the benefits it achieves, but not worth the deaths it costs. And, like with asbestos, we'll find alternatives not as hazardous, and commerce will continue to benefit--but not before we stop accepting the fatal consequences of the status quo.
Thanks for listening.

Frank Donahue
Dallas, Oregon

frank dwight (#7463)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Comment:
JOB$ JOB$ JOB$ JOB$

Frank Farniss (#3209)

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

frank giannangelo (#2264)

Date Submitted: 11/03/2012
Comment:
The fact that coal cannot be covered, and is allowed to blow coal dust all up and down the railroad lines and into the lungs and the soil of the people living near the tracks is bad enough, but to load it on huge shipping containers and ship it thru the Salish Sea is so overwhelmingly terrible it is hard to imagine the consequences: coal dust blowing off and floating on the water, birds getting it all over them, reaching the shore and blackening the beaches, contaminating fish and spawning areas. ARE YOU INSANE...such SHORT SIGHTEDNESS with the only factor being PROFIT are socially TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE ....what about the CHILDREN AND THE NEXT GENERATION? Isn't there enough danger of collisions without super tankers in the narrow lanes of HARO STRAIGHT AND THE STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA...? And oil spill possibilities increased to more and more traffic? STOP STOP STOP before it is too late. And why on earth are we selling our resources to CHINA?

frank giannangelo (#9712)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: friday harbor, wa
Comment:
I am with them: http://www.sanjuans.org/documents/FSJFinalScopingLetterGPTEIS11820131530.pdf
Attached Files:

Frank Gorecki (#5101)

Date Submitted: 12/18/2012
Location: Olympia, WA
Comment:
My name is Frank Gorecki and I live near Olympia, WA. I am a Boeing Chief Engineer (retired) with a PhD in Engineering and over 30 years experience in the oil and aerospace industries.
Developing nations want low cost energy and coal plays a sizable role in meeting that demand. Given the state of the U.S economy and President Obama’s call for the nation to double its exports, exporting coal has a strategic priority. And the increased rail traffic will create substantial job growth, another area the President has vigoursly endorsed.
Issues surrounding the increase in Northwest coal train traffic include potential impacts on the environment, public health, traffic congestion in railroad communities.
Regarding public health and the environment, the EPA has established clean air regulations which transporting coal and all industries must comply with. Presumably these regulations do provide substantial protections. If that is not the case, then the issue is with the regulations, not those industries that are regulated. Regarding coal dust from the trains, a number of effective coal dust mitigation policies have been developed and Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) has conducted research and tests of various strategies. Results are available on the BNSF website. And of course, it is obvious that using trains to transport coal is far more efficient in terms of CO2 emission versus using trucks again minimizing the environmental impact in the U.S.
The issue of traffic congestion both in railroad communities and the impact on rail service deserves consideration. Mitigations for potentially increased crossing times include building overpasses, developing additional crossings, and repositioning emergency services.
While the environmental review process is necessary and the country is better for it, a balance should be struck between the benefits of job growth and potential risks to the environment.

Frank Greer (#13516)

Date Submitted: 01/21/13
Location: Olga, WA
Comment:
As a resident of the San Juan’s I am very concerned about the Gateway Pacific Terminal and the very serious negative impacts it will have on our region….I fully endorse the comments of my neighbor Don Stillman, which I have attached below…..we urge a very careful and thorough review…..sincerely Franklin Greer


As one who lives in the San Juan’s, I urge that a cumulative assessment scope the possibility of marine accidents and resulting environmental and economic/jobs impacts as ship transits increase in the San Juan’s due to the increased coal tanker traffic resulting from the proposed Gateway Pacific terminal.

In the decade ending in 2005, there were 1,462 accidents and 1,159 incidents reported, according to T. Hass in “The Vessel Traffic Risk Assessment for BP Cherry Point and Maritime Risk Management in Puget Sound.” Currently, there are about 11,000 large vessels and oil barges going through the San Juan’s, including 1,322 oil tankers, each of which carries an average of 30 to 40 million gallons of crude oil.

The proposed traffic from the Gateway terminal will add about 440 ship transits annually at the onset and 950 transits per year at least within a few years (see Alexander Gillespie, “Scoping Suggestions for the Risk of Accidents Associated with Vessel Traffic” cited in this comment.)

I urge you to evaluate the cumulative impacts on vessel impacts from not only the Gateway project, but all of the various port expansion projects through the Salish Sea. If all five of the proposed terminals do go forward, the volume of ship traffic through our Northwest waters would roughly double.

The public repeatedly is reassured by the corporations involved in shipping oil and coal that the possibility of a serious accident/spill is minimal. Yet our experience proves otherwise. The BP Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf and the Exxon Valdez accident in Alaska suggest catastrophic spills are a very real part of the fabric of the energy industry that earns huge profits each year.

It’s instructive to look at less well-known oil spills in the areas through which the coal tanker traffic will travel. The Arco Anchorage in 1985 spilled 239,000 gallons of crude oil off the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Three years later, the barge Nestucca spilled 231,000 gallons of crude oil in the waters near Grays Harbor. In 1991, cargo ship Tuo Hai collided with a fishing vessel spilling 400,000 gallons of heavy oil outside the entrance of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. About 277,000 gallons were spilled into Whatcom Creek in Bellingham after an explosion at the Olympic Pipeline that killed three people. A Foss barge spilled about 4,700 gallons at Point Wells in 2003. The next year, an oil tanker owned by Conoco Phillips called Polar Texas spilled 7,200 gallons of ANS Crude oil during an attempted introduction of ballast water into its oil tanks. (see Gillespie, p. 3).

The Washington Department of Ecology and the Puget Sound Partnership in a 2011 report cited an earlier study (2004) that concluded a major oil spill could cost Washington’s economy 165,000 jobs and some $10.8 billion. These figures now appear to be far too low. As part of the scoping, the issue of what the costs would be of major and minor oil spills in the Salish Sea should be addressed. In addition, the issue of who would bear these costs must be addressed. With both the Exxon Valdez and the BP Deepwater Horizon disasters, very large oil companies did bear some of the costs. In the case of the Gateway terminal, the coal tankers are likely to be registered in places such as Panama and Liberia and are unlikely to have the deep pockets of Exxon or BP to foot some of the bill of an oil spill disaster in the Salish Sea. Would Peabody Coal be required to pay for a marine disaster? Would SSA Marine? Would Goldman Sachs?

Hopefully, your scoping will determine what the burden would be on Washington State taxpayers, and U.S. taxpayers more broadly, if the corporations profiting from the Gateway terminal do not pay for the full costs of clean up and restoration of a marine oil/coal spill and the jobs lossed as a result.

The significance of a marine oil/coal spill resulting from the additional transits of coal tankers made possible by the Gateway terminal is clear. It is also clear that the impact would be permanent and the harm irreparable.

The legal standard for a Major Project Permit is that the project will “not impose uncompensated requirements for public expenditures for additional utilities, facilities, and services, and will not impose uncompensated costs on other property owned.”

Scoping needs to include an examination of such uncompensated public expenditures that would be needed for cleanup/recovery following an oil/coal spill in the Salish Sea involving coal tankers. For example, would taxpayers have to pay for the positioning of clean up barges and other facilities on an ongoing basis to prepare for the likelihood of such a spill.

The scoping should also look at the likelihood of marine accidents and adverse/irreparable impacts as future growth occurs, leading to more shipping through these waters.

It is difficult to determine how to mitigate the adverse consequences of a marine accident leading to an oil/coal spill. No action may be the only course.

A separate study should be conducted on the impact of the Gateway project on tourism in the San Juan’s and elsewhere in the Salish Sea. A marine accident and oil/coal spill would be likely to reduce tourism in the San Juan’s and cost substantial numbers of jobs on my island, Orcas, as well as San Juan, Shaw, Lopez and other islands.

Many of the job losses would occur in lodging, restaurants, and local tourist attractions. The San Juan’s have attracted up to 1.6 million visitors each year and they generate about $117 million per year in San Juan County (Gillespie, p. 13). The San Juan’s regularly appear on various Top Ten places to visit in the U.S. and even the entire world.

The jobs that this generates come in part from high-value eco-tourism such as whale-watching and bird-watching. Tourism and the outdoor industry brings a value of $8.5 billion per year to Washington State, buttressed by 115,000 dependent jobs (Gillespie, p. 13).

The scoping should examine what the impact of the Gateway Project would be on tourism in Washington State, including the significant and likely adverse impacts occurring from oil/coal spills on unique species, such as Orca whales.




Frank Greer

.

Frank James (#7421)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Location: Bellingahm, WA
Comment:
Sir/Ms

I have been the Health Officer for San Juan County for the past 20 years and was the Health Officer for Whatcom County for nearly a decade. I am on the clinical faculty at the University of Washington in the School of Public Health and do research and teaching in public health everyday. I also have a small but active primary care practice in Bellingham as well and also work for a local Native Tribe on prevention research and interventions as well over the past 8 years. All of those experiences make me very concerned about the potential health impacts of the proposed coal terminal and shipping process both by rail and by sea.

As I am sure you are aware the physician community in Bellingham is generally very concerned about the safety issues, noise impacts, coal dust impacts and diesel particulate impacts on our communities health. I am particularly concerned about the impacts of diesel particulate mater (DPM) on the health of youth and elders here. I have reviewed the literature and it is very concerning that the volume of pollution will increase dramatically with the huge increase in rail traffic. For the terminal to function it will require nearly 100 locomotives a day to travel through our community and every community along the rail line in Montana, Idaho, Oregon and Washington.

As you know because of the adverse health impacts of DPM there have been dramatic changes in the car and truck industry and all new vehicles for the past several years have not been allowed to produce ANY DPM. Locomotives have been exempted from these rules and a considerably extended compliance period has been put in place for them. After reviewing the literature it became clear that substantial impacts could occur to populations that live along rail corridors and with such a substantial increase in rail traffic. This increase in DPM exposure could have an equally substantial increase in the many adverse outcomes of DPM exposures that have been shown to occur.

Specifically I believe that the scoping process should include a formal independent Health Risk Appraisal of the possible impacts of DPM and the other issues raised as well (noise impacts, safety impacts and coal dust impacts). This HIA would bring forward the scientific data that would localize and quantify the risks to the communities all along the rail corridor and would be essential for objective decision making on the issuance of permits for the facility. This analysis should specifically measure DPM at distances near the rail line and out for at least one mile all along the line so that the relative impact of proximity to the exposure could be adequately evaluated. The type of analysis of cancer risks near the rail switching yard in Spokane would be an example of the geographic dispersion modeling that would be necessary to fully evaluate this risk. From my point of view even one additional death in our community from these exposures would be difficult to off set with the modest jobs increases and tax revenues that would be generated.

The other concerns that I have are the impact of so many ships on the waters of Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands. I fly to work in San Juans every week and see the many large ships at anchor waiting their turn to go through the very narrow passages in our region. It is critical to assess the risks for an oil spill from one of the coal carrying ships on the ecology and economy of the area. The recent accident at the terminal just north of us in BC shows that these type of accidents are not theoretical but real. The impacts of the dramatic increase in noise for the sea life should also be carefully and fully studied.

Thank you,

Frank James MD

Frank James (#7870)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Location: Bellingahm, WA
Comment:
The following comments follow closely those made by a public health department on a rail line in Canada that is being considered in a similar time frame with the current proposal. The text has been modified to fit our circumstances but many of the arguments have been retained because they are entirely consistent with our situation here in Whatcom County. Please consider the details in this letter because many speak directly to our situation.

Frank James MD
360 201-2505
.
. Health Impacts of Diesel Exhaust 


. Diesel exhaust is a complex mixture of particles and gases. This product would be generated both by the ships taking coal away from the terminal and by locomotives bring products to the terminal. It contains several hundred different organic and inorganic components, including many substances that have been designated as toxic chemicals. While the specific components of diesel exhaust depend on factors such as the age and type of diesel vehicle, many of the constituents of diesel exhaust, such as particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, and air toxics, are common to all diesel vehicles and are similar to those emitted from other vehicles. 
Emissions from both diesel and gasoline vehicles contribute to air pollution that already exists in our area. Some pollutants such as nitrogen oxides also contribute to formation of smog. The baseline health impacts of current pollution levels from the combustion of diesel have been reviewed recently and show that there are already significant impacts to the public’s health. 
Compared to emissions from gasoline vehicles, diesel exhaust is thought to be particularly harmful to health. Some of the scientific information available about diesel exhaust describes the impacts of the mixture as a whole. Other evidence addresses the health impacts of individual components of the exhaust mixture.

Diesel Exhaust as a Whole Mixture

There is increasing evidence that diesel emissions are associated with the development of cancer, particularly lung cancer. The International Agency for Research on Cancer classified it as a probable carcinogen in humans, the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) concluded that lung cancer is included in the health risks from exposure to diesel exhaust, and the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) concluded that diesel exhaust is a potential human carcinogen. A 2009 review by WA State Dept of Ecology concluded that diesel exhaust likely contributes to the burden of cancer in our region.

While the evidence supporting a link between diesel exhaust and cancer is most clear for lung cancer, some studies also suggest that diesel exhaust could be linked to other types of cancer. For example, a study in Finland found that occupational exposures to diesel exhaust were associated with ovarian cancer.

A review conducted by the US EPA concluded that health risks from exposure to diesel exhaust also include acute exposure-related symptoms and chronic exposure-related non-cancer respiratory effects. For example, short-term exposures to diesel exhaust are associated with irritation and inflammation of the eye, nose, and throat. A 2009 review of non-cancer effects suggests that exposure to diesel exhaust may also worsen allergies. Chronic exposures to diesel exhaust are strongly linked with lung injury in animal studies, and the U.S. EPA concluded that diesel exhaust poses a risk to respiratory health for humans.

Diesel Particulate Matter (DPM)

Diesel engines emit two sizes of particles – fine particles (PM2.5), which are those less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter, and ultrafine particles (PM0.1) which are those less than a millionth of a meter in diameter. A variety of substances can become attached to the exterior of the particles, including air toxics and metals that are both linked to health outcomes such as cancer. These substances are then inhaled into the lung along with the particles.

Until recently, most research focused on the health impacts of PM2.5. PM2.5 is a common air pollutant that contributes to smog. These small particles can be respired deep into the human lung, causing lung irritation in healthy people, and exacerbating asthma and other respiratory illnesses in at-risk groups such as children, the elderly and those with pre- existing illness. Strong evidence links PM2.5 to cardiovascular and respiratory mortality and morbidity. Recent epidemiological evidence also suggests an association between exposure to smog pollutants such as fine particles, and increased mortality from lung cancer.

There is also increasing concern about the smallest particles in diesel emissions, the “ultrafine” PM0.1. Ultrafines make up 50-90% of the particles in diesel exhaust.
Preliminary evidence suggests that these extremely small particles may be associated with many of the same type of health effects as larger particles. However, they seem to cause more inflammation and damage in the lungs than larger particles with the same chemical makeup. As well, because they are so small, they can easily move out of the lung and enter the bloodstream. This allows them to move to other parts of the body. Animal research suggests that these particles are able to move across important tissue barriers in the body, entering areas such as the brain and reproductive organs. The implications of this for human health are not yet well understood.

Individual Air Toxics in Diesel

While hundreds of different air toxics may be present in the gas phase of diesel exhaust, some of the most commonly identified are formaldehyde, benzene, 1,3-butadiene, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs):

• Formaldehyde is carcinogenic to humans. It is also a highly reactive substance that can be irritating to the nose, eyes, skin, throat and lungs at fairly low levels of chronic exposure.
• Benzene is considered to be carcinogenic to humans. Chronic exposure to benzene leads primarily to disorders of the blood.
• 1,3-Butadiene is linked to cancers of the blood and lymph systems, including leukemia. It has also been linked to disorders of the heart, blood and lungs, and to reproductive and developmental effects.
• Some PAH are carcinogenic to humans. Because this group of compounds covers a wide range of physical-chemical properties, some PAH are found in air on particles while others are gaseous. PAH of both forms may be deposited in the lung
Vulnerable groups who are especially at risk from traffic-related air pollution include children, pregnant women, and the elderly. Research suggests that people who work outdoors or exercise near areas of high traffic density are also at increased risk for the health effects of air pollution from vehicles.

• 
Health Impacts of Residential Proximity to Transportation Corridors 
and Hubs 


• There is substantial evidence that shows that people living or working close to high- traffic areas experience more adverse effects than people who are further away. The combustion of gasoline or diesel fuel in the engines of cars, trucks, trains and/or ships is a significant source of pollution in high traffic areas. Numerous recent studies have shown that those who live near busy transportation corridors and hubs (e.g., major highways, rail yards and ports) are at significantly greater risk of adverse health impacts than the general population. The health impacts observed include increased prevalence and severity of asthma and other respiratory diseases, diminished lung function, adverse birth outcomes, childhood cancer, and increased mortality. Those who live near major regional transportation routes can be identified as a highly susceptible population, subject to adverse health effects from transportation-related pollution.

Studies of the health impacts of living close to highways, rail yards and ports can be used to suggest potential health impacts from a busy diesel rail line. However, direct comparisons cannot be made, due to differences in engine types, operating conditions and traffic volumes. For example, rail yards experience constant locomotive activity, while rail lines experience locomotive activity every few minutes, and the daily volumes and emissions profiles of automobile and truck traffic on a highway are very different from what is expected of a rail corridor.
For highways, evidence indicates that residential proximity to traffic can be associated with the adverse health effects described above. Steep concentration gradients for several traffic-related pollutants may exist near highways. The results of these gradients are that adverse health impacts are found at distances up to 200 m, but generally not more. A second important factor controlling traffic exposure, and hence, adverse health impacts is traffic density. Adverse effects have been reported for highway traffic densities as low as 5,500-9,000 vehicles/day. Effects are more serious and more frequently reported at greater traffic densities, and have not been reported at lower traffic densities.

The California Air Resources Board has completed health risk assessments of the PM component of diesel exhaust from several rail yards. Rail yards experience constant locomotive activity from moderately high numbers of visiting locomotives (e.g., >30,000/year at the J.R. Davis Yard in Roseville), each spending 10 hours or more at the railyard27. Locomotive operations at the J.R. Davis Yard in Roseville emitted an estimated 23 tonnes of diesel PM in 2000, approximately 50% from moving locomotives, 45% from idling and 5% from testing. Emission factors used to estimate PM emissions range from 0.14 to 9.12 g/bhp-hr, indicating a wide range of engine technologies and operating conditions. Health impacts resulting from these emissions were predicted for the entire greater Roseville area. Based on these results, the California Air Resources Board determined that both long and short-term mitigation measures were needed to reduce diesel PM emissions from the Yard.
Air Quality Assessment –Using air dispersion modeling to estimate the changes in air concentrations under the proposed project of selected diesel exhaust components. It could be used to establish existing ambient air quality, predict future local air quality and predict future regional air quality. These studies could also compare the predicted air concentrations to applicable government air quality standards. The chemicals to be assessed are:

• Combustion gases – carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide;
• Particulate matter – respirable (PM2.5) and inhalable (PM10);
• Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) – formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, 1,3- 
butadiene, benzene and acrolein;
• Total polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs); and
• Greenhouse gases – carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide.

• 
Human Health Risk Assessment

It will be essential to complete a human health risk assessment, using modeling results to predict human exposure and the resulting health risks. Two scenarios should be evaluated: 1) Future No Build, which will evaluate the potential health impacts related to air quality in the future in the absence of the proposed project; and 2) Future Build, which will evaluate the potential health impacts related to air quality in the future assuming that the proposed project goes forward. Over 100 receptor locations corresponding to some of the parks, schools, child care centers, hospitals, long term care homes and private residences that are located closest to the rail line should be evaluated through modeling. The principal exposure pathway to be evaluated is inhalation. Skin contact and ingestion exposures to particles deposited on soil should also be considered. The assessment should evaluate the hazard associated with both acute and chronic exposure durations.

Cancer and non-cancer risks should be evaluated. We recommend three additional studies:

1. Estimate particulate deposition to soil, and that skin contact and ingestion exposures to these particulates can be evaluated. Both rural and urban gardening and active recreation occur adjacent to the rail line. Given the social and health benefits of gardening and play activities in parks, backyards and other green spaces, it is important that potential exposures associated with these activities be assessed. Many outdoor activities can result in skin contact with contaminated soil. Contaminated soil may also be incidentally ingested, or food grown in contaminated soil may become contaminated and be consumed.

2. Undertake an ultrafine particulate matter (PM0.1) monitoring program to characterize dispersion into adjacent neighborhoods, and model future PM0.1 levels in the local airsheds. Diesel exhaust is a known source of PM0.1, but it is not clear how far into adjacent neighborhoods ultrafine particles will disperse; therefore, it is important to develop baseline information on PM0.1. The health effects of PM0.1 are not well understood, but the scientific community has expressed concern over the potential health impacts of PM0.1, and scientific knowledge is rapidly evolving.

3. A risk assessment should evaluate diesel exhaust both as a whole mixture and as the sum of the individual components listed above. The data available to support each type of evaluation are different, and the final evaluations have different strengths. Diesel has been evaluated as a whole mixture in epidemiological and occupational exposure studies. These studies capture any synergistic effects of the diesel exhaust mixture that might not be predicted based on the toxicological characterization of the individual components of diesel exhaust. However, it can be very difficult to derive a reliable estimate of toxicity from these studies. Assessments of diesel exhaust as a whole tend to examine only the critical effect that occurs at the lowest diesel exhaust exposure levels (i.e., lung cancer). Many of the components of diesel exhaust are toxic by themselves. The toxicities of these compounds and classes of compounds have been characterized individually, and these characterizations can be applied to the assessment of diesel exhaust. This strategy enables the assessor to examine more of the many effects of the diesel exhaust mixture, but it assumes that synergistic effects are not present and does not address every component of diesel exhaust.

Any air quality assessment should provide essential predictions of air quality with future expansion in train use. The risk assessments will integrate those data with toxicological information to predict adverse health effects. The results of quantitative risk assessments, as being undertaken are essential; however, risk assessments address only a narrow portion of the spectrum of health impacts associated with a project. Quantitative risk assessments are not designed to consider either the negative or the beneficial impacts on the determinants of health of a proposed project, nor do they address the distribution of those impacts. Health impact assessments are designed to address these issues. Health impact assessment should also involve the community in the process of achieving a more equitable distribution of positive and negative impacts through mitigation measures.

Predicted Air-related Health Effects of the Proposed Project

The planned increase in rail and ship traffic will burden local residents with some degree of adverse health impacts. The summary results of the human health risk assessment commissioned should indicate that acute and chronic non- cancer risks are predicted for both the baseline and cumulative future build scenarios from exposures to nitrogen oxides and VOC (specifically acrolein). An enhanced risk of cancer is predicted from the project-related emissions of another VOC (1,3-butadiene).

These health impacts will be an additional stressor to communities already burdened with a greater than average prevalence of ill health in many of the communities along the rail line. The emissions and local air quality impacts of the proposed project should be minimized using all reasonable means.

Health Impact Assessment

The World Health Organization describes health impact assessment (HIA) as “a combination of procedures, methods and tools by which a policy, program or project may be judged as to its potential effects on the health of a population, and the distribution of these effects within the population.” Health impact assessment considers how a proposal or policy might affect determinants of health in order to assess the likely impact on the well-being of people. This tool has been used to review proposed projects in the transportation and other sectors.

Health impact assessment can be used to predict the health impacts of a project and the distribution of impacts. Based on these predictions, the health impact assessment can inform or influence the decision-making process, and mitigate any health impacts. The process can also provide an opportunity for affected stakeholders to contribute to the assessment, and to make recommendations that will enhance a proposal.

We recommend that in addition to the quantitative risk assessment underway, the proponent complete a health impact assessment of the proposed project in consultation with the Health Officers of impacted counties including at a minimum San Juan, King, Skagit, Snohomish, Thurston and Whatcom as well as the Tribes impacted by the project, at a minimum Lummi and Nooksack. Health impact assessment works best when there is sufficient time to perform the assessment well, when multiple disciplines are involved, and if various options to be compared have been developed.

Health Protective Practices for Urban Rail Lines

There are various practices that the proponent and its partners could implement for this project that would increase fuel efficiency and/or reduce emissions. These practices would have the effect of reducing the public health impact of the proposed project. The most health protective option is electrification. Many of these issues apply equally to ports and ship traffic as well as to locomotives and trains.

Electrification – Electrification of the line would eliminate the diesel exhaust emissions associated with current ship and train traffic on the corridor. Electric trains and wind powered ships do not produce any direct emissions. However, the emissions associated with generating electricity to run electric trains do have the potential to cause adverse health impacts in the communities downwind of the power plants that generate electricity. Green energy sources, such as wind and solar power, would not create potential downwind health impacts. In addition to not producing direct emissions, electric trains tend to be more efficient than diesel and have the potential for much greater speed. These attributes can make electric trains more suitable than diesel for high-speed commuter service but not likely for freight. However, there are significant additional infrastructure, safety and planning requirements involved in electrifying a rail line.

Electrification is not currently part of neither the BNSF plan no the shipping companies are considering wind powered ships.

Until such time as electrification or wind powered freighters are in place, the following good practices can be applied for the protection of public health.

Hybrid locomotives/ships – The on-board rechargeable energy storage systems of hybrid locomotives store excess energy from the diesel engine and energy from regenerative braking. The stored energy is used to boost the power from the diesel engine during acceleration. This reduces energy consumption as well as emissions of diesel exhaust. The cycle of braking, idling and acceleration of trains at each stop can be inefficient and highly polluting. On-board rechargeable energy storage systems can mitigate some of the inefficiency and emissions associated with every station stop by storing the kinetic energy that would otherwise be lost with braking, and using it to supplement the diesel engine so that it does not have to operate at a high throttle to achieve acceleration.

Emission control technologies – Various emission control technologies can be applied to diesel locomotives and ships to control emissions of individual components of diesel exhaust. Some of these technologies can result in decreased fuel efficiency and/or increased emissions of another exhaust component, and they must be carefully selected. The US EPA’s Tier 2 and 3 emission standards for line-haul locomotives represent currently available technologies to reduce PM and nitrogen oxides emissions. The US EPA’s more stringent and health protective Tier 4 emission standards represent state of the art emissions reduction technologies that must be in use on all new line-haul locomotives in the US by 2015. Adoption of Tier 4 technologies requires the use of ultra low-sulphur diesel fuel (ULSD, 15 ppm).

Idling control – Avoidance of unnecessary idling of locomotives and ships along the corridor reduces fuel consumption and diesel exhaust emissions. Idling control benefits the rail operator because it results in fuel savings. In addition to the general fuel savings and emissions reductions, avoidance of prolonged idling prevents the creation of localized areas of highly concentrated air pollution. Automatic Engine Stop/Start Systems shut the locomotive down after no more than 30 continuous minutes of idling. These systems are required on all new or remanufactured locomotives in the US. In addition, EPA expects rail operators to develop appropriate policies detailing when it is acceptable to idle a locomotive to heat or cool the cab. Shore based electrical lines for all ships are currently required, but only if the ships already have them in place, consideration should be given to requiring only ships that are so equipped to be allowed to utilize the docks in these protected marine waters.

Ultra low-sulphur diesel – The use of ultra low-sulphur diesel (ULSD, 15 ppm) reduces emissions of sulphur oxides and PM. Controlling the fuel quality is the primary means by which sulphur oxide emissions from locomotives are reduced.

Regular track and locomotive maintenance – Regular maintenance of the track and locomotives has the potential to increase fuel efficiency and thereby reduce emissions. Regular upkeep on tracks may include assessment and maintenance of the alignment, gauge and curvature of the track. For locomotives, emission-related maintenance includes regular replacement of fuel injectors and air filters, and frequent inspection of other emission-related components to ensure proper functioning. Any maintenance that is reasonably expected to adversely affect the emissions performance of the locomotive should not be performed.

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Metrolinx. 2009a. GSSE/UPRL Draft Environmental Project Report Part 1. Available on-line at: http://metrolinx-consult.limehouse.com/portal/gsse/gsseuprl_depr1. Posted April 15, 2009.
Parent ME, Rousseau MC, Boffetta P, Cohen A, Siemiatycki J. 2007. Exposure to diesel and gasoline engine emissions and the risk of lung cancer. Am J Epidemiol 165:53-62.
International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). 1989. Diesel and Gasoline Engine Exhausts . Summaries and Evaluations. http://www.inchem.org/documents/iarc/vol46/46-01.html.
US EPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency). 2002. Health Assessment Document for Diesel Exhaust. Office of Research and Development Washington, DC. EPA/600/8-90/057F.
NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health). 1998. Current Intelligence Bulletin 50: Carcinogenic Effects of Diesel Exhaust. Available from http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/88116_50.html
TPH (Toronto Public Health). 2002a. Estimated Human Health Risk from Exposure to Diesel Exhaust in Toronto
Guo J, Kauppinen T, Kyyronen P, Heikkila P, Lindbohm M and Pukkala E. 2004. Risk of esophageal, ovarian, testicular, kidney and bladder cancers and leukemia among Finnish workers exposed to diesel or gasoline engine exhaust. Int J Cancer 111:286-292.
Ris C. 2007. U.S. EPA Health Assessment for Diesel Engine Exhaust: A Review. Inhalation Toxicology 19 (Suppl 1):229-239
Hesterberg T.W., Long C.M., Bunn, W.B. 3rd, Sax S.N., Lapin C.A. and Valberg P.A. 2009. Non-cancer health effects of diesel exhaust: A critical assessment of recent human and animal toxicological literature. Crit. Rev. Tox. 39(3): 195-227.
Pope C.A. III, Burnett R.T., Thun M.J., Calle E.E., Krewski D., Ito K., et al. 2002. Lung cancer, cardiopulmonary mortality and long-term exposure to fine particulate air pollution. JAMA 287:1132-1141.
Boothe V.L. and Shendell D.G. 2008. Potential health effects associated with residential proximity to freeways and primary roads; review of scientific literature, 1999- 2006. Journal of Environmental Health 70(8): 33-41.
Brugge D., Durant J.L. and Rioux C. 2007. Near-highway pollutants in motor vehicle exhaust: a review of epidemiologic evidence of cardiac and pulmonary health risks. Environmental Health 6(23).
Hand R., Di P., Servin A., Hunsaker L and Suer C. 2004. Roseville Rail Yard Study. State of California Air Resources Board. Available on-line at: http://www.arb.ca.gov/railyard/hra/hra.htm.
Eggleton P. 2003. Technology to Meet EPA Locomotive Emissions Standards without Fuel Penalties. Prepared for the Transportation Development Centre and co-sponsored by the Program of Energy Research and Development (PERD) of Natural Resources Canada (NRCan).
US EPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency). 2008. Control of Emissions of Air Pollution From Locomotive Engines and Marine Compression-Ignition Engines Less Than 30 Liters per Cylinder; Republican; Final Rule. Federal Register 73(126). June 30, 2008.
US EPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency). 1999. Technical Highlights: Requirements for Railroads Regarding Locomotive Emission Standards. EPA420-F-99-036. September 1999.
Attached Files:

Frank James (#8734)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Comment:
In modeling the costs and benefits of this project it is important to consider the true cost of the coal being sent to China, that is to model not the subsidized cost but the cost based on the value in Asia, rather than the artificially low costs currently being paid. See the concerns raise by western legislators in recent weeks about this issue.

"Paying higher royalties, typically 12.5 percent of the coal price, could put a significant dent in profits. A ton of coal from Montana and Wyoming's Powder River Basin runs about from $10 to $15. The price in Asia can top $100."

By Patrick Rucker
WASHINGTON | Tue Dec 4, 2012 9:43am EST
(Reuters) - U.S. miners who are booking big profits on coal sales to Asia are enjoying an accounting windfall to boot.

By valuing coal at low domestic prices rather than the much higher price fetched overseas, coal producers can dodge the larger royalty payout when mining federal land.

The practice stands to pad the bottom line for the mining sector if Asian exports surge in coming years as the industry hopes, a Reuters investigation has found.

Current and former regulators say their supervisory work has lagged the mining industry as it eyed markets across the Pacific. They say they will now give the royalty question a close look.

"We are committed to collecting every dollar due," said Patrick Etchart, spokesman for the Office of Natural Resources Revenue, which collects federal royalties.

At issue is the black rock pulled from the coal-rich Powder River Basin in Wyoming and Montana. Miners there say they abide by the letter of royalty rules that call for the government to get a 12.5 percent cut on coal sold under federal lease.

The question is: At what point is that coal valued?

Most Powder River Basin coal is sold domestically, where prices have been depressed by a glut of natural gas and regulations meant to curb pollution.

But Asian economies rely on coal to sustain growth, so the ton worth about $13 near the Powder River Basin mines last year fetched roughly 10 times that in China.

After deducting costs like shipping by sea and rail, that ton of Powder River Basin coal sold in China last year would have returned about $30 to the miners, several industry analysts estimate.

Luther Lu, director at China-based Fenwei Energy Consulting, said the figure was closer to half that, with miners up against other costs that would have cut into their margin.

Whatever the take-home for miners, several royalty experts said, the taxpayer is due a share of the final sale price overseas.

Powder River Basin mining companies disagree and say that they are right to pay out royalties at the low domestic prices.

"If you look at the regulations, we are not required to do a net-back," said Karla Kimrey, a spokeswoman for Cloud Peak Energy (CLD.N), referring to the return on Asian sales. The taxpayers' bite would be based on that number.

The rules that govern Powder River Basin sales to Asia deserve a more rigorous review, and short royalty payments will not be tolerated, Etchart said.

The royalties question will remain an important one as Asian coal exports look set to expand and the United States faces a fiscal crisis.

"How do you justify paying royalties at anything less than the true value, particularly in these times of tight budgets?" said Autumn Hanna of the nonpartisan Taxpayers for Common Sense.

$100 MILLION SHORT?

Mining companies declined to explain how they book Asian coal sales, and their securities filings give only a partial picture of how miners operate in volatile energy markets.

Industry and publicly available data, though, indicates that taxpayers stand to lose out.

Paying royalties calculated on the net-back formula for Asian exports from Wyoming and Montana rather than on the benchmark domestic price would have yielded around $40 million in additional revenue for the government last year alone, according to data from Goldman Sachs and other analysts, and figures from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Extended to the last few years of increased Asian demand, that total could exceed $100 million in forgone royalties. The sum could balloon into billions of dollars if mining giants are allowed to ship 150 million tons of coal a year or more through the Pacific Northwest, as the industry wants.

Of course, if the companies are more profitable because of lower royalty payments, they may well be paying more in corporate taxes, though some experts dispute the point.

"A certain $1 collected on royalties is worth more than the unsure tax take," said Tom Sanzillo, a former deputy comptroller for New York state who has studied the economics of coal exports with the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis.

For now, the debate over exports from the Powder River Basin is of limited scope: Less than 4 percent of the roughly 476 million tons of coal produced in Wyoming and Montana was exported last year, according to the EIA. Three-quarters of U.S. coal exports are bound for Europe or other non-Asian ports, much of that from private, not federal lands, in the Appalachian region.

But Asian economies such as India and China cannot grow without abundant electricity, and that demand has opened a window for a U.S. coal sector long focused on delivering domestic power.

'EXPORTS WERE NOT ON THE RADAR'

Several large coal companies mine the Powder River Basin - a high, grassy plain in eastern Montana and Wyoming. Cloud Peak exclusively works that terrain, which is chiefly on federal land. The company was in a position to save tens of millions of dollars in recent years by their reading of royalty rules.

Less than 5 percent of Cloud Peak coal was shipped to Asia last year, but that accounted for nearly 19 percent of total revenue, or about $290 million. A year earlier, Asian sales were only 3.4 percent of the total volume but 12 percent of revenue.

Cloud Peak, Peabody Energy (BTU.N) and Arch Coal (ACI.N) all declined to explain how they book their Asia business, but a large share of Powder River Basin sales passes through traders.

Sales to brokers and traders are allowed, but royalty rules assume that those buyers' economic interest is opposite to miners'. Sales to in-house or affiliated traders are due more scrutiny under the law.

"We are familiar with the rules around both arms-length and non-arms-length transaction and fully comply with both," said Vic Svec, a Peabody Energy (BTU.N) spokesman, referring to the principle that is supposed to guide such sales.

Arch Coal (ACI.N) declined to comment on their trading business, and Cloud Peak said it faces frequent audits from state and federal officials to make sure they follow the rules.

"In my neighborhood, I don't stop at every block. I could. But that's not where the stop signs are," said Cloud Peak spokeswoman Karla Kimrey. "You can say you don't like the regulations, but we play by the rules."

Former and current officials said the government has been slow to understand the power of foreign markets or protect the taxpayer's stake in those lucrative sales.

"Exports were simply not on the radar," said Bob Abbey, who in May stepped down as head of the Bureau of Land Management, the agency that grants federal coal leases.

A PRECEDENT IN GAS

While the industry says it is acting above-board, outside lawyers point to a natural gas precedent that they say further indicates the issue is far from settled.

In the late 1970s, Marathon Oil Corp used a similar accounting system to settle royalties on natural gas that was produced in Alaska but sold to Japan.

A federal court eventually told Marathon to pay out royalties based on the overseas value. Officials leveled a $10 million fine against Marathon.

Peter Appel, a former Justice Department attorney, said the case shows that officials expect taxpayers to get a taste of the true gains on exported fuel.

"This ruling should give officials confidence to give a hard look at coal sales," said Appel, who prosecuted cases for the DOJ's Environment and Natural Resources Division and teaches at the University of Georgia School of Law.

(Reporting by Patrick Rucker; editing by Jonathan Leff and Prudence Crowther)

Frank James (#9677)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Comment:
Please respect Native Rights in the area.

FIRST NATIONS OF THE SALISH SEA AND SALMON
In 1855-56, Territorial Gov. Isaac Stevens negotiated a series of treaties with Indian tribes in what is now Western Washington. Treaties are legally binding contracts and are the supreme law of the land under the United States Constitution.

The federal government recognized the tribes as sovereign nations and the rightful owners of all the land in the region. Tribes agreed to give up the land but reserved certain rights to ensure their cultures would survive. Among them were the rights to fish, hunt and gather shellfish, among other activities. In western Washington, 20 tribes were signatories to the so-called Stevens Treaties.

Those rights were forgotten in the years that followed as the state of Washington took control of salmon harvests and systematically denied the tribes the ability to exercise their treaty reserved rights. Only after years of protests and civil disobedience by the tribes were their treaty rights acknowledged by federal courts.

The 1974 ruling in U.S. v. Washington (the Boldt Decision) re-affirmed the rights reserved by the tribes in the original treaties and established the tribes as co-managers of the salmon resource with the state. Subsequent federal court rulings have upheld tribal shellfish harvest rights and the tribal environmental right to protection and restoration of salmon habitat.
Treaty negotiations of Treaty of Point Elliott, Treaty of Point No Point, Treaty of Neah Bay, Treaty of Olympia, Treaty of Medicine Creek, have established specific treaty right for US Coastal tribes.

The TREATY WITH THE DWAMISH, SUQUAMISH, ETC., 1855 (Jan. 22, 1855 12 Stat. 927. Ratified Mar. 8, 1859. Proclaimed Apr. 11, 1859) Articles of agreement and convention made and concluded at Múúcklte-óóh, or Point Elliott, in the Territory of Washington, this twenty-second day of January, eighteen hundred and fifty-five, by Isaac I. Stevens, governor and superintendent of Indian affairs for the said Territory, on the part of the United States, and the undersigned chiefs, head-men and delegates of the Dwáámish, Suquáámish, Sk-tááhlmish, Sam-ááhmish, Smalh-kamish, Skope-ááhmish, St-kááh-mish, Snoquáálmoo, Skai-wha-mish, N’’ Quentl-máá-mish, Sk-tááh-le-jum, Stoluck-wháá-mish, Shaho-mish, Skáágit, Kik-i-áállus, Swin-áá-mish, Squin-ááh-mish, Sah- ku-mééhu, Noo-wháá-ha, Nook-wa-chááh-mish, Mee-séée-qua-quilch, Cho-bah-ááh-bish, and other allied and subordinate tribes and bands of Indians occupying certain lands situated in said Territory of Washington, on behalf of said tribes, and duly authorized by them.

TREATY WITH THE S’’KLALLAM, 1855. Jan. 26, 1855. 12 Stats., 933. Ratified Mar. 8, 1859. Proclaimed Apr. 29, 1859. Articles of agreement and convention made and concluded at Hahdskus, or Point no Point,Suquamish Head, in the Territory of Washington, this twenty-sixth day of January, eighteen hundred and fifty-five, by Isaac I. Stevens, governor and superintendent of Indian affairs for the said Territory, on the part of the United States, and the undersigned chiefs, headmen, and delegates of the different villages of the S’’Klallams, viz: Kah-tai, Squah-quaihtl, Tch-queen,Ste-tehtlum, Tsohkw, Yennis, Elh-wa, Pishtst, Hunnint, Klat-la-wash, and Oke-ho, and also of the Sko-ko-mish, To-an-hooch, and Chem-a-kum tribes, occupying certain lands on the Straits of Fuca and Hood’’s Canal, in the Territory of Washington, on behalf of said tribes, and duly authorized by them.

TREATY WITH THE MAKAH, 1855. Jan. 31, 1855. 12 Stat., 939. Ratified Mar. 8, 1859. Proclaimed Apr. 18, 1859. Articles of agreement and convention, made and concluded at Neah Bay, in the Territory of Washington, this thirty-first day of January, in the year eighteen hundred and fifty-five, by Isaac I. Stevens, governor and superintendent of Indian affairs for the said Territory, on the part of the United States, and the undersigned chiefs, head-men, and delegates of the several villages of the Makah tribe of Indians, viz: Neah Waatch, Tsoo-Yess, and Osett, occupying the country around Cape Classett or Flattery, on behalf of the said tribe and duly authorized by the same.

TREATY WITH THE NISQUALLI, PUYALLUP, ETC., 1854.
Dec. 26, 1854. 10 Stat., 1132. Ratified Mar. 3, 1855. Proclaimed Apr. 10, 1855. Articles of agreement and convention made and concluded on the She-nah-nam, or Medicine Creek, in the Territory of Washington, this twenty-sixth day of December, in the year one thousand eight hundred and fifty-four, by Isaac I. Stevens, governor and superintendent of Indian affairs of the said Territory, on as sovereign nations, the 20 treaty Indian tribes in western Washington signed treaties with the United States in 1855-56, thus reserving their rights to harvest salmon and other natural resources. For those rights to have meaning there must be salmon to harvest. If salmon are to survive, and if Treaty Rights are to be honored, there must be real gains in habitat protection and restoration. Habitat is the key to salmon recovery, protection of treaty rights and ensuring that salmon will be there for future generations, both Natives and non-native alike.

Some species of salmon from Washington State, including from the Salish Sea area, migrate thousands of miles north in nutrient-rich currents, driven north along the west coast of Canada and Southeast Alaska, to reach the biologically rich waters of the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea. Investigation must occur as to potential affect on any of this wide-ranging habitat adjacent to or potentially implicated by vessel traffic occasioned by GPT.

Recent research has concluded that pocket beaches surrounding the San Juans have the highest rate of wild juvenile Chinook salmon presence of any shoreline type in San Juan County, approximately four times greater than that for rocky shorelines.4 Juvenile Chinook salmon, which are listed as threatened under the Federal Endangered Species Act, are not only most likely to be found near pocket beaches, but are also more likely to be found there in greater numbers.5 Likewise, surf smelt are much more likely to be found along pocket beaches than rocky shorelines. The San Juans have documented 59 forage fish spawning sites that extend along only 11 miles of the more than 400 miles of shoreline in San Juan County. In addition eelgrass, a priority species and habitat listed along with surf smelt spawning beaches under the County’s Critical Areas Ordinance is present throughout the San Juans. Due to such factors, the San Juans have a relatively pristine shoreline and have received over 10 million dollars of federal salmon enhancement dollars since 2001 and the islands have been designated as a top priority for protection and restoration.

An accident involving a coal spill or a coal ship/oil tanker collision involving a spill of one or both cargoes could have long ranging and far reaching implications for the system that brings us salmon and must be fully discussed. Daily persistent pollution, at an increased rate and including new elements precipitated by a new coal port, might be just as devastating, but will take longer to show. These too must be fully considered.

the part of the United States, and the undersigned chiefs, head-men, and delegates of the Nisqually, Puyallup, Steilacoom, Squawskin, S’’Homamish,Stehchass, T’’ Peek-sin, Squi-aitl, and Sa-heh-wamish tribes and bands of Indians, occupying the lands lying round the head of Puget’’s Sound and the adjacent inlets, who, for the purpose of this treaty, are to be regarded as one nation, on behalf of said tribes and bands, and duly authorized by them.

Direct Impacts to Tribal Fishing

This project would cause direct impacts to Tribal fishing opportunities due to the increase in shipping traffic through the tribes usual and accustomed fishing areas. The scope of the EIS must fully include an analysis of these impacts. Fishermen are unable to fish in the path of the shipping vessels due the risk of accidents. Once fishing nets are set, fishing vessels have little ability to move out of the way of the large cargo vessels which also have little maneuvering ability.

Tribal fishermen are already severely impacted by the loss of fishing opportunity due to the current level of shipping traffic, impacts from docks, piers, anchorage areas, pilings, buoys and other obstacles interfering with a fisherman’s ability to fish. Tribal fishing gear is damaged every year due to vessels running over nets and/or pot lines. Damaging fishing nets causes the fisherman to lose valuable fishing opportunities until the net can be repaired or replaced. Ships running over crab and shrimp pot lines can cut through the lines. Once the lines are cut, the fishermen are unable to retrieve their gear causing them to miss fishing opportunities until the pots can be replaced.
To make things worse, those pots continue to capture and kill shellfish for several years or until the gear can be recovered through the derelict gear program currently managed by the Northwest Straits Commission. The loss of fishing opportunity is a direct violation of the tribe’s right to fish under the Treaty of Point Elliott and cannot be permitted without specific and express consent of Congress (Muckleshoot vs. Hall 698 F. Supp. 1504, (W.D.1988).

TRIBAL BURIAL GROUNDS

The proposed project would directly impact a known burial site for the Lummi Tribe. This site had been used as a cemetery for the tribe for thousands of years. This site must be protected. The burial site must not be disturbed by allowing any construction activities over or adjacent to the site. For the tribes, allowing this cemetery to be used as an industrial site is comparable to allowing the Arlington National Cemetery to be developed as an industrial site. Hundreds or thousands of graves are likely to be located there. Indian tribal burial sites are protected under Washington State law (Indian Graves and Records, Chapter 27.44 RCW).

Frank James (#9679)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Comment:
It is essential that AREA WIDE IMPACTS be considered in the EIS process. Currently the PR mega machine of the coal industry is pushing hard to see that each project is dealt with separately so that the cumulative impacts are never considered.

THIS PROJECT HAS TO BE CONSIDERED FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF AREA-WIDE IMPACTS

An area- wide or programmatic environmental impact statement to address the cumulative impacts of all new coal terminals in Washington and Oregon. The request asked that any EIS should include a comprehensive analysis of impacts to public health, water quality, air quality, listed species, and aquatic resources and potential impacts from oil spills, sea level rise, increased erosion, and any other risk to the marine waters of the San Juan Islands from the export of coal mined on public and private lands in the West. An area-wide programmatic EIS is necessary to provide our island communities with an opportunity to comment because balkanized reviews of individual permits at each export terminal could ignore the likely marine impacts that would be specific to the San Juans.

Three coal-export terminal projects currently have permits pending before the Corps: the Gateway Pacific Terminal site at Cherry Point, Washington; the Oregon Gateway Terminal at the Port of Coos Bay, Oregon; and the Coyote Island Terminal site at the Port of Morrow, Oregon. Additional permit applications are anticipated in the weeks ahead at the Millennium Bulk Logistics site in Longview, Washington; and two separate facilities at the Port of St. Helens, Oregon (Ambre Energy and Kinder Morgan). It is likely that additional proposals will be forthcoming.

The EIS must also include vessels moving oil and tar sands through the Salish Sea from Canada. Here there may be an increase in shipping traffic resulting from increased tar sands production, an expansion of the Kinder Morgan pipeline and exports from the Port of Vancouver as well as from BC’s coal ports at Neptune Terminal, Westshore Terminal at Roberts Bank and from Prince Rupert’s Ridley Island Terminal.

Collectively, the announced peak capacity of all of these US west coast projects is approximately 145 million metric tons of coal per year (48 mmt from GPT), with the potential for an even higher ultimate planned capacity for regional export (the three Canadian ports now ship approximately 50 mmt annually and may increase to 70 mmt). Such a large quantity of coal moving through the region’s rail system and public waterways will have significant impacts on our transportation networks, air and water quality, wildlife habitat, and quality of life. For example, some projections reveal that if the terminals operated at full capacity, they would require 60 coal trains – each over a mile long – moving through Pacific Northwest communities every day.

As required under NEPA and the Corps’ General Regulatory Policies, the EIS should provide the full range of connected, cumulative, and similar actions8 associated with these proposed projects and to analyze and consider the direct, indirect, and cumulative effects9 of those actions. The common timing and impacts of the large number of pending and anticipated export terminals create a heightened need for a thorough and comprehensive environmental review here. And the Corps could apply the similar scope of review and process that it is using to evaluate the cumulative impacts of four independent phosphate mining projects in Florida.

Frank James (#12347)

Date Submitted: 01/21/13
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Frank James MD
Bellingham WA


Looking at just at this project in isolation will not fully allow judgements on the full impacts for local communities or the region. Area wide impact are essential to an EIS that looks at the cumulative effects of this project on the health and well being of the people that live here and the species that define our livelihoods and environmental integrity. The comments of others in the San Juan community are on point for raising the issue of what it would mean to have several coal terminals and the impact of increase shipping of oil and natural gas trough our region in addition to the isolated impacts of any one of these sites.


It is essential that AREA WIDE IMPACTS be considered in the EIS process. Currently the PR mega machine of the coal industry is pushing hard to see that each project is dealt with separately so that the cumulative impacts are never considered.

REQUEST THAT THIS PROJECT LOOK AT AREA-WIDE IMPACTS

An area- wide or programmatic environmental impact statement to address the cumulative impacts of all new coal terminals in Washington and Oregon. The request asked that any EIS should include a comprehensive analysis of impacts to public health, water quality, air quality, listed species, and aquatic resources and potential impacts from oil spills, sea level rise, increased erosion, and any other risk to the marine waters of the San Juan Islands from the export of coal mined on public and private lands in the West. An area-wide programmatic EIS is necessary to provide our island communities with an opportunity to comment because balkanized reviews of individual permits at each export terminal could ignore the likely marine impacts that would be specific to the San Juans.

Three coal-export terminal projects currently have permits pending before the Corps: the Gateway Pacific Terminal site at Cherry Point, Washington; the Oregon Gateway Terminal at the Port of Coos Bay, Oregon; and the Coyote Island Terminal site at the Port of Morrow, Oregon. Additional permit applications are anticipated in the weeks ahead at the Millennium Bulk Logistics site in Longview, Washington; and two separate facilities at the Port of St. Helens, Oregon (Ambre Energy and Kinder Morgan). It is likely that additional proposals will be forthcoming.

The EIS must also include vessels moving oil and tar sands through the Salish Sea from Canada. Here there may be an increase in shipping traffic resulting from increased tar sands production, an expansion of the Kinder Morgan pipeline and exports from the Port of Vancouver as well as from BC’s coal ports at Neptune Terminal, Westshore Terminal at Roberts Bank and from Prince Rupert’s Ridley Island Terminal.

Collectively, the announced peak capacity of all of these US west coast projects is approximately 145 million metric tons of coal per year (48 mmt from GPT), with the potential for an even higher ultimate planned capacity for regional export (the three Canadian ports now ship approximately 50 mmt annually and may increase to 70 mmt). Such a large quantity of coal moving through the region’s rail system and public waterways will have significant impacts on our transportation networks, air and water quality, wildlife habitat, and quality of life. For example, some projections reveal that if the terminals operated at full capacity, they would require 60 coal trains – each over a mile long – moving through Pacific Northwest communities every day.

As required under NEPA and the Corps’ General Regulatory Policies, the EIS should provide the full range of connected, cumulative, and similar actions8 associated with these proposed projects and to analyze and consider the direct, indirect, and cumulative effects9 of those actions. The common timing and impacts of the large number of pending and anticipated export terminals create a heightened need for a thorough and comprehensive environmental review here. And the Corps could apply the similar scope of review and process that it is using to evaluate the cumulative impacts of four independent phosphate mining projects in Florida.

Frank James MD Bellingham WA

I have served as the Health Officer for a local tribe for the past 8 years and advocate for the public health of the tribe. The potential impacts on the health of Native people in our region will be significant. The massive loss of resources that they have already experienced is inexcusable and the ongoing erosion of their rights is unacceptable. This project will impact them directly and adversely and in addition will be one more step in limiting their legitimate rights as a people. The comments below are taken from thought put forward by friends in San Juan where I am also the jurisdictional Health Officer for the County. They are thoughtful, informed and on point for protecting tribal rights.

Please give them your full consideration.

Frank James MD

FIRST NATIONS OF THE SALISH SEA AND SALMON
In 1855-56, Territorial Gov. Isaac Stevens negotiated a series of treaties with Indian tribes in what is now Western Washington. Treaties are legally binding contracts and are the supreme law of the land under the United States Constitution.

The federal government recognized the tribes as sovereign nations and the rightful owners of all the land in the region. Tribes agreed to give up the land but reserved certain rights to ensure their cultures would survive. Among them were the rights to fish, hunt and gather shellfish, among other activities. In western Washington, 20 tribes were signatories to the so-called Stevens Treaties.

Those rights were forgotten in the years that followed as the state of Washington took control of salmon harvests and systematically denied the tribes the ability to exercise their treaty reserved rights. Only after years of protests and civil disobedience by the tribes were their treaty rights acknowledged by federal courts.

The 1974 ruling in U.S. v. Washington (the Boldt Decision) re-affirmed the rights reserved by the tribes in the original treaties and established the tribes as co-managers of the salmon resource with the state. Subsequent federal court rulings have upheld tribal shellfish harvest rights and the tribal environmental right to protection and restoration of salmon habitat.
Treaty negotiations of Treaty of Point Elliott, Treaty of Point No Point, Treaty of Neah Bay, Treaty of Olympia, Treaty of Medicine Creek, have established specific treaty right for US Coastal tribes.

The TREATY WITH THE DWAMISH, SUQUAMISH, ETC., 1855 (Jan. 22, 1855 12 Stat. 927. Ratified Mar. 8, 1859. Proclaimed Apr. 11, 1859) Articles of agreement and convention made and concluded at Múúcklte-óóh, or Point Elliott, in the Territory of Washington, this twenty-second day of January, eighteen hundred and fifty-five, by Isaac I. Stevens, governor and superintendent of Indian affairs for the said Territory, on the part of the United States, and the undersigned chiefs, head-men and delegates of the Dwáámish, Suquáámish, Sk-tááhlmish, Sam-ááhmish, Smalh-kamish, Skope-ááhmish, St-kááh-mish, Snoquáálmoo, Skai-wha-mish, N’’ Quentl-máá-mish, Sk-tááh-le-jum, Stoluck-wháá-mish, Shaho-mish, Skáágit, Kik-i-áállus, Swin-áá-mish, Squin-ááh-mish, Sah- ku-mééhu, Noo-wháá-ha, Nook-wa-chááh-mish, Mee-séée-qua-quilch, Cho-bah-ááh-bish, and other allied and subordinate tribes and bands of Indians occupying certain lands situated in said Territory of Washington, on behalf of said tribes, and duly authorized by them.

TREATY WITH THE S’’KLALLAM, 1855. Jan. 26, 1855. 12 Stats., 933. Ratified Mar. 8, 1859. Proclaimed Apr. 29, 1859. Articles of agreement and convention made and concluded at Hahdskus, or Point no Point,Suquamish Head, in the Territory of Washington, this twenty-sixth day of January, eighteen hundred and fifty-five, by Isaac I. Stevens, governor and superintendent of Indian affairs for the said Territory, on the part of the United States, and the undersigned chiefs, headmen, and delegates of the different villages of the S’’Klallams, viz: Kah-tai, Squah-quaihtl, Tch-queen,Ste-tehtlum, Tsohkw, Yennis, Elh-wa, Pishtst, Hunnint, Klat-la-wash, and Oke-ho, and also of the Sko-ko-mish, To-an-hooch, and Chem-a-kum tribes, occupying certain lands on the Straits of Fuca and Hood’’s Canal, in the Territory of Washington, on behalf of said tribes, and duly authorized by them.

TREATY WITH THE MAKAH, 1855. Jan. 31, 1855. 12 Stat., 939. Ratified Mar. 8, 1859. Proclaimed Apr. 18, 1859. Articles of agreement and convention, made and concluded at Neah Bay, in the Territory of Washington, this thirty-first day of January, in the year eighteen hundred and fifty-five, by Isaac I. Stevens, governor and superintendent of Indian affairs for the said Territory, on the part of the United States, and the undersigned chiefs, head-men, and delegates of the several villages of the Makah tribe of Indians, viz: Neah Waatch, Tsoo-Yess, and Osett, occupying the country around Cape Classett or Flattery, on behalf of the said tribe and duly authorized by the same.

TREATY WITH THE NISQUALLI, PUYALLUP, ETC., 1854.
Dec. 26, 1854. 10 Stat., 1132. Ratified Mar. 3, 1855. Proclaimed Apr. 10, 1855. Articles of agreement and convention made and concluded on the She-nah-nam, or Medicine Creek, in the Territory of Washington, this twenty-sixth day of December, in the year one thousand eight hundred and fifty-four, by Isaac I. Stevens, governor and superintendent of Indian affairs of the said Territory, on as sovereign nations, the 20 treaty Indian tribes in western Washington signed treaties with the United States in 1855-56, thus reserving their rights to harvest salmon and other natural resources. For those rights to have meaning there must be salmon to harvest. If salmon are to survive, and if Treaty Rights are to be honored, there must be real gains in habitat protection and restoration. Habitat is the key to salmon recovery, protection of treaty rights and ensuring that salmon will be there for future generations, both Natives and non-native alike.

Some species of salmon from Washington State, including from the Salish Sea area, migrate thousands of miles north in nutrient-rich currents, driven north along the west coast of Canada and Southeast Alaska, to reach the biologically rich waters of the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea. Investigation must occur as to potential affect on any of this wide-ranging habitat adjacent to or potentially implicated by vessel traffic occasioned by GPT.

Recent research has concluded that pocket beaches surrounding the San Juans have the highest rate of wild juvenile Chinook salmon presence of any shoreline type in San Juan County, approximately four times greater than that for rocky shorelines.4 Juvenile Chinook salmon, which are listed as threatened under the Federal Endangered Species Act, are not only most likely to be found near pocket beaches, but are also more likely to be found there in greater numbers.5 Likewise, surf smelt are much more likely to be found along pocket beaches than rocky shorelines. The San Juans have documented 59 forage fish spawning sites that extend along only 11 miles of the more than 400 miles of shoreline in San Juan County. In addition eelgrass, a priority species and habitat listed along with surf smelt spawning beaches under the County’s Critical Areas Ordinance is present throughout the San Juans. Due to such factors, the San Juans have a relatively pristine shoreline and have received over 10 million dollars of federal salmon enhancement dollars since 2001 and the islands have been designated as a top priority for protection and restoration.

An accident involving a coal spill or a coal ship/oil tanker collision involving a spill of one or both cargoes could have long ranging and far reaching implications for the system that brings us salmon and must be fully discussed. Daily persistent pollution, at an increased rate and including new elements precipitated by a new coal port, might be just as devastating, but will take longer to show. These too must be fully considered.

the part of the United States, and the undersigned chiefs, head-men, and delegates of the Nisqually, Puyallup, Steilacoom, Squawskin, S’’Homamish,Stehchass, T’’ Peek-sin, Squi-aitl, and Sa-heh-wamish tribes and bands of Indians, occupying the lands lying round the head of Puget’’s Sound and the adjacent inlets, who, for the purpose of this treaty, are to be regarded as one nation, on behalf of said tribes and bands, and duly authorized by them.

Direct Impacts to Tribal Fishing

This project would cause direct impacts to Tribal fishing opportunities due to the increase in shipping traffic through the tribes usual and accustomed fishing areas. The scope of the EIS must fully include an analysis of these impacts. Fishermen are unable to fish in the path of the shipping vessels due the risk of accidents. Once fishing nets are set, fishing vessels have little ability to move out of the way of the large cargo vessels which also have little maneuvering ability.

Tribal fishermen are already severely impacted by the loss of fishing opportunity due to the current level of shipping traffic, impacts from docks, piers, anchorage areas, pilings, buoys and other obstacles interfering with a fisherman’s ability to fish. Tribal fishing gear is damaged every year due to vessels running over nets and/or pot lines. Damaging fishing nets causes the fisherman to lose valuable fishing opportunities until the net can be repaired or replaced. Ships running over crab and shrimp pot lines can cut through the lines. Once the lines are cut, the fishermen are unable to retrieve their gear causing them to miss fishing opportunities until the pots can be replaced.
To make things worse, those pots continue to capture and kill shellfish for several years or until the gear can be recovered through the derelict gear program currently managed by the Northwest Straits Commission. The loss of fishing opportunity is a direct violation of the tribe’s right to fish under the Treaty of Point Elliott and cannot be permitted without specific and express consent of Congress (Muckleshoot vs. Hall 698 F. Supp. 1504, (W.D.1988).

TRIBAL BURIAL GROUNDS

The proposed project would directly impact a known burial site for the Lummi Tribe. This site had been used as a cemetery for the tribe for thousands of years. This site must be protected. The burial site must not be disturbed by allowing any construction activities over or adjacent to the site. For the tribes, allowing this cemetery to be used as an industrial site is comparable to allowing the Arlington National Cemetery to be developed as an industrial site. Hundreds or thousands of graves are likely to be located there. Indian tribal burial sites are protected under Washington State law (Indian Graves and Records, Chapter 27.44 RCW).


From Frank James MD, Bellingham WA

I put this in some time ago but did not see it on the comments section of the website.

Frank

The following comments follow closely those made by a public health department on a rail line in Canada that is being considered in a similar time frame with the current proposal. The text has been modified to fit our circumstances but many of the arguments have been retained because they are entirely consistent with our situation here in Whatcom County. Please consider the details in this letter because many speak directly to our situation.

Frank James MD
360 201-2505
.
. Health Impacts of Diesel Exhaust 

. Diesel exhaust is a complex mixture of particles and gases. This product would be generated both by the ships taking coal away from the terminal and by locomotives bring products to the terminal. It contains several hundred different organic and inorganic components, including many substances that have been designated as toxic chemicals. While the specific components of diesel exhaust depend on factors such as the age and type of diesel vehicle, many of the constituents of diesel exhaust, such as particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, and air toxics, are common to all diesel vehicles and are similar to those emitted from other vehicles. 
Emissions from both diesel and gasoline vehicles contribute to air pollution that already exists in our area. Some pollutants such as nitrogen oxides also contribute to formation of smog. The baseline health impacts of current pollution levels from the combustion of diesel have been reviewed recently and show that there are already significant impacts to the public’s health. 
Compared to emissions from gasoline vehicles, diesel exhaust is thought to be particularly harmful to health. Some of the scientific information available about diesel exhaust describes the impacts of the mixture as a whole. Other evidence addresses the health impacts of individual components of the exhaust mixture.
Diesel Exhaust as a Whole Mixture
There is increasing evidence that diesel emissions are associated with the development of cancer, particularly lung cancer. The International Agency for Research on Cancer classified it as a probable carcinogen in humans, the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) concluded that lung cancer is included in the health risks from exposure to diesel exhaust, and the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) concluded that diesel exhaust is a potential human carcinogen. A 2009 review by WA State Dept of Ecology concluded that diesel exhaust likely contributes to the burden of cancer in our region.
While the evidence supporting a link between diesel exhaust and cancer is most clear for lung cancer, some studies also suggest that diesel exhaust could be linked to other types of cancer. For example, a study in Finland found that occupational exposures to diesel exhaust were associated with ovarian cancer.
A review conducted by the US EPA concluded that health risks from exposure to diesel exhaust also include acute exposure-related symptoms and chronic exposure-related non-cancer respiratory effects. For example, short-term exposures to diesel exhaust are associated with irritation and inflammation of the eye, nose, and throat. A 2009 review of non-cancer effects suggests that exposure to diesel exhaust may also worsen allergies. Chronic exposures to diesel exhaust are strongly linked with lung injury in animal studies, and the U.S. EPA concluded that diesel exhaust poses a risk to respiratory health for humans.
Diesel Particulate Matter (DPM)
Diesel engines emit two sizes of particles – fine particles (PM2.5), which are those less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter, and ultrafine particles (PM0.1) which are those less than a millionth of a meter in diameter. A variety of substances can become attached to the exterior of the particles, including air toxics and metals that are both linked to health outcomes such as cancer. These substances are then inhaled into the lung along with the particles.
Until recently, most research focused on the health impacts of PM2.5. PM2.5 is a common air pollutant that contributes to smog. These small particles can be respired deep into the human lung, causing lung irritation in healthy people, and exacerbating asthma and other respiratory illnesses in at-risk groups such as children, the elderly and those with pre- existing illness. Strong evidence links PM2.5 to cardiovascular and respiratory mortality and morbidity. Recent epidemiological evidence also suggests an association between exposure to smog pollutants such as fine particles, and increased mortality from lung cancer.
There is also increasing concern about the smallest particles in diesel emissions, the “ultrafine” PM0.1. Ultrafines make up 50-90% of the particles in diesel exhaust.
Preliminary evidence suggests that these extremely small particles may be associated with many of the same type of health effects as larger particles. However, they seem to cause more inflammation and damage in the lungs than larger particles with the same chemical makeup. As well, because they are so small, they can easily move out of the lung and enter the bloodstream. This allows them to move to other parts of the body. Animal research suggests that these particles are able to move across important tissue barriers in the body, entering areas such as the brain and reproductive organs. The implications of this for human health are not yet well understood.
Individual Air Toxics in Diesel
While hundreds of different air toxics may be present in the gas phase of diesel exhaust, some of the most commonly identified are formaldehyde, benzene, 1,3-butadiene, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs):
• Formaldehyde is carcinogenic to humans. It is also a highly reactive substance that can be irritating to the nose, eyes, skin, throat and lungs at fairly low levels of chronic exposure.
• Benzene is considered to be carcinogenic to humans. Chronic exposure to benzene leads primarily to disorders of the blood.
• 1,3-Butadiene is linked to cancers of the blood and lymph systems, including leukemia. It has also been linked to disorders of the heart, blood and lungs, and to reproductive and developmental effects.
• Some PAH are carcinogenic to humans. Because this group of compounds covers a wide range of physical-chemical properties, some PAH are found in air on particles while others are gaseous. PAH of both forms may be deposited in the lung
Vulnerable groups who are especially at risk from traffic-related air pollution include children, pregnant women, and the elderly. Research suggests that people who work outdoors or exercise near areas of high traffic density are also at increased risk for the health effects of air pollution from vehicles.
• 
Health Impacts of Residential Proximity to Transportation Corridors 
and Hubs 

• There is substantial evidence that shows that people living or working close to high- traffic areas experience more adverse effects than people who are further away. The combustion of gasoline or diesel fuel in the engines of cars, trucks, trains and/or ships is a significant source of pollution in high traffic areas. Numerous recent studies have shown that those who live near busy transportation corridors and hubs (e.g., major highways, rail yards and ports) are at significantly greater risk of adverse health impacts than the general population. The health impacts observed include increased prevalence and severity of asthma and other respiratory diseases, diminished lung function, adverse birth outcomes, childhood cancer, and increased mortality. Those who live near major regional transportation routes can be identified as a highly susceptible population, subject to adverse health effects from transportation-related pollution.
Studies of the health impacts of living close to highways, rail yards and ports can be used to suggest potential health impacts from a busy diesel rail line. However, direct comparisons cannot be made, due to differences in engine types, operating conditions and traffic volumes. For example, rail yards experience constant locomotive activity, while rail lines experience locomotive activity every few minutes, and the daily volumes and emissions profiles of automobile and truck traffic on a highway are very different from what is expected of a rail corridor.
For highways, evidence indicates that residential proximity to traffic can be associated with the adverse health effects described above. Steep concentration gradients for several traffic-related pollutants may exist near highways. The results of these gradients are that adverse health impacts are found at distances up to 200 m, but generally not more. A second important factor controlling traffic exposure, and hence, adverse health impacts is traffic density. Adverse effects have been reported for highway traffic densities as low as 5,500-9,000 vehicles/day. Effects are more serious and more frequently reported at greater traffic densities, and have not been reported at lower traffic densities.
The California Air Resources Board has completed health risk assessments of the PM component of diesel exhaust from several rail yards. Rail yards experience constant locomotive activity from moderately high numbers of visiting locomotives (e.g., >30,000/year at the J.R. Davis Yard in Roseville), each spending 10 hours or more at the railyard27. Locomotive operations at the J.R. Davis Yard in Roseville emitted an estimated 23 tonnes of diesel PM in 2000, approximately 50% from moving locomotives, 45% from idling and 5% from testing. Emission factors used to estimate PM emissions range from 0.14 to 9.12 g/bhp-hr, indicating a wide range of engine technologies and operating conditions. Health impacts resulting from these emissions were predicted for the entire greater Roseville area. Based on these results, the California Air Resources Board determined that both long and short-term mitigation measures were needed to reduce diesel PM emissions from the Yard.
Air Quality Assessment –Using air dispersion modeling to estimate the changes in air concentrations under the proposed project of selected diesel exhaust components. It could be used to establish existing ambient air quality, predict future local air quality and predict future regional air quality. These studies could also compare the predicted air concentrations to applicable government air quality standards. The chemicals to be assessed are:
• Combustion gases – carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide;
• Particulate matter – respirable (PM2.5) and inhalable (PM10);
• Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) – formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, 1,3- 
butadiene, benzene and acrolein;
• Total polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs); and
• Greenhouse gases – carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide.
• 
Human Health Risk Assessment – It will be essential to complete a human health risk assessment, using modeling results to predict human exposure and the resulting health risks. Two scenarios should be evaluated: 1) Future No Build, which will evaluate the potential health impacts related to air quality in the future in the absence of the proposed project; and 2) Future Build, which will evaluate the potential health impacts related to air quality in the future assuming that the proposed project goes forward. Over 100 receptor locations corresponding to some of the parks, schools, child care centers, hospitals, long term care homes and private residences that are located closest to the rail line should be evaluated through modeling. The principal exposure pathway to be evaluated is inhalation. Skin contact and ingestion exposures to particles deposited on soil should also be considered. The assessment should evaluate the hazard associated with both acute and chronic exposure durations. Cancer and non-cancer risks should be evaluated. We recommend three additional studies:
1. Estimate particulate deposition to soil, and that skin contact and ingestion exposures to these particulates can be evaluated. Both rural and urban gardening and active recreation occur adjacent to the rail line. Given the social and health benefits of gardening and play activities in parks, backyards and other green spaces, it is important that potential exposures associated with these activities be assessed. Many outdoor activities can result in skin contact with contaminated soil. Contaminated soil may also be incidentally ingested, or food grown in contaminated soil may become contaminated and be consumed.
2. Undertake an ultrafine particulate matter (PM0.1) monitoring program to characterize dispersion into adjacent neighborhoods, and model future PM0.1 levels in the local airsheds. Diesel exhaust is a known source of PM0.1, but it is not clear how far into adjacent neighborhoods ultrafine particles will disperse; therefore, it is important to develop baseline information on PM0.1. The health effects of PM0.1 are not well understood, but the scientific community has expressed concern over the potential health impacts of PM0.1, and scientific knowledge is rapidly evolving.
3. A risk assessment should evaluate diesel exhaust both as a whole mixture and as the sum of the individual components listed above. The data available to support each type of evaluation are different, and the final evaluations have different strengths. Diesel has been evaluated as a whole mixture in epidemiological and occupational exposure studies. These studies capture any synergistic effects of the diesel exhaust mixture that might not be predicted based on the toxicological characterization of the individual components of diesel exhaust. However, it can be very difficult to derive a reliable estimate of toxicity from these studies. Assessments of diesel exhaust as a whole tend to examine only the critical effect that occurs at the lowest diesel exhaust exposure levels (i.e., lung cancer). Many of the components of diesel exhaust are toxic by themselves. The toxicities of these compounds and classes of compounds have been characterized individually, and these characterizations can be applied to the assessment of diesel exhaust. This strategy enables the assessor to examine more of the many effects of the diesel exhaust mixture, but it assumes that synergistic effects are not present and does not address every component of diesel exhaust.
Any air quality assessment should provide essential predictions of air quality with future expansion in train use. The risk assessments will integrate those data with toxicological information to predict adverse health effects. The results of quantitative risk assessments, as being undertaken are essential; however, risk assessments address only a narrow portion of the spectrum of health impacts associated with a project. Quantitative risk assessments are not designed to consider either the negative or the beneficial impacts on the determinants of health of a proposed project, nor do they address the distribution of those impacts. Health impact assessments are designed to address these issues. Health impact assessment should also involve the community in the process of achieving a more equitable distribution of positive and negative impacts through mitigation measures.

Predicted Air-related Health Effects of the Proposed Project
The planned increase in rail and ship traffic will burden local residents with some degree of adverse health impacts. The summary results of the human health risk assessment commissioned should indicate that acute and chronic non- cancer risks are predicted for both the baseline and cumulative future build scenarios from exposures to nitrogen oxides and VOC (specifically acrolein). An enhanced risk of cancer is predicted from the project-related emissions of another VOC (1,3-butadiene).
These health impacts will be an additional stressor to communities already burdened with a greater than average prevalence of ill health in many of the communities along the rail line. The emissions and local air quality impacts of the proposed project should be minimized using all reasonable means.
Health Impact Assessment
The World Health Organization describes health impact assessment (HIA) as “a combination of procedures, methods and tools by which a policy, program or project may be judged as to its potential effects on the health of a population, and the distribution of these effects within the population.” Health impact assessment considers how a proposal or policy might affect determinants of health in order to assess the likely impact on the well-being of people. This tool has been used to review proposed projects in the transportation and other sectors.
Health impact assessment can be used to predict the health impacts of a project and the distribution of impacts. Based on these predictions, the health impact assessment can inform or influence the decision-making process, and mitigate any health impacts. The process can also provide an opportunity for affected stakeholders to contribute to the assessment, and to make recommendations that will enhance a proposal.
We recommend that in addition to the quantitative risk assessment underway, the proponent complete a health impact assessment of the proposed project in consultation with the Health Officers of impacted counties including at a minimum San Juan, King, Skagit, Snohomish, Thurston and Whatcom as well as the Tribes impacted by the project, at a minimum Lummi and Nooksack. Health impact assessment works best when there is sufficient time to perform the assessment well, when multiple disciplines are involved, and if various options to be compared have been developed.
Health Protective Practices for Urban Rail Lines
There are various practices that the proponent and its partners could implement for this project that would increase fuel efficiency and/or reduce emissions. These practices would have the effect of reducing the public health impact of the proposed project. The most health protective option is electrification. Many of these issues apply equally to ports and ship traffic as well as to locomotives and trains.
Electrification – Electrification of the line would eliminate the diesel exhaust emissions associated with current ship and train traffic on the corridor. Electric trains and wind powered ships do not produce any direct emissions. However, the emissions associated with generating electricity to run electric trains do have the potential to cause adverse health impacts in the communities downwind of the power plants that generate electricity. Green energy sources, such as wind and solar power, would not create potential downwind health impacts. In addition to not producing direct emissions, electric trains tend to be more efficient than diesel and have the potential for much greater speed. These attributes can make electric trains more suitable than diesel for high-speed commuter service but not likely for freight. However, there are significant additional infrastructure, safety and planning requirements involved in electrifying a rail line.
Electrification is not currently part of neither the BNSF plan no the shipping companies are considering wind powered ships.
Until such time as electrification or wind powered freighters are in place, the following good practices can be applied for the protection of public health.
Hybrid locomotives/ships – The on-board rechargeable energy storage systems of hybrid locomotives store excess energy from the diesel engine and energy from regenerative braking. The stored energy is used to boost the power from the diesel engine during acceleration. This reduces energy consumption as well as emissions of diesel exhaust. The cycle of braking, idling and acceleration of trains at each stop can be inefficient and highly polluting. On-board rechargeable energy storage systems can mitigate some of the inefficiency and emissions associated with every station stop by storing the kinetic energy that would otherwise be lost with braking, and using it to supplement the diesel engine so that it does not have to operate at a high throttle to achieve acceleration.
Emission control technologies – Various emission control technologies can be applied to diesel locomotives and ships to control emissions of individual components of diesel exhaust. Some of these technologies can result in decreased fuel efficiency and/or increased emissions of another exhaust component, and they must be carefully selected. The US EPA’s Tier 2 and 3 emission standards for line-haul locomotives represent currently available technologies to reduce PM and nitrogen oxides emissions. The US EPA’s more stringent and health protective Tier 4 emission standards represent state of the art emissions reduction technologies that must be in use on all new line-haul locomotives in the US by 2015. Adoption of Tier 4 technologies requires the use of ultra low-sulphur diesel fuel (ULSD, 15 ppm).

Idling control – Avoidance of unnecessary idling of locomotives and ships along the corridor reduces fuel consumption and diesel exhaust emissions. Idling control benefits the rail operator because it results in fuel savings. In addition to the general fuel savings and emissions reductions, avoidance of prolonged idling prevents the creation of localized areas of highly concentrated air pollution. Automatic Engine Stop/Start Systems shut the locomotive down after no more than 30 continuous minutes of idling. These systems are required on all new or remanufactured locomotives in the US. In addition, EPA expects rail operators to develop appropriate policies detailing when it is acceptable to idle a locomotive to heat or cool the cab. Shore based electrical lines for all ships are currently required, but only if the ships already have them in place, consideration should be given to requiring only ships that are so equipped to be allowed to utilize the docks in these protected marine waters.
Ultra low-sulphur diesel – The use of ultra low-sulphur diesel (ULSD, 15 ppm) reduces emissions of sulphur oxides and PM. Controlling the fuel quality is the primary means by which sulphur oxide emissions from locomotives are reduced.
Regular track and locomotive maintenance – Regular maintenance of the track and locomotives has the potential to increase fuel efficiency and thereby reduce emissions. Regular upkeep on tracks may include assessment and maintenance of the alignment, gauge and curvature of the track. For locomotives, emission-related maintenance includes regular replacement of fuel injectors and air filters, and frequent inspection of other emission-related components to ensure proper functioning. Any maintenance that is reasonably expected to adversely affect the emissions performance of the locomotive should not be performed.

REFERENCES
Metrolinx. 2009a. GSSE/UPRL Draft Environmental Project Report Part 1. Available on-line at: http://metrolinx-consult.limehouse.com/portal/gsse/gsseuprl_depr1. Posted April 15, 2009.
Parent ME, Rousseau MC, Boffetta P, Cohen A, Siemiatycki J. 2007. Exposure to diesel and gasoline engine emissions and the risk of lung cancer. Am J Epidemiol 165:53-62.
International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). 1989. Diesel and Gasoline Engine Exhausts . Summaries and Evaluations. http://www.inchem.org/documents/iarc/vol46/46-01.html.
US EPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency). 2002. Health Assessment Document for Diesel Exhaust. Office of Research and Development Washington, DC. EPA/600/8-90/057F.
NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health). 1998. Current Intelligence Bulletin 50: Carcinogenic Effects of Diesel Exhaust. Available from http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/88116_50.html
TPH (Toronto Public Health). 2002a. Estimated Human Health Risk from Exposure to Diesel Exhaust in Toronto
Guo J, Kauppinen T, Kyyronen P, Heikkila P, Lindbohm M and Pukkala E. 2004. Risk of esophageal, ovarian, testicular, kidney and bladder cancers and leukemia among Finnish workers exposed to diesel or gasoline engine exhaust. Int J Cancer 111:286-292.
Ris C. 2007. U.S. EPA Health Assessment for Diesel Engine Exhaust: A Review. Inhalation Toxicology 19 (Suppl 1):229-239
Hesterberg T.W., Long C.M., Bunn, W.B. 3rd, Sax S.N., Lapin C.A. and Valberg P.A. 2009. Non-cancer health effects of diesel exhaust: A critical assessment of recent human and animal toxicological literature. Crit. Rev. Tox. 39(3): 195-227.
Pope C.A. III, Burnett R.T., Thun M.J., Calle E.E., Krewski D., Ito K., et al. 2002. Lung cancer, cardiopulmonary mortality and long-term exposure to fine particulate air pollution. JAMA 287:1132-1141.
Boothe V.L. and Shendell D.G. 2008. Potential health effects associated with residential proximity to freeways and primary roads; review of scientific literature, 1999- 2006. Journal of Environmental Health 70(8): 33-41.
Brugge D., Durant J.L. and Rioux C. 2007. Near-highway pollutants in motor vehicle exhaust: a review of epidemiologic evidence of cardiac and pulmonary health risks. Environmental Health 6(23).
Hand R., Di P., Servin A., Hunsaker L and Suer C. 2004. Roseville Rail Yard Study. State of California Air Resources Board. Available on-line at: http://www.arb.ca.gov/railyard/hra/hra.htm.
Eggleton P. 2003. Technology to Meet EPA Locomotive Emissions Standards without Fuel Penalties. Prepared for the Transportation Development Centre and co-sponsored by the Program of Energy Research and Development (PERD) of Natural Resources Canada (NRCan).
US EPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency). 2008. Control of Emissions of Air Pollution From Locomotive Engines and Marine Compression-Ignition Engines Less Than 30 Liters per Cylinder; Republican; Final Rule. Federal Register 73(126). June 30, 2008.
US EPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency). 1999. Technical Highlights: Requirements for Railroads Regarding Locomotive Emission Standards. EPA420-F-99-036. September 1999.

Frank Lacey (#11003)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Sedro Woolley, Wa
Comment:
My primary concern that I would like addressed in the EIS is the viability and livability of ALL the towns along the route from Montana through Washington. The negative impacts include survival of businesses along the route, delays in emergency services, job loss due to traffic delays, and reduction in quality of life.

Frank Loudin (#12292)

Date Submitted: 01/22/13
Location: Eastsound, WA
Comment:
We strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington and transporting strip-mined coal from Montana and Wyoming on trains and ships throughout the Northwest. This proposal would negatively affect our community by increasing congestion and noise with more coal train traffic, polluting our air and local waterways, harming existing businesses, delaying emergency responders, damaging aquatic ecosystems and fishing grounds at the terminal site, increasing tanker traffic and the potential for serious shipping accidents and escalating climate change. We urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

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

Frank Tranter (#1608)

Date Submitted: 10/25/12
Comment:
Dear People,
We vigorously oppose the project & want the environmental study to include a wide range of possible ills, including increased rail traffic, global climate change, harm to fisheries, and potential negative impacts on tourism as well as any other even remotely relevant issue.
Sincerely, Frank Tranter , Bellingham

Read more here: http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2012/10/24/2741517/coal-terminal-environmental-meeting.html#storylink=omni_popular#wgt=pop#storylink=cpy

Frank Zaski (#10473)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Frankin, MI
Comment:
I live in Michigan and here are reasons why allowing this and any new coal shipping port will have negative impacts on water in Michigan and the entire US.

China is second to the U.S. in terms of contributing mercury into the Great Lakes basin, according to scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Scientists discovered that U.S man made mercury sources account for 32 percent of the mercury entering the Great Lakes. Chinese sources deposit nearly half as much with 14 percent.

Chinese coal plants lack adequate mercury pollution controls and “mercury is known to be a pollutant capable of long-range atmospheric transport and it is not surprising that some of the mercury emitted in China and elsewhere around the world ends up in the Great Lakes,” said Mark Cohen, a physical scientist at the federal agency. http://greatlakesecho.org/2012/06/07/china-second-largest-source-of-great-lakes-mercury-pollution/

There are practically no fish in the Great lakes, and probably the US and world, that does not contain mercury. More importantly, millions of children and adults drink water which contains mercury, some of which comes from China burning coal. We must slow th emissions of mercury.


The Great Lakes (plus the Mississippi River and other waters) are at record low water levels. This is causing lost profits because of shipping delays, necessary lighter loads and considerable expense to dredge. Experts agree that global warming, caused by excessive CO2 in the atmosphere, is a major contributor.

I understand the policy of the Army Corps of Engineers is to consider the effects of climate change as it draws up plans for flood control, navigation and other water projects. http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2009/11/11/11greenwire-new-army-corps-policy-forces-project-designers-7288.html

USACE:
• Your allowing additional coal shipping ports will allow other countries to burn even more coal
• This will cause more CO2 and mercury emissions
• These additional emissions will cause further lowering of US water quality and levels

USACE, please consider these impacts and your environmental mandate.

Thank you, frank

http://water.usgs.gov/wid/FS_216-95/FS_216-95.html
http://www.mlive.com/weather/index.ssf/2012/12/lake_michigan_and_lake_huron_w.html
http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2012/10/climate_is_the_biggest_factor.html

Frank & Janet Laudin (#760)

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

Frank & Mary Ruth Bettendorf & Holder (#13676)

Date Submitted: 01/22/13
Comment:
I am sending by this e-mail the attached PDF scoping comment signed and dated by the authors, (Frank Bettendorf and myself, Mary Ruth Holder) on January 11. 2013 and mailed the same day. To date (Jan. 22) this letter has not appeared on the website so to ensure that the comment is considered I am re-sending it on this last day of the comment period.

I also add to the comment the following reference and comment:

Reference: Cole, G. , Coal Trains: What is the impact? January 20, 2013. Goskagit.com (Skagit Valley Herald online). http://www.goskagit.com/all_access/coal-trains-what-is-the-impact/article_3d5add03-96cf-5135-9ab9-b4f795a0e528.html

This article contains the following from an interview with a resident of Conway: "Even if road traffic can find a way around the tracks, the trains’ effects can be felt elsewhere. When an earthquake rattled Anne Winkes’ Conway home, the only way she could tell it was an earthquake — not a train — was the absence of a horn.
After that, she volunteered to let the U.S. Geological Survey put a seismograph in her basement. The graphs it produces when a train goes by look like small earthquakes."

For purposes of a comprehensive study of the impacts from heavy coal train vibrations on historic buildings in downtown Mount Vernon, please include results from seismographic equipment placed in basements or other strategic locations within historic Mount Vernon buildings.
Attached Files:

Frank and Janet Loudin (#9880)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Comment:
Comment: Impacts of the Gateway Pacific Terminal on the ecology and economy of the coastal region of northwest Washington State:

We are Frank and Janet Loudin, landowners and residents of Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands in the State of Washington, and we agree with Robin Reid of Lopez Island on this subject:

"Construction of the Gateway Pacific Terminal, transport of coal by rail and sea, will have significant and adverse direct, indirect and cumulative impacts on the ecology and economy of the coastal region of northwest Washington state, with disproportionate impacts on the San Juan Archipelago in the Salish Sea. For example, as more and more vessels, associated with coal, tar sands and other exports, sail through the Salish Sea, the chances increase that there will be one or more major oil, coal, fuel, or bitumen spills associated with the construction and operation of the Gateway Pacific Terminal. For example, on 28 Nov 2011, KUOW in Seattle reported that a major oil or fuel spill in the Strait of Jan de Fuca would cost 165,000 jobs and $10.8 billion.

The San Juan Archipelago is regularly sought as a ‘best place to live’ or ‘best place to visit’ because of its natural beauty and relatively pristine environment. Thus, these Salish Sea ecosystems, and the economy built around these ecosystems, are particularly rare and sensitive, and thus will be heavily damaged by an oil, fuel, coal, bitumen or other pollutant spill. This means that the EIS must assess the risk of oil, fuel, bitumen, coal or other pollutant spills fully.

Thus, we request that this EIS include analyses to answer the following questions related to this region:

1. Impacts of construction and operation of the Gateway Pacific Terminal on sensitive ecosystems and species. How will the construction and lifetime operation of the Gateway Pacific Terminal affect sensitive ecosystems and species on and offsite? What will be the impacts of coal dust, transport pollutants (like diesel), heavy metals and habitat loss on sensitive wetlands, salt marshes and the species these biodiverse habitats support? How will the construction and the lifetime operation of the terminal affect the sensitive Cherry Point ecosystem and all its species? How will the terminal’s construction and operations affect the sensitive Pacific herring that inhabits the Cherry Point waters? What will be the indirect and cumulative impacts of loss of populations at the bottom of the food chain, like herring, on species further up the food chain like salmon, seals, orcas and fish-eating birds? What are the cumulative impacts of all of the stressors on herring and salmon, including those caused by the new terminal?

2. Impacts of oil, fuel, coal or other pollutant spills on the ecology and economy of northwest coastal Washington. Over the lifetime operation of the Gateway Pacific Terminal, how many oil, fuel, coal and other pollutant spills will occur and what impacts will these spills have on the ecology and economy of this sensitive region? Please provide scenarios that include the effect of the predicted movement of the Cascadia Fault and the effect of resultant tsunamis on vessel oil spills. For each spill, how many wild populations of birds, fish, invertebrates, mammals and other species will be damaged? How will sensitive ecosystems like eelgrass, salt marshes and wetlands be affected? How many jobs will be lost due to damage to the recreational and fishing economies? For example, on 28 Nov 2011, KUOW in Seattle reported that a major oil or fuel spill in the Strait of Jan de Fuca would cost 165,000 jobs and $10.8 billion. Please construct scenarios on the impacts of both major and minor spills. And how much will coastal property values fall, if a major spill occurs?

3. Impacts of ship noise and vibrations on marine mammals. Marine mammals are sensitive to shipping noise and vibrations, which can be confusing for mammals and lead to collisions with ships. It may also cause significant general morbidity and mortality to marine mammals. The EIS thus must assess the risk of increased ship noise and vibrations associated with the Gateway Pacific terminal on the morbidity and mortality of marine mammals, including the endangered orca southern residents and other whales. This analysis must especially take into account cumulative effects, since there are other major sources of noise from sonar, low flying jets and other ships that are impacting these same populations at the same time.

4. Impacts of ship noise and vibrations on humans. People are also sensitive to shipping noise and vibrations, which may have adverse health impacts and can lower productivity due to lost sleep and distraction. The EIS thus must assess the risk of increased ship noise and vibrations associated with the Gateway Pacific terminal on people. This analysis must especially take into account cumulative effects, since there are other major sources of noise and vibration from low flying jets and other ships that are impacting people in the region at the same time.

It is possible that these impacts can be mitigated by setting up a very large fund to pay for the loss of life and productivity for humans and animals, as well as plants. If this cannot be done, then the no-build option should be selected."

We believe these impacts will cause permanent and irreparable harm. We want these impacts thoroughly studied.The agency needs to determine if these impacts cannot be mitigated, whether the harm outweighs the benefits of the proposal. The agency must aggregate the costs associated with ALL IMPACTS.

Frank and Janet Loudin (#9892)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Comment:
We are Frank and Janet Loudin, landowners and residents of Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands in the State of Washington, and we agree with Diana Gordon on this subject:

"US Army Corps of Engineers, Whatcom County Commission Washington Department of Ecology

"Dear Washington Department of Ecology,

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

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

"These added trains will have the effect of cutting Washougal in two with a substantial part of the populace not being able to reach our main East-West highway, S.R.14, when a train is passing through. Added to the general inconvenience (there are 5 at grade crossings and only one overpass), there is huge additional pollution from idling cars and trucks as well as from the diesel trains themselves. Noisy train whistles are another problem and disrupt local businesses along the way. In Camas, it is difficult to hold a normal conversation downtown when a train is passing through.

"Another problem for cities like Washougal is the effect of the coal trains crossing local tributaries of the Columbia. Even if the coal is treated at the point of origin with surfactant to control the coal dust, this rather friable form of coal from the Powder River Basin will generate more dust from friction along the way. This will wash through the cars and land in many small rivers along the way. Fishing is important in Washougal not only for its recreational values but also because it brings in many tourist dollars. If this project goes forward, many miles of trains per day crossing our rivers will surely harm our popular river.

"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."

We believe these impacts will cause permanent and irreparable harm. We want these impacts thoroughly studied. The agency needs to determine if these impacts cannot be mitigated, whether harm outweighs the benefits of the proposal. The agency must aggregate the costs associated with ALL IMPACTS.

Frank and Janet Loudin (#9897)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Comment:
We are Frank and Janet Loudin, landowners and residents of Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands in the State of Washington, and we agree with Dr. Sara Mostad and Terry Wechsler on this subject:

"For this particular comment, the focus is on the direct and profound linkage between diesel particulates and human disease. Dr. Mostad's statement that a Health Impact Assessment should "determine how many excess deaths and hospitalizations would be expected." We can and should go further and ask regulators to measure lost life expectancy, and do not limit those measures to Washington's populations living and working in rail communities, but consider those living in proximity to rail lines from the terminal to the Powder River Basin. Then, quantify those medical consequences: Who, exactly, will pay for the hospitalizations? What share will be borne by private insurers, individuals out-of-pocket, treatment providers for unreimbursed costs, and the public through government-funded benefits programs. Terminal boosters tout jobs and tax revenues; we should demand that those economic benefits be offset by directly and indirectly related health care costs. Then, as a society we would be forced to do that which we have always avoided: identify precisely how many years of life and mortalities we are willing to "pay" for a net economic benefit, if there even is a net benefit of the proposed economic activity."

"Key Facts:

"Number of locomotives going/coming to GPT: 18 trains x 5 locomotives/train (average) = 90/day.

" Number of locomotives going/coming to the Columbia River Gorge from the PRB if GPT and the other proposed terminals are constructed: 47 trains x 5 locomotives/train = 235/day.

"Number of ship passages in the Salish Sea: 487 ships x 2 (entering/leaving) = 974/day Panamax and cape class bulkers.

" Number of ship passages on the Columbia River: 3,192/day Panamax bulkers"

We believe these impacts will cause permanent and irreparable harm. We want these impacts thoroughly studied. The agency needs to determine if these impacts cannot be mitigated, whether the harm outweighs the benefits of the proposal. The agency must aggregate the costs associated with ALL IMPACTS.


Frank and Janet Loudin (#11624)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Comment:
Dear GPT/BNSF Custer Spur EIS Co-Lead Agencies,



We are landowners and residents of Orcas Island, San Juan County, Washington. We are 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. We 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.



We are especially concerned about the impacts of coal dust emissions from the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal on the marine environment. Questions that concern us, 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.

We await your reply.

Sincerely,

Frank and Janet Loudin

______



Click here to see the Scoping Suggestions for the Risk and Management of Dust from the Proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal resource paper. It will give you background information about why it's an important issue and you may want to attach it to your comment.



Click here to learn more about how to craft an effective comment.

Frank and Janet Loudin (#11960)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Comment:
We are Frank and Janet Loudin, residents and landowners on Orcas Island, San Juan County, Washington. We agree with Kate Bowers comment:

"1. First, some background. SSA Marine is the subsidiary of Carrix Inc. that runs terminal operations. Carrix is 51% owned by the Hemingway family (CEO Jon Hemingway: http://www.ssamarine.com/company/executive_bios/bio_Hemingway.html), 49% by Goldman Sachs. SSA created a subsidiary, Pacific International Terminals (PIT), which has NO ASSETS, to build and operate Gateway Pacific Terminal. If a significant “event” were to occur, PIT could be dissolved in bankruptcy faster than we could say, “Who’s liable?” We should ask that SSA and Carrix guarantee all obligations of PIT, including union contracts, incident response and cleanup, and site restoration when the coal market dries up and they leave town.

"2. SSA/Carrix should be required to post a bond. Kate suggests 500 billion dollars, but many think that’s not adequate. We should ask that the EIS measure the cost of a worst-case scenario, from a spill of 470 thousand gallons of bunker fuel in the San Juan Islands, to an explosion at the terminal or a derailment in a highly populated area like downtown Mt. Vernon. Set up the bond so that it is replenished as funds are withdrawn; and make SSA/Carrix guarantee any and all damages associated with activities related to the terminal regardless of who is ultimately held by the courts to be liable – the coal owner (some subsidiary of Peabody Energy), the coal transporter (BNSF), or the terminal operator (PIT). Let SSA/Carrix fight it out in court for the next 25 years to get their money back if they’re not liable but, in the meantime, the public shouldn’t have to wait decades to receive the final paltry settlement the Supreme Court approves, a la Alaska citizens and the Exxon Valdez oil spill.

"Are slick wolves in sheep’s clothing cynically offering us much needed jobs and money for our local economy?

"Think frankenstorm. Major spill. Our federal marine sanctuary. Dead. Orcas. Dead. Fishing. Tourist industry. Dead. And the future of our children?

"GPT’s plan? Bring in the safety manuals!

"GPT’s Whatcom application states that a 'site-specific emergency response plan would be developed and kept available at the Terminal at all times. Spill and response measures would be implemented following an emergency or release of dangerous materials... coordinated with ALCOA and BP.'

"Remember the BP Gulf Oil Spill emergency response plan?

"After Fukushima, radioactive iodine 131 was fed to infants through tainted drinking water. Bhopal, Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, BP Gulf spill, Exxon Valdez spill...all had a safety plan.

"Prince William Sound was court ordered to receive $4.8 billion in punitive damages paid by Exxon for a failed safety plan. Silk stockinged lawyers for Exxon got it down to $504 million (a month’s profits).

"Children are particularly susceptible to the consequences of environmental disasters.

"Warren Buffet made 10.254 billion in 2011.

"Peabody Energy’s CEO Gregory Boyce 30.66 million.

"Goldman Sachs President Lloyd Blankfein 16.2 million.

"SSA’s, CEO Jon Hemingway probably did OK too.

"This project could garner 1000 percent profits.

"Make these rich corporations pay an up-front $500 billion dollar damage deposit so silk stockinged lawyers can’t make taxpayers take another hit when a Frankenstorm hits or an earthquake or volcano or all of the above. Prepay that GPT safety plan and we’ll use dirty money to develop clean energy, living wage jobs! Now THAT’s a plan!"

We, too, feel the consequences of this proposal are catastrophic and need to be included in the scoping comments.

We too want this impact thoroughly studied.

Sincerely,

Frank and Janet Loudin





* Conclude by saying you too want this impact thoroughly studied.



\

Frank and Janet Loudin (#11967)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Comment:
We are Frank and Janet Loudin, residents and landowners on Orcas Island, San Juan County, Washington. We agree with Kate Bowers comment:

"1. First, some background. SSA Marine is the subsidiary of Carrix Inc. that runs terminal operations. Carrix is 51% owned by the Hemingway family (CEO Jon Hemingway: http://www.ssamarine.com/company/executive_bios/bio_Hemingway.html), 49% by Goldman Sachs. SSA created a subsidiary, Pacific International Terminals (PIT), which has NO ASSETS, to build and operate Gateway Pacific Terminal. If a significant “event” were to occur, PIT could be dissolved in bankruptcy faster than we could say, “Who’s liable?” We should ask that SSA and Carrix guarantee all obligations of PIT, including union contracts, incident response and cleanup, and site restoration when the coal market dries up and they leave town.

"2. SSA/Carrix should be required to post a bond. Kate suggests 500 billion dollars, but many think that’s not adequate. We should ask that the EIS measure the cost of a worst-case scenario, from a spill of 470 thousand gallons of bunker fuel in the San Juan Islands, to an explosion at the terminal or a derailment in a highly populated area like downtown Mt. Vernon. Set up the bond so that it is replenished as funds are withdrawn; and make SSA/Carrix guarantee any and all damages associated with activities related to the terminal regardless of who is ultimately held by the courts to be liable – the coal owner (some subsidiary of Peabody Energy), the coal transporter (BNSF), or the terminal operator (PIT). Let SSA/Carrix fight it out in court for the next 25 years to get their money back if they’re not liable but, in the meantime, the public shouldn’t have to wait decades to receive the final paltry settlement the Supreme Court approves, a la Alaska citizens and the Exxon Valdez oil spill.

"Are slick wolves in sheep’s clothing cynically offering us much needed jobs and money for our local economy?

"Think frankenstorm. Major spill. Our federal marine sanctuary. Dead. Orcas. Dead. Fishing. Tourist industry. Dead. And the future of our children?

"GPT’s plan? Bring in the safety manuals!

"GPT’s Whatcom application states that a 'site-specific emergency response plan would be developed and kept available at the Terminal at all times. Spill and response measures would be implemented following an emergency or release of dangerous materials... coordinated with ALCOA and BP.'

"Remember the BP Gulf Oil Spill emergency response plan?

"After Fukushima, radioactive iodine 131 was fed to infants through tainted drinking water. Bhopal, Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, BP Gulf spill, Exxon Valdez spill...all had a safety plan.

"Prince William Sound was court ordered to receive $4.8 billion in punitive damages paid by Exxon for a failed safety plan. Silk stockinged lawyers for Exxon got it down to $504 million (a month’s profits).

"Children are particularly susceptible to the consequences of environmental disasters.

"Warren Buffet made 10.254 billion in 2011.

"Peabody Energy’s CEO Gregory Boyce 30.66 million.

"Goldman Sachs President Lloyd Blankfein 16.2 million.

"SSA’s, CEO Jon Hemingway probably did OK too.

"This project could garner 1000 percent profits.

"Make these rich corporations pay an up-front $500 billion dollar damage deposit so silk stockinged lawyers can’t make taxpayers take another hit when a Frankenstorm hits or an earthquake or volcano or all of the above. Prepay that GPT safety plan and we’ll use dirty money to develop clean energy, living wage jobs! Now THAT’s a plan!"

We, too, feel the consequences of this proposal are catastrophic and need to be included in the scoping comments.

We too want this impact thoroughly studied.

Sincerely,

Frank and Janet Loudin






\

Franklin Eventoff (#3030)

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

Franklin Eventoff (#13219)

Date Submitted: 01/20/13
Location: Bow , WA
Comment:
GPT/Custer Spur EIS,

I oppose the PROPOSED parade of coal trains running through our community for so many reasons that have been addressed by my fellow citizens. Dozens of coal train derailments should be enough for any logical thinking person, or mile and a half trains running every hour through small towns stopping traffic and emergency vehicles for as much as ten minutes or more – a matter of life and death. The obvious list has been stated more eloquently than I can now.

We are passengers traveling on this magnificent planet. Why are we so set on destroying ourselves and the web of life that supports us? There are but a few who will profit from this maniacal plan. We know the fossil fuels are rapidly killing off many life forms that create this living web that we are part of. The coal will go to Asia where it will be burned to power the country that used its people as slaves to capture US manufacturers and to bring us to our knees. (Try to find things made in the USA.) We get it from all sides; coal trains running through our country polluting our cities and towns as it travels to the PROPOSED port. We breathe the foul air from the burning fuel, while our small towns become congested by an insidious snaking of train. This insanity will be life threatening on land and will destroy the estuary and already stressed water life of Cherry point and Puget Sound. The list goes on and on. Why are we even having this discussion???

When I walk my pups at night and look up at the stars and the vastness of it all, I know that this place and the creatures of this planet are not here for us to destroy at will. On this reason I vehemently oppose these trains of death. We can be so much better – be more considerate of the whole. The ice is melting, the water rising, the planet is getting hotter - and will only support us for so long. If we don’t put on the breaks we’re going over the edge. We can do so much better.

Stop it! Stop the insanity! Stop the PROPOSED Cherry Point Coal Terminal. We have the power and the time is now. This is our planet and we can stop these greedy pirates who are looting all natural resources and killing us!

Franklin Eventoff

Franklin Kapustka (#13808)

Date Submitted: 01/16/13
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.

Perhaps a more environmentally friendly way to ship coal is to bag it. Bags could fit into existing shipping containers or simply set into a ships hold. This way, there is an extremely small amount of coal dust and therefore very little environmental impact. Shipping containers often go back to Asia empty. Sending them back with full sealed coal bags inside only changes the shipping weight. If the coal is bagged at the mine inside shipping containers, there is no need for any additional export terminals.

Franz Wasserman (#5273)

Date Submitted: 12/18/12
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Fred Alexander (#14173)

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

Fred Campbell (#8095)

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

Fred Coplin (#13823)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Comment:
I presume profit supersedes keeping reserves of what ever energy sources the U.S has. This writer is not as concerned about local pollution as the petition is, adding to world pollution(coal) via this port is worth considering.


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.

Fred Felleman (#2747)

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

Fred Hodge (#4614)

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


Fred Karlson (#68)

Date Submitted: 09/24/12
Location: Ferndale , WA
Comment:
I am writing as a resident of Ferndale, Washington to express my opposition to the proposed Cherry Point Coal Terminal. Given that we already have a considerable industrial use in that general area, I believe the environmental impact of a terminal of the magnitude proposed would be detrimental to our ecology.

For example, the herring stock in the local waters of Cherry Point would be affected. I am concerned that the herring have diminished so dramatically since the mid 1960s when the aluminum plant and the two oil refineries were added to the region. Herring is important as the natural food of the salmon, which is also crucial not only for the ecosystem, but also to the economy of the local Lummi people who depend on the salmon for their livelihood in fishing. No amount of monetary compensation could ever replace the value of this traditional way of living for the Lummis.

There are currently over 200 local medical doctors who are concerned about the coal dust that will be introduced into our environment. Rightly so, I believe their concern for their patients with respiratory difficulties will be impacted by this "growth" proposal, not to mention its impact for the rest of us.

At best, we will have only 200 new jobs added to the area, once the coal terminal is built. But what will be the economic impact on downtown Bellingham, not to mention its port, due to the increase in air pollutants? In addition, we will have the noise of the additional trains in our area, their traffic causing potential, specifically their impediment to the normal operations of police, fire and emergency vehicles at the train crossings.

Please do not approve this plan. Thank you so much for your due diligence and consideration to all these matters.

Respectfully,
Fred Karlson

Fred Karlson (#9088)

Date Submitted: 01/17/13
Comment:
My name is Fred Karlson and I live in Ferndale WA. I 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.

Respectfully submitted,
Fred Karlson

Fred Kennedy (#4037)

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

Fred Klein (#11746)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Comment:
Introduction

I moved to Orcas Island in 1986; I’m now a retired architect, I have a son here on the island and I’ve helped to raise three grandchildren here. My other son and his family live in Seattle, visit frequently, own land here, and are in the process of building a small retreat.

In my private practice, I designed numerous high end residences, affordable homes for island workers, two private schools, and various community and civic facilities. I was a founding member of OPAL, our local community land trust, currently serve on the Eastsound Planning Review Committee, and have led groups of islanders who have reached consensus on contentious local issues such as funding for school improvements and an Orcas Island Response to the recent tragedy at Newtown, CT.

Along with my family, I love the low key lifestyle and rural community values which island life offers. I cherish my view of neighboring Sucia Island from the North Beach area of the village of Eastsound...to the NE I see the lights of the Cherry Point refinery, which serves as a reminder of the more complex world in which I live, and to the NW I see existing vessel traffic heading north to Vancouver, B.C. as it passes the eastern tip of Saturna Island.

Impacts - General

With respect to this EIS scoping for the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal project I ask that you evaluate, measure, analyze, and consider the potential, probable, and inevitable significant adverse environmental impacts and consequential economic impacts which I categorize under three headings:

- Operational,

- Routine Incident, and

- Major Accident / Catastrophe

Furthermore, I ask that you evaluate, measure, analyze, and consider these significant adverse impacts...NOT on just the grounds of the terminal itself...but on the ENTIRE supply route that the coal follows, the principal product which will pass thru GPT, from the mines in the Powder River Basin all the way to the customers on the Asian mainland... INCLUDING the empty trains returning to the mines, the empty ships returning from Asia, the air polution of the airborne combustion products which prevailing winds will bring back to our shores...AND, the cumulative impacts on Global Climate Change of the combustion products of the coal itself as well as that of all fossil fuels burned in the process of transporting the coal from mine to end user. Please measure and state these cumulative impacts in terms of tons of CO2 put into the atmosphere and their contribution to any rise of CO2 in terms of “parts per million” (pmm).

In the text below, I will use the word “study” as a placeholder for “evaluate, measure, analyze, and consider”.

I am particularly concerned about the significant adverse environmental impacts of GPT on:

- San Juan County Economy / Property values

- Local Waters / Marine Environment

- Salish Sea / Puget Sound

- Global Climate

Impacts - Operational

With respect to the coal trains, please study their impact on the quality of life of every town thru which they pass in terms of air pollution, noise pollution, intermittent blockage of circulation thru the towns, emergency vehicle response times, requirement for additional emergency vehicles, stations, and facilities. Study the requirement for elimination of grade crossings and factor in the capital cost of such facilities in any overall economic analysis of the GPT enterprise. Study the available capacity of existing rail lines; study the potential need for additional trackage including the availability of any requirement for additional right of way. As previously stated, study the impacts related to the traffic of empty trains returning to the mines as well as those of the trains loaded with coal.

Reasonable Alternative: The GPT folks offer no alternative to shipment of the coal from Powder River Basin by rail. A slurry pipeline or conveyor is conceivable, but it’s not my job to evaluate it for “reasonableness”; if the adverse impacts are deemed to be significant, I see no option other than to rule “no action”.

The operational impacts of the loading and un-loading operations at GPT must be studied to determine their significance. Storage and spillage must be studied as well as the adverse impacts of extreme weather events.

With respect to vessel impacts on the islands of my home, Orcas Island in San Juan County, WA, study the impacts of the anticipated numbers of Cape-size, single hull, bulk cargo vessels...including impact on existing vessel traffic (pleasure craft, fishing boats, local commerce, vehicle and passenger ferries) and associated hazards...bunker fuel combustion particulates on air quality, disturbance of sea bed and marine habitat by wake turbulence, dropping of anchors when required for normal operations, both airborne and waterborne sound levels on quality of life for humans as well as marine life.

I emphasize my concern for airborne noise because of my present experience on the North Shore of Orcas where, particularly at night, one can hear a unique and ominous low frequency sound from the relatively small tankers calling on the Cherry Point refinery, even though they are five miles distant. I hate to think how loud the Cape-size vessels will be when transiting the narrow 1 mile wide passage between Orcas and Cypress Islands. Existing vessel traffic can be studied to extrapolate data for the larger ships which would serve GPT if it were to be approved. The significant adverse environmental impact on the lifestyle and habitat of the well-to-do should definitely be measured including the consequential economic losses related to the degradation of the environment.

But it is the waterborne noise of the gigantic Cape-size vessels which must be studied to understand its significant adverse impacts on the Orca whales given their communication and navigation techniques...nor can I imagine any possible means of satisfactory mitigation if the proposed routes of the vessels are approved.

The operations which would result from approval for GPT include the burning of “bunker oil” fuel by the ships as they cross back and forth to Asia...the shear tonnage involved here tells me that these vessels will cause significant adverse impacts due to the airborne particulates from their engines. The airborne particulates from the burning of the coal will raise pollution levels brought to us with the prevailing winds, and finally, the burning of the coal will generate hundreds of tons of greenhouse gases and have a significant adverse impact on GCC.

Reasonable Alternatives: My understanding is that the GPT folks intend to route in-bound vessels north thru Rosario Strait (extremely narrow) and out-bound vessels south thru Haro Strait (wider). Consideration might be given to changing the ciruitious one way traffic pattern to a two-way traffic pattern solely thru Haro Strait; however, that may cause other problems including traffic safety as well as exacerbating the level of traffic and noise along the western shore of San Juan Island. Without a reasonale alternative, please take “no action”.

Routine Incidents

For the trains serving GPT, routine incidents would include occasional derailments, blockage of the tracks by other trains, mudslides which sometimes obstruct the rail line, spillage, and equipment failures of one kind or another. How significant...?... remains to be seen...accidents will happen

For the vessels serving GPT...the colossal Cape-size single hull bulk carriers...routine incidents may include unauthorized dumping of ballast water, loss of power, loss of control, emergency anchorages, damage to piers and terminal facilities when docking, spillage of small amount of bunker fuel, and introduction of contaminants, non-native plants, organisms or species. There have been incidents of somewhat smaller cargo vessels losing power in Haro Strait in the recent past. All of these events must be studied. An assessment of the impact on Western Washington of any contaminants, unwanted items or individuals brought in to the land or sea from ships coming into these waters to unload and/or load cargo. Contaminants include but are not limited to plants, seeds, foods, viruses, bacteria, animals and ship solid or liquid wastes (including food, human and fuel waste). Contaminants may be organisms (living or dead) which are capable of creating or spreading biological, emotional, financial or physical challenges which will require public response (example: noxious weeds) that would otherwise not have been required. Ships entering the waters and docking may also harbor drugs, stowaways, contraband or other items requiring inspection, sanitation, law enforcement, etc. Ship crews may create immigration challenges, shore disruptions, wittingly or unwittingly spread infectious diseases, organisms, or other species for which there are no known predators, biological defenses or means of eradication.

Reasonable Alternative: An ultra-rigorous inspection regime of every vessel would appear to be what it would take to mitigate this insidious risk...failing that, it would appear “no action” would be the only solution.

Major Accident / Catastrophe

Examples of a major accident on a rail line serving GPT would include collisions between trains, any derailment beyond that of an isolated coal car, or any event impacting a moving train such as a mudslide, or failure of any structure by the weight and/or motive force of a train thereon. Potential for major accidents must be studied thoroughly to determine the significance of their adverse environmental impacts.

Reasonable Alternative: No resonable alternative to rail transit of the coal from the mines to GPT is neither available nor proposed; unless the consequences of such events can be 100% mitigated, “no action” would be the only solution.

With regard to a major accident involving a Cape-size, single-hull vessel within the waters adjacent to San Juan County, namely Rosario Strait and Haro Strait, the possible loss of power, extreme weather event(s), or loss of control which result in grounding, collision with another vessel, or the sinking of a vessel would be potentially catastrophic in the narrow channels and sheltered waters of the Salish Sea. All such events must be studied with respect to signficant adverse impacts such as loss of bunker fuel, coal cargoes, hazards to navigation, impacts on all aspects of the fragile marine ecosystem.

These accidents happen...yes, their frequency can be reduced thru rigorous maintenance and inspection regimes for critical shipboard systems...but the risk of such events cannot be eliminated 100%. Given the enormous size of the vessels which will service GPT, the hundrbeds of thousands of gallons of bunker fuel which they carry, the thousands of tons of coal with which they will be loaded, the extremely long distances required for stopping or changing course, the risks will remain to some degree. When you add up the circumstances, the potential for significant adverse...ne, catastrophic...impacts remains.

Any ruling with regard to this issue other than “not action” leaves the entire San Juan Archipeligo hostage to the corporate shells and shills for this distinctly irresponsible enterprise.

Very truly yours,

Fred R. Klein

Fred Livingstone (#13034)

Date Submitted: 01/20/13
Location: Bow, WA
Comment:
My name is Fred Livingstone and I live in Bow, WA. The Burlington Northern train tracks twice come within a mile of my property on a diagonal. On the south at Ershig Road and to the west at Bow Hill Road.

I have never been so concerned with a single project in my life as I am concerned with this one. And I am amazed at what is potentially such a huge negative impact on the environment, quality of life, and health and safety of the people of western Washington for the benefit of so few.

I don't need to list the many negative impacts associated with the building of this terminal at Cherry Point. There are far more expert opinions that have already been submitted to the scoping organizations than I could provide. But I can plead with the scoping organizations to consider more than just the terminal at Cherry Point. Please also include the total end to end impacts of the additional terminals planned in California, Oregon and Washington. And the strip mining of the coal in Wyoming and Montana. And the impacts on local towns, ranches and lands of the transportation of that coal westward from the mines to the terminals. And the impact of those terminals and their operation on the sea and the aquatic life near those terminals. And the impact on our air quality when the toxins that result from the burning of coal in China comes back to us on wind.

The individuals that comprise the scoping organizations know full well that it is impossible to mitigate all the negatives associated with this project. And that the majority of costs of whatever mitigation efforts are made will be borne by local taxpayers.

I'm pleading that the EIS be honest enough and complete enough to list ALL of the impacts beyond just the terminal at Cherry Point. We have the right to know it all. Positive and negative.

Fred Livingstone

Fred Schuhmacher (#6102)

Date Submitted: 01/06/2013
Location: Blaine, WA
Comment:
The EIS must include a study of the overall impact that the increased rail traffic will have on the safety of people, property, traffic and the possible cost to tax payers caused by these hazards.
Listed below is a record of coal train derailments that I found by a cursory search on the web. The fact is that this short list is very alarming and a detailed study will show the full extent of the coal trains terrible safety record.
During the short period of July 2 to July 15, 2012 there were 5 coal train derailments:
July 2 31 cars derailed near Mesa, WA (BNSF)
July 4 31 cars derailed in Northview, IL; Rail Bridge collapsed and crushing (killing) two people below. (Union Pacific)
July 4 43 cars derailed near Pendleton, Texas (BNSF)
July11 At leas one car derailed at an intersection in Princeton, IN, intersection was closed for several days. (Norfolk Southern)
July15 Seven cars derailed outside of Perry, KS
This is a list of only a two week period and a study for the whole year will probably show many more accidents.
I just would like to list two more recent derailments to illustrate the danger that these trains present:
On Aug. 22 21 cars derailed in Elliot City, MD, again on a bridge, some of the cars fell off the bridge on the road below, crushing two 19 year old women. (CSX)
On Nov. 12 23 cars derailed in Grantville, KS; a 5ft long piece of rail flew through the window of a house and landed on the bottom of a bunk bed. Luckily the child was sleeping on the upper bank.
The coal industry is playing fast and loose with the safety of people and property. I do not believe that these dangers can be mitigated and a permit for this project should be denied.

Fred Schuhmacher (#8595)

Date Submitted: 01/17/2013
Location: Blaine, Wa
Comment:
Please study the consequences due to the increased traffic from coal shipping. The following points must be addressed:
• Who is the operator legally responsible for the operation of the terminal?
• Who is the company legally responsible for the operation the coal transport shipping?
• If a coal ship should hit an oil tanker, the cleanup costs could run into the hundreds of millions dollars. Who will pay for potential cleanup costs? SSA Marine, GPT and PIT are financially hollow shells without any substantial assets. The responsible coal carrier would probably a foreign registry ship.
• The tax payer must be held harmless from any financial liability.
• The whole coal shipping operation should be bonded or insured to cover the estimated damages caused to the livelihood of affected people and the harm to the environment, in a catastrophic event.
• Oil tankers are huge ships and coal ships are even larger. Due to their size they are difficult to maneuver. Oil tankers and coal ships will be maneuvering in extremely close proximity near their respective terminals at Cherry Point. It is my understanding that these colossal coal ship are permitted to operate without pilot. How much will this increase the possibility of a collision or a vessel running aground?

Fred Symonds (#7745)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Given the amount of water that is required to keep a pile of coal from spontaneous combustion, I wonder whether the supply of water will be adequate to supply the many towns, farms, fish migration, and current (as well as future) industries?

Also, once this water has drained down through the coal pile, what will prevent it and the coal debris from leaching into the ground water and ultimately our inland sea?

Fred and Mary Ann Kirkpatrick Tuttle (#12486)

Date Submitted: 01/21/13
Location: Edmonds, WA
Comment:
We strongly believe that exporting coal to China will create a huge Public Health problem (and climate change) for the US in the future.

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.

Frederica Helmiere (#14113)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
As a University professor in environmental studies (UW and Northwest U in Kirkland), I am deeply concerned about the potential impact of coal export terminals on my community, the PNW region and the world. Coal exports and the facilitation of coal burning in Asia pose huge threats to the health, safety, and environment of life as we know it on this planet. Burning this coal would be a ludicrous 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.

Frederick Ellis (#8926)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Location: Friday Harbor, WA
Comment:
Please see the attached letter. Thank you.
Attached Files:

Frederick Ellis (#8927)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Location: Friday Harbor, WA
Comment:
Please see the attached letter. Thank you.
Attached Files:

Frederick Sharminghaven (#2599)

Date Submitted: 11/05/12
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Frederick Ulrich (#4813)

Date Submitted: 12/15/2012
Location: Bothell, WA
Comment:
I was raised during the era of steam locomotives using coal for fuel and having coal bins in my celler; coal fired furnaces; and living among the coal as my father was an apartment superintendent. I now have COPD but it was caused by cigarette smoking and not coal burning or dust. Communities built up around rail lines and not vice versa. If traffic delays are a problem cities could build tunnels or bridges over the tracks, and God forbid, perhaps talk to each other and work out some solution where trains would not run during morning and evening commutes. Finally, the United States needs the economic benefits a coal terminal would bring.

Fredrick Seil (#6914)

Date Submitted: 01/12/2013
Location: Berkeley, CA
Comment:
The proposal to export up to 48 million tons of coal per year from the Powder River Basin, through the Columbia River Gorge to Cherry Point for export to Asia would result in significant adverse effects to the local, regional and global environment. The impacts of strip mining, transporting and burning the coal in Asian power plants must be included in the scope of analysis for the environmental impact statement (EIS).

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

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

Coal pollution is already a problem in the Gorge from just a few coal trains per week, with large amounts of coal polluting Gorge lands and waterways. Adverse effects of coal spilling into waterways and into sensitive plant and wildlife areas in the Gorge from open-top coal cars must be analyzed in the EIS. The threat of fugitive coal affecting agriculture and forestry must also be examined in the EIS.

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

Existing rail traffic in the Gorge is near capacity. Approval of the GPT project would result in the need to expand rail capacity in the Gorge with new tracks and sidings. Rail lines in the Gorge follow the Columbia River and cross many tributaries and wetlands. Impacts from the construction of new tracks would cause adverse effects to water quality, fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats. These impacts must be analyzed and avoided.

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

There are five pending proposals for coal exports in the Pacific Northwest. All would transport coal from the Powder River Basin through the Columbia River Gorge to export facilities. The combined impacts of past, present and reasonably foreseeable uses and developments must be thoroughly explored in the EIS.

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

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

The Army Corps of Engineers should refrain from making a decision on any permits until an area-wide EIS is completed to analyze the impacts of all five coal export proposals in the Pacific Northwest.

Friday Harbor Meeting Transcripts (#3268)

Date Submitted: 11/03/12
Location: Friday Harbor, WA
Comment:
Attached are the transcripts from the Friday Harbor Meeting for the verbal public comment area and the individual verbal comments area.
Attached Files:

Frieda Cron (#10461)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Olga, WA
Comment:
Please do not turn Rosario Strait into an industrial freeway. There already are a lot of tankers and traffic going up and down the shipping lanes. We don't need more vessels which will contribute to the degradation of these pristine waters. Coal is a dirty source of energy and creates world wide pollution. Is it worth ruining this beautiful environment over a resource that will be shipped to other countries? No, we do not think so.
Attached Image:

Frnces Greenlee (#11303)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Bend, Or
Comment:
Re: Proposed rail/barge transport of coal from fields in Wyoming to ports on the west coast.

It has been brought to my attention that before allowing the shipment of coal to ports on the west coast, that a SUBSTANTIAL BOND -- possibly up to one billion dollars -- must be required of the engaged businesses seeking to make a profit from this environmentally hazardous procedure-- that is mine operators, shipping firms, and transfer facilities all along the line -- even shipments at sea.

This bond must be posted BEFORE making shipments, and the companies involved have to be reputable -- and able to pay for any damage BEFORE unending suits of damage to those affected. We all know the Exxon Valdez spill was never paid for in its entirety -- even after 20 years.

Just because someone wants to offer the prospects of "jobs" we must protect those
who would be affected by a spill -- or explosion -- of hazardous materials. Jobs are not
worth the prospect of hideously damaging the environment and human life -- to say nothing of the wildlife and sea mammals that could be affected.

Thank you,
Fran Greenlee

Fumio Otsu (#6217)

Date Submitted: 01/07/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I currently work in an office which is within 100 ft of the proposed rail transportation system for the Coal Train. There are multiple businesses along the transportation corridor near the Marina area in Bellingham.
Study the impact of pollution, noise, traffic and economic impact on these businesses.
Specific businesses are:
• Restaurants (6)with outdoor seating within 25-100 ft of rail system
• Offices with 200+ employees
• Computer and business machine services
• Small businesses (10) with 10+ employees

Fumio Otsu (#7082)

Date Submitted: 01/13/2013
Comment:
I currently enjoy recreation areas in Bellingham which are within 25-100 ft of the proposed rail transportation system for the Coal Train.

With hourly trains study the effect of pollution and noise as well as access to these areas.

Fumio Otsu (#7260)

Date Submitted: 01/14/2013
Comment:
The economic benefit of coal to Asia is limited due to the current development of energy resources within Asia (specifically) China is expected within the next 5 years.
o Study the long term economic benefits of the terminal business venture for the region.
What happens to the obsolete terminal when energy resources are no longer desired by Asian countries?
o Study other location(s) or regions which will benefit economically on a longer term basis.

G DiLabio (#2329)

Date Submitted: 11/05/2012
Location: Mt Vernon, WA
Comment:
I moved to this area over 20 years ago because of the marine environment. For eight years I was an active WSU Beachwatcher and worked to study and catalog marine species and work in the community to educate citizens about stewardship of these valuable resources. It is necessary to study the impact of the proposed expansion of the Pacific Gateway Terminal on the marine life in the acquatic preserve at which the terminal is located. The herring population in those waters has already been negatively impacted by the terminal. These herrring are vital in that because of their unique life cycle they are available to the Chinook salmon when other herrring are not. The loss of salmon and oracas would devastate both the fisheries and touring industries.
It is vital that you study the impact of coal dust blowing into the water at the terminal, along with the diesel impacts from the trains, the spillage and dust from loading ships at the docks. Since the herring are already impacted, the tonnage from the proposed expansion will likely decimate them. The economic losses attendant on loss of the fishing and tourism industry in WA state must be weighed against an expansion that primarily benefits the railroad and and Peabody Coal which are not local industries.

Thank you for your consideration of these concerns.

Sincerely,

G. DiLabio
3124 Dakota Dr
Mount Vernon, WA 98274

G DiLabio (#8618)

Date Submitted: 01/14/13
Comment:
I am a resident of Mount Vernon and have followed climate change research for over twenty years. The proposed expansion of the coal terminal at Cherry Point should be evaluated for it's effect on climate change since it's clear that the planet is very near to the tipping point for extreme climate change and all the disruption and displacement that will cause to say nothing of the blowback of the pollution to the Northwest.. Furthermore, I''ve read that China already has huge coal deposits and it only lacks the infrastructure to deliver it at this time. Given the fast pace at which they are constructing rail lines, it's feasible that by the time the infrastructure needed here is built if the terminal were expanded, China may no longer need Powder River Basin coal. We'd be left holding the proverbial bag. The data on China's coal and rail construction should be studied.
I respectfully suggest that a better use of the terminal would be to ship products which benefit WA state such as wine, apples, etc. which are made here and would profit our industries. The proposed expansion to accommodate coal does so much harm to our quality of life , our local industries, and profits BSNF and Peabody coal.
Thank you for considering my concerns.

G DiLabio
Mount Vernon

G DiLabio (#9145)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Location: Mount Vernon, WA
Comment:
As a Mount Vernon resident I am concerned as to how the coal trains from the proposed expansion of the terminal at Bellingham will impact public health and our environment. Specifically I request that you study the quantity of coal dust that would be lost in transit from the mines to the coast. You may have read the terminal proponent's and boosters' claims that there will be no dust lost because BNSF will use "state-of-the-art" methods to ensure that. In fact, BNSF is embroiled in ongoing litigation with mining companies who don't want to invest in measures that reduce -- but can never completely eliminate -- fugitive dust in transit. For the EIS please determine how much dust will in fact be lost this far from the mines, whether BNSF prevails in the suit or not. Even a relatively small loss of dust would accumulate and, over time, become significant. At what point do the levels of mercury, arsenic, cadmium, uranium and other elements in coal reach "dangerous" levels in our soils, waters, and that which we consume?
Thank you

G DiLabio (#9152)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Location: Mount Vernon, WA
Comment:
I am a Mount Vernon resident and am very concerned about public health and financial impacts on citizens of the proposed expansion of the terminal at Cherry Point. I concur with Dr. Mostad's statement that a Health Impact Assessment should "determine how many excess deaths and hospitalizations would be expected." Regulators need to measure lost life expectancy, and to not limit those measures to Washington's populations living and working in rail communities, but consider those living in proximity to rail lines from the terminal to the Powder River Basin. Then, quantify those medical consequences: who, exactly, will pay for the hospitalizations? What share will be borne by private insurers, individuals out-of-pocket, treatment providers for unreimbursed costs, and the public through government-funded benefits programs. Terminal boosters tout jobs and tax revenues; I believe that those touted economic benefits be offset by directly and indirectly related health care costs. Then, as a society we would be forced to do that which we have always avoided: identify precisely how many years of life and mortalities we are willing to "pay" for a net economic benefit, if there even is a net benefit of the proposed economic activity.

G Woodyard (#1525)

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

G. DiLabio (#2710)

Date Submitted: 11/12/2012
Location: Mount Vernon, WA
Comment:
I live in Mount Vernon and am concerned that if the expansion of the GPT is allowed the cost of the necessary infrastructure improvements such as bridges and sidings along the track from Wyoming's Powder River Basin to Bellingham will be borne by taxpayers. It is estimated these improvements will cost billions of dollars and the railroad typically pays 0 to 2% of it.

Please study the estimated costs of needed infrastructure improvement along the entire route and require that SSA Marine, Peabody Coal, and the railroad fund those costs up front or are not permitted the expansion. If citizens have to deal with noise, pollution, inconvenience, negative impact on property values, etc., they should not have to also pay taxes for the cause of these burdens. An end to the externalization of costs by big corporations is long overdue.

Thank you for considering my concerns.

Sincerely,

G. DiLabio
Mount Vernon, WA 98274

G. DiLabio (#2711)

Date Submitted: 11/12/2012
Location: Mount Vernon, WA
Comment:
I have allergies and am prone to respiratory and sinus congestion. As a senior citizen I know that seniors, as well as children, are more susceptible to air pollution Please study the impacts of coal dust and diesel particulates and vapors on human health. I've read that particulates from diesel are less than 25 microns (the most dangerous size) and that these are emitted by coal trains. Among the health hazards is cancer. I am already a cancer survivor and hope to avoid a recurrence for myself and everyone else.
Also, these coal trains are uncovered. The railroads claim that a surfactant spray prevents coal dust from flying off. Please study and veryify if that is true. The coal from Wyoming is dirty coal and contains toxic metal such as mercury which of course are bad for lungs.

Thank you for considering my concerns. Surely we can create jobs that are not harmful to human health.

Sincerely,
G. DiLabio

G. Harriman (#4013)

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

G. Armour Van Horn (#13003)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
Location: Freeland, WA
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington. This proposal would negatively affect my community by increasing traffic, polluting our air and water, harming existing business, delaying emergency vehicles, increasing shipping traffic and noise, damaging aquatic ecosystems at the terminal site, increasing the potential for serious shipping accidents and exacerbating climate change. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

I have lived on Whidbey Island for over twenty years, and I've lived on or near the Salish Sea for fifty-five years. The air and water quality in this region is precious to me and I can't see the low economic value of passing millions of tons of coal through our waters for the benefit of eastern coal miners and international coal buyers is sufficient to cover the risks.

Besides, the time for burning coal is OVER!

Gabriel Gardner (#14011)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Comment:
I question 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 could 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 could 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.

gabriel iverson (#5964)

Date Submitted: 01/04/2013
Location: oak grove, Or
Comment:
Please stop the madness! The people of this planet should stop using coal all together! This terminal would surely cause the Columbia river to become even more jeopardized and filthy. The air quality would be terrible affected all along the path of coal exports.

Gabriel Lavalle (#1885)

Date Submitted: 10/28/12
Location: Lynnwood, WA
Comment:
Dear Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Ecology and Whatcom County Council:

As a 4th generation Washingtonian and local small business owner I vehemently 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 for generations 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 insist that you 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.




Gabriel Lavalle
18923 44th ave. W.
Lynnwood, WA 98036

Gabriel Lavalle (#5106)

Date Submitted: 12/19/2012
Location: Lynnwood, WA
Comment:
To Whom It May Concern,

I did attend the coal hearing in Seattle but was not chosen to speak so am doing so now.

This issue of whether or not the Cherry Point facility is built and opened for business is of extreme importance to me. I am firmly against this project moving forward, I propose that there be no action, no new terminal in our state of Washington. I cannot see how you would not come to agree with the tens of thousands of people who believe this is an unsafe project that will bring many negative enviromental impacts to the Northwest and beyond.

I am a 4th generation Washingtonian and a small business owner. I live in Lynnwood, WA and work in the field of Horticulture all around the Puget Sound. As a private gardener my work entails creating beauty and peace where homeowners can hear the birds, breathe fresh air and spend time outdoors together, playing, entertaining, relaxing, etc. For some this also includes growing fruit and vegetables as more and more people want access to organic fresh food.

How am I supposed to provide this service if you build this monstrosity and start carting millions of tons of coal past these residences? I ask that you look at the decrease in property values within a mile of the train tracks. I ask you to look into the impacts on food production. You must also consider how the added trains will affect songbirds, seabirds, raptors etc. One of my clients lives on Sunset Dr. in Edmonds which is just north of the ferry dock, I am thus familiar with the coal trains that already pass by. Edmonds is a wonderful little town that I fear will be greatly impacted in a negative way by an increase in coal trains. Many elderly people retire here, the senior center is quite near the train tracks. Also near the tracks is an off-leash dog park, a public park and marina, and a numer of restaurants which bring visitors year round. All of these activity which brings revenue to the state and assures a good quality of life will be jeopordized by increased trains.

As I did attend the hearing I learned about how my community will be affected adversely by this project. I share concerns of spills and accidents that could occur in the Puget Sound and effect tourism, fishing industry, orca whales, etc. Many others are speaking about the burning of the coal which I concur that the burning of coal should not be done if we want to preserve a livable planet for future generations.

Last, I hope you will consider the compound effects to communities as you go through the process.

Thank for the opportunity to share my point of view.

Gabriel Olmsted (#12764)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Comment:
Sir or Madame,

I have been a resident of the Northern Puget Sound for over 16 years. Prior to moving to this area I volunteered assisting naturalists studying populations of Humpbacks and North Atlantic Right Whales off Cape Cod (MA) and working with others to better understand environmental impacts affecting California Grey Whales in their winter habitat and birthing grounds along Baja’s west coast. I also spent several weeks each summer (mid – late 80’s) working with a non-profit organization observing Orca in their natural habitat in Johnstone Strait (BC). Several years ago I completed the WSU Extension Beach Watchers program. In my professional career as Construction Project Manager and Sustainable Development Consultant I have consistently applied Low Impact Development standards in the design and construction of affordable housing in both San Juan and Skagit counties

There are numerous impacts of the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal which should require thorough study (“scoping”) as a part of the EIS process for this project. It would be difficult to discuss each of them in any single request, so I will limit my focus to likely habitat impact (and possible destruction) as it relates to the health and viability of marine mammals. Of course, these “canaries in a coal mine” present only one of many areas of concern.

My primary consideration of these requests is the urgent need for protection of the marine environment most likely to be directly impacted by this project – the terminal site near Cherry Point. The eel grass beds in that area are primary sources of critical habitat for herring which spawn there. Since herring in different areas experience different spawning cycles, those Cherry Point herring are available when others are not. The Chinook salmon which depend on these herring as food source will be impacted by the degradation of this habitat. Going up the food chain, Orca (as well as commercial and recreational fisherman) will be negatively impacted. There is no mitigation possible if terminal construction and operations have this foreseeable and significant impact.

There are also likely impacts to significant wetlands (destruction) and probable negative impacts to groundwater (contamination) under and near the terminal site should anticipated runoff from terminal operations leach into groundwater sources. The permanent shadow created by terminal facilities will kill existing marine plants (eel grass beds) and aquatic animals. These are significant and cumulative impacts, and all proposed construction and operation methodologies should be scoped by appropriate parties to ensure no negative impacts to the environment in the area of this proposed terminal.

Sincerely,

Gabriel Olmsted

Gabriel Olmsted LEED-AP, CSBA
ph. 360 317-5637
f. 360 588-1911
www.heronrivergroup.com

Gabriel Widmeyer (#11562)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Comment:
As a health care professional, I am very aware of the damage coal dust does to lungs and the fetus.

Clean coal does not exist and it's impossible.

Our area of Vancouver, Washington would be impacted hard by these trains, property values would fail and this historic neighborhood would become a slum.

Gabrielle Anderson (#7219)

Date Submitted: 01/14/2013
Comment:
I am writing to voice my opposition to the proposed Coal Train through Skagit County. The list of detrimental effects is long, and the benefits are nowhere worth the losses. I have not met a single person living in this area in support of this idea. I come from a long line of farmers living in the Skagit Valley. Please do not allow this to happen.

Gael Varsi (#10892)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Anacortes, WA
Comment:
I am a resident of Skagit County and I am concerned about the rail traffic impact on our communities if the Cherry Point Terminal is built.
There are mudslides every year along this railroad track, sometimes stopping train traffic for several days.
Please study the cumulative impacts of stalled trains blocking intersections and
delaying emergency response.

Gael Varsi (#10900)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Anacortes, WA
Comment:
I am a resident of Skagit County and I am concerned about the increased rail traffic impact causing more soil instability along the train route.
Please conduct a cumulative study and evaluation of potential earthquake risks
along the railroad route and how increases in rail traffic will affect these risks.

Gael Varsi (#10915)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Anacortes, WA
Comment:
I am a resident of Anacortes and Skagit county. I am concerned about the effects of coal dust harming the already fragile shore and maritime plant and sea life communities.
Please do a rigorous study of the cumulative effects of coal dust on our maritime environment wen transported by rail or ship.

Gael Varsi (#10933)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Anacortes, WA
Comment:
I am a resident of Anacortes and Skagit County.
I am concerned about the effects of coal dust on the soils surrounding the train
track route and the soils around the CPT storage sites.
Please do a thorough study of the cumulative effects of coal dust on surrounding
soils throughout the life of the coal terminal.

Gage Carolyn (#7781)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
My name is Carolyn Gage. I am concerned about the air, water, and noise impact for the whole corridor of transport, but that on humans is of grave concern to me. My 6yo son and I live downtown, about 1 mile from the tracks in subsidized housing. The trains are so close to us that we are awakened multiple times a night. We have little to no options for relocation. The impact on all individuals living on or near the tracks should be taken into serious account.
Additionally, the waterfront in Bellingham is a burgeoning location for redevelopment (at the former Georgia Pacific site). I am loathe to think of the success of this project being hampered by the presence of more train traffic through there, either pre- or post-construction. The stigma of a "coal town" is hard to live down.

I would like the EIS to address:
derailments
diesel emissions
refinery fire hazards
inhalation of coal dust
nitrogen and sulfur dioxide emissions from trains
noise pollution
increased soil toxicity from coal dust
capital lock-in for a big carbon infrastructure
coal resource depletion
damage to fish and fishing
increased commute times, increasing combustion engine pollution
loss of rural character, such as the small communities in Skagit County
loss of park usage
lost tourism
greater oil imports for train fuel
permanent destruction of the prime land at the terminal site
pollution to farm land and animals
rail line congestion
real estate values
recreational boating
coal export ship emissions
coal dust in inland waterways
eel grass beds at Cherry Point
endangered species near the mines
greenhouse gas emissions from coal burners, mining, and transport of coal
groundwater contamination
herring near Cherry Point
invasive species coming to Puget Sound in the ballast water or hulls of coal ships
impact from coal loading and unloading
moise impact on marine mammals
mercury travelling across the Pacific from coal burners in China
ocean acidification
oil spills
orcas
ground level ozone from coal burners
effect on Chinook salmon
ship interference with marine animals
water pollutants from ships (especially international ships that are less regulated)
destruction of significant wetlands
accumulation of all these factors with other terminals being proposed
clean water act violations
damage to Native American cultural resources
violation of the treaty with the Lummi Nation
loss of property rights
loss of community rights

Gail Barton (#1034)

Date Submitted: 10/21/12
Location: Naches, 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.

Money and profits for the few are no longer the most important factor.
It is time to put the environment that affects ALL in the top priority!
Look at the big picture as you have the privilege to make this decision for the rest of us.

Sincerely,

Gail Barton
1010 Old River Rd
Naches, WA 98937-9419

Gail Barton (#3110)

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

Scoping Hearing Comments Cherry Point Scoping Comments WA

Dear Scoping Hearing Comments Scoping Comments,

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

Coal is of the past, we have learned the impact to our environment, the air we breath and water we drink, is not worth developing coal further.
The need is to develope alternatives with OUR REVENUES and my opinion is that conservation of energy uses is the way to go. I personally am working on this angle. Remember, solar, once captured is benign to our environment~ lets put OUR money there!

Sincerely,

Gail Barton
1010 Old River Rd
Naches, WA 98937-9419
(509) 658-2108

Gail Campbell (#12958)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
Location: Eugene, OR
Comment:
DON'T DO THIS. Don't abdicate your higher responsibility to the health and welfare of the people who will be affected by the coal trains going to Cherry Point.

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.

Gail Chiarello (#13502)

Date Submitted: 01/21/13
Comment:
Good Evening Coal Train Comments,

I am opposed to the Coal Train going through Washington State. Coal is an anachronistic form of energy--quickly depleted, highly injurious to the environment. If China has such a huge demand for the North American continent's midwestern coal, why not let Prince Rupert in BC reap the economic benefits of this polluting traffic? Prince Rupert has a great deep water port and is closer to Asia than any port in Washington State. With the amount of continual rainfall in northern British Columbia, some of the adverse consequences of the "Coal Train"--namely the dust and detritus of the train's load--will be washed out of the atmosphere right away, or at least more quickly than it will be several hundred miles south here in Washington State.

The ports of Seattle, Bellingham, and Tacoma can succeed economically just fine without this archaic form of energy being transported through Washington State. The only proponents of the deal, near as I can tell, are those looking for short-term gain (for themselves) at the expense of longer-term public and environmental good.

DO NOT SUPPORT THIS.

Gail Chiarello
Democratic PCO 46-2098
Washington State Democratic Party

Gail Dawson (#12403)

Date Submitted: 01/20/13
Location: Port Hadlock, WA
Comment:
Coal needs to stay in the ground. Accept that as fact. It is stupid to be having any conversation about shipping some toxic crap THAT NEEDS TO STAY IN THE GROUND. Coal needs to stay in the ground, so obviously it shouldn't be allowed to travel anywhere. Are there no intelligent people left on this planet? 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.

Gail Engstrom (#10750)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Seabeck, Wa
Comment:
I find it interesting that no one wants this coal terminal in their back yard. I found the same situation when I was living on the coast of Texas and none of the residents wanted to look at the oil wells out on the Gulf but they all drove automobiles and owned boats. Coal trains wander through the states all the time without major environmental impact. It would be nice if people would think in a realistic manner about business and progress in our country. It is not a perfect world where everyone lives an ideal life and goods and services just happen to get where they are needed without going through someones back yard.

Gail Gross (#499)

Date Submitted: 09/25/12
Location: Issaquah, WA
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington. This proposal would negatively affect Wa state by increasing local traffic, polluting 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,

Gail Gross

Gail Nelson (#8614)

Date Submitted: 01/17/2013
Location: BELLINGHAM, Wa
Comment:
Please accept these scoping comments for the environmental impact statement for the Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT) project located at Cherry Point, Washington.

Given the results of the newest Federal Climate Change assessment, released in draft form on January 11, 2013, that finds that “climate change is real and accelerating,” and that a myriad of impacts are already being felt in the U.S., from more frequent and hotter heat waves, to coastal flooding and precipitation extremes, I think it is imperative that the EIS consider the volume of carbon dioxide that will be released into the atmosphere when the coal is finally burned after its long journey and trail of negative impacts along the way.

The atmosphere knows no political boundaries and the carbon dioxide released from burning the vast quantities of proposed coal shipments will further accelerate the warming of the planet with direct adverse effects on a significant portion of the US population, including of course Washington State.

Gail Nuckels (#410)

Date Submitted: 09/25/12
Location: Fox Island, WA
Comment:
How can anyone think that constructing large coal export terminals in Washington is a responsible thing to do? Not only would the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington, negatively affect my community by increasing traffic, polluting our air and water, harming existing business, delaying emergency vehicles, increasing shipping traffic and noise, but it is another example of bad, short-term thinking which would increase global warming and the pollution from burning this coal in Asia will then come back as air pollution to damage out beautiful views of our mountains and pollute our waters. The few jobs created in Washington by this proposal are far outweighed by the damage to our state and to the global climate. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

Sincerely,

Gail Nuckels

Gail Nuckels (#2549)

Date Submitted: 11/08/2012
Location: Fox Island, WA
Comment:
I find this proposal to be short-sighted. A few jobs and economic activity that will be more than offset by the environmental costs to air and water pollution, human health, wildlife and marine species and traffic congestion. WA has a very poor record of recapturing the costs of development from those who profit by it. While I think this is a bad option and one that is promoting old 19th century fossil fuels in a 21st century world I believe that the only way it should be allowed to go forward is AFTER those who will profit - the fossil fuel industry and the railroads put the money UP FRONT for overpasses and other traffic mitigation and be required to have all coal cars covered to minimize their pollution. Otherwise it will be the tax payers of the State of WA who will once again be saddled with the burden of both the pollution and costs of these ports.

Gail Nuckels (#14031)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Comment:
This kind of short-term thinking - all for a quick buck is the root of all our problems in this country - both economicly and environmentally and must be stopped! The writing is already on the wall - China and other nations are rapidly moving away from coal and/or developing their own energy sources. All we will be left with is its destruction.

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.

Gail Shackel (#12524)

Date Submitted: 01/20/13
Location: Bainbridge Island, WA
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington. This proposal would negatively affect my community by increasing traffic, polluting our air and water, harming existing business, delaying emergency vehicles, increasing shipping traffic and noise, damaging aquatic ecosystems at the terminal site, increasing the potential for serious shipping accidents and exacerbating climate change. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

In addition, EVERY SINGLE PHYSICIAN ( usually, they never agree) in the Bellingham area signed a petition months ago stating that coal should never be shipped across any state, especially Washington, because of numerous health hazards posed to populations all along the train tracks.

Coal is poison, a simple and scientific statement. We don't need any of it when the earth's plenty offers myriad other energy and profit-making sources that don't pollute with the intensity of coal.

Gale Gray (#12415)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
Location: Silverdale, 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 to Cherry Point. This would negatively affect the two areas where I live (one in Washington and one in Whitefish, Montana).
Overall it would increase pollution and escalate 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.

Galie Jean-Louis (#1838)

Date Submitted: 10/30/12
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
October 26, 2012


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

To the Co-Lead Agencies:

I live in Bellingham, WA in on the BSNF rail line in a waterfront home on which up to 18 additional daily coal trains (9 full, 9 empty) would travel if the Gateway Pacific Terminal were built. Our property values have already declined from the notice of GPT. We have grave concerns about: Health Issues, Sleep issues, Property Values going down, and the direct impact on the foundation of our home.

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

I request that studies on the potential negative health, environmental and economic impacts due to the transport of coal by rail and its transshipment by coal ships in the Salish Sea have an extended timeframe of at least 50 years.

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

In this light, I would further request that studies be performed to clarify whether GPT, Burlington Northern or currently unknown shipping companies would be financially responsible for long term negative impacts of the proposed coal port and transport of 50+ million tons of coal per year to the coal port by rail and its transport by ship to foreign markets.

This extended timeframe is critical!

Who could have imagined that the Fukushima nuclear disaster resulted from a tsunami subsequent to an underwater earthquake? In our area, a mega-thrust earthquake originating along the Juan de Fuca plate is a real possibility. Studies should clarify who would end up paying for the cleanup if the GPT coal port was compromised during such a natural disaster – the citizens or GPT.

Similarly, recall the disastrous Exxon Valdez oil spill. A similar situation could occur in the Salish Sea subsequent to a shipwreck containing coal. Again, studies should clarify who would end up paying – the citizens or GPT or the shipping company.

And such studies should clarify whether the liability for such disasters would include full environmental and economic restitution along the lines of the penalties that BP agreed to as a result of the recent BP Gulf Oil spill.

I am particularly concerned about negative economic effects to private property and businesses due to the transport of coal. Studies must be undertaken to clarify both short term and long-term impacts on property values and business disruption. Let me clarify through examples. Regarding property values, there may be little perceived effect during the construction phase. However, once the transport of 50+ million tons of coal commences, it is likely that there would be downward pressure on property values due to noise and vibration and the inevitable dust. Studies should clarify who would be responsible for mitigating the loss of property value since, for most families, a home is their most significant economic investment and long term asset – GPT or Burlington Northern. Further, these studies should also clarify who would be responsible for offsetting the reduced city revenues as a consequence of reduced property tax collections on homes that have lost their value due to proximity to the railroad – the citizens, GPT or Burlington Northern.

Similarly for businesses, there may be little perceived effect during the construction phase. However, once the transport of 50+ million tons of coal commences, one can anticipate significant negative impacts to hotels, restaurants, the marina and other small businesses that are near the railroad tracks or involved in fishing, and tourism within the Salish Sea. Studies should clarify who would be responsible for mitigating the loss of business – the citizens, GPT or Burlington Northern. Further, these studies should also clarify who would be responsible for offsetting the reduced city revenues as a consequence of reduced tax collections on businesses that have lost income due to proximity to the railroad or that operate within the Salish Sea – the citizens, GPT or Burlington Northern.

Finally, I request that the GPT Environmental Impact Statement incorporate the above requested studies in a manner that encompasses the entire transportation corridor so that communities along the rail and marine routes are given due consideration.

Thank you,

Galie Jean-Louis
28 Shorewood Drive
Bellingham WA 98225




Galie Jean-Louis


360.739.0798

Garrett Leque (#10973)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Tacoma, WA
Comment:
This proposal likely doesn't fit with a number of Washington's rules or visions. Why does Ecology have a Climate Pledge (http://www.ecy.wa.gov/forms/carbonfootprint_pledge.html) if Ecology is going to consider exporting coal, causing tremendous green house gas emissions? If Washington State is "particularly vulnerable to a warming climate," (http://www.ecy.wa.gov/climatechange/), it doesn't make sense to participate in a coal exporting terminal. The government (the people) have forced private industry (local utilities and PSE) to increase their percentage supply of renewable energy sources, and we now see the slow growth of those industries in Washington; coal exporting is a step backwards. We already know the human and environmental health effects of coal transport and coal burning, so why would Ecology consider trading those effects for meager, temporary construction jobs and even more minor long-term employment opportunities? I strongly urge Ecology to consider what kind of Washington they are working for when considering this proposal.

Garrett Leque (#10976)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Tacoma, WA
Comment:
Gateway Pacific has promised transparency and promised following the rules; I see however that they have already ignored Washington State's Construction Stormwater Permit requirements. I strongly urge the Agencies to consider which other rules and laws Gateway Pacific is planning on brushing aside in the name of profits if this proposal is approved.

Garrett Meigs (#13137)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Location: Corvallis, OR
Comment:
We do not need coal export terminals in the Pacific Northwest.

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.

Garrett Rink (#11279)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Comment:
Hello my name is Garrett Rink and I believe that by adding a terminal to increase the amount of coal moved through Bellingham is a good idea. The terminal will creat over 4,000 jobs instantly while keeping around 2,000 permanently for the future. The increase of 18 more trains going through Bellingham might affect the environment but without building the terminal we wil never know the environmental impacts exactly. The economy right now is very bad so by creating jobs hopefully Bellingham will get out of the recession a lot quicker than other cities. A way to mitigate the environmental effects is to keep a closer eye on the transportation methods and looking towards a greener alternative towards transportation. If the environmental groups focus more on stopping cars, which is the number one pollutant in the U.S., than the coal trains which will help our economy.

Garry Harris (#12830)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Figures indicate that at this time it will take a certain number of megatons of CO2 to make the planet, the whole works, boil. Let's call it "X" amount. The world's known, proven coal and oil reserves equal "3X". What does this tell a prudent person: Humans must stop burning the stuff.

Garry & Anne Gilley & Aparicio (#2069)

Date Submitted: 10/30/12
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Gary Ballantyne (#7243)

Date Submitted: 01/14/2013
Location: Spokane, WA
Comment:
I live and work in a community close to the BSNF rail line on which up to 18 to 40 additional daily coal trains would travel if the Gateway Pacific Terminal were built. I request that the GPT Environmental Impact Statement encompass the entire transportation corridor so that communities along the rail and marine routes are given due consideration. Questions that concern me, and which objective, rigorous and comprehensive studies should address include:
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 pollutions 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?
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?
SINCERELY,
Gary L Ballantyne
Spokane WA, 99224
1/14/13

gary ballew (#2790)

Date Submitted: 11/14/2012
Location: bellingham, wa
Comment:
I moved to bellingham because of its reputation for quality of outdoor life and vibrant small town feeling. I am concerned about the noise and polluted air that will result from the addition of numerous coal trains passing close to my home. The sounds of the many trains will impair my sleeping, and the inevitable inhalation of coal dust will impair my already-challenged lungs. I would not have moved here if the town had already had so many coal trains coming through every day.

Coal dust is associated with worsening asthma, affesting not only myself but numerous children and older people in my neighborhood. This will obviously be a heavy impact on the health care system, the cost of our health insurance, and the property values in our town because people do not choose to live in unhealthy places.

I ask that you perform all necessary studies on the effects of coal dust on the lungs of children, of older adults, on the cost ramifications of these effects. Also I ask that studies be performed on the effect of unhealthy noise levels and air quality on property values.

gary ballew (#3093)

Date Submitted: 11/18/2012
Location: bellingham, wa
Comment:
My name is Gary Ballew, and I desired a retirement in a medium-size town with fine amenities and attention to quality of life. I took into consideration traffic, health benefits, noise, high property values which signify that citizens care for their town.
My concern is that all four of these items may very well be compromised if 18 coal trains are moving through my town every day. Traffic will obviously be held up at all crossings many time in the day and night; Health will no doubt be impacted due to dust, carcinogens, nitrogen and sulfur oxide emissions and diesel PM emissions; The noise from the trains themselves and from the horns will compromise the conditions that I moved here for; and fourth, all property values within sight, sound, smell or contact with railroad tracks will most likely go down.
This means a downward cycle will begin in which Bellingham will no longer be listed as one of America’s fine small cities, and the huge swell of retiring Boomers will not be interested in coming here. The impact of lower taxes being paid because of reduced property values and empty houses will continue the spiral. Please note: I would not have considered coming here 2 years ago had 18 coal trains been part of the Bellingham profile.
I ask that you commission careful studies on the long-term, socio-economic effects of this proposal on the city-choice criteria used by people considering a move of habitation. Please be sure that the studies link all four (4) of my areas noted above to the buying habits of new retirees. No one wants to live in a coal town: Bellingham is at present an attractive small city often noted as “One of America’s Best” to retire to, or move to to raise a family. This will end, and must be carefully studied!

gary ballew (#3111)

Date Submitted: 11/18/2012
Location: bellingham, wa
Comment:
My name is Gary Ballew and I moved to b’ham because it provides a high-quality life, both culturally and recreationally for retirees. It has fine medical care, very little traffic, and thus seemed a perfect town to settle in as an active, relatively prosperous retiree.

I am concerned that the choice I made will be negated by the proposed increase in trains, slow and loaded with coal, that pass through my town. Specifically, I ask that those proposing this radical change be required to commission studies for these 3 related areas:
a) Blocked Emergency Response: all older people are aware that seconds really count in a medical emergency; all families are aware that children need very fast emergency treatment from time to time. This study needs to learn all the consequences, for all age groups, in the inevitable waiting time at crossings that will be encountered by emergency vehicles or anyone else for that matter who is trying to get to ER.
b) Crossing hazard: every week one learns of a horrible collision at a railraod crossing. It is inevitable, and to suggest that the future will be 100% free from such accidents is fatuous, particularly if the populace is stressed by having every crossing blocked for so many hours of each day.
c) Cost of improving the crossings. 90% of the cost of crossing improvements is normally borne by the community. This amounts to corporate welfare paid by the citizens of bellingham for the profit of a giant, multinational corporation. It is ridiculous.

I ask that a detailed study be done and presented to the public, showing the effects of blocked crossings on medical first response vehicles. Also please do a study on the probable increase in crossings collisions. And last, please insist on a plan to make all of the required crossing improvements a cost of doing business, paid entirely by the corporation.
Thank you.

Gary Bletsch (#8199)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Location: Sedro-Woolley, WA
Comment:
First of all, exporting coal to China is a mistake. With their laissez-faire business model,
Chinese polluters are free to do as they please. The rest of the world, the US included, gets to pay the
price, in the form of an even more polluted atmosphere, and accelerated global warming. No thanks.
Secondly, even if this shortsighted plan is given the go-ahead--as I expect it would be--moving the
coal by rail through the Puget Sound Trough is unwise. Why not keep going straight west along the Columbia
River, and build the port facility in the Hoquiam-Aberdeen area? Such a rail route would affect only a tiny
fraction as many people as the one now proposed.
On a more local level, it staggers the imagination to contemplate what the residents of Skagit County
would be expected to do. They would spend what surely must be thousands of aggregated man-hours each year,
sitting in idle motor vehicles, waiting for trains to pass. We have very, very few roads that go over or under
the Burlington-Northern rail corridor. Most the crossings are at-grade. How many middle-aged men such as myself
would end up dying in ambulances, because the emergency vehicle could not make it to the hospital on time, or the
ambulance could not get to the patient? How many people would burn to death, or breathe their last painful breath
in a smoky conflagration, because firefighters had to go the long way around? How many criminals would get
away with their crimes, because police had to wait for a train? Have the people who devised this scheme considered
how many thousands of people would each need to add ten, fifteen, twenty minutes to each end of their daily
commute? Would they have considered the extra expense for child care for these workers? Would school bus routes
not also be lengthened, increasing our students' already long bus rides? How dare these businessmen even put forward
such a plan, expecting us to bear the brunt of their profiteering?
These objections are just the beginning. What about wildlife? It is already hard enough for terrestrial
vertebrates to move from one locale to another without being run over by a car. The western toad has become a rarity
in much of Washington, and road fatalities are believed to play a major role in their decrease. Increased rail
traffic would make it even harder for these amphibians to move from place to place. Before such an objection is waved
away as fanciful, one should remember--wildlife crossings are being planned for Interstate 90 in our state. If
vertebrates need help crossing a freeway, why are their needs not being considered in the case of a railroad?
I once stayed in a charming hotel in Avignon, France. It was very old, had excellent service, and was quite
reasonable. When my family and I returned from dinner and got ready for bed, we learned why it was so reasonable.
The railroad tracks were perhaps ten meters from the hotel. Every time a train passed, which was often, the entire
building shook, and conversation was impossible. We look back on that and laugh, but there are many homeowners in
Skagit County who stand to lose tens of thousands of dollars in the values of their homes. No laughter there. Who
would buy a home by a line that gets nine or more mile-long trains passing over it every day?
Robber barons, take your coal train elsewhere! Better yet, come up with a business plan that doesn't involve
selling the world's dirtiest fuel to a nation of corrupt polluters!

Gary Bornzin (#13673)

Date Submitted: 01/22/13
Location: Bellingham , WA
Comment:
For your convenience, the text of the email below is identical to the attached Word 2010 docx-document. Choose the format you prefer.
Please include my comments in the public record. Thank you.
________________________________________


From: Gary Bornzin
3647 S. Heather Pl. Bellingham WA 98226 garybornzin@hotmail.com

Subject: Comment regarding the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement for the Gateway Pacific Terminal project proposed for Cherry Point (near Bellingham city) in Whatcom County, WA. Docket number COE-2012-0016. Please include my comments in the public record.

As a university professor who has studied, taught, and advocated environmental, social, and economic sustainability for over thirty years, I respectfully request that you include and address thoroughly in your Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) all of the environmental, health, safety, and economic costs associated with the SSA Marine proposal. I list some of them below.

There are two major environmental impacts that I especially urge you to consider and calculate carefully, for it appears evident based on rough estimates (detailed below), that the costs of these two environmental impacts alone far exceeds any projected benefits from the proposed project. These two impacts are:
• Human deaths resulting from the burning of coal.
• Human deaths and other costs associated with human-caused global warming.

Why non-local impacts must be considered

Tragically, our economic system allows corporations to “externalize” the costs of their projects onto others, the rationale being that these costs are small per person. But when a small cost is borne by 7 billion persons, the total cost may be enormous and the project should be, but rarely is, prohibited. This failure is the well-known “Tragedy of the Commons,” by which commons are destroyed by systemic failure to disallow individual profiteering at the expense of others who share the commons.

In the absence of economic policy (such as a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade system that begins to internalize the external costs of coal burning, for example), it falls upon the EPA, the State Department of Ecology, and the Army Corps of Engineers to use the EIS process to calculate those costs and require that they be “paid” or “mitigated” by the applicant before the proposal may be permitted to go forward. To avoid a tragedy of the commons, it is imperative, therefore, that an EIS consider all external costs, all environmental impacts, of a proposed project.

Human deaths resulting from the burning of coal

I understand that those who draft the EIS are responsible for researching the most reliable figures available. As a start, a credible authority1 has calculated that worldwide about 170,000 people die each year from the burning of coal for electrical generation. The world burns about 4.5 billion tons of coal per year.2 SSA Marine proposes to ship 48 million tons a year, roughly 1% of the world total.

It is fair to say, then, that SSA Marine is directly responsible for transporting the fuel that will kill 1,700 people (1% of 170,000). This figure, or a more accurate calculation of it, must be included in an Environmental Impact Statement. This is largest impact of the proposed project. And it cannot be mitigated.

When creating policy, the EPA sometimes uses $7 million as the dollar value of a human life. So the externalized cost of these lives is about $12 billion, more than ten times the dollar value of 48 million tons of Powder River Basin coal.3

Some will argue that these 1,700 people are Chinese, not American, and so should not be counted. Are Chinese people worth less than Americans?

Some will argue that SSA Marine is not burning the coal, merely transporting it. But SSA Marine knows, or should know, that their coal will be used to kill 1,700 people a year. Their proposal is as morally bankrupt as shipping gas to a concentration camp.

Some will argue that the Chinese will just buy their coal elsewhere. This is no doubt true, but it will cost them more, which will drive them toward more rapid development of renewable, and less deadly, energy sources.

Human deaths resulting from anthropogenic climate change

The World Health Organization estimates that approximately 150,000 deaths annually can be attributed to climate change.4 The question then is what portion of climate change is caused by burning coal? Roughly 40% is a good estimate (the burning of coal and petroleum products are the two greatest contributors to increases in atmospheric CO2). So we have 60,000 deaths annually from that portion of climate change caused by coal burning, with SSA Marine responsible for 1%. So SSA Marine would be responsible for an additional 600 deaths per year if their proposal is approved. Some of these deaths will be here in the U.S. (we’ll never know which ones exactly), caused by the more extreme weather events caused by global climate change.

Because these figures (2,300 total deaths per year) are so large, it is imperative that the scope of the EIS include the impacts of this project, not just in Washington State but in China as well, for an accurate estimate of these deaths should surely be considered when deciding whether to proceed with this project. In fact, I should think that knowledge of the large number of deaths should even persuade SSA Marine to cancel their proposal!

Other impacts to include in the EIS

1. Air pollution from:
a. Coal dust—on site and from coal trains
b. Diesel particulates—from train engines and cargo ships
c. Auto exhaust from cars idling at blocked rail crossings
d. Port operations
e. Coal burning in China—measurable on the West Coast
...causing or increasing:
a. Premature deaths
b. Respiratory infections
c. Asthma, COPD, emphysema
d. Heart disease
e. Cancers
2. Water pollution
3. Noise pollution, with attendant stress and health effects, lost concentration, lost work hours.
4. Blocked rail crossings, which impact...
a. Emergency vehicles, resulting in possible loss of life and property
b. Delivery vehicles
c. Timely arrival of passengers at the ferry and bus terminals
d. Other automobile traffic
5. Rail lines blocked by slow moving coal trains impede Amtrak passenger trains.
6. Coal trains back up when tracks are blocked by mudslides, which are not infrequent.
7. Frequent trains necessitate a complete rethinking of the development of the Bellingham waterfront, with significant loss of commercial value and aesthetic value.
8. Frequent trains detract from Bellingham’s appeal to businesses, residents, and tourists.
9. Frequent noisy and polluting trains reduce property values.
10. SSA Marine is likely to import many of their own managers and other workers from elsewhere. Additional unemployed spouses and children will initially add to unemployment rolls and put more strain on schools and public services.
11. Some studies have shown a net economic loss to the county. The EIS should diligently examine both economic gains and losses.
12. 48 million tons of coal (about 5% of U.S. consumption) contains approximately 2.4 tons of mercury.5 Are there no regulations regarding the mining, transporting, and sale of mercury? “More than 140 nations adopted the first legally binding international treaty on Saturday [Jan 19] aimed at reducing mercury emissions...a highly toxic metal.”6 It would seem that 2.4 more tons of mercury destined to be released into the world’s air and oceans flies in the face of our new treaty goals. How would approval of this project affect the U.S. image abroad?

Concluding remarks

I share the concerns of many local physicians who have already testified to the damaging effect increased air particulates will have upon the health of everyone in our city, even increasing the incidence of death from lung disease. Not only people, but pets and wildlife, birds, pollinating bees, and insects will be affected. None of these effects/costs should be summarily dismissed as negligible. A myriad “small” effects upon thousands of people, animals, and plants add up to an enormous cost. Such costs are logistically impossible to compensate, but are significant and must not be ignored.

When we in the U.S. are moving past coal burning in our own country in favor of cleaner and safer energy sources, how can we in conscience send this dirty resource to the Chinese to expose their people—and us—to these dangers? Do we want jobs, regardless of costs? No!

Environmentally, if all the costs and effects are accounted for, I am confident there will be no gain for Whatcom County, and unquestionably an enormous loss for the world. You are charged with investigating these costs and effects. We ask you to give your EIS the widest scope possible. Thank you for your efforts to be fair and complete.



________________________________________

1. Gideon Polya, Greenblog, (http://www.green-blog.org/2008/06/14/pollutants-from-coal-based-electricity-generation-kill-170000-people-annually)

2. http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/ene_coa_con-energy-coal-consumption

3. http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_much_does_one_ton_of_coal_cost

4. World Health Organization. The World Health Report 2002: Reducing Risks, Promoting Healthy Life. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization, 2002. (http://www.who.int/whr/en.)

5. http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/fs095-01/

6. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/20/science/earth/mercury-emissions-treaty-adopted.html
Attached Files:

Gary Bowers (#4111)

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

Gary Bronn (#5065)

Date Submitted: 12/17/12
Location: Lake Forest Park, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Gary Burlingame (#8101)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I'm concerned about social unrest, and what that will do to all societies. Burning coal means even more global warming, and thus more food and water shortages. How isolated will we in the United States, even those of us in the far corner of Washington state, be from the people being most affected? I worry how it will affect us here. It's not too difficult, after what has already happened, to see how social unrest in one place which affects their economy could easily affect all of us, if only in our retirement investment accounts. There will be no place to go to get away from it.

Not burning coal may cause some social unrest, too, but it would be much more manageable and predictable.

I may not live long enough to be impacted, but I fear for my children. We've got to find a way to keep climate change from affecting even the far off places on the earth. That's why it matters. We must include the impact to the entire globe.

Gary Chamberlain (#6497)

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

Gary Coye (#443)

Date Submitted: 10/02/12
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
See attachment.
Attached Image:

Gary Coye (#550)

Date Submitted: 10/06/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I would be interested in knowing what sort of format the public scoping meetings will have. Over the past year there have been several public events concerning the proposed coal terminal. At many of these forums the venue was not large enough to accommodate all the people who wanted to attend, and people were turned away.
One could reasonably expect that the scoping meetings, particularly the one in Bellingham, will be well attended. In March of this year over 800 people showed up at Bellingham High for a pre-scoping meeting. The October 27 turn-out could easily be over a thousand people at Squalicum High.
If one purpose of the scoping meetings is to take verbal comments do the plans include being able to accommodate a large number of participants? I understand that this is not an interactive website but I hope someone is reading these comments and taking appropriate action.

Thank you

Gary Coye

Gary Coye (#816)

Date Submitted: 10/18/2012
Location: Bellinglham, WA
Comment:
“Current alerts: Clayton Beach access closed: The access to Clayton Beach is closed until further notice, due to public safety concerns and to stop public trespass on private property. Previous access to the beach via unauthorized use of Burlington Northern Santa Fe property must be discontinued because of inadequate sight lines for pedestrians to see on-coming trains when crossing the rails to access the beach area. State Parks has plans for eventual construction of a rail overpass that will provide safe access to Clayton Beach, and Burlington Northern Santa Fe is in agreement with this plan.”

This was copied from the Washington State Parks/Larrabee website on 10 October 2012. There was no explanation as to what prompted the closure at this point in time. I would be curious to know if this had anything to do with BNSF railroad and the issue of coal trains.
The EIS should study the effects of the proposed coal terminal, and the subsequent large increase of coal trains, on public access to beaches. This study should consider access to both public and private beaches, waterfronts, streams, rivers, lakes, upland properties, and open spaces. This should include not only the area near Cherry Point but also property all along the rail route through Bellingham and the rest of Washington, as well as along Puget Sound and the Columbia River Gorge. As a matter of fact, what will be the effects along the entire rail route from the Powder River Basin?
If there are foreseeable alternative routes for some or all of the trains through the Acme area or over one of the passes instead of through the Columbia River Gorge, the same concerns should be studied there as well.
The EIS should take into account the loss of public use as well as the costs of providing overpasses etc. Will these costs be paid by the proponents or by the public?

Thank You

Gary Coye

Gary Coye (#1078)

Date Submitted: 10/23/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
The “Gateway Pacific Terminal: Project Overview” flyer left tucked into the door of my home on 22 September 2012 shows a full color picture of the plan for Cherry Point. The site’s railroad tracks, conveyors for coal, and piles of coal are shown next to what appears to be Henry Road. It also seems that Gulf Road, north of Henry Road, has been covered by rail tracks and that Lonseth Road disappears under the coal piles.
It would appear, therefore, that sections of some of our county roads could be closed by this proposal. The EIS should clearly indicate which roads might be closed. Would access to the beach via Henry Road and Gulf Road remain open? Or might there be limitations on using Henry and Gulf roads? What would be the effect of restrictions on access to this popular vehicle-accessible Cherry Point beach?
If Henry and Gulf roads remain open to the beach, would there be any coal dust or drift from the water misters on these roadways? The flyer, which is dated June 2012, states: “Shoreline permit requires zero dust at the property line”.
The beach from Gulf Road to Point Whitehorn Marine Park is currently open and walkable. Would the terminal project restrict or end access to this shoreline?

Thank you,
Gary Coye
23 Oct. 2012

Gary Coye (#1080)

Date Submitted: 10/23/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
The following legal notice appeared in the Bellingham Herald on 18 October 2012. It concerns construction of a 10,200-foot rail loop at the BP refinery to accommodate one daily train of primarily crude oil, utilizing the BNSF Custer Spur. What impact will this have on the plans for the coal terminal proposed at Cherry Point or on other rail usage?

L8981) WHATCOM COUNTY GIVES PUBLIC NOTICE THAT THE FOLLOWING SEPA THRESHOLD OF MITIGATED DETERMINATION OF NON-SIGNIFICANCE (MDNS) HAS BEEN ISSUED TODAY SUBJECT TO THE 14 DAY COMMENT PERIOD CONCLUDING ON November 1, 2012. File: SEP2012-00059 Project Description : Construction of the BP "Rail Logistics Project," to improve rail logistics at the refinery and is primarily comprised of an approximately 10,200-linear foot rail loop facility that will transfer materials (primarily crude oil) between rail cars and the refinery. The facility will be designed to accommodate a variety of unit train sizes and is specifically designed to accommodate an entire unit train within the interior track loop. The project will add up to one unit train per day, on an annual basis, to the existing rail traffic on the BNSF Custer Spur. The proposal includes clearing and grading and installation and construction of associated infrastructure improvements associated with the following improvements; Rail track loop with load transfer facility, personnel operations shelter, parking and access including inspections and security roads, pipe racks and utility tie-ins, stormwater facilities, security features and visual screening measures. All wetland impacts will be mitigated for using alternative mitigation approaches as allowed by WCC 16.16.260(E). Proponent : BP West Coast Products, LLC Lead Agency : Whatcom County Planning & Development Services Address and Parcel #: 4519 Grandview Road, APN #390108067476 Zoning : Heavy Impact Industrial (HII) Comp Plan : Major/Port Industrial UGA Shoreline Jurisdiction : N/A ANY PERSON OR AGENCY MAY APPEAL THE COUNTY'S COMPLIANCE WITH WAC 197-11 BY FILING AN APPEAL WITH THE WHATCOM COUNTY CURRENT PLANNING DIVISION LOCATED AT 5280 NORTHWEST DRIVE, BELLINGHAM, WA 98226. APPEALS MUST BE MADE WITHIN 10 DAYS AFTER THE END OF THE COMMENT PERIOD.

Read more here: http://www.bellinghamherald.com/classified-ads/ad/2054555#storylink=cpy
Thank You
Gary Coye
23 Oct 2012

Gary Coye (#1082)

Date Submitted: 10/23/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
The Federal Register notice of 09/21/2012, giving notice of intent to prepare this Environmental Impact Statement for the Gateway Pacific Terminals project, states that one can request to be included on the EIS notification mailing list. It also states: “The Corps has prepared project information documents to familiarize agencies, Tribes, the public, and interested organizations with the proposed projects and potential environmental issues. Copies of the documents will be available at the public meeting and at the Web site www.eisgatewaypacificwa.gov or can be requested by contacting the Corps, Seattle District, as described above.”
On 3 October 2012 I sent a written request for copies of the documents as indicated above. As of this date, 23 October 2012, I have not received any documents. Therefore, I am requesting this information again. If I happen to end up with two copies I’ll pass one along to other interested people.
Thank you
Gary Coye
23 Oct. 2012

Gary Coye (#6305)

Date Submitted: 01/08/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
Will this website disappear on January 21 2013?

The multitude of comments collected provides the public and the government significant insight into the issues surrounding the terminal proposed at Cherry Point. It would be unfortunate if this website were to disappear as all the information will be a reference point for examining future documents such as the scoping report and the draft and final Environmental Impact Statements.

Even if comments are no longer being taken after January 21 2012, having an archive of comments which the public can easily access would be helpful to all concerned.

Gary Coye (#6306)

Date Submitted: 01/08/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
Will this website disappear on January 21 2013?

The multitude of comments collected provides the public and the government significant insight into the issues surrounding the terminal proposed at Cherry Point. It would be unfortunate if this website were to disappear as all the information will be a reference point for examining future documents such as the scoping report and the draft and final Environmental Impact Statements.

Even if comments are no longer being taken after January 21 2012, having an archive of comments which the public can easily access would be helpful to all concerned.

gary coye (#7632)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Location: Bellingham, wa
Comment:
Have you ever played the game in the newspaper where you try to find the differences between two pictures?

A Gateway Pacific Terminal: Project Overview sheet was left at our door on 22 September 2012. It’s got lots of information and a color aerial photo with the proposed terminal superimposed on it.

It’s dated June 2012. I discovered I had a very similar sheet dated 29 September 2011. So I set to work to discover what had changed in those 9 months.

Most of the differences were in wording. The most interesting were in the following sentences:

29 Sept 2011-“Site design includes state-of-the-art storm water treatment facilities, and advanced emission control technologies, such as covered and enclosed conveyors, a 90 ft. high wind fence, fogging systems, sprinkling systems, and loading devices that keep cargo beneath ship’s deck at all times.”

June 2012- “Site design includes state-of-the-art storm water treatment facilities, and advanced emission control technologies, such as covered and enclosed conveyors, fogging systems, sprinkling systems, and special enclosed loading chutes that place the bulk cargo directly into the ships’ holds located below deck.”

Conveyors are no longer bold and the description about loading onto ships no longer uses “devices that keep cargo beneath ship’s deck at all times.”

What’s really interesting is that the 90 ft. high wind fence has disappeared. Sure enough when I look at the annotated photograph on the sheets the -Wind fence 90’- label has vanished some time between 2011 and 2012.

I honestly have no idea if a wind fence at a coal terminal is a good thing-- or not.

The EIS should state whether such a fence is part of the design or a requirement for the proposed terminal-- and how long and how high it would be-- and on what parts of the site.

The EIS should also study how effective wind fences are at other terminals of this type and how effective they would be at the Cherry Point site.

The EIS should also study how effective loading devices are at keeping cargo beneath ship’s deck at all times.

gary coye (#7633)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Location: Bellingham, wa
Comment:
Have you ever played the game in the newspaper where you try to find the differences between two pictures?

A Gateway Pacific Terminal: Project Overview sheet was left at our door on 22 September 2012. It’s got lots of information and a color aerial photo with the proposed terminal superimposed on it.

It’s dated June 2012. I discovered I had a very similar sheet dated 29 September 2011. So I set to work to discover what had changed in those 9 months.

Most of the differences were in wording. The most interesting were in the following sentences:

29 Sept 2011-“Site design includes state-of-the-art storm water treatment facilities, and advanced emission control technologies, such as covered and enclosed conveyors, a 90 ft. high wind fence, fogging systems, sprinkling systems, and loading devices that keep cargo beneath ship’s deck at all times.”

June 2012- “Site design includes state-of-the-art storm water treatment facilities, and advanced emission control technologies, such as covered and enclosed conveyors, fogging systems, sprinkling systems, and special enclosed loading chutes that place the bulk cargo directly into the ships’ holds located below deck.”

Conveyors are no longer bold and the description about loading onto ships no longer uses “devices that keep cargo beneath ship’s deck at all times.”

What’s really interesting is that the 90 ft. high wind fence has disappeared. Sure enough when I look at the annotated photograph on the sheets the -Wind fence 90’- label has vanished some time between 2011 and 2012.

I honestly have no idea if a wind fence at a coal terminal is a good thing-- or not.

The EIS should state whether such a fence is part of the design or a requirement for the proposed terminal-- and how long and how high it would be-- and on what parts of the site.

The EIS should also study how effective wind fences are at other terminals of this type and how effective they would be at the Cherry Point site.

The EIS should also study how effective loading devices are at keeping cargo beneath ship’s deck at all times.

gary coye (#8585)

Date Submitted: 01/17/2013
Comment:
Fleeting

I’ve been puzzled by how BNSF plans to route all the potential coal trains heading to and from the coal terminal proposed at Cherry Point. It would seem at first glance that getting long trains along the route from Bow to Custer is problematic as there are no sidings long enough to handle a mile and a half long train.

The TSM study, commissioned by Communitywise Bellingham, divides the day into segments of 48 minutes required for a train to get from Bow to Custer. There just doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day to allow for all the projected trains. One option is that BNSF would build a long siding in Bellingham cutting into Boulevard Park and possibly eliminating car access to that park.

It may be that one doesn’t need 48 minutes for each train passing through this bottleneck. If you line up 3 trains (or any other number-possibly only limited by the available sidings to assemble them) and ran them close together in one direction like one gigantic train. Those 3 trains could get through the same area in less than 144 minutes (3 x 48). It seems that there is actually a name for this method: “fleeting”.

This of course would open up a whole new range of possible effects from multiple coal trains passing through one area in succession.

It might be problematic if the railroad was attempting to run trains in both directions using this technique. It may be that BNSF plans to run empty trains using a different route. This could include empty trains traveling across lower BC to connect up to the rail line thru the Acme Valley. Perhaps they would build a new line east-west across northern Whatcom County allowing a shorter route without a border crossing.

The EIS should clearly indicate what rail routes would be used for transporting both full and empty coal trains from the Powder River Basin to Cherry Point. This should include existing rail routes, proposed routes and potential routes. This information should have been included in the original permit application so that potentially affected communities could have submitted more informed scoping comments.

The EIS should study the effects of coal trains on the communities, farms, businesses, homes, forests, wetlands, waterways and parks along these routes.

If fleeting or other methods to increase capacity are planned or potentially planned the EIS should identify them and study the effects of those methods.

I’m sure BNSF already has plans for how they would handle the extra trains. This information needs to be shared with the public and clearly stated in the EIS.

gary coye (#8588)

Date Submitted: 01/17/2013
Comment:
Is there any limiting factor on the size of the coal terminal proposed at Cherry Point? How big could it get? It seems that many such terminals expand from their original configuration some even before they get through the permitting process. I understand that the permitting agencies must deal with the proposal they have been given but it would seem some consideration should be given to whether future expansion is a foreseeable option.

gary coye (#9327)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Comment:
Empty coal rail cars, coal dust and other issues

There have been a lot of comments on coal trains and associated coal dust. The following statements in quotes appeared on the BNSF website (according to a screenshot posted on Sightline Daily).

“How extensive is the coal dust problem?”

“The amount of coal dust that escapes from PRB coal trains is surprisingly large. While the amount of coal dust that escapes from a particular coal car depends on a number of factors, including the weather, BNSF has done studies indicating that from 500 lbs to a ton of coal can escape from a single loaded coal car. Other reports have indicated that as much as 3% of the coal loaded into a coal car can be lost in transit. In many areas, a thick layer of black coal dust can be observed along the railroad right of way and in between the tracks. Given the high volume of loaded coal trains that move each day in the PRB, large amounts of coal dust accumulate rapidly along the PRB rail lines.”

There have been assurances that future coal train loads will be specially shaped and treated with surfactants to help prevent dust.

This issue brings me to some questions that I haven’t seen addressed very much.

Surfactants-What’s in them? How effective are they? How water-soluble are they? Do they break down over time? What happens to them when the coal is off-loaded at the terminal? Do they have any toxic ingredients?

Rainwater and coal trains- As the coal trains pass from the Powder River Basin they will enter the rainy Pacific Northwest.
What happens to water that flows through the rail cars? I’m guessing that the cars are not sealed at the bottom, so does coal residue wash out of the cars with rainwater? What effect does that have on the environment it enters?

Empty coal cars- The coal trains arrive at the terminal. In an enclosed building coal cars are inverted to dump their load. My questions are: How much coal residue remains in and on and under those coal cars? As those now nearly-empty coal cars depart the terminal for their return trip to the Powder River Basin how much coal residue would blow or wash off those rail cars? It would seem that there is a possibility for just as much or more coal dust to escape into the Whatcom County environment from empty coal cars as from full ones.

Vacuuming coal dust- Is BNSF (or other coal carrying railroads) currently using vacuums or other equipment to remove coal dust from rail lines? Have they done so in the past? Has BNSF done that in Washington State? Is that part of the plan of operations if the terminal at Cherry Point were to be built?

gary coye (#9337)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Comment:
I’ve been curious about the statement that coal trains have always come through this area.

I was puzzled because it was just a couple years ago that coal trains first seemed to appear in Whatcom County

Public Financial Management, Inc. prepared a report for Communitywise Bellingham titled “The Impact of the Development of the Gateway Pacific Terminal on the Whatcom County Economy” dated March 6, 2012. On page 17 it states: “The project team reviewed reports that indicate most, if not all, coal from the Seattle Customs District is transported to Canada, primarily on trains that run through Whatcom County and Bellingham.”

On page 18 of the report is a graph of Short Tons of Coal Exported by Seattle Customs District, 1995-2011 (Quarterly)

By my rough calculations much of the graph shows insignificant coal tonnage-- perhaps one coal train or less a year. There are a few small bumps on the graph in 1995 to 1997 that might be a coal train a month. Another such bump occurs in late 2006.

In 2009 and 2010 the tonnage increased significantly but nowhere near what it will be if the terminal is built and 25 to 48 million metric tons of coal are shipped each year.

The EIS should clearly state what the past 20 years of coal shipment thru this region has been. The tonnage by quarter and year would establish the baseline which up until a few years ago was essentially no shipment of coal through this area.

The EIS should also show for the next 20-30 years what the expected coal train traffic will be and what route or routes it will take. Will the routes differ if the trains are empty or loaded? Will some of the coal traffic travel over the passes in
Washington instead of through the Columbia River Gorge? Is the rail line up the South Fork Valley in Skagit and Whatcom Counties a possibility? The folks in Wickersham, Acme and Van Zandt have a right to know if the coal trains will affect them. Is a route east to west across northern Whatcom County a possibility?

I suspect that Burlington Northern Santa Fe has a pretty good idea where the coal train routes will be. That information needs to be included in the EIS. All the cities and towns along the entire route or routes need to know what coal train traffic they can expect. This information should have been provided even before the scoping process began so that affected municipalities had an opportunity to request scoping to address their concerns. In any case the planned routes need to be identified so all concerned can plan to deal with the impacts of the increased rail traffic from coal trains.

gary coye (#10478)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Comment:
Bellingham best place lists

Over the past decade Bellingham has made it onto numerous “best place” lists. People live here and move here because it’s a very desirable place to live.

Much as I’ve tried I haven’t been able to find any listing for “Best coal town in the USA” or “Best city to watch coal trains”. I certainly don’t think there will be a future listing for Bellingham as “Best coal terminal town”.

What does this have to do with the EIS for the coal terminal proposed at Cherry Point near Bellingham? If the advertised economic benefits (jobs and taxes) of the terminal are part of the EIS then the negative economic effects should be covered as well. If people and businesses no longer consider Bellingham a desirable location what could the employment and tax losses to the city be?

There are many other cities and towns along the potential rail routes that will incur negative effects without any of the supposed economic benefits advertised for the Bellingham area. If the possible economic benefits, say in Whatcom County, are EIS material then the negative economic effects all along the rail routes should be considered as well.

gary coye (#10484)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Comment:
There have been numerous slides and a dramatic derailment on the rail line between Seattle and Everett in the past month (Dec. 2012-Jan 2013). This has caused the suspension for weeks of both Amtrak and Sounder trains through the area. There have been slides in the past in this area but this seems to be unprecedented in terms of numbers.

Rainfall certainly is a major factor but one has to wonder if the significant increase in heavy coal train activity in the past few years has contributed to the frequency of slides.

The EIS should study the occurrence of slides in the area and whether coal train traffic is a contributing factor. What effect would another significant increase in this traffic have on slides between Seattle and Everett?

What is the cost to the local, state and federal governments when these slides occur? What is the cost to Amtrak and Sound Transit each time a slide closes the tracks for 48 hours?

gary coye (#11524)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Comment:
“Fulfill the responsibilities of each generation as trustee of the environment for succeeding generations”

This quote is from NEPA, the National Environmental Policy Act 1969-1970, which created the Environmental Impact Statement process. It was signed into law by Richard Nixon.

Climate change is real and it’s happening now. Ocean acidification is real and it’s happening now. Sea level rise is real and it’s happening now. If we are truly going to be trustees of the environment for succeeding generations we need to act now.

We still might be able to avert the worst effects of the changes that are coming to the planet. If we dig up and burn all the coal in the Powder River Basin we won’t. The coal needs to stay in the ground. It’s the best and cheapest carbon sequestering system available.

The EIS needs to state the effects of burning all the coal that would be shipped through the terminal proposed at Cherry Point as well as the other terminals proposed in the region. The EIS should state what the ultimate consequences of burning all the coal in the Powder River Basin will be on the viability of planet earth as we know it.

gary coye (#11546)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Comment:
Could a foreign company own the coal terminal proposed at Cherry Point? Could they own SSA Marine? Could they own BNSF Railroad delivering the coal from the Powder River Basin? Could they own Peabody Energy the company mining the coal?

Much has been made of the “local” roots of SSA Marine. If Chinese company was proposing to build a coal terminal at Cherry Point would the EIS process be the same? If the terminal was built by SSA Marine and then sold to a Chinese Company would the issues raised by the EIS be different?

This is not to disparage anyone in China. They would suffer many of the consequences of Powder River Basin coal being burned in their country. I was just curious if there were any limitations on who might own the terminal.

Gary Dale (#2782)

Date Submitted: 11/14/2012
Location: Marysville, WA
Comment:
I oppose the increase of coal trains traveling though Marysville as the result of the proposed Gateway Pacific terminal development. Traffic heading north and south along Old Hwy 99 at 88th Street backs up at great lenghths when the trains pass by; I have seen traffic back up all the way to the beginning of the off ramp at the 201 exit off I5 due to the trains. Idling autos while the trains pass by is bad for the environment, business and safety.
Thank you.
Gary Dale

gary davis (#8653)

Date Submitted: 01/17/2013
Location: anacortes, wa
Comment:
There is potential for increased exposure to invasive marine wildlife if the ships that will transport [the coal] pump infected bilge water into the Samish Sea. This could potentially have an unacceptable impact on native species. Please study this potential and provide best practices that will insure safe transit of our local waters and how these practices will be enforced and monitored for compliance.

Gary Gilardi (#13164)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
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. 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.

Gary Gilardi (#13188)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
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. 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.

Gary Gilbert (#13536)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Portland, OR
Comment:
Coal is outdated and dangerous. We must move beyond the burning of fossil fuels, and we must do it NOW!

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.

Gary Graham (#8211)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Location: Glacier, WA
Comment:
Environmental
The expansion of strip mining of bituminous coal is environmentally a very negative business for the community that the coal is mined in.
The transportation of the coal by rail is risky environmentally for the communities that it passes through.

Financial
The infrastructure development of the communities that it passes through must be borne by each community.
The fluctuation of the need by purchaser of the coal will be felt economically by each community not necessarily in a positive way.
The time loss in each community for cars and commodities waiting for trains to pass is borne by the people in each community driving up business costs in these communities. There will develop a need to build overpasses along the 20 some rail crossings in the county.
The negative effect on real-estate values along the rail line in Whatcom County will be significant. The rail line will cut along the coast which has the greatest value in land prices in the county. This will decrease real-estate tax revenue to the county which will drive other real-estate taxes up.

Health
The dust from the trains does deposit on the buildings and in the lungs of those living along the rail lines.
The medical expense imposed on those individuals in the mining process and those along the rail line will be borne by those communities and the health care industry.
The air quality around the coal piles at Cherry point will be compromised by the coal dust downwind from Cherry point. That would be Ferndale, Lynden, Sumas, Langley B.C. Abbotsford B.C. and those points between. During winter the NE winds will deposit the coal dust in Puget Sound and the islands.
The incidents of lung cancer along these belts should be studied based on the existing oil refineries which are already making a difference in these communities. Deaths due to the inability of emergency vehicles to respond to fires or health emergencies will blame the blocked county roads. This will required county action to solve the overpass issues.

Environmental
Then there is the coal loading and transport through Puget Sound and the inevitable contamination of the waterways.
This will come as a result of coal and oil spills from fully loaded ships as they leave Puget Sound and reenter from China with ballast water contaminated from Chinese seas that is ejected upon returning from China. These contaminants will affect the fishing industries and sports fisherman.

Benefits to mankind
To what benefit is this coal to mankind when it is burned to fuel Chinese industry.
It helps create products that are shipped to the USA that undercut our products and put our companies out of business. It will even affect those folks in those companies along the railroad tracks that have also developed lung cancer.
The air pollution will be very bad for the Chinese living downwind from the steam plants and very bad for global warming also.
Possibly in the future methods for eliminating smoke stack emissions from coal fired plants will be available minimizing some of the negatives.
The blow back air from China will arrive on our doorstep in due time in addition to those above mentioned disadvantages.

Whatcom County jobs
The good jobs that will be created in Whatcom County should be weighed with the harm we will be doing to the people in our county, our country and the rest of the world.
Will future generations be proud to be a part of such an enterprise?

Alternative actions
However there are alternatives. We could invest in environmentally friendly jobs. They will decrease our dependence on foreign oil and thereby decrease the outflow of US assets. This will help straighten out our balance of payments. This will help pay down our national debt.
This will help keep Whatcom County from turning into a community that people do not want to live in. This will keep Whatcom County from appearing to the world that we will do anything to others and to the world for our own potential personal gain. We will appear very short sighted.
There is still time to do the right thing.
Good luck Bellingham.
Gary Graham

Gary Graham (#8444)

Date Submitted: 01/11/13
Location: Glacier , WA
Comment:
Potential effects on Whatcom County citizens by the addition of coal trains and a coal port. Jan 9 2013 Environmental The expansion of strip mining of bituminous coal is environmentally a very negative business for the community that the coal is mined in.
The transportation of the coal by rail is risky environmentally for the communities that it passes through.
Financial
The infrastructure development of the communities that it passes through must be borne by each community.
The fluctuation of the need by purchaser of the coal will be felt economically by each community not necessarily in a positive way.
The time loss in each community for cars and commodities waiting for trains to pass is borne by the people in each community driving up business costs in these communities. There will develop a need to build overpasses along the 20 some rail crossings in the county.
The negative effect on real-estate values along the rail line in Whatcom County will be significant. The rail line will cut along the coast which has the greatest value in land prices in the county. This will decrease realestate tax revenue to the county which will drive other real-estate taxes up.
Health
The dust from the trains does deposit on the buildings and in the lungs of those living along the rail lines.
The medical expense imposed on those individuals in the mining process and those along the rail line will be borne by those communities and the health care industry.
The air quality around the coal piles at Cherry point will be compromised by the coal dust downwind from Cherry point. That would be Ferndale, Lynden, Sumas, Langley B.C. Abbotsford B.C. and those points between.
During winter the NE winds will deposit the coal dust in Puget Sound and the islands.
The incidents of lung cancer along these belts should be studied based on the existing oil refineries which are already making a difference in these communities. Deaths due to the inability of emergency vehicles to respond to fires or health emergencies will blame the blocked county roads. This will required county action to solve the overpass issues.
Environmental
Then there is the coal loading and transport through Puget Sound and the inevitable contamination of the waterways.
This will come as a result of coal and oil spills from fully loaded ships as they leave Puget Sound and reenter from China with ballast water contaminated from Chinese seas that is ejected upon returning from China.
These contaminants will affect the fishing industries and sports fisherman.
Benefits to mankind
To what benefit is this coal to mankind when it is burned to fuel Chinese industry.
It helps create products that are shipped to the USA that undercut our products and put our companies out of business. It will even affect those folks in those companies along the railroad tracks that have also developed lung cancer.
The air pollution will be very bad for the Chinese living downwind from the steam plants and very bad for global warming also.
Possibly in the future methods for eliminating smoke stack emissions from coal fired plants will be available minimizing some of the negatives.
The blow back air from China will arrive on our doorstep in due time in addition to those above mentioned disadvantages.
Whatcom County jobs
The good jobs that will be created in Whatcom County should be weighed with the harm we will be doing to the people in our county, our country and the rest of the world.
Will future generations be proud to be a part of such an enterprise?
Alternative actions
However there are alternatives. We could invest in environmentally friendly jobs. They will decrease our dependence on foreign oil and thereby decrease the outflow of US assets. This will help straighten out our balance of payments. This will help pay down our national debt.
This will help keep Whatcom County from turning into a community that people do not want to live in. This will keep Whatcom County from appearing to the world that we will do anything to others and to the world for our own potential personal gain. We will appear very short sighted.
There is still time to do the right thing.
Good luck Bellingham.
Gary Graham, Bellingham, Washington

Gary Graham (#14669)

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

Gary Greene (#5913)

Date Submitted: 01/03/2013
Location: Eastsound, WA
Comment:
Comment on Potential Fugitive Coal Distribution from the Proposed Cherry Point Coal Loading Facilities and Outward Transport of Product

H. Gary Greene, Professor Emeritus, Moss Landing Marine Labs/Tombolo

I am a marine geologist (PhD, Stanford University, 1977) involved in the past 18 years in mapping the seafloor of the Salish Sea for the purpose of evaluating geohazards and marine benthic habitats. I am a research faculty member at Friday Harbor Laboratories of the University of Washington and Emeritus Professor at Moss Landing Marine Labs, San Jose State University in California. One of my major research interests is the health of the forage fish Pacific sand land (PSL) and the subtidal benthic habitats they occupy. The scientific community is just starting to understand the habitat needs of this critical fish and the introduction of exotic components, such as coal to PSL benthic habitats will exacerbate our studies, a personal concern for me. I also live on Orcas Island and adverse impacts to the marine environment matters to me.

My specific concerns about the development of the coal loading facilities at Cherry Point are in regard to the potential impact that fugitive coal particles would have on the health and survival of a critical forage fish in the region, PSL (Ammodytes hexapterus). It appears to me that not much is known about the transport and toxicity of coal particles in the Salish Sea and what impacts to marine benthic habitats may occur if coal is introduced into the estuary of the San Juan Archipelago and southern Georgia Basin, including the Whatcom County shoreline and subtidal habitats. Whatcom County’s seafloor, and most of Rosario Strait, is unmapped in high-resolution and critical PSL benthic habitats there are not fully identified. However, poor resolution and single trace echosounder data indicate that subtidal PSL benthic habitats may be present in close proximity to the proposed coal loading facilities.

The Pacific sand lance (PSL) is an important forage fish along the coastal North Pacific Ocean from northern California to northern Hokkaido, Japan, and is one of six species in the genus Ammodytes (Robards et al., 1999a,b). Although PSL is a key component in the Northwest Straits regional food web, very little is known of this species’ biology. For example, only three peer-reviewed papers detail the biology of PSL in Puget Sound compared with 16 such manuscripts on Pacific herring (Clupea harengus pallasi). The burrowing behavior, recruitment rates and conditions, relative abundance and distribution, population structure, local spawning habits, and spawning and burial substrates remain largely unknown (Robards et al., 1999a, 2002; Tribble, 2000). The work that has been done on the biology and habitat of PSL has focused on the nearshore and shallow sub-tidal areas; little work has been done on the deep sub-tidal habitats, although recent initial studies have been completed (Greene et al. 2011). A disjunction occurs between the abundance of sand lance and the availability of known habitat and the hypothesis put forward by Greene et al. (2011) that predominant and important habitats exist in the deep sub-tidal areas.

In the Northwest Straits region, PSL serve as the primary link between zooplankton and higher order predators, and are a vitally important food source for 29 species of birds, 10 species of marine mammals, and 30 species of commercial and sport fishes (Meyer et al., 1979; Auster and Stewart, 1986; Geiger, 1987; Robards et al., 1999a,b; Tribble, 2000). Specifically, this species is a crucial component in the diet of common murres, rhinoceros auklets, tufted puffins, harbor seals, minke whales, salmon, lingcod, rockfish and other groundfishes (Geiger, 1987). The condition of the Northwest Straits region’s ecosystem depends in large part on the large biomass of forage fish, including PSL, that transfer phytoplankton production to higher trophic levels (Fresh, 1979; Fresh et al., 1981; Duffy, 2003; Zamon, 2001, 2003; Johnson et al., 2008)

The PSL is known to deposit its spawn on sandy upper intertidal beaches throughout the Puget Sound Basin (Penttila 1995a, 2007). Roughly 10% of the shoreline of the Puget Sound basin comprised of fine-grained beaches has been found being used by spawning sand lance. It has been hypothesized that PSL might also use sub-tidal sandy substrates for spawn deposition, although no conclusive physical evidence of this has ever been documented.

Much of what is known about PSL benthic habitat comes from shallow water studies. Sand lance are dependent upon benthic sediment habitats to burrow into and, therefore, this species is most often associated with fine- to coarse-grain sand- or gravel-oxygenated sediments (Meyer et al., 1979; Auster and Stewart, 1986) in nearshore inter-tidal (-0.3m MLLW) and shallow (to 100 m) habitats (Wright et al., 2000; Pinto, 1984; Ostrand et al., 2005; Quinn, 1999; Robards et al., 1999a,b; Auster and Stewart, 1986). In the inter-tidal, sand lance were found to be buried 5.0 cm deep and to be oriented horizontally in the oxygenated sediment layer at densities of 5 fish per square meter and can remain buried in inter-tidal sediments during low tide exposure (Quinn, 1999). Sediment size conducive for sand lance to penetrate and burrow into ranged in size from 0.36 to 1.0 mm in diameter (Quinn, 1999). Inter-tidal beaches have been documented as habitat for PSL and their eggs (Moulton and Penttila, 2000). Sediments provide habitat for overwintering (Healy, 1984), to rest and conserve energy (Quinn, 1999), to avoid predation (Reay, 1970) and as spawning substrate where their adhesive eggs attach while incubating. When the fish emerge from the substrate they form large schools and feed on zooplankton in the water column during the day (Dick and Warner, 1982; Robards et al., 1999a, b; Auster and Stewart, 1986; Geiger, 1987). They emerge from the sand at dawn and are vulnerable to predators as they enter the water column (Hobson, 1986).

Deposits of clean sand at the water depths where PSL reside in the sub-tidal environment (typically < 100 m) are common where relatively strong currents continuously sweep the seafloor. In order to maintain a deposit, a plentiful sand supply is necessary, although finer sediment might transit through the area and coarser sediment might be present as a lag. Sand-wave fields consisting of ripples, waves and dunes are common in such areas, and several fields have been mapped near the San Juan Islands (Barrie et al., 2009; Greene et al., 2011). One such sand-wave field was documented by Blaine (2006) in San Juan Channel of the San Juan Islands and was found to be a productive PSL habitat. The aerial extent of this sand-wave field is delimited by a distinct boundary where the sand waves are in sharp contact with a relatively featureless surrounding seafloor. Such abrupt transitions have been reported in other nearby sand-wave fields (Barrie et al., 2009). However, although it is suspected that such fields may be present in and around the proposed coal loading facilities, no clear bathymetric images exists to confirm this.

The results of the Greene et al. (2011) study are far-reaching and multidisciplinary. Extensive sampling of the San Juan Channel sand wave field, a proto-typical PSL sub-tidal habitat type, on a regular basis through the summer, fall and winter seasons of 2010 and through the winter, fall and spring seasons of 2011 allowed for documentation of PSL occupancy and relative abundances. Comparative evaluation of the results from a tank experiment study and the in situ sampling confirmed the assumption of Greene et al. (2011) that PSL prefer grain sizes of 0.5-1.0 mm (medium- to coarse-grain sand) to any other grain sizes, although PSL were found to occupy all types of substrate from gravels to silt, and that dynamic bedforms can act as preferred habitats for the fish. All life stages of PSL after the larval stage were represented in the proto-typical habitat and one egg was recovered suggesting that recruitment may also occur in PSL sub-tidal habitats.

Tentative conclusions drawn from the work of Greene et al. (2011) that PSL prefer to burrow into medium- to coarse-grain (~0.5-1 mm) size sand in dynamic bedforms that have a wave amplitude of 3-5 m and wavelength of ~100 m, the seafloor conditions found at the proto-typical habitat type in San Juan Channel where the highest concentrations of PSL was found during the investigation. Mature fish found in the San Juan Channel sand wave field were primarily caught in the northern and southern part of the bedform where sediment is smaller in size. It was found that more fish burrow into the sediment during winter months than during summer months (Greene et al., 2011).

Although Greene et al. (2011) prepared a predictive potential PSL sub-tidal habitat model that would have a geomorphology similar to the San Juan Channel sand wave field, further investigation needs to be done to validate the most promising habitat types. Metrics for the predictive model include grain size (0.5-1.0 mm, ~1 phi), depth (30-80 m), wave amplitude (3-5 m), wavelength (50-100 m), and current strengths of ~0.06 m/sec. However, smaller concentrations of fish occur at different types of fields or sand flats and further study needs to be undertaken to place limits and threshold conditions for the habitat attraction for these smaller concentrations of fish within the Salish Sea. In addition, Greene et al. (2011) tentatively concluded that PSL can travel a fair distance from their egg laying sites to sub-tidal habitats, however this relationship also needs further investigation.

Stability of the dynamic bedforms that may be promising sub-tidal habitats in the Salish Sea appear to be near the threshold of stability. Any changes in current strength could upset this stability and such change could come about from continued tectonic uplift or eustatic rebound (possibly leading to increase in current strength) or sea level rise (possibly leading to decrease in current strength). More physical oceanographic measurements need to be made in order to better understand this process.

Based on the known habitat types of PSL and the tendency of the fish to occupy clean, well-aerated substrates, the possibility that fine- to medium-size coal particles could be swept onto beaches and into the subtidal habitats is of paramount concern as interstitial clogging of important habitats in close proximity to the facilities can be impacted. Nothing is known about how coal particles will transit through the San Juan Archipelago or wash up on beaches. Strong tidal currents and winter storm waves all have the potential to sweep fugitive coal particles into the critical habitats of PSL. Concentration of these particles may be detrimental to the survival of PSL.

Questions that should be addressed and hopefully answered in the Environmental Impact Statement for the Gateway Pacific Terminal include:
1) how will fugitive coal particles be incorporated into natural sediments, if at all;
2) how concentrated will the particles become and what will be the toxicity to benthic organisms, especially Pacific sand lance; and
3) how far will the particles be distributed from their point of entry into the water.
All sub-tidal PSL habitats should therefore be located and mapped within close proximity to the coal-loading facilities and along the bulk carrier routes, where coal is likely to be introduced into the marine environment. Coal toxicity associated with dissolution or any other chemical processes that occur in marine and estuarine environments also need to be addressed. If potential impacts are found, how will they be mitigated?


References

Auster P.J., and Stewart L.L. (1986). Sand lance. In: Species Profiles: Life Histories and Environmental Requirements of Coastal Fishes and Invertebrates (North Atlantic). US Fish and Wildlife Service Biological Report 82, p. 1-11.
Barrie, J.V., Conway, K.W., Picard, K., and Greene, H.G., 2009, Large scale sedimentary bedforms and sediment dynamics on a glaciated tectonic continental shelf: Examples from the Pacific margin of Canada. Continental Shelf Research 29, p. 796-806.
Blain, J. (2006). Pacific sand lance (Ammodytes hexapterus) present in the sandwave field of central San Juan Channel, WA: Abundance, density, maturity, and sediment association. Class Paper, Fish 492 Research Apprentice, Friday Harbor Labs, Friday Harbor, WA, 24 pp.
Dick, M.H, and Warner, I.M. (1982). Pacific sand lance, Ammodytes hexapterus Pallas, in the Kodiak Island group, Alaska. Syesis 15, p. 43-50.
Duffy, E. J. (2003). Early marine distribution and trophic interactions of juvenile salmon in Puget Sound. University of Washington, Thesis, Seattle, WA
Fresh, K.L. (1979). Distribution and abundance of fishes occurring in the nearshore surface waters of northern Puget Sound, Washington. M.S. Thesis, University of Washington, Seattle.
Fresh, K.L., Cardwell, R.D., and Koons, R.R. (1981). Food habitats of Pacific salmon, baitfish, and their potential competitors and predators in the marine waters of Washington, August 1978 to September 1979. State of Washington, Department of Fisheries, Progress Report No. 145.
Greene, H.G., Wyllie-Echeverria, Gunderson, D., Bizzarro, J., Barry, V., Fresh, K., Robinson, C., Cacchione, D., Penttila, D., Hampton, M., and Summers, A. (2011). Deep-water Pacific sand lance (Ammodytes hexapterus) habitat evaluation and prediction in the Northwest Straits region. Final Report, May 1, 2010 – June 30, 2011, to Northwest Straits Commission, Mt. Vernon, WA. 75pp.
Geiger, A.C. (1987). Trophic interactions and diurnal activity patterns of the Pacific sand lance, Ammodytes hexapterus, at San Juan Island, Washington. Marine Fish Biology Class Paper, University of Washington.
Hobson, E.S. (1986). Predation of the Pacific sand lance, Ammodytes hexapterus (Pisces:Ammodytidae), during the transition between day and night in southeastern Alaska. Copeia, p. 223-226.
Johnson, S., Thedinga, J.F., and Munk, K.M. (2008). Distribution and use of shallow-water habitats by Pacific sand lances in Southeastern Alaska. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 137: 1455-1463.
Meyer, T.L., Cooper, R.A., Langton, R.W. (1979). Relative abundance, behavior, and food habits of the American sand lance, Ammodytes americanus, from the Gulf of Maine. Fishery Bulletin 77, p. 243-253.
Moulton, L.L., Penttila, D.E. (2000). Forage fish spawning distribution in San Juan County and protocols for sampling intertidal and nearshore regions. In: San Juan County Forage Fish Assessment Project, Friday Harbor, WA.
Ostrand, W.D., Gotthardt, T.A., Howlin, S., and Robards, M.D. (2005). Habitat selection models for Pacific sand lance (Ammodytes hexapterus) in Prince William Sound, Alaska. Northwestern Naturalist 86, p. 131-143.
Penttila, D. (1995). Investigations of the spawning habitat of the Pacific sand lance, Ammodytes hexapterus, in Puget Sound. Puget sound Research-95 Conference Proceedings, Puget Sound Water Quality Authority, Olympia, WA, Vol. 2, p. 855-859.
Penttila, D. (2007). Marine Forage Fishes in Puget Sound. Puget Sound Nearshore Partnership Report No. 2007-03, Seattle District, ACOE, Seattle, WA, 27 p.
Pinto, J.M. (1984). Laboratory spawning of Ammodytes hexapterus from the Pacific coast of North America with a description of its eggs and early larvae. Copeia, p. 242-244.
Quinn, T. (1999). Habitat characteristics of an intertidal aggregation of Pacific sand lance (Ammodytes hexapterus) at a North Puget Sound beach in Washington. Northwest Science 73(1), p. 44-49.
Reay, PJ. (1970). Synopsis of biological data on North Atlantic sandeels of the genus Ammodytes, FAO Fisheries Synopsis No. 82, Rome, Italy. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 48 p.
Robards, M.D., Piatt, J.F., and Rose, G.A. (1999a). Maturation, fecundity, and intertidal spawning of Pacific sand lance in the northern Gulf of Alaska. Journal of Fish Biology 54, p. 1050-1068.
Robards, M.D., Willson, M.F., Armstrong, R.H., and Piatt, J.F. (1999b). Sand lance: a review of biology and predator relations and annotated bibliography. Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Restoration Project 99346 Final Report, 327pp.
Tribble, S.C. (2000). Sensory and feeding ecology of larval and juvenile Pacific sand lance, Ammodytes hexapterus. Master’s Thesis, University of Washington, 98 pp.
Wright, P.J., Jensen, H., and Tuck, I. (2000), The influence of sediment type on the distribution of the lesser sendeel, Ammodytes marinus. Journal of Sea Research, v. 44, p. 243-256.
Zamon, J. E. (2001). Seal predation on salmon and forage-fish schools as a function of tidal currents in the San Juan Islands, Washington, USA. Fish. Oceanography 10, 353-366.
Zamon, J. E. (2003). Mixed species aggregations feeding upon herring and sandlance schools in a nearshore archipelago depend on flooding tidal currents. Marine Ecology Progress Series 261, 243-255.

Gary Greene (#9701)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Eastsound, WA
Comment:
This is a re-submission because of a spelling error found in the previous submission:

Comment on Potential Fugitive Coal Distribution from the Proposed Cherry Point Coal Loading Facilities and Outward Transport of Product

H. Gary Greene, Professor Emeritus, Moss Landing Marine Labs/Tombolo

I am a marine geologist (PhD, Stanford University, 1977) involved in the past 18 years in mapping the seafloor of the Salish Sea for the purpose of evaluating geohazards and marine benthic habitats. I am a research faculty member at Friday Harbor Laboratories of the University of Washington and Emeritus Professor at Moss Landing Marine Labs, San Jose State University in California. One of my major research interests is the health of the forage fish Pacific sand lance (PSL) and the subtidal benthic habitats they occupy. The scientific community is just starting to understand the habitat needs of this critical fish and the introduction of exotic components, such as coal to PSL benthic habitats will exacerbate our studies, a personal concern for me. I also live on Orcas Island and adverse impacts to the marine environment matters to me.

My specific concerns about the development of the coal loading facilities at Cherry Point are in regard to the potential impact that fugitive coal particles would have on the health and survival of a critical forage fish in the region, PSL (Ammodytes hexapterus). It appears to me that not much is known about the transport and toxicity of coal particles in the Salish Sea and what impacts to marine benthic habitats may occur if coal is introduced into the estuary of the San Juan Archipelago and southern Georgia Basin, including the Whatcom County shoreline and subtidal habitats. Whatcom County’s seafloor, and most of Rosario Strait, is unmapped in high-resolution and critical PSL benthic habitats there are not fully identified. However, poor resolution and single trace echosounder data indicate that subtidal PSL benthic habitats may be present in close proximity to the proposed coal loading facilities.

The Pacific sand lance (PSL) is an important forage fish along the coastal North Pacific Ocean from northern California to northern Hokkaido, Japan, and is one of six species in the genus Ammodytes (Robards et al., 1999a,b). Although PSL is a key component in the Northwest Straits regional food web, very little is known of this species’ biology. For example, only three peer-reviewed papers detail the biology of PSL in Puget Sound compared with 16 such manuscripts on Pacific herring (Clupea harengus pallasi). The burrowing behavior, recruitment rates and conditions, relative abundance and distribution, population structure, local spawning habits, and spawning and burial substrates remain largely unknown (Robards et al., 1999a, 2002; Tribble, 2000). The work that has been done on the biology and habitat of PSL has focused on the nearshore and shallow sub-tidal areas; little work has been done on the deep sub-tidal habitats, although recent initial studies have been completed (Greene et al. 2011). A disjunction occurs between the abundance of sand lance and the availability of known habitat and the hypothesis put forward by Greene et al. (2011) that predominant and important habitats exist in the deep sub-tidal areas.

In the Northwest Straits region, PSL serve as the primary link between zooplankton and higher order predators, and are a vitally important food source for 29 species of birds, 10 species of marine mammals, and 30 species of commercial and sport fishes (Meyer et al., 1979; Auster and Stewart, 1986; Geiger, 1987; Robards et al., 1999a,b; Tribble, 2000). Specifically, this species is a crucial component in the diet of common murres, rhinoceros auklets, tufted puffins, harbor seals, minke whales, salmon, lingcod, rockfish and other groundfishes (Geiger, 1987). The condition of the Northwest Straits region’s ecosystem depends in large part on the large biomass of forage fish, including PSL, that transfer phytoplankton production to higher trophic levels (Fresh, 1979; Fresh et al., 1981; Duffy, 2003; Zamon, 2001, 2003; Johnson et al., 2008)

The PSL is known to deposit its spawn on sandy upper intertidal beaches throughout the Puget Sound Basin (Penttila 1995a, 2007). Roughly 10% of the shoreline of the Puget Sound basin comprised of fine-grained beaches has been found being used by spawning sand lance. It has been hypothesized that PSL might also use sub-tidal sandy substrates for spawn deposition, although no conclusive physical evidence of this has ever been documented.

Much of what is known about PSL benthic habitat comes from shallow water studies. Sand lance are dependent upon benthic sediment habitats to burrow into and, therefore, this species is most often associated with fine- to coarse-grain sand- or gravel-oxygenated sediments (Meyer et al., 1979; Auster and Stewart, 1986) in nearshore inter-tidal (-0.3m MLLW) and shallow (to 100 m) habitats (Wright et al., 2000; Pinto, 1984; Ostrand et al., 2005; Quinn, 1999; Robards et al., 1999a,b; Auster and Stewart, 1986). In the inter-tidal, sand lance were found to be buried 5.0 cm deep and to be oriented horizontally in the oxygenated sediment layer at densities of 5 fish per square meter and can remain buried in inter-tidal sediments during low tide exposure (Quinn, 1999). Sediment size conducive for sand lance to penetrate and burrow into ranged in size from 0.36 to 1.0 mm in diameter (Quinn, 1999). Inter-tidal beaches have been documented as habitat for PSL and their eggs (Moulton and Penttila, 2000). Sediments provide habitat for overwintering (Healy, 1984), to rest and conserve energy (Quinn, 1999), to avoid predation (Reay, 1970) and as spawning substrate where their adhesive eggs attach while incubating. When the fish emerge from the substrate they form large schools and feed on zooplankton in the water column during the day (Dick and Warner, 1982; Robards et al., 1999a, b; Auster and Stewart, 1986; Geiger, 1987). They emerge from the sand at dawn and are vulnerable to predators as they enter the water column (Hobson, 1986).

Deposits of clean sand at the water depths where PSL reside in the sub-tidal environment (typically < 100 m) are common where relatively strong currents continuously sweep the seafloor. In order to maintain a deposit, a plentiful sand supply is necessary, although finer sediment might transit through the area and coarser sediment might be present as a lag. Sand-wave fields consisting of ripples, waves and dunes are common in such areas, and several fields have been mapped near the San Juan Islands (Barrie et al., 2009; Greene et al., 2011). One such sand-wave field was documented by Blaine (2006) in San Juan Channel of the San Juan Islands and was found to be a productive PSL habitat. The aerial extent of this sand-wave field is delimited by a distinct boundary where the sand waves are in sharp contact with a relatively featureless surrounding seafloor. Such abrupt transitions have been reported in other nearby sand-wave fields (Barrie et al., 2009). However, although it is suspected that such fields may be present in and around the proposed coal loading facilities, no clear bathymetric images exists to confirm this.

The results of the Greene et al. (2011) study are far-reaching and multidisciplinary. Extensive sampling of the San Juan Channel sand wave field, a proto-typical PSL sub-tidal habitat type, on a regular basis through the summer, fall and winter seasons of 2010 and through the winter, fall and spring seasons of 2011 allowed for documentation of PSL occupancy and relative abundances. Comparative evaluation of the results from a tank experiment study and the in situ sampling confirmed the assumption of Greene et al. (2011) that PSL prefer grain sizes of 0.5-1.0 mm (medium- to coarse-grain sand) to any other grain sizes, although PSL were found to occupy all types of substrate from gravels to silt, and that dynamic bedforms can act as preferred habitats for the fish. All life stages of PSL after the larval stage were represented in the proto-typical habitat and one egg was recovered suggesting that recruitment may also occur in PSL sub-tidal habitats.

Tentative conclusions drawn from the work of Greene et al. (2011) that PSL prefer to burrow into medium- to coarse-grain (~0.5-1 mm) size sand in dynamic bedforms that have a wave amplitude of 3-5 m and wavelength of ~100 m, the seafloor conditions found at the proto-typical habitat type in San Juan Channel where the highest concentrations of PSL was found during the investigation. Mature fish found in the San Juan Channel sand wave field were primarily caught in the northern and southern part of the bedform where sediment is smaller in size. It was found that more fish burrow into the sediment during winter months than during summer months (Greene et al., 2011).

Although Greene et al. (2011) prepared a predictive potential PSL sub-tidal habitat model that would have a geomorphology similar to the San Juan Channel sand wave field, further investigation needs to be done to validate the most promising habitat types. Metrics for the predictive model include grain size (0.5-1.0 mm, ~1 phi), depth (30-80 m), wave amplitude (3-5 m), wavelength (50-100 m), and current strengths of ~0.06 m/sec. However, smaller concentrations of fish occur at different types of fields or sand flats and further study needs to be undertaken to place limits and threshold conditions for the habitat attraction for these smaller concentrations of fish within the Salish Sea. In addition, Greene et al. (2011) tentatively concluded that PSL can travel a fair distance from their egg laying sites to sub-tidal habitats, however this relationship also needs further investigation.

Stability of the dynamic bedforms that may be promising sub-tidal habitats in the Salish Sea appear to be near the threshold of stability. Any changes in current strength could upset this stability and such change could come about from continued tectonic uplift or eustatic rebound (possibly leading to increase in current strength) or sea level rise (possibly leading to decrease in current strength). More physical oceanographic measurements need to be made in order to better understand this process.

Based on the known habitat types of PSL and the tendency of the fish to occupy clean, well-aerated substrates, the possibility that fine- to medium-size coal particles could be swept onto beaches and into the subtidal habitats is of paramount concern as interstitial clogging of important habitats in close proximity to the facilities can be impacted. Nothing is known about how coal particles will transit through the San Juan Archipelago or wash up on beaches. Strong tidal currents and winter storm waves all have the potential to sweep fugitive coal particles into the critical habitats of PSL. Concentration of these particles may be detrimental to the survival of PSL.

Questions that should be addressed and hopefully answered in the Environmental Impact Statement for the Gateway Pacific Terminal include:
1) how will fugitive coal particles be incorporated into natural sediments, if at all;
2) how concentrated will the particles become and what will be the toxicity to benthic organisms, especially Pacific sand lance; and
3) how far will the particles be distributed from their point of entry into the water.
All sub-tidal PSL habitats should therefore be located and mapped within close proximity to the coal-loading facilities and along the bulk carrier routes, where coal is likely to be introduced into the marine environment. Coal toxicity associated with dissolution or any other chemical processes that occur in marine and estuarine environments also need to be addressed. If potential impacts are found, how will they be mitigated?


References

Auster P.J., and Stewart L.L. (1986). Sand lance. In: Species Profiles: Life Histories and Environmental Requirements of Coastal Fishes and Invertebrates (North Atlantic). US Fish and Wildlife Service Biological Report 82, p. 1-11.
Barrie, J.V., Conway, K.W., Picard, K., and Greene, H.G., 2009, Large scale sedimentary bedforms and sediment dynamics on a glaciated tectonic continental shelf: Examples from the Pacific margin of Canada. Continental Shelf Research 29, p. 796-806.
Blain, J. (2006). Pacific sand lance (Ammodytes hexapterus) present in the sandwave field of central San Juan Channel, WA: Abundance, density, maturity, and sediment association. Class Paper, Fish 492 Research Apprentice, Friday Harbor Labs, Friday Harbor, WA, 24 pp.
Dick, M.H, and Warner, I.M. (1982). Pacific sand lance, Ammodytes hexapterus Pallas, in the Kodiak Island group, Alaska. Syesis 15, p. 43-50.
Duffy, E. J. (2003). Early marine distribution and trophic interactions of juvenile salmon in Puget Sound. University of Washington, Thesis, Seattle, WA
Fresh, K.L. (1979). Distribution and abundance of fishes occurring in the nearshore surface waters of northern Puget Sound, Washington. M.S. Thesis, University of Washington, Seattle.
Fresh, K.L., Cardwell, R.D., and Koons, R.R. (1981). Food habitats of Pacific salmon, baitfish, and their potential competitors and predators in the marine waters of Washington, August 1978 to September 1979. State of Washington, Department of Fisheries, Progress Report No. 145.
Greene, H.G., Wyllie-Echeverria, Gunderson, D., Bizzarro, J., Barry, V., Fresh, K., Robinson, C., Cacchione, D., Penttila, D., Hampton, M., and Summers, A. (2011). Deep-water Pacific sand lance (Ammodytes hexapterus) habitat evaluation and prediction in the Northwest Straits region. Final Report, May 1, 2010 – June 30, 2011, to Northwest Straits Commission, Mt. Vernon, WA. 75pp.
Geiger, A.C. (1987). Trophic interactions and diurnal activity patterns of the Pacific sand lance, Ammodytes hexapterus, at San Juan Island, Washington. Marine Fish Biology Class Paper, University of Washington.
Hobson, E.S. (1986). Predation of the Pacific sand lance, Ammodytes hexapterus (Pisces:Ammodytidae), during the transition between day and night in southeastern Alaska. Copeia, p. 223-226.
Johnson, S., Thedinga, J.F., and Munk, K.M. (2008). Distribution and use of shallow-water habitats by Pacific sand lances in Southeastern Alaska. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 137: 1455-1463.
Meyer, T.L., Cooper, R.A., Langton, R.W. (1979). Relative abundance, behavior, and food habits of the American sand lance, Ammodytes americanus, from the Gulf of Maine. Fishery Bulletin 77, p. 243-253.
Moulton, L.L., Penttila, D.E. (2000). Forage fish spawning distribution in San Juan County and protocols for sampling intertidal and nearshore regions. In: San Juan County Forage Fish Assessment Project, Friday Harbor, WA.
Ostrand, W.D., Gotthardt, T.A., Howlin, S., and Robards, M.D. (2005). Habitat selection models for Pacific sand lance (Ammodytes hexapterus) in Prince William Sound, Alaska. Northwestern Naturalist 86, p. 131-143.
Penttila, D. (1995). Investigations of the spawning habitat of the Pacific sand lance, Ammodytes hexapterus, in Puget Sound. Puget sound Research-95 Conference Proceedings, Puget Sound Water Quality Authority, Olympia, WA, Vol. 2, p. 855-859.
Penttila, D. (2007). Marine Forage Fishes in Puget Sound. Puget Sound Nearshore Partnership Report No. 2007-03, Seattle District, ACOE, Seattle, WA, 27 p.
Pinto, J.M. (1984). Laboratory spawning of Ammodytes hexapterus from the Pacific coast of North America with a description of its eggs and early larvae. Copeia, p. 242-244.
Quinn, T. (1999). Habitat characteristics of an intertidal aggregation of Pacific sand lance (Ammodytes hexapterus) at a North Puget Sound beach in Washington. Northwest Science 73(1), p. 44-49.
Reay, PJ. (1970). Synopsis of biological data on North Atlantic sandeels of the genus Ammodytes, FAO Fisheries Synopsis No. 82, Rome, Italy. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 48 p.
Robards, M.D., Piatt, J.F., and Rose, G.A. (1999a). Maturation, fecundity, and intertidal spawning of Pacific sand lance in the northern Gulf of Alaska. Journal of Fish Biology 54, p. 1050-1068.
Robards, M.D., Willson, M.F., Armstrong, R.H., and Piatt, J.F. (1999b). Sand lance: a review of biology and predator relations and annotated bibliography. Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Restoration Project 99346 Final Report, 327pp.
Tribble, S.C. (2000). Sensory and feeding ecology of larval and juvenile Pacific sand lance, Ammodytes hexapterus. Master’s Thesis, University of Washington, 98 pp.
Wright, P.J., Jensen, H., and Tuck, I. (2000), The influence of sediment type on the distribution of the lesser sendeel, Ammodytes marinus. Journal of Sea Research, v. 44, p. 243-256.
Zamon, J. E. (2001). Seal predation on salmon and forage-fish schools as a function of tidal currents in the San Juan Islands, Washington, USA. Fish. Oceanography 10, 353-366.
Zamon, J. E. (2003). Mixed species aggregations feeding upon herring and sandlance schools in a nearshore archipelago depend on flooding tidal currents. Marine Ecology Progress Series 261, 243-255.

Gary Griffiths (#7966)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
As a former Coast Guard officer and merchant mariner I am concerned about influx of foreign vessels and crews. For the sake of Homeland Security, how many resources from federal and local law enforcement will have to be added or diverted?
The coal ships will be foreign-flag. Each ship will have a crew of 25 to 40 persons. U.S. crews are carefully documented and licensed. Foreign crews are not.
Foreign ships trade in all our ports. But the proposed coal port will create a dramatic increase in just one place: Cherry Point.

Gary Jewell (#5344)

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

Gary Jones (#13803)

Date Submitted: 01/16/13
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.

Sincerely,

P.S. King Coal is on the way out, thanks to competition from cheap gas -- among other things. As far as I'm concern, the sooner the better. Nothing produces toxic waste and puts carbon in the air quite like coal. Maybe Peabudy can switch to something a bit more sustainable and renewable than digging up dead dinosaurs.

Gary Larson (#12728)

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 now 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 areawide environmental impact statement to assess the cumulative impact of these proposals.

Gary Lazarus (#5055)

Date Submitted: 12/18/2012
Comment:
I do not support the Gateway terminal project. The amount of jobs gained during the initial construction and the subsequent jobs do not off set the environmental disruption and potential job losses from destroying tourist income in the port area that would be damaged by the increased rail traffic. In addition factoring in local as well as global pollution means that alternatives have to be found.

Gary Lazarus (#5056)

Date Submitted: 12/18/2012
Comment:
I do not support the Gateway terminal project. The amount of jobs gained during the initial construction and the subsequent jobs do not off set the environmental disruption and potential job losses from destroying tourist income in the port area that would be damaged by the increased rail traffic. In addition factoring in local as well as global pollution means that alternatives have to be found.

Gary Lee (#13772)

Date Submitted: 01/16/13
Comment:
I 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.

I urge you to consider the significant effects of this project on the human and physical environment.

Gary Littlefield (#834)

Date Submitted: 10/16/12
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
Greetings,

I feel I’m in a unique position to comment on the proposal to increase the number of trains traveling between Seattle and the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal in Bellingham since I live in very close proximity to the tracks in question. My residence at 6533 37th ave NW in Seattle sits less that 100 ft from the existing North-South line in question.

I welcome the new trains and the jobs they would bring to both Bellingham and Seattle. If there are concerns about the dust that may escape from the trains it would seem simple to just about any one that a canvas cover of some kind could be fashioned to cover the coal. This should ease the concerns of those worried about possible health issues. Similar tarps are used today to cover the garbage trains that travel the same tracks on a regular basis.

As for increasing the number of trains ? I say bring it on, who doesn’t love the train. No one can say that if they bought property close to the tracks they didn’t know they were there and there wasn’t a chance that more (or fewer) trains would be traveling up and down the sound in the future.

Let’s not let an opportunity for economic growth pass us by. I have children that are entering a future where good jobs like these added trains can provide appear t be harder and harder to find. If we don’t allow these trains those who want to move the coal will just take the jobs somewhere else like Canada. We’re not talking about new tracks here. Just getting the most use out of the ones already in place. Let’s use common sense and compromise to come up with a solution that works for everyone and make the decision on facts, not fear.

Thank you,

Gary Littlefield
6533 37th Ave NW
Seattle Wa, 98117
206 783-5157

Gary Matson (#4911)

Date Submitted: 12/15/12
Location: Milltown , MT
Comment:
15 December 2012
SENT BY E-MAIL


GPT/Custer Spur EIS
1100 112th Ave. NE Suite 400
Bellevue, WA 98004.

Re: Scoping for the Gateway Pacific Terminal (Cherry Point) EIS

Dear Sirs,

The agencies conducting the Gateway Terminal EIS must reach far beyond local considerations of the proposed development. It is unacceptable that the security of the United States and of the Planet Earth be compromised by failing to fully address all consequences. Each party in the chain of fossil fuel use, from leasing of the ground, extraction, transport, refining, and final burning denies responsibility for the ultimate global consequences of heavily magnified releases of CO2. This denial is unacceptable if we are to bequeath a livable planet to future generations.

The EIS should:

1. Include the State of Montana in its scope. The coal would be mined in Montana, negatively affecting natural/agricultural resources and positively affecting state financial return. How do the losses compare with the gains?
2. Evaluate impact of increased coal train traffic on Montana communities. What would be the frequency and duration of RR crossing blockage? What is the probability of seriously impacting the delivery of emergency services? What is the extent of inconvenience likely to be experienced by commuters, commercial vehicles, and personal transportation?
3. Quantify and evaluate impacts of burning of exported Montana coal over the expected 30 year life of the Asian power plants upon: a) global air quality; b) climate change caused by increases in atmospheric CO2. Ninety seven percent of the world’s climate scientist agree that fossil fuel burning is one of the primary sources of climate change. How far can we, as a current Earth residents, allow climate to be changed before consequences result in irreversible, long-term environmental and societal instability for residents of future generations? How will the national security of the United States of America be affected by conditions of rising the sea levels, drought, and catastrophic weather events expected to result from allowing current trends in climate change to continue?

Sincerely,

Gary Matson

Gary Minor (#688)

Date Submitted: 10/14/2012
Location: Mt. Vernon, Wa
Comment:
I would suggest that the coal terminal and increased rail traffic would diminish the quality of life for the residents along the rail corridor and coal terminal. Diminished air quality,increased noise,lost time and fuel waiting at rail crossings are some of my concerns.

Gary Piazzon (#587)

Date Submitted: 10/08/12
Location: Coupeville, WA
Comment:
It has been estimated, given the known effects of CO2 on the atmosphere and ocean which is driving the Anthropocene extinction, that each coal car is the equivalent of one extinct species. The current level of CO2 in the atmosphere will result in 20% of terrestrial extinctions. Continuing this course will result in, conservatively a loss of 60% of terrestrial species. For the oceans, due to acidification ithe impacts will be worse. Not only is CO2 pollution producing an increasingly inhospitable world it could be uninhabitable. According to physicist Stephen Hawkins we might be transforming the planet into a venusian equivalent. On the lighter side, the immediate effects on human health from coal dust are also well known. It is irrational given the solid science that we should even be considering this when we should be making every effort to keep coal and other fossil fuels in the ground. We have enough there to cook us 5 times over. We should leave it there, admit we are energy addicts and committ to sobering up.

Gary Piazzon

We care for what we care about. Let's not wait till its too late. "Pause" buttons do not come with the laws of nature.

Gary Pierson (#4703)

Date Submitted: 12/13/2012
Location: Auburn, WA
Comment:
Dec 13, 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 and transporting strip-mined coal from Montana and Wyoming on trains and ships throughout the Northwest. It would increase traffic, pollute our air and water, harm small businesses, delay emergency vehicles, and increase shipping traffic and noise. The coal export terminal would also hurt our environment by damaging aquatic ecosystems at the terminal site, increasing the potential for serious shipping accidents, and exacerbating climate change. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

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

What kind of world do you want to leave your children?

Sincerely,

gary pierson
126 I St SE
Auburn, WA 98002-5656
(253) 804-4072

Gary Proctor (#5130)

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

Gary Richardson (#4202)

Date Submitted: 12/10/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I am adamantly opposed to the Gateway Pacific Terminal project. My home is a short distance from the train tracks in a Bellingham neighborhood. I am gravely concerned about the noise, which even at the present is more than distracting. I am gravely concerned about crossing the tracks with the additional rail traffic. I am concerned that my community will have to pay for the infrastructure the will inevitably be necessary to accommodate so much rail traffic. I know that the train traffic will degrade the air quality of our community (coal dust, diesel exhaiust) and this is a concern. The barrier of trains rolling through the heart of Bellingham will effectively cut off the approach to the water, to the Bay. As a home owner I am gravely concerned that this project will degrade the value of my property. To me each train rolling through our beautiful city and county will signify for me a failure, on all levels--business and government--to develop (and export if we wish), a cleaner method of devleoping energy.

I am a psychologist and have been an amateur naturalist all my life and know that there will also be grave impacts to our natural environment. We are all intrically woven in this web of life and we will be doing ourselves (I'll use the word again) GRAVE harm if this project were to move ahead as planned.

Gary Saling (#5213)

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

Gary Stein (#4740)

Date Submitted: 12/13/2012
Location: Redmond, WA
Comment:
How many different port locations in Wash and Oregon are being looked at as options? Which, if not all, of these options would cause long and multiple coal car trains daily through the city of Seattle?

Gary Tohman (#8802)

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

Gary Wade (#945)

Date Submitted: 10/21/12
Location: Bellingham, 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 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, tie up 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.

Sincerely,

Gary Wade
2429 Henry St
Bellingham, WA 98225-2210

Gary Wolf (#13348)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Portland, OR
Comment:
Can we please get our head above ground when it comes to energy. Enough already!

Unless it's wind or solar, I want nothing to do with it in any way, shape or form.

The sun along...could provide thousands of times more energy then we could ever use, and we have the technology. We just need to pull our heads out...OUT OF THE DAMN GROUND, ALREADY.

Needless to say, 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.

Gary & Linda Dietrick (#2640)

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

Gavin Miller (#14603)

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

Gay Wilmerding (#5706)

Date Submitted: 01/02/2013
Comment:
My name is Gay Wilmerding & I live in the San Juans in the Salish Sea. With respect to hitchhikers IN and ON bulk coal carriers from abroad, what will prevent invasives from entering our unique ecosystem?

After Japan's tsunami, organisms migrated on debris to American shores. When ballast water is expelled in the Pacific, what prevents foreign organisms from entering the Salish Sea on similar tidal flows? What prevents organisms growing on hulls from being scraped off or moving to another place as ships travel through the Salish Sea to GPT?

How will introduction of new species affect existing populations in the Salish Sea? Biocides are not acceptable mitigation because these poisons, if dumped at sea, will bioaccumulate and affect our water health and natural ecosystems. They may kill organisms adjacent to the ship, outright, and affect the food chain.

Please study the risks of invasives and the risks attendant to their control, collateral damage.

Gay Wilmerding (#5707)

Date Submitted: 01/02/2013
Comment:
Re: Windage

My name is Gay Wilmerding and I row daily around Brown Island in Friday Harbor, WA. Wind & weight are big safety factors. With respect to bulk coal carriers, how will they navigate the dangerous passage between the Pacific Ocean & Haro Strait in high winds if they have emptied their water ballast in the Pacific? Will their propellers be partially exposed and their ability to navigate reduced? Will they drift sideways as I do in big winds?

In the absence of ballast, please study the effects of windage on steerage and safety during tight navigation in the Salish Sea. With more hull exposed, how can the effects be mitigated in bad weather?

Gay Wilmerding (#5749)

Date Submitted: 01/02/13
Comment:
My name is Gay Wilmerding and I row daily around Brown Island in Friday Harbor, WA. Wind & weight are big safety factors. With respect to bulk coal carriers, how will they navigate the dangerous passage between the Pacific Ocean & Haro Strait in high winds if they have emptied their water ballast in the Pacific? Will their propellers be partially exposed and their ability to navigate reduced? Will they drift sideways as I do in big winds?

In the absence of ballast, please study the effects of windage on steerage and safety during tight navigation in the Salish Sea. With more hull exposed, how can the effects be mitigated in bad weather?

Gay Wilmerding (#11079)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Friday Harbor, WA
Comment:
Failure to Thrive:
In the early nineties, photography showed a hot spot at the Los Alamos laundry, an accumulation of radioactive material after years of clothes washing. Please consider the effects of years of washing, cleaning and mopping for those households close to coal train corridors and transport terminals where coal dust and fuel particulates could accumulate in septic tanks and sewage treatment systems. Will microbes on which the systems depend fail to thrive? How great will concentrations be before they die? What means may be used to prevent such accumulations, or be used for cleanup once penetrating the system? Would toxins travel in the treated water to pollute the aquifer? Please study these questions and determine mitigation measures. Thank you.

Gay Wilmerding (#11082)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Comment:
Structural Integrity:
Many of the coal barges will be old. Please study their structural integrity which may be at high risk because of rocks and wave action. If the hulls are double, has corrosion weakened them from the interior? If bolts allow a hull to flex over its the length, what measures identify the risks of metal fatigue & what maintenance measures prevent catastrophic failure? E.g., the Edmund Fitzgerald may have snapped in half when waves pounded its hull. Please require a structural engineer to certify a boat’s soundness on a regular mileage basis and after passage through any major storm, rogue wave, allision, or collision.

Gay Wilmerding (#11084)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Comment:
Small Leaks and Small Creatures:
As a child visiting my paternal grandmother on the Jersey Shore in summer, we kept a Crisco jar at the back door to clean tar and oil residue from our feet before entering the house. Passage & strong enforcement of NEPA meant the sandy shores sparkled white & clean when I took my children to visit a year ago. Please study ways to prevent any fuel films or residue from escaping during passage of coal carriers in the Salish Sea and beyond. Our San Juan beaches are few and precious. Any fuel or coal residue would have adverse effects on forage fish that spawn and leave their eggs in the fine gravel of our islands. Temperature is key. A dark or oily film on the eggs might harm gestation or survival rates. Please study the effects and determine ways to mitigate harm to the beaches and creatures that depend on sensitive land-sea connections in tidal zones. Thank you.

Gay Wilmerding (#11088)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Comment:
Warming Waters, Painful Change:
As a child visiting my maternal grandmother on the Connecticut Shore, we used to have jellyfish fights, small clear blobs. Then, cooling nearby nuclear power plants raised temperatures & poisonous, stinging pink jellyfish could survive the warmer waters. Swimming and playing became tinged with fear and occasional pain. Transporting and burning vast quantities of coal will cause climate change, warm the waters, change species and may alter major currents with their life-giving properties. Please have the moral courage & imagination to recognize the devastating consequences of coal and say no to its commerce. Thank you.

Gay Wilmerding (#11090)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Comment:
Warming Waters, Painful Change: complete

As a child visiting my maternal grandmother on the Connecticut Shore, we used to have jellyfish fights, small clear blobs. Then, cooling nearby nuclear power plants raised temperatures & poisonous, stinging pink jellyfish could survive the warmer waters. Swimming and playing became tinged with fear and occasional pain. Transporting and burning vast quantities of coal will cause climate change, warm the waters, change species and may alter major currents with their life-giving properties. Please have the moral courage & imagination to recognize the devastating consequences of coal and say no to its commerce. Thank you.

Note: Improving water quality, shad began to return to the Connecticut River during college; their roe is so superior to that in warmer regions, that it commands a premium price; and, a fishery is reborn, an outcome in keeping with Governor Gregoire’s plans to revitalize the Puget Sound region.

Gay Wilmerding (#11093)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Comment:
Trespass:
On Vashon, plaintiffs proved the harm from years trespass, particulate deposits from Rustin -- bradley-v-american-smelting-ref-co. Likewise, coal dust is harmful. Lead, cadmium and other toxins present in the dust can be poisonous in gardens, fields or water; the dark color alone can affect the albedo of whatever it covers which can affect temperature and growth patterns. Chronic trespass is chronic nuisance whether dust is born on wind or water, gusts or waves. The transition between rail cars to ships is particularly noxious because no means to prevent gusts carrying clouds of dust to other people’s properties is evident. Fuel particulates as ships travel through the San Juans is also a problem because where will they land? Commercial aquaculture and public resources may be affected as well as private property. Please study the effects of coal dust being blown off ships and from their holds and the means to prevent such trespass. Thank you.

Gay Wilmerding (#11096)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Comment:
Screening?
What will protect water and property around Cherry Point from migrating dust? Transplanting huge trees is impractical because the larger they are the less likely they are to survive transplant. Too small, they will not screen. Deciduous, they will only serve part of the year. Evergreen, the needles will need washing to remain healthy. Then, where will that wash water go? Even natural rain washing surfaces “clean” has to be collected because the runoff is dirty. Copious dust threatens survival of any natural tree screen. Physical inanimate screens might serve to protect surrounding properties and waters. They, themselves, will have to be cleaned or replaced like HEPA filters. Please study the proposed dust screening at the Gateway Terminal, its regular monitoring for effectiveness and the means and place for coal dust disposal. Thank you.

Gay Wilmerding (#11100)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Comment:
What Price Silence?
Living on the west side of Stuart Island, we could hear orcas breathing below the cliffs. On a still day on the west side of San Juan, the whales can be heard, breathing. Please study the effects of ambient noise from increased ship traffic. Traffic noise can be disorienting in the fog as I cross the ferry lane in Port of Friday Harbor. Small boats, kayaks and recreational travelers can be lost or struck when boat traffic increases and sounds are refracted. Study the effects beneath the surface as well. Do migrating juvenile salmon become disoriented? Their larger coevals, orcas, are sensitive to noise. Sound barriers can be erected along land highways. Is there equivalent mitigation for marine highways? Transient humans and wild creatures seek peace and plenitude in the San Juans for recalibration and sustenance. What price will we pay for loss of silence with a regular shipping lane? Should ships be banned at certain prime nesting or migrating seasons to ensure natural cycles are not disrupted? Please study the effects of ship’s noise and seasonal stoppage as possible mitigation. Thank you.

Gay Wilmerding (#11102)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Comment:
What Percent is Lost at Transfer Points & At Sea?
Studies show 3% of coal is lost in the 1,100 mile rail transit between Powder River and Bellingham, about 500 pounds per car. What percent is lost at the two transfer points: entering the Salish Sea at Gateway Pacific Terminal; and leaving the Pacific in China, for instance? And, what percent of coal is lost at sea? If the transit is about 5,700 miles, about 5 times the rail distance, is loss proportionate*; i.e., another 15%? Or, when adding 3% rail loss, loss at transport points and sea travel loss, the total approaches one fifth or 20% of the total coal mined in US. This is extravagant. Consider that coal is a strategic resource; that we are, in President Obama’s words, in a trade war with China; that recreation, tourism, aquaculture and quality of life in Washington are valuable; and, global warming would be spurred at taxpayer expense. Would it be prudent to leave coal in the hole? Mitigation is not possible with this level of waste, much less level of use. Please study the waste -- of the material and of the planet, its human & ecological resources. Thank you.

*Assumption: if coal cannot be covered in rail transit without combustion, presumably the same logic applies to shipping: coal dust would escape through vented hatches or be washed overboard into the marine environment.

Gay Wilmerding (#11111)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Comment:
Intellectual Loss:
Friday Harbor Labs is a premier research facility in the world. University of Victoria and transnational cooperation among institutions of learning mean the Salish Sea is host to years of study. A few, related to jelly fish, resulted in Nobel prizes. Should an accident occur with a coal carrier, the loss to intellectual development and understanding of these invaluable resources would be incalculable and irreplaceable. Since both Washington Ferries and BC Ferries suffer wrecks, to imagine ships with foreign crews in foreign waters being immune from accidents is magical thinking. Transporting coal through this marine environment is an unconscionable risk; developing sustainable alternative energy sources is conscionable. Please utilize your regulatory authority to investigate and to protect intellectual work that has & continues to benefit the public, here & worldwide. Risking such wealth, risks our future. Thank you.

Gay Wilmerding (#11188)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Comment:
Sieving?
On a Stuart Island School trip aboard the Adventuress, we sieved all dishwater twice, through coarse and fine sieves, to remove particles and reduce impact on the environment. If coal ships, claiming storm conditions dump ballast water, the Salish Sea may suffer invasive species. To avoid regulation evasion & to minimize risk, why not avoid the problem at the front end? Sieve all water through coarse and fine sieve as it enters AND exits the boat. Large screens on frames could be attached at the end of hoses to speed the process. The finer mesh ones would be micron-sized to seize coal dust and microorganisms that might harm the food chain, here. A rough estimate of the expected “catch” would be made per ton of ballast water – loading and unloading – and, the sieve products would be logged in, examined and disposed of on land in a responsible manner. Please study the advantages of this mitigation method and any other alternatives to biocides -- deadly to more than the ballast water. Thank you.

Gay Wilmerding (#11190)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Comment:
Limitless Frontier?
In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue and discovered America; four hundred years later, Frederick Jackson Turner promulgated idea of “the limitless frontier”. Eurocentric, both men ignored the presence of people already on the continent. Seeking connection between my parents evacuation during Superstorm Sandy at the beginning of this scoping process, I kept looking at cycles and myths. Since they refused to eat salmon during exploration, Lewis and Clark almost starved amid Northwest beneficence. Pleases study the risks to Our democracy Of the people, BY the people and FOR the people. Our resources need to be consumed for our benefit; taxpayers’ pockets are not limitless & to squander dollars on coal mitigation (health, infrastructure & ecological protection to name a few) instead of investing in alternative energy & conservation is harmful in the extreme. Climate change drives the energy of superstorms; burning coal drives that change and harms us all. Human potential may be limitless; human stupidity is not; neither is Nature’s capacity to absorb our energy. Please evaluate the effects of limitless extraction on our democracy, our people. Thank you.

Gay Wilmerding (#12108)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Comment:
Connections:

Please study & closely coordinate Washington State Ferry schedules with passing coal ships. This summer when a ramp refused to work, many visitors missed their entire vacation because of failed connections -- a domino effect. They paid for a room on an island they could not reach & could not find a bed at high season on the island where they were stuck. Plus they missed wildlife tours, boat rides, dinner reservations, etc. Ferries need right-of-way over commercial traffic or, at the very least, windows of time for passage to ensure business flows smoothly in the San Juans. Thank you for your consideration.

Gaye Simpson (#14130)

Date Submitted: 01/17/13
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
Burning coal on the scale proposed by shipping US mined coal to China is a huge step backward in combating global warming.

As a citizen of this state, I do not want to be part of the profit scheme of big coal mining companies who benefit at great cost to our planet

Additionally, we need to have a thorough review of the risks and impacts to our local communities which may be caused by the transport of the coal.

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

Gayle Bodorff (#8649)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Location: Friday Harbor, WA
Comment:
I have sent you an attachment with this email so it can be readily accessed and printed for your convenience. However, I am also providng the text (below) in the email.
I want to be certain my concerns and questions do not get overlooked, but looked over! Thank you.


NEPA &SEPA SCOPING
Comment relates to box checked: Multiple/not listed
I checked multiple, however, it does include all of the above items listed.

Topic areas could again be all inclusive but focus is on Quality of Life for all: humans, plants, land animals and water creatures that, therefore, must include both Air quality and Water quality of fresh water, ground water, estuaries and the ocean itself. Coal trains and coal export terminals would introduce fossil fuel contaminants which would degrade both air and water quality and thus threaten the health of all life forms

Q How can one justify contaminating a clean energy region of the USA by introducing fossil fuel contaminates into our environmental friendly area?

The Pacific Northwest is one of the few remaining areas of North America least impacted by all the negative effects of fossil fuels. We are a “clean” area which utilizes hydroelectric power and more recently, wind power, and with recent advancements in solar, even in our overcast, rainy coastal areas, we are seeing more solar energy being utilized.

Q. How do you tally the potential environmental and health costs of the Pacific NW against the economic benefits derived by the state of Montana (coal mining industry) and rail transportation interests?

It is openly admitted that coal must be transported in open cars. New infrastructure must be built to provide CLEAN alternative energy, NOT go into outdated, destructive coal based energy use. The so-called economic gain will be felt by few, but many will feel it’s consequences in their lungs.

Q. Why should the USA be complicit in advancing climate change by providing fossil fuels to China?

Everyone stands to lose. Since the aftermath of the storm “Sandy” even diehards are belatedly acknowledging global warming/climate change. We know fossil fuels are a major culprit.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
--
Attached Files:

Gayle Bodorff (#14244)

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


Gayle Cue (#6473)

Date Submitted: 01/04/13
Location: Billings, MT
Comment:
Dear Mr. Perry:

As is often the case with form letters, the points have already been made, very clearly and succinctly, so there is little more to say that doesn't clutter up the message. So I will just take this moment to confirm that even though I am using a well thought out form letter, it comes from my understanding about the quality of life that Montanans expect and deserve. They live in a beautiful environment, often under harsh weather conditions in order that they can have the quality. The impact on the quality of life needs to be considered in these commercial exercises.


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,


Gayle Cue

Gayle Cue (#13499)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Billings, MT
Comment:
We need to be investing in renewable energy. Wind. Solar. Water.
Not coal. it's the 21st century. Step up to the times please.

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.

Gayle Janzen (#1097)

Date Submitted: 10/22/12
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
Oct 22, 2012

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Being a citizen of WA state, 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. Not only is this bad for our air quality, but the toxic coal dust and diesel emissions from more and more shipping activity, will harm our already endangered orcas. They are filled with PCB's and many other chemicals found in Puget Sound. What a tragedy this proposed coal terminal will be for humans, orcas and the entire ecosystem. This is a really bad idea. It's the 21st century - why aren't we investing in clean energy instead of still depending on dirty coal? The last thing China needs is to be burning more coal!

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.

Sincerely,

Gayle Janzen
11232 Dayton Ave N
Seattle, WA 98133-8611

Gayle Janzen (#1107)

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

We don't want coal being shipped through our state on railroads as coal dust spews into the air every day and we don't want dirty coal being shipped to China so they can exacerbate global warming. WA has always been a leader in clean energy so it's really depressing that our leaders want to allow this dirty energy into and out of our state. It seems that the people in charge care only about short term profits and have absolutely no regard for the horrendous negative impacts that this dirty coal will bring to the planet. You can't be supporting clean energy on the one hand, and support the dirtiest form of energy on the other. Coal is last century's dirty energy that we need to be phasing out. Why aren't we investing in clean energy jobs???

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.




Gayle Janzen
11232 Dayton Ave N
Seattle, WA 98133

Gayle Janzen (#4448)

Date Submitted: 12/12/2012
Comment:
I'm concerned that the lure of temporary jobs is over shadowing the many long-term negative impacts of shipping coal to China. So, my question is how many long-term, permanent jobs will actually be created after the terminal is built and how will you arrive at a realistic number?

Gayle Janzen (#5602)

Date Submitted: 12/30/2012
Comment:
Since we already know that coal puts huge amounts of CO2 into the air and is contributing to global warming and ocean acidification, I'm concerned that shipping coal to China will then exacerbate these problems. Will you be studying what impact increased coal emissions that get blown over from China to the West Coast will have on Puget Sound's orca populations? Will increased acidification negatively impact salmon populations which are already dwindling and making it difficult for Puget Sound orcas to survive as it is. Extinction is forever so unless you can prove that shipping coal to China will be of benefit to everyone, not just the coal companies, how can you possibly move forward with this proposal?

Gayle Janzen (#12827)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
allowing massive amounts of coal to pass through the NW would wreak havoc on our air, water and the trains would totally disrupt traffic in Seattle. How can the state of WA justify closing down our last coal plant if we turn around and allow this extremely dirty form of energy to be spewed into our air? Sounds pretty hypocritical to me. The coal industry says it will create jobs. Well, clean energy will create MORE jobs and it will be good for the environment. I just don't understand how a few jobs can justify putting global warming on steroids. You must be aware that we are already the recipients of China's smog and this will only exacerbate that problem. This foul air full of chemicals will make its way over the ocean and start landing in the waters, turning up the acidity that is already getting bad from the global warming we have now. The public keeps coming out against this really bad and dangerous plan. I hope you listen since our environmental future is in your hands.

Therefore, 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.

Gayle Kiser (#5633)

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

Gayle Rothrock (#7350)

Date Submitted: 01/12/13
Location: Vancouver, WA
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).

In particular, the proposal would have severe impacts on the Columbia River Gorge, 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. I served on the Bi-State Gorge Commission for nearly six years and know well how important it is to calculate impacts on this remarkable National Scenic Area. This includes sensitivity to impacts on water and air quality. As is well known this law requires protection and enhancement of scenic, natural, cultural and recreation resources and air quality. The EIS must evaluate the transportation of coal by rail in open coal cars through the Gorge, and the likely expansion of tracks and siding in the Gorge that would be necessary to accommodate up to 18 additional trains per day, for consistency with the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Act.

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

Coal pollution is already a problem in the Gorge from just a few coal trains per week, with large amounts of coal polluting Gorge lands and waterways. Adverse effects of coal spilling into waterways and into sensitive plant and wildlife areas in the Gorge from open-top coal cars must be analyzed in the EIS. The threat of fugitive coal affecting agriculture and forestry must also be examined in the EIS.

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

Existing rail traffic in the Gorge is near capacity. Approval of the GPT project would result in the need to expand rail capacity in the Gorge with new tracks and sidings. Rail lines in the Gorge follow the Columbia River and cross many tributaries and wetlands. Impacts from the construction of new tracks would cause adverse effects to water quality, fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats. These impacts must be analyzed and avoided.

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

There are five pending proposals for coal exports in the Pacific Northwest. All would transport coal from the Powder River Basin through the Columbia River Gorge to export facilities. The combined impacts of past, present and reasonably foreseeable uses and developments must be thoroughly explored in the EIS.

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

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

The Army Corps of Engineers should refrain from making a decision on any permits until an area-wide EIS is completed to analyze the impacts of all five coal export proposals in the Pacific Northwest. This is a critical moment. Full evaluation is necessary to serve the interests and needs of the present and help make wise choices for the future of the Pacific Northwest.

Sincerely,

Ms. Gayle Rothrock

Gaythia Weis (#10283)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Potential Environmentally Adverse Impacts of Chemical Coal Dust Suppressants:
I have a Master’s of Science degree in Analytical Chemistry. I am focusing my Gateway Pacific Terminal/Custer Spur EIS scoping comment on chemical dust suppressants, which I feel form a small but significant subset of the many possible impacts of this project. While suppression of dust is an environmental positive, the means of mitigation may also create new auxiliary adverse impacts.
See the attached document.
Attached Files:

Gaythia Weis (#13630)

Date Submitted: 01/22/13
Location: Bellingham , WA
Comment:
GPT/BNSF Custer Spur EIS Co-Lead Agencies
c/o CH2M Hill
1100 112th Ave. NE, Ste. 400
Bellevue, WA 98004
January 22, 2013

RE: Gateway Pacific Terminal/Custer Spur EIS Scoping Comments

To the Washington Department of Ecology, U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers and Planning and Development Services, Whatcom
County;

Since I have not received an e-mail confirming that my scoping comments were received via the online comment process, I am resending them here.

My name is Gaythia R. Weis. I have a Master’s of Science degree in Analytical Chemistry. I am focusing my Gateway Pacific Terminal/Custer Spur EIS scoping comment on chemical dust suppressants, which I feel form a small but significant subset of the many possible impacts of this project. While suppression of dust is an environmental positive, the means of mitigation may also create new auxiliary adverse impacts.

My full comments are attached.

Thank you,

Gaythia Weis
Attached Files:

Gena DiLabio (#2951)

Date Submitted: 11/14/12
Comment:
I live in Mount Vernon where the hospital in the eastern part of the city is di
vided from the western side be the railroad tracks. Please study the impacts
of increased train traffic on emergency response times in our city if the
terminal were to be expanded. Physicans tell us that seconds are important
in a life-threatening energency and increased train traffic and longer trains
will certainly lead to unnecessary loss of life.

Thank you for considering my concerns about public safety.

Sincerely,

Gena DiLabio
Mount Vernon

Gena DiLabio (#2952)

Date Submitted: 11/14/12
Comment:
I am a senior citizen already dealing with respiratory challenges. As you know children and seniors are more vulnerable than the rest of the population to air pollution.
Please consider the impact of coal dust from the increased train traffic that would result from expanding the coal terminal and from coal dust blowing from the huge coal piles at the terminal on human health. I believe there are several medical studies documenting adverse health impacts from coal dust as well as particulates from diesel fuel from the trains. Over 100 physicians from our area have signed a petition attesting to these adverse health impacts. Since these trains will travel over 800 miles, they will affect many communities and many people.
It appears that the expansion benefits very few people relative to the many it may harm and your study would clarify that I trust.

I am pro union and want workers to have living wage jobs. The few jobs involved in this expansion do not warrant the harm it will bring. Clean energy jobs are the answer, not polluting ones.

Thank you for studying these impacts of concern to me.

Sincerely,
Gena DiLabio
Mount Vernon, WA

Gena DiLabio (#2953)

Date Submitted: 11/14/12
Comment:
If the expansion of the coal terminal were approved I am very concerned about the impact of cape ships full of coal, an unstable cargo, in Puget Sound and the Straits of Haro and Juan de Fuca where they will practically double ship traffic and greatly increase the liklihood of collision and spill. I moved to this area because of the beauty of the water, marine life and mountains. As a long-time beach watcher I learned about the quality of our marine life and worked to educate citizens on being good stewards of it as it is fragile.
Please study the impacts of a spill and who would pay for it? It shouldn't be we the taxpayers. Could SSA Marine be required to put up a bond to cover the costs of such an event which I read could run as much as 10s of billions of dollars?
Please study the impact of bilge water from these foreign vessels and the cost of foreign organisms disturbing the marine ecology in our waters.
Please study the cost in loss of fisheries due to the traffic and hazards to fishers because of the increased traffic.
Thank you for including these concerns and remediation of these impacts in the EIS.

Sincerely,
Gena DiLabio
Mount Vernon, WA

Gena DiLabio (#2954)

Date Submitted: 11/14/12
Comment:
I live in Mount Vernon where the hospital in the eastern part of the city is di
vided from the western side be the railroad tracks. Please study the impacts
of increased=A0train traffic on emergency response times in our city if the
terminal were to be expanded. Physicans tell us that seconds are important
in a life-threatening energency and increased train traffic and longer trains
will certainly lead to unnecessary loss of life Thank you for cons
idering my concern about public safety.

Gena DiLabio (#3252)

Date Submitted: 11/20/2012
Location: Mount Vernon, WA
Comment:
I live in Mount Vernon where we are in the midst of revitalizing the downtown with a river walk in hopes of increasing development and commerce. Please study the impacts of increased train traffic if the terminal is expanded and delivers 48 million tons of coal annually from Powder River basin to Bellingham on property values, damage to property near the tracks from vibration, the effect of noise and dust on tourism, businesses and residents, the effect of traffic delays on business especially during such attractions as our annual tulip festival, the net loss of jobs if local businesses are adversely affected using the same multipliers used to compute possible jobs created by terminal expansion, and the loss of use of our parks along the rail route.
It seems to me our local quality of life will see multiple negative impacts while potential gains will be go to investors far from the damage brought by their trains and cargo.

Thank you for studying these impacts of great consern to me.

Sincerely,
Gena DiLabio

Gena DiLabio (#5958)

Date Submitted: 01/02/13
Location: Mount Vernon, WA
Comment:
I live in Mount Vernon and have been a WA State resident for 23 years and have many concerns regarding the expansion of the terminal at Cherry Point and request you study the following impacts:
The impact on public health of the pollution caused by diesel fumes and coal dust from increased train traffic and coal tonnage.
The cost to communities all along the WA State for needed upgrades to infrastructure if the terminal is expanded.
The impact of coal dust at the terminal on eel grass beds in the aquatic reserve there and the impact of further herring population decline on salmon and orcas.
The impact of increased boat traffic in Puget Sound waters and the increased risks of collision to fishers and tour boats if the terminal is expanded.
The impact on tourism industry from the increased noise, air pollution, coal dust, and traffic delays.
The impact on property values all along the rail line.
The impact on local businesses from train noise and traffic delays. What will be the predicted net gain or loss of jobs.
The impact of delaying emergency responders at railroad crossings on public safety.
Spills and collisions on land and sea are inevitable with increased ship traffic, and communities and the state need estimates of costs of cleanup and guaranteed indemnification from Peabody Coal and BSNF Railroad.
To study of the above impacts across our state the Department of Ecology, Department of Transportation and Department of Commerce need to collaborate and share their data with you.
If all the impacts cited are objectively studied for the EIS, the conclusion will be to deny the permit for the expansion of the coal port. With what we know about global climate change, the air pollution the northwest is already getting from China, and the fact that clean energy is the future, why benefit corporate shareholders at the expense of our health and our quality of life.
Thank you for your consideration of this input.

Gena DiLabio (#6682)

Date Submitted: 01/09/13
Comment:
I was motivated to move to the Northwest 23 years ago after vacationing here and experiencing the natural beauty of the marine environment, mountains, and parks. I am very concerned about the harmful impacts to the environment ad people of the proposed expansion of the terminal at Cherry Point.

Please include within the scope of the EIS a detailed study of the impact on the Salish Sea's marine environment and local economies that depend upon this environment, in the event a bulk carrier calling at the Gateway Pacific Terminal is involved in an accident resulting in the spillage of that fuel and/or its cargo of coal.
Thank you for consideration of my comments.
G. DiLabio
Mount Vernon, WA


If the expansion of the coal terminal were approved I am very concerned about the impact of cape ships full of coal, an unstable cargo, in Puget Sound and the Straits of Haro and Juan de Fuca where they will practically double ship traffic and greatly increase the liklihood of collision and spill. I moved to this area because of the beauty of the water, marine life and mountains. As a long-time beach watcher I learned about the quality of our marine life and worked to educate citizens on being good stewards of it as it is fragile.
Please study the impacts of a spill and who would pay for it? It shouldn't be we the taxpayers. Could SSA Marine be required to put up a bond to cover the costs of such an event which I read could run as much as 10s of billions of dollars?
Please study the impact of bilge water from these foreign vessels and the cost of foreign organisms disturbing the marine ecology in our waters.
Please study the cost in loss of fisheries due to the traffic and hazards to fishers because of the increased traffic.
Thank you for including these concerns and remediation of these impacts in the EIS.
Sincerely,
Gena DiLabio
Mount Vernon, WA


As we know potable water sources are very finite and potable water is a necessity. An expanded terminal will require more of this water for operations. Ferndale, which left PUD a year ago and went back to wells abandoned in the 70s, is now considering the need for a water treatment plant to address hardness issues. Given summer flow issues, and the importance of the Nooksack for fish migrations, it must be presumed that once GPT is a customer, the Middle Fork will not be a viable water source for any additional area homes, farms, or industries.
 Will you study how much water the expanded terminal will need for operation and the impact of that much less water available for development of additional housing, farming or other commercial industries.
Thanks for considering my concern.

Gena DiLabio, Mount Vernon


The World Bank estimates that 700,000 people die each year in China due to coal burning pollution. Asian coal fired power plants are a major source of climate change pollution and release CO2, mercury, and
other toxic air contaminants that have been shown by University of Washington scientists to travel from Asia to the Pacific Northwest coast in three days. These contaminants poison our air and water and soils.

Please study all the environmental and societal costs our state would have to pay for the shortsighted plan of shipping U.S. coal to Asia. Please consider the impacts the increased train traffic will have on all of the communities along the rail lines: traffic back ups due to long waits at train crossings, the impacts the long train waits will have on emergency transportation to hospitals, the loss of revenues to our towns due to the increased train traffic, study health impacts due to increased pollution from trains, and backed up auto traffic, ships' pollution carrying the coal, study who will pay if there is a major spill in puget sound or along the rails in one of our towns, study the possible loss of tourism due to traffic delays..

Finally, please consider how wrong it is for Americans to be adding to the burden of the Chinese people by dumping our cheap dirty coal on them when we are eliminating coal burning plants in our own country because we know how toxic coal pollutants are. There's a saying that what goes around comes around and it takes a few days for that dirty air from China to blow back here to the Northwest and poison our air, water, land and people. How many of us have to die to profit SSA Marine and BSNF Railroad. Surely, we can do better by letting coal energy diminish as we focus on clean energy.

Thank you for your consideration.

Gena DiLabio
Mount Vernon


I agree with Mr. Riordan's comment 5517.
Gena DiLabio
Mount Vernon

Gena DiLabio (#8871)

Date Submitted: 01/16/13
Comment:
I live in Mount Vernon but lived many years on Whidbey Island and volunteered with Beachwatchers for several years as I appreciate and value the marine environment and the great value of the marine life a healthy environment supports. Dr. Gary Greene of Orcas Island has been mapping the seafloor of the Salish Sea for 18 years as a research faculty member at Friday Harbor Labs/UW and Emeritus Professor at Moss Landing Marine Labs, SJSU. His focus has been on evaluating geohazards and marine benthic habitats of important forage fish, particularly the Pacific sand land (PSL). I want the studies conducted described by Dr. Greene in his comment of January 3, 2013 to be done.
As its name would imply, sand is an important part of the PSL’s habitat throughout its lifecycle, and the PSL is an important part of the food chain for numerous fish, birds, and marine mammals. Far fewer studies have been done of the PSL and their habitat compared to herring (whose population has declined by 90% in the past 30 years in the Salish Sea), but they are no less a vital part of the marine environment.
Thank you for studying this in your EIS.
Gena DiLabio

Gena DiLabio (#10711)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Mount Vernon, WA
Comment:
I live in Mount Vernon and am concerned about the ill effects on our health and environment if this project is approved. In looking into background on SSA Marine I read that it is the subsidiary of Carrix Inc. that runs terminal operations. Carrix is 51% owned by the Hemingway family (CEO Jon Hemingway) and 49% by Goldman Sachs. SSA created a subsidiary, Pacific International Terminals (PIT), which has NO ASSETS, to build and operate Gateway Pacific Terminal. If a significant “event” were to occur, PIT could be dissolved in bankruptcy and excape liability. Therefore it should be required that SSA and Carrix guarantee all obligations of PIT, including union contracts, incident response and cleanup, and site restoration when the coal market dries up and they leave town. SSA/Carrix should be required to post a bond covering the cost of the worst scenario in event of a mishap. The EIS should measure the cost of a worst-case scenario, from a spill of 470 thousand gallons of bunker fuel in the San Juan Islands, to an explosion at the terminal or a derailment in a highly populated area like downtown Mt. Vernon. Set up the bond so that it is replenished as funds are withdrawn; and make SSA/Carrix guarantee any and all damages associated with activities related to the terminal regardless of who is ultimately held by the courts to be liable – the coal owner (some subsidiary of Peabody Energy), the coal transporter (BNSF), or the terminal operator (PIT). Let SSA/Carrix fight it out in court for the next 25 years to get their money back if they’re not liable but, in the meantime, the public shouldn’t have to wait decades to receive the final paltry settlement the Supreme Court approves, a la Alaska citizens and the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Such a bond would likely be in the neighborhood of a trillion dollars.

Gena DiLabio (#10730)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Mount Vernon, WA
Comment:
I am a long time resident of the Northwest and now live in Mount Vernon. I moved here for the quality of life, the mountains, water, parks, recreation opportunities and the cleaner air. Approval of this terminal expansion and other terminals proposed jeopardizes all of the above and more. I agree with the content posted in comment 6908 by Carolyn Gastellum. Over the past year I have attended many educational meetings with regard to this proposed expansion. I am particularly concerned about global warming and the devastating effects that will have on our health and ecosystem upon which we are dependent for survival. I trust we are past studying these terminals in isolation as it is clear coal is a dirty fuel responsible for huge CO2 emissions and Ms. Gastellum discusses environmental costs. Her point with regard to studying the benefits of leaving the coal in the ground is well taken and I trust you will study the impacts she outlines.
Thank you.

Gena Pass (#2100)

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

Gena Pass (#3340)

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

Gene Ankli (#12654)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Location: Tacoma, 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 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 live in Tacoma, a port city that would be impacted by the increase in trains on a daily basis, adding to the air and water pollution by coal dust.

If this country and this bio region is serious about reining in the desruction already playing out with the unsettling weather from climate change and global warming, then it is in the long term interest of the planet not to export the coal, but to leave it in the ground.

Additional, if the coal is exported and burned in China, the Pacific NorthWest of the U. S. and Canada will have a great increase in air pollution from the winds blowing from China. That will increase ill health to the population and diminish the tourists trade as the region will not be as pristine,

Thank you.


Gene Ankli

Gene Ayres (#4080)

Date Submitted: 12/07/2012
Location: Lake Forest Park, Wa
Comment:
I signed up to attend the hearing in Seattle on Dec. 13th but cannot make it (please release my 2 seats). However, here is what I have so say:

I lived and worked in a major Chinese industrial city (Harbin) for three years (2004-2007). Harbin, like most of China, is currently and unsustainably on a 90% coal powered heating and energy tear, and by shipping more to them we are ultimately dooming ourselves. Coal burning emits thick, black smoke, which is now visible across the globe, especially in, and emanating from China. Do we actually think we can profiteer from sending this deadly global contaminent to them, pocket the profits, and get off scott free? Combine that with the damage to our local ecology and this is a disaster on a planetary scale that is waiting to happen. To hell with the profits of a few mining and shipping companies at the expense of the rest of us, our ecosystem, and the planet. China needs tough love, and so do we. The moneys expected to be expended building this horrendous seaport could go a long, long way towards our absolutely necessary survival as a species by converting, even while the coal profiteers kick and scream, to a green energy system. It's that or perish. It's that simple.

Gene Ayres (#12402)

Date Submitted: 01/20/13
Location: Lake Forest Park, WA
Comment:
The recent deadly smog attack on the city of Beijing, in which the pollution levels reached unprecedented heights five times the danger level are an early warning to all of us. Clean coal is a lie, and doesn't exist. Dirty coal is choking China, and China is only one good westerly wind from the U.S. So any coal which ship to China will come back right in our faces and lungs, in short order. Therefore, 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.

Gene Castaino (#156)

Date Submitted: 09/30/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I hope it goes through. It will bring much needed employment to our area and it would be asset. Bring it on !
Bellingham has too many ``tree huggers" who seem to have control on new companies and that any thing new, will destroy Bellingham. There are people who have never set foot out of Whatcom County or the State of Washington State. Coal is a needed fuel and 30 years ago, true, it was dirty, so on and so on, thing have changed over the years. I am so for the Gateway Pacific Terminal.

Gene Castano

Gene Helfman (#8366)

Date Submitted: 01/17/2013
Location: Lopez Island, WA
Comment:
My name is Dr. Gene Helfman. I am a retired fish ecologist, having spent 30 years at the University of Georgia teaching fish biology and conservation, and researching fish behavior and the impacts of land use practices on freshwater fishes, including impacts of sediment loads. I am senior author of the world’s most widely used ichthyology (fish biology) textbook, and sole author of what is widely recognized as the definitive reference work on fish conservation.* I have also served on numerous local, national, and international committees concerned with fish conservation issues, including some specifically focused on the science of salmon conservation (i.e., IUCN Salmon Specialist Group, IUCN Freshwater Fishes Group, NMFS Salmon Recovery Implementation Science Team, San Juan County Salmon Technical Advisory Group).
I would like to express my concern regarding potential significant adverse impacts of the proposed coal transportation activities as regards the effects of coal dust on young salmon, and request that these impacts be carefully analyzed in the EIS. Among the proposed routes to be taken by the coal trains is passage along the north shore of the Columbia River. Federal, state, and tribal programs have spent billions of dollars trying to restore the salmon resources of that river, with some success. Much of the effort concentrates on restoring runs of wild fish to tributary streams of the Columbia. Several hatcheries are located immediately alongside the river or in nearby streams (e.g., Little White Salmon National Fish Hatchery, Cook, WA). Dam removal projects, such as that of the Condit Dam on the White Salmon River, are already showing returns of native salmonids. Conditions appear to be improving for the restoration of native Columbia salmonid runs and their fisheries.
Given the notoriously strong winds that blow through the Columbia River gorge, it is likely that coal dust will be released from coal cars and settle in waterways where wild salmon are spawning and their young are rearing. Coal dust has known toxic and abrasive effects. In addition to proven tumerogenic impacts (OSHA Health Hazard Information), airborne dust and silt particles are known to damage the gills of juvenile fishes, including salmonids, impairing their breathing and decreasing their growth rate.** These physical impacts are known and would likely add to any chemical or toxic effects from fugitive coal dust as well as diesel particulate matter (soot) from train engines.
It is important that the EIS include investigation of the direct effects of coal dust and diesel particulates on juvenile salmonids, the potential added fish mortality resulting from coal transportation, wind speeds and directions along the route at relevant stretches, the amounts of dust and particulate matter likely to be released per mile along the transportation route(s), and the measures needed to mitigate such impacts.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment.

Respectfully,


Gene S. Helfman, Professor Emeritus
Odum School of Ecology, University of Georgia
PERMANENT address:
498 Shoreland Dr., Lopez Is., WA 98261
(360) 468-2136
genehelfman@gmail.com

*Helfman, G.S., B.B. Collette, D. E. Facey, and B.C. Bowen. 2009. The Diversity of Fishes. Biology, Evolution, and Ecology, 2nd edition.Oxford:Wiley-Blackwell. 692 pp.

Helfman, G. S. 2007. Fish Conservation: A Guide to Understanding and Restoring Global Aquatic Biodiversity and Fishery Resources. Washington, DC: Island Press. 688 pp.

**Newcombe C.P. and D. D. MacDonald. 1991.Effects of suspended sediments on aquatic ecosystems. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 11:72–82.

Lake, R.G. and S. G. Hinch. 1999. Acute effects of suspended sediment angularity on juvenile coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch). Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 56:862–867.

Sutherland, A. B. and J. L. Meyer. 2007. Effects of increased suspended sediment on growth rate and gill condition of two southern Appalachian minnows. Environmental Biology of Fishes 80: 389-403.

Gene Helfman (#8369)

Date Submitted: 01/17/2013
Location: Lopez Island, WA
Comment:
I am a small boat operator in the Salish Sea. Our recreational sailboat travels at a cruising speed of about 5 knots, a common speed for sailboats and for many powerboats that operate in these waters. On several occasions, and despite paying careful attention to the Separation Zones, we have had uncomfortable encounters with large vessel traffic while crossing shipping lanes along Boundary Pass, Haro Strait, and Rosario Strait, all projected routes for vessels approaching and leaving the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT). Fellow boaters have experienced similar incidents, some requiring sudden reversals in their course due to a miscalculation of the relative speeds of their boat traveling at 5 knots while crossing the path of large vessels (container ships, tankers, etc) traveling at closer to 20 knots.

Projections of increased vessel traffic accompanying a fully operational GPT estimate a 9% increase, equivalent to 950 additional vessel transits per year. While much concern has been raised regarding the potential impacts of shipping accidents and attendant spills, most attention has focused on interactions between large vessels, or large vessels and shorelines and structures. My additional concern involves the increased risk of accidents involving large ships and recreational vessels, accidents that have more than a small likelihood of ending in tragedy for the occupants of the smaller vessel.

To mitigate potential risks to the economically vital recreational boating industry of the Salish Sea and the safety of the boating public, three actions, in addition to the preferred no-build option, should be considered in the scoping process accompanying decisions about GPT.

• Speed reductions. Transiting large vessels should have mandated speed reductions, on the order of maximum speeds of 10 knots to allow better maneuverability and shorter stopping distances. At present, the only speed restrictions in local shipping lanes require that oil tankers not outrun their escort vessels. This requirement says nothing about the actual speeds maintained, nor does it apply to other carriers such as coal ships. Reduced speeds, given the threat to small vessels, would represent a more realistic implementation of the 1972 Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, which states that, ‘Every vessel shall at all times proceed at a safe speed...’
• Compulsory pilotage and observers/lookouts on the bow of transiting ships. The view from the bridge over the bow of large vessels does not include small craft in harm’s way, and the zone of radar detection similarly excludes small craft directly in front of a large vessel. Pilot/escort vessels are smaller, closer to the water, and have a better view of potentially intersecting small vessels. Similarly, a lookout on the bow, as required during limited visibility situations (i.e., fog), could also warn of impending disaster.
• Mandated interval spacing. We know from personal experience that large vessels transiting the shipping lanes often occur one after the other, as do vessels traveling in opposite directions, thus making a crossing of the shipping lanes harrowing. Spacing between outbound/outbound, inbound/inbound and outbound/inbound ships should be such that a small boat crossing the shipping lanes at an average speed of around 5 knots can do so safely. I recognize that greater intervals could require ships sitting at idle, which might affect air quality, but because of speed reductions proposed above, exhaust output should also be decreased

It would take only one tragedy involving a collision between a large vessel and a small craft to depress a vital economic base of this area, the recreational and charter industry and the many economic interests that depend on them.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment.

Respectfully,


Gene S. Helfman
498 Shoreland Dr.
Lopez Is, WA 98261
(360) 468-2136
genehelfman@gmail.com

Gene Helfman (#8385)

Date Submitted: 01/11/13
Location: Lopez Is., , WA
Comment:
GPT/Custer Spur EIS c/o CH2M HILL January 8, 2013
1100 112th Avenue NE Suite 400
Bellevue, WA 98004


My name is Dr. Gene Helfman. I am a retired fish ecologist, having spent 30 years at the University of Georgia teaching fish biology and conservation, and researching fish behavior and the impacts of land use practices on freshwater fishes, including impacts of sediment loads. I am senior author of the world’s most widely used ichthyology (fish biology) textbook, and sole author of what is widely recognized as the definitive reference work on fish conservation.* I have also served on numerous local, national, and international committees concerned with fish conservation issues, including some specifically focused on the science of salmon conservation (i.e., IUCN Salmon Specialist Group, IUCN Freshwater Fishes Group, NMFS Salmon Recovery Implementation Science Team, San Juan County Salmon Technical Advisory Group).
I would like to express my concern regarding potential significant adverse impacts of the proposed coal transportation activities as regards the effects of coal dust on young salmon, and request that these impacts be carefully analyzed in the EIS. Among the proposed routes to be taken by the coal trains is passage along the north shore of the Columbia River. Federal, state, and tribal programs have spent billions of dollars trying to restore the salmon resources of that river, with some success. Much of the effort concentrates on restoring runs of wild fish to tributary streams of the Columbia. Several hatcheries are located immediately alongside the river or in nearby streams (e.g., Little White Salmon National Fish Hatchery, Cook, WA). Dam removal projects, such as that of the Condit Dam on the White Salmon River, are already showing returns of native salmonids. Conditions appear to be improving for the restoration of native Columbia salmonid runs and their fisheries.
Given the notoriously strong winds that blow through the Columbia River gorge, it is likely that coal dust will be released from coal cars and settle in waterways where wild salmon are spawning and their young are rearing. Coal dust has known toxic and abrasive effects. In addition to proven tumerogenic impacts (OSHA Health Hazard Information), airborne dust and silt particles are known to damage the gills of juvenile fishes, including salmonids, impairing their breathing and decreasing their growth rate.** These physical impacts are known and would likely add to any chemical or toxic effects from fugitive coal dust as well as diesel particulate matter (soot) from train engines.
It is important that the EIS include investigation of the direct effects of coal dust and diesel particulates on juvenile salmonids, the potential added fish mortality resulting from coal transportation, wind speeds and directions along the route at relevant stretches, the amounts of dust and particulate matter likely to be released per mile along the transportation route(s), and the measures needed to mitigate such impacts.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment.

Respectfully,


Gene S. Helfman, PhD
498 Shoreland Dr.
Lopez Is, WA 98261

*Helfman, G.S., B.B. Collette, D. E. Facey, and B.C. Bowen. 2009. The Diversity of Fishes. Biology, Evolution, and Ecology, 2nd edition. Oxford:Wiley-Blackwell. 692 pp.
Helfman, G. S. 2007. Fish Conservation: A Guide to Understanding and Restoring Global Aquatic Biodiversity and Fishery Resources. Washington, DC: Island Press. 688 pp.
**Newcombe C.P. and D. D. MacDonald. 1991. Effects of suspended sediments on aquatic ecosystems. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 11:72–82.
Lake, R.G. and S. G. Hinch. 1999. Acute effects of suspended sediment angularity on juvenile coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch). Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 56:862–867.
Sutherland, A. B. and J. L. Meyer. 2007. Effects of increased suspended sediment on growth rate and gill condition of two southern Appalachian minnows. Environmental Biology of Fishes 80: 389-403.

Gene Helfman, Professor Emeritus
Odum School of Ecology, University of Georgia

Gene Helfman (#8593)

Date Submitted: 01/14/13
Location: Lopez Is. , WA
Comment:
GPT/Custer Spur EIS c/o CH2M HILL January 11, 2013
1100 112th Avenue NE Suite 400
Bellevue, WA 98004


I am a small boat operator in the Salish Sea. Our recreational sailboat travels at a cruising speed of about 5 knots, a common speed for sailboats and for many powerboats that operate in these waters. On several occasions, and despite paying careful attention to the Separation Zones, we have had uncomfortable encounters with large vessel traffic while crossing shipping lanes along Boundary Pass, Haro Strait, and Rosario Strait, all projected routes for vessels approaching and leaving the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT). Fellow boaters have experienced similar incidents, some requiring sudden reversals in their course due to a miscalculation of the relative speeds of their boat traveling at 5 knots while crossing the path of large vessels (container ships, tankers, etc) traveling at closer to 20 knots.

Projections of increased vessel traffic accompanying a fully operational GPT estimate a 9% increase, equivalent to 950 additional vessel transits per year. While much concern has been raised regarding the potential impacts of shipping accidents and attendant spills, most attention has focused on interactions between large vessels, or large vessels and shorelines and structures. My additional concern involves the increased risk of accidents involving large ships and recreational vessels, accidents that have more than a small likelihood of ending in tragedy for the occupants of the smaller vessel.

To mitigate potential risks to the economically vital recreational boating industry of the Salish Sea and the safety of the boating public, three actions, in addition to preferred no-build option, should be considered in the scoping process accompanying decisions about GPT.

• Speed reductions. Transiting large vessels should have mandated speed reductions, on the order of maximum speeds of 10 knots to allow better maneuverability and shorter stopping distances. At present, the only speed restrictions in local shipping lanes require that oil tankers not outrun their escort vessels. This requirement says nothing about the actual speeds maintained, nor does it apply to other carriers such as coal ships. Reduced speeds, given the threat to small vessels, would represent a more realistic implementation of the 1972 Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, which states that, ‘Every vessel shall at all times proceed at a safe speed...’
• Compulsory pilotage and observers/lookouts on the bow of transiting ships. The view from the bridge over the bow of large vessels does not include small craft in harm’s way, and the zone of radar detection similarly excludes small craft directly in front of a large vessel. Pilot/escort vessels are smaller, closer to the water, and have a better view of potentially intersecting small vessels. Similarly, a lookout on the bow, as required during limited visibility situations (i.e., fog), could also warn of impending disaster.
• Mandated interval spacing. We know from personal experience that large vessels transiting the shipping lanes often occur one after the other, as do vessels traveling in opposite directions, thus making a crossing of the shipping lanes harrowing. Spacing between outbound/outbound, inbound/inbound and outbound/inbound ships should be such that a small boat crossing the shipping lanes at an average speed of around 5 knots can do so safely. I recognize that greater intervals could require ships sitting at idle, which might affect air quality, but because of speed reductions proposed above, exhaust output should also be decreased

It would take only one tragedy involving a collision between a large vessel and a small craft to depress a vital economic base of this area, the recreational and charter industry and the many economic interests that depend on them.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment.

Respectfully,


Gene S. Helfman

--
Gene Helfman, Professor Emeritus
Odum School of Ecology, University of Georgia
PERMANENT address:

Gene Kuest (#10100)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Tokeland, WA
Comment:
U.S. companies should not be exporting coal. Old fashioned coal burning power plants give off tremendous pollution. Our oceans are 30% more acidic than they were before the industrial age. As it increases, it will change marine life as we know it. Many crustaceans are are having difficulty forming their shells now. Mercury will eventually make fresh and salt water aquatic life inedible. Climate change will further alter marine life and our fresh water supply. coal burning plays a big role in all of this.

Proponents say it will create jobs, it will destroy far more jobs than it creates. Homes and businesses need quiet, especially medical, office and counseling facilities. Property values will go down. Close to the tracks, it is at the maximum people can tolerate right now. They are talking about more than doubling the train traffic. The blaring horns near the crossings are the worst. Another factor is the more power foreign countries produce the more they will manufacture, with more U.S. job loss. The trains are a major disruption to traffic flow and they block emergency vehicles. They are up to one and a half miles long. These problems will be repeated in every locality they cross. Please help stop this plan.

Gene LeRoux (#8360)

Date Submitted: 01/17/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
As has been pointed out numerous times, the negative environmental effects and negative human health issues from coal trains that would be constantly running through Bellingham and north to Ferndale are well documented. The amount of family wage jobs that will be provided from this terminal is not (nor is the actual amount that would be given to local residents) clear at all.
I have lived in Bellingham since 1961. I grew up on the South Hill and still live there today. I remember as kids when we would go down to the bay and the water would be this disgusting brownish/purplish color with the same colored foam. Now the waterfront in Bellingham is it's most attractive feature. Having 18 or more trains running through town every day will cut off the waterfront from the rest of the city. People need to realize this. Bellingham has worked so hard to clean up the waterfront over the past 15 years. Let's concentrate on creating businesses and jobs down there instead of turning a beautiful city into a disgusting "train town."
I can't believe anyone in Bellingham would want to reverse the positive direction in which it's headed back to a gloomy, industrial town.
Whatcom County has one of the lowest jobless rates in the state. We need to concentrate on moving forward, not backward.

Gene Myers (#5403)

Date Submitted: 12/26/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Comment for EIS Scoping for the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal at Cherry Point

In this comment I will address effects to be studied related to the effects of rail transport of coal from points of origin to the Cherry Point facility.

Diesel exhaust contains 40 toxic air pollutants including particulates listed by the EPA, including many acetaldehyde, benzene, 1,3-butadiene, formaldehyde, and polycyclic hydrocarbons which have known carcinogen and mutagen health effects such as those summarized by medical doctors the Whatcom County. The increase in these pollutants from additional numbers of trains along the entire route from Powder river basin and other points of origin for other proposed or possible bulk commodities to this terminal should be scoped. Most diesel exhaust is emitted when trains are loaded, and is distributed in a roughly statistically normal fashion in the areas around tracks, with deviations depending on typical wind velocities and durations. These and other major factors affecting diesel pollution distribution should be modeled in the scoping process, producing an estimates of pollutant concentrations, and these mapped onto population densities along the tracks, and amounts aggregated over the life-span of the operation and the cumulative human populations over this life-span. Cumulative morbidity and mortality increases predictably associated with these pollutant increases should be modeled and included in the scoping. Although it is very difficult to estimate, the synergistic effects of these added pollutants with other existing and anticipated pollutants along these entire rail routes and population centers should also be acknowledged as possible.

Coal dust blown out of coal cars is another pollutant affecting human health, community aesthetics, property values, and ecosystem functions such as clean water. BNSF estimates that each uncovered car loses between 500 pounds and a ton of coal dust en route. Quantities and distribution and their health effects along all entire routes should be scoped in the same manner as proposed for diesel above, including synergistic effects.

Effects of diesel exhaust and coal dust and other air pollutants should be analyzed for their effects on entities and activities along the entire rail routes used, including all protected areas adjacent to the rail lines such as State or County parks, protected or ecologically rare or significant areas such as wetlands or rare plant communities growing within railroad rights of way, which in some cases are relatively undisturbed remnants of historical ecosystems.

Trains cause vibration. Loaded trains cause vibration of surrounding lands. Along the coastal bluffs of Puget Sound, these vibrations could destabilize the alluvial or glacial strata of the bluffs above and/ or below the tracks, cause bluff erosion of properties above, and creating hazards to rail traffic. In the winter it is not uncommon for tracks to be closed to passenger trains for some time after mud slides, although freight traffic is allowed to continue. The increased frequency of slides due to vibration of more heavy trains should be estimated, and the impacts on passenger and freight traffic estimated. The possible impacts of catastrophic derailment of coal trains due to landslide, and the consequent deposition of a portion of the train’s load of coal into the tidelands / nearshore should be scoped. Vibration affects the structural integrity of adjacent buildings too, particularly those build on relatively unconsolidated fill, such as in areas like the Duwamish valley in Seattle and portions of the waterfront in Bellingham. The numbers of vulnerable buildings and their conditions and likely impacts from vibration should be scoped.

Noise from trains includes horns and whistles, wheel-track impacts, brake squeal, coupler impacts, grade crossing alarms, and engine noise while moving or idling. Decibel levels of such noises vary, but are high enough near track to disrupt conversation, and at a distance enough to disturb human and animal sleep and other behaviors. Such noise will affect property values, amenity values, income to adjacent business districts and businesses including service, tourism, entertainment, retail, and residential rental incomes, along all entire routes of proposed commodity movement. These economic impacts should be scoped. Effects on human mental well-being in areas where high levels of noise occur should be estimated and scoped.

Along the rail route are many local parks and private recreation facilities, particularly where the lines pass along water shorelines or other natural areas. These parks provide recreational values and psychological restoration values to the public or to customers. An example is Boulevard park in Bellingham, which includes a public park and a private concession (Woods Coffee). Marine Park in Bellingham is another example, or parks in Everett or north Seattle. Pollution, noise, and reduced access due to more trains will reduce these values. More trains makes it inevitable these impacts will occur. So scope, via economic analysis including contingent valuation methods for the less tangible restorative and recreational values, the losses to the public and businesses for rail traffic by these facilities. This should be scoped along the entirety of all rail routes that will be used, and individual and cumulative costs estimated.

Additional trains will increase traffic delays and congestion at nearby intersections at rail crossings. Every crossing should be identified, traffic levels on these roads obtained, and increased person-hour and average hours of stalled traffic be calculated. The adverse impacts to be considered are: cancelled and delayed trips to business due to decisions and lowered business productivity due to delayed arrival and departure of deliveries and employees; and in farming areas bisected by rail lines, impact on farm related transportion and the market value of farm property values.

A serious transportation concern in all areas but particularly in citis is delays in fire, police, ambulance service and all other first responders and what increase is fire loss, unprosecutable crimes, crime victims, and lowered survival or health outcomes due to delays. These will be challenging to estimate, because of the hundreds of business and emergency service trips that will have to be estimated to encompass all the entire rail routes. Nonetheless, the cumulative impacts are essential to quantify because they represent important costs of the project that will otherwise become hidden in overall community vitality. Any probably transportation, health or business benefits from this increase in rail traffic should also be calculated and the amount, however small, reported as a result of scoping

Coincident with the decreased transactions in businesses surrounding the rail lines, another adverse impact to be scoped per the preceding paragraph are the taxes lost from sales and other taxes. Losses in property taxes to properties whose assessed values decrease due to traffic congestion, vibration, noise and other factors should also be calculated. These tax losses should be calculated for every community and their individual and cumulative quantities reported, with explicit assumptions about business and other tax rates included

Increased rail traffic will bring of increases in the collisions between trains and vehicles of all sorts and pedestrians, whether at crossings or along the rails (whether the person’s presence is legal or illegal). Deaths and injuries will increase. The adverse impacts are obvious and include bereavement, lost income to families, short and long term medical expenses, property damage and lifetime health and well-being consequences. Estimating from known base rates, including collisions people using any and all forms of transportation scope the costs associated with increased rail accidents.

More trains increases the probabilities of derailments and train-train collisions, train- train maintenance collisions, and other types not involving automotive or pedestrian traffic. In 2011 and 2012 at least 34 coal trail derailments were reported in the US and Canada. The effects of coal dust on the likelihood of derailments along the whole route should be investigated. The consequences include spills not only of coal but of other hazardous or otherwise harmful materials when such materials are in adjacent spaces. The increased frequency of all types of collisions should be estimated within ranges of error, and the costs of emergency response and clean up of the cumulative increase in rates should be estimated across the entire routes used by the projects.

Mitigation of the above impacts is possible and varies depending on the impacts. For risks related to vibration and slope destabilization, extensive placement of tightlines and other ways of removing water from clay slip-layers along all bluffs could be performed. Structurally vulnerable buildings adjacent to highest areas of vibration could be retrofitted. For traffic related impacts, grade crossings could be replaced by elevated crossings. Areas along parks could be provided with sound abatement walls. Coal dust could be mitigated by using completely covered coal cars. Engines could be retrofitted with better emission control devices. Train accidents and traffic impacts could be mitigated by the construction of new sidings allowing less impactful timing of trail traffic.

For all mitigation measures, scoping should include estimation of costs, and portions borne by project sponsors, private businesses, all municipalities and other government entities (including the share paid by local, state and federal governments for over passes, underpasses, track crossing devices, sound barriers, and signage, etc. along all entire routes of proposed commodity movement). Impacts of mitigation on surrounding marine, terrestrial, aquatic and ecosystem impacts, and hydraulics and slope stability of construction of any and all new railroad sidings or other mitigation techniques along all entire routes of proposed commodity movement should be scoped as part of the study of alternatives.

All rail-related impacts may be mitigated more or less depending on the number of trains moving through the route. Alternatives studied should look at the levels of these impacts depending on the numbers of trains, from low-end numbers (i.e., only the Cherry Point terminal is developed, and its use does not grow to full capacity), to high-end numbers (i.e., all proposed terminals are built and used at full capacity.

Thank you for your consideration. For context, I am a life-long resident of Washington State. I reside in Bellingham with my family including my wife and two daughters ages 11 and 14 years. Our activities are affected by train whistle noise, traffic disruption, safety concerns, use of city parks, and we are well aware of impacts to friends who live directly above or near the rail lines. Access to favorite parks such as Marine and Boulevard, as well as areas in the county adjacent to the tracks (i.e., Tennant Lake) are important to our lives here.

Gene Myers, Ph.D. (#5401)

Date Submitted: 12/26/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Comment for EIS Scoping for the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal at Cherry Point

In this comment I will address effects to be studied related to the effects on the points of origin of all proposed and likely bulk commodities that would be shipped through Cherry Point. While this may seem distant from Cherry Point, it is part of the whole system of coal export which is proposed. Without coal, there would be no demand for the terminal; thus coal mining impacts are central and unavoidable to the terminal project and cannot be ignored in scoping. And it has been specifically stated that the coal for Cherry Point would come from the Powder River Basin.

Coal mining in the Powder River basin over the possible timeline of extraction including impacts to water quantity and quality, air quality, ecosystem alteration and degradation, impacts to threatened or endangered species. Coal mining requires removal of overlying ecological communities, soil, and rocks. The coal formations are broadly distributed over large areas, and the impact of all the required disturbances on the wildlife of the area should be studied. The movement patterns, and food and breeding needs of animals such as pronghorn and other mammals, reptiles, amphibians, migratory and resident birds such as prairie chickens and other ecological community members (plants and animals) will be unavoidably be impacted. How will their populations be affected? Effects on efforts to protect endangered or threatened species should be scoped. This problem is compounded by the construction of networks of roads and other utilities, and the presence of more human beings, some of which will want to hunt. The extraction of coal will cause noise and dust impacts on the surrounding ecosystems; the effects on wildlife populations of noise should be estimated. Coal dust will affect the chemistry of soil surfaces. The extend to these effects should be studied.

In addition to ecological impacts, there will be impacts to human systems. I am especially concerned about ranchers, as a family friend owns a large horse ranch in the area. Impacts to this kind of long-term traditional economy are highly likely. Of greatest concern is water withdrawl required to run the mining operation. Loss of water from shallow aquifers or surface flows, diverted to mining, or indirectly caused by land surface changes may mean that not only wild populations but domestic / commercial ones will lack sufficient water. The exact location of every mining tract, including its methods of water use and land modification should be studied and the water impacts on surrounding ranches and other human settlements should be quantified in order to determine what level of mitigation would be required, and what the likely economic impacts would be on ranchers and ranching or other land-dependent economies would be.

Coal mining creates tailings of overlying rock, which once exposed and piled up may leach toxic substances such as heavy metals (mercury), and hydrocarbons associated with fossil carbon formations into surrounding lands and waters. This will impact plants, wildlife and humans that consume or come into contact with it. What are the exact likely materials released into the surrounding environment.

The impacts mentioned in the preceding paragraphs are cumulative across time and space. Thus the area-wide ecological and economic impacts for all communities should be studied.

Similarly, Potash has been proposed as an additional or alternate bulk export commodity for the Cherry point terminal. The likely source localities of potash should be identified, and the probably impacts of mining and removal systems on surrounding ecological systems, hydrology, and human economic communities should be scoped.

Mitigation for the impacts addressed above include restoration of the land contours, soil and plant communities on areas degraded by mining and roads. The nature, extent, and costs (at future expected economies) of such restoration should be studied, including especially the provision of alternative water sources of comparable quantity, quality and spatial distribution. Restoration cannot be achieved without impacts elsewhere, for example the importation of soils, and the diversion of more water. These restoration costs should be scoped. Although difficult to estimate, the functional success of mining restoration should be defined and quantified, using studies done in comparable climatic / soil regimes.

Mitigation also applies to the management of toxic releases from the mine sites and tailings areas both before and after restoration. Management includes neutralization and containment systems. The costs and effectiveness of these processes should be scoped.

The long term economic costs and benefits on human communities of both the extraction and restoration phases should be studied. EIS alternatives should ensure long term economic liability on the part of the project proponents, so that their economic calculation of the benefits of the project are realistic. A range of alternatives for the amounts and locations of extracted materials should be included in the EIS.

Thank you for your consideration. For context, I am a life-long resident of Washington State, and on my mother’s side, my family’s residence in the areas affected dates to 1853, when my great great grandfather captained a wagon train on the Oregon Trail. Part of my family settled in southeast Washington / NE Oregon, and members are still present there. Others live in Seattle. I reside in Bellingham with my family including my wife and two daughters ages 11 and 14 years.

Gene Myers, Ph.D. (#5418)

Date Submitted: 12/26/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Comment for EIS Scoping for the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal at Cherry Point

In this comment I will address effects to be studied related the Cherry Point vicinity due to the construction and operation of the rail lines, upland stockpile area, transport mechanisms, pier and wharf.

I am familiar with the Cherry Point area, having visited it regularly with my family over about 15 years, and less frequently before that back to 1978 when I arrived here at age 22. I have photographed the shoreline and wetlands and plant communities using my father’s old 8”x10” film view camera, as well as having walked most parts of the land and identified marine organisms, plants and birds there. This area is offers unique recreational opportunities connected to these features and the unobstructed shoreline. Various parts of the Cherry point facility will have impacts on these features and these impacts should be studied.

The impacts of the rail spur and the coal storage facility will include destruction and degradation of terrestrial animal and plant communities, ecosystem services, and aesthetic environmental quality, through land disturbance, facility installation, road installation, altered surface runoff, pollution infiltration into surface and ground waters, and direct and indirect impacts on plant, mammal, bird, amphibian, reptile, fish, and invertebrate populations. These population and ecosystems service impacts should be studied in detail and quantified in scoping. I am especially concerned about water pollution along the rail spur and from the upland coal piling area. Coal, coal dust, hydrocarbons from rail engines, brake lining dust, application of herbicides, will combine with interruption of surface water flows causing pooling adjacent to the spur and the piling area to create toxic environments for invertebrates and amphibians, and for the birds that feed on these. These impacts need to be carefully scoped.

The placement of a pier with a coal-transport conveyor system will have impacts to marine ecosystems and food chains algae, eel grass, invertebrates, herring forage fish and the larger marine organisms that depend on these. The near-shore area as well as intertidal and eeper waters will bear effects. The special back-berm wetlands will be directly effected and subject to surface and groundwater pollution. Shading of benthic organisms, and alteration of wave and wind motion will be results of the peir and wharf. These effects should be quantified. Mitigation possibilities include minimizing the area shaded, ensuring 0% emission of coal dust onto the waters, on-site treatment of all waste waters, and diversion of treated waste waters directly to the saltwater, by passing the sensitive foreshore wetlands. The effects of all alternatives on herring populations and consequent effects on marine birds, fish and mammals should be scoped. The recovery rather than the diminishment of herring is a regional priority and should not be hindered by this project.

Impacts to surrounding natural systems and human health due to wind-borne coal dust pollution and deposition from the stockpile area should be scoped. Mitigation should be given uncompromising scrutiny, as there is evidence simple walls may fail to deal with the problem.

Construction and use of the GTP facility will require freshwater, and these quantities will be significant in context of regional water budgets, especially in the dry summer months. Scoping should include source, quantity and timing of water withdrawls, and impacts due to use of freshwater on the site for all uses. Impacts to be scoped include property values and opportunity costs of decreased capacity for residential development in Whatcom County because of inadequate water availability as regulated by the State Growth Management Act.

The loading of commodity ships is another area where impacts are likely, due to spillage and dust of coal into or upon the marine waters. The effects on already-mentioned marine organisms and systems should be studied, for probably amounts of deposition depending on the technologies use for loading, and on-board configuration of the vessels.

The Cherry point reach, to both sides of the proposed pier hosts usual and accustomed access (even if by adverse possession) by the public to the shoreline along Cherry Point, including opportunities for un-regulated enjoyment of open space by all sectors of the society that have enjoyed access to the site by land or private or commercial small water craft over recent decades. The impacts on recreational opportunities and activities of this should be scoped by on site questionnaire and other methods of current and past users. Measures to mitigate these impacts should be address accessibility extent and quality of recreational activities provided. The loss of the expansive view should be given a price via contingent valuation methods.

Impacts to archeological resources and Tribal cultural sites, and resources including fisheries, as articulated by Lummi and any other relevant other tribal entities should be scoped. The site is part of Lummi ancestral use lands and its alteration will impact tribal tradition and use of the site.

Impacts in the event of catastrophic damage to the land or over-water facilities due to storms, earthquakes, tsunamis, terrorists acts, vessel accidents and other possible causes should be scoped, not because they are probable but because of their large magnitude effects. Mitigation should be addressed including strength and location of the facilities (traded off against minimizing ecological impacts).

Mitigation and alternatives should address how hydrological disturbances can be minimized, and how pollutants into local water systems from the trains, spur and facility (piling area, conveyor system) can be eliminated. A completely covered and contained bulk piling area could be one means of mitigation: comparisons of the effectiveness of this versus wind abatement walls should be studied, considering both air and water transport of coal dust from the facility to surround areas.

Mitigation of the dock and wharf should be stringent, in light of the herring and other vulnerable populations. Among the means to be studied should be 100% containment of the conveyor system; restriction of ships to ones with high safety standards and records and that can be plugged in, eliminating excess idling; on-wharf positioning of spill response barges, boats and other equipment; increase of the tug fleet so that it is large enough to accompany every anticipated vessel with at least tugs; stringent local piloting requirements.

The project sponsors have limited ability to estimate the realistic demand for products shipped from the GTP facility. Scoping should consider the uncertainty in the likely lifespan of the port in light of factors such as: China’s development of infrastructure for mining and transporting its own coal; the existence of other sources of closer coal, and the demand from other-than-Chinese economies and whether they may be supplied with more local sources also. What is the range of possible active lifespans, over which the costs of the project will be spread? Given the large uncertainties of the economically profitable life-span of the proposed facility, the magnitude of the above effects, costs of mitigating them, and adequacy of projected sources of revenue for mitigation should be calculated for a range of time-spans representing possible scenarios of the economic viability of the facility (ie, conservative scenarios that markets (e.g., coal for China) may be of short duration, and more optimistic scenarios that the facility will be in use over many decades). The costs of completely cleaning up and removing all possible effects of the structures at Cherry Point once they are no longer used should be calculated and ways to set aside money for this should be included in mitigation measures. All these costs should be weighed against estimates of benefits. In other words, scoping should consider (via scenarios) the magnitude of costs and mitigation should the project turn out to have a short lifespan due to factors such as markets, technology and policy changes that are well beyond its control.

Gene Myers, Ph.D. (#5435)

Date Submitted: 12/27/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Comment for EIS Scoping for the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal at Cherry Point

In this comment I will address effects to be studied related marine shipping of coal and of vessel traffic due to the Cherry Point facility.

The shipping traffic for transporting coal will have a number of types of effects that will depend on the number, sizes, types, flagging, routes, conditions, and operating procedures. Thus a range of effects must be estimated in scoping.

To scope these effects the following variables will need quantification:
• Routes used, including through local, San Juan County, Straits, all open ocean US and international waters, Unimak pass east of the Aleutians (site of the grounding of the bulk carrier Selendang Ayu 2004), and foreign waters. (Refer to the comprehensive assessment of risks posed by the 4,500-plus boats transiting Unimak pass provided by the National Academies, http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=12443)
• Numbers of vessels of different types, including size (capesize vs Panamax, or other).
• Safety features of the expectable fleets coming to the site, including percentage of double hulls
• Probable proportions of vessels flagged under different countries and the safety requirements and enforcement records of those countries. A high proportion of ships with weak safety records predicts higher probability of adverse impacts.

Given a range of realistic assumptions based on build-out levels, the following impacts should be scoped:
• It is inevitable that more vessels will crowd shipping lanes within US waters, which are already occupied by both US and Canadian bound or originating trips as well as ferries, barges, fishing boats and recreation boats. The impacts include economic costs due to delay of other commercial traffic, disturbance of recreational activities, wake and noise disturbance on fisheries craft as well as wave disturbance on shorelines. The navigational hazard and economic impacts should be scoped and quantified monetarily.
• Economic effects to commercial, tribal, and sports salmon fishing of crowding / yielding right of way of increased large vessel traffic.
• Amount of coal dust blowing into the marine waters during vessel transport.
• Amount of air pollution during transport and during time tied up at the wharf to maintain vessel on-board power, particularly for ships using bunker or other crude fuels will pollute the air of the region, and especially downwind in areas such as northern Whatcom County. Attendant contribution to health effects should be scoped, including cumulative increases in asthma, lung cancer, cardiovascular problems and other conditions.
• Marine sources are the largest source of suphur dioxide emissions in the Georgia Straits basin, and the increase in their quantity due to coal vessel traffic should be calculated and the impacts scoped in terms of regional acidification of all forms of precipitation, particularly on the alpine lakes and soils and other environments of the Cascades, Vancouver Island, and the Canadian Fraser and coastal mountains, where air patterns would deposit them.
• Increased probability of collisions with other vessels under all seas conditions, particularly collisions with oil tankers, using projections for increased numbers of oil tankers using the lanes.
• Increased probabilities of groundings during storms or equipment failure or human error.
• Considering the life-span of the project and estimated spill probabilities, what are the economic and recreational costs of spills, clean ups, residual non-cleaned up pollutants?

Effects of vessel traffic on the regional marine and intertidal systems requires special attention. Impacts by vessel traffic along those routes depends on timing of reproductive lifecycles and behaviors of organisms as well as spatial considerations. Impacts to cetaceans and other marine mammals including collisions, wake effects, and population loss due to damage to the ocean food webs should be scoped. Impacts to both, sport, forage, and non-sports-related fish, and invertebrates, with particular attention to State or Federal species of concern or listed threatened or endangered species such as Orca should be scoped.
• Assay of the effects of coal dust on marine neuston and plankton, and cascading effects on other organisms.
• The effects of unloading ballast water either in the inland waters or in the open ocean on native marine populations.
• The effects of operational (minor) or accidental (major) oil and petroleum product spillage on surround ecosytems.
• The effects of toxic metals from chipping, abrading or dissolving hull paints
• Scope the effects of a large coal spill into deep or shallow marine waters on all marine systems to which currents would carry pollutants, including effects on local and distant planktonic, benthic, and water-column organisms of all kinds, including crab, herring, salmon and other commercial or recreation species.
• Complete assays of the effects on all marine organisms of the probable cumulative minor plus estimated catastrophic spills of coal and all other anticipated commodities into the marine environment over the expectable life time of the facility should be scoped.
• Particular attention should be paid to the herring that breed near Cherry Point. Their population is already down 90% compared to just recent decades. They are a food for salmon, many species of bird, and higher trophic levels (e.g. Orcas). They, like many fish and especially in juvenile, are highly sensitive to pollutants and habitat disturbance. The effects of the proposed facility on herring should be thoroughly studied.
• Studies of a recent coal spill in San Franciso Bay suggests that coal can be very detrimental to marine ecosystems. Thus the items here should be given careful scrutiny.
Many of the above ecological and human health effects of shipping, particularly the oceanic portion of shipping, need to be considered in a systematic, multi-project assessment of all the proposed coal export facilities, including all the added ships on the oceans, polluting the air and water with fuels, exhaust, probable coal spills, ballast water, crowding, and other effects. Impacts due to routine operations and accidents on coastal communities need to be considered in total for all shipments of coal.

Mitigation of the risks and consequences of vessel traffic should be considered along with the costs of such mitigation particularly to the public. This scoping step should provide an economic analysis of increased costs to state and federal agencies and private entities of providing increased maritime safety, spill protection and spill response, and determination of where funds to cover these costs would come from. To determine these, the adequacy of the available fleet of tugs of proper size classes to guide vessels into port should be determined, and if it is inadequate, then the costs of increasing it or of other justifiable alternates should be estimated.

More modern vessels will produce less risks and impacts. The costs, regulatory leverage, and thus likelihood of vessel modernization to reduce coal dust, collisions, hull rupture or other cause sof coal and oil spill, bunker fuel, idling at wharf, and other impacts should be provided to give a realistic sense of the improvements to safety and lessening of impacts possible.

Spill response equipment can decrease damage due to oil emissions. Increased number of response units around the routes of passage should be considering in mitigation and its costs. New equipment designed to clean up sunken coal in the quantities from a capsized ship or barge could decrease damage. The cost of this equipment development and construction, its positioning (including on Umimak Island), operational costs, and other costs could be included in figuring the price of mitigation.

I paddle, boat, camp, fish and stay at resorts in the San Juan Islands, along the Vancouver Island coast, and near Bellingham, and I have for years. I have also studied and taught marine biology for years. Thus I am familiar with many of the particulars of the marine environment of this area. I urge you to thoroughly scope the likely deleterious effects on these systems.

Gene Myers, Ph.D. (#5505)

Date Submitted: 12/27/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Comment for EIS Scoping for the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal at Cherry Point

In this comment I will address effects to be studied related greenhouse gases, global warming and climate change.

It must first be established why these effects should be considered at all. They should be considered because they are intrinsic to the whole project. The only clearly identified purpose of the mining, train transportation and development of a upland facility and loading pier/ wharf at Cherry Point, as well as at all the other proposed coal ports, is to supply coal to China and/or other Pacific Rim companies. The coal will be burned when it is there to power electrical generators to supply burgeoning urban centers and industries. Coal is a carbon-dioxide intensive fuel, emitting almost twice as much C02 per megawatt electricity produced as does a natural gas fired plant. Thus, the facilities and activities seeking permits would not have any function were they not part of this system of power production. The effects of the coal combustion are thus directly implicated in the Cherry Point facility and all other coal export facilities.

The coal companies seeking to sell the coal to China have rights to vast amounts of coal in the Powder River basin. Powder River coal is low in sulphur compared to Eastern US coals, but supplies much only 2/3 as much BTU’s per weight as is sub-bituminous coal. A vast amount of coal is available. For example, the Union of Concerned Scientists describes on formation in the Powder River:

The Wyodak coalbed, the nation's leading source of coal, covers 10,000 square miles in the Powder River Basin of Wyoming and Montana. It has seams of coal averaging 70 feet thick and exceeding 100 feet in places… (http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/coalvswind/brief_coal.html)

This coal will emit a lot of carbon: according to the Bureau of Land Management, for every ton of Powder River Basin coal mined, 1.7 metric tons of carbon dioxide is released. In a 2008 USGS assessment of the amount of coal economically recoverable at $60/ton, it was estimated that only 48% of the resource, or 10.1 billion tons, would be produced. This may change, however, as demand and thus price increases, making it more economical to remove larger portions of overlying rock. But taking the 10.1 billion US tons as an estimate, this translates to 17.7 billion tons of carbon dioxide, or a bit less than 1/2 the total current annual world carbon emissions from all sources, or about 33 billion metric tonnes (United States Department of Energy's Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (CDIAC). The fate of such a large mass of carbon – in the ground or in the atmosphere – is not inconsequential.

This total large increment of heat-trapping gasses provides a basis for the estimation of the climate change impacts of its burning. Thus the effects of all the coal to be exported no only through Cherry Point, but through all proposed shipping routes should be scoped. These effects include:
• ocean acidification and its impacts on local marine food-web productivity including on salmon populations and the chain of economic benefits based on their sustainable harvest, as well as economic impacts on both farmed and wild shellfish and crustacean harvest.
• projected global temperature incremental increase attributable to all terminal projects
• the range of probable climate effects of warming in terms of climate disturbance and extreme weather events (droughts, changes in water supply, storms)
• the increment in sea-level rise in the short term due to land ice melting and in the long term due to ocean water expansion.
• The range of probable effects of the increment of warming on terrestrial ecosystems, water supplies and all economies of the Pacific Northwest.

Since shipping the coal inexpensively to China (if not all externalized costs are included) and other countries will enable the commitment of resources to build coal-fired plants, the life-span climate change impacts of those plants, even when they no longer burn Powder River coal, can be attributed to the present proposals. Thus the climate impacts of all the coal estimated to be combusted by Chinese and other Asian countries over the life-span of the coal-fired power plants now being installed there, under varying assumptions of transition to non-fossil-fuel power supply options should be scoped.

If coal-purchasing countries are not supplied with cheap coal, they would be compelled to new and cleaner forms of energy and energy efficiency. These developments represent opportunity costs measured in economic and climate change terms, and should be calculated.

Part of scoping should be the conduct of an energy-efficiency analysis of the entire system. This would weigh the costs in energy units (eg. BTU’s) versus the end benefits. The costs include North American coal extraction, transportation by rail, transportation by ship, transportation in Asia, combustion in actual-technology power plants, and delivery by power transmission lines (including losses), plus the energy-unit costs of mitigating all associated unacceptable environmental, economic, and health impacts. The final benefits to the end users in energy units (final BTU’s output in work) occur in Chinese residences, industries, transportation and other economic sectors. Further costs to end users and surrounding communities include health costs to Chinese citizens, particularly children and other vulnerable populations. An energy system that yields a low or negative energy efficiency ratio is ultimately a loss, regardless of the apparent economic benefits, whereas one that delivers net positive energy is at least efficient in that sense.

The climate change and related C02 emissions effects of the Cherry Point facility described above should be a part of a comprehensive analysis of regional impacts that accounts for all proposed facilities and all their impacts. Regardless of how the NEPA process was designed 40-some years ago, today world populations, markets, and resource consumption rates are now much larger, and there may be significant costs to overlooking cumulative and systematic impacts. The production of coal-fired electricity requires a very extended system, but it is nonetheless precisely this whole system whose impacts must be investigated in determining the environmental impacts of any “single” component. If the scoping process fails this, it may be very precise, but it will have missed its target.

Geneva Mottet (#2478)

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

Geoff Carr (#13260)

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

Coal is not the answer. Invest in clean energy sources.

Geoff Tongue (#6587)

Date Submitted: 01/10/2013
Location: Tacoma, WA
Comment:
I am against any new terminals to be built for the purpose of exporting coal from the west coast of the United States. The health hazards alone should be reason enough to stop these plans. Burning coal destroys the ozone. We cannot contribute to more toxins spewing into the air for the benefit of the coal companies profits.

Geoffrey Chadd (#2738)

Date Submitted: 11/13/2012
Location: Edmonds, WA
Comment:
I live in Edmonds and work in Marysville. The current train traffic in both cities causes traffic delays, noise and air polution. The addition of up to 18 more trains a day would cause more delays that would not be acceptable to the residents of either city. If the trains are allowed to run, SSA Marine, Inc. should pay to construct overpasses at the many rail crossings in the two cities.

Geoffrey Daily (#11265)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Comment:
Do the chickens have large talons?
Is Coal Train the conductor for the coal trains?
Is the theory of environments directly related to the theory of coal trains in context to Chinese diplomacy through an existential framework?
How about that Half Life 3?
Have you beaten Dark Souls as a level one character? If so, what class did you choose?
Does bottled water come from the trees?

Geoffrey Ringwald (#10430)

Date Submitted: 01/17/13
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.

I have been blown away by this on-going debate over the last year. It seems that a clear majority of our community doesn't want a coal transport terminal but there is also seems that we have very little power to stop it. ALL WE CAN DO IS WRITE COMMENTS LIKE THIS! Please dont let the powerful trump the views of the community. I LOVE Downtown Bellingham and these trains will turn back the clock. remember how it was when Bellingham smelled horrable from GP. Look how much it changed since then!! Please don't punish the citizens of Bellingham and give in to these powerful intrest. Please do the Right thing!

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.

george anderson (#11466)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: lynnwood, wa
Comment:
First the coal dust IS REAL & VERY BAD FOR PEOPLE like my wife who has ASTHMA and other breathing problems !! ALSO if we sell all our coal supplies to the other countries we at some point will run out ourselves !!! LOOK @ THE BIG PICTURE not only the short term gain-a few jobs and a few dollars JUST ARE NOT WORTH IT !!!! VERY BAD IDEA !!! PLEASE NO !!! REMEMBER it could be your mom who can't breathe cause of this coal !!! PLEASE DO NOT DO IT !!!

George Berkompas (#9071)

Date Submitted: 01/17/13
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
Has anyone shown any credible science on coal dust hazards? I have reviewed quite a few scientific articles prior to publication, and in a very high percentage of them, the presenter threw out or ignored any evidence that didn't support the thesis. Coal is as organic as it gets. Any organic product, if fully analyzed, contains toxic material. People who use botox are being injected with the most powerful toxin known to man, and it's organic - produced by Clostridium botulinum. Many people have died who ate canned food.
Why wasn't the city of Bellingham shut down when they were mining coal? And what are they doing about exposed seams of coal in the county?
I also believe that NOAA has sunk ships and other materials in the ocean to provide reefs for fish and crabs.

My comments,
George Berkompas, Ferndale

George Costich (#13882)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Comment:
This is a Vast project that is based on a Half Vast Idea! This Coal should remain in the Ground! America's Corps of Army Engineers should be working on a Post Fossil Fuels Economy in the same way that Europe is! The money that they want to spend on building this obsolete mess would be be far better spent on windmills and solar power.
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.

George Girvin (#5457)

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

George Guttmann (#7091)

Date Submitted: 01/13/2013
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
We live in Seattle and have a cabin on Camano Island. Stanwood Washington is very important to us as is the environment in and around that area. We are concerned about the livability, economy and environment in this area.

We have reviewed the proposed use of the rail corridor along the sound and through Stanwood. It is our concerted opinion that the proposed use of this rail corridor for more coal transport to be very harmful.

Please reject this proposal.

George and Lynn Guttmann

George Hague (#4073)

Date Submitted: 12/07/2012
Comment:
The EIS needs to address the impacts from the loss of coal dust not only on us humans, but also on the plants/trees and other animals. The damage from coal dust covering the foliage of plants/trees needs to be fully analyzed as if the trains were operating at maximum capacity over at least a decade. Noise will disturb people but it will also impact animals -- including birds and perhaps marine species. The EIS will need to fully analyze these impacts. The use of this coal will also add to the problems with Global warming and therefore these cumulative impacts will need to be addressed. This includes the impacts on the State of Washington from the rise in ocean levels and climate change. The project should not be allowed to go forward unless there are grade separations in at least all urban/suburban areas. How will the project cumulatively add to the impacts of all forms of marine/fresh water life?

PLEASE REJECT THIS PROJECT!!

George Kaas (#4520)

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

George Keefe (#3578)

Date Submitted: 11/26/12
Location: Edmonds, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

George Keefe (#4133)

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

George Keefe (#6401)

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

George Lawrence (#8021)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
My wife and I are both innkeepers in a small B&B north of Bellingham, but are also both retired from careers in midwifery and medicine respectively, including a large academic component on my part. I have studied and taught in the health sciences for decades, and view the proposed coal transshipment plant in Bellingham and elsewhere on the West Coast as having adverse and impossible to meaningfully mitigate health effects on human and other populations. The ‘other’ here refers to herring, salmon, and other species.

The planned Environmental Impact Statement [EIS] concerning the GPT necessarily and clearly must incorporate calculation of multiple atmospheric impacts, including diesel emissions from mining, rail transport, transfer activities at the terminal itself, oceanic transshipment [actually fuel oil in this segment], unloading at overwhelmingly Asian ports [predominantly China], further rail and other transport, loading of coal in purely thermal electric [not cogeneration] power plants, and fly ash disposal and so forth.

Further atmospheric concern arises from the production of soot from combustion of both diesel fuel and coal, now ranked only behind water vapor in terms of so-called greenhouse effect. Infrared or heat radiation from land and water is not actually reflected off greenhouse gas [GHG] molecules, but rather absorbed and then re-radiated in all directions, albeit a substantial component of it back toward the surface, hence the term ‘greenhouse effect’. Soot has the special quality of being deposited on surfaces of high albedo such as ice and snow and significantly enhancing the absorption of radiation in the visible light portion of the spectrum, which is of course the majority of electromagnetic energy reaching the planet. That is turn is why our vision has evolved to be concentrated in this portion of the spectrum. Thus soot enhances both surface absorption plus exhibits tropospheric effects as a GHG.

There are additional serious concerns about contaminants in Powder River Basin coal, including mercury, arsenic, cadmium, uranium and other elements that are best left geologically sequestered in undisturbed coal formations. I have addressed the first three of these in prior individual comments.

As important as diesel, soot and heavy metal contamination are, it is carbon dioxide [CO2] that represents the real showstopper - the paramount concern in the proposed mining and industrial development at issue here. We have excellent and consistent data on the steady rise of CO2 in the atmosphere over the last century and a half. In fact, from ice core data in Greenland we actually have data for the last 650,000 years as a baseline. The connection between rising CO2 levels and mean surface and water temperatures is becoming truly irrefutable - not scientifically controversial but only politically and sociologically so. And CO2 stays in the atmosphere typically for more than a century.

Other GHGs are more potent molecule for molecule, with methane as the most obvious example. And water vapor actually makes the largest contribution to the greenhouse effect, but on a planet covered 71% by water there is no way to control this gas. CO2 emissions in their outsize contribution must therefore be the central focus of control efforts. As the saying goes, if not us, then who? If not now, then when? There is only one good answer to these questions. And yes, this definitely comes under the purview of an EIS, whatever protestations may be made by Peabody Coal, SSA Marine, Burlington Northern Sante Fe Railroad, Goldman Sachs and any other investment banking concerns involved.

The coal in the Powder River Basin in Wyoming and Montana is not of the superior anthracitic version but nonetheless contains enough carbon to wreak havoc. We have already increased the average surface temperature approximately one degree Centigrade. Many climatologists [98% of whom in polling indicate full support for the theory of anthropogenic global warming] argue that the maximum warming that we can tolerate is two degrees Centigrade. That implies that the most that we can allow is another 565 million tons of CO2 in the atmosphere. The problem is that world fossil fuel corporations now have 2,795 million tons of potential CO2 in proven reserves, nearly five times this amount. And there is no question that they are planning to burn it all, down to the last barrel of oil, final volume of natural gas and last ton of coal. They could end up turning the entire planet into Easter Island, with abandoned anonymous monuments but no people.

We are not requiring the extractors of Powder River Basin coal to pay anything close to the market value of coal that they are taking out of public lands. And we are not requiring that they pay a carbon tax of any sort. In short, we as a country are allowing them to completely ignore the externalities of their economic activities, and thus harm all of us. This is unconscionable - absolutely CO2 must be a prominent and thoughtful focus of the EIS to be crafted.

I am personally invested in not having Bellingham becoming drier or wetter or diminished by higher sea level, or suffering more extreme weather events, are suffering from pine bark beetle infectation. Logically we all should be concerned about these outcomes which are in our capacity to prevent. Coal burned in Asia hurts all of us, not just the Chinese.

George [Sandy] Lawrence, MD, FAAFP
Axton Road Bed & Breakfast, LLC
5775 Schickler Lane
Bellingham, WA 98226-7410
Email: sandy.george.lawrence@gmail.com
Landline: 360-398-9196
Cell: 360-305-2259

George Lawrence (#8087)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
My wife and I are both innkeepers in a small B&B north of Bellingham, but are also both retired from careers in midwifery and medicine respectively, including a large academic component on my part. I have studied and taught in the health sciences for decades, and view the proposed coal transshipment plant in Bellingham and elsewhere on the West Coast as having adverse and impossible to meaningfully mitigate health and environmental effects, particularly the effects on marine navigation.

The planned Environmental Impact Statement [EIS] concerning the GPT necessarily and clearly must incorporate calculation of multiple effects on Puget Sound waterways. Others have spoken concerning plankton, herring, salmon, orcas, humpbacks. Comment has also been made about direct coal dust contamination on waterways, including polycyclic compounds. Underwater noise pollution is an issue, especially during but not limited to the interval of proposed construction. Pollution from outfall pipes clearly has been identified as problematic. Light pollution would predominate during construction, and then marine shading would become the primary problem once complete.

But I would like to focus here on the issue of marine navigation. Bulk coal carriers are twice the size of oil tankers currently allowed in Puget Sound, and yet there is no requirement that they receive tug or Coast Guard escort. Maneuverability is poor, and they would be joining already congested shipping channels. They contain two million gallons of bunker fuel, and yet are not double hulled. These ships have the worst safety records of any commercial vessels. Of particular concern are Rosario and Haro Straits.

With 54 million metric tons now the revised proposal for the amount of Powder River Basin coal slated from transshipment through the Gateway Pacific Terminal, the number of ship transits in just this part of Puget Sound would be over a thousand annually, nearly three per day. The Coast Guard, other shipping companies, yachters, sailors, kayakers, cruise ships, whale watchers, and commercial and recreational fishermen and the Washington State and Inside Passage ferry systems should all take note of the enhanced projected risks to navigation.

Ballast water from these huge ships is an issue. There is inadequate monitoring of ballast pumping performed in surreptitious fashion or carried out under exemption during stormy weather conditions. As much as 17 million gallons of ballast water are carried on board each ship, and it contains western Pacific organisms, including toxic dinoflagellates, Chinese mitten crabs, Japanese eelgrass and Asian tunicates. Millions of gallons would be released annually, and concomitant billions of invasive species organisms.

With the carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere and oceans with combustion of this coal, sea levels rise and extreme weather events increase in frequency - all further worsening this navigation nightmare.

I am personally invested in the regional reputation of the pristine environment we all enjoy in Bellingham, and as a small business owner I feel that these giant corporations are trying to run roughshod over all the rest of us.

George [Sandy] Lawrence, MD, FAAFP
Axton Road Bed & Breakfast, LLC
5775 Schickler Lane
Bellingham, WA 98226-7410
Email: sandy.george.lawrence@gmail.com
Landline: 360-398-9196
Cell: 360-305-2259

George Lawrence (#8109)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
My wife and I are both innkeepers in a small B&B north of Bellingham, but are also both retired from careers in midwifery and medicine respectively, including a predominant academic component on my part. I have studied and taught in the health sciences for decades, and view the proposed coal transshipment plant in Bellingham and elsewhere on the West Coast as having adverse and impossible to meaningfully mitigate health and environmental effects, particularly the effects of increased heavy rail traffic as proposed for the Gateway Pacific Terminal [GPT].

Coal trains can and have derailed, including half a dozen examples in the last year in the United States, at least one involving fatalities. Accumulated coal dust can contribute to this as well as the progressive damage to trackbed and rails by these gargantuan trains.

North Dakota has had multiple occurrences of coal dust-related fires adjacent to train tracks due to shipments from the Powder River Basin. Spontaneous combustion has even been noted, and the Burlington Northern Sante Fe railroad itself admits that three percent of coal is lost in transit, which would amount to nearly 1550 tons per lineal mile of track - annually.

Coal particles less than 2.5 microns in diameter are invisible, and small enough to inhale imperceptibly. They easily reach the alveoli or smallest airways, and then traverse the alveolar-capillary membrane and enter straight into the bloodstream. Reaching the capillaries such as the microscopic blood vessels that supply the actual walls of larger arteries they then cause damage to vessels such as the coronary arteries supplying the heart. Lung and premature heart disease are the results, not to mention lung and other cancers.

The citizens of Whatcom County are appropriately concerned about the cost of rail crossing improvements. Federal law, in a direct subsidy to the railroads, requires that no more than ten percent of grade-level crossing costs be the responsibility of the rail corporation, and therefore the rest of the bill would come to us. So much for the tax benefits of having the GPT in Whatcom County.

Such rail crossings would not hold up as well as the current ones in place, due to coal train damage, increasing maintenance costs and impairing rail safety.

Coal trains cause lengthy halts on surface streets crossing the tracks, increasing travel times and making travel less predictable and reliable.

Vibration and settling from extremely heavy coal trains may trigger landslides or subsidence, especially in saturated ground. The expensive homes on top of Chuckanut Ridge in particular would be at risk.

Livestock near mines, tracks and terminals will ingest pollutants such as mercury and crops will take them up as well. Thus our diet will contain more heavy metals to go along with the mercury vapor wafting back to us from across the Pacific.

If a coal train derailed near a waterway or directly into the Sound, how exactly do we mitigate this? If Chuckanut Ridge experiences a landslide and loss of structures, who is ethically and financially responsible for this?

It has been well established that bulk export facilities create one of the lowest densities of jobs per acre or area of any economic activity. Others such as a manufacturing or assembly plant, perhaps for wind turbines or photovoltaic panels, could provide as many as ten times the number of skilled worker positions. Once a coal terminal has been built and put into operation, even if the coal export grinds to a halt, the contaminated or even superfund site becomes extremely less attractive for alternative development.

Why is it again that the coal companies acquire rights to this coal for less than one dollar a ton, far below its market value? A fair price for this bulk energy source, especially considering the economic externalities of CO2 production and such would make this entire proposal unrealistic on these terms alone - and immediately so.

The proposed GPT is based on long-term planning, but the ultimate irony for the companies involved is that the ongoing viability of coal export is subject to market and regulatory change. If international consensus is achieved that a carbon tax becomes inevitable and necessary, or that its origin should be fairly priced, then sending a bulk energy product halfway around the world may suddenly fail to make economic much less ecologic sense.

George [Sandy] Lawrence, MD, FAAFP
Axton Road Bed & Breakfast, LLC
5775 Schickler Lane
Bellingham, WA 98226-7410
Email: sandy.george.lawrence@gmail.com
Landline: 360-398-9196
Cell: 360-305-2259

george lawson (#11561)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: lopez island, wa
Comment:
I live at the extreme southeast corner of Lopez Island on Rosario Strait and for 43 years have owned property on Lopez Island. I am a retired minister and once served as pastor of the Lopez Island Congregational Church. For ten seasons I was a commercial fisherman in the San Juan Islands.
For the past 12 years I have been monitoring the under-water noise level of tanker vessel traffic that passes by about two miles from my waterfront. It appears that the noise volume has increased steadily as the tanker traffic has increased. The waterfront environment is rich in Chinook salmon, including winter blackmouth, river seals, sea otters, forage fish, including Pacific Herring and a host of diving birds. One half mile offshore from my property is the "traffic lane" of the summer Orcas that travel clockwise down Rosario Strait and then turn west towards San Juan Island. The scientific consensus (see the recent article in the Seattle Times on marine noise) seems to indicate that at certain noise levels underwater fisheries suffer orientation loss and perception loss, resulting in difficulty in hunting for food and also re-productive challenges.
I ask that the EIS scope include the trend in under-water noise in potential traffic lanes, the projected level of noise, given the number and size of tankers that may pass through these lanes, the projected loss, if any, of fisheries and other marine life due to increased noise levels, and the estimated annual and long term cost to the economy of such losses.

George Lockman (#4531)

Date Submitted: 12/11/12
Location: Everett, WA
Comment:
Please add the attached file to public comments. George Lockman

(attachment pasted below)

Comments Concerning Coal Export Facility at Cherry Point, Whatcom County
Many immediate, direct likely derogatory environmental impacts have been cited in other individual and organizations’ comments , all of which I support including in a well –researched Environmental Impact Statement regarding Cherry Point as well as other planned and existing coal export facilities in the country.
My primary concern is beyond these direct impacts. Climate Change because of CO2 emissions, in my opinion, is likely the largest threat to the planet in terms of survivability, economics, and security. In Washington State we already see direct economic effects in our shellfish industry from ocean acidification and probably infrastructure and other effects caused by more dramatic weather events. Migration patterns seem to be changing in the country as well as drought and rainfall pattern’s impacts on agriculture.
From what I’ve read, the United States projects our coal resources available for power generation to last between 300-400 years at current levels. Coal currently is one of the dirtiest fossil fuels in terms of CO2 emissions. Many states including Washington, in recognition of the threat of greenhouse gas emissions’ causing climate change, have passed legislation requiring larger mixes over time dedicated to clean power generation. In fact, coal generation as a percent of total generation has been reduced about 10% by these efforts over the last number of years. New federal emission standards are accelerating this trend. The idea is to transition to clean energy over many years and as a result to stabilize and reverse international greenhouse gas levels to prevent ecological and economic disaster. Hopefully, if successful, coal may become a backup resource that may never be fully used by this country and the world at large or used sparingly enough that we no longer threaten our future. While the coal industry may not like this trend, other products and industries have met their demise when found to be hazardous or no longer in the best interests of society. At least this is being done gradually enough to allow transition as well as time for research to proceed on possible sequestration methods in the future.
I presume and believe your deliberations should assume that every ton of coal we export will be burned and lacking any other evidence will be additive to the current rate of international greenhouse gas emissions. The EIS should consider the impact of the maximum coal exports envisioned from US ports including Cherry Point over at least 100 years and the potential effects on Washington State both ecologically as well as economically from its additive greenhouse gas effects on ocean acidification, temperature and rainfall on agriculture, rising water levels on low lying areas and infrastructure costs.
Submitted by: George Lockeman

George Pantely (#6924)

Date Submitted: 01/12/2013
Location: Mt Hood Parkdale, OR
Comment:
As a resident of the Gorge area and an avoid outdoors person that enjoys the beauty of the Columbia River Gorge, I am opposed to a high volume of coal trains running through the gorge. I think this would cause significant health and environmental issues. This is of great concern to me and my family. Therefore, I am opposed to this proposal.

George Rofkar (#11299)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
January 22, 2013
Dear US Army Corps of Engineers, Whatcom County Planning and Development Services, and Washington State Department of Ecology;
I am a retired physician living in Whatcom County and I have grave concerns regarding the mining, shipping and burning of coal anywhere.
Here in Whatcom Country we would expect serious increases in heart and lung diseases resulting from high levels of diesel particulates and fine coal dust in our air. Combined with that would be the products of burning the coal in the atmosphere of Asia. These toxins would return to us inn approximately eleven days.
Small mountains of coal in the shipping terminal must be regraded and soaked with water to avoid spontaneous combustion and large clouds of coal dust. Photos taken at the terminal at Tsawassan during high winds show how pathetically inadequate those measures are for controlling dust clouds. Water from rains and sprinkling will of course seriously pollute fresh surface water ground water, and the Salish Sea.
Serious fouling of the air we breathe, the water we drink and food we eat is unacceptable. Rigorous examinations of all these areas of concern are necessary to protect local, regional and global health.
Sincerely,
George Rofkar
520 17rh Street
Bellingham,WA 98225

George Schmidt (#4734)

Date Submitted: 12/13/2012
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
My name is George Schmidt from Bellingham Washington. I am very concerned that the increased train traffic will require mitigation funded by city tax payers. How will we be able to realize all the economic benefits from the development of our waterfront if it is isolated from the rest of the city by all the train traffic?

George Seman (#13915)

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.

DO WE REALLY NEED TO PUT OUR PEOPLE, WILDLIFE AND ENVIRONMENT AT SERIOUS RISK JUST FOR THE BENEFIT OF CHINA AND THIS COMPANY'S TOP EXECUTIVES?

George Thelen (#14283)

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

George Thomas (#1984)

Date Submitted: 10/26/12
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

George Thomas (#3060)

Date Submitted: 11/18/2012
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
My Ideas on the effect of the coal Terminal
The coal going to China will cause more Air pollution from dust and Co2 in the air from burning coal.
The air pollution is part of the reason we are now having Increased Global warming.The global waming has manifested in the New Jersey “Sandy Storm”.
The total effect of the Sandy storm destroyed thousands of homes and many lives.Millions will be required to rebuild.
Sea levels are rising and the sea ice in the arctic is melting which affects The north sea ecosystem.
This in turn will melt off the remaining ice which reflects the radiant energy back into space. Without the reflexion more ice is melted.
The result will be more open ground exposed to absorb the energy and increase the warming.
There are large quantities of Methane trapped in the arctic grounds. Rapidly increasing methane results in increased melting of the sea ice.
The polar bear has alreadt felt the effect of the sea I e melting. With out ice to hunt on he cannot catch seals . The native people depend on the ice for them to hunt on.
WATER LEVELS
The most immediate effect felt by us, will be rising water levels ,Flooding of Roeder Avenue and the rail tracks. Will we be required to pay for the needed repairs? We wont be able to use Roeder avenue or access emergency vehicles . All of our sea level beaches will be inundated by the high tides.
WE talk about jobs, so what will the hotels , restaurants all the buildings along the water front and the GP plans for restoration be?. There are plans now for new parks ,shore line rebuilding .
The number of trains using the tracks will increase from the present level. But just as our present use of the track is, we have extra wear on the rail lines.This results in possible spills from tipping into the bay.
George A Thomas
360 734 0948

George Thomas (#3388)

Date Submitted: 11/24/2012
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
George Thomas
Nov 23 (1 day ago)

to julie.shirley
My Ideas on the effect of the coal Terminal[G1]
The coal going to China will cause more Air pollution from dust and Co2 in the air from burning coal.
The air pollution is part of the reason we are now having Increased Global warming.The global waming has manifested in the New Jersey “Sandy Storm”.
The total effect of the Sandy storm destroyed thousands of homes and many lives.Millions will be required to rebuild.
Sea levels are rising and the sea ice in the arctic is melting which affects The north sea ecosystem.
This in turn will melt off the remaining ice which reflects the radiant energy back into space. Without the reflexion more ice is melted.
The result will be more open ground exposed to absorb the energy and increase the warming.
There are large quantities of Methane trapped in the arctic grounds. Rapidly increasing methane results in increased melting of the sea ice.
The polar bear has already felt the effect of the sea ice melting. With out ice to hunt on he cannot catch seals . The native people depend on the ice for them to hunt on.
WATER LEVELS
The most immediate effect felt by us, will be rising water levels ,Flooding of Roeder Avenue and the rail tracks. Will we be required to pay for the needed repairs? We wont be able to use Roeder avenue or access emergency vehicles . All of our sea level beaches will be inundated by the high tides.
WE talk about jobs, so what will the hotels , restaurants all the buildings along the water front and the GP plans for restoration be?. There are plans now for new parks ,shore line rebuilding .
The number of trains using the tracks will increase from the present level. But just as our present use of the track is, we have extra wear on the rail lines.This results in possible spills from tipping into the bay.

George Thomas (#4089)

Date Submitted: 12/04/12
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Dear Miss Oulman
I attended the meeeting last night.
I was very dissapointed in the layout of the responses criteria.
No numbers were available even after 2 hours. I had a prepared and short meassage.
I was not allowed to give it. So how is it supposed to work ?
We just allow one party which represents the other side give their view?

I dont think this is what you meant ,but that is what happened. I am beginning tp think that their is something fishy in the way it worked.

My message would have been that I familiar with coal problems in that I worked with the Uof WASH. on pollution problems.
I was an employee of GP and worked as an environmental person.
I worked for the pulo mill as an Technician which took me into working as the mill rep in water quality programs.
We made the first insitu dissolved oxygen mter. This was in 1959 -I think.

I accompanied the UoW team to various places. One place was the coal from our local coal mine which was dumped in Squalicum creek . This ran all the way into the creek.
Many years of dumpnig so there was a lot of coal in the water. The lack of Salmon in those days was attributed to the coal in the water.Contaminents were leaching into the water.This was attributed by the UofW team to be the reason for lack of Salmonide. After the coal mine shut down fish returned to the stream.

The mine shut down and no more coal was being dumped for say 50 years.
It now has many salmon running in the stream.

Now this has no bearing on the coal port but I was also employed to research Mercury in the streams. The mill had the Cl2 plantoperating and losing Merc all the time.
I sampled all the streams into Bellingham Bay and found all had Mercury going in with the fresh water from the local mountains. This is fully documented with the Uof W

In addtion we had a 6+ years study for the Bellingham Bay.
This was with the Oceanography dept. and the vessel BROWN BEAR.

I spent many years studying environmental issues so I feel my input is meaningful.

I dont oppose the terminal as much as some but I feel that we are moving too fast on the acceptance of the terminal.
I feel this way because other problems are assciated with coal, chiefly among them is the gasses from burning. There is SO2-sulfur dioxide,CO2 carbon dioxide,and other gases.
The co2 is responsible for acidification of the ocean ,
It also contributes to the heat in the arctic which is now causing the sea ice to deteriorate.
The sea ice reflectes the heat up and away.keeping the ice cold.
Without the ice the ground is laid bare which of course absorbs more heat.

The Polar bear will be gone -very soon.
This problem builds on itself with the ice gone. The University wanted me to be their operator in the Chuckji Sea. It never happened I just tell you this to explain my background.
I am a serious ecologist but no chance to talk. SSA took care of that. Reminds me of the way our political parties tried to repress the vote.

In addition to the above , please study the effects of pollution attributed to washing waste coal in streams and Fresh water.

I feel the need to say that I was offended with the meeting in Ferndale.
I had my wife and an interested neighbor whose property adjouins the Salt water of Sandy point.
We all intended to speak but after 2 hours of speaking they still did not have a spot for me. All the spots were taken by GBT with green shirts.

None of us who are interested in the water quality were permitted to speak.
I finally left since my wife and neighbor were getting very tired.

I must say that my background in Bellingham goes back to 1938 when I came. I am 85 years old and was fortunate to be in the most beautiful spot in the world.

I ride a bike and have traveled the world over there is absolutly no reason to allow this beauty to be trampled by money interests back east.

We know that there are not enough jobs with this project and will not help our economy.

Please consider my comments as they are true .

George A Thomas

George Thomas (#5948)

Date Submitted: 01/04/2013
Location: BELLINGHAM, Wa
Comment:
The effect of coal on our environment
I began working as an environmental technician with the Pulp mill in the early Sixties. Part of my responsibilities was to work with the U of W fisheries group .
WE did water flow , fish counting and inspected young fish for skin quality.
The UW was concerned for the lack of juvenile salmon in Squalicum creek.
At this time the coal mine was still operating. There was resident slag from operation of the mine which was dumped over the bank which ended up in the creek. The fisheries people were concerned about this slag.
Later when the mine closed the health of the stream returned. This was felt to be the result of cessation of the dumping. Now more work has been done and the effect of the mineral leaching has minimized.
New information on more effects of the coal are available, now it is felt that acidification of the water is a major problem which is attributed to Co2 dissolving in the water. This lowers the pH of the water which in nature is slightly alkaline. Acidification of the water is destructive on all those with a shell. The Co2 is from coal burning in China and other places. These gases are not restricted and are directly felt in the NW bringing the stack gases to our shores.
The acidification is very apparent with the coral groups which are dying right now.

George Thomas (#6601)

Date Submitted: 01/10/2013
Location: BELLINGHAM, Wa
Comment:
The barrier reef dying is a huge problem. It is also indicating what to expect with todays water quality from coal products.
was first made aware of the deleterious effects of coal in Fresh water when UOW fisheries surveyed streams where coal from the mine was being dumped in Squalicum creek.
George

George Vaughan (#5757)

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

George Verheul (#4759)

Date Submitted: 12/14/2012
Location: Kittitas, WA
Comment:
I just read in National Geographic that China has tremendous natural gas reserves. What is the length of time these coal ports will be used ? Are they just to be used while the pipe lines and infrastructure for fracking can be put in place> What is the reason that Aussie coal isn't being considered now, the shipping distance ti much shorter? Please let me know if someone reads this.
Thank you, George Verheul

George Verheul (#4760)

Date Submitted: 12/14/2012
Location: Kittitas, WA
Comment:
I just read in National Geographic that China has tremendous natural gas reserves. What is the length of time these coal ports will be used ? Are they just to be used while the pipe lines and infrastructure for fracking can be put in place> What is the reason that Aussie coal isn't being considered now, the shipping distance ti much shorter? Please let me know if someone reads this.
Thank you, George Verheul

George Waegell (#14116)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Sacramento, CA
Comment:
We seven billion humans are overwhelming our planet"s resources..Developed nations like US buy too much STUFF from China and then complain about pollution..
We need World wide access to birth control giving women more say on care for our planet.
We need to stop wasting our wealth on war ...War pollutes big time...War is against mothers and children..
Spend more on renewables!!!
* 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.

George Waldref (#3883)

Date Submitted: 12/05/2012
Location: Spokane, Wa
Comment:
After attending the Spokane Scoping meeting, I am left with many questions. The projected impact of this new terminal seems blown out of proportion by both sides represented at the forum. As a longtime resident of Spokane, my overriding concern is the health and safety repercussions that increased coal shipments would have on our local community, as well as all those along the transportation route.

I am a Registered Nurse and am well aware of the potential health risks of diesel fume and coal dust exposure. Thus, I'm grateful that scoping meetings are being held beyond the locale of the proposed port terminal. In addition, I urge that the EIS of this proposal is expanded to include "choke point" locations like Spokane. Solid, unbiased estimates of the number of coal trains passing through our city are needed, as well as scientifically sound options to mitigate the harm that these shipments will have on Spokane and other rail corridors.

I look forward to the conclusions of your information gathering and trust that you will fairly consider the health of all rail corridor residents impacted by this planned terminal.

george welch (#5852)

Date Submitted: 01/03/2013
Location: bellingham, wa
Comment:
I feel that cherry point shouldnt be built or carried out because of multiple enviromental,and small buisness jobs.True that the railway will bring jobs,but it will take away as many that the coal trains will run past,making a city almost divided by the black line.I also forsee many problems with the wildlife and the destruction of culture that natives reli on to live and carry on to there children and grandchildren.

i hope the comment will help saying no to cherry point!!

George Werkema (#1764)

Date Submitted: 10/30/2012
Location: Lynden, WA
Comment:
This is to request that the subject EIS address the risk (probability x consequences) of shipping in the San Juan archipelago. Specifically, the risk of a ship striking a rock, puncturing a fuel tank, and leaking fuel oil into the waterways of the archipelago. Thank you.

George Williams (#4356)

Date Submitted: 12/06/12
Location: Renton, 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 SUPPORT the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington and transporting strip-mined coal from Montana and Wyoming to China. HOWEVER, ONLY with the condition that trains are specifically designed to allow absolutely NO COAL DISCHARGE, EXHAUST, OR COAL POLLUTANTS of any kind.

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. And I DEMAND absolute stiff criminal and civil penalties for the slightest infraction of Environmental Laws and OSHA safety.

Sincerely,

George Williams
17618 162nd Ave SE
Renton, WA 98058-9136
(425) 204-5170

George Wilson (#11177)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Brier, WA
Comment:
Coal is not suitable for long distance shipment in bulk as spillage will always occur and the sheer number of trains and cars make this amount to be very large, especially over time. Also, the releases from it being burned, in such quantity can only negatively effect the air we and the whole biosphere depend upon for life. There are just so many thing wrong with this idea that they are too many to really mention. Please deny them permission to ship coal to the West Coast.

George H Campbell (#1040)

Date Submitted: 10/19/12
Location: Pine Bluff, AR
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.

Thank you for considering my request and for your support!

Sincerely,

George H. Campbell
PO Box 7654
Pine Bluff, AR 71611-7654

George V. Reilly (#13493)

Date Submitted: 01/21/13
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
I live on Beacon Hill, about one-quarter mile east of the train tracks that will be carrying at least 18 enormous coal trains every day. I work in Pioneer Square. I am concerned about the impacts of these trains on traffic and on the environment. Traffic is already bad enough in SODO, and an hour-plus of additional delays every day will have a real impact on commuters, businesses, and trucking. The trains will leak coal dust everywhere, degrading the air and leaching into the soil. It'll be even worse when the coal is burned; that may be in China but greenhouse gases are a worldwide problem.

Thank you,
George V. Reilly

Georgette Saydak (#13717)

Date Submitted: 01/17/13
Comment:
This just doesn't sound healthy for people or good for the environment. That's why 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.

Georgia Baciu (#2660)

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

Georgia Jacobsen (#5410)

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

Georgia Marshall (#13400)

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

As one who lives in the northwest, I hope you will seriously consider the potential environmental issues this project will bring. When will those in charge realize the environmental issues outweigh money and the future of our country is at risk.

Georgina Colon (#12634)

Date Submitted: 01/20/13
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.
Whatcom County is a beautiful and pristine area in which to live.
We want to keep it that way for future generations. Years ago, as a teacher deeply interested in protecting our environment, I looked for resources to use at our school. At that time,nearly 20 years ago, Whatcom County was the leading county for environmental resources...and it STILL is! With our mountains,lakes and bay we have much to protect...we can't let COAL destroy these vulnerable resources. We've all seen the number of times the passenger tracks have been closed because od slides...can you imagine what countless rumbling coal trains
will do to the fragile hillsides!! AND...SEEING THE POLLUTION IN
CHINA SKIES...SENDING THEM MORE COAL WILL ONLY IMPACT THEIR HEALTH AS WELL AS OURS. PLEASE STOP THE COAL TRAINS FROM PASSING THROUGH WHATCOM COUNTY!! THE POLLUTION FROM COAL IS NOT GOOD FOR ANYONE!! .
Sincerely, Georgina Colon (retired teacher and Whatcom County resident)

Georgina Colon (#13394)

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.
Not only will our community be impacted by the coal trains, but the coal shipped to China will eventually have a big impact on the climate of the entire planet.
Why does money and greed always win over the heart?

Georgine Floyd (#9226)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Olga, WA
Comment:
Dear GPT/BNSF Custer Spur EIS Co-Lead Agencies,
 
I am a resident of 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.  The Salish Sea is such a delicate ecological system, where wildlife and humans coexist. 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 fear that the proposed marine traffic will have a devastating effect on air quality in our areas, affecting all residents of the area, both marine and land dwelling.
 
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. I fear the destruction of our air quality if this coal depot is built. How human, animal and marine life will be impacted is unknown. But the impact is unquestionable.
 
The Salish Sea is shallow in many places and difficult to navigate. Environmental armageddon in the area is a likely scenario if this depot is built. If there is no positive assurance and insurance from those involved against any potentially significant impacts, please consider a no build option.
 
Sincerely, Georgine B. Floyd

Georgine Floyd (#9228)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Olga, WA
Comment:
Dear GPT/BNSF Custer Spur EIS Co-Lead Agencies,

I am a full time resident of 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.

Please reference the destruction of the natural species and habits of the Great Lakes, due to invasion of alien species introduced as they "hitch hike" into the Salish Sea.

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, Georgine B. Floyd
______

Georgine Floyd (#9229)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Olga, WA
Comment:
Dear GPT/BNSF Custer Spur EIS Co-Lead Agencies,

I am a full time resident of 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, Georgine Floyd

Georgine Floyd (#9230)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Comment:
Dear GPT/BNSF Custer Spur EIS Co-Lead Agencies,

I am a property owner and full time resident 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 believe that increased marine traffic would be devastating to the environment on all levels.The increased noise level would greatly detract form the reason we settled here initially.The effect of reduced air quality on human life, as well as marine life, wildlife and vegetation would be horrendous. The fallout of coal dust would severely impact our water quality as well as the health of the sea and wetlands and streams. There is absolutely no benefit to our county form this invasive and dangerous marine traffic.

However, there would be grave effects to our fragile economy if tourism were degraded. If the natural wonders and clean environment which people come to enjoy were damaged, how would our county survive?

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, Georgine Floyd

Georgine Floyd (#9654)

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

I am a full time resident of 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.

Undermining Native American rights will be part and parcel of this construction, due to the impact on water quality and therefore on marine wildlife. Study carefully please before consenting to controvert these rights,

Sincerely, Georgine Floyd
______

Gerald Bartlett (#4191)

Date Submitted: 12/10/2012
Location: Vancouver, WA
Comment:
SLEEPLESS IN VANCOUVER
My argument against increased coal trains is simple: We have enough trains coming into downtown Vancouver 24/7, blowing whistles for the full 12 seconds as required by federal transportation safety entities; we certainly don't need the additional traffic.

These trains, with their incessant whistle blowing, contribute to the erosion of both our downtown quality of life, and to downtown economic development. Who wants to buy a condo or property in downtown Vancouver knowing that the continuous train noise will likely limit the quality of your sleep, each and every night? The developer who has proposed to build condos and shops along the waterfront, west of the Interstate Bridge, has said he will "absolutely not turn a shovel of dirt until the question of train noise can be resolved..." And, it appears to me that in the four years I have lived in downtown Vancouver, the train noise issue and any possible remedies have stalled completely.

I am convinced, in fact, that these constant train whistles can single-handedly be blamed for the grumpy disposition I have acquired over the past four years of living on Columbia St., across from Esther Short Park, and just a few blocks from a major rail crossing.

I know that there are more compelling arguments against coal trains than mine. Air quality concerns seriously trump my good night's sleep, and so I'll defer to the air quality experts to discuss those concerns. For me however, this issue is simply as personal as getting a good night's sleep. And right now, I am mostly sleepless in Vancouver.

Gerald Black (#11664)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Rosyln, Wa
Comment:
It's time for all of us to stop polluting our planet with fossil fuel emissions, whether we're burning coal in our country or shipping it to countries that will indirectly effect our air and water quality. The mercury that goes up the smokestack in China ends up on our continent and that is unacceptable for us now and for our future generations.
I'm also opposed to diesel emissions from the trains carrying coal and from the resulting coal dust generated by this form of transportation.
Our marine life as well as other wildlife are put in jeopardy anytime we have fossil fuels in close proximity to them.
Lastly, it's time to focus on alternate forms of energy...ie:solar, wind and geothermal.

Gerald Grace (#2162)

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

Gerald Grace (#12522)

Date Submitted: 01/20/13
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.
Please ensure that the ballast water taken on by these large bulk carriers is monitored and inspected to make certain no invasive marine species are released into our waters including the impact on out inland waterways.

Gerald Johnson (#3648)

Date Submitted: 11/30/2012
Location: La Conner, WA
Comment:
Common sense says: Why go 400 miles up the Washington Coast when a terminal can be built in Astoria, or Portland?

Gerald Joyce (#8961)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Location: Seattle, wa
Comment:
I am very concerned about the risks to the aquatic environment due to the coal transport from this terminal to ports overseas. Here are my primary concerns:
Introduction of invasive species through the discharge of ballast water. Empty bulk carrier ships will discharge ballast water taken in foreign ports, some of which might be partially and ineffectively replaced by open sea waters. While ballast water treatment standards do exist, they are far too weak to protect our waters. Please see the attached document from the states of Washington, Alaska, Hawaii, Oregon, and California that the implementation of weak national ballast water discharge standards and the preemption of state standards place our waters at risk. Additionally, with changes to water temperatures associated with climate change, the waters are even more at risk of the introduction and establishment of non-native species. The Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, the Strait, and Puget Sound should be declared no discharge zones for ballast water.
Increased risk of accidents, collisions, and groundings. Bulk carriers do not have the same safety requirements and equipment that are required of oil tankers, yet they carry vast amounts of oil product as fuel. The shortcomings of these vessels include a single hull, often single propulsion, and the lack of redundancy in critical systems. To reduce the risk of accidents and the catastrophic release of oil and coal into our waters, these ships should be limited in size, have a two-tug escort, and have the number of vessels that transiting west of Port Angeles to a single vessel at a time. Additionally, these vessels should provide adequate funding for the placement of an additional rescue tug placed in or near the San Juan Islands.
Degradation of near-shore water quality. Coal will be stored in an earthen storage yard. Contaminated rain water and irrigation waters (to suppress ignition of the coal) will threaten the public waters. The storage facility must be equipped with an advanced, state-of-the-art water capture and cleaning system and a method to prevent the infiltration of contaminated water into the soil and water table. Additionally, procedures must be implemented to suppress the introduction of coal dust from the transport and unloading of the coal into our waters. Degradation of near-shore waters threaten the already depressed stocks of herring, which in turn threaten the recovery of endangered salmon, endangered southern-resident killer whales, and endangered marbled murrelets. Impacts on the recovery of these endangered species must be full addressed.
Attached Files:

Gerald Lorenz (#13425)

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.

I do not want the coal harming our environment or our lives by spreading coal dust over hose many miles of track and the effect of nature blowing it all over thewest and midwest.

Gerald Spatz (#7507)

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

Gerald Stansfield (#4764)

Date Submitted: 12/14/2012
Location: Everett, WA
Comment:
I was surprised that during yesterday's public meeting at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle, not a single mention (My nimber in the speakers' lottery unfortunately was not drawn) was made of the incident last Friday, December 7, at the West Shore Terminals in Delta, BC, when the bulk carrier Cape Apricot rammed and destroyed part of one conveyor causeway, causing some 30 tons of coal to be dumped into the water, formerly an important herring spawning habitat. Given the dismal safety record of coal carriers and the lenient safety mandates which govern their operation in local waters, the threat that these vessels pose to the Cherry Point marine environment alone should be sufficient to deny approval of this project. Thirty tons of coal may be considered by some to be an insignificant amount, but I submit that is indeed significant; moreover it serves as a cruel reminder that far worse incidents are well within the realm of possibility, to the point that prudent regulators will deem them virtually inevitable. I urge you to consider this very real threat in addition to all the land traffic-, noise-, safety-, geology-, culture- and air quality-related concerns that bear on your important decision.

Sincerely,

Gerald Stansfield

Gerald Stege (#3179)

Date Submitted: 11/19/2012
Location: Blaine, WA
Comment:
I do not want the coal site to be developed at Cherry Point. I am concerned about the affect of the proposed coal site upon the sea, my health and our property.
At 1600 hours July, 20, 2009, I and a crewmember sailing near Cherry Point were almost killed by the negligence of the professional tugboat captain in command of tugboat Garth owned and operated by Foss. Development of the coal site would increase the marine traffic in this area. An increase in marine traffic in this area does not provide the good stewardship our nation’s precarious marine environment demands.
I am an asthmatic. When I retired, we moved here from Spokane in search of clean air. I suffered numerous serious asthma attacks in Spokane. Since moving here, I have had only one minor asthma attack. My personal physician is one of the two hundred Bellingham physicians that signed a letter documenting their health concerns about the proposed coal terminal at Cherry Point. Our retirement home is just four miles north of the proposed site. Based upon my physician’s documented concerns, I fear my health will be destroyed if the proposed coal terminal is allowed to be placed at Cherry Point.
Our home remains the whitest white home on the block eight years after construction. I am concerned that coal dust from the proposed site will change the color of our home. I understand other coal facilities provide free power washing for nearby homes. My life-long Sherman Williams paint guarantee is voided if the home is power washed.
We have a white sailboat in the marina with new white sails. I do not want the boat or the sails discolored by coal dust.
For the above mentioned concerns, I do not want the proposed Cherry Point Coal Terminal to be developed.

Best Regards,
Gerald Allen Stege

Geraldine Rask (#14245)

Date Submitted: 01/13/13
Location: Cleveland Heights, OH
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

Gerard Redpath (#13976)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Comment:
With 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.

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, 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 the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct an area-wide Environmental Impact Statement to assess the cumulative impact of these proposals.

Gerard Redpath (#14157)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Comment:
I urge you to consider the following significant impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

With 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.

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, 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 the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct an area-wide Environmental Impact Statement to assess the cumulative impact of these proposals.

Gerhard na (#8387)

Date Submitted: 01/11/13
Comment:
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT
SCOPING COMMENT
My name is __Gerhard Waechter______________________________________________________________. I live in
(First Name) (Last Name)
_Birch Bay ___________________________WA___________________________98230____________________________.
(City or County) (State or Province) (Zip Code)
I enjoy __Our very clean air -- as my wife has severe breathing issues with poor air such as smoke in any form and dust and wood smoke that emanates from Birch Bay state park camp fires which is 3 miles across the bay from our house. We are totally devastated with the idea that we will have to move out of our long searched for retirement home and rebuilt it to our needs. Not only do we have this new health concern but at age 75 we are not looking forward to selling and moving to who knows where, all because of what we think are a minor amount of jobs created, but at what price. I am sure my home value will go into the toilet if this miserable coal dust problem becomes a reality. In today’s technology isn’t there any way to eliminate tis hugr environmental disaster. We are directly in the path of prevailing wind aprox. 3 or 4 miles away and are definitely involved with this outrage.________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________.
I'm concerned that __see above for longer comment and great concern for the future of what is a last clean air environment in the Northwest________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________.
Please study the impact of All the dangers involved with this potential disaster for beautiful Whatcom county________________________________________________________ on
__Fish and crab life and all the unknowns before it is too late. Coal dust is the most cancerous and extremely unhealthy form of air pollution.__________________________________________________________________________________.
Thank-you
Gerhard

Gerhard

Gerhard Wechter (#8599)

Date Submitted: 01/14/13
Comment:
To whom it may concern.
Hi, My wife and I are greatly alarmed and upset with the proposed coal terminal. Please do notcompetely ruin our environment. We have seen what it has done and is doing to the people in Twawassen BC Canada.
Twawassens dust clouds go for many miles and we in Birch Bay Village alone, with over 2000 residents, live directly in the prevailing wind path of your proposed terminal. Birch Bay village is 3+ miles away from your terminal. If that goes in we will have a hard time selling our retirement home that we looked for years to find and have been enjoying , not to mention the great depreciation in value that this coal dust problem will bring.

Gunther Wechter

Geri Steele (#13356)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Forest Grove, OR
Comment:
There is no reason good enough to take backward steps in how we treat our environment, 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. There is no reason good enough to take backward steps in how we treat our environment.

Geri Turnoy (#1676)

Date Submitted: 10/27/12
Comment:
Hi,

My spouse and I moved to Orcas Island not quite a year ago. We had both just retired from many years in education, and it was our dream to live here. We are in the process of building a house on the lot we bought more than ten years ago.

One of the main reasons we wanted to retire here is because we love the outdoors. Orcas Island has some of the most incredible natural beauty we have seen anywhere, from lakes to seashore, and from mountains to beautiful meadows, not to mention all the beautiful trees. The air is pristine, and the water is clean enough to drink just the way it is.

Now we understand that there is a proposal to have huge ships carrying coal pass through the the waters just off our island. Even without an oil or coal spill, assuming these ships never have an accident, I want to know what environmental impact this will have on our island. What will be the impact on our air? Please research/scope the impact on the quality of our air.

Thank you,
Geri Turnoy

Geri Turnoy (#1828)

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,
Geri Turnoy

Geri Turnoy (#1842)

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,
Geri Turnoy

Geri Turnoy (#1930)

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,
Geri Turnoy

Geri Turnoy (#2342)

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,
Geri Turnoy

Geri Turnoy (#2343)

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,
Geri Turnoy

Geri Turnoy (#8355)

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,
Geri Turnoy

Gerrarda O’Beirne (#3256)

Date Submitted: 11/20/2012
Location: , WA
Comment:
Dear Sir/Madam,

We have had a home on NW Esplanade for many years and have enjoyed nature at its best in this tranquil neighborhood. We are adjacent to a green belt (Golden Gardens). Open coal trains passing numerous times a day will be devastating on this ecosystem and not to mention the health of the people who have chosen to live in this area specifically because of its fresh air which is far from city smog. I sincerely hope this project does not proceed along this route and in this manner.

Regards,

Gerrarda O’Beirne

Gerri Gunn (#4723)

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

Gerric Dudley (#10075)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I moved to Bellingham in 1972 after researching extensively where I wanted to live. Based on library research & visits, Bellingham proved to have the most desirable facets - mountains, rivers, forests, salt & fresh water, clean air, institutions of higher learning, temperate weather, proximity to Canada, etc. Had the proposed coal terminal been in existence here at the time, I would have probably chosen not to move to Bellingham to build the three multi-million dollar non-profits I created & currently run.
My question is how the coal terminal might influence the demographics of this region. Will others like myself choose not to settle here because of the terminal?

Gerric Dudley (#10083)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
If indeed, the global burning of coal, in addition to other factors contributing to global warming, causes major damage to our climate, how long will it take to reverse that damage?

Gerry & Genny Foley (#540)

Date Submitted: 09/25/12
Location: University Place, WA
Comment:
I 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,

Gerry & Genny Foley

Gertrud Tobiason (#835)

Date Submitted: 10/15/12
Comment:
Dear committee:

I, a private citizen, too, am concerned about the impact of more trains along the BNSF tracks, and the many more trips in our inland waters by tankers. I hope that the impact on our fisheries, wetlands, economics, livability, traffic flow, ferries, health, emergency services, parks, waterfront development , air and water quality will be studied carefully before we grant these privileges.

Sincerely, Gertrud Tobiason

giffin gates (#10275)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Eugene, Or
Comment:
The human health concern I have is related to air quality, water quality and the EIS process that points to the areas of potential effect by this project. The immediate transportation of coal via uncovered train will pose a drastic health concern to human populations in the vecinity, however the coal which will be burned must be taken into account regarding C02 emmissions. This is related to water quality. The acidification of oceans due to more C02 concentrations in the atmosphere is not to be underlooked. If the state of Montana, Washington, or even the country of China hope to maintain their fisheries in good stock they will not allow these projects to continue. Don't be pushed around by the 1%. Stand up for local communities.

Gil Lund (#4255)

Date Submitted: 12/10/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
i would like to make sure the maintenance impacts of the new train traffic is well understood. With the addition of heavily loaded coal cars the wear and tear on the rail lines will be signficantly impacted. The maintenance procedures for repairing and grinding the rails could impose a large impact to the surrounding community with excess noise and sparks that could cause accidental fires.

Please ensure that the impact (noise, rail down-time, sparks) is considered in the EIS.

Gil Lund (#8136)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I would propose that the maintenance of the rail-line for this project be carefully considered. With the additional rail traffic there will be increased track maintenance (filing down track) that could lead to fires and risks to homes, wildlife, and vegetation along the track. A couple years ago sparks from one of the maintenance trucks started a fire along the tracks. The probability of these events will likely go way up.

thanks for reading this comment.
gil.

Gil Lund (#9259)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
My neighborhood is in direct view of the proposed route for the GPT rail traffic into Bellingham. On Mud Bay there is a small, one-track trestle. I am concerned that this bottle-neck is not able to meet the requirements of the large train traffic increase proposed for the GPT expansion.

Please include in the EIS scoping the impact of the new construction required at Mud Bay to mitigate the impact to the environmental eco-system (http://goo.gl/maps/vTZR2 see photo attached)

Gil Rinard (#12509)

Date Submitted: 01/21/13
Location: Dundee, OR
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington. This proposal would negatively affect my community by increasing traffic, polluting our air and water, harming existing business, delaying emergency vehicles, increasing shipping traffic and noise, damaging aquatic ecosystems at the terminal site, increasing the potential for serious shipping accidents and exacerbating climate change. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.
I have asthma and therefore understand in a personal way the impact of fossil fuel pollution (including coal dust) on me and others with lung problems.

Gilbert Blinn (#6806)

Date Submitted: 01/11/2013
Location: Eastsound, WA
Comment:
As a resident of Orcas Island, I am deeply concerned about the potential impacts of large coal vessels passing by the San Juan Islands en route to and from the proposed Gateway Coal Terminal at Cherry Point. I enjoy the clear waters of the Salish Sea and consider locally-harvested oysters, crab and mussels to be an important part of a healthy Pacific Northwest diet.

In 1989 I served as the National Park Service agency representative monitoring cleanup efforts on the shores of Katmai National Park resulting from the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Even at 300 miles from the spilll site, the effects of the oil were dramatic. From the air, there was an obvious ring of black oil at the high tide mark on the beaches and cliffs. Closer inspection revealed oil embedded in the gravel and sand beaches, impacting tidepool species and razor clams. The water column carried oil down from the surface, impacting fisheries for years to come. Compounding the cleanup efforts was the fact that Exxon required that cleanup costs be approved at their Houston headquarters, delaying corrective action on the ground.
Beyond the immediate Katmai area, the impact on sea mammals and birds is well known thoughout the spill area.

Additionaly, the San Juans are an important tourism and vacation destination, and any large vessel accident and resulting spill will have a devastating effect on the local economy.

Having been through the Exxon-Valdez experience, I do not want to see anything remotely similiar happening in this area. Please consider potential impacts on water quality and marine species in the San Juans, including effects on the endangered Orca whales. Also to be considered are the underwater noise impacts on marine species. I refer you to the main front page article in the Seattle Times of January 4, 2013 dealing with this issue. Please address any mitigation actions which can be taken to prevent or respond to vessel accidents and resulting toxic spills. If no effective mitigation can be made, then please consider the no action alternative.

Gilbert Seely (#8051)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
18 coal trains per day will require blocking railroad crossings ca. 4 hours per day more than at present. The Harris St. Ferry terminal and Boulevard Park areas would be completely blocked to vehicular traffic during this time. The main entrance to the downtown Port area, the F St. crossing, would be blocked along with other cross streets from West Holly. Access to the Port would still be possible from Bay - Roeder, Seaview, and Squalicum Pkwy. The first two are narrow and could easily be blocked by an accident. Squalicum must be accessed at its congested intersection with Meridian. In case of fire, medical emergency, or civil commotion, there could be unacceptable delays in the arrival of emergency vehicles. Future development of businesses in the Port area would be discouraged and present businesses adversely affected.

Gill Van Brocklin (#5360)

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

Gina Gerritzen (#671)

Date Submitted: 10/13/2012
Location: Houston, TX
Comment:
I wish to express my concern related to coal train activity along the Puget Sound. My aunt currently lives on Day Island (in Tacoma, WA), and has already experienced the tremendous impact of increased activity of trains and their cargo. Her home sits along the spit, so a rail is basically in her backyard (across a small water body). My family has lived on that spit for generations, so the train traffic is not new. However, train activity has nearly tripled over the past year, and most of the traffic rolls through at night when the residents are sleeping. I talk to my aunt via phone every Sunday morning over coffee, and she is usually very tired with the comment, "Yes, the trains were active again last night." Her quality of life, as wells as that of her neighbors (and anyone else who lives along the track), has been seriously impacted by these trains. A train every now and then is fine, and expected, by these people; but the increase in activity required by these coal trains is unacceptable, especially since these people experience no benefit from the sale of this coal.

My aunt has also told me that she found black dust in her home recently, for the first time. I have to assume it is from the coal on those trains. I have issues with that because if she is finding it in her home, she is most certainly breathing it in.

I am opposed to this project and its impact on the residents residing near the tracks along the Puget Sound.

Gina Gerritzen

Gina Hicks (#6699)

Date Submitted: 01/07/13
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. I am also opposed to transporting the coal through Washington. Coal causes bad health effects when it's mined, transported, and burned. It also fouls the environment when it's mined, transported, and burned. 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.

Gina Matzen (#14480)

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

Gina Thomas (#13472)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Veneta, 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.
NO COAL EXPORTS! The combined environmental and human damage will be staggering and we will SUE the US Gov't for allowing it to happen!

Ginelle Todd (#495)

Date Submitted: 09/25/12
Location: Poulsbo, 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 family have lived in Washington State since the early 1900's. We stayed because of its beauty and abundance of clean salt water bays (Puget Sound). We have done our best to muck that up over the years, but seem to be interested in restoring many areas to its original condition. I can't believe anyone would want to jeopardize that with adding something so filthy. Please protect our waters, the wildlife that live there and the people who live here.
Thanks for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Ginelle Todd

Ginger Decker (#3462)

Date Submitted: 11/27/2012
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
I suffer from both asthma and sleep deprivation. I live 200 yards from the railroad. The current noise level is difficult and any increase would affect my health dramatically. I also believe that any increase in coal traffic will further aggravate my worsening respiratory problems here in Bellingham.

Ginger First (#1440)

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

ginger ikeda (#11642)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Comment:
There is simply too much at stake to proceed with this proposal - local health and planetary health. We must stop using and promoting the use of all fossil fuels. Get with the program, set good policies for the US and the world. DO NOT EXPORT COAL and continue down the path we are on.

Gini & Kirk Bunnell (#1328)

Date Submitted: 10/21/12
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Ginni Keith (#764)

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

Ginny Broadhurst (#2087)

Date Submitted: 10/31/12
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Ginny Codd (#14482)

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

Ginny Ekins (#4394)

Date Submitted: 12/06/12
Location: Colbert, 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,

Overly broad scoping is damaging to both interstate commerce opportunities and to jobs.

Rail in a vital resource and too broad of a scoping study could undermine our ability to compete in an increasingly competitive market.
The key is being reasonable in the scope of the EIS.

We compete with Canada, Mexico, and the Panama Canal for vital port commerce. We must avoid hamstringing U.S. industry with onerous regulations and unreasonable requirements.

Demonizing coal and demonizing our trains will not lower the Green House Emission count by even one single point. Developing countries are still going to buy coal products for their power plants. They will simply buy it from other, less efficient sources.

We can help workers in America and assist countries overseas by supporting responsible projects like the Gateway Pacific Terminal project. Our railroad infrastructure isn't going to collapse.

We all need to take notice of our own economic plight, the reality that developing countries are going to use coal products, and the reality we can be part of a responsible, state-of-the art export facility in Washington State.

I respectfully request the Environmental Impact Statement be limited to the sight of the facility in question and the rail scoping be limited to Whatcom County.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Ginny Ekins
416 E Piper Glen Ct
Colbert, WA 99005-9204

Ginny Scantlebury (#8533)

Date Submitted: 01/17/2013
Location: Shoreline, Wa
Comment:
Dear Mayor & Council Members (City of Shoreline)
We live on 27th Ave NW and we live adjacent to the railroad tracks:
1. We have been told that we have a problem with coal dust and other coal residue from passing Burlington Northern trains. We have lived here since 1981 and have experienced some soot and residue from passing trains since we have lived here. Since we had coal trains, we have noticed no increase in deposits and/or residue on our property.
2. Consequently we have a problem with proclaiming that this is a problem. In addition, we have heard that Burlington Northern is spraying the coal cargo to prevent coal dust dispersion.
3. Everyone need to consider the following thoughts: A. For the good of the US economy, we need to export as much as we can to help with our balance of trade payments throughout the world.
B. In addition, the coal provides for many jobs in various community in our country.
C. Burlington Northern is a company doing business as a transporter of goods and materials. Do we want to micromanage what they can transport? Please note--that every day they pass through Shoreline with cargo far more toxic than coal.
D. Please remember "the first rule in business" - if you don't take care of your customers somebody else will.

Gisela Ray (#6867)

Date Submitted: 01/11/2013
Comment:
I do agree with the comments from our local "Friends of the Gorge", detailing all the negative impacts these planned coal shipments would have, both locally and worldwide.

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).

Please, think of the future on this globe before you give the go-ahead to this scheme.

Gisela Ray (#7302)

Date Submitted: 01/11/13
Location: Gresham, OR
Comment:
Jan 11, 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.

This whole argument makes a lot of sense. I live close to the Gorge and would hate to see more environmental problems there aside from the severe impact on climate change by burning all this coal..

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,

Mrs. Gisela Ray

Gita Rabbani (#192)

Date Submitted: 10/02/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I believe that the approval of this project would be beneficial for SSA Marine and to the detriment of every human being living in Washington State.
I would like to have the increased mercury in the soil and waterways assessed and its impact not only on the marine life, but what the expected effects on humans neurodevelopment would be.

Epstein PR et al. Full cost accounting for the life cycle of coal. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, vol 1219, pp 73-98, 2011.

Gita Rabbani (#243)

Date Submitted: 10/03/2012
Comment:
I am writing with regards to the Gateway Pacific Terminal Project.
I believe that approval of this project would severely harm the health and welfare of the residents of Whatcom County and all residents of the state of Washington who reside along the train corridor.
I am asking that the amount of Diesel Particulate Matter (DPM) that would be released into the air due to the transport of coal and any other product be evaluated, for both the train traffic and ship traffic. Furthermore, I am asking that the estimated increased cases of cardiopulmonary incidences (including but not limited to myocardial infarctions, asthma, COPD, lung cancer) be estimated for living within 100 feet of the rail lines.
There is ample medical evidence that the increased diesel emissions have detrimental affects on human health. The full morbidity and mortality of this project must be assessed before any 'green light' is given for this massive, unprecedented project.

Sincerely,
Gita Rabbani, MD

Gita Rabbani (#1748)

Date Submitted: 10/24/12
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

Gita Rabbani (#6845)

Date Submitted: 01/11/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
As a resident and physician in this community, I am writing to ask that the scoping include detailed analysis of noise disturbance along the entire rail corridor. The increased rail and subsequent noise can have significant affect on human health, including sleep disturbance, increased depression, diminished quality of life, and learning impairments in children.
Multiple studies have showed negative impact on human health and wellbeing when rail-lines and airports have been re-located to near residential areas or have increased their noise outputs in those areas.

Gita Rabbani (#6846)

Date Submitted: 01/11/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I am writing to ask that the EIS and Health Impact Assesment include a detailed analysis of the increased rates of asthma, heart disease, stroke, and cancer that will result from the increased noise and air pollution emitted by the increased rail and ship traffic. Furthermore, each disease will have a monetary impact on the individual and the local community in health care costs and loss of work that would be attributable. I am asking that these numbers be analyzed and made available to the public as part of the EIS.

Glacier Kingsford-Smith (#5990)

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

Gladys Bransford (#12552)

Date Submitted: 01/17/13
Location: Cobb, CA
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.

Please don't risk our health by allowing the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal. Thank you.

Glen Anderson (#1091)

Date Submitted: 10/22/12
Location: Lacey, WA
Comment:
Dear Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Ecology and Whatcom County Council:

The proposed coal export terminal at Cherry Point in Whatcom County, Washington, is a TERRIBLE idea, and I VIGOROUSLY OPPOSE IT.

Likewise, I VIGOROUSLY OPPOSE any scheme that would strip-mine coal in Montana and Wyoming and ship it on trains or ships or barges ANYWHERE in the west.

THIS IS A DISASTER FOR THE WHOLE WORLD'S CLIMATE.

It would spew coal dust throughout the Pacific Northwest, making people sick.

It would case massive congestion as long trains slowly rumble through small towns, disrupting road traffic and interfering with the free flow of vehicle traffic, including ambulances and fire trucks.

I STRONGLY urge the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct an area wide Environmental Impact Statement to assess the cumulative impact of these proposals -- IN ALL OF THEIR ASPECTS REGION-WIDE, not just on a port-by-port basis.




Glen Anderson
5015 15th Ave SE
Lacey
Lacey, WA 98503

Glen Baron (#13292)

Date Submitted: 01/21/13
Comment:
Dear Gateway Pacific Terminal Governing Board,

Both as a Sammamish resident and high school teacher and counselor for thirty years, I wish to convey my deep concern about the Gateway Pacific Terminal at Cherry Point. Although I am a non-native citizen, it is my full understanding that treaty rights and our own Constitution protects the Lummi Nation from any detriment of its grounds. Creating the export terminal at Cherry Point will go against these protected rights. There are many reasons, from environmental to business, that show the negative impact of the Gateway Pacific Terminal. But most importantly, I always discussed with my students the equal protection of all our citizens by our Constitution. I urge that plans for the Gateway Pacific Terminal at Cherry Point be stopped.

Respectfully,
Glen Baron

Glen Jacobson (#6950)

Date Submitted: 01/12/2013
Location: Camano Island, WA
Comment:
I know from a personal friend, who used to live in Virgina, how devastating coal transportation will be if allowed in Washington state. All of the above items will be severly impacted which means we can't allow coal trains!

Glen Miller (#1667)

Date Submitted: 10/28/12
Location: Everett, WA
Comment:
To those concerned,
All the added railcars will have a very negative impact to our region.
Traffic and congestion already is very slow on many of our roads without more delays. Look at Marysville Wa. for example.
To wait for more rail traffic on an already congested road thru town would be a true mess.
A jobs benefit on this does not outweigh the cost our region would have to absorb for added time in our daily lives, as well as added costs for companies doing business reliant on commuter business deliveries.

Sincerely,
Glen Miller
3040 Tulalip Ave.
Everett Wa. 98201

Glen Milner (#10984)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Lake Forest Park, WA
Comment:
I am opposed to the entire project. Shipping fossil fuels for long distances only puts an additional burden upon our environment by increasing the risk of accidents on land and at sea, and by using additional resources and energy for transportation.

I often use the state ferry in Edmonds. There are already wait times as a result of train traffic on this corridor.

Glenda Lovejoy (#181)

Date Submitted: 09/24/12
Location: Lyle, WA
Comment:
There is nothing good about this in the long run. Only short term postive gains for some, while long term environmental and health problems develop over time.
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.

Glenda & Richard Alm & Kent (#3823)

Date Submitted: 12/01/12
Location: Mount Vernon, WA
Comment:
Scoping Process Assessors,

Our most urgent concerns we would like answered are: 1) Prevention of any (ZERO) dust, emissions or debris being added to our local air-shed; and 2) Not adding to traffic disruptions and wait-times at grade crossings.

We are a retired couple living in Mount Vernon, WA, one of the some 150 innocent communities along the 1200 mile path to move a commodity that bears no redeeming qualities for anyone on the length of this swath from the Powder River Basin to the Pacific Ocean. Commerce should enhance not disrupt the quality of life for those affected by it, but with just our two main personal concerns, the disruptive nature of being victimized by faceless multinational corporate greed does not enhance our quality of life.

We live with cardiac and pulmonary health issues needing frequent services at Skagit Valley Hospital and Clinics, we have heightened concern about trains hauling coal through Mount Vernon to the proposed Cherry Point Terminal. Not only are we concerned about the coal dust and diesel fume particulates from an additional 18 coal trains per day, but also of the traffic backups that will cause delays in getting to medical services.

Our concerns are not only for ourselves but for the many citizens, including children, who will be affected by the measurable environmental impact this will have on air quality along or near the 4,000 miles of train tracks throughout small communities. Emergency vehicles—fire, police, and medical—will share our extended waiting times at crossings. Also, as Amtrak riders, we fear the unavoidable impact on scheduling.

Please assume for a moment that your grandchildren will live and breathe near these tracks. Unless 1)increased air particulates and measurable environmental change can be averted or mitigated and 2) costs of amelioration for rail crossings (under/over crossings and upkeep) will be accepted by BNSF, the no-build option must be considered for the Cherry Point Terminal.

Thanks for your consideration.

Glenda Alm
Richard Kent
11453 Bayview Edison Rd. #11
Mount Vernon, WA 98273

Glenn Alfotd (#13088)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Pocatello, ID
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington. This proposal would negatively impact communities along the route with pollution and noise and could only adversely effect the health of local residents. There are no positive aspects for communities effected. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

Glenn Kaufman (#2505)

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

Glenn Merrill (#13271)

Date Submitted: 01/20/13
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
My name is Glenn Merrill, I have lived in Bellingham for 33 years. I have been an active user of the boat harbor, and must cross the train tracks to access the harbor and waterfront area. This has given me plenty of experience to the effects of train traffic, and as a result I have great concern with the impact of even greater rail use in my community, as well as all of the communities that would be affected by the increase in rail traffic due to the Pacific Gateway proposal. At Bellingham's 'F' Street crossing, a long train passing already creates a bottleneck of approximately 6 lanes of travel of various directions, and creating a traffic jam at the nearby Holly Street intersection, only one block away from the tracks. This is just one example of what must be hundreds if not more similar crossings all along the coal train route from the mines to the terminal.

I would like to have the increase in rail traffic be studied in all of the communities affected by the proposed coal terminal. This should be looked as a cumulative impact of these issues:


• Additional wait times at crossings; impacts to emergency services response times
• Air pollution from diesel exhaust and coal dust including affects on people with medical conditions such as asthma and COPD
• Vibrations on unstable slopes adjacent to the tracks; Bellingham has many houses just above the tracks
• Noise pollution from frequent passing trains in populated areas, horns, rumble , etc.
• Division of communities by the rails, impact on small business on 'the other side of the track'
• Additional unfunded cost for above grade track crossings

Thank you.

Glenn Merrill

Glenn Parker (#14437)

Date Submitted: 01/16/13
Location: Boise, ID
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Glenn Phillips (#11797)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Comment:
having trouble signing up on mailing list takes me to comment page only

Glenn Prestwich (#13503)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Eastsound, WA
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington. Such a terminal is a recipe for disaster, and offers little or no economic benefit to the US to justify the real and potential environmental and ecological devastation. The Cherry point terminal negatively affect our tight-knit island community on Orcas Island by increasing traffic, belching smoke and microparticulate mercury-laden coal dust into 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.

Glenn and Mary Murray (#13057)

Date Submitted: 01/20/13
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Washington Department of Ecology, and Whatcom County Council.


We are very concerned about the proposed construction of a coal terminal at Cherry Point, Washington. We live in Bellingham, Washington about two blocks from the mainline of the BNSF Railroad. If the coal terminal is built, there would no doubt be a tremendous increase in rail traffic with increased noise, congestion, and dust from the rail cars. What will be done to address these problems? Will there be a decrease in property values due to these problems?

We are also concerned about the water quality both in Bellingham Bay and Cherry Point. What will be done to mitigate these problems? It seems to us that there are many potentially serious problems. We hope that you will give these issues some serious consideration.

Sincerely,
Glenn and Mary Murray

Gloria Fallon (#8457)

Date Submitted: 01/12/13
Location: Chicago , IL
Comment:
Dear Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Ecology and Whatcom County Council:

Stop investing fossil fuels before it's too late!

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.




Gloria Fallon

Gloria Hatrick (#13300)

Date Submitted: 01/14/13
Location: Hillsboro, 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. 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.

Gloria Koll (#6075)

Date Submitted: 01/06/2013
Comment:
Tthese coal trains running through cities, towns, and natural areas will certainly have a severely negative effect on people, wildlife, and vegetation. The environmental cost outweighs the business gain.

Gloria Lebowitz (#3513)

Date Submitted: 11/29/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
My name is Gloria Lebowitz. I live in Bellingham, WA.

I have allergies to dust and mold plus seasonal allergies and have a chronic cough. I am concerned about the way in which coal dust particulates might negatively affect and impact the quality of the air that I, as well as many with the same or greater problems, breathe. I would like you to study the potential impact of the increased coal train traffic and the effect that the concomitant coal dust will have upon the air quality of Whatcom County, not only for those who already have breathing and/or lung problems but the possibility of such problems increasing for the residents of the area.

Thank you.

Gloria Lebowitz (#9273)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Comment:
I am a resident of Bellingham, one who is very concerned about the effect that trains carrying coal up the I-5 corridor will negatively impact the air quality of Bellingham/Whatcom County and points south.

In light of the EPAs tightening of soot standards forcing communities, including industrial facilities in their midst, to improve air quality, I am concerned that the fine particulate matter released by coal being carried in open cars will exceed the new standards. Although industries will not have to comply with the new standard until 2020, it seems to me that such compliance should be effective immediately, particularly since it could become hazardous to the health of the residents of the aforementioned communities.

I therefore request that you study both of these issues:

a) the effect of coal being carried in open cars upon the health of the residents of all communities through which the trains would travel, particularly of the various diseases that would be caused by breathing the particulate matter, and

b) how and/or whether the various companies (BNSF, SSA, etc.) involved in Gateway Pacific Terminal will comply with the new EPA standards.

Thank you.

Gloria Lebowitz (#9278)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Comment:
I am a resident of Whatcom County. Instead of driving to Seattle or Vancouver, BC, I have occasionally taken the train. Although it was only on one occasion, on one daytrip that I was taking to Vancouver, a freight train was stuck on the track, thus holding up the passenger train for over one hour. Because I was traveling up for the day, this severely handicapped me in terms of accomplishing what I needed to get done done. I would definitely prefer to travel to Vancouver -- or Seattle -- by train rather than drive but, since that time, the mode of public transportation that I have used has been Greyhound bus (which leaves from the same Depot as the train in Fairhaven). Many of the others on the train were from Seattle, Tacoma, various places in Oregon and maybe California.

In light of all of the landslides in the area near Seattle, I am questioning the sensibility of adding trains to the I-5 corridor. I would wish, therefore, that you will study the ways in which BSNF or other companies will ensure that passenger travel is not negatively effected by the increased amount of train traffic .. i.e., that there will be effective means of ensuring efficiency of travel for passengers.

Gloria Lebowitz (#9284)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Comment:
I am a resident of Bellingham. I attended the Ferndale scoping hearing. I heard members of the Lummi Nation talk about the sacred land at Cherry Point. Previously, I had been primarily concerned with how the increased number of ships would affect the Lummi livelihood of salmon fishing and oyster gathering. I now add to that my concern about the impact of destroying sacred land by developing Cherry Point park and how it will affect the Lummi Nation.

I would wish, therefore, that you will study the effects (health, livelihood, sacred history/ancestral roots/territory, etc) of developing Cherry Point Park for a coal terminal, one which would harm the waters as well as the lands.

Gloria Lebowitz (#11803)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Comment:
I am a resident of Bellingham, Whatcom County. I attended the Ferndale scoping meeting.

I am writing to say that I totally agree with the comments of Kate Bowers of Bow, which were made at the Mt Vernon scoping meeting regarding the suggestion that the rich corporations supporting the GPT Terminal and transportation of coal through the I-5 corridor whoucl be made to pay a damage deposit of $50 Billion (at least).

I am very concerned that the land where the proposed terminal would be located would be environmentally affected in the most negative way possible.

Thank you.

Gloria Rhoades (#10501)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
To Whom It May Concern:
As a resident of Bellingham who lives in the Edgemoor neighborhood within 500 feet of the train tracks, I am requesting that the following concerns be addressed and studied:
1. Increased noise of multiple engines powering increased train traffic impact on emotional
and physical health of residents
2, Increased noise impact on property values (some residents have their homes as their
retirement nest egg based on years of sweat equity)
3, Decreased air quality from coal dust
4. Economic impact on Bellingham as perception of desirability decreases and diminishes its attractiveness to
retirees and tourists
5, Safety and health impact as mile long trains result in time delays to medical and hospital resources
6. Decreased jobs as Bellingham's projected growth is impacted due to perception of reduced desirability due to
negative impacts including lack of access to Boulevard Park and Larrabee Park
7. Increased costs to community to pay 90% of access to Boulevard Park (overpass or bridge)
8. Economic impact of decreased access to businesses
9. Economic impact to Bellingham of Georgia Pacific Cleanup Site. If businesses are discouraged from investing
due to decreased access and perceived lack of desirability who is going to bear the cost of this cleanup?
10. Ten-year forecast of economic impact to jobs and property values along railroad corridor
11. Impact to native animals and plant of increased temperature rise due to greenhouse gases from burning of
coal in China
12. Economic impact to produce raised for Asian market as perceived desirability drops

Thank you for your consideration and study of these impacts to our beautiful environment in the Northwest corner.
Gloria Rhoades,

Gloria Sodt (#850)

Date Submitted: 10/13/12
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I am a resident of Bellingham, WA. One of the main reasons I moved here 12 years ago is that the clean air is so good for me and my family. It is very important to me that air pollution be included in the scoping done for the proposed Cherry Point Terminal.
Please scope:
1) Air pollution from coal dust from trains transporting coal through residencial neighborhoods.
2) Air pollution from engine fumes from increased train and ship traffic.
3) Air pollution from increasing coal burning in Asia, carried here by the wind
4) Increases in global warming from burning coal in a dirty manner. (One mitigating proposal would be to burn the coal more cleanly here in the US at coal plants that are upgraded to meet the new EPA pollution standards, rather than in Asian plants with fewer safeguards against pollution).

Also, please scope the effects of increased coal train traffic and marine vessel traffic on:
1) Auto, bus, pedestrian and emergency vehicle traffic within the areas that the trains pass through going to and from the proposed Cherry Point terminal.
2) Passenger train access to the railroad tracks (Will the tracks be so busy that we will no longer have timely passenger service?)
3) Rates of collisions between trains and cars (What would be done to decrease collisions and who pays for that?)
4) Rates of collision between coal vessels and tankers/other coal vessels/pleasure boats/fishing boats. (What would be done to decrease it and who pays?)

Please scope economic effects to citizens all along the rail corridor, including:
1) Who pays for infrastructure changes like rail overpasses and underpasses?
2) Will the coal and train companies pay for track improvements, or will the taxpayers?
3) How big will the impact be on tourism that is important to Northwest communities?

Please also scope the impact in Whatcom County to the planned development of the old Georgia Pacific site, which is on both sides of the train track at the Bellingham Bay waterfront.

Thank you,
Gloria Sodt
521 14th Street
Bellingham, WA

Godron Gotsche (#13547)

Date Submitted: 01/20/13
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

Gordon Adam (#5671)

Date Submitted: 12/15/12
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Gordon Adams (#5884)

Date Submitted: 12/15/12
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Gordon Bruchner (#14246)

Date Submitted: 01/14/13
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

Gordon Garnhart (#11015)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Comment:
I think the cities and counties through which the proposed coal trains would pass have a great opportunity. they should insist that all coal be transported in covered hopper cars, and that all grade crossings with streets, roads and highways be eliminated in favor of underpasses or overpasses.

Gordon Hait (#932)

Date Submitted: 10/22/2012
Location: Olympia, WA
Comment:
Oct 22, 2012

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

NO, NO, NO, NO. We do not want their dirty coal coming into our state, polluting our air with coal dust, and fouling our waters. So they can make millions at the expense of our health, our local communities, environment and the health of the whole planet. We should not be forced to be enablers to the destruction of our planet.

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.

Sincerely,

Gordon Hait
503 Mission Dr NE
Olympia, WA 98506-3237

Gordon Hait (#1073)

Date Submitted: 10/15/12
Location: Olympia, 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 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.

As we in the Northwest try to lead in the efforts to produce clean energy and protect the environment it doesn't make sense for us to be enabling other countries to keep killing the world with the pollution form DIRTY COAL.




Gordon Hait
503 Mission Dr. NE
503 Mission Dr.
Olympia, WA 98506

Gordon Hait (#11410)

Date Submitted: 01/16/13
Location: Olympia, WA
Comment:
We do not want the traffic problems, the pollution from coal transport and we especially do not want to be enablers of China killing our earth.
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.

Gordon Hempton (#13643)

Date Submitted: 01/22/13
Location: Indianola , WA
Comment:
Dear CH2MHILL,
I believe noise of the GPTerminal operation as proposed would have significant adverse impact on wildlife.
I request that the Co-Lead Agencies study the impact of GPT on the natural quiet and the effect of that loss on wildlife (terrestrial and marine) and on human welfare.

Gordon Hempton

Gordon Jonasson (#9083)

Date Submitted: 01/17/13
Location: Lopez Island , WA
Comment:
January 16, 2013
 
GPT/BNSF Custer Spur EIS
c/o CH2M Hill, 1100 112th Avenue Northeast Suite 400
Bellevue, WA 98004
 
I am writing in support of the proposed Gateway Pacific Export Terminal, located at Cherry Point, WA, in Whatcom County.  I am writing in support for the following reasons:
 
1.  The Terminal will provide significant, positive economic activity in an area that is struggling economically.  It will bring well-paying jobs to an area that is dominated by lower service-industry wage scales, and reduce unemployment levels.   Project plans call for adding up to 4,400 direct and indirect jobs over a period of two years, with 1,250 permanent direct and indirect jobs.  Importantly, it will lead to a reduction of unemployment in Whatcom County, an area that has suffered from unemployment rates that are higher than Washington State and National levels.
 
2.  The Terminal will contribute significant tax payments to local County and Municipal Governments.  Wages and tax contributions are estimated at $140 million per year when the terminal is at full production! In addition, the terminal will be the second highest taxpayer in Whatcom County, generating $11 million annually once it’s operating at full-capacity.
 
3.  The Terminal will create additional needed capacity to support not only coal exports, but provide critical alternatives to shippers of grain, fertilizer and other bulk products, thereby reducing current shipping delays both in the Puget Sound Region and Lower British Columbia.  The Montana Grain Growers Association has already gone on record in support of the Gateway Pacific Terminal for this very reason.  Grain shipment delays in Vancouver, BC have occurred on a regular basis over the years and I can see the Gateway Pacific Terminal being a potentially attractive alternative.  With more efficient Port facilities, the entire region becomes more competitive in handling export trade. At a Pan-Pacific Trade Conference in Seattle, during November, 2011, attendees stated that the state of infrastructure in Washington State presents their deepest concern over the future of doing business in this State.  This project would be a strong statement of commitment towards providing strong infrastructure. If this terminal does not get built, I would like the co-lead agencies to consider the loss of this strengthened infrastructure to the state’s economy in the project’s environmental impact statement. This terminal will strengthen our stance as a trade state and fortify our infrastructure to accommodate increased exports. The loss of an infrastructure project like this should not be ignored.
 
4.  The proposed coal shipment WILL move to export markets.  The only question is whether it will move via the Gateway Pacific Terminal, or via terminals in Vancouver and/or Prince Rupert, BC, which are less environmentally "green" than the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal.  The Gateway Pacific Terminal is of superior environmental design.  All unloading facilities are under cover, as is the conveyor system out to the ships.  The site is a half mile away from the shore and will be surrounded by systems to ensure that no coal dust blows beyond the property lines.  Similar claims cannot be made regarding the Westshore Terminal at Roberts Bank, BC.  Should this proposed project not be approved, all the economic benefits for Whatcom County will be lost, and that would be a shame.  The Gateway Pacific Terminal staff has consistently stated that they support a fair, thorough EIS process, thus, if this terminal does not get built, the co-lead agencies should consider the loss of this economic development on the region.
     
 
5.  The marine movements to export coal, and other bulk products, can be performed in a safe and environmentally responsible manner.  Marine experts have testified that the planned volumes of shipping should have only minimal impact on total shipping volumes.  Furthermore, the incremental increase in shipping volumes can be handled safely.  Some groups have predicted dire consequences for the safety of the area between Cherry Point and where the Strait of Juan de Fuca enters the Pacific Ocean, citing potential fuel-oil spills, vessel collisions and damage to eco-systems.  It is interesting to note that at full volumes, only two ships/day are added to traffic volumes.  Also, it is interesting to note that the size of the Post-Panamax and Cape-Class vessels are only about the size of cruise ships that are currently transiting the area.  The safety record of shipping operations in the region is exemplary because of strict marine traffic management protocols, under the direction of the U.S. and Canadian Coast Guard agencies, and due to experienced marine pilots that supervise the movement of vessels.  
 
I strongly encourage that the Environmental Impact Study (EIS) process take into account the economic benefits that will flow from the Gateway Pacific Terminal Project.  I would encourage the review to take into consideration the degree to which the proposal has been designed to meet all environmental laws.  I would strongly encourage that the review process be restricted to the Cherry Point Project and not be tied in with delaying tactics of opponent groups that are desiring an EIS Study that would undertake a concurrent study of all proposed export terminals. A number of these well-financed opposition groups have developed campaigns to discredit the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal Project through dissemination of often misleading, and fear-inspired, materials.  They have refused to invite representatives from the Coast Guard, Marine Pilots, and Puget Sound Marine Traffic Control Center to answer questions and discuss concerns of the public.  I know this from personal experience.  It has resulted in strong public concern and fear of environmental disasters. 
 
As information, I have 40 years of experience in railroad operations, 37 of which were in management.  In my career with The Milwaukee Road and Soo Line Railroad, I supervised operation of unit coal trains, both as a Division Line Officer, and later from a System Operations Control Center basis.  I feel my experience has provided me with an accurate assessment of unit coal train operations.  Charges made by opponents of this project that state that grade
crossings will be tied up for up to two hours/train simply are not true.  Charges that coal shipments will spew coal dust over areas adjacent to railroad rights-of-way are not true.  In fact, regional clean air agencies have gone on record, in writing, that they have no record of coal dust complaints from unit coal trains.  Coal shipments in most cases are being coated with materials that eliminate the chance of coal dust. Charges that locomotives are spreading excessive exhaust emissions are way overblown.  For example, there is more carbon dioxide emitted by trucks and automobiles than by locomotives.  Also, significant progress has been made in reducing locomotive emissions in recent years, the latest developments being offered in Stage 4 environmentally friendly unit locomotives currently being produced. 
 
Thank you for the opportunity to provide comments on the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal EIS process.
 
Sincerely,
 
Gordon A. Jonasson

Gordon Jonasson (#14247)

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


Gordon Koenig (#10804)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Eastsound, Wa
Comment:
Please, let us for once consider the quality of the environment we will leave behind for future generations. Let us sow the people of the future that profit and monetary gain was not our only priority during our tenure.

Gordon VanCorbach (#5050)

Date Submitted: 12/18/2012
Location: Lynden, wa
Comment:
I fully support GPT. I am about to retire from Cascade Natural Gas. That will open up one job in Whatcom County. I have 6 grandchildren that I would love to keep here, but, without work they must move on. This project will open up many jobs.

Gordon Werner (#4926)

Date Submitted: 12/17/2012
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
Today, December 17th, a mudslide wrecked a BNSF train running where the coal trains would if they are allowed.

Trainloads of coal would not help Puget Sound and the fragile coastal ecosystem if they are knocked into the sound by a mudslide.

Gordy Graham (#4548)

Date Submitted: 12/10/12
Comment:
http://forestethics.org/news/new-enbridge-report-pipelines-and-promises

Gordy Graham (#4551)

Date Submitted: 12/10/12
Comment:
You know all of the arguments for and against the coal trains and pipelines to our Sound. Profits and governmental protections are all that count - until your kids and grandkids start to die from the poisons your profits pump into our air, soil and water. Your profits will be unable to prevent that.

It has already begun. You know it, We know it, and we know you know it.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/slideshow.cfm?id=climate-change-earth-may-be-warming-faster-than-expected

When the accidents, leaks and deaths happen, and you know they will, what then?

What have you ever done to warrant our trust?

Gordy Graham (#4689)

Date Submitted: 12/11/12
Comment:
Pipelines, like trains, are perfectly safe? That's not what Mrs. Murphy says.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/12/11/us-usa-blast-westvirginia-idUSBRE8BA16B20121211

Gordy Graham (#4690)

Date Submitted: 12/11/12
Comment:
http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/12/10/idle-no-more_n_2273244.html

Gordy Graham (#5007)

Date Submitted: 12/14/12
Comment:
Coming soon to a railroad near us, too.

http://www.pe.com/local-news/topics/topics-environment-headlines/20121214-region-tougher-pollution-standard-set-for-deadly-soot.ece

Gordy Graham (#5812)

Date Submitted: 12/29/12
Comment:
http://www.loe.org/shows/segments.html?programID=12-P13-00031&segmentID=1

I hope someone else has already sent this to you for consideration.

At what point will your descendant's future be more important than your finances?

Grace Adams (#13760)

Date Submitted: 01/16/13
Comment:
I strongly oppose fossil fuel. I believe we should replace fossil fuel with renewable energy ASAP--even though I realize that the only way that will be feasible is to massively bribe TOO BIG TO FAIL fossil fuel firms with a plan to have federal government: 1) ask electric utilities what mix of utility-scale solar, wind, geothermal, storage, and smart grid electronics they would prefer for replacing their fossil-fuel fired generators, 2) buy that mix from as much as feasible MIC firms (our military leaders say they would rather green our energy supply than continue with some of the pork they get now) and the rest from green energy manufacturers spacing purchases over expected service life of components (15 years for inverters, 20 years for large batteries, 30 years for wind turbines and solar, 6 years per set of hot rock reservoirs for geothermal) Please include CO2 captured by Global Thermostat with any order for geothermal. 3) place equipment with utilities, 4) have utilities PAY fossil fuel firms for fossil fuel displaced by renewable energy. 5) have fossil fuel firms make out deeds to fossil fuel as reserves paid for by utilities and deliver to federal government. By including replacement parts in the deal this complex barter can be kept going until federal government has bought all fossil fuel reserves owned by fossil fuel firms doing business in the United States. The whole world dare not burn any more than 565 billion metric tons of carbon in fossil fuel for fear of throwing the world into a climate like that the dinosaurs had. So we should not EXPORT ANY FOSSIL FUEL. Better we should export some renewable energy equipment.

Grace Byrd (#5440)

Date Submitted: 12/27/2012
Location: Olympia, WA
Comment:
My name is Grace Byrd and I am a Nisqually Tribal Member. I live within a few miles of the Burlington Northern train tracks that are proposed to carry uncovered coal trains from Wyoming to Cherry Point. I have a family that lives just a house or two away from the same tracks. A number of us already suffer from asthma. Secondly I am also a fisherwoman as are all of my family members. These tracks run right through my fishing environment where we actively crab and harvest geoduck. We also have a shellfish farm. Medicinal plants grow in this region as well, that I and my relatives use for our wellbeing like cedar, princess pine, and blackberry.

These tracks run beside our natural springs that come up out of the ground at Nisqually. The tracks also run over the top of our Nisqually River via the Nisqually trestle - and runs along the sound that our divers and crabbers use.

The Nisqually River is the most pristine river in the State of Washington. Our salmon travel out of our river and hatcheries up the Sound through Cherry Point where they feed on the herring and then continue on to Alaska. I am very concerned about the impact on the food chain that feeds my family.

My treaty rights were fought hard for by our people which resulted in the Judge Bolt decision in 1974. I believe in my treaty rights to hunt, fish, shell fish and gather medicinal plants that are a custom to and healthy for my people.

I specifically request that you consider my treaty rights as well as my families rights—as we are all fisherman/Geoduck Divers/Crabbers—when studying the impacts of the trains, the vessels on the Puget Sound, and the terminal site for the Environmental Impact Statement.

grace cisneros (#11399)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: ferndale, wa
Comment:
Rail traffic - how much pubic funding would be required for train track over passes for traffic to function. state?county?city?

Cherry Point Land and Marine Site - I believe SSA has proved to be willing to bend environmental rules. What additional safe guards will be need to be required for the protection of the natural environment. It is easier to brake the rules, say your sorry, get a small fine, get forgiven and do it all over again.

Changing weather patterns will effect the project. - it will increase the chance of horrific damage to our natural environment.

I do not know enough about the EIS process to comment on those issues. but it seems there is significant potential for environmental damage to the state.

Grace Fix (#9046)

Date Submitted: 01/17/13
Comment:
Please do not export coal from Washington State. I have cancer and need a clean environment for me and my children to live in. I need to survive to protect my children.

-Grace Fix

• pollution to our air and waterways with coal dust
• diesel exhaust and mercury
• increased traffic congestion from coal train traffic
• impacts to current businesses and real estate values
• threats to Puget Sound and our coasts from more tanker traffic
• stoking the climate crisis with more carbon pollution

Grace Koehler (#4314)

Date Submitted: 12/09/12
Location: Wendell, ID
Comment:
Dear Mr. Perry:

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 mining and burning (regardless of where it is burned!) affect our air quality. the same air blows all around the planet, ya know.


Sincerely,
Grace Koehler


Grace Koehler
230 4th Ave E
Wendell, ID 83355

Grace Munson (#7782)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Comment:
There is already too much noise from the trains we already experience on a daily basis.

Grace Munson (#7787)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Comment:
The quality of our air will be an obvious problem if all these trains are added. The effect on the quality of our water is connected to the air that we breath and that the fish live in.
The waters are federally protected. How can we allow this? Please keep this project from happening.

Grace Munson (#7789)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Comment:
I am very concerned about the safety of traffic on the cross roads as traffic tries to cross the train tracks. I'm also very concerned about losing access to Boulevard Park and the walking trails along the water. Please keep this project from happening.

Grace Munson (#7791)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Comment:
This list of natural environment areas that will be impacted could go on for much longer. What are we doing to our environment here in the USA? Why would we want to negatively affect our wonderful pacific northwest beauty?
Please keep this coal train project from happening.

Grace Neff (#1891)

Date Submitted: 10/26/12
Location: Albany, OR
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.

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

The health of the people should be considered above profits.

Sincerely,

GRACE NEFF
800 28th Ave SE
Albany, OR 97322-4177

Grace Neff (#13541)

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

Climate change is doing enough damage without adding more pollution to the atmosphere.

Grace Takehara (#14638)

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

Grace Weinstein (#12608)

Date Submitted: 01/20/13
Location: Portland, OR
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington. This proposal would negatively affect my community by increasing traffic, polluting our air and water, harming existing business, delaying emergency vehicles, increasing shipping traffic and noise, damaging aquatic ecosystems at the terminal site, increasing the potential for serious shipping accidents and exacerbating climate change. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

The benefits to the American people or coal exports are minimal and the harmful extraction of coal from public and private lands is not a sustainable practice. Short term, there will be some jobs created; long term, environmental damage will be done. And only a few people will profit greatly.

We will do much better to create an economy, and jobs, based on renewable energy and a future that sustains us and generations to come.

GraceAnn Byrd (#6402)

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

Graham Black (#2600)

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

Grant Carey-Odden (#2803)

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

Grant Jean-Louis (#1416)

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

Grant Klein (#13351)

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

Coal is the most harmful source of energy today. Couldn't we place our efforts into wind, solar, bio, geothermal, hydro, tidal, wave, etc.
energy? Where is the potential for coal? The only potential is to make a cheap buck, while harming our world at a cost greater than the profits from the coal. Renewable energy, however, has the potential to create jobs and get our country back into the leadership role we Americans have grown accustomed to. I'm tired of feeling that our country is second-rate in ANY category. We say we're the best? Let's act like it and drive our country's energy supply with renewable sources.

Grant Sawyer (#140)

Date Submitted: 09/30/2012
Location: Woodland, WA
Comment:
I strongly oppose a coal export terminal at Cherry Point because of the gigantic size of the proposed facility and the severe environmental impacts of the mining, transportation, and combustion of coal (either here or in Asia). This dramatic increase in the number of over one mile long trains pulling completely open uncovered rail cars of coal is an unacceptable burden on the already over burdened air shed here in Cowlitz County. We already have some of the most polluted air in Washington due to the existing heavy industries in Longview and adding to that burden would not be fair to our children who already have one of the highest asthma rates in the state. In my community of Woodland the railroad tracks these dirty coal trains would travel on are immediately next to the outdoor athletic fields of our high school. The health consequences of such intense and longterm exposure to air born coal dust coming off this massive increasing number of coal trains is beyond comprehension. Then the rest of the pollution from the coal trains comes to us later after the coal is burned in China and mercury is released (and the amount is substantial) into the air and delivered to Woodland via the prevaling winds blowing in this direction from China. This can't be good.

Grant Sawyer (#13100)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Woodland, WA
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington. This proposal would negatively affect my community by increasing traffic, polluting our air and water, harming existing business, delaying emergency vehicles, increasing shipping traffic and noise, damaging aquatic ecosystems at the terminal site, increasing the potential for serious shipping accidents and exacerbating climate change. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.
I am especially concerned with the proposed massive increase in the number of 1 & 1/4 mile long coal trains with 120 uncovered open air coal railroad cars traveling through our community immediately next to our high school and intermediate school and the athletic fields there which are in constant use by our students. The impact of this coal dust blowing off of these fast moving trains right by our schools must be studied in the EIS for this project.

Graywolf Nattinger (#5790)

Date Submitted: 01/01/13
Comment:
I am against the plan to export coal from cherry point and through Washington state. I believe that the negative externalities of the project, health impacts, air quality, property value, etc, vastly out way the economic benefits provided to our region. Furthermore I do not believe that fossil energy export supports our nations' overarching energy, climate change, or national security objectives.

Graywolf Nattinger (#6349)

Date Submitted: 01/08/2013
Comment:
The salish sea is one of the largest, most productive bays in the United States. It is home to a variety of unique and delicate species, many of which are ESA listed. The Elwha restoration project depicted the importance of ecological tourism to the northwest regional economy. The tourist experience of north west Washington will be routinely degraded by the loss of marine ecological abundance and diversity, depleted air quality, and the increase of train traffic and noise. The cherrypoint nearshore aquatic region is a critical chinook corridor (State of Washington Withdrawal order 1, 2000). Sport fishing brings millions of dollars to the region and relies on a healthy marine ecosystem to provide abundant fish to the watershed surround the Puget Sound. Unforeseeable events such as spills, fires, or other accidents will inevitably contribute to the degradation of the physical beauty and environmental health of the region.
The installation of the proposed facility will also negatively impact a variety of regional extraction industries. I large part of local livelihood comes from the farming and harvesting of seafood products from Salish waters.
The benefits of the Cherry Point dry goods depot. would be reaped by very few individuals, whereas the negative impacts of the project would significantly affect the majority of the residents of the Salish region.

Greacen Chuenchom (#2388)

Date Submitted: 11/06/2012
Location: Lopez Island, Wa
Comment:
This comment concerns bilge water and its impacts.

On a ship, oil often leaks from engine and machinery spaces or from engine maintenance activities and mixes with water in the bilge, the lowest part of the hull of the ship. Oil,gasoline, and by-products from the biological breakdown of petroleum products can harm fish and wildlife and pose threats to human health if ingested. Oil in even minute concentrations can kill fish or have various sub-lethal chronic effects. Bilge water also may contain solid wastes and pollutants containing high amounts of oxygen-demanding material, oil and other chemicals. A typical large cruise ship will generate an average of 8 metric tons of oily bilge water for each 24 hours of operation. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_impact_of_shipping)

To maintain ship stability and eliminate potentially hazardous conditions from oil vapors in these areas, the bilge spaces need to be flushed and periodically pumped dry. However, before a bilge can be cleared out and the water discharged, the oil that has been accumulated needs to be extracted from the bilge water, after which the extracted oil can be reused, incinerated, and/or offloaded in port. If a separator, which is normally used to extract the oil, is faulty or is deliberately bypassed, untreated oily bilge water could be discharged directly into the ocean, where it can damage marine life. A number of cruise lines have been charged with environmental violations related to this issue in recent years. (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_impact_of_shipping for detailed citations.)

The EIS scope needs to include the (direct, indirect and cumulative) impacts of bilge water release from coal ships on all marine, land and bird species in the Salish Sea and beyond along the entire shipping routes. Please also study the direct, indirect and cumulative impacts on human health (through consumption of seafood and seaweed) and public safety (beaches, shoreline) as well as the economic costs of the above impacts.

How much bilge water does a Panamax or capesize coal bulk carrier typically generate in a day on average? How is the bilge water disposed of and where? How much time does the entire journey from the mouth of Strait of Juan de Fuca to unloading at Cherry Point and then loading, refuelling and travelling back out to the open sea again? How about the entire journey to Asia? What are the composition and range of concentrations of contaminants present in the bilge water? What are the locations with the largest amount of bilge water releases in the Salish Sea? At the terminal dock while offloading cargo/bulk goods and loading coal? At the ship fuel dock? Where do coal ships get refuelled before heading back out to Asia? Are there additional impacts from ships refuelling? The EIS needs to answers the above questions.

In addition, which authority is responsible for checking if the oil separator for the bilge water is functional and not bypassed? What are the current regulatory requirements regarding bilge water? How are the regulations enforced? Are ships carrying flags of convenience treated different than US ships? How often do coal ships get checked? By which agency? How many person-days of staff are currently allocated for checking practices of crew on ships to ensure compliance of regulations? Are the current resources allocated sufficient to ensure compliance for the current level of shipping traffic? How about when the coal shipping traffic is added? How about when all the planned shipping traffic of cargo, coal and tar sands oil in BC, Canada as well as other places in WA and OR are considered? If not sufficient, what would be the appropriate level of resources (human, equipment and budgetary)? Are there plans to increase the resources commensurate with the increased shipping traffic? If so, how? Who pays for the ongoing costs of these additional resources? If not, what are the risks and ecological and economic costs of non-compliance? Who will pay for these costs?

We do not want verbal assurances. We want either full-coverage insurance against a worst-case situation or a legally enforceable agreement by the GPT project to compensate and bear the costs of mitigating and reversing any ecology impacts that may occur.

If no such provisions can be offered to ensure we have full mitigation of the above impacts, please consider a no-build option.

Greg Black (#3165)

Date Submitted: 11/12/12
Location: Olympia, WA
Comment:
Nov 12, 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, most importantly, exacerbating climate change. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

Sincerely,

Greg Black
1523 Langridge Ave NW
Olympia, WA 98502-4643
(360) 352-3046

Greg Carlson (#2563)

Date Submitted: 11/07/12
Location: Mt Vernon, WA
Comment:
Dear Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Ecology and Whatcom County Council:

I am employed by Pacific Woodtech of Burlington, Washington, a major employer in Skagit County. Pacific Woodtech is situated in a business park north of Burlington Hill, along with a number of other businesses. The Burlington Northern railroad bisects this business park. Pacific Woodtech utilizes a railroad spur. The only road from I-5 and highway 99 to Pacific Woodtech crosses the train tracks. The only other access to these businesses winds its way up over Burlington hill and through an expensive residential area. 18 trains per day, with each one a mile and half long, would significantly disrupt access to these businesses. In the worse case, a train could stop in the business park. It has happened before.

Greg Carlson

Greg Gordon (#4949)

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

Greg Gordon (#4995)

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

Greg Gower (#5207)

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

Greg Hicks (#5230)

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

Greg Meyer (#12114)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: bellingham, Wa
Comment:
Bold = Words of family friend Curt Smith.
Normal font = Words of Gregory Meyer

We moved from Cool, CA to Bellingham in the summer of 1967. My dad
had found a job at Intalco, an aluminum foundry. I believe the
foundry located there because of the readily available cheap workers
in the area.

I moved from Oakland, CA to Bellingham in the Fall of 2007. I moved to attend Western Washington University, a destination school for lovers of the outdoors. I believe so many people attend WWU because of Bellingham’s reputation as a beautiful place to enjoy the natural wonders that abound there.

The foundry was in constant turmoil because of its poor
working conditions. Dad was a union VP while there and I remember he
and Mom discussing all the health issues they were trying to work out
with the company's management. My dad eventually had to leave that
job because of lung problems brought on by breathing the foundry air.
The foundry spewed that same foul air out its pipes for the rest of us
to enjoy as well.

The campus and town brought constant natural wonders and excitement to learn about the surrounding ecosystems and the services that they provide us free of charge every day when healthy. I found a passion in identifying native plants and animals in both the forest and marine ecosystems; especially edible ones. The only breath taken from me was the incredible views from Chuckanut Mountain.

The main industries at the time were the Intalco aluminum foundry, the
cannery, fishing, Chris Craft boat builders and logging. My dad
worked for Intalco, Chris Craft and as a lumberjack; none of them
possessing good environmental track records. Mom worked at the
cannery. The cannery and Chris Craft dumped their garbage right into
the bay.

I learned somewhere along the line that because of past pollution, crab and seaweed from Bellingham Bay are not edible. I was appalled to find out about the history of pollution in the area as I had only experienced a relatively clean, beautiful natural environment.

The environment was not such a big deal back then. Civil Rights and
the Vietnam War were the things we as teenagers focused on. However I
do know that the air in Bellingham reeked from the stench of the
cannery. The bay was an inhospitable polluted mess. I remember that
we would go down to the bay to shoot our BB guns at the trash floating
in the water, there was never a shortage of beer and soda cans. We
would hike out to Lake Whatcom to go to the beach because there was no
clean beach in town.

I quickly learned when I moved to Bellingham that the environment was a big deal. Everybody there seemed so forward thinking and conscious of the environment. This might have been a shock coming from somewhere else in the country, but I was coming from the San Francisco Bay Area, a place thought to be extremely environmentally conscious. I spent many afternoons at the beach enjoying the scenery. When I saw trash, myself and others picked it up.

The main thing I remember is that Bellingham was not a friendly place
for young people. The economy seemed very depressed to me, there were
alot of abandoned homes towards the bay. We lived on "G" Street right
on the edge between middle class neighborhoods and the the ghetto. If
one followed G Street to the bay one could see the different
socioeconomic divisions right on that street.

All of my friends were in a gang. They never allowed me to join, but
I still hung out with them daily, mostly for protection but they were
good friends also. Bellingham was a very violent place as far as I
was concerned. Many of the parents were unemployed and drank heavily.
They took their frusrations out on their kids who took their
frustration to the streets.

Bellingham is one of the friendliest places that I have ever been. The local living economy is better than most. I know because my experiences there led me to a degree in Environmentally Sustainable Business Practice & Education. After graduation, I spent six months interning for the local non-profit Sustainable Connections; an organization that promotes environmental business practice and a strong local economy. People in Bellingham these days celebrate their lives by shopping locally, helping each other, being environmentally conscious in every regard, playing games, playing music, dancing in the streets.

I do hope the people of Bellingham open their eyes and realize how special they have made that city. I was stunned 10 years (or so) ago when I read how Bellingham was the most desirable place to move. I remembered it as a polluted, inhospitable place.

I am dedicated to making the world a better place by helping businesses, government agencies, and individuals realize that a healthy environment means a healthy population and economy. The short-sighted profits and small amount of lousy jobs that a coal train would bring to Bellingham would negate everything that made me call this place home. It would bring destruction to the local economy, air and water quality, living standards, and way of life that I know Bellingham as.

Bringing the coal train to Bellingham could return it to the place I once knew.

Greg Peden (#7578)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Location: Portland, OR
Comment:
I support the coal exports

Greg Sanders (#7485)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Location: moses lake, wa
Comment:
Please bring good paying jobs to the NW

Greg Scherzinger (#2265)

Date Submitted: 11/03/2012
Location: Friday Harbor, WA
Comment:
Coal as an industry/energy source is antiquated and environmentally unsound. The efforts of every industry should be devoted to developing and using renewable energy. Building this is throwing resources at an industry on it's last legs. How far are we looking forward?

Greg Speltz (#8339)

Date Submitted: 01/10/13
Comment:
Friends,
I write to register my opposition to the projected coal terminals in the State of Washington, and to the proliferation of rail transportation of coal.

It is well established that the entire coal process has severe environmental consequences and severe social consequences over the rail lines and in the sites of the terminals. It is also devastating to the people of China, where the coal will be burned.

I write from a faith perspective. It is immoral bring negative consequences on our population in the name of economic gain.

Please make your assessment as broad as possible, covering environmental, health, transportation and social consequences.

Repectfully,
Greg Speltz

Greg Williams (#9868)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Comment:
Coal is such a toxic substance. It should be left in the ground.
The air is getting worse in China everyday.
Why would we want to give our competition cheap energy while
Contaminating the earth with coal pollution which I believe
Has been proven by science to cause global warming.
What will we do with our piles of coal when china says no more
I believe drawing millions of gallons a year from the nooksack
River to wash down the coal piles will contribute to an increase
In acidity and other negative factors causing wa. shellfish to die.
The run off and traffic of ships and other machinery will cause
Herring schools to shift patterns leading to less and less fish
Returning each year. The minimum amount of jobs gained at
This type of port would be far less than all the jobs we would
Lose because of "it"
I've heard from an acquaintance who works in Canada at a
Coal port "it's disgusting. F..king disgusting. Everyday as we
leave we drive through a wash to get the coal dust off. Every
other day I wash my car after i get home or it starts dripping
black goo into my truck"

We are too smart to revert to coal. Now that we've decided wind
Turbines should be placed in an industrial zones, this location
Would be ideal for a wind turbine farm. We could produce so much
Energy there we could supply Alcoa and lots more. I believe
A wind generating plant would provide more jobs and further
Impove Our economy.

Things I dislike about GPT
Where the coal is removed ruins the land there and near by
Along the rail ways toxic dust and delays at crossings too long
At port here piles of nasty coal being rinsed with Our clean water
Would you drink that run off water now?? Before? After?
Are you seeing the connection now?
The coal being used in china is polluting the earth.

Reject this project. Fine them for digging up the Lummi graves.
Send them on their way back to Berkshire Hathaway.

Thank you for reading my concerns and ideas

Greg Willmarth (#7343)

Date Submitted: 01/12/13
Location: West Linn, 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.

I hike frequently in the Gorge and am strongly opposed to the coal trains that regularly move through this precious area.

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. Greg Willmarth

Greg Wolgamont (#1441)

Date Submitted: 10/19/12
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Greg Wolgamot (#59)

Date Submitted: 09/24/2012
Comment:
I would like an economic analysis of the cost of asthma exacerbations, all along the route, due to the train and ship pollution. The following is a study that I would like you to read and consider, in which it was found that the hidden costs of asthma runs into the millions.

Thanks you, Greg Wolgamot, MD PhD


Eur Respir J. 2012 Aug;40(2):363-70. Epub 2012 Jan 20.
Costs of childhood asthma due to traffic-related pollution in two California communities.
Brandt SJ, Perez L, Künzli N, Lurmann F, McConnell R.

Source
Resource Economics and Center for Public Policy and Administration 205 Stockbridge Hall, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003, USA. E-mail: Brandt@isenberg.umass.edu.

Abstract
Recent research suggests the burden of childhood asthma that is attributable to air pollution has been underestimated in traditional risk assessments, and there are no estimates of these associated costs. We aimed to estimate the yearly childhood asthma-related costs attributable to air pollution for Riverside and Long Beach, CA, USA, including: 1) the indirect and direct costs of healthcare utilisation due to asthma exacerbations linked with traffic-related pollution (TRP); and 2) the costs of health care for asthma cases attributable to local TRP exposure. We calculated costs using estimates from peer-reviewed literature and the authors' analysis of surveys (Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, California Health Interview Survey, National Household Travel Survey, and Health Care Utilization Project). A lower-bound estimate of the asthma burden attributable to air pollution was US$18 million yearly. Asthma cases attributable to TRP exposure accounted for almost half of this cost. The cost of bronchitic episodes was a major proportion of both the annual cost of asthma cases attributable to TRP and of pollution-linked exacerbations. Traditional risk assessment methods underestimate both the burden of disease and cost of asthma associated with air pollution, and these costs are borne disproportionately by communities with higher than average TRP.

Greg Wolgamot (#60)

Date Submitted: 09/24/2012
Comment:
Taylor Shellfish Farms is, I believe, the nation's largest exporter of manilla clams. the clams are grown in the Salish Sea, alongside the rail line. I would like to know the impact of coal dust on the shellfish, and how many jobs this could jeopardize.

Each trains car loses 500 lbs of dust, which is 37 tons per train for 150 cars. Assuming 10 trains, this is 370 tons of coal dust per day. Coal proponents tell us that this all blows off in Montana, but others say the brittle coal continues to fracture along the route. Furthermore, the freshly emptied cars could blow off even more dust. The dust contains heavy metals, including mercury, which could jeopardize the edibility of the shellfish.

Greg Wolgamot (#61)

Date Submitted: 09/24/2012
Comment:
According to BNSF, each coal car loses 500 lbs of coal dust, which is 37 TONS per train, which is 333 TONS PER DAY. Anyone who says "I don't see any dust" should listen to BNSF, who will be transporting it.

Please go to YouTube and Search for "really long cn coal train in Thompson River Canyon". This proves that dust will end up in the Clark Fork, Columbia River and Puget Sound. I would like to know the impact of the coal dust on the rivers along the entire rail corridor, including Montana, Idaho, and Washington.

GReg Wolgamot (#559)

Date Submitted: 10/08/2012
Location: Bellingham , WA
Comment:
I would like the economics of the project to be explored and made public. It is my understanding that the coal originates from public lands, and is sold at $1 per ton to the coal companies. This apparently is due to a historic subsidy that was put into place to encourage energy utilization in the US to subsidize US industry, and not to subsidize China's industry. Now that internal coal demand is dropping, the coal companies are going to capitalize on the subsidy to ship the coal overseas. It seems that by providing China with cheap energy, we are actually helping it in its manufacturing agenda of outcompeting the US. This irony seems to be lost on the citizens, who are pounded with the slogan "Good Jobs Now". I would like the whole economic picture to be elucidated to the public in easy to understand terms, as it seems that this project does more to ship US jobs oversees, by sending China our natural resources, than it does to create local jobs.

Thank you!

Greg Wolgamot (#695)

Date Submitted: 10/14/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
"Some of our workers, literally their last act at the factory was to unbolt the machines and load them up to be shipped off to China." -Congressman Tim Ryan, Ohio.

I find it ironic that SSA Marine has created a sense of panic and hysteria in our county- that we need their particular 218 jobs at any cost. The irony is that by subsidizing China with cheap energy by sending them our resources (coal), we are fueling America's biggest worldwide economic competitor. This keeps manufacturing cheaper in China, and more US jobs will flow to China. The coal port decision is far bigger than Whatcom County. I would like the economic impacts for the US, in terms of lost US jobs by the subsidization of China with our resources. Thank you!

Greg Wolgamot (#1588)

Date Submitted: 10/29/2012
Location: Bellingham, wa
Comment:
My name is Greg Wolgamot, and I am a surgical pathologist. I also did a PhD at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and now am the Chair of the Tumor Board at the hospital. Tumor Board is the weekly meeting where physicians review all of the new Whatcom cancer diagnoses, and plan the next steps for treatment. In 2012 there were 1703 patients on the Tumor board lists, which averages to 33 cases per week. As such, much of my life revolves around cancer, and I see first hand the dramatic impact that cancer has on peoples' lives.

My concern for GPT addresses cancer. In the last 10-15 years, there has been much medical research that shows that air pollution is worse than we thought for people. The effects of air pollution are not hypothetical, but real and measureable. Many of the reviewed studies, some of which were conducted in Seattle area, show significant health effects of exposure to everyday airborne pollutant levels that are below national EPA guidelines. The data show a linear effect with no specific "safe threshold."

A recent study from the US Environmental Protection Agency states that, "The Puget Sound region ranks in the country's top five percent of risk for exposure to toxic air pollution." A study in 2010 by the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency and the University of Washington showed that "Diesel emissions remain the largest contributor to potential cancer risk in the Puget Sound area". http://www.pscleanair.org/news/newsroom/releases/2011/03_11_11_NATA.aspx

The conclusion that airborne pollutants pose a significant and measurable health risk was also found by the American Lung Association, in their review "State of the Air 2011", and by the American Heart Association, in their 2011 review "Particulate Matter Air Pollution and Cardiovascular Disease”.

A recent Health Assessment was done in Spokane. The Health Risk Study for the Burlington Northern/Santa Fe Railroad Spokane Rail Yard conducted by the Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency in 2011 was an analysis of cancer risk from diesel particulate matter (DPM) in the areas surrounding the BNSF rail yard in Spokane. This report concluded that there was an increased risk of lung cancer in the residential areas surrounding the rail yard. They showed in clear graphic displays - using lines like elevation lines of a map, the several-fold increased risk of cancer by living in neighborhoods close to the rail yard (see graphic below).

I request that the scoping include an analysis of the increased risk of cancer from diesel particular matter, in terms that are easy to understand by the public. Because the rail lines transect most major population centers in Washington, and several in Montana, these issues need to be assessed along the entire project corridor from both locomotives and ships in Puget Sound.

From a physician's perspective, it would be unethical and irresponsible to exclude communities from the analysis that have no control over the decision making process.

(I have attachments, but I can't get them to upload. I'll have to send them in separately. Thanks)

Greg Wolgamot (#2267)

Date Submitted: 11/03/2012
Location: Bellingham, wa
Comment:
I am a part-owner of a business that employs about 50 people in Bellingham. When considering the economic impacts of the GPT project, I would like the jobs to be stated in relative terms that people understand, so people can see how this compares to the rest of the economy that we may be putting at risk. The article below was recently run in the Bellingham Herald, that shows that Whatcom is doing relatively well compared to other counties. I request the following to be addressed:

1. Using the data below, the 218 or so jobs at full buildout accounts for only 0.8 months (about 3 weeks) of current job growth. 218/3100= 0.07. 0.07 x 12 months = .84 months worth of jobs. When put in these terms, then our policy makers can judge whether the project is worth the risk and animosity it is creating.
2. I would like the impact of huge layoffs that would occur at the end of construction to be analyzed. The construction will pull many unemployed people into Whatcom looking for jobs. Then, when the construction is done, these people will all lose their jobs. How will that impact unemployment?
3. I would like the job analysis to be critically analyzed. If SSA is allowed to use multipliers to increase the number of jobs (to include indirect jobs), then the multiplier should be applied to lost jobs as well. I know some business owners who located in Whatcom because of its green reputation, and some of them may leave if this goes through. Many business owners, who employ many people, live on the south side, which will be impacted the most. They are hesitant to speak up because it is "too political". I would like the analysis to include lost business that will relocate.
4. Increased automation is coming. Some experts say that by 2040 cars will be automatically driven through large cities by GPS. If so, then certainly people will not be needed to drive trains and unload coal. I would like the GPT job analysis to be extended into the future. This is a 50 year project; how many will be directly employed 50 years from now? And how will it have affected the local economy 50 years from now?
5. The coal will be used to subsidize China in its manufacturing, and will ensure that the price of coal is kept low. China directly competes with the US. I would like an analysis of the impact of lost jobs in the US.

Thank you very much.

By DAVE GALLAGHER — THE BELLINGHAM HERALD
Whatcom County's unemployment rate dropped to its lowest level in nearly four years, led by job growth in construction and tourism.
The local unemployment rate in September was estimated at 7 percent, down from a revised rate of 7.6 percent in August, according to data from the Washington State Employment Security Department. It's the lowest monthly rate since December 2008, though it did drop to 7.1 percent in April.
"The big story here is Whatcom nearly getting into that 6 percent range," said Elizabeth Court, a regional labor economist for the state. "What's also important is that most of the job growth is happening in the private sector."
In the past year, this area has added 3,100 nonfarm private sector jobs, with the biggest jump coming in construction (up 900 jobs compared to September 2011) and leisure/hospitality (up 600).
The public sector added 200 jobs in the same period, all state government positions, according to the data.
In the past year, 3,300 people were added to the workforce, for a total of 108,090. The number of people actively seeking work declined by 490 to 7,610.
Court said the job growth locally in construction was consistent with much of the state. She noted that with the stimulus money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 already spent, much of the construction work is on private sector projects.
One other positive sign for the local labor market is in the data for unemployment insurance benefits. Initial claims for unemployment benefits were 1,012 last month, the lowest level since September 2008.
"At this point, we're seeing a lot of positive trends in the Whatcom County market," Court said.
Whatcom's unemployment rate remains lower than several nearby counties, including Skagit (8.5 percent in September), Island (7.8 percent) and Snohomish (7.6 percent).
Ferry and Grays Harbor counties had the highest unemployment rates last month at 12 percent, while San Juan had the lowest, at 5.3 percent.
Last month, Washington state's unemployment rate, seasonably adjusted, was 8.5 percent. The national rate was 7.8 percent.
Reach DAVE GALLAGHER at dave.gallagher@bellinghamherald.com or call 715-2269.

Read more here: http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2012/10/23/2739890/whatcoms-7-percent-unemployment.html#storylink=cpy

Greg Wolgamot (#2269)

Date Submitted: 11/03/2012
Location: Bellingham, wa
Comment:
I am a citizen of Whatcom County. I spent many years in higher education, and hold 2 doctorate degrees in the biologic sciences. When looking for a place to work, I could have relocated to anywhere in the US, but chose to come to Bellingham because of its reputation as having a clean environment to raise my children.

We live in the 21st Century. Even though this project may seem to hail from the 19th century, it is now 2012, and 21st century science must be considered when analyzing the GPT project. Climate change ("global warming") is clearly established as a 21st century issue, and cannot be ignored. Climate change science indicates that burning fossil fuels, including coal, is largely responsible for climate change. models of climate change indicate not only warming, but also weather/climate destabilization including sever storms (hurricanes). We have seen the destruction that hurricanes cause, including Katrina and Sandy.

Projects with global impacts need global scoping. Thus, climate impacts, which are clearly established by 21st century science, must be included in the analysis.

Thank you.

Greg Wolgamot (#2271)

Date Submitted: 11/03/2012
Comment:
Orcas use sonar to communicate with members of their pods. The increased ship traffic will cause noise that interrupts communication among the whales. The orca whales are a symbol of the Pacific Northwest, and their loss would be a tragedy on many levels, including economic (tourism). I feel it is imperative to study the impacts of the increased ship traffic on the orca populations.
Thank you.

Greg Wolgamot (#4193)

Date Submitted: 12/10/2012
Comment:
Dear Review Agencies,
As you probably know, there was an accident involving a coal ship and terminal at Westshore Terminal in Roberts Bank. Such accidents will be inevitable at GPT. I request that you study the impacts of a large release of coal and oil into the water, and its impacts on marine life. I would like to know how it wil be cleaned up without damaging the seabed, and who pays for the costs of cleanup. I would like to know the potential impact to the fishing industry.

Please see the story below.

Thanks you!

METRO VANCOUVER -- A large bulk carrier docking at Westshore Terminals in Roberts Bank destroyed a coal conveyor system early Friday morning, knocking out the largest of the port’s two berths and spilling an undetermined amount of coal into Georgia Strait.

The mishap has put the berth out of service for an indefinite period of time, affected the port’s ability to export coal, disrupted customer deliveries and caused a yet-to-be-determined effect on the waters off the Fraser delta.

The loss of the berth, which handles ships with a cargo capacity up to 260,000 tonnes, is a significant blow to Westshore, which is North America’s largest coal exporting port. Westshore has one remaining berth, which can handle ships with a capacity of 180,000 tonnes.

The mishap happened at 1 a.m. when the bulk carrier Cape Apricot, with a capacity of 180,000 tonnes, slammed into a trestle, the only link between the berth and the terminal, destroying more than 100 metres of it. The ship went right through the causeway, taking a road, the coal-carrying conveyor belt, and electric and water lines with it.

---

Click here for more photos

---

“We’ve got a ship there that’s stranded now. We can’t get to it,” said Westshore spokesman Ray Dykes.

Dykes did not know how much coal was spilled but estimated that about one third of a railcar load went into the water.

“Whatever was on the belt when the ship went right through the belt – and right through the causeway – that went into the water,” he said.

Dykes added that residual coal has been removed from the damaged belt by a vacuum truck. It was too early for cost estimates, he said.

Westshore has called in an independent environmental consultant to advise on possible remedial action for the coal spilled from the destroyed conveyor.

Yoss Leclerc, Harbour Master for Port Metro Vancouver, said he was at the scene by 5 a.m. and determined there were no injuries. No oil was spilled. He said the cause of the mishap remains unknown but the Transportation Safety Board is investigating. The ship had a pilot on board.

He said emergency and environmental agencies were contacted and that Port Metro Vancouver has already started a cleanup of the spilled coal. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans is the lead agency on the spill response. Calls to the Vancouver regional office were not returned Friday.

The spill off the Fraser delta is being viewed by coal critics as strong ammunition in their fight against the growing volume of coal exports through Port Metro Vancouver.

“This really is coal’s Enbridge moment. It shows the problems that can happen with these exports and the potential risks coal poses to the environment,” said activist Kevin Washbrook, of Voters Take Action on Climate Change. An aerial photo of the accident taken by radio station CKNW shows a plume of coal extending out from both ends of the broken trestle.

“There is clearly a long plume of coal dust in the ocean and coal dust is harmful to marine life. It is harmful to salmon, it is harmful to shorebirds, it is harmful to the aquatic organisms that live on the mudflats,” Washbrook said.

Washbrook said the accident reinforces environmentalist arguments that a proposed expansion of coal export capacity by Port Metro Vancouver needs a full public review. The port is considering applications by Fraser Surrey Docks and Neptune Terminals in North Vancouver to expand coal exports, but is not planning on holding a public review.

Ken Hall, professor emeritus with the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability at the University of B.C., said submerged coal dust could contaminate marine life and upset the balance of an aquaculture.

“Very fine material, if it stays suspended especially, could impact filter feeders and small invertebrates. Things like oysters and clams – it could get into their system and it’s not soluble, so it would just stay in there clogging their insides,” he said.

Hall said larger chunks of coal have the potential to smother benthic organisms – bottom-feeding fish and other marine plants and animals.

“Material settles down and it could cover these organisms, like polychaetes – marine worms – very small clams and amphipods kind of like baby shrimp.”

Hall also noted that geese, ducks and other birds could be indirectly affected by ingesting coal-contaminated crustaceans and shoreline matter. He suggested follow-up studies to study the effects of the coal dump, but said the accident would not be nearly as detrimental as an oil or gas spill.

Dykes said after the collision that there was an emergency shutdown of the conveyor belt. No damage was done to the berth itself, called Berth One, but it is without access and without power. A ship at the berth was in the early stages of loading. It will likely have to depart, Dykes said.

Dykes said staff are assessing damage to the berth and would have a better idea by Monday when the berth will reopen. He added that there was little damage to the Cape Apricot.

“There were only a few scrapes on the bow.”

The berth will be out of commission for an undermined length of time.

“You can’t span 400 feet of causeway in an afternoon,” Dykes said of the damage.

He said customers have been contacting the company all day seeking answers to what the loss of the berth means to shipments. Westshore does not have the answers yet.

“We were looking forward to having a capacity of 33 million tonnes,” he said. “We were hoping to have a record year. There is some serious thinking to that plan now.”

The terminal is the main shipping point for metallurgical coal from Teck Resources mines in eastern British Columbia. It is also used by U.S. coal companies for shipping thermal coal from mines in U.S. Midwest.

Dykes said Teck coal was being loaded at the time of the accident.

Teck Resources said Friday that it would continue to use Westshore’s remaining berth, but will be shifting capacity to Neptune Terminals in North Vancouver to maintain export volumes.

The company also said it will be exploring options for moving additional tonnage to Pacific Coast Terminals in Port Moody and Ridley Terminals in Prince Rupert while Berth One remains shut for an unknown amount of time.

“Our preliminary assessment is that we will meet or exceed our sales guidance of 6.2 million tonnes for the fourth quarter and, as there is inventory space available at Westshore, we do not expect this incident to have a material impact on coal production for the fourth quarter,” Teck said in a statement.

Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Ship+crashes+into+dock+Westshore+Terminals+spilling+coal+into+water+with+video/7667184/story.html#ixzz2EfNyb7uf

Greg Wolgamot (#4194)

Date Submitted: 12/10/2012
Comment:
Dear Review Agencies,

As you probably know, a coal train stalled in Mt Vernon for 45 minutes, creating large traffic delays. Such stalls are inevitable. I would like to know the economic impact of such stalls, including everyone's wasted work time, missed appointments, late shipments, and wasted fuel; and who bears these costs. In addition, I would like the emergency access delays to be considered. Importantly, consider that an ambulance has 2 oppotunities to get stopped while transporting a patient to the hospital. Thus, if the tracks are blocked 15% of the time (and one needs to include not only when the train is physically blocking, but also when the gates are down, and the time of congestion release after a train goes through), then 30% of ambulance runs across the tracks will be delayed.

Please see the article below.

Thanks!


Posted: Friday, December 7, 2012 1:00 am

Stalled train snarls traffic in MV By Kate Martin Skagit Valley Herald

MOUNT VERNON — A Burlington Northern Santa Fe train stalled in the heart of Mount Vernon Thursday morning, snarling traffic along West Fir Street, Riverside Drive and College Way.

The train halted traffic for 45 minutes to an hour, said Mount Vernon Police Sgt. Peter Lindberg. The train was moved about 10:45 a.m.

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BNSF spokesman Gus Melonas said mechanics inspected the train for what appeared to be a locked wheel.

The engine was located beneath the Second Street viaduct, with the train cars to the north. Mount Vernon police say there were no injuries or traffic collisions reported.

“It didn’t cause us a problem, but it had a potential to cause us a problem,” said Mount Vernon Fire Department Chief Roy Hari.

He said his engines at Station 2 on LaVenture Road could only get to the other side of the railroad tracks by using the Second Street viaduct.

“If we have to go anywhere from there and it’s blocking Kincaid, it makes it quite interesting to get around town if you have a train parked in the middle of the city,” Hari said.

Lyle Gerrits, owner of Northwest Fine Furnishings on Riverside Drive, took advantage of the traffic jam to wave a sign protesting the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal in Bellingham. The terminal would export bulk commodities to Asia, including coal from America’s Midwest, and bring as many as 18 additional trains through Mount Vernon and Burlington.

Gerrits met one of the terminal’s supporters, who was sitting in traffic in front of his store. The man was upset at Gerrits’ sign, which read “Coal Train” with a red “X” symbol through the words.

“He said ‘that means 800 jobs,’” Gerrits said. “Yeah, for the hospital, for doctors, for nurses, the car repair folks.”

Gerrits said he also owns a farm in Blanchard that is within a quarter mile of the train tracks.

“I don’t see what the benefits are,” he said. “Temporary jobs and long-term consequences aren’t good.”

Skagit 911 Director Bill King said emergency dispatchers were aware of the trains blocking the intersections.

“We make sure that all of our user agencies are notified” when intersections are blocked, King said. “Knowing where they can go beforehand is usually a lot of help to them.”

The 911 center attempts to figure out what is wrong with the train and a timeline for its removal, as well as if there are any hazardous materials on board that first-responders might need to know about, King said.

Skagit Transit buses also sat in the traffic jam for the duration. A notification on the agency’s Twitter account posted at 10:30 a.m. said, “All Mount Vernon buses are stalled due to trains.” A spokesman with the agency did not return calls seeking comment.

Greg Wolgamot (#4195)

Date Submitted: 12/10/2012
Comment:
Dear Review Agenices,

I was upset when I heard that SSA's PR firms was paying people to soak up speaking positions in the scioing meetings. See the quote below:

“Yes it’s true that we hired people to help with the event including standing in line,” said Gary Smith of Smith and Stark. The communications firm in Seattle is promoting the Gateway Pacific Terminal project. “It was something that we learned that we had to do.”

This should be viewed as an interruption of the review process. The purpose of the scoping meetings is for people to voice concerns to be addressed during the review, not to be hijacked as a PR event by the applicant. The applicant should have no role in interrupting the review process, which is exactly what has happened. This shows a blatant disregard for the concerns of the citizens, as well as a disrespect of the review process by the applicant.

Thanks, Greg Wolgamot

Greg Wolgamot (#4412)

Date Submitted: 12/11/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Dear Regulatory Agencies,

As a physician, I would like to call your attention to a study that shows that regulatory decisions may have a direct impact on human health. The study shows that we are making progress, but there is further progress to be made. I would like the impacts of the GPT decision on human longevity in affected communities to be studied, as diesel particulate matter from trains and ships will directly contribute to Puget Sound air pollution, and there is abundant data that this directly affects disease and longevity. As a direct result of the project, it is imperative to include this in the analysis. Everyone would agree that we do not want to erase any gains we have made over the last 30 years. Thank you for your consideration. Please see the reference below.

http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=671314


Cleaner Air in U.S. Boosting Life Expectancy, Study Finds
Continuing to reduce fine particle air pollution prolongs survival, researchers say

THURSDAY, Dec. 6 (HealthDay News) -- As air pollution in the United States declines, it appears Americans are living longer, according to a new study.
Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health have associated increased longevity with reductions in fine particulate matter. They noted this positive trend would continue if the country's air quality continues to improve.
"Despite the fact that the U.S. population as a whole is exposed to much lower levels of air pollution than 30 years ago because of great strides made to reduce people's exposure, it appears that further reductions in air pollution levels would continue to benefit public health," said study lead author Andrew Correia, a doctoral candidate in the department of biostatistics, in a Harvard news release.
Exposure to fine particle air pollution, or small particles with a diameter of 2.5 micrometers or less, has been linked to cardiopulmonary disease and death, the researchers explained. The study examined the health effects of fine particle air pollution on people living in more than 500 U.S. counties from 2000 to 2007.
Their work, published online Dec. 3 in the journal Epidemiology, expands on previous research published in 2009.
Although the reductions in air pollution have slowed in the United States over the past decade, the study revealed that a modest drop of 10 micrograms per cubic meter in the concentration of fine particulate matter was associated with an average increase of a little more than four months in life expectancy.
The researchers noted the link between declines in air pollution and increased life expectancy was stronger in more densely populated urban areas than rural counties. They suggested that differences in the composition of the particulate matter may explain this discrepancy. Women also benefited from the improved air quality more than men, the study revealed.
"Since the 1970s, enactment of increasingly stringent air-quality controls has led to improvements in ambient air quality in the United States at costs that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has estimated as high as $25 billion per year," said study senior author Francesca Dominici, professor of biostatistics at Harvard.
"However, the extent to which more recent regulatory actions have benefited public health remains in question," Dominici added. "This study provides strong and compelling evidence that continuing to reduce ambient levels of [fine particle air pollution] prolongs life."

Greg Wolgamot (#4419)

Date Submitted: 12/12/2012
Comment:
Dear Regulatory Agencies,

I read with concern a letter to the editor that indicates that GPT will need large amounts of water. Since this is a direct impact of the GPT, I request that it be studied in the EIS. Specifically, How much water will be needed? Where will it come from? What other interests or populations are competing for the same water? How will it be cleaned before it will be released back into the environment? Also, since the GPT is advertised to have a lifespan of 50 years, any analysis needs to include impacts on future populations, which are sure to be larger 50 years from now.

Thank you. (The letter is shown below)


I believe Gateway Pacific Terminal supporters who'd been convinced GPT's coal would be "totally covered" and have "zero emissions" are stunned to learn that, in fact, GPT's entire 80-acre coal stockpile (5 rows, each row one-half mile long and over 60-feet high) would be uncovered. Coal stockpiles spontaneously combust unless sprayed with water -- lots of water. GPT would use 1.9 billion gallons of water per year. To put that in perspective, GPT would use more water than the entire City of Ferndale; half of what Bellingham uses or one-third the water now used by six industrial and 50 irrigation customers in the Cherry Point area. GPT's heaviest water use would be in summer when the Nooksack flow is lowest. In the future, Ferndale residents' main competitor for water would be GPT. Despite massive amounts of water, I believe millions of pounds of toxic coal dust would escape each year from GPT and blow miles in all directions where many thousands live, come to work and to vacation. I believe GPT coal dust contamination of air, water and land resources would imperil thousands of existing jobs in agriculture, commercial fishing and tourism. GPT would be one mile from BP Refinery. I believe coal dust on BP's sensors, gauges, valves, etc. would increase risk to BP operations and 850 BP employees. I believe that individuals will make the best decisions for themselves, their families and their community when they know all the facts and impacts of the proposed GPT.

Read more here: http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2012/12/12/2798620/concerned-about-coal-impacts.html#storylink=cpy

Greg Wolgamot (#4802)

Date Submitted: 12/14/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Dear Regulatory Agencies,

I am a pathologist, who has for a long time been interested in air quality. During autopsies, I can see the effects of living in cities; city dwellers tend to have greater amounts of particle deposition in their lungs than do country dwellers. Much medical research has surfaced over the past 10-15 years to indicate that air pollution has significant contributions toward premature death. Many scientists at the EPA have long felt that existing standards are too lax, as deleterious effects of air pollution can be measured at levels that are lower than existing regulatory levels. The following article comes from the Bellingham Herald on 12/14/2012. It looks like EPA is setting new limits. For scoping, I would like you to explore how the contributions of diesel particulate matter from both trains and ships will affect our air quality. It has long been known that less is better, and more is worse. We must avoid any large new sources of pollution, because that will add to levels that are already considered damaging in population studies.

Thank you. (The article that bears direct relevance to GPT is shown below).

By Erika Bolstad — McClatchy Newspapers
WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency announced Friday that it will set new limits for the airborne microscopic particles known as soot, one of the most deadly forms of air pollution. The widely watched decision, which was expected to signal how the Obama administration will approach environmental issues in its second term, should curtail the amount of soot released from diesel exhaust, coal-fired power plants, refineries and other emitters by requiring costly pollution controls.The minute particles of soot – smaller than the diameter of a strand of human hair – are considered particularly dangerous for children because they lodge deep in their lungs. Soot also is the primary cause of haze, and it’s considered a short-lived climate pollutant that can contribute to global warming. Exposure to soot costs tens of thousands of premature deaths annually, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said in announcing the new limits. The EPA estimates that the health benefits of the revised standard will range from $4 billion to more than $9 billion per year. The agency estimates that it will cost $53 million to $350 million to implement. “Families from around the country will benefit from the simple fact of being able to breathe cleaner air,” said Jackson, who noted that clean air isn’t just an abstract concept to her. Her own two sons have battled asthma, she said. Currently, 66 U.S. counties are out of compliance with the existing air-quality rules on soot. The agency projects that with the exception of seven counties in California that have persistent air-quality problems, most U.S. communities should be able to comply with the new limits by 2020. Clean-air advocates say that lowering the limit will reduce thousands of premature deaths, heart attacks and cases of asthma. They applauded monitoring requirements near highways in urban areas, which will keep tabs on emissions to help determine the next round of air pollution standards. People who live along highways are at particular risk for exposure. “By setting a more protective standard, the EPA is stating that we as a nation must protect the health of the public by cleaning up even more of this lethal pollutant,” said Dr. Norman Edelman, the chief medical officer for the American Lung Association. “Reducing particle pollution will prevent heart attacks and asthma attacks, and will keep children out of the emergency room and hospitals. It will save lives.”Some industries, led by the American Petroleum Institute, fought unsuccessfully to delay implementation of the rules, saying they’d be expensive and would have "doubtful benefit" on health. Industry officials said they were especially concerned about the effect of the new limits when they were coupled with pending greenhouse-gas regulations for refineries and forthcoming rules on ozone. “The collective impacts of all of these and other potential new regulations at a time when 12 million Americans are still unemployed would be a blow to our economy as it struggles to recover and put Americans back to work,” said Howard Feldman, the director of regulatory and scientific affairs at the petroleum institute. “These rules could significantly slow business development and job creation. It makes no sense to risk this when the necessity of many of these regulations is ambiguous at best.”The new soot standard was lowered from its 1997 level of 15 micrograms per cubic meter to 12 micrograms per cubic meter. The standards define how much soot pollution is unhealthy for humans to breathe, and they set clean air limits to ensure healthy air quality. The EPA made no changes to the 24-hour fine particle standard or the coarse particle standard – the daily averages of soot levels in the air over the course of a year – although the lung association and other groups pressed the agency to consider evidence that both standards need strengthening.The EPA will identify counties in states that are likely to be out of compliance with the new rules. States then must develop their own rules to meet the new standards and curtail soot-producing emissions. They have several years to do so. There’s been a long history of regulatory foot-dragging on the issue. The new limits come only after Earthjustice, an environmental legal group, went to court on behalf of the American Lung Association and the National Parks Conservation Association to force the EPA to apply standards recommended by its own scientific advisory committee. The Clean Air Act requires the EPA to review air-quality standards every five years and update them as needed. The agency updated one national limit in 2006, but it didn’t strengthen the standard for soot 2.5 micrometers in diameter or less.In the week before the new rules were made public, clean air advocates and industry representatives gathered at the White House to hear details of the rules. The EPA had sought a lower limit and asked for public comment on setting it at 11 micrograms per cubic meter. The agency wrangled with the White House Office of Management and Budget, which sought a limit of 13 micrograms per cubic meter. Ultimately, the agency settled on 12.

Read more here: http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2012/12/14/2804069/new-soot-rules-should-reduce-disease.html#storylink=cpy

Greg Wolgamot (#6350)

Date Submitted: 01/08/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Dear Regulatory Agencies,

I am a resident of Bellingham, who chose to move here due to the environmentally conscious reputation of Whatcom County. I have studied biology for nearly my entire life, and hold two doctorate degrees in the biological sciences (an MD and a PhD). I am by no means a "radical" or really even an environmentalist, but I certainly respect the great body of science that illustrates climate change and its impacts on ecosystems. We are now seeing the effects of climate change directly, and this has direct impacts on economics and health.

Many people in Washington also recognize this, which has culminated in plans to close the last coal plant in Washington. Ironically, the only thing worse than burning the coal here is to ship the rocks to the far side of the world (burning fossil fuels in the process), and then burning it there. The products of combustion still go into the air either way, but we have the added pollution of the transport, as well as the increased pollution due to lack of regulations in China.

The following article in CNN shows thath 2012 is now officially the hottest year on record. Contribution to climate change is a direct manifestation of the GPT project, and must be considered in scoping. We are now living in the 21st century. A project of this magnitude needs the full impacts to be evaluated. Not considering the impacts on climate change it would be ignoring 21st century science.

The science exists and cannot be ignored. These impacts cannot be mitigated, and I suggest "no action" (no permit) as the only responsible conclusion.

Thank you for your time and careful consideration.


Jan 8, 2013: (CNN) -- The past year saw a mild winter give way to a balmier-than-normal spring, followed by a sweltering summer and high temperatures that lingered into the fall, all punctuated by extreme drought and intense storms.

Now 2012 is officially in the books as the hottest year on record for the continental United States and the second-worst for "extreme" weather such as hurricanes, droughts or floods, the U.S. government announced Tuesday.

The year's average temperature of 55.3 degrees Fahrenheit across the Lower 48 was more than 3.2 degrees warmer than the average for the 20th century, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration reported. That topped the previous record, set in 1998, by a full degree.

Every state in the contiguous United States saw above-average temperatures in 2012, with 19 of them setting annual records of their own, NOAA said. Meanwhile, the country faced 11 weather disasters that topped $1 billion in losses each, including a lingering drought that covered 61% of the country at one point.

That drought shriveled crops across the American farm belt, leading to an expected rise in food prices in 2013, according to the U.S. Agriculture Department. It also turned forests of the mountain West into stands of tinder that exploded into catastrophic wildfires over the summer, scorching millions of acres and destroying hundreds of homes.

And then there was Superstorm Sandy, a late October post-tropical cyclone that killed more than 110 people in the United States and nearly 70 more in the Caribbean and Canada. Damage estimates from the storm run around $80 billion in New York and New Jersey alone.

The report is likely to fuel new concerns over a warming climate. Seven of the 10 hottest years in U.S. records, which date back to 1895, and four of the hottest five have now occurred since 1990, according to NOAA figures.

The year also saw Arctic sea ice hit a record low in more than 30 years of satellite observations and studies that found the world's major ice sheets have been shrinking at an increasing rate.

Scientists are quick to point out that no single storm can be blamed on climate change, but say a warming world raises the odds of extreme weather.

"I think unfortunately, 2012 really may well be the new normal," said Daniel Lashof, director of the climate and clean air program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, a U.S. environmental group. "It's the kind of year we expect, given the global warming trend is ongoing."

The science of global warming is politically controversial but generally accepted as fact by most researchers, who point to heat-trapping carbon emissions from the burning of fossil fuels as the major cause.

Lashof's group is trying to press the Obama administration to tighten limits on carbon emissions, but he said those steps "are not going to reduce the threat of extreme weather overnight."

"We need to take greater preparations, anticipating the kind of storms and droughts that we saw are going to continue to be more frequent as we go forward," he said.

Wildfires race across Australia

Though parts of the country such as the Pacific Northwest and the Gulf Coast had wetter-than-average years, average precipitation was nearly 2.6 inches below normal -- the 15th driest since records started being kept in the 1890s, according to NOAA.

The two remaining U.S. states, remote Alaska and Hawaii, saw a mixed picture in 2012.

Alaska was slightly cooler and wetter than normal, while nearly two-thirds of Hawaii's island chain faced moderate to exceptional drought conditions by December, NOAA said.

Greg Wolgamot (#8921)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Location: Bellingham, wa
Comment:
Dear Scoping Agencies,

I moved to Bellingham 6 years ago because it seemed to be a great place to raise my family: a green reputation, college town, and access to the mountains and water.

As you know, a recent study by CommunityWise indicated that access to the waterfront Boulevard Park may be threatened by increased rail traffic and a potential new siding. Boulevard Park is the crown jewel of Bellingham, and it would be a shame to have access limited. Access across the tracks has already been cut off for Clayton Beach, when for some reason BNSF declared that they wouldn't allow people to walk across the tracks (!). This is a popular public park that we used to visit on a regular basis, and now it is accessible only to those that have a boat.

Please closely study new limitations on accessing our public waterfronts due to GPT. The economic value of public access to these areas should not be underestimated, as it draws people to live here (including employers as well as retirees, who by moving here spend a lot of money here).

Thank you, GReg Wolgamot

Greg Wolgamot (#8937)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Dear Scoping Agencies,

Please read carefully this attached study, which shows the huge "hidden costs" of coal mining and transport, of up to half a trillion dollars in the US annually. These costs are bourne by the public, rather than the mining and shipping companies, and are thus "externalized" to the coal industry itself.

Nonetheless, they are very real. Because a direct result of GPT is increased mining and transport of coal, these hidden costs must be included in the scoping to have a complete analysis of the true impacts. If potential positive effects on the economy are to be considered, then these negative economic impacts (including those illustrated in this article, as well as subsidizing our world's biggest economic competitor with cheap energy) must be considered as well.

Thank you.
Greg Wolgamot
Attached Files:

Greg Wolgamot (#8943)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Comment:
Dear Scoping Agencies,

Shown below is a letter written by Martha Neuringer, a researcher at OHSU. I believe she wrote this as a scoping comment for an Oregon port, but I would like to submit her comment also for the GPT EIS, as it is equally relevant. In evaluation of the economic impacts, please also consider the economic impact of mercury contamination. (See below) Thank you.
____________
My name is Martha Neuringer. I’m a biomedical researcher at OHSU, and for 40 years I have studied nutritional and environmental effects on eye and brain development and aging. I would like to address just one small, specific sliver of the health effects of coal – the effects of coal-derived mercury on infant brain development. I was the first to demonstrate beneficial effects of omega-3 fatty acids on eye and brain development, and my work led to the addition of these important nutrients to infant formula. The richest source of these nutrients is of course fish – one of the greatest bounties of our region. It is a cruel and bitter irony that this bounty is now contaminated with coal-derived mercury, one of the most powerful toxins to neural development -- so that the intake of fish by pregnant woman and children needs to be limited. Coal-derived mercury has significant negative impacts on the visual system, on motor development, and on cognitive development. It insidiously limits human potential. A massive increase in coal traffic through our region would greatly increase the mercury burden in our environment and therefore the damage to our children. This is a moral issue, but can also be reduced to its economic impacts. The effects of mercury from coal on reduced intellectual development –on this one health effect—are estimated to cost $3 billion per year in the U.S.1 This is just one part of the overall health costs of $10-30 billion, which in turn is just part of the estimated total externalities – environmental, economic and health effects of coal -- which total half a trillion dollars per year. Coal export projects would have a reverberating impact in our region, as coal dust increases mercury and many other toxins in our air and our water; and then, when it is burned in China, as the prevailing winds bring air-borne toxins back to us. Nearly 20% of the mercury in Oregon is due to coal-burning in east Asia.

To preserve the health and human potential of our children, I urge you to oppose Northwest coal export projects in any way possible, and to demand that the federal government conduct an area-wide, comprehensive, cumulative, programmatic Environmental Impact Assessment including a full accounting of the public health impacts of these projects.

Thank you for your leadership on this issue.



1 Epstein PR et al. Full cost accounting for the life cycle of coal. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, vol 1219, pp 73-98, 2011.

Greg Wolgamot (#8958)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Comment:
Dear Scoping Agencies,

This article, which I believe ran in the Columbian, shows observations by Bob Elliott, executive director of the Southwest Clean Air Agency:
(http://www.zoominfo.com/#!search/profile/person?personId=2967569&targetid=profile)

"The cumulative diesel emissions produced by all current train and barge traffic already ranks them among the top polluters in Southwest Washington, Elliott said. Their emissions are nitrogen oxides, carbon oxide, sulfur dioxide, fine particulates and volatile organic compounds -- the kind that create caustic smog, collect in the lungs and cause asthma.
Trains moving through the nearby Columbia River Gorge spewed 8,363 tons of nitrogen oxides in 2004 -- more than 800 times what would qualify a single industrial source for the EPA label of a major polluter. He sees the potential for an increase of up to 40 percent in diesel emissions from general growth in barge and train traffic, including the potential addition of coal-carrying trains."

As you know, the EPA is making air quality standards more stringent, which is a response to numerous studies that show that air pollution is more damaging than previously recognized. Because a direct impact of GPT is increased pollution from trains and ships, I request that the total increased pollution be recognized; just because it is not a point-source at Cherry Point does not mean it doesn't exist. What is the total increase in pollution as a result of this project? Will the upcoming more stringent EPA standards make it harder for communities to meet those standards?

Thank you for your consideration.

Thanks, Greg Wolgamot

Greg Wolgamot (#10406)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Comment:
Dear GPT Scoping Agencies,

I am a Whatcom County resident, who moved here (and now employ people here) due to Whatcom County's beauty and progressive reputation. While I am not Native American, I believe it is our responsibility to respect and protect the Native American Cultures.

Please include the impacts of GPT to the Lummi nation in the scoping. This should include consideration of impacts upon their fishing and waters, environment, sacred sites including archeological sites of villages and burial grounds, and legal considerations. Strong consideration of impacts to the Lummis is essential for our integrity.

Thank you, Greg Wolgamot

Greg Wolgamot (#10427)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Comment:
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/01/20/1180661/-Permanence

Dear US Army Corps of Engineers, Whatcom County Council, and Dept. of Ecology,

Please read the article above in consideration of the scope of GPT. Particularly, the issue of Permanence. This decision is a one-way street; if the project were to be approved, there is no turning back. Mitigiation of climate change and environmental contamination is essentially impossible. Climate change is part of 21st century science, and to ignore that fact would essentially mean that science would be disregarded in preference for politics.

Consider what this project would mean to our legacy. I feel the only responsible response, when modern science is considered, is to deny the project, as its effects cannot be effecitvely mitigated.

Thank you, Greg Wolgamot

Greg Wolgamot (#10470)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Comment:
Dear Dept. of Ecology, US Army Corp of Engineers, and Whatcom County Council,

I request the history of SSA's, BNSF's, and Peabody's environmental, regulatory, and legal infractions be studied during scoping, as it is directly relevant to whether we can expect compliance with environmental, legal, and ethical standards. Have there been any laws broken, including action without adequate permits? Have there been environmental contamination issues at prior operations? For that matter, has there ever been a coal port anywhere that has not had associated environmental contamination?

Have there been attempts to mislead the public? For example, this is advertised as a "multi-commodity port", but people wonder if there are any plans other than coal. Are the other exports advertised to simply generate public approval by labelling it as a multi-commodity operation, when in fact there are no concrete plans to ship anything other than coal? Are there any real plans to export grain and potash, or was that a maneuver generated to mislead the public?

Has there been manipulation of the public process? SSA apparently paid people to soak up speaking positions at some of the scoping meetings. These meetings were intended as an opportunity for the public to comment on what should be included in the EIS, not as a PR opportunity for SSA.

By examining these issues, we will likely gain some insight as to how things may proceed if the permits are granted. Indeed, often large corporations don't really care much about fines, because they are minute compared to the profits of ongoing operations.

Those who do not study history are condemned to repeat it. Therefore, I request that an analysis of the above issues be included in the EIS.

Thank you!

Greg Wolgmot (#5335)

Date Submitted: 12/24/2012
Comment:
Dear Regulatory Agencies,

The following link is to a video that shows a landslide derailing a train near Everett. We have inherently unstable bluffs, which could be rendered more unstable by the heavy vibrations that accompany coal trains (coal trains are much heavier than other freight trains). Thus, landslides and derailments will be inevitable, and potentially more frequent with the coal transport.

This video shows that scoping must include impacts to bluff stability of the heavy coal trains, as well as impacts of large volumes of coal going into Puget Sound, the Salish Sea, and the Columbia River. The cumulative impacts of this over the next 50 years should be studied.

http://washingtonlandscape.blogspot.com/2012/12/landslide-derails-bnsf-train-in-everett.html

Thank you!

Greg & Colleen Hoffenbacker (#1586)

Date Submitted: 10/28/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
We live within 1 mile of the railroad tracks through the Fairhaven area of Bellingham. We are very concerned about significant negative impacts resulting from this project.

Please research the following impacts in the EIS:
- noise, vibration, pollution, traffic delays, residential and commercial property values, economic (increased tax burdens) due to significant increase in train traffic
- global climate change due to burn of coal exported from this terminal
- fisheries, whale watching, sail & motorboat charter business due to significant increase in ship traffic
- pollution, health effects and economic impact on residents, farms and businesses due to coal dust blowing off the site and into the surrounding region

Thank you.

Greg & Naomi Zervas (#1305)

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

Gregg Blomberg (#2748)

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

Gregg Bryant (#10653)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Vancouver, WA
Comment:
The environmental impacts for the shipping coal through this state are serious; just as are the impacts of burning coal on the ozone for the planet. The time has come to take care of this wonderful planet we inhabit. And quite thinking about the almighty dollar.

gregg campbell (#9241)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: sedro woolley, WA
Comment:
Hello, I am a 58 year old man with a grown son(25).I came to WA to get my degree in Park Ranger Tech.,Geography/Environmental Studies. An ATA and a BA from a university in 1981. I was taught of the potential for Environmental degradation and the effects of a disturbed ecosystem. Upon living near the Puget Sound and fertile farmland in the Skagit Valley;I have become very concerned with the added pollution and the negative environmental feedback due to increased population and the added impacts.
I am deeply concerned about the impact to the environment by the extra 487 bulk cargo ships to the Cherry Point terminal.These huge ships pass an Aquatic Reserve via Haro Strait and Boundary Pass. Please study the profound impacts on the Endangered Chinook Salmon and Orca whales.
Please physically study the accumulation of coal dust at B.C. terminals rather than estimate numbers for Cherry Point. Please study the effects of coal dust on the unique and dwindling stock of herring necessary for the food resource of Chinook salmon.Associated with the increased traffic of the ships and other Diesal powered trains from Powder River Basin ;please study the impact,both increased health hazards and the effects of coal dust on our habitat. I am concerned that the increased health hazards will introduce mercury and soot particles to the Puget Sound and all along the train route. The increased health costs to humans should be studied. I would like you to consider the added pollutants that lead to increased acidification of the waters of Puget Sound(our fragile ecosystem) by both the diesal soot and coal dust from the transportation by rail. I believe it has the potential to create a downward spiral of a fragile ecosystem and with increased derailments,mudslides along coastal routes blocking rail lines.We in the Skagit Valley have inversions of trapped air with pollutants hovering at ground level and I am concerned about increased air pollution due to increased train travel and added wait times at the at grade crossings thus increasing CO2 and other particulates from idling engines of cars and trucks.

gregg campbell (#10192)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Comment:
I am a resident of Skagit county,WA .Adding 38 extra trains a day carrying dirty coal (that we americans won't burn) would be a nightmare with regard to the added trains proposed into Fidalgo Is. for a new water bottling plant which will be the largest on the West Coast. In conjuction with freight from and to Canada there will many problems with logistics and availability of rail lines and crossings.
Please study the total capabilities of our rail system with regard to abilities to expand for the future and what conflicting agencies will be involved. Please include the feasibility of increasing passenger rail within the allotment of access to the various rail lines.
I also agree with Carolyn Gastellum about a study for the benefits to humans and the environment if the coal at Powder River basin was never mined.http://www.eisgatewaypacificwa.gov/get-involved/comment/6908

We need to protect our environment for future generations and not give it away so it can come back to us as pollution in our air and not contribute to more co2 and an increase global climate change due to the greenhouse effect in our atmosphere..

Gregg & Robin McClaran & Wallbridge (#12591)

Date Submitted: 01/22/13
Location: Deming, WA
Comment:
attached please see scoping comments.
Attached Files:

Gregory Bell (#5110)

Date Submitted: 12/19/2012
Location: Moses Lake, WA
Comment:
I am 100% for the new Terminal for growth of our local and statewide buisnesses. I am an IBEW member and this Project provides jobs in all areas. To have the 1# EXPORT terminal in the United States is something Washington State should embrace. As a country we are moving in a direction of cleaner renewable energy, so to export coal is nothing to frown on. There are mines across the country who are ready to get back to work, the people of this country want to work. We have the technology to provide Any safety precautions to have this product or any other product safely transported through our state.

Gregory Dalton (#261)

Date Submitted: 10/03/2012
Location: North Bend, OR
Comment:
I am concerned about the transportation of coal through the Pacific Northwest and would like a more thorough local study done on the potential hazards to environment, humans, and animals from coals dust releases. I would also like a critical study on the use of modern containment rail cars that inhibit coal dust loss during transportation.

Sincerely,

Gregory Dalton

Gregory Helms (#10446)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Union, WA
Comment:
Dear Army Corps of Engineers,

As a resident of the puget sound region I strongly urge you to look at the "big picture" when determining what needs to go into the EIS for such a project as the Pacific Gateway Terminal. I don't think it is being hyperbolic to say that the export of such enormous quantities of coal from the Montana/Wyoming strip mines to Asia (primarily China) will have devastating effects on the entire planet. I realize the entire planet is outside of the initial EIS scope so we can narrow down the impacts to what we know will happen. Starting with the increase in rail traffic that will find it's way throughout the entire inland northwest, in particular the Sandpoint, Idaho area and Spokane where the open rail cars will deposit coal dust over Lake Pend Oreille and over the entire Rathdrum aquifer. To allow for such a cargo to be hauled in open cars over such a large distance shows the true colors of the coal companies where expense to cover the cars trumps the right to a healthy environment for citizens over the entire delivery route. Once the rail cars reach Puget Sound they will impact a major metropolitan area via increased traffic congestion while still littering the landscape with dust and fine coal particulate. Auto traffic patterns must be taken into account as well as the overall rail route with respect to proximity to peoples yards and homes. The increase in rail traffic is far in excess of what the infrastructure was designed to carry and attention must be put to studying the effects of the additional strain will have on the traffic of goods already being moved on the rail lines.

The Puget Sound region and Bellingham Bay in particular will also be impacted greatly by the increase in vessel traffic as the ships queue up to be loaded. Marine mammal migrations will be impacted by the increased ship traffic as will the air quality as the ships idle off port. The Puget Sound region already bears heavy ship traffic and to add a large increase will only negatively impact the overall health of the region.

One of the intangible "things" that makes living in the Pacific Northwest so wonderful is the overall feeling that the region is a "natural" mecca. Having the region support the shipment of 150 million tons of coal a year to Asia will irrevocably damage what makes living here so special. I have lived all over the US and Canada and spent many years in the industrial area of northern New Jersey. I do not want the Puget Sound region to become like that, an area of oil refineries, chemical plants and incinerators.

Our waterways and wetlands support so many ecosystems that to try and understand the impact such an enterprise as the Pacific Gateway Terminal will have would take decades. Regardless of how thoroughly you do your job, if the export terminal is approved the damage will only be known years or decades later, long after the coal companies have made their money, the Chinese have burned the coal and we all experience the ecological devastation that will come from it. We are just beginning to understand the impact this will have globally.

Unfortunately your job is to look at the much smaller picture and to try and determine whether the damage that the rail traffic and the coal dust in transit and at the storage facility will have on local populations and terrain is acceptable. Likewise with the increased vessel traffic with respect to our waterways and marine life. Like most enterprises like this the risks will usually be determined to be acceptable and the project will be green-lighted. This will be a disaster for us and our way of life but will be tragic beyond words for the Chinese as they struggle to breathe in their hideously polluted cities. Above all it will be unforgivable at a global level where all of the ecosystems come together.

Please look at a bigger picture when you examine the reams and reams of data that will be input to the process. We understand enough at this point to KNOW that this is a bad proposition for our region in particular and the planet in general. Please consider these aspects when determining what to include in the EIS.

Thank you for your attention in this matter.

Sincerely,

Gregory Helms, Ph.D.

Gregory Krivchenia (#2440)

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

Gregory Lerwick (#7726)

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

Gregory Pitsch (#8422)

Date Submitted: 01/17/2013
Comment:
Rail traffic through Bellingham (as well as other communities) will be greatly increased. It will present noise, congestion and safety problems.

Gregory Pulliam (#4590)

Date Submitted: 11/29/12
Location: Superior, CO
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

Gregory Roberts (#14248)

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

Gregory Sotir (#1155)

Date Submitted: 10/23/2012
Location: Portland, OR
Comment:
I would request that you perform scoping on the effects of increased coal transport to combustion in regards to ocean acidification and increased CO2 ocean acidifications effects on marine invertebrates, fish, and plankton, sea vegetation, and coral reefs.

Gregory Wolgamot (#558)

Date Submitted: 10/08/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I am concerned about train derailments. Over the past summer, there were a multitude of coal train derailments, one of which was highly publicised because it killed 2 college girls. Apparently coal trains are more likely to derail, beause the coal dust (which, according to BNSF, amounts to 500 lbs per car = 37 TONS for a 150 car train) damages the tracks. Also, I have heard that a coal train derailment into Montana's Clark Fork River is now part of a taxpayer funded Superfund cleanup site.
It seems that if the project goes forward, a coal train derailment into the Columbia River or Puget Sound is inevitable. I would like to know the probabilit that this will occur in the next 30 years, what the environmental damag would be (including introduction of heavy metals into the water), the extent to which this can be cleaned up (nearly impossible in a river, it would seem), who would pay for the cleanup, and the cost of cleanup.

Thanks!

Gregory Wolgamot (#660)

Date Submitted: 10/12/2012
Comment:
Dear Alice, Tyler, and Patricia;

You have a very important job to assemble concerns to be addressed during GPT scoping, and we appreciate your work on this. I must say I was disappointed to hear that concerns would be limited to 2 minutes. This project has a 50 year lifespan, and I have only 2 minutes to voice my concerns? And considering the space of only a few hours, most people will never get a chance to speak. This is a more complex issue than that.

Please consider pushing for additional pubic scoping meetings. It is important for people to publicly hear what issues others are raising. Not everyone has enough internet skills to be able to read the posted comments. If people cannot hear what concerns others have, then most people will simply default to "coal dust", which is actually overshadowed by multiple more complex issues.

Thank you,
Greg Wolgamot

Gregory Wolgamot (#11005)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Comment:
Dear US Army Corps of Engineers, Whatcom County Council, and Dept of Ecology,

The Washington State Dept of Health has submitted a scoping comment, asking for a Health Impact Assessment. In that request, they asked that the benefits of health insurance for people having new jobs be included. This is reasonable, but if this is to be included, then the impacts of LOST jobs must also be included in a similar manner. i.e, if impacts of jobs are to be considered, then it should be the NET jobs.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment, and thank you for your consideration.

gretchen barden (#9708)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Burlington, WA
Comment:
I oppose having the coal trains coming through my community.

Gretchen Grayum (#11159)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Helena, MT
Comment:
I totally oppose coal trains being allowed to travel through Helena, MT. Coal is toxic and dirty and the dust escapes into our city air and environment, thus adversely affecting our people, pets, wildlife and everything it touches. There are books on coal causing cancer. Also an important factor is that traffic is already held up way too many times during the day and night, by trains traveling on tracks through Benton Avenue and Montana Avenue ~~~ this situation is hazardous for human lives as it holds up emergency vehicles such as ambulances and fire trucks. All of these hazards need to be seriously considered in the EIS process. Last but far from least, export of coal has a devastating affect on global warming which is ruining our planet.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment. Sincerely, Gretchen Grayum

Gretchen Gretchen Wenzl (#6781)

Date Submitted: 01/10/2013
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
Please do not put the proposed coal terminal in. The dust from the coal can potentially damage habitats and fisheries. It can also impact water quality. Furthermore, working with coal is hazardous to people's health.

Please help preserve the environment and our quality of living by not putting the coal terminal in.

Gretchen Mueller (#8810)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Location: Friday Harbor, WA
Comment:
I'm very concerned on many levels...
1) The increased traffic this will bring to the Salish Sea, and the negative impacts this vessel traffic will have on endangered species (e.g. Southern Resident Orcas; eelgrass, etc.); even with in tact vessels in calm waters, the increased under-sea noise will make it even harder for SRKWs to echolocate their food
2) Why are we promoting coal--an unclean, non-renewable energy source? We don't need to help other areas of the globe pollute, not to mention the environmental footprint of the cross-Pacific shipping
3) Long-term job loss projections due to the Pugent Sound greatly outweigh short-term job gains
4) Negative impact on businesses cut off from customers due to the increased number of trains and long wait times at RR crossings (especially hard on the Seattle waterfront)

There has to be a better way for the world to get it's energy, and for WA to get jobs! This isn't it!

Gretchen Randolph (#8404)

Date Submitted: 01/11/13
Comment:
Deny Gateway Pacific's proposal for coal export terminal.

This proposal is tantamount to dumping black cancerous dust on people living in the Gorge. I have a home overlooking the Columbia River and Klickitat Rivers. The railroad track runs within 50 feet of my front door. Families with children live on this same street. No one can breath black dust and live. ie the Black lung coal miners disease.
How can Gateway corporation propose turning our railroad track into a killing machine?

Please deny this proposal for Gateway's export terminal. This is a shameful proposal.

Gretchen Randolph

--
Gretchen Randolph, Ph.D., PMHNP
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

Gretchen Rupp (#3510)

Date Submitted: 11/20/12
Location: Bozeman, MT
Comment:
Dear colleagues:
Please find attached scoping comments for the GPT/Custer Spur Environmental Impact Statement.
Best regards,
Gretchen Rupp
Attached Files:

Gretchen Swanson (#4114)

Date Submitted: 12/06/12
Location: Vancouver, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Gretchen Wing (#2250)

Date Submitted: 11/02/2012
Location: Lopez Island, WA
Comment:
Dear Sirs/Madames,

I live on the south end of Lopez Island, and I am writing to ask that you give special attention to the potential impact of the increased traffic of coal-bearing ships which would result from the Cherry Point coal terminal on the coastline of our delicate island ecosystem. Specifically, I worry about the possibility of a disastrous fuel spill in these waters, given that the ships in question would be single-hulled and without benefit of tug escort in the often stormy, often foggy Strait.

Our islands survive these days largely through tourism, either directly through tourist services like food, lodging and whale-watching, or indirectly through the farms and other small businesses that feed into our economy. Fishing is another large, and traditional, industry. A catastrophic oil spill would stop tourists for years to come and devastate our fishing fleet, to say nothing of its impact on the food chain which supports our famous resident orca pods.

In your upcoming study, I am asking you to please study the impact of the wreck of a single coal-bearing ship on the ecosystem of the southern end of Lopez Island by looking at the effects of spilled diesel fuel on both the eelgrass beds along the shoreline, and the herring population which functions as “canary in the coal mine” for our salmon and orcas.

I realize the economic potential of Cherry Point is huge and am doubtful of the practicality of stopping such a venture at this point, so my aim is for the greatest mitigation possible of its negative effects.

Thank you very much for hearing our requests.

Sincerely,

Gretchen K. Wing

Gretchen Wing (#8034)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Location: Lopez Island, WA
Comment:
I have lived in the Pacific Northwest for 23 years, the past three on Lopez Island, and I agree with those who argue that, in light of climate change and the sixth great species extinction imminent, the levels of toxins involved in burning coal and the negative health effects make it ridiculous to ship coal overseas when we are shutting down our coal burning plants in the Pacific Northwest in an effort to clean up our air and cut down on Co2 burning. The dangers of shipping coal by rail are many. Coal dust makes the rails slick and creating a greater possibility of derailment and since the rail goes along many of our rivers and other waterways, such an accident could contaminate our waters and kill the fish and other living creatures dependent on these important eco-systems. In addition, the increasing number of heavy and loud coal trains will mean increased noise levels. Noise impact needs to be considered in the EIS. Finally, I am extremely concerned that the Gateway coal project's reliance on huge ships will lead to those ships' anchors disturbing the toxic sediments. This issue should also be studied in the EIS.

Gretchen Wing (#9399)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Lopez Island , WA
Comment:
I live on the southern end of Lopez Island, and would like to request that the commission study the effect of coal port construction and operations, and the over 950 annual transits of immense coal ships with all the risks of collisions and oil spills, on the various aspects of the Salish Sea we have all come to count on: tourism, boating; salmon, crab, and herring fisheries; the vitality of endangered species like orcas; and the general beauty, and livability of our islands.

For my friends who live near the train tracks, I request the commission to study the impact of noise and vibrations of unusually long, heavy and frequent trains on two aspects: 1) property values and the structural integrity of homes near the tracks, and 2) chronic noise exposure on the health and quality of life of people living, working, and playing nearby.

Other health concerns I would like the commission to study: How will cancer, heart disease, asthma and other health risks be affected by air and water pollutions associated with coal transport and export? How will additional rail and ship traffic affect accident and collision rates?

Finally, I would like the commission to study the cost to taxpayers of the proposed terminal. 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?

Gretchen Wing (#10792)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Lopez Island, 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.

When 1 ton of coal is burned, it combines with 2.7 tons of oxygen to
make 3.7 tons of CO2. If we ship 40 million tons of coal per year for 20 years, that will produce 3 billion tons of CO2.

The oceans will become acidic as they absorb a large portion of this excess CO2. According to the University of Hawaii, 50% of the world's oceans currently have the right pH for shell formation. They forecast hat unless we drastically reduce CO2 emissions immediately, by the end of the century, only 5% of the oceans will be good enough for shell fish.

In addition, calcium carbonate is not only the universal antacid, it is the only ingredient in agricultural lime which farmers use to provide the calcium in our food.

Gregoire and Ruckelshaus have proposed a $3 million program to reduce the acidity in Puget Sound. This might include adding calcium carbonate by the trainload into the waters of Puget Sound.
Farmers know that calcium is a major mineral requirement for food production. Calcium is continually removed from the soil by plants, and has to be replenished every year.

Calcium carbonate is a very important non-renewable resource. We shouldn't be dumping it into the oceans to mitigate for coal burning. There are substitutes for fossil fuels, but there is no substitute for
calcium. Once it is dumped into the oceans it is gone for eons. It is far smarter to avoid the problem in the first place—that is, to halt the plan to build a coal terminal.

If you do proceed, be sure to address ocean acidification and the long term consequences of depleting our reserves of calcium carbonate. Please include in your report, how long our reserves will last, what will happen as the reserves become less accessible, and what will happen when we run out.

Gretchen Woody (#9731)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Everson, WA
Comment:
No coal trains!

Gudrun Murti (#1442)

Date Submitted: 10/17/12
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Gunnar Christiansen (#10595)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Acme, WA
Comment:
I am against the shipping of coal to China. The whole process of coal shipping and burning is too damaging to our environment. Time to move on from the utilization of coal.

There is also an imbalance: the coal and shipping companies will make a lot of money on this, while our communities suffer the cost of additional infrastructure and more congestion at railway crossings.

Gunnarson David (#9843)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
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. Thank you!

Gus Winkes (#1881)

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 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. Any inappropriate segmenting of the EIS will produce inaccurate and biased results. The purpose of the EIS process is to make fully informed decisions, not to turn a blind eye to the cumulative consequences of the agency action. I hope that the Corps will conduct an EIS that is commensurate with the severe risk presented by coal exports to our communities.




Gus Winkes
3631 Bagley Ave N
Seattle, WA 98103

Gustaf Sarkkinen (#13447)

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

The idea of exporting coal is rather stupid. We need/will need this fuel for our own uses. It is insane to "give" mineral rights away and have those minerals sold overseas for paltry sums just so a few can get rich. ENOUGH already.

Guy Burneko (#492)

Date Submitted: 09/25/12
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 following is a letter I mailed in June 2012 to the persons and bodies named. I will continue to send similar messages until the coal train initiative is stopped. Thanks for your timely and helpful consideration.

Gov. Gregoire
Sen. Cantwell
Sen. Murray
Rep. McDermott
Seattle City Council
Whatcom County Council

Dear Readers:

I feel strongly enough opposed to the prospect of numerous, large coal trains moving across Washington and in our respective locales to write simply to affirm the proven evidence, and the measurable likelihood that. . .

Coal is dirty as a source of energy, dirty, disruptive and dangerous to transport, unhealthful, and in its continued use as fuel only exacerbates long-excessive global tendencies to consumerism and a mentality of acquisition and development in disregard of proven environmental exigencies.

I'm not inclined to lecture or moralize. I will add a personal note. I like living in Seattle not far from Golden Gardens where trains pass regularly. Numerous and exceptionally long coal trains are not an inducement to stay here, nor is the cost of living. Yet when with my partner I make visits to Bellingham as a possible alternative, the prospect of coal trains there is no inducement to move to Whatcom County either.

We love Washington State and regret that there may be fewer suitable places to live if to already extant health, traffic and environmental concerns is added that of massive coal shipments.

Thanks very much for your thoughtful consideration. And good luck in your future work and service.

Sincerely,

Guy Burneko

Guy Burneko (#2571)

Date Submitted: 11/09/2012
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
This comment expands on one I made to the following --
Gov. Gregoire, Sen. Cantwell, Sen. Murray, Rep. McDermott, Seattle City Council, Whatcom County Council -- on 6.09.12

I think any environmental impat scoping should include every bit of the geographical region(s) through which rail traffic might transport coal shipments.

And I feel strongly enough opposed to the prospect of numerous, large coal trains moving across Washington and in our respective locales to write simply to affirm the proven evidence, and the measurable likelihood that. . .

Coal is dirty as a source of energy, dirty, disruptive and dangerous to transport, unhealthful and environmentally harmful to burn, and -- most problematically in my view -- in its continued use as fuel only exacerbates long-excessive global tendencies to unsustainable consumerism and to a mentality of production, acquisition and development in disregard of proven environmental exigencies and ecohumane well-being.

I’m not inclined to lecture or moralize. But I will add a personal note. I like living in Seattle not far from where trains pass regularly. Numerous and exceptionally long coal trains are not an inducement to stay here. Yet when with my partner I make visits to Bellingham as a possible alternative, the prospect of coal trains there is no inducement to move to Whatcom County either.

Massive coal shipments are environmentally, socially and irremediably exploitive in their long term costs to civic and to physical health. The few jobs produced in this highly technologized industry do not compare with the huge gains by coal interests (which, if I understand correctly, pay practically zero for the coal they mine from federal lands and sell at immense private profit, and whose railway and related maintenance -- e. g., tracks, as well as necessary stoplights, over- and under-passes, emergency medical provisions, etc. -- are some 95% borne by local communities and jurisdictions).

No more coal. There is plenty of wind, tide, sun, running water (not to say conservation practices) to create energy, and the technologies and the jobs in whose benefits we can all share

Thanks very much for your thoughtful consideration.

Guy Burneko, Ph.D.

Guy Burneko (#12918)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
I cannot make myself more clear than I have repeatedly, e. g.

Army Corps of Engineers, Washington Department of Ecology Gov. Gregoire Sen. Cantwell Sen. Murray Rep. McDermott Seattle City Council Whatcom County Council

Dear Readers:

I feel strongly enough opposed to the prospect of numerous, large coal trains moving across Washington and in our respective locales to write simply to affirm the proven evidence, and the measurable likelihood that. . .

Coal is dirty as a source of energy, dirty, disruptive and dangerous to transport, unhealthful, and in its continued use as fuel only exacerbates long-excessive global tendencies to consumerism and a mentality of acquisition and development in disregard of proven environmental exigencies.

I'm not inclined to lecture or moralize. I will add a personal note. I like living in Seattle not far from Golden Gardens where trains pass regularly. Numerous and exceptionally long coal trains are not an inducement to stay here, nor is the cost of living. Yet when with my partner I make visits to Bellingham as a possible alternative, the prospect of coal trains there is no inducement to move to Whatcom County either.

We love Washington State and regret that there may be fewer suitable places to live if to already extant health, traffic and environmental concerns is added that of massive coal shipments.

Thanks very much for your thoughtful consideration. And good luck in your future work and service.

We 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.

Guy Johnson (#3006)

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

Gwen Hunter (#1927)

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

Gwen Innes (#5386)

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

Gwen Parker (#5971)

Date Submitted: 01/04/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I request that you study the potential effects that coal dust from the terminal site and along the railroad lines will have on Puget Sound and local waterways, our wildlife (both land and marine), our farms, our wetlands, our property like homes and boats, and especially our health. I believe this project is in conflict with our nation's Clean Water and Clean Air Acts.
Thank you.

Gwen Parker (#5973)

Date Submitted: 01/04/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I request that environmental impact studies include the potential worsening of air quality from the coal to be exported, being burned in China. We know that their pollution floats back to us. It would be better if we never dug that coal in the first place.
Thank you

Gwen Weinert (#6410)

Date Submitted: 01/09/2013
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
I strongly oppose any additional coal being transported through the city of Seattle (or anywhere in Washington State) and wish to voice my opposition. Please, our city and state are moving in the right direction when it comes to reducing greenhouse emissions. If China and Montana want to figure out a way to trade dirty coal, let them figure out another way. Don't use our state to enable this garbage. I hate to be a NIMBY about it, but seriously, the transportation of coal brings up serious issues of public health. I'm sure China will get by just fine without importing more filthy coal.

Gylan and Joyce Dickey (#12726)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
Location: Lebanon, OR
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington and anywhere else. 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.

If one believes in a ''global economy", why would one want to ship dirt coal to China or other countries? Dirty coal is not an acceptable energy source here or anywhere else, The damage is too severe to out economy, health and environment. Is it OK to suffer all the pollution to get the coal over to Chine just to have the degraded air and cause climate change there when we all breath the same air eventually anyway and suffer from global climate change no matter where we are on the globe. It makes no sense. Stop the export of pollution!

H. Craig Keyes (#12463)

Date Submitted: 01/21/13
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.
Additionally I would like the aspect of global air pollution addressed.
Here on the west coast we are already impacted by the horrendous air pollution emminating from the coal fired plants in China. Commerce and jobs for Washington state yes, but not at the expense of the health of our citizens and environment. Lets move on with 21st century technology and leave the days of black lung behind.

Haifa Iversen (#1359)

Date Submitted: 10/24/12
Location: Stanwood, 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 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.

How will the construction of the cherry point terminal impact wetlands?
How will the shipping of coal impact threatened and endangered species: herring, salmon, orcas and the consequently the Puget Sound food web?
How will the shipping of coal through Bellingham, Wa and the Puget Sound impact biodiversity?

Please consider the negative impact that this terminal, transport, and shipping of coal will have on the Pacific Northwest and globally.

Thank you for your time

Haifa Iversen (#2238)

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

Hailee Nuera (#5389)

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

Hal Enerson (#291)

Date Submitted: 09/26/12
Location: Port Angeles, wa
Comment:
I am writing to state my strong opposition to the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington. This proposal would negatively affect the 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,

Hal Enerson

Hal Enerson (#13770)

Date Submitted: 01/16/13
Comment:
I am adamantly AGAINST 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 EIS to assess the cumulative impact of these proposals.

Hal Glidden (#7637)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
From my home I overlook Bellingham Bay and am very familiar with the local crabbing and fishing activities. I can also see the oil tankers anchored in Samish Bay to the south. At times this anchorage gets overcrowded and tankers are brought into the northern end of the bay for anchorage. The anchoring of these vessels causes damage to the sea bed which is detrimental to the local fishing and crabbing industry. The proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT) will require substantial vessel traffic, of the largest type, and the anchoring opportunities in protected waters are limited. In adverse weather conditions or when dock space is occupied at the GPT facility, these large vessels are likely to seek protected anchorage in Bellingham and Samish Bays just as the oil tankers do. Given their size, the coal-carrying vessels cause much greater sea bed damage as they swing on their large anchors, destroying habitat and releasing sediment and possibly toxins into the marine environment. Substantial damage to the local crabbing and fishing industries is likely. Please study the effect of large marine vessel anchorage in Bellingham and Samish Bays and other waters nearby the Cherry Point GPT site on the seabed and associated marine life, with particular emphasis on the crab and fish populations. This study should include the present oil tanker anchoring activity as well as the projected coal-carrier vessels that will be seeking anchoring sites in the vicinity of the GPT and the cumulative environmental damage should be quantified from a fisheries-management and economic impact perspective.

Hal Glidden (#7652)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
The large, coal-carrying vessels required to serve the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal will have substantial water ballast from Asian waters. This ballast water must be discharged prior to arriving at the GPT facility docks for loading of coal. With up to three ships at dock at any one time and others likely to be at anchor in the vicinity, the volume of ballast water discharge will be substantial. This discharge, if it takes place in Puget Sound waters, has the potential to introduce toxins and/or foreign marine organisms that can damage the marine environment. Please study the location, volume and water-quality aspects of this ballast-water discharge as it may impact the marine environment in Puget Sound.

Hal Glidden (#7678)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
The substantial marine vessel traffic and loading docks required to serve the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT) will cause significant disruption to the marine environment in Cherry Point. Deep draft, large volume cargo vessels operating close to shore, as well as associated tugboat activity will disturb the marine environment and materially increase the likelihood of localized pollution from diesel fumes, fuel spills and coal (or other bulk commodity) discharge. The Cherry Point Herring population, a recognized local marine resource already in danger, is a critical component of the food chain in the local fisheries and must be protected. Please study the impacts of GPT activity on the Cherry Point Herring population, with particular emphasis on the marine environment and the sustainability of the fishery.

Hal Glidden (#8045)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I reside in Bellingham, WA and live within three blocks of the single-rail, main track segment running on a causeway along Bellingham Bay. My experience with the present level of rail traffic is not positive. The rail traffic has increased substantially over the past three years and runs on a 24/7 schedule. As the trains run at night I experience sleep disruption on a continuing basis caused by the low-frequency noise and vibration of the diesel engines, the screeching and squealing of rail cars, and the loud horn blowing along the route and at crossings. Coal train traffic, in particular, is a problem due to the heavily loaded rail cars, long train length, and multiple diesel engines (up to 5 per train) that are required to maximize the carrying capacity. The decibel levels are substantial, even three blocks from the tracks, and the diesel fumes from the multiple, large engines in use pollute my neighborhood. There is a passing siding along a portion of the causeway and trains often are parked there for extended periods of time, with engines running. This adds to the pollution level on a daily basis. Further north, where there is a rail yard near the Squalicum Marina, the BNSF leaves two diesel engines running continuously, causing a significant point source of diesel pollution. There is no regard for the environment or human health in this activity.

This utter lack of regard, or responsibility, on the part of the BNSF railroad for the noise and air pollution and community disruption is a poor backdrop for its plans (with SSA Marine) to double daily rail traffic to serve the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT). Running heavy freight at maximum capacity along this single-track route on a 24/7 basis imposes great harm to the community in the form of noise pollution, air pollution from diesel fumes, devaluation of property values, impaired access at rail crossings for residents, businesses and emergency vehicles. Additionally, the heavy freight traffic along this single-track route segment can be expected to result in capacity constraints and disruptions for passenger rail service. BNSF acknowledges that improvements to the rail lines in Bellingham and Whatcom County will be required to serve the GPT facility but has not provided any specifics that can be evaluated as part of the EIS. One possibility is the construction of a second passing siding along the Bellingham waterfront that would cut off access to Boulevard Park, the city's premier waterfront recreational area. In the absence of a detailed plan by BNSF as to how it will use and develop its rail assets to move the large volume of freight required by the GPT, no proper evaluation of the off-site GPT environmental impacts can be made.

Please study the impacts of the proposed (GPT based) increase in rail traffic along the single-track rail segment in Bellingham as it relates to noise levels (day and night), air pollution from diesel fumes, vibration damage to nearby structures, property values within 3,000 feet of the rail line, traffic disruption and wait times for vehicles and pedestrians at rail crossings, assess to public parks, passenger rail service (frequency and reliability), and the economic redevelopment of public lands in proximity to the rail line. To the maximum extent possible, any study of impacts should compare baseline (present day) conditions to the conditions expected to exist as a result of the planned increase in rail traffic to serve GPT.

Hal Glidden (#9798)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
The Strait of Georgia, which the GPT site at Cherry Point adjoins, is an important fishing area for five species of Pacific salmon -- Sockeye, Chinook, Coho, Pink and Chum. These fish are important to the local fishing industry and represent a food source protected by treaty with tribal populations in our area.

The Cherry Point Herring population is recognized as a critical marine resource and an important element of the food chain for the Salmon and other larger marine species. This herring population has a different spawning timeline than other pacific herring and thereby provides forage fish essential to the health of many other predator fish species and marine mammals. This established herring population is known to congregate and spawn near the shoreline of the proposed GPT. Adult herring congregate for about a month in a holding area just offshore of the inter- and subtidal areas of the beach where spawning takes place in eelgrass and macroalgae. After the larvae emerge they drift in the currents near the shore for two to three months before becoming juveniles.

The proposed GPT facility is located in the middle of the documented Cherry Point Herring spawning grounds and the pre-spawning holding area is directly offshore. The proposed pier, which is almost 3,000 feet long and supported by 720, 48-inch diameter piles driven up to 80 feet into the seabed, is in immediate proximity to this holding area. Its design capacity of up to three, Cape Class bulk carrier vessels on a daily basis will produce a continuous stream of deep-draft vessel and associated tugboat traffic traveling through and within the Cherry Point Herring holding area. Additional impacts on the spawning grounds will result from the shading of the near-shore areas by the large pier and trestle and the berthed bulk cargo vessels, all of which degrade the environment for eelgrass and macroalge necessary for spawning.

As mentioned in the GPT Project Information Document, herring respond to auditory inputs and the response can produce avoidance response in the form of school compaction, seeking greater water depth, or flight out of the area. Any one of these outcomes has the potential to cause material disruption of the marine ecosystem necessary for the Cherry Point Herring population and may endanger their survival. Marine vessels underway generate noise in the range of 145dB, which is loud by any standard, and can be expected to impact the Cherry Point Herring population. This noise impact will start with construction of the GPT trestle and pier and then will become a permanent and significant fixture of the marine environment as vessel traffic serves the GPT. The projected 487 bulk carriers using the GPT facility per year augmented by the substantial vessel-assist operations represent a major impact on the Cherry Point and Strait of Georgia marine ecosystems that cannot be ignored.

The Washington Department of Natural Resources established the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve in the year 2000 and finalized an Aquatic Reserve Management Plan in 2010. The boundary of the reserve extends 5,000 feet beyond the marine shoreline and includes all tidelands and marine areas to a depth of -70 feet below MLLW (mean lower low water). Threats to this aquatic reserve have been identified in the form of overwater structures, loss of riparian vegetation, armoring of shoreline, air deposition of pollutants, excessive intermittent sound, vessel traffic, oil spills and invasive species among others.

The GPT by its very nature will produce unavoidable impacts in most if not all of these areas. No EIS should proceed without a robust analysis of the potential damage to the Cherry Point Herring population and associated marine ecosystems resulting from the construction and operation of the GPT. The spillover effects on the salmon population and other marine species in the Strait of Georgia need to be studied in detail and subjected to rigorous analysis as part of any EIS for the GPT project.

Hal Glidden (#9965)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I reside in the south side of Bellingham and am three blocks from the main line running on the causeway in Bellingham Bay. As the level of coal train traffic has ramped up in recent years, a 4-million ton increase from 2009 to 2010 alone, the existence of air pollution from diesel exhaust has become evident. The prevailing winds from the south/southwest blow the diesel exhaust towards our neighborhood and you can see it and smell it in the air. Grime from the diesel soot is also evident on the exterior of our house and on the windows. This pollution is of concern to me as a health issue for my family and the substantial population within Bellingham and Whatcom County near the rail lines serving the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT). The large increase in coal train traffic and haul tonnage (train length) associated with the GPT will mean more diesel engines laboring in our immediate vicinity on a 24/7 basis, significantly increasing the population exposure to diesel exhaust fumes and pollutants.

It is well known that diesel exhaust contains more than 40 toxic air contaminants, carcinogens, ozone-forming compounds, and fine particulate matter (soot). Exposure to the soot component of diesel exhaust, alone, is known to contribute to asthma attacks, bronchitis, heart disease, lung cancer and strokes. The longer, coal unit-trains required to serve the GPT will be 7,000 to 8,000 feet in length and require five large diesel engines. The addition of 18 such trains per day to the current level of coal train traffic in our neighborhood will result in our exposure to 90 additional heavy diesel locomotives and their exhaust pollution over and above our current situation. The resultant increase in air pollution will be significant and unavoidable. The only mitigation measure possible would be to drastically reduce the number of trains, their length and the number of locomotives employed.

On the GPT site, itself, significant levels of air pollution from diesel exhaust can be expected as a result of rail operations at the premises. The GPT facility, as proposed, will be the largest coal export terminal on the West Coast, with an annual capacity of 48 million metric tons of coal and an additional 6 million metric tons of other bulk commodities. Development of the site for coal-handling will be on a massive scale. The initial phase, called the "East Loop," will have an open, 80-105 acre stockyard for uncovered storage of coal in 62 foot high piles of 2,500 feet in length. The East Loop will also accommodate multi-train dumping and is designed to stage up to eight trains, either inbound or outbound. Activity at this level will result in 40 diesel locomotives operating on site at any given time. The second phase of GPT development, known as the "West Loop," will not have an open stockyard for coal storage and handling (covered facilities are planned) but is designed to stage an additional two coal trains for unloading plus another coal train for departure. This means as many as 15 additional large diesel locomotives will be operating on this portion of the site at any given time. As a result, the GPT can be expected to generate point-source air pollution from the engine exhaust of as many as 55 large diesel locomotives at any given time. The level of air pollution will be substantial and unavoidable, given the nature and scale of activity operating on a 24/7 basis.

GPT-based air pollution from diesel locomotives will be augmented by the marine diesel exhaust from bulk-carrier vessels and tugboat operations for approach, docking and departure at the terminal wharf. Marine diesels typically run on heavy bunker oil that produces more pollution than other forms of diesel fuel. The staging of up to 487 large, bulk carrier vessels at the terminal wharf on an annual basis represents another, significant, point-source air pollution impact on the environment and should be part of any environmental review of the GPT project.

Yet another adverse environmental impact will be from coal dust. Coal from the Powder River Basin (PRB), which GPT will handle exclusively, is particularly friable and notoriously difficult to control. The unloading, staging and open-air storage will produce coal dust that can become air born and escape into the atmosphere and general vicinity for as much as a five-mile radius. The GPT site is on the coast at a location where high-wind events occur regularly as part of the normal weather pattern. The Westshore coal export terminal just a short distance to the north in British Columbia has experienced significant coal dust release due to wind events and as much as 715 metric tons have been released annually. This facility is only half the size of the proposed, fully-developed GPT and uses an open stockyard like the one planned for the East Loop of GPT. Air born coal dust can be expected to travel up to five miles from the GPT site and will contaminate the soil and waterways in its path. There are multiple locations of environmentally sensitive habitat, parks, residential development and farming within a five-mile radius of the GPT site. The Washington Department of Natural Resources acts as trustee for an adjacent parcel of land that is to be managed for the benefit of public schools in the state. Nearby is the1,500 acre Lake Terrell Wildlife Area managed by the Washington Department of Fisheries and Wildlife. The eastern boundary of this environmentally sensitive area is less than one mile from the GPT site. Other major public spaces within two miles of the GPT site are the 194-acre, Birch Bay State Park, with over 8,000 feet of saltwater shoreline and 15,000 feet of freshwater frontage on Terrell Creek, and the 54-acre, Point Whitehorn Marine Reserve. Residential development is within 1.5 miles of the GPT site. Since all of these areas are to the north or east of the GPT site, the prevailing winds will distribute any coal dust from the GPT site in their respective environments, impacting air quality, soil and waterways.

Any EIS for the GPT should include a thorough measurement and analysis of the anticipated air pollution and coal dust release generated by the development and operation of the GPT. These site-specific sources of air, land and waterway pollution must be identified in detail, measured and analyzed as to their impacts on the environment and human health in Whatcom County. Given the scale of the GPT project and the intensity of its operations, the burden of proof on environmental impact must weigh on the side of prevention as opposed to mitigation.

Hal Glidden (#10611)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
The permit application for the Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT) at Cherry Point in Whatcom County represents the largest of five coal-export terminals proposed at West Coast locations in Washington State and Oregon. The GPT capacity of 48 million metric tons annually (coal) combined with the other terminals proposed at Longview, WA (Millennium Bulk Terminals), Clatskanie, OR (Port Westward), Boardman, OR (Port Morrow), and Coos Bay, OR (Coos Bay) represent a coal-export capacity of at least 140 million metric tons, all of which are targeted at Asian markets. Collectively these coal-export initiatives serve to expand US coal exports by 50 percent and serve to protect and augment the profits of coal-mining companies in the face of declining domestic coal demand due to more stringent air quality standards.

Exporting US coal to Asia as a cheap energy source will encourage the construction of coal-fired power plants and industrial activities to the detriment of the Asian population and to the global environment. In the absence of a steady supply of cheap US coal, Asian power plants and industrial uses would be more likely to look for cleaner sources of energy such as natural gas, hydro electric, or wind.

It is a scientific fact that the burning of coal is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, especially carbon dioxide, and CO2 buildup in the atmosphere is the largest contributor to global warming. Burning coal also releases nitrogen and sulfur oxides causing ocean acidification. The associated climatic changes and changes in ocean chemistry are scientifically proven major threats to human health, safety, and the food supply.

Pollution from the combustion of coal in Asia does not stay in Asia but travels across the Pacific Ocean, driven eastward by the prevailing winds and air currents. These air-born pollutants such as CO2, nitrogen and sulfur oxides, and mercury will impact the West Coast and continental US causing the very harm to human health, the environment, and economy that we sought to avoid by the adoption of tighter domestic air quality standards.

The coal export scheme represented by the Washington and Oregon terminal facilities is at variance with our national interest because it degrades our ability to achieve domestic air quality standards and promotes global warming. Air pollution knows no boundaries and the US is in the direct path of pollutants generated by Asian coal burning activities.

President Obama in his inaugural address on January 21, 2012 recognized the global scope of climate change and our need, as Americans, to respond to this threat to ourselves and others. In this context we must face the reality that promoting the export of a powerful global warming and pollution-generating commodity such as coal is a fool's errand. It is a bold-faced request to privatize profits (for coal companies, railroads, terminal and shipping operators) and impose the negative health and economic consequences on the public at large. The federal government, through the actions of its various agencies involved in the permitting process for the GPT and other proposed coal-export terminals, should live up to its commitments to protect public health and the environment and not play a facilitative role in coal export schemes.

In November 2012, in Washington State where the GPT facility is proposed, Governor Christine Gregoire issued an executive order initiating action in response to one of the most direct environmental impacts of coal burning -- ocean acidification. This Executive Order directs "the Office of the Governor and the cabinet agencies that report to the Governor to advocate for reductions in emissions of carbon dioxide at a global, national and regional level." In the face of this Executive Order, the Washington State agencies involved in the GPT permitting process should not be promoting or facilitating a coal-export scheme. The focus of these State agencies in the EIS process should be to analyze and document the unavoidable impacts of increased coal burning activities here and abroad and ensure that the State "does no harm." In light of the above Executive Order, Washington State must deny any permits for coal-export facilities or choose the "no action" alternative.

In all aspects, the EIS for the GPT needs to look at the the cumulative impact of all five coal-export terminals proposed for the West Coast. I ask that the EIS be programmatic in scope to identify, quantify and evaluate the combined impacts of these facilities.

Hal Glidden (#11434)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
The large scale, Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT) proposed for the Cherry Point site in Whatcom County will require the rail transport of vast quantities of coal on a daily basis. This is an unavoidable consequence of the GPT project. As many as nine additional loaded coal trains will traverse the BNSF rail route along the Washington coast to reach the GPT facility. Each coal train will be 7,000 to 8,000 feet in length and require four or five large diesel locomotives. Once unloaded at GPT, these trains will head back to the mines for reloading, a distance of 1,050 miles.

In Washington State there are 75 cities and 19 counties along the rail route, all of which will be impacted by the proposed quantum increase in heavy coal train traffic. The high-volume operation of heavy coal train traffic along this rail route will disrupt the social and economic lives of residents and cause economic harm to businesses and property owners. Access to the workplace, businesses and residences will be more frequently blocked and for longer duration at rail crossings. Response times for public safety and emergency vehicles will be increased substantially. Property and infrastructure near the rail route will be subject to damage from the persistent vibration of heavily laden coal unit trains. The noise generated by trains, from rail cars, diesel locomotives and the blowing of horns at crossings, will be present 24/7 and will degrade property values and business opportunities in the vicinity.

Adverse impacts from the physical and economic disruption of community life will be augmented by increased pollution from diesel locomotive exhaust and coal dust escaping from coal cars. Diesel exhaust and coal dust have been well documented as harmful to human health because they promote respiratory conditions like asthma and bronchitis, as well as increasing the incidence of heart disease, cancer and strokes.

Communities along the rail route serving the GPT will be faced with extraordinary costs to mitigate the impact of heavy coal train traffic. Rail crossings will need upgrading and may have to be grade separated to maintain adequate traffic flow. Buildings may have to be sound-proofed to make them usable. Utilities may have to be hardened or relocated to withstand the effects of vibration. The tax base will shrink if property values decline due to access constraints, pollution, noise impacts and economic disruption. In nearly all cases the railroad responsible for these impacts contributes no more than 5-10 percent of the cost for mitigation, leaving these communities to bear the public cost of the remaining 95-90 percent. The private gain is fully captured by the railroad but the associated costs are externalized to the local population.

The large increase in heavy coal train traffic along the BNSF route to serve the GPT will constrict rail capacity and scheduling of other rail traffic for passenger service and non-coal freight service. Maintenance requirements will be increased, further compounding rail impacts on surrounding communities. The persistent problem of mudslides along portions of the route will be exacerbated by the large increase in ground-loading and vibration due to increased heavy coal train traffic. Each mudslide event disrupts passenger train service for 48 hours while freight traffic can resume as soon as the line is cleared.

In this broader perspective, it is clear that the rail transportation component of the GPT is directly responsible for unavoidable off-site impacts of significant geographic scope and imposes significant impacts on a large segment of the population and economy in Washington State.

As a resident of Bellingham, one of the 75 communities in Washington State directly impacted by the GPT-driven coal train traffic, I request that the EIS for the GPT be programmatic to encompass a thorough and detailed measurement, analysis and review of these off-site impacts.

Hal Glidden (#11557)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
From my home in Bellingham I view commercial and recreational fishing activity on a daily basis. The fishing industry is important to the local and state economy and should be managed on a sustainable basis. Such stewardship extends to the impact of industrial uses near the shoreline of Puget Sound and any associated water-borne activities.

The Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT), as proposed, has a design capacity 54 million metric tons of bulk commodities which will be loaded into large bulk carriers of the Panmax (85,000 long tons) and Capesize (180,000 long tons) class. The GPT pier and wharf is designed to accommodate up to three of these large vessels at any one time. Once berthed, these vessels will remain for several days before departing. The scale of GPT operations, at buildout, will require 318 Panamax Class vessels and 169 Capesize Class vessels to visit the GPT wharf for loading each year.

To access the GPT facility these large bulk carriers must traverse the Strait of Georgia, an important fishing area in Puget Sound. This marin