< Gateway Pacific Terminal/Custer Spur EIS

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

J Gray (#8059)

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

J Harriman (#1417)

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

J Page (#11536)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I am totally and completely against the coal trains.
This is just so wrong on so many levels, I don't know where to start. I live a half mile from the tracks in bellingham and there is a deep rumble and items shake in my house when a coal train goes by.....I don't even notice the passenger trains. What is that doing to the surrounding bluff areas and hillsides?? How can we expect property owners above the tracks to tolerate this?? The problems we will sustain (even though the coal dust is the environmental debate) are not even imaginable at this point. Once these people get a hold of our railroad system, it will be a complete nightmare.....so much worse than we can ever image. They have a ticket to destroy Bellingham forever! Traffic issues, bike and walking path safety, road deaths, real estate plummeting, water front parks and its attraction destroyed, hillsides being shaken and becoming unstable, a never ending succession of trains with loud horns blowing for miles....a minimum of one per hour, every hour, every single day. This will be intolerable. Unbearable.
All Bellingham has is its priceless and irreplaceable waterfront. If we don't have that, we have NOTHING. Our real estate, tourism, leisure time, property taxes and livelihoods are all tied to our desirable ocean location. We need to cherish and protect it anyway we can. We can find hundreds of other solutions (businesses) that will be great for our community and not be destructive in epidemic proportions just to do business here (example: amazon.com is employing 800 people at its new distribution center in the Du Pont, WA).
If our community and leaders allow this project to proceed, it will be so irresponsible and unconscionable, I can't even put it into words.
I haven't even mentioned the fact of the dirty, filthy environment destroying product they are shipping......it's not even to benefit a community or our own country....it's going to China! China needs to find a different solution to their energy problems, not create a catastrophic nightmare for other countries and communities. And we all know who will benefit from this destruction.....(not china-they get the pollution). It's the railroad, the mine owner and the cherry point investors.......it's all about the money.
As many negatives that we can foresee about this project, it is just the tip of the iceberg. We can't possibly know all the negative side effects that are going to come our way. Our city and its beauty will be ruined forever. We will be a dirty, noisy, broken down railroad town that no one wants to move to or visit. My life is here, my properties, my business.....I was born here. I care about this city and its future. Who could rationally and compassionately care for this city more than someone born and raised here?? Do we want to listen to (non born & raised) city leaders and outside investors that have ZERO at stake?? Please residents, just use common sense. Look at the western European countries...they intentionally reroute all their freight trains out of the cities and populated areas so as not to destroy their communities, waterfront and tourism trade. And they're not even carrying coal.......we're talking food and supplies.
I have read numerous letters from residents who live near coal mines and railroad tracks hauling coal....they plead "DON'T DO IT". Why would we be stupid enough to ignore these communities who have already suffered through this?
The solution to the job problem is not this...everyone, everywhere has a 'job' problem. This area of our country has always had a strong economic recovery turn around and is a very desirable location for businesses to anchor themselves...they will come.
We don't need an environmental impact study....just use common sense!!
I am speaking out and voting an absolute NO on the coal trains.
J. Page, Bellingham, WA

J Pressmar (#10616)

Date Submitted: 01/17/13
Location: Kalispell, MT
Comment:
Please say no to the Cherry Point terminal. 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 state 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.

J & M Garrell & Philbrick (#1400)

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

J B McGuire (#8517)

Date Submitted: 01/17/2013
Location: Olga, Wa
Comment:
Human beings are a major part of the environment. Our livelihood and quality of life must be part of this study; jobs are critical to our environment because, without them, we will be able to protect nothing. Oil has been safely coming into the refineries for many years and there is no reason whatsoever that coal cannot leave Bellingham just as safely.

J C Walker, Jr. (#5557)

Date Submitted: 12/29/2012
Comment:
Ingrid Enschede posted a story in the Birch Bay Watershed and Aquatic Resources Management District on Nov. 30 2012 of the resulting efforts of Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association on Terrell Creek http://www.bbwarm.whatcomcounty.org/news-and-event-stories/thesalmonarespawning-terrellcreekrestorationsuccess
The story details the reversing of decades of salmon impeded from spawning grounds by inadequate consideration in planning and development. Restoring passage ways and habitats are making a difference in the effort to thwart the declining salmon population. If one looks at the current direction in construction with regards to LEED standards or the auto industry pursuing a greater miles per gallon of their products, or the resurgence in organic farming throughout the world, an under lying theme of living with nature by recognizing our collective human footprint emerges.
Viewing the Google map in Ms. Enschede’s post, the proximity to the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal’s coal port is disturbing in light of what statistically is known already with regards to coal dust: http://www.coaltrainfacts.org/docs/coal-FAQ.pdf Whether from day to day operations ( with the best attempts to mitigate the effects ) or from an unintended spill from train derailment or maritime accidents, the vulnerability of a species in decline must be considered both from an ecological and economical point of view if a genuine attempt to pursue the rewards of living with nature for current and future generations are to be realized.
About the same time as Ms. Enschede’s posted the NSEA story, I was walking my dog around our property and saw this: http://transitionwhatcom.ning.com/video/nsea-in-deming , and being that clarification as to which rail route to Cherry Point will be pursued has yet to be determined, I must ask you to include my neck of the woods and all past , present, and future projects of NSEA and all fish bearing streams as determined by the Department of Fish and Wildlife running parallel or perpendicular to any train tracks in consideration to facilitate the GPT project which could be adversely impacted by multiple daily infusions of coal dust into our waterways.
Please look at the effects of coal dust on the salmon habitat, their eggs, sperm, and numbers of and viability of both eggs and sperm when introduced to increased coal dust and determine what levels are safe for a species in decline. Please determine what plan of action will be instituted if and when your established high levels are reached. Please determine the cost to the fishing industries along with the number of related jobs lost if and when your established high levels are reached, and please make a recommendation as to who’s financial responsibility to monitor habitats and disperse and compensate for said cost if and when your established high levels are reached.
If no action were to be adopted with regards to the proposed GPT coal terminal the uphill struggle to address the declining salmon population would still be the reality with which we live, but with the successful efforts of groups such as NSEA, living with nature could be the key to providing resilience as our legacy.

J E McHugh (#13724)

Date Submitted: 01/17/13
Location: Spokane, WA
Comment:
Your job as a representative of all your constituents is to determine whether coal exports pose threats to the health, safety, and environment of the Pacific Northwest. As our representative we request that you also carefully assess the ultimate impact on global warming.
We have faith in your ability to legislate for the Greater Good, not expediency.
Respectfully submitted,

J Loch Trimingham (#2519)

Date Submitted: 11/05/12
Location: Lummi Island, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

J. C. Walker (#134)

Date Submitted: 09/29/2012
Comment:
From the first report issued from the Teamsters Rail Conference in Fall of 2005 entitled SafeRails Secure America Survey Executive Summery concerns were raised to the security of the nations rail lines: Workers suspect that the rail corporations’ lax attention to safety and security is motivated by profit margins. “Money drives this railroad,” said one Michigan Norfolk Southern worker. “Security costs money. What do you think is going on?” “(BNSF) is not going to increase security because it would cost money,” said another worker from Illinois. “Even though they had record profits, it will not happen unless they are forced.”
In 2009, four years later, a new survey of America’s rail workers reveals that top U.S. rail carriers have failed to close the security gaps that put at stake the safety of rail workers and communities across the country. The survey questions, which asked the workers to evaluate safety and security measures in place on any one workday during the survey period, were identical to the survey questions used in the first Safe Rails / Secure America survey, with the exception of two new survey questions.
SafeRails / Secure America 2 included two rounds of surveys. Workers employed by Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation (“BNSF”) and Norfolk Southern Corporation (“Norfolk Southern”) completed surveys between August 25, 2008, and September 19, 2008. Workers employed by CSX Corporation (“CSX”), Kansas City Southern, and Union Pacific Corporation (“Union Pacific”) completed surveys between March 9, 2009, and April 6, 2009. As demonstrated by the Burlington Northern Santa Fe – SafeRails / Secure America 2 table, there are several critical areas in which BNSF appears to be underperforming its peer group—most notably, the areas of employee training and rail car security.
For example, 70 percent of the BNSF BMWED workers surveyed said that they have not been trained regarding their role in the railroad’s Emergency Action Plan or Emergency Response Plan—that is 28 percentage points higher than the industry average and well over the majority mark.
Furthermore, 88 percent of BNSF BMWED workers surveyed reported they have not received any terrorism prevention and response training in the past year—that is 14 percentage points higher than the industry average.
In fact, for these two questions BNSF scored the worst of all the rail carriers, underperforming each of its peers.
Regarding locomotive security, 92 percent of BNSF BLET workers surveyed said they cannot secure the cab against unauthorized access while unoccupied—that is a remarkable 25 percentage points higher than the average for the other rail carriers, excluding BNSF, putting BNSF at the bottom of its peer group.
Sixty percent of BNSF BLET workers surveyed said that their train or equipment was delayed or left unattended for an extended period of time prior to or during their tour of duty, with 57 percent of these workers reporting that hazardous materials were on board the delayed or unattended train. That is five and four percentage points higher, respectively, than the industry average.
Eighty-two percent of BNSF BLET workers surveyed said they noticed other trains or equipment left unattended in yard sidings or along the right-of-way, which is six percentage points higher than the industry average.
In all, BNSF underperformed the industry average by five percentage points or more with respect to ten survey questions.
The company significantly outperformed its peer group (by five or more percentage points) with respect to only two questions—19 percent of BNSF BLET workers surveyed reported seeing trespassers in the yard versus 24 percent for the industry average, and 20 percent of BNSF BMWED workers surveyed reported that there were additional security personnel on duty in the yard or right-of-way on a heightened terrorist alert day versus 13 percent for the industry average.
BNSF Rail Security Disclosures
BNSF’s 2008 Corporate Citizenship Report summarizes the company’s rail security efforts, which include:
• joining with other railroads through the AAR to develop a comprehensive risk analysis and security management plan for all U.S. railroads;
• developing BNSF’s own Security Management Plan and Crisis Management System;
• securing critical infrastructure and assessing high threat urban areas, focusing especially on vulnerabilities in rail facilities in highly populated areas where hazardous materials are moved;
• monitoring contractors through the E-RailSafe program, which provides background checks, security awareness training, and identification cards for contractors working on railroad property;
• maintaining the BNSF On Guard program to promote employee awareness and encourage the reporting of security violations;
• helping to develop Citizens for Rail Security, a community-based rail fan reporting program that enlists rail fans’ help in reporting security violations, trespassers or unusual occurrences;
• maintaining a Trespasser Abatement Program;
• training employees using a security awareness training module, “Securing America’s Railroads”;
• implementing a Security Alert System that warns employees of the severity of a terrorist threat and under which employees are given additional security instructions at higher threat levels; and
• conducting drills with local emergency response personnel.
See Appendix II for BNSF’s 2008 Corporate Citizenship Report’s rail security disclosures.
BNSF workers’ responses on the Safe Rails / Secure America 2 survey, however, raise questions about the effectiveness of its efforts.
For example, BNSF states that one of its key security activities is “securing critical infrastructure,” and says that it has “taken steps to secure critical assets.” However, only nine percent of BNSF BMWED workers surveyed said that BNSF has increased the frequency of inspections at critical infrastructure points, only three percent said that special security measures have been instituted at movable railroad bridges on their territory to protect against unauthorized entry or operations, and only three percent said that bridge tenders on movable bridges have a distress signal to alert authorities of security threats. Only eight percent of BNSF BMWED workers surveyed reported that track and bridge inspectors have received security-related training for the inspection of critical infrastructure along the right-of-way.
These results call into question just what steps BNSF has taken to secure critical infrastructure.
BNSF workers’ surveys also raise questions about the company’s efforts to acknowledge and encourage employee security awareness and action. For example, BNSF explains that it has an “On Guard” program designed “to recognize employees who protect BNSF’s resources, people and facilities.” According to the company’s website, the program is “administered by local crime prevention specialists, who will give alert employees an On Guard pin, and report the action for inclusion in articles in BNSF Today.” Notably, none of the other rail carriers discloses on its website maintaining a program of this kind that recognizes and rewards employee security awareness and reporting.
BNSF workers surveyed, however, report that they are not receiving follow-up reports when they report security concerns to their supervisors. In fact, of the 37 percent of BNSF BLET workers surveyed who said that they have reported security concerns to a railroad supervisor, only 16 percent said they received a follow-up to their report.
While the “On Guard” program may not specify that employees will receive follow-up reports regarding any security concerns they report, BNSF’s failure to follow up with employees after they report security concerns conflicts with the “On Guard” objective of recognizing and encouraging employee security awareness and action.
BNSF also explains that it requires employees to take a mandatory security awareness computer training module called “Securing America’s Railroad,” but only 12 percent of BNSF BMWED workers and 28 percent of BNSF BLET workers surveyed said that they have received any training related to terrorism prevention and response in the past 12 months—and only 27 percent of those BLET workers felt that the training was adequate.
Finally, BNSF discusses that its Security Alert System warns employees of the severity of a terrorist threat to the BNSF network, but when asked if it was a heightened terrorist alert day, 55 percent of the BNSF BLET and BMWED workers surveyed said that they did not know.
The discrepancies between what BNSF says it is doing and what the front-line workers report raise serious questions about whether BNSF’s rail security efforts are reaching the front-line workers.
And in more recent times:
* Forty-four spikes were removed from train tracks in Bellingham, but railroad officials say they discovered the vandalism before any trains could derail. Burlington Northern Santa Fe spokesman Gus Melonas said the railroad is offering rewards of up to $5,000 for information concerning several recent acts of vandalism that damaged railroad property near Bellingham and could have led to train accidents. Seattle Times July 12th, 2011
*The main BNSF rail line is shut down through southwest Washington, as BNSF police and inspectors investigate tampering along the railway from north of Vancouver to Chehalis.
Spokesman Gus Melonas says BNSF personnel discovered the tampering shortly before 11 a.m. Monday along that corridor. He says nine trains including Amtrak are being held. A limited number of freight trains are being escorted through at restricted speeds. The first incident was reported near the Longview.
Melonas says police are searching the area for suspicious activity and are investigating further.
He says the main rail lines will be closed until it's determined to be safe. The Columbian September 29, 2011
* The Oregon International Port of Coos Bay is offering up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible for the Nov. 10 vandalism to the Coos Bay rail line that caused a minor derailment.
Those responsible removed hundreds of rail spikes and tie plates through two segments of track, costing the port more than $20,000 in damages related to the stolen materials and repairs, the port says. The World December 17th, 2011
* From the meeting minutes interim CEO David Koch reports: As a result of the vandalism, the Port will incur more than $20,000 in damages
associated with the replacement of stolen materials and repairs related to the derailment. The Port and
CBR have been working closely with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to investigate
this crime. Based on consultations with these law enforcement agencies, it has been determined that
offering a cash reward may assist in the identification of the responsible person or persons. Mr. Koch
said staff was looking for Commission approval for the Port to offer and pay a reward up to $5,000
for information leading to the arrest and conviction of any person or persons responsible for damage
to or theft of railroad property.
Upon a motion by Commissioner Hampel (second by Commissioner McKeown), the Board of
Commissioners voted unanimously to allow the Port to offer a reward of up to $5,000 for
information leading to the arrest and conviction of a person or persons responsible for damage
or theft of railroad property. Motion carried.
Commissioner Kronsteiner asked if the reward was for this one incident or would it be an ongoing
reward. Mr. Koch said this request is for the current incident, but he would like to have the authority
in the future if similar situations occur. Commissioner Kronsteiner wanted to clarify that it was not an
outstanding reward. Mr. Koch said it would be handled on a case-by-case basis. OREGON INTERNATIONAL PORT OF COOS BAY
Coos Bay, Oregon
SPECIAL COMMISSION MEETING
Friday, December 9, 2011
The environmental and economic impacts of a train derailment impact could be assessed only after determining what was being shipped in the overturned vessel. With coal, chlorine, and radioactive waste among the various types of hazardous substances routinely carried across our railways, I’m concerned about toxic spills. Considering the controversial nature of the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal, my concern is for railway security as well. The vested interests in this project appear unable to perceive the need and/or unwilling to address the concerns posed by the frontline personnel of the railways. Please consider this history and the present status of railway security, and determine if it will be sufficient to insure safe transportation of 54 million tons of coal per year.

J.C. Walker, Jr.

J. C. Walker, Jr. (#53)

Date Submitted: 09/24/2012
Comment:
In Bill McKibben’s Rolling Stone article “Global Warming's Terrifying New Math” July 19th 2012 he listed three conclusions originating from the wealth of environmental data available and accepted by most in the scientific community relating to the current condition of our planet.

1) 2 degrees C : The amount of temperature rise the world can handle.

2) 565 Gigatons: The amount of CO2 which can be added into the atmosphere by mid century and remain below 2 degrees C.

3) 2,795 Gigatons: The amount of Carbon contained in proven reserves of coal, oil, and gas.

With the figures from these calculations in mind, and as our warming Earth in 2012 heads to set the all time high for the warmest year ever recorded. I’m asking you to please study the contribution the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal and the initial estimated 54 million tons of coal per year shipped to be China will play in contending with the present and future levels of CO2, and the expectations of a increasingly warmer planet derived from increased CO2 contributions from the burning of coal.

In 2012, Whatcom County experienced 5-10 degrees cooler than normal temperatures extending into the summer months affecting both the strawberry and raspberry harvest. In early July I took a trip to visit my daughter and family in Colorado where the temperatures were 10 degrees hotter than normal. While there, on two separate occasions I went to forests above Boulder and Estes Park. It seemed the higher up we would travel the more noticeable a rust brown discoloration of pine needles became. In the Rocky Mountain National Forest above Estes Park, at around 10,000 feet above sea level, it looked as though 75% of the trees were dead from Bark Beetle infestation brought on by warmer than normal winter temperatures. Until recently the freezing temperatures have provided a die back of the beetles and continued a balance of the ecosystem witnessed for centuries. Upon returning back to Whatcom County I monitored the High Park Fire which had originated just outside Fort Collins. It consumed an estimated 87,000 acres of forest. And this weekend, as dry lightning strikes pepper eastern Washington, I witness wildfires a little closer to home, and the longest stretch without rain in Western Washington on record, I contemplate the world we are leaving our children and grand children.

With the current levels of CO2 approaching 390 ppm, along with erratic and unfamiliar weather patterns becoming the new norm, I can only recommend the agency not move forward in implementing the development of any terminal designed with the capabilities of exporting fossil fuel, ultimately into our atmosphere.

J. C. Walker, Jr. (#9973)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Comment:
I would like for you to study the environmental impact from the Albedo effect black soot offers to the Artic Ice as a by product from the burning of the proposed 54 million ton of coal to be shipped annually from the Gateway Pacific Terminal at Cherry Point.
Would it be prudent to factor in sea level rise associated with the diminishing Artic Ice in the design and location of piers and rail being where some estimates have the Artic Ice complete disappearance achieved within as little as 5 to 15 years? What is the projected sea level rise when the Artic Ice has melted. How much further behind will the Greenland Ice sheet be from melting into the sea. Will the Artic Ice disappearance accelerate the Greenland Ice sheet melt? What will the expected sea level rise of the two combined be, and is the GPT Terminal up for the challenge of conducting operations in such an environment?

J. C. Walker, Jr. (#9974)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Comment:
I would like for you to study the environmental impact from the Albedo effect black soot offers to the Artic Ice as a by product from the burning of the proposed 54 million ton of coal to be shipped annually from the Gateway Pacific Terminal at Cherry Point.
Would it be prudent to factor in sea level rise associated with the diminishing Artic Ice in the design and location of piers and rail being where some estimates have the Artic Ice complete disappearance achieved within as little as 5 to 15 years? What is the projected sea level rise when the Artic Ice has melted. How much further behind will the Greenland Ice sheet be from melting into the sea. Will the Artic Ice disappearance accelerate the Greenland Ice sheet melt? What will the expected sea level rise of the two combined be, and is the GPT Terminal up for the challenge of conducting operations in such an environment?

J. Erika Shriner (#7617)

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

J. Glenn & Barbara Evans (#4771)

Date Submitted: 12/14/2012
Location: Seattle, Wa
Comment:
We strongly oppose the proposal for additional coal trains running through Western states. There are healthier alternatives to energy resources, which could lead to jobs for those who are concerned about making a living.
Climate change is a real and present danger to the health of the planet and all living creatures. We all know or should at least acknowledge the effect of fossil fuels on this issue. Elected government representatives and regulatory agencies must take responsibility for safeguarding the health of the public, the planet and all living creatures.
Don't approve the coal train proposal!!!

J. Loch Trimingham (#7447)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Location: Lummi Island, WA
Comment:
Dear Sirs,

As a native of Whatcom County and a physician who has practiced in Whatcom County for over 35 years, I continue to be concerned about health issues as related to the now proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal project. Many concerns arise from this project, but the most concerning, I believe, is the diesel particulate matter (DPM) that is projected to be released by the number of trains proposed. It is my concern that this number of trains may increase with time if there is demand, and there will be no way for the public to limit this increased inactivity.
We are all becoming more aware of the health concerns of DPM exposure as research and studies start to emerge. I believe we only beginning to see the potential health impacts, and as time progresses it is likely we will become increasingly aware of dangers to human health.
I believe the EIS for this project should carefully consider the health impacts of DPM exposure throughout the rail corridor; Whatcom county is not the only community that will be impacted.
This is my primary concern regarding the GPT project, although many, many other issues have been raised.

J. Loch Trimingham, MD

J.C. Walker, Jr. (#5402)

Date Submitted: 12/26/2012
Comment:
In the earlier stages of community awareness concerning the Gateway Pacific Terminal proposal rail choices had yet to be confirmed. Political moves were maid to create a wedge issue by promoting a nimby stance by tolerating (insisting upon) a county route for the coal trains. However much coal anybody wanted to ship to anywhere they wanted to ship it, was all fine and dandy, as long as a certain constituency of our county didn’t have their view impeded by the vapors. Shortly thereafter, much to the presenters surprise at Acme Elementary, the county audience repeatedly brought up climate change as the concern to be addressed over dust, noise, and fumes. I was quite proud that night of my community opting for higher order thinking, and yet the other day I heard the story of a person with property on the waterfront, next to the tracks, overlooking the bay. I stopped and thought how my focus would be directed if I were in anyone of these property owners position. I’m sure it’s been coined somewhere before but if not, my concern for the EIS scoping process to consider might go under the title “ Not in their backyard” or NITBY. Having lived in both the county ( 9 years ) and the city of Bellingham ( 7 years ), I’ve had the pleasure to greatly enjoy and benefit from both experiences. Both have contributed invaluably to my life. So lending my support to the concerns arising from tax paying voters along the path of the 11/2 mile worth of coal trains headed to and returning from the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal in Cherry Point comes naturally.
The first concern I share with my fellow Whatcom County I-5 corridor citizens are property values diminished from this project being implemented. The taxes being collected from property assessments would suffer thus affecting public services from police, firefighters, teachers, and park employees to name a few. Already stories are surfacing of real estate deals falling through when potential buyers become aware of the GPT project.
I’m asking the EIS to consider the tax base of our county being diminished, the health effects of the citizens living close to where the trains will be passing, and the businesses suffering lost sales from impeded costumers.

J.C. Walker,Jr. (#6616)

Date Submitted: 01/10/2013
Comment:
In Jorgen Randers “2052” the option of short term thinking contrasted against long term thinking is brought to the forefront, where such considerations are deliberated for societal well being. With even the least amount of belief in the “extreme/new normal” events of 2012 being connected with climate change, please also consider the following. It is not our future we profit from.
I mention this to point to expected understandings of a clients appetite for Carbon products to possibly be reduced once said understandings associate Carbon use with their children’s health detriments. China would have every motive to opt for a green/low Carbon world while slowing down a run away economy as well. This sort of capability, to alter their need and alter the demand, concerns me. Short term returns rely upon a consistency of demand. I’m asking you to study the effect of altered, as in , no demand, for coal. Setting on Cherry Point. Piles and piles of coal nobody wants, because it’s screwing up the world for everybody and all. I did some googling the other day about what coal becomes when you burn it up, and the list I got came up with included Mercury, Cadmium, Sulfur Dioxide Nitrogen Oxides. Also some particular matter, like fly ash and Arsenic, some VOC’s, and a dash of Uranium. Could you do a study on how much of the stuff is staying in China, and how it would contribute to the well being of their children, and how much is going to make it back across the ocean in 5-10 days after being burned, and wind up affecting the children in Whatcom County with a myriad array of adverse conditions. What are the safe levels for children to consume in their diet or to play around. Could you study the current levels in Lake Whatcom of the chemicals I listed, and do a rough estimate of what will be coming per year on the expected amount of coal being shipped per year. I wonder how long it would go on for? Is that a realistic expectation? These are not unintended consequences, their predictable for the most part. Certainly quarterly profits are jeopardized in such a scenario, and the children.
“2052” contrast the ability of a government like China’s to respond much quicker to change than a Democracy can, so it becomes paramount to chose wisely with how profits are derived going forward, if we’re to turn around and profit from our future, shared as it may be.

J.Peter and Mary van der Veen (#8909)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
We have lived and worked in developing countries to assist them to increase food production and raise standards of living. China has built numerous coal-fired electricity plants to increase industrial output, and make electricity available to the rural population.
However, recently there have been widespread protests in China as air pollution from coal-fired plants caused widespread health problem, .as well as smog in many cities.
China is now building a new pipeline to bring natural gas from Central Asia, which is causing less health problems, has less CO2 emission when burned to generate electricity. It also will be cheaper than the imported coal.
In addition China is the biggest producer of solar panels and an increasing part of electricity will be produced by solar panels and wind turbines. In view of this, we request that the co-lead EIS agencies make an assessment of the expected number of years China will still need to import coal. If this period is limited to, say 15 years, it does not make sense for us to pay additional taxes to build over-and underpasses for the railway to enable the 36 coal trains (Full and empty), to destroy the off-coast feeding area for our chinook salmon, risk health problems from the coal dust, decrease the number of jobs to be created through the Bellingham waterside development, and other long-term negative impacts of the coal harbor and trains, just to have a limited number of years of profits for the companies and investors in the proposed coal harbor and coal trains.

Jack Attard (#1850)

Date Submitted: 10/25/12
Comment:
I live 500 yards or so from the rail line and I don't want the noise and pollution. =

jack bautsch (#3709)

Date Submitted: 12/02/2012
Location: seattle, wa
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?

Jack Behr (#9989)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
As a long time Bellingham resident who loves the Pacific Northwest, I support the study of the larger, even global, consequences of the proposed coal terminal at Cherry Point. But this particular concern is very local.

I live in the historic Columbia neighborhood, 3 blocks north of Eldridge Ave. Coal is a part of our history, and many homes in the area are built upon filled coal mines. But not only has our understanding of the environmental consequences of coal changed, so have the size of the trains themselves.

Today's heavy, mile-plus long trains quite literally shake the ground beneath our feet, and from miles away. This usually begins before the train's horn can even be heard, and these horns are extremely loud for many miles.

My house and the homes of many neighbors shake just like we're having earthquake. A minor earthquake here and there is no big deal. But with the terminal, would it be six a day? 12? What does this do to our foundations, our geology, especially the bluffs above the trains?

Please investigate the possible impact of an increase in these earth rattling trains on our homes and property values, as well as their impact to the tracks. A damaged track could lead to an accident with catastrophic consequence.

And as importantly, please consider the impact of the extremely loud horns. The negative effects of noise pollution to human health is well documented. These horns are definitely above noise pollution levels, and done so routinely with impunity and no consideration for the neighborhoods.

They BRAAAK constantly and repetitively, 50 times or more as the trains proceed through Fairhaven, downtown and below the homes along Eldridge.
This occurs all day and night, echoes across the city, and resounds loudly in many homes.

In my house, with windows closed, it drowns out a radio or television. It was louder than the construction when the water line was replaced on Monroe Street just outside my house last summer.

You don't "get used" to a horn this harsh and loud. It is meant to be grab your attention and it does, disrupting concentration, work, homework, conversation, sleep... and for miles away.

The volume is many times louder than the train horns from a couple years ago. In terms of warning anyone who is near or approaching the railroad tracks, they are many multiple times louder than they need to be.

In terms of effectiveness, these horns are much like if we mandated that cars and trucks honk their horns at every intersection. It is mindless, unessential noise more than a safety measure.

I've heard our town derisively referred to as Decibellingham, and for good reason. This does not speak well for our quality of life, property values, or economy - our tourism, our waterfront hotels & restaurants, our attractiveness to new business and jobs, investment on the waterfront or downtown, and so on and on...

Please study how an increase in earth shaking coal trains and noise pollution would impact our homes, neighborhood and local economy.

Thank you,
Jack Behr

Jack Behr (#10511)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I am a long time resident of Bellingham who appreciates the natural bounty of the Pacific Northwest.

Shipping coal from the proposed Gateway Terminal runs the very real risk of an accident that would cause incalculable damage to our fisheries, marine ecosystem, tourism. Many of our local businesses and jobs would be jeopardized.

I would request that you would attempt to calculate the impact of these very possible, some would say likely and even inevitable, accidents.

Recent worldwide events have shown that man's "plans" for mishaps are no match for mother nature or human infallibility.

Consequently, I agree with Kate Bower whose comment asked that the corporations that will profit enormously from this proposal be held accountable and post a $500 billion deposit bond for damages, so that taxpayers don't have to fight high priced lawyers in court to undo what damage we can.

I would request the committee to study whether this figure is even high enough.

thank you,
Jack Behr

Jack Behr (#10571)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Jobs, jobs, jobs... Really?

This has been the mantra for approving Gateway Terminal. Along with more tax revenues. No ever argues that Warren Buffet or Goldman Sachs needs more millions, or that we could use more climate change due to coal burning in China.

So please, I would ask the scoping study to take a serious look at the number of jobs that the terminal would add as compared with the local jobs we'd lose due to its impact on other local jobs, tourism, new business that would no longer be attracted to the area, current business that might be forced out of business (waterfront hotels & restaurants for example), and so on.

In fairness, I would ask that the scoping examine this impact both before and after an accident, which would damage our environment and cost local business and taxpayers astronomical amounts of money. A variety of accidents could occur depending on weather, volcano, earthquake, or that old standby that's been around forever - simple human error.

Recent events suggest there is no plan in the world that is risk proof against these challenges over time.

If jobs & tax revenue are the argument for Gateway Terminal... how about that shipping terminal that was permitted back in 1997, without the well known risks and catastrophic environmental consequences of dirty coal?

Would the scoping compare the relative benefits of that plan as an alternative?

Thank you,
Jack Behr

Jack Behr (#11656)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I am a long time resident of Bellingham, one of many who gravitated toward the Pacific Northwest for its cleaner air and natural beauty.

50 years ago, when I was a kid in Atlantic City, one of the many smart things my mother used to tell me a lot was... "Accidents will happen." And they did, quite often really, to myself or somebody else, some more serious than others.

My favorite uncle, an expert driver who once raced cars professionally, hit a patch of ice in his Chevy and skidded off a bridge into freezing water, never to be found.

Decades later, my sister, as cautious a driver as I've ever known, was killed in a head on collision by a car bigger than her own. More recently, a dear friend was brain damaged & crippled for life by a texting driver who sped obliviously past the flashing lights of a well designed pedestrian crossing.

Growing up along the Jersey Shore outside Atlantic City, it was pretty much expected that some of those nice, big, fortified houses with clear ocean views would wash away now and again when a big storm swept through. And routinely, they did.

More recently, thanks to climate change and the housing boom of prior decades, there was far more destruction, often described as "unimaginable". Whole communities were devastated.

But in fact, environmentalists and scientists predicted much of this destruction for some time. It was the developers, the builders, the short-sighted politicians eager for more tax revenue... who minimized the risks and inevitable tragedies.

Jets malfunction and crash, space flights go awry, nuclear plants are damaged or meltdown... despite the very best techological safeguards.

So, yes, accidents happen, and always will.

I'd ask the scoping study include what accidents are possible, even likely, when mile-plus long trains loaded with countless tons of coal move up and down our coastline to the proposed Gateway Terminal.

How much "unimaginable" irreversible damage would be caused to our environment? What astronomical sums would it cost to mitigate the damage we can?

How prepared are those responsible to pay up rather than mitigate their esponsibility by liquidating assets or fighting and settling in court?

Some may think this is an unrealistic or hypothetical exercise. But even aside from human error, ours is coastline overdue for earthquakes, tsunamis, severe weather & our modern man-made Frankenstorms.

(Which most scientists agree is the result of climate change, caused by such activities like shipping tons of coal to China. So why...? But that's another question, perhaps beyond this scoping.)

The companies who stand to profit from coal shipping from Gateway Terminal want to comfort us with assurances of safeguards and emergency plans. But really, as we witness over and over again in the world... stuff happens.

What is not realistic is for taxpayers and citizens to be asked to expect that Gateway and their "experts" have us covered.

thank you,
Jack Behr

Jack Bunton (#5241)

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

Jack Delay (#12032)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
My name is Jack Delay and I am a long term resident of that part of Bellingham known as South Hill , uphill from Boulevard Park in the Central Waterfront area.

I am requesting that the EIS Agencies include a comprehensive noise study for Bellingham and for all of Whatcom County.

I have been working as a volunteer for Communitywise Bellingham and have had an opportunity to lear a great deal from talking with folks all over town as well as exploring the rail line and crossings to determine where the train horn. wheel screech and rumbling sounds that I hear come from. It amazes me the extent to which that sound reaches even pockets of neighborhoods very far from the rail line as on Alabama Hill. Wheel screech seems to be very directional and to travel further than I would have expected.

Even though I am extremely hard of hearing and cannot be "on the street" without my hearing aids, I have found I do not need them to be raised from sleep at night by train horns. Bellingham has a very unique combination of waterfront shape and rail location that makes the problem particularly severe. It is this same shape, and the presence of a flat open body of water to carry sounds, that led me to discover that folks in some of the rural parts of the County hear all the Bellingham whistles themselves.

The basic shape of the "hearing shed" at least in my neighborhood can be seen on a map with the railway leg south of Ferndale from Rural Avenue to Central Avenue downtown forming the long part of the "J", the turn from Central through GP site across the waterfront being the base, and the turn back up to the Amtrak Station area forming the short part of the "J". The whistles can be heard at the many crossings including Harris Avenue on one end and Rural Avenue on the other.

Winds and storms and precipitation, of course, all have some impact on intensity and reach. The general case, however, is that depending on the atmospheric conditions and train (fast Amtrak, slow freight, slower coal) there is a continuing series of blasts that lasts from 12 to 16 minutes. With GPT more than doubling traffic volumes and daytime passenger trains that cross paths through Bellingham blocking out big chunks of daytime freight opportunity, we can expect very dense nighttime travel. If the planned siding is placed in Bellingham there will always be strain ready to depart as soon as the other passes and the time frames will move from 12-16 minutes to some greater interval.

None of this can reasonably be expected to be suffered by residents of Bellingham or for that matter any resident of Whatcom County.

Please consider quiet zones for every crossing in Whatcom County.

Jack Fee (#14257)

Date Submitted: 01/11/13
Location: Trout Lake, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Jack Frymire (#12622)

Date Submitted: 01/20/13
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Let's see now: 6500 trains a year though Bellingham. By my reckoning, that's one every 18 minutes, year-round 24/7. (Of course it's really pretty much non-stop,, since it will take nearly that long to clear the downtown area.) That will tuirn the jewel of Northwest downtowns into something else.

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.

Jack Giesler (#13566)

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

Jack Harkins (#13213)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Location: Sayre, PA
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.
We also have to stop acting like climate change is not real. one of the worst agents of climate change is Coal. It'e bad enough that we still burn it ourselves, and now we want to export our filth so coal companies can rake on profits..Shame on us, shame on America!!!!!

Jack Lunden (#9279)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Parkdale, OR
Comment:
The most important issue among others for me is the open railcars and coal dust pollution. This proposal is illogical, stupid and immoral. Environmental and human health is sacrificed so a coal company can make short-term profits? Perhaps they should start to serve the public good as corporations were originally required to do and get out of the coal business. The whole subject at times makes me sick to my stomach because it makes no sense. Creatures do not excrete where they eat or sleep or live. The bigger picture is that we need a progressive energy policy that moves away from coal.

Jack McNeel (#5202)

Date Submitted: 12/04/12
Location: Coeur d'Alene, ID
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

Jack McNeel (#11263)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Coeur d'Alene, ID
Comment:
I'm opposed to the whole project for the reasons expressed by many others --- but one fact seems to be getting overlooked that I think is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT -- construction of the railways and terminal would practically destroy the culture of Indian tribes on both ends of the proposed project. The US has done this for the last 200 years but we should have learned by now. This is totally unacceptable.

I'm also opposed to sending coal to China which they will return in the form of smoke and mercury. One causing an increase in average temperatures and speeding up when coastal cities will be destroyed by the seas (ala New York City this year), the other impacting fisheries and the safety of eating fish in the future.

Most people in favor of the project are looking at the the immediate future of more jobs but the long-term impacts would far outweigh what would be gained now.

JACK Mears (#8781)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Location: Concrete, Wa
Comment:
Build the Gateway Pacific Terminal after all the EIS is taken care of.
Quit screwing around.
Jack Mears

Jack Mowreader (#6404)

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

Jack Pedigo (#1598)

Date Submitted: 10/26/12
Comment:
My wife and I are residents of Lopez Island. I am writing because of the concern we have of the potential air quality deterioration from the coal dust in the planned Cherry Point terminal.
The San Juan Islands, especially Lopez Island, are agricultural in nature. Many of us use agriculture as a means of our livelihoods or as a way to augment our limited income. Due to our temperate climate this agriculture extends throughout the winter periods. It is our understanding that a huge cloud of dust will constantly be generated at the Cherry Point terminus due to the coal loading process. Normally the prevailing winds are from the SW. However, we do occasionally have a wind shift which would bring in any pollutants from the NE. We live in the north part of the island and would be directly impacted. Coal dust in the air would settle and could contaminate the ground/soil. The presence of coal dust in the soil would be cumulative and over time the growing of many crops would be untenable. It would end most gardening and agriculture in our region. Furthermore, this would also affect the plants already growing in the region.
As a one time resident of Germany I was very familiar with the mining area of the Saarland. No one could even hang clothes. In the morning my white VW was covered in a black layer of coal dust. Is this what we want for this part of the Salish Sea? Especially galling is the fact that coal is no longer a part of our energy source. It is not environmentally (and when one takes into account the externalities, economically as well) responsible. Shipping it elsewhere is simply a revenue generator for some albeit one not morally justifiable. The attitude that if we don’t someone else will is especially upsetting and sets the stage for a race to the bottom.
I ask that, the livelihood and living standards of others especially those in this area be considered and respected. I can see no mitigation of this issue and ask that the project, as far as the Cherry Point terminus be concerned, be shelved. Thank you
Jack M. Pedigo
Lopez Island

Jack Price (#6147)

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

Jack Ree (#1950)

Date Submitted: 10/20/12
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Jack Stansfield (#1007)

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

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

As a third generation Washingtonian who cares deeply about our unique and precious environment, I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington and transporting strip-mined coal from Montana and Wyoming on trains and ships throughout the Northwest.

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,

Jack Stansfield
16314 62nd Ave NW
Stanwood, WA 98292-8981

Jack Stansfield (#12582)

Date Submitted: 01/16/13
Location: 16314 62nd Ave NW, WA
Comment:
As a third generation Washingtonian and lifelong resident of the Puget Sound area, 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.

Jack Stansfield (#14020)

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

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

Jack & Jan Helsoll (#1255)

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

Jack & Parvin Pedigo & Baharloo (#1233)

Date Submitted: 10/16/12
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Jackie Corday (#12711)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
Location: Missoula, MT
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington. This proposal would negatively affect my community, Missoula, MT and many other Montana cities that the railroad passes directly through 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.

Jackie Kiter (#11556)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Snohomish, Wa
Comment:
I live in Monroe, Washington, with children & grandchildren in Mercer Island and Lake Stevens.
I agree with James Wells of Bellingham that evaluation of GHG contributions at terminal itself, doesn’t address the moral obligation of public interest worldwide to reduce CO2. I worry what life will be like for our grandchildren and their children if we don’t cautiously evaluate how decisions we make now, matters to them.. Public Trust Doctrine gifts you, the regulators, to act as stewards for future generations.
Please consider: What are the benefits of not mining Powder River Basin Coal and exporting it through GPT and four other terminals for future generations?

In MONROE, the railroad tracks divide the City in half, running parallel to busy Hwy 2; we are the first major city that all travelers, freight trucks and trains enter from the Cascade Pass. Monroe’s other significant hwy is 203 that connects to I-90 and several communities to the South.
This entire transportation corridor passes through the middle of Monroe, next to the historic downtown shopping/businesses and industrial, our hospital on one side with the larger population areas, fairgrounds, newer shopping on the other side.
With increasing amount of hwy traffic, Amtrak trains, railroad freight traffic each year in the high population growth area of Monroe, regulators must consider how the addition of 18, 36 or more of mile-long empty coal trains each day impact on Monroe, particularly because passing trains must stop along Monroe to wait for other trains to pass.
Hwy 2 has been declared a high priority safety corridor, because of volume of traffic, speeds and roads conditions. Ambulances rush down hwy 2 to our local hospital often blocked by trains. This intersection also has high pedestrian traffic during State Fair.
There is simply lack of state and local funds to improve intersection crossings, to add the by-pass needed to alleviate the critical problems additional train traffic will cause for Monroe to allow this private venture to take place without mitigation to the towns it impacts.

Please consider:
Noise increase of train horns through many intersections, for residents, hospital, downtown businesses.
Safety, increased congestions of a high priority safety corridor of hwy 2, ambulance delays in Monroe.
Economic dollar loss of transportation delays and Increased amount of CO2 emissions, those delays cause for Monroe, Puget Sound

Please consider:
How is residue coal dust being handled in returning train cars, because these trains stop/start as they wait for other trains in the Monroe area.

Melvin & Jackie Kiter

Jackie Lindenbach (#5499)

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

Jackie Orton (#258)

Date Submitted: 10/03/2012
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.

Washington State is scheduled to close it's only remaining coal burning energy plant in the near future~2015. This state decided a long time ago that burning coal for energy is clearly wrong for sustaining our environment. Why should we have mega coal dust in our environment now?
What is the reason? We don't need this. This is a bad idea for Whatcom County and all counties that the 18 coal trains would be passing through daily. Nobody needs this~not even China. They're busy getting their alternative energy going and would only use this coal for a time.
Please save our whales, herring, crabs, our Salish Sea and our children from the coal dust.

This project would have an effect on all of our lives. Who is behind this endeavor? Will they pay for the the increased medical problems?
No. Will they care about the loss of critical marine habitat? No. Will they notice the grit,the grime, the traffic problems and the obvious degradation of nature.

Too too bad Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and their Wall St friends don't care to use their money to be heroes and help us save the planet for
real with Earth friendly projects. (.... Feb. 26th: In Buffet's
annual Berkshire Hathaway Shareholder Letter, he reminds all listeners that his coal-transporting railroads (nearly 300 million tons of coal a
year) "will increase Berkshire's "normal" earning power by nearly 40% pre-tax and by well over 30% after-tax.") They don't need it either, but they sure do want it.

Please stop this project in it's tracks and SAVE US from TONS OF COAL DUST. Thank you

Thank you

Sincerely,

Jackie Orton

Jackie Sawyer (#2852)

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

jackie webley (#10882)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I grew up along the beachside towns of Puget Sound, and chose, as an adult, to come and live in the one with the cleanest air, abundant trees, most-swimmable lakes & beaches, and an aware, involved and compassionate community. I really REALLY like it here, and I believe we can make it even more prosperous and awesome by keeping these valuable and desirable natural "resources" in the forefront of this conversation. That's the "why", but I understand this is an Environmental Impact Statement/Study/Survey, and not necessarily a Why I Want to Keep Bellingham Awesome Statement. So here's what we need you to do: study the impact of this proposed project on EVERY ENVIRONMENT it comes in contact with. This is a proposal for a shipping terminal, so obviously the immediate and surrounding environment needs to be studied for the impact of construction and industry, but this Survey/Statement would be woefully and criminally naive to overlook the real issue of shipping huge quantities of coal from the midwest, by train, through Puget Sound, to China. That means studying the impact on every environment, both human (social, health, economic) and animal, everywhere from Powder River Basin to Puget Sound, and even out into the U.S. Coast/Pacific Ocean. If you are even having genuine and global responsibility, you would also study the impacts as far reaching as China. This needs to address both the health of the natural, living non-human environments, and the living cities and their inhabitants--air quality/pollution, water quality/pollution, plant and agricultural quality (especially in Skagit and Whatcom counties, with how much food they supply the entire U.S.A.), noise pollution, economic potential of dirty, coal-dust covered cities, cities' economic potential of investing in an obsolete technology/energy source, economic responsibility of NOT allowing any alternative plans for city/waterfront/port growth. And all of this is just the small scale studies necessary for a legitimate report/statement. Then should be considered ALL of the scientific evidence that coal as an energy source is having an adverse (to human life) effect on weather patterns and temperate zones, resulting in unimaginable destruction and horrific damage and human loss. This proposed terminal, if given a green light, is certain to contribute to that kind of future, and I cannot foresee of any amount of money, or short-term economic promise to justify it.
Thank you and Sincerely,
-jackie webley

Jacklyn Boardman (#4254)

Date Submitted: 12/10/2012
Location: Liberty Lake, WA
Comment:
Puget Sound is already endangered with pollution.I believe making a marine port will endanger it further. The shellfish are struggling. The trains to haul the coal will pollute the air and the land along the rails. The mining will tear up our lands, pollute along the way, and we will be ultimately paying into private coffers with our resources to send the coal over to China where it will be burned and the pollution will float back for all of us to endure.

Please watch the documentary, "The Last Mountain," to see why Montana and Idaho as well as all of Washington need to be studied to decide the true costs of health and loss of resources and cleanup that will happen if this plan to mine the coal and transport it comes to fruition. Studies are showing that autistic behavior is a true cost of pollution. Our oceans acidity levels are rising changing the ecosystem. Our air quality is affecting our breathing. We need to find alternative fossil fuels and stop contributing to the world's encompassing pollution problems and stop selling out so the few can make huge profits at the masses expense.
Why not make a pact with Canada that neither country exports the coal so that the race to make private gain over the common good stops; if you can't get it out of the country, the need to mine it diminishes.

As for having more trains pass through Spokane, the infrastructure will be greatly impacted. The rails run through the City blocking the Community College and the Senior Center from half the population. The major hospitals and medical centers are on the South side of the rails. With more long trains, the cars will be waiting burning gasoline and residents will have trouble making it to their destinations on time. From what I hear, the train whistles are impacting the noise levels at the schools, and residents must keep their windows closed in the summer and the train traffic isn't even close to what is predicted for this area.

Just like the National Parks were a struggle to create, they proved to be a treasure far more than ever predicted. We need to continue to keep the NW as pristine as we can.

Jackson Mounts (#4117)

Date Submitted: 12/06/12
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:


Jacob Belsher (#1399)

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

Jacob de Guzman (#10691)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Bellingham , WA
Comment:
Dear Alice Kelly, Randel Perry, Tyler Schroeder,

Hi, my name is Jacob de Guzman. I am an environmental science major at Western Washington University and I am writing for the purpose of having studies conducted on:
1. The impact of coal dust and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH's) on marine and terrestrial ecosystems on locations within 1 miles of the coal terminal and railway.
2. Impact on human health in rural and city communities within 1000 feet of the rail line.
3. Global health risks, especially the effect of coal dust, smog and PAH's on the peoples of China

As far as I know, the coal train terminal proposal poses a risk to Cherry point herring (base of food chain for wild salmon and orcas), Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve, the Straight of Georgia, the Lake Terrell wetlands in regards to their marine ecosystems from lost coal dust, PAH'sw, oil spills, and the impact of Cape-sized vessels by ship ballast destruction.
Children, families, people and animals as well as the entire Puget Sound could suffer negative health effects such as the increased probability of developing cancer from being in close proximity to coal dust

This impact is foreseeable because:
1. Coal dust and PAH's are incredibly difficult to maintain and control and will inevitably end up in our marine and terrestrial ecosystems, groundwater and communities. The straight of Georgia has been designated by Park Canada as Canada's "most-at-risk natural environment."
2. Coal dust and PAH's will add arsenic, cadmium, barium, chromium, selenium, lead and mercury to all environments the coal trains pass including residential and commercial.
3. Cherry point herring will be affected as well as salmon (a huge piece of the Whatcom economy), orcas, and many other endangered species

I propose the EIS to consider NO ACTION. THings to consider are:
1. The ecological impacts on marine & terrestrial life as well as global and local human health.
2. The incredible amount of carbon that will potentially be put into the atmosphere of a planet already experiencing climate change
3. The longterm vitality of Washington's economy if we choose to destroy our essential economic resources

I would like to have the longterm effects of coal dust on marine and terrestrial environments by looking at ecosystems in the world that have already been introduced to coal dust, PAH's, oil spills and their effects on human health, cancer rates, and effects on biodiversity. I would also like to have EIS consider the longterm effects this will have on WA's fishing & marine economy.

I sincerely thank you for your time and comment consideration,

A concerned community member
Jacob de Guzman

Jacob deGuzman (#3304)

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

Jacob Gellman (#171)

Date Submitted: 10/01/2012
Location: Vancouver, WA
Comment:
The scoping should very definitely include the effects of climate change on natural ecosystems, since we need to account for direct AND indirect effects. In particular, many salmon and steelhead rely on rivers for their spawning and natural habitat. Fisheries are an important industry in the Northwest and could be affected by coal exports. Construction of coal export facilities could negatively impact fish habitats. Rail traffic can release coal dust (depending on the level of dust controls and surfactants applied to the rail cars) into streams and waterways. We should also consider the effect of air pollution from trains' diesel particulate, as well as the increased non-coal dust particulate (e.g. more trains kicking up substantially more gravel and dust into adjacent waterways). As a final note, exporting cheap coal to Asia (thereby lowering the world price of coal by increasing its supply) would give China greater incentive to keep burning fossil fuels, which contributes to climate change, which raises water temperatures in crucial fish habitats.

Jacob Jensen (#6786)

Date Submitted: 01/10/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
My concern is with the potential impacts of the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal on herring populations at Cherry Point. In 1973 the estimated biomass of the Cherry Point herring population was 15,000 tons. Recent estimates hover around 2000 tons. (http://www.coaltrainfacts.org/department-of-natural-resources-herring-populations)

The cause of the decline is not known precisely, but it does not require a vast leap of logic to think that stepped-up industrial activity in the area has something to do with it. Recent studies state that "loss or modification of habitat poses the greatest ecological risk to Cherry Point herring." (http://www.dnr.wa.gov/Publications/aqr_esa_species2007.pdf)

Herring are exceptionally important to marine health. The following species are dependant upon herring: Pacific Cod, Lingcod, halibut, Chinook salmon, harbor seals, herons, western grebes, common murres, rhinoceros auklets, tufted puffins, orcas, seals, sea lions, Dall’s porpoises and surf scoters. Marine scientists call herring a keystone species to emphasize their crucial importance.

I request a study of Cherry Point herring populations and their decline. Such a study should generate data on water temperature, salinity, oxygen, and turbidity at the very least. Currently none of this data is present. The study should definitively determine the cause(s) of herring decline at Cherry Point. It should also determine the adverse ripple-effects of herring loss.

Jacob Jensen (#8666)

Date Submitted: 01/17/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Dear EIS process representative,

I am Jacob Jensen, lifelong resident of and worker in Bellingham, WA.

Recent headlines have brought attention to a potential impact of the GPT. The so-called "airpocalypse" currently underway in Beijing has resulted in air quality 25 times worse than levels considered safe by the United States. Wintery weather in China has led to stepped-up coal combustion from power plants, which in turn has led to vast air pollution.

From a reporter in Beijing: "Monday morning, Beijing's main children's hospital was packed to overflowing, with rows of infants hooked up to drips in the corridors outside the emergency clinic, and queues of patients waiting to see doctors" (http://www.npr.org/2013/01/14/169305324/beijings-air-quality-reaches-hazardous-levels).

If the GPT is permitted, it could precipitate an increase in child mortality in China due to inherent respiratory problems associated with coal pollution.

I request that the EIS include careful consideration of health and mortality impacts in China that could result from stepped-up coal burning made possible by the GPT.

Thank you,
Jacob Jensen

Jacob Oram (#297)

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

In addition, I would like to mention that when I worked with the Sierra Club to raise awareness in Edmonds, Washington, I discovered that high school students, not just adults, were concerned about the impact that dirty energy would have on their future. They have realized, as have I, that we need clean energy in order for future generations to have a healthy and happy life. Coal is a dying industry, which makes an export terminal at Cherry Point seem incredibly shortsighted.

Sincerely,

Jacob Keller Oram

Jacob Rufer (#516)

Date Submitted: 09/25/12
Location: Shelton, 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.

While I do not live in Bellingham, I do visit the area. I have personal information on the damaging effects of Cherry Point being use as a coal depot--all for China and a small group of American entrepreneurs who care not one little diddle about life in the USA--as long as they make money.

Jake Rufer

Jacque Dunn (#1673)

Date Submitted: 10/30/2012
Location: Blaine, Wa
Comment:
This is a general comment. I struggle with the arguments against this plan. Our community is in decline economically. We have lost over the last 20 years big employers who provided good wage jobs.
We need new industry which will support stable family groups. More jobs to support those people which provides a better lifestyle for more people, more taxes to pay for services and schools (including the new jail we need so badly), improved sense of well being as a whole over the community which bring hope, brings a sense of purpose to our young people which in turn lets them focus on the future instead of falling into despair.
A flourishing economy brings prosperity to the whole with stability and hope of a future.
The ramifications of that is lower crime rate, lower gang activity, lower drug use, more stable families and a county which grows prospers. A community we can be proud of.
I do not believe this project will destroy us as some seem to. Coal is not the industry that it was 100 years ago and our technology or lack of is not what it was. No one has proved that moving coal is dangerous and we have the ability to build a facility to minimize environmental impact.
We have trains now, this is not bringing anything new to town or county. It is a vital part of our society like electric lines. Yeah, there are trade offs for having trains- we already deal with them.
With building this terminal we also build for the future of import/export and the financial growth and stability of our community.
As far as wildlife and aquatic impact; I think that with intentional development those can be managed in a responsible and safe manner if we take adequate care with the development of the terminal.
Please, people. We need to bring new living wage jobs here soon. We are going to lose the middle class portion of our community to other places that offer jobs. I already have family members who have needed to leave for North Dakota and other places to support their families. Look at other places that have shut down industry and are boarding up the streets. We can't join them. We have done much to grow small business adventures. I love that about our community but how many people can our small cottage industries employ?

Jacqueline Andrews (#8912)

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

Jacqueline Boss (#7375)

Date Submitted: 01/14/2013
Location: Anacortes, WA
Comment:
My family will be affected by the coal train traffic north to Cherry Point all the way from the Columbia Gorge to my home in Anacortes, Washington. My son's wife is afflicted with respiratory problems. Their summer vacation home is just above the rail road tracks on the Washington side of the Columbia River. Constant train noise will not only disturb their summer retreat, it will also poison the air with coal dust. It will not be healthy for them to be out of doors at their vacation spot. Further more, It will not be profitable for them to sell this soon to be ruined tourist spot.
My sister who lives just above the Puget coastline in Ballard will suffer similarly. Noise and coal dust will be an increased affect on her life and her property values! Those of us living in Anacortes fear driving east for our medical needs, shopping trips, and visiting relatives and friends. We will be stopped and find ourselves in severe traffic jams at every train crossing.
Please take into serious consideration the health, economic and travel effects an increase in coal trains will have on the people living all along the train route.

Jacqueline Davis (#257)

Date Submitted: 10/03/2012
Location: Ellensburg, 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 air and water pollution would have the most detrimental effect on the health of each and every member of our communities.

Sincerely,

Jacqueline Davis

Jacqueline Goodsir (#4670)

Date Submitted: 12/13/12
Location: Blaine, WA
Comment:
To whom it may concern:

I am concerned with the proposed coal terminal at Chery Point because of ocean acidification. I am a member of the Drayton Harbor Shellfish Protection District Advisory Committee. The news from our shellfish farms is not good. Studies are underway to find a way to protect our shellfish from ocean acidification. One direct source of the problem is coal burning power plants around the world. The ocean upwelling off our coast makes our beautiful marine waters an early indicator of trouble in all our oceans. The time to stop burning coal is now, whether it is here in the USA or abroad.

I am not a scientist, but a concerned citizen. I look forward to the results of your scoping study.

Sincerely,

Jacqueline M. Goodsir

Jacqueline Koch (#14631)

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

Jacqueline Orton (#10196)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I reside, work, live, breath in Bellingham, Washington, United States, North America, Northern Hemisphere, on the beautiful and wonderful Planet Earth where we share many things. Two of those 'things' we share are our vital air supply and water. At one time we here in North America could not imagine what would happen in the future. Our air was so clean and clear, our water was so fresh and abundant and we imagined that these two vital resources were absolutely abundant in their natural state and did not need our collective management. We were very ignorant. So now, after all these years of abuse, misuse, neglect, and squandering of our natural air and water since start of the industrial revolution here on our planet, it has become evident how wrong we were to think and act that way. The evidence is clear that to continue living, creating and managing our life activities in a polluting manner is devastating our beautiful Earth. Our air and our water is being destroyed and we must change our ways now. That's it in a nutshell. We must change our ways of managing our lives now. This project is shortsighted, not in line with our collective need to make these necessary changes. I am all for creating good jobs, but not at the expense of our air and water and life on this planet. I care about people, about my grandchildren and greatgrandchildren and their children and so on. We, at this time, hold their future in our hands in these policies, rules and regulations, in these choices of how to proceed from here. Please don't write them off. Please understand the gravity of this decision about to be made. We are a collective. We all breath the same air and drink from the same oceans. I agree with James Wells, of Bellingham, in his comment on this subject.(Submission #15 -Greenhouse Gas Contribution of China Burning Our Coal) and I would also like this impact thoroughly studied.
Thank you

Jacqueline Siebers (#949)

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

Orcas are my favorite marine animal. They are majestic creatures that I hope my great-grandchild will be able to see in the wild like I have.

Sincerely,

Jacqueline Siebers
8405 N Colton St
Spokane, WA 99208-5872

Jacqueline Zink (#13860)

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 truly is not such thing as "safe" coal, health wise or environmentally!

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.

Jacquelyn Hubbard (#6804)

Date Submitted: 01/11/2013
Comment:
Dear GPT/BNSF Custer Spur EIS Co-Lead Agencies,

I am a former resident of San Juan County and fourth-generation San Juan islander. I am concerned about the continued vitality of the Salish Sea, where coal ships would make over 950 transits per year if the Gateway Pacific Terminal were to be built. I request that the GPT Environmental Impact Statement include the entire coal transportation corridor so that communities along the rail and marine routes are given due consideration.

I am especially concerned about oil and coal spill risks. Questions that concern me, and which objective, rigorous and comprehensive studies should address include:

How will GPT's marine vessel traffic increase collision risks with tankers and other cargo ships in the area?
What would be the effects on our region of a catastrophic oil and/or coal spill?
How widespread would the damage be from these spills?
What marine species would be affected by these spills?
How would recreational and commercial fisheries be affected by these spills?
What would be the impact to private property values in the event of one or all of these spills?
What would be the costs to clean up any or all of these spills?
What would the impacts be to the marine species in the event of a spill, both from the effects of the oil, fuel or coal and from the cleanup chemicals themselves?
How would the effects of a spill impact the past and future studies done by the University of Washington Oceanography Labs (based in Friday Harbor)?

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

Jacquelyn Hubbard (#8187)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Comment:
Dear GPT/BNSF Custer Spur EIS Co-Lead Agencies,

I am a former resident of San Juan County and a 4th-generation San Juan islander. I am concerned about the future of the environmental health of the waters surrounding the San Juan Islands and the waters in which the increased traffic from the huge coal ships would travel between Cherry Point and their destination in China if the proposed coal terminal were to be built.

I am especially concerned about the impacts to marine life -- orca and other marine mammals, salmon, and birds. Objective, rigorous and comprehensive studies should address the following issues in the Salish Sea and beyond:

-- 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?

I ask that the GPT EIS include the entire coal transportation corridor so that communities along the rail and marine routes are given due consideration.

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

Thank you.

Jacquelyn Hubbard (#8306)

Date Submitted: 01/17/2013
Comment:
I am a fourth-generation citizen of San Juan Island, currently residing in Seattle. 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.

Jacquelyn Hubbard (#8465)

Date Submitted: 01/17/2013
Comment:
Dear GPT/BNSF Custer Spur EIS Co-Lead Agencies,
 
I am a former 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 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)?
• What impact will the introduction of invasive species have on the future of the University of Washington Oceanography Labs (based in Friday Harbor) -- its research, employees, and scientists ?
If there is no positive assurance and insurance from those involved against any potentially significant impacts, please consider a no build option.

Thank you.

Jacquelyn Hubbard (#9405)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Comment:
I am a former resident of San Juan County and 4th-generation San Juan Islander. I am concerned about the continued vitality of the Salish Sea, where coal ships would make over 950 transits per year if the Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT) were to be built. I request that the GPT Environmental Impact Statement include the entire coal transportation corridor so that communities along the rail and marine routes are given due consideration.
 
I am especially concerned about the impacts of shipping on air pollution in and around the San Juan Island archipelago. 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.

The shipment of coal by bulk carriers requires large engine propulsion.
• What would be the health risks to people and to our waters and marine-dependent species and to our soil, pastures, and locally-produced food, from increase in particulate matter from the propulsion fuel?
• How would the increase in particulate matter impact our residents and visitors who have COPD, asthma, emphysema and other respiratory conditions?
 
If there is no positive assurance and insurance from those involved against any potentially significant impacts, please consider a no build option.
 
Thank you.

Jacquelyn Hubbard (#9737)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Comment:
I am a former 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 near Cherry Point and the San Jan Island archipelago and the Salish Sea, and upon vulnerable marine species and ecosystems in particular?
• What will be the impact of coal dust on the terrestrial environment in and around Cherry Point, and upon animal species and their ecosystems in particular? Including the wetlands, streams and aquifer which feed into the Salish Sea?
If there is no positive assurance and insurance from those involved against
any potentially significant impacts, please consider a no build option.
Thank you.

Jacquelyn Tuxill (#11024)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Lincoln, VT
Comment:
See pdf attachment
Attached Files:

Jacques Graber (#13952)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Comment:
Big Coal, Big Oil mean Big Mess!

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.

Jacquieline Boss (#14258)

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

Jade McGaff (#1933)

Date Submitted: 10/31/12
Comment:
Please do not allow any more coal trains to go through our Pacific Northwest.
1. Burning coal is unhealthy for our planet
2. Burning coal is unhealthy for our children ( increased asthma)
3. Transporting coal is unhealthy- asthma, train derailments, soot on everything, traffic delays.etc4. There is private gain only for a few elite wealthy and a very detrimental cost to quality of life for our communities.
5. There is no proof that jobs will be created. They are not guaranteed to local workers.
6. Our national resources should now belong to the citizens, not the corporations.

We should create jobs in Green Energy, not in further devastating the planet and creating more green-house gases.
Please feel free to contact me if desired.

Jade P McGaff

Jade Thurston (#12119)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Comment:
My name is Jade Thurston and I was born and raised in Bellingham, Washington. If you are a Bellinghamster, the sense of environmental awareness and all aspects dedicated to healthy living come naturally. People take pride in living in this small, yet extremely environmentally conscience city. Therefore, I am writing to emphasize the importance of marine traffic and the actual coal train traffic that would be caused by the coal export facility destined for Cherry Point. To my understandings, the BNSF rail line that runs along the Puget Sound would view near to 30 miles of coal trains daily, which is harmful to the environment but also calls for accompanying city traffic. Plus, a large increase in oceangoing vessels and the then high potential of oil spills needs to be taken in consideration, as well. Overall, there does not seem to be any claims as to how the exporting of coal would be beneficial to Bellingham's conservation of natural beauty. In mitigating this issue, clearly there would be no negative impacts if the facility is not produced. However, if the facility is created then there must be more investigation of potential ways to limit trains and how Bellingham can either reduce or become efficient with the new amount of traffic. The actual plans on how to cope with possible traffic and pollution due to the trains and vessels should be brainstormed and studied, and that is what will truly effect every person of this Northwest community.

Jade Thurston (#12121)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Comment:
My name is Jade Thurston and I was born and raised in Bellingham, Washington. If you are a Bellinghamster, the sense of environmental awareness and all aspects dedicated to healthy living come naturally. People take pride in living in this small, yet extremely environmentally conscience city. Therefore, I am writing to emphasize the importance of marine traffic and the actual coal train traffic that would be caused by the coal export facility destined for Cherry Point. To my understandings, the BNSF rail line that runs along the Puget Sound would view near to 30 miles of coal trains daily, which is harmful to the environment but also calls for accompanying city traffic. Plus, a large increase in oceangoing vessels and the then high potential of oil spills needs to be taken in consideration, as well. Overall, there does not seem to be any claims as to how the exporting of coal would be beneficial to Bellingham's conservation of natural beauty. In mitigating this issue, clearly there would be no negative impacts if the facility is not produced. However, if the facility is created then there must be more investigation of potential ways to limit trains and how Bellingham can either reduce or become efficient with the new amount of traffic. The actual plans on how to cope with possible traffic and pollution due to the trains and vessels should be brainstormed and studied, and that is what will truly affect every person of this Northwest community.

Jade Trevere (#14259)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Puyallup, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Jade Vantreese (#3329)

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

Jaime Martinez (#11542)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Comment:
Hello I am Jaime,
I have done some research on the coal train that might becoming in. In that reasarch it was apparent that our marine wild life would be hurt from the coal train allowed to come through. From the smallest fish like Herring to the big Killer Whales. The Herring has the most abundant in Washington state, now has declined by over 90%. The Herring likes to go to fresh water and mate in it. If we allowed the coal train to come though they would be more likely to not want to come here and re-populate. There for not allowing other wildlife to have something to eat. The coal train would poluate our water in more way. Not only would the coal dust get in the water and start to kill the wilde life, but there would be more ships coming though to take away what coal would be left. which bring me to my next point. The coal train would not have anything covering the top allowing coal to fall out, and with it be so close to the water it would hurt the wild life. I think the best thing to do would be not let the train happen. We should be more worryed about the wild life rather then the coal train.

Jak Brewer (#13972)

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. YOU work for the american people, not large coal companies! The American people orfind another job!pay your salaries, not the corporations (unless you are taking bribes from them). Do what the american people want

Jake Charlton (#10313)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Comment:
Will the proposed project affect native Orca's?
According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Killer_whale
In late 2005, the "southern resident" population of killer whales that inhabits British Columbia and Washington state waters were placed on the U.S. Endangered Species list.

Jake Charlton (#10318)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Comment:
Will the proposed project's increased tanker traffic affect native Orca's?
http://www.raincoast.org/media/in-the-news/tankers-and-orcas/

Jake Charlton (#10331)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Comment:
Will the proposed project affect native Orca's food supply?
According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_Resident_Killer_Whales
they eat
Salmon 97%
Chinook (78% in late spring and fall)
Chum (11%, more so in Fall)
Coho (5%)
Steelhead (2%)
Sockeye (1%)
Other Fish 3%
e.g., Pacific herring and Quillback rockfish

According to http://www.sanjuans.org/forage_fish.html
Research in nearby Georgia Strait shows that between 50% and 75% of the diets of Coho salmon, Chinook salmon, lingcod, and halibut consist of forage fish.

According to
http://pugetsound.org/policy/issues/washington-state-aquatic-reserves/cherry-point-aquatic-reserve
Cherry Point supports one of eighteen Puget Sound spawning stocks of Pacific herring and is considered in ‘critical’ condition. These forage fish constitute a major portion of the diets of salmon, seabirds, marine mammals, and other fish.

Jake Culver (#7313)

Date Submitted: 01/11/13
Location: Portland, 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.

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 is awful on too many levels to list.
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.
Should this egregious public health disaster receive a green light, via whatever legal chicanery available, you will have helped elevate eco-subversion to an unprecedented level of respectability.

Sincerely,

Mr. jake culver

Jake Torrey (#7677)

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

Jal Parakh (#6525)

Date Submitted: 01/09/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
To: Whatcom County, the Washington State Department of Ecology and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,

I am Jal S. Parakh, 3923 Cliffside Dr. Bellingham, WA 98225. My wife Theresa and I moved to Bellingham in 1966. I was a faculty member in the Biology Dept. at Western Washington University until my retirement after 35 years of service.
We bought our house at 3923 Cliffside in June 1967 primarily because of the “million dollar” marine view and a fairly quiet family friendly and safe community for us. Our daughter was born in January 1967.

My wife and I are over 80 years old, as are some other residents of Cliffside Community. We are deeply concerned about the significant adverse impacts of additional coal trains passing through the railroad crossing across Cliffside Drive. The only ingress or egress is across the railroad tracks. This restricted access has the significant impact of delaying emergency medical vehicles and fire trucks from coming into our community. This is a community with about 42 homes, approximately 100 residents. We have, in the past, had a number of emergency vehicles come in to provide assistance to a number of residents. In addition to the emergency vehicles, our residents and business personnel would face additional delays every day. Traffic delays would adversely affect our property values. Our property values would also be negatively affected due to potential sloughing of the Cliffside bluffs due to serious vibrations caused by the heavy coal train traffic.

Study Please include in the EIS studies the significant adverse impacts described above to
-- delays to emergency vehicles
– delays to other daily traffic,
-- property values,
-- high bank destabilization from coal train vibrations and drainage routed away from RR tracks. Include not only these impacts on our Cliffside Community, but also these impacts to Bellingham, Whatcom County, and all along the proposed routes the coal trains would travel from mines to ports.

Possible Mitigations
1. Reroute the coal trains to avoid trains blocking access for emergency vehicles.
2. Place significant amounts of money in escrow accounts to amply compensate residents for loss due to delay of fire fighting equipment and medical emergency vehicles which could result in loss of life, injury, and property losses.
3. Provide ample funds to purchase and relocate homes; provide the residents with virtually same views, amenities, including semi-private beach of the Cliffside Community Association.
If the above mitigations are not done, then the proposed GPT and additional coal trains should not be permitted.

Sincerely,

Jal S. Parakh

Jal Parakh (#6546)

Date Submitted: 01/09/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
To: Whatcom County, the Washington State Department of Ecology and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,

I am Jal S. Parakh, 3923 Cliffside Dr. Bellingham, WA 98225. My wife Theresa and I moved to Bellingham in 1966. I was a faculty member in the Biology Dept. at Western Washington University until my retirement after 35 years of service.
We bought our house at 3923 Cliffside in June 1967 primarily because of the “million dollar” marine view and a fairly quiet family friendly and safe community for us. Our daughter was born in January 1967.

We are concerned about noise from coal trains.

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

We are concerned about the increase of coal trains traveling through our community. We would be adversely impacted by the noise of trains sounding their horns, the noise from the heavy engines pulling the coal trains and the terrible screeching sound of metal on metal.
Currently we experience these disturbances day and night, it disturbs our sleep, and it would be terrible to have this noise disturbance increase.

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

Please include studies in the EIS on how the noise from the increased coal train traffic would impact our lives, our sleep, our health.
To mitigate train noise, some cities have established quiet zones, in which safety modifications are made to public crossings; exempting trains from their horn soundings at the modified crossing. However, the high cost of significant improvements at public crossings borne by cities and taxpayers has been a deterrent. Moreover, once a crossing is converted into a quiet zone, liability shifts from the railroad to the city for any traffic or personal injury incurred within the quiet zone. (http://www.coaltrainfacts.org/key-facts#noise)

Please include the impact to the homes, schools, businesses all along the train routes from the mines to ports. We are one of thousands of neighborhoods affected by this SSA proposal.
Please include studies in the EIS on how the noise from the increased coal train traffic would be mitigated, the cost of such mitigations, and who would bear that cost in our neighborhood, in our city and all along the rail corridor the coal trains would travel.
Sincerely,
Jal Parakh

Jal Parakh (#6552)

Date Submitted: 01/09/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
To: Whatcom County, the Washington State Department of Ecology and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,

I am Jal Parakh, 3923 Cliffside Dr. Bellingham, WA 98225. My wife and I moved to Bellingham in 1966.
We bought our house at 3923 Cliffside in June 1967 primarily because of the “million dollar” marine view and a fairly quiet family friendly and safe community for us. Our daughter was born in January 1967.

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

We are concerned about the adverse effects from increased diesel emissions and from coal dust particles. We are concerned about the coal dust particles in the air. We are also concerned about the pollution it will contribute to surface water – uranium oxide, mercury, etc.

Please include these concerns and study how this will affect
~ the air in our area,
~ the surface water in our area; the coal trains travel very close to the shoreline of Bellingham Bay and the estuary of the Nooksack River
~ the Bellingham Bay, the fish and marine life
~ people with asthma and respiratory illnesses living near the tracks,
~ the air and surface water pollution of the thousands of homes, schools, businesses, communities all along the rail corridors the coal trains will travel from mines to ports.

Each coal railcar loses roughly 500 pounds of coal dust during each trip to the coast – more than 30 tons per train on average. This coal dust goes into air, water, and land. It also accumulates on the tracks, increasing the risk of derailments.15 In addition to coal dust, all of these trains are powered by diesel engines. In areas where the trains will be idling (e.g., Laurel, Montana), the unhealthy increase in diesel emissions could be substantial.
(http://www.coaltrainfacts.org/docs/New-Coal-export-factsheet-FNL-4-12-111.pdf )
Sincerely,
Jal Parakh

Jame Kintzele (#1102)

Date Submitted: 10/22/12
Location: Mount Vernon, WA
Comment:
Oct 22, 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 all of these impacts singularly and as their cumulative impact 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,

James Kintzele
1629 S 7th St
Mount Vernon, WA 98273-4940

James Ableson (#2314)

Date Submitted: 11/05/2012
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
I live adjacent to the BSNF rail line on which the additional coal trains would travel if the Gateway Pacific Terminal was built. The primary issue that concerns me is the wind-blown coal dust emanating from moving trains, as all the coal train cars are open-top, uncovered and present uneven profiles coal train car to coal train car.

Objective and appropriately comprehensive four season studies should address how coal dust emanations impact the human and natural environments along the rail corridor.

Sincerely,

James Ableson

James Adcock (#6975)

Date Submitted: 01/12/2013
Location: Bellevue, WA
Comment:
Scoping on this issue should explore ALL direct and indirect impacts on the planet and the human race by this action, including its effects on global warming.

James Anderson (#14261)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Deming, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

james babbitt (#6078)

Date Submitted: 01/06/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
GPT/BNSF Custer Spur EIS Co-Lead Agencies
c/o CH2M HILL
1100 112th Avenue NE, Suite 400
Bellevue, WA 98004

Ref.: Proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal Project

We live and work in a community close to the BSNF rail line on which up to 18 additional daily coal trains would travel if the Gateway Pacific Terminal were built. We 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 and vibration effects.

How will the noise and vibrations of unusually long, heavy and frequent train’s 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? How will the vibrations and ground shaking from hundreds of trains per month affect the soil stability near the tracks? We are particularly concerned with bank stabilization in the many areas where the trains run adjacent to the high banks and potential slide areas along the water.

We strongly encourage you to include these concerns in any relevant studies performed in conjunction with the proposed project.

Best Regards,

J. Everett & Susan Babbitt

James Bedell (#12124)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Comment:
This project should address the major concerns of "We the People" regarding the negative impact on public health, negavite impact of noise levels on humans and other creatures living here, the negative impact on other transportation systems trying to use and expand the same rails for everyone's use, the negative impact to vehicle traffic trying to move through already congested streets and byways, the negative impact of the unhealthy air returning from China on our health and medical needs and costs, the negative impact on all Washington's other natural resources, the poisoning and negative impact from loss of wildlife and marine life to local fisherman and others who use them income, the negative financial impact from the loss of tourism, the negative medical impact and cost from all kinds of cancer, lung, etc. diseases. This is just a terrible idea. Ship the junk through California or to the east coast and float it to China if you have to. Just keep it out of Washington, the greatest state. Our state is too precious to us to rish moving forward with this proposal.

We, the People do not want your coal trains here EVER.

James Berry (#2124)

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

James Berry (#4616)

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


James Bristow (#6464)

Date Submitted: 01/04/13
Location: SEattle, WA
Comment:
Dear Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Ecology and Whatcom County Council:

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


AND...Focus on sustainable clean technologies, and NOT an economy based on shipping dirty fuel to a country, China, that is only producing US economy sucking disposable 'goods', while polluting OUR environment through their unfair trade and the 'unfair' Jet Stream trade winds.

James Brown (#7323)

Date Submitted: 01/11/13
Location: Portland, 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.

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.

As a 71-year resident of Portland, I concur. As a grandparent, I am very concerned that continued burning of coal anywhere on Earth will degrade the quality of life for future generations, perhaps permanently. Coal exports should be prohibited by Federal Law!

Sincerely,

Mr. James Brown

James Buchanan (#5896)

Date Submitted: 01/02/13
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

James Bylund (#13463)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Bend, OR
Comment:
Burning coal for domestic energy needs is one thing, but supplying coal and enabling others to burn the dirty fuel leaves all of to contend with the externalities while few enjoy the benefits.
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.

James Byrne (#5975)

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

James Carlson (#3128)

Date Submitted: 11/13/12
Location: Olympia, 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

Let's keep Washington air clean!! We don't want anything this dangerous to befoul our lovely state!!.

Sincerely,

James Carlson
3615 Central St SE
Olympia, WA 98501-3659
(360) 352-3794

James Carter (#2811)

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

James Chase (#11288)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Portland, OR
Comment:
The impact of these poropose exports cannot be adequately judged piecemeal. You must evaluate the total impact of the proposed 150 million tons of coal from the various proposed terminals.
To evaluate Cherry Point alone grossly understates the potential impact and is a ridiculous and irresponsible approach!
Please make the impact assessment an area-wide effort.
Thank you,
Jim Chase

James Chase (#11294)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Portland, OR
Comment:
Proponents of these coal exports often talk about the jobs created in the terminals. However, a fair assessment must also include jobs LOST as a result of the exports. I.E., an evaluation of the NET economic and jobs impact. These coal trains will be a death sentence to hundreds of jobs in the Columbia Gorge. Most of these relate to tourism - restaurants, pubs, coffee shops, B&B's, hotels, recreation. Many more relate to residential life in the Gorge communities. Still others relate to the high-tech companies locating in the Gorge.
You must in fairness evaluate all thes impacts!
Thank you,
Jim Chase

James Chase (#11302)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Portland, OR
Comment:
The adverse effects on air quality along the train route will be horrendous, but please also look beyond that. Even if it were magically possible to get the coal out of the US and across the ocean to Asia, what happens to the air globally when it is burned? The pollutants certainly will not stay in Asia! In fact, the only reason there is a market for it there is because their air quality regulations are far below those of the US. But we all breathe the same air - regardless f where the coal is burned.
You must evaluate the global impact of such increased coal burned with insufficient emissions regulation.
Thank you,
Jim Chase

James Chase (#12315)

Date Submitted: 01/22/13
Location: Portland, OR
Comment:
Please accept these scoping comments for the environmental impact statement for the Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT) project located at Cherry Point, Washington.

Coal Exports through the Columbia Gorge

Much has been said and written about the devastating effects of exporting 150 million tons of Powder River Basin coal through the Gorge and West Coast Port Terminals to be burned in power plants in Asia,
including:
Health effects of coal dust, noise and air-borne pollution returning from Asia.
Global warming by encouraging the burning of cheap coal.
The consequences of coal dust and spills on salmon and the waters of the Columbia.

I'm not going to talk about those things today.

I am going to talk about the Columbia River Gorge. It is one of the most wonderful, beautiful places on earth! And these coal exports will totally destroy it!

I will start with a simple question! (Don't worry! It is hypothetical. You don't have to answer me only your own heart!):
Assume for a moment that the best route for this coal to reach the ports was:
o Through the middle of Yellowstone National Park right past Old
Faithful;
o or down the Yosemite Valley between El Capitan and Half Dome;
o or right through the middle of the Grand Canyon.
With these (admittedly ridiculous) assumptions, is there any doubt in your mind that the plan would be vehemently rejected? Or that to sanction it would be political suicide!
Silly question! Of course it would!

Well, now let's talk about the Gorge!
A few years ago National Geographic's Traveler magazine published a survey of the World's Greatest Places to Visit. You might call this the "bucket list" of the most wonderful vacation destinations on the planet!
The Columbia River Gorge ranked #6!
Ahead of every U.S. National Park, plus all those in Canada (except one)!
Ahead of the hills of Tuscany and the plains of the Serengeti!
Ahead of Australia's Great Barrier Reef!

Only in the Gorge can you:
Glory in hundreds of magnificent waterfalls (a greater concentration than any place on earth!) Wander through lush, old-growth forests, and even among a few original-growth trees that were old before Columbus set foot in the New World.
Reach out and touch geology!
o Like the massive basalt floods that formed the Northwest,
o And "modern day" volcanos St. Helens, Hood, Adams and the rest!
o And the Ice Age Floods that sculpted the Gorge and the Northwest,
o And ancient lahars that happened before the modern cascades existed,
o And massive earthquakes that collapsed mountains and sent them
tumbling into the Gorge to dam the Columbia, And feel the history of our land!
o Of the Oregon Trail,
o And of Lewis and Clark,
o And of the Native American tribes that flourished here for thousands
of years before the whites arrived.
o Their tales are around every corner in the Gorge!

As good as the Gorge is today, the best is yet to come!
The Oregon Department of Transportation is restoring the 1916 Historic Columbia River Highway. The restored sections will be hike-and-bike-only. Soon visitors will be able to hike or bike all the way from Troutdale to The Dalles without setting foot on the Interstate!
Various groups are working on new trails that will connect existing trails to create a world class trail network. Someday voyagers will be able to hike all the way from the Sandy River to The Dalles up one side of the River, and back on the other!
The Friends of the Gorge's Towns-to-Trails program will provide connector trails linking these trails to the 13 townships in the Gorge.
People from all over the world will hike the trails, and come down to spend the night in B&B's and hotels, and dine in local restaurants, brew pubs and coffee shops.
Tourism is on the threshold of heights never before imagined! And the economic benefits can be seen already!

Things have not always been good for the residents in and around the Gorge. 25 years ago the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Act was signed into law. The economic situation in the 13 townships was grim.
The lumber industry had been the largest employer and was dying.
Tourism at the time small and produced relatively little economic benefit. The Scenic Act placed limits on both the amount and the type of development open to these communities. Fear and resentment were rampant.

Now that has all changed! The overwhelming majority of Gorge residents now realize that the once-hated limits have preserved and enhanced the beautiful, pastoral, small town environment which is why they wanted to live there in the first place. These delightful residential areas are attracting clean, growing businesses like Google and InSitu!

The Gorge has become a year-round vacation destination for millions of visitors from all over the world tourists, hikers, bikers, rafters, sportsmen and windsurfers a marvelously diverse mix. As a result the local economic outlook is bright! My personal measure is what I call the "Brew Pub Index". Visit the pubs, coffee shops, restaurants, wineries, B&B's and hotels - both large and small. They are flourishing, growing and optimistic about their future!

The Hood River Valley has become an agricultural powerhouse and the hillsides up and down the Gorge are producing marvelous wines.

But there is a dark cloud on the horizon COAL! Train and barge traffic through the Gorge today is already near capacity. Hotels in the Gorge offer earplugs to guests to dull the constant rumble of trains and their piercing whistles which continue day and night.
Several times each year I lead an outing of Gorge visitors to see the petroglyphs near Horse Thief Lake. The tour takes about 60-90 minutes.
Each time we must stop talking 2 to 5 times for several minutes each while trains roar past. The visitors always comment, "Thanks for the tour, but those trains nearly ruined it!"

Proposed coal exports from the Powder River Basin to Asia could reach
150 million tons per year. About 8 million tons may travel by barge from Morrow to Port St. Helens. The rest of it would go by train in open coal cars, with each train pulling more than 100 cars. This would amount to 50-60 additional trains and 2-4 barges per day. This nearly doubles the barge traffic on the River and is more than a 50% increase in trains. By the way, that is 50-60 trains ONE WAY. Supposedly the empty cars would return to the mines by a route further north, although there is no guarantee of that.

Worse yet, the cars are uncovered. Burlington Northern estimates there will be 1 pound of coal dust lost per car per mile. This estimate is low. It fails to consider that the average wind velocity in the Gorge is 10 miles per hour and that gusts above 20 mph are very common. You can already see piles of coal dust along some sections of track especially around the tunnels. And this from only a few coal trains per week.

The effects of dust, noise, congestion and diesel emissions from these coal trains will be a death sentence for the Gorge!
Tourism will take the biggest hit! People will not stay in hotels and B&B's where they have to tolerate a 24/7 roar of trains. Do you remember Los Angeles in the late 60's? I vacationed there then and remember returning to the hotel in the early afternoon with a headache, eyes burning and my skin and clothes covered with a fine coating of grit from the pollution. I never went back! So will it be in the Gorge, except that the grit will be black!
With the lodgings will die the trade in coffee shops, restaurants and pubs. The beautiful "sweat-equity" so lovingly invested in these small businesses will be abandoned in place! Heartbroken owners will pack up and move on.
The effects on residential values and aesthetics will be devastating.
I have lived near train lines, though never with the traffic levels that the coal trains will bring. Trust me, you never get used to the noise, never!
It will only take a few times having to wash coal dust off of your car's windshield and the furniture on your deck to sour you on wanting to live there.
I do not know the effects of coal dust on grapes, but I doubt that it will do much for the flavor of the Cabernet!
And when our luscious Hood River strawberries, peaches, pears and cherries start showing up in the farmers market covered with an unappetizing black film, well, let's just say that a line will have been crossed! Sacred ground will have been trampled!

The Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Act had two purposes:
1. "To protect and provide for the enhancement of the scenic, cultural,
recreational and natural resources of the Gorge; and
2. "To protect and support the economy of the Gorge by encouraging
growth to occur in existing urban areas and by allowing future economic development outside these areas if it is compatible with Gorge resources.
The coal exports are a mockery of these goals!

I do not know the correct legal basis for fighting these trains and barges. I have to rely on you for that! Please do not let us down!

James Chase (#12319)

Date Submitted: 01/22/13
Location: Portland, OR
Comment:
Please accept these scoping comments for the environmental impact statement for the Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT) project located at Cherry Point, Washington.

Most people can visualize how much is a pound of butter or a 5 lb sack of flower. Visualizing a ton of coal is much harder. Visualizing the loss of one pound of coal dust lost per mile for each car is much harder. Here is a simple calculation that may help!

Total coal to be shipped from Cherry Point 48,000,000 metric tonnes/year
Convert to "short tons" 52,896,000 short
tons/year 48,000,000 tonnes/year
X 1,000 kilograms/tonne
X 2.204 pounds/kilogram
÷ 2,000 pounts/short ton
Number of cars/year (at 120 tons/car) 440,800
Pounds of coal dust lost per year 573,040,000
at 1 pound of dust lost/mile
X 1300 miles from the mine to Cherry Point
Convert to tons (of dust lost per year) 286,520
Equivalent number of coal cars per year (at 120 tons/car)
2,388
Equivalent number of coal trains per year (at 125 cars per train) 19

Yes, the equivalent of 19 full trains of coal each year will be strewn through the homes, communities and businesses along the route. On crops, in the water, in the air! And in the Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area.
And this is only for about 1/3 of the total exports if all terminals are approved!
Do not let this happen!

James Chase (#12665)

Date Submitted: 01/22/13
Location: Portland, OR
Comment:
Jan 22, 2013

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.

In 2012 there were 20 derailments of coal trains in the US and Western Canada. I have seen how the railroads clear the tracks after a derailment. Cars and cargo are bulldozed off the tracks. They will do anything to re-open the tracks as quickly as possible!
With the proposed increase in the number of coal trains derailments are a mathematical certainty. Some of these will occur in the Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area and many of the tracks through the Gorge are right on the Columbia River.
What will the impact be to the water in the Columbia when many cars full of coal derail and plunge into the River?
And what impact on fish and other wildlife in and along the River?
What limits will be places on the railroad concerning how these derailments will be cleared? I.E., rather than just shoving it all into the River!
What indemnification will be required of Ambre (who owns the coal) and the railroad (who is transporting it) to be able to financially handle the cleanup of such a disaster?
Thank you!

Sincerely,

Mr. James Chase

James Ciecko (#13484)

Date Submitted: 01/21/13
Location: Mount Vernon, WA
Comment:
The potential impacts of the proposed coal terminal at Cherry Point,Washington are far reaching. The scope of the EIS must therefore be wide ranging -- addressing the economic and environmental impacts in communities from the Powder River Basin to Northwest Washington, not to mention the possible impact on global warming.

In the first place the benefit of exporting coal is questionable. The rush to export coal has more to do with the fact that demand for coal in this country is declining than it does with the economic benefits which are being put forward by the supporters of this project. Washington state is in the process of closing down its last coal fired power plant. How does it follow that building the largest coal export facility in the US is beneficial to the people of this state? What about the air pollution that will return to our state from across the Pacific?

The transportation of this coal by rail must also be addressed. The impacts along the proposed route include traffic, safety issues, air pollution issues, and potential economic impacts to communities through which these additional trains will pass. According to the Skagit Valley Herald there would be 18 additional trains per day for a total of 38 each day. The newspaper also points out that a 2006 study of state rail capacity said "...rail segments between Ferndale and Burlington would exceed practical capacity by 2015."

Finally the potential impacts in the marine environment are probably the most concerning of all. The state of Washington, various federal agencies, Tribal fisheries managers, and many citizens groups have been working for years to save this very special marine ecosystem. The activities at this proposed site will have significant impacts in the marine environment from the first day of construction on throughout its life. These impacts need be carefully evaluated in terms of not only protecting what already exists, but also how this will affect the ongoing efforts to improve and protect this very important environment.

I have been a member of the carpenters' union for 36 years and a resident of Skagit County for the last 6 years. I have heard many promises over the years of jobs and tax revenues from projects like this. Rarely are these promises ever fulfilled. I urge you to take a long and wide view at the impact of this project at this time.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the scope of the upcoming EIS.

Sincerely,
James Ciecko

James Cliff (#318)

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.

Most importantly, I eat from those waters! I am originally from the east coast and all the water there is too mucked up to eat anything from it. It would be a tragic and embarrassingly irresponsible decision to allow more industry in the Puget sound waters north of Seattle.
Elliott bad is already in bad shape. I would be furious if we fouled the Salish sea too!

Sincerely,

James Cliff

James Davidson (#13157)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
The form letter for this petition follows my personal comments.

Esteemed Ladies and Gentlemen:

An EIS scoping is an imperative to determine the limits of an impact statement. This is extremely crucial in the current proposition, as the impact of so much coal being burned is stupendous. Scientific data supports the position that such a huge amount of dirty hydrocarbon burning would have a devastating, perhaps irreversible, impact on the climate.

Releasing such a huge amount of carbon into the atmosphere would have the effect of raising the acidity of the ocean to such a level that the plankton in the oceans, which are responsible for 80% of the oxygen produced on the planet, would die off to such a degree that a world wide mass extinction would occur. This mass extinction would be comparable to the world's largest mass extinction event ever, 265 million years ago, and for the same reasons. At that time, due to the lack of oxygen, life on this planet was killed off to the point that it took the planet 60 million years to recover, Life was basically killed off back to the level of green slime, world wide.

No humans, no butterflies, no nothing, except slime.

Now is NOT the time to stand behind the climate change denying crazy tea party, and mega billionaires wanting more money than they can conceivably spend.

Now IS the time to stand behind the climate, behind life, behind love of life.

If there is a God, how would the extinction of 90% of all His life on the planet, based on YOUR judgement of this issue, impact His judgement of YOU?


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

There are currently five coal export proposals that would transport as much as 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.

James Day (#11872)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
As an experienced marine and terrestrial ecologist in Puget Sound areas and through out the US western states, I must state objection to coal mining and shipping. Coal mining destroys topsoil, watersheds and habitat for wildlife and humans. The value of coal extracted is short term and does not create long term benefit to humans or wildlife.

Shipping large quantities of mined coal via rail will place demands on freight lines that are already poorly maintained and a source of invasive species spread, wildfire threat and direct environmental damage from chemicals used to control plants. In addition disease from virus and bacteria spread via train cars and from direct dispersal of dust and pollutants from rail cars along the rail corridor that extends all the way to the Idaho/Washington boarder from terminals in Everett, Tacoma and Seattle.

The impact of increased coal shipment can and should be compared to the rail shipment of coal to the TransAlta coal fired plant in Lewis county. The impact of blocking rural rail road crossings is substantial, limiting access to commercial opportunities and emergency medical help. Who will bear the cost of upgrading rural rail crossings and safety corridors?

As a resident of Downtown Tacoma I have experienced substantial coal dusting from rail cars passing through the port. It leaves a greasy black slime on most surfaces. To believe that this mercury laden dust is not also entering our bodies is beyond belief. Who will regulate and monitor the exposure to coal and other dust proximate to homes and businesses? Please review the literature for research related to the TransAlta mine and steam plant in Centralia and many other coal mining communities across the United States to discover the impact of coal mining, transport and burning on those communities. It is your duty to do this research to document the expected impact of any rail shipments across the all the communities impacted by this cargo.

Coal barges tend to operate in shallow coastal areas and require huge motors to propel these heavy vessels. The wakes from these vessels do tremendous damage to coastal marine life in fragile areas that have already been damaged by decades of exposure and development along Puget Sound and the Columbia river.

The atmospheric science shows that exhaust emitted from burning coal in Asia follows winds and is deposited as rain onto North America. This is a foolish bargain to allow the most toxic of mercury emissions to rain down on us as payment for plundering our mineral deposits for short term power.

James DeCaro (#142)

Date Submitted: 09/30/2012
Location: Lake Stevens, WA
Comment:
The EIS scoping process needs to take into account and review the local, regional, and global impacts that the construction and the operation of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington. This project will negatively affect the local communities on and near the train routes 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. The trains will adversely affect the stability of the bluffs in Everett and Edmonds, upon which many homes and business are built on. Coal dust leaving the cars during travel will temporarily pollute the air, and permanently pollute the land and nearby streams and wetlands when it settles. Burning coal anywhere in the world increases global air pollution and climate change for everyone as well as increases the acidity of our oceans and poisons the marine life.

James DeCaro (#8268)

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

James DeRosso (#8445)

Date Submitted: 01/11/13
Location: Portland , 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.

Besides the impact on the beautiful Columbia River Gorge, coal is a backward, dirty, unsustainable energy source. Lets leave it, and instead shift our needs for energy to Solar development. It's time for us as a nation to grow up and make our energy decisions based on long term ideals, and to stop pandering to the desires of greedy extraction corporations.

Sincerely,
James DeRosso

James Dingman (#168)

Date Submitted: 10/01/2012
Location: Eastsound , WA
Comment:
Very concerned as a number of many San Juan Country residents on the signifcant increase of shipping in the Sound and potential ecological dangers.

Thanks,

Jim Dingman

james donovan (#543)

Date Submitted: 10/05/2012
Location: blaine , WA
Comment:
We are against this project for numerous reasons, which a few are listed above. This will affect our area in a very negative way . To bring up the idea that it will bring jobs to our community, the price is way to high to pay.

james donovan (#4245)

Date Submitted: 12/10/2012
Location: blaine, wa
Comment:
1.How do you think this will effect our home value?
2.How do you think regarding our commute driving on Grandview Avenue to I -5.
We need to get to the freeway by crossing the railroad tracks . Do you think our commute time will be the same time ,shorter, or longer ?
3.How often and at what times will the train whistles be blowing ?
4. How do you think this will effect our air quality ?
5.How do you think this will effect our water quality ?
6.How do you think this will effect wildlife and vegetation ?
7.How do you feel what impact this will have on fish and /or fisheries ?
8.How do you feel what impact this will have on wetlands and streams ?

James Donovan (#5060)

Date Submitted: 12/14/12
Location: Blaine, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

James Donovan (#5292)

Date Submitted: 12/18/12
Comment:
We are totally against this for a number of reasons which we have sent to a number of addreses. . For the number of jobs this would crerat versus the negative impacts that it would have on this area it is not worth the price . I would like a reply . Prove me wrong

James Duemmel (#10312)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
What will be the impact on the narrow rail corridor along the shoreline between Bellingham and Colony?

What is the impact of more and longer trains, more crossing blockage,on emergency response times in Bellingham and other communities?

How will the ship traffic, docking facilities and terminal affect the herring population at Cherry Point? This population is a food source for migrating birds.

Possible health effects of coal dust need to be carefully considered.

James Finet (#1957)

Date Submitted: 10/26/12
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

James French (#13249)

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

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

James Gale (#10123)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Comment:
I oppose the Gateway Pacific Terminal/Custer Spur for its adverse effects on the human and natural environment.

Thank you.

Jim Gale
Seattle

James Gerring (#515)

Date Submitted: 09/24/12
Location: Redmond, WA
Comment:
I strongly oppose 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.

Please do not authorize the construction of this environmentally harmful facility.

James Goodman (#6488)

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

James Groff (#12852)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
Location: Vancouver, WA
Comment:
The coal that we export results in a dirty air that we breathe and that doesn/t even deal with the coal dust that the trains leave as the pass through a community. It's really sickening in more than one way.

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.

James Groff (#14030)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Comment:
Just within the past week, the people of Beijing were forced indoors because of choking smoke and smog. And where does all of that smoke and smog go? It drifts across the Pacific and we breath it later. When will we learn to use better ways for energy. We in the USA are gradually learning and it will take the Chinese more time to learn. The coal that we will ship will choke us!!!!!!

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.

James Hadcroft (#13919)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Comment:
I am a Veteran, Active Voter and TaxPayer. 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.

James Hansen (#11230)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Comment:
Climate science is clear that coal emissions must be phased out rapidly if today's young people and future generations are to have a reasonably stable climate that allows them to enjoy the benefits of nature that the present and preceding generations have had. Given the knowledge that we now possess about the consequences, for young people and nature, of this proposed coal use, shipping of the coal becomes a matter of immorality, a matter of inter-generational injustice.

Full discussion of this matter is beyond the scope of my comment today, but I would be glad to provide fuller information in the future in appropriate circumstances.

James Harris (#7029)

Date Submitted: 01/12/2013
Location: bellingham,, WA
Comment:
Will all the coal ships waiting in line to access the terminal, be idling in the Bellingham Bay?
If so, won't the exhaust from the ships become quite a health problem for those of us who have impaired breathing from allergies, etc, ??

James Henry (#8392)

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

James Highland (#13074)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Zigzag, OR
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington. This proposal would negatively affect my community.
Please vote against it!

James Hill (#13991)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Comment:
I am concerned about the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington. The proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal may negatively affect communities in the Pacific Northwest and may damage aquatic ecosystems and fishing grounds at the terminal site. In addition, the proposal may 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.

James Hipp (#9066)

Date Submitted: 01/17/13
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
My name is James Hipp and I live in Bellingham, 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.

Thank you, James Hipp

James HOffman (#5456)

Date Submitted: 12/24/12
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
Dear Sirs/Madams,
I am very concerned about the proposed Gateway Pacific
Coal Terminal. Area of particular concern that I would ask you to study include:
- Traffic Problems- With 18 additional- 1 ½ mile trains coming through Seattle and Puget Sound area. Particular concern is the blockage in SODO area of Seattle – and anywhere else cars must stop and wait. We are talking very long waits for people. This will not only frustrate people, but it will turn many people away – and that is an economic affect too.
- These additional trains will also affect emergency services. If police and fire fighters are delayed – the could mean loss of lives and expensive loss of property. Traffic impact must surely be studied.

James Hoffman (#5458)

Date Submitted: 12/24/12
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
Dear Sirs/Madams,
I am very concerned about the proposed Gateway Pacific
Coal Terminal. Area of particular concern that I would ask you to study include:
- Environmental impact of possible derailment. WE know it happens. Due to mud slide a train derailed and numerous cars toppled over this week. We need to study the impact this has when such a coal train derails and is overturned.
One of the most precious and valuable commodities we have here in the Pacific Northwest is our environment. As we threaten that- we affect all life forms and undermine the economic foundation of our clean environment that generates income (fishing, tourism, etc) for many.
Thank you.

James Hoffman (#5461)

Date Submitted: 12/24/12
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
Dear Sirs/Madams,
I am very concerned about the proposed Gateway Pacific
Coal Terminal. Area of particular concern that I would ask you to study include:
- Environmental impact of the coal dust leached into the air from transport
One of the most precious and valuable commodities we have here in the Pacific Northwest is our environment. As we threaten the air we affect all life forms and undermine the economic foundation of our clean environment that generates income (fishing, tourism, etc) for many.
Thank you.

James Hopkins (#9714)

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

I am a property owner in San Juan County. I am concerned about the continued vitality of the Salish Sea, where coal ships would make over 950 transits per year if the Gateway Pacific Terminal were to be built. I request that the GPT Environmental Impact Statement include the entire coal transportation corridor so that communities along the rail and marine routes are given due consideration.

I am especially concerned about oil and coal spill risks. Questions that concern me, and which objective, rigorous and comprehensive studies should address include:
• How will GPT's marine vessel traffic increase collision risks with tankers and other cargo ships in the area?
• What would be the effects on our region of a catastrophic oil and/or coal spill?
If there is no positive assurance and insurance from those involved against any potentially significant impacts, please consider a no build option.

Sincerely,
James Hopkins

James Hopkins (#9715)

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

I am a property owner and 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 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,
James Hopkins

James Hopkins (#9717)

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

I am a property owner and 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 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,
James Hopkins

James Hopkins (#9719)

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

I am a property owner and 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 (GPT) were to be built. I request that the GPT Environmental Impact Statement include the entire coal transportation corridor so that communities along the rail and marine routes are given due consideration.

I am especially concerned about the impacts of shipping on air pollution. An objective, rigorous and comprehensive study should be undertaken to see what impact of air pollution associated with increased vessel traffic will have on our region and what impact these increases will have upon air quality standards.

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

Sincerely,
James Hopkins

James Hopkins (#9721)

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

I am a property owner and 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 am especially concerned about the impacts of coal dust emissions from the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal on the marine environment. Questions that concern me, and which objective, rigorous and comprehensive studies should address include:
• What will be the rate of coal dust emissions from stock piles, in addition to other local sources, such as conveyor belts, as well as emissions from rail sources within the terminal (e.g., unloading)? This study should focus upon an understanding of factors that influence coal dust emission rates including wind strength, averages and extremes.
• What will be the impact of coal dust in the marine environment, and upon vulnerable species and ecosystems in particular?
If there is no positive assurance and insurance from those involved against any potentially significant impacts, please consider a no build option.

Sincerely,
James Hopkins

James Houston (#889)

Date Submitted: 10/20/2012
Location: Sedro Woolley, WA
Comment:
I am totally against the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal.

Burning the millions of tons of coal that would be shipped out of the terminal will have a significant detrimental impact on the environment both in terms of the carbon dioxide and the pollutants released into the air. Once the coal leaves our country we have no control how these pollutants are controlled, if at all. It makes no sense for us to reduce and control the coal fired plants in the U.S. and yet send coal offshore to be burned by another country. We suffer the impact with no benefit except to a few companies that mine and transport the coal. How many more cancers will result from the coal being burned and how much will it contribute to global warming.

Secondary, but still significant, is the issue of the road traffic problems created by the increased train traffic through the middle of many towns along the rail corridor. Most of the crossings are at grade and will result in significant delays for emergency vehicles and the flow of commerce while the trains pass. This issue can be resolved if the railroad is willing to fund the construction of over/under passes to replace all the grade crossings. Even if this is undertaken the construction will have a significant impact on many communities. This cost should under no circumstances be forced onto the taxpayers.

While I live several miles from the rail corridor, I am concerned about the health impact coal dust scattered along the route will have on those folks who do live along the corridor. We are a community and what hurts them hurts me, both socially and financially.

James Johnson (#14671)

Date Submitted: 01/21/13
Location: Sedro-Woolley, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Files:

James Kintzele (#8201)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Location: Mount Vernon, WA
Comment:
My name is James Lee Kintzele III, and I am currently a full time student studying Electronics Engineering at Western Washington University, in Bellingham, WA, less than 20 miles from the proposed Cherry Point Coal Exporting Terminal. I live in Mount Vernon, WA, and my house is within 400 yards of the railroad tracks that will be carrying this coal to Cherry Point. I served Honorably in the US Navy, and also sailed for 5 years onboard the US Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrations fleet of fisheries research vessels. I am 34 years old.

I am deeply concerned that this proposed coal exporting issue is not going to fully address all of the global environmental issues that will be caused by burning more coal, especially the increased levels of Mercury that we will all be exposed to.

A new study from the Biodiversity Research Institute in Maine found that 84 percent of fish have unsafe levels of mercury. That poses a health risk for humans, exceeding the guidelines for eating certain kinds of fish more than once a month.

(http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18563_162-57563739/study-finds-unsafe-mercury-levels-in-84-percent-of-all-fish/)

Burning coal releases mercury into the air. Since this coal will be shipped to China, who has a history of not scrubbing their coal burning power plants, allowing this coal to be shipped to China would have a negative impact on fish around the globe, and the global implications on mercury levels in fish must be addressed for this process. While the United States is continually cleaning up our energy producing production, we have no say on what China will do.

Thank you for addressing this global concern of mine.

James Landreth (#1015)

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

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Being from the State of Washington, I can honestly say that I strongly disapprove of this action of transporting coals through these waters.
The Northwest is one of the last major sanctuaries for this species and subspecies (yes, a subspecies of orca whale exists in the Puget Sound (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Killer_whale#Types). As an American, I can also say that I strongly oppose this move in general. I am tired of commercial exploitation of our natural resources and will not stand for it any longer.

Sincerely,

James Landreth
PO Box 2611
Sequim, WA 98382-4347

James Landreth (#13119)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Sequim, 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. Clean coal does not exist in the past, and will not exist in our future.

James Loucky (#6479)

Date Submitted: 01/04/13
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Dear Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Ecology and Whatcom County Council:

I urge you to NOT recommend construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington. It is increasingly clear that the worst case climate scenarios are the most accurate ones. Together and immediately, we must address this global problem, which has hugely deleterious implications for human health, community wellbeing, and long-term prospects for a healthy planet.

Locally, the particulate and noise pollution will forever change the nature of communities in the Pacific northwest. Access to the shoreline is economically, environmentally, and spiritually invaluable; the lengthy and dangerous train traffic alone will entail incalculable damage.

Ecosystems are complexly interconnected, and all scientific evidence (as well as common sense) indicates that a massive imprint of trade and transportation will have negative consequences, perhaps irreversible ones. One accident of a super-tanker will be enough to irreparably impact the Salish Sea, as we should have learned from the Exxon Valdez disaster.

The decision at hand is monumental. I urge you to side with life, including partnering with people in China as well as in North America, to shift priorities and livelihoods to energy sources and technologies of the present and future - not archaic, counter-productive coal-based ones.

Therefore, I urge the Army Corps of Engineers to require a broad Environmental Impact Statement to assess the cumulative impact of these proposals, including communities along the rail line and shorelines in the Pacific northwest, as well as the climatic impacts throughout the Pacific rim and worldwide.

Respectfully yours,
Dr. James Loucky

James Mayton (#5551)

Date Submitted: 12/28/2012
Location: Seattle, Wa
Comment:
Dear Mr. Perry:

I live in the Ravenna neighborhood of Seattle, in large part because of my strong affinity for city parks and my love for the neighborhood’s trophy, Ravenna Park. The proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal would bring a significantly greater number of trains through Seattle, carrying uncovered loads of coal through areas very near to the city parks and green spaces that I cherish.

I would like the EIS to examine the incredibly significant impact of the increased air pollution from the coal dust and particulates that come off of the train as well as the trains’ combustion. More specifically, I would like the human health impact of increased train air pollution to be studied, especially the impacts that will be had on the children that frequent the many parks that are near the city’s train tracks.

Besides human health, I am also especially concerned about the effects of coal dust and other coal trail emissions on the amphibians that inhabit parks and wetlands along the whole route of the coal trains generally, but the portion that runs through Seattle in particular. Since Pacific Tree Frogs are a keystone species, I would like the EIS to examine the impact that the proposed project would have on Pacific Tree Frog populations in that area, as well as the effects on those frogs’ predators and prey, especially mosquito and bird populations. The study should identify a projected number of Pacific Tree Frogs that inhabit an area within 1000 meters of the intended train route and would be exposed to toxic coal dust, as well as the number of frogs that live in watersheds that will be contaminated as water runoff amasses coal train pollutants and increases the toxicity of their local ecosystems.

If the proposed project cannot be rejected and absolutely must be developed, I would like the EIS to examine alternative train routes, including potential routes that might be created if new tracks were developed that lead the train on a path that is further away from large human and animal populations than current routes allow.

Please contact me if there is any clarification you’d like me to provide regarding my desire to have the proposed project’s impacts on human, amphibian, bird, insect, and general wetland ecosystem health. As a student of environmental studies and sustainable development at the University of Washington, I do not see any way that the proposed project can be developed in an economically feasible way that would successfully mitigate the momentous environmental costs that would be inflicted upon the city of Seattle, the entire State of Washington, and the bioregion.

Sincerely,

James Mayton

James McBride (#3159)

Date Submitted: 11/12/12
Location: Walla Walla, 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 exacerbating climate change. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.
PS - Bury all nuclear waste under the Pentigon.

Sincerely,

James Mcbride
427 S 1st Ave Apt 5
Walla Walla, WA 99362-3167
(509) 876-4642

James McCallum (#7433)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Comment:
The noise impact of numerous additional trains rumbling past at over one mile in length with (bull horn) air whistles at each crossing represents an assault on the environment (people, wildlife and unstable slopes). The Puget Sound coast line is justly famous for its scenic beauty and natural environment. The proposed added noise impact on top of an already high decibel baseline associated with existing train transport levels will irrevocably diminish our quality of life, inflicting real economic damage to the thousands of homes and businesses along (or in close proximity) to the route. Anyone doubting this should take a trip along Chuckanut Drive on a nice day and consider the before and after situation.

James Miller (#8270)

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

James Milstead (#10213)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Comment:
My name is James E. Milstead. I reside at 1469 Oriental Avenue where I have lived since 1992. I have a daughter Lisa Heaps, residing at 9 Flynn Court, who suffers from multiple sclerosis.

I agree with Dr. Sara Mostad in her assessment of the health risks associated with the transport of coal to SST.

The following information was obtained from the report Mercury Influences on Body Chemistry by Jeremy E. Kaslow, MD,FACP,FACAII, Physician and Surgeon, Board Certified Internal medicine.

It is essential that a Thorough Investigation of the negative impacts of all health disorders linked to coal, diesel particulates, coal dust, arising from the expansion of SST be undertaken before approval is even remotely considered. Thank you very much for your Environmentally responsible action.

Among the contaminants carried on the coal cars that will be passing through Bellingham are mercury and cadmium. Mercury has long been known to influence the nervous system. Prolonged exposure produces the “Mad hatter’s disease as a result of its negative impact on Dopamine, Serotonin, Adrenalin, and Noradrenalin, magnesium, and manganese .Its reproductive effects include Infertility, and miscarriage through the reduction of progesterone.
Mercury displaces other minerals such as magnesium (resulting in an irregular heartbeat, PMS, anemia, thyroid dysfunction, impaired growth, acne, impaired liver enzymes). Research indicates that mercury has the potential to disturb all metabolic processes.

Cadmium appears to be the principal contributor of autoimmune thyroid disease. It has been found to deplete selenium essential for the synthesis of both deiodinase and glutathione peroxidase essential in maintaining normal thyroxin production.

Coal dust contaminated with these toxins, will most certainly blow south from British Columbia during times of high wind velocities. These are certain to influence the health of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.
Attached Files:

James Morgan (#13457)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Olympia, WA
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington, or anywhere else in the Pacific Northwest for that matter! 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.

James Morrison (#8349)

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

James na (#1644)

Date Submitted: 10/29/12
Comment:
To whom it may concern,

I am all for this terminal to be built. There is absolutely no reason not to. I'm positive we can reach an agreement that would suit everyone involved. WE NEED THE JOBS! I (and many of my friends) are sick of Environmentalists (a small minority of the people) taking a stance that is ALWAYS there way or no way. That is not how negotiations are done. We can do this and keep it clean.

Let's not stand in the way of progress and and future jobs for us and our children...because without these jobs, there is no future and no end to a recessionary way of life.

WE deserve better than minority interests burying their heads in the sand.

My vote is YES! Move forward with this project!


Sincerely,

James

James Paine (#4014)

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

James Paine (#6633)

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

James Paine (#7267)

Date Submitted: 01/10/13
Location: Everett, 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, destroying and preventing much more jobs than the coal companies propose to supply, 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.

James Paine (#11493)

Date Submitted: 01/16/13
Location: Everett, 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, destroying much more current and future jobs than the shipping jobs it would create, 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.

James Parry (#11369)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Spokane, WA
Comment:
Train-load after train-load of coal traveling through Spokane will certainly have a negative affect on automobile traffic. But more importantly, hundreds of uncovered coal cars will pollute our air, water, and vegetation. The goal is to sell it to China so they can burn it, causing even more pollution - pollution over our entire planet! This is an insane idea.

James Piwetz (#13731)

Date Submitted: 01/17/13
Comment:
I strongly support 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 support communities in the Pacific Northwest by increasing employment and boosting existing businesses. I urge you to favorably consider these significant beneficial impacts to the Pacific Northwest in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

James Powers (#2909)

Date Submitted: 11/09/12
Location: Albany, OR
Comment:
Dear Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Ecology and Whatcom County Council:

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

There are many local ecological damage reasons to oppose this project which others have addressed.

In addition, it is morally wrong to facilitate the mining and burning of more carbon fuels until the world can determine that it is safe to do so.

Sincerely,
James Powers



James Powers
PO Box 225
Albany, OR 97321

James Randles (#2474)

Date Submitted: 11/05/12
Location: Mt Vernon, WA
Comment:
CH2MHILL,

Please include the attached letter in the scoping comments for the Gateway Pacific Terminal and Custer Spur proposed project. Thank you.

James Randles

(attachment below)

November 3, 2012
GPT/Custer Spur EIS
c/o CH2M HILL
1100 112th Avenue NE, Suite 400
Bellevue, WA 98004
To whom this may concern:
Please accept the following comments regarding the scoping process for the Gateway Pacific Terminal and Custer Spur proposed project. I live in Mount Vernon, WA approximately one quarter mile east of the rail line.
• While my comments are specific to Mount Vernon I ask that significant adverse impacts in all communities impacted by the Gateway Pacific Terminal project be identified through comments such as mine, studied, and mitigation strategies developed for all those affected communities identified as having significant adverse impacts.
• The additional trains will create more automobile traffic back-ups. I am concerned that the downtown Mount Vernon business core will be adversely impacted as customers will go elsewhere to conduct their shopping and business activities to avoid these traffic delays. Please study what the economic impacts will be to the downtown business core as a result of the traffic delays resulting from full build-out of the project. Please study how the various mitigation strategies identified will lessen any economic impacts identified.
• When a coal train is passing through town, Medic One, the fire department and other first responders may suffer delays that could impact their ability to respond to emergent situations. Please study the potential adverse effects to health and safety after full build-out. Automobile and/or train underpasses and overpasses are legitimate mitigation strategies. Please study them as to their merit in reducing traffic delays and adverse economic impacts to the local business community. Please study the costs of mitigation to include them at key crossings and identify who will be responsible for those costs.
• As the former director of the Northwest Clean Air Agency, I know how harmful diesel exhaust can be. During my tenure a number of projects were undertaken to lessen the impacts from diesel exhaust some of which could be applied to the coal train locomotives. There will be increased exposure to diesel particulates and other toxic air pollutants from the train exhaust as well as emissions from idling cars during a traffic stoppage. Please include a baseline study of diesel exhaust health impacts plus a study of the cumulative health impacts associated with full build-out of the terminal. If there are significant adverse health impacts associated with combustion emissions, please study how effective the mitigation efforts will be by including cleaner burning diesel fuel and clean engine retrofits for the locomotives to reduce harmful exposures from products of combustion.
• Please study and identify the mitigation costs not committed to by the proponent that will be borne by the City of Mount Vernon and Skagit County so that the quality of life, safety and economic vitality of Mount Vernon are not negatively impacted.
Please include me on your mailing list for further notifications and documents that arise out of this project. Thank you for your consideration of my comments.
Sincerely,

James Randles

James Reichart (#7792)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I am very concerned about exporting coal to China. When coal is combusted in China, it will cause emissions of greenhouse gases especially Carbon Dioxide contributing to global warming.

James Roberts (#504)

Date Submitted: 09/25/12
Location: Palouse, WA
Comment:
If you ever visit a coal export port facility, you are immediately struck by how dirty it is. There is coal dust in the water and all over the ships. It looks like one of the worst ecological disasters you have ever seen.

Sadly, the environmental damage at the port is only part of the story.
The destruction spreads far and wide, in the global effects of climate change, in the devastating effects of mining in the Powder River Basin, in increased health damage to those living downwind from coal burning plants, and in communities all along the rail line suffering from coal dust pollution and noise from massive railroad traffic.

I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington. This proposal would negatively affect communities by increasing 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,

James Roberts

James Roberts (#13835)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Comment:
Some things are not worth doing because of all the negative side effects. I don't mean bad effects that MIGHT happen, but negative effects that WILL happen. Shipping coal from the west coast is one of those things that are not worth doing. The negative effects will be huge, simply huge. For one thing, that coal will then be burned contributing major amounts of pollution and greenhouse gases. That would be a major mistake of huge proportions. Ask any reputable climate scientist. Ask the Union of Concerned Scientists. 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.

James Robitaille (#6730)

Date Submitted: 01/10/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Docket No.  FD 30186
Attention of:  Mr. Ken Blodgett

I implore you and all other agencies working on the EIS for the proposed Tongue River Railroad to seriously examine the following issues before any approval is made:
Overall Public Convenience and Necessity: This proposed railroad is not for the “public convenience and necessity” which I understand is what is required in order for a body to get the power of eminent domain and condemnation authority. This railroad would serve only one coal company giant, Arch Coal, not the general public and it's sole purpose is to sell our natural resource of coal to China and other Asian countries. This serves only the wealthiest 1%.
Environmental Pollution: A study of the direct effects that these coal trains will have on the people, animals, land, water and air caused from the increased diesel pollution and coal dust which blows off these trains must be conducted. Contamination of mercury, lead, arsenic and other heavy metals must be measured to see it's effect on all living organisms in this area.
Impacts on Property Values: The project would devalue property and infringes on property rights. This railroad will cause fires, spread weeds, devalue property (especially riverfront property), will make ranching and farming more difficult because it will split ranch land in half and separate fields from the river and will shift the liability of train crossings to the landowner, taxpayers and county budget responsibilities, while returning no financial rewards to these parties.
Wildlife: The Tongue River Valley has one of the last remaining in-tact wildlife habitats in the world and is home to outstanding elk and mule deer populations, as well as upland birds. Allowing the industrialization of this valley with a railroad and the coal strip mine it serves will seriously degrade this excellent sportsman resource now and for future generations.
Flooding: The railroad bed will act as an earthen dam and potentially worsen the flooding problems now experienced in Miles City in the winter with ice jams.
Noise/Quality of Life: The amount of loud trains rumbling through this valley will both ruin the quiet enjoyment of all the residents near Miles City, along with nearby recreation areas, but will also have a detrimental effect in disrupting the animal habit and breeding in this area.
Infrastructure and Traffic: Taxes will go up for residents communities along the rail lines as the coal heads to coastal ports for shipment do to the needed infrastructure. This railroad will increase coal train traffic substantially causing traffic delays, noise, and diesel pollution. The only way to live with this increased traffic will require expensive over passes and safety crossing, not paid for by the railroad purposing this expansion, but are paid for primarily by local taxpayers and city governments.

The Tongue River Railroad will take our natural resource which should stay in the ground, but instead be burned in China and will fuel intolerable, decades-long increases in Carbon Dioxide emissions. The greenhouse gas costs of Otter Creek coal go far beyond just burning the coal. It must be mined, hauled by trains fueled by diesel to purposed West Coast terminals, shipped overseas by ships fueled by diesel, and then transported throughout China to it's coal fired energy plants. There are BETTER alternatives that are available today and must be used today for the sake of the planet and civilizations future. We each have a responsibility to do what is right, just and sustainable for today and future generations.
As responsible citizens given the job to protect it's people and it's overall community, we ask you to do just that and conduct an expansive EIS covering all of the topics listed above.

James Robitaille (#11917)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
My name is James (Jim) Robitaille. I have been a Bellingham resident for over 12 years. My family and I moved to this area because of the natural beauty, available outdoor activities, clean air, water, low crime rate, healthy living conditions and the pristine Mountain and Island locations for all to enjoy. We were also attracted to the area because of the favorable cost of real estate, cost to feed a growing family and overall cost of living. In our search for a new home, we were also specifically looking for an area which provided quality academic opportunities at all levels of development. Bellingham meet that challenge in every way. We have three children and they have each enjoyed attending elementary, high school and Western Washington University while living here in Bellingham. Bellingham is and always will be our home. It is for that reason that we each have serious concerns about the changes a coal terminal would have in our lives, to our health, and in our future economic opportunities.
I have spent the past year researching, studying and staying informed about the many issues involved in this complex plan SSA Marine and GPT has put forth. I have tried to identify many of the pertinent concerns that my family and I have, along with what this community would like answers to. With that in mind, below I have compiled a list of scoping comments for the lead agencies to address and examine. I wish that this was an easy process with easy answers to our concerns. However, I realize that this is a very complex process of the issues at hand. Many necessary questions will be asked that need answers in order to ensure that we all, both local and global communities are taking the steps to provide sustainable solutions to living in an industrialize world. Answers which first protect it's community at all levels, with attention to the health of it's residents and other living creatures and/or organisms that share our ecosystems. While also not forgetting it's community cultural wellbeing, established ways of life and the existing economic income enjoyed by all.

While I would like to say more, I will make my intro brief and save you time so that you can focus on the real issues at hand, the concerns I have listed below.
Thank you in advance for your review of these issues and I look forward to your completed answers to these and many other concerns the people of Whatcom county have regarding the GPT proposal. I trust that before permitting GPT's plan is approved, that each and every community concern is fully explored, impacts thoroughly studied and all explained in the final draft scoping statement.

As I have posted a variety of concerns, I have listed each concern based upon specific topic heading and hope this has been helpful.

Train Transportation

A.) Blocked Emergency Response
The critical issue of emergency vehicles, fire, ambulance and police, or any other vehicles taking personnel to hospitals and those responding to an emergency will be delayed at train crossings at a time when seconds mean life or death to a patient and residents needing help.

1. Examine the effects that 9 to 18 additional trains , at one and half mile in length will have on delays for first responders at-grade crossings throughout Whatcom county and especially in city of Bellingham where pollution density is much greater.
2. How many crossing are there throughout the county and in the more densily polluated area of Bellingham and what type of mitigation would reduce these delays.

B.) Railroad Crossing Hazards
Although SSA Marine promotes the fact that they will be paying $10 million annually in taxes, many of us think that amount is inadequate considering the anticipated public investment required. Those investments would be in upgrades to rail safety, yet federal law prohibits railroads from paying more than ten percent of cost for safety improvements such as at-grade crossings. Since the increased train traffic levels obviously require significant safety improvements, this will seriously impact public budgets at a time when most city are experiencing current deficits. . 
1. Examine the number of at-grade crossings that would have to be bridged to provide the necessary safety requirements.
2. What the total cost would be including other safety upgrades required for the added train traffic.
3. A specific breakdown of the economic feasibility and who exactly would be responsible for these costs.

C.) Coal Dust Along Transportation Route
Proponents of the project will argue that state-of-art best management practices will be employed in every aspect of the handling of the coal, but researching other terminals, places like Seward, Alaska where the railroad and coal company are currently being sued for Clean Water Act violations, or Robert’s Bank in British Columbia where oxygen depletion is being observed in near shore habitats. Additionally, coal dust is an issue at a marina five miles south from the facility. In these cases, as in others, performance speaks much louder than promises.
Mercury, Arsenic and other Heavy Metals naturally occurs in coal: Mercury pollution is a serious threat to human health with pregnant women and the unborn being most vulnerable to this peril. With the smallest amount of these deadly and carcinogenic properties being present in either our water systems (leaching down into our aquifers) or being blow into our rivers, streams, sea water, onto eel grass and herring spooning grounds at Cherry Point, each would have detrimental effects on all living organisms.
Initial estimates of coal shipments to Cherry Point are put at 24 million metric tons. Moving up from 24 to 48 million metric tons of coal annually in uncovered rail cars within a short period of time is a tremendous undertaking requiring at least nine additional full, nine empty, mile-and-a-half long trains daily traversing to and from Cherry Point through downtown Bellingham. According to BNSF’s website, these 15,000-ton trains will lose three percent of their load in transit or 1,780,000 short tons of coal dust spread annually (that's with the application of the chemical resin sprayed on the coal before leaving the mines) from the Powder River Basin to the terminal. So, in addition to increased noise, diesel exhaust and traffic delays, the City's and County's all along the rail line will also have to deal with a significant increase in coal dust accumulating in our neighborhoods and waterways.
1. On behalf of my family and our entire community, I petition the lead agencies to study the evidence demonstrating the amount of coal dust lost per train load in spite of spraying chemical adhesives/resins onto coal before transporting it.
2. To study/examine the effects of burning these adhesives/resins with coal and what additional air pollution might be created from this cocktail of chemicals.
3. To study the effects of what the loss of 3% or 1,780,000 metric tons of coal dust will do to our farm lands, water ways and air quality along the rail lines here in Bellingham and throughout Whatcom county. (I also strongly ask that a full Programmatic study (PEIS) be conducted, demonstrating the impact from the Powder River Basin to Cherry Point).
4. Examine the effects of inhalation of coal dust by people and all other living species. Specifically how it may have an increased effect on respiratory health especially for seniors, children and those suffering with Asama.

5. Focus study on the disproportionate impact on low-income communities which tend to be situated closer to transportation corridors and the cancer rate and respiratory problems of these residents compared to other parts of Bellingham city environment.

D.) Diesel Em missions
Diesel particulate matter (DPM) that is less than 2.5 microns in size, the most dangerous size, is emitted by the coal train locomotives. These particles go deep into the lungs of people who breathe the fumes and have been found to cause serious health effects including cancer.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency calls reducing pollution from diesel engines one of the county's most important air quality challenges. Diesel engines can produce large quantities of smog-forming nitrogen oxides and soot, which can cause lung and heart problems. Soot also plays a significant role in climate change, researchers say.
Studies on the impact of train-generated diesel exhaust in Stockton, California indicated a clear relationship between the proximity to train traffic and cancer.  This study observed a doubling of cancer rates within a zone of 200 yards of the rail operations.  While Bellingham projected traffic levels are less than Spokane or Stockton, the relationship between diesel particulates and cancer is well-documented at multiple locations. 
1. Examine the amount of diesel pollution produced by the added amount of 9 to 18 additional trains per day traveling throughout Whatcom county, and especially in the densely populated area of the city of Bellingham.
2. Examine the need to conduct air monitoring adjacent to and downwind of transportation corridors and not just at fixed site monitoring stations.
3. Monitoring can be conducted at existing operational coal terminals in the U.S. and British Columbia, and it is possible for this type of monitoring to be done now, extrapolating the geography, winds, and volume proposed at GPT. Additionally, the studies must include all rail communities from the terminal site at Cheery Point back to the mines at Powder River Basin.
 
E.) Property Values
The City of Bellingham alone has roughly $15 billion in real estate value which will be potentially devalued by noise (wheel squeaking and horn blasts), coal dust, and traffic.
Property value drops as small as one percent can have tremendous consequences in terms of individual worth.  These potential impacts need to be addressed in the public discourse.
Vibration from the extremely heavy coal trains has the potential to trigger landslides or land subsidence, especially when the ground is saturated as it did recently. This would have a devastating effect on homes above and below the rail lines, especially around the chuckanut ridge area.
Additionally, nobody wants to live or work in, or visit, a coal town, for good reason.  The coal terminal and related traffic will damage the reputations of all affected communities, which in recent years, Bellingham has spent millions of dollars building it's tourism business.

Coal trains are long and heavy (i.e., one and half miles long and up to 15,000 tons).  These trains are so heavy that they tend to flatten the rails, which causes much of the wheel squealing we hear during transit. These same extraordinary forces that impact tracks also act on geology. Given that much local development is on vulnerable or unstable formations such as the homes along Eldridge Avenue in Bellingham, this is a great concern that needs to be examined.

1. Examine the effects of 18 additional coal trains will have on property values from the added noise and train traffic.
2. Study to determine safety issues caused by the heavier coal trains in triggering landslides.
3. Examine the increased diesel and coal dust particle pollution on property values.

F.) Quality of Life Issue
Noise from the coal trains throughout the day and night will interfere with sleep, distract children at school, and disrupt business.  This noise impairs cognitive development especially in children, but can effect productivity in adults and has other impacts in people of all ages.

1. Quality of life is a great concern that needs to be examined. Loss of sleep creates loss of productivity, increases irritability and causes general malaise in people.
2. How can the noise issue be mitigated and at what cost?
3. Who will be responsible to pay that cost.


G.) Derailments:
Just in the past few months there have been two major train derailments on the West Coast. The likely hood of a coal train derailment is extremely high considering the terrain and distance they have to travel to a West Coast terminal. Add to this issue the overall weight and length (one and half miles long) of these trains, and the effect they have in continuing to erode the stability of the rails because of their weight. As these coal train travel along the coast, much of this territory is right at waters edge. If a coal train were to derail and coal gets deposited into these waters, it would destroy spooning grounds, vegetation, fishing and crabbing for many residents, and could even devastate oyster beds here locally in Bellingham Bay for many years.

1. Please examine what precautions or safety measures that would be put in place and how these companies would prevent derailments, especially along the coast line.
2. In the event of a derailment, examine how they would mitigate or clean up a spill/derailment of this magnitude.


Terminal Issues

H.) Physical Disruption:
 This project proposes to change the physical characteristics of the site in a significant manner including impacting 162 acres of wetlands and altering more than 2 miles of existing waterways.  High levels of vessel traffic in the area will also impact near shore and offshore conditions, particularly bulk carriers that are more prone  to catastrophic failures. Since this area could provide habitat or needed ecological function for 12 federally protected species and seven state protected species, the exact extent of these modifications is extremely important. 
In addition, I am particularly concerned about the vulnerable Pacific herring populations (a Dashboard Indicator for the Puget Sound Partnership’s recovery efforts) that spawn in eel grass beds in the near shore habitats around Cherry Point.  This formerly robust population—now at five percent of historic levels—was once a key building block of a critical food chain that starts with plankton and ends with salmon, orcas and humpback whales....and of course us people who love salmon. Any action that impacts eel grass or otherwise jeopardizes this population further will have ecological as well as potential economic impact via lost fishery or tourism revenues.
1. Examine the impact this terminal would have on all 162 acres of wetlands and to what extent this issue can realistically be mitigated.
2. Study the impact that this enormous size pier/dock would have in altering the geology of this site, along with the effects on the 2 miles of existing waterways surrounding this dock. 
3. Examine the effects the initial construction would have on both the eel grass at shore level and long term effects on eel grass from the physical activity at this site.
4. Examine the direct effects that fugitive coal dust will have on existing eel grass at Cherry Point.
5. Examine the direct effects that fugitive coal dust will have on the critical herring population.
6. Examine the direct effects that fugitive coal dust will have on deterring sustainable habitat or needed ecological function of the 12 federally protected species and 7 state protected species in the waters surrounding Cherry Point, and the exact extent of these modifications, if any.
7. Examine the direct effects that fugitive coal dust will have on the oxygen levels in the sea water of the bay around Cherry Point, including what the total distance or miles effected would be.
8. Examine the amounts of regulated and non-regulated pollution caused by fugitive coal dust, diesel particulate, spilled engine oil and the like as can be measured at current terminal sites at Roberts Point and else where.
9. Examine the effects of over one thousand transits of vessel traffic to the proposed GPT dock and it's potential disruption to the spooning of herring, along with 12 federally protected species and 7 state protected species in the waters surrounding Cherry Point
10. Please examine the destruction of the existing forested area and the overall impact this will have on the the natural habitat of existing animals in the area, as well as effects on the ecosystems surrounding Cherry Point and if this could realistically be mitigated.
11. Examine the size of the railroad spur suggested by GPT, its size, it's location on the property and it's impact on the lands ecosystems.
Cultural Impacts at GPT Sites
I.) First Nation Rights:
The purposed GPT site, known by its traditional name Xwe'chi'eXen, is considered a significant cultural site and an ancestral burial ground by the first nations people of the Lummi tribe. Their claim to the site's historical significance extends back hundreds of years, as it was a village site where the Lummi have fished, gathered and lived for over 175 generations. Cherry Point (Xwe'chi'eXen) is listed on the Washington state heritage register of culturally significant places.
Ancestral Burial Site:  The terminal and surrounding sites are part of an ancient Lummi village, and as such is considered by the Lummi people to be an ancestral burial site. Though the bones of Lummi ancestors were removed from the site during archaeological excavations of the 1940's and 1950's, the site remains sacred to the Lummi Nation, who has long opposed development of this property.
Historical Reefnet Site:  For thousands of years before European settlement, Lummi people fished at Cherry Point (Xwe'chi'eXen). The Lummi developed a unique reefnet technology to harvest salmon at the site while limiting by catch quantities. The sites traditionally used for this purpose (Sxwo'le) are protected by treaty and are considered both critical economic resources and historically significant areas.
Treaty Fishing Rights:  The Lummi people are signatories to the Point Elliot Treaty of 1855, which guaranteed the Lummi and several other Coast Salish first nations access to traditional fishing and gathering sites. In 1975, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a federal court decision issued in 1974 by District Court Judge George Hugo Boldt that affirmed the rights of the Coast Salish tribes to serve as co-managers of the Puget Sound salmon fishery. The threat posed by the coal terminal proposal to salmon habitat and fishery stocks has the potential to significantly impact the treaty and inherent rights (Chi'lang'e'lh) of the Coast Salish tribes to their traditional way of life.
1. Examine the rights given to the first nation people of the Lummi tribe to claim this property as a heritage site and sacred ancestral burial site to be untouched by development.
2. Examine the potential spiritual effects on first nation peoples of the Lummi tribe if this heritage site were no longer available to them and their ability to honor their ancestors there.
3. As signatories to the Point Elliot Treaty of 1855, please examine how this terminal would directly impact their ability to continue to fish and crab this area due to the potential increased pollution, the dead zone created by fugitive coal dust and the amount of disturbance from one thousand vessels transits to GPT dock.


J. )Fire Hazard at Refineries Caused by Fugitive Coal Dust
Coal dust is highly combustible. With two oil refineries within one mile apart in either direction from the GPT site, it should be a worry some concern. When coal dust is blown from these 80 foot high coal piles at the terminal during seasonal storms that bring 40 to 60 miles per hour winds to the area and onto one of the two nearby refineries sites, it could potentially create a fire hazard or other industrial hazardous condition.

1. Examine the direct effects that fugitive coal dust may have on local refineries, including fire hazard, equipment failures and human safety issues.

K.) Water Source, Usage and Storage at GPT Site
There has been a lot of discussions about fugitive coal dust at GPT site. According to the GPT website, their plan to control coal dust from blowing off these numerous 80 foot high coal piles is to spray fresh water on these piles. This will be a continuous spray of water onto the coal piles in order to manage the coal dust, and to also help GPT minimize the risk of spontaneous combustion of these coal piles, (a common problem with Powder River Basin coal). This fresh water source will come from one of two recently drilled wells which the city of Ferndale is now using as their source of city water to all their residents. (Prior to these wells being dug, the only available water source for GPT would have been supplied from the Nooksack river, which is already experiencing reduced flows). It is estimated that approximately 1.5 million gallons of water will be used per day in the process of wetting down the numerous stock piles of coal. GPT plans to capture some of the run off from this water and collect it in plastic lined pits or water storage areas for recycling and re-use. I have serious concerns about the volume of water to be used in relationship to the size and available amount of water in the existing aquifer to service both GPT and Ferndale's residents. Additionally, the land where the coal is stored will be saturated by water. This contaminated water will then drain down into the ground and potential into this the same aquifer suppling water to Ferndale's residents and or Cherry Point bay water.
1. Examine the quantity or actual volume of water that could be supplied by these new wells.
2. Examine if GPT volume of water used will effect the water needs of Ferndale residents.
3. Examine what monitoring measures will be put into place to safeguard the quality of this drinkable water for Ferrndale residents and who will it be responsible for monitoring.
4. Examine the the size of these recycling ponds, acreage needed and how these ponds will be constructed, height of retaining walls, type of liner and its rate of degradation in order to protect the ground from being contaminated.
5. Examine the feasibility of recycling this water and how GPT will dispose of the heavy particulates or slug without having a negative environmental impact.
6. Examine what precautions will be put in place to keep these ponds from overflowing during heavy rains, winds or storm conditions.
7. Examine if runoff were to reach the shore line at Cherry Point, what safety measures could be put in place to keep this contaminated water from reaching bay water, eel grass and herring spooning area.


Extended Programmatic EIS

L.) Shipping Coal to Asia:
Science has proven that carbon dioxide from both cars, trucks and industry are having a direct impact on climate change. The shipment of coal to China will result in more mercury in our water here locally.  In fact, a 2005 study by the United State Geological Survey drew the conclusion that atmospheric transportation is the main source of new mercury in Lake Whatcom and other Washington waterways. Thus, burning coal elsewhere, like China or other Asian countries, will increase the amount of mercury in our waterways, increasing human and animal exposure to this element. As a community and residents sharing this planet with other species, we have a responsibility to do what is necessary to provide a sustainable way of life for all. As science continues to show us the negative effects of man's use of fossil fuels (including coal) on our environment with the direct impact on eradicating many species each and every day due to these and many other toxic chemicals accumulating in our air, water and land, it is increasingly important that we look at every action or decision we make and whether it increases or decreases the planets risk of destruction. I realize that this statement may sound outlandish, but at the rate that climate change alone is impacting our world, we shorten our existence one hundred fold every degree warmer the planet becomes. (Reading the New York Times today 1-15-13, under great pressure from numerous complaints from it's citizens, the Chinese government has finally admitted that air pollution is a growing problem in their country. The air in Beijing on Jan. 14th was “brown, soupy thick air which has been consistently rated as hazardous, and rated even worst by foreign monitors” said the NYT. And unfortunately, air quality in China is a direct result of their rate of economic growth, which has lead to building one coal power plant per week). But even in China and else where, governments are now realizing that this growth at any expense is not sustainable and they are looking at alternatives provided by green energy, wind, solar and the like.

1. Please examine at what rate the pollution generated in China and carried by the jet stream to the shores of Washington state are effecting the quality of our air, lakes, water systems and our farm lands and measure the amount of mercury, heavy metals and the cocktail of chemical which are being deposited here.
2. Examine the direct result of reducing the burning of coal will significantly reduce carbon dioxide in our atmosphere and help to reduce climate change, both locally and globally.
3. Examine if the mercury that is being deposited in significant amounts to our waterways is from China, then this permit for GPT to ship more coal to China should not be permit able.


Vessel Transportation

M.) Pollution from Ships at Sea and at the Terminal Dock
Ships approaching and leaving the terminal will emit air pollutants, including sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbon PM, and carbon monoxide.  These pollutants can have serious health effects on all living organisms. Cape sized ships emit large quantities of pollutants from burning bunker fuel, one of the dirtiest fuels anywhere. Emissions from 1000 transits of these coal laden ships as they cross the Pacific Ocean will contribute to regional and global quantities of greenhouse gases, toxic air pollutants, acid rain pollutants, and particulate matter. If and when these vessels enter US waters and continue to burn bunker fuel (illegally), the level of local pollution will rise exponentially.

1. Please examine the current regulations on how close to shore these cape size vessels can burn bunker fuel and if these laws need to be reevaluated/revised to provide broader protection.
2. Examine what safeguards are in place to enforce any and all regulations of burning bunker fuel and ensure compliance.
3. Examine the level of pollution generated by these ships in US waters and how this can be mitigated.
4. Examine dock side levels of pollution, including sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbon PM, carbon monoxide and how they will be monitored and potentially mitigated.
5. Examine how pollution from accidental oil/fuel/chemical spills from these ships will be monitored and mitigated.


N.) Foreign Cape Sized Vessels
In recent years, invasive species have caused havoc to both fresh water lakes and to our local ocean waterways. With up to an additional 1000 vessel transits being added to the number of foreign vessels entering our waterways, it seems inevitable that an accident or disregard for our laws will occur and ballast will be emptied either in our bay or at dock side. The amount and specific invasive species released in this area could be devastating to our herring, salmon, orca populations and could have a detrimental effect on this area's ecosystems. Unlike most of the current tanker vessels traveling in this area, cape sized ships (which are 10 times larger than most tanker ships currently coming into the bay), are the largest vessels on the water. And unlike the refinery ships which travel mostly within US domestic waters, these cape sized ships will all come from an Asian destination. Crossing the Pacific ocean empty of cargo, these ships are forced to fill their ballast with hundreds of thousands of gallons of water from their geographical regions so that they can have better control of these vessels in the open ocean, thus the huge potential problem with invasive species.

1. Please examine current regulations on how close to shore these cape size vessels can empty their ballast and if these laws need to be reevaluated/revised to provide broader protection.
2. Examine what safeguards are in place to enforce any and all regulations and ensure compliance.
3. Examine the potential risk that a release of invasive species would have on both the bays ecosystems and all fish stocks in this area.
4. Examine what attempts would be put in place to mitigate this potential problem.


O.) Shipping Lane Congestion
The narrow and complex shipping lanes between Cherry Point and the open ocean already have substantial traffic. Introducing more than 500 new, extremely large ships per year (1000 vessel transits) will make existing problems with shipping lane congestion substantially worse. An ecological risk assessment commissioned by the Washington department of Natural Resources concluded that significant increases of vessel traffic in our waters would “inevitably increase the risk of an oil spill”. And according to NOAA, an oil spill poses the greatest threat to the Southern residents, including the destruction of many ecosystems in that area. Alarmingly, these cape size vessels are single-hulled cargo ships and carry more fuel/oil for propulsion then all oil tankers in US waters. These enormous vessels servicing the purposed GPT don't require a tugboat escort, despite having the worst safety record of all sea going vessels. Should a coal laden vessel run aground, or worse, collide with an oil tanker, thousand of gallons of heavy bunker and diesel fuel, and oil, would spill into the inland sea. Yet not only is this risk of disaster in our local water ways and the Straight of Juan de Fuca, but all along the entire Great Circle route, through the Aleutian Islands at Unimak Pass, (an extremely narrow passageway) and out to the south China sea.

1. Examine the increased risk of collusion or ships running aground in the Straight of Juan de Fuca and Rosario Straight with the addition of up to 1000 cape sized vessels transits in these waterways.
2. Examine the safety requirements for these enormous cape sized ships and establish the need to be escorted by tugboats.
3. Examine how a collision of these coal leaden ships would be handled and what clean up measures need to be put in place due to the inevitability of this happening.
4. Examine the need to establish a disaster response vessel(s ) for the Puget Sound region as required by companies drilling oil.
5. Examine how the desired route to China through the Aleutian Islands should be better controlled, monitored and passage prohibited at times of extreme weather.
6. Examine the potential of requiring an alternative route then through the Aleutians in order to reduce the potential collision risk or ships running aground an destroying this critical ecosystem.



Economic Concerns

P.) Blocked Rail Crossings
Frequently blocked crossings due to 9 to 18 additional coal trains may reduce the ability of businesses to attract customers and to deliver goods to their destinations. A large volume of coal trains going through downtown Bellingham will cut off the waterfront from the rest of town, impairing planned development, new jobs and have a negative effect on existing businesses.

1. Examine the economic impacts to existing and future businesses caused by the large volume of additional trains going through Bellingham.
2. Examine the needed mitigation to counter these delays and the economic feasibility.
3. Determine who would be responsible for cost and upkeep of these mitigations.


Q.) At-Grade Crossing Improvements Costs
Building bridges and bypasses to avert the delays caused by at-grade crossings are expensive. Local communities are generally required to pay for at least 90% of the costs of rail crossing improvements that are needed to deal with the increased train traffic. Most of these crossings are located within the city of Bellingham. With current Bellingham fiscal budget running at a deficit, how would these improvements be paid for by Mayor Linville and city government?

1. Examine at-grade crossing alternatives to allow for a better flow of traffic
2. Examine the economic feasibility of these improvements and who would be responsible for the cost of these crossing alternatives, along with what the total cost per bridge /overpass would be.


R.) Additional Safety and Rail Upkeep
Coal dust from coal trains damage the tracks, increasing maintenance costs and impair rail safety for all trains, including other freight and passenger trains, while also increasing the chance of derailments.

1. Examine BNSF studies regarding the problem associated with coal dust on rail systems.
2. Examine the need for frequency of safety inspections and who is responsible for monitoring these safety checks.
3. Examine who is responsible for the cost of this rail safety and up keep.


S.) Impeding the Growth of their Commodities and Freight
A large increase in coal trains (9 to18 trains per day) will have the effect of splitting communities at the rail line, to a greater extent than any current effects, by impeding free flow of people (including AmTrack) and traffic for personal and business reasons.

1. Examine what the overall effect of up to 18 additional trains would have on existing train traffic which may cause delays and/if the impact would cause higher cost of freight.
2. Examine the need for a spur or siding to allow for trains to pass and where this siding would be built.
3. Examine if a siding were determined necessary, at what cost and who would be responsible to pay.



T.) Impaired Development of High Speed Rail
If the existing lines receive a large increase in rail traffic, it would make it impossible to deploy high speed rail. A vast increase in coal train traffic will also interfere with existing cargo train traffic and important passenger lines. On a single track, passenger trains are typically required to pull into a siding to allow a coal train to go by. And when coal trains fully use all of the available rail lines, it will impair the use of the same lines for growth in passenger service, which means more traffic will be diverted onto roads such as I-5. With more truck and car traffic, there will also be increased road congestion due to added road construction periods which would have a direct effect on all businesses depending on the smooth flow of services brought to them by truck transportation.

1. Examine what the overall effect of up to 18 additional trains would have on existing passenger train traffic and what delays may be caused and/or if there would be a higher cost to ridership.
2. Examine the need for a spur or siding to allow for trains to pass and where this siding would be built.
3. Examine if a siding were determined necessary, at what cost and who would be responsible to pay.


U.) Giving Away U.S. Natural Resources
Congress has auctioned off property in Powder Ridge Basin which is rich in coal reserves to companies like Arch coal and Peabody Energy for a fraction of the cost of the land. This basically amounts to subsidizing these companies. In the past, most of this coal was used domestically in order that the U. S. economy could have cheap energy from coal fired power plants. As BLM land, the coal in the ground is owned by the U.S. Government and we the tax payers. But this coal is provided to the big coal companies for less than $1 a ton, a fraction of its actual value. An examination needs to be conducted on whether we should REALLY allow this resource to be sold at the same price when the purpose of this coal being shipped to China is to further increase their manufacturing capacity, at a time when so much of American industry has been outsourced to Asia and while this Country is facing it's largest deficit in U. S. history.

1. Examine if US domestic pricing for BML land should be offered to coal companies who will ship this natural resource to Asian countries.

V.) Require a Terminal Bond to be Place by SSA Marine/Goldman Sachs
SSA/Carrix should be required to post a bond of 500 billion dollars or more, and many think that more would be adequate. By simply measuring the cost of a worst-case scenario, from a spill of 470 thousand gallons of bunker fuel in the San Juan Islands, (a Cape size ship collision or one running aground accident) to an explosion at the terminal, or a derailment in a highly populated area like downtown Mt. Vernon. These accidents are feasible and communities need to be protected. In this case, a bond would be set up so that it is replenished as funds are withdrawn and make SSA/Carrix guarantee any and all damages associated with activities related to the terminal regardless of who is ultimately held by the courts to be liable – the coal owner (some subsidiary of Peabody Energy), the coal transporter (BNSF), or the terminal operator (PIT). 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.(W hen Exxon was court ordered to pay $4.8 billion in punitive damages to Prince William Sound area because of their failed safety plan, the slick lawyers for Exxon got it down to $504 million... which amounts to a month worth of their profits)
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.”
However, we don't have to look back very long to remember the BP Gulf Oil Spill emergency response plan? And after Fukushima, radioactive iodine 131 was fed to infants through tainted drinking water. Keep in mind that all these situations, Bhopal, Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, BP Gulf spill, Exxon Valdez spill...all had a safety plan.
Make these mega-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 happen. Force them to prepay that GPT safety plan and we’ll use dirty money to develop clean energy and real living wage jobs!

1. Require a substantial bond (at least $500 billion) be placed by SSA Marine which would cover damage costs if or when an accident were to occur, enabling communities to act/react immediately to the crisis.

Thank you for your time and effort to mitigate this problem.

james rosenfeld (#4022)

Date Submitted: 12/06/2012
Location: ketchum, ID
Comment:
I believe the overall world health/climate would be better served by leaving the coal in the ground until a truly clean coal technology is proven.
A carbon tax would create a more equitable means of paying for the damage done to our health/environment from point of extraction to end use. When these subsequent costs are tallied, many alternatives appear far less costly/damaging than coal.

Thank you
James Rosenfeld

James Roser (#6022)

Date Submitted: 01/05/2013
Location: Orcas, Wa
Comment:
I live on Orcas Island and I am very concerned about the ENORMOUS VESSELS
that will transfer coal in Haro Strait. The effect of much larger wakes that have never yet occurred on the beaches and wetlands of the east shore of Orcas.
The increased effect of wake impact on shorelines and on vessels at private docks
HAS TO BE MITIGATED. Shoreline impact will occur well beyond the high water marks
during high tides.

James Roser (#10209)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Orcas, WA
Comment:
Dear GPT/BNSF Custer Spur EIS Co-Lead Agencies,



I am a home and marine business owner on Orcas Island and I am concerned about the continued vitality of the Salish Sea, where coal ships would make over 950 transits per year if the Gateway Pacific Terminal were to be built. I request that the GPT Environmental Impact Statement include the entire coal transportation corridor so that communities along the rail and marine routes are given due consideration.



I am especially concerned about the impacts of coal dust emissions from the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal on the marine environment. Questions that concern me, and which objective, rigorous and comprehensive studies should address include:

What will be the rate of coal dust emissions from stock piles, in addition to other local sources, such as conveyor belts, as well as emissions from rail sources within the terminal (e.g., unloading)? This study should focus upon an understanding of factors that influence coal dust emission rates including wind strength, averages and extremes.

What will be the impact of coal dust in the marine environment, and upon vulnerable species and ecosystems in particular?

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



Sincerely, James Roser

James Ross (#14262)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

James Rothwell (#5878)

Date Submitted: 12/29/12
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Please find attached a letter offering comments and suggestions for the scope of the GPT EIS.

Thank you for the opportunity to participate in this process.

Sincerely,

James R. Rothwell
Attached Files:

James Rothwell (#14672)

Date Submitted: 12/28/12
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Files:

James Sever (#11502)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Colbert, Wa
Comment:
I strongly support the installation of the new terminal and the increased traffic necessary to transport coal through Spokane.

A similar operation is being conducted in Vancouver BC with no detriment to the community or the environment!

Properly regulated and operated the only impact will be to provide much needed jobs to the area.

The protests appear to be focused on stopping the use of coal. The use of coal will not be stopped. The overseas users will only source the raw material from another source such as Botswana. This will only harm our country by exporting well paying jobs.

James Shoop (#1124)

Date Submitted: 10/14/12
Location: Bow, WA
Comment:
Oct 14, 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,

and Whatcom County Council:

I oppose the routing of more coal trains along the North-South Burlington Northern Sante Fe Route due to acute safety concerns. My property in Northern Skagit County abuts the RR line. The current trains shake my house which is well over 250ft. away. We have a high pressure oil transmission line that bisects my property and crosses under the rail line. This oil line transports crude oil from Canada to the Anacortes area. It is operated by Kinder Morgan. The seismic ground wave currently generated must have an effect on the integrity of the pipeline and its casings. Going from one or two heavy trains per day to as many as 18 will have a potential for exponential increases in the seismic loading and the risk for acute and catastrophic failure of the transmission line. This effect may accrue to all RR/Pipeline Crossings and must be considered in an ordered and thorough way.
Please respond specifically to this comment. Jim Shoop..

Sincerely,

James Shoop
17552 Allen Rd
Bow, WA 98232-9712
(360) 757-4534

James Smith (#5661)

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

James Spaich (#7382)

Date Submitted: 01/14/2013
Comment:
As part of the EIS, it seems worthwhile to consider the psychological impact a coal terminal such as this would have on the people who live near the point of coal extraction, along the rail corridor, and in close proximity to such a terminal. Given that humans are part of the environment, an impact statement must take into consideration what effects this project will have on people's mental health if they feel railroaded by corporate interests who value profit over people's health. I agree with any comments submitted that ask for a complete study of potential impacts this project would have on human health; included in the study must be a complete analysis of the psychological impacts on people that such a project might have.

James Spaich (#10870)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Comment:
I have checked all of the boxes in the topic areas because the EIS needs to analyze every possible negative effect this project can potentially have from the point of coal extraction to the pollution created by burning that coal. A project like this seems a poor choice in so many ways. The EIS needs to address every concern that people have. Indeed, the EIS process itself must be scrutinized so as to make sure that the consequences of this project are fully understood. I agree with the request that a $500,000,000,000 liability fund be paid upfront by the project proponents so as to insure proper settlement for damages that are likely to be incurred.

JAMES STEARNS (#3458)

Date Submitted: 11/27/2012
Location: OZ, CA
Comment:
SPEAK LOUDLY!

James Steinkircuner (#2928)

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

James Stone (#13785)

Date Submitted: 01/16/13
Comment:
Ruin environments for the profit of the few. NO!
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.

James Swift (#8285)

Date Submitted: 01/17/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
See attached
Attached Files:

James Syck (#3832)

Date Submitted: 11/30/12
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
The EIS needs to consider big picture issues. The coal should be left in the ground. The damage to the world due to burning the coal exceeds any local economic benefit from this project.

James Syck Bellingham WA

James Taylor (#6838)

Date Submitted: 01/11/2013
Location: Anacortes, WA
Comment:
Rosa Parks. Abolitionists.

A person and a group that made fundamental, moral changes. As reviewers of the impact of changes wrought by shipping coat from Montana to Cherry point, you must also make a recommendation for a change that is fundamental and moral. It may very well be beyond your legal authority to make the moral decision. You cannot let the limitation of inadequate legislation intent keep you from making the moral choice. The legislation that enables you to review the coal train proposal is limited to the Cherry Point site alone. Proponents for the change want you to focus on this. Opponents ask you to review the total impact of 100 car trains running from Montana to Cherry Point and then to see the consequence of burning coal in China. Coal is the dirtiest of our fossil fuels. China will not, is not capable of, cleaning the smoke that will blow back to the west coast. We cannot allow our resources to destroy the environment.

Capitalism does not provide for the indirect costs of capital investment. Who pays for the costs you have heard over and over again in the hearings? Not the Chinese, the railroads, or the owner of the coal. How is possible to assign blame for increased health costs that may be attributable to the train, the coal, the smoke? Climate change is affected by mankind's use of fossil fuel. Us of coal is archaic. I, in my late seventies, will not suffer; my grandchildren will. This fact makes your decision a moral one. It is immoral to allow a coal company to profit from the eventual degradation of our planet that will adversely affect our children and grand children. Just because China may buy coat from some other country if the don't get it from us does not give us an excuse to do the wrong thing.

May I present a more immediate problem I have not heard discussed. As a licensed U.S. Coast Guard Master I am aware that at Turn Point at the north end of Stewart Island the shipping lane to Cherry point and Vancouver, BC makes an almost ninety degree turn. The passage is narrow enough that there is not enough room for a separation zone between incoming and outgoing ship traffic. Large ships do not make sharp turns. The designated traffic corridor is narrow. In reduced visibility and with heavy traffic this corner will be more hazardous than with the present traffic load.

James Thompson (#7287)

Date Submitted: 01/11/13
Location: Portland, 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.

I am writing to insist that the full 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) for the Gateway Pacific Terminal.

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. 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.

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. james thompson

James Walseth (#8078)

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

James Weaver (#8170)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Location: Bremerton, wa
Comment:
The potential economic growth of this operation would stimulate and be very beneficial to the local and distant communities. The need to embrace fuel efficient modes is paramount to maintain green initiatives. Rail transportation supports these goals. This enterprise additionally would provide additional Family wage jobs that would in turn pour funds back to local and state governments. I support these efforts.

James Wells (#212)

Date Submitted: 10/02/2012
Location: Bellingham , WA
Comment:
Regarding the question the question of what topics or impacts should be included in the EIS for the Gateway Pacific terminal (GPT), it is my understanding that the EIS will be used as the very significant source of information for assessment of a variety of permits or other decisions such as shoreline lease approvals.

Because of the open-ended potential uses of the EIS, I recommend that if comments and/or agency information identifies an impact that is likely, in actual circumstance, to be more than moderately harmful, then that impact should be included in the EIS, regardless of any perceived administrative limitations on the scope of the EIS, or any historical limitations on the scope of previously conducted EIS activities.

Broadly, the agencies should err on the side of inclusion of information, because if information is included in the EIS but not applicable for a given permit decision, then that agency is free to disregard the information, while another agency could lose out on valuable information that is reasonably within its purview for decision making.

For instance, it is known that coal exported from the coal terminal will be combusted, and the combustion of the coal will result in pollutant emissions including carbon dioxide (CO2), which has been recognized by USA as a greenhouse gas, and the emissions of which will affect the United States.

While it may be true the some permitting processes are limited by law such that they cannot consider activities such as combustion that occurs outside of the United States, if there is a reasonable potential that information about greenhouse gas emissions could affect any permit or other agency decisions, then the information should be included in the EIS.

It would be a very unfortunate circumstance if very real information about real impacts in the real world was excluded from the EIS based on a perception that consuming agencies would not be able to act on the information. The best possible information should be developed in support of the process, and then each agency should make its own decision about how to act upon the information in accordance with its guiding processes and applicable regulations.

James Wells (#214)

Date Submitted: 10/02/2012
Location: Bellingham , WA
Comment:
Regarding the question the question of what topics or impacts should be included in the EIS for the Gateway Pacific terminal (GPT), I would like to express concern that the agencies may be requested to compare the GPT project to imaginary other future circumstances as opposed to its actual effects.

For instance, a comment may say that “the trains are coming anyway”, meaning that that expected 18 coal trains per day, (9 full and 9 empty) should be compared to some imagined future expansion of coal train traffic going to (capacity that currently does not exist in) the existing ports in Canada, as opposed to being compared to the baseline of the current state.

I have done over 20 years of work related to environmental permitting, and in every case I have ever worked on, the baseline for any permitting decision is the actual current circumstance. For instance, Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permits are baselined from actual recent emissions.

I strongly recommend that the EIS for the GPT facility should assign responsibility for 100% of resulting impacts, compared to the current condition as baseline, to the facility. This includes all coal transit by land to the facility (plus empty returns), operations within the facility and spilling over facility boundaries, coal transit by sea from the facility (plus empty returns), mining impacts, and the combustion of the coal at its destination.

James Wells (#3854)

Date Submitted: 12/04/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
When evaluating potential impacts, a factor to consider is the likelihood that the applicant will follow not only the letter of the law and a permit, but its intent. For instance, a large terminal operator should always strive to be as protective as feasible to minimize impacts. If an operator only does only the bare minimum to avoid enforcement action, impacts will be much greater.

In this context, I urge that the agencies evaluate the recent performance of the applicant during the permitting process, notably during the Ferndale and Spokane hearings. If you find that the applicant has not been following the intent of the permitting process, then it is likely that impacts during operation of the terminal will be substantially greater than might otherwise be projected.

These public hearings are concerned with identifying potential adverse impacts, possible mitigations, and reasonable alternatives. For a block of more than 60 speakers in Ferndale and again for a block of 35 speakers in Spokane, you heard no actual scoping comments.

This is because the applicant hired people to stand in line expressly for the purpose of taking up valuable hearing space and depriving concerned residents of the opportunity to speak to you in person. The hiring of line sitters is not in dispute – it has been admitted in public by paid pro-terminal organizers.

I urge the agency to fully consider these actions, and if you find them to be inconsistent with the purpose of these hearings, then I suggest you add a “scoffalaw multiplier” to your assessment of impacts that this project will generate.

Additionally, it would be appropriate to schedule additional hearings in Ferndale and Spokane to make up for the lost public participation opportunity. While these hearings are not required by law, since they were in fact added to the process, it is unfair to allow the terminal proponent, either directly or by proxy of front groups, to interfere with their lawful completion. If the situation is not remedied by remedial hearings, then the terminal proponents will have been allowed to achieve gains by unethical means - this also provides them with further incentive to disrupt the process of future hearings.

James Wells (#6255)

Date Submitted: 01/08/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I would like to express support for, and add to, comment 2759, submitted by Dr. Joseph Gaydos (http://www.eisgatewaypacificwa.gov/get-involved/comment/2759). Ths comment makes the point that certain areas that are removed from the terminal location may suffer from serious impacts, while those same locations derive zero benefit.

This concept also applies to the entire transit route and beyond. There are many areas, including the entire rail transit route outside of Whatcom County as well as the balance of the marine transit route, especially in the vicinity of the coast of Alaska, which will receive few or no jobs (except perhaps employment in emergency response work) but risk serious impacts.

I request that the entire transit route should be considered from this perspective.

Additionally, I request that the agencies re-evaluate the public participation plan that was developed for this EIS scoping public comment period, and determine which areas, especially in states outside of Washington, have received inadequate notice of the proposed project as well as zero opportunity to comment in person about the scope of the EIS. These areas should receive a full opportunity to participate equally in the process, as the residents in certain limited areas in the state of Washington have.

James Wells (#6341)

Date Submitted: 01/08/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
My comment is about fairly assessing the jobs that the terminal will allegedly provide. We have heard a proposed number of direct operational jobs of approximately 208 jobs. We have also heard that the jobs will be high paid unions jobs. However, it is almost certain that not all of those promised jobs will be high paid union jobs. For instance, there will be administrative workers who will have a lower rate of pay and may not be unionized.

Any evaluation which considers the expected job benefits should be based on an accurate evaluation of the actual expected pay across the set of jobs, rather than an assumption that all 208 jobs will be highly paid.

James Wells (#9171)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I am writing to provide information about why a comprehensive assessment of all proposed coal export terminals is an essential part of understanding the effects of permitting any one or more of the terminals.

A critical concept is the fact that nonlinear impacts can occur on a system when an activity scales up. Such an affected system may be a natural system or may be part of the built environment. For instance, doubling the traffic load on a given transportation corridor may increase impacts such as traffic jams, accidents, or pollution, by much more than double.

This effect is very well known to transportation planners and also to computer system engineers. If an assessment is conducted, for instance, of the effect of 18 daily trains going through Spokane on the way to GPT and back, but the other terminals are not considered in that EIS, and then a separate EIS considers the effect of adding some number of trains to the current baseline, but that EIS does not consider GPT, then neither assessment will come close to an accurate evaluation of the true impact of the two (or more) projects. It would NOT be accurate to simply add the estimated impacts together after evaluating them separately.

In such a case, there is typically a threshold, over which the system ceases to function in a practical sense. A certain volume of train traffic, for instance, could result in enduring gridlock that is far more widespread and serious than that created by a somewhat lower volume of trains.

Potentially affected systems are not limited to the traffic effects of train transportation of coal through the common rail lines. Other systems that may be affected by nonlinear effects include, but are not limited to:

- Shipping traffic in lanes especially, but not limited to the area of Unimak Pass, Alaska
- Combined effects of pollution from combustion of the coal in Asia
- Environmental impacts near mine sites
- Harm to the reputation of the state of Washington, or specific localities in Washington, as a destination for tourism, relocation, or business
- Loss of rail shipping capacity for valuable materials that are needed domestically
- Livability of homes in certain areas near the rail corridor

There are many analogies that could be applied to the kind of threshold effects that might be seen. A classic one would be evaluating the effect of a single storm on whether a river will flood, without considering the storm that occurred immediately before, nor the storm that occurred just after. All effects occur in a context, and evaluating any single project in isolation is simply wrong.

I urge that agencies to consider the full set of impacts from all planned coal export terminals in a single, comprehensive evaluation.

James Wells (#9176)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
With reference to the January 18th, 2013 scoping comment submitted by the State of Washington Department of Health, I would like to add the following:

In the section titled “Economic Development and Employment”, DOH requests that “health benefits” relating to employment at the coal terminal should be considered.

I request that the agencies should perform a fully loaded evaluation of such effects, not limited only to alleged benefits, but including these factors:

- Loss of jobs as a result of the terminal and associated activities such as the increase in rail traffic, and the negative health effects resulting from that lost employment

- Occupational health and safety issues that may result for workers at the coal terminal. I have read that at a coal terminal in Australia, workers experienced three times the cancer rate of people who did not work at the terminal.

- Occupational health and safety issues at associated activities such as rail and shipping

Please evaluate the entire picture of health effects, positive and negative, that will result from the full employment picture resulting from this project.

James Wells (#9189)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
When considering all of the various concerns that have been raised during this scoping process, you might view any one, or any small set, of the impacts, as basically mundane. Any given single impact will refer to an effect that we have been living with to date, somewhere and to some extent.

That’s why, in addition to considering each impact singly, I request that the agencies should consider the big picture of just why so many concerns have been raised about a single project. At a high level, one of the most important root causes is that fact that coal is so lacking in value that stunningly vast quantities of it have to be shipped in order to the companies to realize any substantial revenue. Coal sells for about $10 at the mine head, and perhaps somewhat more as it travels across Washington. That’s dollars per ton – per two thousand pounds.

Compare that to the value of other products that are important to Washington commerce. Their value is measured in dollars per pound – higher value by three orders of magnitude. Some of our products, such as software, create hundreds or thousands of dollars per pound of shipped material.

So when we consider all of the various impacts, a key theme is the realization that any civilization generally moves in the direction of working with materials of increasing value. Choking our rail and shipping lanes with the lowest value material on the planet is a reversion, rather than progress.

If even a single future enterprise is stopped from shipping their high value goods to market, or dissuaded from contemplating such an idea in our area, then this will wipe out any potential economic value of the coal terminal and related activities.

By analogy, imagine being forced to eat several tens of pounds of straw per day. You could choke it down if it was chopped up finely enough, but it would have so little nutritional value that over time, you would probably starve to death, even if you tried to also eat other food.

In the course of the EIS, please determine what is the appropriate nutrition for our economy and our future, and apply these findings accordingly.

James Wells (#9199)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I request that the agencies should consider Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and other pollutant emissions from the coal at its point of combustion in Asia.

The plan is to export over 48 million metric tons of coal per year to China, where it will be burned, resulting in air pollution that will cause impacts in the United States (in addition to the effects on nearby populations in China). The pollution includes carbon dioxide (CO2), a greenhouse gas that also causes ocean acidification. [The combustion also releases harmful pollutants such as mercury, but this comment is focused on CO2]

In public discourse, we have repeatedly heard a defeatist and misleading suggestion that people in China will just acquire coal from elsewhere, dug out of mines that do not currently exist, and burn that coal instead, if we do not export coal to them. That may or may not occur. If it does, that other coal will cost them more than importing coal from the USA, and thus they would probably use less. But in all cases it’s never morally acceptable to be part of something harmful on the theory that someone else, somewhere else, is going to do it anyway.

Broadly, in permitting activities, agencies are required to evaluate an activity for the entirety of what it is, not as compared to some imaginary other circumstance that may or may not occur. This particular coal, if shipped to Asia to be burned, will create the pollutants. If not, then those pollutant emissions will not occur at that place and time. Therefore the full effects should be considered.

One regulatory question is whether the applicable law allows for consideration of an effect that may occur outside the US. The clear answer: Yes it can. It’s right in the applicable SEPA law:

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

Next: Can the impact of combustion emissions, including carbon dioxide emissions, be considered?

Again, Yes. The United States EPA has recognized the materials emitted from combustion, including Carbon Dioxide, as pollutants that threaten human health and the environment.

At play is the combination: Considering combustion emissions, including carbon dioxide, that originate overseas.

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

In the case of GPT, there are at least three major government-controlled resources that are required for the project to go forward:

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

This request to use government resources is profoundly different from meeting regulatory requirements for an activity on private land. The applicants have no title to the government resources, and so for access to be granted, the proposed activity needs to be in the public interest. This is especially applicable to the waters of the state due to the Public Trust Doctrine, as explained on the WA Department of Ecology web site:

"The essence of the [Public Trust] doctrine is that the waters of the state are a public resource owned by and available to all citizens equally for the purposes of navigation, conducting commerce, fishing, recreation and similar uses and that this trust is not invalidated by private ownership of the underlying land."

In another example, leases to mine coal from public lands have been granted on the basis that the coal will provide a stable domestic energy supply. The current practice of shipping coal from federal lands to British Columbia for export to Asia is in conflict with the justification for the coal leases, and a massive expansion of such export would also be. No export terminal should be permitted prior to conducting a complete review of the basis for the lease to mine the subject coal, and coal whose lease was justified on the theory of providing for domestic energy supplies should not be allowed to be exported.

The GPT project will also require exercise of a key government power, which is: Eminent Domain. This means seizing land from other private owners, whether or not they want to sell, in order to allow the project to occur. This is another point whether the question of the Public Interest is applicable.

The project is also inconsistent with certain federal or state laws or policies.

- Copenhagen Accord

The United States is a signatory to the Copenhagen climate accord, which agrees in concept to large reductions in GHG emissions worldwide. Large new coal export schemes are clearly inconsistent with the intent of the document.

- EPA has Recognized CO2 as a Pollutant

The US EPA has declared carbon dioxide to be a pollutant, and has started to regulate CO2 emissions. The New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) state that any new coal-fired power plant in the US must meet a very tight standard for low CO2 emissions. If we build a new export terminal for the purpose of supplying coal to be burned in a manner that does not meet these new standards, then that undermines the entire purpose of the NSPS standards.

EPA has also commented on a different coal export proposal that resulting CO2 emissions should be considered.

- WA State GHG Reduction Standards

Washington State adopted greenhouse gas reduction standards via legislation adopted in 2008. See RCW 70.235.070(1)(a). The statute establishes that by 2020, emissions shall be reduced to 1990 levels. By 2035, GHG emissions are to be 25 percent below 1990 levels and by 2050, they are to be 50 percent below 1990 levels.
The coal terminal, if permitted, would emit tens of millions of metric tons of CO2 per year, wiping all of those reductions, and more. Since CO2 is a global pollutant, it would be futile to reduce local emissions while facilitating an increase elsewhere. [For reference, all GHG emissions in all of WA state are about 100 million metric tons / year]

- WA State Panel on Ocean Acidification

In November of 2012, the Governor of Washington State released an executive order initiating action on ocean acidification. The executive order states, in part:

I, Christine O. Gregoire, Governor of the state of Washington … do, effective immediately, hereby order and direct: … 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.

- SEPA Standards

The SEPA standard itself recognizes the world-wide scope of environmental issues.

SEPA considers “each person’s” right to a “healthful environment” to be “fundamental and inalienable,” (Rev.Code Wash. Sec. 43.21C.020(3).) “[r]ecognize[s] the worldwide and long-range character of environmental problems,” and directs agencies, “where consistent with state policy, [to] lend appropriate support to initiatives, resolutions, and programs designed to maximize international cooperation in anticipating and preventing a decline in the quality of the world environment….” (RCW 43.21C.030(1)(f).)

For additional information, please see this article: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/01/05/1176405/-Don-t-Pee-In-The-Pool

James Wells (#9631)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Comment:
I request that the agencies consider the “water’s edge effect” on the alleged economic benefits of the terminal to Washington and more broadly to US interests. The moment that any coal leaves the shore of the United States, the owning entity is very likely engage in financial maneuvers such as “selling” the coal to another business entity, specifically for the purpose of reducing the extent of benefit that may be realized by the citizens and government of the United States.

The effect also creates the situation where, for an important segment of the entire coal transit route (the segment from Cherry Point through to open water), the State of Washington and the United States are subject to considerable impact and risk in exchange for no benefit.

Recent news stories have focused on maneuvers of coal companies to evade the royalties that they owe to the United States government by “selling” the coal at artificially low prices to shell companies. These acts of dubious legality appear to have cost taxpayers royalties in the amounts of hundreds of millions of dollars to date.

While this specific unconscionable activity must be enforceably forbidden, this is not the only type of shenanigan that the coal companies may engage in. The coal may be “transferred” at the water’s edge in order to cheat US taxpayers in other ways:

- Shifting of profits to non-US companies, or overseas operations of US companies, may allow companies to avoid US income tax
- If the coal is booked at a low value at transfer time, then any positive effect on the US balance of trade will be reduced
- US companies may evade liability for accidents or impacts that occur during sea transit, because the coal is then owned by some foreign entity
- Other US regulatory standards, such as environmental, health and safety standards, either may not apply or may be ignored once the coal is in a foreign-flagged ship and not officially under US ownership.

I request that these effects should be evaluated, and further that the agencies should evaluate alternatives or conditions including: Require that the coal must be owned by a US entity, and transported in a US flagged ship, until the coal has entirely left US territorial waters.

James Wells (#9850)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I request that the agencies should thoughtfully incorporate the key concept of Permanence, while evaluating the various adverse impacts which have been described in the scoping public comments that have been submitted.

For many of the impacted resources, the occurrence of an impact is truly a one way street, from which there is no recovery within our lifetimes. This is most obvious in the case of big ticket impacts such as the potential for a major oil spill due to vessel collision, or the effects of coal combustion on global warming and ocean acidification. But, it is also true with respect to more local impacts – if a person does not get to the hospital in time due to a blocked crossing, it doesn’t get any more permanent than that.

It is especially important to highlight this concept in the context of a world, and a country, with limited resources. In much of our history as a country, we have been able to throw aside concerns about permanence of impacts, because there was always a new frontier to move to. Now, there is no new frontier, and suddenly we become aware, or should become aware, that a given resource on a given piece of land or sea is literally beyond price.

Conventional economic analysis still disregards this important concept, so it should be carefully incorporated into the EIS. For example, the conventional concept of property ownership and property value contains a gross distortion of the true value of a property. If you look strictly at dollars, then it would be a winning proposition for a company for buy a property for X dollars, realize some net gain of X/5 dollars for 10 years, and then walk away, even if the property was permanently impaired from being used ever again in the future for any purpose.

This fact led to the enactment of key environmental laws including SEPA and NEPA, but those laws in turn have led to the creation of an entire business sector devoted to dodging the trailing responsibilities for impacts that have been created.

So when we say that Pacific International Terminals (PIT) “owns” the property, we should properly understand that this ownership, and potential use of the property, is entirely conditional on PIT assuring that its operations result in no permanent impacts, both on the subject property and on neighboring land, sea, and air. For any proposed use of the property, that assurance must be provided in a form that proactively prevents impacts, rather than just responding to them.

Unfortunately, there is almost certainly no way that a proposed coal port can operate in a manner consistent with what is needed. Not only are there too many moving parts such as hundreds of large ocean-going vessels per year, but the end purpose of the port, to supply 48 million metric tons per year of coal to be burned, is in direct conflict with rational planning for our climate.

The reality of permanence ultimately trumps anything that we may say or do to mitigate or contain such impacts. When the Deepwater Horizon exploded, BP had binders full of response plans that didn’t do much good. When we imagine that new can “enforce” compliance by levying fines for a spill, let’s realize that such fines don’t compensate the marine life that has been killed, and don’t even begin to address the legacy of those damaged resources for our children and future generation.

When evaluating the impacts of the Gateway Pacific Terminal, please thoughtfully consider Permanence as part of the EIS process.

James Wells (#10118)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I request that when evaluating the impacts of the propose coal terminal, the agencies should apply the Camel’s Nose effect to understand the likely magnitude of the impacts.

The expression goes, that once you let the camel put its nose into your tent, it will put more and more of itself in, and pretty soon you have an entire camel in your tent with no way to get rid of it. The solution is: Never let a camel put its nose in your tent.

The applicability of this to the proposed terminal is that, during the permitting process, all of the operating facilities of the terminal will be even better than shiny and new – they will have no flaws because they do not exist yet. The entire permit evaluation will be done during this condition.

Once permits are issued, and things start to go wrong, the likely area of potential response by the agencies is limited. The agencies could issue citations, or require band aids to reduce the harm from the newly discovered flaw in the operation. Such partial actions will not stop the degradation of the environment.

It is broadly true that the discovery of ugly truths about the actual operation of the facility will not result in it being shut down. That’s because the camel’s nose is in the tent – so much money has been spent at this point that it will be widely perceived that the facility has a “right” to operate, even if the information provided in the permit applications does not match reality once built.

For that reason, at any place in the permit application where the applicant states that an impact will be minimized due to “new technology” or “state of the art” controls, the applicant should prove the truth of such statements. For instance, the applicant should be able to point to at least one other facility, already operating somewhere in the world, where similar processes are resulting in 100% containment of all pollutants.

The requirement to contain 100% of all materials is particularly serious for a coal terminal handling 48 million metric tons of material per year. A loss rate of 0.01 percent, stunningly low in percent terms, resolves to annual losses of 4,800 metric tons of coal per year, whether into the marine environment, into the air, or to the land environment.

It is a known condition that, as observed to date in the world, the marine environment near any coal terminal has inevitably died. We know this, for example, from experience with coal terminals such as the one at nearby Point Roberts, at the location of what was once a thriving herring hatchery, but where there now are no herring at all.

I submit that it is upon the applicant to prove, not by papers and diagrams, but by actual example somewhere in the world, that their design will result in zero losses of coal or any other material into the environment.

Additionally, if the applicant submits estimates of losses to the environment, and if those estimates are used as the basis for permitting, then the applicant should irrevocably agree that, if actual losses exceed those estimated, then the facility will immediately cease operations until a sufficient redesign and rebuild has been accomplished to eliminate the excess losses.

If this level of diligence is not exercised, then the sad truth is that, after the facility has been operating for a few years, and the nearby sea has begun to die, the widespread reaction will be: “What else did you expect? Of course it’s dead. It’s near a coal terminal.”

James Wells (#10812)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
This comment is about the Purpose and Need section of the GPT permit application.

There is reason to believe that this section of the permit application contains provided information that is one or both of:

1) Not factually true, and/or
2) Somewhat factually true, but misleading as to whether the result will in fact be a net benefit to the public interest, or not.

The relevant sections of the Permit application are quoted and are in square brackets [“like this”].

[“operate a multimodal marine terminal …. multiple dry bulk commodities”] – What’s questionable is the word “multimodal”. At present the only material for which construction is planned is coal. Most of the structures build to support coal export are expressly not usable for other goods as long as the coal terminal is in operation, and other goods such as food-grade products way be precluded from export in the vicinity of a coal terminal. I recommend that all references to “multimodal”, or references to multiple commodities, should be updated to only refer to the materials actively planned to be exported through the terminal – at present, only coal.

[“to meet international and domestic demand”] – This is inaccurate, since there is no plan to export items to meet domestic demand. That would be quite a trick.

[“Gateway Pacific Terminal would further advance the … environmental protection goals of the WDNR-designated Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve.”] – This is inaccurate. It is impossible that installing a coal terminal at the location would advance environmental protection goals, as compared to the current situation of no development. In fact, the statement is stunning in its audacity – it is a bald faced lie. In addition to correcting this section of the Purpose and Need, please reflect also for a moment on what this says about the credibility of the applicant with respect to being truthful. If Cherry Point is our daughter, and the suitor says obviously untrue things like this, do we want that suitor to marry her?

[“Gateway Pacific Terminal would further advance the economic development … goals of the Whatcom County Comprehensive Plan’s Cherry Point Industrial UGA …”] – This is questionable. I request that the agencies consider whether development of a coal export terminal precludes the most effective development of the site, using key measures such as total economic value creation and jobs per acre. For instance, the presence of coal dust emissions from the coal piles could stop further development of the very substantial acreage on the property that is not planned for terminal development.

[“The need to ship bulk cargo to and from Asia and other markets to meet current and future market demand;”] – This is questionable, both in its accuracy and desirability of the result. In a world that is rapidly becoming constrained with respect to acceptable carbon emissions and other limits, it is rational to expect that the quantities of low-value bulk cargo to be shipped across large oceans should go down in quantity, not up, if proper decisions are being made. In fact, building structures that are specifically designed to facilitate vast increase of trans-ocean shipments should be regarded as very poor policy. Instead, our best future development should concentrate on high value goods, which, if they are shipped overseas, return the highest achievable value per ton shipped. Broadly, such goods should be those that are valued in dollars per pound, rather than dollars per ton.

[“The need for deep-water, bulk marine terminals in the Puget Sound region”] – This is extremely questionable with respect to desirability. Deep-water, bulk terminals necessarily cause traffic in extremely large ships. The Puget Sound area is already at or beyond capacity to safety handle traffic from such large ships. Puget Sound does not need more deep-water bulk marine terminals. If such terminals are needed in Washington State, which is doubtful, then they should be sited with direct access to open ocean.

[“The need for community and economic development in Whatcom County”] – This is extremely questionable. The agencies should evaluate the NET economic development effects of the coal terminal, including but not limited to a careful examination of the professional reports on this and related topics provided by CommunityWise Bellingham. It should also be noted that the private sector in Whatcom County added over 2,400 jobs in 2012, more than ten times the projected direct employment of the terminal when operating.

[“existing and future market demands … current and forecasted Pacific Rim demand … Forecasted growth in trade … ”] – Considering that the only material currently planned for export is coal, the reference to future market demands is deeply troubling, because it reveals that the purpose of the coal terminal is to supply further expansion in the use of coal in Asia. Let’s put this very directly: The expansion in the use of coal in Asia is a serious threat to the United States, through worsened climate change. There is no circumstance under which we should actively participate in this harmful activity, which is bad climate policy and aggravates an existing national security risk.

[“Because of their physical nature (large quantities of voluminous, dry materials), dry bulk commodities are shipped in bulk rather than as containerized cargo”] – This is a good illustration of one of the reasons why coal and similar materials are not desirable for export development. They are so stunningly low in value per ton or per cubic yard that they require the largest ships on the planet in order to ship any appreciable value.

[“In 2008, the average size of bulk carriers had increased 11 percent over the previous 5 years. This increase reflects the deployment of Capesize vessels into the international bulk carrier fleet.”] – This represents a problem rather than a fun and exciting new trend to latch on to. As noted above, the state of Washington will realize far more value by marketing premium products, whose value is measured in dollars per pounds, to the world. Such goods will not be compatible with shipment in bulk carriers.

[“the need for multimodal, deep-water bulk marine terminals is not being met in the Pacific Northwest region”] Oh really? Let’s see the study. In such a study, and listing of demand for coal exports should be excluded, unless the applicant is willing to surrender the imaginary “multi-commodity” label for the proposed port. If this purported demand is composed of demand for coal, the applicant should come clean, to the extent possible to anyone in the coal business, and acknowledge the entire real purpose of the facility, which is to export coal.

[“The proposed project would help to … the Governor’s 6-Point Export Plan (Office of the Governor 2010).”] – That’s questionable. Please carefully evaluate the Governor’s plan and determine whether a plan for Washington exports includes development of export of Non-Washington materials.

[“The Terminal is consistent with the goals of the WDNR’s Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve designation for the area and with the Reserve’s Management Plan (WDNR 2010), which specifically allows this proposed development.”] This is questionable. These plans do include potential provision for a port. However, the scale of the proposed port at 48 million metric tons per year is vastly greater than anything that has previously been contemplated. In 2010, the year most recently cited, the active permit for the site envisioned a port with less than 10 million tons per year capacity, so it is reasonable to assume that the management plan was consistent with that scale of activity. In order for these plans to be cited in support of the proposed terminal, each plan should be reopened and evaluated to consider specifically the commodity of coal at a scale of 48 mmtpa.

[“The site must also possess unique features and characteristics”] This section makes no mention of the constrained nature of the waters between the proposed terminal and the open ocean. The rather bland statement that such a site “Is located on the West Coast of the US” conjures up an image of having a ready interface with open ocean, but this simply is not accurate.

*

Broadly, with respect to Purpose and Need, I ask the agencies to consider what types of major infrastructure investments are appropriate for a future whose outlines whose outlines include:

- Critically important reductions of carbon pollution emissions world-wide
- The impacts of climate change and ocean acidification, which are already occurring
- The critical importance of high value, premium products to our current and future economy

I ask that the agencies develop information in the EIS that will help the staff of various agencies to make excellent, forward-looking decisions, which do not contribute to aggravating serious climate and ocean problems that are already occurring, and which help us to set a course for us to continue to have a healthy future in our county, state, and country.

James Wells (#11612)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I am providing this comment as one of the volunteers who helped concerned people learn how to create substantive public comments during the comment period. The comment concerns the reason that we asked commenters to describe concerns from their personal points of view, and why this information is so critical to the successful conduct of the EIS.

For any given personally-oriented comment, it is possible that you have received a comment that shows a greater level of scientific documentation or technical terminology to describe that impact, or a very similar one. Those very detailed technical comments are extremely important in identifying impacts and their likely occurrence and extent. The personally oriented comments provide complementary information about the Significance of one or more impacts.
Significant is defined in WAC 197-11-794 as:

(1) "Significant" as used in SEPA means a reasonable likelihood of more than a moderate adverse impact on environmental quality.

The term “more than moderate adverse impact” is subject to interpretation. So, to truly understand significance, it is necessary to consider, not just the extent and quantity of a pollutant or other impact, but also the diversity of people who may be impacted and what those impacts mean to them.

Research has shown that when a person receives information about a population or effects on a population, there are very serious limitations on the ability of that person to fully appreciate how a set of individual consequences adds up to that population-wide effect. For some great discussion of this phenomena, see the book Thinking Fast and Slow, by Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman. Thus, any true discussion of an affected population must include an examination of individual experiences. An analysis that stays solely at a population-wide level is, by its nature, insufficient and invalid.

Many of us have put out great effort to make this type of individual information available during this scoping public comment phase. I request that agency personal should read these comments in their entirety, rather than putting them into a pile classified by topic. Each individual comment contains distinct information, about Significance of impacts.

Further, I request and strongly recommend that the conduct of the EIS should include an extensive series of in-depth individual interviews with many affected people through the entire extent of the project plan, from the mines to the locations of expected combustion of the coal, and all points in between. Only if this is done will the EIS provide the type of accurate and complete information required for decision makers to act upon the permit applications.

There is another reason we encouraged personal statements. It is the understanding that agency personnel are not defined entirely by their roles in a permit machine, but are also people who have families and hopes for the future of their children. From 20+ years working in a field related to environmental permitting, I know that most people who work in an environmental or related agency have chosen that type of work in order to serve our community and country, and to help protect our world.

So, if a particular personal statement causes you to experience a moment of clarity about the decisions facing all of us, don’t fight it. That’s the whole point. When you achieve that understanding, you can’t disunderstand it, and all your future work will be illuminated and guided by it. Even as you may go, by the book, through the next step that you are required to do in the process, you will know.

We’re counting on it.

James Wendy (#1898)

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

james whitley (#8726)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Location: grayland , wa
Comment:
they will cry...progress, jobs, safety...while all the time, skimping, cutting corners and maximizing cost savings is the actuality of the whole thing.

James Williams (#3491)

Date Submitted: 11/25/12
Comment:
My name is James Williams. I have lived in Seattle and other parts of western Washington for most of my life. I am concerned about the direction our quality of life would take if one or more of the proposed coal export terminals were built.
Here are some of my thoughts and concerns on the scope of the environmental review of the proposed coal export terminals and increased coal train traffic in the Pacific Northwest.
Concerns about Climate Change:
The catastrophic effects of anthropogenic global warming are well known. How does the export of coal fit in with the need to limit global anthropogenic CO2 emissions?
The EPA has already denied permits for new U.S. coal-fired power plants because they do not meet CO2 emission requirements. This should be a consideration for coal that is exported to foreign countries where emissions controls are beyond the reach of U.S. federal and state laws. It should be a consideration because the effects of CO2 emissions are global – not restricted to the country in which the coal is burned.
The Washington State Department of Ecology’s mission statement includes the protection of Washington’s environment for future generations. Once again, since CO2 emissions affect the entire earth (including Washington State), the effects of CO2 emissions from coal exported through Washington State should be a deciding factor in whether to issue a permit to build an unnecessary coal export infrastructure.
Concerns about coal dust:
How much coal dust will be blown off of trains, especially in high wind areas (such as the Columbia River Gorge)?
What are the effects on Columbia River and Puget Sound area marine life from the heavy metals contained in the coal dust?
What is the aerodynamics of trains traveling through train tunnels? Will a burst of coal dust be blown out of coal cars when the coal trains exit the train tunnel in downtown Seattle?
While a single coal train by itself may not seem to emit much coal dust, what about the cumulative effects of multiple trains running day after day, year after year?
What about the empty trains that return from the coal terminal? How much dust do they emit from the residual coal that remains in the coal cars?
How much coal dust will be blown into the water and beaches around the coal terminal? Will swimming, fishing or other beach activities need to be banned along a length of coastline near the terminals?
I understand that coal cars are sprayed with a chemical to help reduce (but not eliminate) the amount of coal dust blown off the coal cars. What are the ingredients of that spray? Is that information available to the public?
There should be an analysis of wind strength and patterns at each of the proposed terminal sites and how much coal dust would blow into populated areas. What mitigation strategies will be implemented to limit blown coal dust?
Are any of the proposed sites located in areas of significance for wildlife i.e.; bird nesting areas, bird or fish migration routes?
Will the coal export terminals have sufficient drainage architecture to ensure rain does not wash coal into the surrounding water?
Concerns about train noise:
What will be the effects of increased train noise in residential neighborhoods? There should be a detailed study of the effects of additional train noise within one mile of each side of the tracks along the full length of the train routes from the point of origin to the export terminal(s) and back to the point of origin.
What will be the effects on marine life from the increase in ship noise in the Straight of Juan De Fuca and other waterways for each proposed terminal?
Concerns about train traffic issues:
Are there plans in place for dealing with a major derailment of a coal train? Who pays for the environmental cleanup of such a derailment?
There should be a detailed study of the ability of the train drawbridge near the Hiram M. Chittenden locks in Seattle to handle the weight of nine additional coal trains every day, year after year.
Will there be significant delays for Amtrak passenger trains traveling along the Washington State north/south rail corridor?
Sound Transit runs commuter trains to Seattle each weekday morning. How often and how long will a commuter train be delayed as a result of increased rail traffic? Will commuters face a significant possibility of being late to work because of train delays?
Occasionally the rail tracks between Seattle and Everett are closed due to mudslides for a day or more. Is there room for up to nine 1.5 mile long coal trains to wait for a few days if necessary? Will track closures due to mudslides increase in the coming decades from climate change?
How will Port of Seattle operations be affected in the SODO area of Seattle from the increased train traffic?
Since coal trains are much heavier than most other types a rail traffic, the maximum speed of coal trains needs to be re-evaluated (and re-adjusted, if necessary) before we allow a substantial increase in coal train traffic.
Do the coal train routes run adjacent to any sources of drinking water for town/cities? Will coal dust from coal train traffic have measurable effects?

Concerns about ground vibrations from coal trains:
Coal trains are much heavier than most other trains. What are the ground vibration effects of heavy coal trains on the foundations of houses, buildings, sewage and water lines, seawalls or other infrastructure?
Coal trains traveling to Cherry Point will pass through historic Pioneer Square (Seattle) via the train tunnel. There needs to be a detailed study on the cumulative ground vibration effects on the foundations of those historic buildings from the coal trains.
There should be a detailed study of the ground vibration impacts on homes and buildings within a quarter mile of each side of the tracks through Seattle.
There needs to be a study of the potential for ground vibration from heavy coal trains to initiate mudslides during periods of heavy rain in mud slide prone areas of the train routes.
Similarly, there should be a study of the potential for ground vibration of coal trains to initiate snow avalanches in the winter for applicable areas along the tracks.

Concerns about coal ships travelling to/from the terminals:
Are there plans in place for dealing with a coal ship grounding or sinking accident?
What are the effects of a massive dumping of coal in the sea route from each of the proposed terminals to the Pacific Ocean if such an accident were to occur? How would that be cleaned up? Who would pay?
Are there measurable effects on marine life from coal dust being blown off of coal ships as they travel from the proposed terminals to the Pacific Ocean?
Concerns about the long term plan for a coal export terminal:
What will become of the coal export terminal if the demand for coal drops? Will we be stuck with polluted, unused coal terminal on our coast that no one will want to buy or pay to clean up? Will it become an ugly, toxic relic of the fossil fuel age on our coastline? Environmental issues concerning the decommissioning of a coal terminal should be included as part of the environmental review before a permit to build it is issued.
Concerns about the effects on local businesses:
The SODO neighborhood of Seattle has many new development projects, including many new apartment/condo buildings and likely a new third stadium. There are few overpasses for vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians over train tracks in this area. How will delays and noise from nine 1.5 mile long daily trains affect small businesses in this neighborhood?
Other public safety issues:
What fire prevention and fire response strategies will be implemented at each proposed coal export terminals?
There should be a detailed study of potential delays in response times of emergency vehicles in neighborhoods north and south of downtown Seattle as a result of increased train traffic.
Some final thoughts:
Burning coal is the number one contributor to the global warming crisis. We should not issue permits to build new infrastructure that encourages the burning of coal anywhere in the world.
Denial of a permit to build the coal export terminals does not result in job losses of existing jobs. It leaves open other possibilities to expand jobs in more environmentally-friendly industries.
The benefits of exporting coal are very limited. It would be frustrating to see another fossil fuel industry take hold in the Pacific Northwest at a time when we need to take bold steps to move beyond the fossil fuel age.

James Williams (#11951)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Comment:
The burning of fossil fuels is well known to be the driving force behind climate change for at least the past half century. Projections of the global average temperature exceeding a minimum 5 degrees Celsius or more by century’s end is frightening. The last time the global average temperature was 5 degrees warmer than today, there was no ice at either pole and land animals were more reptilian in nature rather than mammalian.

Should an environmental impact study take this into consideration for any project that further encourages the burning of coal? Obviously and absolutely “yes”!!

James Williams (#13642)

Date Submitted: 01/22/13
Comment:
Reference: Docket number COE-2012-0016: Proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal coal export proposal draft EIS scoping comments

The burning of fossil fuels is well known to be the driving force behind climate change for at least the past half century. Projections of the global average temperature exceeding a minimum 5 degrees Celsius or more by century’s end is frightening. The last time the global average temperature was 5 degrees warmer than today, there was no ice at either pole and land animals were more reptilian in nature rather than mammalian.

Should an environmental impact study take this into consideration for any project that further encourages the burning of coal? Obviously and absolutely “yes”!!

James Wilson (#6281)

Date Submitted: 01/08/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
Adding coal trains to the train and traffic mix thru Bellingham is not a good idea. The short term econimic gain is just not worth the long term degradation of our living and ecological environment. Bellingham is struggling with redevelopment along the train corridor and the coal trains will have a very negative effect on the current plans for housing and business development.
I am also strongly apposed to this increase in train traffic for the single purpose of shipping coal to China. China needs encouragement to develope clean sources of sustainable energy.

James Wisswaesser (#7070)

Date Submitted: 01/13/2013
Location: Bow, WA
Comment:
Dear Folks,
I James Wiswaesser live here in in Bow WA. Since moving here 5 years ago I really have come to love the littoral here, where the Chuckanut Mountains meet the the Salish Sea. I am writing to express my serious concern with foreseen adverse Impacts of the operation of the proposed gateway pacific terminal with its extended effects to the environent where I spend spend lots of recreational time on both the the land and the water.
I use the word extended to mean outside of the property line of the terminal.
I think this extended region is more than just "externalities" as usually thought of regarding corporate enterprises, but more intrinsically related to the core operation of the plant.
Thus first and foremost I am petitioning for the expansion of any EIS worth its salt in regards the intention of Environmental Law, to include the obvious complete ramifications of coal transhipment.
Specifically there are the serious impacts to my quality of life by these transports required of the coal in to and out of the specific rather small footprint of the terminal property itself and it's corporate purview. Take away the terminal and you take away the following imacts. ( I understand though perhaps falaciously, that Canadian facilities (further north on the train line) will not be able to increase their coal loading capacites as there is not enough land available)
So the transport in will be by rail cars along the coast and the transport out will be by large ships amongst the Islands including Orcas where I lived for a period and whereI still visit friends.
The numbers of these trains and ships begin the boggle the senses.
At full capacity 18 trains a day 9 full and 9 empty and over 450 ships a year meaning 450 passages through Rosario strait and 450 through Haro??
Starting with the trains.
Often In the warmer months, sometimes even in the colder, I walk down to and spend time at the water's edge both on rocks and beach at any number of locations between Edison and Bellingham.
I can't but expect that the increased ground shaking, noise of the screaming wheels, numerous of whistle blasts, diesel exhaust, and potential coal dust blowing will change the ambiance there from what is now a beautiful experience at the shore (with long stretches of wind in the trees, birds and wave sounds) into a stacatto series of beautiful interludes interrupted by these cringing, no conversation possible, jittery nerves periods of time. Currently the trains seem rare.
These train passing periods will have to exceed the 3 to 4 minute times claimed in the union promotional pamphlet because the trains can't go standard speed on the curves below the chuckanuts.
One additional concern in particular relates to the the main path to Clayton Beach, a favorite spot within Larabee State Park. The path actually jogs along the tracks at one point and on a summer's weekend, one can see lots of folks, incl. numerous families with small children crossing the tracks . Besides the immediate increased danger of injury or fatality -I'm assuming with 18 trains more than a 600% increase- there will be the -for sure- annoyance and anxiety of separated parties of people. Is there money for a pedestrian crossing? Can there be mitigation for the noise and vibration? I doubt it. Without these, the park will lose a lot of its appeal for potential visitors, and I even wonder if the beach will be able to be legally available to the public due to liability issues.
Will I lose even those quiet moments on my favorite rocks??
I will address the the water issues for me in another comment.
Thanks for considering,
James

James Wright (#1445)

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

James Wurzer (#4755)

Date Submitted: 12/14/2012
Location: Seattle, Wa
Comment:
Coal as a fuel needs to be replaced as fast as possible in society to save the environment. I do not support the transportation of long coal trains passing through Seattle. In the SODO area of Seattle there are a lot of trains passing through already that disrupt traffic. Seattle needs to build more infrastructure to minimize the disruption of traffic (foot and car) by trains that already pass through and or stop in the areas. Until that time the passage of many more trains carrying anything should be limited in growth.

James Yount (#13478)

Date Submitted: 01/21/13
Location: Bow, WA
Comment:
To whom it may concern,

Sad that a progressive race as savvy as humans, can be duped by the minority-ultra rich, into enduring a toxic cloud of coal dust. This poisonous mineral dust should not be an issue for our children’s lives. We as a people can unite and stop this madness now.

We shouldn't mine it, ship it, or sell it. But most importantly – we need to stop burning it. Let’s redirect our energy solutions now. The sacrifice we can make is to subsidize the very same coal owners to move their investments into this century.

It’s time for global concerns to mature to the front of the line. Let’s work together.

Sincerely,

James A. Yount

James & Evelyn Egbert (#1391)

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

James & Sharon Hoffman (#5670)

Date Submitted: 12/24/12
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

James & Sharon Hoffman (#5886)

Date Submitted: 12/24/12
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

James & Soma Harvey (#1492)

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

James and Dianne Mitchell (#14260)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

James and Kay Maxfield (#12653)

Date Submitted: 01/20/13
Location: Walla Walla, 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 belong to a group in Walla Walla who has already protested this alarming development. Walla Walla is a community which has supported its Corps of Engineers and we beg them to review the impact that this will have not only on Walla Walla but on communities across the northwest.

James Robert Deal (#7020)

Date Submitted: 01/12/2013
Location: Lynnwood, WA
Comment:
The CO2 level in the atmosphere is going up 2 ppm per year. Time continues infinitely into the future. The burning of coal in China directly affects climate change here in the Northwest. We need to pressure our national government to pressure China to put the same money into developing solar, wind, tidal, wave, geothermal energy that they are currently putting into building coal plants. Shipping coal to China is wrong and it is going to come back to harm everything we love about the Northwest.

James Robert Deal
james@jamesdeal.com

James, Diane & Michael Murphy (#12352)

Date Submitted: 01/20/13
Location: Mount Vernon , Wa
Comment:
Stop Coal Trains. Coal is dirty polluting and being sent offshore. We need energy solutions that make sense. No Coal Trains.

we live next to the Burlington trestle in Mount Vernon the sound echos off the river and since there is a crossing the trains blow there horns , we are awakened 2 to 3 times a night. PLEASE NO MORE TRAINS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jamey Robnelt-Conover (#14263)

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

Jamey Robnett-Conover (#12273)

Date Submitted: 01/22/13
Location: Spokane, 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. I feel it's important to consider the bottom up effects on the marine ecosystem.

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.

Jami Mitchell (#2479)

Date Submitted: 10/31/12
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Jami Mitchell (#3892)

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

Jamie Albrecht (#8104)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Comment:
I want to reference a submitted comment by Sandy Robson which I have copied and pasted below. I agree with Sandy that there needs to be a cumulative and Programmatic EIS for this particular project and all the necessary moving parts to it starting from the Powder River Basin coal mines where the coal is sourced, including the railways on which the coal will be transported through multiple states, the GPT itself, and the waterways which will be used to ship 48M tons of coal annually to China.


Sandy Robson's submitted comment:
Interdependent - Definition: Two or more people or things dependent on each other; mutually dependent.

It is clear that the proposed GPT, the railways used to ship commodities (primarily coal in the case of this project), the vessels used to ship the coal to China from the GPT, and the Powder River Basin coal mines used to source the coal itself that will be transported and sold are all interdependent. Each of the pieces is vitally connected to each other and without one of those pieces the overall project would not happen. You cannot have one without the other. Because of this fact, I believe it is impossible to scope and study all the potential significant adverse effects separately as is currently being done under an EIS and therefore it is necessary to study these interdependent pieces altogether or entirely. This is why there needs to be a cumulative and programmatic EIS for this particular project and all the necessary moving parts to it.

As a matter of fact, I strongly believe that all of the 5 Coal terminals; Millenium Bulk at Longview WA, Port Westward at Port of St. Helens OR, Morrow Pacific Ports of Morrow and St. Helens OR, and Project Mainstay Port of Coos Bay OR and of course, GPT at Cherry Point WA should all be included in a broad cumulative Programmatic EIS. If all or even a few of these 5 projects would get approved there would be significant adverse impacts at each of these terminal locations and most assuredly along the railway routes from the PRB coal mines, and at the PRB coal mining sites and nearby communities which incrementally would create a cumulative impact. These 5 proposed terminal sites, the proposed railways used to ship the coal, and the mines where the coal is sourced will not only each result in extremely significant adverse impacts, but will also collectively have a devastating impact on our region.

I have read the GPT permit application and there is much necessary and pertinent information to this project missing from the permit. Right now the permit covers and pertains only the terminal and the BNSF Custer Spur. We, the public, have little or no information about the railway routes from the coal mines which are needed to transport primarily coal (48M tons annually according to the permit application). We are not told exactly which routes will be used and what infrastructure will be needed and where will that be, how much that will cost and exactly who will be paying for those needed upgrades, new sidings, etc. This is important knowledge we do not have that we need in order to ask questions during our main time (now) that gives us any kind of voice in this process. Without this information I feel the permit application is incomplete and needs to be revised and all these interdependent parts included in that permit. It is unfair to try and push this permit through the process as-is without giving the public each important piece of information they need. It is not our fault that this was not done at the onset of this EIS process and really it shouldn't matter whose fault it is—it needs to be changed.

It's also important that the public is given factual information because the investors/partners in this project and the consultants they hired to be spokespeople for this project started years ago giving lots of misinformation out to local chambers of commerce, city councils, labor organizations, and they created websites to get the public on board, yet the project information they've presented publicly doesn't align with what's in the permit application. And the permit application needs much more detail than what is presently in it.

If this project is as great as the investors claim then they should happily give all of us all the gory details. When you go to a bank to apply for a loan you are asked to give every gory detail about your finances. So, for a project that entails transporting 48M tons of coal annually across multiple states, and storing it right along the beautiful Cherry Point shoreline, and right next to BP Refinery which seems very dangerous to have PRB coal that is prone to spontaneous combustion next to an oil refinery, they need to give us accurate information that can be verified. That is the least they can do and they should want to do it so that they're not fraudulently advertising this project as they have been. Is there any reason why they don't want to realistically inform the public? I believe because they know if the public had known all the facts regarding this project in the beginning there would not be the support and momentum they needed to even get this project into the EIS process.

There was a rush by the companies involved in this proposal to try and fast-track the permit and project and they have applied and are applying huge pressure. This is not a lemonade stand we're talking about. I think the agencies involved needed to slow down and really look at the magnitude of this project and all it's moving pieces and go back and get all the much needed details from all the companies involved. From Peabody Coal, to BNSF and any other railroad companies that may be also involved in the transporting of the coal, SSA Marine/PIT (the subsidiary that SSA specifically created for this project), and any companies that represent the 972 vessels that would be coming into our Puget Sound waterways at full-build-out of this project that would transport the 48M tons of coal. When you get the detailed information from all these companies then we have the real picture that we need to look at.

I am asking the agencies involved in this EIS process to do the right thing and admit that the scope of this huge project that stands to cause great harm to our environment, waterways, properties, health, access to emergency services, financial well-being, public safety on waterways and railways and the terminal site, to our quality of life, and our aesthetically beautiful surroundings we all love and cherish needs to be broadly and very carefully studied.

I formally request that this GPT EIS be changed to a programmatic EIS (PEIS) and that it needs to begin again under that broad scope, or however progressing the EIS to PEIS can be done within the parameters of the process. Additionally, as I stated earlier in my comment, I strongly believe that all of the 5 Coal terminals; Millenium Bulk at Longview WA, Port Westward at Port of St. Helens OR, Morrow Pacific Ports of Morrow and St. Helens OR, and Project Mainstay Port of Coos Bay OR and of course, GPT at Cherry Point WA should all be included in a broad cumulative Programmatic EIS. It affects our entire region!

Jamie Albrecht (#8112)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Comment:
I would like a study done to see what adverse effects the coal dust will have on the Lake Terrell Watershed. Including but not limited to the salmon, other fish species, all birds, including but not limited to reproduction including strength of eggshells, Terrell creeks entire length should have a study done to determine if potential dust deposits will form along shores, causing mammals that live around that area to become toxic due to high levels of mercury, lead, or arsenic carried in the coal dust.

Jamie Albrecht (#8139)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Comment:
I would like the potential landslide issue in Western Waahington to be studied. The Geological community has commented that we are in a fifteen year high landslide phase. With already several slides shutting down rail traffic I would like a study in depth to include but not limited to rail traffic from Seattle North to the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal. I would like to see if train accidents occur what Haz. Mat. Protocol will be in place. I would like to see a study done on the adverse effects that a possible stoppage of rail service will effect traffic in the greater Seattle area and not just limited to this area but areas that feed into this area for jobs.

Jamie Albrecht (#8717)

Date Submitted: 01/17/2013
Comment:
I would like to see the adverse effects of native species of marine life that will be brought in by the vessels from China and not limited to that area will have upon the native marine species. This should included but not be limited to the study of shellfish, mollusk, sea birds, any species of crabs, sea kelp, clams, oysters, etc. I would like to see at least Four studies done about the adverse effects of the purple varnish clam into this area. This is an invasive species that is wiping out the viable native shellfish here , brought here by foreign vessels. Since the shellfish industry is a viable job ,farming source for people here and coal dust will also effect this as the are filter feeders, how will this all be contained.

Jamie Albrecht (#9285)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Comment:
I would like to see the possible safety hazards that the coal dust could produce in relation to the B.P. refinery that it will be located near. Since coal dust travels airborne and is combustible I would like to see a study of how with BP's open flame's that help to dissipate chemicals that escape the refinery how Gateway Pacific Terminal will guarantee the safety of not only or limited to their employees, BP employees, and the area residents.

Jamie Albrecht (#9288)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Comment:
I would like to see a study done about the possible adverse effects of Gateway Pacific terminal will have on the under ground Nooksack aquafir. I would like to see a study done to include but not limited to the adverse effects that with the Terminal will have on residents whom well water comes from the Nooksack Aquafir. If GPT is pulling large amounts of water each year, will the local wells start to dry up?

Jamie Albrecht (#9347)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Comment:
I would like a study to be done on the adverse effects that the coal will have to the water that will be sprayed on it, this study should include but not be limited to addressing how run off will be handled, how much mercury, lead, and arsenic will be in the water, what percentage of water per year per gallon used will become toxic via this process, how many gallons per year will be wasted via evaporation. Where storage of contaminated water will be. What exact measure will be taking to purify the water after it has been sprayed on the coal? How much of the coal dust will remain in the water?

Jamie Albrecht (#9350)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Comment:
I would like a study to be done on the adverse effects that the industrial site will have on the local farming agricultural community. This study should include but not be limited to the study of how the coal dust will effect crops, via growth and also for organic farmers whom need to make sure they are not producing toxic products. Will the chemicals from the terminal get into the local crops into the lungs of farm animals? What percentage of toxic chemicals are predicted to show up in our local crops and livestock?

Jamie Albrecht (#10712)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
I live on Aldergrove near Kickerville and I would like the study to include the items listed in reference to Mike Crum's statements. I am also concerned with the significant adverse effects that the site would have on the surrounding area.

http://www.eisgatewaypacificwa.gov/sites/default/files/comment-attachments/pdf/crum%20jan%2010%20EIS%20Scoping%20Comment%20on%20Impacts%20of%20Fire%20at%20GPT.pdf

Jamie Albrecht (#10720)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
I live on Aldergrove near Kickerville and I would like the study to include the items listed in reference to Mike Crum's statement regarding Vessel Traffic at Cherry Point. I am very concerned with the significant adverse effects that such traffic would have on the surrounding area.

http://www.eisgatewaypacificwa.gov/sites/default/files/comment-attachments/pdf/crum%20Jan%203%20EIS%20Scoping%20Comment%20on%20Impacts%20of%20Vessel%20Traffic.pdf

Jamie Albrecht (#11139)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Comment:
I would like a study done to determine how viable the buffer zone is from the terminal. I have seen that a buffer of trees have been mentioned within the projects proposal. I want a study done about how effective this will be during fall, winter,& early spring months when most of the deciduous trees that make up this buffer have no leaves. I would also like the study to include but not be limited to exactly how many conifers evergreens are present that would have year round foliage and how far apart they are spaced and what their height, trunk size, width, and age. I would also like the study to include the strength of the root systems and trunk strengthen of the deciduous trees if they are to be named as a buffer.

Jamie Albrecht (#11538)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
I live on Aldergrove near Kickerville and I would like the study to include the items listed in reference to Mike Crum's statement (attached) regarding the impacts of noise on the marine environment at Cherry Point. I am very concerned with the significant adverse effects that such noise would have on the rapidly declining herring population which, in turn, would be devastating to the already endangered local salmon population.
Attached Files:

Jamie Albrecht (#11963)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Comment:
I would like a study to be done on SSA Marine as a whole to be studied and not limited to their environmental practices and violations. It is my understanding that they started to clear the site at Cherry Point before they were given allowances to do. After they were caught doing this they have prolonged the process to fix their wrong doings. They have not restored they site as they were suppose to do and keep asking for extension to do so. I would like any violations environmentally that they have committed to be studied before they are granted permission to continue this project. I would like any and all infractions or misdemors as well to be included.

Jamie Albrecht (#11983)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Comment:
I live on Aldergrove road near Kickerville and the proposed industrial site I would like a study to be done on how the coal dust will effect my home and my surrounding neighbors in terms of coal dust accumulating on our personal property including but not limited to our home structures. It is my understanding from inquiring to others living near terminals that they have to yearly get their homes completely professionally washed down and repainted due to dust accumulating on surfaces. I would like a complete explanation of this will be avoided.

Jamie Albrecht (#12063)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Comment:
I live on Aldergrove Road near Kickerville and the proposed terminal site. I would like a study to be done on but not limited to the effects that the terminal will have on the property values in the surrounding area. I have seen that where other terminals have gone in that are like the proposed one the area property values decrease causing extreme stress, depression, and other health issues to the surrounding residents. I would like the study to include how the terminal will guarantee that this will not occur.

Jamie Bell (#12115)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Portland, OR
Comment:
Please don't take a step backwards in long-term thoughtful energy policy for short term financial gain. We know too much about the harmful effects of coal and mercury on humans and our shared environments. Also, having just spent a weekend in the Columbia Gorge, this is a national wildlands treasure for all Americans and visiting tourists. Let's continue to be the progressive and green state that we are!

Jamie Douglass (#690)

Date Submitted: 10/14/2012
Location: Blaine, WA
Comment:
Comment: US Army Corps of Engineers
Washington State Department of Ecology
Whatcom County Planning and Development Services

Subject: Assessment of Railroad Diesel Consumption, effects of diesel pollution in areas near railway lines

To Whom It May Concern

I live in Birch Bay, Whatcom County. I am concerned that if the proposed coal terminal at Cherry Point is built, it will have a negative effect on the supply of diesel fuel for the rural and farming enterprises of this community and indeed, for the entire Pacific Northwest. I am also concerned on the effect of diesel pollution from this massive increase in burning of diesel.

These are the reasons for my concern:

The plan published by Pacific International Terminals (PIT) sets full build out shipping capacity at 52.9 short tons of coal per year. The railroads claim they can ship a ton of freight almost 500 miles on a gallon of diesel. It is approximately 1500 miles from the Powder River Basin (PRB) to Cherry point. The math is simple: 53 million tons x 3 (i.e. 1500 miles / 500 mpg) =159,000,000 gallons of diesel per year to ship coal from the PRB to Cherry Point.

The U.S Energy Information Administration (EIS) tracks the amount of diesel consumed by railroads by state and by region. In 2010, the last year for which data is available, the railroads in Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, and Washington, the states through which the coal would move from the PRB to Cherry Point, used 172,476,000 gallons of diesel. Coal shipments to Cherry Point would require a 92.1% increase in Northwestern diesel supply for railroads. In other words, the railroads would require 331,476,000 gallons of diesel to maintain current service plus coal shipments to Cherry Point. When the 48.5 million tons of coal for the proposed Millennium Bulk Terminal in Longview, WA is added to the calculation, diesel consumption would increase by 176.5% for a total required railroad supply of 477 million gallons of diesel.

When the planned increase in oil shipments from North Dakota to the refineries in Anacortes, other proposed coal terminals in Washington and Oregon, and the natural growth in rail freight traffic are added to the above estimates, it is clear that the impacts of increased train movement in the Pacific Northwest requires careful study beyond just the issue of rail capacity.

Some questions seem obvious:

How will the increased demand for diesel fuel in the Pacific Northwest affect the availability for other uses such as trucking and agriculture?

Will the increased demand lead to an increase in the price of diesel? If so, what would be the ramifications throughout the Northwest economy? That is, how will it affect the price of timber, wheat, and other agricultural products?

Will there even be an adequate supply of diesel in the future to meet these competing demands?

California has severely regulated trucks and ships due to the impact of diesel pollution in their bay areas such as Long Beach. Will there be a study on the impact of diesel pollution on human health and wildlife or vegetation in the areas affected by diesel pollution from the increased train traffic.

These and many other questions related to the impact of increased diesel demand to ship coal to Asia require complex analysis. I am asking that you prepare such a study as part of the EIS. The EIS should calculate whether the increased consumption of diesel to transport PRB coal will have a negative impact on other users of diesel in the Pacific Northwest and if so, the extent of that impact. It should also study the impact of diesel from the increased train and ship traffic on human health and impact on wild life or vegetation in areas exposed to the resulting diesel pollution.

Jamie Douglass (#692)

Date Submitted: 10/14/2012
Location: Blaine, WA
Comment:
Comment: The committee must address the impact of this logistical operation on our ESA endangered southern resident population of killer whales (Orcinus orca), our familiar pods of charismatic whales that are a vital part of our community. This charismatic population of marine mammals has become an important part of our commerce and our culture, immeasurably valuable to the people of the Salish Sea. Each individual is known to the public, and births and deaths are reported in our local newspapers.

The NOAA Fisheries Office of Protected Resources summarizes the recovery plan, which includes some open ends. The presence of this logistical operation in our Salish Sea introduces new hazards to the survival of our killer whales and will require a significant investment to establish base lines, manage the conservation operation, and enforce our laws through a judicial process. The accountable principals need to provide an initial investment and the ongoing expenses of managing their logistical systems in accordance with our laws and our mission of stewardship. To develop a sense of stewardship for these charismatic creatures among the principals, understood to be Wall Street speculators and the Chinese government, you should ensure that they have the opportunity to participate in the planning and implementation of the conservation plan. The principals should pay to establish the institutional controls and safeguards to ward off damage to the whale population, and to ameliorate damage resulting from unexpected occurrences in their operations.

"Conservation measures in the plan include:

"Prey Availability: Support salmon restoration efforts in the region including habitat, harvest, and hatchery management considerations and continued use of existing NMFS authorities under the ESA and Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act to ensure an adequate prey basis." (Note the connection to the extremely endangered South Fork Chinook population and the Cherry Point herring.)

"Pollution/Contamination: Clean up existing contaminated sites, minimize continuing inputs of contaminants harmful to killer whales, and monitor emerging contaminants. " (Given the diversity of the many entities that would be messing around with petroleum and other contaminants in the Salish Sea, this appears to be a major long-term challenge. How will you deal with the management of Chinese ship captains like the one that not long ago crashed his ship into a bridge in San Francisco Bay?)

"Vessel Effects: Continue evaluating and improving guidelines for vessel activity near Southern Resident and evaluate the need for regulations or protected areas." (An open end for your consideration.)

"Oil Spill: Prevent oil spills and improve response preparation to minimize effects on Southern Resident and their habitat in the event of a spill.

"Acoustic Effects: Continue agency coordination and use of existing MMPA mechanisms to minimize potential impacts from anthropogenic sound." (Includes ships and construction.)

"Education and Outreach: Enhance public awareness, educate the public on actions they can participate in to conserve killer whales, and improve reporting of Southern Resident sightings and strandings." (How will you bring the Chinese ship captains into this process?)

"Respond to Sick, Stranded, Injured Killer Whales: Improve responses to live and dead killer whales to implement rescues, conduct health assessments, and determine causes of death to learn more about threats and guide overall conservation efforts.

"Transboundary and Interagency Coordination: Coordinate monitoring, research, enforcement, and complementary recovery planning with international, Federal, and state partners.

"Research and Monitoring: Conduct research to facilitate and enhance conservation efforts. Continue the annual census to monitor trends in the population, identify individual animals, and track demographic parameters.

"Conservation of the Southern Resident stock is a long-term effort that requires the cooperation and coordination of the Washington and British Columbia communities. The Plan was developed with input from a variety of stakeholders, including federal and state agencies, tribes, non-profit groups, industries, the academic community, and concerned citizens."

This proposal brings large uncertainties for the management of this vital local conservation effort. The promoters are shadowy, dodging behind a plea to limit consideration to the construction of the pier, and, as shown in the Deep Water Horizon disaster aftermath, are likely to be difficult to deal with following violations of the laws protecting the southern resident killer whale population. The character of our institutional relationships with the Chinese is decidedly different from the character of our relationship with the home country of BP. The railroad, which will take most of the revenue from this operation, may reasonably accept no accountability for damage to the marine environment by the manager of the pier or by the manager of the ships. The EIS should study these risks to our marine environment.Therefore, to ensure stewardship of the southern resident population of killer whales, it will be important for the principals to establish in advance institutional arrangements including the management of Chinese ships and, perhaps, an insurance fund or bond to pay for recovery operations after some unexpected event. The EIS should require these arrangements will be in place if the the GPT goes forward.

Jamie Gardipe (#5353)

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

Jamie Jedinak (#2122)

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

Jamie Krogh (#14649)

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

Jamiee Kiesser (#3008)

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

Jan Adams (#11056)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I am concerned about the number of vessels that will be needed to ship in and out of our bay and up through the Salish Sea and through the Alaskan waters toward Russia, and down into China. These vessels are large, single-hulled Diesel ships. They will be "running" while waiting for their turn to both load and to unload. There will be a fair "wait" per ship, as I understand there will be 487 vessels per year entering our sound and 487 vessels going out - for coal alone. Please study the pollution effects on our air and water quality, along with risk factors in terms of accidents, spillage, and coal dust through the transference from train to stack-pile to conveyor to ship.
Also study the safety record of these ships (single hulled) in terms of accidents with land, other ships, boats, weathering storms (high seas between Ak. and China, along with narrow passages). I ask for a second study of the pristine environments through which these ships will travel in my next question.

Jan Adams (#11062)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Bellingham, , WA
Comment:
This concern is for the pristine coastal area that the new terminal is to be build. This particular area out at Cherry point the largest remaining eel-grass/herring feeding grounds left along our pacific coastline. The eelgrass is critical for the herring, which is critical for the many species of shorebirds and our salmon (an industry which supports both our white and our Tribal fishing industries, along with supporting especially our killer whale, and other marine mammal populations. I am asking you to study both the negative effects that an increase of upwards to 974 + Diesel Vessels will have on the health of our native marine plant, bird and fish/mammal species and on one of the oldest and most productive employment industries (commercial fishing) in our Community.

Jan Adams (#11069)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
This concern is regarding the increased shipping traffic through the dangerous and environmentally delicate areas through the Alaskan Waters, narrow straits, and the extremely rough seas to weave their way from Whatcom County to China. Evidently all of the ships from the various coal terminals will be taking this route up through the Salish Seas, up the Canadian and AK. coast and out across that part of the ocean.
I am asking for a study of the % of accidents that have occurred in the past five years, and have that extrapolated out to look at what numbers will be incurred when the ship traffic is increased by 1000 plus vessels. Those northern seas are lush breeding grounds and feeding grounds for an incredibly varied number of marine wildlife, fish, bird or mammal. The study needs to really work with the Fish and wildlife folks and look at the irreversible detrimental effects

Jan Adams (#11080)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Diesel ships and trains emit recognizable and well documented toxins for humans and other animals. My understanding is that these toxins may be transmitted by both air and water.
Coal emits C02 and coal dust. Between the Coal and the Diesel particulates people and animals will be affected - dramatically with the increased trafficking of coal via both Train, truck and ships. Lung diseases from asthma to lung cancer, Black-Lung disease, and various other upper-respiratory afflictions. I ask you to study through the medical community the effects that both the increase in diesel transport and the residual coal dust will have in the wake of this industry county-wide.
I also ask you to study the returning C02 from the burning of the Coal in China via the gulf-air-stream, back to the pacific coast.

Jan Adams (#11091)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I live in Bellingham, thus have to commute over the tracks, and sleep relatively near (anyone in a 3-mile radius is now relatively near, as the trains are longer, heavier, more-frequent thus noisier).
I have been held up by trains for up to 15 minutes (yes, timed this) and have been late to meetings due to train passages (2 at once). My concern is: what if I were an emergency vehicle with an ill passenger - 4-5 minutes could make the difference between life and death. Fifteen is three-times this number. I am concerned about the medical emergencies that will be stopped by this increased rail traffic. I am concerned also about interrupted sleep-patterns (which my neighbors and I have all been experiencing over the past two years. Therefore I ask for a study of mitigations for Emergency Vehicles, along with a study of the effects of noise on both sleep deprivation, and the concentration ability of working people in an awake-state

jan adams (#11106)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
1 ab of coal emits --- C02. multiply this by 296.8 billion lbs. of C02 - just from Gateway Pacific. As C02 increases - so do the temperatures. The last 50 years has shown a tremendous increase. Heat trapped by the atmosphere combined with Green House Gases which come from 1)Transportation (gas/oil fuels burning) 2) Industrial agriculture (same stuff burning); 3) melting Perma-Frosts (emitting Methane gas); 4) Burning coal.
Climate change is happening. 98% of the Scientists confirm this, and their data confirms this. I understand that 32 states (in the USA) declarred disaster areas due to crop-loss because of drought. I am concerned, deeply concerned, and call for you to study the effects of Coal use, even in other countries, along with the various transportations methods used for this coal effects on our environmental and Global Warming. The winds and tides wrap around the globe. We cannot isolate ourselves from the use of fossil fuels from other countries, nor from ourselves. This is a Global Concern as well as a local concern. I call for a study of the effects of the transportation of the coal from Wyoming across the states through WA state, and the ships up through our pristine Marine waters and across the ocean to China to then have the Burning and blow-back from China. The study must review the C02 increases that will contribute to Green House Gas effects, and Global Warming. This is relevant and connected

Jan Ballard (#14264)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Jan Cavitt (#1070)

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

I have signed the letter but would also like to make a comment.

Profits, votes and jobs—these are the promised payback for allowing this ghastly abuse of our communities, our environment and our future health? Our current economic straits are temporary; drastic measures are not needed for their alleviation. Our basic rights—our Civil Rights, in fact—would be violated by the proposed terminal's existence. I will join others in a class action suit if we are ignored. I live one mile from one of the RR crossings, and will be affected by the greatly increased number of trains, the atmospheric pollution, the noise, and the restrictions on our emergency services.




jan cavitt
6
Ferndale, WA 98248

Jan Dank (#7818)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Dear US Army Corps of Engineers, Whatcom County Planning and Development Services, and Washington State Department of Ecology,


I am a physician practicing and living in Whatcom County.

I am writing this letter to ask for Whatcom County Council to take into consideration in the permitting of the proposed export terminal at Cherry Point potential significant adverse impacts on the health of my patients. In specific I would ask that effects of diesel particulate matter on cardiovascular health be included in the scope impact of the proposed project.

For your reference I include the following peer reviewed journal article from the scientific medical literature on this particular health concern:

Particulate Matter Air Pollution and Cardiovascular Disease: An update to the Scientific Statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation 121:2331-2378

Sincerely Yours

Jan Peter Dank, MD
Dermatology and Laser Center NW
905 Squalicum Way, Suite 101
Bellingham WA, 98225

Jan Dank (#7838)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Dear US Army Corps of Engineers, Whatcom County Planning and Development Services, and Washington State Department of Ecology,


I am a physician practicing and living in Whatcom County.

I am writing this letter to ask for Whatcom County Council to take into consideration in the permitting of the proposed export terminal at Cherry Point potential significant adverse impacts on the health of my patients.

What is the loss of coal from residual coal still on the cars on the RETURN journey back to the Powder River Basin (so called “carryback coal”)?

How much of the “carryback coal” is expect to be lost in Whatcom County in particular?

If Coal Dust is, as is claimed by the proponents of the project, a near mine issue, is the terminal itself considered similar to a near mine site, with the coal lost from loose residual coal matter still on the rail cars from which most of the coal has just been shaken loose and dumped at the terminal site?

Sincerely Yours

Jan Peter Dank, MD
Dermatology and Laser Center NW
905 Squalicum Way, Suite 101
Bellingham WA, 98225

Jan Ehrlichman (#2749)

Date Submitted: 11/03/12
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Files:

Jan Ehrlichman (#11284)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Comment:
I am a Seattle native and now am fortunate to live on Orcas Island. I come from a family who is devoted to preserving the environment of the Pacific Northwest.

In preparing the Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed Cherry Point Coal Terminal, I respectfully urge you to study the impacts per Michael Riordan's comment of January 10, 2013 regarding coal dust. I have copied his 4 specific questions below.

Thank you,
Jan Ehrlichman

1. What are the actual wind speeds that can reasonably be expected to occur in
and around the coal storage piles and transfer operations, including the effects of local topography and surface features? What local winds speeds will occur during the gale-force Fraser Gap winds that arise regularly in this vicinity?
2. What is the likelihood that large quantities of coal dust will be entrained by these winds and blown into the waters of the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve, necessarily including the effects of turbulent air flow around the piles? Given the high winds at Cherry Point and 48 million tons of coal to be shipped each year, how many tons will find their way into these waters annually?
3. What measures can be taken to reduce or eliminate these fugitive coal-dust losses — for example, by halting operations during high winds? And if these measures are deemed to be insufficient by regulators, can terminal planners instead design a facility with covered coal-storage piles and operations?
4. What will be the likely impacts upon marine life — principally the herring that spawn nearby every spring and Dungeness crabs that feed on the sea floor — of the tons of coal dust that will inevitably accumulate in the Aquatic Reserve and adjacent Georgia Strait waters during the many years the terminal would operate? What are the probable impacts on eelgrass beds, which help filter carbon dioxide out of the seawater, reduce its acidity, and store the carbon?

Jan Ehrlichman (#11297)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Comment:
Thank you for reading our comments and taking them seriously. I am a resident of Orcas Island and am extremely concerned about the possibility of building the largest coal shipping terminal in North America at Cherry Point.

I have heard some people say that this project will provide a great number of jobs. Do these people have any idea that a significant number of jobs will be lost because of this project? Why are these potential new jobs more important than all the jobs that will be lost along the railway corridor? Every business, large and small, on the other side of the tracks, will be affected by trains that are 1.6 miles long.

Please study the impact of job loss due to the increased train traffic through every town and city affected.

Thank you,
Jan Ehrlichman

Jan Gordon (#273)

Date Submitted: 10/03/2012
Location: Bow, WA
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington. This proposal would negatively affect my community by increasing traffic, polluting our air and water, harming existing business, delaying emergency vehicles, increasing shipping traffic and noise, damaging aquatic ecosystems at the terminal site, increasing the potential for serious shipping accidents and exacerbating climate change.It will greatly impact property values along train route, alot of waterfront. It will affect or close parks such as Larrabee and Blvd and Marine parks.the trains will impact ferries and Amtrack. The weight and # of trains will damage tracks, riprap, bridges such as in Mt.
Vernon.The vibrations damage buildings and upset homeowners.The # of jobs is overrated as the terminals are all mechanized and the jobs upgrading crossings are all paid by taxpayers, not the railroads. the cheap coal is subsidised (and owned) by taxpayers.I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

Sincerely,

Jan Gordon

Jan Gordon (#2278)

Date Submitted: 11/03/2012
Location: Bow, wa
Comment:
I have lived in bow for over 20 years. The train traffic was not an issue when I moved here. Now there is a siding below my home, where trains stop and sit and make noise and spew diesel fumes. i live downwind and have sensitivities to many chemicals including diesel. I am also wakened at night from the train horns from numerous crossings in the area. I have friends that have moved bcause of the train noise and others who are anticipating having to sell their homes. If there are 18 more trains i will not be able to continue living here but don't know where to go. I also love to go the many waterfront parks like clayton beach, Samish bay, Blvd Park and others. When the trains pass, we have to cover our ears, and when on the trails above the tracks, you can smell the coal.
Please study the impacts of the noise and traffic implications on human health, dairy cattle, property values, park access across tracks, access to homes, businesses like taylor shellfish, Bellweather, ferries.
I believe that we will lose tourism, small businesses, home value, Bellingham waterfront development and more if this plan goes thru. Please the impacts.
Mitigation...rezone Cherry point for mixed housing and lightindustial.

Jan Gordon (#2279)

Date Submitted: 11/03/2012
Location: Bow, wa
Comment:
I have lived on this planet for 62 years. Recently we have experienced the worst storm in history. we also have had droughts, heat waves, fires , floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, and other disasters unprecedented resulting in loss of life, crops, homes, businesses, farmland, forest, wildlife, livestock, fish, etc. The cost is the billions and perhaps trillions and food costs have skyrocketed and people have lost everything. Please study how mining, transporting, dumping and storing coal on the waterfront, shipping to china in massive tankers and being burned there. contribute to climate change and what that will cost. And what will we eat when all the food sources are destroyedor contaminated, and what are the costs of of disease from lack of food.

Jan Gordon (#2280)

Date Submitted: 11/03/2012
Location: Bow, wa
Comment:
WE still burn coal for a large part of energy source. Puget Power currently depends on coal for 65% of our energy. Please study the economic effect of mining and selling off all our natural resources for energy. There will come a time when we need it and someone may find a clean way to extract energy from coal but we have none left, just the dirty despoilation from sellling it to Asia. People once thought passengers pigeons were unlimited and they were wiped out in short order,as were the buffalo. Politicians promis we can drill and frack and mine our way to energy independence, but please study what is done when resources are found. It looks like we sell them to Asia to raise prices here and keep the rich, richer.

Jan Gordon (#2281)

Date Submitted: 11/03/2012
Location: Bow, wa
Comment:
As a human on planet earth and longtime resident of Wa state, I care very much about quality of life for humans, plants, fish and animals. The ocean is becoming acidic and has dead areas This is causing die off of fish and shell fish and toxicity to marine mammals.
Please study the effects of mining, transporting, storing on the waterfront, shipping to Asia and burning of hig sulfur coal on the oceans acidity. Please study the economic effect of fisheries closing, shellfish farms dying off, whales dying off from lack of food and clean water, tourism ending from people not excited to hang out in dead dirty waters.

Jan Gordon (#2284)

Date Submitted: 11/04/2012
Location: Bow, wa
Comment:
I am a long time time resident of Wa. state and feel blessed to live in such a beautiful . relatively unspoiled place. I spend much time outdoors, i have multiple chemical sensitivities, and am very stressed by excessive noise. I am concerned about the cumulative effects of the rail traffic, not just for gateway, but the other proposed terminals in wa and oregon. Just in skagit county there are plans for trains to the refineries and a proposed water bottling plant. Places like Spkane already have as many trains a s they can handle.
Please study the potential cumulative effects of rail traffic of all the proposed terminals .
study the effects on the infrastructure, damage to tracks from the weight , vibration, coal
dust . The aging Skagit River bridge will need replacement. The rip rap along Samish bay has failed, and slides occur near Edmonds and Mukilteo.Please study the entire route for potential and probable damage, costs, who will pay,how a derailment will affect the route, how a derailment will pollute.
I don't see any way o mitigate this, it's like trying to mitigate a nuclear war. The costs are too great and the benefits are nly to get a few rich people more money than they need.
There are no benefits to all the communities along the train route, onlycosts. You could study that as well but it is obvious.

Jan Gordon (#2415)

Date Submitted: 11/07/2012
Location: Bow, wa
Comment:
I live on bow Hill above the RR siding. Last night I was wakened at least 5 times by train whstles and their other noises, so forgive me for typos etc
I am concerned about exporting all our raw materials to other countries where they will be used to create more cheap unregulated products that we will import. And possibly die from, like lead contaminated toys, deadly pet food, and etc. And our manufacturing jobs will go with the coal.
Please study the economic results of losing more jobs to China. Please study what the net loss of jobs compared to the ones said to be gained will be. Please look into the actual number of jobs the terminal will create and where they are making up their figures.
I would look into rezoning
cherry point for mixed development, with housing, condos near the water and light industrail wher residents could work toward creating clean energy. SSA and friendscould still own this.

Jan Gordon (#2416)

Date Submitted: 11/07/2012
Comment:
I have lived in Wa state since the 60's, and lived above th RR tracks on Bow Hill since '89.
Besides the noise and having to wait long times at the crossings, I am concerned about the flammabilty of powder river coal that is passing thru. I was tld the rail cars can't be covered because the coal would spontaneusly combust. i have also heard from a long time resident about a devastating forest fire on Chuckanut caused by coal transport.
Please study the coal and it's combustabiliy and the potential dangers and costs of fires along the route and at the terminal.

Jan Gordon (#2417)

Date Submitted: 11/07/2012
Comment:
I am concerned about the veracity of Gateway's statements and their history of violations. there has already been wetlands damaged at the site for unpermitted road building, and the jobs numbers keep growing, I would like to know where these figures are coming from,
and their history of dishonesty.
There have been massive unmitigatible disasters from energy production, from Hanford, Exxon Valdez, BP oil spill, where the damage is unrepairable and the corporations that cause the damage just skate.
Please study all the potential nd likely disasters from massive coal mines on water tables and ranchers, trains on cities, massive tankers colliding and causng oil spills and dumping coal in to the ocean, killing off the salmon and orcas etc
hen please study how GPT plans to reapir the damage, or prevent it, and who will ultimately have to pay.

Jan Gordon (#4458)

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

Jan Gordon (#6072)

Date Submitted: 01/06/2013
Location: Bow, wa
Comment:
I have lived in Wa since the 60's and moved here for the beauty and quiet, access to natural places. I live near the tracks but it did't bother me until they built a siding below my house and started running coal trains. There are already too many trains to allow a peaceful night to sleep.
I would like a study done on the history of permit violations by SSA Terminal. I know they destroyed wetlands a Cherry point and built an unpermitted road there, for which they rec'v
a slap on the wrist.
They have never done the herring and other shoreline studies required when they first applied for a smaller terminal several years ago. I would guess peabody coal and burlington northern have a history of violations. I would like that studied and taken into consideration. this is a situation where tragic consequences will come from accidents and weather events. blatant violations will make things even worse.
How will violations be trreated? Who will moniter this project? Who will pay for monitering?

Jan Gordon (#6073)

Date Submitted: 01/06/2013
Location: Bow, wa
Comment:
I have lived in Wa state since the 60's. Ths is one o the relatively unspoiled places in the world with vibrant farming, fishing recreational and valuable real estate particularly along the water.
this is all set t change f the gateway terminal is built.
We haveanexcellent opportunity to doe studies of potential negative effects as we already have around 6 daily coal trains passing thru, and a nearby coal port at roberts bank.
There are many many things to study. These are not probable events, these are happening now.
Disruption of traffic in all places where the trains pass.
Effects of noise on health, sleep, disruption of activities as trains pass.
Trains cars can weighed at time of fill and time of being emptied for amount of coal loss in transit.
Amount of vibration by heavy trains and damage to to infrstructure, riprap, hillsides(landslides), homes and buildings nearby.
Amount f diesel fumes released by 6 engines sitting a t sidings for hours (like the one below my house) and long term health effects of such.
Study the water quality around roberts bank coal terminal for health of plant and animal life.
Study the effect of giant cape ships on fishing safety, whales and other wildlife.
Study what happens when a coal ships sinks or crahes into an oil tanker and how that can be mitigated.
Study how often unmitigatable accidents like gulf oil splill happen and why we should set ourselves for another.
Study why we are so worried that dock floating here from japan is a major concern or invasive species, but ship with millionns of gallons of contaminated bllast water that hauls coal is not supposed to be a problem.
The only way to miigate this is to not do it in the first place .
These companies have enough money to invest in clean energy and could provide good jobs withut ruinging our future

Jan Gordon (#6139)

Date Submitted: 01/07/2013
Comment:
Please study the rail capacity of all tracks between Powder river and the 5 proposed terminal sites. Othe trains , like those carrying oil, water, passengers, grain and so forth are increasing and needing to use the same rail corriders. it looks like maximum capacity will be here before thegpt is even running. how many trains daily will clog the system and cause massive traffic jams and lead to more accidents nd derailements.

Jan Gordon (#6141)

Date Submitted: 01/07/2013
Comment:
Our state of wa is very concerned with ocean acidification and its effect on fisheries and shellfish harvest. We have spent enrmous amounts on salmon recovery and study.
Please study the effects of burning coal on ocean acidification and what the costs to our economy will be as fish die off and shellfish fail to thrive. Please study the effcts of coal dust, and other terminal activities on the cherry point herring population. Please study what a significant decline in herrng population will cause on the salmon and orca population.
Who pays for all these studies and who moniters to make sure the studies aren't just industry coverups(as in glf oil spill, shell drilling etc etc)

Jan Gordon (#7364)

Date Submitted: 01/14/2013
Comment:
I am a long time resident of Wa. and live here for the natural beauty and clear air and waterfront among other things. I am very concerned about climate change and global warming, and mining iand burning and transporting coal are known major contributors to such.
This summer there were record heat waves in the US, causing drought , major crop and livestock loss, many homes and forests burned, stopping shipping on the Mississippi river and etc. costing taxpayers untold amounts. The corporations don't pay, the government, red cross, insurance companies and kind citizens who donate pay for this. Food prices are still high and rsing. This past weekend broke temperature records all over the country, highest highs, lowest lows. Also Beijing has record air pollution this week causing suffering on its population. Australia, a major coal supplier is burning up with record fires. Seattle is preparing for 6" of sea level rise.
How much of this is caused by burning coal? Why on earth would we allow Peabody coal and Brling ton Northern to destroy our planet for temporary riches.?
I'm not sure whatto ask you to study, these facts are already known, that the climate is changing and coal is major contributer and that it is wrecking our economy as homs, farms jobs, water supplies etc are lost.
How about studying how we could make the polluters pay to clean the mess if there is any way to clean it up. Please study how to stop climate change and how to make polluters pay and how much it will cost.

Jan Gordon (#7368)

Date Submitted: 01/14/2013
Comment:
I am wondering what will take to stop this project. The huge majority of the population has come out against it for so many very good reasons. The city leaders of many towns and cities have expressed their concerns that this is a bad choice. The main jobs that have come from from gpt so far are the paid spaceholders at hearings and people paid to sign petitions.I believe it tis time to move on and encourage SSA to come up with a new plan that will contribute to the neighborhood and the planet. They have the money to invest in renewab le clean energy sources. We shouldn't have to keep investing time and money to fight a project tht is so abhorant to so many.
They will ever agree to study all the issues that are so important. They haven't even studied the herring as they were supposed for their earlier proposal for a smaller grain terminal.
Please stud what it will take to stop this whole project.

Jan Hurd (#13366)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
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.

The trains running through Edmonds would badly affect ferry traffic.

Jan Newton (#2619)

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

Jan Nilsson (#412)

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

Sincerely,

Jan Nilsson

Jan Pickett (#13390)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Bend, OR
Comment:
I oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington. I'm not anti-business, I'm not anti profit. What I am against is corporations going out of their way to ruin our environment
- which seems to be the way coal and oil companies operate.

Jan Prokopowich (#1502)

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

Jan Rubens (#12576)

Date Submitted: 01/16/13
Location: Palo Alto, CA
Comment:
I was born and grew up in Washington State. 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.

Jan Scilipoti (#1284)

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

Jan Stewart (#267)

Date Submitted: 10/03/2012
Location: Shoreline, 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.

If all of the above isn't enough, I urge you to ask yourselves the question of why the US would send the raw materials for such terrible air pollution to China, only to have it come back to us, hitting us who live on the West coast of the US first.

Nothing about this makes any sense, except for the short term gain for the coal companies, at the expense of the rest of us, especially our health.

Sincerely,

Jan Stewart

Jan Stewart (#13955)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Comment:
I oppose the mining and use of coal. In Washington state we have closed at some expense our coal mines because of their many adverse impacts to the health of humans and other animal species,to the environment, and their significant contribution to global warming.

THEREFORE, I VERY STRONGLY oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington. In fact, given the view of most Washingtonians and our local governments, I think it's sheer lunacy to even consider 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.

Not only would the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal have numerous adverse impacts on the environment and communities within the Pacific Northwest, it would have an adverse impact globally. In Bejing, there is a crisis going on with air quality. People, especially children, can't breathe for heaven's sake! Please remember that the Pacific Northwest would not only be impacted by the effects of transporting the coal, but also when the weather sends back to us in the form of pollution from burning it in Asia.

In our Northwest Region (as well as in other areas) some of the negative impacts are: 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. In my own area, the train tracks are at the edge of Puget Sound (which is already under extreme pressure from pollutants) a stretch of the rail system prone to having slides. This fall and winter, we have had a record number of slides, stopping train traffic. Adding more heavy coal trains makes no sense and would only increase what is already a strong likelihood of an accident/spill into our precious Puget Sound.

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 (burning a tremendous amount of fuel on the way!), 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.

I urge the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct an area-wide Environmental Impact Statement to assess the cumulative impact of these proposals.

Jan Strobeck (#12444)

Date Submitted: 01/22/13
Location: Deer Park, WA
Comment:
WITH MORE COAL BURNING, ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD, THERE WILL BE MORE OCEAN ACIDIFICATION, ADVERSELY AFFECTING MARINE ORGANISMS. ESPECIALLY AFFECTED WILL BE SHELL FISH GROWERS AND PROCESSORS ALONG WASHINGTON STATE'S COASTS. THIS IS A JOBS ISSUE! AND A FOOD SUPPLY ISSUE.

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.

Jan Strobeck (#12687)

Date Submitted: 01/16/13
Location: Deer Park, WA
Comment:
IF JOBS ARE A PRIORITY, LET'S TALK ABOUT THE JOBS LOST TO OCEAN ACIDIFICATION FROM BURNING COAL, WHEREVER. MARINE SPECIES SUCH AS SHELLFISH ARE NOT SURVIVING ACIDIC OCEAN WATERS, AND THE JOBS THAT INDUSTRY SUPPORTS WILL BE GONE. WHO SUPPORTS THESE WORKERS???

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

There are currently five coal export proposals that would transport as much as 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.

jan sundquist (#9761)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Lopez Island, WA
Comment:
Dear GPT/BNSF Spur EIS Co-lead Agencies:
I am a 22 year full time resident of San Juan County. I am MOST dismayed about the impact of Coal Dust upon the Salish Sea as Coal sits in piles near to the water, is transported along and over this valuable and irreplaceable body of water.
Apparently no one is really certain of the effects of coal dust, let alone a horrible spill of coal, upon the marine environment, vulnerable species and myriads of ecosystems within San Juan County and the surrounding sea water.
If there is not a POSITIVE assurance from the developers that there will NOT be any deterrent impacts upon San Juan County then, PLEASE consider a NO BUILD option.

Sincerely,
jan sundquist
POBox 296
Lopez Island, WA 98261
(360) 468-3161
stillpoint@centurylink.net

jan sundquist (#9821)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Lopez Island, WA
Comment:
I am a full time resident of Lopez Island in San Juan County, Washington. I'm deeply concerned at the possible consequences of introducing Asian invasive species from the ballast water discharges of the Coal hauling ships and or from species opportunistically attaching to the undersides of the vessels . The risk of these invasive species upon the Salish Sea ecosystem if VERY worrisome. What the cost of CLEANING UP the introduction of invasive species on our economy is VERY damaging to the environment & the economy.
If there isn't a positive assurance from those involved , please consider a no build option.

Sincerely,
jan sundquist
POBox 296
Lopez Island, WA 98261
(360) 468-3161
stillpoint@centurylink.net

jan sundquist (#9905)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Lopez Island, WA
Comment:
Dear GPT?BNSF Custer Spur EIS co-lead Agencies:
I am a full time resident of San Juan County. As such I've experienced much concern regarding NOISE -- from Whidbey Naval Air Base -- and NOW, the NOISE pollution from the huge vessels that would be used in shipping coal if the port at Cherry Point gets built.
Do we know enough about how the orca, birds, and other marine mammals will be impacted ? And, how would construction, operation, of the coal port and the continuous transiting by rail while delivering coal and shipping coal out through the delicate Salish Sea on large continually pulsating ships actually affect the marine environment?

If there is no positive assurance against any potential impacts upon our marine population, please consider a no build option .

Sincerely,
jan sundquist
Lopez Island, WA 98261
POBox 296/ 37 Cabezon Lane
360-468-3161
stillpoint@centurylink.net

Jan Thomas (#3587)

Date Submitted: 11/20/12
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Jan Thorne (#4403)

Date Submitted: 12/06/12
Location: Spokane, WA
Comment:
Dec 6, 2012

Army Corps of Engineers and Department of Ecology WA

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

I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington and transporting strip-mined coal from Montana and Wyoming on trains and ships throughout the Northwest. It would increase traffic, pollute our air and water, harm small businesses, delay emergency vehicles, and increase hipping traffic and noise. The coal export terminal would also hurt our environment by damaging aquatic ecosystems at the terminal site, increasing the potential for serious shipping accidents, and exacerbating climate change. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

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

I live in in the lovely 100 year old area called Browne's Addition, and the train crosses over Latah Creek near us. Our air would be polluted, as well as Latah Creek and the many parks near us. Please do not allow this pollution to happoen!

Sincerely,

jan thorne
406 S CdA Ave Apt E
Spokane, WA 99201

Jan Torgerson (#2978)

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

Jan Treecraft (#5215)

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

Jan Vreeland (#7335)

Date Submitted: 01/12/13
Location: Portland, 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.

First we would have the dust and dangers, then the fallout from the coal smoke in Asia to haunt us. The coal companies would be the only ones to profit.

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. Jan Vreeland

Jan and Harold Hoem (#4090)

Date Submitted: 12/05/12
Location: Missoula, MT
Comment:
See Attached
Attached Files:

Jan P van der Veen (#12031)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I urge the Custer Spur EIS Co-Lead Agencies to analise the moral/ethical aspects of the coal export project. In his inaugural speech yesterday, President Obama pointed out that we have to work together to save the planet, when he raised the issue of the human-made climate change (i.e. the effect of global warming). The financing companies, investors, and all who participate in the implementation of the mining, transportation and export of the coal, share in the responsibility for the increased flooding, droughts, storms, melting of glaciers, reduced snowpack, melting of the arctic icecap resulting from global warming caused by the increased CO2 emissions.. Low lying Pacific and Indian Ocean islands as well as low coastal areas in densely populated areas such as Bangladesh will have to be evacuated (in the case of some islands off the coast of Papua-New Guinea this has already started). Food production went down; food prices are already rising as a result of droughts and floods in the last decade (droughts: Russia, US, Middle East, Canada, Africa, China; floods: Pakistan, Thailand, Cambodia, amongst others). As a Christian, I want to conclude: Jesus said that we can not serve two masters: Mammon and God. In this case, we can not let profit making prevail over our call to be stewards of the Creation, to feed the hungry and reach out to the poor, far away and nearby.

J.Peter van der Veen

Jana Marks (#2609)

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

Jana Marks (#2625)

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

Jana McGlinn (#1978)

Date Submitted: 10/26/12
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Jana Meredith (#2542)

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

Jana Schofield (#11055)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
I am a resident of and serve as the pastor of a church in Ferndale, WA. Though I cannot speak for my congregation, my comments here are guided by my faith and my denomination, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

My denomination’s Social Statement on the Environment, “Caring for Creation: Vision, Hope, and Justice” (http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/Social-Issues/Social-Statements/Environment.aspx#read), professes the following:

“This church will support proposals and actions to protect and restore, in the United States and Caribbean, the quality of:
• natural and human habitats, including seas, wetlands, forests, wilderness, and urban areas;
• air, with special concern for inhabitants of urban areas;
• water, especially drinking water, groundwater, polluted runoff, and industrial and municipal waste; and
• soil, with special attention to land use, toxic waste disposal, wind and water erosion, and preservation of farmland amid urban development.”

Guided by these values of my denomination, I ask that you include in the scoping process for the potential Cherry Point Terminal:

1. The impact of potential coal dust pollution in and around Ferndale, especially near schools and churches within a half-mile of the railroad tracks.
2. The global impact of greenhouse gas emissions, both from the shipment of coal as well as the burning of shipped coal in China.
3. The impact on water quality for residents, as well as for Pacific herring and salmon populations.
4. The impact on our city’s congestion, noise, and delay for emergency responders.

If the EIS cannot identify ways to fully mitigate for these impacts, I believe these impacts will be destructive to natural and human habitats and would be reason to oppose this and other similar export projects.

Thank you,
Rev. Jana Schofield

Jana Wiley (#7925)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Location: Olympia, WA
Comment:
My concerns are multiple. I will list them numerically. Please note that this is not a ranking in order of importance.

1. Safety, Emergency Medical Service interuption. In this county alone we have 15 crossings at the road grade. There are currently 60 plus trains a day already. It is not uncommon to wait up to 15 minutes total for travel from East Olympia at Rich Road to Old 99, just a few miles away. There are two crossings. I have seen traffic backups due to RR signal malfunction. The other day it was 1 1/2 hours for someone to come up from Chehalis to fix it. Communities along the trains pathway that are small, will not not have resources to provide elevated tracks if the rails bifurcate the town, disallowing EMS access to the whole service area. Why should they be punished financially?
2. Emissions and Coal dust. Diesel and coal dust represent some of the greatest airway hazards for all life forms. Our local line runs right past several schools and their playgrounds. When I visited the schools yesterday, 1/15/13, they did not even know about the EIS scoping period, nor did they even know about coal trains. This lack of information dissemination is concerning to me. Besides airway and pulmonary hazards, these contaminants will also be increasing dispensed into our waterways. The tracks in this region are often seen running along wetlands, as when they were laid there was not enough concern for these areas. We know better now, and it would not be possible to create elevated railbed berms thru wetlands at this time.
2. Contribution of increased CO2 emissions by providing cheap coal to China. The current situation with China's air quality and specifically particulate matter should be looked at. On the west coast we receive the worst byproducts of their pollution. We are already beyond the tipping point for ocean acidification that is affecting salmon, and crustaceans. Why would we plan on adding more burden?
3. Financial concerns. There are 3 major entities that stand to financially pofit by the movement of Montana coal to the west coast. Peabody coal, Warren Buffet and Goldman Sachs. Why should communities that are filled with people, domesticated animals and wildlife. suffer from the significant impacts of all these coal trains moving thru the hearts of their homes, and have to foot the bills for cleanup, health hazards and property value loss so that these entities can make their money. The number of jobs gained will never equate the losses.
4. Waterway and salmon habitat losses due to spillage of coal. There will be spillage of coal from the loading process, to derailments. This is a fact. Please look at the least amount projected per shipment and do the multiplication. A lot of our rail lines skirt waterways and Puget Sound.
5. Loss of traditional tribal land. Cherry Point should be non negotiable, even if neighboring sites are already degraded.
6. Noise. WA State recently increased the decibel requirement for train crossings. It is already very obnoxious for those of us who live near a crossing. Multiply that times the potentially greatly increased number of trains that will be running thru the night. Consider the disruption of people's sleep cycles as a result of the unending sounding of the trains so frequently. There is a health hazard associated with poor sleep. Are we just expected to move as a result?
7. Numbers. We are hearing that there will be 22 more trains per day, though other coal ports that projected the same, quickly doubled and tripled their numbers within a few years. What is the real number for the PNW?

Jane Barr (#13961)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Comment:
Maintaining the integrity of the earth is more important than making the coal company richer. The destruction that is being proposed is permanent.

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.

Jane Bartosz (#13176)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Salem, OR
Comment:
Unless some precautions are in place before construction starts, I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington. In order to be feasible health of all people in the path of the coal must be considered. Coal dust is a leading contributor to asthma and other breathing- related illnesses. The coal would have to travel in completely sealed containers. For the health of workers, there would have to be a way to get the coal into these sealed containers with little dust escaping. The route would also need to be seriously considered to not negatively affect not only human traffic, but the wild areas it crosses that could block off migratory routes and/or cause harm to animals in the wild, as well as what aquatice animals would be harmed by the increased ship traffic.
IF these things are not taken care of, 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.

Jane Beattie (#13254)

Date Submitted: 01/14/13
Location: Ketchum, ID
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 increase congestion and noise with more coal train traffic, polluting air and local waterways, harming existing businesses, delaying emergency responders, damaging aquatic ecosystems and fishing grounds, increasing tanker traffic, posssible serious shipping accidents and escalating climate change.

Please consider these impacts within the Environmental Impact Statement.

I ask that the Army Corps of Engineers issue an area wide Environmental Impact Statement to assess the cumulative impact of proposals.

jane campbell (#12849)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
Comment:
Greetings,

My name is Jane Campbell. I am a home owner in the City of Bellingham and an organic farmer on Orcas Island.

As someone who regularly travels between San Juan and Whatcom counties, I am concerned about the affects 18 additional daily coal trains (9 full, 9 empty) traveling the BSNF rail line would have if the Gateway Pacific Terminal is built. I am also concerned for my parents and sister's family who travel between Bellingham and Blaine on a regularly. 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.
I am also concerned about the effects of chronic train noise on the community of Bellingham which is nationally known for its enjoyment of outdoor activities along the Bay. As a home owner, I am concerned about the affect increased noise pollution and vibrations will have on property value in the ares.

As a resident of Orcas Island, I am extremely concerned about the effect the Gateway Pacific Terminal will have on our already deflated tourism industry. I am also concerned about the increased collision risks on the water. How will additional rail and ship traffic affect accident and collision rates? Oil/coal spills will be devastating to the fragile salmon, crab and herring fisheries as well as to the Orcas Whale watching industry. I want you to ask, how 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?
I am also concerned about my ability to protect myself and my loved ones from environmental toxins. Please consider how cancer, heart disease, asthma and other health risks will be affected by air and water pollutions associated with coal transport and export? Toxic air pollution crosses the Pacific Ocean from Asia to the west coast of the United States; what would be the local public health impacts of Powder River Basin coal combustion in Asia?
Finally, 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?

Thank you for considering my concerns.

May you act carefully.
Sincerely,

Jane Campbell

Jane Civiletti (#13220)

Date Submitted: 01/14/13
Location: OAK GROVE, 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 is bad for there community, bad for my community, bad for the Chinese people's community, and bad for the Earth.
No, no, no.

Jane Cogan (#1253)

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

Jane De Lange Skinner (#9525)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Mount Vernon, Wa
Comment:
I live near the rail road line that would carry the coal and I have asthma. I am very concerned about the effect the coal going by would have on my health. I also would really hate for more waits for traffic. I am not as aware of all the ways this could effect the natural environment, but would imagine it to be quite negative. We must preserve our planet and of course I am most concerned with where I live. I would really like to know answers to any research on this before this is decided on.

Jane DeBrock (#4568)

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

Jane DeBrock (#14673)

Date Submitted: 01/16/13
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Files:

Jane Fritz (#13664)

Date Submitted: 01/21/13
Comment:
Gentle People:
Please consider the attached as my formal comments for this project. Thank you.
Attached Files:

Jane Gum (#7934)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Comment:
Please do not compromise the safety, health, and quality of living of the residents along the proposed coal train routes. Eighteen trains a day rumbling through the small downtown of my hometown, Stanwood, WA, will crush the already struggling businesses, seriously impact the response time of our emergency responders, produce significant traffic delays for school (and all other) transportation, reduce air quality, and create an unacceptable noise level.

The best action is always that which produces the most good for the most people. Disregard for the environmental impact of Gateway Pacific Terminal's expansion at Cherry Point will create "good" for a few, but will forever diminish the lives of many.

Thank you for your very serious consideration of the long-term consequences of this proposal.

Jane Haugen (#316)

Date Submitted: 09/25/12
Location: Edmonds, WA
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington. This proposal would negatively affect my community by increasing traffic, polluting our air and water, harming existing business, delaying emergency vehicles, increasing shipping traffic and noise, damaging aquatic ecosystems at the terminal site, increasing the potential for serious shipping accidents and exacerbating climate change. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement. Why is it worth destroying any part of Wash. state for coal export to China ? the Chinese have demonstrated against coal facilities in their country.Why are we so gullible to swallow the coal and rail propaganda about the value of this .No is the answer.

Sincerely,

Jane B. Haugen

Jane Hawks (#3588)

Date Submitted: 11/27/12
Location: Bozeman, MT
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Jane Kroger (#7843)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I am Jane Kroger, a resident of Whatcom County and I live about 200 feet from where the railway line crosses the access way into the boat launch area for Larabee State Park as well as residences on Cove and Pleasant Bay Roads. I am writing, for I wish to have the impact of reduced emergency access due to the number and length of the proposed coal train increase included in your scoping work. I awoke at 4am one morning in May, 2012, with the clanging of the railway safety arm continuing for a lengthy period of time. I got up to find a coal train stopped on the rail line, blocking any emergency access to the boat launch area or lower part of Cove Road as well as Pleasant Bay Road. After 10 minutes of nothing happening, I went back to bed. I got up 3 1/2 hours later, and the coal train was still stopped in exactly the same position and did not move for another 1/2 hour. A blockage of any access to residential and public boat launch areas for at least 4 hours is a terrible risk to health and safety. Emergency and border patrol vehicles have accessed the boat launch area on a number of occasions during the 2 years in which I have been a resident of this area, and the potential risk to health and safety that the increase of coal train traffic will pose is completely unacceptable. In another experience when I tried to reach the Alaska Ferry Terminal for a class I was taking one morning, another train was completely stopped across the access road for at least the 20 minutes I was there and waiting for another train to come past. Emergency services would have had no access whatsoever to any ferry passengers in port. Please consider in the scoping process the risk to human health and safety that blocked access to public ports that the increased rail traffic will pose to emergency vehicles.

Jane Kroger (#7866)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Two years ago, I returned to the United States to retire, having lived abroad for the past 40 years in the beautiful environments of both Norway and New Zealand. Of all the possible regions of the United States, I was attracted to the Bellingham area for its enormous natural beauty and concern with environmental preservation. In your scoping process, I urge you to consider the very likely negative impact on both tourism and potential new residency that the proposed Gateway Project would pose. Bellingham is a very rare and unusual part of the country, with its relatively clean air and water, its attractive opportunities for outdoor sports and recreation, its marketing image as a tourist destination, and its place as one of the top 10 small town retirement areas in the United States, identified by the AARP. At present, one-third of all tourists coming to Bellingham visit Taylor Street Dock and Boulevard Park. The proposed new waterfront development project would, no doubt, attract many more tourists and new residents. These areas not only would be difficult to access but unpleasant to visit due to the increased rail volume. The scoping process should consider the likely lost tourism revenue as well as tax revenue from those moving into the area with the magnitude of increased rail traffic and its accompanying noise, vibration, pollution, and blockage of key waterfront areas in addition to health and safety hazards. Mitigating actions are not possible. The reputation of the Bellingham area for tourism and retirement opportunities would be severely damaged by the increased rail traffic the Cherry Point proposal would bring.

Jane Kroger (#7904)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I am a relatively new resident of Whatcom County and am extremely concerned about the unprecedented increase in rail traffic all along the rail line from the midwest through the state of Washington and Oregon that the proposed Gateway Terminal would bring. The volume of additional train traffic to and from the five proposed shipping sites in Washington and Oregon (which are already at or near capactity) would greatly impact human health and safety, many industries, and already fragile environmental ecosystems. Please include in your scoping intentions the need to investigate impacts of the unprecedented increase in volume of rail traffic from the coal mines themselves to all five proposed terminals along the west coast. Already, the rail line between Seattle and Everett has been closed numerous times for passenger train service this winter due to mud slides. The increase in rail traffic volume would only exacerbate this problem. In the mid-1990's, Bellingham experienced the explosion of an oil/gas pipeline. An increase in vibration caused by the unprecedented increase in rail volume must be studied in relation to aging gas and oil pipelines near rail lines. The scoping should include an investigation of the impact of the increase in rail traffic on proposals to expand the public transportation system as well as other industries needing to get their wares to ports. The proposed increase in rail traffic must also be examined in relation to traffic congestion hubs in the 75 major cities along the coal train routes to the west coast that would be impacted by this proposal. Fewer businesses will also likely be attracted to these areas, and the potential in lost revenue must be examined. All of these problems resulting from increased coal train traffic pose significant, unavoidable, adverse impacts on health and safety, industry development, passenger rail development, to say nothing of environmental consequences and cannot be mitigated. Please examine the impact of the unprecedented increase in rail traffic that the proposed project would pose to all 75 cities along the rail routes to the five delivery sites on the west coast.

Jane Kroger (#11127)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I am Professor Emeritus of Developmental Psychology, University of Tromsoe in Norway and currently Research Associate, Psychology Department, Western Washington University.

I am very concerned about increased mercury and CO2 levels on human health and development. I request that the agencies please consider in their scoping for the ramifications of the Gateway Pacific Terminal the carbon dioxide (CO2) and other pollutant emissions from the coal at its point of combustion in Asia. I agree with the detailed submission of James Wells on this topic: http://www.eisgatewaypacificwa.gov/get-involved/comment/6341

In addition, President Barack Obama announced in his inaugural address that reducing carbon emissions and their impact on climate change would be one of his top seven agenda items in his new term as president. The proposed development of the Gateway Pacific Terminal and its global implications would be in direct contradiction to the president's agenda of his second term in office. The increase in CO2 emissions from combustion of coal in Asia cannot be mitigated. Even the United States EPA recognizes that chemicals emitted from combustion of coal, including carbon dioxide to be pollutants that threaten human health as well as the environment.

As one who has devoted my career to researching optimal conditions of human development, I urge the agencies to consider the implications of toxins from the combustion of massive increases in coal shipped to Asia in it's review of human health consequences from the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal.

Jane Mansfield (#608)

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

I strongly SUPPORT 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 POSITIVELY affect my community by increasing JOBS, INCOME AND INDUSTRY HELPING EXISTING businesses. 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, THEN PUSH FORWARD WITH THE PROJECT.

Jane Mansfield

Jane Mayer (#3031)

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

jane McAlonan (#4897)

Date Submitted: 12/17/2012
Location: Vancouver, WA
Comment:
Each car of these mile and a half long coal trains will loose one pound of coal dust
per mile. We could have up to 20 or more trains per day. This coal has environmental
toxins such as lead, mercury and arsenic. The dust can get into your home even when
the windows and doors are tightly shut. These fine particulates cause black lung,
fibrosis, silicosis, emphysema, asthma, cancer, bronchitis,and heart disease. For
people who already have lung problems this could be a disaster.
Why should we risk the lives of our people and children so that an Australian
company can make lots of money?

Jane Moore (#154)

Date Submitted: 09/30/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
In this age of awareness and concerns for our total environment, I am confident that every effort will be made to protect and preserve the natural beauty of Whatcom County. There is no valid evidence that this would harm the wildlife, water or fishing industry.
Bellingham is a wonderful place to live - if you have a job. We need to expand our areas of business opportunities and diversify industry as much as possible.

Jane Nicolai (#5329)

Date Submitted: 12/23/2012
Location: Vancouver, WA
Comment:
The scope of the EIS should be equal to the proposed activity. To single out one aspect of mining, transporting, stockpiling, and shipping coal does not address the scope of the environmental impacts, and is therefore dishonest. Be thorough and evaluate the parts and the sum of the proposed activity.

Evaluate the environmental cost to increasing the mining area. Consider:
• Health risks to the community ie. birth defects, respiratory disease, and increased incidence of cancer.
• Viability of adjacent land for farming and agriculture
• Overall financial cost to the community with regard to illness, work time lost, and financial hardship caused by medical bills.
• Water quality downstream - mercury, lead, arsenic, cadmium, etc.
• Destruction of habitat and wildlife as a consequence of mine expansion.

Evaluate the effects of transporting coal by train.
• What quantity of coal will be transported by rail daily?
• How many trains through our community will that be?
• How long are the trains and how long does it take for that length train to pass?
•What is the expected amount of loss, blow off, or unrecovered coal daily over the proposed routes? (I don't know the term for the loss, so I will refer to it as coal-waste in this comment)
• Total that daily amount of coal-waste and report the quantity per mile/per day.
• Total that daily amount and report the quantity per mile/per year annually.
• Itemize the distance and amount of coal-waste estimated along the Columbia River.
• Itemize all the rivers that will be on the route and the estimated coal-waste to them.
• Determine the width of the coal-waste corridor along the railway.
• Evaluate health risks to the community ie. birth defects, respiratory disease, and increased incidence of cancer within that corridor.
• Evaluate overall financial cost to the community with regard to illness, work time lost, ad financial hardship caused by medical bills.
• Viability of adjacent land for farming and agriculture
• Report property value trends before and after proposed increase of coal-trains.
• Compare air and water quality along the corridor with data from "before" and estimates "after."
• Evaluate risks of derailment associated with coal transport and report the number of estimated derailments along the route per year.
• Evaluate destruction of habitat and wildlife through the coal-waste corridor.
• Evaluate water quality - mercury, lead, arsenic, cadmium, etc.
• Evaluate cost to fishing industry.
• Evaluate cost to tourism industry.

What quantity of coal will be transported by barge daily?
• Apply the same evaluations as listed above for train transport with an increased focus on water quality and viability of life in and on the shores of transport routes.
• Evaluate cost to fishing industry.
• Evaluate cost to tourism industry.

Evaluate the effects to the land, air and water quality to the site of the proposed terminal in the same manner listed above:
• Health
• Environment
• Water quality
• Air quality
• Habitat and wildlife destruction
• Marine environment viability

Recommendation:
Take current measurements through out the system from mine to proposed terminal. Compare the current data with estimates ascertained in the study applying increases from proposal. Make this information wildly public.

It is an act of the insane to take their own life, and the lives of others. It is criminally insane to give permission to a few fat cats to destroy lives and live earth so that they may become fatter.

Jane Raymer (#13561)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Spokane Valley, 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 know it is only a dream to want the earth as God had made it. After all we are the last most bautiful planet left to live on. Or if the sientist have their way we will have to do a lot of changing to go to an other place to live. I was once told that Man is the worst disease of this planet. We are!! We as people are the cancer of this once bautiful place to live.(still is, but not if they let the coal come through here.) Now we send stuff in to the outer space, What goes up must come down at some time!!! So please government, let the earth heal what damage we have all ready done to it, and quit being such greedy little gluttens that we have become.

Jane Sneeringer (#10015)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Burlington, WA
Comment:
As citizens of Skagit County and the City of Burlington we urge that the environmental impact statement for the proposed Gateway Pacific terminal be broad enough to encompass the following issues:

Safety: We live on the east side of the BNSF tracks in the City of Burlington. The police department and fire department are located on the west side of the tracks. With the dramatic increase in rail traffic that is proposed, our access to basic services would be severely compromised.

Noise:The citizens of Burlington are often awakened by the noise of trains. We have heard that babies in our city are disturbed by the noise of the trains at night. Increased train traffic will impact the productivity and health of our citizens.

Environmental: the trains pass along miles of waterfront along their route. Many of these areas are subject to slides, especially in the rainy season. With the increase of vibration from the passing trains the likelihood of uncovered coal cars derailing into Puget Sound increases.We have stood on the viaduct at Mount Vernon and watched the open coal cars pass beneath us. The environmental damage if these cars should be derailed into the waters of Puget Sound would be profound.

Tesoro is now running 17 trains per month through Burlington. If there is a revised agreement with the Northwest Clean Air Agency that number could be much higher. The Gateway Pacific Project, the Tesoro project and the Tethys' projects must all be considered together in any meaningful environmental impact study.

Infrastructure: the Burlington Northern Skagit River bridge is a hazard and was seriously damaged in a recent flood. If the City of Burlington would be expected to pay for even a small portion of the upgrade to this and other portions of the BNSF tracks, it would represent a huge cost to the city and would compromise the ability of the city to fund the most basic services to its citizens.

Health: If the coal trains lose 3% (more or less) of their load in transport, the health effects of coal dust on the communities through which the trains pass must be addressed.

The proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal will have an immense impact on the quality of life of many of the citizens of Skagit County. The cost of this development to the communities that will be directly impacted by it should be part of the environmental impact statement.

Jane Sneeringer (#10019)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Burlington, WA
Comment:
As citizens of Skagit County and the City of Burlington we urge that the environmental impact statement for the proposed Gateway Pacific terminal be broad enough to encompass the following issues:

Safety: We live on the east side of the BNSF tracks in the City of Burlington. The police department and fire department are located on the west side of the tracks. With the dramatic increase in rail traffic that is proposed, our access to basic services would be severely compromised.

Noise:The citizens of Burlington are often awakened by the noise of trains. We have heard that babies in our city are disturbed by the noise of the trains at night. Increased train traffic will impact the productivity and health of our citizens.

Environmental: the trains pass along miles of waterfront along their route. Many of these areas are subject to slides, especially in the rainy season. With the increase of vibration from the passing trains the likelihood of uncovered coal cars derailing into Puget Sound increases.We have stood on the viaduct at Mount Vernon and watched the open coal cars pass beneath us. The environmental damage if these cars should be derailed into the waters of Puget Sound would be profound.

Tesoro is now running 17 trains per month through Burlington. If there is a revised agreement with the Northwest Clean Air Agency that number could be much higher. The Gateway Pacific Project, the Tesoro project and the Tethys' projects must all be considered together in any meaningful environmental impact study.

Infrastructure: the Burlington Northern Skagit River bridge is a hazard and was seriously damaged in a recent flood. If the City of Burlington would be expected to pay for even a small portion of the upgrade to this and other portions of the BNSF tracks, it would represent a huge cost to the city and would compromise the ability of the city to fund the most basic services to its citizens.

Health: If the coal trains lose 3% (more or less) of their load in transport, the health effects of coal dust on the communities through which the trains pass must be addressed.

The proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal will have an immense impact on the quality of life of many of the citizens of Skagit County. The cost of this development to the communities that will be directly impacted by it should be part of the environmental impact statement.

Jane Talbot (#2035)

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

Jane Ward (#12017)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Lopez Island, WA
Comment:
Dear Ms. Kelly, Mr. Perry, and Mr. Schroeder,
I am a Lopez Island resident of 27 years, who moved to this area in order to live in a beautiful, healthy community. I find meaning in my interactions with the natural world, connections that bring great joy and carry the moral imperative to work to preserve it for future generations.
I am concerned about the impact of the coal terminal at Cherry Point on threatened and endangered species. Damage to the Cherry Point herring habitat is a threat to multiple other species that depend on the herring as part of the food chain. Many of these species are themselves threatened or endangered.
The proposal to build the GPT will cause coal dust and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons to be introduced into the air and the water at Cherry Point, and it is scientifically documented that these pollutants are detrimental to herring eggs and larvae.
In addition, there is a serious threat of introduction of invasive species from the ballast water and the hulls of ships coming from Asia. Invasive species do not have natural predators and can contribute to further loss of biodiversity. Is there any way to mitigate the effect of invasive species on the Salish Sea ecosystem?
There is also the possibility of an accident, either in the Cherry Point area or in other parts of the Salish Sea, releasing bunker fuel or other pollutants into the water and destroying the environment.
This ecosystem has been recognized as a precious natural area by our society since at least the 1920s, and is well-deserving of protection. But it is under considerable stress and approval of this project will add a great deal more.
A 2011 study of birds and mammals of the Salish Sea (Gaydos and Pearson, 2011) showed that 33% of marine birds (56 out of 172) are listed by either Washington State, the British Columbia Provincial government, or the federal governments of the U.S. or Canada, as species of concern. Four of the 15 mammals listed include 4 distinct populations of orcas, and 32% of the mammals using the Salish Sea are listed as species of concern.
I would like the cumulative effects of the likely pollution and environmental degradation caused by the project on ALL of the species, including fish, birds, mammals and reptiles, that are currently listed as threatened or endangered. This determination should be made by scientific study and in accordance with laws protecting threatened and endangered species and their habitat.
If the impact on said species and their habitat cannot be mitigated and may cause extinction then I ask that you consider whether the harm outweighs the benefits of the proposal. We have a responsibility to future generations; extinction is permanent.
Please consider a no build option on the GPT project due to unmitigable threats to the environment. Thank you very much for listening to my concerns.

Jane Weil (#6819)

Date Submitted: 01/11/2013
Location: Friday Harbor, WA
Comment:
Dear GPT/BNSF Custer Spur EIS Co-Lead Agencies,

I am a property owner in San Juan County. I am concerned about the continued vitality of the Salish Sea, where coal ships would make over 950 transits per year if the Gateway Pacific Terminal were to be built. I request that the GPT Environmental Impact Statement include the entire coal transportation corridor so that communities along the rail and marine routes are given due consideration.

I am especially concerned about oil and coal spill risks. Questions that concern me, and which objective, rigorous and comprehensive studies should address include:

How will GPT's marine vessel traffic increase collision risks with tankers and other cargo ships in the area?
What would be the effects on our region of a catastrophic oil and/or coal spill?
If there is no positive assurance and insurance from those involved against any potentially significant impacts, please consider a no build option.

Sincerely,

Jane Weil

Jane Weil (#11725)

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



I am a property owner and kayaker who lives on San Juan Island.. I am concerned about the continued vitality of the Salish Sea, where coal ships would make over 950 transits per year if the Gateway Pacific Terminal were to be built. I request that the GPT Environmental Impact Statement include the entire coal transportation corridor so that communities along the rail and marine routes are given due consideration.



I am especially concerned about the impacts 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,

Jane Weil

Jane Weil (#11734)

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



I am property owner on San Juan Island. I am concerned about the continued vitality of the Salish Sea, where coal ships would make over 950 transits per year if the Gateway Pacific Terminal were to be built. I request that the GPT Environmental Impact Statement include the entire coal transportation corridor so that communities along the rail and marine routes are given due consideration.



I am especially concerned about 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,

Jane Weil

Jane Weil (#11738)

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



I am a property owner on San Juan Island. I am concerned about the continued vitality of the Salish Sea, where coal ships would make over 950 transits per year if the Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT) were to be built. I request that the GPT Environmental Impact Statement include the entire coal transportation corridor so that communities along the rail and marine routes are given due consideration.



I am especially concerned about the impacts of shipping on air pollution. An objective, rigorous and comprehensive study should be undertaken to see what impact of air pollution associated with increased vessel traffic will have on our region and what impact these increases will have upon air quality standards.



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



Sincerely,
Jane Weil

Jane Weil (#11750)

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



I am a property owner on San Juan Island. I am concerned about the continued vitality of the Salish Sea, where coal ships would make over 950 transits per year if the Gateway Pacific Terminal were to be built. I request that the GPT Environmental Impact Statement include the entire coal transportation corridor so that communities along the rail and marine routes are given due consideration.



I am especially concerned about the impacts of coal dust emissions from the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal on the marine environment. Questions that concern me, and which objective, rigorous and comprehensive studies should address include:

What will be the rate of coal dust emissions from stock piles, in addition to other local sources, such as conveyor belts, as well as emissions from rail sources within the terminal (e.g., unloading)? This study should focus upon an understanding of factors that influence coal dust emission rates including wind strength, averages and extremes.
What will be the impact of coal dust in the marine environment, and upon vulnerable species and ecosystems in particular?
If there is no positive assurance and insurance from those involved against any potentially significant impacts, please consider a no build option.



Sincerely,

Jane Weil

Jane Wentworth (#12575)

Date Submitted: 01/16/13
Location: Friday Harbor, 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. This area is an important one for forage fish. 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.

Jane Younge (#8219)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Comment:
Shipping coal to WA state ports and on to Asia is completely backwards. It shows how desperate things are getting. While we still have some resources let's work on reasonable answers to our problems.

Jane Zillig (#3081)

Date Submitted: 11/18/2012
Location: Sedro-Woolley, WA
Comment:
Hello-as a Skagit County resident for over 30 years and someone who works within 2 blocks of the railroad line in Mount Vernon, I have many concerns:
1. For my commute, I already factor in Amtrak and freight trains. I can't imagine 18 more trains restricting traffic flow throughout Skagit county. It will delay ambulance response time and rather than enhance job opportunities, I believe it will seriously negatively impact small businesses located near the lines.
2. Our office shudders when trains go by. I can imagine 18+ more trains will make living near the tracks unbearable, creating more foreclosures and empty houses impacting the vibrancy of these neighborhoods.
3. Coal dust? How does that impact human health as well as marine shorelines, eelgrass, water quality......
4. What is being done regarding concerns of increased shipping of barges (?) full of coal. What happens to our waters, marine animals, plants, etc. when ships dump coal due to accidents, or trains spill coal due to derailment. It will not be a matter of if, but when, with such an increase in traffic.
5. The idea of transporting coal 1/2 way around the world seems like a obsolete way to address energy needs. Are there ways to use coal nearby rather than shipping by train and sea vessels overseas?
6. Given the money that has gone in to restoring the health & ecology of Puget Sound, and how our state government has prioritized this, it seems ironic we are now willing to sell the fragile health of this ecosystem to big business for a few jobs.
7. Imagine yourselves living in a beautiful area like Skagit Valley....now add 18+ trains going near your office, through your downtown, by your home, close to trails you walk.....the impact on our community would be devastating. Tulip Festival traffic already can gridlock Mount Vernon and surrounding areas, but at least it supports local businesses with all the visitors. Will these visitors come back with all these coal trains? Again, you are trading away local business health for big business profit.
Please please help us address these devastating impacts on our communities.
Thank you, jane zillig

Jane and eric and asher clayton and Seibel (#8371)

Date Submitted: 01/11/13
Location: SAettle, WA
Comment:
I am a parent of two children and care about my health, their health and the health of my environment . I oppose the coal train and believe it will negatively impact the health of my family , my community and my environment. Even the vibration will create dust. Please stop the passage of the coal train through Seattle. I oppose the coal train.
Jane and eric clayton and asher Seibel

Janel Black (#5288)

Date Submitted: 12/19/12
Comment:
Hello.
I am a 5th generation Whatcom county resident and I am in support of the Gateway Terminal Project. I support this project for the jobs this project will bring to the region, for the revenues it will generate for our communities and schools, and for the development of the communities. I realize many object to this project due to their concerns about the environment and the potential impact the trains may have on traffic patterns, however, I object to their arguments. If we do not have the terminal here, where its construction is governed by our environmental projections, it will be built somewhere else with more lenient laws.
Our state legislature continues to have difficulties funding education as agreed, and our list of clients on state programs continues to grow. We need to find a way to bring industry and manufacturing back to Whatcom county. We need to put our residents back to work. We need people to be self sufficient and to be able to support themselves and their families without any supplemental income from the government. We need this project and others like it to get back to a time of economic growth.
Those who object rarely have the finances to purchase the land from the owner nor do they have any suggestions of other projects that could have the economic potential of this one. If we, as a community, work with the Gateway project, we will all benefit in the end and the environment will be safe for future generations.

Janel Black

Janet Eckert (#8418)

Date Submitted: 01/17/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Please mitigate the impacts to people, traffic, water and other related issues using technology and science. Please put fears and myths aside. We need to accomodate industry in Whatcom county to preserve a viable economy that creates living wage jobs.

Janet Alderton (#1565)

Date Submitted: 10/27/2012
Location: Deer Harbor, WA
Comment:
I am a retired biologist and a resident of San Juan County who is concerned with the ecological and economic health of the Salish Sea. Any positive economic effects resulting from the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal must be weighed against potential negative ecological, economic, and human health impacts. The problems caused by invasive species should be addressed within the scope of the EIS.

Invasive marine species have caused significant ecological, human health, and economic impacts world-wide. Invasive species are readily transported in the ballast water of ships. The projected increase of 972 Panamax and Cape-size ship transits annually from the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal will significantly increase the risk of invasive marine species being established in the San Juan Islands and the greater Salish Sea. Pathogens that threaten human health, such as cholera, can also be transported in ballast water. If exotic pathogens transported in ballast water infect shellfish, negative economic and human health impacts will ocurr.

An international Ballast Water Convention was adopted in February 2004 to address the threat of invasive marine species. But this convention is not yet enforced and will not be enforced until 12 months after 30 countries, representing at least 35% of the world's merchant shipping tonnage, have ratified the convention. This convention specifies measues that will greatly reduce the probability that invasive marine species will be released into our local marine waters. See www.imo.org.

Within the scope of the EIS, please include studies of potential economic and ecological losses caused by invasion of exotic marine species into the Salish Sea and Puget Sound. Please include, also, the costs of implementing and independently monitoring and enforcing the Ballast Water Convention of 2004 in the EIS studies. To mitigate adverse ecological and economic losses from invasive marine species, the regulations in the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments (BWM) 2004 should be enforced for any new shipping that is associated with the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal.

Thank-you,
Janet Alderton

Janet Alderton (#1581)

Date Submitted: 10/28/2012
Location: Deer Harbor, WA
Comment:
As a retired biologist and resident of the San Juan Islands, I am concerned about fugitive coal dust from the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal.

Although extensive measures to limit fugitive coal dust have been designed into the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal, no mitigation plan is perfect. There is a trade-off between protecting the environment from fugitive coal dust and the risk of dust explosion (Fuel Air Explosion) within enclosed coal-handling structures. Please evaluate the risk of coal dust explosion within the enclosed conveyors built over the water and the enclosed chutes that will transfer coal into the ships' holds. A coal dust explosion over the water, near a bulk carrier, or in a bulk carrier could result in extensive damage to the local marine and terrestrial environments.

Please also evaluate the cummulative environmental effects of air-bourne and water-bourne coal dust. Although measures are proposed to reduce fugitive coal dust in the air and in runoff water, no measures can be perfect. There will be some coal dust that escapes capture; this fugitive coal dust will have cumulative impacts on the environment.

Extreme weather events can overwhelm the proposed measures to contain the bulk coal storage facility's coal dust. Extreme weather systems originating in the Frazer River Valley of Canada bring unusually high winds to our region. Unusually heavy rain events could overwhelm the systems intended to capture fugitive coal dust in runoff. Each of these weather senarios will invariably result in negative impacts on the air and water quality of the terrestrial and marine areas near the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal. Please evaluate the cumulative effects of air-bourne and water-bourne coal dust on human health and on the health of the surrounding terrestrial and marine ecosystems.

Also, please evaluate the cumulative effects of both air and water-bourne coal dust on the Cherry Point Herring population. This population of herring has a distinct spawning interval that has resulted in genetically distinct herring. This herring population contributes significantly to the diet of endangered salmon species. Coal dust contains polyaromatic hydrocarbons that disrupt the development of fish embryos. Please evaluate the risk to endangered salmon populations if the Cherry Point herring stock should significantly decline.

Thank-you,
Janet Alderton

Janet Alderton (#3814)

Date Submitted: 12/04/2012
Location: Deer Harbor, WA
Comment:
Please study the cumulative release of copper from rail traffic into the marine and wetland environments, and please study the potential effects of rail traffic-generated copper on the local marine and wetland ecosystems.

Copper is an environmental contaminant that is highly toxic for aquatic plants and animals. See:

http://magazine.mining.com/Issues/0904/ImpactsCopperAquaticEcosystemsHumanHealth.pdf.

Approximately 80% of the copper pollution generated by railways is released to the atmosphere and soil. For railways that are close to the marine shoreline or to wetlands, cumulative copper releases could present a significant source of pollution. Many miles of the railway that would carry the increased traffic generated by the Gateway Pacific Terminal Expansion are located near the marine shoreline or near wetlands.

The study cited below found that about 9.4 kilograms (20 lbs) of copper was released into the environment per kilometer of railway per year. This is for rail stretches where the trains are not accelerating or braking. Larger amounts of copper would be released at railway terminals and in maneuvering areas. 20 lbs of copper per kilometer per year equals 200 lbs of copper for every 6 miles of railway per year. The contamination would be cumulative over the life of the terminal. This amount of copper contamination is potentially a significant threat to the aquatic ecosystems that are near the portions of the railway that would experience greatly increased traffic if the Gateway Pacific Terminal expansion is approved.

This measurement of copper release from railways into the environment is derived from the following reference:

"Long-term Management of Track Ballast- A Case Study In Prevention and Recycling of Large Waste Flows" Ulrich Kral, Vienna University of Technology and Paul H. Brunner, Vienna University of Techology presented at the 2010 ISWA World Congress

This study shows that significant amounts of copper are released from railways. 9.4 kilograms of copper per kilometer of railway were estimated to be lost to the environment per year. 9.4 kilograms per kilometer per year equals 200 lbs per 6 miles per year.

http://www.railway-research.org/IMG/pdf/b4_kral_ulrich.pdf

http://www.iswa.org/uploads/tx_iswaknowledgebase/Kral.pdf

The results of this study show, that gravel, contact wire, and brake pads are sources of equal importance for copper release from the railroad stretch investigated.

The following sections are taken from Kral and Brunner (2010):

"The railway line segment investigated runs mainly horizontal in open land with a length of one kilometer. Trains neither accelerate nor reduce their speed during this section. Figure 4 displays the corresponding copper balance. The total operational copper emissions are shared in ratio of 80/20 on the "catenary wire" and "rolling stock" components (Figure 4). The 80% of the operational copper losses cross the system boundary, which is copper transported into the atmosphere, and accumulated in the planum and the adjacent soil as well as on the surface of the rolling stock (Figure 5). The remaining 20% of copper losses enter the track ballast with a mass flow of about 3,7 kg Cu/a. The current copper emissions entering "track ballast" result from the sources "catenary wire" and "rolling stock" in similar size. Cast iron brakes are mainly responsible for copper emissions. It is likely that this source is much more important on routes with increased brake use, such as railway stations and maneuvering areas."

"As a first result, the study reveals, that 80% of copper emissions occurring during the operation of 1 km railway line are lost to the environment and do not enter the ballast body. Never-the-less, the remaining 20% taken up by the ballast are important for waste management, as old ballast has to be handled as waste and hence must be managed carefully to fulfill the goals of waste management as well as to minimize costs. Up to now, the effects of the remaining 80% of copper emissions have not been investigated systematically, and therefore reliable information about the fate and effect of the copper is lacking."

Janet Alderton (#5325)

Date Submitted: 12/23/2012
Location: Deer Harbor, WA
Comment:
I fully support the comment copied below. Only by rapidly phasing out the burning of coal world-wide will we mitigate the local and global effects of rising carbon dioxide levels on our environment, human health, and our quality of life. Instead of continuing tax-payer subsidized extraction of Powder River Basin coal from BLM lands, my tax dollars would be better used to promote cleaner energy alternatives such as wind and solar.

"Since the dawn of the industrial age increasing amounts of carbon dioxide have been dumped into the atmosphere, not only warming the planet but increasing ocean CO2 content by 30% during the same period. For many years scientists have been measuring and reporting on the consequence of this increased oceanic CO2 absorption and lately the general public is becoming aware that, as a result, the chemistry of the ocean is changing. Increasingly corrosive seawater (ocean acidification) has already begun to destroy many coral reefs and now threatens the entire marine food chain.

Pteropods, which are small snail-like sea creatures important to many fish, including pink salmon, were reported in the Journal Nature Geoscience to be experiencing thinning and dissolution of their shells resulting in increasing morbidity and mortality. This is occurring at current pH levels, not at levels which were predicted to be a problem by 2038. Any organism dependent on calcium carbonate for a shell or body parts is now at risk from this massive chemical change. Acidification also threatens fish eggs and a host of larval organisms at the very base of the marine food web.

Oceans have been similarly acidic in past epochs and suffered mass extinctions as a result. However, because the chemical changes occurred over thousands of years the sea creatures present today, and their ancestors, were able to a adapt to that slowly souring environment. The rapidity and immensity of the chemical changes now occurring will likely not permit marine organisms to evolve species preserving strategies.

The burning of fossil fuels by industry, transportation, and energy production are responsible for the climate and chemical changes occurring in the atmosphere and oceans. In the past, energy technology limited our choices to these fuels. Now we have alternatives for energy production that permit us to make different decisions about how our energy needs can be met.

If we value the present oceanic biodiversity and economically valuable species we rely upon as a food source, it would seem illogical to continue to promote the use of fuels which so clearly contribute to present and predicted harmful changes. There are physical and economic damages, damages attributable to fossil fuel use, evident in daily news broadcasts and print media. It is up to us to make informed decisions that are necessary to lower our carbon energy future by contributing less CO2 and other Green House Gases (GHG’s), to the atmospheric and oceanic chemical alterations already in evidence.

Accordingly, I request that the EIS developed for the SSMarine Coal Terminal at Cherry Point, Washington comprehensively include the potential biological, environmental, social, and economic consequences to the Pacific North West from burning the thousands of tons of coal projected to be shipped from this facility. The EIS should also include the chemical carbon dioxide and other GHG’s contributions from the four other proposed coal export terminals on the west coast of the United States. Only when taken in aggregate can the regional cumulative effects of coal shipments to Asian markets be adequately evaluated.

I request that the following consequences be examined, addressed (including possible mitigation measures, if feasible), and the option of taking no action, within the scope of the EIS:

1. The economic cost to the shellfish industry in San Juan County, and the Puget Sound region due to ocean acidification, specifically due to the increased CO2 contribution from the burning of millions of tons of coal proposed to be shipped from the Cherry Point terminal, and other proposed coal export terminals in the Pacific Northwest.

2. The economic loss to the sea food and fishing industry jobs and capital infrastructure as a result of the decrease or loss of important species of marine food animals due to ocean acidification from the CO2 contributed by burning coal shipped from the proposed Cherry Point Terminal and the four other proposed terminals...

3. The economic costs to coastal communities of sea level rise due to climate change driven by the proposed additional CO2, and other GHG’s, produced from the burning of coal shipped from the Cherry Point Terminal and other terminals proposed in the Pacific Northwest.

4. The economic costs of increased violence and frequency of storms due to
the warming of oceans by the additional CO2 contributing to climate change
from coal shipped and burned from the Cherry Point Terminal, and others
terminals proposed in the NW.

5. The economic losses to San Juan County associated with a decline, or loss, of tourist, commercial, and recreational fishing revenue due to decrease in salmon fisheries and food sources for Resident Orca populations due to ocean acidification affecting the marine food web.

6. The cultural and socioeconomic losses to Native American Tribes of the
Salish Sea from a further decline in salmon populations due to ocean
acidification from the additional CO2 contributions from the proposed
Cherry Point Terminal and the four other proposed terminals in the NW.

Humans created the rapid climatic changes we are currently experiencing, with more severe disruptions predicted. We have an obligation to ourselves and future generations to take the measures necessary to lower our CO2 contributions to the well identified local, regional and global problem of climate change. Adding more carbon dioxide to our atmosphere and oceans from coal sources cannot be considered a rational choice, unless the goal is a radically different chemical, biological, and socioeconomic world. It is society’s choice generally, but it is now explicitly your choice. Please choose wisely."

Janet Alderton (#6296)

Date Submitted: 01/08/2013
Location: Deer Harbor, WA
Comment:
As a retired biologist and resident of San Juan County, I am deeply concerned about the consequences of significantly increased ship traffic in the waters around San Juan County. I agree with the comments of San Olson who is a retired naval officer familiar with the special hazards of large ships transiting confined waters. Please include each of issues numbered below within the scope of a comprehensive EIS for the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal expansion.

Vessels inbound and outbound from the Cherry Point refineries, British Columbia container, coal, and tar-sands terminals, and the refineries at Anacortes all use the narrow shipping corridors around our islands. Projected ship traffic from the proposed Gateway Pacific Coal Terminal will add an additional 972 Panamax and Capesize ship transits through our waters each year at full build-out.

Because San Juan County is the geographic center of shipping within the Salish Sea, the transportation challenges of the additional Gateway Pacific Terminal coal ships only increases the concerns of county citizens. Narrowly limiting EIS studies to the Gateway Pacific Terminal site alone, while ignoring the marine transportation component, will not adequately address the concerns of the citizens of San Juan County, nor adequately represent their interests.

Therefore, I request that the Gateway Pacific Terminal Environmental Impact Statement fully and completely include the linked and cumulative activities of transporting 50 million tons of strip-mined coal from Montana and Wyoming by rail to the proposed export terminal at Cherry Point and then transporting those millions of tons by ship through the Salish Sea to Asia.

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

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

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

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

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

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

3. Given that tankers containing bitumen already use our waters, what
technology and spill response capabilities exist, or would be required, to
limit and clean up a spill of that product? The increased tanker traffic
from the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal expansion increases
the risk of collision between a coal tanker and a bitumen tanker.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Those of us who live in San Juan County know the inherent hazards of sailing our cold, stormy waters and foggy mist shrouded islands. Channels dedicated to large ships are narrow, sinuous, and abound in rocks, reefs and small islets. Adding more and more very large vessels to these navigational hazards will elevate all the mechanical failures, weather related accidents, and human errors to levels that are unacceptable to San Juan County and Washington State residents. Therefore, I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington.

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

PS My concerns are widely shared. See the article below.

BC Tanker Traffic Prompts US Coast Guard Review
CP | By Dene Moore, The Canadian Press
Posted: 01/06/2013 12:00 pm EST | Updated: 01/06/2013 2:03 pm EST

Concerns south of the border over oil tanker traffic from British Columbia have spurred a U.S. Coast Guard review of proposed increases in Canadian oil exports.

A legislative amendment proposed by Washington state Sen. Maria Cantwell and signed into law by President Barack Obama a couple of weeks ago gives the U.S. marine safety agency six months to conduct a risk assessment of the planned expansion of oil pipeline capacity to the West Coast.

While several proposed projects would see oil from the Alberta oil sands brought to the B.C. coast for export primarily to China, the legislation deals specifically with tanker traffic out of the Vancouver area.

"According to reports, Canada is poised to increase oil tanker traffic through the waters around the San Juan Islands and the Juan de Fuca by up to 300 per cent," said a statement issued by Cantwell's office.

"A supertanker oil spill near our shores would threaten Washington state's thriving coastal economy and thousands of jobs," the Democratic senator said in the statement. "This bill will provide crucial information for Washington coastal communities by requiring a detailed risk analysis...."

The Coast Guard will study the risk of transporting oil via supertanker, tanker and barge through the Salish Sea waterways, which encompasses U.S. and Canadian territorial waters between southern Vancouver Island and the mainland. It includes Juan de Fuca Strait, the Strait of Georgia, Haro and Rosario Straits and Puget Sound.

In order for ships to arrive at port in Vancouver, they usually sail through U.S. waters next to a national marine sanctuary.


The Coast Guard will examine which rules and regulations apply to oil tankers heading to B.C. ports, as well as analyze the toxicity of what is referred to in the legislation as "tar sands" oil — a derogatory moniker much opposed by the Canadian industry.

Cantwell said the diluted bitumen that will form part of the Canadian oil exports are likely to require special cleanup technology, and the Coast Guard will also assess the spill response capability.

There are two major oil pipeline proposals currently on the table in British Columbia.

Calgary-based Enbridge's Northern Gateway pipeline would transport oil from the Edmonton area to a tanker port in Kitimat, on the north coast.

But the U.S. legislation appears to affect mainly Kinder Morgan's proposal to expand the capacity of its existing oil pipeline from Alberta to the Vancouver area.

A call to TransMountain seeking comment was not returned.

The $4.3-billion TransMountain project would more than double the capacity of the 1,100-kilometre pipeline, from 300,000 barrels a day to 750,000. It would also allow the pipeline, which currently transports crude and refined oil from the Alberta oil sands, to transport diluted bitumen, a heavy oil critics say is more difficult to contain and clean-up in the event of a marine spill.

In operation since 1953, TransMountain runs from just outside Edmonton to Burnaby, and from there the oil is distributed through separate pipelines to local terminals, a refinery and the Westridge marine terminal in Port Metro Vancouver.

The Westridge terminal currently handles about eight vessels a month, five of them tankers. That would increase to about 28 a month, 25 of them tankers, under the proposed expansion plan.

If the application is successful, construction could begin in 2016 and additional oil could be flowing in 2017.

Vancouver city council has passed a motion opposing the expansion, and the mayor of Burnaby — the site of a 2007 spill from the pipeline — has spoken out against the project at a public meeting.

A spokesman for Transport Minister Denis Lebel said the two countries are constantly working together for the safe and secure transportation of natural resources across their shared border.

"Our government has been clear: If any project does not meet or surpass our stringent environmental standards, it will not proceed," spokesman James Kelly said in an email.

"Canada has already strengthened our strong record of environmental protection by requiring double-hulled tankers, mandatory pilotage and increasing navigational tools - and that work continues."

According to the Washington Research Council, the state has five major petroleum refineries of its own that process about 560,000 barrels of crude oil a day. Approximately 600 oil tankers and 3,000 oil barges travel through Puget Sound on an annual basis.

The commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard must submit recommendations to the House of Representatives' transport committee by the end of June.

Janet Alderton (#6794)

Date Submitted: 01/11/2013
Location: Deer Harbor, WA
Comment:
I am a retired biologist and resident of San Juan County, Washington. I am interested in efficient low-impact land uses. Some proponents of the Gateway Pacific Terminal Expansion cite job creation as the primary reason for their support of the project.

Please include a study of the "employment density" for the completed Gateway Pacific Terminal compared to other land uses within the scope of the EIS. The creation of more jobs per area of land would be of greater benefit to a community, especially if negative environmental impacts are lower for higher "employment densities." Also, please study the negative environmental impacts per permanent job created for an expanded coal terminal compared to other land uses. I am especially concerned about local water quality impacts for people and for fish and wildlife, for both fresh water and marine environments.

An earlier study for the Portland metropolitan area found that the category "Transportation and Warehousing" average 3,290 weighted square feet per employee. This is more than twice the square feet per employee as the next category, "Paper and Allied" at 1,600 weighted square feet per employee. Other uses had much lower weighted square feet per employee: retail trade, 470, finance, insurance & real estate, 370, health services, 350. See Table 4 on page 17 of the following online publication:

http://library.oregonmetro.gov/files/1999employmentdensitystudy.pdf

Page 4 of this report states, "Job densities measure how efficient (or inefficient) land is being used per unit of employment. Some industries have a very compact form, while others use vast amounts of land per employee."

Many of the uses that would result in higher employment per land area could also have much lower negative environmental impacts than the proposed coal terminal, especially if Low Impact Development building approaches were employed.

Janet Alderton (#6970)

Date Submitted: 01/12/2013
Location: Deer Harbor, WA
Comment:
As a retired biologist and resident of the San Juan Islands, the comments of fellow islander Robin Ried, below, resonate deeply. I ask that each of Robin Ried's numbered impacts listed below be studied in full.

Comment: My family and I have lived and worked part time in coastal Washington and the San Juan Islands for 34 years. I hold a PhD in ecology, specializing in research and education about the environmental impacts of human activities around the world and how we can live more sustainably on the earth.

The construction and operation of the Gateway Pacific Terminal is predicted to transport about 48 million tons of coal each year from the Powder River Basin to markets, principally in China. This represents about 1.05% of all the coal that was burned globally in 2006 or 4.68% of all the coal burned in the US annually, so it has very large impacts. The reason the terminal is being built is to provide a faster and more efficient way for this coal to be mined, transported, purchased and burned to produce energy. The mining, transport, and burning of this coal will release harmful greenhouse gases and other pollutants into the water, land and atmosphere, which will, in turn, impact all parts of the earth over long periods of time. Therefore, this EIS must account for the cumulative, direct and indirect environmental and human impacts (or full cost) of the extraction, transport, combustion and disposal of waste associated with all the coal transported through the Gateway Pacific Terminal over the anticipated lifetime of terminal operation.

In addition, since the impacts of this global warming will last for centuries in the future, long after the Gateway Pacific Terminal is retired from operation, I request that these impacts be estimated out for several centuries, to capture the full cumulative, direct and indirect impacts. These impacts are foreseeable, adverse and highly significant, because they are already occurring in our world today, where coal is responsible for about 30% of all global warming (Epstein et al 2011). Thus the terminal will be responsible of 0.3% of total global warming each year, or 1.3% of the global warming caused by the US annually. Because these impacts are felt globally, the geographic scope of this analysis must be global. Please study the following five main impacts of the coal that will transit the terminal in the EIS:

1. Impacts of coal extraction on people, other species and ecosystems

Please assess the impacts of extraction of the coal that transits the Gateway Pacific Terminal on people, species and ecosystems in the Powder River Basin of Montana and Wyoming. How will heavy metals and other pollutants associated with coal extraction affect water quality and aquatic species? How will removal of above ground habitat in open pit mines affect wildlife populations and migrations, endangered species like the sage grouse, and plant species? How will these mines affect sensitive habitats in this area like wetlands and riparian areas?

2. Impacts of coal transportation on people, other species and ecosystems

Please assess the impacts of coal dust blown off of coal trains on people, species and ecosystems at the mining site and along the railroad line from the Powder River Basin to the Gateway Pacific Terminal.

3. Impacts of Gateway Pacific Terminal coal combustion on people and the environment

Please assess the impact of the addition of all types of greenhouse gases (CO2, nitrous oxides, nitrogen oxides, methane and others) to the global environment through combustion of the coal that transits through the Gateway Pacific Terminal, the impact of this coal combustion on global warming and climate disruption, and then the knock-on (or subsequent) impacts of the global warming and climate disruption (caused by the coal combustion) on people and the environment. This study should include, but not be limited to:

a. The impacts of global warming and climate disruption from coal burned that will be transported through the Gateway Pacific Terminal, over its lifetime of operation, on food (crop, livestock, fish) production on all the earth’s continents, on human nutrition of millions of people who are currently food insecure.

b. The impacts of global warming and climate disruption from coal burned that will be transported through the Gateway Pacific Terminal on local, regional and national conflicts, loss of human life in those conflicts, loss of animal and plant life, and disruption of local, regional and national economies during those conflicts around the world.

c. The impacts of global warming and climate disruption from coal burned that was transported through the Gateway Pacific Terminal on the global water cycle, surface water drying around the globe, and the impacts of this on peoples and other species that depend on these water resources for survival.

d. The impacts of the global warming and climate disruption caused by combustion of the coal transported through the Gateway Pacific Terminal on local, regional, national and global economies and employment.

e. The impacts of global warming and climate disruption from coal burned that was transported through the Gateway Pacific Terminal on vegetation and habitat for millions of animal species from bacteria to elephants to orcas.

f. The impacts of global warming and climate disruption from coal burned that was transported through the Gateway Pacific Terminal on plant and bacterial species around the globe.

g. The impacts of global warming and climate disruption from coal burned that was transported through the Gateway Pacific Terminal on the incidence, severity and spread of human, animal and plant diseases, and the morbidity and mortality caused by these diseases, around the globe.

h. The impacts of global warming and climate disruption from coal burned that was transported through the Gateway Pacific Terminal on the severity and damage caused by extreme climate events including hurricanes, cyclones, floods and droughts around the globe.

i. The impacts of global warming and climate disruption from coal burned that was transported through the Gateway Pacific Terminal on sea level rise and the damage of rising seas on low lying lands and the peoples, animals and plants these low-lying lands support around the globe.

j. The impacts of global warming and climate disruption from coal burned that was transported through the Gateway Pacific Terminal on saltwater intrusion caused by rising sea level on ecosystems, plant species, animal species and humans around the globe.

k. The impacts of global warming and climate disruption from coal burned that was transported through the Gateway Pacific Terminal on coral reef bleaching and death and the sea life these coral reefs support around the globe.

l. The impacts of global warming and climate disruption from coal burned that was transported through the Gateway Pacific Terminal on Arctic and Antarctic sea ice, and mountain glaciers, and the life dependent on these frozen expanses around the globe.

Once these impacts of the Gateway Pacific Terminal are assessed, please then calculate the total cost, in today’s dollars, of these impacts on local, regional, national and global economies over the several centuries, since there are significant time lags in these impacts and the terminal will likely be in operation for several decades.

Please also estimate the sum of the number of human lives lost over the next several centuries because of these impacts. Then please calculate the number of inventions and improvements to human life that would have occurred if these human lives had not been lost over this period.

4. Impacts of other pollutants from coal combustion on people and the environment

Please assess all the impacts of coal combustion on human health and the environment through air and water pollutants downwind and downstream of all coal plants that burn coal that is transported through the Gateway Pacific Terminal. This would include mercury, sulfur dioxide and other pollutants. This would also include the impacts of acid rain on water, land, plant species and animal species from this Gateway Pacific coal.

In this analysis, please also include the impacts of those pollutants when they travel through the atmosphere back to the continent of North America.

5. Impacts of cheap and available coal on adoption of renewable energy technologies

Please assess the effects of cheaper and more available coal on the speed of adoption of other technologies that do not emit significant greenhouse gases in the countries that buy coal that transits the Gateway Pacific Terminal. This should include an estimate of the cumulative effects of this lack of adoption on global climate for the next several centuries.

How might these analyses be done?
It is actually impossible to account for the full social and environmental costs of coal. However, it is possible to make a partial attempt, based on the best available analyses in the environmental economics literature. One way to start is to use the work of Epstein et al (2011) on full cost coal accounting. In this accounting, they assess the full cost of coal in the US each year. In their analysis, the annual cost of coal in the US is an average of $345 billion per year, which, based on the per ton US coal consumption in 2006 of about 1,026,636,000 short tons of coal (Wikipedia), comes to a total cost of about $324 per short ton of coal per year. With 48 million tons of coal transiting the Gateway Pacific Terminal each year, this comes to a total social and environmental cost of the Gateway Pacific terminal coal of about $15.5 billion per year. This analysis, as stated by Epstein et al (2011) on page 93, is a very conservative estimate of the total costs because they were not able to account for many of the costs of coal in this analysis. They estimate the real cost will be 2-3 times higher, which means the coal passing through the Gateway Pacific Terminal would results in about $30-45 billion per year in unpaid social and environmental costs.

Further resources to expand this analysis can be found in hundreds of published papers, the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) reports, the Stern report, the Pentagon study and many other sources.

Even if the figures above are wildly over-estimated, it appears that the cost of coal for people and the environment, which will be consumed because of the new terminal, will be very, very high. If the these costs cannot be fully mitigated, then the no-build option should be selected.

References
Epstein et al. 2011. Full cost accounting for the life cycle of coal. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 1219: 73-98.

Janet Alderton (#7036)

Date Submitted: 01/13/2013
Location: Deer Harbor, WA
Comment:
I am a retired biologist and resident of the San Juan Islands. I am especially interested in geological hazards because my daughter is a structural engineered who specializes in seismic issues. She studied at the University of California Berkeley School of Engineering whose faculty is among the first to travel to seismic disaster sites to assess how the human-built environment has responded and how structures may be made more resilient.

Our region is vulnerable to seismic hazards of potentially large magnitude. The geologic record shows that exceptionally large earthquakes have been triggered by the Cascadia Subduction Zone. A damaging tsunami that struck Japan in 1700 was caused by a massive earthquake among the Cascadia Subdction Zone. Although earthquakes of this size are infrequent, the potential damage to our region from a magnitude 8 or greater quake is enormous. Local earthquake faults that are closer to the site of the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal could cause significant damage to a deep-water coal terminal built on unstable ground that is vulnerable to soil liquefaction. Tsunamis triggered by earthquakes can result in major structural damage.

Since much of the Gateway Pacific Terminal site is occupied by wetlands, there is great potential for soil liquefaction at the proposed site.

Damaging tsunamis may be possible after local or regional quakes that trigger underwater landslides. An underwater landslide in the Frasier River Delta has such potential.

Our region was cited by Terry Plank, Geochemistry Professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University and 2012 MacAurthur Fellow, as being the most vulnerable population center in the United States for mudflows caused by volcanic eruptions.

Therefore, please study the potential impacts to both people and to the natural environment of the following earthquake-triggered events on the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal. Also, please assess mitigation strategies for these catastrophes, the costs of mitigation, and who will pay these costs.

1. Earthquake-triggered structural failure of the terminal facilities on land and over the water.
2. Damage caused by soil liquefaction.
3. Damage caused by uplift or subsidence of the land at the terminal site.
4. Damage caused by landslides at the terminal site and off shore from both the terminal and from the rail lines that lead to the terminal.
5. Damage caused by tsunamis triggered by the Cascadia Subduction Zone or by the local faults including, but not limited to, the Devils Mountain Fault, Strawberry Point and Utsalady Point faults, Southern Whidbey Island Fault, the Seattle Fault, the Tacoma Fault, the Hood Canal Fault, and the Saddle Mountain Faults to land and to marine structures, to coal ships at the terminal, ships waiting off shore, or to ships in transit through our hazardous marine waters.
6. Damaging mudflows caused by volcanic eruptions.

Thank-you for addressing my concerns. The final analysis may conclude that the proposed site of the Gateway Pacific Terminal is inappropriate because of geological hazards.

Two news articles are copied below on these issues.

New Faults, and Earthquake Risks, Found in Washington
Crystal Gammon, OurAmazingPlanet Contributor - Apr 25, 2012 05:00 PM ET

This LiDAR image (acquired in 2006 by the USGS) shows five paleoseismic study sites (red dots with block perimeters) and three Holocene faults (solid red lines) inferred from the data.
CREDIT: Kelsey et al./USGS

Tectonically speaking, there's a lot going on in the Pacific Northwest. From the Cascadia subduction zone, where the Juan de Fuca tectonic plate is slowly pushing its way underneath the North American plate, to the Seattle Fault, where Native American legends recorded a massive earthquake 1,100 years ago, the region has its fair share of seismic hazards.
Now add to that three more potentially dangerous faults in the Bellingham Basin, a tectonically active area along the coast of Washington, near the Canadian border. A team of researchers has discovered active tectonic faults in this region nearly 40 miles (60 kilometers) north of any previously known faults.
"We've known for a long time that the whole Pacific Northwest region is contracting very slowly north-to-south, at the rate of a few millimeters per year," said Richard Blakely, a geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park, Calif., who was part of the study. "It doesn't sound like very much, but when you concentrate that contraction on specific faults, they can become rather dangerous."

Big enough
The faults Blakely and his colleagues found are reverse faults — a type of tectonic fault where one side is shoved up over the other side — and the team estimates they're capable of triggering magnitude-6.0 to -6.5 earthquakes. [Most Dangerous Places on Earth]
"That's big enough to cause damage and hurt people, but it's not as severe as a magnitude-7 earthquake, such as the one that occurred on the Seattle fault 1,100 years ago," Blakely told OurAmazingPlanet.
The team found the new faults through a bit of collaborative luck, Blakely said. He had been examining maps of magnetic anomalies in the region and noticed clues pointing to several unidentified faults in the area. When his colleagues in Washington showed him LiDAR images — data collected by an airborne laser tool that showed scarps (steep banks formed when a fault ruptures) in exactly the same areas — and paleoseismic records that indicated past earthquakes had shoved the ground upward several feet, they knew they had found something.
New seismic hazards
The three faults the team identified are located near Birch Bay, Sandy Point and Drayton Harbor, all along the Pacific coast of northern Washington, about 20 miles (32 km) north of the city of Bellingham.
They’re about 40 miles (60 km) north of where geologists previously thought active faulting ended in the Bellingham Basin, opening a new swath of the Washington coast to seismic hazards.
What's more, the team traced the faults from onshore to offshore, meaning that when they do rupture, they could trigger an underwater earthquake.
"This is a big 'if’=,' but if they ruptured again along their entire length, some of that rupture would be out in the water, and there might be a tsunami hazard related to that," Blakely said.
But Washington residents and their Canadian neighbors don't necessarily need to worry about that happening anytime soon. The researchers didn't find enough paleoseismic evidence to say how often major quakes occur along these faults.
The last time an earthquake occurred along the Birch Bay and Sandy Ridge faults was at least 1,000 years ago, Blakely said, and moving at a rate of only a few millimeters per year, it could take some time to build up enough tension to produce another quake.
The team's findings were published March 30 in the Journal of Geophysical Research.

By BRIAN MONTOPOLI / CBS NEWS/ March 15, 2011, 6:00 AM
Pacific Northwest "overdue" for major quake

Perhaps the most dangerous fault line in the United States stretches from the northern part of California, up along the coast of Oregon and Washington, and into Canadian waters. It's called Cascadia, and for a long time no one knew it was there.

It wasn't until the mid-1980s that geophysics recognized the fault line that existed just 40 miles offshore -- one frighteningly similar to the one which just erupted off the coast of Japan. It then took until 1995 before the state of Oregon incorporated specific provisions in its building code mandating protection against earthquakes. Many of the buildings now standing in the state were built before the provisions were adopted; the vast majority has not been retrofitted to improve safety.

If, as in the 9.0 magnitude event in Japan, one tectonic plate in Cascadia gets forced beneath another, it could result in a quake that reduces many of the buildings near the coast to rubble. It would take less than 30 minutes for the subsequent tsunami to reach shore.

The last major earthquake to hit in the region was in the year 1700; its effects could be felt all the way across the Pacific Ocean. With the region experiencing 41 quakes 8.0 magnitude or above over the past 10,000 years, geologists say it's a question of when - not if - the next one hits.

"We're overdue," warns geotechnical engineer Yumei Wang of the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries.

And for the most part, the region is unprepared. Japan has cutting-edge technology to deal with earthquakes, which is one of the reasons the terrible devastation from last week's quake wasn't even worse; the United States, by contrast, has done relatively little to prepare for a similar disaster. And with states and the federal government suffering serious budgetary woes, officials are not looking to spend money on infrastructure to project against earthquakes and tsunamis - a threat that may not seem urgent until it's too late.
According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, America's infrastructure warrants a grade of "D" overall. One in four of Oregon's bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete, according to the report; in Washington, nearly 30 percent of bridges need repairs. Many of the dams in the area that protect urban areas are vulnerable.
The next Cascadia quake will "likely to be the greatest natural disaster that's ever impacted the United States," said Ian Maiden, chief scientist for Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries. Maiden put the odds of such a quake within the lifetimes of people living in the Pacific Northwest at 30 percent.

"It's an event that we have to plan for, and anything we want to see survive needs to be made resilient against such an event," he said.

The Cascadia Subduction Zone / CALIFORNIA EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY
In Oregon, according to a 2007 study, nearly half the schools in the state face a high risk of collapse in a quake; low-lying coastal towns, meanwhile, have little to no protection against the tsunami that could result.
"We are not even close to being well enough prepared," said Wang.
That isn't going to change anytime soon. To retrofit a major building against earthquakes can cost millions of dollars, and, as the Japan tragedy illustrated, offers no guarantees. The cost of retrofitting every building in Portland alone would run in the tens of billions of dollars.
Spending that sort of money is an extremely tall order even when the economy is doing well, and when states and the federal government are suffering serious budgetary woes, as they are today, it's nearly unimaginable.

Consider: Even in San Francisco, where building codes are more stringent and a 6.9 magnitude quake caused widespread devastation more than 20 years ago, more than 17,000 structures remain unprotected today.

In light of the economic realities, officials are focusing on education and creating safe zones. There have been exceptions, such as an effort in Portland to retrofit schools, but it's a deliberate process at best: It's more than a decade until Oregon law mandates that public safety buildings be retrofitted, and an a program to retrofit all the state's schools is not scheduled for completion until 2032.

"We know that we live in earthquake country," said John Schelling, Earthquake and Tsunami Program Manager for Washington State Emergency Management. "We've been very proactive when it comes to trying to prepare our vulnerable coastal communities for this type of a threat."

That largely hasn't meant building sea walls and reinforcing buildings, however. Project Safe Haven, for example, is a "vertical evacuation" program to make sure there is safe space for coastal residents to get to in the event of a tsunami. One focus of the effort is to create artificial high ground where residents can go in the event a tsunami, through controlled burns to create safe areas and the erection of reinforced buildings.

Yet there is little money to implement the program, according to Schelling. And the meager money that goes to Washington State as part of the National Earthquake Hazard Reduction program - about $100,000 per year - is now projected to be cut in half, he said.

In Oregon, Maiden said, much of the focus has also been on education. Yet the hundreds of thousands of dollars that fund the education effort each year, which comes via a short-term term grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is now threatened. The budget passed by the Republican-led House earlier this year cut funding for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration by 21 percent and the U.S. Geological Survey by $27 million; lawmakers are now working on a compromise budget, and both sides agree some cuts to the overall budget are necessary.

If there's a silver lining in the tragedy in Japan, domestic earthquake experts say, it's the opportunity to focus public attention on the risk faced at home. The disaster could boost efforts to build a tsunami-proof structure in Oregon's Cannon Beach, for example -- one that would be the first of its kind in North America. If nothing else, experts say, the Japan tragedy could prompt residents take a moment to consider that they are not immune from the same sort of devastation being felt on the other side of the ocean.

"We have a tremendous threat," Wang said. "The Japan earthquake is a tragic reminder of what the Pacific Northwest will one day experience. There's no getting out of it."

Janet Alderton (#7140)

Date Submitted: 01/13/2013
Location: Deer Harbor, WA
Comment:
I support the following comment from Mary Ruth Holder that was submitted on Jan. 6, 2013. I am a resident of the San Juan Islands. Our islands are only a few miles from the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal. I have asthma that is triggered by petroleum-based particulates such as those released from diesel engines. The respiratory health of many will be adversely affected by "fugitive" coal dust that is lost between the extraction of the coal from the land and its delivery to distant ports in Asia. Who will pay the price of this human misery?

Also, please study the affects of the surfactant product that is used to reduce fugitive coal dust on the development of fish and amphibians. Non-ionic surfactants related to nonylphenol have been shown to be endocrine disruptors of fish and amphibians and, possibly, humans.

"Please include in the scope of the EIS: impacts of fugitive coal dust from trains en route to and from GPT and coal mines in the Powder River Basin.

The term “coal dust” in my comment includes fine particles of coal that can become airborne and small “chunks” of coal that may fall from trains. Others have submitted comments requesting that the EIS include a rigorous study of impacts on aquatic and terrestrial habitats and the lungs and homes of residents and workers at the proposed coal terminal from coal dust blowing from coal piles, stacker reclaimers, conveyor systems and other equipment at the proposed GPT, and from rail cars along the Custer Spur. I add my voice to those requests. But I also request that the scope of the EIS include a study of the risk and all impacts of fugitive coal dust en route to and from the coal mines in the Powder River Basin to the GPT terminal at Cherry Point.
It is reasonably foreseeable that the BNSF would use the rail line through Mount Vernon to transport coal to Pacific International Terminals Inc.’s planned Gateway Pacific Terminal project and via the BNSF Custer Spur expansion project (projects referred to as” GPT”) for purposes of exporting 48 million metric tons of coal annually to Asia upon full build out of the terminal. It is also reasonably foreseeable that coal would be transported by train in open unit cars and that some amount of coal dust would blow or spill from the unit cars en route to and from GPT. Lobbyists for GPT and BNSF have represented to the officials and residents of Mount Vernon where I live that there will be no coal dust from the trains to and from GPT because of a BNSF requirement that “surfactants” will be sprayed on every unit car to GPT as the cars leave the mines. I ask that you delve into this matter more deeply than those who may be easily mollified by lobbyists’ representations. Please conduct studies to answer my questions raised in this comment.

What was the goal of the Item 100, Coal Dust Mitigation Requirements, BNSF tariff # 6041-B issued July 14, 2011, Providing Rules and Regulations Governing Unit Train and Volume All-Rail Coal Service, Also Accessorial Services and Charges Therefor Applying As Provided in Price List? The tariff requires a certain coal loading profile and the spraying of a chemical “topper agent (e.g. surfactant)” on loaded Powder River Basin coal. Was not the goal of this tariff to reduce coal dust from fouling railroad ballast in the vicinity of the mines by 85% (rather than 100% reduction of fugitive coal dust in communities along the route from the mines to GPT)? Would surfactants eliminate 100% of the coal dust along the entire transportation route and if not, what is the expected effectiveness? Would the surfactants remain intact and effective over the number of miles from the mines to the GPT, including in all weather conditions and despite jostling of unit cars, so that no coal dust would escape? Would the coal loading profile ensure that no coal dust would escape all along the rail route despite all possible transportation and weather conditions? If the loading profile alone would be sufficient, why did BNSF also include the requirement for surfactant use in its tariff? If the BNSF tariff requirements are 100% effective, what then are the “chunks” of material that look a lot like coal observed on sills the open unit cars of coal trains (en route to and from Westshore terminal) that can be observed from above the rail line through Mount Vernon? What of the coal dust that has been observed along the rail line? Even if coal is loaded as BNSF would require and sprayed with surfactants, would coal dust nevertheless escape into the environment as a consequence of a derailment or other mishap, increasingly frequent events for coal trains?

What is the chemical composition of the surfactants and could their use harm the environment or human health, particularly if used on enormous numbers of coal unit cars traveling from the mines to GPT over the life of the project? If so, in what ways? Could rain or melting snow wash these chemicals from coal cars into the environment ? Could winds blow them there? Could they get into groundwater, surface water, drinking water? Could they harm people or organisms? What data is available and what data is lacking on the impacts of their use? What water source (and who owns the water rights to this source) would be used for the mixing and/or application of the surfactants? How would run off, rinse or other waste water from the spraying operation be treated and discharged? What permits are applicable to this operation and how are they enforced? Are the extant water rights adequate to realistically support the assertion that all cars will be sprayed with surfactant?

There is an action before the U.S. Surface Transportation Board (STB), Western Coal Traffic League, American Public Power Association, Edison Electric Institute and National Electric Cooperative Association, Finance Docket 35557, challenging BNSF’s tariff. What is the status of this legal action at the time of the EIS? Those challenging the BNSF tariff claim, among other things, that BNSF’s coal dust requirements and predicted 85% coal dust reduction are “based on junk science.” See, STB Finance Docket No. 35557, Reasonableness of BNSF Railway Company Coal Dust Mitigation Tariff Provisions, Reply Evidence and Argument of Western Coal Traffic League, American Public Power Association, Edison Electric Institute and National Rural Electric Cooperative Association pp. 5 – 12, dated November 15, 2012. Please study this claim. What is the present enforcement status of the BNSF tariff? See, Gambrel, D. January 2012. PBR Dust Control – Next Steps Kick Off in 2012. Coal Age, www.coalage.com [currently available at http://coal.epubxp.com/i/53542/21].
Peabody Coal, with whom GPT boasts it already has an agreement for export of 24 million metric tons of coal annually, presently represents it will comply with the BNSF tariff. But what happens if BNSF’s tariff is declared illegal by the STB? Will Peabody nonetheless comply? Would other coal companies that might contract with GPT (for the export of the remaining 24 million metric tons of coal that the terminal’s at least 48 million metric tons of coal capacity would allow) comply?

Perhaps particularly in light of the uncertainties surrounding the use, environmental and health impacts, effectiveness and legality of BNSF’s tariff requirements, please also study whether there would be releases of fugitive coal dust (both airborne and otherwise) from trains if GPT is permitted. Please also study all environmental and health impacts of such releases. Could coal dust escape from the loaded open unit cars on a trip to GPT? How much residual coal might remain in the unit cars returning from GPT to the mines and could coal dust escape during the return trip? Can coal fall or blow from the sills along the top of the unit cars or leak from the doors or bottom hoppers of the open cars en route?

Please determine all parts or mechanisms of the unit cars that would allow the emission or spillage of coal dust. Would coal dust from any part or mechanism of the unit cars on trips to or from GPT be carried by air currents? Please analyze whether high wind speeds, cross-winds, and other “peak” or “worst case” scenarios would result in coal dust emissions. Please also study whether expected wind speeds and train speeds during general operation of the trains would result in coal dust emissions. Please study how far air borne coal dust could travel under all wind, train speed and rail traffic conditions. Would coal dust blow into my house, yard and garden and those of my neighbors in the West Hill area of Mount Vernon, located just above the railroad tracks? What distance would coal dust blow into neighborhoods, schools, farms, waterways and landscapes throughout the Skagit Valley and in all 121 communities along the rail route? Would coal dust damage the appearance or exterior coatings and/or any building materials of my house, the houses of my neighborhood, downtown (especially brick and mortar) buildings in Mount Vernon and in communities all along the rail line? What would be the incremental cost of building maintenance for homes and businesses thus affected by coal dust? How would these impacts accumulate over the life of the GPT project?

How would the length of the trip from the Powder River Basin to GPT affect the impact of coal dust emissions? Please include a determination of which communities along the entire rail route may experience the greatest volume and impact of coal dust emissions from just the GPT trains and cumulatively with all coal trains traveling to and from other proposed WA and OR coal ports and explain why. What impacts would fugitive coal dust from GPT and GPT cumulated with other planned and existing northwest coal ports in WA, OR and B.C. have on waterways, landscapes and habitats and the animals, plants and organisms that depend on them?

In conducting your analysis, please also take into account the properties of the Power River Basin coal that is being transported through our communities – for example, moisture content, evaporation rates, friability, tendency for spontaneous combustion – and how these properties produce coal dust during rail transit. Would the unit cars carrying coal to the GPT continue to be uncovered? What alternative methods to those currently required by the BNSF tariff exist to prevent fugitive coal dust from escaping into the environment?

Please also conduct a detailed analysis of whether and to what extent there could be health impacts from fugitive coal dust as a result of the significant increase in coal trains through our community. How would the increasing and repeated exposure to coal dust impact people’s health over the life of GPT? Also, please study the costs of health care due to an increased exposure to these pollutants from increased rail traffic for the GPT. Who would pay for the health care of residents who live and work in communities all along the rail line from the mines to GPT and who experience health impacts? Will the mitigation of health damages from 18 additional daily trains to GPT include a requirement for GPT and BNSF to establish a fund up front to pay for treatments made necessary by the impacts of their project? Could emergency vehicle service in Mount Vernon and other communities be impaired by the addition of 18 daily coal trains across at-grade crossings? If so, would this exacerbate the health problems associated with an increase in diesel locomotive exhaust from the additional trains?"

Janet Alderton (#7146)

Date Submitted: 01/13/2013
Location: Deer Harbor, WA
Comment:
I am a retired cell biologist who lives in the San Juan Islands. Many consumer and agricultural products use surfactants that are considered "nontoxic" and "biodegradable." But when some surfactants contaminate low-oxygen environments, such as fresh water or marine sediments, the biodegradation of the surfactant is incomplete. The resulting compounds can be endocrine disruptors that interfere with the development of fish and amphibians.

Please study the effects of the surfactant product that is used to reduce fugitive coal dust on the development of fish and amphibians. Non-ionic surfactants related to nonylphenol have been shown to be endocrine disruptors of fish and amphibians and, possibly, humans.

The MinTech technical data sheet says that their product is “practically nontoxic.” This means that the test organisms do not die at high rates when exposed to the product over 48 to 96 hours.

https://www.momarhaystack.com/data//PRODUCTSANDEQUIPMENT/tm10514mintoppers0150//tm10514mintoppers0150_tds.pdf

But how does their product affect the long-term reproduction and development of sensitive amphibians and fish?

Please study the effects of MiTech’s MinTopperS+150, which is recommended for application to coal-carrying railcars at the mine, on the development and reproduction of the genetically unique Cherry Point Herring. Also, please implement multi-year field studies of the cumulative effects of MiTech’s MinTopperS+150 on the survival and reproduction of amphibians and freshwater fish.

Janet Alderton (#7525)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Location: Deer Harbor, WA
Comment:
I am a resident of the San Juan Islands. Our islands’ tourist-based economy, beauty, and environment will be harmed by a single major release of coal-associated pollution. Mitigation of a major coal-associated pollution event would be extremely costly. Successful mitigation of a major coal-associated pollution event is close to impossible in our sensitive fresh and marine waters.

In an earlier comment I asked that seismic impacts be studied as part of a comprehensive EIS for the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal. In this comment I want to point out that earthquake prediction is an inexact science. Worst-case scenario predictions can be well off the mark. This is well illustrated by the Fukushima disaster where the extent of fault rupture and the resulting earthquake and tsunami were much greater than predicted possible. The Cascadia Subduction Zone off of our Washington coast has the potential to produce earthquakes as damaging as those that caused the Fukushima disaster.

Another example of the failure to predict a damaging earthquake is the Northridge, California quake of 1994. This earthquake occurred along a previously unknown blind thrust fault. The ground acceleration caused by this earthquake was one of the highest ever recorded in an urban area of North America. The peak ground velocity in this earthquake was the fastest ground velocity ever recorded. 57 people died, and more than 8,700 people were injured. It was one of the costliest natural disasters in US history.

The Northridge, California quake of 1994 illustrates that unanticipated severe earthquake events do occur. Earthquake scientists know that damaging earthquakes can occur in areas with no mapped faults.

Building codes in Washington State do not meet the standards that resist major earthquakes. Therefore, the human and environmental impacts of a major earthquake damaging the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal would be significant.

As part of a comprehensive EIS,

1. Please study the costs of a major earthquake, similar to the Northridge, California quake, damaging the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal and the rail lines leading to the terminal. The impacts and their costs that should be studied include the loss of lives and injuries to people, the release of coal and its associated pollutants into our environment, and the costs of mitigation.

2. Please study the effectiveness of mitigation after a major release of coal-associated pollutants into fresh and marine waters and onto our lands.

3. Please study the costs of designing and building the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal, its connecting rail lines, and their over and under passes to withstand earthquakes of magnitude 8 or higher without loss of human life, without injury to humans, and without release of coal and its associated pollutants into our environment.

Janet Alderton (#8889)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Location: Deer Harbor, WA
Comment:
Diesel Emissions from Locomotives

As of January 17, 2013, at least 488 of the Gateway Pacific Terminal EIS comments express concern about diesel locomotive emissions.

Because I have asthma, I am directly affected by diesel emissions. The main particulate fraction of diesel exhaust consists of fine particles. Even for people without respiratory disease, the health impacts of fine particle emissions are clear. Because of their small size, inhaled particles can penetrate deep into the lungs. The charge of these particles and their large surface to volume ratios make it easy for them to bind with other toxins in the environment. This increases the hazards of particle inhalation. Diesel particulate pollution has been linked to higher heart attack rates.

Because the health risks of diesel emissions are clearly established, regulations that aim to reduce diesel emissions have been adopted in recent years. While it is clear that the regulations apply to new diesel engines, it is not clear to me that the new standards are mandatory for existing diesel engines. Many of the regulatory actions appear to be phased in slowly, and the coal trains that travel from the mines to the proposed west coast terminals would not necessarily be equipped with cleaner diesel engines.

Therefore, please study:

1. The emissions standards for currently operating diesel locomotive engines.
2. The emissions standards for new locomotive engines.
3. How will the emissions standards change with time?
4. Would existing diesel locomotive engines ever be required to upgrade to clean emission technologies? How quickly would this occur?
5. Please quantify the diesel particulate pollution for the age classes in the current stock of diesel locomotive engines, and compare this quantity of pollutants per mile and at idle to diesel engines using clean emission technologies.
6. Please quantify the proportion of each diesel locomotive age class within the total existing stock.
7. Please estimate the costs of upgrading the existing stock of diesel locomotive engines to the cleanest available new diesel engines.

Retrofit of existing engines possible. See:

http://cumminsemissionsolutions.com/CES/CESContent//SiteContent/en/Binary_Asset/PDF/Retrofit_Solution_CRT3.pdf

In my opinion, all coal train locomotives should be required to upgrade to the highest standard of clean diesel engines or should be required to retrofit existing engines to the highest standards available.

The text below shows that current regulations are slowly phasing in the requirements for cleaner diesel locomotive engines. This gradual process is not acceptable for coal train traffic between Western coal mines and Pacific Northwest coal terminals. Because diesel engines can operate for 20 to 30 years, millions of older, dirtier diesel engines are still in use.

“US emission standards for railway locomotives apply to newly manufactured, as well as remanufactured railroad locomotives and locomotive engines. The standards have been adopted by the EPA in two regulatory actions:
Tier 0-2 standards: The first emission regulation for railroad locomotives was adopted on 17 December 1997 [63 FR 18997-19084, 16 Apr 1998]. The rulemaking, which became effective from 2000, applies to locomotives originally manufactured from 1973, any time they are manufactured or remanufactured. Tier 0-2 standards are met though engine design methods, without the use of exhaust gas after-treatment.
Tier 3-4 standards: A regulation signed on 14 March 2008 introduced more stringent emission requirements [73 FR 88 25098-25352, 6 May 2008]. Tier 3 standards, to be met by engine design methods, become effective from 2011/12. Tier 4 standards, which are expected to require exhaust gas after-treatment technologies, become effective from 2015. The 2008 regulation also includes more stringent emission standards for remanufactured Tier 0-2 locomotives”.


The EPA has been promoting the goals of the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) of 2005 through grants, but replacement of old dirty diesel engines or their retrofit is being SLOWLY implemented.

“National Clean Diesel Campaign (NCDC)

http://www.epa.gov/cleandiesel/basicinfo.htm

Basic Information
EPA’s National Clean Diesel Campaign (NCDC) promotes clean air strategies by working with manufacturers, fleet operators, air quality professionals, environmental and community organizations, and state and local officials to reduce diesel emissions.
As a result of EPA regulations, diesel engines manufactured today are cleaner than ever. Recent diesel rulemakings have focused on light- and heavy-duty highway vehicles, nonroad diesel equipment, locomotive and marine engines, and large ocean-going vessels.
Reducing Emissions From Existing Diesel Engines
Because diesel engines can operate for 20 to 30 years, millions of older, dirtier diesel engines are still in use. EPA offers many strategies and programs to help make these engines operate more cleanly, and funding to help build diesel emission reduction programs that improve air quality and protect public health. EPA recommends a wide range of emission reduction strategies for diesel vehicles, vessels, locomotives, or equipment. These include:
Install diesel retrofit devices with verified technologies
Maintain, repair, rebuild, repower engines
Replace older vehicles and equipment
Improve operational strategies
Use cleaner fuels including natural gas and propane
Clean Diesel Funding
As part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (551 pp, 1.3MB), the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) authorizes funding of up to $200 million annually for FY2007 through FY2011 to help fleet owners reduce diesel emissions. Under this act, EPA has developed four programs
The National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program awards competitive grants to fund projects that implement EPA or CARB verified and certified diesel emission reduction technologies.
The National Clean Diesel Emerging Technologies Program awards competitive grants for projects that spur innovation in reducing diesel emissions through the use, development and commercialization of emerging technologies. Up to 10 percent of the national funds may be spent on emerging technologies.
SmartWay Clean Diesel Finance Program issues competitive grants to establish national low-cost revolving loans or other innovative financing programs that help fleets reduce diesel emissions.
State Clean Diesel Grant Program allocates funds to participating states to implement grant and loan programs for clean diesel projects. Base funding is distributed to states using a specific formula based on participation, and incentive funding is available for any states that match their base funding. Currently all 50 States and the District of Columbia are participating.

Impacts of Diesel Emissions
Human health, environment, and global climate are all impacted by diesel emissions.(Air Pollution (PDF) (5 pp, 900K, About PDF)
Human Health - Emissions from diesel exhaust can lead to serious health conditions like asthma and allergies, and can worsen heart and lung disease, especially in vulnerable populations such as children and the elderly.
Environment - Diesel engines emit particulate matter (soot); nitrogen oxides which contribute to the production of ground-level ozone (smog) and acid rain; hydrocarbons; air toxics; and black carbon . These emissions can damage plants, animals, crops, and water resources.
Global Climate - Climate change affects air quality, weather patterns, sea level, ecosystems, and agriculture. Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from diesel engines through improved fuel economy or idle reduction strategies can help address climate change, improve our nation's energy security, and strengthen our economy.
Environmental Justice - Minority and disadvantaged populations may receive disproportionate impacts from diesel emissions. Activities of the National Clean Diesel Campaign further EPA’s commitment to reduce health and environmental harm from diesel emissions in all communities throughout the country.”

Janet Alderton (#9179)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Location: Deer Harbor, WA
Comment:
Diesel Emissions from Coal Ships

As of January 17, 2013, at least 488 of the Gateway Pacific Terminal EIS comments express concern about diesel emissions. Although most of these comments address rail locomotive emissions, I am also concerned about diesel emissions from coal bulker ships traveling through the narrow shipping channels surrounding the San Juan Islands. Air pollution is an issue in the San Juan Islands, especially when an inversion layer traps pollutants in the lower atmosphere.

Because I have asthma, I am directly affected by diesel emissions. The main particulate fraction of diesel exhaust consists of fine particles. It is clear that the fine particle diesel emissions cause adverse health impacts even for people without respiratory disease. Because of their small size, inhaled particles easily penetrate deep into the lungs. The charge of these particles and their large surface to volume ratios make it easy for them to bind with other toxins in the environment. This increases the hazards of particle inhalation.

An EPA website describes the impacts of Diesel Emissions:

“Human health, environment, and global climate are all impacted by diesel emissions.
Human Health - Emissions from diesel exhaust can lead to serious health conditions like asthma and allergies, and can worsen heart and lung disease, especially in vulnerable populations such as children and the elderly.
Environment - Diesel engines emit particulate matter (soot); nitrogen oxides which contribute to the production of ground-level ozone (smog) and acid rain; hydrocarbons; air toxics; and black carbon . These emissions can damage plants, animals, crops, and water resources.
Global Climate - Climate change affects air quality, weather patterns, sea level, ecosystems, and agriculture. Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from diesel engines through improved fuel economy or idle reduction strategies can help address climate change, improve our nation's energy security, and strengthen our economy.”

Because the health and environmental risks of diesel emissions are clearly established, regulations that aim to reduce diesel emissions have been adopted. The emission standards for large commercial marine diesel vessels such as cruise and container ships began to be phased in 2011. These regulations apply to new diesel engines. It is not clear to me when the new standards would require existing diesel engines to be replaced or retrofitted. Much of the language appears to encourage, but not require, upgrades or replacement of existing diesel engines. Therefore, coal bulker ships traveling to and from the proposed west coast terminals would not necessarily be equipped with cleaner diesel engines. It appears that the replacement of existing highly polluting bulker ship diesel engines has just begun. Because diesel engines can operate for 20 to 30 years, older and dirtier diesel engines comprise the majority of bulker diesel engines in use today and may continue in use for decades to come.

In my opinion, all bulk coal ships should use the cleanest diesel engine technology available. Existing engines should be replaced or retrofitted to the highest standards available as mitigation for toxic particulate and gas releases.

Therefore, please study:

1. The emissions standards by age class for currently operating diesel bulker engines.
2. Please quantify the proportion of each diesel bulker engine age class within the total existing stock.
3. The emissions standards for the new bulker diesel engines.
4. How will the emissions standards change with time?
5. Will existing diesel bulker engines ever be required to upgrade to clean emission technologies? How quickly would this occur? (The regulation descriptions that I have copied below imply that upgrades are encouraged, but not required).
6. Please quantify the diesel pollutants for each five-year age class in the current stock of diesel bulker engines, and compare this quantity of pollutants per mile and at idle to diesel engines using the cleanest emission technologies.
7. Please estimate the costs of upgrading the existing stock of diesel bulker engines to the cleanest available new diesel engines.
8. Finally, please apply numbers one through seven, above, to vessels registered in countries different from the United States.

http://www.epa.gov/diesel/reg-prog.htm

“EPA is devoting significant efforts to ensuring the successful implementation of cleaner standards for diesel fuel and new diesel engines. These standards are the critical foundation of EPA’s diesel control program.
Beginning June 1, 2006, refiners began producing ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel with sulfur levels at or below 15 parts per million (ppm) for use in heavy duty highway diesel engines. Nonroad diesel engines were required to use low sulfur (500 ppm) diesel fuel beginning in 2007 and ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel beginning in 2010.
Locomotives and smaller marine engines required low sulfur (500 ppm) diesel fuel beginning in 2007 and ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel beginning in 2012. In addition, emission standard for large commercial marine diesel vessels like cruise and container ships will be phased in beginning in 2011.
In addition to reducing emissions from existing diesel fleets, these cleaner fuels enable the use of advanced after-treatment technologies on new engines. Technologies like particulate traps, capable of emission reductions of 90% and more, are required under new standards which began phasing in for the highway sector in 2007, and will begin taking effect in the non-road sector in 2010.
These programs will yield enormous long-term benefits for public health and the environment. By 2030, when the engine fleet has been fully turned over, particulate matter (PM) and nitrous oxides (NOx) will be reduced by 380,000 tons/year and 7 million tons/year, respectively. This will result in annual benefits of over $290 billion, at a cost of approximately $15 billion.
Together these programs will yield enormous long-term benefits for public health and the environment.”

EPA Non-road Regulations:
http://www.epa.gov/otaq//regs/nonroad/marine/ci/420f10015.pdf
North American Emission Control Area
“On March 26, 2010, the International Maritime Organization officially designated waters off North American coasts as an area in which stringent international emission standards will apply to ships. For this area, the effective date of the first-phase fuel sulfur standard is 2012, and the second phase begins in 2015. Beginning in 2016, NOx after-treatment requirements become applicable.”

The International Maritime Organization is the United Nations agency that oversees shipping.

Are there loopholes in these “stringent” standards?

“As given, the ship owner must have made his best efforts to attempt to obtain the required fuel oil and that this should be taken into account by Parties when considering what action to take, or not to take, in the case of a ship using non-compliant fuel oil.”

http://www.imo.org/OurWork/Environment/PollutionPrevention/AirPollution/Documents/GHG%20Flyer%20WEB.pdf

The EPA has been promoting the goals of the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) of 2005 through grants. The Great Recession that began in 2008 slowed the replacement rate of old dirty diesel engines or their retrofit.

http://www.epa.gov/cleandiesel/basicinfo.htm

“National Clean Diesel Campaign
EPA’s National Clean Diesel Campaign (NCDC) promotes clean air strategies by working with manufacturers, fleet operators, air quality professionals, environmental and community organizations, and state and local officials to reduce diesel emissions.
As a result of EPA regulations, diesel engines manufactured today are cleaner than ever. Recent diesel rulemakings have focused on light- and heavy-duty highway vehicles, non-road diesel equipment, locomotive and marine engines, and large ocean-going vessels.

Reducing Emissions From Existing Diesel Engines

Because diesel engines can operate for 20 to 30 years, millions of older, dirtier diesel engines are still in use. EPA offers many strategies and programs to help make these engines operate more cleanly, and funding to help build diesel emission reduction programs that improve air quality and protect public health. EPA recommends a wide range of emission reduction strategies for diesel vehicles, vessels, locomotives, or equipment. These include:
Install diesel retrofit devices with verified technologies
Maintain, repair, rebuild, repower engines
Replace older vehicles and equipment
Improve operational strategies
Use cleaner fuels including natural gas and propane

Clean Diesel Funding
As part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (551 pp, 1.3MB), the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) authorizes funding of up to $200 million annually for FY2007 through FY2011 to help fleet owners reduce diesel emissions. Under this act, EPA has developed four programs
The National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program awards competitive grants to fund projects that implement EPA or CARB verified and certified diesel emission reduction technologies.
The National Clean Diesel Emerging Technologies Program awards competitive grants for projects that spur innovation in reducing diesel emissions through the use, development and commercialization of emerging technologies. Up to 10 percent of the national funds may be spent on emerging technologies.
SmartWay Clean Diesel Finance Program issues competitive grants to establish national low-cost revolving loans or other innovative financing programs that help fleets reduce diesel emissions.
State Clean Diesel Grant Program allocates funds to participating states to implement grant and loan programs for clean diesel projects. Base funding is distributed to states using a specific formula based on participation, and incentive funding is available for any states that match their base funding. Currently all 50 States and the District of Columbia are participating.”

Janet Alderton (#9510)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Deer Harbor, WA
Comment:
Dear Regulatory Agencies,
I live in the San Juan Islands not far from the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT) and close to the bulker shipping lanes. The health impacts of diesel engine-generated particulates and smog-producing nitrogen oxides are important to me and to others who have asthma or other respiratory diseases. The costs of these health impacts are important to me and to all in our society.

When operational, the GPT would have, on average, ninety diesel locomotives arriving and departing per day. Five locomotives per train multiplied by 18 trains equals 90 locomotives per day. The number of Panamax and cape class bulkers passing through the Salish Sea per day would increase significantly from current levels. The additional diesel engines of these locomotives and bulkers would cause the levels of local and regional air pollution to rise significantly. Two comments that I submitted on January 18, 2013 discuss the slow and uncertain replacement of existing dirty diesel engines in locomotives and in bulkers with cleaner designs.

I agree with the comment of Doctor Sara Mostad of Bellingham that was submitted on January 9, 2013.
http://www.eisgatewaypacificwa.gov/get-involved/comment/6353

I join with Dr. Mostad in requesting that the Environmental Impact Statement for the Gateway Pacific Terminal include the following detailed studies:

1. A comprehensive and cumulative Health Impact Assessment that determines how many excess deaths and hospitalizations would be expected, across the entire state of Washington, from diesel particulate matter and nitrogen oxides associated with the diesel locomotives and ships from the Gateway Pacific Terminal.
2. Please compare baseline and expected increases in the rates for each of the following: asthma, stroke, heart attack and cancer.
3. Please measure the lost life expectancy of all those living and working close to the rail lines from the Powder River Basin to the Gateway Pacific Terminal.
4. Please measure lost life expectancy of all those living and working close to the shipping lanes from the Gateway Pacific Terminal and up through the Great Circle Route to Asia.
5. Please quantify who will pay for the increase in medical care necessitated by the increased diesel emissions. The burden of increased morbidity ultimately falls upon us all through increased insurance costs, increased government sponsored health initiatives that are supported by our taxes, and through personal out-of-pocket expenses.
6. Please calculate the increase in the price of coal per ton that would be needed to cover the medical costs of diesel engine related pollution over the entire route from the Powder River Basin mines to Asia.
7. Please calculate the increase in the price of coal per ton that would be needed to cover the value of years of life lost due to diesel engine related pollution over the entire route from the Powder River Basin mines to Asia.

Janet Alderton (#9899)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Deer Harbor, WA
Comment:
I am a resident of the San Juan Islands, Washington State. I am passionate about protecting our environment. Our quality of life and the quality of life of our children and grandchildren depend on limiting the levels of green house gases in our Earth’s atmosphere. It is morally wrong to ignore the consequences of “business as usual” that is resulting in ever-rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide that have already exceeded the presumed safe level of 350 ppm. Public Policy and Public Interest argue against the export of United States coal.

Some argue that China will burn someone else’s coal if we do not export our coal. But our western coal is so attractive to China because it is priced cheaply compared to other coal resources available on the world market. Only when all the external costs of burning coal as an energy source are integrated into the cost per ton of exported coal will China turn away from its expanding use of coal. Powder River Basin coal is under-priced because we, the taxpayers and citizens of the United States, are subsidizing this natural resource. Uncompetitive leasing of Bureau of Land Management mineral rights is a taxpayer subsidy that results in cheap coal. The proposed use of public resources, such as large water withdrawals from the Nooksack River to control fugitive coal dust at the terminal, will result in coal that is priced cheaply. When we ignore the costs to individuals and to taxpayers of increased respiratory disease and lives shortened by the diesel emissions from coal carrying trains and ships, the result is coal that is priced cheaply. Ignoring the environmental destruction caused by burning coal results in coal that is priced cheaply. We are degrading our environment and hurting our individual and collective interests by unquestioningly subsidizing cheap coal exports.

I, as a taxpayer and citizen of the United States, object to my taxes and public resources being used to subsidize private commercial gain that negatively impacts my life, the lives of my children and grandchildren, and all the inhabitants of our Earth. I reasonably insist that the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal in Whatcom County, Washington be expanded from the site of the proposed terminal to our entire planet.

The comment letter of James Wells of Bellingham, submitted around January 19, 2013, and copied below, more fully describes public resources that would be required for the Gateway Pacific Terminal project to move forward. I agree with James Wells’ entire comment letter. I end my comment by stating that, by exporting coal, our nation is behaving as Britain despicably behaved during the Chinese Opium Wars – we are feeding the destructive habit of a nation for the purpose of private commercial gain. If we allow the Gateway Pacific Terminal project to go forward without carefully and completely considering the external costs associated with coal mining, transport, and combustion, we are blindly damaging ourselves and future generations.

James Wells’ complete comment:

I request that the agencies should consider Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and other pollutant emissions from the coal at its point of combustion in Asia.
The plan is to export over 48 million metric tons of coal per year to China, where it will be burned, resulting in air pollution that will cause impacts in the United States (in addition to the effects on nearby populations in China). The pollution includes carbon dioxide (CO2), a greenhouse gas that also causes ocean acidification. [The combustion also releases harmful pollutants such as mercury, but this comment is focused on CO2]
In public discourse, we have repeatedly heard a defeatist and misleading suggestion that people in China will just acquire coal from elsewhere, dug out of mines that do not currently exist, and burn that coal instead, if we do not export coal to them. That may or may not occur. If it does, that other coal will cost them more than importing coal from the USA, and thus they would probably use less. But in all cases it’s never morally acceptable to be part of something harmful on the theory that someone else, somewhere else, is going to do it anyway.
Broadly, in permitting activities, agencies are required to evaluate an activity for the entirety of what it is, not as compared to some imaginary other circumstance that may or may not occur. This particular coal, if shipped to Asia to be burned, will create the pollutants. If not, then those pollutant emissions will not occur at that place and time. Therefore the full effects should be considered.
One regulatory question is whether the applicable law allows for consideration of an effect that may occur outside the US. The clear answer: Yes it can. It’s right in the applicable SEPA law:
“[A] lead agency shall not limit its consideration of a proposal's impacts only to those aspects within its jurisdiction, including local or state boundaries.” (Wash. Admin. Code sec. 197-11-060(4)(b))
Next: Can the impact of combustion emissions, including carbon dioxide emissions, be considered?
Again, Yes. The United States EPA has recognized the materials emitted from combustion, including Carbon Dioxide, as pollutants that threaten human health and the environment.
At play is the combination: Considering combustion emissions, including carbon dioxide, that originate overseas.
A key consideration is the concept of the Public Interest. The agencies should broadly consider the public interest in this case, because the project needs to use government resources rather than just private assets. The effect of greenhouse gas emissions is relevant to public interest, because global warming and ocean acidification represent a very serious threat to our environment and the livability of our planet.
In the case of GPT, there are at least three major government-controlled resources that are required for the project to go forward:
- The pier requires a shoreline lease from the WA State Department of Natural Resources
- The coal is mined from federal government land in Montana and Wyoming
- Large water withdrawals from the Nooksack River are needed for dust control and other purposes
This request to use government resources is profoundly different from meeting regulatory requirements for an activity on private land. The applicants have no title to the government resources, and so for access to be granted, the proposed activity needs to be in the public interest. This is especially applicable to the waters of the state due to the Public Trust Doctrine, as explained on the WA Department of Ecology web site: "The essence of the [Public Trust] doctrine is that the waters of the state are a public resource owned by and available to all citizens equally for the purposes of navigation, conducting commerce, fishing, recreation and similar uses and that this trust is not invalidated by private ownership of the underlying land."
In another example, leases to mine coal from public lands have been granted on the basis that the coal will provide a stable domestic energy supply. The current practice of shipping coal from federal lands to British Columbia for export to Asia is in conflict with the justification for the coal leases, and a massive expansion of such export would also be. No export terminal should be permitted prior to conducting a complete review of the basis for the lease to mine the subject coal, and coal whose lease was justified on the theory of providing for domestic energy supplies should not be allowed to be exported.
The GPT project will also require exercise of a key government power, which is: Eminent Domain. This means seizing land from other private owners, whether or not they want to sell, in order to allow the project to occur. This is another point whether the question of the Public Interest is applicable.
The project is also inconsistent with certain federal or state laws or policies.
- Copenhagen Accord
The United States is a signatory to the Copenhagen climate accord, which agrees in concept to large reductions in GHG emissions worldwide. Large new coal export schemes are clearly inconsistent with the intent of the document.
- EPA has Recognized CO2 as a Pollutant
The US EPA has declared carbon dioxide to be a pollutant, and has started to regulate CO2 emissions. The New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) state that any new coal-fired power plant in the US must meet a very tight standard for low CO2 emissions. If we build a new export terminal for the purpose of supplying coal to be burned in a manner that does not meet these new standards, then that undermines the entire purpose of the NSPS standards. The EPA has also commented on a different coal export proposal that resulting CO2 emissions should be considered.
- WA State GHG Reduction Standards
Washington State adopted greenhouse gas reduction standards via legislation adopted in 2008. See RCW 70.235.070(1)(a). The statute establishes that by 2020, emissions shall be reduced to 1990 levels. By 2035, GHG emissions are to be 25 percent below 1990 levels and by 2050, they are to be 50 percent below 1990 levels. The coal terminal, if permitted, would emit tens of millions of metric tons of CO2 per year, wiping all of those reductions, and more. Since CO2 is a global pollutant, it would be futile to reduce local emissions while facilitating an increase elsewhere. [For reference, all GHG emissions in all of WA state are about 100 million metric tons / year]
- WA State Panel on Ocean Acidification
In November of 2012, the Governor of Washington State released an executive order initiating action on ocean acidification. The executive order states, in part, “I, Christine O. Gregoire, Governor of the state of Washington … do, effective immediately, hereby order and direct … 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.”
- SEPA Standards
The SEPA standard itself recognizes the world-wide scope of environmental issues.
SEPA considers “each person’s” right to a “healthful environment” to be “fundamental and inalienable” Rev.Code Wash. Sec. 43.21C.020(3), “[r]ecognize[s] the worldwide and long-range character of environmental problems,” and directs agencies, “where consistent with state policy, [to] lend appropriate support to initiatives, resolutions, and programs designed to maximize international cooperation in anticipating and preventing a decline in the quality of the world environment….” (RCW 43.21C.030(1)(f).)

Janet Alderton (#9982)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Deer Harbor, WA
Comment:
I am a resident of The San Juan Islands. Our islands’ economy is highly dependent on tourists. The San Juan Islands are often listed as among the top places in the world to visit because of their scenic beauty and wildlife. The Southern Resident Orca whales are among the most famous of the San Juan Islands’ attractions.

I am concerned that the increased coal bulker traffic that would result from the construction of the Gateway Pacific Terminal would adversely affect the health and reproduction of our Southern Resident Orca whales. These marine mammals rely on sound for communications necessary for feeding, reproduction, escape from predators, and other essential behaviors. Authors Marla Holt, Dawn Noren, Val Veirs, Candice Emmons, and Scott Veirs show that Orca whales increase their call amplitude in response to vessel noise in the journal JASA Express Letters 22 December 2008.

http://www.beamreach.org/wiki/images/d/d2/JAS00EL27.pdf

Therefore,
1. Please study mitigations that would reduce bulker vessel noise in the range that interferes with Orca whale communications.

2. Please estimate the cost to the economy of the San Juan Islands for each Orca whale lost due to failure to forage, reproduce, escape from predators, or bond into a functional social group.

3. Please estimate the cost to the economy of the San Juan Islands for the extinction of the Southern Resident Orca whales.

Janet Alderton (#10550)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Deer Harbor, WA
Comment:
I am a resident of the San Juan Islands and a retired biologist who has been studying local environmental issues since 2005. One of my concerns has been contamination of our fresh water and marine environments with endocrine disruptors that result from the incomplete breakdown of nonionic surfactants derived from alkylphenol ethoxylates. Non-ionic surfactants related to nonylphenol have been shown to be endocrine disruptors of fish and amphibians and, possibly, humans.

Although I have submitted an earlier comment on this issue, Nicholas Kristof’s column “Warnings from a Flabby Mouse,” in the January 19, 2013 New York Times reminded me that the current required chemical safety tests are very rudimentary and often do not reveal the true environmental and human health effects of a chemical or product.

I am concerned that the coal dust suppressant product MiTech’s MinTopperS+150 may contain an ingredient or ingredients that can degrade into an endocrine disruptor that affects fish, amphibians, and, possibly, humans. Such an effect would not be discovered by laboratory tests of the parent compounds lasting only 48 to 96 hours on the model species Ceriodaphnia dubia and Pimephales promelas. Instead, field tests of the complete product over several years would be required to determine the full environmental effects of MiTech’s MinTopperS+150, its breakdown products, their persistence in low-oxygen environments such as sediments, and their bioacculumlation in the fatty tissues of fish, amphibians, and mammals –both marine and terrestrial. In addition, the reproductive effects of MiTech’s MinTopperS+150 and its breakdown products should be studied for fish, amphibians, and mammals. Also, does exposure at birth to the breakdown products of MiTech’s MinTopperS+150 cause fat accumulation in subsequent unexposed generations of mice?

The 48 to 96 hour laboratory tests of the toxicity of MiTech’s MinTopperS+150 on the model species Ceriodaphnia dubia and Pimephales promel are described in https://www.momarhaystack.com/data//PRODUCTSANDEQUIPMENT/tm10514mintoppers0150//tm10514mintoppers0150_tds.pdf.
These studies are inadequate to fully test long-term effects of MinTopperS+150 on our environment and on human health.

Therefore, I respectfully request that the Gateway Pacific Environmental Impact Statement include the following studies of MiTech’s MinTopperS+150:
1. Study of the breakdown products of MiTech’s MinTopperS+150 in aerobic environmental compartments such as the duff layer of a forest.
2. Study of the breakdown products of MiTech’s MinTopperS+150 in the sediment layers of wetlands, an anaerobic environmental compartment.
3. Study of the breakdown products of MiTech’s MinTopperS+150 in the sediment layers of marine eelgrass meadows, another anaerobic environmental compartment.
4. Study the survival and reproduction of amphibian species local to the wetlands near the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal in natural habitats that are exposed to high levels of MiTech’s MinTopperS+150 over several years. These must be field studies.
5. Study the survival and reproduction of the unique Cherry Point Herring exposed to high levels of MiTech’s MinTopperS+150 over several years. These studies must replicate field studies as closely as possible. Effects on the entire life cycle of the Cherry Point Herring by the original product, MinTopperS+150, its anaerobic, and its aerobic breakdown products should be assessed.
6. Study the bioaccumulation of MinTopperS+150, its anaerobic, and its aerobic breakdown products in the fatty tissues of local amphibians, Cherry Point Herring, and in laboratory mice.
7. Study the reproductive effects of MinTopperS+150, its anaerobic, and its aerobic breakdown products on the reproduction of laboratory mice.
8. Study the obesity-promoting effects of MinTopperS+150, its anaerobic, and its aerobic breakdown products in laboratory mice. Does exposure at birth to the breakdown products of MiTech’s MinTopperS+150 cause fat accumulation in subsequent unexposed generations of mice?

Field studies are the only way to fully detect the potential negative impacts of a product on our environment over time. Synergies between components of the product with other (unknown) environmental contaminants cannot be replicated in the laboratory. Interactions between the product and the environment (such as bacterial or fungal degradation) cannot be replicated in the laboratory. Recognized scientists in the field of endocrine disruption should carry out these studies or, at a minimum, carefully peer-review the data and conclusions.
Thank-you.

Warnings From a Flabby Mouse

By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF
Published: January 19, 2013


ONE of the puzzles of the modern world is why we humans are growing so tubby. Maybe these two mice offer a clue.

They’re genetically the same, raised in the same lab and given the same food and chance to exercise. Yet the bottom one is svelte, while the other looks like, well, an American.
The only difference is that the top one was exposed at birth to just one part per billion of an endocrine-disrupting chemical. The brief exposure programmed the mouse to put on fat, and although there were no significant differences in caloric intake or expenditure, it continued to put on flab long after the chemical was gone.
That experiment is one of a growing number of peer-reviewed scientific studies suggesting that one factor in the industrialized world’s obesity epidemic (along with Twinkies, soda and television) may be endocrine-disrupting chemicals. These chemicals are largely unregulated — they are in food, couches, machine receipts and shampoos — and a raft of new studies suggest that they can lead to the formation of more and larger fat cells.
Before I describe some of this research, a more basic issue: Why should an op-ed columnist write about scholarship published in scientific journals? Don’t pundits have better things to fret about, like the feuding between Democrats and Republicans?
One answer is that obesity is an important national problem, partly responsible for soaring health care costs. Yet the chemical lobby, just like the tobacco industry before it, has impeded serious regulation and is even trying to block research.
A second is that journalists historically have done a poor job covering public health issues — we were slow on the dangers of tobacco and painfully delinquent in calling attention to the perils of lead — but these are central to our national well-being. Our lives are threatened less by the Taliban in Afghanistan than by unregulated contaminants at home.
Endocrine disruptors are a class of chemicals that mimic hormones and therefore confuse the body. Initially, they provoked concern because of their links to cancers and the malformation of sex organs. Those concerns continue, but the newest area of research is the impact that they have on fat storage.
Bruce Blumberg, a developmental biologist at the University of California, Irvine, coined the term “obesogen” in a 2006 journal article to refer to chemicals that cause animals to store fat. Initially, this concept was highly controversial among obesity experts, but a growing number of peer-reviewed studies have confirmed his finding and identified some 20 substances as obesogens.
The role of these chemicals has been acknowledged by the presidential task force on childhood obesity, and the National Institutes of Health has become a major funder of research on links between endocrine disruptors and both obesity and diabetes.
Among chemicals identified as obesogens are materials in plastics, canned food, agricultural chemicals, foam cushions and jet fuel. For example, a study in the fall found that triflumizole, a fungicide used on many food crops, like leafy vegetables, causes obesity in mice.
Just this month, a new study in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives found that endocrine disruptors that are sometimes added to PVC plastic cause mice to grow obese and suffer liver problems — and the effect continues with descendants of those mice, generation after generation.
Another study found that women with a pesticide residue in their blood bore babies who were more likely to be overweight at the age of 14 months.
That’s a common thread: The most important time for exposure appears to be in utero and in childhood. It’s not clear whether most obesogens will do much to make an ordinary adult, even a pregnant woman, fatter (although one has been shown to do so), and the greatest impact seems to be on fetuses and on children before puberty.
The magazine Scientific American recently asked whether doctors should do more to warn pregnant women about certain chemicals. It cited a survey indicating that only 19 percent of doctors cautioned pregnant women about pesticides, only 8 percent about BPA (an endocrine disruptor in some plastics and receipts), and only 5 percent about phthalates (endocrine disruptors found in cosmetics and shampoos). Dr. Blumberg, the pioneer of the field, says he strongly recommends that people — especially children and women who are pregnant or may become pregnant — try to eat organic foods to reduce exposure to endocrine disruptors, and try to avoid using plastics to store food or water. “My daughter uses a stainless steel water bottle, and so do I,” he said.
For all the uncertainty, these latest studies are one more reason to worry that endocrine disruptors may be the tobacco of our time. Science-based decisions to improve public health — like the removal of lead from gasoline — have been among our government’s most beneficial public policy moves. In this case, a starting point would be to boost research of endocrine disruptors and pass the Safe Chemicals Act. That measure, long stalled in Congress, would require more stringent safety testing of potentially toxic chemicals around us.
After all, which mouse would we rather look like?

Cell Physiol Biochem. 2012;30(2):382-94. doi: 10.1159/000339032. Epub 2012 Jul 3.
The endocrine disruptor 4-nonylphenol promotes adipocyte differentiation and induces obesity in mice.
Hao CJ, Cheng XJ, Xia HF, Ma X.
Source
Reproductive and Genetic Center of National Research Institute for Family Planning, Beijing, China.
Abstract
BACKGROUND/AIM:
The environmental obesogen hypothesis proposes that exposure to endocrine disruptors during developmental "window" contributes to adipogenesis and the development of obesity. Implication of environmental endocrine disruptor such as 4Nonylphenol (4-NP) on adipose tissue development has been poorly investigated.
METHODS:
3T3-L1 preadipocytes were incubated with different doses of 4-NP. Six-week-old C57BL/6J male mice received an intraperitoneal injection of vehicle, troglitazone or 4-NP (0.5 mg/kg). Gene expression of adipogenic regulators was analyzed. Pregnant mice were dosed by gavage with vehicle or 4-NP (0.05, 0.25 or 0.5 mg/kg) from day 12 of gestation until day 7 of lactation. The body weight, liver weight, fat mass, and serum lipids and glucose levels were measured in offspring at postnatal day 60.
RESULTS:
Low concentration of 4-NP induced adipocyte differentiation, glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase activity, and expression of peroxisome proliferator-acivated receptor γ as well as its target genes required for adipogenesis. 4-NP perturbed key regulators of adipogenesis and lipogenic pathway in vivo. Perinatal exposure to 4-NP increased body weight, fat mass, and serum total cholesterol and glucose levels in offspring.
CONCLUSIONS:
4-NP may be expected to increase the incidence of obesity and can act as a potential chemical stressor for obesity and obesity-related disorders.
Copyright © 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel.
PMID: 22739433 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Janet Alderton (#10926)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Deer Harbor, WA
Comment:
I have lived year round in the San Juan Islands for eight years. The natural beauty of our islands includes the plants and wildlife on the land and in our fresh and marine waters. This amazing, but fragile environment is so important to me that I have spend a significant portion of my 8 years attending both Planning Commission meetings and County Council meetings during the lengthy hearings and deliberations for our long overdue Critical Areas Ordinance update. I have given public testimony and written letters asking that our environment be protected.

The scoping process for the Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal has been an educational process for me. Numerous threats to our fragile environment, to the health of our communities, and to their economic survival have been addressed.

Now I learn that SSA Marine has created a subsidiary, Pacific International Terminals, that has NO ASSETS. They have “no skin in the game.” If an environmental or human disaster connected to the Gateway Pacific Terminal were to occur, Pacific International Terminals could just declare bankruptcy. Not only would no one be compensated for the harm caused by the activities of Pacific International Terminals, THIS LACK OF ASSESTS REMOVES ANY MOTIVATION TO RUN THEIR OPERATIONS CAUTIOUSLY. As I said, they have “no skin in the game.”

I agree with Kate Bowers’ of Bow, Washington that SSA Marine and Carrix, Inc. should be required to guarantee all obligations of Pacific International Terminals, including union contracts, incident response and cleanup, and site restoration when the coal market dries up and abandons the terminal site. SSA Marine and Carrix, Inc. should be required to post a bond (that it is replenished as funds are withdrawn) that would cover the 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. Pacific International Terminals should build the Gateway Pacific Terminal to withstand a magnitude 8 to 9 earthquake originating from the Cascadia Subduction Zone. If such a hardened facility cannot be built at the proposed site, then the project should not go forward.

I request that the Environmental Impact Statement include cost estimates of such worst-case scenarios.

SSA Marine and Carrix, Inc. should 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 (Pacific International Terminals). 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.

Testimony by Kate Bowers, Bow, WA:
“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!”


Janet Alderton (#11723)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Deer Harbor, WA
Comment:
When we sell our western coal to China at costs per ton that are subsidized by uncompetitive leasing of Bureau of Land Management mineral rights and by not charging the true costs of public resources such as large water withdrawals from the Nooksack River to control fugitive coal dust at the terminal, we are giving Chinese manufacturers a competitive edge.

Because every product manufactured in China requires energy to produce and ship to domestic and overseas markets, our cheap western coal results in less expensive Chinese goods than would be produced and transported using unsubsidized coal.

When U.S. taxpayers subsidize western coal sold to China, our U.S. products become less competitively priced. The result of these subsidies is loss of U.S. jobs. Loss of jobs can lead to family and community disintegration.

Therefore, I respectfully ask that the Environmental Impact Statement for the Gateway Pacific Terminal project include studies of the following:

1. At what discount is Powder River Basin coal being mined from Bureau of Land Management non-competitive leases?

2. What is the energy component in the cost of various consumer and industrial goods being manufactured in China?

3. What percent lower price can Chinese manufacturers charge for different consumer and industrial goods because they are using subsidized by cheap U.S. coal?

4. How many U.S. jobs will be lost due to selling subsidized Powder River Basin coal to China?

5. What are the costs of these lost jobs to individuals and to communities?

Thank-you.

Janet Alderton (#11873)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Deer Harbor, WA
Comment:
I am a member of the Friends of the San Juans and reside on Orcas Island in San Juan County, Washington State. I proudly support the Gateway Pacific Terminal Environmental Impact Statement comment letters submitted by The Friends of the San Juans.

Upholding the treaty rights of the tribes of the Salish Sea region is especially important to me. Without a healthy ecosystem for salmon, the fishing rights of the Salish Sea tribes are meaningless. Development of the Gateway Pacific Terminal will negatively impact the treaty rights of the tribes even without a large environmental disaster. Numerous cumulative negative impacts to the economic and cultural interests of the tribes will arise from the development and operation of the Gateway Pacific Terminal.

I request that all the studies outlined in the Friends of the San Juans’ comment letter be fully carried out.

Thank-you.

Janet Alderton (#13150)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Location: Deer Harbor, WA
Comment:
As a resident of San Juan County, Washington, I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington and transporting strip-mined coal from Montana and Wyoming on trains and ships throughout the Northwest. This proposal would negatively affect my community by increasing congestion and noise with more coal train traffic, polluting our air and local waterways, harming existing businesses, delaying emergency responders, damaging aquatic ecosystems and fishing grounds at the terminal site, increasing tanker traffic and the potential for serious shipping accidents and escalating climate change. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

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

Recently, Beijing China has experienced the worst smog since air quality monitoring began. The previous high reading was around 500.

See: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/5fac5868-5d51-11e2-a54d-00144feab49a.html

The recent readings have been around 900. The limit of the safe readings for the US is 50. It is immoral to send our coal to Asia.

Also, the jet stream carries Asian pollution back to us in the Pacific Northwest. I have asthma so I am personally affected.

Janet Bissell (#12126)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
I can't believe that our state is even considering allowing coal to be shipped from our shores to Asia. What part of global warming escapes us??? What kind of earth are we planning to leave to our children, grandchildren, etc? The shortsightedness of this plan astounds me. Please don't let it happen.
Janet Bissell

Janet Burns (#2631)

Date Submitted: 11/04/12
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Janet Chalupnik (#6405)

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

Janet Clark (#14265)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
Location: Anacortes, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Janet Clennon (#7961)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
Please stop the planned coal export terminals in our state. I live in Seattle and we do not want any more coal trains coming through our city or state. The environmental impact they would have would be huge and undo all our hard work. I do not know anyone in favor of this. I urge you to shut these proposals down and prevent the terminals from being built ANYWHERE in our state!!!!

Janet Doane (#7970)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
My name is Janet Doane. I live in Fairhaven, Washington a mile east of the tracks and the noise carries from the passing trains to where I live. As an example, on the night of January 15th/16th, 2013, I was continually awakened from heavy train traffic, resulting in loss of sleep for hours. I am asking you to make a thorough study of the effects of sleep deprivation that will occur for most of the residents that live within a mile of the tracks in both Whatcom and Skagit counties, if the proposed increase in train activity occurs. The lack of sleep is medically known to have negative effects upon emotions and motor skills (driving, working with machinery), and more.

Janet Giesen (#2323)

Date Submitted: 11/05/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I am very concerned about the impact this project will have on my community.
These concerns include human health impacts such as: noise of trains, coal dust in air, heavy metals from coal dust in soil, as well as train, ship and mine emissions.
These concerns also include economic impacts such as: noise of increased trains, train tracks would cut town in half, community efforts to support renewable energy and promote "green" work with be diminished.
GPT has made no credible arguments as to why this project should be supported. Vague job promises and even more vague assurances that the increase in train traffic will be minimal is not enough.
I sincerely hope that the people making this huge decisions will take these factors into account.
Janet Giesen

Janet Hada (#5928)

Date Submitted: 01/03/2013
Location: Snohomish, WA
Comment:
It hardly seems worth the gamble to risk environmental disasters, risk human health and quality of life for coal destined for China. A site of this kind is not a positive for the state when we should be moving forward on energy sources not backwards.

Janet Hardy (#3317)

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

Janet Hersey (#8553)

Date Submitted: 01/17/2013
Location: Anacortes, WA
Comment:
I am a citizen scientist, journalist, and environmental writer living in Anacortes, WA. Based on my understanding of the precarious balance and interdependence of all species and economies, I would like a Comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement to address:
1) The long-term and wide-ranging environmental and health impacts of carbon and other emissions from mining, transporting, and burning coal
2) The long-term, cumulative regional and national impact on job creation

Carbon emissions
Fidalgo Bay in Anacortes is undergoing an extensive and expensive cleanup by the WA Dept. of Ecology. Pollutants resulting from former lumber and other industries have been destroying one of the Northwest’s most valuable ecosystems. As the author of interpretive signage about the bay and the cleanup, I am particularly concerned about the cumulative impact on the food web and environmental stability by the sequestering of CO2 by our waters and forests. From our mountain tops to ocean bottoms, each environment plays an essential role in maintaining a balanced system. Excess CO2 is already increasing the oceans’ acidity, with resulting changes—potentially life-ending (extinction is forever)—to the security of the earth’s food web (from algae to orcas). Today, while we pay millions of dollars to clean up past egresses, our oceans are challenged by increasing acidity to continue to support marine life at all.

Toxic runoff, ship traffic, potential spills and collisions, noise, invasive species, and habitat disturbance are just a few of the additional direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts on marine life that would result from development of GPT. Already, declining catches by tribal, commercial, and recreational fishing are having a direct impact in my community. Cleanup costs for past pollution are being paid for by all of us.
For further information on the impact of fossil fuel burning on the environmental, please see “China’s Rise Creates Clouds of U.S. Pollution,” attached and available at http://aliciapatterson.org/stories/china%E2%80%99s-rise-creates-clouds-us-pollution.

Job impact
For more than two decades, the diversity and stability of the American workforce has declined, much of it shipped overseas, along with our technological and natural resources. During a 20-year career in the furniture industry, I watched as the transfer of technology and skill to Asia shrunk my company’s 16 plants to a mere 2 or 3, mostly warehousing (and lower-paying) facilities. That industry’s loss of many thousands of jobs was China’s gain. And the furniture isn’t any cheaper . . . and it takes longer to get!

As jobs are outsourced, those American workers who find work frequently pay less and less in taxes, reducing our nation’s ability to support our nation’s infrastructure and creating economic instability.

Further, on a local level, towns and businesses located along rail lines—as are Burlington and Mt. Vernon, where I shop—are negatively impacted by coal trains and coal dust (500 lbs. lost/car/trip per Burlington Northern) in multiple ways: traffic congestion, health, and environmental and civic quality among them.

Please answer the following questions:
• How many towns between Montana/Wyoming and Cherry Point would be the impacted?
• How many would require an overpass to maintain their integrity?
• Who would pay for additional transportation infrastructure—and at the expense of what other infrastructure or services?
• What businesses would be able to survive the transition?
• What value do we place as a nation on “quality of life”?

Is facilitating China’s dependence on coal at the expense of the health of world populations and environmental and economic stability—so that a few can profit—ethically acceptable? Are decision makers strong enough to take the high ground? What if, instead, energy (pardon the pun) was focused on imagining new, clean enterprises to reinvigorate our economies and our environment?

Cheap coal enables China to compete more successfully with U.S.workers (while polluting the air we all breathe). Please consider the long-term competitive economic impacts on American economic stability of fueling China’s growth. Is the argument that GPT will create U.S. jobs shortsighted?

The the impact of exporting coal—from extraction to burning—are too broad to mitigate, that the only reasonable decision is to grow our profits through innovative, clean businesses here at home.
Attached Files:

Janet Hosokawa (#2512)

Date Submitted: 11/02/12
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Janet Janet Weedman (#5939)

Date Submitted: 01/03/2013
Location: Anacortes, WA
Comment:
I grew up 7 miles from a major (Dupont and others) factory complex located on the Ohio River in Louisville KY. During my childhood, everyone understood the facts of living near "Rubbertown"; staying indoors during summer because of dangerous air quality, NEVER EVER touching the river or even getting near it, and knowing people who coughed up blood, had tumors and other health conditions because they worked at the factory. I had severe respiratory problems and accepted that my life revolved around dealing with them because I didn't know any better. It was just culturally understood in KY that living poorly in the shadow of corporate interests was a fact of life and we never considered that we were worth anything better or could choose anything else. I never once experienced drawing a full and unobstructed breath of fresh air or understand that a full breath was even possible until vacationing in the western USA in my mid 20's. My health problems disappeared! My husband and I returned home and immediately quit our jobs, packed our belongings, and moved to Washington where we raised our family and lived and taught in our community for the past 30 years because we could choose to live in a healthier environment. What I am concerned with this proposed terminal, is the cumulative additional effect it will have on the quality of our air, water, wildlife and lifestyle, not only locally, but also globally. Already, the refinery in Anacortes has increased production recently of tar sands dirty oil and is spewing stinky chemical pollution that we smell and breathe nearly every day, depending on which way the wind blows. I already wait for coal trains moving through Skagit County blocking traffic and blowing dust (we know this dust contains mercury and lead). I am also concerned about the message of devaluation this proposal would send that what supports life not only locally but also globally, is less important than the extreme profits very few would make over the very short term; everyone knows coal can not be a long-term energy solution if we are not planning to destroy our planet. Given the dire situation we are presently in due to climate change, how many years do the proponents plan to proceed as though nothing is threatening our very existence? What global carbon levels are acceptable? When will they know when to stop? What justification do they have to even start? What planet do the proponents of this proposal plan to live on? Seriously! We do know better and we can do better.

Janet Janet Weedman (#6233)

Date Submitted: 01/07/2013
Location: Anacortes, WA
Comment:
I’m a retired Special Education/Reading Specialist who moved to from Spokane to Skagit County 2 years ago. I’m very concerned that lead and mercury are demonstrated to cause neurological damage and these toxic substances are found in coal. I am also concerned about the additional mercury released when the coal is burned causing significant global pollution. Mercury and lead do not go away in the environment and these substances have been proven or strongly implicated to cause neurological damage such as learning disabilities, ADHD, autism, and Alzheimer’s. Prenatal exposure is more common with mercury, whereas lead poisoning is more common during the first few years of life.
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/714387

The effects are cumulative and last a lifetime, resulting in permanent damage to the brain causing learning disabilities, lower IQ and hearing damage. http://www.epa.gov/lead/learn-about-lead.html#found
Needleman HL, Gunnoe C, Leviton A, et al. Deficits in psychologic and classroom performance of children with elevated dentine lead levels. N Engl J Med. 1979;300:689-695.

This study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Pediatrics, shows that prenatal exposure to mercury from the mother eating fish causes ADHD,
http://archpedi.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1377487

Mercury exposure is linked to autism http://www.cellgevity4life.com/uploads/1/2/4/8/12482920/mercury_and_autism.pdf

And mercury is also strongly suspected to cause Alzheimers. http://www.keytoxins.com/hgbiblio-files/neurological/mutter_neuroendocrin_ltr_04_Hg_alzheimer's.pdf

Lead contamination is also linked to violent crime in affected individuals. http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pmed.0050112
http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2013/01/lead-crime-link-gasoline

As a teacher for 20+ years, I have personally witnessed the devastating impacts neurological issues have not only on the individuals who have them, but also their families, classrooms and schools. Neurological damage from lead and mercury poisoning is a very serious consequence in all populations.

The danger of mercury and lead poisoning due to coal dust is increased in areas of high winds. For example, Whatcom County lies entirely within the 85 MPH 3-second gust wind zone (per table 6-1 of the ASCE/SEI engineering design manual). Depending on your location, the wind exposure (openness) would be "B" or "C" and because Washington has areas categorized as special wind zones, and if you are within 600 feet of an open body of water, it could be exposure "D". http://www.co.whatcom.wa.us/pds/build/loads/wind/index.jsp

Please scope:
The amounts of dust that would escape from the terminal site, trains, railways and all coal projects that are being considered at varying wind speeds including extreme weather events,
How much lead and mercury this dust would contain,
What are the existing environmental lead and mercury levels along the railways,
How much environmental lead and mercury is allowable before neurological damage occurs,
How many humans would be affected by this poisoning,
How long this dust would remain in the environment,
How much mercury would be released into the atmosphere if this coal is burned,
How this additional mercury affects fish consumption recommendations.

Janet Janet Weedman (#6247)

Date Submitted: 01/07/2013
Location: Anacortes, WA
Comment:
A few minutes ago, I submitted a comment requesting study of the potential effect on neurological damage of mercury and lead in coal dust and the number of learning disabilities, autism, ADHD and Alzheimers we might expect from this additional toxic exposure.

Riordan, Michael, http://www.eisgatewaypacificwa.gov/get-involved/comment/5517, suggests methods of measuring dust associated with existing terminals and its effect on wildlife. I would like to add his measurement methods to my previous scoping request. Thank you.

Janet Janet Weedman (#6777)

Date Submitted: 01/10/2013
Location: Anacortes, WA
Comment:
The Whatcom Doc’s are a large group of physicians in Whatcom County who are deeply concerned about the health and safety impacts of this proposal. They carefully reviewed the data published in peer-reviewed medical journals which shows that significant health and safety issues are extremely likely if this proposal proceeds. Key References for their thoughtful letter include:

American Heart Association statement
American Lung Association statement
Puget Sound Clear Air Agency document

and also include Appendices listed at the bottom off this letter.

After reading their statement, I am impressed that such a very diverse group of independent minded health professionals were able to mobilize around these very important health and safety issues. The reason they were able to is because their concerns are real, justifiable and urgent. As they request, I also ask you to:

Please study the amounts of airborne pollutants from train and ship diesel engines and the effects it would have in these areas:
Diesel particulate matter is associated with (See Appendix A, Appendix C):
impaired pulmonary development in adolescents;
increased cardiopulmonary mortality and all-cause mortality;
measurable pulmonary inflammation;
increased severity and frequency of asthma attacks, ER visits, and hospital admissions in children;
increased rates of myocardial infarction (heart attack) in adults;
increased risk of cancer.

Please study the amounts of airborne pollutants from coal dust and the effects it would have in these health conditions:
Coal dust is associated with (See Appendix B):
chronic bronchitis;
emphysema;
pulmonary fibrosis (pneumoconiosis);
environmental contamination through the leaching of toxic heavy metals

Please study increased risk of vehicle and pedestrian injuries along the tracks and recommend mitigation that would lessen these affects,

Please study the amounts of noise pollution from trains and the numbers of people who would be affected.
Noise exposure causes (See Appendix D):
cardiovascular disease, including increased blood pressure, arrhythmia,
stroke, and ischemic heart disease;
cognitive impairment in children;
sleep disturbance and resultant fatigue, hypertension, arrhythmia, and increased rate of accidents and injuries;
exacerbation of mental health disorders such as depression, stress and anxiety, and psychosis.

Please study the delays at many rail crossings, the numbers of vehicles affected by these delays at different times of the day, and ascribe a monetary value to the time lost waiting.

Also, study the impact of
Frequent long trains at rail crossings will mean (See Appendix E):
on delayed emergency medical service response times;
and increased accidents, traumatic injury and death.

Appendices 
Download Appendix A: Pulmonary Impacts of Airborne Pollutants (including diesel particulate matter) (PDF, 152 KB)
Download Appendix B: Health Impacts of Coal Dust (PDF, 94 KB)
Download Appendix C: Cardiovascular Impacts of Airborne Pollutants (including particulate matter) (PDF, 86 KB)
Download Appendix D: Health Impacts of Noise Pollution (PDF, 94 KB)
Download Appendix E: Anticipated Impacts of Frequent Long Trains on Emergency Medical Service Response Times and Risk of Injuries at Crossings (PDF, 82 KB)

Thank you very much for these considerations.

Janet Janet Weedman (#6783)

Date Submitted: 01/10/2013
Location: Anacortes, WA
Comment:
I am concerned about the scale this project might take over the next 5, 10 or 20 years if it allowed to proceed now. This is a quote from an international coal trade website, “As both supply and demand for Powder River Basin coal are vast, and as the current application is to develop only 350 acres of a 1,092 acre site, there is no way to accurately predict how large the Gateway Pacific Terminal might eventually become, and how many coal trains and vessels would then be required.
Richards Bay Coal Terminal, South Africa, is the single largest export coal terminal in the world. Opened in 1976 with an original capacity of 12 million tons per annum, it has grown into an advanced 24-hour operation with a design capacity of 91 million tons per annum.”

Thus far, only Peabody has been mentioned as a user of the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal. However, BNSF’s position is that Gateway “will supply throughput capacity for multiple customers,” and that no producers are locked out of the facility nor is there any potential exclusivity.”

Could the EIS scope these issues?

What other producers could have access to the terminal?

How would those producers affect issues addressed on the EIS?

Under what conditions would the terminal capacity be allowed to increase?

Under what conditions would larger capacity ships be allowed?

What would be the impact of this expansion be on all aspects addressed in the EIS?

Thank you.

Janet Janet Weedman (#6851)

Date Submitted: 01/11/2013
Location: Anacortes, WA
Comment:
I moved to Washington from the industrial Midwest some 30 years ago because of its natural beauty, relatively unspoiled environment and air I could breathe. I retired 2 years ago after teaching Special Education and children with mild learning problems for more than 20 years. Many of these children had mild-severe neurological damage that created life-long problems for them and their families and communities. It is because coal dust and diesel exhaust contains contaminants that cause neurological and other deleterious health effects that it should be carefully measured.

Since there are operational coal terminals in the U.S. and British Columbia, it is possible for this type of monitoring to be done now, and extrapolated to the geography, winds, and volume proposed at GPT. Additionally, since humans live not only near the proposed terminal but all along the rails, the studies must include all rail communities from the terminal site back to the mines.

Arthur M. Winer, Ph.D., is a scientist specializing in these issues who submitted a comment January 7, 2013. He offers specific suggestions for why and how a thorough study should be conducted. These are reiterated below:

Significant, Adverse, and Forseeable Air Quality Impacts from the Gateway Pacific Terminal Proposed for Cherry Point, Including Localized Human Exposure, Health Effects and Environmental Justice Inequalities

Need for Comprehensive Study: It is therefore important to measure and/or model the downwind concentrations of air pollutants, and resulting human population exposures, within 3 kilometers of the rail lines which would be used by diesel locomotives for the proposed GPT project along the entire length of those rail lines.

Need for Comprehensive Study: It is therefore important to assess the potential health impacts that could result from chronic and cumulative exposures to diesel exhaust particulates over periods as long as decades for populations living, schooling or working within the downwind plumes of GPT-related diesel locomotives.

Need for Comprehensive Study: It is therefore important to assess the potential health impacts that could result from chronic exposures to ultrafine particles over periods as long as decades for populations living or working within the downwind plumes of GPT-related diesel locomotives.

Need for Comprehensive Study: It is therefore important to assess the potential health impacts that could result from chronic exposures to heavy metals and PAH over periods as long as decades for populations living or working within the downwind plumes of GPT- related diesel locomotives.

Need for Comprehensive Study: It is therefore important to assess the potential health impacts that could result from chronic and cumulative indoor exposures over periods as long as decades for populations living, schooling or working within the downwind plumes of GPT-related diesel locomotives.

Need for Comprehensive Study: It is therefore important to assess the potential for extensive environmental justice-related disparities in exposure, health, noise and other impacts resulting from GPT Project rail transport of coal, with resulting diesel locomotive emissions, through minority and low-income neighborhoods in major urban centers of southern and western Washington.

Need for Comprehensive Study: It is therefore important to quantitatively determine the extent and combined impacts of both regulated and un-regulated (e.g. UFP and DEP) emissions at, adjacent to, and downwind of the GPT facility from all combustion sources within the facility, with particular attention to the health impacts on adjacent and nearby communities.

Need for Comprehensive Study: It is therefore important to quantitatively determine with high spatial resolution the extent and impacts of both regulated and un-regulated (e.g. DEP and UFP) emissions at, adjacent to, and downwind of the GPT facility from all combustion sources associated with the facility, with particular attention to the health impacts on adjacent and nearby communities.

Thank you for your time and attention.

Janet Janet Weedman (#8159)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Location: Anacortes, WA
Comment:
Climate change due to human activity is a fact acknowledged by the United States government. (http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/science/causes.html)

In an effort to address climate change, there have been significant attempts to lessen national dependence on coal and increase energy efficiency. Why are we debating over whether or not we will ship coal overseas to be burned at a time when we, as a nation, are turning away from coal? From a CO2 perspective, what will we have accomplished if we now negate those efforts by providing a cheap supply of coal for our major competitor?

Global impacts. By law, an EIS can consider “interdependent systems” that transcend geographic boundaries. As the only purpose of coal transport and export is to link coal mining to coal combustion, climate change due to coal mining in the Powder River Basin and coal combustion in Asia should be studied and considered as part of the EIS process.

Science has proven the existence of climate change since 1988, and now we are seeing the results predicted back then. Extreme weather in 2012 is a major wake-up call. Dr. Jeff Master’s blog, http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/article.html is an excellent source of information regarding extreme weather events due to climate change. He references Aon Benfield, the world's leading reinsurance intermediary, estimates of 2012 weather damage costs from the worst US storms (each with damages over $1 billion) exceeded $153 billion.

The year 2012 was warmest year for the continental United States since record keeping began 107 years ago, according to the U.S. National Climatic Data Center.

The effects are not only national, but global. For example, in Australia, record-shattering heat, and wildfires engulf the world’s largest exporter of coal. It’s so hot, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology has taken the unprecedented step of adding two new colors—deep purple and pink—to its weather maps to show temperatures between 122 and 129 degrees Fahrenheit.

Please study the impact this burned coal will have on our global climate.

Thank you.

Janet Johnson (#8443)

Date Submitted: 01/11/13
Location: Newport, 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.

As a resident of the Pacific Northwest for 40 years, I am opposed to all five coal export proposals in the Pacific Northwest. I oppose transporting coal and using coal for energy. It is time to stop using fuel that increases global temperatures. It is time to start using alternative green energy. No to coal transporting and exporting.

Sincerely,

Ms. Janet Johnson

Janet Jordan (#4782)

Date Submitted: 12/13/12
Comment:
To the Department of Ecolygy:

Coal dust contains whatever coal contains – this includes mercury and lead, both neurotoxins. If the proposed coal trains come through and release clouds of dust (as they must), mercury and lead will be released into our air and into our water supply.

I am a retired teacher and I am concerned about developmental disability caused by these neurotoxins. If you have ever seen a child who can’t learn, you have some idea of the loss. Not only is the child condemned to live out his-or-her life without reaching their potential, but every person who comes in contact with them is affected. Parents must give their lives to protecting the disabled child, who will never be able to live alone. Often parents will be still trying to teach their child some simple thing as he-or-she grows into their 20's. Siblings must give up large amounts of parental attention and not resent it. Other family members must make special arrangements whenever they want to visit with the family. Our school systems feel the burden. Each disabled child is a tragedy that ripples out to affect many lives.

But I think if the coal trains come through, there will not be just one disabled child. We are talking about the dust released by nine trains a day, each one a mile and a half long. A Rail Emission Study: Fugitive Coal Dust Assessment & Mitigation (http://crosscut.com/2012/12/10/coal-ports/111892/coal-train-impacts-feared-along-sound-seattle/) explains what can be expected per coal car. It said each car releases an average of from .8 pounds to 1.6 pounds of dust per mile, which fills the air and comes to rest in the water. In the water, mercury changes from inorganic to an organic form which can be assimilated by humans.

I don’t think we can afford this. I’m not talking about the monetary cost of teaching and caring for children who can’t learn, I’m talking about the cost in suffering.

Please include the expected numbers of disabled children from the coal dust, and the financial and human cost of those children in your review of the environmental effects of the proposed coal trains.

Janet Jordan (#11705)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Olympia, WA
Comment:
I agree with Kate Bower, who testified on November 29 in Ferndale. I am concerned that there will be no entity capable of paying for restoration in the event of a catastrophic event. Many such events can be imagined – a tanker losing its cargo in the San Juan Islands, an explosion at the coal terminal (all that dust!) or a derailment in a highly populated area. Pacific International Terminals is a subsidiary which would likely go out of business in such an event. The EIS should cover this financial aspect, and the final requirements for a permit should include fronting the money for a catastrophe ($500 billion?).

The Exxon Valdez had such a catastrophe and never paid. Costs were born by the poor Alaskan villages and tribes where it happened. This can’t happen again.

Thank you for this opportunity to comment.

Janet Jordan
6702 Garrett Court NE
Olympia, WA 98506

Janet Jordan (#11781)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Olympia, WA
Comment:
I want to express my agreement with the comments of James Wells of Bellingham on the need for including global climate change in the scope of any EIS on a Pacific terminal for coal exports.

Many of his points resonate with my most passionate beliefs. First and foremost is the idea that, if our public policy does have anything to say about climate change (and it does – it says we should avoid raising our carbon dioxide emissions), then we must not engage in any activity that is against that policy. Burning coal in China would raise carbon dioxide emissions, and if we contribute to the burning of coal in China, we are acting against our public policy.

Whether China will find another source of coal and raise emissions anyway is not our concern. We really know better than to use this particular bit of sophistry to excuse ourselves. If we make ourselves a part of raising emissions, by selling the coal, we share the guilt.

Britain said in the 1800's that they would not contribute to the slave trade by allowing their merchants to ship slaves to America. Obviously others would take over the job; they didn’t stop the slave trade. But their ethical response was correct, and it helped bring about the end of the trade. We should hold ourselves to the same ethical standard.

I want carbon dioxide emissions to be thoroughly studied in any EIS around the coal terminals. Climate change is the single biggest threat facing our nation today; it may reduce the carrying capacity of our whole nation by the end of the century, turning our cereal-producing areas into deserts. Carbon dioxide is the engine driving it. Please study it.

Thank you for this opportunity to comment.

Janet Jordan

Janet Knight (#5121)

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

Janet Knight (#5364)

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

Janet Krouskop (#10165)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I believe the potential for irreversible, environmental damage on a global scale is an inevitable outcome of the proposed expanded rail traffic and coal terminal. I request an impartial envirnonmental study and referendum.

Janet Lowry (#11295)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Anacortes, WA
Comment:
My name is Janet Lowry. My husband and I recently retired to beautiful Anacortes, but we consider our home to be the whole San Juan Island region. We are very concerned about the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal at Cherry Point and respectfully request that you include in the scope of the EIS the environmental impact of wind-blown coal dust.

We specifically agree with and support the comment on wind-blown coal dust by Dr. Michael Riordan [http://www.eisgatewaypacificwa.gov/get-involved/comment/7362]. BNSF estimates that each uncovered car loses between 500 pounds and a ton of coal dust en route. It is unknown how much coal dust will be released into the air, onto the land, and into the water from the from the 80-100+ acres of open, continuously turned-over, coal heaps in storage at the terminal site.

There is a huge potential for a degradation in air quality, water quality, and the viability of marine life. Please give serious consideration to the data provided in Dr. Riordan's comment by studying the impact of wind-blown coal dust.

Respectfully,

Janet Lowry

Janet Lowry (#11665)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Anacortes, WA
Comment:
My name is Janet Lowry. My husband and I recently retired to beautiful Anacortes where we are privileged to have access to the region’s magnificent waters and coastal wildlife. We also very much appreciate our region’s heritage. While we have many concerns about the environmental effects of the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal at Cherry Point, we are specifically concerned about how this project negatively affects the Lummi and other tribal nations of the area.

We specifically agree with and support the comment submitted by the Lummi Indian Business Council [http://www.eisgatewaypacificwa.gov/get-involved/comment/11578]
It appears that the GPT would interfere with the treaty rights, spiritual values, and resources of the Lummi Nation.

We therefore respectfully request you collaborate with the Lummi Nation on an analysis of the impact of the GPT on their environment, their treaty rights, and their culture.


Janet Lowry

Janet Lowry (#11706)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Anacortes, WA
Comment:
My name is Janet Lowry. My husband and I recently retired to beautiful Anacortes, but we consider our home to be the whole San Juan Island region. We are very concerned about the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal at Cherry Point and respectfully request that you conduct a thorough Vessel Traffic Study including all potential increased vessel traffic occurring due to expansion, or development, of import/export terminals in Washington, Oregon and Canada.

We specifically agree with and support the comments submitted by Sanford Olson on this topic. [http://www.eisgatewaypacificwa.gov/get-involved/comment/1567 and
[http://www.eisgatewaypacificwa.gov/get-involved/comment/5696].

Further, we request that the Vessel Traffic study include the effects of the proposed GPT on the waters of Haro Straits, Rosario Straits, and all of the waters surrounding the San Juan Islands.

Respectfully,

Janet Lowry

Janet Lutz-Smith (#1554)

Date Submitted: 10/27/2012
Location: Lummi Island, WA
Comment:
Living on Rosario Straits alongside South Lummi Island, our major concern is that the large tankers carrying coal will not be protected from spills into the waterway because they are not required to have double hulled ships. It took some time to get Oil Tankers to be required to have double hulls and this should be the least required of the Coal Tankers. In addition, if the Coal Tankers are not required to cover their product, coal powder could drift off the top of the cargo coming onto our property and putting a layer of coal dust on the shoreline as well. We can also expect additional noise from more ship traffic and damage to marine species and water quality.

Janet Marx (#374)

Date Submitted: 09/24/12
Location: Port Angeles, WA
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington. I am opposed to coal transport and terminals in any part of our state. How can you keep preaching clean energy and environmental concerns and allow this type of business?

The paltry few jobs this development would provide are not worth the environmental risks.

Janet Needler (#5474)

Date Submitted: 12/22/12
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
These proposed coal trains for shipping coal to Asia will have a devastating effect on towns and cities in the N.W. Decreased property values on land adjacent to the tracks will be a negative impact on school funding, which already is way underfunded.

The tracks run through the middle of many of towns and cities all along the routes. Emergency response times will be affected by mile and a half long trains both coming and going. Plus the coal dust from uncovered train cars is a health issue.

This should not be a republican/democrat issue but a N.W. quality of life issue. Do we lower our quality of life so coal producers can ship coal to China to fuel their manufacturing so they can take more of our jobs and ship us more crap?

Please do not let our beauty be destroyed by a short lived energy source that even China is backing away from. Require an extreme environomental impact study please --

thank you

Janet Needler (#8892)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Location: Bellingham , wa
Comment:
We should NEVER let a big monied co. come to our beautiful area and try to intimidate and BUY influence so they can bring many more problems than solutions to the PNW --COAL IS DIRTY-COAL IS BEING PHASED OUT WORLD WIDE-- the PNW should NOT have to let powerful people bring what could cause immeasurably more pollution, health problems, destruction of lively hoods (fishing, boating, tourist outings, etc.) --DO NOT LET OUR HEALTH ,ENVIRONMENT, WILDLIFE, AND EVERYTHING the people of the Pacific North West moved to this area for be destroyed --The coal co.'s are PAYING people to protest that they want coal --they are saying more jobs will be created -- this is WRONG -- don't let them fear-monger and buy their way into our area and then WALK away when a disaster happens -- NO COAL !!!!

Janet Patterson (#3048)

Date Submitted: 11/16/2012
Comment:
* Given that the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve is to preserve this unique marine site, one needs only to look at the VRTA report of August 2008 to see the potential for disaster luming if additional marine traffic is added to this site.

* As a resident of Skagit Valley, I object to additional train traffic, rail improvement costs and unnecessary air and soil pollution. I do not support exporting coal through my community to China. Our agricultural land is already threatened by extinction. Let's not further mar this land for a short term dollar maker. In a short while China isn't going to want coal anymore than the US does. We have what remains of a rare, marine and agriculltural environment. Don't let anyone screw it up.

Janet Phillip (#5122)

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

Janet Prendergast (#5500)

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

Janet Prokopowich (#13184)

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.

I live almost right beside the train tracks that will take the additional coal trains to Cherry Pint. At the present time I am seeing more trains going by than in the last 6 years that I have lived close to the tracks. I see more coal dust in the air around my home which I feel is not good for my health or anyone else's in this area. The traffic situation in Bellingham has increased quite a bit in the past few years with many people moving here because it has been a safe unpolluted city to live in. If the port gets built and more trains come through here every day as predicted, there will be many traffic jams in the city as there are several train crossings throughout the Bellingham area. I am very much against the construction of the terminal at Cherry Point. And I am against the coal being exported to other countries if that is what will be happening once it arrives at Cherry Point!

Thank you for taking my thoughts into your consideration.

Janet Rayor (#4790)

Date Submitted: 12/13/12
Comment:
December 11, 2012

Dear Scoping Committee,

I have made Seattle my home since 1990, enjoying local beaches, swimming in the Sound, and eating the local seafood. What would be the number of invasive species, radioactive particles from coal ash, and pollutants traveling to Northwest American waters from bilge waters from China on the returning coal tankers? What is the estimated number of species washing into Puget Sound? What would be the cumulative impact on Northwest sea life and impact on the fishing industry?

This could:
a)Potentially change the ecosystem of local waters and edge out or kill large ecosystems. It is important to thoroughly study radioactivity and foreign species a tanker of Chinese bilge water has, multiplied by the expected 430 tankers a year. How does each species impact lower sealife such as eelgrass which feeds herring, our shellfish, and larger mammals including Orcas? How many of these invasive species does it take to start impacting each of these?

As the Coal industry has estimated 430 tankers a year would be traveling through Puget Sound, they must return as well. Bilge water must be dumped, and it must be dumped close to land, even if it is outside of Puget Sound. We have had waste from Japan's tsunami wash up in Puget Sound (“Large black floats. . .traveled 4,500 miles on Pacific Ocean currents. . .to reach the beaches of Neah Bay in far northwestern Washington state 280 days after the Japanese disaster.”by Michael Zennie -Mail Online), so water waste travels. According to Dana Christensen, an associate lab director for energy and engineering at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and a 1978 paper in Science authored by J.P. McBride (Research quoted in a December 2007 Scientific American article), fly ash emitted by a power plant—a by-product from burning coal for electricity—carries into the surrounding environment 100 times more radiation than a nuclear power plant producing the same amount of energy, which is a concern because coal contains uranium and thorium, which are not only radioactive but highly toxic as well. 100 times the "permissible" radioactivity releases from nuclear plants is not trivial. This will inevitably fall into the ocean.

We all share the ocean waters. Is there a special sewage station that could be built in which bilge water could be purified? Could that station have a way of sequestering invasive species? How much and what kind of pollutants could it sequester? Is there a place the pollutants could safely go? Is it possible to deal with that many tankers waste? Is it possible to mitigate the sheer amount of diesel pollutants from the tankers themselves? Is there an alternative to running the tankers on diesel fuel?

I am concerned that this question be thoroughly scoped to make sure coal tanker bilge waters are not destroying local ecosystems, sea life, and the fishing industry.

Thank you for your thorough consideration,
Janet Rayor
Attached Files:

Janet Rayor (#5833)

Date Submitted: 12/29/12
Comment:
December 28, 2012

Dear Scoping Committee,

I have made Seattle my home since 1990, enjoying local beaches, swimming in the Sound, and eating the local seafood.
•What levels of pollutants from returning coal tankers' bilge waters from China?
•What levels of mercury and radiation?
•What is the effect of these levels of pollutants on wildlife?
•What is the effect of whatever these levels are on humans?
•What would the cumulative impact be on humans who live, swim, recreate by beaches?
•What would be the cumulative impact on 1) Northwest sea life and b)
•impact on the fishing industry?

Tankers could:
a)Potentially change the ecosystem of local waters and kill large ecosystems. It is important to thoroughly study radioactivity and mercury a tanker of Chinese bilge water has, multiplied by the expected 430 tankers a year. How do pollutants impact lower sealife such as eelgrass which feeds herring, our shellfish, and larger mammals including Orcas? Can local species survive more pollutants?

The Coal industry has estimated 430 tankers a year would be traveling through Puget Sound. Bilge water must be dumped close to land, even if it is outside of Puget Sound. Ocean acidification from coal burning in China will be transferred here directly through tanker waters.

Could a special sewage station be built in which bilge water could be purified? How much and what kind of pollutants could it sequester? Is there a place the pollutants could safely go? Is it possible to deal with that many tankers waste?

What about the diesel fuel from the tankers themselves? How much pollution falls into the ocean from tankers? Is there an alternative to running the tankers on diesel fuel?

I am concerned that this question be thoroughly scoped to make sure coal tanker bilge waters are not destroying local ecosystems, sea life, human health, and the fishing industry.

Thank you for your thorough consideration,
Janet Rayor

Janet Rayor (#7379)

Date Submitted: 01/14/2013
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
I am concerned about the impact of dramatically increased numbers of tankers going through the Strait de Juan de Fuca. I would like to make sure a studies scope how dangerous these waters are—how many accidents per water vehicle are there per year? How likely is a spill if there is the estimated 430 coal tankers going through these waters per year?

With the BP spill, the 2 million gallons of dispersal turned out to be 52% more toxic than the 5 million barrels of oil spilt. What is the effect of a tanker's worth of diesel and coal on marine life including eelgrass, fish industry species, orcas? What would be the impact on recreation industry, real estate values?

I am concerned that this question be thoroughly scoped to make sure the threat of a spill is taken into account in our economic projections.

Thank you for your thorough consideration,
Janet Rayor
206-706-3322

Janet Rayor (#7986)

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

Janet Rayor (#8612)

Date Submitted: 01/14/13
Comment:
January 10, 2013

Dear Scoping Committee,

I am concerned about the impact of dramatically increased numbers of tankers going through the Strait de Juan de Fuca. I would like to make sure a studies scope how dangerous these waters are—how many accidents per water vehicle are there per year? How likely is a spill if there is the estimated 430 coal tankers going through these waters per year?

With the BP spill, the 2 million gallons of dispersal turned out to be 52% more toxic than the 5 million barrels of oil spilt. What is the effect of a tanker's worth of diesel and coal on marine life including eelgrass, fish industry species, orcas? What would be the impact on recreation industry, real estate values?

I am concerned that this question be thoroughly scoped to make sure the threat of a spill is taken into account in our economic projections.

Thank you for your thorough consideration,
Janet Rayor

Janet Rayor (#9537)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
What would be the impact of any increase in tanker traffic on the Southern resident Orca population?
• Noise impact on Orcas finding food
• Noise impact on basic health
• Danger of collision
• Difficulty coming to surface to breath in avoiding collisions
• Exhaust fumes impact on breathing pockets

The coal tankers are expected to increase significantly, approximately to 430 tankers per year. The Whale Museum of Friday Harbor indicates our killer whales are extremely stressed already due to the above and declining fish populations. The December 2011 Canadian Geographic says orcas use echolocation to find their prey and “. . .constant boat noise could interfere with their foraging efficiency by masking the sound of their sonar, which they need to detect salmon [and other prey].” In avoiding noise pollution, whales can react frantically; marine biologists have observed pods heading suddenly towards shore and danger of beaching themselves.

Mitigations:
•What are possible mitigations for noise pollution? Can anything be added to tankers to quiet engines?
•Can exhausts from tankers be reduced significantly? Are there alternatives to diesel fuel?
•Can collisions be reduced by working with whale migration seasons?

It is important to scope these questions for the future of our local Orcas and the larger ecosystems.

Thank you for your thorough consideration,
Janet Rayor

Janet Rayor (#9564)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
What would be the impact of any increase in tanker traffic on the Southern resident Orca population?
• Noise impact on Orcas finding food
• Noise impact on basic health
• Danger of collision
• Difficulty coming to surface to breath in avoiding collisions
• Exhaust fumes impact on breathing pockets

The coal tankers are expected to increase significantly, approximately to 430 tankers per year. The Whale Museum of Friday Harbor indicates our killer whales are extremely stressed already due to the above and declining fish populations. The December 2011 Canadian Geographic says orcas use echolocation to find their prey and “. . .constant boat noise could interfere with their foraging efficiency by masking the sound of their sonar, which they need to detect salmon [and other prey].” In avoiding noise pollution, whales can react frantically; marine biologists have observed pods heading suddenly towards shore and danger of beaching themselves.

Mitigations:
•What are possible mitigations for noise pollution? Can anything be added to tankers to quiet engines?
•Can exhausts from tankers be reduced significantly? Are there alternatives to diesel fuel?
•Can collisions be reduced by working with whale migration seasons?

It is important to scope these questions for the future of our local Orcas and the larger ecosystems.

Thank you for your thorough consideration,
Janet Rayor

Janet Rayor (#9580)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
The coal trains will add 18 trains per day through Seattle (we now have 6 trains per day). Traffic is expected to be stopped for approximately 8 minutes per train (this is the present train time wait).

•What is the impact on air quality when vehicles (cars and trucks coming from docks) are idling for these expected times per day?

• How does this amount of additional pollution effect asthma and bronchiolitis levels in infants and children (or general population)?

Karr CJ, Rudra CB, Miller KA, Gould TR, Larson T, Sathyanarayana S, Koenig JQ.
Source, of the Department of Pediatrics, University of Washington studied Infant exposure to fine particulate matter and traffic and risk of hospitalization for RSV bronchiolitis. The risk for bronchiolitis hospitalization in their study was, "elevated for infants who resided within 150 m of a highway (OR(adj) 1.17, 0.95-1.44)."

Therefore, what is the risk with traffic idling and coal dust increase? How much dust is coming off of trains and how is it effecting and how might it effect infants, children, adults?

• Are there any changes in accident frequency when trains are added to an area:
a) Vehicular/train, pedestrian/train
b) Vehicular/vehicular from frustration close to crossings

• How will trains effect emergency vehicle access? How frequent is there a need for firetrucks, police or ambulance on the waterfront at docks, tourism, recreation areas in a year?

I do not know how any effects can be mitigated.

Thank you for your thorough consideration.

Janet Sanders (#14267)

Date Submitted: 01/12/13
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Janet Sanders (#14277)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Janet Saunders (#8142)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Location: La Conner, WA
Comment:
I am a retired teacher and have lived in Skagit County for 36 years. Having had asthma since I was a young child, I am especially concerned about the cumulative impact that particulate emissions from diesel locomotives will have on the respiratory health of people that live, attend school, or work in neighborhoods that are adjacent to the rail lines for the GBT Project.
In the comment submitted by Dr. Arthur M. Winer, retired Professor Emeritus, Environmental Health Science, UCLA (http://www.eisgatewaypacificwa.gov/get-involved/comment/6641), Dr. Winer stated that “a large body of peer-reviewed literature indicates that exposure to mobile sources emissions, e.g., diesel exhaust particulate, causes a wide range of morbidity – asthma, respiratory illness, reduced lung function, and low birth weight and premature birth in newborns…”
Over an extended period of time, with up to 18 diesel coal trains passing per day en route to and from the proposed terminal at Cherry Point, the impact of these daily diesel emissions on nearby children, adults, and elders will certainly be adversely significant and I agree with Dr. Winer that the effects of this local exposure should be thoroughly studied.
The specific approach Dr. Winer recommends for studying this impact is to measure and/or model “the downwind concentrations of air pollutants, and resulting human population exposures, within 3 kilometers of the rail lines…used by diesel locomotives along the entire length of those rail lines.”
I respectfully urge you to research the effects of the coal trains’ diesel particulate emissions on respiratory health following Dr. Winer’s recommendations.
Thank you.

Janet Schlenkerman (#626)

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

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

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

Janet Schlenkerman

Janet Senour (#5943)

Date Submitted: 01/04/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I moved to Bellingham from Seattle, as I love being close to the salt water and the Cascade mountains. I weekly take my elderly mom (88 years old) to Zuanich Point Park by the Squalicum Harbor Marina; she loves to feed the seagulls and look out over the peaceful bay to the islands.

The train tracks run about a 100 feet from the park, along the entire length of the park, and have to be crossed to get to the park. I seriously doubt that the city or anyone else will build a car overpass (mom can't walk very far), and even if they did, this would not be a peaceful place to visit, with 100-car trains rumbling by constantly. The coal trains as proposed, will effectively cut Bellingham residents off from their waterfront.

The noise, the disruption of car traffic, the damage to our health due to breathing the coal dust that will blow off the train, all are reason enough to not build this proposed coal terminal. In addition, once the coal gets to China, it will be burned, and the winds will blow the dirty air back to us; we will be doubly harmed by this coal terminal and it's contents.

In conclusion, I moved to Bellingham because of it's physical location, and because it is a peacful college town in a clean environment. The coal train will put an end to this; not to mention the loss in property values anywhere near the tracks.

Janet Senour (#6706)

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

I am greatly concerned about the proposed construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington and the shipping of coal through our state via open top train cars.

Accidents happen, as the grounding of the oil drilling rig recently in Alaska shows. The huge ships that will carry the coal from Cherry Point to China will have accidents and when they occur, will probably destroy any marine life within the narrow waterways the ships must travel.

We have a fragile and beautiful marine and islands ecosystem in Puget Sound and the damage these ships will incur will be catastrophic, both to human and marine life.

I can only imagine the disaster this will be to the fishing industry, recreational boaters and businesses that depend on these to employ workers.

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

Janet Simpson (#332)

Date Submitted: 10/03/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I live in a residential neighborhood within a half mile of the railroad track. I am concerned about the impact of increasing long, heavy rail traffic connected to the Gateway project on land and building stability along the route. Heavy rail traffic is already beginning to rattle my windows and cause wall art to shift. More frequent heavy traffic will greatly increase this constant daily impact on thousands of homes along the rail path. Much of this land consists of bluffs and even fill and in many areas subject to slides. I ask that studies be done of the impact of this constant vibration on land and construction. This represents both a safety and an economic negative impact potential.

Janet Simpson (#335)

Date Submitted: 10/03/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I live in a neighborhood along a rail line that will be used for transporting freight in the Gateway project. Noise from the train traffic, both whistles and the rattle of the heavy trains, has already increased, both in frequency and the distance it carries. The heavier trains rattle significantly more and they already seem to be constant throughout the late evening, night, and early daytime. This project would create a huge increase in both. These impact my ability to get a good night's sleep, enjoy a quiet environment and thus maintain health. In addition, such constant noise will greatly impact the value of my home. What once was seen as a quiet neighborhood is changing character. This health and economic impact will occur for all the homes along this route. I ask that you study this imjportant potential health impact of greatly increased rail traffic of this nature.

Janet Steekez (#8981)

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

Janet Strothman (#13971)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a port at Cherry Point. It is a move in the wrong direction.

Our subsidies should be going to clean, renewable sources of energy.

At most, we should be phasing out coal production, and transferring those jobs into clean energy jobs.

Janet Trygstad (#3088)

Date Submitted: 11/13/12
Location: Portland, WA
Comment:
Nov 14, 2012

Scoping Hearing Comments Cherry Point Scoping Comments WA

Dear Scoping Hearing Comments Scoping Comments,

Our Columbia River is a pristine environment that we here in Oregon have worked very hard to keep clean. The idea of coal cars rolling through the Columbia Gorge is horrible and it is not responsible.
Selling all this coal to China is not justifiable for the negative impact on the environment and damage to the local delicate ecosystems.
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington. This proposal would negatively affect my community by increasing traffic, polluting our air and water, harming existing business, delaying emergency vehicles, increasing shipping traffic and noise, damaging aquatic ecosystems at the terminal site, increasing the potential for serious shipping accidents and exacerbating climate change. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

Sincerely,

Janet Trygstad
7545 SW 32nd Ave
Portland, OR 97219-1864
(503) 452-1721

Janet Trygstad (#4705)

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

I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington and transporting strip-mined coal from Montana and Wyoming on trains and ships throughout the Northwest. This proposal would negatively affect 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.
The coal will dirty our lovely Northwest, be shipped dangerously to China where they will burn it with no regulations and the pollution will dump back over here! We will make a mess we can never get out from under. Please stop and realize that it is a dinosaur that none of us need anymore. Put the money into renewable energy. Thank you for listening.



Janet Trygstad
7545 S.W. 32nd Ave.
Portland, OR 97219

Janet Wall (#11976)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Issaquah, WA
Comment:
I am concerned that the EIS scoping process for the coal trains include the effect on Washington's environment fro the coal dust distributd by proposed coal trains from the Powder River Basin mines. I would like the EIS to address: 1) the possible effect of the distribution of coal dust using different train routes to ports, evaluating the relative impacts to marine, wetland, other natural environments, agricultural croplands, livestock, and wildlife (including aquatic invertebrates, amphibians, fish, and birds) as well as human health of the coal dust including any mercury, lead, arsenic, and uranium contamination, plus the use of any chemicals used to reduce the amount of coal dust dispersal; 2) the possible ecological effects of rail accidents which would release coal in spills; 3) the decline in air quality expected from the coal dust particulates, the increase in diesel fumes fro increased train traffic, and the cumulative effects of all these air pollutants combined with air inversion events; and 4) the impacts on global climate as a result of the burning of the coal in Chinese power plants, and specifically,, the decline in Pacific NW air quality as a result.

Janet Wingenroth (#5561)

Date Submitted: 12/29/2012
Location: Spokane, WA
Comment:
I hope the environmental impact statement undertaken by the Corp of Engineers will not limit itself to the effect of coal trains going through a particular town even though that is important. As a U.S. citizen who suffers from asthma I am interested in the amount of irritating particulates that may at times return to the Pacific Northwest carried by the easterly winds as well as any particulates caused by the trains.

I am also of course concerned about the effects of global warming on our fisheries and in particular the oyster beds in Washington State. My research shows me that I am not alone in my concern. I hope the Corp will take a holistic view of the effects of shipping U.S. coal to China. Below is a recent citation from an article I read in Environmental Health Perspectives (Vol. 119 no.6; 2011) on the global health effects of coal consumption that makes reference to China and the U.S.
Gohlke, Julia M., et al. "Estimating the global public health implications of electricity and coal consumption." Environmental Health Perspectives 119.6 (2011): 821+. Global Reference on the Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources. Web. 29 Dec. 2012.

Thank you

Janet wynne (#1406)

Date Submitted: 10/25/2012
Comment:
I am a Washington native and have lived across a small, dead end county road from the railroad for more than 35 years. I would like the EIS to study the impact on access to and from public schools with the vast escalation of coal trains over the last few years and the predictable further impacts with 18 to 20 more 1.5 mile long trains per day.

State law requires school bus transportation of students that live several miles from their school. In my neighborhood, 5 year old students would be dropped off onto a 40 mph highway with no line of sight to the railroad tracks which may be blocking their caregivers from driving the wooded mile to the school bus stop. Likewise, students may routinely miss the school bus when waiting the routine 6 to 15 minutes for the train to pass.

During 4 months or so this year in my neighborhood there were 4 unannounced closures of the railroad crossings for 4+ hours, 2 hours, 45 minutes, and 20 minutes! These closures can deny 50+ homes from access to public school and place children as young as 5 years old at risk, unattended on a 40mph highway.

School bus crossings in the Ferndale School District would be negatively affected in a similar way, which extends this problem from 50+ homes to countless homes county wide, state wide, and cumulatively to 5 proposal areas in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana.

The only mitigation in our neighborhoods with no secondary access is a rail road overpass. The cost to taxpayers for this mitigation is millions in my neighborhood and billions across the proposal areas, since the railroad contribution for infrastructure upgrades has been about 2%. Please study the cost/benefit to each community and state for these improvements compared to the economic advantage to each community and state from so few net jobs.

Please also study the reasonably foreseeable escalation of this problem due to these factors affecting train blockages:
1. Train derailments have increased from 5 in 2010, to 12 in 2011, to 19 in 2012 to date. Why? What causes this rapid increase? What are the economic impacts on the communities where they occur?
2. Landslides
3. Vibration length and duration with the escalating numbers of trains, weight, length, and engines per train
4. Fires along forested residential rail routes
5. Multiple rail use requiring stalled trains at side-line tracks
6. Maximizing railroad use massively increasing interaction between trains, trucks/cars, and pedestrians which escalates risk for accidents at railroad crossings.

Thank you for the comprehensive study of these issues.

Janet Wynne (#3647)

Date Submitted: 11/30/2012
Comment:
Please include a comprehensive epidemiology and functional capacity study of residents who live, work, or attend classes within a one mile diameter of the railroad tracks from the coal mines to Cherry Point. In addition, please study physicians records on residents with respiratory and cardiovascular disorders before and after current coal train transport through Whatcom County.

I have lived and maintained my property adjacent to the railroad tracks more than 35 years. During the last year, my airway narrows sufficiently for me to return indoors when walking to the mailbox or doing light yard work. This Fall, there was enough irritating particulate matter on fallen leaves that I had to change clothes immediately after gathering leaves into wheelbarrow. There also were accumulations of black gritty particulate residue under the tiny Japanese Maple leaves swept from vinyl decking material.

In addition, the vital young men who have done tree trimming and logging on my property for decades commented that, beginning this year, they have had to cease work on properties above the marina area because the air quality is insufficient for deep breathing required for their work.

Since our health, functional capacities, and ability to continue small business employment are already negatively affected by the few coal trains that cross Whatcom County to Vancouver, B.C., how can we protect residents from such a proposed escalation of coal transport?

I have heard statistics on improved diesel engine emissions in the near future. This may be relevant for single engine transport, but these coal trains require 4 to 6 engines each 20 or more times per day. In addition, trains stall for 20 minutes to 4 hours in one location and side-track parking is being considered, both of which concentrate emissions in single areas.

Please do a cumulative study of the cost/benefit of escalating deterioration of health, functional capacity, and current small businesses vs so few permanent, local GPT jobs.

Janet Wynne (#3649)

Date Submitted: 11/30/2012
Comment:
Please study the effects of mercury identified in Lake Whatcom that has been traced to coal burning in China. If mercury pollution from coal burners in China has already traveled across the Pacific Ocean to our city water supply, how can a few local jobs justify further poisoning a city's population? No Action Alternative is the only option, because there is no way to mitigate further pollution except to limit coal burning.

Detrimental effects of mercury on human health, wildlife, marine species, wetlands and streams, and water quality are well known. Mercury from China in Lake Whatcom indicates that humans, species, and the environment from our county across the Pacific to China have already been exposed to mercury pollution.

Please study the effects to human/species health and the environment if coal burning pollution increases in our county and across the Pacific Ocean. Please include effects of carbon dioxide emissions on acidification of the oceans, which is known to destroy sea life. Please study the resultant economic impact to current jobs and industries as well as the heath care system.

Janet Wynne (#6627)

Date Submitted: 01/10/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
When coal trains pass my property, my airway narrows sufficiently for me to return indoors when walking to the mailbox or doing light yard work, having worked outdoors here for 35 years in peaceful coexistence with all other train trafic. The first 6 words represent and clarify the salient point of a previous comment.* Please study in detail the pre and post 2010 comment information because they show exactly what significant, unavoidable, negative adverse impacts have already occurred. We have 2 years of experience with a small sample of negative impacts from coal trains. We have residents who live by the tracks, who have lived many years by coal ports or coal train routes, and who are marine scientists and physicians that have data on pre/post coal industry adverse impacts. Comments speak to landslides, derailments, recent vessel collision spilling coal from conveyor belt, coal clouds/smog, accumulated coal/coal dust on pubic/private properties, noise, vibration, crossing blockages, and deterioration of human health and marine species, foundations of our county's economy, and property values. It is reasonably foreseeable for these adverse impacts to escalate with GPT project. I support and refer you to these residents' and scientists' comments: George Thomas, Paula Rotondi, Gary Greene, Ken Kaliher, Richard Steinhardt, Bill Lynch, Lynne Oulman 1/5, Laura Brakke 1/3, John Venett, Kristine Allen, Dan Smith, Howard Garrett, Janet Weedman, Jude Armstrong, Timothy Manns, Marsha Riek, Patricia Alesse, Jean Bergholz, Bonnie Gross, to name a few.
Thank you for careful consideration of what current significant adverse impacts are while studying what will be reasonably foreseeable adverse impacts.

*Please include a comprehensive epidemiology and functional capacity study of residents who live, work, or attend classes within a one mile diameter of the railroad tracks from the coal mines to Cherry Point. In addition, please study physicians records on residents with respiratory and cardiovascular disorders before and after current coal train transport through Whatcom County.

I have lived and maintained my property adjacent to the railroad tracks more than 35 years. During the last year, my airway narrows sufficiently for me to return indoors when walking to the mailbox or doing light yard work. This Fall, there was enough irritating particulate matter on fallen leaves that I had to change clothes immediately after gathering leaves into wheelbarrow. There also were accumulations of black gritty particulate residue under the tiny Japanese Maple leaves swept from vinyl decking material.

In addition, the vital young men who have done tree trimming and logging on my property for decades commented that, beginning this year, they have had to cease work on properties above the marina area because the air quality is insufficient for deep breathing required for their work.

Since our health, functional capacities, and ability to continue small business employment are already negatively affected by the few coal trains that cross Whatcom County to Vancouver, B.C., how can we protect residents from such a proposed escalation of coal transport?

I have heard statistics on improved diesel engine emissions in the near future. This may be relevant for single engine transport, but these coal trains require 4 to 6 engines each 20 or more times per day. In addition, trains stall for 20 minutes to 4 hours in one location and side-track parking is being considered, both of which concentrate emissions in single areas.

Please do a cumulative study of the cost/benefit of escalating deterioration of health, functional capacity, and current small businesses vs so few permanent, local GPT jobs.

Janet Wynne (#6736)

Date Submitted: 01/10/2013
Comment:
My concern is that the accumulated effect of so many coal trains with such mass, vibration, and duration or a derailment will result in damage to the substructure of pipelines and ground supporting the pipelines. Bellingham has already suffered a violent, deadly explosion of Olympic Pipeline and the empty seat next to my daughter at high school graduation reminds us of the fine young man and classmate who died fly fishing downstream from the explosion the day before graduation.
Please study and map pipelines that are adjacent to coal train railroad routes both on and off site of GPT proposed project. Please include natural features such as rivers, streams, wetlands, culverts and ditches, roads and any other features of the terrain that could transport seeping or leaking flammable materials toward homes, schools, parks, cities, highways, or other population areas. Please study who is responsible for assessment of pipeline integrity, how often assessments are required, and who is responsible for determining need for more frequent assessments and reviewing compliance of assessments.

Janet Wynne (#9355)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Comment:
I am a Pacific Northwest native, nearly 40 years in Bellingham, and 35 year resident of shoreline adjacent to railroad tracks. One of the first to build under the Shoreline Management Act, I have joined many neighbors in stewardship and advocacy for the environment, especially the marine waters which belong to the citizens of Washington State.
From 1/8/13 Community Wise Bellingham Economic Forum, I understand that this project, if permitted, could escalate, without any further EIS study or regulation, from transporting 48 million tons per year to 100 million tons per year. I strongly agree with comment 1/11/2013 by Janet Weedman regarding the scale this project could take over the next 5, 10, or 20 years and her example of the South African coal port starting at 19 million tons now a 24 hour/day operation transporting 91 million tons.
I strongly agree with both1/10/2013 comments by Scott Sanderson as well as the comment 1/12/2013 by David Stalheim regarding behaviors, accountability, and compliance concerns noted to date on this proposed project. Having dealt directly with environmental issues over the years with the local family who owns Cherry Point, this is another example of many "give an inch, take a mile" land use behaviors, working to take public resources for private gain. Please include in your study a rigorous review of all environmental, health and safety, disaster, compliance and accountability issues from the coal mines to the coal port for both the proposed project and the projected scale increase to transport of 100 million tons per year at GPT. Please carefully review the land use, litigation, and economic history of Chuckanut Ridge and ultimate closure of Horizon Bank. Please study the land use and litigation history of Governors Point re decades of legal intimidation and apparent attempts to rewrite and evade city, county, state, and federal guidelines, mandates, regulations, codes, and acts. Please study and mitigate for similar pressures that will likely continue to require the public to fund litigation that supports equal application of the laws and regulations that the general public is required to follow. Please study the economic losses of such results as closure of Horizon Bank and additional taxpayer resources necessary for the city, county, and state to monitor and litigate accountability and compliance issues for this proposed project and escalation to project of 100 million tons coal transport at GPT.

Janet Wynne (#9421)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Comment:
As a Pacific Northwest Native who was one of the first in Bellingham to build under the Shoreline Management Act, I strongly agree with the two comments by Judith Akins 1/11/2013. As she requests, please study rigorously whether the export of coal complies with the Public Trust Doctrine and in what ways the proposed project does and does not adhere to USEPA, SEPA, NSPS, WA State greenhouse gas reduction standards, and WA State Governor's executive order re action on ocean acidification. In addition, rigorously study and explain how the GPT and the transport by train from the coal mines to the coal port can comply with Shoreline Management Plan Title 23, Critical Area Ordinance WCC 16, and WCC20.88.010, WCC 20.88.130, and WCC 20.88.140. Please define all mitigations necessary, in what ways mitigations will be monitored for compliance, and what assurances will be provided to the public that mitigation, monitoring, and economic costs for mitigations/monitoring/disaster relief will be adequate and effective.

Janet Wynne (#9458)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Comment:
As a marine shoreline resident of Bellingham for 35 years dedicated to family, sweat equity, stewardship of the local environment, and health care delivery largely to those with neuro-developmental challenges, I am concerned about compliance and accountability of the applicants and proponents of the proposed GPT project from the coal mines to the industrial site at Cherry Point.
At the Bellingham public hearing, one speaker discussed industrial compliance in general, stating, if I heard correctly, an average of 6% compliance. This percentage helps to explain the catastrophic events Whatcom County residents have already experienced over the last several decades through industry alone.
Please rigorously review the events and errors that lead to the Olympic Pipeline explosion in the comment by Chris Symond 1/9/2013. What mitigations, strategies, compliance measures, and accountability will the EIS present to justify the juxtaposition of pipelines and railroad tracks with such an increase of long, vibratory trains with combustable loads? How will the risks and clean-up/restoration be borne by the private industry's gains rather than the public and government? What will be the economic impacts to the public and governmental agencies required to monitor and litigate accountability and compliance?
While the mayor of Ferndale believes that GPT will be a good neighbor just like BP, we all must question the credibility of that belief, which is well documented by the comment 1/6/2013 by Clarissa Mansfield. I strongly agree with this comment: that good neighbors must be judged by historical records, facts, behavior trends. Please study these compliance and accountability trends she outlined. Please study if potential economic gain to one locality is worth the catastrophic risks and reasonably foreseeable negative economic impacts to the multitudes from GPT to the coal mines.
Please review the historical records, facts, and ultimate disclosure of devastating environmental impact of Georgia Pacific on our marine environment. Please study the economic impact to Bellingham citizens left with the financial responsibility to mitigate these impacts. What were the public health, morbidity, and food chain and species impacts prior to disclosure? I agree with Thomas Gilmore's comment 1/8/2013.
I am equally concerned about the historical records, facts, and behavior trends of the owners of Cherry Point re their other land use properties: Chuckanut Ridge and Governors Point. Please study these records re accountability and compliance with local and state governmental rules and regulations and the economic impact on the public.
After the US economic crisis, it is difficult for the public to trust GPT's partner, Goldman-Sachs. Please study their compliance and accountability record toward the genreal public. I agree with the comments by Monty McIntyre 1/6/2013 that outline Goldman-Sachs' behavior trends in his last 6 paragraphs. What mitigations will be provided to protect the public and how will the EIS insure that assurances for accountability and compliance will be effective?
Deeply troubling is the record and behavior trends of AMEC, hired by GPT to do environmental studies and reports. Please carefully study and review the thorough comment 1/10/2013 by Thelma Follett regarding their apparent blatant disregard for the environment and their title as "one among 10 excoriated planet trashers." Please study the validity and reliability of their GPT studies with truly independent research. Please apply all local, county, state, and federal regulations and laws to this research from coal mines to GPT site. Please consider both current project and build out to 100 million tons of coal transport and the reasonably foreseeable unavoidable negative impacts to health, environment, species, and economies.
How can EIS be completed without specific pertinent data? I agree with comment 1/9/2013 by John Bremer regarding Berkshire Hathaway, Inc's refusal to disclose carbon emissions.
In addition, I have recently observed ongoing blatant violations of SMP and other ordinances by BNSF stacking house-size towers of creosote laden ties, tossing creosote laden ties into ditches and wetlands draining into park and private beaches, and tossing large debris from tree pruning into marine waters.
What is the acceptable goal for compliance and accountability that the EIS aspires to achieve? What mitigations and monitoring will the EIS require to achieve this goal? How will mitigation measures/accountability/compliance be enforced? How will the public be protected from such losses as health/morbidity/mortality, species, geologic, food chain, water quality, and other catastrophic impacts that cannot be mitigated or repaired? What is the economic cost of these risks compared to potential economic gain? Who protects the public from the predictable results of historical behaviors of applicants and proponents? How are risks and catastrophic impacts permanently transferred to the industry? Are bonds and insurance plans sufficient for such large-scale predictable catastrophic events?

Janet Wynne (#9495)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Comment:
I am deeply concerned that the GPT proposal does not have any emergency response plans in the application for the EIS review. I am a 40 year Bellingham resident, PNW native who has worked a decade in Ferndale, and have recently attended courses through WWU on our geology and our location in the earthquake/volcanic Ring of Fire.
I agree with the comments by Christopher Greacen, PhD 11/14/2012 and Anna Marie Ross 1/10/2013 "Industrial Site" regarding the percentages, probabilities, and current clusters of earthquake activity in our area. Please rigorously review the likely effects of pending earthquake and tsunami disasters at or near the GPT site or railroad routes from coal mines to GPT site.
I agree with the comments 1/12/2013 by Sandy Robson that these plans need to be in place during the permit process in writing beyond "plans will be developed" with a list of agencies. Emergency response is an essential component of mitigations. Without delineation and review of the listed agencies scope of authority, responsibility, and resources, how will the EIS determine if essential mitigations can be negotiated/coordinated with those agencies? Who provides the essential fire boats and oil spill response teams/equipment all along the shoreline railroad tracks, throughout the vessel routes, and at the coal terminal? Please make sure to delineate and review each agencies' contribution, GPT's responsibilities, coordination of emergency response agencies, gaps in services and response times, economic impacts to taxpayers and responding agencies, and how emergency response preparedness will be enforced. Please make sure emergency response plan includes all areas of reasonably foreseeable unavoidable negative impact, many of which cannot be mitigated, from the coal port site, along the railroad tracks across Washington state to the coal mines. How will the public/governments be protected from bearing the economic impacts for these essential emergency responses, which are the overhead of the industry, their costs of doing business? When catastrophic emergencies, such as Olympic Pipeline disaster, occur, what protections and restitutions will be in place for damages to individuals and governments to prevent them from the further economic burdens of litigation toward restitution? How can the EIS be sure these mitigations will be effective and sufficient?

Janet C. Wright (#2724)

Date Submitted: 11/12/2012
Location: Friday Harbor, WA
Comment:
I am a long-time resident of the San Juan Islands (40 years) and a retired educator. It was largely the environment, both land and marine, that brought me and my husband to the islands.

My concern is as follows: Given the narrowness of the shipping channel between the islands, what would happen if a large coal bearing ship should lose power under varying weather conditions? We have many strong winter storms with gale force winds. A ship losing power could be disastrous to the marine life if there is an oil or coal spill. Secondly, how long would it take for a rescue tug to reach a stricken vessel in the channels of the San Juan and Gulf Islands, especially under adverse weather conditions? In 1999 the ship Vijitra Naree, a 541 ft. cargo ship had to shut down power because of an over heated engine cylinder while entering the Strait of San Juan De Fuca. (See: http://oldsite.sanjuanislander.com/state/doe/tug.shtml ) It had to be assisted by a response tug from Neah Bay. So, such occurrences of a ship losing power are not unknown.

Janet H. Jungkuntz (#3519)

Date Submitted: 11/29/2012
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
To All Concerned, particularly the US Corps of Engineers and Whatcom County Planning Dept.

I oppose this project in general for all the health, safety, and environmental concerns that many others have already expressed. I also object to the broader issue of sending the natural resources of this nation elsewhere for the financial benefit, largely, of corporate entities.
My specific concern relates to the issue of "vibrational impacts" on infrastructures and buildings within areas surrounding the BNSF main lines and Custer spur. I live one block from the RR crossing on Washington Street in Ferndale. I am aware of "slight tremors" that occur in parts of this building when heavy trains are passing this area (not Amtrak or lighter trains that move quickly). I wonder what the impact is on the Ferndale City Council Building, Cargil Grainery, Ferndale High School--all of which are much closer to the tracks than my apartment building. Please include, in the EIS, measurement of ground vibration over a wide swath along the RR track and potential structural damage to the built environments there.

Thank you. Janet H. Jungkuntz

Janet R. Willing (#11604)

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

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


This letter contains my comments on the scoping phase of the EIS on the coal transshipment terminal proposed for Cherry Point, Whatcom County, Washington. It is my opinion that the areas addressed below should be comprehensively researched, documented, and treated in the forthcoming EIS.

I am a 20 year resident of Whatcom County, and a native of western Washington. My family dates back to dairy farms in Lynden from the turn of the last century. My continuing residence here is deliberate. The very aspects of our environment that cause our continued life here are at grave risk from the proposed coal terminal at Cherry Point.

First, please read and use the letter from Peter Willing as the basis of my concerns. I respect his technical and professional experience in all of the areas that he addresses.

Next:

The coal trains will effectively cut our town in half. The sheer volume of number of trains, number of cars, and their attendant noise, vibration, and horns are a huge concern- and one that cannot be mitigated as far as I can determine.

Disruption of the availability of the tracks for passenger rail service. The best hope we have for rationalizing our public transportation insanity on the Vancouver-Bellingham-Seattle and further south- highway, is the Amtrak train service. I cannot imagine that it will be regular and available and growing in usage if service is cancelled, interrupted or delayed, by coal trains and increased line disruptions.

I would also like the health and public safety issues relating to escaping coal dust to be addressed. News reports of Beijing having “unfit and unhealthy for humans to breathe” air quality- DUE in large part to coal dust- demonstrates the lack of conscience we would be using if we send them MORE coal to burn. Coal is (and should be) an energy source of the past. What are we doing to them and us (as the air currents bring it back to us) if we encourage coal as energy, when the monies used to make this boondoggle happen should be spent on research of better ways to heat and transport ourselves?

Thank you.

Janette Johnson (#14278)

Date Submitted: 01/11/13
Location: Bow, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

janice blaylock (#8281)

Date Submitted: 01/17/2013
Comment:
It staggers my mind that our coulntry is willing to prostrate itself on the bed of greed to do any little thing that can possibly harm our fragile environment; to think of selling any form of coal to a country that obviously cares little about their, or our, or anyones environment and routinely thrusts into the air all polutants possible is untenable. no need to go carefully into all the other ramnifications of this plan, rail polution, dust polution, noise polution, the waters of the sound polution, the further endangerment of our oceans, etc., etc.

Ending remark. I think it stinks, the entire concept.

shame on our country, and on all of those who put the god dollar in front of the lungs and bodies of all of the rest of us!!!!!!!!!!

Janice Colvin (#12901)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
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.

It's hard to overstate my position on a coal port in our precious Pacific Northwest. Our treasure here is the environment: the forests, the rivers, Puget Sound, and the Pacific Ocean. Let's not throw it away to export a dirty fossil fuel to rest of the world at a cost which doesn't take damage to the environment into account.

Janice Dahl (#14280)

Date Submitted: 01/06/13
Location: Lake Forest Park, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Janice Gard (#12505)

Date Submitted: 01/21/13
Location: Spokane, WA
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington.
The pollution from this coal being burnt in Asia would be blown around the world, affecting everyone, even though we didn't burn the coal ourselves!
The burning of this high sulfur coal would exacerbate climate change.
This proposal would negatively affect my community by increasing rail traffic.
This proposal would negatively affect my community by harming existing business with the railway delays.
This proposal would negatively affect my community by delaying emergency vehicles.
This proposal would negatively affect my community by increasing shipping traffic and noise.
This proposal would negatively affect my community by damaging aquatic ecosystems at the terminal site.
This proposal would negatively affect my community by increasing the potential for serious shipping accidents.
This proposal would negatively affect my community by polluting our air and water with diesel fumes and coal dust.
I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

Janice Gifford (#10542)

Date Submitted: 01/17/13
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington and transporting strip-mined coal from Montana and Wyoming on trains and ships throughout the Northwest. This proposal would negatively affect my community by increasing congestion and noise with more coal train traffic, polluting our air and local waterways, harming existing businesses, delaying emergency responders, damaging aquatic ecosystems and fishing grounds at the terminal site, increasing tanker traffic and the potential for serious shipping accidents and escalating climate change. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement. The rail traffic through Boulevard Park is already too much.

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.

Janice Holkup (#517)

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.

And...the smoke and pollution from the coal burned over seas will travel back to us via the winds. Earth is a ball, a circle, we see Japanese tsunami debris washing up on our shores. Stop exportation of coal--period. We need cleaner sources of power.

Sincerely,

Janice Holkup

Janice Holkup (#12414)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington and transporting strip-mined coal from Montana and Wyoming on trains and ships throughout the Northwest. This proposal would negatively affect my community by increasing congestion and noise with more coal train traffic, polluting our air and local waterways, harming existing businesses, delaying emergency responders, damaging aquatic ecosystems and fishing grounds at the terminal site, increasing tanker traffic and the potential for serious shipping accidents and escalating climate change. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

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

Additionally, coal burned in China will come back to us, after polluting the air in China, via the winds that circle our globe. We are all connected. Japanese Tsunami debris is currently washing up on the west coast shores of the U.S.

Janice Lynne (#14037)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Comment:
The construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington to export coal to China from the Powder River Basin is a no win for the public and environment -- and the Chinese.

The coal train traffic and damage to ecosystems and a way of life for Native Americans who have for generations lived on and preserved the land this project will impact, not to mention the lives of other long-term residents, is a travesty.

The air in Bejing is so polluted, people are dying from it.

And haven't we polluted the oceans enough, already turning oceans so acidic that shellfish can't grow shells and sea life is dying?

Please have a heart, in addition to a brain, when you address this issue and take a look at what the stakes truly are if you allow this project to go forward.

Janice Macarthur (#13135)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Washougal, 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 has to be stopped why export coal?
Why not let it sit and see if we can burn/sell it later when it won't polluting the world?This wasn't my idea but I heard it at the coal meeting in Vancouver Washington. I thought it was an excellent idea.

Janice Schuch (#13650)

Date Submitted: 01/22/13
Comment:
Scoping concerns that I would like answered for the RR tracks up the East side of Puget Sound to Cherry Point.

Impact of cars stopped at RR crossings waiting for trains this long. The exhaust pollution and its impacts to health & global warming? Costs to drivers for fuel? Time in peoples lives stolen for these trains? Locations that become undesirable to go to because of waits at crossings, like parks and businesses? Obstructing emergency vehicles and risks to lives & property? At the Edmonds ferry crossing, do trains wait for loading, unloading ferries?

How much Federal money is expected to be spent on upgrading tracks from Montana/Wyoming to Cherry Point to move this coal? Is this not tax money spent supporting private business against the best interests of the public taxpayer?

What will be the lost value to properties along the rails that will then be passed onto other community properties as tax increases?

What are the impacts to US air quality, health, and rising seas for supplying China with more fossil fuels? China has built and set up thousands of wind generators, but has not hooked them up to the grid. Does our shipping coal deter them from investing in this infrastructure? Australia, presently one of China's largest source of coal in currently dealing with a decline in demand. (my daughter a grad student at Johns Hopkin's SAIS, Southeast Asia focus, questions this whole port plan.)

The prevailing winds at the Gateway site in Whatcom County require the covering of any and all piled coal or other loose cargo. Please investigate wind carried particulate because many farms, beaches and recreation areas are to the NE of the site. So soiling and reduced air quality will impact many innocent people. How can this be completely prevented.

Is there information or reason to suspect that the Gateway plan is to get other commodities transported? And what are these products?

Has there been any investment in researching other uses for coal than burning?
In the twenty first century should we still be enabling eighteenth century technology.

I would like to be notified when the answers have been gathered and how I may read them on line.
project

Thank you for your honest efforts on this project

Janice Schuch

Janice Simchuk (#5507)

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

Janice Sung (#1510)

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

Janice Trafton (#12748)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington. This proposal would negatively affect my community by increasing traffic, polluting our air and water, harming existing business, delaying emergency vehicles, increasing shipping traffic and noise, damaging aquatic ecosystems at the terminal site, increasing the potential for serious shipping accidents and exacerbating climate change. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement. The greater Bellingham area has an image of clean air and water and a populace that cares about the environment and
global warming. Coal trains are incongruent with the values we moved
here
to embrace.

Janice Vakili (#311)

Date Submitted: 09/25/12
Location: Vancouver, 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. clean energy...think ahead

Sincerely,

Janice Vakili

Janice Williams (#1222)

Date Submitted: 10/16/12
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Janiece Staton (#4552)

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

I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington and transporting strip-mined coal from Montana and Wyoming on trains and ships throughout the Northwest. This proposal would negatively affect 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. As a retired RN, I'm keenly aware of the incredibly high health risks that such a terminal and massive coal shipping process would create. At every step along the route, from extraction to loading, to train transport, to train unloading, to ship reloading, to ocean transport to Asian markets, and eventual burning in overseas coal power plants - the process would be seriously jeopardizing the lives of citizens of the Pacific Northwest.

The coal dust would blow across multiple states, land on crops, animal habitats, enter ventilation systems (clogging them), enter the waterstream, be ingested via food and fluid products, blind travelers and drivers, and create an environmental catastrophe. Increased train derailments, ship crashes/sinking episodes, train/car and train/pedestrian collisions, and bridge/overpass collapses would be INEVITABLE and PERMANENTLY DETRIMENTAL to all persons within the region. WE would be left to clean up the messes that the coal company wouldn't deem "important", including the massive increases in breathing disorders, injury rehabilitations, traffic bottlenecks (from long trains blocking critical roadways), shortages of hospitals and health care clinicians, not to mention the worst of all, the massive increase in global warming gases!

All of these environmental impacts are easily foreseeable and MUST be thoroughly and transparently studied, before any further discussion on this matter can go forward. You're asking the entire Pacific Northwest to change everything that's special about this area, just for the enrichment of a few, overseas, wealthy individuals. The least you can do is be HONEST about how truly CATASTROPHIC such a plan would be to this region!




Janiece Staton
817 SW 171st Avenue
Beaverton, OR 97006

Janiece Staton (#4921)

Date Submitted: 12/14/12
Location: Beaverton, OR
Comment:
Dear Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Ecology and Whatcom County Council:

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

The environmental impact statement for the proposed should analyze the following:

• Public convenience and necessity: This proposed railroad is not for the “public convenience and necessity” which is what is required in order for a body to get the power of eminent domain and condemnation authority. This railroad intends to only sell coal to China and other Asian countries.

• Impacts on property values: The project would devalue property and infringes on property rights. This railroad will cause fires, spread weeds, devalue property (especially riverfront property), will make ranching and farming more difficult and expensive, will split ranch land in half and separate fields from the river and will shift the liability of train crossings to the landowner.

• Wildlife: The Tongue River Valley is rich in wildlife habitat and home to outstanding elk and mule deer populations as well as upland birds. Industrializing this valley with a railroad and the coal strip mine it serves will seriously degrade this excellent sportsman resource.

• Flooding: The railroad bed will act as an earthen dam and potentially worsen the flooding problems now experienced all over the Pacific Northwest, in the winter and spring with ice jams.

• Noise: The loud trains will ruin the quiet enjoyment of nearby recreation areas near all involved Pacific Northwestern cities.

• Infrastructure and traffic: Taxes will go up for residents communities along the rail lines as the coal heads to coastal ports for shipment. This railroad will increase coal train traffic substantially causing traffic delays, noise, and diesel pollution. The only way to live with this increased traffic will require expensive over passes and safety crossing which are paid for primarily by local taxpayers.

. Increased costs to health care and emergency management systems. Our health care system is already strained beyond our ability to support it. Train derailments, toxic contamination of soil, water, and air, heavy equipment "on-the-job" injuries, worsening air pollution (related to increased particulates, diesel fumes, and coal dust inhalation), additional toxification risks surrounding volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, and earthquakes (to which the Pacific Northwest is prone), reduction in hospital and community health care resources/facilities, increased train/vehicle and train/pedestrian collisions, and increased chronic lung diseases would completely overwhelm our currently tapped out health care system.

The Cherry Point Terminal will allow coal that should stay in the ground to be burned in dirty Chinese plants and will fuel intolerable, decades-long increases in Carbon Dioxide emissions. The greenhouse gas costs of coal go far beyond just burning the coal. It must be mined, hauled by trains fueled by diesel to West Coast terminals, shipped overseas by ships fueled by diesel, and then hauled in China to the plants.

Every resident within the Pacific Northwest will be directly and indirectly harmed, along with bearing extraordinary burdens and costs related to everything involved with the Cherry Point Terminal. That is a gross miscarriage of justice to our citizens! Any thorough Environmental Impact Study will clearly display just how devastating this kind of project would be to our region.

Sincerely,



Janiece Staton

Janiene Licciardi (#5143)

Date Submitted: 12/19/2012
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
My name is Janiene Licciardi, and I live at 2000 Harris Avenue, Bellingham WA. My house is one mile east of the railway. Due to the predominantly south-southwesterly winds of this region, my home is downwind of the railway on at least a moderate number of days, which is also true for most of Fairhaven and Bellingham.
I own apple, pear, and plum trees, and I enjoy growing my own food. I grow vegetables in my yard and I eat vegetables from a community garden. I also harvest nearby wild blackberries. I avoid eating anything that is not organically grown.
I am concerned that coal dust and diesel exhaust from coal trains passing along the railway will contaminate the air, water, and soil that nourishes the vegetables and fruits that I grow and eat. I am concerned about the health impacts of eating potentially contaminated vegetables and fruits.
I request that the GPT Environmental Impact Statement include rigorous, objective, and comprehensive studies to address my specific concerns.
Thank you,
Janiene Licciardi

Janiene Licciardi (#5144)

Date Submitted: 12/19/2012
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
My name is Janiene Licciardi, and I live at 2000 Harris Avenue, Bellingham WA. My house is one mile east of the railway. I frequently walk my dog to the dog park at the water treatment facility at Post Point. I also walk to the waterfront, accessing the beach either at Marine Park or from the water treatment facility. There are great views of the bay and the San Juan and Gulf islands. I enjoy the natural beauty, beach-walking, and bird-watching opportunities of this area. There is a large nesting site of great blue herons near the water treatment plant, within 100 yards from the railroad tracks. there are often bald eagles. There is also a small wetland/ estuarine area immediately adjacent to the tracks, where there are usually ducks, gulls, and songbirds.
There are now, of course, occasional trains that pass by. However, there will be a vast increase in the number of trains that will pass through if GPT is constructed and operational. I am concerned that the noise level from this increased traffic will disturb the birds, not just the shore birds, but also the nesting herons and the bald eagles. I am concerned that the noise, coal dust, and physical presence of numerous coal trains in transit will decrease the appeal of the area, to myself, to my dog, and to other people and other dogs. Who would want to stroll around on a beach or in a nearby wetland when there are noisy trains hurtling past every few minutes, disturbing the peace and blocking the bay view? Who would want to exercise their dog in such a place, where the air could be contaminated with coal dust? With or without the dog park, there is no other place like this little slice of shoreline, wetland, and treetops full of heron nests in all of Fairhaven, and the diminishing of it would be a short-sighted shame. There would be no replacement if it should be lost. The specific question that concern me is, what is the effect of railway noise and coal dust on the nesting herons and other birds that use the area near Post Point Water Treatment Plant? However, my concerns do not stop there. I am also concerned that this natural area of Post Point, the tidal areas along the shore, and the small park at Marine Point will be marred by the presence of increased coal trains. For those of us living in Fairhaven, there is no value that can be placed on this section of coastline. Will its natural and aesthetic character be changed?
I request that the GPT Environmental Impact Statement include rigorous, objective, and comprehensive studies to address my specific concerns.
Thank you,
Janiene Licciardi

Janiene Licciardi (#6732)

Date Submitted: 01/09/13
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
My name is Janiene Licciardi, and I live at 2000 Harris Avenue, Bellingham, WA. The railway that would carry coal trains to Cherry Point is metaphorically in my backyard, and literally one mile from my home. Regarding the proposed GPT facility, I am concerned about local effects. I am also concerned about effects on the Pacific Northwest as a region and on the planet as a whole.

First I will explain the local context. I enjoy many things about living in Bellingham, one of which is climbing and hiking in the North Cascades. There are many days, particularly in spring and early summer, when visibility is affected by particulates. I notice this as haziness when I am at altitude in the Cascades. Many of these particulates come from across the Pacific, from coal burning plants. It is greatly disconcerting to me, because I enjoy clean air and clear vistas. I am concerned that increased coal burning in Asia will increase the amount of air pollution reaching WA State, and that in turn, this will affect the number of hazy days on mountain summits. I am also concerned that increased coal burning in Asia will have a negative effect on the great trees of the Pacific Northwest, the forests of red-cedar and fir, the mountain meadows, and the fragile alpine plants.

Another local context: I often recreate on Bellingham Bay and throughout Puget Sound by kayak. The ocean ecosystems that I experience are already affected by pollution. Ocean acidification, linked to increased atmospheric CO2 levels, which in turn is linked to the burning of fossil fuels such as coal, is occurring. This has been documented in many studies, most recently by scientists at NOAA (W.G. Sunda, W. Cai, and Richard Feely). I am concerned that salmon, marine mammals, sea birds, and other wildlife that I encounter now will be affected by the activities at the proposed GPT. I am concerned also that the natural, wild character of Puget Sound and the waters around Bellingham will be degraded.

Supplying China with coal will enable the Chinese to burn more coal, it will make it easier for the Chinese to continue dependence on coal, and it will make it more economically feasible to delay expanding alternative energy sources. I would like the EIS to include a local economic study of GPT as well as the global economic implications of GPT. GPT is supposed to bring jobs to Bellingham. How many jobs will GPT create in the long term (i.e 10 years or more out)? How many jobs will be prevented, if the coal terminal and increased rail and vessel traffic makes it unfavorable for other types of waterfront development in Bellingham, such as an expanded small boat harbor, waterfront restaurants, retail, parks, and office spaces, or for a rejuvenated downtown Bellingham? How many jobs will be exported to China as a direct result of the coal that we send to them, if this coal causes an expansion of Chinese manufacturing, which could take manufacturing jobs away from the US? How many jobs would be created within the US if the US explored and expanded alternative energy sources, such as wind, wave, solar, thermal, biofuels, and other renewable sources of energy, instead of mining coal? And instead of shipping that coal to China?

It is obvious by now that I am concerned about the global implications of sending coal from US to be burned in Asia. I know that the coal burned there will make its way back here, in the form of pollution, including atmospheric particulates, SO2, and mercury.
This is well known (as described by David Kirby (Discover 2011), Dan Jaffe at the University of WA, and others). I am concerned about the air I breathe and I would like to have clear views when I summit mountains; I would like to have healthy forests to hike in, clean fish to eat, and healthy and thriving populations of orcas, seals, and sea birds. There are larger implications. There are implications in places not that far away. Do some of our local salmon migrate and contribute to the Bristol Bay ecosystem, a multi-million dollar industry? And if so, how will the cumulative effects of the coal terminals impact those salmon? How might the affects on these salmon impact the fishery in Alaska?
I expect the GPT EIS to address all foreseeable local effects. However, it is also reasonable, given that coal is a non-renewable resource that when burned becomes a global impact, and because GPT will facilitate the mining and burning of coal, to ask that the EIS address every impact from the hole in the earth where the coal is mined, along the railways and communities that the coal trains move through, to the shipping terminal on our coast, to the transit across the ocean, to affects on global climate. Additionally, there are several other proposed coal terminals on the US west coast, each of which will have its own local impacts, but also cumulative, additive and possibly synergistic effects on the entire Pacific Northwest ecosystem, and well beyond.

I would like each of my concerns, as discussed above, to be given due consideration by the GPT EIS. I request objective, rigorous, and comprehensive studies which reflect the best science available. In case I did not make all of my concerns clear in the above paragraphs, I have listed a few specifics below (not intended to replace any concerns raised previously). So, too, I would like independent/ objective, rigorous, and comprehensive research which encompasses as its study:

1. The affects on orcas and other whales, their feeding, their resting, their courtship, their breeding, their long-term health, locally and globally.
2. The affects on the entire food chain, from invertebrates, upwards to prey fishes such as the sand lance, upwards to fishes such as rock fish and salmon, upwards to harbor seals, porpoises, dolphins, grey whales, and orcas.
3. The affects on eelgrass and spawning beds for herring and salmon, and marine plant and invertebrate biodiversity.
4. The affects on the herring population that spawns near Cherry Point, including smothering of eggs from disturbance to the sea bottom, and cumulative toxicities to eggs and juveniles. Will this unique population survive the cumulative effects? What if there is a major coal or oil spill at Cherry Point?
5. Ocean acidification, locally and globally.
6. Acid rain effects on the rainforests and mountain meadows of the Pacific Northwest, and on forests and lands globally.
7. Air quality, locally and globally, in quantifiable terms of particulates, contributions to poor visibility, and contributions to mercury and other pollutants.
8. Atmospheric CO2 levels.
9. Atmospheric greenhouse gases.
10. In the case that GPT has a working life of 20 years, including mining, transporting, storing, loading, and shipping, and taking into account the total proposed amount of coal transported from GPT and subsequently burned in Asia during these 20 years, I request that the EIS quantifies all of the above (i.e. the points of discussion in each line of 1 through 9).

And then, when all of these points have been addressed, I would like each to be addressed again, in the context of the proposed (at least 4 or 5) US west coast coal terminals taken as a whole (i.e. if each terminal, in WA, OR, and CA, were built and in operation, apply this scenario to each concern outlined above).

Thank you,
Janiene Licciardi

Janiene Licciardi (#12667)

Date Submitted: 01/22/13
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Dear Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Ecology and Whatcom County Council:

I live in Bellingham and I strongly oppose the Gateway Pacific Terminal. The terminal will be detrimental to my community and to the surrounding natural environment. I have already written letters addressing the local impacts that I would like the EIS to address. However, I do not believe GPT’s impacts can be isolated from the collective group of coal export terminals proposed along the coasts of WA, OR, and CA. I would like the EIS to take into account the collective, cumulative effects of all of the proposed terminals, as a whole. Given the geographic scope and wide-ranging effects of the coal terminals, it is not scientifically valid to consider each terminal individually. The impacts of mining, transporting, and burning coal will not remain local or contained.

Taken as a whole, the group of proposed coal terminals will encourage coal mining in the US and will enable coal burning in Asia. This will contribute to climate change and other atmospheric and environmental impacts, including ocean acidification.

There is solid science behind the idea that human activity (the burning of fossil fuels) is the major contributor to the recent increase in global temperature. This is no longer a debatable subject among climatologists.

Before continuing to feed the fire, it is important to demand the most thorough understanding possible of this complex situation, and coal plays a dominating role.

Consider the following:

Changing any single greenhouse gas will indirectly cause other components of the system to change as well (i.e. feedback effects). The most important feedback involves water (according to Kerry Emanuel at MIT).

Sulfate aerosols are anthropogenic, created in the atmosphere through reactions with sulfur dioxide, a gas produced from burning coal and other fossil fuels (also according to Kerry Emanuel at MIT). Most importantly, these aerosols serve as catalysts for cloud formation.

Taking the science we know into account, quantifying the effects and working life of each coal terminal, accounting for the fossil fuel combustion that will occur from transportation of this coal, from trains to marine vessels, tallying the amount of coal mined, transported, and burned over these working lifetimes, what will be the cumulative and collective effects on each of the following:
1. Atmospheric levels of each specific greenhouse gas (water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, and several others)?
2. The weather in the Pacific Ocean and the weather of the Pacific Northwest?
3. Global weather?
4. The frequencies and power of hurricanes and tropical cyclones?
5. The frequencies and severities of floods and droughts? How might this contribute to global temperature rise?
6. Ocean acidification worldwide?
7. Fisheries, including salmon, herring, mussels and other shellfish?

Sea level rise is one of the most serious potential consequences of global warming, with widely varied ramifications. How much would the sea rise in Seattle as a result of the collective and cumulative effects of burning coal from the proposed coal terminals? How much would that sea level rise cost in terms of mandatory upgrades in infrastructure, waterfront damage by high tides and storms, pollution cleanup from damage to sewer systems, and other physical impacts? How would that sea level rise affect other parts of the world, including southern Florida, central Manhattan, Bangladesh, and inhabited atolls in the Pacific?

I would like the EIS to address each of these issues in a rigorous and robust manner. The studies to address these concerns must be objective, comprehensive, and subject to the standards of current climate science.

Thank you,
Janiene Licciardi

Janiene Licciardi (#13112)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
My name is Janiene Licciardi, and I am a 14-year resident of Bellingham. My address is 2000 Harris Avenue. I have written other scoping letters. While not trying to overwhelm the process, I want to get each of my points across as emphatically and concisely as I can.

I feel that the impacts of GPT will affect me personally, more so than any other proposed Whatcom County project in recent memory, or even before my memory. This is a project with huge potential to affect the environment. I am often immersed in the outdoor environment. I am an active kayaker, and I will be affected by increased marine vessel traffic; I am a hiker of beaches around Bellingham, and I will be affected by potential oil spills; I am intimately aware of the natural cycles of Pacific Northwest birds, mammals, and fish, and I will notice if these cycles are disturbed; I care about the health of the environment as it is now and as I hope it to be in the future, and my quality of life will suffer if the environment suffers; I enjoy living here because of the richness of the ecosystem of the Salish Sea, and my enjoyment will diminish if biodiversity diminishes. I understand the threats that already exist, and I would like to see future development and industry to ameliorate these threats, not add to them. I would like to see this community move towards sustainable ways for humanity and the natural world to prosper.

There is a larger picture, as well, should we be blinded by our own wants: climate change is this era’s biggest challenge to our present and future civilization and life on earth; there is a solid consensus among climatologists that human activity, mostly the burning of fossil fuels, is the biggest contributor to climate change. To make holes in the earth in our country’s middle, to carve out fossilized coal, to bring that coal to Bellingham and other US terminals, to ship that coal China where it will be burned, to add megatons more CO2 to the earth’s atmosphere---is this not contributing to climate change? Is this not unsustainable? Ultimately, GPT’s major effect will be to create climate change; it will contribute to crop failures, it will contribute to ocean acidification and destruction of coral reefs and fundamental food sources for a wide variety of animals, it will further the melting of permafrost and the release of methane, it will be a factor in the melting of arctic and Antarctic ice, it will add to rising sea levels that destroy the waterfront of Seattle and that displace people living in such nations as Palau and Bangladesh. It is a moral issue, it is a national security issue, and it will fundamentally change life on earth. Therefore, I conclude that GPT is a huge step in the wrong direction for my own personal values, for Bellingham, for the Salish Sea, for the United States, and for the planet.

Prove to me that my conclusion is wrong.

How does GPT justify its affects on climate change and how does GPT see itself as a global player in climate change?
How does GPT address the moral implications of climate change?
How does GPT see itself as an advancement of US energy policy in terms of long-term sustainability?
Why should the value of a few local jobs (the numbers are debatable) be more important than the increased pollution and increased effect on global climate that would come from creating these few jobs?
How many people might die because of a few local jobs (death from diesel fumes from trains and marine vessels, death from particulate air pollution at the terminal, and along the rails, deaths in China from increased pollution of increased coal burning)? How can this be justified?

I oppose GPT and I oppose the expansion of coal exportation. Coal should stay in the ground and out of the air. It’s that simple and it’s that black and white. It is time to move in a logical, sustainable, and ethical direction. Keeping coal out of Bellingham is one small but significant step.

Janiene Licciardi (#13113)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
My name is Janiene Licciardi and I am a 14-year resident of Bellingham. This is my chosen home. I came here because I wanted to live in a place where I could be near trails that lead to urban wilderness right from my front door; where I could launch my kayak into salt water with only the help of a bicycle and trailer; where I could climb nearby mountains; where I could walk in forests of big trees; where I could watch and hear birds along the shoreline; where I could have a sense of nature and beauty alongside a healthy community. I now know this place intimately. I regard all of these things as invaluable in their own right, and integral to my sense of home and happiness.

I am writing because I care about the sea I paddle in, the beaches and forests I walk, the air I breathe, and the wildlife and nature that share it. Here are a few personal experiences to give context to my perspective:

I. I lived near Sandy Point (Sucia Drive) for a summer. I had at my back door a sand beach, a swath of open water and sky, bald eagles, white-tailed ducks, loons, cormorants, surf scoters, buffleheads, great blue herons, eelgrass, crabbing grounds, and once, orcas. One evening, a pod appeared within 100 yards of the shore, a spectacle that drew out the neighbors from their dinner tables. It was a magically thing, this gathering of whales, within sight and within 4 nautical miles of Cherry Point, where GPT is proposed to sit. The evening was quiet and calm; no huge tankers beset the scene, just whales, people, birds.
II. This past September, on another quiet and calm evening, I was on kayaking trip, camping on the north end of Orcas Island. Two orcas surfaced along the shore, within touching distance of the beach, within brushing distance of the clothes I had drying on a beach log (I was on land at the time). There were others there, watching the whales in speechless awe. We watched them slowly make their way around some rocks, and we followed them with our eyes as they made a NE heading toward Matia Island and beyond, toward Rosario Straight.

These wildlife encounters are why I want to live here. They don’t have to happen each time I venture out. I just want to know that the possibility exists. I want to know that these other creatures are there, that they thrive, and that they have a good chance to thrive into the future. The southern resident orcas are an endangered species. They are already beleaguered by underwater noise, diminished salmon runs, harassment by vessels, and toxin accumulation, to name just a few things. Puget Sound is already a very high density shipping area. How would the all of the parts of GPT add to this situation? How would the cumulative effects of increased vessel travel, increased noise, and potential coal spills impact the survival and health of orca whales? What is the threshold of each of these disturbances that the whales can endure? And not just endure, but remain healthy and robust? Would the pathways of the many vessels going to and from GPT be assured to not interfere with whale pathways? With kayak pathways? How can all of these impacts and concerns be studied in a rigorous, objective, and comprehensive manner? How can an EIS assure me that increased vessel traffic associated with GPT would not interfere with whales, with people in kayaks and other small craft, with the ability of all marine wildlife to live, reproduce, feed, and maintain health in Puget Sound and the Salish Sea? In any case, there is no way to measure the affect this will have on my quality of experience in the natural world, in the place I call my home.

GPT will negatively impact my quality of life in Bellingham and my reasons for living here. I want answers and explanations. I request robust scientific studies to address each of my concerns, and I want the GPT EIS to include research on the entire food chain in the Salish Sea, from copepods to invertebrates to orcas, and stemming from such, explanations of how the GPT will affect each rung in the ladder. I will make it no secret that I oppose GPT. I believe a comprehensive EIS that addresses all foreseeable future impacts will make it clear why I and other like-minded persons who makes Bellingham home would oppose such a tremendously destructive project. GPT will negatively impact this community and its’ natural environment.

Janiene Licciardi (#13128)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I. It has been projected that there will be 280-950 ship transits per year associated with GPT, with some ships of Panamax-sized dimensions and of limited maneuverability. I would like a study to determine the effects of this vessel traffic on Puget Sound orcas.
II. What is the current underwater noise level in Lummi Bay, Rosario Strait, the Strait of Georgia, Bellingham Bay, and in Puget Sound? How would the vessel traffic described above add to this noise level? What is the significance of underwater noise levels on orcas? How will the cumulative effects of increased noise affect orcas? How does noise affect the food sources (salmon) of the orca?
III. Oil spills, ballast water dumping, and coal spills are inevitable with GPT. Michael Riordan has said that at least 1,000 lb of dust per year will end up in the sea if wind speeds average 10mph during winter months. This does not include big wind events, which happen frequently, but are unpredictable long-term. This does not include operator error, which is a certainty, but is also unpredictable. I would like a study to research these variables, to quantitate them, to study small-scale, large-scale, and long-term effects of coal contamination of sea water, to study how coal enters or affects the food chain, and to study these affects on orcas, in the context of cumulative toxin exposure.

I expect all research studies included in the EIS to be rigorous, objective, comprehensive, and subject to standards of the best science available.

Janine Parker (#9734)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Comment:
I am a resident of Whatcom County living out at Gooseberry Point and my concern is the cumulative effect of the pollution levels of the BP refinery, Conoco Phillips refinery and the aluminum smelter Alcoa, in relation to the proposed coal terminal on the local inhabitants and the environment.

The geographical proximity of these four entities needs to be considered. The cumulative effect of having these three large polluting industries within just a few miles of each other has to be addressed together when considering building the largest coal terminal in the United States in the same area. Anything short of this would misrepresent the true impact on the environment that the proposed coal terminal would create.
Each one of these industries may be just below the critical level for a “known” adverse health impact by itself, but the combined impact of all three of them may significantly endanger human and animal health as well as the natural environments (i.e. soil, water, food resources, etc.).

Consider, for instance the cumulative effects of the deposit of heavy elements and other toxins coming from all four sources on both the human population and the entire ecosystem. Pollutants travel great distances on the wind, in ground water, sea currents etc. and they build up in living systems.

What are the long term effects as well as the short term risks and impacts? The cumulative effect of exponential buildup and accretion of toxicity in various environmental systems must be taken in consideration when estimating the environmental impact. How will these long term cumulative effects be measured? I urge you to study these issues.

I urge you to consider the true cost of coal!

Janis Fensch (#7377)

Date Submitted: 01/14/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
What is best for Bellingham should be a main area of concern for this review...to allow coal trains to pass through or not.

I am requesting that you use your access to financial data and projection skills to weigh the pros and cons of this issue, particularly with regard to future effects on our city. Coat trains or not,,,,which will have the best long range financial impact on Bellingham?

The coal train people make huge claims as to the jobs they will create for our community but most of these jobs would appear to be short term...construction/ expanding tracks, supporting structures at Cherry Point, many of which would require special skills not found in the local labor scene.

These jobs completed, the specialists would move on, the trains would roll through and most of the necessary operations would now be maintained with technologies that require a minimum amount of human involvement. Very little long term employment would be left,,,just a permanent disruption of our lives.

Currently the Bellingham City Council and the Port Commission are working on a Waterfront Redevelopment Project which involves plans for long term community benefit and job creation. This would include environmental cleanup (coal trains would be adding a new form of pollution at the very moment we are trying to clean up the old) and public waterfront access (one and a half mile trains passing through the city up to 18 times a day would block this access.) Once these projects are completed the entire waterfront could be developed with boutiques and restaurants; a mini LaConner could result. Tourists and locals would frequent them, small businesses would provide jobs, the city's tax base would increase and the beauty of the city would be preserved...all of this a permanent benefit to the city.

On the other hand, increased rail traffic would cut the town off from the waterfront, the noise and disruption would not allow small business to take root and grow; people would not want to linger long there. Long term development for maximum benefit to the community would not be possible.

Coal trains and the Waterfront Redevelopment project are at cross purposes. Waterfront Redevelopment will stay as a good thing for Bellingham. Train people (who have no personal stake in what's best for us) will take their profits and move on, leaving us to deal with the problems they created.

Please do not allow this to happen.

Janis Fensch
3605 Vining St
Bellingham WA 98226
360 676 1756

Janis Fensch (#8613)

Date Submitted: 01/14/13
Location: Bellingham , WA
Comment:
What is best for Bellingham should be a main area of concern for this review...to allow coal trains to pass through or not.

I am requesting that you use your access to financial data and projection skills to weigh the pros and cons of this issue, particularly with regard to future effects on our city. Coat trains or not,,,,which will have the best long range financial impact on Bellingham?

The coal train people make huge claims as to the jobs they will create for our community but most of these jobs would appear to be short term...construction/ expanding tracks, supporting structures at Cherry Point, many of which would require special skills not found in the local labor scene.

These jobs completed, the specialists would move on, the trains would roll through and most of the necessary operations would now be maintained with technologies that require a minimum amount of human involvement. Very little long term employment would be left,,,just a permanent disruption of our lives.

Currently the Bellingham City Council and the Port Commission are working on a Waterfront Redevelopment Project which involves plans for long term community benefit and job creation. This would include environmental cleanup (coal trains would be adding a new form of pollution at the very moment we are trying to clean up the old) and public waterfront access (one and a half mile trains passing through the city up to 18 times a day would block this access.) Once these projects are completed the entire waterfront could be developed with boutiques and restaurants; a mini LaConner could result. Tourists and locals would frequent them, small businesses would provide jobs, the city's tax base would increase and the beauty of the city would be preserved...all of this a permanent benefit to the city.

On the other hand, increased rail traffic would cut the town off from the waterfront, the noise and disruption would not allow small business to take root and grow; people would not want to linger long there. Long term development for maximum benefit to the community would not be possible.

Coal trains and the Waterfront Redevelopment project are at cross purposes. Waterfront Redevelopment will stay as a good thing for Bellingham. Train people (who have no personal stake in what's best for us) will take their profits and move on, leaving us to deal with the problems they created.

Please do not allow this to happen.

Janis Fensch

Janis Fensch (#9044)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I moved to Bellingham 11 years ago and to this day am in love with its unspoiled beauty and surroundings. Big Coal has now moved here also and is spending much money trying to sell our city the promise of many jobs. I need you to examine the facts behind the number of jobs promised and their duration. I suspect you will find far fewer than they say and that most will exist for only a short time.

To move this coal, besides miles of trains polluting our air, tying up our traffic and breaking our silence, huge numbers of huge ships will need to move through the narrow (and beautiful) channels of the San Juan Islands. Accidents WILL happen. Our fragile ecosystems, our way of life, will be significantly diminished. Big Coal will take their profits, move on, and leave us to clean up their mess (which we will never be totally able to bring back to what it originally was.)

THIS COAL EXPORTING PROPOSAL IS NOT GOOD FOR THE MAJORITY OF THE AREAS THESE TRAINS WILL MOVE THROUGH NOR IS IT GOOD FOR THE AIR OF THE WORLD.

Janis Howie (#2986)

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

Janis Howie (#12710)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
Location: Tulalip, 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. Even the Chinese are becoming concerned about the serious impact of coal as a major source of power. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

Janis VanWyhe (#5978)

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

Jann Olsen (#3239)

Date Submitted: 11/20/2012
Location: Spokane Valley, 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 watched the increase of coal trains by my property with disgust.
These trains roll through our city center over businesses and apartments. The dust fall out is evident. This is outrageously unacceptable. Please think forward to clean energy, not returning to the filth of the 19th century.

Sincerely,

Jann Olsen

Janna Rolland (#8837)

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

Janna & Allan Kibron & Sleeman (#1998)

Date Submitted: 10/25/12
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Japhet Koteen (#1113)

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

I oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington because this proposal would negatively affect my community by increasing congestion and noise with more coal train traffic, polluting our air and local waterways, dividing our communities with delays of emergency responders and simply forcing millions of citizens to wait while mile-long trains clog our cities. Furthermore, the environmental damage and public health effects of the millions of tons of coal dust that will be released from these trains has a cost that is far beyond the value to our state and nation in terms of jobs and economic growth. Without question, this facility will further contribute to destabilizing the climate and acidifying the oceans which threaten our multi-billion dollar shellfish and marine fisheries industries.

Furthermore, it is unquestionable that the impact of the multiple coal export facilities being proposed in the region have a cumulative impact that is greater than the sum of the individual impacts. If the level of toxic loading in the air and water in the reaches exceeds certain thresholds, it will be extremely costly to repair the damage, and entire industries could be wiped out, respiratory diseases of our most vulnerable populations could rise, and the scenic beauty that make our state a destination worldwide could suffer. While there has been little precedent for studying the cumulative effects of multiple proposals, everything we understand about science demands it. I strongly urge the Army Corps of Engineers to issue a regional Environmental Impact Statement assessing the cumulative impact of these proposals.

Sincerely,



Japhet Koteen
4145 38th Ave S
Seattle
Seattle, WA 98118

Jared Webley (#7596)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Location: Cheney, Wa
Comment:
Thank you for taking the time to go through a comprehensive scoping process for this project. The Gateway Pacific Terminal will be an economic benefit to Whatcom County and will provide a number of economic benefits to Washington State. SSA Marine and the other companies in charge of this proposal will follow all environmental regulations to ensure wildlife and local habitat is preserved. Please don't allow rhetoric from opponents against coal to de-rail this project.

Jasiah Ruby (#8858)

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

Jasmes Chapman (#12812)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Location: Edmonds, WA
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington as well as 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. Frequent landslides have already knocked train cars into Puget Sound. Such an accident would contaminate the sound. 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 up to 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.

Jasmin Liepa (#7265)

Date Submitted: 01/10/13
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Dear Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Ecology and Whatcom County Council:

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

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

It's time to really focus on alternative energy sources that don't impact life as we know it here on earth, in a detrimental way. Let's call for the development of clean jobs that we can all be proud of.

Jasmin Liepa (#13397)

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.There is too much dangerous potential for the coal dust to be in the air contaminating our lungs and the environment during shipping, processing and eventual use. This is about shortsighted greed..WE DON'T NEED THIS IN OUR COMMUNITY OR COUNTRY!!!!!!

Jasmine Mueller (#1607)

Date Submitted: 10/25/12
Location: Granite Falls, WA
Comment:
Oct 25, 2012

Scoping Hearing Comments Cherry Point Scoping Comments WA

Dear Scoping Hearing Comments Scoping Comments,

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

We should not be encouraging the use of coal energy, which is dirty and unsustainable. We need to encourage green waste- free energy. The negative impact on me and my community is not worth the profit. I hope you see that.

Sincerely,

Jasmine Mueller
8710 163rd Ave NE
Granite Falls, WA 98252-9259

Jasmine Villanueva (#13748)

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

Jasmine and Marty Loberg (#13538)

Date Submitted: 01/22/13
Comment:
Dear Sir or Madam,

We are strongly in opposition of the coal trains.

Our concerns include, environmental safety, impact on health, noise pollution, vibrations from the trains causing mud and land slides, danger to wildlife, coal dust on our crops and live stock, air pollution, impact of traffic, loss of property value, and the list goes on and on.

What safety measures are in place in the event of a disaster from the tankers or a derailment?

Are you aware that Beijing main children's hospital sees 9000 children a day? One third of these children have respiratory disease. Why are we sending coal to a country who's one of the worst air polluters in the world? That remains unchecked and unregulated.

Studies show that sleep is critical to good health. How are we supposed to sleep with train horns blasting through the night?

The few jobs being created do not out way the risk of this disaster in the making.

The Pacific Northwest is amongst the most beautiful places on this Earth. How sad and sorry we will be when we have to use the word "was". These coal trains will change our way of life and in no way for the better.

Please consider the little people and allow for a complete comprehensive and thorough study of the overall impact of these trains and the ports.

Sincerely,

Jasmine and Marty Loberg
Bow, Washington

Jason Bourne (#10390)

Date Submitted: 01/17/13
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Dear Whatcom Co. Council, Army Corp. & Dept. of Ecology,

I would like to add my voice with respect to the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal. I cannot get on board with many of the arguments I have heard against the project regarding coal dust and harm to the waterways. I believe these are mitigatable.

HOWEVER, as I research climate change alone, it becomes so obvious that letting this project go forward would be downright irresponsible. I used to argue that climate change was not a serious concern. Then I got educated on just how serious our use of coal is over most other things affecting climate change. I hope you will do the same. It is nearly comical how cavalier so many folks are about risking the health of our tiny precious blue dot floating in space with a paper thin veil separating us from certain death. There is no where else to go. This will eventually and inevitably be our top global priority. Lets hope the tide turns before it is too late. This kind of talk needs to become more acceptable because it expresses the reality of the consequences of our decisions. It is the truth and it needs to be heard from more than just the "environmental crowd". That is why I am writing as a local structural engineer and business owner.

Although coal will continue to be used for years to come regardless of this project, it is imperative that we do everything in our power to stop it every chance we get. Its globally damaging use has so much momentum that we will need monumental effort to even begin turn the tide. This is a big chance to do just that. Please let our little part of the world start by setting the right example. Others will eventually follow suit, but someone has to make the tough call to take the first step.

The second largest issue for me is the effects this project will have on the City of Bellingham's unique opportunity to move away from the industrial dominated waterfront we have had for years. This is another argument for another time.

Mostly, I urge you to allow climate change to rise to the top of the list of serious concerns with respect to this project. It simply is not worth the few permanent jobs it will create.

Thank you.

Jason Cary (#3061)

Date Submitted: 11/18/2012
Comment:
This coal terminal is a great opportunity to supply cleaner energy to the world! It will create coal jobs from Colorado and Utah, to Wyoming and Montana. 100's of good paying railroad and support jobs!

Building this terminal will actually clean the environment!

PRB coal is competing with Indonesian coal. The majority of coal from Indonesia has far more pollutants and much has a lower BTU rating. It should be easy to find info on Indonesian coal. I have read many. PRB is often blended with other coals to lower Sulfur and other toxic emissions. We used this coal to clean boilers in this country. there is no reason to believe that this will not help clean the air in Asia, and the air the drifts into the west coast from across the ocean!

The fact is that POWDER RIVER COAL is some of the cleanest steam coal in the world. . It should be simple to figure out, that if you take some of cleanest coal off the market, dirtier coal will be burned instead. Utah/Colorado coal that will also likely be exported is even cleaner yet!

This project will clean the environment and create jobs!
BUILD THE PORT!

Jason Churchill (#9629)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Comment:
I feel that the proposed coal terminals are an unsustainable practice which comes with too high of an environmental price. Thank you!

Jason

Jason Ford (#7028)

Date Submitted: 01/12/2013
Location: Mount Vernon, WA
Comment:
Saturday, January 12, 2013

18385 Torset Rd.
Mount Vernon, WA 98273

GPT/BNSF Custer Spur EIS Co-Lead Agencies
c/o CH2MHILL
1100 112th Avenue NE, Suite 400
Bellevue, WA 98004

Dear Regulatory Administrators,

My name is Jason Ford and I am writing you to comment on the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal/Custer Spur project, beginning in the Powder River Basin in Montana and Wyoming, running west and north through my community of Conway, WA, and culminating at the current Cherry Point facility north of Bellingham, WA. I am extremely concerned about the potential negative effects of this proposed project on my community and home, the latter of which is located approximately a quarter mile from the rail line, and the former of which is split in half by the rail line.

I work as a public school teacher in the town of Arlington, approximately 25 minutes by car to the southeast from Conway. I am already subject to waiting for trains to cross through our town on my commute to and from work during my work week, and on the weekends when I am shopping for groceries, maintaining my household, seeing friends, and enjoying the many restaurants, bars, and other meetings places in the broader Conway/Mount Vernon community. The motivation for much of this scoping comment also comes from a concern for the safety of myself, my neighbors, friends, and the general public living along rail lines affected by this proposed project, as extra daily/weekly train traffic will surely affect the response time of our local emergency and fire departments, including Conway’s local fire department, located on the west side of the tracks.

For example, this summer, one of our driest in years, a grass fire started approximately a half mile south of the farm I live on, just down the road from the railroad tracks, and across the street from our fire department. Luckily the fire was on the right side of the tracks, and our volunteer firefighters were able to easily access the blaze and suppress it quickly, but I worry about how this scenario would have ended if the blaze had been on the other side of the tracks. This brings me to my research request in regards to the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal/Custer Spur.

I would like you to research how many more road crossings/closures would result from the increased daily/weekly train traffic in the aforementioned proposal, not only in Conway/Mount Vernon, but in all affected communities along a ten mile radius along all rail lines in this project. I would also like you to interview local fire and emergency response departments in order to ascertain how rail crossing wait times currently affect their response times to emergencies, as well the increased train traffic’s cumulative effects would potentially further affect their work.

Thank you for your time and diligent work in gathering, studying, and addressing the public comments for this project. I look forward to following the results of scoping in the near future.

Sincerely,

Jason Ford
Conway, WA

Jason Ford (#14282)

Date Submitted: 01/12/13
Location: Mount Vernon, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Jason Gunter (#7898)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Location: Friday Harbor, Wa
Comment:
I am a Owner and Operations Manager of Discovery Sea Kayaks located in Friday Harbor Washington, San Juan Island. We operate kayak tours in the Haro Strait and north to Turn Point on Stuart Island. Being a Eco Tourism based business where we educate guest to the Pacific Northwest on local wildlife and the environment. I am opposed to the development of the Gateway Pacific Terminal operation.

The inland waters between Vancouver Island and Washington state are a sensitive matrix of waterways in which a diverse ecosystem exist. Current pressure on the ecosystem already pose challenges to the future of the region's wildlife and environmental health. The Gateway Pacific Terminal operation will increase stressors to the environment that will have a negative effect on the marine food chain from the base to the apex. Increased vessel traffic in areas where shipping traffic in narrow passages increases the likelihood of a possible environmental catastrophic event.

The region is home to federally protected and endangered species including Southern Resident Killer Whales and Chinook Salmon. These are reasons alone to oppose the Gateway Pacific Terminal. Disturbance at the Cherry Point site itself will have negative impacts on protected herring stocks from coal dust entering the water and seabed destruction from near shore vessel traffic.

The possible environmental effects over time and or the event of a vessel incident in the area not only pose extreme dangers to the regional wildlife. It poses a direct threat to small local economies where communities rely on Tourism income to survive. These economies are linked to the preservation of this special region and the success of wildlife populations. As a resident of one of these small communities and as a person that enjoys being on the water enjoying the region's wildlife. It is impossible to ignore the proposed threat the Gateway Pacific Terminal poses to the region.

Jason Gunter
Friday Harbor, Wa

Jason Hodin (#6406)

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

Jason McCauley (#6495)

Date Submitted: 01/06/13
Comment:
Hello,

I wanted to comment on the NEPA/SEPA EIS for the Gateway Pacific Terminal Cherry Point. I appreciate the opportunity to comment on this project. This project has the potential to increase rail traffic along BNSF routes from Montana through Washington increasing both pollution from diesel locomotives and coal dust, but also the congestion along the routes. I live within 50 yards of a well traveled BNSF rail-line through my county (Lincoln County, Washington). While I enjoy trains and appreciate the fact they are less polluting than equivalent road transport, the increase in rail traffic from the Montana powder basin coal mine will increase both diesel emissions and potential coal dust along the rail-line. I also am concerned that the added congestion will increase rail crossing wait times and potential degradation of rail equipment. Even without increasing the number of trains transiting through my area, I have noticed the the local rail crossing has what appears to be an inordinate amount of repair work. The side-track signal being inspected and repaired nearly weekly in the summer. The local crossing as well, has maintenance at least weekly, and still the automatic guard gates will at times malfunction. What is then going to be the problems encountered when the rail traffic ramps up due to increased traffic if this project is approved? Not in the least is the fact loads of coal will be uncovered, and potentially polluting along the length of travel. I understand that loads are sprayed with surfactant, and that the industry states this prevents coal dust aerolization. It would seem however that also covering the load (steel
tops) in addition would also be a better option. Also what added safety precautions are going to be implemented to prevent unsafe operation of rail-lines and increased degradation of infrastructure? Least of all, with the recent judicial approval of the EPA regulating CO2 emissions what impact is both the increase in diesel fuel use and ultimate consumption of coal burning going to have on total CO2 levels in the environment? Overall this seems like a project only benefiting the coal industry at the detriment of the environment and citizens in the name of profit. I feel like this project will be approved, no matter how citizens feel or the impact it will have so long as all EIS mandated steps are followed, as history usually attests to. Thank you again for the opportunity to comment.

Sincerely,

Jason K. McCauley, Pharm.D.

Jason Morris (#13465)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Brush Prairie, 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. While I do not live in the direct vicinity of Cherry Point, I know that all of Washington State, and all of the greater Northwest will be negatively effected. Much of the coal going out through this new terminal will go to countries like China, which do not have proper environmental protections, meaning that their burning will result in many nasty things being released into the atmosphere. This may not seem like a bad thing, they are, after all, all the way over there in China. However, the environmental impacts will hurt all of us. What's more, prevailing winds over the Northwest come out of the west, so what they put in the air comes right over here. I strongly encourage you to take a closer look at all of the environmental information available on the subject. Please, put the needs of the people of the Northwest ahead of the desires of the coal companies. Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I hope that you consider what I have said.

Jason Newton (#12985)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
Location: Pompeys Pillar, MT
Comment:
I already live by a railroad track. It is horrible. The noise the dust and disruptions are almost unbearable. The train has hit and killed many of my cattle. Montana law requires the railroad to maintain a right of way fence. The Railroad company refuses to mantain the fence.
Exporting coal is nonsense. It's like exporting our money. We don't want coal jobs...we have an economy and way of life we cherish.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.

Jason Noyes (#5442)

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

Jason Pass (#3339)

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

Jason Pass (#8567)

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

I, like many, 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. I also vehemently oppose the increased train traffic that will arise from this unnecessary project.

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. It would also undermine the U.S. economy by providing China with cheap energy. China would then burn the coal in an unregulated fashion, increasing the impact on our global climate. I thus 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.




Jason Pass

Jason Quigley (#3180)

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

Jason Sanger (#7728)

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

Jasper Sortun (#14601)

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

Jay Goodwin (#11786)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Mt Vernon , WA
Comment:
Dear Committee members:

I think you are all aware of how far the potential impacts of this proposed terminal/rail process will have profound consequences.

The EIS should address the whole process: from the effect of mining all this coal (including water quality/impact on local farmers); transporting that coal in open cars (the industry itself acknowledges 500-2000 lbs of coal dust lost from each rail car-that will get into waterways, let alone cause derailments), the spontaneous combustion of this type of coal; the traffic impacts on the entire route of these trains (in my city alone, this will have a devastating effect on the downtown commercial core); the fact that emergency vehicles will not be able to get to/from hospitals; the impact of this combustible coal as it gets stirred up at the terminal site, to keep it from combusting; the impact of any spills at the terminal on the rich marine ecosytem at Cherry Point; the impacts that huge supertanker spills could have in Puget sound, or in N Pacific's marine environments. An of course the impact of the Chinese burning it w little or no enviro regulations, on the entire planet. (My 87 year old mom was without electricity or heat for 10 days in a NY suburb in Sandy's aftermath. The scientists that have not been bought off by the fossil fuel industry note that Sandy occurred due to climate change.) And what will be the impacts on economies throughout the route that these trains and ships take? How many sustainable jobs from fisheries alone may be lost if there are routine spills/dust deposits and with big super tanker spills. Climate change is causing ocean acidification: how many sustainable jobs and how much potential food will be negatively impacted by that??

I am a health professional: I work to keep people healthy. This proposed coal mining/trasnport/eventual combustion process will benefit a relative few, and have negative economic and physical health impacts on many, as in potentially the entire ecosphere that we know as planet earth.

Who will profit? A few wealthy corporations. A few hundred terminal and railroad workers. How about this idea: build a terminal, and export food grown in W WA. This is one of the few regions without drought issues; I am growing vegetables year round, in plentiful supply...and I'm just a gardener. What if we employed hundreds to a few thousand in W WA growing fruits and vegies that we exported thru Cherry Point.....as food handling is more complicated, probably would employ more people than the coal process!!

Thanks for your attention to these thoughts. Please remember: generations to come may be drastically impacted by your decision....please listen to your soul as well as all the big money folks who want there way and are all too often allowed it in the name of profits/markets and growth.

Jay Kinzel (#10225)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Snohomish, WA
Comment:
I am retired and live in the Everett area; I support the $650 million terminal, proposed by SSA Marine, which would serve as a place to send coal, grain, potash and scrap wood for biofuels to Asia. People tend to focus only on coal but there are many products that would / could be exported from this facility that could benefit our economy in the entire State.

I agree we need to address the environmental concerns and apply appropriate technology to resolve those issues. We are the most advanced technological nation in the world; we can resolve these issues and have the best of both worlds.

Our economy in the State of Washington and throughout the US is in trouble. If we don’t move forward with this project some other State will resulting in the loss of tax revenue and jobs for the State of Washington.

I appreciate the opportunity to comment on this project.

Jay Kinzel

Jay Palmer (#3893)

Date Submitted: 12/01/12
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Jay Roberts (#3520)

Date Submitted: 11/29/12
Comment:
Your post card is very mis leading. Your so called facts are incorrect.

The length of trains are not a mile and a half...Most of the coal trains are 120 cars

There will not be 18 additional trains

Before you scare the public, get the facts straight. I live right next to the BNSF tracks and you are way off by the number of trains to be added

I am all for bringing this type of industry to Washington to help the economy and add jobs to the areas that need them.

I am angry that you mis lead the public

A Sumner Resident

Jay Shewell (#13108)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Location: Lynnwood, 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 severely negatively affect my community by increasing congestion and noise with more coal train traffic, polluting our air and local waterways with highly toxic coal dust, 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 worsening 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.

Jay Taber (#4232)

Date Submitted: 12/05/12
Comment:
In 1974, when my friend Mary Kay Becker’s book Superspill was published, it had only been two years since an oil spill at the Cherry Point refinery in Northwest Washington state had set in motion the genetic mutation and rapid decline of the Chinook salmon’s base feed stock of Pacific herring. A fictional account of a 1978 grounding at Bird Rocks, Superspill added to the clamor for stricter regulations on oil tanker shipping in Puget Sound, leading to the federal imposition in 1977 of size limits on tankers, requirements for double hulls and tug escorts. Now, thirty-five years later, Canada is poised to dramatically increase both the size and volume of oil tanker traffic between Port Metro Vancouver and China. Thanks to the Tar Sands in Alberta — the most carbon intensive industrial project in the world — and the backwardness of the Canadian Government, Puget Sound and the Salish Sea face a disastrous future.

As reported in the June 2, 2011 issue of The Tyee, due to extensive First Nations resistance to a new right-of-way for a proposed oil terminal at Kitimat, British Columbia, Kinder Morgan is planning to expand its pipeline capacity to Vancouver by six-fold. If this is allowed to happen, Oil Sands crude could be the catalyst for an Exxon-Valdez type spill in the Salish Sea. If the Suezmax tankers that carry one million barrels of crude begin calling at Vancouver, that and the proposed ten-fold increase over 2005 tanker transits mean it’s a matter of when, not if, a major oil spill devastates the Salish Sea ecosystem.

Combined with the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal bulk coal carriers calling at Cherry Point, the congestion of shipping could become a nightmare for the Cooperative Vessel Traffic Service managing the already active Special Operating Area at the intersection of Haro Strait and Boundary Pass, let alone piloting into Vancouver’s narrow Burrard Inlet. While this disaster waiting to happen might avoid Superspill‘s Bird Rocks of Rosario Strait, the devastation would be beyond most people’s imagination. Something to think about.


Jay Taber http://www.pen.org/MemberProfile.php/prmProfileID/33531

Jay Taber (#4310)

Date Submitted: 12/05/12
Comment:
We all live on the same planet. Breathe the same air. Drink the same water.

As a planet in motion, that air and water -- along with mammals, fish and birds -- moves around. Nuclear meltdown in Japan leaves infants dead in Canada. Oil spills in the Salish Sea kill whales from California.

As the Government of Canada risks the pristine wilderness of its Pacific coast to export Tar Sands oil to China, the Government of the United States likewise risks the rich marine ecosystem of the Salish Sea to export Powder River coal for use in Chinese industry. While organized labor in the US seeks a piece of the carbon cartel pie, workers in China demonstrate daily against the Government of China over air pollution and other toxic wastes that are killing their communities.

With oil and gas companies in the US fracturing water tables and poisoning aquifers with toxic chemicals, American communities are waking up to the insanity of globalization. With fossil fuel generated climate change ravaging the glaciers, icecaps and shorelines of the world, promoting a fossil fuel frenzy by exporting North America's energy reserves to Asia isn't just foolish, it's suicidal.

But then, apocalypse has never been anything that worried Wall Street. As we enter the second great depression thanks to their recklessness, the guiding hand of the Free Market is leading us straight to hell.

Conservation is more than a sound social practice; to indigenous peoples it’s a law of nature. Common sense terms like waste not want not no doubt have roots in tribal societies.

In fact, conservation, cooperation and reciprocity represent the core values of indigenous nations–something settler societies based on consumption, competition and larceny have a hard time getting their minds around. Observing how the settlers squander finite energy resources like coal, oil and gas, it’s a wonder they’ve managed to survive.

Of course, settler societies were built the world over on other peoples’ land. Their relationship with the resources vital to sustaining life are profane, not sacred.

As the settlers bleed the earth dry of fossil fuels for export, extravagance and warfare, indigenous peoples suffer disproportionately. Their traditional foods, cultural values and sacred sites are diminished if not obliterated.

Insanity is sometimes described as continuing to do what didn’t work before in the hope that maybe it will next time. Carbonizing the Tar Sands oil and Powder River coal energy reserves of North America in Chinese industrial ovens is perhaps the only thing crazier than burning a million barrels per day of our fossil fuel invading Asia and Africa to plunder theirs. If humans are going to survive climate change, we need to power down in more ways than one.


Jay Taber http://www.pen.org/MemberProfile.php/prmProfileID/33531

Jay Taber (#4912)

Date Submitted: 12/15/12
Comment:
While worldwide famine and drought and species extinction might seem like a small price to pay for making a bundle on the depletion of Canadian and American energy reserves, the accelerated extraction and export of coal, oil and gas to China has a limited payback. Regardless of the billions banked by investors and governments over the coming decades, looming at the grande finale of the fossil fuel extravaganza is unparallelled misery. When all is said and done, the climate change impacts from the turbo-charged carbonizing of North American energy projected over the next half century are beyond any society's ability to adapt or recover. In other words, the certainty of utter devastation -- as documented by all scientific bodies worldwide -- is still deemed a reasonable risk to take by the governments of Canada and the US. Indeed, it is presently promoted by both financiers and politicians as indispensable to our way of life. Unfortunately, due to their misguided priorities, that way of life is fast coming to a close.


Jay Taber http://www.pen.org/MemberProfile.php/prmProfileID/33531

jay warner (#3935)

Date Submitted: 12/05/2012
Location: Gresham, or
Comment:
Not in our Gorge. That amount of additional traffic as well as the environmental impact local and global would be immense. Alternative fuels and options, please.

jay yang (#3467)

Date Submitted: 11/28/2012
Location: Lynden, wa
Comment:
though this project could bring some jobs and revenues, it will destroy the living circustances aound the terminal/port/railways and could harm marine lives too by increased vessels traffic). I am strongly object this project and any permit.

Jaye Stover (#9045)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Location: Burlington, WA
Comment:
I've owned a small business on the "wrong side of the tracks" on East Fairhaven - the main street of Burlington for 25 years. I am very concerned about coal dust particulates in the air if coal trains were to begin running regularly through here - a mere two blocks from my office at The Language Exchange. I am not interested in an increase in air pollution such as is occurring in Beijing and other parts of China. Nor should we be shipping this coal to China to further degrade conditions for all life on this planet. My son has asthma and increased air pollution from coal not only from the trains but drifting down the coast from Ferndale/Cherry Point from heaps of coal at the site is a hazard that is not worth the few billion businessmen will make now. Our natural environment is more important than short term gain and fossil fuel usage over the next 50 years. Be responsible. Document the drift of coal from existing coal export ports in Washington and British Columbia. Document coal particles in air surrounding trains bearing coal within 10 miles in every direction. Jaye Stover

Jayme Curley (#1127)

Date Submitted: 10/12/12
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Oct 12, 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,

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. 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.

In short, my concerns are for the healthy of our marine environment, air quality, & quality of life.

Sincerely,

Jayme Curley
1008 W Toledo St
Bellingham, WA 98229-2121

Jayme Curley (#6752)

Date Submitted: 01/10/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
As a resident of Bellingham, I am concerned about the deleterious effects of increased coal train traffic on our quality of life.
Please study the economic, aesthetic, functional costs to the City of Bellingham of increased coal train traffic along our waterfront.
I understand we (the city of Bellingham) will have to suffer not only the economic burden of building & maintaining more under-&-over passes for pedestrians and for cars, but also the health effects of polluted air, noise pollution, disruption of waterfront activities, not to mention, less directly but more calamitously, the loss of a finite resource to China & the contribution to the planet's global warming of promoting coal extraction & use.
Please study these impacts.

Jayme Curley (#6755)

Date Submitted: 01/10/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
As a Whatcom county resident, I am concerned about the effect on marine species & on the fisheries & tourism industries of the proposed increase in coal shipping at Cherry Point. In 2003 Cherry Point was designated as an aquatic reserve by the Department of Natural Resources as part of a 90 year plan to protect marine environments of ecological significance. See http://www.dnr.wa.gov/ResearchScience/Topics/AquaticHabitats/Pages/aqr_rsve_cherry_point.aspx.
Please study the economic & environmental impact on our Salish Sea ecosystem of the coal storage run-off, dock building, oil spills, bilge and ballast water discharge and other coal & dock activities. How adversely will all of these affect the microplankton & forage fish which feed larger fish, such as our iconic salmon, which in turn feed our iconic orcas who are already endangered? The salmon are basic to our fishing industry; the orcas to our marine tourism.
The loss or damage to our Cherry Point microplankton & forage fish populations can not be mitigated.

Jayme Curley (#6756)

Date Submitted: 01/10/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I've been a resident of Whatcom county for about 20 years.
I am asking you to seriously study the effect of increased coal shipping/storage/transport on the herring spawning grounds at Cherry Point which would be destructive of the seabed which supports eelgrass & other marine vegetation which sustain our already declining herring population. The herring are basic food for larger species in our Salish Sea. They are specific to a given site & won't spawn elsewhere.
There is no mitigation to the loss of this natural area.

Jayna Jayna Gieber (#231)

Date Submitted: 10/02/2012
Location: Battle Ground, WA
Comment:
Hello,
As a homeowner and concerned citizen, I do not support the building of any coal export terminals in the Pacific Northwest. I respectfully request (as recommended by United States Environmental Protection Agency Region 10) that the Army Corps of Engineers "conduct a thorough and broadly-scoped cumulative environmental impact analysis of exporting large quantities of Wyoming and Montana-mined coal through the west coast of the United States to Asia. I am gravely concerned about the health and environmental impacts of increased coal transportation as well as the ramifications of increased train traffic along the entire corridor from Cherry Point to and from the Powder River Basin in Montana and Wyoming. A broadly-scoped cumulative environmental impact analysis is the first step towards transparency that we, the citizens and residents of the Pacific Northwest, deserve.
Thank you,
Jayna Gieber

Jayne Freudenberger (#5543)

Date Submitted: 12/27/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Comment: Economics:
Submitted by The League of Women Voters of Bellingham-Whatcom County,

The League of Woman Voters of Bellingham-Whatcom County requests a programmatic economic study of the benefits vs. the costs of siting a coal terminal at Cherry Point. We believe this terminal impacts the economics of the state far beyond the actual terminal site.
The proponents have cited an increase in jobs and tax revenues as a reason to permit this terminal. However some current economic studies have said there may be a net economic loss due to the impacts of the huge increase in trains and ships, and the environmental damage the terminal itself is likely to cause. Several studies should be done on the economics of the proposal.

1.Washington is the most trade dependent state in the nation. Trade generates nearly 200,000 jobs and $867 million in state and local taxes.1 The Western Organization of Resource Councils states the likelihood that the increased coal train traffic would disrupt the reliability of inbound and outbound shipments of agricultural products and containerized traffic. These commodities may then be diverted to Canada and California. Jobs could be lost in the warehousing and distribution centers. Due to increased transportation costs, the price of food and other commodities could be higher. We recommend a study that analyzes the costs/benefits of this transition and how long it might take to attract these commodities back should China no longer import Powder River Basin coal

2.Tourism in the Salish Sea is now a $2 billion dollar industry supporting over 21,000 jobs. The fishing and shellfish industries bring in almost $4 billion dollars a year into our economy.2 A study needs to explore the almost certain possibility that the enormous increase in freighter traffic in the Salish Sea could harm or destroy these industries. The study should include impacts from the increased potential of collisions, oil spills and ballast water discharges.

3. At the terminal site, possible damage to the ground water supplies from huge piles of carcinogenic coal on the ground surface should also be studied as well as the impact of the facility on the 140 acres of wetlands, the adjacent eel grass and Cherry Point herring which support our salmon and Orca populations. Powder River Basin coal may not be China’s energy choice for an extended period as China opens up its own resources and turns to cleaner energy. Therefore the study should include how long and how costly an environmental cleanup of the area would be.

4.And finally we must take note of the businesses that already occupy our waterfront and the cities that are bisected by rail tracks. The delay in access caused by 18 -1 ½ mile long trains could adversely affect existing businesses. This is not a small business problem alone—Boeing has already cited traffic problems as a reason for moving some of their operations elsewhere. Infrastructure changes that might mitigate this problem should not be borne by the local and state governments but by the proponents who benefit from the coal sales. Especially the waterfront, but also other areas will be impacted by noise, coal dust and lack of access. Because of these impacts, home, business and property values have been estimated to decline in the Puget Sound corridor alone by as much as $265.5 million assuming a one percent reduction of aggregate value.3 All these impacts and their costs to municipalities and to the state need to be part of an economic study.

For all these reasons we urge you to do a programmatic economic study for the EIS.

Jayne Freudenberger Co-president LWV of Bellingham- Whatcom County


1 “ Heavy Traffic Ahead: “ Western Organization of Resource Councils July 2011

2 Sea Doc Society—Earth Economics: Puget Sound: Washington States Best Investment: 2012

3 Eastman Company valuation consultants

Jayne Freudenberger (#6813)

Date Submitted: 01/11/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Please study the the impacts of having over 900 more ship crossings a year by Panamax size freighters in the Salish Sea. New studies have shown that noise from ship's engines is extremely detrimental to whale populations. Are we willing to lose our Orca population and other whale species?

Even with strict ballast water regulations, there is a danger that foreign substances will be entering our water. Can we trust that foreign flagged vessels will even comply to our standards? Please study the safety record of these ships. Please study the financial loss our region would suffer if foreign species are introduced into our waters and wipe out our native species? Study the impacts on the jobs that the fishing, shellfish and tourist industries presently provide.
Thank you

Jayne Freudenberger (#7944)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Please do a programmatic study on the effects to our warming planet that will be accelerated by the building of this and other west coast coal terminals , plus the shipping and mining of Powder River Basin coal.We cannot continually as a community, a state and a nation ignore the 99% of scientists who tell us not only is climate change real, it is caused by human activity.

This week (Jan.2013) a draft of the Third National Climate Assessment told us that the issue of climate change has "moved firmly into the present". Compiled by 300 experts the report sums up--the country is hotter, rainfall is becoming both more intense and erratic, and rising seas and storm surges threaten our coastal areas. And that is just in the US.

The toxicity measured in Beijing's air this week exceeded a reading of 755. Air is considered hazardous at 301-500 levels. Will the Chinese continue to burn coal when cleaner sources of energy are available to them?

Australia because of continuing events like the 107 degree temperatures and raging forest fires this week in New South Wales, is beginning to wean itself from the coal bandwagon by passing a carbon tax. How long will Australians continue on a destructive road of shipping the very thing that is causing such horrific climate events in their country? In any case, it is not an excuse to state that if we don't sell coal to emerging nations, they will find it elsewhere. It is morally wrong to facilitate an appetite for fossil fuel.

Gateway Pacific may not even be operational when the noose tightens and we have gone beyond our capacity to mitigate the fast approaching deadlines to save our planet. Coal, as an energy source, must be phased out (as we are doing in Washington State) and new coal transporting facilities should not be permitted.

Jayne Freudenberger (#8010)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Please study the impacts from the huge use of water that will be necessary to keep the dust down on the coal storage facility. It is my understanding that this process will require as much water as is used by the city of Ferndale. Water will supplied by the PUD who gets their water from the Nooksack River. The flow of water in the Nooksack is typically lower in the summer at the very time when more water might be needed to keep the dust down. This is also a time of high water use for the farmers and residents. Who will choose who gets the water when homes, existing industries, agricultural interests and the proposed new terminal are all in competition for a possible inadequate supply?

Jayne Freudenberger (#8303)

Date Submitted: 01/17/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I have lived in Whatcom County for over 40 years and have been boating in the Salish Sea for all that time. I am very concerned about the huge amount of ship traffic that will be added if this terminal is permitted and the amount of coal dust that will impact our water and the species that provide so much to the livelihood and enjoyment of the our marine economy.

Dr. Gary Greene in his comment on January 3rd. has posited that the coal dust might interfere with the important forage fish which in turn would effect the entire chain of fisheries. I am not a scientist like Dr. Greene, but I heartily support his comment that extensive studies need to be done on this possible impact before we proceed with any permits for GPT. Decimating one economy to promote another is not acceptable, especially when the fisheries are renewable and life sustaining, while the coal industry needs to be phased out for the sake of our planet.

Jayson Luu (#1893)

Date Submitted: 10/26/12
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.

Though Washingtonians won't be using the supply of coal, by creating jobs that export it from our state port, we are promoting the use of coal. The use of coal pollutes our air and environment, and due to continued de-forestation, the trees that filter and clean our air unable to cope with such contamination. We need to replant trees and reduce our carbon footprint, which includes the use of coal. Many are more concerned with the economy, but the economy is only used by humans, and humans only live on earth; with deforestation and polluted environment, the earth will eventually be unlivable, thus the economy will be useless.



Jayson Luu
10455 62nd Ave S.
Seattle
Seattle, WA 98178

JC Bower (#4077)

Date Submitted: 12/07/2012
Location: Sumner, WA
Comment:
During my eighty plus years I have observed the disregard shown to our environment in general. We now seem to be concerned with our future air and water and we should be with the dirty air and water we now consume both humans and wildlife..

JC Bower (#8803)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Location: Sumner, Wa
Comment:
Our energy problems will exist even with this cry for jobs. Our environment will continue the down hill slide even faster as a result. Save what we now have remaining of our Planet and obtain energy elsewhere not at the expense of the environment.

JC Williams (#12718)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
Location: North Bend, OR
Comment:
Sending fossil fuel from one end to the other of this tired, hot planet is insane. The sooner we stop exporting this horrible source of energy, the sooner they will be forced to use something renewable that is better for mankind as a whole. The future generations will wonder if we cared about them or "our home" at all. When will the greed end? I urge you to consider this in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

Jean Beamer (#1753)

Date Submitted: 10/24/12
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

jean Bergholz (#6008)

Date Submitted: 01/04/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
A few years back the Cuyahoga River caught fire because of all the sludge that built up in the water, will this happen to the nooksack or along the edge of our water? The water had a foul smell and was very dirty. It burned for a few weeks before it was put out. They are still trying to keep the water clean but with all the ships in and out of the harbor the oil still leaks in the water. Will this happen to our water and also all the fish will they die frome the oil. There are maney fisherman that make a living in our waters.

Jean Bergholz (#6009)

Date Submitted: 01/04/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Mt father-in-law worked in the coal mines in Montana and here in Washington. He was 35 when he passed away from the BLACK LUNG leaving a wife and 5 small children. There is no cure for the black lung dease. He died way before his time trying to put meals on the table for his family.

Jean Burntlett (#5446)

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

Jean Butcher (#10534)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Columbia Gorge is a jewel that needs preservation and stewardship so that future generations can enjoy its marvels too. This proposal needs very careful study from many points of view; while I understand some advantages to coal export, the time to look at and think about all of the ramifications to surrounding communities and to the Gorge is now, before export is up and running and it's too late. Thank you for taking seriously your responsibility to those of us who love the Gorge and to future generations of Americans.

Jean Carter (#4246)

Date Submitted: 12/08/12
Location: Medina, WA
Comment:
Dec 8, 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,

We can no longer afford to make energy decisions that further poison our air and water. I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington and transporting strip-mined coal from Montana and Wyoming on trains and ships throughout the Northwest.
It would increase traffic, pollute our air and water, harm small businesses, delay emergency vehicles, and increase hipping traffic and noise. The coal export terminal would also hurt our environment by damaging aquatic ecosystems at the terminal site, increasing the potential for serious shipping accidents, and exacerbating climate change. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

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

Sincerely,

Jean Carter
7832 NE 32nd St
Medina, WA 98039-1031
(425) 455-1433

Jean Davis (#2728)

Date Submitted: 11/12/2012
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
RE: Economic Effects
The proposed project to build one or more coal export terminals on the West Coast and ship U.S. coal to China has enormous adverse economic impacts to the U.S. The greatest economic benefit would accrue to China which would continue to build its industrial base. It would build China’s industry and economy with uncompensated expenses to the U.S. of air pollution, environmental degradation in Wyoming and Montana, shipping hazards, and other impacts that have no way to be directly mitigated by the coal companies.
Most of the coal that would be shipped and sold by private coal companies would come from public lands in Montana and Wyoming that are leased by the Bureau of Land Management to those coal companies. The Bureau of Land Management leases coal at a rate that is about $1.10 to $1.50 per ton. The Environmental Impact Statement should look at the costs to us as U.S. citizens that far exceed what we can gain at $1.50 per ton.
Quoting from an economics study published by the New York Academy of Sciences – “Each stage in the life cycle of coal – extraction, transport, processing, and combustion – generates a waste stream and carried multiple hazards for health and the environment. These costs are external to the coal industry and are thus often considered ‘externalities’. We estimate that the life cycle effects of coal and the waste stream generated are costing the U.S. public a third to over one-half of a trillion dollars annually.”
The whole thing is a boon to China and a short term benefit to the stockholders in Peabody Coal Company. Everyone else in the U.S. will bear the external costs.

I would like to see the EIS address the external costs that we will bear.

Jean Davis (#4445)

Date Submitted: 12/12/2012
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
Comment is regarding Jobs.
Many people will tout the benefits of the Gateway Pacific terminal and coal exporting in creating jobs. What is the value of creating jobs that ultimately do not improve our industrial base, livability of our cities, and the air we breathe? Should we start another war because it results in jobs for assembling missiles, building warplanes, and manufacturing guns? The EIS should not count the number of jobs and dollar value of wages for coal miners, longshoremen, crane operators, and the like without counting the lost opportunities for those people to be engaged in productive work that builds sustainable industries and communities. We should not aid, through the issuance of permits, in the creation of jobs that produce adverse impacts for our communities.

Jean Ferrier (#97)

Date Submitted: 09/27/2012
Location: Bow, WA
Comment:
See Attached
Attached Image:


Jean Ferrier (#98)

Date Submitted: 09/27/2012
Location: Bow, WA
Comment:
See Attached
Attached Image:


Jean Ferrier (#100)

Date Submitted: 09/27/2012
Location: Bow, WA
Comment:
See Attached
Attached Image:


Jean Ferrier (#791)

Date Submitted: 10/03/12
Location: Bow, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:


Jean Ferrier (#792)

Date Submitted: 10/03/12
Location: Bow, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Jean Ferrier (#793)

Date Submitted: 10/06/12
Location: Bow, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Jean Ferrier (#795)

Date Submitted: 10/08/12
Location: Bow, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:


Jean Ferrier (#796)

Date Submitted: 10/08/12
Location: Bow, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Jean Ferrier (#2679)

Date Submitted: 11/08/12
Location: Bow, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Files:

Jean Ferrier (#5685)

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

Jean Hanna (#13370)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Langlois, 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 impact of sending coalacross the country just isn't a solution. Please consider the green alternative, solar, wind, ocean wave energy But just try to imagine this in your backyard and try to consider that these are your family - not just votes.

Jean Hauck (#5285)

Date Submitted: 12/20/12
Comment:
My concern is about how the heaped up coal hills will be transported to the ships for shipping. In Seward I noticed many conveyor belts were used. As coal was passed on from one belt to the next, small bits and pieces with powdered coal fell from the belts forming small piles on the ground, which were subject to be blown and washed away thus polluting our environment. What are the plans for disposing these unwanted debris?
Jean Hauck

Jean Kent (#5770)

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

Jean Kershner (#9269)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Lummi Island, WA
Comment:
I have been a full-time resident of Lummi Island for over 25 years. I am very concerned about the impacts of the proposed coal terminal on the Orca whales that live in the San Juan Islands. I have been on whale watching tours that leave from Bellingham and enjoyed seeing the whales playing in Haro Strait. I have also observed these wonderful creatures passing by Lummi Island.

I am aware that Orca whales are protected by the Endangered Species Act and that whales can be harmed by both noise and pollution resulting from marine vessels. I am also aware that coal dust can indirectly harm Orca by damaging organisms lower on the food chain.

Because the increased ship traffic and terminal operations are likely to adversely impact the Orca, the EIS needs to answer the following questions: 1) How would the increased noise, pollution, and physical presence of the additional Cape-size and Panamax ships affect the Orca population? 2) How would the construction and the operation of the GPT terminal and the up to 950 additional marine vessel transits per year from the GPT affect the health and recovery of the Orca population? 3) What is the current risk of a major oil spill from vessels over 400 tons and/or carrying a dangerous cargo in the Strait of Georgia versus what it is likely to be with the increased ship traffic from the proposed terminal? 4) How will coal dust blowing into marine waters impact salmon populations, an essential food source for the Orca?

I hope you will do a thorough analysis of the impacts on the southern resident Orca whale as part of the EIS.

Sincerely,

Jean Kershner

Jean Kershner (#10126)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Lummi Island, WA
Comment:
I live on Lummi Island and have paid taxes in Whatcom County for over 50 years. I am concerned about the costs to the taxpayer of the Gateway Pacific Terminal project. I know that the developer has estimated that millions in new tax revenue will come to Whatcom County and the State every year, but the EIS needs to determine if there will be a net negative impact on the taxpayer from this project.

The cost of new infrastructure covered by tax dollars could exceed new tax revenue from the project. As an example, a single overpass project in Colton, California to avoid a major freight train bottleneck was budgeted to cost $202 million in 2011, with over $125 million coming from tax dollars.

The EIS needs to therefore determine the number of overpasses that will be needed to avoid negatively impacting traffic along the rail corridor between the Montana-Wyoming mines and Cherry Point. What is the estimated cost to the taxpayer for overpasses to avoid worsening traffic in Whatcom County, as well as other cities such as downtown Mt. Vernon and Marysville?

I urge you to do a thorough cost analysis of mitigating the negative impacts of increased train traffic from the proposed GPT project.

Sincerely,

Jean Kershner

Jean Kershner (#10130)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Lummi Island, WA
Comment:
I have been a full-time resident of Lummi Island for over 25 years. I have watched the Bellingham waterfront transform during that time, with many new businesses. Bellingham now has the opportunity for many more new businesses and thousands of new jobs, with the redevelopment of the Georgia Pacific site.

I am concerned that the Gateway Pacific Terminal project and the substantial increase in the number and length of trains going through Bellingham will damage existing waterfront businesses and prevent new businesses from choosing the waterfront, which would be a significant adverse impact on the Bellingham economy.

The EIS needs to therefore evaluate how many of the estimated 5,600 direct jobs for the Bellingham waterfront are likely not to materialize due to increased noise, wait times, and pollution from the increased train traffic associated with the GPT project.

Sincerely,

Jean Kershner

Jean Melious (#10229)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Dear Lead Agencies:

The attached article, “Bulker Safety: Structural Strains” (Safety at Sea, Sept. 6, 2012, available as a repost at http://antipodeanmariner.blogspot.com/2012/09/safety-at-seas-bulk-carrier-structure.html), contains information regarding potential bulk carrier accident issues that should be considered in the EIS.

Most decision-makers and members of the public may not be aware that bulk carriers are highly accident-prone, both while loading cargo and while at sea. The article notes the “continuing attrition of large bulk carriers, many of which disappeared without trace” in the 20th century.

Standards have improved, but not all ships have incorporated those standards. Even newer ships can still be subject to a wide range of accidents:

“The high-tensile, low-lightweight ships built in the 1990s are now getting very old and many will be reaching critical strength reduction. More recent vessels will have benefited from improved IMO and IACS regulations and rules, but the hazards remain.

Coatings that are strong and durable have certainly improved resistance to corrosion, but natural forces can still be dangerous. Climate change and the increasing occurrence of storms of unprecedented strength may well be making waves larger. Risks could thus be increasing for these large ships that cannot, because of their length, ride over them. . . .

Port designers should perhaps pay closer attention to the way in which they fender their quaysides. That means doing more than ‘ticking the box’ and installing a proprietary fender that its manufacturer insists is suitable. Instead, they should closely observe berthing and calculate the loadings imposed on vessels’ hulls as they make impact, bearing in mind the enormous momentum involved."

These excerpts emphasize the importance of addressing two issues: risk of accident while in or close to the terminal, and risks created by increased storms and wave height.

At buildout, the Project will expose Cherry Point to 487 additional bulk carriers, including some of the biggest in the world. These bulk carriers will be carrying bunker fuel to a pier located in herring habitat. The risks are significant and proven. Bunker fuel is extraordinarily damaging to marine environments:

"Although only oil tankers can cause very large spills, many bulk carriers and container ships carry bunker fuel of 10,000 tonnes or more – these are larger quantities than many of the world's tankers carry as cargo.

Most importantly, ships' bunkers normally consist of heavy fuel oils, which in general are highly viscous and persistent. A relatively small quantity of highly persistent bunker fuel can be disproportionately damaging and costly to remove in comparison, for example, with a substantial cargo of light crude oil." Colin de la Rue, “Bunker Spill Risk,” Ince & Co. (2001), available at http://incelaw.com/documents/pdf/News-PDF/Bunker-spill-Risk.pdf.

A minor hull breach of a container ship released 54,000 gallons of bunker fuel near Pacific herring spawning habitat in San Francisco Bay. A study of the impacts of the oil spill on herring noted that herring are “a keystone species in the pelagic food web” and concluded that:

"[R]esearch showed strong evidence for a previously undescribed lethal toxicity in Pacific herring embryos associated with exposure to bunker oil, which may have been exacerbated by exposure to sunlight. Although bunker oil spills are typically smaller in volume than crude oil spills, they may have disproportionate impacts in ecologically sensitive, sunlit habitats."

Incardona et al., “Unexpectedly high mortality in Pacific herring embryos exposed to the 2007 Cosco Busan oil spill in San Francisco Bay,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (Nov. 15, 2011), available at http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2011/12/22/1108884109.full.pdf+html.

One of the authors of the study was quoted as stating that "Based on our previous understanding of the effects of oil on embryonic fish, we didn't think there was enough oil from the Cosco Busan spill to cause this much damage," said Gary Cherr, director of the UC Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory one of the paper's co-authors. "And we didn't expect that the ultraviolet light [sunlight] would dramatically increase toxicity in the actual environment." Julia Whitty, “Oil Unexpectedly Lethal to Herring in San Francisco Bay” (Dec. 27, 2011), available at http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2011/12/oil-unexpectedly-lethal-fish-san-francisco-bay

As Dr. Cherr has observed, "Bunker fuel is used worldwide and is spilled relatively often. . .It is important to look at small spills in sensitive areas."
Ken Weiss, “Oil from 2007 spill surprisingly toxic to fish, scientists report,” L.A. Times (Dec. 27, 2011), available at http://articles.latimes.com/2011/dec/27/local/la-me-herring-kill-20111228. The spill in San Francsico Bay, which killed about 6,800 seabirds and closed beaches for months, was “similar in size to a large backyard swimming pool.”

Now that bunker oil’s toxicity has been documented, this impact must be fully addressed and identified in the EIS. Because the risk of such accidents cannot be fully mitigated, the public and decisionmakers must be clearly advised of the risk and consequences of bunker fuel spills and the likelihood that these spills will permanently deplete the struggling Cherry Point herring population. The effects of the remainder of the food chain, including orca whales, must also be clearly identified.

As noted in the “Bulker Safety” article, the risk of accidents at sea is increasing with climate change-induced increases in winter storms and wave heights. Bulk carriers, in particular, are not designed to withstand wave heights that currently “occur more frequently than previously thought,” as discussed in a 2007 paper entitled “Extreme Waves and Ship Design”:

"Recent research has demonstrated that extreme waves, waves with crest to trough heights of 20 to 30 meters, occur more frequently than previously thought. Also, over the past several decades, a surprising number of large commercial vessels have been lost in incidents involving extreme waves. Many of the victims were bulk carriers. Current design criteria generally consider significant wave heights less than 11 meters (36 feet). Based on what is known today, this criterion is inadequate and consideration should be given to designing for significant wave heights of 20 meters (65 feet), meanwhile recognizing that waves 30 meters (98 feet) high are not out of the question."

Craig B. Smith, “Extreme Waves and Ship Design,” presented to the 10th International Symposium on Practical Design of Ships and Other Floating Structures (2007), available at http://www.shipstructure.org/pdf/2007symp09.pdf.

The EIS must identify the extent to which the bulk carrier fleet can withstand current and projected wave height and winter storms. It must identify the likelihood of increased accidents when 487 of the world’s largest bulk carriers transport highly corrosive, combustible Powder River Basin coal across the Pacific Ocean. The impacts of these accidents must also be described, including impacts on the marine environment.

Because it is unlikely that these impacts can feasibly be mitigated, it is especially important for the public and decisionmakers to understand and weigh these risks against the purported benefits of exporting American coal to Asia.

Thank you for considering my comments.
Attached Files:

Jean N/A (#4564)

Date Submitted: 11/29/12
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

Jean Olson (#7273)

Date Submitted: 01/10/13
Location: Kirkland, 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.

Specific items that I feel should be addressed by the EIS are listed below:

1. Impacts to fish and wildife found along the rail line from the where the coal would be loaded into the cars to where it would be loaded onto ships.

2. Because the rail line closely follows the shoreline from Olympia to the proposed terminal location. Impacts to threatened and endangered species including but not limited to orca whales, chinook salmon, pacific herring, harbor porpoise, several rockfish species and marine birds such as marbled murrlet and tufted puffins. Because it is known that coal dust from the trains escapes, where the tracks are directly adjacent to the water; organisms utilizing the water may be adversely impacted. Wildife watching provides nearly $57 million in state tax revenue and many of those people come to see our whales.

3. With increased train traffic, impacts to recreational users of Puget Sound and the inland Waters of Washington are likely and need to be addressed. Western Washington has many waterfront parks which are used by kayakers, stand-up paddlers, sailors, kite and wind surfers and shoreline walkers. An increase of coal dust, diesel exhaust, and noise from the additional train traffic will degrade the relaxing atmosphere of the shoreline in some areas and cut-off access to public lands in others. These impacts are limited to just Western Washington, but need to be addressed along the Columbia River as well. The Hood River area relies on recreationalists for it's economy and more air pollution from train will likely adversely impact them.

4. The Seattle area is know for it's scenic shoreline. In fact, the Puget Sound area provides $9.5 billion in travel spending including tens of thousands of tourism related jobs. Effects on a degraded tourist experience needs to be addressed by the EIS.

5. The cultural heritage of the Native American tribes needs to be addressed by the EIS including, sacred grounds and subsistence fishing and hunting.

6. I also feel that health concerns need to be addressed including coal dust, diesel particulates and noise pollution.

7. The impact of additional rail traffic on existing passenger trains needs to be addressed.

8. And finally, in case you haven't seen this video: http://www.komonews.com/news/local/Freight-train-derails-in-Everett-183859751.html?tab=video&c=y

There were at least 30 mudslides onto rail lines between Thanksgiving 2012 and Dec. 20, 2012. The likelihood of a coal train derailment due to mudslides seems very likely and increased rail traffic increases that likelihood. When the cars tip over, the coal may spill into Puget Sound. How much would that kind of clean-up cost? This should also be taken into account.


I am a marine ecologist by profession and also a member of the Surfrider Foundation, Seattle and Eastside Audubon Chapters and the Nature Conservancy. I use the Inland waters of Washington for birding, sailing, whale watching, relaxing and stand-up paddling.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on this project. I sincerely hope all the decision-makers will see what a TRUELY bad idea the proposed terminal at Cherry Point is.

Jean Olson

JEAN OWEN (#8499)

Date Submitted: 01/17/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
As a retired Physician, I want to express concern about air quality. I assume you will be carefully researching that issue. I am also concerned about the movement of safety vehicles with the large amount that roads will be blocked by the trains.
As a larger issue will this effect the waters near the terminal and how will the burning of coal in China effect the acidity of our waters and survival of our aquatic life.

I believe this massive increase in trains will negatively effect Bellingham, including making it a less desirable vacation destination, thus resulting in more loss of jobs than the few added at the terminal.

Jean Perry (#11074)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Lopez Island, WA
Comment:
My name is Jean Perry. My family and I have lived in the San Juan Islands for 20 years, and I have operated a cafe on Lopez Island for almost 18 years. We moved here knowing that economic opportunities in the San Juans were limited, but also knowing that the natural beauty of the place and the environmental awareness that comes from living in such a place more than compensate for the scarcity of economic possibilities. Anyone who has actually been to these islands can easily perceive the incompatibility of the size of the proposed coal transport ships with the fragile coastlines and narrow straits of the San Juan Islands. Simple common sense suggests the inevitability of an accident in these waters, sooner rather than later, and anyone who has even a little understanding of marine ecology can see that just one oil spill could be irreversibly devastating to our shores and waters. What possible mitigation can there be that is adequate to address the potential destruction of hundreds of miles of coastline, and in a timely manner? What kind of plan is proposed to protect the irreplaceable value of this environment?

Jean Perry (#11112)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Lopez Island, WA
Comment:
My name is Jean Perry and my family and I have lived on Lopez Island in the San Juans for 20 years. Our livelihood derives entirely from income from a small cafe that I have run for almost 18 years. My two daughters both work there (when not attending college) and my husband does landscaping and maintenance for the building. Like almost every business on Lopez Island, we are truly dependent on visitors to provide us with anything resembling an ordinary living income, and visitors come for precisely the reasons that we came---natural beauty, clean air, clear waters, fascinating marine life, recreational opportunities, simpler living. All of these things would be threatened by the proposed coal transport vessels coming through our fragile ecosystem. Both the size and number of passages makes the risk of accident very high indeed. Tourism, and thus my marginal income, would be directly and deeply impacted by any kind of environmental degradation of the San Juan Islands, including the damaging effects of coal dust and the constant passage of incredibly large vessels through our narrow straits and (previously) quiet waters. Recreation on the water would become almost impossible, dangerous, and certainly not relaxing. Even without any kind of mishap (which seems highly unlikely given the huge size and large number of ships passing through) the motivation for visiting the islands, or even living here, will be powerfully negatively affected by this proposed project. In what ways will the economic results of environmental impacts be addressed by those who will benefit from this project? I would like you to consider what kind of mitigation will be offered to the small businesses which have adapted to the unusual economic environment of the San Juan Islands when when the natural environment here--which IS the primary basis of our economy--is irrevocably altered.

Jean Richardson (#13937)

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.
Please know that your decision will impact young people who make their home in the Northwest coast.
Once installed, this healthy area will not be livable for generations if ever.

Jean Rogers (#10818)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I live on the south side of Bellingham, a short drive/walk/cycle from the waterfront in Fairhaven. I have lived here for 27 years. My house is located on a hill and I can hear the trains loudly at night.

I am concerned about the likelihood that noise from train traffic will increase if the GPT goes in, in particular the impact on sleep and health. I am also concerned about the noise of the trains in terms of quality of life (day and night), in my neighborhood.

Please thoroughly study the impact on health and quality of life of having more trains coming through the Bellingham area, in particular related to sleep and general noise.

Given the level of impact that this would have on my home, quality of life and neighborhood, I recommend taking no action as the best way to mitigate this problem.

Jean Rogers (#10828)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I live on the south side of Bellingham, a short drive/walk/cycle from the waterfront in Fairhaven. I have lived here for 27 years. I regularly bicycle to work or to pursue other activities in downtown Bellingham, crossing the railroad tracks twice (on both ends of Boulevard Park) in order to use a combination of streets and bike trails.

I am concerned about the impact of the proposed terminal and the related train traffic on the feasibility of biking from the south side to downtown without significant delays, and lowering of the quality of life associated with biking along our scenic waterfront. Bicycling is an increasingly important form of transportation, for health, lower travel costs and the environment.

Please thoroughly study the impact on bicycle transportation, commuter cyclists. Please also study the impact of the trains on the quality (scenic, noise, health, delays) of the bike routes that would be affected.

Given the level of impact that this would likely have on bike travel from the south side to downtown Bellingham, I recommend mitigating this problem by not allowing the development of the GPT project.

Jean Rogers (#10844)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I live on the south side of Bellingham, a short drive/walk/cycle from the waterfront in Fairhaven. I have lived here for almost 30 years. One of the special things about living here is spending time in the parks along the waterfront, in Bellingham, Fairhaven, and along Chuckanut Drive, and swimming in the summer time.

I am concerned about the impact of the proposed terminal and the related train traffic on the quality of our waterfront parks and trails. I am also concerned about the effect on the well being our community gains from these areas, the natural beauty, peace, swimming, walking, socializing (how can we socialize if we can't hear the conversation?). Additionally, the impact on the future of our community as a desirable, vibrant, positive place to live concerns me.

Please thoroughly study the impact of the terminal and the trains on the quality of our waterfront parks, water quality for swimmers, community well being and the social impact for our city.

Given the level of impact that this would likely have on these park areas, water quality and the quality of life in Bellingham, I recommend mitigating this problem by not allowing the development of the GPT project.

Jean Rogers (#10862)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I have lived on the south side of Bellingham for almost 30 years. I have worked at the downtown Community Food Co-op for almost 14 years.

I am concerned about the impact of the proposed terminal project on the economy of Bellingham, and the impact that could have on my workplace. Our city has a very strong reputation as a green, environmentally conscious, healthy, active, outdoor destination, with a strong focus on local, living economies. These aspects of our city are significant to the success of my workplace, and reflect the values of a core group of our shoppers.

Please thoroughly study the impact of the GPT project on Bellingham's green economy, tourism, local food and other sectors that rely on our reputation as an area that is in the forefront of creating environmentally healthy, sustainable jobs and living.

Given the level of impact that the GPT terminal could have on the success and development of Bellingham's green and local economy I recommend mitigating this problem by not allowing the development of the GPT project.

Jean Stewart (#3821)

Date Submitted: 12/03/12
Location: Spokane, WA
Comment:
To Whom It may Concern:

I BELIEVE CITIZENS HAVE A RIGHT TO CLEAN AIR AND CLEAN WATER AND THAT RIGHT HAS A HIGHER PRIORITY THAN

ANY CORPORATION'S BOTTOM LINE. COAL TRAINS WHICH ARE UNCOVERED TRAVELIING THROUGH POPULATED AREAS

ARE UNACCEPTABLE TO THE PUBLIC'S HEALTH. TRAINS DERAIL FREQUENTLY IN THE MONTANA AREA AND THERE IS NO

QUARANTEE THIS WILL NOT HAPPEN AND POLLUTE THEIR RIVERS, WATER, AND AIR. COAL ASH AT THE MINE IS TOXIC

AND LIFE THREATENING. WE NEED TO MOVE TO CLEAN ENERGY TO CREATE JOBS. ONCE CHINA BURNS THE COAL WE WILL

ALL SUFFER AGAIN. DO NOT ALLOW THIS TO GO FORWARD. PROTECT OUT COUNTRY, OUR CITIZENS, OUR FUTURE, AND

OUR PLANET.

SINCERELY,

JEAN E STEWART
4218 W WIELE
SPOKANE, WA 99208
509-315-5082

Jean Toles (#12713)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
Location: Portland, OR
Comment:
Robert F. Kennedy Jr., said that wherever coal begins to take over, there is no democracy. Coal should have been dispensed with as a source of energy a long, long, time ago.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.

Jean Waight (#711)

Date Submitted: 10/16/2012
Comment:
I am concerned about geological and seismic risk. I’m sure Peabody Coat, SSA Marine, and Goldman Sacks will say it is a non-issue since there are already trains traveling the route they plan to use. However, several factors make it a new risk requiring study. If not studied, any risks will surely be left out of guarantees and bonding the County and State should require. If significant risks are left unspecified and left to court fights down the road, it is easy to see who has the upper hand—the mega-wealth and thousands of lawyers of Goldman Sacks and their partners.

Goldman is already ready, willing and able to privatize the profits while “socializing” the risks of the GPT project. It is up to the EIS and regulators to find problems that SSA Marine prefer we don’t find.

A starter list of reasons to study seismic issues:

1) Burlington Northern has previously been concerned enough about the cliffside homes above Roeder Ave to have monitored that area for years past, according to a Bellingham Herald letter writer who saw the report of the monitoring when shopping for a home in the vicinity many years ago. Who knows where else along the route there are potential problems? We do know that Chuckanut sandstone regularly crumbles and falls on the existing tracks.
2) Coal loads are heavier than other loads, and the proposed coal trains are longer and more frequent than our local rails have borne before. Suppose we find that the land can’t safely withstand the additional weight, vibration strength, and vibration duration? Could we have a huge disaster in an exceptionally rainy season, or in a minor earthquake, or at any random time?
3) If the GPT project is approved, and then separately a BN rail line capacity project applies for a permit, the first will get used as leverage to get the second approved “at a reasonable cost”, because protecting the GPT investment will become the priority. Cost issues will then tend to trump safety issues.
4) Building additional tracks or reinforcing tracks, as other similar projects across the country have faced, will likely add to any seismic stresses, as well as fall on the public to fund.

It is much better to study these scenarios NOW during the EIS, before they have a chance to fall on our shoulders.

Thank you for your attention in this matter.

Jean Waight (#1172)

Date Submitted: 10/24/12
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I am a 20 year resident of Bellingham. Aside from moral issues, my view is that the proposed project is extremely outsized for our small community.

“As proposed, the Gateway Terminal will overwhelm the current capacity for rail traffic between Bow and the Custer Spur,” Phillip Buri writes in his October 22 letter to the Co-Lead agencies on behalf of Community Wise.

He further reminds us that under WCC 20.88.130 the developer must prove that this major project will be served by essential utilities and that the project will not impose uncompensated requirements for public expenditures, etc.

It is clear that the current rail infrastructure and current rail traffic schedule cannot absorb the train traffic that the GPT would bring. Building more sidings and other structures would bring a certain and very significant impact: financially and on all the uses that current property owners, municipalities, rail passengers, and freight customers enjoy.

It is vital that these impacts be studied in order to determine the costs and impacts of alternatives. This is huge. GPT and Goldman Sachs do not want to “pay the freight.” Their immense resources are being arrayed to overwhelm little Whatcom County. The full text of the letter referred to is below.

http://www.communitywisebellingham.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Siding.pdf

Jean Waight (#2568)

Date Submitted: 11/08/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Concerning tanker traffic risks, please require a high quality study appropriate to the magnitude of the risks of collision, spills and other accidents involving bulkers, cape size ships and other ships and ferries along the route from Ferndale through the Aleutians.

A safety plan isn’t going to do it. A plan with boxes to check for insurance, employee training, supervision, emergency response equipment, etc. is OK in reducing smaller scale risks like restaurant kitchen fires. However, where very large scale risks are to be evaluated, obviously a lot more study and analysis and assurance is called for.

In my past work as an insurance underwriter, I studied risk management and loss control enough to know it is a well-developed field. Its tenets, methodologies, research and case studies are ignored at great peril. If something can go wrong, it will go wrong, as the Exxon Valdez disaster and other disasters attest.

Surely you will agree that it will not be enough to rely on the assertions of boosters. An example of unsupported assertions by supporters was reported after the November hearing in Friday Harbor. Boosters claimed that the Coast Guard has already provided expert opinion to the effect that the risks of collisions and other accidents will be low, with no analysis offered in support of such assertions. (Was there modeling of the additional traffic and size of vessel? Or a study of the costs and damages one accident could realistically cause, depending on where it occurred, and in what conditions? )

Indeed, a start is to listen to, and accept scoping advice from, those with long direct experience on the local and regional waters. Such as the retired State ferry captain who spoke at the Friday Harbor hearing. He and other experts can tell you what to study. He described several hazards that lead to accidents, and spoke of his personal experience losing his rudder twice in his career, dealing with the fog and currents, and how impossible cape size ships are to navigate when they lose power or rudders.

When traffic safety studies are completed for the EIS, the risk of loss will emerge along with the cost of loss. The risks/costs should be laid alongside the “need” for shipping coal from this location. If the risks are indeed large, the question then becomes: What are we taking these risks for?

Citizens may accept having the federal government undertake a large risk (rarely) if it’s a matter vital to national security. However, citizens should not be asked to accept having a private concern undertake large risks of public harm, simply for private profit. Against large publicly born risks, private profit concerns don’t stack up--that will be an instance of NO demonstrated need for the project.

Jean Waight (#2754)

Date Submitted: 11/13/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Please study the impact of wind-blown coal dust emissions from the terminal site on our salmon, herring, and crab fisheries, and on the thousands of jobs they support.

As a property owner in Whatcom County, I am concerned about a project that will degrade the values that makes this area attractive. I am also concerned for my neighbors who fish. These are not mitigatable.

According to Dr. Michael Lawrence of UW, the terminal proposal calls for open piles of coal, 80 feet high, that will be exposed to high winds. We all know it is windy in Ferndale. Winds will speed the evaporation of water that keeps the dust down. Which will then require a lot of water to keep the piles wetted. Why is the water needed not even calculated in the proposal?

The Roberts Bank terminal in BC emits 715 tons of coal dust each year. The fact that other terminals can't keep their coal dust down should tell us that it will be difficult if not impossible for the operators of GPT to do so. They may blithely promise to water the piles down, but to my knowledge they haven't secured the huge amounts of water they will need to begin to fulfill this promise.

And if they can't? Much of the coal dust from GPT will settle in waterways and the Cherry Point aquatic reserve, threatening a critical economic resource and Pacific herring fishery.

Where will the water comes from? The Nooksack River will continue to show decreasing summer flows, a strong trend projected by WSU researchers to worsen. The irrigators and the Lummi who have rights to the water have their highest demand in those same months. How is GPT going to muscle in to adequate water rights?

This is crucial. Please study it carefully.

Thank you.

Jean Waight (#6173)

Date Submitted: