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P Bolding (#1426)

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

P Gibb (#1787)

Date Submitted: 10/26/12
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Sirs: Attached is a letter from me concerning the emergency service delays created by the proposed Cherry Point terminal, submitted in conjunction with the scoping hearing in Bellingham that I will be unable to attend because of physical disabilities. If there are questions concerning my letter, I can be contacted at
360-733-5775.

Robert P. Gibb, M.D.
Attached Files:

P Ly (#13549)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Porthill, ID
Comment:
We already know that transport of mineral resources can have significant impact away from the source and processing terminal. Just look at Libby, MT and the impacts William Grace had on the region and throughout the nation. The government, including EPA turned it's back, on the impacts for years. People have died. People have been sick.
People are still dying. People are still sick. The contaminants are still in our communities.

I am very concerned with the impacts on my local area by this proposed project and look forward to the environmental review process fully protecting my home along the railroad tracks of Idaho, Montana and Washington.

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.

P Lynne Federspiel (#8435)

Date Submitted: 01/17/2013
Location: Stanwood, WA
Comment:
1.Please study crossrail traffic in all cities for emergency delays, long road closure.
2. Effects of potential mudslide derailing cars along Puget Sound.
3.Air quality and coal dust on the rou
4. Effects on the designated marine wildlife refuge from pier,ships, oil spills & drainage.
5.Long term alterations to pristine areas in Wyoming
6. Should we (United States) be helping China to further pollute the atmosphere by shipping coal to factories that do not have the standards we require here?
7.Will this pollution speed up global warming?
8.Indian burial ground

Paddy Bruce (#2459)

Date Submitted: 11/05/12
Comment:
I submit that the transportation, shipping, and burning of coal represents a documented, undeniable health risk to more than the residents of Whatcom Co. There will be ramifications world wide.

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 of CO2 levels, and the expectations of a increasingly warmer planet derived from increased CO2 contributions from the burning of coal.

I am opposed to the building of the terminal under any circumstances. Thank you for considering my concerns,
Paddy Bruce
Resident of Whatcom Co

Paddy Bruce (#3264)

Date Submitted: 11/20/2012
Comment:
The idea of contributing to the burning of low grade fossil fuels, shipping it to China that doesn't have adequate emission standards, plus polluting one of the beautiful Whatcom beaches, ancestral home to the Lummi nation, with an ugly terminal that would deny public access all adds up to a very big NO for me on the Gateway Terminal.

This excerpt from the Sierra Club newsletter says it all:
"Hurricane Sandy is part of a broader, frightening pattern, and I am not alone in seeing the effects of this pattern with my own eyes.

Families in Haiti are in despair after Sandy ripped through, leaving 200,000 homeless. Last year in the U.S., we had 14 storms that each caused more than $1 billion in damages, breaking the previous record of nine. 2012 has been a year of living dangerously. Across the U.S., wildfires destroyed thousands of homes from Texas to Wyoming. Disaster areas were declared in nearly 1,500 counties, covering 32 states.

There are lots of people -- too many -- who have had to deal with the effects of climate disruption. Like me, the people who are sharing their stories see that this is a global problem. Even as we focus on rebuilding, we want to see this country taking a bold leadership role in fighting climate disruption."

Michael Brune
Sierra Club

We want jobs that focus on forward thinking fuel alternatives...
Thank you for your consideration,
Paddy Bruce

Paddy Bruce (#3679)

Date Submitted: 11/30/12
Comment:
Please review all current information and deny permits to the plans for Gateway.
This study lists the already perilous brink we are approaching for the health of marine life in our local waters and the entire Salish Sea.
"A panel appointed by Gov. Chris Gregoire made dozens of recommendations for tackling the rising acidity in Northwest marine waters, which already has upended the West Coast's multimillion-dollar shellfish industry and threatens to wreak havoc on the region's marine food web."
http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2019777081_acidification28m.html

Thank you,
Paddy Bruce
Whatcom Co resident

Paddy Bruce (#3819)

Date Submitted: 12/03/12
Comment:
I oppose the Gateway Terminal for the harm it will do to our marine environment.
These studies need to be considered in the scoping process. "Marine scientists call the herring a keystone species, key to the biological health of Puget Sound. They’re meat and potatoes to Chinook salmon, listed by the federal government as an endangered species. Chinook, in turn, is prime steak to Orca whales, seals, eagles and us.
The word herring comes from a Latin term meaning “multitude.” The way things are going at Cherry Point, we may have to call them something else. What was once the greatest herring stock in Puget Sound has dwindled by about 90 percent in 30 years. No one knows why."
http://www.cascadiaweekly.com/

It is also ceremonial burial grounds for the Lummi tribe. Denying access to this property for all of us and covering it with coal would a sacrilege.

Thank you for your consideration
Paddy Bruce
Whatcom County Resident

Paddy Bruce (#4619)

Date Submitted: 11/29/12
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

Paddy Bruce (#5492)

Date Submitted: 12/20/12
Comment:
On Dec. 17th in Everett WA. seven BNSF freight cars derailed.

BNSF spokesman Gus Melonas says the slide came off a 100-foot slope and struck the train at about 1:30 p.m. Monday, in the same area where a slide covered the tracks earlier in the day. Seven cars were derailed.

Witness Ricky Ivelia saw the whole thing unfold.
"I saw the hill start to go. It went down and hit the first car and it tipped over, then more cars kept tipping over. It was crazy how loud it was and how slow it all happened," he said.
http://www.komonews.com/news/local/Freight-train-derails-in-Everett-183859751.html?tab=video&fb_action_ids=4515103470257&fb_action_types=og.recommends&fb_source=aggregation&fb_aggregation_id=288381481237582

I am concerned about the coal trains using this same rail corridor. The rail corridor through Bellingham WA has a number of places where it travels directly along the water. One area I am most concerned about is the section from the Plywood Mill to the Fort Bellingham overpass. I walk the beach regularly below this portion of the track and there is evidence of former slides. The RR companies have added rip rap in an effort to stabilize the bank but we have seen what several days of constant rain can do in other areas. Having train cars topple tons of coal onto the beach below to pollute the water of Bellingham Bay would be a clean up disaster that would damage the region for decades. Oysters are finally coming back in this area.

We have to use better accounting practices that include the collective price of the impact of accidents, know accumulation of coal residues as it travels, the problems related to blocking crossings, the pollution from the transportation and the final pollution from unregulated burning of these fossils fuels once they reach their destination. All of these impacts do not pencil out when we consider the few actual jobs that it brings to Whatcom County. Yes, power companies, corporate executives, and railroad companies have huge profits but there are no benefits to people all along the corridor from Wyoming to Washington, more stress to our already plummeting air quality and the potential for disaster over land and sea just make this all add up to a big NO. I have watched the scoping process and attended two of the meetings personally. There were many more folks against this project than for it. Their arguments were broad in scope, well articulated and documented. I hear that folks need jobs and I hope we can all work together at this turning point to support bridges to energy independence and new technologies to bring clean and forwarded thinking companies to Whatcom County.

BTW - Germany has put solar panels on the roofs of all it's buildings, including the capital dome. There is the technology now for roofing that is the collector itself. All of that enregy can be cycled back into our existing electrical grid. Let's bring that company here. Let's subsidize that industry. We can do it too.

Thank you for your consideration,
Paddy Bruce • resident Whatcom Co.

Paddy Bruce (#5830)

Date Submitted: 12/29/12
Comment:
All of this information about the restoration of salmon habitat and the work of local non-profit NSEA would be for naught is we allow GTP to be considered on our waters and travelling through our county. We don't want anymore pollution here.

http://www.bbwarm.whatcomcounty.org/news-and-event-stories/thesalmonarespawning-terrellcreekrestorationsuccess

Thanks you for your consdieration
Paddy Bruce Whatcom resident

Paddy Bruce (#7149)

Date Submitted: 01/13/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
My name is Paddy Bruce and I am a longterm resident of Whatcom Co.

Please include in the scope of the EIS: impacts of fugitive coal dust from trains en route to and from the proposed GPT and coal mines in the Powder River Basin.

I have read numerous articles that indicate that over time if trains are allowed to transport coal the levels of lead, mercury, cadmium and other poisonous materials from the coal dust will build up all along the track and affect plants animals and people all along the rail corridor.

Thank you for your consideration.
Attached Image:

Paddy Bruce (#7151)

Date Submitted: 01/13/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
My name is Paddy Bruce, a Whatcom Co resident

I have been doing some reading and research and would like the EIS and The federal government to look systemically at the effect of all these proposals on rail communities in considering impacts to the environment, human health, traffic, economies, etc. Without a programmatic EIS that models all possible rail expansion, regulators have no basis on which to identify indirect impacts or measure cumulative impacts which include reasonably foreseeable future activities. The Surface Transportation Board should stop addressing proposed expansions in the Powder River Basin in a piecemeal fashion, and conduct a rail PEIS so that all potentially impacted populations can be given proper notice of how they may be impacted. People have no way to know how to address potential impacts on their family, their property, and their environment without a systematic determination of how much coal may be extracted from the Otter Creek Mine at peak operations for shipment to terminals on the Columbia River or elsewhere on the west coast of North America. The situation is the same as all residents of rail communities from the Powder River Basin to the West Coast.

** Arch coal has agreements with the proponents (Ambre Energy and Kinder Morgan) of the three proposed terminals on the Columbia River.

** Those terminals propose to ship a combined 82 million metric tons of coal per year, and would require a minimum of 27 round-trip rail passages from/to the Powder River Basin.

** All coal bound for the west coast will probably go west through the Columbia River Gorge, including trains ultimately bound for GPT (16 round-trip passages) and Coos Bay (3.6 train passages).

** Grand total round trip train passages IF every train is 1.6 miles long: 46.

** Grand total coal proposed to be exported through the five terminals proposed in Oregon and Washington: 155 million metric tons (for perspective, the U.S. exported 110 mmt of coal TOTAL in 2011). This is a seismic shift in U.S. export of this commodity, impacting a region of 5 states with an infrastructure system that was never designed for activity at this level.

Thank you for your consideration

Paddy Bruce (#7194)

Date Submitted: 01/14/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
My name is Paddy Bruce, a Whatcom Co and Planet Earth resident. I am submitting this transcript from a Bill Moyers & Company interview with Anthony Leiserowitz, a climate change communication expert. His breadth of understanding and delineation of the problem can help all of us understand our responsibility to start NOW to shift our focus to the environment problem and how we can develop technologies to support jobs expansion and create a world that supports all of our lives for all time. It is urgent that you play your part to see that issuing permits for the Gateway Terminal is counterproductive to achieving those goals, not just in Whatcom Co., but worldwide. We depend on your measured insight and informed decision based on the countless studies and information now available that show us we cannot continue to ignore climate change.

ANTHONY LEISEROWITZ: The Earth’s climate does not care whether you are a Democrat or a Republican. It doesn’t care whether you’re liberal or conservative. Climate change will affect all Americans no matter what your political beliefs, your religious beliefs, your race, class, creed, et cetera, okay. And in the end, the only way we’re going to deal with this issue is if we come together as a country and have a serious conversation, not about is it real. But what can we do about it.

BILL MOYERS: And, the NRA and the big business of gun violence.

ANNOUNCER: Funding is provided by:

Carnegie Corporation of New York, celebrating 100 years of philanthropy, and committed to doing real and permanent good in the world.

The Kohlberg Foundation.

Independent Production Fund, with support from The Partridge Foundation, a John and Polly Guth Charitable Fund.

The Clements Foundation.

Park Foundation, dedicated to heightening public awareness of critical issues.

The Herb Alpert Foundation, supporting organizations whose mission is to promote compassion and creativity in our society.

The Bernard and Audre Rapoport Foundation.

The John D. And Catherine T. Macarthur Foundation, committed to building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. More information at Macfound.Org.”

Anne Gumowitz.

The Betsy And Jesse Fink Foundation.

The HKH Foundation.

Barbara G. Fleischman.

And by our sole corporate sponsor, Mutual of America, designing customized individual and group retirement products. That’s why we’re your retirement company.

BILL MOYERS: Welcome. So as you know, we avoided the cliff, at least for the moment. But only for the moment. A bigger Grand Canyon looms ahead, in about two months, as the government reaches its debt ceiling and can’t borrow any more money. President Obama wants to lift that ceiling. The Republicans don’t. And it appears we’re heading for another “Thelma and Louise” ride to the edge. Remember – they went over.

We’ll discuss that possibility next week with Paul Krugman, the Nobel Laureate in economics and New York Times columnist whose bestselling book, End This Depression Now! calls for full employment as an alternative to austerity. Read it, then send us the question you would like me to put to Paul Krugman.

Meanwhile, another reality beckons and there’s a menace more threatening than the fiscal cliff ever was. What should really be scaring the daylights out of us -- the crisis which could make all the others irrelevant -- is global warming. Get this one wrong and it’s over -- not just for the USA, but for planet Earth. That’s the message delivered by Hurricane Sandy, and by almost all the extreme weather of the past two years.

And here in the first month of the New Year, it’s the message from the most informed scientists in the world. They’re scared, for real. And they say that unless we slow the release of global emissions from fossil fuels, slow it enough to keep the planet’s temperature from rising by two degrees Celsius, or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, the earth’s polar ice sheets will melt away -- with catastrophic consequences.

Time’s running out. Not one, but two major scientific reports in the last few weeks have concluded that the rapid increase in fossil fuel emissions makes that increase of two degrees Celsius all but inevitable. This headline in the National Journal spells it out: It's Already Too Late to Stop Climate Change.

Yet as the clock ticks away and warnings mount, official Washington irresponsibly continues to look the other way. And so does the Beltway press – as demonstrated in that Town Hall debate last fall when CNN’s Candy Crowley almost – almost -- asked Barack Obama and Mitt Romney about global warming.

CANDY CROWLEY on CNN: Climate change, I had that question, all you climate change people, we just, you know again, we knew the economy was still the main thing so you knew you kind of wanted to go with the economy.

BILL MOYERS: And so she veered away, avoiding the issue as if global warming is of concern only to a small clique of elites instead of every one of us. And so for the first time since 1984 there was no mention of climate change in any of the presidential debates. No mention as that clock ticks away and the warnings mount.

Why isn’t this planetary emergency on every politician’s mind? Why are any of us still silent? Those questions prompted me to ask Anthony Leiserowitz to join me at this table. He’s director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication and a research scientist at Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

He’s a geographer by training, with a specialty in human behavior, the psychology of risk perception and decision making -- an expert on the public’s perception of climate change and whether people are willing to change their behavior to make a difference. He has said, quote, “You almost couldn't design a problem that is a worse fit with our underlying psychology."

Tony Leiserowitz, welcome.

ANTHONY LEISEROWITZ: Oh thank you, Bill, it's great to be here.

BILL MOYERS: What did you mean that we almost couldn't design a problem that is a worse unfit with our underlying psychology? What did you mean by that?

ANTHONY LEISEROWITZ: Well, look, as human beings we are exquisitely attuned to what's happening in our immediately environment and what we can see around us and what literally touches us physically.

If you're walking through the woods and you hear the crack of a stick behind you, your body immediately goes into a fear response, a fight or flight response. Climate change isn't that kind of a problem. It's not an immediate, visceral threat.

And I can say right now, this very day we can look out the window and there's CO2, carbon dioxide, pouring out of tailpipes, pouring out of buildings, pouring out of smokestacks. And yet we can't see it, it's invisible.

The fundamental causes of this global problem are invisible to us. And likewise the impacts are largely invisible to us as well unless you know where to look. So it's a problem that first of all we can't see. And secondly it's a problem that is seemingly faceless. It's not like terrorists who we can imagine who are coming after us trying to kill us and challenge our fundamental values. It’s a problem that we can’t see, that’s going to have long term impacts that aren’t going to just impact us now, but impact us into the future; impact our children and our grandchildren.

BILL MOYERS: But you've seen the stories: 2012 the hottest year on record; 2011 carbon dioxide emissions the highest on record; Arctic sea ice shrank to a record low; the world's largest trees are dying at an alarming rate, I could go on and on. These are signs and signals, are they not?

ANTHONY LEISEROWITZ: They are. And, in fact, 2011 was an all-time record year in the United States, for example. We had 14 individual climate and weather related disasters that each cost this country more than $1 billion. That was an all-time record, blew away previous records. And in 2012 we had events ranging from the summer-like days in January in Chicago with people out on the beach, clearly not a normal occurrence, an unusually warm spring, record setting searing temperatures across much of the lower 48, one of the worst droughts that America has ever experienced, a whole succession of extreme weather events. And I haven't even gotten to Hurricane Sandy yet.

BILL MOYERS: Right.

ANTHONY LEISEROWITZ: And the real question is at what point do we put on the brakes? So let me just use a simplifying analogy here. In some ways this issue is kind of like we're in a car driving through a very dark night, there’re kids in the back, they're not buckled.

We're fiddling with the radio, we're probably eating something at the same time and we're passing warning signs that are saying, "Curvy road up ahead. Mountain road up ahead. Be careful, there are landslides.” And yet we're going probably 70 miles an hour and our foot is on the accelerator.

So the real question is we are going to hit this patch of really rocky road. It's there up ahead of us. We're not exactly sure how soon we're going to get there, but it's coming. The question is do we start applying the brake?

There's a big difference between entering that stretch of road at ten miles an hour where even if we have an accident it'll be, you know, just bumps and bruises and a little body damage perhaps versus hitting that same stretch of road at 70 miles an hour.

BILL MOYERS: Here's the problem with that as I see it. The global accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers has warned that even if we doubled our current rate of reducing carbon emissions we would still be facing six degrees of warming, an almost intolerable situation, by the end of this century. Now the driver of that car with her children in the backseat hurtling down the road, not paying attention to the signs, is hardly going to put on the brakes because they heard about a report from the global accounting firm PricewaterhouseCooper.

ANTHONY LEISEROWITZ: That's right. It is about the warning signs. But here’s one of the real dilemmas, is that we've done a really good job at helping people understand that there is this thing called climate change. Almost all Americans have at least heard of it. But we've in our own work showed that in fact there is no single public. There are multiple publics within the United States. In fact, what we've identified are six Americas.

BILL MOYERS: Six Americas?

ANTHONY LEISEROWITZ: Six different Americas that each respond to this issue in very different ways and need different kinds of information about climate change to become more engaged with it. So the first group that we've identified is a group we call the alarmed. It's about 16 percent of the public. These are people who think it's happening, that it's human caused, that it's a serious and urgent problem and they're really eager to get on with the solutions.

But they don't know what those solutions are. They don't know what they can do individually and they don't know what we can do collectively as a society to deal with it. We haven't done a very good job of explaining what we can do. Then comes a group that we call the concerned. This is about 29 percent of the public. These are people that think okay, it's happening, it's human caused, it's serious, but they tend to think of it as distant.

Distant in time, that the impacts won't be felt for a generation or more and distant in space, that this is about polar bears or maybe small island countries, not the United States, not my state, not my community, not my friends and family or the people and places that I care about. So they believe this is a serious problem, but they don't see it as a priority.

Then comes a group, about a quarter of the public that we call the cautious. These are people who are kind of still on the fence, they're trying to make up their mind. Is it happening, is it not? Is it human, is it natural? Is it a serious risk or is it kind of overblown? So they're paying attention but really just haven't made up their mind about it yet. They need to be just engaged in some of the basic facts of climate change.

Then comes a group, about eight percent of the public that we call the disengaged. They've heard of global warming, but they don't know anything about it. They say over and over, "I don't know anything about the causes, I don't know anything about the consequences. I don't know anything about the potential solutions." So for them it's really just basic awareness that they need to be engaged on. Two last groups, one is we call the doubtful, it's about 13 percent of the public. These are people who say, "Well, I don't think it's happening, but if it is, it's natural, nothing humans had anything to do with and therefore nothing we can do anything about."

So they don't pay that much attention, but they're predisposed to say not a problem. And then last but not least, 8 percent of Americans are what call the dismissive. And these are people who are firmly convinced it's not happening, it's not human caused, it's not a serious problem and many are what we would lovingly call conspiracy theorists. They say it's a hoax. It's scientists making up data, it's a UN plot to take away American sovereignty and so on.

Now, that's only eight percent. But they're a very well mobilized, organized and loud eight percent. And they've tended to dominate the public square, okay. So here you have these six totally different audiences that need completely different types of information and engagement to deal with this issue. So one of the first tasks, and you know this as a communicator as well as I do, one of the first rules of effective communication is, “know thy audience.”

If you don't know who your audience is it's kind of like playing darts in a crowded room with the lights off. You might hit the target sometimes, but most times you're going to miss. And unfortunately too often you're going to do collateral damage. You're actually going to hit somebody by mistake and cause a backlash.

So you know, this is why if we were to do a true engagement campaign in this country we would need to recognize that there are very different Americans who need to be engaged in very different ways who have different values and who trust different messengers.

BILL MOYERS: Assume that I'm a skeptic. Not only a skeptic but a Tea Party Republican who goes to church every Sunday where my beloved pastor tells me that, reassures me that God created the earth 6,000 years ago and that if God wants to end the earth God will on God's terms, that this is out of our control. If you were sitting across from a good, disciplined believer like that, what argument would you make to me?

ANTHONY LEISEROWITZ: Well, the first thing I would do is I would listen, I would really listen. Because I'd want to know really what are the depths of, not just their concerns about this issue, but what are their aspirations? What do they want for their children? What do they want for their grandchildren? What kind of community do they want to live in? What are the values that really animate and motivate them?

And I would try to find some way to then meet them where they are first. So let’s just take the religious side. There are wonderful activities going on by all of the world's major religions right now including the evangelical churches to say this is a moral and religious issue, okay.

From our worldview, from our standpoint, this is crucial both because we were commanded by God in Genesis to till and tend the garden, to care for his creation which when he created he kept telling us, "It is good." Okay, it is our responsibility they would say to take care of his creation, and that the kinds of things that we are currently doing to the planet are essentially violating that promise.

But moreover, we're also seeing the theme of social justice, that we've been commanded, they would say, to take care of the least of these: the poor, the sick, the powerless both in our own country and around the world. And many churches, in fact, have invested enormous resources, I mean, sending their young people abroad to do great works to try to help people who desperately need that help.

Their argument would be how can we in good conscience ignore a problem that's just going to push millions of more people around the world into those exact same kinds of circumstances we're trying to help them with, okay. So all I'm saying is that the faith community itself is not monolithic, it isn't homogenous. And it too is trying, currently, struggling to make sense of this new issue and what is the role of religious faith in answering it.

BILL MOYERS: What do you say to the secularist?

ANTHONY LEISEROWITZ: I say let's engage on the science. Let me hear what your arguments are and then let's respond to them. And I would ask in turn that you listen to what the scientific community has to say. It's perfectly fine to have a great conversation with many people about the science itself because the science is so robust at this point. I mean, we have basically known for over 20 years now that, and it actually boils down, for all the complexity of the science it's really quite simple.

It's real, okay, climate change is real. It is mostly human caused this time. There have been climate changes over many millions of years in the past that had nothing to do with human beings. This time it's mostly being caused by our activities. Third, it's going to be bad. In fact, it's bad now and it's going to get worse.

Fourth, there's hope, that there are lots of solutions already on the table that are in fact already being implemented in this country, communities all across this country as well as around the world. There's an enormous amount of work that we can do right now with things that we have in hand.

And then last but not least, what we also know is that many Americans don't understand this one last crucial fact, and that is that the vast majority of the experts, the people who study this day in, day out for a living agree that it's happening, that it's human caused and that's going to be serious.

BILL MOYERS: How, then, do you reconcile the religious and secularist imperatives?

ANTHONY LEISEROWITZ: Well, it really actually boils down to this fundamental question of what is the proper relationship between human beings and the natural world, okay? That is really at the heart of it, what our challenge is in this century. Are we going to live in a world where we believe that we have mastery, domination over this planet, where it is basically a stockpile of resources for us to use and to use as quickly and rapidly as possible to give us all the things that we like?

Or do we have deeper responsibilities to the life of this planet? Because in fact species, ecosystems are not just inert warehouses of resources. They have evolved along with human beings. Our own evolution itself is inseparable from the climate system, the biophysical world and the other species that we ride on this rock with.

What is our responsibility to them? And I think one of the most interesting things that comes out of science that challenges some of our long held cultural beliefs that somehow human beings are fundamentally different than the natural world is the recognition that at root, when you look at the DNA, we are kin, okay? You and I share a lot of genetic material with a tree, other animals, with fish, and so on.

We are literally relatives, okay. That is an idea that we haven't even really begun to process as a complete culture. What does that really mean when you understand that we are inseparable in that way? We are descendants of the same lines of other animals and plants on this planet. Does that change the way you perceive your relationship with the rest of the world?

BILL MOYERS: So why isn't the message getting through?

ANTHONY LEISEROWITZ: Well, one, the volume has been really low, okay. So that's one side, and we've done media analysis as an example. The media plays an enormously important agenda setting role in this. Because, again this is an invisible problem to most of us. The only way we know about this is because of what we've learned through the media. As a normal American I don't know a climate scientist, I don't read the peer review literature. I only know about this issue because of what, excuse me, you, the media, tell me about it.

And so when the media doesn't report it it's literally out of sight and out of mind. And we've seen that this issue gets just a tiny proportion of the news haul. Of all the stories that the media focuses on every year climate change is miniscule. And in fact, even the environment as a category never gets above say 1 or at most 2 percent of total news coverage.

But it's not just the amount of media coverage. It's also the fact that there's been a very active disinformation campaign that's been going on for many years, it's very well documented, that was primarily, certainly originally and still to this day, driven by fossil fuel company interests who are the world's most profitable companies. I mean, they're very happy, thank you very much, with the status quo, okay?

BILL MOYERS: So what are they saying in this disinformation campaign?

ANTHONY LEISEROWITZ: Well, historically this has been the key strategy all along and in fact it's a strategy that was lifted explicitly directly out of the tobacco wars.

Which is make people think that the science is still unsettled. And if my perception is that the experts are still arguing over whether the problem exists, as a layperson my tendency is to say, "Well, you know, I'll let them figure it out. And you know, I'll take this as, much more seriously once they've reached their conclusion." Okay, so that has been the primary message. That has been the primary strategy of that disinformation campaign is to get people to believe that the experts do not agree.

BILL MOYERS: There's something else that has come through and I saw it, we all saw it I think, throughout the campaign last year, the argument that we can't do anything about climate change that the experts are urging us to do and keep our economy growing. What's the argument to respond to that?

ANTHONY LEISEROWITZ: Well, I'll tell you, that it's a myth. It's a false choice. It's a zero sum game. You either can grow the economy or you can protect the environment, okay. So I changed the question, and I've been doing this now for several years. I said, okay, here's the question: do you believe that protecting the environment harms the economy and costs jobs, has no impact on the economy or jobs, or actually grows the economy and improves jobs?

Okay, and what do we find? An overwhelming majority of America, now, I'm talking like two thirds of Americans, say that it either has no impact or it actually improves the economy. In fact, that's the most frequently chosen answer is that most Americans don't see this as an inherent contradiction.

BILL MOYERS: What you're saying is that a big powerful industry controls or affects the outcomes of perception in this country disproportionately to what most people think?

ANTHONY LEISEROWITZ: That's right. And in part they're able to do that because this issue is a low level issue, because we don't talk about it and because there is no what we call issue public on the other side.

BILL MOYERS: What do you mean?

ANTHONY LEISEROWITZ: Okay, so an issue public is basically an organized social movement that demands change, okay. And we're very familiar with this term. It's the pro or anti-immigration movement or the pro-gun control or the anti-gun control movement--

BILL MOYERS: The Civil Rights movement--

ANTHONY LEISEROWITZ: The Civil Rights movement.

BILL MOYERS: --the Suffragette movement, women's rights, you've got to be organized.

ANTHONY LEISEROWITZ: Absolutely. You've got to be organized. And what we see, remember that 16 percent I identified as the alarmed? Again people who are very concerned and think this is an urgent problem, but they feel relatively isolated and alone. They say, "I feel this way, some of my friends and family feel this strongly." But they have no sense that they're part of over 40 million Americans that feel just as strongly as they do.

They've never been properly organized, mobilized and directed to demand change. And I mean, that's what the political system ultimately responds to. If you basically have a vacuum of people who are demanding change, and I don't mean that truly. I mean, there are of course many great organizations that have been advocating for change for a long time. But it hasn't been a broad based citizens movement demanding change. In that situation a relatively small but well-funded and vocal community that says no can absolutely win the day.

BILL MOYERS: As you know twice in the last 20 years the country's tried to take, the government's tried to take a big step forward, under the Clinton administration and then under the first year of the Obama administration. And each time the Senate killed it.

ANTHONY LEISEROWITZ: Yeah. But the key thing there is that each time both the Clinton administration and the Obama administration tried to do this it was essentially a top-down, inside the beltway strategy. We are going after and trying to cajole and convince and persuade the members of the Senate and the House to pass this legislation without first engaging the broad public and building a citizens movement, a issue public as I talked about before that was actually demanding change. Because in the end politicians care about their job.

And if they don't feel like there's a political price to pay for opposing action on climate change or alternatively a political opportunity to be had by being a leader on this issue, it's very easy for them to say, "You know what? I've got a lot of other things here on my plate to deal with. I've got lots of lobbyists coming into my office as well as people back home saying, 'Do this, do that, do this.' And it's not climate change." So until they feel that they have to act many of them probably won't. And in fact, almost you couldn't find a worse problem that fits with our current political institutions, okay. Because this is a long term problem, okay. Our government is run on two-year cycles, four-year cycles or six-year cycles. Our businesses are essentially run on three-month cycles, what is the next shareholder report going to tell you, okay?

Those time frames of decision making lead to decisions that are profitable or best in the short run but do not adequately address these long term creeping problems that turn out to be much worse when they are allowed to fester. And it's not just climate change. It's the health care problem, it's the entitlements issue, it's debt and deficits. All of these are not things that suddenly happened in the space of a couple months.

These are long term problems that people were warning about years and years ago and yet we didn't respond back when the problem was relatively small and relatively easy to fix. Instead we have this tendency because of this short term myopic focus to put those kinds of problems on the back burner until they become so big it requires much more wrenching change to try to deal with them.

BILL MOYERS: So if the president asks you to suggest what he should say, to send him a draft of what he should say about climate change in his upcoming State of the Union message, what would you urge him to do?

ANTHONY LEISEROWITZ: I would ask him to do two things. One is to say I have consulted with the nation's leading climate scientists including the National Academy of Sciences which exists to guide the nation on science and science policy. And they all tell me, all of them tell me that this is real, that it's human caused, it's a serious problem but that we have the solutions in hand to do it. So, one, I would want him to carry that message.

But the second thing I would like to hear him say is that this issue has to stop being a partisan issue. The climate -- the earth's climate does not care whether you are a Democrat or a Republican. It doesn't care whether you're liberal or conservative. Sandy did not only destroy the homes of Democrats and not Republicans.

The terrible drought that has gripped the Great Plains and our nation's bread basket has not only gone after liberal farmers and ranchers, it's gone after all of us. The point is that climate change will affect all Americans no matter what your political beliefs, your religious beliefs, your race, class, creed, et cetera, okay. And in the end the only way we're going to deal with this issue is if we come together as a county and have a serious conversation not about is it real, but what can we do about it, okay. And I think that the effort to try to de-politicize this issue so it doesn't just become this knee-jerk-- identity politics: I'm a Democrat, therefore I believe in climate change, I'm a Republican, therefore I think climate change is a hoax. This is crazy, okay. I mean, again the climate system doesn't care.

BILL MOYERS: But the realists in politics will say that that's unrealistic, in fact former Republican congressman Sherwood Boehlert has said that the best way for this to happen is if a Republican comes up with a proposed solution. If Obama does it, it won't happen. But if some Republicans start the conversation and make the first proposal, that's the only way we're going to have not only the conversation you're calling for, but action on change.

ANTHONY LEISEROWITZ: And I totally agree with that.

BILL MOYERS: So why can't we get the Republican Party to see what you have been talking about?

ANTHONY LEISEROWITZ: I think basically the Republican Party has reached the conclusion themselves that they are appealing to the dismissive wing of their own base. I mean, it's actually quite remarkable when you look back over the history of this. I mean, remember the figure in the U.S. Senate who repeatedly put forward the nation's best and most sophisticated answers to the climate challenge for many years was Senator John McCain.

The nominee of the Republican Party was the premier architect of responding to climate change. How far things have changed in the past four years where we ended up in the primaries of-- the Republican primaries of 2012 and we found that all of them, with the one exception of John Huntsman, were calling into question the basic reality of the problem itself. Were basically saying in some cases saying that it was a hoax, okay. This is a remarkable turn for the party itself.

And you know -- and what we're seeing of course right now is that in the aftermath of the loss of 2012 -- Republicans are beginning to look inward and they're trying to say, "Where have we gone wrong? Where are our new opportunities to engage the public?" Immigration is one of those issues that they're beginning to say, "Maybe it's time to change our position." Climate change could be another of those.

Because it's one of the ways that they can appeal back to the middle. Our own work, we found that Independents are much more like Democrats on their beliefs about climate change than they are Republicans. So if Republicans want a way back, this is one of the ways that they could do it. And there's actually a historical precedent.

We used to have a huge acid rain problem in this country. We created essentially a cap and trade system where we capped the amount of sulfur dioxide being emitted from these smokestacks, brought that cap down over years and allowed companies to sell their emission rights between each other. So a company that was really good at reducing their emissions could sell that remaining block to another company that needed more time.

It was one of the most successful programs in American history. It was put on the table and passed by a Republican president, the first George Bush, Bush Sr. And it solved the problem or it largely solved the problem at a cost far below what even the best estimates at the time were. We know that these kind of policies can work. It was a Republican idea, okay.

And so the irony of it is that the Republican Party has walked away from even one of their best ideas, one of their best proven ideas that really worked. So the question is how can we bring Republicans back to the table and say, "That's ours, we own that. This is our contribution to solving the problem. And in fact, we think our principles and our solutions are better than yours."

BILL MOYERS: So I'm Speaker of the House John Boehner and I ask you to come see me and I say I want to do what you're suggesting. Give me the sound bites a real conservative can use.

ANTHONY LEISEROWITZ: I think there are a couple things. One is they need to look at the threat, okay. So as an example could we think in a different way about climate change as a threat to our freedoms, okay? Climate change itself is a threat to our freedoms.

BILL MOYERS: To our freedoms?

ANTHONY LEISEROWITZ: Sure. If you're a rancher or a farmer in the Great Plains today, your freedom is enormously constrained by the fact that you're in the midst of a two-year severe drought, okay. You don't get to choose what you're going to plant. You don't get to choose what cows you're going to slaughter. In fact, we've just seen in Texas in the past year two million head of cow, cattle are no longer in Texas, they had to move them out because they couldn't provide the food and forage and water for them because of that drought. That's not freedom, okay. You are literally not able to do the thing that you were raised and that you believe in as part of your culture because the climate has changed.

BILL MOYERS: You got me on that one. What's another one?

ANTHONY LEISEROWITZ: Another side though is the opportunity side. First of all, political opportunity which is perhaps the language that most touches them directly, and that is that they've now lost two national elections, okay. And that hurts. I'm sure it hurts. They need to find a new way back to the middle of this country, okay.

Now, there’s an active debate happening within the Republican Party right now between, “perhaps our problem is that we weren't pure enough,” okay-- I mean, we hear those voices on the right who were saying, you know, Mitt Romney was really just a liberal in disguise, that we didn't make a stark enough choice, and that what we need is purification, we need to become true, you know, even take this party farther to the right versus those that are in the middle that are saying there is no pathway to political success unless you can reach this new America that is quickly emerging: Hispanics, minorities, young people, women who voted in record numbers not just in 2008 but in 2012.

And if we ever want to be able to succeed at the national level again we have to find a way to appeal back to these new voters who are not responding to these far right messages, okay. So there's enormous political opportunity. We'll see where the Republican Party decides to move.

BILL MOYERS: And that brings me to a survey you took part in, you and your colleagues at Yale took part in with the Gallup group globally, the worldwide group that studies public opinion.

ANTHONY LEISEROWITZ: Yeah, this is the Gallup world poll. It's the first every scientific quality survey conducted in 130-plus countries around the world. It's a remarkable scientific achievement. And one of the things that it taught us right from the very beginning that to be honest surprised me, four out of ten people on planet Earth have never heard of climate change.

BILL MOYERS: Forty percent?

ANTHONY LEISEROWITZ: Forty percent. And in fact, when you look in particular countries, even countries that are kind of poster child countries for climate change like Bangladesh, it rises to two-thirds of people have never heard of climate change. In some countries it's 75 percent have never heard of climate change.

Now, this doesn't mean however that they're not observing acutely the change that are happening in their local systems. They are. What they lack is the concept of climate chance to make sense of the observations, the changes they're seeing in local temperature and precipitation patterns and so on, as well as the understanding of here's what this means going forward.

How do we use this new information to change the decisions we're making now, the kind of crops we plant, the kinds of cities we build, where we site a hospital, you know, do we build next to the coast? I mean, these societies are making enormous, you know, decades long investments, infrastructure investments, and often doing so without thinking about climate change as part of that decision making process. So globally we see that there's an enormous need even for the building of basic awareness of the problem.

BILL MOYERS: There was a destructive typhoon in the Philippines recently as you know that killed over a thousand people, caused massive damage and left over a million people displaced. And as fate would have it at that very time delegates from around the world were meeting in Doha for the climate change conference. And the representative from the Philippines, while there hearing about this typhoon back in his home made this very impassioned plea.

YEB SANO: There is massive and widespread devastation back at home. Hundreds of thousands of people have been rendered homeless, and the ordeal is far from over. Madame Chair, we have never had a typhoon like Bopha, which just wreaked havoc in a part of the country which has never seen a storm like this in half a century. And I am making an urgent appeal, not as a negotiator, not as a leader of my delegation, but as a Filipino. I appeal to the whole world. I appeal to the leaders from all over the world to open our eyes to the stark reality that we face. I appeal to ministers. The outcome of our work is not about what our political masters want. It is about what is demanded of us by seven billion people. I appeal to all – please, no more delays, no more excuses. Please let Doha be remembered as the place where we found the political will to turn things around. And let 2012 be remembered as the year the world found the courage to do so. To find the courage to take responsibility for the future we want. I ask of all of us here, if not us then who? If not now, then when? If not here, then where?

BILL MOYERS: Were you there?

ANTHONY LEISEROWITZ: I was there.

BILL MOYERS: Was anyone really listening to him?

ANTHONY LEISEROWITZ: Absolutely, people were listening to them. But what I think is particularly important about what he said is the world needs to open its eyes.

These events are no longer abstractions. They're no longer talking about what's going to happen in 2050 or in 2100. Again this pervasive sense up to now has been that climate change is distant, distant in time, and distant in space. And what we're now beginning to see is that it's not so distant. It's not just future generations. It's us and it's our own children. I have a nine-year-old son. He's going to be my age in the year 2050. I don't want him to live in the world that we're currently hurtling towards.

BILL MOYERS: Describe that world for me as you can see it.

ANTHONY LEISEROWITZ: Currently we are scheduled, unless we change direction to go through the two-degree mark. And in fact, we're heading on towards three degrees, four degrees and perhaps even six degrees centigrade warmer than in the past. As you go things get much, much worse. And in fact, let me just use a simple analogy.

Because people often will say, "Wow, you know, four, five degrees, that doesn't sound like very much. I mean, I see the temperature change more from night to day." But it's the wrong way to think about it. I mean, think about when you get sick and you get a fever, okay. Your body is usually at, you know, 98.7 degrees.

If your temperature rises by one degree you feel a little off, but you can still go to work. You're fine. It rises by two degrees and you're now feeling sick, in fact you're probably going to take the day off because you definitely don't feel good. And in fact, you're getting everything from hot flashes to cold chills, okay.

At three you're starting to get really sick. And at four degrees and five degrees your brain is actually slipping into a coma, okay, you're close to death. I think there's an analogy here of that little difference in global average temperature just like that little difference in global body temperature can have huge implications as you keep going. And so unfortunately the world after two and especially after three degrees starts getting much more frightening, and that's exactly what the scientists keep telling us. But will we pay attention to those warning signs?

BILL MOYERS: What do you think?

ANTHONY LEISEROWITZ: I think we are entirely capable of responding to those warning signs, absolutely. When this country and when this planet puts their minds to do something, they absolutely can do this. And in fact, I often go back to a great old quote by Henry Ford who said, "Those who think they can and those who think they can't are both right."

This is within our power. We have waited however a long time to really engage this issue and to get started. And unfortunately, and this is actually a core American value, it goes back to the founding of this country and it goes back to Benjamin Franklin, one of the leading lights of that time, who said - and every American knows this - "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

A little action now is going to forestall much greater-- the need for much greater action later. And that's exactly the nature of this problem, is that if we delay-- if we wait until we've reached three and four degrees, it's too late. At that point the climate system is locked. It's a massive system. The heat is already in earth's system, it's absorbed in the oceans, it's being absorbed by the ice systems.

It's in the atmosphere, there is no magic vacuum cleaner that's going to suddenly pull the CO2 out and bring our temperatures back to what we consider normal. So that's why it's so imperative that we begin taking these actions now to forestall the worst effects that are going to happen decades to come.

BILL MOYERS: So what ounce of prevention could be taken in this new year, 2013, that would make you think we might be on the right path?

ANTHONY LEISEROWITZ: It's not like we haven't already gotten started. California has done tremendous work already to take action on climate change.

If it was a country it would be one of the leading countries in the world. There are mayors all over this country that are doing tremendous things, companies that are changing their systems and getting the CO2 and its emissions out of their processes because they find it actually makes them more efficient and profitable in the process, citizens all over this country that are doing what they can individually and are starting to engage the political system to demand change.

We're not starting from ground zero, okay. But what we haven't had is the ability to come together as a country and clarify the choice that's in front of us and to really help the broad set of country, those six different Americans I was talking about, engage with this issue and recognize that we as a country and as a planet are facing a fundamental threat, a fundamental challenge to the way of life that we have now and the kind of life that we want to hand on to our children.

Until we start with that conversation it's very hard for me to see how we ultimately lead to the national policies that are going to be required, much less the international policies that are also going to be required. So I think whereas in the past we've treated this as an issue, that we learned about from climate science and that has basically been a few set of political leaders that have tried to impose solutions on this country, on our states, at the world from the top-down, what we have not down is build the bottom up to meet them halfway.

And until we have that bottom-up demand for this issue because it's going to affect every one of us, it absolutely is going to affect us either directly or indirectly through economics, through disease, through foreign challenges in faraway places, the world is now one planet. We are all interconnected in fundamental ways. And so these issues are rising the most deep questions about what it means to be a human being, and what is the right relationship that we have-- and again not just to the planet but to our fellow human beings. Because our choices now are going to have collectively huge implications for the lives of our fellow travelers within the human family on this planet as well.

BILL MOYERS: How did you come to this, to this depth of commitment and passion about this issue?

ANTHONY LEISEROWITZ: Well, it really actually comes down to a key moment actually, an epiphany in my own life. When I graduated from undergraduate school I went and lived in Aspen, Colorado for four years where I worked at the Aspen Global Change Institute.

And I remember there was one day where I went up to my favorite place which is up above this old ghost town called Independence, Colorado. And I was sitting on a mountainside and I noticed all of a sudden, these little wildflowers, these white wildflowers. And they grew in the tundra, these little tundra zones on the tops of these mountains.

And I suddenly realized that these patches of tundra on top of these mountains were the remnants of tundra that used to cover all of the West when the ice sheets retreated 10,000 years ago. And this is where they were left, this was the remaining fragments of that ecosystem. And that they just like islands in the South Pacific that are going to be inundated because of seal level rise, these ecosystems were going to be literally pushed right off the mountaintops because of warming temperatures and climate change.

And I just realized looking around that the forest I was looking at and the animals and the fish and so on, that I had resonated with were also deeply at risk because of the changing climate.

And then I kept looking down the valley and I saw Aspen twinkling down below. And beyond that there was Glenwood Springs and beyond that there was Las Vegas and beyond that there was Los Angeles. And if you could see those there would be these huge clouds of CO2 pouring out of them. And so for me it was really about suddenly the bringing together of my analytical understanding of this issue as an abstract scientific problem with my lived experience in this particular landscape which I love deeply to this day.

And unfortunately now I go back to Colorado and I see the impact, I see what's happened with for instance Pine Bark Beetles that have devastated entire forests of that state and then just this past summer the record setting wildfires that have happened in Colorado.

And I think every American has a place whether it's Colorado or the ocean or the farm or the ranch or the city that they love dearly. And if they can see it they will see how each of these places is uniquely at risk and how the places and the people that we care about are at risk because of this issue.

BILL MOYERS: Tony Leiserowitz, thank you very much for sharing this ideas a new time with us.

ANTHONY LEISEROWITZ: Oh my pleasure Bill, great to be with you.

BILL MOYERS: You may remember that we spoke about guns just a few days before Christmas, following the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut. So did Wayne LaPierre, CEO of the National Rifle Association.

WAYNE LAPIERRE: The only way, the only way to stop a monster from killing our kids is to be personally involved and invested in a plan of absolute protection. The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

BILL MOYERS: Listening to LaPierre, my jaw dropped, and it occurred to me that he might well have plagiarized his vision of a wholly armed nation from another “man of the people” of forty years ago, the protagonist in the famous sit-com “All In the Family.” When a local TV station comes out in favor of gun control, Archie Bunker hits the airwaves with a rebuttal, which he watches at home with his family.

ARCHIE BUNKER in All In The Family: Good evening, everybody. This here is Archie Bunker of 704 Hauser Street, veteran of the big war, speaking on behalf of guns for everybody[…]

Now I want to talk about another thing that's on everybody's minds today, and that's your stick-ups and your skyjackings, which, if that were up to me, I could end the skyjackings tomorrow.

MICHAEL 'MEATHEAD' STIVIC in All In The Family: You could?

ARCHIE BUNKER in All In The Family: All you got to do is arm all your passengers. He ain't got no more moral superiority there, and he ain't going to dare to pull out no rod. And then your airlines, they wouldn't have to search the passengers on the ground no more, they just pass out the pistols at the beginning of the trip, and they just pick them up at the end! Case closed.

BILL MOYERS: Case closed. Except that Archie Bunker’s a fictional character, created by Norman Lear, who knew better. Not Wayne LaPierre--he’s real and he means business. Big business. Every time we have another of these mass slayings and speak of gun control, weapon sales go up. And guess what? As the journalist Lee Fang reports in The Nation magazine, “For every gun or package of ammunition sold at participating stores, a dollar is donated to the NRA.”

So naturally, in a country where even life and death are measured by the profit margin, the cure for gun violence becomes, yes, more guns. Bigger profits. Never mind that just before LaPierre spoke, three people were shot and killed outside Altoona, Pennsylvania. Or that early on Christmas Eve morning, in Webster, New York, two volunteer firemen were called to the scene of a fire, then executed by an ex-con who allegedly set the blaze and murdered them with the same kind of assault rifle used against those school kids and their teachers in Newtown. Or that on New Year’s Eve, in Sacramento, California, reportedly in a fight over a spilled drink, a 22-year-old opened fire in a bar, killing two and wounding two others. In fact, in just those few weeks since the Newtown slaughter of the innocent, more than 400 people have died from guns in America. That should boost the last quarter profit margins. So not surprising, the merchants of death are experiencing a happy new year.

We can’t forget. We mustn’t relent. We have to keep talking about this, because Wayne LaPierre and the NRA are insidious and powerful predators. Have you seen the reports in both the Journal of the American Medical Association and The Washington Post of how, 16 years ago, the NRA managed to get Congress to pull funding on gun violence studies at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention? And just two years ago, NRA henchmen even snuck a provision into the Affordable Care Act that prevents doctors from collecting information on their patients’ gun use.

As Wayne LaPierre’s brazen call for an armed populace makes clear, the odds don’t favor common sense. There are always members of Congress willing to do the gun lobby’s bidding as they profess their love of the second amendment and wait like hungry house pets for the next NRA campaign donation.

Every American a gun-toter is a frightening vision of our future. It doesn’t have to be, if only we stop and think about where the Wayne LaPierre’s would take us. That’s what a fellow named Frank James did. He stopped, he thought, he changed directions. He’s a pawn shop owner in Seminole, Florida, his youngest child is six. Frank James told a local ABC station he has decided to stop selling guns.

FRANK JAMES on ABC Local News: It'll probably cause my business to go out of business because it was a big part of it, but I just couldn't live with myself. I thought, wow, this is crazy. As a gun dealer myself, I’m like, yes, we need more gun control. Guns are getting into the wrong hands of the wrong people.

BILL MOYERS: He also said “I’m not going to be a part of it anymore. Conscience wins over making money.” Thank you, Mr. James.

Coming up on Moyers and Company, poet Martín Espada with a litany at the tome of Frederick Douglass.

MARTÍN ESPADA: this is the crossroads of the unimaginable: the tomb of Frederick Douglass, three days after the election.

This is a world spinning away from the gravity of centuries, where the grave of a fugitive slave has become an altar. This is the tomb of a man born as chattel, who taught himself to read in secret, scraping the letters in his name with chalk on wood; now on the anvil-flat stone a campaign button fills the O in Douglass. The button says: Obama.

BILL MOYERS: That’s it for this week. You don’t need a weather man to know which way the wind blows. At our website, BillMoyers.com there is a lot more to learn about global warming. Our climate change spotlight page is filled with articles, tools, and resources, to enlighten, inform, and help you make a difference. And with this new year of Moyers & Company, I want to thank all of you for getting us to nearly one hundred and fifty thousand fans on Facebook. There’s lots of room for more so, join us. I’ll see you there and I’ll see you here, next time.

Paddy Bruce (#7369)

Date Submitted: 01/10/13
Comment:
This video, part 4 in a series called Reinventing Fire, represents some of the best of the forwarding thinking design and implementation of what it will take to shift our dependence on dirty, outdated fossil fuels that are endangering life as we would like to know it here on planet earth. Please take a moment to watch it and realize why so many of us in Whatcom County are talking not just about the local implications the Gateway Terminal represents. This project is not only detrimental to our region but to the bigger picture. The global impacts of continuing to support this industry while excluding the real benefits of alternatives endanger all people everywhere. Reinventing Fire is the direction we are heading and need to steer towards. If we want clean air and water for all people for all time then we need to design for this outcome. Please, Help us get there

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XbLGA9cvACs

Paddy Bruce
Whatcom Co Resident

Paddy Bruce (#8536)

Date Submitted: 01/13/13
Comment:
My name is Paddy Bruce and I am a longterm resident of Whatcom Co.

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.

I have read numerous articles that indicate that over time if trains are allowed to transport coal the levels of lead, mercury, cadmium and other poisonous materials will build up all along the track.

Thank you for your consideration.

Paddy Bruce

Paddy Bruce (#10231)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
My name is Paddy Bruce and I am a longterm resident of Whatcom County. I would like all of the following questions addressed in the EIS. I have great concerns regarding the impacts of the potential Terminal in our community , throughout the region and around the world.

Extraction process (Wyoming and/or?)
-What are the health risks (and resulting economic costs) of the breathing of coal dust by both the miners of the coal and those living in close proximity of the mines? How many premature deaths will this create? What is the economic cost of this?
-what are the safety risks (and associated economic costs) of the miners who are mining the coal?
-what cumulative levels of air and water pollution (including the water table) will result because of this project?
-What is the total amount of carbon released into the atmosphere by the extraction process over ten years, twenty years? What is the effect of this on global climate change?

Transportation process-rail
-What is the total population of people living within 1000 feet of the entire rail corridor? 3000 feet? 10,000 feet?
-How many of these people have asthma or other respiratory illnesses?
-How much coal dust will be released within this 1000 feet along the entire corridor?
-What negative health effects will result to these people with respiratory illnesses over 10 years and 20 years and what is the economic cost involved? What number of premature deaths will occur?
-What other health, environmental and economic costs will result along these corridors due to the GPT project?
-What amount of fuel will be burned in the entire process of transportation along the entire corridor?
-What is the total amount of carbon released into the atmosphere by the transportation process? Over ten years? Over twenty years?
-What will be the effect on global climate change by this release of burned fuel?
-What is the total amount of decreased property value for those property owners within 10,000 feet along the entire rail corridor caused by the increase in rail traffic, coal dust released, added noise, and added fuel burning pollution?
-What is the total cost to states, counties and local municipalities for required upgrades to the road and traffic infrastructures, such as added/improved crossings, increased/upgraded rail spurs, traffic diversions, etc. caused by the increased rail traffic, along the entire rail corridor, by the GPT project?
-What safety risks will be increased for drivers, riders and pedestrians along the entire rail corridor, and what are the resulting costs, caused by the increased rail traffic by the GPT project?
-What is the total cost to commercial operations along the entire rail corridor as a result of traffic delays caused by the increased rail traffic?
-what is the economic effect on tourism, along the entire rail corridor, caused by the increased rail traffic and its effects, including traffic delays, noise and air pollution, etc.?
-With regard to the Asian ground transportation corridor, what are the risks, impacts and associated costs, as delineated above that would apply?
Transportation process-marine
-What species of marine life inhabit or transit the area within 1000 feet, 3000 feet, and 10,000 feet of the marine terminal. Which of these species are endangered, threatened or otherwise protected?
-What are the realistically expected levels of toxic materials likely and potentially to be released into the above defined areas by the project? What will the effect be on the protected species within those areas? And within a ten mile radius?
-What species within the above areas are part of the food chain of other nearby protected species?
-What will be the effect of the project on nearby commercial fishing operations? Nearby sportfishing operations?
-What will be the effect on the commercial fishing and sportfishing operations caused by the increased ship traffic? What will be the effect on the tourist boating industry?
-Given the size, number and maneuverability issues of the larger ships involved in the project, what is the risk of collision involving these ships within the inland waters? What is the risk of fuel or cargo spills caused by a collision?
-What is the risk of a catastrophic spill of fuel or cargo caused by collision or grounding of these ships within the inland waters?
-What would be the environmental impact of various size spills, including a catastrophic spill, within these waters? What would be the total economic cost of such spills, including long term costs to the fishing and boating and tourist industries.
-What is the risk and associated economic cost of new exotic/invasive species being introduced into the local ecosystem by these ships?
-How much and what quality of fuel will be burned and how much carbon released into the atmosphere by these ships, both locally and along the entire marine corridor? What is the effect of this on global climate change?
-How much particulate matter and other harmful to health products will be released by these ships within the inland waters? What are the associated costs of increased health issues caused by this?
-What are the risks, environmental and economic, of accident/collision/grounding, etc. of these ships in other constricted waters along the entire corridor, including through the Aleutian chain of islands?
-With regard to the Asian local waters near the terminus of the marine corridor, what are the risks, impacts and associated costs, as delineated above, that would apply?

Asian combustion process
-What are the various combustion processes used by the final customers of the coal involved in the GPT project?
-What are the efficiencies and pollution levels emitted by these processes?
-What are the environmental, health and economic effects and costs associated with combusting this coal in the local and regional Asian area?
-What is the total and cumulative amount of carbon that will be released into the atmosphere by the combustion of this coal and what effect will it have on global climate change? Over ten years? Twenty years? 50 years?
-What amount of particulate and other pollutants associated with the transportation and combustion of this coal will travel to, and be deposited in, North America? What is the health effect and associated costs of these pollutants?
-What amount of the mercury found in Lake Whatcom (Bellingham drinking water supply) comes from Asian coal combustion? What additional amount of mercury in the water supply will result from GPT coal in ten years? Twenty years? 50 years?

Along the same vein as these questions, what other regional and global effects will be the result of the GPT project?
Please proceed with extreme caution with the GPT EIS to make sure these questions, and other associated questions are answered.

Thank You for your consideration.
Paddy Bruce
Attached Image:

Paddy Bruce (#13288)

Date Submitted: 01/21/13
Comment:
My name is Paddy Bruce and I am a longterm resident of Whatcom County. I would like all of the following questions addressed in the EIS. I have great concerns regarding the impacts of the potential Terminal in our community , throughout the region and around the world.
Extraction process (Wyoming and/or?)
-What are the health risks (and resulting economic costs) of the breathing of coal dust by both the miners of the coal and those living in close proximity of the mines? How many premature deaths will this create? What is the economic cost of this?
-what are the safety risks (and associated economic costs) of the miners who are mining the coal?
-what cumulative levels of air and water pollution (including the water table) will result because of this project?
-What is the total amount of carbon released into the atmosphere by the extraction process over ten years, twenty years? What is the effect of this on global climate change?an
Transportation process-rail
-What is the total population of people living within 1000 feet of the entire rail corridor? 3000 feet? 10,000 feet?
-How many of these people have asthma or other respiratory illnesses?
-How much coal dust will be released within this 1000 feet along the entire corridor?
-What negative health effects will result to these people with respiratory illnesses over 10 years and 20 years and what is the economic cost involved? What number of premature deaths will occur?
-What other health, environmental and economic costs will result along these corridors due to the GPT project?
-What amount of fuel will be burned in the entire process of transportation along the entire corridor?
-What is the total amount of carbon released into the atmosphere by the transportation process? Over ten years? Over twenty years?
-What will be the effect on global climate change by this release of burned fuel?
-What is the total amount of decreased property value for those property owners within 10,000 feet along the entire rail corridor caused by the increase in rail traffic, coal dust released, added noise, and added fuel burning pollution?
-What is the total cost to states, counties and local municipalities for required upgrades to the road and traffic infrastructures, such as added/improved crossings, increased/upgraded rail spurs, traffic diversions, etc. caused by the increased rail traffic, along the entire rail corridor, by the GPT project?
-What safety risks will be increased for drivers, riders and pedestrians along the entire rail corridor, and what are the resulting costs, caused by the increased rail traffic by the GPT project?
-What is the total cost to commercial operations along the entire rail corridor as a result of traffic delays caused by the increased rail traffic?
-what is the economic effect on tourism, along the entire rail corridor, caused by the increased rail traffic and its effects, including traffic delays, noise and air pollution, etc.?
-With regard to the Asian ground transportation corridor, what are the risks, impacts and associated costs, as delineated above that would apply?
Transportation process-marine
-What species of marine life inhabit or transit the area within 1000 feet, 3000 feet, and 10,000 feet of the marine terminal. Which of these species are endangered, threatened or otherwise protected?
-What are the realistically expected levels of toxic materials likely and potentially to be released into the above defined areas by the project? What will the effect be on the protected species within those areas? And within a ten mile radius?
-What species within the above areas are part of the food chain of other nearby protected species?
-What will be the effect of the project on nearby commercial fishing operations? Nearby sportfishing operations?
-What will be the effect on the commercial fishing and sportfishing operations caused by the increased ship traffic? What will be the effect on the tourist boating industry?
-Given the size, number and maneuverability issues of the larger ships involved in the project, what is the risk of collision involving these ships within the inland waters? What is the risk of fuel or cargo spills caused by a collision?
-What is the risk of a catastrophic spill of fuel or cargo caused by collision or grounding of these ships within the inland waters?
-What would be the environmental impact of various size spills, including a catastrophic spill, within these waters? What would be the total economic cost of such spills, including long term costs to the fishing and boating and tourist industries.
-What is the risk and associated economic cost of new exotic/invasive species being introduced into the local ecosystem by these ships?
-How much and what quality of fuel will be burned and how much carbon released into the atmosphere by these ships, both locally and along the entire marine corridor? What is the effect of this on global climate change?
-How much particulate matter and other harmful to health products will be released by these ships within the inland waters? What are the associated costs of increased health issues caused by this?
-What are the risks, environmental and economic, of accident/collision/grounding, etc. of these ships in other constricted waters along the entire corridor, including through the Aleutian chain of islands?
-With regard to the Asian local waters near the terminus of the marine corridor, what are the risks, impacts and associated costs, as delineated above, that would apply?
Asian combustion process
-What are the various combustion processes used by the final customers of the coal involved in the GPT project?
-What are the efficiencies and pollution levels emitted by these processes?
-What are the environmental, health and economic effects and costs associated with combusting this coal in the local and regional Asian area?
-What is the total and cumulative amount of carbon that will be released into the atmosphere by the combustion of this coal and what effect will it have on global climate change? Over ten years? Twenty years? 50 years?
-What amount of particulate and other pollutants associated with the transportation and combustion of this coal will travel to, and be deposited in, North America? What is the health effect and associated costs of these pollutants?
-What amount of the mercury found in Lake Whatcom (Bellingham drinking water supply) comes from Asian coal combustion? What additional amount of mercury in the water supply will result from GPT coal in ten years? Twenty years? 50 years?
Along the same vein as these questions, what other regional and global effects will be the result of the GPT project?
Please proceed with extreme caution with the GPT EIS to make sure these questions, and other associated questions are answered.
Thank You for your consideration.
Paddy Bruce

Beijing 1:13:2013
Attached Files:

Pag Siggs (#3635)

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

Page Atcheson (#11929)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Helena, MT
Comment:
Please consider all impacts that this project would have -- from the mining of the coal in eastern Montana to the burning of the coal in Asia.

The implications this project would have on global climate change are huge and would be felt locally in Montana, where I currently live. It is critical that these impacts are studied in your EIS.

I advocate for the "no-action" alternative.

Pam Bloch (#8140)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Location: Jericho , VT
Comment:
leachates from the coal pile is 10,000 times the toxicity limit for marine organisms? And it would get into the Sound no matter what say.
The noise from the train 24/7, belching smoke, thickening the air, property values going down, affect on children, adults, animals and wildlife is devastating. Stop the action!

Pam Borso (#1976)

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

Pam Borso (#4834)

Date Submitted: 12/15/2012
Location: Custer, WA
Comment:
My name is Pam Borso. I retired from the Custer Post Office July of 2012. I came here in May of 2000 for the small rural community and the job.

I live one-half block from the rail line that currently carries coal to Canada. The Custer Elementary School is one block away.

I want you to measure the impact of the lost coal dust from rail transportation, and the diesel particulate matter from the engines, on my family's health and the health of the children at the Custer Elementary School.

There is significant permanent irreparable harm to my family and the children of the Custer Elementary School because of the particulates from the diesel engines and the toxic elements present in the coal dust.

I am aware of the study on diesel particulate matter by Chad Weldy, Ph.D., U. of Washington about the health effects of air pollution and fine particulate matter. What must be measured is the added contribution of the trains that would call on GPT if it were built and operating at maximum capacity. The long-term exposure should be included.

If you determine there are adverse health impacts, please quantify them and measure things like lost school and work days, lost life expectancy, impacts on fetuses, and decreased respiratory capacity of the children. Many other aspects must be included.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment.

Pam Borso (#6280)

Date Submitted: 01/08/2013
Location: Custer, Wa
Comment:
My name is Pam Borso. I live in Custer about 3 miles from the industrial GP terminal and one block from the railroad tracks.

I am concerned about the water quality at the terminal site with regard to it's impact on the eel grass, the specific herring population and the mammal and bird and fish populations.

Please study the impact the new dock will have on all of these with respect to the decline in the numbers of wildlife that has occurred because of the presence of the three docks already there. Please apply the decline trends to that of such a large dock and industrial site adjacent to the water.

Thank you,

Pam Borso

Pam Borso (#6422)

Date Submitted: 01/09/2013
Location: Custer, Wa
Comment:
My name is Pam Borso. I live in Custer Wa about 3 miles from the proposed GPT site. I understand the proposal is to manage the coal dust stored on site by water which will be provided locally.

I am concerned and want you to study the impacts of the water needs of GPT on our local water sources and quality.

Pam Borso (#6809)

Date Submitted: 01/11/2013
Location: Custer, Wa
Comment:
My name is Pam Borso. I live in Custer WA. about 3 miles from the proposed GPT site.
I am greatly concerned about the long term effects on the water system that will result from so many more large vessels navigating the pristine waters to get to Cherry Point.

Please study the impact of this increased traffic with regard to water, plant and animal populations and especially the invasive species brought.

Please study the impact and plans for any potential spills as a result of this increased vessel traffic.

Thank you,

Pam Borso

Pam Borso (#6811)

Date Submitted: 01/11/2013
Location: Custer, Wa
Comment:
My name is Pam Borso. I live in Custer WA about 3 miles from the proposed GPT site and 1 block from the rail line.

I am concerned about the economic impacts to our tourism trade.

Please study the impacts using other coal port data and compare the number of jobs/tax dollars lost as compared to those proposed by the building of the coal port.

Thank you,

Pam Borso

Pam Borso (#6999)

Date Submitted: 01/12/2013
Location: Custer, Wa
Comment:
My name is Pam Borso and I live in Custer Wa about 2 miles from the GPT proposed site and 1 block from the rail line proposed to carry the coal.

In addition to the local effects I have serious concerns about the air pollution that will travel across the pacific ocean from the burning of the coal in plants in southeast asia and other potential customers.

I want you to study the long term effects that this burning coal will produce for our country and the world with regard to climate change, air and water quality.

Thank you,

Pam Borso

Pam Borso (#7209)

Date Submitted: 01/14/2013
Location: Custer, Wa
Comment:
My name is Pam Borso. I live in Custer Washington about a block from the main rail line. The Custer elementary school is a block away as well. Often we have trains not only passing through but idling on a side track for up to 12 hours.

I want you to study the anticipated air and water quality impacts to my family and the children in the school from added rail lines, trains and added idling time in Custer from the building of the GP terminal. The rail spur passes through wetlands and salmon spawning streams.

Thank you,
Pam Borso

Pam Borso (#7214)

Date Submitted: 01/14/2013
Location: Custer, Wa
Comment:
My name is Pam Borso. I live in Custer, WA about one half block from the rail lines an 3 miles from the GP Terminal site.

I am aware of the recent accident at the coal terminal in Twasson. From the aerial pictures I can see dark deposits on the sea bed. I am concerned about the potential impact to the water quality from accidents that may happen as well as the loading and of coal at the terminal site.

Please study the impact of coal spilled at the the terminal site on the water and sea life as well as the disturbance on the sea floor from the potential accidents and vessel traffic.

Thank you,

Pam Borso

Pam Borso (#7491)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Location: Custer, Wa
Comment:
My name is Pam Borso and I live in Custer WA. one half block from the rail line and 3 miles from the GP terminal. I agree completely with the comment submitted by Joseph Knight of Everson. We have one side track here now in Custer where trains sit for hours idling, but I am concerned about the rail capacity for this huge project and it is just one of five coal ports as I understand it..

I want you to study who will be responsible for the addition of rail infrastructure to accommodate all of the additional trains.

Thank you ,

Pam Borso

Pam Borso (#7499)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Location: Custer, Wa
Comment:
My name is Pam Borso. I live in Custer WA one half block from the main rail line and 3 miles from the proposed GP Terminal.

Recently because of the heavy rains, the rail line between Edmonds and Everett have been closed several times because of landslides.

I am concerned that the proposed increase in rail traffic will undermine the infrastructure of the rail lines along the main lines of the increased rail traffic .

I want you to study the impacts of the increased rail traffic on areas susceptible to land slides as well as what provisions will be made if the rail line is shut down from lanslides for an period of time beyond one day. What will be done with all the extra trains?

Thank you,
Pam Borso

Pam Borso (#8290)

Date Submitted: 01/17/2013
Location: Custer, Wa
Comment:
My name is Pam Borso. I live in Custer WA about one half block from the rail line and 3 miles from the proposed GP Terminal. I am an active bird watcher and I know that Cherry Point is an important migratory site for Pacific seabirds.

I am concerned about the potential impacts to the Cherry Point site for birds.

Please study or refer to published studies of operating coal ports the impact on bird populations with regard to noise and light pollution and water and air pollution to the birds and the marine life that supports them.

Thank you,

Pam Borso

Pam Borso (#8896)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Location: Custer, Wa
Comment:
My name is Pam Borso. I live in Custer WA about one half block from the rail line and 3 miles from the proposed GP Terminal site.

I have grave concerns about these huge ships that will be required to transport this coal all over the world. I know many more gigantic single hull ships will be moving in our inland waters which are already clogged with ships in a small area.

I agree with San Olson's comment (http://www.eisgatewaypacificwa.gov/get-involved/comment/6044) and want you to thoroughly study any impacts from the proposed increase in ship traffic.

Thank you for your time,
Respectfully submitted
Pam Borso

Pam Borso (#8903)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Location: Custer, Wa
Comment:
My name is Pam Borso. I live in Custer WA about one half block from the rail line and 3 miles from the proposed GP Terminal site.

It occurs to me that we as human beings can survive about 5 minutes with out air to breathe and when we breathe polluted air, we become sick. Also we can survive about 5-7 days with out water and when we drink polluted water we become sick. I believe we can survive about 4-6 weeks without food and when we eat polluted food we get sick.

I think the air, water , and food pollution that will be caused by the shortsighted mining, processing, transportation and use of low grade coal will caquse much more damage than the impact to the economy.

I respectfully request you thoroughly study all of the impacts of every aspect of this issue from start to finish with rregard to it's potential effect on the planet over time.

Thank you,
Respectfully submitted,

Pam Borso

Pam Borso (#9770)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Custer, Wa
Comment:
My name is Pam Borso. I live in Custer, WA. one half block from the rail line and 3 miles from the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal.

I have great concerns that in the past what we have regulated and outlawed in the United States as being unhealthful and wrong, we have no controls about exporting these things to other countries that may not have the same regulatory processes. When we no longer could use DDT, we would export it to make money to those countries who still could. When the tobacco companies finally admitted to the harmful effects of their product and began losing market share in the US. We allowed them to go to other countries and market their products and even support elementary school sponsorship by the Chinese tobacco industry.

In short, why is it OK to export what we don't allow? I believe it is ethically wrong to undermine our national Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) policies of recognition of Carbon dioxide emissions and our State Environmental Protection Administrative (SEPA) policies of emissions contributing to ocean acidification. These are policies we have nationally and as a state have signed onto for reasons of public health. I agree with James Wells and his comments submitted.

Please include in your study the proposed production of Greenhouse gases that combustion of the total exported coal will produce as well as the Greenhouse gases that will be produced as a result of the mining and total transportation of the coal.

We are also using vast amounts of public resources such as land and water to manage this coal port. These public resources should not be used to the public's detriment.

Please study the amount of Public resources such as use of water at the terminal and mining rights on public land as it conflicts with our public health and policy regulations as contained in EPA and SEPA regulations enacted into law and policy.

Thank you for your consideration.
Respectfully submitted,

Pam Borso

Pam Borso (#9997)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Custer, Wa
Comment:
My name is Pam Borso. I live in Custer WA one half block from the rail line and about 3 miles from the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal.

I have grave concerns about the cumulative overall effects of mining, transporting and burning the coa; we intend to export from this site not to mention the building of the terminal itself and all of the associated infrastructure.

I agree completely with the comment submitted by Carolyn Gastellum http://www.eisgatewaypacificwa.gov/get-involved/comment/6908 and she put it more eloquently than I ever could with the appropriate supporting information.

I, too am a grandmother and feel that we are stewards of our earth and should make decisions which are consistent with that and our own national and state policiew.

Please study and compare the benefits of NOT building the terminal as it relates to our national and state environmental policies.

We have a local group of 200 physicians (Whatcom Docs) on record with their requests for study of the cumulative human health impacts. I support their requests for study of these issues to human health.

These shortsighted economic decisions we make will not be mitigatable once it starts. The only answer is not to put these issues in place.

Thank you for your time and attention to these important matters.


Respectfully submitted,

Pam Borso

Pam Borso (#10014)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Custer, Wa
Comment:
My name is Pam Borso. I live in Custer WA one half block from the rail line and 3 miles from the proposed GP Terminal. There is an elementary school one block from the coal line. In Ferndale, there is a main rail line about 1/4 mile away. It is well known that coal dust is damaging to humans and especially youn and old people http://www.coaltrainfacts.org/docs/appendix-B.pdf.

Please study the cumulative effects of fugitive coal dust on all of the areas that the rail line, terminal site and shipping lanes will impact if this project is allowed to be permitted.

Thank you,

Respectfully submitted,

Pam Borso

Pam Borso (#11392)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Custer, Wa
Comment:
My name is Pam Borso. I live in Custer WA one half block from the rail line and about 3 miles from the proposed GP Terminal site.

I have grave concerns about the environmental impacts of this whole process. I agree with the verbal comment presented by Kate Bowers of Bow WA.

I believe it is not a matter of if but when there are going to be grave environmental impacts from mining, transporting and burning coal and I may not pay but my children and grandchildren will.

I believe there are better ways to create jobs and be good stewards of the earth, however, if this is permitted to happen, there needs to be in place a prefunded obligation of at least 50 billion dollars to cover any problems for which we have no idea who is liable.

I also believe there should be prefunded obligations of $10 Billion to prefund any infrastructure improvements to accommodate extra coal train traffic and overpasses for emergency vehicles.

Thank you,

Respectfully submitted,

Pam Borso

Pam Geske (#2994)

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

Pam Hubbard (#2848)

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

Pam Iverson (#7676)

Date Submitted: 01/10/13
Location: Woodinville, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Pam Mannino (#11379)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Comment:
I agree with a previous comment by David Winkel. He says:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington and transporting strip-mined coal from Montana and Wyoming on trains and ships throughout the Northwest.

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

Pam Pritzl (#8825)

Date Submitted: 01/16/13
Location: Stanwood , WA
Comment:
My name is Pam Pritzl and I’m a retired medical researcher at the University of Washington.

I live on Camano Island, near the town of Stanwood, Washington. I am concerned about the impact that 18 additional trains would have on traffic congestion and public safety, not only in Stanwood, but all towns and cities the trains would travel along the Burlington Santa Fe rail line. Delays at train crossings caused by the trains will significantly impact public safety, especially response time for emergency vehicles, when medical response times would increase dramatically. I am also concerned about the continued land slides on the train tracks in the Edmonds to Seattle section of the train tracks, causing trains to be derailed and the coal and coal dust spread into the surrounding area, causing health hazards. I’m deeply concerned that China would be using this coal and putting even more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, causing more climate change problems. Family members often use Amtrak trains from Portland to Stanwood for visits and I’m concerned that the passenger train schedules will be heavily impacted.

I would like you to study impacts on public safety, land slides on the train tracks, health hazards including spewing coal dust and more carbon dioxide in the air causing climate change and the effect the train traffic will have on the Amtrak system within the scope of the EIS.

Pam Pritzl

Pamel Borso (#6167)

Date Submitted: 01/07/2013
Location: Custer, Wa
Comment:
I am Pam Borso, a resident of Custer, Washington located about 3 miles from the GPT proposed at Cherry Point. I live 1 block from the current rail line. I am concerned locally but in addition I am concerned about the rail impacts from the mine to the terminal.

I am deeply concerned about the potential impact on public health and the environment from the various proposals to transport coal from Montana and Wyoming to terminals on the Pacific Coast for export to Asia. The proposal to build a coal-hauling railroad line through the Tongue River Valley seems especially misguided for two main reasons: 1) it would have negative impacts on the residents, the quality of life, and the environment in the Tongue River Valley; and 2) it would contribute to similar negative impacts for the residents, the quality of life, and the environment in the Pacific Northwest in general.
Because it is part of a larger project to export coal from the US to Asia through ports on the Pacific coast, the proposed Tongue River Valley railroad would have much more extensive impacts. I believe that a responsible EIS will take these impacts into account. For example, the diesel particulate matter from the additional trains As well as the coal dust lost from each car.

Regarding the Tongue River Valley rail proposal, I would like you to study the impacts on air water and sound quality as it applies to the full rail travel of the proposed coal line

Pamela Allee (#13027)

Date Submitted: 01/20/13
Location: Portland, OR
Comment:
I am extremely concerned about the global environmental impacts of Powder River Coal extraction, rail transport, and export to far east markets (China, India, etc.).

First: This coal is being strip mined. That in itself is am incredible
travesty.

Second: PRV coal is not the nice hard chunks; it is soft and, well -
powdery. It really does blow off trains. When these trains pass through my neighborhood in North/Northeast Portland, this dust will destroy the paint on my house, get on my clean laundry, get on my soil, on my windows, and poison my chickens, poison my urban apiaries (my livelihood!) and chickens. I am only one of many in North/Northeast Portland who raise gardens, fruit trees, chickens and bees.

Do these coal companies propose to buy me a clothes drier and pay my electric bill? Will they buy our organic food? Pay for our doctor bills when we get sick from their coal dust? Somehow I doubt they will...

Third: The prevailing winds dictate that pollutants in China fall on our waters and forests in the Pacific Northwest. The oceans, streams and forests become more acidified, destroying animal and plant life.

Fourth: China neither needs nor wants our coal. Have you heard about
their severe problems with air pollution? Remember, China has a rapidly
developing solar technology industry - and so should we!

Fifth: Speaking of catastophic global climate change: It's not simply
"the weather." It's failing food crops, really destructive weather events, deforestation, disease vectors finding new territories - human suffering all because a few obscenely wealthy people hide behind the sacred "corporate mandate."

I hope as a responsible party you will not hide behind those tired old shibboleths, saying that your hands are tied, that you have insufficient jurisdiction, yaddayadda. I will not accept that. I don't think any of the people writing you will accept that - even the ones who are more tactfully eloquent than I am.

I await your answer and your decision.

Pamela Allee, 7425 N Portsmouth Ave, Portland, Oregon, 97203, 503-285-6371

Pamela Beason (#474)

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

If a coal port is a wonderful opportunity to create jobs and revenue, why not build one at the end of the railway in Everett, which is already an industrial area, instead of running endless trains all the way north into our more pristine environment?

Tourists flock to our area for its natural beauty. It has long been considered a perfect spot for active retirees, and even written up in national magazines. Why would you want to throw all that away? Streams of coal trains on our waterfront will destroy the beauty and serenity of our parks and our shorelines. Flotillas of container ships would damage the beauty and serenity of our wonderful San Juan Islands.
Tourists come to see orcas and dolphins and hear sea gulls, not to watch container ships trailing dirty smoke streams, listen to crashes of rock on metal at a coal port, and view the haze of of coal dust on the horizon. Have you ever seen a tourist shop selling photos of a coal port? Haven't we been trying to clean up Puget Sound in recent years?

We have a special environment here, a setting that the world envies, and a coal export terminal would severely damage, maybe even destroy, that uniqueness. Why would any company want to locate here when traffic is snarled by trains and the air is filled with endless train noise?
Why would tourists come? Housing values will fall further than they already have. A coal export terminal at Cherry Point in Whatcom County would cost us much more in local jobs and tourism monies than it would benefit us.

You hold the future of Washington State in your hands. Will you decide to protect our precious resources or sell them to out-of-state corporate interests?

Sincerely,

Pamela Beason

Pamela Beason (#8971)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I live and work in Bellingham, and I occasionally suffer from asthma due to air problems. I have an elderly mother and two grandchildren who live in western Washington as well. One of my grandchildren has asthma, too.

Please determine the true cost to human health of the impacts of diesel exhaust from locomotives and ships moving to and from the coal terminals along our coastline. Our population will be paying for the hospitalizations and deaths caused by detrimental effects of the following:

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

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

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

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

I agree with physician Dr. Sara Mostad, comment 6353 and urge that all health impacts from diesel exhaust pollution caused by traffic to and from this proposed terminal be thoroughly studied.
http://www.eisgatewaypacificwa.gov/get-involved/comment/6353

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Pamela Behring (#10459)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Spokane, WA
Comment:
League of Women Voters of Spokane Area
2404 N. Howard, Spokane WA, 99205
PH: 509-326-8026
Web Site: http://www.lwvwa.org


RE: Environmental Impact Statement/Proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal/Custer

The League of Women Voters of the Spokane Area (LWVSA) offers the following regarding the construction of the deep water port at Cherry Point, Washington, and transportation of coal to the proposed new facility.

LWVSA has positions supporting
Maximum protection to the Spokane Valley-Rathdrum Prairie Aquifer. This sole source of drinking water is directly underneath the rail lines that are intended to carry the coal from Wyoming to Cherry Point. The Aquifer intermingles with the Spokane River at multiple points through the Spokane Valley – with water from the river going into the aquifer water.
Maintaining the clean quality of air in the Spokane area. In reality, the local topography and air flow can result in temperature inversions over the populated area Spokane, thus trapping particulates. Poor air quality has an adverse effect on human health.
A balanced transportation policy. While rail traffic is an important part of Spokane’s commerce, there are multiple other forms of transportation in the Spokane area – and all need to be balanced. Additionally, many parts of the Spokane Valley do not have over/under passes—crossings are at grade. Additional train traffic will seriously impact transportation throughout the region.

The League of Women Voters of the Spokane Area believes that the Environmental Impact Statement should be cumulative and address the impacts all along the rail route, and not just on the port terminal area. These additional trains would be coming through Spokane as a result of the completion of the proposed port. Spokane will be a choke point for rail traffic with trains continuing to western Washington as well as Oregon. The League would like you to study:
Effects to the Spokane Valley-Rathdrum Prairie Aquifer and Spokane River from fugitive dust as well as potential rail car derailments that could deposit coal into the river. Additionally, the study should examine the effect of coal dust that is deposited on land by the rail tracks that could find its way to the Spokane River through run-off.
The effects of coal dust and diesel particulates from the additional trains on the air quality in the Spokane area (particularly given the air inversions that we experience). We understand that the trains will be uncovered – so, how much will escape and what would be the effect if the loads are covered?
The effect of the additional rail traffic on the balance of transportation in and through Spokane. In Spokane, the effects on emergency response times and general traffic flow at railroad crossings need to be studied. In addition to compromised emergency response, there needs to be an examination of the affect on air quality when the waiting traffic is idling while waiting at a crossing. For transportation through Spokane, the rail capacity needs to be examined – will there be capacity for other freight and human rail transport?

Above all, the League appreciates the continued transparency in the process, and encourages continued citizen participation at all steps of the way.

Pam Behring, President
League of Women Voters/Spokane Area
Attached Files:

Pamela Brownell (#11354)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I am a resident of Bellingham and have lived on South Hill above Fairhaven since 1982. My home is 7 blocks above Boulevard Park and the railway. It is important that the GPT EIS examine the adverse impact of noise due to train traffic, and the degradation of an extraordinary public resource, namely Boulevard Park, that would result from the proposed project.

If the number of trains increases significantly, with more whistle blasts and screeching due to longer, heavier loads, my home life, and surely that of many others, is significantly and adversely affected. Rail noise has in the last few years increased to a disruptive level; at some point it will be unacceptable and lead to significant negative consequences. Increased train traffic, including trains of extreme length and weight, moving through Bellingham is obviously an integral part of the GPT project. The associated noise should be examined in the EIS. How many trains? Is there a cap? What is the noise level at the tracks and up to a mile away? What noise level is anticipated? And what noise level is tolerable if we want to maintain an environment that is healthy and inviting to live and invest in? Considering the volume of coal that the project proposes to transport, real mitigation is a dubious prospect.

As to Boulevard Park and Taylor St. Dock, I walk there two or three times a week. I go there for exercise and to relax and recharge. I can hear a kingfisher, look out across the bay to the San Juan Islands, watch the winter water birds, and see snow covered mountain peaks in the distance. Increased noise from heavier, longer, more frequent trains or idling trains will obviously degrade this resource for me. This park is well used. I understand that 1/3 of all first time visitors to Bellingham go to Taylor Dock and Boulevard Park.

But maybe more precious, is the potential loss for persons who cannot easily access extraordinary natural areas. I see a daughter park at Boulevard and help her mother with a walker out of the car. I see a mother strolling with a handicapped daughter slowly shuffling along the sidewalk. What an exceptional community resource, a centrally located park where everyone can access a beautiful waterfront walkway.

If dramatically increased train traffic, and developing sidings, means limiting access to and degrading the quality of Boulevard Park, this is a significant adverse impact related to the GPT project and should be thoroughly considered in the EIS. Specific impacts to be studied should include, noise, air quality, accessibility, and economic loss in tourism. Considering the proximity of the park and the trains, the length and weight of the trains, it is hard to imagine a mitigation that would accommodate the shipment of the proposed quantities of coal and the preservation of the park.

Pamela Brownell

Pamela Brownell (#11475)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I am a homeowner and resident in Bellingham who is seriously concerned that the EIS for the GPT thoroughly examine the long-term costs and benefits, ecologically and economically of the proposed project. In this letter I am specifically requesting studies that consider the risks to our marine and coastal environments.

Please conduct studies and research that will address the following questions. What are the risks of a shipping accident that could release a variety of contaminants into Puget Sound? These would include coal, fuel, and other cargo contents. Consider the scenario involving the transporting ships individually, their interactions with other vessels, and during loading at dock. What would be the cost of possible accidents in terms of clean-up costs, loss of water quality, habitat quality, species diversity and specific species such as herring, salmon, and whales? In case of accidents, what costs would carry over to other activities and industries, in particular fishing and recreation jobs, their harvests and incomes? I understand we have 15,000 fishery jobs in Puget Sound. The potential loss that would come of different scenarios should be analyzed, including the impact with cumulative and future traffic estimates.

What are the scenarios, the risks and costs of pollutants released in terms of environmental damage during normal operations, either due to the limits of control or to negligence? What are the projected affects on noise level, on water waves, and vibrations both due to coal vessels and cumulatively with other traffic? How might that impact the quality of the environment for marine organisms and water birds?

These same concerns for environment and community resources should be studied beyond the terminal site to include the vessel transit route and possible anchoring areas for the near and the foreseeable future. Where would those anchoring areas be, what are the routes, and how might those areas be impacted? To what extent will the increased vessel traffic interfere with existing recreational use and smaller scale commercial use, and with anticipated future opportunities lost? A project of such scale as that proposed for the GPT demands that a comprehensive analysis be made. The big picture as regards the well being of the Puget Sound marine environment and the potential impacts of the GPT independently and in combination with existing activity needs to be examined.

Puget Sound is currently an active commercial and recreational resource, let alone an essential component of our larger ecosystem. Assuming activity continues to increase, at some point, due to normal activity and inevitable accidents, the health of the marine ecosystem will be threatened. Information that is sufficiently thorough to guide a determination, as to whether or not the enormity of this proposal increases the risks to the well being of Puget Sound to an unacceptable extent, must be addressed in this EIS. Repairing significant damage to an extensive marine environment is not a realistic mitigation.

Pamela Brownell

Pamela Cain (#2145)

Date Submitted: 11/02/2012
Comment:
EIS: Proposed Pacific Terminal/Cluster Spur

I urge you to carefully review the environmental impact.

There is no such thing as clean coal. "Clean" coal is Orweillian double-speak. Coal is filthy and harmful, creates long-term damage and contributes to fossil-fueled climate change. The coal extraction process, transportation process and conversion process are all filthy and harmful.

I urge you to very carefully review the environmental impact.

Thank you.

Pamela Driscoll (#7014)

Date Submitted: 01/12/2013
Location: Dexter, OR
Comment:
I have several concerns about shipping coal to Asia by any method. It seems in light of climate change and the sixth great species extinction bearing down on us, the levels of toxins involved in burning coal and the negative health effects make it absolutely insane to ship coal overseas when we are shutting down our coal burning plants in the Pacific Northwest in an effort to clean up our air and cut down on Co2 burning. The dangers of shipping coal by rail are many. Coal dust making the rails slick and creating a greater possibility of derailment and since the rail goes along many of our rivers and other waterways, could contaminate our waters and kill the fish and other living creatures dependent on these important eco-systems. There are many more species in riparian areas than average. We should not cater to big coal, but unfortunately, with the billions of dollars spent by lobbyists for the fossil fuel industry, the laws are made for them to make more billions, not common sense decisions to wean ourselves and the rest of the planet off of these dirty, toxic and inefficient energy sources. Let's be smart and ethical and think of future generations of ALL life on this precious planet.

Pamela Elliott (#12863)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
Location: Walla Walla, WA
Comment:
I am writing to ask you to please conduct an environmental impact statement on coal exporting. The coal dust from transporting the coal is harmful to people and livestock. It causes there to be mercury in waterways and affects climate change. Thank you very much for your time.

Pamela K. Elliott
Walla Walla, WA

Pamela Gross (#11454)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Friday Harbor, WA
Comment:
I am a 15 year 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 concerned about the negative impacts of coal dust emissions from the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal on the marine environment.

I am also concerned about the numerous negative impacts that will result from the extra shipping traffic.

What about risks from oil and coal spills? How will these be addressed?

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

Sincerely,

Pamela Gross

Pamela Hooper (#1419)

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

Pamela Johnson (#7679)

Date Submitted: 01/08/13
Location: Fall City, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Pamela Marra (#6799)

Date Submitted: 01/11/2013
Location: Vaughn, WA
Comment:
Transporting coal by rail is noisy, polluting and requires additional tracks and upgrades. It will disrupt communities with increased rail traffic. The coal terminal near Pt. Roberts has polluted the air and water. Homes are black from the coal dust. This pollution will increase global warming with very little benefit to our economy.

Pamela Mills (#9348)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Waldron , WA
Comment:
Dear co-lead agencies,

I have lived on Waldron Island in San Juan County, WA, part-time since 1988, full-time since 2001. My husband's involvement with the San Juan Islands dates from the 1950's, when his family began spending time on Waldron. As a young teenager, my husband and his friends made small-craft sailing trips among the islands, and he's been a boater, camper, visitor and finally a full-time resident ever since. My husband (and myself since 1983) brought his children up to Waldron every summer. Since 2002 Waldron has been our only home.

I am a visual artist. My paintings and drawings depict the natural world that surrounds us here in the islands. I am an active professional, exhibiting and selling my work throughout the Northwest, as well as in venues on Orcas Island and San Juan Island in this county.

The protection of our islands and waters natural environment is of greatest importance to me both professionally and personally. I depend on it for my vocation, and for my understandings of who and what I am.

Some of my concerns, which I wish to see addressed in the Environmental Impact Statement, include:

1. Threats to the health and abundance of all plant and animal species dependent on the marine environment.

I am concerned about the continued health and well-being of the Salish Sea, with massive coal ships making hundreds of trips a year if this project goes ahead. I ask that the Environmental Impact Statement address the entire coal transportation corridor.

How would the noise, pollution and physical bulk of hundreds more huge vessels affect our orcas? (Our Southern Residents are already endangered)

How would the operation, including the vessel noise of coal ships, impact other marine mammals, fish, birds, and the delicate, already-stressed food web that supports them? We need studies showing how this operation will impact the health of plankton, on which the large "signature" species are ultimately dependent.

2. Because of 1. above, the likelihood of negative economic impact related to tourism dollars, the primary economic driver in our local economy.

Tourists flock to the San Juan Islands because of our reputation for offering an unparalleled experience of natural abundance and beauty in a marine setting. What mitigation can be offered to compensate for the inconvenience, threats to boating safety, and unsightliness of mega-sized coal vessels? What mitigation will there be for the water disturbance, noise and pollution-caused reduction in the abundance, variety and visibility of signature species that draw masses of tourists and their dollars to our islands every year?

3. I am concerned with the threat to human health posed by increasing levels of CO2 release into the global environment, which the transportation of coal facilitates. How will impacts on human health be mitigated?

Without positive assurance and insurance against these and other significant impacts, please consider a no build option.

Sincerely,

Pamela Mills
P.O. Box 73, Waldron 98297
______

Pamela Mortensen (#13145)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
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 Northwest communities and waterways through increasing waterway traffic and the potential of accidents, hazards through pollution of air and waterways which would reduce the quality of life here. In addition, exportation of this coal would further propose risk to Asians where the pollution rate from coal and other exports are already at an all time high. Recent reports from China has Beijing at an unhealthy level of pollution from burning coal as well as other pollutants. This pollution travels and eventually affects more than just Asian nations.

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.

Pamela Peterson (#4184)

Date Submitted: 12/09/2012
Location: Beaverton, OR
Comment:
Considering the unemployment rate, it would seem that exporting millions of tons of coal would provide much needed work. My concern is "at what cost?". My understanding is that coal usage is being curtailed in the US. Does it make sense to export "dirty fuel" to another part of the world? We have a global environment. Burning coal in China still dirties the air. Think of dropping a stone into a pond. The ripples spread throughout the pond.

I live in Oregon, and I don't like the negative impact transporting that much coal would have here. Montana an Wyoming are beautiful states, and I don't like the idea of strip mining there. But even more important, to my mind at least, is using coal anywhere. We know how harmful it is to the environment. It's time to focus on wind power, solar power, hydro power, etc. There are clean sources of energy, and implementing them would provide much needed work.

I think the strip mining and exportation plans should be scrapped immediately.

Pam Peterson

Pamela Santangelo (#505)

Date Submitted: 09/24/12
Location: Sedro Woolley, 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 is in my backyard. The train route is less than a blocks distance from our house. The increase volume of trains is a troubling concern.
There isn't a noise buffer so the conductors frequently blar the horns at all hours as it is. It wakes my children and scares them. We value our environment and our health. No coal in wa.

Pamela Shea (#8079)

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

Pamela Staton (#12652)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Location: Yachats, 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 the community by increasing congestion and noise with more coal train traffic as well as burdening local governments and health care organizations with higher medical/welfare costs due to additional lung illness and other diseases to citizens of those communities along the rails and port, polluting our air and local waterways and the FISH that I consume, 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. Let's not put greed before human needs for a safe clean place to live.

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. If they must happen to SAVE the failing economy, then put it where there are fewest people to breathe in the dust and let's limit the number of ports and locate them where the ocean is least impacted. All life comes formthe sea, and if we fail to be responsible stewards of this knowledge, then we are lending to our demise for generations to come.
Thank you.

Pamela Staton, ND, Ph.D.
Ziggurat Holisitc Healing Center
95330 Hwy 101 S.
Yachats, OR 97498

Pamela Whiteman (#6487)

Date Submitted: 01/03/13
Location: Hood River, OR
Comment:
Jan 3, 2013

US Army Corps of Engineers

I am deeply concerned about the impacts of train traffic on delaying emergency responders, damaging aquatic ecosystems and fishing grounds at the terminal site, and the potential for serious shipping accidents that could have severe environmental and health consequences. Based on BNSF own estimates, thousands of pounds of fugitive coal dust would be deposited in the Gorge every day, damaging human health and the environment. Please deny these permits and stop this project. The future health of our land, animals and our children are at stake!!!

Pam Whiteman
Resident and small business owner in Hood River, OR

Sincerely,

Mrs. Pamela Whiteman

Pamela Whiteman (#7263)

Date Submitted: 01/07/13
Location: Hood River, OR
Comment:
Jan 3, 2013

Washington Department of Ecology

I am deeply concerned about the impacts of train traffic on delaying emergency responders, damaging aquatic ecosystems and fishing grounds at the terminal site, and the potential for serious shipping accidents that could have severe environmental and health consequences. Based on BNSF own estimates, thousands of pounds of fugitive coal dust would be deposited in the Gorge every day, damaging human health and the environment. Please deny these permits and stop this project. The future health of our land, animals and our children are at stake!!!

Pam Whiteman
Resident and small business owner in Hood River, OR

Sincerely,

Mrs. Pamela Whiteman

Pamela & James Harney (#1290)

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

Pamela Anne Lowry (#13813)

Date Submitted: 01/16/13
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of the proposed coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington, transport of strip-mined coal from Montana and Wyoming on trains throughout the Northwest and export of coal by ship through the Salish Sea and the Pacific Ocean.

If the proposal were to be adopted it would negatively affect communities in the Pacific Northwest, pollute the air and local waterways, harm existing businesses, and delay emergency responders. In addition, it would damage aquatic ecosystems and fishing grounds at the terminal site as well as threaten endangered orcas, salmon and herring, increase high-risk freighter traffic in the Salish Sea and Pacific Ocean, not to mention increase the potential for serious shipping accidents and oil spills and further contribute to the escalation climate change.

Please consider the above significant impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement. And if all of the above does not convince you to do so, please consider this as well: 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.

All of this makes it imperative for he Army Corps of Engineers to conduct an area-wide Environmental Impact Statement to assess their cumulative impact.

Papa Mac (#13508)

Date Submitted: 01/21/13
Comment:
The proposed rail and ship transfer of coal from central US to China via rail and shipping needs to have the following studies in additon to others before such an undertaken can be deemed a value to anyone other than the owners of the natural resource.

Migration disruption of terrestrial animals between habitat zones split by increase of rail traffic.

Disruption of aquatic mammals life cycle by increase of shipping traffic.

Increase of potential loose of local county, state capitol to manage the required massive change of infra structure to accommodate the scale of this project,
which will subsequently take money from need social programs and emergency.
services .

Shoreline containment from increase hydro carbon gases released by the burning of coal.

Anticipated rail and shipping incidents leading to contamination of both shore lines and in land massive coal spills from rail accidents. Emergency plans for rail blockage for weeks to clear other trains in transit.

Continued feeding of China's epidemic proportion of cancer. http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=China_and_coal

Studying the international money control that has brought Peabody to increase the political strength of China. Which directly relates to the potential general welfare for every citizen in the near path of this transfer as well as world wide impact.

If we fail to recognize the cost of what we may need to repair or that which will not be repairable then we need to study the legislation that manages the course of review.

Parker Townley (#6774)

Date Submitted: 01/10/2013
Location: Spokane, WA
Comment:
Neighborhoods along the rail lines leading from Montana face enough troubles and disadvantages as is, adding dozens of trains each day will simply increase the amount of diesel fumes and coal dust particulates in the air. The people living along these routes have rights to live healthy lives and should not have to content with the short (mainly health issues) and long-term (climate change and environmental degradation) consequences of this proposed project.

parvin baharloo (#1548)

Date Submitted: 10/27/2012
Location: Lopez Island, WA
Comment:
I live and work on one of the islands in the San Juan archipelago. The proposal for a massive coal transfer terminal and associated delivery system have brought about a myriad of foreseen and unforeseen issues. One accident can wreck havoc on our section of the globe and destroy our way of life. Even the day to day operation will bring a plethora of problems as water pollution (from introduced non-native species, from coal dust, exhausts, fetid ballast water) air pollution (coal dust, exhausts), disruption of existing species (displacement – loss of habitat, death from ship impacts), noise and on and on.

Despite assurances to minimize these problems by the commercial entities involved I am not swayed. We are inundated with assurances by industries that almost always prove to be shortsighted and false. The issue of a conflict of interest is at play here and any decision has to be made by a third, unaffected (if such exists) party because it will be all who will ultimately be affected.

This region and especially the islands are my home. As such it is worth protecting and from the efforts I have seen by others it will be. I ask that every effort be made to investigate every area of possible impact and if there is even one that cannot be dealt with to halt the project.

As a public school teacher I often remind my students that dirt is more important than humans! Without dirt many life forms, including ours cannot exist. Destroying our natural environment is sawing off the limb we are on and will ultimately be our undoing. This is one very clear example of the misguided attempt to put a few jobs over everyone’s welfare and the welfare of future generations.
P. Baharloo

Pat Behm (#5118)

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

Pat Chaves-Pickett (#13081)

Date Submitted: 01/20/13
Location: Mount Vernon, WA
Comment:
I’m very concerned about the impact that 18 more lengthy trains will have on our Mount Vernon downtown businesses in general and our daughter’s store in particular. My husband and I financed our daughter’s store to help secure her future. Being retired teachers, it was not without financial sacrifice to our retirement funds that we have been able to help her. We do not want our sacrifice to be in vain.
Because of her dedication and hard work, our daughter, Kate, has managed to keep her business afloat during this extended recession but if 18 more half-hour trains are start cutting Mount Vernon in two for a large part of the day, that could be the end of her business.
Faced with a half-hour train wait to get to downtown Mount Vernon, most shoppers will continue on the freeway to the corporate stores of the nearby mall, whose route will not be impeded by the coal trains. So much for our local stores.
The only solution to this downtown access problem would be some kind of an overpass to allow people to get downtown despite the excessive coal train traffic. However, an overpass would bring a whole new set of problems, not the least of which is cost.
Who would pick up the tab for the this and other improvements that would be needed to, in some small way, mitigate the myriad environmental and human problems caused by the coal trains?, It would appear that these corporations expect the taxpayers to pay for the privilege of having their environment degraded.
In addition to our family financial concerns, I must mention my health concern. Because I have a COPD lung disease, I must avoid polluted areas. Since our home is not far from the railroad tracks, coal dust would be a big problem for me. Even if we wanted to sell our home, the obnoxious noise created by the coal trains (the current trains are obnoxious enough) it would be very difficult to find a buyer.
But beyond our own concerns, environmental experts agree that coal causes so much pollution it should be eliminated as an energy source altogether. So why are we even considering expanding its use? Why do we want our citizens to make these sacrifices? To improve our country’s manufacturing capabilities and economy? No, it will not help the United States . Quite the contrary, we would be sacrificing for the benefit of the US’s economic competitor, China!
Absolutely everyone I know agrees, the few short-term construction jobs that would be created, are not worth the havoc these trains will wreak.
Thank you for your serious consideration.

Pat Chaves Pickett

Pat Coyler (#1278)

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

Pat des Chene (#5769)

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

Pat Doncaster (#5980)

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

Pat Elston (#13395)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: La Conner, 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 1/2 hour from my doctor's offices, hospital, shopping, and many other necessary services in Mount Vernon and Burlington, WA which the trains will pass through. I'm very concerned about impact so many very long additional trains running through the area, cutting off my access with each train will have on my and my neighbors will have if the Cherry Point terminal is built. And for what? At a time when Climate Change is a very real concern for our whole planet, we will be adding to the problem by providing extra coal to be burned. I really don't believe in the concept of "clean coal". I've seen the dirty effect coal can have on the surrounding areas when it is burned. I went to London before the '60's before and again in the "90's after the coal residue had been scrubbed off the buildings. After cleaning, the city was barely recognizable. For me, that's a very visible representation of what is in the air when coal is burned.
Also, the valley I live in is a strong agricultural area. It's very beautiful, but I hate to thing what the coal dust from the trains will do to the air and all the vegetation if this goes through. I don't feel the number of jobs created is worth the cost to our quality of life in Skagit county.

I'm sure if we, the citizens, were allowed to vote on this, we would turn this down.

Pat Fleeson (#1690)

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

Pat Glenham (#4928)

Date Submitted: 12/17/2012
Location: Mountlake Terrace, WA
Comment:
The proposal to rail then ship coal to China is abhorrent. Coal is the dirtiest, most unhealthy energy source imaginable (also includes nuclear, of course) that the U.S. or any country could possibly use. I am absolutely against railing coal through the Northwest for shipping from any port on the West Coast. It will effect every aspect of our lives: noise, soot, dirt, traffic, marine environment, air quality, human health, wildlife, et al. And, can you imagine what will happen if/when there is a derailment or a ship sinks off our waters?! No! I say! NO!

Pat Glenham (#5141)

Date Submitted: 12/19/2012
Location: Mountlake Terrace, WA
Comment:
I'VE ALREADY COMMENTED, BUT ABSOLUTELY WANT TO BE KEPT UPDATED ON EVERY ASPECT OF THE SCOPING PROCESS AND THE DRAFT AND THEN DECISIONS CULMINATING FROM THE PROCESS. WE, THE PEOPLE, WILL APPEAL ANY ADVERSE DECISIONS THAT ALLOW THIS ABHORRENT PROJECT.

Pat Hendry (#2737)

Date Submitted: 11/13/2012
Location: Everett, Wa
Comment:
I live across the street from rail tracks in Everett. I believe that these are the tracks that will be the return route for the coal cars. This is going to greatly impact my life with noise, air pollution, and diminished property value at very least. Why cant these cars be loaded down on the Columbia River? Sure seems more logical to load ships on the river rather than transport through populated areas 400 miles further north. I'm very opposed to this plan.

Pat Jarvis (#11306)

Date Submitted: 01/16/13
Location: Port Hadlock, WA
Comment:
I Stronely oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington and transporting strip-mined coal from Montana and Wyoming on trains and ships throughout the Northwest. This proposal would negatively affect my community by increasing congestion and noise with more coal train traffic, polluting our air and local waterways, harming existing businesses, delaying emergency responders, damaging aquatic ecosystems and fishing grounds at the terminal site, increasing tanker traffic and the potential for serious shipping accidents and escalating climate change. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

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

Coal export threatens the health, public safety and economic vitality of our communities.

Coal is a dirty and dangerous combustible fuel that coal companies would put in open rail cars to travel through our communities and on massive cargo ships through our commerce corridors, fishing grounds and recreation areas. Coal exports would increase strip-mining and worsen the climate crisis.

My family and thousands of others in my community and state are saying "NO" to coal export. We can do better.

Pat Kenney (#3634)

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

Pat Kramme (#4266)

Date Submitted: 12/11/2012
Location: Blaine , WA
Comment:
I am a life long resident of Whatcom county, Blaine to be specific, and I think it would be a huge mistake to miss out on this opportunity. It is not every day that a new industry wants to move into our area & all the people that I associate with look forward to the new jobs that the new terminal would provide. For fourteen years I owned & operated a small construction company, but last year I had to close down. I strongly feel that had this terminal already been in place it could have helped keep my business alive. When people have jobs they spend some of their money & support smaller businesses such as the one I had. When people have no work, guess what, they don't spend any money.

My construction background helps me to understand the difficulty involved in obtaining ANY permits let alone one of this size & scope. Given the fact that ground disturbance on a single family residence job is scrutanized to such a high standard I can't imagine that any pollution would be allowed to leave the site. Plans to eliminate dust seem to already be in place, & I would imagine that any run off would have to pass through pretreatment settling ponds of some sort. The standard we have today just does not allow for pollution. That is what this permitting process is all about. Therefore if the standard is met, there is absolutly no reason not to allow free market enterprise to exist. That is what built this great nation, & if it is denied to exist, then our nation too will cease to exist as we know it.

I consider myself to be an outdoorsman, I care as much about the enviroment as any so call environmentalist, but I value man kind more than I value tadpoles, frogs, & mud puddles. Yes these are important pieces of the food chain, & eco systems, & they should not be destroyed for no good reason. That being said, proper planning, & mittigation does allow for some destruction of such things in order to allow the proper growth & development.

As far as added train traffic goes, I view it as a good thing. When products are rolling down the track our economy is on the right track. People can leave the house one train earlier. Added tax revenue could perhaps be used to add turn lanes, holding lanes, overpasses, etc. Our society has always found a way to deal with train traffic.

I would encourage you to allow this development to proceed so that many generations to come can benifit from the family wage jobs that it will provide.

Pat MacDonald (#1744)

Date Submitted: 10/24/12
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

Pat Meacham (#10586)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Lopez Island, Wa
Comment:
I have lived on Lopez Island with my husband since 1983. We moved here to be closer to the land and natural beauty that the San Juan Islands offers. We appreciate and respect the delicate balance that’s needed to support both humans and the natural environment.

As with any project, there are both positive and negative impacts. As big as this proposed project is, the positives MUST outweigh the negatives.

What will be the positive impact to the air quality from the diesel exhaust from the trains running from Montana and Wyoming to Cherry Point, north of Bellingham, particularly around the bottleneck areas of NW Washington? Because these areas are typically more densely populated, it’s reasonable to anticipate more trains idling, as they wait to cross already congested traffic lanes.

How much more diesel is used to get a heavy pay load back up to speed from a dead stop? And how will that extra diesel exhaust improve the air quality?

Trains are required to use their horns 20-30seconds before arriving at a railroad crossing. What will the positive impacts from the noise pollution that an additional 18 daily trains rolling through our communities have on the human and natural environment?

How will the dust from the coal trains and the diesel exhaust from the train engines benefit our wetlands, waterfronts, watersheds, rivers and streams? What positive impact will the air pollution have on our water sources?

How will the additional shipping traffic be a benefit to these pristine waters and marine life?

The Southern Resident Killer Whales are protected under the Endangered Species Act. During most of the year they feed around Puget Sound and Salish Sea, the Straits of Juan de Fuca, and Georgia Straits. These Orcas are already exposed to, and have been seriously impacted by, dangerous levels of chemicals, noise, and vibrations from vessels, both large and small. How will the additional noise and vibrations from the coal-transporting super ships benefit this endangered species?

I am concerned because I see no advantage of an additional 950 super ships annually hauling either toxic freight to Asia or hauling toxic bilge water back to our delicate ecosystem, threatening the health of the local waters, shorelines, sea life and ultimately humans.

If there is no environmental advantage to hauling 48 metric tons of open container coal from Montana and Wyoming, along the Columbia River, then north through the Washington inland corridor to Cherry Point and then by ship through the Salish Sea and San Juan Islands, some of the most delicate ecosystems in north America, then this isn’t a project for our area.

PLEASE~~If full mitigation of these impacts cannot be guaranteed, I request that you consider a no build option.

Pat Milliren (#5294)

Date Submitted: 12/18/12
Location: Port Angeles, 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 any others proposed for the west coast of the Untied States) 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 region-wide/earth-wide Environmental Impact Statement to assess the cumulative impact of these proposals.

Here are some issues that need to be addressed as you define the scope of your EIS:

*Analyze impacts to every community impacted by the mining, transport and burning of coal, including impacts in Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, India, China and Bangladesh. For the U.S. this will include impacts such as increased noise from trains and slower response time for emergency vehicles at train crossings, etc., but there are many, many other such impacts to be identified and analyzed.

*Identity and quantify the air, land and water pollution from coal dust that will blow off rail cars, barges, transfer stations and loading areas contaminating communities, people, wildlife and waterways with heavy metals and particulates.

*Thoroughly assess the impacts of habitat alteration and pollutant impacts to natural resources, parks and wildlife including the rare, threatened and endangered species in the Columbia River Basin, the Puget Sound Basin, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, all bodies of water used for transport, and the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve and other areas where a terminal might be built, including impacts to threatened Puget Sound Chinook Salmon, steelhead trout and bull trout as well as endangered Southern Resident Orca Whales.

*Calculate and report the amount of mercury, fine particulates and other air pollutants that will blow back across the Pacific Ocean and pollute Pacific Northwest after the coal has been burned in power plants in India and China.

*Analyze the impacts to cultural and archaeological resources in tribal communities that are located in the path of the coal trains, barges and ships that will supply the Gateway Pacific Terminal and any other terminals.

*Assess the likely drop in property values due to air emissions, coal dust and traffic disruption and noise along the railroad path.

*Fully assess the increased risk of a marine accident that could result in a major oil spill in the already-crowded waters of Puget Sound and the Salish Sea, due to 900 or more container ship transits per year. This should include a major spill’s likely impact on the economy and on threatened and endangered species, including the endangered Southern Resident orca whale.

*Quantify the carbon emissions generated by the burning and transport of the coal, as well as its impact on global climate change and ocean acidification.

*Include a no-action alternative.





pat milliren

Pat Montgomery (#4352)

Date Submitted: 12/06/12
Location: Auburn, WA
Comment:
Dec 7, 2012

Army Corps of Engineers and Department of Ecology WA

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

No one mentions global warming.

Whether we burn the coal in the US or in China, CO2 is CO2, and accelerates global warming.

Please, consider the effect on your and our children, grandchildren, and at least 7 generations of our descendants!

.

Sincerely,

Pat Montgomery
28818 108th Ave SE
Auburn, WA 98092-1925
(253) 735-6791

Pat Rasmussen (#5615)

Date Submitted: 12/31/2012
Location: Olympia, WA
Comment:
I live in Olympia and would be impacted by the proposed coal trains. I also work with the Lummi Indian Nation on salmon habitat restoration projects and am a Nisqually Tribe Stream Steward, helping to do plantings and other stream care to restore salmon in the Nisqually Estuary and Nisqually River Watershed. The Deschutes River Watershed cared for by the Squaxin Island Tribe would also be affected as the tracks cross the Deschutes. I am very concerned about the impacts on the waters of the Salish Sea and the rivers that empty into it and all the natural environment and endangered species like salmon and orcas that would be affected. The tracks pass above the Nisqually Estuary that is recently restored to its natural function to support endangered salmon runs, at great expense and years of work by the Nisqually Tribe, Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife, US Fish and Wildlife and other agencies - many millions of tax-payer dollars have been spent on this work. Clean-up of the Salish Sea has been a priority of Washington State - this project would pollute the Salish Sea and its tributaries, taking us backwards.

The Montana Governor has been here lobbying for this project to benefit the economy of his state, unconcerned that his project would severely harm our state, Washington State. Washington State citizens have made a resounding NO TO COAL trains statement in numerous ways. This issue has galvanized public involvement like no other I have seen in my 66 years as a Washingtonian.

The Lummi Indian Nation has also made a resounding NO response to the proposal as the terminal would be adjacent to their reservation. Tribal Treaty Rights must be considered, heard and adhered to in the scoping and all levels of the EIS.

Endangered species would be affected so full consultation with the respective agencies involved in endangered and threatened salmon and endangered orca recovery are required by law.

Burning coal is one of the biggest sources of CO2 pollution in the atmosphere leading us to the danger point of global warming and climate change.We need to STOP burning coal - the science is there for all to see. Mining coal in Montana, transporting it to Washington ports for export to China where it would be burned and put more CO2 into the atmosphere is a foolhardy idea. Washingtonians will not allow this to happen.

The American Lung Association has ample science pointing to the need to protect peoples' health from coal dust. The children, adults and elderly living along the train tracks would most certainly suffer more asthma and other breathing disorders with coal trains passing by. The trains would pass through the highly populated areas of western Washington, where millions of people would be affected.. The health of these people is more important than Montana making money.

It is time for us to start making good decisions leading to a clean planet - leave the dirty decisions in the past.

I ask that my concerns be considered in scoping and all levels of the EIS process.

Pat Rasmussen (#6476)

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

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

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

I live in Olympia and would be impacted by the proposed coal trains. I also work with the Lummi Indian Nation on salmon habitat restoration projects and am a Nisqually Tribe Stream Steward, helping to do plantings and other stream care to restore salmon in the Nisqually Estuary and Nisqually River Watershed. The Deschutes River Watershed cared for by the Squaxin Island Tribe would also be affected as the tracks cross the Deschutes. I am very concerned about the negative impacts on the waters of the Salish Sea and the rivers that empty into it and all the natural environment and endangered species like salmon and orcas that would be adversely affected. The tracks pass above the Nisqually Estuary that is recently restored to its natural function to support endangered salmon runs, at great expense and years of work by the Nisqually Tribe, Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife, US Fish and Wildlife and other agencies - many millions of tax-payer dollars have been spent on this work. Clean-up of the Salish Sea has been a priority of Washington State - this project would pollute the Salish Sea and its tributaries, taking us backwards.

The Montana Governor has been here lobbying for this project to benefit the economy of his state, unconcerned that his project would severely harm our state, Washington State. Washington State citizens have made a resounding NO TO COAL trains statement in numerous ways. This issue has galvanized public involvement like no other I have seen in my 66 years as a Washingtonian.

The Lummi Indian Nation has also made a resounding NO response to the proposal as the terminal would be adjacent to their reservation. Tribal Treaty Rights must be considered, heard and adhered to in the scoping and all levels of the EIS.

Endangered species would be affected so full consultation with the respective agencies involved in endangered and threatened salmon and endangered orca recovery are required by law.

Burning coal is one of the biggest sources of CO2 pollution in the atmosphere leading us to the danger point of global warming and climate change.We need to STOP burning coal - the science is there for all to see. Mining coal in Montana, transporting it to Washington ports for export to China where it would be burned and put more CO2 into the atmosphere is a foolhardy idea. Washingtonians will not allow this to happen.

The American Lung Association has ample science pointing to the need to protect peoples' health from coal dust. The children, adults and elderly living along the train tracks would most certainly suffer more asthma and other breathing disorders with coal trains passing by. The trains would pass through the highly populated areas of western Washington, where millions of people would be adversely affected.. The health of these people is more important than Montana making money.

It is time for us to start making good decisions leading to a clean planet - leave the dirty decisions in the past.

I ask that my concerns be considered in scoping and all levels of the EIS process.

Pat Rasmussen (#12520)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
Location: Peshastin, WA
Comment:
I am a 67 year old Washingtonian grandmother and I can tell you that big coal will NOT transport coal through my state.

I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington and transporting strip-mined coal from Montana and Wyoming on trains and ships throughout the Northwest. 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. Endangered Southern Resident Orcas and threatened and endangered salmon would be affected by the pollution going into rivers and Puget Sound. The American Lung Association has documentation on the effects of coal dust on the young and elderly, asthma patients, etc. and this issue must be included in scoping as the coal trains would pass through the most populous areas of Washington state. Those most nearby the train tracks would suffer the most and identifying the schools near railroad tracks must be included. Tribal Treaty Rights must be included as the coal trains would pass many salmon rivers that empty into Puget Sound, affecting the Tribes' fishing success - salmon are already endangered, we need less pollution in the rivers and Puget Sound, not more. Washingtonians live here and will in the future so our concerns need to be assessed with polls that are included in the decision making process. For example, "Do you want to allow coal trains to pollute the air you, your children and grandchildren breath so that Montana can make lots of money selling coal to China so they can increase global warming and cause earlier catastrophic climate change?" In other words, clear questions, not the murky ones that industry usually uses to fool people with jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs..... 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.

Pat Robertson (#3390)

Date Submitted: 11/24/2012
Comment:
Nothing good can come from coal passing thru our natural habitat. Air quality, vegetation, wildlife will be compromised. Think of our future generations to come. Think of the footprint this will bring. Use your head.

Pat Robertson (#5678)

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

Pat Robertson (#6439)

Date Submitted: 01/09/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
If it was your family living nearby the tracks or your home located near the terminal would you not do everything in your power to ensure the safety and health of your family and home?

pat robertson (#9275)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Comment:
I am concerned about the impact of the coal dust and noise as I live above the tracks. Please study the impact of these additional trains.

Pat Robertson (#10187)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
Hello, I agree with everything Carolyn G has said. What would be the benefits? I live directly above the tracks and know that for my family the impact will be nothing but negative with a capital N! Can you guarantee the studies will be positive? The research accurate? The truth be told?

Pat Savatgy (#1920)

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

Pat Sebelsky (#11014)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Comment:
The EIS should cover the following issues in detail:
- the air quality/environmental impact from exhaust fumes caused by additional/longer traffic delays at railroad crossings
- the impact on vehicle MPG due to increased traffic delays at rail crossings
- the impact on public access to medical, fire,and police help from delays at railroad crossings
- the impact on the herring fishery at Cherry Point, especially since the herring are a keystone in the food chain for many marine species
- the noise impact on the Orca population & other marine life from additional ships in Salish Sea
- the impact of freighter oil & fuel spills in Salish Sea
- the impact of coal dust on the herring fishery when offloading coal at the terminal

Historically there are a number of landslides on the rail route north of Everett. The 2012-2013 season had an even greater number of slides, including a slide that derailed freight cars. What would the impact on the surrounding neighborhood, including traffic & emergency access, be? What would the environmental impact of spilled coal be?

Pat Tamarin (#4030)

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

Pat Vavrick (#2333)

Date Submitted: 11/05/2012
Comment:
To Whom It May Concern,

I have lived in the Birch Bay area for more than 20 years, and love this beautiful paradise. I feel that the environment will be adversely affected if the coal terminal is built. One of my many concerns is a potential accident. Trains often derail causing terrible messes, and coal trains would be especially disastrous. With the many additional huge ships that would sail through the Salish Sea, the probability of an accident is a definite possibility, and any sort of spill either of coal or fuel would have very negative effects on the water and marine life. Please include these possible negative consequences in your study.

Thank you, Pat Vavrick, Birch Bay

Pat Vavrick (#2334)

Date Submitted: 11/05/2012
Comment:
To Whom It May Concern,

As a resident of Birch Bay, I would like to question the wisdom of building a coal terminal at Cherry Point. I am very much concerned about the diesel and bunker fuel emissions from the many train engines and huge ships that will carry the coal. I believe this could have negative health effects on all of us who live in this area. Please study this issue carefully.

Thank you, Pat Vavrick, Birch Bay Village

Pat Vavrick (#2467)

Date Submitted: 11/05/12
Comment:
To Whom It May Concern;

I have lived in the area near the proposed GPT coal terminal for over 23 years. I love this beautiful and relatively unspoiled place. I am very much concerned that a coal terminal will cause damage in many respects. One of my concerns is economic. Although SSA has touted the number of jobs the terminal will create (an inflated number I believe), I question the impact of the many heavy trains going to the terminal on our infrastructure. Will the tracks have to be upgraded or new ones built and will overpasses have to be added to improve traffic flow? Who will pay for these improvements? From what I read the taxpayers will have to shoulder the great majority of the cost. Please study the financial impacts of the additional trains to the residents of the area and the state.

Thank you, Pat Vavrick, Birch Bay

Pat Vavrick (#2554)

Date Submitted: 11/07/12
Comment:
I have lived in Birch Bay for over 20 years, and I have many concerns about the proposed coal terminal at Cherry Point. Coal is a very dirty fuel, and creates a great deal of air pollution. The coal that will be sent to Cherry Point if the terminal is approved will be sent to China. That country already has an excessive amount of air pollution ( I have been there), and more coal plants will only add to the bad air quality. I am concerned that the additional burning of coal will add to world-wide pollution and global warming and that some of it will be blown back to us on the west coast. Please consider this issue and study it carefully.

Thank you, Pat Vavrick, Birch Bay

Pat Vavrick (#2713)

Date Submitted: 11/12/2012
Location: Birch Bay, WA
Comment:
To Whom It May Concern:

As a long-time resident of Birch Bay, I have been following the progress of the port with great interest and concern. As China comes more and more into the modern age, it may find more environmentally sound means of providing energy and may not want our coal. I recently heard that SSA marine said that if there was no market for the coal they would switch to another commodity. My question is “Who would clean up the coal mess at the port”? Please look into this very possible scenario.

Thank you, Pat Vavrick, Birch Bay

Pat Young (#5281)

Date Submitted: 12/20/12
Location: Mount Vernon, WA
Comment:
I am asking that health issues be considered as part of the EIS process for the coal terminal construction. We know that diesel particulates are a leading cause of asthma in children who live near areas where diesel fumes are common. That describes the coal trains with their need for four engines to pull the extremely heavy trains the long distance from Montana and Wyoming to far northwest Washington State. In my area, the Skagit Valley in Washington State, these trains will travel through residential areas, close to homes and schools. At one point they travel along the edge of a large complex of playfields that are heavily used by children of all ages a good part of the year. I was present at those playfields, watching my 6-year-old grandson playing T ball, when a coal train came by. It was not as long or as heavy as the trains will be if this project is approved, but the laboring engines gave off an odor that I had never smelled before. Also present was a faint cloud coming from the engines that I presume contained the particulates that are so damaging. I realized that it was the smell of burning diesel as the engines had to work hard to pull the heavy cars. Until then I was pretty neutral on the issue. No longer. The odor was very obvious, the homes and apartments the train traveled by house people who will be negatively impacted by that train. When we left the fields after the game and drove through the same residential area to go home, the odor was still apparent.

If the issue of effects on health from the diesel-powered trains is not considered, the EIS will not be doing its job. My experience is not unique. Train tracks run through residential areas as well as commercial areas all the way along the line. Everyone who lives or works nearby will be affected. I ask that you not leave this very important issue out of the consideration of the coal port’s construction.

Thank you

Pat Young

patpark123@yahoo.com Park (#11337)

Date Submitted: 01/16/13
Location: Duvall, WA
Comment:
It can't be lost on you at this point that the entire planetary ecosystem is responding to decades of burning fossil fuels in a runaway economic system that is clearly undermining life as we know it. I'm sure you agree that Hurricane Sandy and the record temperatures felt around the world over the last year have been all but subtle clues to our impact on the planet. Facilitating further burning of coal only ensures we blow past the tipping point in which our planetary ecosystem is capable of sustaining life let alone commerce. Stressing the ecosystem further only ensures an end to our species. To be clear, just because our runaway "car" has no "brakes" does not mean we should step on the gas!

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.

Patrice Bahnsen (#4353)

Date Submitted: 12/06/12
Location: Kirkland, WA
Comment:
Dec 7, 2012

Army Corps of Engineers and Department of Ecology WA

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

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.

Our waters are one of the Gems of our state and we cannot afford to put them in jeopardy by bringing coal into the area. Once the project is in place it will be that much more dificult to stop it, even if it is having problems . We need to focus on clean energy to produce jobs and benefit the community. We are having too many accidents in the sound and we have too much to loose.

Sincerely,

patrice Bahnsen
13045 111th Ave NE
Kirkland, WA 98034-6306
(425) 820-6531

Patrice Clark (#6829)

Date Submitted: 01/11/2013
Location: Bellingham , WA
Comment:
I want the EIS to look into the long term increase on climate change that the coal exported from this terminal would cause.

Patrice Clark (#6831)

Date Submitted: 01/11/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I would like the EIS to study the effects to human, wildlife and vegetation's health that having this increase in coal traveling through our county would have.

Patrice Clark (#6835)

Date Submitted: 01/11/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I would like the EIS to look at the negative financial impact this coal terminal could cause.

Patrice Clark (#6837)

Date Submitted: 01/11/2013
Location: Bellingham , w
Comment:
I would like the EIS to look at the long term effect on Whatcom County residents'quality of life due to having a coal terminal in our county.

Patrice Clark (#6842)

Date Submitted: 01/11/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I would like the EIS to explore how this coal terminal would validate the concept of coal being a acceptable energy source, when most agree that it is a huge factor in polluting our world and adding to the climate change problems.

Patricia UNDIN (#12103)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Friday Harbor, WA
Comment:
I am very concerned that the process of getting coal out of the ground all the way through shipping on a ship is rife with opportunities for unavoidable environment contamination. I believe that coal contamination is a serious threat to the health of all living organisms. I am also very concerned that the United States would be shipping coal to China to be used in a very enviromentally degrading for producing energy. We would be allowing China to pollute the air that the millions of Chinese and, once it travels out of China in the air, all other peoples, natural environments and organisms will suffer.
Please do not allow the coal to be mined and shipped to China through the any of our States. We should keep the coal here and wait until technology provides a way to make clean energy at the place the coal exists, then ship clean power to the other regions of the USA.

Patricia Alesse (#6500)

Date Submitted: 01/06/13
Comment:
To Whom it may concern,
RE: Gateway Pacific Terminal—Especially EIS evaluators

Here are some of the comments, thoughts, questions, and concerns I have regarding the Coal trains and the Gateway Pacific Terminal:

I live in Birch Bay—almost on the shoreline and within 10 miles of Cherry Point.

I understand that there is room for only one more deep water port at Cherry Point. In this day and age of transportation done in containers, it seems to me that would be a much better use of our local terminal. There would be a lot greater variety of goods--sealed not only for their own safety but also sealed from the environment thus protecting out natural resources. Goods would be going out AND coming in for a greater economic benefit.

A mixed bag here—some pros: some cons: With current knowledge that coal is one of the most polluting sources of fuel, I question whether we should be encouraging the use of it at all. I am aware that the coal we are talking about is a higher grade that what China has so MAYBE it is better to have them burning ours rather than theirs. But as we gain knowledge perhaps we’d be better off “saving” our coal for later less polluting uses. Increasing our exports to China would help balance the trade.

Last week I waited more than 20 minutes at the Grandview train crossing while a train slowed and then stopped on the tracks. Finally I gave up and went through Ferndale to get to my dentist’s appointment—arriving 25 minutes late. About 2 to 3 times a month I get stopped by a train at Blaine or Grandview. With approximately 20 more trains per day that’s a potential for many more forced stops. Whenever I do get stopped, I’m glad it’s not an emergency trip—but I’m sure it IS sometime for somebody. The train separates Birch Bay, Custer and part of Blaine from emergency services. If this proposal IS allowed to proceed, there should be a definite requirement to add overpasses so residents are not ruled by train traffic. (I would think that a major part of the cost of such overpasses should be borne by the companies that will profit from the GPT (coal and railroad).)

Talking to people in Point Roberts (just north of us and just south of the Tsawassen terminal in B.C. Canada), we found that the coal there causes coal dust to be a constant problem for them. It collects on their roofs, picnic tables, outdoor restaurant areas, windows, etc. It is not a pleasant addition to their environment and is a source of pollution that is not only unhealthy and undesirable, but which also takes time and energy to remove. (And DON’T say, “Oh, GOOD, It creates a job for someone!) As restaurant owners and residents in Birch Bay, coal dust all over our community is not desirable. Again, if this project is approved, this problem needs to be solved first. Cover the coal in the train cars and don’t just leave big piles of it on the terminal. (I know flammability is a potential problem, but there ARE solutions.) If the companies wanting to do this project don’t cover ALL the costs associated with their project, then we in the community, state or nation will have to pay them. I don’t want to subsidize them in this way.

I also am concerned about the effects on the water, the beaches, the marine life and the land and its inhabitants. Here in Washington state we have worked hard to recycle, to switch to green power, and to improve the stewardship of our natural resources. This appears to me to be a step backward from our environmental goals.

I’m sure there are many more concerns and questions regarding the GPT. PLEASE be sure the detrimental effects are all addressed before proceeding with this project.

Sincerely,
Patricia Alesse

Patricia Allen (#12916)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
Location: Portland, OR
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington. This proposal would negatively affect my community by increasing traffic, polluting our air and water,damaging aquatic ecosystems at the terminal site and increasing the potential for serious shipping accidents and exacerbating climate change. We must not increase our support of dirty energy for short term financial gains but look to the future for cleaner options. Please help preserve the beautiful Northwest, I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

Patricia Anderson (#10163)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Lynnwood, WA
Comment:
We don't want your coal trains coming through. I have lived in the area since 1953 and have seen the impact on our ecology. I live a quarter mile up hill from the rail tracks and I for one oppose smelling, seeing, hearing your trains. The tracks in this area are close to the water and we have several mudslides a year, closing the tracks to trains.The impact on traffic is another concern. Our Eco System is fragile enough with global warming and we do not want to see coal trains coming.

Patricia Benedict (#14453)

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

Patricia Bereczki (#122)

Date Submitted: 09/28/2012
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.

KEEP DIRTY COAL OUT OF OUR NEIGHBORHOODS.

Patricia Bereczki (#1104)

Date Submitted: 10/22/12
Location: Vancouver, 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 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.

Saving the environment is the duty and responsiblity of all of us.

Sincerely,

Patricia Bereczki
17003 SE 5th St
Vancouver, WA 98684-8406

Patricia Billinghurst (#7426)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Location: Anacortes, WA
Comment:
What impact would potential flooding of the Skagit River have on coal trains through Skagit County? Specifically, what would be the economic and environmental impacts of flooding of the rail line with coal trains on it?

Patricia Billinghurst (#7427)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Location: Anacortes, WA
Comment:
How might coal dust in the area affect the seed-growing businesses in the Skagit Valley?

Patricia Burson (#12706)

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

This is a bad idea, and we should not be polluting our air just to export to China!

Patricia Chandler (#12621)

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

this is not what we need in our beautiful northwest. in our closed system, there is no "away" for environmental degradation.

Patricia Coyne (#12612)

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

Right now the current air quality up & down this valley is at dangerous levels already due to air inversion. I can't begin to imagine what it would be like if we had coal transports chugging through this valley.

The chain of acts attempting to be unleashed by Big Coal upon the health & welfare of our local & global communities is catastrophic. We need to care for this planet now, & protect it for our future generations.

DO NOT let construction begin on the coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington.

Patricia Dell Veneri (#12439)

Date Submitted: 01/22/13
Location: La Center, 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 the Corps can kick the plan to export coal through a terminal at Cherry Pt WA under the "Train", Please take the action to do it !!! Even the very small brained know this plan is no good for our land and people. I know first hand how hard it is to fight the "higher ups" in a bureaucrat Agency. I retired as Air Transportation Specialist from the USPS. Please at least try to block this proposal !!!

Patricia Dickason (#7905)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Location: Lacey, WA
Comment:
I live in Lacey, and I would like you to extend the area of study impact to a statewide study of the consequences of allowing an additional 18 coal trains daily to run through the state, and thus through numerous communities. I see this project as impacting much more than Cherry Point and the immediate surrounding area.

I am concerned about the impact of 500 tons of fugitive coal dust that would be lost from each car along the statewide route on human health and environmental health.

I am concerned about impacts on traffic, safety, and commerce that18 additional coal trains daily would pose---blocked railroad crossings, costs of improving infrastructure to cope with the blocked crossings, business impacts caused by increased supply and shipping costs due to increased transportation time.

I am concerned about the impact of the huge increase in shipping on our marine environment in the Salish Sea---fishing, herring breeding grounds, whales and all other sea life, the totality of all species that could be impacted.

I am concerned about the impact of train derailment on wetlands, streams and lands that border rail lines across the route to Cherry Point.

Patricia Dunn (#3441)

Date Submitted: 11/27/2012
Location: vancouver, wa
Comment:
I am concerned with the proposed transportation of coal through the NW. I ask that the impact of any activitiy related to the terminal -- including mining, shipping, storing, and burning the coal -- be scoped

Patricia Fulbright (#5979)

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

Patricia Garcia (#11023)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Friday Harbor, WA
Comment:
I just want to add my voice to the concerns expressed by so many informed citizens. I am fortunate to live on San Juan Island. The quality of life in this island community and the surrounding sea is threatened by the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal and the shipping of coal to China. The economy of the island is driven by a thriving tourism industry, which in turn depends on preservation of the clean air, peaceful natural beauty of the island group, and the marine life populating its waters. What will be the effects of shipping noise (both as a human nuisance and a possibly lethal threat to marine species), invasive species (from both hull contamination and ballast water exchange), coal dust, and possible accidental spills of fuel and load? The islands also are supported by small farms and a commercial fishery. I am sustained by the produce and livestock of these small farmers. Coal dust contamination, and ultimately the burning of coal (the air contamination of which will eventually reach us) may have unexpected consequences effecting this life-sustaining industry that we depend on. These are but a few of the impacts that need to be studied for the sea transport of this coal. The effects at both ends of the proposal (mining site and usage site) are just as important, and questionable, and the terminal site has many hazards to deal with. Thank you for conducting a thorough investigation of the far-reaching environmental impacts of this project.

Patricia Goldsmith (#13996)

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.

Because climate change affects all of us, I urge you to conduct a thorough assessment on behalf of everyone living and unborn generations.

Patricia Guthrie (#13944)

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.

COAL IS A 19TH CENTURY FUEL, NOT A 21ST CENTURY ONE. STOP FOULING THE AIR - ASIA ALREADY HAS A SERIOUS PROBLEM WITH TOXIC AIR - COAL WILL ONLY MADE IT MUCH WORSE....

Patricia Herlevi (#1935)

Date Submitted: 10/31/12
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Dear Scoping Committee,

I would like to bring to your attention noise pollution and the coal trains. Since we never know when the trains will pass through, the noise from the train is not only damaging and loud, it's also dangerous to other areas of health. For instance, the noise pollution from trains can a cause flight or flight, raising cortisol levels, which leads to inflammatory diseases, lower immune responses, and cause depression, anxiety, and aggressive behavior.

Noise pollution can affect nervous systems and not in just humans, cardivascular systems, of course, hearing. I have also read in a few books on psychoacoustics (the study of sound on the nervous system), that noise pollution can harm the development of brains fetuses, infants, and children, not to mention cause hearing problems. I even read of a connection between the brain development, hearing, and dyslexia (which I suffered from as a child and I grew up Navy bases with loud airplanes). Our bodies entrain rhythmically to noise and also resonate with noise, which disturbs our natural body rhythms according to sound healers and psychoacoustic experts.

Personally, I live up the hill from the train tracks in Bellingham.
The noise from the trains has woken me up at night causing insomnia on some nights. When I lived in Mount Vernon, for 8 months I lived a half a block from train tracks and felt like a nervous wreck for those
8 months (try living anywhere in Mount Vernon and not hear the trains). I could not hear myself think, much less get a good night's sleep. I am sensitive to noise and the sound of the train on the tracks and the blasting horn leaves me feeling stressed out, and extremely tense.

I am including links here for your investigation of noise pollution and the coal trains.

http://www.tiptheplanet.com/wiki/Noise_Pollution

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/06/04/AR2007060401430.html

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/committees/en/tran/studiesdownload.html?languageDocument=EN&file=72911

http://www.calhsr.com/environmental-review/noise-pollution/

http://www.noisefree.org/howtofightnoisemanual.pdf

Also I recommend the book, "Making Healthy Places" published by Island Press, 2011.

My hope is that these articles will get you started on the noise pollution portion of your Impact Statement for the proposed coal terminal at Cherry Point, Ferndale, and the number of coal trains coming through the Pacific Northwest, while passing through my hometown Bellingham.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,


Patricia Herlevi
PO Box 2561
Bellingham, WA 98227

Patricia Herlevi (#2057)

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

Patricia Holm (#4315)

Date Submitted: 12/07/12
Location: Olympia, WA
Comment:
Dear Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Ecology and Whatcom County Council:

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

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

Our Govenor's executive order just issued on November 27, 2012 states clearly that further releases of CO2 to the Puget Sound must be halted. Already the acidification of Puget Sound is hurting the shellfish industry which employs over 3200 people. Our Washington State shellfish industry supplies 85% of the nation's shellfish. The train tracks carrying this coal are situated all along the Sound on the way up to Bellingham. The coal dust from these trains and the burning of this coal in China would directly effect even further acidification of our Puget Sound and the oceans. A tiny creature called pteropods are struggling to live and they are 50% of what our salmon feed on. This is serious and must be addressed with much consideration. I trust that you will do that.
Patricia A. Holm




Patricia Holm
1216 Ethridge Ave NE
Olympia
Olympia, WA 98506

Patricia House (#14109)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Tonasket, WA
Comment:
I am deeply concerned about the potential impact of coal exports on my family and community. Coal exports pose great threats to the health, safety, and environment of the Pacific Northwest. In addition, burning this coal would be a huge step backward in combating global warming

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

Please support a cumulative and comprehensive area-wide environmental impact statement is conducted that takes into account the impacts of all six proposed coal export terminals currently on the table.
i first thought that the coal proposal was only 1 port---i can not express the surprise when i realized the plan included 6 terminals on the west coast----so unbeleivable---no country in this current age needs that much coal and it will destroy the pacific northwest----this must be stopped----

Patricia Iversen (#2389)

Date Submitted: 11/06/2012
Location: Burlington, WA
Comment:
We live in a senior community of homes east of the rail line. If the Gateway Terminal project is allowed to proceed, it will affect our lives profusely. Each day the additional eighteen coal trains would make it more difficult for us to travel west to the shopping and dining areas of our city and to the freeway. More importantly, it will make it more difficult for emergency responders to reach folks who live on the east side of the tracks. The only access to us will be a narrow road near the Skagit River which is unaccessable during floods (which happen several times a year). The noise of all these trains and their whistles would only add to the irritation of those we already deal with.
Of course, we are also extremely worried about the environmental effect of this project. There is no doubt that it would contribute to the pollution of our area, not to mention the whole world, as China burns all this coal.
And then there are our concerns about the infrastructure of the present railway system the product would be transported on. The railway bridge that crosses the Skagit River near us was built in 1901 and has to be nearing the end of its useful life. One of the piers has already been wiped out by a flood of the river and was replaced by a rather haphazard looking pier. Many of the remaining piers are cracked and look somewhat undependable. One can't but wonder how many other bridges are in this condition - accidents waiting to happen. A bridge collapse would be catastrophic to the environment of our river, which is a major salmon spawning by-way.
The railway owners seem to take little interest in the plight of the folks who will be affected by this project and only spout gargantuan figures about job increases, etc. We sincerely hope that the concerns of the majority of us will be heard and that this proposal will not be approved.
James and Patricia Iversen

Patricia James (#12662)

Date Submitted: 01/20/13
Location: Bremerton, 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 lived in Southeastern Virginia, where there is such a coal terminal on the Elizabeth River. I see no benefit in any venue in bringing coal into Washington State. "Clean coal" is an oxymoron; there is no such thing. The sooner we reduce our use of fossil fuels, the sooner we can see our way clear to eliminate them, which will be better for all of us ... everywhere.

Patricia Johnson (#8066)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Location: bow, wa
Comment:
It's clear that, especially of late, air pollution in China has reached epic proportions. This affects not just the Chinese, but all of the earth. Coal is a dirty polluting energy source which belongs in the ground not in trains moving across thousands of communities in America. Think of Dickensonian London and you have the picture. Think of the horrible abuses in the coal fields in Wales and West Virginia. Think of obstruction of traffic, safety vehicles, ambulances, school buses and emergency problems. That anyone would even consider, that for a few jobs and lots of corporate profits, we would even think of giving away our right to transit , health, and safety is absurd. I'm totally against this.

Patricia Jorgensen (#9052)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Location: Mount Vernon, WA
Comment:
I oppose the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal for many reasons.
1. The numer of trains moving through my town . We own a building in downtown Mount Vernon directly across the street from the tracks at the intersection of First and Division. The businesses owned by our renters will be affected by the noise and the pollution, not to mention the gridlock at the intersection of Division and First-this is right next to our building.
2. As a person who lives on the West side of the river, access to the hospitals-(both directions) may directly affect our ability to get to the hospital on time.
3. The pollution caused by the diesel train exhaust and by cars idling waiting for the train will be measurable.
4. Coal is a highly pollutant material and we do not need to export it to allow China to pollute our global environment.
5. Coal dust will cause measurable environmental damage all along the route from the midwestern U.S.
6. Focus should be on finding clean alternatives to fuel on a global scale. To think that in the small African country of Ghana they area building the world's fourth largest solar power plant.

Patricia Kuentzel (#10607)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Lopez Island, WA
Comment:
Please evaluate the impact of an coal ship oil spill on shore sea birds that inhabit the San Juan Islands. I am especially concerned with the federally Threatened Marble Murrelets. Their primary feeding grounds for herring are located at the south end of Lopez Island. Marble Murrelets swim on the ocean surface. Between being oiled by a spill and having their food source decimated when the oil settles on the Salish Sea bottom the Threatened Marble Murrelets might disappear with one oil spill.

Would you please study the impact of an oil spill on shore sea birds especially Marble Murrelets and provide a risk assessment analysis of the results of an oil spill on the Threatened Marble Murrelet?

If you find that a risk for the Threatened Marble Murrelet to become extinct with one oil spill is possible, please consider a no build option.

My name is Pat Kuentzel. I have been on Lopez Island in spirit since 1979 when we purchased land and have lived on Lopez Island over a year.

Patricia Kuentzel (#10630)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Comment:
My name is Pat Kuentzel. I reside on Lopez Island. As a retired teacher I am concerned with our youngsters.

Please provide a longitudinal risk assessment analysis and a benefit to cost analysis of the environmental and economic impacts for the San Juan Island youth.

Will coal dust provide a health risk to our children?
Will an oil spill ruin the economic prospects for our children? At the moment our economy is based on tourism, farming, and fishing.

If full mitigation of these impacts cannot be guaranteed, please consider a no build option.

Sincerely, Pat Kuentzel

Patricia Lenzen (#968)

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

Living in Vancouver, WA I have been paying close attention to this issue. We are cleaning up our dirty coal furneces or better still taking them out altogether as is the Centrailia-chehalis area. Why then woukd we sent this stuff to a country across the oc eans to foul their air and then HAVE THE NEGATIVE EFFECTS THAT CLAIM THE HEALTH OF ALL THE EARTH.

From so many ways this is a bad idea. Air, water, land, fish wildlife humans all put at risk. Do what you can to protect all. Isn.t this your mandate?
Lenzen

Sincerely,

Patricia A Lenzen
12800 NE 4th St Apt 57
Vancouver, WA 98684-5064

Patricia Lenzen (#12772)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
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.
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There are so many negative aspects about this and other coal plans in the NW. Just think if all were approved and built. The one outstanding reason not to build this coal transport site and/or any others is climate control, Used in any country coal is the worst of many energy sources. The air in China is so foul now. That air moves all over the world. It's not just the people in country that will be effected. The whole world is getting warmer. Oceans are rising because we produce already to many pollutants in the world. We as a country with these supplies of dirty energy should not use it here or ship it out of country for use by others until new methods of controlling the pollution are solved. Please for the future of life on this planet do not approve this site.

Patricia Littlewood (#2188)

Date Submitted: 11/02/2012
Location: , WA
Comment:
The shipping of over a million short tons of coal annually over 1,100 miles of rail line through 121 towns and cities to the Gateway Pacific Terminal could result in: health hazards from coal dust to humans and animals living adjacent to the tracks; possible negative impacts on marine life in the vicinity; polluted air in the surrounding environment; increase the adverse effect of global warming.

Patricia Lundquist (#9911)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
As this far-reaching proposal is studied, I ask all agencies to study the following:

-impacts of increased noise and shaking caused by heavy trains in populated areas; our home is located approximately four blocks from the main train line through Bellingham. Already the heavy trains shake our home noticeably. The addition of such a huge number of additional trains, very heavily loaded with coal, will certainly increase ground shaking. What is the impact of this continual ground shaking? How does the additional noise impact the communities through which the trains pass?

- impacts on air quality of a highly increased number of diesel emissions from trains, plus the impact of coal dust as trains pass through communities. Also the increased impact of vessels passing through the San Juan islands and other areas on their way to China - what are the impacts of this additional heavy shippping traffic on air quality.

- impact on global air quality as China, one of the most populous nations in the world, harnesses this dirty fuel to run its industries.

- impacts on the economy and safety of residents as trains bisect communities and community members, public safety vehicles such as fire and police, and delivery vehicles face certain and constant delays.

- what are the impacts on wildlife and vegetation in the areas through which the trains will pass? What are the impacts on marine species, fish, fishing industries, and ocean health in general, as affected by not only the overland and cross-seas shipment of coal, but the burning on coal and its general effect on the health of the earth. We no longer live in isolation and must consider broad global impacts.

- please study the impacts on wetlands or streams near which the trains will pass. Ill effects on our environment ultimately will affect animal and human health in the long run.

- what are the effects on overall water quality? A more polluted ocean will affect our food chain and air quality as water evaporates and cycles into rain fall; what effects are there on our fresh water supplies?

It is the agencies charged with investigating all of the impacts, both adverse and beneficial, who have the responsibility to make the studies broad enough to understand the full impact of this gargantuan proposal. How can adverse impacts be truly mitigated, or can they be? Is the overall benefit going to outweigh the long term losses to human health, environment, air and water quality? Are there alternatives to the current proposal, or is this the only energy supply available for China?

I support new family wage jobs...but not at any cost. I do not pretend to know what the ultimate price will be of this proposal, but from my viewpoint, this is so large that it is frightening. It must be investigated responsibly and thoroughly. If it is to be allowed, those companies that will benefit from the project must pay to mitigate the impacts BEFORE they affect the world. This will require that lead agencies have an unusually perceptive and insightful review from a global, regional, and local level before any decisions are made.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment.

Patricia maden (#6683)

Date Submitted: 01/10/2013
Location: bellingham, WA
Comment:
Why should we be concerned about our personal carbon footprint if BNSF, Peabody, Arch, etc. are contributing major pollutants to China, hence to us, and adding enormously to global warming? What about the world we are leaving future generations?

Patricia Maden (#7810)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
With Beijing, China today suffering terrible air pollution problems, what will more dirty coal burning power plants to for their, and our, air quality, and contribute to global warming?

Patricia Marriott (#12452)

Date Submitted: 01/22/13
Location: Spokane, WA
Comment:
Climate issues are of the utmost importance at this juncture! 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.

Patricia Meeker (#14455)

Date Submitted: 01/06/13
Location: Edmonds, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Patricia Merrill (#14142)

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

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

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

Patricia Miller (#13251)

Date Submitted: 01/14/13
Location: Spokane, WA
Comment:
COAL IS DIRTY. THE MINING OF IT IS DESTRUCTIVE, LOOK WHAT THEY'VE DONE IN PENNSYLVANIA AND WEST VIRGINIA, WHOLE MOUNTAINS GONE, WHOLE ECO SYSTEMS DESTROYED. BY SENDING COAL TO THE FAR EAST WE ARE ONLY CREATING MORE POLLUTION IN THIS COUNTRY. THEIR DIRTY AIR EVENTUALLY REACHES US BECAUSE OF PREVAILING WINDS. WE MUST STOP DESTROYING THE EARTH, OR THERE WILL BE NO FUTURE GENERATIONS.

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.

Patricia O'Brien (#4646)

Date Submitted: 12/13/2012
Comment:
Coal trains would acceptable to me provided the following were put in place:
1. ALL rail cars hauling coal would be enclosed so as to NOT degrade air quality, or affect human health, wildlife, fish, wetlands or water quality.
2. Unloading of these rail cars to be done in a secure location within an area with constant air quality controls, such as air handlers and fans for collection and proper dispoal of pollutants.
3. Towns and cities would be notified as to when and how many trains per hour/day and time of day would be traveling through the town. If at all possible trains would be diverted to areas of no population.

Thank you,

Patricia O'Shea (#5512)

Date Submitted: 12/20/12
Location: Portland, OR
Comment:
Dec 20, 2012

US Army Corps of Engineers

I have reactive airway disease, as do so many Americans because of the increasing air pollution. So many children have become asthmatic and sometimes these attacks are fatal. Leaving the subject of coal dust alone as an obvious pollutant, let's just focus on the diesel fuel required to carry so many tons of coal uphill over the passes to get from upper Washington state to the Columbia Gorge. All those hydrocarbons make me choke literally. I have to use puffers to breathe when a lot of particulate matter or irritating chemicals are in the air. PLEASE MAKE AIR QUALITY STUDIES ALONG THE ENTIRE ROUTE OF THE PROJECTED TRAINS.

Awaiting with compromised breath for your decision. . .along with many other folks with various lung diseases, we need you do honor our right to BREATHE.

Thanks for "listening."

Sincerely,

Patricia O'Shea

Patricia O'Shea (#5513)

Date Submitted: 12/20/12
Location: Portland, OR
Comment:
Dec 20, 2012

US Army Corps of Engineers

Dear Gov. Kitzhaber,

I have reactive airway disease, as do so many Americans because of the increasing air pollution. So many children have become asthmatic and sometimes these attacks are fatal. Leaving the subject of coal dust alone as an obvious pollutant, let's just focus on the diesel fuel required to carry so many tons of coal uphill over the passes to get from upper Washington state to the Columbia Gorge. All those hydrocarbons make me choke literally. I have to use puffers to breathe when a lot of particulate matter or irritating chemicals are in the air. PLEASE ENCOURAGE THE ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS TO MAKE AIR QUALITY STUDIES ALONG THE ENTIRE ROUTE OF THE PROJECTED TRAINS.

Awaiting with compromised breath for your decision. . .along with many other folks with various lung diseases, we need our right to BREATHE to be honored.

Thanks for "listening."

Sincerely,

Patricia O'Shea

Patricia O'Shea (#5747)

Date Submitted: 12/27/12
Location: Portland, OR
Comment:
Dec 20, 2012

Washington Department of Ecology

Dear Gov. Kitzhaber,

I have reactive airway disease, as do so many Americans because of the increasing air pollution. So many children have become asthmatic and sometimes these attacks are fatal. Leaving the subject of coal dust alone as an obvious pollutant, let's just focus on the diesel fuel required to carry so many tons of coal uphill over the passes to get from upper Washington state to the Columbia Gorge. All those hydrocarbons make me choke literally. I have to use puffers to breathe when a lot of particulate matter or irritating chemicals are in the air. PLEASE ENCOURAGE THE ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS TO MAKE AIR QUALITY STUDIES ALONG THE ENTIRE ROUTE OF THE PROJECTED TRAINS.

Awaiting with compromised breath for your decision. . .along with many other folks with various lung diseases, we need our right to BREATHE to be honored.

Thanks for "listening."

Sincerely,

Patricia O'Shea

Patricia Otto (#7680)

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

Patricia Paquette (#6731)

Date Submitted: 01/09/13
Location: Vashon, 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 Washington communities in many ways, without any guarantee of commensurate rewards to those who will suffer the most.

On a larger scale, it is insanity to fuel burgeoning Asian economies with dirty coal. The implications for global climate change are enormous. Washington State prides itself on being environmentally progressive. If we provide dirty coal that adds to the level of global carbon emissions, we are worse than hypocrites. We know better! Why not help these countries fuel their growth through renewable energy technologies? That would be a much better solution for own economy, too.

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 -- all open, above-board, and with complete public involvement.

Patricia Parsley (#7971)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Comment:
My name is Patricia Parsley. I was a physician until I retired and moved to the rural area near Ferndale in 2003 because of the beauty, quiet, wildlife, recreational opportunities and magnificence of the Puget Sound area. I am concerned about the impact on all that from the construction and operation of the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal.

Please include in the EIS a study of the impacts on agriculture in all involved rail corridors and their nearby communities from the origin of the coal trains at the mining sites through to the terminal at Cherry Point.

Please include seismic and noise effects, coal dust and diesel emission effects, and water and air and soil pollution for their potential adverse and cumulative effects on dairy and livestock production and reproduction, berry and fruit production, wheat and other grain production.

Please include any impacts on exports of these products and any damage to our reputation for safe, quality food exports.

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

Thank you for your consideration,
Patricia Parsley, MD (retired)

Patricia Parsley (#7974)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
My name is Patricia Parsley. I was a physician until I retired and moved to a rural area near Ferndale in 2003 because of the beauty, quiet, wildlife, recreational opportunities and magnificence of the Puget Sound area. I am concerned about the impact on all that from the construction and operation of the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal.

Please include in the EIS a study of the impacts on air quality along all involved rail corridors and their nearby communities, from the mining sites through to the terminal at Cherry Point and its environs, and along the routes of the coal ships and any impacted communities.

Please include all the airborne pollutants that will result from this project and their synergistic and cumulative impacts:
--coal dust (from trains and storage, loading and unloading at the terminal),
--diesel and gas emissions (from trains, ships, terminal machinery),
--heavy metal contaminants of coal dust (lead, mercury, chromium, uranium, etc) and
--the toxins (eg. mercury) that will blow back to the west coast from coal combustion in Asia.

Diesel exhaust alone contains 40 toxic air contaminants listed by the EPA. And the size of diesel particulate matter and of coal dust is of sufficiently small size to embed in lung tissue down to the smallest of air sacs, the alveoli, with significant health impacts on humans, animals, wildlife and birds.

Known health risks from the above air pollutants include cancer, heart disease, stroke, and chronic lung diseases (asthma, emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis, lung development in children and adolescents). Children, teens and the elderly are especially vulnerable.

Puget Sound already ranks in the country's top 5% of risk for exposure to toxic air pollution according to the National Scale Air Toxics Assessment (NATA) done by the EPA. The conclusion that airborne pollutants pose a significant and measurable health risk was found by the American Lung Association, in their review, “State of the Air 2011,” and by the American Heart Association, in their 2011 review, “Particulate Matter Air Pollution and Cardiovascular Disease.” These studies showed a linear effect and indicate that there is no safe threshold.

These impacts thus threaten permanent and irreparable harm to human and environmental health which cannot be mitigated once the pollutants are released into the air. It would be impossible and unconscionable to discuss mitigation of decreased life expectancies and decreased quality of life for so many impacted people.

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

Thank you for your consideration,
Patricia Parsley, MD (retired)

Patricia Parsley (#7976)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
My name is Patricia Parsley. I was a physician until I retired and moved to the rural area near Ferndale in 2003 because of the beauty, quiet, wildlife, recreational opportunities and magnificence of the Puget Sound area. I am concerned about the impact on all that from the construction and operation of the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal, which would be located within the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve.

Please include in the EIS a study of the impacts of the construction and operation of the proposed GPT on the diverse and extensive aquatic and marine resources, both along the projected routes of the coal ships and at the site of the terminal. Questions that concern me and which comprehensive and objective studies should address include:

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

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

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

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

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

I further request a study of the accumulated effects of the potential aggregate exposure to the toxins of coal, coal dust, fuel/oil spills and other contaminants.

I further request that these impacts be part of a comprehensive study that includes the aggregated impacts that would occur if all five proposed coal terminals were constructed and operating at proposed maximum volumes and including the British Columbia sites already in operation.

Thank you for your consideration,
Patricia Parsley, MD (retired)

Patricia Parsley (#7977)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
My name is Patricia Parsley. I was a physician until I retired and moved to a rural area near Ferndale in 2003 because of the beauty, quiet, wildlife, recreational opportunities and magnificence of the Puget Sound area.

Please include in the EIS a study of the impacts on climate that would occur due to the mining, the shipping (via rail and ship) and the burning of coal resulting from the operation of the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal. Questions that concern me and which comprehensive and objective studies should address include:

(1) Ocean acidification,
(2) Acid rain,
(3) Greenhouse gases emissions,
(4) Mercury emissions,
(5) Particulate matter pollution.

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

Please have these studies consider the interdependent systems involved in all of the climate impacts of this project and the potential for irreparable harm to land and marine species and to our global climate.

Thank you for your consideration,
Patricia Parsley, MD (retired)

Patricia Parsley (#7978)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
My name is Patricia Parsley. I was a physician until I retired and moved to a rural area near Ferndale in 2003 because of the beauty, quiet, wildlife, recreational opportunities and magnificence of the Puget Sound area. I am concerned about the impact on all that from the construction and operation of the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal.

Please include in the EIS a study of the impacts of coal dust on all involved rail corridors and their nearby communities from the origin of the coal trains at the mining sites through to the terminal at Cherry Point and its environs. Questions that concern me and which comprehensive and objective studies should address include:

(1) Impacts on air, water and soil:
--amount of coal dust lost from open-top coal cars and the width of its distribution along rail corridors and the number of communities impacted, including that lost on the return trips from "empty" cars,
--amount of coal dust lost from open-top coal cars that collects in the road bed and the risk of derailments due to this accumulation,
--amount of coal dust lost from open storage pits and during loading and unloading operations, including at times of high winds, and the extent of its distribution from the terminal site and the number of communities impacted;

(2) Impacts on health--direct, indirect and cumulative over time:
--including human health, particularly but not limited to respiratory, cardiovascular and carcinogenic effects and risks,
--including health of livestock and their ability to thrive, reproduce and produce milk and meat, in the affected areas,
--including health of the soil of agricultural lands and the effects on crop health and yields and quality,
--including health of wildlife in the affected areas;

(3) Impact of the heavy metal contaminants of coal dust, such as but not limited to lead, mercury, chromium, arsenic, and uranium and of nitrogen and sulfur oxides emitted on the air, soil and water in affected areas;

(4) Cumulative impacts of coal dust, diesel particulates and heavy metals on all the concerns listed above;

(5) Cost to the taxpayers for mitigation measures for coal dust from the mining sites through to the terminal.

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

Thank you for your consideration,
Patricia Parsley, MD (retired)

Patricia Parsley (#7981)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
My name is Patricia Parsley. I was a physician until I retired and moved to a rural area near Ferndale in 2003 because of the beauty, quiet, wildlife, recreational opportunities and magnificence of the Puget Sound area. I am concerned about the impact on all that from the construction and operation of the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal.

Please include in the EIS a study of the economic impacts on all communities along all involved rail corridors from the origin of the coal trains at the mining sites through to the proposed west coast terminals and their environs. Questions that concern me and which comprehensive and objective studies should address include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you for your consideration,
Patricia Parsley, MD (retired)

Patricia Parsley (#7982)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
My name is Patricia Parsley. I was a physician until I retired and moved to the rural area near Ferndale in 2003 because of the beauty, quiet, wildlife, recreational opportunities and magnificence of the Puget Sound area. I am concerned about the impact on all that from the construction and operation of the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal, where giant bulk carrier coal ships would make approximately 950 transits per year if the GPT were constructed.

Please include in the EIS a study of the impacts of increased marine traffic on all of the communities and ecosystems along the marine routes involved. Questions that concern me and which comprehensive and objective studies should address include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you for your consideration,
Patricia Parsley, MD (retired)

Patricia Parsley (#7989)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
My name is Patricia Parsley. I was a physician until I retired and moved to a rural area near Ferndale in 2003 because of the beauty, quiet, wildlife, recreational opportunities and magnificence of the Puget Sound area. I am concerned about the impact on all that from the construction and operation of the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal, noting that I live within hearing of the BSNF rail line on which 18 additional coal trains would travel.

Please include in the EIS a study of the impacts of noise along all involved rail corridors and their nearby communities from the mining sites through to the terminal at Cherry Point and its environs. Impacts from all sources of noise should be studied, including train engines, wheels on the tracks, braking, whistles, terminal loading/unloading, ship engines and ship machinery. Questions that concern me and which comprehensive and objective studies should address include:

(1) Impacts on quality of sleep;
-- including delay in falling asleep, night time awakenings, alteration in sleep stages and decreased depth of sleep.
--after effects of subsequent decreased alertness on school performance, job performance, driving, etc;

(2) Impacts, direct and indirect and cumulative, on the cognitive development and performance of children;

(3) Impacts on mental health, including the risks and likelihood of the acceleration and intensification of latent and active mental health disorders;

(4) Impacts on physical health, particularly of cardiovascular impacts in both adults and children, including but not limited to increased heart rate and blood pressure, increased stress-related hormones and their effects, and continuation after 'acclimatization' to the noise;

(5) Impacts on quality of life, recreation and tourism

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

Thank you for your consideration,
Patricia Parsley, MD (retired)

Patricia Parsley (#7995)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
My name is Patricia Parsley. I was a physician until I retired and moved to the rural area near Ferndale in 2003 because of the beauty, quiet, wildlife, recreational opportunities and magnificence of the Puget Sound area. I am concerned about the impact on all that from the construction and operation of the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal.

Please include in the EIS a study of the impacts of increased rail traffic on all involved rail corridors and their nearby communities from the origin of the coal trains at the mining sites through to the terminal at Cherry Point. Questions that concern me and which comprehensive and objective studies should address include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you for your consideration,
Patricia Parsley, MD (retired)

Patricia Parsley (#7999)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
My name is Patricia Parsley. I was a physician until I retired and moved to a rural area near Ferndale in 2003 because of the beauty, quiet, wildlife, recreational opportunities and magnificence of the Puget Sound area. I am concerned about the impact on all that from the construction and operation of the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal.

Please include in the EIS a study of the impacts on water in all involved rail corridors and their nearby communities from the origin of the coal trains at the mining sites through to the terminal at Cherry Point and its environs. Questions that concern me and which comprehensive and objective studies should address include:

(1) Impacts on fresh water, including streams, rivers and groundwater and the subsequent use for drinking and/or agricultural use, from:
--coal dust and its high PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) from coal trains, unloading and unloading operations at mining sites and terminals,
--diesel particulates from train engines,
--heavy metals in the coal dust,
--leakage of water sprayed on coal piles to reduce dust that leaches into the soil and ground water beneath and near the terminal site, particularly cumulative effects;

(2) Impacts on wetlands from the destruction of more than 140 acres of significant wetlands, particularly with respect to critical habitats and sources of biodiversity;

(3) Impacts on salt water, including in the environs of all the proposed terminals and along the proposed routes of the coal ships, from:
--coal dust and its high PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) from open pits and during loading/unloading operations, including acidification of coastal waters,
--coal and/or fuel spills during loading/unloading operations and during transport in the ships,
--diesel particulates from ship engines,
--toxins from the outfall pipes at the terminals,
--non-native invasive species from the outside of the ships or from ballast water;

(4) Impact on local water supply for drinking and agricultural purposes in the environs of terminal sites from demand for water, estimated at up to 5 million gallons daily, to control dust and combustion in uncovered piles of coal.

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

Thank you for your consideration,
Patricia Parsley, MD (retired)

Patricia Parsley (#8001)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
My name is Patricia Parsley. I was a physician until I retired and moved to a rural area near Ferndale in 2003 because of the beauty, quiet, wildlife, recreational opportunities and magnificence of the Puget Sound area. I am concerned about the impact on all that from the construction and operation of the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal.

Please include in the EIS a study of the impacts on wildlife in all involved rail corridors from the origin of the coal trains at the mining sites through to the terminal at Cherry Point and its environs. Questions that concern me and which comprehensive and objective studies should address include:

(1) Impacts on marine life from:
--noise interference with the ability of whales and dolphins to communicate and to locate food.
--disruption of fragile ecosystems from coal dust, coal spills, fuel spills and invasive non-native species,
--degradation of food sources, such as Pacific herring, and the subsequent effects on the food chains, such as herring to salmon to orcas;

(2) Impacts on land wildlife and farm animals from:
--inhalation of coal dust and heavy metals associated with it,
--noise stress from increased rail traffic and terminal operations,
--disruption of movement for hunting or migration or finding mates from the increased rail traffic;

(3) Impacts on bird life, including threatened and endangered species, from:
--inhalation of coal dust and associated toxins,
--noise stress from increased rail traffic and terminal operations,
--degradation of wetlands and aquatic aggregation feeding sites within the Pacific flyway that support migratory waterfowl and shorebirds, seabirds and raptors,
--degradation of great blue heron rookeries.

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

Thank you for your consideration,
Patricia Parsley, MD (retired)

Patricia Pattee (#11833)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Anacortes, Wa
Comment:
I'm concerned about traffic blockages.
I'm concerned about the noise and dust.

As a small business owner, I am concerned about the entire change of the valley. We have lots of people who come here as tourists, via auto and boat. These coal trains will affect all of our tourist business, in particular recreational boaters.
How will this affect our tulip tourism business?

Please carefully consider all elements of our society in this important process.

Patricia Peters (#2881)

Date Submitted: 11/10/12
Comment:
I am against the coal company's plan to ship coal by train through Seattle to ports north of us. We have a responsibility to the planet that outweighs any profits or jobs. We need to help China to stop polluting the planet with fossil fuels. It is not about only this generation, but the need to protect the planet for future generations. Also, I am concerned about the health affects for people living in the area that the train passes through.

I support stopping this plan!

Patricia Peters

Sent from my iPad=

Patricia Pirnack (#10780)

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

We are residents of Orcas Island in San Juan County. We are concerned about many aspects of the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal at Cherry Point. I am writing this for both myself and my husband. I will start with our concerns about the vitality of the Salish Sea where we live and where the coal ships will be traveling. There was just a mishap up at the Westshore Terminals in Delta, B.C. on December 7, 2012 when the foreign flagged freighter lost control and collided (perhaps a propulsion failure) and crashed into one of the coal conveyors, knocking 120 metres of the causeway into the sea and dumping 35 tons of high grade coal powder into the waters. You can see the streams of coal from the aerial shots. This was off Roberts Bank where many migrating birds overwinter. This shows the real potential of human error and the consequences. What if an oil tanker and coal freighter collided? How will GPT’s marine vessel traffic increase collision risks with tankers and other cargo ships in the Salish Sea? You cannot rule out this possibility and simply say it won’t happen. Our waters off the coast of Puget Sound are a fragile ecosystem and there are many environmental, health, economic and moral concerns about building this type of facility. The salvage is going slowly at Westshore and productivity is expected to drop by 50% during reconstruction of the second berth. There have also been coal dust complaints against Westshore’s operations as far as Point Roberts, and residents have complained seeing coal dust escaping the piles from the terminal in high winds, as well as the conveyor belts and returning empty trains. This is important, as this is what will be occurring at GPT. We do have high winds and there should be a study regarding winds and coal dust. No one knows what impacts the coal spill will have on the ecosystem up off of Roberts Bank. I know they are supposed to “WET” the dust down on the trains and stock yard but I don’t believe that will take care of fugitive coal dust. Impacts of coal dust may appear wherever coal is obtained, stockpiled and particularly, when it is transported, dumped or otherwise handled such as in loading and unloading the train cars. In all of these instances there is the likelihood for the release of small particulate matter or dust in significant quantities. The GPT is estimated to have a capacity of approximately 54 million metric tons of goods annually, of which 48 tons would be coal. It will be the largest coat exporting site in North America and to achieve these figures there will be an 80 to 105 acre stockyard for the storage of coal. THERE WILL BE FUGITIVE COAL DUST! Coal dust will escape into the environment….this is a FACT. We are very concerned about the health risks near Cherry Point and along the train corridor from the Powder River Basin to Puget Sound. We request that the GPT Environmental Impact Statement include the entire coal transportation corridor so that communities along the rail and marine routes are give due consideration. There are many health risks associated with coal dust. I have restrictive airway passage disease which was most likely due to exposure to pollution and chemicals where I lived in the Skagit Valley. There are children, people like myself and elderly who live near the train corridors that will be exposed to coal dust no matter how much they “Wet” it. There was also a recent derailment of 125 car coal train with four locomotive near Pasco, Wa. on July 3, 2012. 31 cars carrying coal spilled and spilled their contents. The train was traveling from Wyoming to Delta, B.C. or to Westshore Terminals. This could happen within populated areas, towns and cities along the coal train corridor.

There is also the issue regarding the impact GPT will have upon the critical habitat of Chinook salmon and other important elements in the local food chain. This should be undertaken in relation to the local sea grass and eel grass communities around Cherry Point. Herring spawn in eel grass and there is evidence that suggests that Cherry Point herring biomass remains at critically low levels. Chinook salmon feed off herring. There needs to be a study on “WETTING” as well to identify the impacts of the water required, in terms of both quantity, quality and the indirect effects this may have on associated ecosystems. The EIS must evaluate the cumulative effects of both air and water born coal dust on the Cherry Point herring population.

The EIS must also evaluate the impact that 950 transits per year to Cherry point of the likelihood and potential consequences of introduction of Asian species from ballast discharges as well as other organisms that attach to ships. As noted, most of these vessels are from foreign ports and this is already a major problem in our waters with invasive species.

Costs to local economies, public health and rail corridor communities are concerning to many of us. There is evidence to support that local jobs and businesses, property values, human health and quality of life would be adversely impacted by the coal trains. Increase marine traffic and the coal terminal would affect fisheries, marine ecosystems and air quality. Further, substantial taxpayer investment may be required to maintain and support infrastructure. The terminal at Cherry Point would see approximately 30 miles of coal trains DAILY to the BNSF rail lines that run along our coast line. Infrastructure would need to be upgraded to accommodate this amount of usage. Who will pay for these upgrades. There would also be significant disruption in passenger and regular freight service. “Findings have shown that increases in rail traffic have the potential to result in diseconomies as a result of traffic delays,” according to a paper taken from a University of Texas Transportation Center study. Recent studies conducted by Gibson Traffic Consultants in the western Washington cities of Seattle, Edmonds, Burlington, Marysville, Mt. Vernon, and Stanwood (a study in Bellingham is underway) suggest potentially SEVERE consequences due to the proposed increase in rail traffic intensity associated with GPT.

There are concerns that increased traffic delays at city rail crossing and on I-5, waterfront, accessibility issues, and increased noise pollution would likely impact local jobs and businesses. Rail corridor communities outside of Whatcom County will experience potential negative economic impacts without guarantee of any economic benefits. Property values will definitely fall along these corridors as well with no recourse for compensation not to mention the noise pollution and health risks.

Lastly we wish to address the moral issue of building the largest coal export facility in North America to accommodate coal consumption of China and to the creation of even more green house gases anywhere in the U.S. Global warming is REAL. Beijing just had the worst episode of air pollution ever recorded. 20% of L. A.’s smog is now attributed to Asia. What China creates in particulates and pollution due to the burning and consumption of coal comes back to our coasts and country. We will be contributing even more so to the rapid development of Global Warming. We are also contributing to the health risks of many from the coal miners to those of who live near this facility and along the corridors. We can write letters but the habitat can’t. Where is the voice of the ecosystem, the herring, salmon, the world in general? Coal consumption is down in the U.S. Mining coal is a dirty business and dangerous one especially if you take into consideration the health effects. They used to say asbestos was safe, exposure to uranium was safe. They are telling us there are no health risks from coal dust. Somehow I have heard this fallacy before. The only ones who benefit from this mega terminal are those who stand to make money from it by selling it to China. It is a disgrace. The world will suffer as Asia continues to pump out mega amounts of green house gases. Please consider a no build option.

Sincerely,


Patricia Pirnack-Hamilton
James C. Hamilton

Patricia Pirnack-Hamilton (#14457)

Date Submitted: 01/20/13
Location: Eastsound, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:


Patricia Sanders (#13020)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Portland, OR
Comment:
Why should American taxpayers be subsidizing coal exports to foreign countries? We should leave our resources in the ground in case we need them later. I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington.

Besides the loss of valuable resources, 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.

Patricia Stigliani (#11592)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
My husband and I live in Bellingham in a neighborhood close to the BNSF rail line. We contemplate with real horror the prospect of up to 18 additional coal trains daily (9 northbound loaded - 9 southbound empty) passing through our community en route to and from the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal. We request that the GPT Environmental Impact Statement encompass the entire transportation corridor so that communities along both rail and marine routes receive full consideration. Our concerns include:

NOISE--how will the noise/vibrations of 1.5 mile-long, heavy, frequent trains affect property values and the structural integrity of homes and businesses close to the tracks? How will chronic noise affect the health and quality of life of people and animals living, working, playing, or attempting to sleep nearby?

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

HUMAN HEALTH & SAFETY-- How will the proposed coal trains and export affect cancer, heart disease, asthma and other health risks associated with air/water pollution induced by coal in the environment? How will the added rail and ship traffic affect accident and collisions rates? What will be the probable public health impacts of toxic air pollution that crosses the Pacific from Asia to our west coast as coal that originated in the Powder River Basin gets burned in China?

FISHERIES & SALISH SEA--How will coal port construction and operation and 950 annual transits of gigantic coal-carrying vessels affect tourism / boating / salmon, crab and herring fisheries / orca whales / vitality and viability of the Salish Sea / risk of toxic spills of oil or coal?

COST TO TAXPAYERS--What will we citizens, the taxpayers, ultimately have to pay for costs associated with coal transport and export? Who will underwrite the necessary upgrades and additions to rail infrastructure? Who will pay for additional public health expenses? Who will pay to construct overpasses or underpasses so that road traffic need not be held up unduly as coal trains pass? Who will undertake mitigation efforts to minimize adverse impacts such as lost local businesses and jobs, degraded and damaged tourism trade, and decreased property values?

The number and nature of potential damages the proposed GPT brings along with it make a request like this difficult to craft -- please do investigate carefully all areas of concern listed beside the boxes above. We wish you well in your endeavors.

Patricia Szot (#3742)

Date Submitted: 12/03/2012
Location: Auburn, WA
Comment:
My name is Patricia Szot and I live close to tracks the coal trains will use in Auburn and I travel along portions of these train tracks to work 5 days a week. More importantly, I am also an asthmatic. I have many concerns about the potential coal trains but the one I am most concerned about is the effect of the coal dust (and any heavy metal associated with this dust) coming off these train cars will have on our air quality. A change in air quality produced by these coal trains coming from Montana or Wyoming will affect thousands of people who live, work and play along these tracks, including myself. I have heard people (for the coal trains) make comments that the dust will be covered with a surfactant to reduce the amount of dust coming off the cars, so I shouldn’t worry. This disturbs me as well for 2 reasons. Firstly, has the use of surfactants actually proven to reduce the release of coal dust to ZERO all along the track route these trains will take; and secondly, it is unclear what is the chemical structure of this “surfactant”. I don’t want to be breathing a surfactant either; some surfactants can have a profound health risks. The surfactant used on the oil gusher in Gulf of Mexico has caused just as many problems as the oil itself. Therefore, these proposed coal trains could have a profound effect on the air quality in Washington, especially the air along the train tracks. An environmental impact study needs to be performed to assess the effect of these coal trains on the air quality along these tracks, not just at the port where the coal will be stored. In addition, what also needs to be assessed is the pollution that Washington will receive if this coal is shipped and burned in China. This coal being sent to China contains many heavy metals including mercury (neurotoxin). The pollution from burning this coal in China will affect our air in the great Northwest. Therefore, my concern with the coal trains is the impact of the coal dust and surfactant on our air and should be examined before a decision is made.

Patricia Tillmann (#11377)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
I am writing concerning the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT)/Custer Spur. My written comments are attached in a pdf (Proposed GPT-Custer Spur EIS Comments_Patricia Tillmann.pdf). They supplement those I provided at the Seattle hearing on 12/13/2012.

In summary, my comments concern the Scope of the EIS, Affected Resources and Adverse Impacts, Alternatives, and Avoidance, Minimization, and Mitigation Measures. Affected resources and adverse impacts include: (1) impacts on fish, wildlife, and natural systems due to the current and proposed mine sites in Montana and Wyoming, transportation routes across the western U.S., and Pacific Northwest export facilities including the proposed GPT/Custer Spur; (2) resulting climate change impacts should the coal be burned; and, (3) impacts on the ability to pursue viable energy alternatives. Alternatives include a No Action Alternative and an alternative to export other, more viable and less detrimental products.

It is my sincere hope my scoping comments assist those responsible for conducting the GPT/Custer Spur EIS and better enable a comprehensive identification, analysis, and consideration of potential direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts associated with the proposal. Please contact me at tillmannpj@gmail.com if there is a problem receiving, opening, or reviewing the attached comments.
Attached Files:

Patricia Vaurick (#14462)

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

Patricia Vavrick (#868)

Date Submitted: 10/18/12
Comment:
To Whom It May Concern:

I have lived in this area for 23 years – over 20 at Birch Bay Village and 3 on Lummi Island. During this time I have enjoyed boating, fishing, crabbing, clamming, and animal and bird watching. I am very concerned that the proposed coal terminal at nearby Cherry Point will adversely affect these recreational activities. Please study the impact of the coal dust and diesel fuel from the terminal, the extra trains and the huge ships on our wonderful marine life.

A negative impact would no doubt result in decreased boating, fishing and crabbing for both recreational and commercial fishermen, and would certainly diminish the economic attractiveness of this entire area. Much of what drew my husband and I here many years ago would be lost.

Thank you,

Patricia Vavrick, Birch Bay Village

Patricia Vavrick (#908)

Date Submitted: 10/21/12
Comment:
To Whom It May Concern:

As a resident of Whatcom Co. (Birch Bay), I am very concerned about the increased train traffic (estimated 18 extra trains, 1 ½ mi. long) and the potential for holding up emergency services. I have been stopped many times at the train crossings near Blaine, and have waited as long as 15 min. to get through the intersection. I frequently go into Bellingham, and if I were on the water side of the tracks and had an accident or other emergency any delay in getting help could easily result in greater injury or loss of life. I would think that everyone who crosses the tracks would consider this a very important issue. Please study this aspect of the proposed coal terminal very carefully.

Thank you,

Patricia Vavrick, Birch Bay Village

Patricia Vavrick (#911)

Date Submitted: 10/20/12
Comment:
To Whom It May Concern:

Having lived near the Salish Sea for more than 23 years, I have enjoyed salmon fishing and whale watching. I am very concerned that the proposed coal terminal at Cherry Point, both during construction and after, would adversely affect the eel grass and herring beds near by and consequently the whole food chain up to the salmon and the orca. This would not only make this area less attractive, but it would hurt the fishing an whale-watching businesses, both commercial and recreational. Please study the very possible negative outcome for our fisheries and whale watching if this port is built.

Thank you,

Patricia Vavrick, Birch Bay

Patricia Vavrick (#922)

Date Submitted: 10/19/12
Comment:
As a long time resident of Birch Bay Village, I am very concerned about the effect of the 18 additional (1 1/2 mile)required coal trains on our traffic patterns. Although I live in Birch Bay, I often go into Bellingham for appointments, shopping, shows, dinner, etc. My favorite restaurant is the Hearthfire Grill which is on the water side of the tracts. I would be very reluctant to visit that restaurant or any others in that area if there’s a good chance I would have to wait for a train. I think all of the current businesses, as well as the new plans for development of the waterfront would suffer if the proposed coal port is allowed to proceed.

Please study the economic consequences on the waterfront as a result of train traffic very carefully.

Thank you.

Pat Vavrick, Birch Bay Village

Patricia Vavrick (#1141)

Date Submitted: 10/22/12
Comment:
To whom it may concern:

The thought of the drastically increased large ship traffic necessary to service the proposed coal terminal at Cherry Point has me very worried as I live next to the Salish Sea. I am afraid that the ships will negatively impact boating and fishing in the area, and that the diesel fuel from the ships will pollute the air and the water. This could hurt property values for us all. Will you please carefully study the effect these ships and their fuel would have on the water and the air?

Thank you very much, Patricia Vavrick, Birch Bay Village

Patricia Vavrick (#1835)

Date Submitted: 10/30/12
Comment:
To Whom It May Concern,

I attended the coal port scoping meeting in Bellingham on Sat., Oct 27. I was watching the Channel 7 (KIRO) news report on the event that evening and heard the reporter make some statements that I thought were very misleading. First, she said that SSA Marine indicated that the coal trains would be covered. If this is correct, how would they be covered (solid, netting, mesh, chemicals, water)? Where would the coal dust then go - out the sides of the cars, out the bottom, or out on the site of the port? Would chemicals be washed down onto the ground? Please study this issue carefully.

The second statement said that over 4,000 jobs would be created. A recent article in the Bellingham Herald indicated that there would be 1,251 new workers during the operation of the terminal. What kind of jobs and where would all of these be? The application for a permit states that there would be 89 people employed during the first phase of the operation in 2016 and 213 full-time shift workers plus 44 administrative personnel would be working when the terminal is in full operation in 2026. Please investigate these discrepancies.

Thank you,

Patricia Vavrick, Birch Bay Village

Patricia Vavrick (#2403)

Date Submitted: 11/02/12
Location: Blaine, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Patricia Vavrick (#4223)

Date Submitted: 12/06/12
Comment:
I attended the scoping meeting in Ferndale and was prepared to speak about an issue that I think should be studied concerning the coal port. However, although I arrived more than an hour early, I was unable to get a number. I felt that those who spoke did not raise any issues that need to be studied, but only talked about their desire for jobs. I have heard that many were paid to come to the meeting and show support for the terminal. I feel that this needs to be investigated.

Thank you,

Pat Vavrick Birch Bay

Patricia Vavrick (#12781)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Comment:
To Whom it may concern:

I have lived in the Birch Bay area for over 20 years. My husband and I moved here to take advantage of the wonderful water-related recreational opportunities in this area – boating, fishing, crabbing, beach combing, etc. I am very concerned about the impact of the huge ships that will come into the Salish sea if the coal terminal at Cherry Point is built - air pollution from the diesel engines, water pollution from ballast tanks and foreign sealife on the hulls, increased boat traffic, etc. The recent accident at the Westshore Terminal in Tsawwassen poses another worry. Accidents are bound to happen, and one involving these oversized ships would be disastrous for our air and sea environment. Please study carefully the very possible consequences of allowing 900 additional ships a year in these waters. Also consider the serious implications of an accident involving these ships.

Thank you, Pat Vavrick, Birch Bay

Patricia Vavrick (#12791)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
Comment:
To Whom it May Concern:

As a resident of Birch Bay Village, I am a relatively close neighbor of Cherry Point. I love the clean air and water of this area, and very much enjoy the beaches. I am concerned about the effects of coal dust on our environment if the port is built. In talking with people who have had direct experience with the dust from the Westshore Terminal in B.C. falling on beaches, homes, boats, etc., I believe that this is very likely to happen here. This would ruin our beautiful environment, and would likely decrease property values. I doubt that my husband and I would have bought here in 1992 if a coal port had been at that site. I request that the issue of coal dust contamination and the very possible negative effect on property values in the area be studied carefully.

Thank you,

Pat Vavrick, Birch Bay Village

Patricia Vavrick (#13050)

Date Submitted: 01/20/13
Comment:
To Whom It May Concern:

As a longtime resident of Birch Bay, I have been following the scoping process very carefully. Recently I saw a picture in the Bellingham Herald showing a woman in China wearing a face mask because of the heavy pollution in the air. If the Cherry Point port is built, we will be sending coal to China and further polluting the atmosphere there. How does this affect the rest of the world and, more specifically, the West Coast? Does the dirty air blow back to us? I ask that you study the effect of this added pollution in China on us and how much it would contribute to global warming.

Thank you, Pat Vavrick – Birch Bay

Patricia Vavrick (#13645)

Date Submitted: 01/22/13
Comment:
To Whom It May Concern:

I live in Birch Bay so am very close Cherry Point. I am asking you to study the practices of the companies that are hoping to put the GPT coal terminal there.

They started clearing the land for the port before they received a permit to do so and were simply fined and were told to put the land back the way it was, which would be impossible.

They apparently paid people to stand in line to secure speaking spots at the Ferndale scoping meeting, and some of the speakers allegedly were not who they said they were, (having a stake in the company). I was at the meeting, and was not given a chance to speak. All of the speakers that I heard talked only about jobs and did not raise any issues to be studied. The number of possible jobs seems to be greatly over blown. The permit application calls for only 89 workers during the first phase in 2016 and 213 full-time shift workers plus 44 administrative personnel when the terminal is in full operation. I attended the Bellingham meeting and watched the report on a Seattle news channel that night. The reporter stated that over 4,000 jobs would be created. A letter to the editor in the Bellingham Herald dated Oct. 18 stated that the GPT promotional flyer claimed 3,500 to 4,500 temporary jobs during construction and 800 to 1,200 permanent jobs.

Some people seem to think that the rail cars and the terminal will be covered. I believe that this is false information, even though it was also mentioned by the Seattle reporter after the Bellingham meeting.

In evaluating all of the information concerning the coal port, please consider what kind of a neighbor it would be.

Thank you, Pat Vavrick, Birch Bay

Patricia Waterston (#2895)

Date Submitted: 11/12/12
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 150million tons through the Northwest. I urge the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct an area wide Environmental Impact Statement to assess the cumulative impact of these proposals.

This is the wrong strategy for this country, for this region, and for the planet. We must concentrate on meeting the challenge of climate change. Exporting coal to China is the one of the worst things we can do.




Patricia Waterston
5815 Princeton Ave NE
Seattle, WA 98105

Patricia Young (#5936)

Date Submitted: 01/03/2013
Location: Mount Vernon, WA
Comment:
For the past several weeks the rail line between Seattle and the site of the proposed coal loading port has been affected by large slides that have prevented the trains from moving along large sections of track, and in at least one case has knocked the freight cars off the tracks and into the water. Passengers on Amtrac trains can be bussed around the slides. Huge amounts of coal cannot and will need to be stored on rail sidings for days and possibly weeks on end. More seriously, the cars containing the coal could well be knocked off the tracks and into the water of Puget Sound, polluting the water and endangering animal and plant life. It is very likely that the increasing slides are being exacerbated by the heavy trains carrying coal below the many slide areas. There does not appear to be any good solutions to this problem. Allowing greatly increased passage of long, heavy trains bearing tons of coal will only make the problem worse. Please do not approve construction of this port.

Patricia Young (#5938)

Date Submitted: 01/03/2013
Comment:
I live in the Skagit Valley and have already seen the disruption caused by the increased number of long, heavy trains delivering coal to the coal port in British Columbia. Last month I was held up for over 30 minutes when a coal train was stopped in the middle of Mt. Vernon by a "frozen" wheel. In this case the disruption to traffic was serious but not life threatening; it was possible to find a way around the blocking train, even if it meant driving several miles out of my way. However, had this occurred at the major intersection of Kincaid and the train station in downtown, or if it had blocked the major route at College Way, it would have prevented access to the hospital in the event of an emergency or it could have kept fire engines from reaching the scene of an accident or fire. This is unacceptable. If this project is approved, the numbers and frequency of trains will increase dramatically, disrupting traffic throughout the valley. This is more than an inconvenience; it's a potential tragedy. Please do not allow this project to go forward.

Patricia & James Hamilton (#2006)

Date Submitted: 10/25/12
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Patricia A enzenl (#2525)

Date Submitted: 11/07/2012
Location: Vancouver, WA
Comment:
I'm not a person to testify but am a very concerned person as to how these coal trains can/will affect the life and health of persons and all wildlife in the areas the coal cars will travel. Trains(multiple every hour) will cause delays at crossings, causing hazardous conditions and will spread dust for the entire route. Breathing this coal dust, having it spread over a wide area, spread by wind, rain washing it down storm drains, contamination into the Columbia River and other waterways and the impact it will have on fish and other aquatic life remains unknmown. And then there is the idea that we don't want to use this filthy coal lets send it to China (or any where thatit might b e needed) so they can contaminate. the air, soil, etc. and on wind currents send it right back to us (wouldn't that be a joke). This is just such a wrong headed idea. It must not happen here and I don't want someone else to hav e to deal with it. (not in my backyard)

Patricia and Peter Lamb (#12785)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
GPT/BNSF Custer Spur EIS Co-Lead Agencies
1100 112th Avenue Northeast, Suite 400
Bellevue, Washington 98004
January 18, 2013

To Whom it May Concern:

Please take into consideration 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 my ongoing residence here is deliberate. The very aspects of our environment that cause our continuing 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 following points greatly concern me:

(1) The coal trains will effectively cut Bellingham 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.

(2) 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.

(3) The health and public safety issues relating to escaping coal dust must 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 travesty happen should be spent on research of better ways to heat and transport ourselves?

Thank you for your attention,

Yours truly,

Patricia and Peter Lamb

Patricia C. Hawley (#11550)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Comment:
Please study the full impacts of the coal exportation terminal at Cherry Point, WA.

Some of my concerns are with the possible environmental harms and negative health factors caused by such things as loose coal dust on surrounding vegetation and waters that will ultimately effect the food cycle and air quality.

Further study is also needed regarding traffic congestion and hold-ups at train crossings that will be detrimental to business and possible hospital emergency routes, especially in small towns along the train routes.

Thought should be given to local economic aspects, as well. How much will tax-payer dollars go towards up-keep of rails, the aftermath of mud slides, and other external costs and upkeep, etc:? Will the initial temporary hiring of people who are constructing the system have any real lasting effects on our unemployment rate? Will tax-payers be subsidizing any aspects of contract agreements?

Another major consideration has to do with our quality of life in our corner of the Northwest. This area is "poetry," known for its beauty. Even beyond the aesthetic aspects, there is the practical one in that regard : our area attracts many tourists and businesses because of its pristine uniqueness. I feel strongly that we must not endanger that delicate balance for short-term gain that will leave scars behind.

Thank you,

Patricia C. Hawley

Patrick Alesse (#4455)

Date Submitted: 11/29/12
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

Patrick Alesse (#11633)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Birch Bay, WA
Comment:
Widen the study of the impacts as far as possible.
We are now in global markets. The idea that what we do here does not affect the rest of the world and what they do there does not effect us is foolish. (The proponents of the coal port want you to look at this project with blinders on.) The fact that they want our coal in Asia and we want their products does not mean they want the carbon admissions from the coal. They, like us want a world market. The like us want to live in a pleasant environment. I had the privilege of traveling to China a few years ago. I found the people to be delightful, industrious, and appreciative. I took pictures of most every thing. I took a set of three photos that made an impact on me. It was of a small Chinese family in a smoggy Beijing standing in front of a temple. I like taking pictures of people taking picture of people. I took a picture of a father taking a picture of his young daughter with the mother standing off to one side. Suddenly the mother rushes up to the young girl and removes the protective face mask from her daughter’s face. Then the father takes the little girl’s picture again.
Patrick Alesse

Patrick Alesse (#11645)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Birch Bay, WA
Comment:
How does the coal in the coal cars shed rain water? Does the coal change the nature or PH of the rain water? Does it add pollutants that get into the soil in the surrounding area? Will the pollutants affect the soil over a period of time? How can this be tested? Can each car carry a filtration system that would assure the quality of the water coming off it? If such a system can be devised, how will monitoring and enforcement be handled?
Natural flooding that occurs from time to time, it sometimes it has overwhelms the natural environment. How would that affect any provisions for containing flood run off from the track right-of-way? These costs should be paid by the shipper as an increased tariff by the rail company. Which agencies would hold the added tariff? The tariff should accumulate interest that would be used to pay for possible clean up.

Patrick Alesse

Patrick Alesse (#11674)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Birch Bay, WA
Comment:
When1-5 was built a series of overpasses was built so east - west traffic would not be interfered with. Over passes should be built at the expense of the coal industry. We should have a solid agreement with the freight providers and the coal industry to add or improve overpasses to alleviate traffic blockage caused by trains. (As I have pointed out before Coal does not pay all its expenses, you could say it internalize its profits and externalizes its expenses.)
Now think about this. For every coal train that heads north from the Colombia River area to come to Whatcom County there will be people in passenger cars and busses waiting for trains to pass. One long train may take 20 minutes like one did for my wife the other day. No, she was not working at the time she was going to the dentist’s office. Hers was not the only car waiting. Let’s say 15 cars are waiting on each side of the track and each car has an average of 1.5 people in them. We now have 1.5 people in 30 cars. That is 45 people wait 20 minutes ( 45 times 20 is 900 minutes. 900 minutes is 15 hours. That is basically a work day for two people working at the coal port. When you apply this to every crossing up from the Colombia River through Bellingham the trains will be idling a lot of cars and people so a few can work. It does not make economic sense. Further more it makes little since if all the trains destined for Cherry point went through Leavenworth. The coal dust would and the trains would impact the area north of Seattle and the Salish Sea. If the trains were to go through the Colombia River and were unloaded there; they would have less impact on the more populated part of Washington State. The Columbia River would provide a flushing action to sweep coal dust out the mouth of the Columbia River. No I don’t like that either. It would have the added benefit of saving the Salish Sea from coal dust settling in more parts of it. It would save a container port at Cherry Point for a container port would bring a mixture of jobs for very talented high paying jobs to lower paying but productive jobs of ware housing.

Patrick Alesse

Patrick Alesse (#11704)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Birch Bay, WA
Comment:
In the reasonably foreseeable future demand will develop for several kinds of shipping in and out of Cherry Point.
Cherry Point is a gem. You could say that it is a diamond in the rough it should be saved until it can be fully utilized. As a natural deep water container port that would handle very large cargo ships. A container port at that location would be the basis for many manufacturing and warehousing jobs in our area. It just may not be ready to have it happen now.
Shipping containers are sealed to protect the contents; as a result the surrounding area is protected from contamination from their contents. The containers could contain manufactured items and components for manufacturing. Manufacturing and distribution vacuities in Whatcom County would be a boost to proper of development that would be desirable for Whatcom County.
I am pro development. The property in question, Cherry Point should be keep as is for the kind of development that would be good for Whatcom County. The Port of Bellingham should be seriously exploring the real possibility of building a container port. The Cherry Point location would be the basis for many manufacturing and warehousing jobs in our area.
Allowing a coal port at Cherry Point would get in the way of the future.
Patrick Alesse

Patrick Alesse (#11958)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Birch Bay, WA
Comment:
Economic Sense
In business, after you pay labor, land, technology, and material, what is left is profit. The problem with the coal industry is it does not pay all it costs and it still clams a profit. It leaves the air polluted, water polluted and the soil polluted. We donate our environment to the profit the coal industry pockets. The workers may feel lucky and productive to have jobs. But their health and the health of there children pay a price. Claiming a “deficit profit” is like deficit spending; it is moving the paying off to the environment to a future date. Where will the money for the clean up come? It comes from your children’s future.

Why it most who calls themselves concretive are aren’t conservative at all? Why is it that they are reluctant to spend money on education of children? Why is they think of education as indoctrination to their way of thinking?

If you worry about deficit spending by the government you should be very worried about deficient spending of the environment.
so a business can clime a “profit?”

Some of the proponents of this project elude to facial responsibility. But in there green shirts they dilute themselves as they pollute the environment.
Locally, we are cleaning up from Georgia Pacific. That clean up is costing around $44,000,000. Any of us whose work was generated by Georgia Pacific, my self included, were ignorant of the negative impacts but we grate full for the employment. I don’t mind contributing to the clean up bill. But is it wise to be part of a project that will contribute to increasing future taxes?
As I asked where will the money come from that will pay for future clean up. It is far better to clean up as you go and make them part of the expenses of the business just as labor is. That is the economic signal that is needed. Not paying now warps the capitalistic system and makes it malfunction by allowing the less efficient, the less desirable to look more desirable and a result more used.
Patrick Alesse

Patrick Alesse (#14686)

Date Submitted: 01/21/13
Location: Birch Bay, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Files:

Patrick Beddow (#11171)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Billings, MT
Comment:
It is my firm belief that the product being transported will not adversely affect the environment or the humans inhabiting the regions over which it is transported - from mine site to the shipping facility. Train loads of coal have been moved across the US for decades with no adverse affects - so far as discernible to the humans either along the route or at the destination. coal is a necessary part of the developed worlds lifestyle - utilizing it to produce the energy required to support our everyday existence, without which modern society would be reverting back centuries. The jobs created by the movement of this product are critical to the US economy. The end-source of the resource, be it in China or another country will likely procure the product from another source if not from the US. Either way they will be getting coal and using coal. Yes, countries such as China should clean their air up, the United States did, and they can, but it is up to them to do so, and very likely they will in time. However, we should deliver a quality product to customers in trade based upon the trade advantages. Certainly the entire transport process (mine site to shipping facility) will be overseen within the rules and regulations which presently exist - or require some adjustments, however, these type of project should not be stopped and should be encouraged for the overall good of the economy. Those that protest such projects appear to be obstructionists to the natural resource industry and will stop at nothing - that is to say opposition groups seem never to be satisfied unless the entire project is stopped. It would be interesting to have the individuals in these groups experience life without the benefits of man-created energy development - coal, oil, gas, nuclear, wind, solar. Bottom line is that the project should be continue for the benefit of all, with reasonable safeguards provided. Thank you.

Patrick Billingsley (#4695)

Date Submitted: 12/12/12
Location: Vancouver, WA
Comment:
Dec 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.

We all have a responsibility to protect the northwest from irresponsible use of natural resources that will undoubtedly do more harm than good to our communities for generations to come. Simply because coal is in the ground, does not mean that it is right to be extracted and used as fuel. Have we not learned anything? The proponents of this facility are in it for a quick buck, and not interested in the real environmental impacts over the long haul. I hope that you will take into account the adverse effects on all the communities in the path of this proposed coal transport route. It saddens me to think of the damage such projects may do to our beautiful pacific northwest. Please do a thorough analysis in the Environmental Impact Statement. It is important tool to provide a solid case for environmental preservation and health of our communities.

Sincerely,

Patrick Billingsley
601 W 19th St
Vancouver, WA 98660-2401

Patrick Brown (#11231)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I have a number of extreme concerns regarding the export of coal through the gateway terminal at Cherry Point.

1. Export of coal to China will only add to the world’s pollution and the subsequent Global Warming. We, the United States, need to take the lead by not condoning pollution by exporting dirty fuel to other countries.
2. Concerns over the coal dust that will cause contamination of the ground and air. Even though the exporting coal companies and port personnel say they will spray the coal down with “?” so that the coal dust is minimized. I personally doubt that it will be effective. During certain times of the year we experience extremely windy conditions and this will only spread the coal dust even further. In addition we experience Inversions that will only trap the pollutants even more.
3. Rail traffic. Besides the noise pollution, coal dust my biggest concern is safety. The length of time and frequency of coal trains passing through our City’s intersection will delay both fire and ambulance to the west side of the tracks. This can be deadly.

I oppose the construction of the Gateway terminal and the export of coal. The proponents state that it will create jobs for the area. But I truly believe that the damage to the health of our planet and its beings are more important.

Patrick Bryant (#5556)

Date Submitted: 12/28/2012
Location: Friday Harbor, WA
Comment:
Please study the probable significant adverse effects that the coal shipping will have on the marine wild life in the San Juan Islands.

Patrick Burns (#8515)

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

Patrick Christie (#11462)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Seattle, Wa
Comment:
Mr. Randel Perry,
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Seattle District,
Care of: GPT/BNSF Custer Spur EIS Co-Lead Agencies,
1100 112th Avenue Northeast, Suite 400, Bellevue, Washington 98004.
comments@eisgatewaypacificwa.gov
RE: Gateway Pacific Terminal EIS Scoping

Dear Mr Perry, January 14, 2013
I appreciate the opportunity to provide comment on the EIS Scoping for the Gateway Pacific Terminal proposal currently under consideration. I am writing as both a Washington State citizen and a professor of marine policy at the University of Washington. I conduct research on marine and coastal issues throughout Puget Sound. I have conducted interviews of various stakeholders – industry, government, NGOs, citizens, tribal members. I have consulted my colleagues at the University of Washington School of Marine and Environmental Affairs regarding the ecological, social and legal matters associated with this case.

The proposal to develop a large coal/dry goods loading facility in Cherry Point contradicts many environmental policies and legal commitments to tribes and will create ongoing conflict in the region as social and ecological conditions of Puget Sound are degraded in manners that cannot be mitigated. In one sense, this project reflects the narrow project review process that is unable to logically consider cumulative impacts of development. This is a consistent trait of US coastal environmental management (Kay and Alder 1999). As the recently deceased UW Professor Marc Hershman, JD (Marine Affairs and adjunct with the Law School) stated to me: “the permitting process is biased toward development… If an entity is willing to continue to spend the needed money on studies, lawyers and permits, they will almost certainly get the permits for development which they desire.” When I teach a graduate course on Integrated Coastal Management the “unintegrated” nature of US ocean policy consistently emerges as a defining attribute. NEPA requires a comprehensive review (although most experts conclude this standard is rarely attained), and many will be monitoring whether cumulative effects are adequately considered. As the recent ruling by Federal Judge Martinez on the proposed Glacier NW gravel mine in Maury Island demonstrates, a new and higher bar has been set in Puget Sound.

Please don’t get me wrong. I know that we all need energy and that we are all, to some degree, culpable in Puget Sound degradation. But this is a matter of proper policy processes, consideration of cumulative impacts, and improving Puget Sound management. It is not a NIMBY issue. It is a question of whether it is proper policy to place a large loading facilities in a nearshore area now declared a marine protected area/State Aquatic Reserve based on the site’s ecological integrity and location of threatened marine species and ecosystems.

The EIS should consider implications for existing programs and policies. Permitting this loading facility would undermine the meaning and feasibility of the WADNR Aquatic Reserve designation of the area. How will local citizens respond to the permitting of industrial activities in this declared (and externally reviewed) aquatic reserve? My prediction, based on my 20 years of research experience on marine protected areas in Puget Sound and abroad, is that they will not abide by reserve guidelines. They will loose faith in and disengage from Puget Sound restoration efforts. As I testified to the WA legislature in 2007, such development project undermine the legitimacy of the Aquatic Reserve program. So much so, that in my opinion I think the entire Aquatic Reserve program should be reconsidered and possibly terminated if such large-scale development projects go forward.

While some would like to dismiss the efforts of local environmental NGOs or concerned citizens by characterizing them as “impassioned” or NIMBYish, this is, in fact, exactly NOT the message that state and federal agencies should be sending concerned Puget Sound residents. Rather, these concerns should be heard, seriously considered, and responded to in a supportive manner. That tens or hundreds of millions of public funds are/will be spent on restoring Puget Sound, while such projects are approved, is counter-intuitive and does not go unnoticed. As is stated in the Puget Sound Partnership declarations (http://www.psp.wa.gov/), it is important to engage, not dismiss, the citizens of Puget Sound when they are committed to environmental stewardship.
Some may argue that the impacts are of negligible scale and easily mitigated. Faith in project impact mitigation has been demonstrated, empirically, to be of limited effectiveness in Puget Sound. Replanted seagrasses have high rates of mortality. Changed shoreline oceanographic and sediment transport processes, which affect biotic communities, are not easily recreated. In addition, the cumulative risks of oil spills, coal spills, threatened species declines from noise, abrogation of treaty rights in Usual and Accustomed Fishing Areas are considerable and not amendable to mitigation. The potential for impacts from oil spills on long standing research sites in the San Juan Islands and Friday Harbor Labs will be difficult, but important, to assess. Millions of dollars have been invested in those research areas. One spill in North Puget Sound would irreversibly damage decades of research. We expect, and will monitor, whether these issues are adequately addressed in any EIS.

As a social scientist, I believe that a Social Impact Assessment is warranted. There are well-tested methodologies to conduct such assessments. The wider Puget Sound public, including the tribes, should be partnered with and directly involved in the EIS process. The impacts on the fragile eco-tourism industry, which supports San Juan and other communities, could be considerable. Threatened orcas, an important draw for tourists, may be negatively impacted by noise and any oil spills. As is widely acknowledged by the ecosystem-based management literature, social and environments considerations cannot be fully disarticulated. Citizens are part of the environment. Moving toward ecosystem-based management, which is inclusive of diverse constituents and maintenance of ecological function, is not a recommendation of radical environmentalists, but of national commissions such as the Joint Ocean Commission (http://www.jointoceancommission.org/)--headed by deceased James Watkins Admiral, U.S. Navy Chairman (U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy) and The Honorable Leon E. Panetta Chair (Pew Oceans Commission).

Lastly, building facilities to export coal is contrary to the emerging public and Obama administration’s commitment to reverse climate change and ocean acidification. Projects which facilitate economic growth based on coal export, with long-term climate change impacts, are short-sighted. We expect these considerations to be part of the EIS.

In conclusion, the magnitude of the project, the controversy, the declining state of Puget Sound and longevity of the impacts, suggest that unbiased and complete assessments are essential.

Sincerely,


Patrick Christie
Professor
School of Marine and Environmental Affairs and Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies
University of Washington-Seattle

Patrick Conn (#368)

Date Submitted: 09/25/12
Location: Kent, 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. And most of all, it prolongs the continued and antiquated use of the dirtiest of all fossil fuels. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

Sincerely,

Patrick Conn

Patrick Darling (#618)

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

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

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

Patrick Darling

Patrick Dukes (#7159)

Date Submitted: 01/13/2013
Comment:
Please look at the impact of 480+ Panamax and Cape size vessel passages in the two available shipping lanes on a fragile herring population. I think the shear number of passages guarantee collisions. The herring are the base food supply for salmon if compromised in the slightest will wreck the fishing industry statewide.
Please consider the impact of prop wash from these giant vessels which can draw as much as 80 feet on the seabed, the food source of the herring and many other species 30% of which are already endangered or threatened.

Patrick Dukes (#13661)

Date Submitted: 01/22/13
Location: Bellingham , WA
Comment:
5,300,000 gal. // day water out of Nooksuck river can not be mitigated, Salmon recovery, runoff pollution, aquatic damage, Herring population!!!!!!!
Thank you for looking at this.
Patrick Dukes

Patrick Fouser (#8540)

Date Submitted: 01/17/2013
Comment:
My name is Patrick Fouser I live in Bellingham WA adding a coal port to Cherry Point will effect marine life in the ocean as well as in lakes and rivers air pollution will rise into the atmosphere and contaminate the oxygen that everyone in a 20 mile radius will be breathing making us sick and at risk for cancer. It willl also cause climate change with a smog everyday with a visibility hazard

Patrick Geracie (#11593)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I am very opposed to the establishment of a terminal at Cherry Point for several reasons:
1. By selling tons of coal to Asia we contribute to air pollution and global warming. The chinese have a poor record of environmental regulation, the air in Beijing is already filthy and the wind blows west. The cost of global warming is in the billions and climbing. Why should we offer jobs that destroy the planet?
2. I have two small children and I am concerned about coal dust and diesel particulate that accompanies increased coal train traffic.
3. From my house I can hear the trains. Adding 18 more trains/day will destroy my and my neighbors property values and quality of life.
4. The city of Bellingham plans on developing the waterfront. Increased coal traffic would destroy or limit those plans and limit the economic gain that comes with them.
5. Increased coal traffic would cause major congestion in our community and could be a safety issue in regards to emergency traffic.
6. A good chunk of the cost of building and adapting the railroad would be paid by the city and county and thereby our taxes.
7.Changes to the railroad would use boulevard park property, and have a disastrous effect on the best park in the city.
8. Increased traffic in the bay would have adverse effects on local wildlife.
9. The environmental impact should be reviewed in all areas that this effects and not just in Whatcom county.
In short the plan to build a terminal at Cherry Point to send tons of coal to asia is short sighted and dangerous to our quality of life.
Patrick C. Geracie

Patrick Hartig (#12741)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
Location: Port Townsend, WA
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington. This proposal would negatively affect everything.
There is nothing positive to this, not even money.

Patrick Huston (#13268)

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

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

It is important that the Environmental Impact Statement include at a minimum the effects of mining, transport, and burning on local ecosystems and on climate change. The effects on congestion and pollution in one of our nation's national treasures, the Columbia Gorge should also be evaluated.

Patrick Jordan (#10429)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
Having lived in Gary, Indiana for 18 years I have first hand experience with bulk materials being transported, conveyed and shipped. The air was so contaminated with dust that a clean car would have a visible layer of ore dust covering it within 24 hours. The water in Lake Michigan was red with pollutants from tanker ships. The beaches were covered with dead fish that stunk so bad people quit using them. Lung cancer was common among workers at the ore facilities.
Finally the long time residents of Gary left there homes and businesses to move away from the pollution; the city was basically abandoned.
I admit that humans have become better at controlling this type of industrial annihilation of the environment and communities, but accidents do happen. One earthquake when a mile long train is next to Puget Sound could result in the whole load being dumped into the ocean or onto the ground. I believe this proposal has multiple trains per day and I do believe there will be more earthquakes. Burning coal is a short term solution that will advance global warming; does it make sense to invest in a project that will eventually become obsolete and has the potential for extreme damage to the environment when there are so many new ways to generate energy that utilize renewable, clean resources? No!

Patrick Maguire (#383)

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.

WE, IN THE BEAUTIFUL MAGNOLIA AREA, WISH TO CONTINUE LIVING IN THIS GREAT PART OF SEATTLE WITHOUT FOUL, POLLUTED, AND POISIONUS AIR! NOT TO MENTION CONSTANT NOISE POLLUTION!
DO NOT DESTROY THE WORLD THAT WE HAVE LEFT, BY SATISFYING A FEW COAL CORPORATIONS' GREED TO SELL THE REMAINING FILTHY COAL REMAINING ON OUR LAND. LEAVE IT UNDERGROUND, WHERE IT BELONGS! YOU ARE NOT PROTECTING OUR LIVES, OR OUR COUNTRY, BY THIS INSIDEOUS MOVE TO EXPORT COAL ACROSS MY HOMELAND!

Sincerely,

Patrick Maguire

Patrick Morrison (#10364)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Dear EIS Committee:

While the concerns of myself and my fellow citizens are many in regards to the planned Gateway Pacific Terminal and it seems most reasonable to speak of the impacts closest to my own life, I believe the primary concern is climate change and the astonishing amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses this project could inject into our atmosphere. Please figure out how much carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses would be released per year overall if this project comes to fruition. From the equipment extracting the coal in Wyoming to the smoke stacks of Shanghai, we need to know what this project is going to do to our atmosphere and future climate.

My own experiences along the shore in question include watching orca pass from the beach and huge schools of sockeye salmon surging along the shoreline from my kayak. I hope you are able to explore the impact the project would have on these creatures as well as regional fisheries and all the other levels of the marine biosphere. These might include studies of the effects of boat traffic and noise on orca, salmon, herring, and other species as well as the impacts of fine coal dust on everything that might end up being covered with same. This summer I spoke with a commercial fisherman who witnessed a large cloud of coal dust (from the coal terminal just across the border in B.C.) swirling in the waters off of Point Roberts during sockeye season and it would be interesting to know where similar clouds of coal dust would result from GPT.

Another concern is the effect of such a large number of trains on an already very busy rail corridor. Please explore the impact of coal trains on passenger rail, noise pollution, cliff erosion, and urban traffic. An often mentioned concern all along the route in question is the ability of First Responders and associated professionals to cross the tracks in times of emergency. Please investigate the many potential impacts having the cities along the route split by impassable trains.

These are only a few of the many concerns I have regarding the GPT, but I am sure you are hearing about them all. I hope you are able to do as broad of an impact study as possible so we can all better understand what a project of this magnitude will have on our lives, livelihoods, and futures as well as the fortunes of the planet.

Sincerely,

Patrick Morrison

Patrick Patrick Hayes (#10232)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Marysville, , Wa
Comment:
They need to come up with much better solutions then ruin our community and harm our people. Money isn't everything.

Patrick Tesh (#385)

Date Submitted: 09/25/12
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
As a Seattle native and someone who understands that coal and coal emissions are the future of global warming and the destruction of our atmosphere for generations to come, I am appalled at the proposal of new coal export terminals.

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

Please send a reply letter so that I know you have received my message!

Thank you

Sincerely,

Patrick Tesh

Patrick Tindall (#8447)

Date Submitted: 01/12/13
Location: Fairview , OR
Comment:
Dear Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Ecology and Whatcom County Council:

I live in Portland, Oregon, but spent most of my life living along the I-5 corridor in Washington State. Please investigate the REAL dangers that shipping coal via rail will present before you bring that pollution and ecologically unsupportable to our beautiful home.
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.

Patrick & Cristal Sokolski & Bennett (#1480)

Date Submitted: 10/24/12
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Patrick & Jo Ann Ballenger (#4128)

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

Patrick & Victoria Hall (#4129)

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

Patsy Gilmore (#7683)

Date Submitted: 01/06/13
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Patti Santangelo (#3027)

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

Pattie Dalton (#11194)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Kirkland, Wa
Comment:
I believe sending more coal to China to promote more industrial activity not only pollutes China but is impacting the worlds ability to survive the assault. The fires, floods and storms we have experienced this past year should allow those that can to stop the carnage.

Patty Armstrong (#1879)

Date Submitted: 10/29/12
Location: Yamhill, 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, and the region, 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.

Just like the LNG proposals, it will pan out that the interests of those who live in the path of destruction take a back seat to those with the money who will never live in the area and be impacted by their developments.




Patty Armstrong
7000 Krono Rd.
Yamhill, OR 97148

Patty Buslach (#10350)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Washougal, WA
Comment:
Dear Washington Department of Ecology,

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

I am extremely concerned about the coal export proposal. I'm utilizing the following prepared statement to relay my concerns but please don't think that indicates I'm not aware of the situation. The proposal will severely impact our quality of life and should not be approved.

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.

Patty Gates (#14464)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
Location: Spokane, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Patty McConnehey (#4894)

Date Submitted: 12/17/2012
Location: Kent, WA
Comment:
Responsibility over profit. Let's stop the problem before it begins. No to the coal trains. Too big an impact on the human level, health issues and global environment.

Patty Ratcliffe (#14465)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
Location: Spokane, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

patty rieland (#12080)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Comment:
I love my home here filled with eagles, coyote, fish, heron, cougar, bobcat, bear, orca, frog and hawk on and on we share this beautiful home. From the ocean, the river, to the valleys and the mountains..we give thanks and praise to the beauty that surrounds us and try to walk lightly for we have been blessed. Please consider this is in your thoughts...

Patty Wines (#10643)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Loon Lake, WA
Comment:
I would really like to see the economy grow. Would these cars be covered while transporting the coal?

Paul Addison (#7277)

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.
I am a Whatcom County resident since 2007 and fear that that this project will destroy the quaility of life for the marine enviroment of the coastal waters that hang in the ballance between lost forever and clinging to life in the future.I support the eat local,buy local concept,and see this project as a direct threat to the fishing grounds from ship movements.
I want know what fish populations would be harmed in the event of a ship to ship collision, or ship to stantionary landside structure.
Paul M. Addison
Bellingham,Wa.

Paul Allen (#1062)

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

Say no to shipping our US coal oversees to the Chinese and, or other countries who will use our god given energy against us.


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.




Paul Allen
PO Box 4440
Wenatchee, WA 98807

Paul Anderson (#108)

Date Submitted: 09/28/2012
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
I am concerned about the accountability of the corporations involved in this project and who will be responsible for expenses if an accident or degradation to the environment were to happen so taxpayers and small business aren't damaged. For instance if a cape size vessel sailing under a registry of convienence catches on fire because there is too much moisture in the coal and runs aground or sinks who is responsible for mitigating the damage. The ship owner, the port for loading too wet coal, the railroads for not having loads protected from too much rain, the mine owners, Goldman Sachs?

One possible mitigation would be to require large bonds or insurance polices that would cover all possible costs so taxpayers are not left exposed to costs if the corporations set up specifically for this project file for bankruptcy.

Thank you.

Paul Anderson (#112)

Date Submitted: 09/28/2012
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
The coal unit trains are extremely heavy. The vibrations caused by these trains can damage homes, businesses, crossings, bridges, cause mudslides on bluffs above the tracks .

Please perform a study within the EIS that looks at the potential for damage to waterways and wetlands when vibration induced slides occur and what costs would then be required to mitigate the damage.

One mitigation would be to have large insurance or bonds required to cover cost of damages.

Paul Anderson (#129)

Date Submitted: 09/29/2012
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
I am concerned about the dramatic increase of marine traffic that will happen if this coal port at Cherry Point is built. An increase of 1000 ingress and egress trips per year of Panamax and cape size vessels through the Straits of Juan de Fuca, and between the Gulf and San Juan islands is filled with the potential for disaster.

I would like to see a comprehensive marine impact study done which includes potential damage to 1. marine species including Orcas, salmon, herring. 2. Damage to small businesses like fishermen, tourism related businesses like tour companies, lodges, eateries, fishing guides, property values degradation etc. 3. Effect/costs from invasive species. 4. Historical costs spent on salmon, orca, eagle habitat restoration.

Paul Anderson (#143)

Date Submitted: 09/30/2012
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
I am concerned that the economic slowdown in China and the ridiculous speed at which all of these coal companies and their business associates are trying to force through these terminals here in Washington and Oregon and around the world, could create a bubble economic situation in the industry. This could force the abandonment or bankruptcy of the Gateway Pacific Terminal. If that happens taxpayers could be left with excessive expenses for environmental cleanup, groundwater cleanup, and left with destroyed herring stock, crab and salmon loss due to eel grass destruction and habitat destruction.

Please consider/study the international economic situation and the actual financial risk each of the stakeholders has before issuing permits. SSA spokesperson said at one meeting that there is no risk to the companies because all of the financial risk will be carried by investors like pension funds who will be sold packages of investment products thereby offsetting company risk and making it less likely that there will be no environmental damage, or financial loss to taxpayers.

Paul Anderson (#148)

Date Submitted: 09/30/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
One study I saw said that shipping 48,000,000 tons of coal per year to China via the Gateway Pacific Terminal would allow the building of many new factories in China. These new factories would displace as many as 250,000 American manufacturing jobs.

I would like to see a holistic approach to the EIS which includes looking at the economic concerns as well as the environmental issues. It only makes sense that when the economy is bad many want to lessen environmental standards and allow industries that will further degrade local quality of life environmental standards to achieve short term job gains. It is all related. It is not acceptable.

Paul Anderson (#157)

Date Submitted: 10/01/2012
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
I have a concern over the "stockyard" or storage yard for the coal at Gateway Pacific Terminal. In recent comments by SSA spokesperson Craig Cole and repeated by Union Official Mark Lowry they have both said a 90 foot wind buffer along one side could be put in place to prevent wind from blowing coal as far as 5 miles away.

I don't believe that a wall along one side or multiple sides will eliminate the problem for the following reason: 1. Although the prevailing wind is from the south west it can come from any direction. 2. If two walls are built there could be a tunneling effect that increases the wind and disturbance. 3. As the wind hits the wall and tumbles over the top vortices will be generated disturbing even more dust.

Please include in the EIS a study by a physicist who specializes in particulates to determine what, if anything, can prevent the airborne migration of coal dust - or if anything other than complete enclosure could work.

I believe that if the dust can't be 100% contained the permits should be denied.

Paul Anderson (#159)

Date Submitted: 10/01/2012
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
A recent study from Australia said that employees of a coal terminal were experiencing rates of cancer 3 times higher than average. Please include the latest science and health studies or commission studies for the EIS to determine rates of cancer that potential employees may be subject to.

See: http://au.finance.yahoo.com/news/report-finds-cancer-risk-coal-043612330.html

Paul Anderson (#902)

Date Submitted: 10/22/2012
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
I recently travelled on a purse seiner boat from Fishermans Cove at Lummi Point to Cherry Point at the site of the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal. I estimated that I saw 50,000 crab pot floats owned by Lummi Crab Fishers, Non-Lummi Commercial Crab Fishers, and recreational Crab Fishers. The captain of the vessel stated that there can be as many as 100,000 crab pots in the same location early in the season. It is a prolific fishery employeeing hundreds possibly thousands when you factor in the multiplier effect.

Please study: 1. the cumulative effect of wind blown coal dust settling on the marine floor, over the life of the terminal on the life cycle of the crabs and impact to the crab fishery. 2. The cumulative effect of 1000 ingress/egress trips of Panamax and Cape size vessels and 2000 tug boats per year on this crab fishery and the fishers gear. 3. The cumulative effects of anchoring hundred of ships and tugs per year waiting to berth at the proposed GPT on this crab fishery over the projected life span of the terminal.

Paul Anderson (#903)

Date Submitted: 10/22/2012
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
On a tour of the Westshore Coal Terminal just across the US border, I was told that the number one problem they had after 40 years In existence and after spending millions of dollars on the latest technology, was dust suppression on the piles of coal in their "stockyard".

SSA, inexperienced in large scale coal terminals, proposes "possibly" a 90 foot high wall on one side of the stockyard. This wall could potentially exacerbate the coal dust dispersal problem due to wind vortices generated as the wind tumbles / spills over the top. Also, the fiercest winds are often not the prevailing winds but come from the Fraser River Valley and potentially blowing coal dust into the marine.

Please perform studies on weather patterns and commission a study by an independant, qualified physicist (& who is a specialist in particulates) to define and predict the coal dust migration that could reasonably be expected from a facility like this. Study other coal terminals around the world. Use these studies to help define the effects on the marine, nearby residents, communities, businesses, flora and fauna, air and water quality. Then define the external costs to society so transparent, valid discussions on mitigation can be defined.

Thank you

Paul Anderson (#2148)

Date Submitted: 11/02/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
My name is Paul Anderson and I am concerned about the cumulative effects on Orcas, Herring, Salmon of industrial growth and population growth surrounding the Salish Sea and the aquatic marine reserve off of Cherry Point.

The population of the Salish Sea Watershed is currently at approximately 7,000,000 people. Predictions over the next 20-50 years is to increase as high as 11,0000,000 to 14,000,000 people depending on the amount of environmental refugees that migrate to this area over the projected lifetime of the Gateway Pacific Terminal.

Please include in the EIS a study of the effects of the proposed GPT on all species in the area and population growth. It may create a tipping point that the Salish Sea could not recover from. Thank you.

Paul Anderson (#2780)

Date Submitted: 11/14/2012
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
My name is Paul Anderson and I am concerned about the accumulative effect of coal dust migrating off of the proposed Gateway Pacific Coal Terminal and landing on the refineries at Cherry Point.

In Oregon an electrical power generating plant refused to lease land to a proposed coal terminal because of concerns of migrating coal dust and safety at the power plant.

Please include in the EIS a study of the accumulative effect of coal dust landing on the refineries and the potential safety issues.

Paul Anderson (#9233)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
My name is Paul Anderson and I was in high school and college during the late 60's and early 70's. I see many parallels between the civil unrest of the Vietnam Nam era and what is happening today with the many issues surrounding climate change and global warming. I see both national and international attention being focused on the Gateway Pacific Terminal and other potential NW coal terminals. I worry that the potential sales and deliveries of hundreds of millions of tons of taxpayer owned coal per year at taxpayer subsidized prices, if permitted, and the potential civil unrest that could happen will add costs to already strained budgets in our communities.

Please include a study in the EIS that will estimate added costs to local and state budgets across Washington State and the effects on our local and state psyche (or "soul") during all phases of the Gateway Pacific Terminal project.

I am not advocating any form of civil unrest, but it is a "hidden" cost that needs to be studied.

Paul Anderson (#10379)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
My name is Paul K. Anderson and I have a major concern about climate change and global warming. Ever ton of coal we burn in the United States or around the world contributes significantly to the rise of CO2 in our atmosphere. As a species we have been living comfortably within a fairly narrow temperature range for the last 10,000 years. The overwhelming numbers of scientists (other than a few deniers and those working for the carbon based energy industries) who have studied climate change and global warming have stated time after time that we must control the amount of CO2 released. The US Military and security agencies have done studies that say the security of the United States will be at risk as climate change effects millions of families around the world. Please study the effects of shipping Powder River Basin and coal possibly originating in other states or Canada shipped out of Gateway Pacific Terminal at Cherry Point and the contribution this coal will make to the degradation of our atmosphere and the atmosphere within the air column from sea level to the furthest heights of the atmosphere above the property lines of GPT.

Thank you.

Paul Anderson (#11180)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
My name is Paul Anderson and I am concerned about the effects of burning coal shipped from the proposed GPT at Cherry Point on green house gasses and heavy metal pollutants. Whenever I take my son out fishing in lakes, ponds, streams and rivers throughout the Northwest I see many signs at boat launches telling us not to eat the fish because of mercury contamination.

Please study in the EIS Gateway Pacific Terminal what are the effects of burning that coal and what it does to people, flora and fauna.

I cite and include information from the Union of Concerned Scientists:

From The Union of Concerned Scientists:
Coal plants are the nation’s top source of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, the primary cause of global warming. In 2011, utility coal plants in the United States emitted a total of 1.7 billion tons of CO21. A typical coal plant generates 3.5 million tons of CO2 per year2.
Burning coal is also a leading cause of smog, acid rain, and toxic air pollution. Some emissions can be significantly reduced with readily available pollution controls, but most U.S. coal plants have not installed these technologies.
Sulfur dioxide (SO2): Coal plants are the United States’ leading source of SO2 pollution, which takes a major toll on public health, including by contributing to the formation of small acidic particulates that can penetrate into human lungs and be absorbed by the bloodstream. SO2 also causes acid rain, which damages crops, forests, and soils, and acidifies lakes and streams. A typical uncontrolled coal plant emits 14,100 tons of SO2 per year. A typical coal plant with emissions controls, including flue gas desulfurization (smokestack scrubbers), emits 7,000 tons of SO2 per year.

Nitrogen oxides (NOx): NOx pollution causes ground level ozone, or smog, which can burn lung tissue, exacerbate asthma, and make people more susceptible to chronic respiratory diseases. A typical uncontrolled coal plant emits 10,300 tons of NOx per year. A typical coal plant with emissions controls, including selective catalytic reduction technology, emits 3,300 tons of NOx per year.

Particulate matter: Particulate matter (also referred to as soot or fly ash) can cause chronic bronchitis, aggravated asthma, and premature death, as well as haze obstructing visibility. A typical uncontrolled plan emits 500 tons of small airborne particles each year. Baghouses installed inside coal plant smokestacks can capture as much as 99 percent of the particulates.

Mercury: Coal plants are responsible for more than half of the U.S. human-caused emissions of mercury, a toxic heavy metal that causes brain damage and heart problems. Just 1/70th of a teaspoon of mercury deposited on a 25-acre lake can make the fish unsafe to eat. A typical uncontrolled coal plants emits approximately 170 pounds of mercury each year. Activated carbon injection technology can reduce mercury emissions by up to 90 percent when combined with baghouses. ACI technology is currently found on just 8 percent of the U.S. coal fleet.
Other harmful pollutants emitted annually from a typical, uncontrolled coal plant include approximately:
114 pounds of lead, 4 pounds of cadmium, other toxic heavy metals, and trace amounts of uranium. Baghouses can reduce heavy metal emissions by up to 90 percent3.

720 tons of carbon monoxide, which causes headaches and places additional stress on people with heart disease.

220 tons of hydrocarbons, volatile organic compounds (VOC), which form ozone.

225 pounds of arsenic, which will cause cancer in one out of 100 people who drink water containing 50 parts per billion.
1 EIA Data
2 Typical plant assumptions: Capacity=600 MW; Capacity Factor=69%; Heat Rate=10,415; CO2 Emissions Rate=206 pounds of CO2/Million Btu
3 Nescaum. “Control Technologies to Reduce Conventional and Hazardous Air Pollutants from Coal-Fired Power Plants.”

Thank you,

Paul Anderson

Paul Anderson (#11446)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
The debate is over about global warming. Energy companies are coming out and saying it is real. I am an avid skier and am concerned that global warming with disrupt the normal weather patterns which will effect the amount of snow that falls in the winter.

Please include in the EIS a study on the effects to the ski industry and their employment base if we ship 53,000,000 tons of coal to be burned in Asia.

Paul Anderson (#11485)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
As a taxpayer I am concerned about increases to our taxes to pay for many of the changes that will have to be done in our communities to negate the effects of global warming: rising ocean levels, increases in severe storms, possible diminished snow packs in the North Cascades resulting in lower flows in our rivers that will affect salmon migrations.

Please include in the EIS a study that will look at the effects of Green House Gas emissions from coal shipped overseas from GPT on salmon, bass and other fish species, ocean acidification on the shell fish industry, reduced winter snowpack to the ski industry, increased winter runoff and flooding due to more frequent and warmer winter storms.

thank you.

Paul Anderson (#11509)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
I commute in a 15 passenger van from Bellingham to Boeing Everett a distance of 134 miles roundtrip. It is estimated that the population of the Salish Sea ecosystem will reach as high as 11-14 million people from the current 7 million over the projected life of GPT.

Scientists are predicting a rise in sea levels based on expansion of the water column due to global warming. They also predict millions of environmental refugees that will emigrate to North America from areas of the world that will experiance even more devestation due to global warming.

Please include an economic study that studies the dramatic rise in population from environmental refugees locating in the Pacific Northwest and the costs to our communities from infrastructure costs required to support these refugees.

thank you,
Paul K Anderson

Paul Baker (#13828)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Comment:
There is no such thing as clean coal. We are running out of time: we need to be working on weaning our civilization from these destructive fossil fuels. It will be hard enough to do if we really put our all into trying. If we don't even try, we will be consenting to the destruction of our civilization and indeed of all life on planet earth.

NO MORE COAL.

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

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

Thank you for your attention to this urgent matter. God bless

Paul Birkeland (#6859)

Date Submitted: 01/11/2013
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
Gateway Pacific Terminal Proposal
Site ID #22237

EIS Scoping Comments

Paul W. Birkeland
6215 Ravenna Ave NE
Seattle, WA 98115
206-517-2875
pbirkeland@seanet.com

Introduction
Thank you for the opportunity to provide Scoping Comments for this proposal.

I understand that there is some question about the proper physical scope for assessing impacts from this proposal. Some feel it should be localized, limited to the boundaries of the terminal itself. Others feel that it should also include the impacts on the communities near the coal mines and all along the railroads that will be used for transporting the coal. Still others feel that the global impact must be taken into account.

The reality is that there is no real difference in these three points of view. Here in the Northwest, we are already seeing that the global IS the local, and vice versa. We are already feeling the local impacts of global changes. To say there are three options is truly to make a distinction without a difference. And an EIS that ignores any of these impacts must be deemed inadequate and must be challenged in court.

We need a comprehensive, programmatic Environmental Impact Statement that includes climate change impacts.

It is no defense to say that these impacts cannot be measured. By that reasoning, we cannot measure the climate change impacts of ANY project. Thus NO project has measurable impacts. And thus we don’t have a climate change problem, which we clearly do. Ways must be found to include climate change impacts in any environmental impact analysis or it must be challenged in court.

In an effort to highlight this in the EIS, I would like to ask that the items below be included in the scoping.

Definitions
• As a prelude, let me say that in my comments, when I say “impacts,” I mean the quantified, physical and economic differences between the No Action Alternative and the proposed project.

• When I say “emissions” or “additional emissions” I mean all emissions related to the extraction, processing, transport by land and sea, and burning of the coal proposed to pass through this facility in the proposed project. These emissions include, but should not be limited to:
o Carbon dioxide;
o Carbon monoxide;
o Mercury, including methylmercury generated by microbial action on mercury molecules released into aquatic ecosystems;
o Lead;
o Sulfur;
o Sulfur dioxide;
o NOx compounds;
o Uranium and its decay products;
o Thorium and its decay products;
o Potassium-40 and its decay products;
It is worth noting that these elements and compounds have been identified arriving in our region from China and other locations across the Pacific Ocean, and have had quantifiable epidemiological impacts on human (especially pregnant women and their fetus’), animal, and plant health.

• When I say “incremental impacts” I mean the additional impact of these emissions on top of the impacts that science is now telling us are unavoidable due to our burning of fossil fuels for the last two-hundred years and our inability to curb our emissions over the last two decades.

• When I say “collective incremental impacts” I mean the sum of all impacts from the various mechanisms and paths by which the additional emissions manifest their damage in the region. Some of these are, for example, higher temperatures, altered precipitation patterns, the arrival of new pests due to a more accommodating climate, altered snow melt timing, etc. All these mechanisms impose a collective impact on forests, growers, fishermen, and wildlife.

Comments
Comment 1 – Please determine the collective incremental impact on the Pacific Northwest shellfish industry as the additional emissions acidify and warm the waters of Puget Sound, Hood Canal, and the North Pacific in general.
Comment 2 – Please determine the collective incremental impact on salmon populations as average temperatures rise in breeding streams, as snowpacks melt earlier in the season, as ocean acidification alters the ecosystem, and as other climate changes descend upon our region due to these emissions.
Comment 3 – Please determine the collective incremental impacts on Eastern Washington forests as weather patterns change, as pest populations grow, as habitat temperatures rise, and as precipitation levels change due to these emissions.
Comment 4 – Please determine the collective incremental impacts on the region’s fruit-growing industry as temperatures rise, precipitation patterns change, pest populations grow, and new pests arrive in our region due to changes in our climate driven by these emissions.
Comment 5 – Please determine the collective incremental impacts on our wine industry, which is one of Washington State’s largest industries, as precipitation patterns change, temperatures rise, and new pests and vine diseases arrive in our region due to climate changes driven by these emissions.
Comment 6 – Please determine the collective incremental impact on human (especially pregnant women and their fetus’), animal, and plant health due to these emissions.
Comment 7 – Please determine the collective incremental impact of these emissions on our coastal communities as sea level rises and more intense storms erode the bluffs and beaches that heretofore separated them from the sea. Please determine the collective cost of any required buyouts, relocations, and/or protective measures that may be required on our coasts.

Thank you.

Paul Blum (#5986)

Date Submitted: 01/04/2013
Location: Mount Vernon, WA
Comment:
The railroad track north of Seattle is currently prone to mudslides that cause interruption of Amtrack and commercial service. It would seem that dramatically increased coal-train traffic on this line would increase the likelihood of mudslides resulting in rail accidents and the spilling of large amounts of coal into the environment, including the marine environment. Our fisheries industry and our tourist industry, as well as the quality of life of the people who live here, depend on clean, unpolluted waters. So much coal being transported along unstable hillsides seems like an environmental disaster waiting to happen.

Paul Blum (#5992)

Date Submitted: 01/04/2013
Location: Mount Vernon, WA
Comment:
The greatest environmental impact may or may not be outside the scope of the agencies responsible for developing the EIS: the impact of burning coal. This coal is bound for China, where it will be burned, adding huge amounts of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, accelerating global warming, with dire consequences for human populations living on coastlines and for marine life and all creatures dependent on marine life. It makes no sense to enable China to avoid transitioning to clean energy by supplying cheap and dirty coal.

Paul Blum (#5998)

Date Submitted: 01/04/2013
Location: Mount Vernon, WA
Comment:
I live outside Mount Vernon, and my adult children and my grandchildren live in Bellingham. How will dramatically increased rail traffic impact the businesses and quality of live for residents of communities along the rail line? How will the safety of residents be affected, including automotive and pedestrian accidents? How will the response times of emergency vehicles be affected? How will enabling the coal and rail industries to increase business affect the viability of businesses already existing in Mount Vernon and Bellingham? What is the potential impact on property values in the involved communities? Thank you for considering my views and questions.

Paul Blum (#6000)

Date Submitted: 01/04/2013
Location: Mount Vernon, WA
Comment:
What is the impact of small but persistent daily contamination of the waters at the terminal site? What would be the impact of a minor spill of coal into the marine environment at the terminal site? What would be the impact of a major spill of coal into the marine environment? How would a spill be cleaned up? What is the long-term effect of coal in the marine environment? Thank you for considering my questions.

Paul Blum (#6054)

Date Submitted: 01/05/2013
Location: Mount Vernon, WA
Comment:
I am a 64 yr. old retired RN who has lived in Skagit County for the past 40 years and who worked at Skagit Valley Hospital for 32 years. I am concerned about the impact of dramatically increased rail traffic through the towns and cities along the proposed rail route on emergency vehicle response times. What is the ratio of expected increased morbidity and mortality due to delayed care to expected economic benefit of the project? I am further concerned with the decrease in air quality along the route and its impact on the health of individuals in the community. Thank you for considering my views.

Paul Blum (#6077)

Date Submitted: 01/06/2013
Location: Mount Vernon, WA
Comment:
I am a retired RN who has lived in Skagit County for 4 decades. I am concerned about the safety of the proposed rail route and the potential for catastrophic spilling of toxic coal into the environmentally sensitive waters of Puget Sound and environs. I bring this up again because I just read an article in the Skagit Valley Herald written Saturday, Jan.5, 2012: "Another mudslide has suspended passenger train service north of Seattle until at least Sunday. .......Passenger service was already suspended by a slide north of Mukilteo on Thursday afternoon...". How many mudslides interrupt rail service every year? How will increased rail traffic affect the stability of the slopes? How will earthquakes, in this very earthquake-prone region, affect slopes, slides, and rail safety? Are the benefits of the project, (coal industry profits and an undetermined number of jobs), worth the risks, (degradation and possible destruction of marine environment and fisheries)?

Paul Caprioli (#3100)

Date Submitted: 11/13/12
Location: Hillsboro, OR
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.

Furthermore, it is harmful to the United States to be exporting our
natural resources to China. China would love for us to destroy our
country for their short-term energy needs while they invest long-term in clean renewable energy. We should be investing for the long-term in clean energy jobs, not in providing China cheap coal in the short-term.

Sincerely,

Paul Caprioli
7187 SE Wrenfield St
Hillsboro, OR 97123-5687
(503) 642-9175

Paul Chadwick (#6825)

Date Submitted: 01/11/2013
Location: Friday Harbor, WA
Comment:
FRIENDS of the San Juans

We Need You to Comment on the Coal Terminal - # 1 Vessel Traffic

This is a photo of the Cape Apricot - the bulk carrier that crashed through a coal conveyor at the Westshore Terminal outside of Vancouver, B.C. in December, 2012.

Dear Paul and Elizabeth,

Now is the time to submit your final comments about the proposal to export coal through the Salish Sea from Cherry Point in Whatcom County. You have until January 22nd at 5 p.m. to speak out about the coal terminal (the deadline was extended from the 21st due to the MLK Day holiday).

Comments made during the scoping period will help inform the type and the geographic scope of impacts to be included in the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The EIS is the key document used by all agencies and individuals involved with approving or denying permits, permissions and/or leases for the project. We need your help to make sure that impacts to San Juan County are included in the EIS - if we don't ask for it, they won't include it.

We've selected seven key comment topics to feature over the next week. We'll send you an email for each topic including a draft of a comment for you to adapt and submit as well as a resource paper with details about why it's an important issue. You can pick one topic to comment on - or choose all 7!

Today's topic is vessel traffic.

Sample comment:

Dear GPT/BNSF Custer Spur EIS Co-Lead Agencies,

I live on the shore of San Juan Island. I worry the local seas may be threatened if the Gateway Pacific Terminal is built.

I request that the GPT Environmental Impact Statement include the entire coal transportation corridor, the rail and marine routes both.

I am mostly concerned about oil and coal spills.

Will GPT's marine vessel traffic increase collision risks? The traffic around here is killer.

Has anybody modeled a catastrophic oil and/or coal spill in this area?

The risks may recommend not building the facility. I wish authorities in Japan had taken similar care at Fukushima.

Many thanks for your consideration.

Paul Chapman (#14225)

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

Paul Chemnick (#11384)

Date Submitted: 01/16/13
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington and transporting strip-mined coal from Montana and Wyoming on trains through Seattle, and ships throughout the Northwest. This proposal would negatively affect my community by increasing congestion and noise, particularly near the waterfront in downtown Seattle with frequent 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.

Paul Chemnick (#11403)

Date Submitted: 01/16/13
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington and transporting strip-mined coal from Montana and Wyoming on trains through Seattle, and ships throughout the Northwest. This proposal would negatively affect my community by increasing congestion and noise, particularly near the waterfront in downtown Seattle with frequent 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.

Paul Curtis (#9174)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Comment:
I support a new facility, to help reduce congestion and traffic at existing terminals and to decentralize facilities more in order to prevent an accident or incident at one facility from having too large an effect. The more facilities there are, the less effect a distruption at any one of them will have.

Paul Dempsey (#14466)

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

paul dolhy (#9243)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: rotterdam, n.
Comment:
hay anytime a company is creating work and jobs in our country I applaud them for it , helping out famalies at any time should be a priority, the gov,t isn,t helping they just keep making more regulations and harder for companys to exist. so I say full speed ahead.

Paul Fellows (#12976)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington.

I urge the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct an area wide Environmental Impact Statement to assess the cumulative impact of the five coal export terminal proposals.

Transporting strip-mined coal on trains and ships throughout the Northwest will 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. Further more, the above mentioned impacts will lower property values throughout the Puget Sound area causing a further reduction in net worth of many struggling families who own homes. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

The atmospheric impact of the burning of the coal that is proposed for export will be responsible for thousands of premature deaths on the West Coast of the United States. This must be considered along with any information concerning positive economic impacts. As always, we are making decisions without considering ALL the impacts and costs, particularly the costs we will incur far into the future.

Any EIS MUST consider these factors of future health impacts and costs to society before we move forward to build these coal export terminals.

Paul Franzmann (#432)

Date Submitted: 09/24/12
Location: Walla Walla, WA
Comment:
Not now, not ever. I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington. This proposal negatively affects my region 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 strongly urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

Paul Franzmann (#13826)

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. This is a bad idea whose time is long past.

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.

Paul Freudenberger (#4584)

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

Paul Henderson (#1251)

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

Paul Hodge (#5816)

Date Submitted: 01/03/2013
Location: Arlington, WA
Comment:
I am particularly concerned about the effect of this facility on the waters of the San Juan Islands, which are a delicate and heretofore relatively unspoiled environment. Having recently spent some time in Alaska, where i had an opportunity to review the devastating damage caused by the Valdez accident, I fear that a similar event, involving the spilling of any commodity, would be disastrous.for the San Juans. There are two world quality maring labs in the Islands and I am assured that their important science would be badly affected by the passage of so many heavy ships through the narrow island straits and channels. I believe that the adverse effects on the entire region is a strong argument for denying approval of the plan.

Paul Ingalls (#3154)

Date Submitted: 11/18/2012
Location: Sedro-Woolley, WA
Comment:
I think it is a bad idea to haul that much coal through our state, or any other for that matter, for the following reasons:

The frequency and length of the trains would be very detrimental to transportation by road because of the long waits that would result at the crossings. Emergency vehicles would be delayed and lives would be lost due to slowed fire department and ambulance response. Commerce in general would be impacted negatively from the cost of slower freight and business travel across the tracks. Commuters would spend more time on the road due to the delays at crossings. If this increased train traffic is allowed, the coal companies should be required to pay for either overpasses at these crossings or the building of more emergency service stations to keep the response time at the present level.

The increased noise from the trains would negatively impact our quality of life for the resident living near the tracks, people working near the tracks and the recreational parks with the trains running through of near them. This may lead to devaluation of property near the tracks or even urban decay.

There would be an increase in air and water pollution from the diesel engines pulling the coal cars and the bunker oil fueling the ships as well as the idling vehicles waiting at crossings. The current levels are bad enough, we don't need more. An increase would be detrimental to many animal and plant species. Coal dust escaping from the rail cars would be another negative impact to the health of humans, plants and animals.

But, most importantly, burning coal is bad for the planet because it contributes so much to the dangerous levels of greenhouse gases that exist in our atmosphere and is contributing to global warming. This warming is already causing increased polar ice melting, leading to rising sea levels and an increase in release of trapped methane (one of the worst greenhouse gases) as the permafrost thaws. Energy conservation and cleaner energy sources should be pursued instead.

Please do not approve this unneeded and detrimental project.

Paul Jackson (#380)

Date Submitted: 09/25/12
Location: Enumclaw, WA
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington. This proposal would negatively affect the community and surrounding area 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 true the coal is an important commodity but without regulation and scrubbing it is really messy stuff. I used to work in and around the coal areas of Central Illinois, and that area would be a mess if it hadn't been for clean up and scrubbing regulations and standards put in place.

The photos being shown are perhaps the worst case, but we shouldn't wait for that to happen to put a hold on something as bad as this.

Sincerely,

Paul Jackson

Paul James (#3614)

Date Submitted: 11/30/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
The EIS should assess the additional risk of Oil spills due to the increased traffic of cape sized vessels transporting coal colliding with or otherwise influencing the 200-400 predicted annual vessel trips transporting crude oil and petroleum products int the same waterways through a vessel traffic risk assessment (VTRA). The EIS study VTRA completed for an additional pier at the BP refinery at Cherry Point determined some significant and unacceptable risks of increased tanker traffic. Based upon limitations in this prior EIS study (http://www.seas.gwu.edu/~dorpjr/Publications/TechnicalReports/VTRA_MISC/VTRA%20Report%20-%20ADDENDUM%20010609.pdf ) the current EIS should address the following:

1) The oil spill risk modeling should use an ENTRIX-like fates and effect model using the electronic information in the VTRA interface files from the VTOSS database to aggregate oil outflow results for geographic sub-areas of impact, this will allow both prediction of accident frequency and oil outflow by the different accident types collisions, powered grounding, drift grounding and allisions.
2) The geographic scope, the impact area for oil spill risk should include all of Puget Sound, North into Canada and West to the open Pacific where risks of collisions is significantly reduced. However the risk of an oil spill would even impact the outer Pacific coast of Washington. In the above cited EIS, the geographic scope was criticized as being too small by excluding sufficient analysis of the Puget Sound and more distant waters.
3) the risk assessment should consider both the risk of coal losses to the marine environment as well as the losses of crude oil or different processed petroleum products coming to or from the two existing refineries at Cherry Point and additional refineries at Anacortes. The estimates should forecast a variety of future scenarios related to collision of vessel traffic based on traffic up to refinery maximum capacity and coal port maximum capacity.
4) These modeled risks of ship collision should be used to estimate the biological species potentially impacted/killed, threatened or endangered in each location and also 4b) used to calculate estimated of the economic impacts of such resource destruction in terms of commercial salmon harvest, Orca tourism, and other commercial fish and shellfish harvests as well as 4c) the impact on species lower on the food chain such as herring and euchilon.
5) a range of low, medium and high traffic scenarios need to be assessed with as good as possible predictions of ship number and location in relation to other marine traffic including future traffic forecasts, the VTRA team does an acceptable job with this in the above linked study from Dr. Johan René van Dorp however they had 2005 data counts to work from and still there were issues of discrepancy between BP's own vessel call data and the VTOSS data, where VTOSS underestimated BP's data. One specific issue has to do with trips made by oil tankers between differing refinery facilities to acquire different refined products. This more detailed vessel movement data should be used to model risks of vessel collisions specifically in the Rosario Strait, Guemes Channel, and Huckleberry-Saddlebag traverse.
6) Actual observations should be made to assess the vessel movement data in models for whale watching boats and the various commercial and tribal fishery boats.
7) the use of 'expert judgement' over empirical data should be used appropriately as in the above report or improved upon, in the prior EIS accident data collection process recorded 4 reported accidents for BPCHPT vessels (1 collision, 1 grounding and 2 allisions). This number of accidents is of the same order of magnitude as the number of accidents collected in the PWS Risk Assessment (see, e.g., Merrick et al. 2002)
and the number of accidents collected in the Washington State Ferry Risk assessment (see, e.g., Van Dorp et al. 2001). Hence, similar to both these prior studies the VTRA team had to rely on expert judgment to evaluate the effect of multiple accident attributes, such as vessel type, traffic scenario, wind, visibility and current etc., on the accident probability per vessel or system interaction." this approach seems well justified but should only be used in cases where no actual data is available. This should not however apply to the oil outflows where "a descriptive oil outflow model [is] better [to] analyze average oil outflow per a potential accident to assess non-zero oil outflow levels". I believe this is standard as per Transportation Research Board (TRB) from the National Academies of Sciences (NRC, 2001). Since the probability of an accident per scenario is small, this risk analysis is appropriate for high consequence low probability events.
8) A Technical Appendix should be used to offer a roadmap for the EIS reader
to enlarge his or her understanding of the vessel traffic study analysis and results.
9) In the executive summary and Main conclusion of the EIS report the vessel traffic study should clearly state the additional probability of an oil spill collision incident for each coal shipping alternative considered and the significance of the percent change in risk of an incident for the species and economic consequences of the foretasted change in risk.
10) alternatives should consider tug escorts for the coal vessels and the impacts on reducing collisions with oil tankers.
11) the size and scale of vessel collision forecating maps and keys should be sufficient in print format to see geographic details, and should be of sufficient image quality for zooming of digital copies.

Other issues
12) the EIS should assess the impact of introduced temperature, viruses and other species in the bilge and ballast waters of coal vessels as it impacts the eel grass and forage fish species near Cherry Point.

13) An assessment of the risk of collisions of coal trains with other vehicles at railroad crossings from Powder River area of WY to Cherry Point WA should be assessed.
14) Increased Train frequency as a result of the proposed project should be assessed in terms of number of human fatalities and injuries sustained at each railroad crossing along the course of the track under scenarios of light, moderate and heavy levels of coal transport. This should be reported in the increased number of fatalities and injuries per year as a result of this project under these different forecasted train traffic scenarios.
15) Increased Train frequency as a result of the proposed project should be assessed in terms of number and species of wildlife fatalities and injuries sustained in each ecological zone the the railroad crosses along the course of the track under scenarios of light, moderate and heavy levels of coal transport. Special attention should be paid to the impacts upon game species and threatened or endangered species.
16) The public infrastructure costs of rail crossing improvements to mitigate this increase in deaths to humans and game or protected species should be assessed.
17) the impact to wildlife, vegetation and human uses due to train derailments because of coal port created increased rail traffic should be assessed. This risk exists across the entire rail route from Wyoming to Cherry Point and would significantly change as a result of the proposed SSA port.
18) Traffic wait times at rail crossings should be assessed in terms of impacts on air pollution form idling vehicles waiting at crossings. This should apply to the entire route of the increased rail traffic due to the proposed SSA coal port.

Thank you for your time and consideration in this process.

Paul James

Paul James (#3615)

Date Submitted: 11/30/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
1 The alternative of covered rail cars must be considered as an alternative.

2 An enclosed terminal coal dump at Cherry point must be considered as an alternative.

3 The impact on eulachon fish must be studied (Thaleichthys pacificus) in regards to human, salmon and marine mammal health impacts.

4 The human health impacts of diesel particulates (PM2.5 and PM10) from the increased train and ship traffic must be assessed both at cherry point and at points where the vehicles will idle, specifically railroad siderails where trains wait to pass one another.

5 This PM2.5 and PM10 (particulate) assessment must account for the added idle times created by the increased rail traffic. It also must account for the location of these side rails, especially those located near residential areas, schools, hospitals and elder assisted living facilities as these populations have increased susceptibility to the fine particulate impacts on asthma, COPD, cancer and inflammatory conditions.

6 Assessment of the impacts of coal dust released from 'empty' coal cars. Studies show the greatest coal dust release from trains in the first 30 miles of loading the coal, the first 30 miles of return trips the 'empty cars actually contain a lot of remaining coal dust and likely release greater dust to the environment (greater surface area of empty car than full car) this needs to be studied and the impact assessed not assumed.

7 Real monitoring of existing coal train trips should be used to assess impact of coal dust rather than using assumptions.

8 Dust assessment should be completed across all seasonal weather conditions. Seasonal variation in health impacts must be assessed.

9 The economic impacts of increased train traffic on small businesses in the Bellingham waterfront redevelopment zone should be studied.

10 The EIS must include cumulative impacts including the lifecycle impact of this coal terminal on increasing global warming through CO2 releases when the transported coal is combusted should be assessed. This would include climate change, drought, acid rain, ocean acidification, and associated economic impacts of these changes. (The Center for Climate Change Law has prepared two databases of environmental impact statements (EISs) that include consideration of climate change-related impacts. The databases include categories for the locality, lead agency, type of project, and a discussion of the impacts considered, as well as a categorization of the type of climate change-related impact considered for each project. available here http://web.law.columbia.edu/climate-change/resources/nepa-and-state-nepa-eis-resource-center)

Washington state law directs the EIS to study these impacts: Washington State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) Guidance on Addressing Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) Draft, Washington State Department of Ecology, May 27, 2010. With this draft policy, SEPA will require public agencies to assess GHG emissions “over [a project’s] lifetime including the construction phase,” evaluate climate change impacts on the project, identify feasible mitigation measures for emissions and impacts, and assess the “significance” of unmitigated emissions.

Guidance for Project-Level Greenhouse Gas and Climate Change Evaluations, Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) Environmental Services Office, Oct. 2010. This guidance is mandatory for all WSDOT projects preparing SEPA or NEPA EIS/EAs. It requires the quantitative analysis of operational and construction GHG emissions, and the qualitative consideration of embodied/lifecycle emissions for all EISs.

11 The impact on the treaty rights of the Nooksack and Lummi Nations and other tribes must be assessed. Specifically rights granted by the Treaty of Point Elliott, 1855, as specified in article 5 and upheld by the Boldt decision (1974 federal court decision, U.S. v. Washington) to harvest fish and game at usual and accustomed places.

12 The specific impact on the health of Native American women and infants due to the harvest and consumption of, and diminished consumption due to shellfish closures, for fish, shellfish, game, and wild plant foods both near Cherry point as well as along the train route of the coal.

13 The specific impact on the health of Native American women and infants due to the harvest and consumption of, and diminished consumption due to shellfish closures, for fish, shellfish, game, and wild plant foods both near Cherry point as well as along the train route of the coal.

14 The impact of discharged ballast waters from increased size and frequency of coal ships, or accidental loss of ballast waters, containing harmful toxins or biological life (viruses, cysts, bacteria, plankton, shellfish spawn) on local saltwater ecology. As well as the economic impacts and risks associated with these changes including impacts to fisheries and municipal waste water releases such as Zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) growth on underwater waste water release infrastructure.

15 The impact of increased train traffic on increased train-pedestrian, train-vehicle, and train-bicycle collisions, deaths per year.

16 The impacts of replacing railroad infrastructure due to increased load length and weight.

17 The cost to municipalities and states of rail crossing improvements demanded by the increased length and frequency of these trains.

18 Assess the increased need for and cost recovery options for improved localized and mobile air quality monitoring systems. In Bellingham, one monitor located at the top of Alabama hill does a poor job assessing air quality near railroad tracks.

19 Assess the capacity of Northwest Clean Air Agency to monitor the risks and environmental releases from the proposed facility. Given their current monitoring demands and record of industrial enforcement. Assess costs and cost sharing of this increased demand upon this agency.

NEPA and State NEPA EIS Resource Center
web.law.columbia.edu
The Center for Climate Change Law has prepared two databases of environmental impact statements (EISs) that include consideration of climate change-related impacts.

Paul James (#3616)

Date Submitted: 11/30/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
The EIS should study the impacts of coal dust sedimentation from the loading and storage of coal on marine ecology. Assessment of alternative must be considered for the no coal port option, the full production (45 million tons/yr), partial production (20 million tons per yr), and for enclosed storage and loading facilities.

Based on Johnson's (2005) study of coal dust in the marine environment at Roberts Bank coal port in BC, the subtidal coal distribution in the area around the coal terminal is greatest south and southeast of the coal-loading terminal. as Cherry Point has very similar conditions to the Roberts Bank facility it is likely that a similar distribution will occur if the SSA proposal moves forward.

The problem in the case of Cherry Point is that the area south and southeast of the proposed loading terminal is the location of current herring spawning eel grass beds As per the 2012 Marine Biology Baseline Inventory). A major problem with the Marine biology baseline inventory report is that the sample area did not extend far enough south to encompass the eel grass beds directly adjacent to the southern edge of the sample.

These beds are in the Washington State DNR Cherry Point Environmental Aquatic Reserve and the EIS must study of the specific impacts of coal dust, as well as any dredging or sediment disruption due to building or maintaining the loading dock and pier, on the following.

1) assess herring reproductive success related to a) food availability, b) egglaying substrates, c) percentage of fertile eggs, and d) age at reproduction,
2) assess the extent and impact of predicted reduction in sea grass as a spawning habitat for herring. Herring were completely ignored in the baseline survey.
3) assess the reduction in sea grass and the impact on forage area for salmon, otter and orca populations with special consideration to the relationships between species as outlined below.
4) assess health impacts human consumption of contaminated species, or lack of access to depleted food species, due to the coal loading impacts, specifically for Lummi and Nooksack tribal members that have special harvest rights to the food species on this property under the Point Elliot Treaty of 1855.

Impacts of this upon the following Flora and Fauna and ecological systems relating the species should be studied with special attention to threatened and endangered species as well as economically valuable species.

The algal species which are an important component of nearshore primary production rates. Marine algae supports salmon, forage fish, groundfish, Dungeness crab, and other invertebrates important to the food web that supports many wildlife species, such as resident and migratory birds, and marine mammals. Eelgrass beds include both native and non-native species. Bladed kelps, such as Saccharina latissima and Costaria costata, filamentous brown algae such as Desmarestia spp., and a variety of red foliose and filamentous algae dominate the macroalgae community. Mixed eelgrass and Sargassum extend along much of the shoreline, with sparse kelp (Nereocystis) beds. Sargassum is a lower intertidal/subtidal floating brown alga, that herring often spawn upon. It is notable that the distribution of Sargassum along the reserve and Birch Bay is restricted primarily to the lower intertidal zone, while elsewhere in Puget Sound its distribution is mostly within the subtidal zone. Numerous species of salmon and trout are found in the nearshore environment at Cherry Point and Birch Bay, including: pink salmon (Onchorynchus gorbuscha); chum (O. keta), coho (O. kisutch), Chinook (O. tshawytsha), and sockeye (O. nerka). The nearshore is designated as habitat for the following salmon species listed under the federal Endangered Species Act: Puget Sound Chinook salmon, Nooksack Coastal Cutthroat, and Puget Sound Bull Trout, and Puget Sound Stealhead. The Cherry Point nearshore is also used by char and cutthroat tagged in British Columbia (Ptlomey, R. pers. comm.) The Puget Sound Evolutionary Significant Unit (ESU) for Chinook salmon includes the Cherry Point site and major waterbodies (see Figure 8, page 108). The Puget Sound Chinook ESU was listed as federally threatened in March of 1999 and includes runs from the North Fork Nooksack River in northeast Puget Sound to the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The Puget Sound Chinook is estimated to be at only ten percent of historic numbers. There are two independent populations of Puget Sound Chinook salmon in the Nooksack basin: North Fork Nooksack River (including Middle Fork), and South Fork Nooksack River. These salmon are distinctive from Chinook salmon in the rest of Puget Sound in their genetic attributes, life history, and habitat characteristics. They are the only populations in the Strait of Georgia region, and they are two of only six Chinook runs left in Puget Sound that return to their rivers in spring (as opposed to fall spawners). For these reasons, the Nooksack populations are considered to be essential to the recovery of the Puget Sound Chinook ESU (Puget Sound TRT 2006). Georgia Strait/Puget Sound coho are also in decline, listed as a federal species of concern. Three species of forage fish use the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve: surf smelt (Hypomesus pretiosus), northern anchovy (Engraulis mordax), and Pacific herring (Clupea pallasii). Surf smelt spawn in the upper intertidal zones of the aquatic reserve during the summer months. They are an important food source for seabirds and a variety of fish, including salmon. Northern anchovy spawn from May to September; spawning has been documented.

Prey availability, environmental contaminants, impacts from vessels, noise, oil spills, and disease are the key stressors for Southern Resident Killer Whales. Salmon, groundfish, and herring are key prey for Southern Resident Killer Whales. A number of benthic invertebrates, clams, cockles, crabs, shrimp, snails and marine worms are found in the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve, many serve as prey for birds, fish and mammals. Clam surveys must include samples form -1 and -2 MLLW locations at the least (these were not completed in the baseline inventory.

Dungeness crabs are found at Cherry Point and are important recreationally and commercially. Dungeness crabs are an important predator and prey organism at all life stages, their pelagic larvae are preyed upon by copper rockfish, coho and Chinook salmon, halibut, dogfish, hake, and lingcod. Many invertebrate species observed at Cherry Point include species that rely partially upon herring in their diet. Examples include, amphipod (Anisogammarus pugetensis), the ochre sea star (Pisaster ochraceus), and unspecified sea anemones.

This important ecology of Cherry Point is already burdened with three industrial polluters. The EIS should make certain that the added coal dust, and other aquatic sediment changes do not push this ecology into unrecoverable decline.

Johnson, Ryan, and R.M. Bustin. "International Journal of Coal Geology." International Journal of Coal Geology. 68. (2005): 57-69. Web. <http://www.coalwatch.ca/sites/default/files/Johnson-and-Bustin-2005-Coal-dust-in-marine-environment.pdf>.

Paul James (#5940)

Date Submitted: 01/04/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Public convenience and necessity: The proposal would only serve three companies (Peabody, BNSF and SSA) with primary benefits to the energy security of China as opposed to energy security of the United States. This contradicts current US energy policy and makes the environmental impacts non-necessary.

The EIS must study the impacts on the following:

1) property values decreasing due to visual impacts, sound impacts and air quality impacts of the increased rail traffic in both Whatcom county and the route from Wyoming.
2) Property values decreasing due to traffic impacts of the rail line in both Whatcom county and the route from Wyoming.
3) economic impacts on ranching and farming along the the rail line in both Whatcom county and the route from Wyoming. Including assessment of impacts on local food security, and the health impacts on range animals and crops duet to coal dust and diesel particulate increases.
4) economic cost of the increased number of livestock deaths due to rail/livestock collisions in rail line range areas on the route from Wyoming.
5) the health impact measured in number of lives lost due to increased rail-pedestrian and rail-automobile collisions.
6) the economic costs to taxpayers compared to costs born by rail operators of making rail crossing safety improvements.
7) the economic impacts due to noise disturbance on recreational users and tourism.
8) the economic and environmental impacts of flooding and hydrological changes due to the rail line, including winter ice dams.
9) the economic impacts due to decreased recreational and subsistence hunting of elk and mule deer populations as well as upland birds. The impact of this on out of state hunters and tourism.
10) the impact of decreases in elk and mule deer populations as well as upland birds on Native American tribal treaty rights to subsistence hunting.
11) the impact of track and site runoff on stream health and fish populations.
12) the economic and health impact of declining fish populations on tribal subsistence fishing rights.
13) the hydrological impact of rail changes to surface and sub-surface water sources for both human use and irrigation.
14) the economic impact of changes to hydrological flows and ground and surface water diversion. Additionally, how this relates to Nooksack River flow volumes and Lummi tribe treaty rights to minimum flow volumes.
15) assessment of changes in the tax burden born by GPT, BNSFand local property owners. Changes in property values and associated impacts on local government revenue.
16) the impacts of coal dust on track and local environments, according to BNSF "500 pounds to a ton of coal can escape from a single loaded car.” Primarily in the first 30 miles from source and from the shipping terminal (the 'empty' cars are not empty of dust) Coal dust accumulates in the ballast between the rails, undermining the track structure and causing derailments. And coal dust deposits sometimes even cause fires.
17) the impact of future fires (or the risk of fires) in coal dust along tracks, and coal lost due to derailments in the future.
18) the risk to the environment anf human health of coal train derailments.
19) the economic burden of emergency response to coal train derailments.
20) the human health risk due to coal train derailments.
21) the environmental risk to wildlife and water due to coal train derailments.
22) the risk and impacts of coal ships breaking through coal piers and causeways based on details from the as occurred 12/7/12 when cape sized vessel Queen of Alberni destroyed 300 feet of causeway at Westshore terminal in BC.
23) the global impacts that the new terminal will have in increasing access to a specific volume of coal and the impact on the rate of combustion of this coal as it impacts global CO2 levels, other greenhouse gas levels and global warming.

Paul Johnson (#4602)

Date Submitted: 11/29/12
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

Paul Johnson (#4940)

Date Submitted: 12/18/2012
Location: Lacey, WA
Comment:
I can not imagine a more hazardous event happening in West. Wa., than the de-railing of a train such as this!
So, let me see if I understand this: We are going to run trains thru this area that regularily has landslides, just from rain, and stops the commuter traffic for days at a time? And such derailments of coal carrying trains would then destroy marine life, wildlife, and create hazardous air quality for the entire area? And WHO exactly, is going to profit from this stupid situation? NOT thelocal citizens! NOT the local environment!
One derailment would eliminate ALL the potential good in one fell swoop!
CAN NOT GET MUCH DUMBER A POLITICAL/BIG BUSINESS PROJECT!
HOW ABOUT WE JUST BUILD SOME NUCLEAR REACTORS IN THAT AREA, AS WELL?
THIS IS A NO-BRAINER, NOT TO ALLOW!

Paul Kearsley (#5078)

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

Paul Kikuchi (#7497)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Location: SEATTLE, WA
Comment:
Hello,
I am a musician and an outdoorsman. I live in Ballard, Seattle, not far from the train tracks. I have strong concerns about the amount of coal that would be shipped past my neighborhood if this proposal goes through. I love Seattle for its clean air, and I'm sure that this amount of coal coming through will have an impact on this. This directly effects my quality of life.

Of course, all the wildlife concerns are also very real. The Puget Sound has enough to deal with already!

Lastly, coal is not sustainable. It's not moving in the right direction in regards to greenhouse gasses and global warming. There are better solutions to business growth that would support our region.

I strongly oppose the proposal to have a coal terminal and coal trains running through Seattle!

Thank you for taking the time to hear my thoughts.

Paul Kikuchi

Paul Klein (#13497)

Date Submitted: 01/21/13
Location: BELLINGHAM, WA
Comment:
Please consider the impact extra trains would have the environments of all communities who would be effected by these extra trains: health, psychological, spiritual and physical factors.
Please consider the total impact of trains, the global warming created by the transportation and burning of our fossil fuels half way around the globe, basically down wind from our shores.
Please consider the negative economic impact these numerous trains would have on all communities effected across the country through which these trains travel: negative influence of real estate, town livability, health and safety damage created by these trains, loss of natural habitat for thousands who live near, as well as potential damage of natural habitat, from the midwest to our natural resources at the coast and all the way to Asia.
Please weigh the damage to scores of existing job and commerce effected by these trains against the lasting jobs created ONLY at the ends of the train travel.

Thank you for your careful assessment,
Paul Klein
35 year resident of Whatcom County
husband, father of three children
Public School Teacher
Musician
=

Paul Knight (#5491)

Date Submitted: 12/19/12
Location: Vancouver, WA
Comment:
December 19, 2012

The Honorable Gateway Pacific Terminal EIS


Dear null EIS:


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

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

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

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

I urge you to not stand in the way of creating new, much-needed Northwest jobs and strengthening our economy through increased exports by completing this environmental impact statement in a fair and expedient manner.


Sincerely

Paul Knight

Paul Koopman (#2618)

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

Paul Kreider (#3448)

Date Submitted: 11/27/2012
Location: Lynden, Wa
Comment:
I hope that you use a Standard EIS process for this business,the same as any other business,that would try to build in Whatcom County.

Paul Kropp (#3723)

Date Submitted: 12/02/2012
Location: Spokane, WA
Comment:
I am commenting as a resident of Spokane County.

An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) focused only on a terminal site on the Pacific coast would not best serve the businesses and residents of Spokane County both urban and rural. The scope of the EIS should include assessing the impacts of such projects across the entire state and explicitly identify the full range of issues that are pertinent, those that are not, which local, state and federal agencies should address these issues, and how.

I understand this is known as a programmatic EIS.

I would expect that the scoping process now underway would result at the very least in a narrative that justifies the choice of either a programmatic or site specific EIS.

Paul Landgren (#9477)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I am opposed to the Gateway Pacific Terminal. The train length and frequency of trains would cut off convenient acess to downtown Bellingham and the new, as yet undeveloped waterfront area. This downtown area could be the jewel in the crown of Bellingham and Whatcom County if allowed to develop to fruition Lengthy trains would not only delay and impede this development but could cause significant problems for fire and ambulance services.
I am also concerned about the stability of the mountainside in the Chuckanut Drive area. Landslides could ocurr with the increased weight on the rails. BNSF have been repairing the rail track below our home there for thirty years and the repairs continue to this day. . Please consider and protect our current priceless environment.

Paul Landgren (#9478)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I am opposed to the Gateway Pacific Terminal. The train length and frequency of trains would cut off convenient acess to downtown Bellingham and the new, as yet undeveloped waterfront area. This downtown area could be the jewel in the crown of Bellingham and Whatcom County if allowed to develop to fruition Lengthy trains would not only delay and impede this development but could cause significant problems for fire and ambulance services.
I am also concerned about the stability of the mountainside in the Chuckanut Drive area. Landslides could ocurr with the increased weight on the rails. BNSF have been repairing the rail track below our home there for thirty years and the repairs continue to this day. . Please consider and protect our current priceless environment.

Paul Loeb (#13229)

Date Submitted: 01/14/13
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
This has been the hottest year ever, and seen the most destructive climate related weather disasters so far. Given how much of Puget Sound is vulnerable to sea level rise, please take climate change seriously and 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.

Paul McCarthy (#13172)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Spokane, WA
Comment:
To whom it may concern, I have and been a law abiding legal and tax paying resident and registered voter in the State of Washington for thirty three years and I vehemently 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 equate your proposal with my counter proposal that all your shareholders must personally dwell in my Housing Development in Belling-ham where as a General Contractor I have provided no Sewage Disposal System of any kind in any of the Mandatory Domiciles with only cold running water that uses an arsenic filtration system and on each street corner Mega Horns linked 24/7 to the Seattle Dome with no off switches! PS: My Belling-ham Housing Development is directly sandwiched between both our largest Pig Farm and Garbage Dump. We are a gated community and our by-laws require each resident to personally sign a perpetual agreement that they and their children can never re-sell or sublet any property and must never vacate!

I demand that all your shareholders read aloud all of the fine print above mentioned caveats and these impacts in the scope of your Comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement.

Paul McCutcheon (#12904)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
Location: Mountlake Terrace, 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.

Coal has servesd it,s best in years past when we needed it's Power producing ability. Today we Know conclusively the down-sidee of coal in it's mining socalled cleaning, transportation, and ultimate use. It takes little intelligence to knoow there is no such entity as CLEAN COAL. To perpetuate coals use would be a step back to a time of more primative Knowledge and ignoring of the facts. No more lets us act as though we didn,t know the disasterous concequences of mining and utilizing coal. I grew up in WVa , Just look at the long run affects of thee use of coal.

Paul Meury (#8855)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Location: Olympia, Wa
Comment:
I hope the EIS will put a serious focus on the potential of this project for significant environmental degradation due to resultant increased airborne pollutants blown across the Pacific Ocean from Asia.

These pollutants will negatively affect air and water quality, harming humans and other life forms. The Pacific Northwest is a region known for an amazing quality of life. We need to protect it!

Why do we want to make short term profit which will result in long-term harm to our collective health?

Paul Myhre (#387)

Date Submitted: 09/25/12
Location: Leavenworth, 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. We need to make a large statement against the use of coal !

Sincerely,

Paul Myhre

Paul Newman (#12817)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
Location: Hillsboro, 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 is outrageous to even consider exporting coal given the incontrovertible evidence that Global Climate Change is real and upon us. The environmental impact statement should take carbon emissions as well as the impacts mentioned above into account.

Paul Orlowski (#4012)

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

Paul Orlowski (#6221)

Date Submitted: 01/07/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
For years I have enjoyed using Boulevaard Park in Bellingham, WA. Since it is on the water, the rail tracks cover 100% of the access into and out of the park. That's significant if there's an emergency and aid cars can not get in or get out. A few minutes are crucial when it comes to things like a heart attack. WIll SSA pay for the cost of an overpass - I don't think so.

Paul Orlowski (#6225)

Date Submitted: 01/07/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
China has coal supplies and other natural resources, but its a callenge for them to get to market near the coast where they are needed most. So what happens in 4 or 5 years, when we've spent all this money on rail traffic and upgrades, a few people have made some wages, SSA has made big bucks, the ground water is contaminated, the land is contaminated with excessive coal dust up and down the rail lines, Puget Sound has born the brunt of a couple of giant freighter spills so the salmon and crab fishery is suffering and then China gets their act together. They start supplying their own coal and do not renew contracts here. It's kind of like war: rape, pillage, destroy and leave. Is there a way you can evaluate - Is the aftermath really worth it for us for a few wages for a few years?

Paul Rasmussen (#14469)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
Location: Lynden, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Paul Rosasco, Cascade Healthcare (#14687)

Date Submitted: 01/21/13
Location: Burlington, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Files:

Paul Rosetter (#10463)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: SEDRO WOOLLEY, Wa
Comment:
The proposal would significantly increase rail traffic from the coal mining areas to the Pacific Gateway terminal. This increase in train traffic would impact all the public intersections along all the tracks connecting the mining areas to the terminal. Some of these intersections will experience significant impacts. The significance can be determined by 1.) the amount of time the intersection would be blocked by trains; 2.) by the volume of vehicle and pedestrian traffic that would be delayed; 3.) by how much the service would be degraded by train traffic as described by the A-F Levels of Service range used by traffic engineers; 4.) by the amount of CRITICAL vehicle traffic needing to use that intersection. Such critical traffic would be fire, police and ambulance vehicles.
All public intersections must be considered even though it may possibly include thousands of intersections. It is not a stretch of the imagination to see liability suits stemming from unnecessary deaths or property loss from critical traffic delays, especially when such impacts could have been studied in this EIS but were not. Train engine staff must, by law, sound the engine's horn at every grade crossing. These staff or a responsible member of a Lead Agency or EIS drafter could be granted permission to ride aboard and punch a button on an electronic chart or GPS map, marking waypoints - the Latitude and Longitude of each of these intersections. EIS preparation staff, working with local officials can then map these intersections along with the location of any and all fire stations, hospitals and any other critical origin or destination within a certain distance. EIS staff and local officials can assign known or estimated traffic volumes and types at all these intersections and can determine destinations of critical vehicles as well as assessing the value of alternative emergency routes not concurrently blocked. Probably most of the intersections would not be determined to be critical, but it is very important to identify those that would be significantly impacted. These studies can be summarized in the main body of the EIS with identification of those considered critical. The detailed study, including the maps and criteria used to determine levels of service and critical intersections can be published as an appendix.
This may seems like a very formidable task. However, given the size and broad effects of the proposal, I can't think of a project that would have greater and more widespread impacts. If the Alaska Pipeline had not been exempted from an EIS by Congress, it may not have had as many issues given the remoteness of the region. With that in mind, the kind of effort that must go into describing the impacts as noted above can only be expected.

Paul Rosset (#1368)

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

Paul Sadler (#9064)

Date Submitted: 01/17/13
Location: Bellingham , WA
Comment:
We need this project, need coal, and Jobs.

I believe that all necessary steps will be taken to protect the environment…………………….Paul Sadler

Paul Sarvasy (#10482)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Bellingham , WA
Comment:
As a physician, I have serious concerns about the health impacts of transporting such an amount of coal through our Bellingham coridor. The dispersion of coal dust throughout the local environment will impact the air quality in the short term causing increased acute respiratory symptoms and potentially impact the long term health of people exposed chronically to the toxic effects of coal dust. Also, I am very concerned about the impact of increased train traffic on the ability for emergency vechicles to access all of our community in a timely fashion.
Please include these concerns in the acope of the environmental impact statement.

Paul Sarvasy (#10499)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I am writing to express my concern about the expansion of the Gateway Pacific Terminal and the immediate impact of that expansion on the herring population of those waters. The unique Cherry Point herring is a keystone species for the marine ecosystem in the Salish Sea. The Cherry Point herring population has markedly declined over the last 30 years. I have great concerns that more shipping expansion would eliminate the herring population and alter the ecosystem as we know it. Please include the study of the environmental affect on the herring population in the scope of the environmental impact statement.

Paul Schafer (#3243)

Date Submitted: 11/20/2012
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
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.

Specifically:

Exported coal would be burned in China but that burning emits gases (including carbon dioxide) and particulates that go into the atmosphere and are not confined to China.

Some of this additional carbon dioxide dissolves in the ocean and causes the water to become more acidic. Please study the impact that this additional acidification can have on the ocean habitat of sea creatures, especially coral.

Paul Schafer

Paul Schroeder (#2698)

Date Submitted: 11/11/2012
Location: Blaine, WA
Comment:
I am an anthropologist who studies the impact of human behavior on individual environments. There are many ruins of civilizations that disregarded the effects they had on the land. The impact of this proposal is greater than the sum of its parts and can not be judged fairly without considering the world wide effects of the continued burning of coal. It is like sitting in one's living room hearing the smoke alarm blaring, but being too engrossed in our TV program to respond, while the house burns down around us.
The benefit of a few new jobs here will not outweigh the overall cost of increased train congestion and pollution to the majority of the citizens of Whatcom County; but we should consider this overall cost on a larger scale. Scientists know that global warming is real and it is affecting our weather. In 2011 Texas suffered a record 44 days of over 100 degree heat with great loss of trees and wildlife. Also last year, for the first time, there were ten major weather events that caused over $1 billion damage each. July of 2012 was the hottest month ever recorded in the U.S., and the devastation of hurricane Sandy at a cost of $20 to $50 billion will become more common.
The burning of coal is linked to an increase in carbon dioxide. Ice cores show that there is significantly more CO-2 in the earth's atmosphere than at any other time in the last 800,000 years. A consequence of this is increasing acidification of the oceans due to absorption of greater amounts of CO-2. This acidification is destroying the world's coral reefs which puts at risk 100 million people who depend on the biodiversity of fish those reefs support (Harrould-Kolieb and Savitz, 2009).
Since the World Bank reports that 16 of the 20 most polluted cities in the world are in China, I doubt that they will be good stewards of our coal. I realize that global issues are probably beyond the perimeters of this scoping process, but can we really continue to turn a blind eye to what we are doing to our environment and our planet?

Paul Schroeder (#3228)

Date Submitted: 11/19/2012
Location: Blaine, Wa
Comment:
Please consider the impact on the people, wildlife and environment of Washington State AFTER coal is sold to China. There are three points to consider:
1) China has the most polluted cities in the world. Linfen, in Shanxi Province, with a population of three million, was listed by Time Magazine (September 12, 2007) as the worst of all. This pollution is caused by the burning of coal. "This soot-blackened city... makes Dickensian London look as pristine as a nature park" (ibid).
2) "Transpacific Pollution Leaves Thicker and Thicker Trail" (CNN, August 1, 2000)
"Rising industrialization in Asia is discharging millions of tons of previously undetected contaminants annually into the winds that travel across the Pacific Ocean".
3) National Parks Service - Air Resources Division, report of March 12, 2012 regarding the air quality of Olympic National Park states the following:
"Air masses originating in Asia transport pollutants across the Pacific Ocean and into the park."
"Air pollutants carried into the park can harm natural and scenic resources such as forests, soils, streams, fish, amphibians and visibility."
"Airborne mercury and pesticides deposit on park lands and waters and accumulate in some fish to levels potentially harmful to wildlife and human health. Toxins, including heavy metals like mercury, accumulate in the tissue of organisms and may alter key ecosystem processes..."
"Human activities have greatly increased the amount of mercury in the environment through processes such as burning coal..."
"Mercury concentrations in fish are among the highest of eight western and Alaskan national parks studied, exceeding safe consumption thresholds for wildlife and humans...", (Lander et al, 2010; Schwindt et al, 2008)
In light of these studies and reports and many others, I believe it is not to strong to say that the construction and operation of the Gateway Pacific Terminal would endanger the environment of this region and everything in it.
Thank you for your consideration.

Paul Schroeder (#9565)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Blaine, Wa
Comment:
Water, Water, Water. The impact on water must be included in this scoping process. It is well documented that global warming has greatly reduced glaciers. The snow pack in the mountains is the water tower for the Nooksack River. The reduction of snow and ice will reduce the the volume of water in the Nooksack and impact people and wildlife that depend on that river, especially salmon. How will the IMMENSE amount of water that the GPT project plans to use affect the long term health of the river system? Please bear in mind the dire circumstances now being realized with the over taxing of the Colorado River.
Point two - After billions of gallons of water is washed over the coal to keep it from igniting, where will all the run-off go? How will this water, infused with coal particles be controlled so as not to harm the land and sea environments?
Thank you for considering this seriously.

Paul Schroeder (#9575)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Blaine, WA
Comment:
How will the increased vibrations from more heavy-loaded trains affect the stability of slopping land all along the tracks? We have had multiple land slides this winter that have blocked the train tracks for days at a time.
Our home is some 500 yards from the train tracks and our house shakes (sometimes severely) every time a train goes by. This has contributed to the wear and tear of our house by loosening nailed boards, cracking walls and settling soil under and around the foundation.

Paul Schroeder (#9585)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Blaine, WA
Comment:
The responsible thing to do is to consider the full ramifications and consequences of this proposed project from the coal mines to the final destination in Asia.
There are too many people all along the route and beyond whose lives will be impacted one way or another; from the few who will get jobs to the many who will suffer from harmed environments, increased train traffic, pollution and the increasing affects of global warming.
The quality of life and not just the almighty dollar needs to be factored into the equation.
Please do the right thing and consider the BIG PICTURE.
Thank you.

Paul Schutt (#14155)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Location: Chicago, IL
Comment:
I urge the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to complete a thorough and comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal at Cherry Point, which would ship 48 million tons of coal per year to Asia. This EIS must consider the broad impacts of mining, transporting, and exporting coal via the proposed terminal. The proposed project, if approved, would have significant and disastrous impacts on communities, including on air and water quality, marine life (including several endangered species), and public health and safety.

Additionally, the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal is part of a greater plan to export coal from several ports in Oregon and Washington. The Gateway Pacific Terminal would be the largest, but the cumulative impacts of transporting coal to and exporting coal from all of these proposed ports must be considered. Powder River Basin coal is especially friable, and mining, transporting, and exporting this coal will lead to ocean acidification, train derailments, public health issues, and water quality impairment. Several endangered fish species, including Chinook salmon, bull trout, and Puget Sound steelhead trout, are present in the Salish Sea, and the embattled Cherry Point herring are a keystone species vital to the life of many other marine species living near the project area.

Finally, the USACE must also consider the impacts of burning coal in Asia, which is the final destination of Powder River Basin coal shipped through the Gateway Pacific Terminal. Coal is a dirty fossil fuel and accelerates the impacts of climate change. I respectfully ask that the USACE prepares a thorough and comprehensive EIS considering all of the points discussed above.

You should also bear in mind that these exports of U.S. coal are not in the best long term interest of this country, environmentally and financially.

Paul Sorensen (#2354)

Date Submitted: 11/05/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
The development of the Gateway Pacific Terminal at Cherry Point will have a long-range negative impact on the quality of life by humans and marine species. Please look at the
studies and reports done on the harmful effects of breathing in the coal dust which will
be in the air due to coal transported by trains, and coal storage yards.
Environmental concerns such as coal dust coating everything in the area, are very real!
The harmful effects of coal dust are well known and documented. Please study the coal dust issue as it relates to the greater Bellingham area.

Paul St. Julien (#841)

Date Submitted: 10/15/12
Comment:
I want to state that I am FOR the Gateway Pacific Terminal. It doesn't affect me or my family personally, but I see it as a benefit to all of Whatcom County. I hear the trains going to Canada many times a day and wonder why we don’t keep the business here.

Whatcom County currently has very little economic infrastructure. The economy here seems totally dependent on retail and construction. When people are moving in, the county thrives. We have almost no industry in this county. We seem to be a county living off of various types of government funding and not much else.

I support whatever measures will make us less reliant on government support for our economy. I would look toward industry to become more and more important as our national economy dumps.

Paul St.Julien

Paul Talbert (#957)

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

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington and transporting strip-mined coal from Montana and Wyoming on trains and ships throughout the Northwest. Coal dust is toxic, and is likely to contaminate the entire coal transport route. It is also by far the dirtiest fossil fuel and a major contributor to climate change.This is exactly the opposite of the direction we want to move energy production in the United States.

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 detail 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 and careful documentation of the potential impacts to wildlife, human health and climate change is essential.

Sincerely,

Paul Talbert
4601 S Brandon St
Seattle, WA 98118-2355

Paul Talbert (#2561)

Date Submitted: 11/08/2012
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. Climate change is the greatest threat facing our generation, and coal is a major contributor to climate change. Coal dust is also toxic and poses a threat to our health and our environment.

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.




Paul Talbert
4601 S Brandon st
Seattle, WA 98118

Paul Talbert (#12262)

Date Submitted: 01/22/13
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
The proposed Cherry Point coal terminal will have an enormous impact on the northwest and the world, primarily through its impact on climate change, but also through health efffects of coal dust along the route, congestion, destruction of local wetlands, encouragement of strip mining in Idaho and Montana, etc.

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.

Paul Talbert (#14089)

Date Submitted: 01/22/13
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
With the hottest year on record just weeks behind us, it would be outrageous to fail to consider the impact on climate change of allowing the Cherry Point coal terminal to be constructed.

I am deeply concerned about the potential impact of coal exports on my family and community. Coal exports pose great threats to the health, safety, and environment of the Pacific Northwest. Burning this coal would be a huge step backward in combating global warming

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

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

Paul Woodcock (#13505)

Date Submitted: 01/21/13
Location: Ferndale , WA
Comment:
Environmental Impact Statement Scoping Comment
Gateway Pacific Terminal

To Whom It May Concern,

I am a resident of Ferndale, Washington, in Whatcom County and I am a life-long bird watcher and conservationist. For decades I have been concerned about the protection of the coastal marine ecosystems on which migratory marine birds depend. This includes the ecosystem at Cherry Point which has historically been an important habitat for migrating marine birds, particularly during the spring migration when the Cherry Point herring spawn. As our marine shorelines become increasingly developed for industrial and residential uses, wildlife becomes increasingly dependent on those that remain in a relatively natural state. These last remaining marine bird habitats and the food chain on which these bird species depend need to be protected and restored to assure a future for our marine migrants.

Annually, large numbers of migratory birds depend on the marine habitat of the Cherry Point Shoreline as a feeding area during migration. Local ornithologists, Terrence Wahl and Dennis Paulson had this to say about Cherry Point in their 1981 edition of their book A Guide to Bird Finding in Washington: “During the herring spawning season (April - May) some of the largest concentrations of birds in Washington occur here. Flocks of up to 25,000 scoters, Arctic Loons, gulls, murres and others feed on eggs and fish and form an impressive natural spectacle.” Cherry Point with its unique, spring-spawning population of herring has been an important stopping place for arctic-bound migrants in the spring.

The Cherry Point herring population has declined over 90% during the past four decades diminishing the large concentrations of spring migrant birds which used to be seen there. At the same time, many local marine bird populations have declined also. Dr. John Bower, working with his students from Western Washington University, conducted marine bird surveys in the northern Puget Sound and Straight of Georgia area from 2003 to 2005 and compared them to surveys taken in the same area in 1978 to 1980. He found that there was that there were significant declines in 14 of 37 of the most common locally wintering species including 10 species that declined by more than 50%. Seven species did show significant increases but total numbers were down by 28.9%. Four common wintering species declined greatly; Surf Scoters (59.8%), Black Scoters (65.7%), Pacific Loon (47%) and Common Murre (92.4%).

Recognizing the significance of Cherry Point as marine habitat, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources designated the area an Aquatic Reserve in 2000. The goals of the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve Management Plan include protection, enhancement and restoration of water quality and natural ecosystem functions and the recovery of wildlife populations. I and many other citizens of Whatcom County and beyond fully support these management goals and are concerned that future development at Cherry Point will not be compatible with these goals. Our governmental agencies should make every effort to protect these bird species and all possible efforts should be made to return all marine bird populations and those of the prey species they depend on back to historic levels.

I respectfully ask that a careful study be made of what impacts the construction and operation of a coal terminal at Cherry Point will have on the resident and migratory bird species that use of Cherry Point marine habitats.

What are the possible negative impacts on air and water quality in the surrounding habitats?

What are the environmental impacts of coal particulates from ships, conveyors, storage areas on the marine ecosystems?

How will any potential air and water quality changes affect birds and their food sources?

Will noise and light pollution from the dock and other facilities affect birds in the area?

How will ship traffic affect birds use of the surrounding marine habitat?

How have existing coal terminal facilities affected birds and their surrounding environment?

Thank you for your consideration or our concerns.

Sincerely,

Paul Woodcock

Paul Zickler (#9481)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Mount Vernon, Wa
Comment:
I live very close to downtown Mount Vernon, an area that will see no benefit from the proposed terminal in Bellingham. Our locally-owned downtown businesses have struggled for years to find creative ways to continue to generate income. When a train passes through the area, access to downtown from the rest of the city is limited to one street, and if one is coming from I-5, it takes several minutes to change one's route if one can even find that street. Meanwhile, the more corporate-owned businesses further north on I-5 are more easily accessible. As more and more trains pass through town, fewer people will go to the trouble of patronizing our local merchants. This is yet another reason why the Cherry Point Terminal will be a negative force in the Mount Vernon economy.

Paul and Karen Maughan (#8830)

Date Submitted: 01/16/13
Location: Anacortes , WA
Comment:
July 11, 2012
Representative Rick Larsen
US Congress

Dear Rick:

Karen and I are deeply distressed that you appear to support the establishment of the Cherry Point terminal in Bellingham to facilitate the sale and transfer of US coal to China. We could list all the reasons why this is a bad idea but the enclosed article by Vince Streano in the Anacortes American articulates why such an initiative would be very detrimental to both humans and the environment. Please rethink your position and vote AGAINST this initiative.

Sincerely,

Paul and Karen Maughan

99 Larsen coal ltr1.doc

Proposed coal terminal could have major impact on Skagit Valley

Carol and I were driving to Mount Vernon the other day when we were stopped at a railroad crossing just as the crossing bars were coming down. A couple of seconds later a large freight train rumbled into view pulling a string of hopper cars loaded with coal on its way to Canada.

We sat and waited, and I counted the cars. Ten, twenty, thirty, forty, went flying by. Fifty, sixty, seventy, wow, this is a long train. Eighty, ninety, a hundred, are you kidding me?

A hundred ten, hundred twenty, and finally a hundred twenty five in all, followed at the end by two more engines. It took 2 1/2 minutes for the train to pass and the gates to open. By then traffic was backed up behind us as far as I could see.

So this is what could happen up to 18 times a day if the coal terminal in Bellingham gets approved. It’s just wrong on so many levels.

Personally I don’t go to Mount Vernon all that often, so waiting 2 1/2 minutes every once in a while wouldn’t kill me. But Mount Vernon residents should be screaming about the inconvenience of being held up that many times a day.

And what about emergency vehicles trying to get to an emergency when every second counts? While I might not be inconvenienced by having to wait for these trains, I am very concerned about the pollution they cause.
A study by BNSF estimated that each loaded coal car loses an estimated 500 pounds of coal dust per trip.

Multiply that times 125 and you end up with 62,500 pounds of coal dust polluting nearby lands, per train.
Now multiply that times the possible 18 coal trains a day, and you find that well over 1 million pounds of dust would be expelled each day from these trains. Now think about these trains traveling through our farm lands and cities, polluting as they go.

This coal dust will contaminate the farm fields, and then will be washed into the surrounding waters, poisoning our lakes, streams and salt water estuaries. Compound that with the pollution from the diesel exhaust from these trains, and you begin to see the scope of the problem.

Granted BNSF is working to mitigate the coal dust problem by requiring shippers to take measures to reduce the dust. But many of the shippers are resisting these extra cost measures, and even the best plans do not control all the dust.

But this is not even the worst of the problem, as I see it. The whole reason for the coal terminal at Cherry Point is to send cheap coal to China, so they can burn it in their power generating stations. The CO2 pollution from these generators goes straight into the air, increasing the gasses in our atmosphere that are causing climate change.

At a time when most of the world is working on strategies to cut greenhouse gasses, it certainly seems counterproductive to be helping China become an even bigger polluter by providing them sources of cheap coal. It is argued by some that if we don’t send China our coal, they’ll just get it from somewhere else. Possibly, but as we all know money is what makes the world go around.

Our coal must be the cheapest, or they would already be getting it from somewhere else. If we simply refuse to send our cheap coal to China, finding another supplier would be more expensive. Perhaps so much more it would force China to look for alternative energy, which would be less polluting.

Coal is a 19th century power source still being used in the 21st century. You would think we could do better.

Every man, woman and child along the coal train route, from the Powder River Basin in Wyoming to the proposed Cherry Point terminal location, should say no to the Cherry Point coal terminal. There is absolutely no benefit to any of us in building this terminal, only detriments.

Paula Allison (#14471)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
Location: Olympia, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Paula Arms (#13578)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Castle Rock, WA
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington. This proposal would negatively affect my community and my health by increasing our exposure to coal dust, 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 detrimental mpacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

Paula Chu (#9913)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Comment:
My husband and I recently moved here and live in the Chuckanut neighborhood in Bellingham. Our property borders the rail lines. We are concerned about the possibility of roads in our area being cut off from access by train traffic or the worst case scenario a derailment. I agree with Marsha Riek's comment on this topic from Jan 6, 2013. Please study the impact this will have. How can it be mitigated and is the cost of not mitigating it too high in human terms? Who bears the monitary burden to construct an overpass on all these roads? Why would a community benefit from rail traffic if the burden is on us to mitigate it? Will the loss of life because help could not be reached be worth the few jobs that are promised? Please include a study of emergency access to areas cut off by the railroad.
http://www.eisgatewaypacificwa.gov/get-involved/comment/6107

Paula Chu (#9915)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Comment:
My husband and I live south of Bellingham in Whatcom County and recently moved here. We bought our property 11 1/2 yrs ago and only recently finished building our home and moved here from the east coast. Our property is located along the track. We are concerned about what the dramatic increase in coal train traffic, which was not the case when we bought our property and the associated vibrations these much heavier trains will have on soil stability. We live next to the track and we are noticing a trembling in our house when these heavy coal trains pass by. This has not occurred before with lighter rail traffic. The addition of extra engines and the weight of the coal trains combine to shake the earth. We want the EIS to study the danger to properties located along the coast. This study should determine who will be responsible for the stabilization of land adjoining the track. How will homeowners be reimbursed for damage to their homes and foundations? Many homes in the Eldridge area in Bellingham have issues already with the stability of the bluff on which they are located. How will this bluff be stabilized?

I agree with Marsha Riek's comment from Jan 6, 2013 on this topic. Reference http://www.eisgatewaypacificwa.gov/get-involved/comment/6056.

Paula Chu (#9925)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Comment:
We live south of the city of Bellingham in Whatcom County. Our property borders the railroad track on a curve. I am concerned about the level of noise that we will be subjected to with the increase in the number of trains per day, the weight of coal trains, the increase in speed, and the increase in length of these trains. All of these things greatly increase the amount of screeching of the train wheels against the outside rail. This metal on metal produces a very high pitched screeching sound. In addition we are currently subjected to extensive blowing of the train horns especially while we are trying to sleep which disturbs our quality of sleep and will be even further affected with an increase in train traffic especially the heavier coal trains. In south Florida, specifically Lantana and Hypoluxo, trains are banned from blowing their horns in the evening while people are sleeping and the residents along the tracks were not forced to pay for any track arm improvements as this was covered by other sources. The arms on the tracks are no different than what is seen here in Bellingham. The silencing of the horns at night and determination of how the cost to implement was not imposed on the residents along the tracks should be studied/evaluated. I would like to have EIS examine the screeching on curves for ALL residents along the train routes not just my neighborhood. It should be determined what decibel levels are acceptable to the health of residents in accordance with noise ordinances . People living on train track curves are subjected to a higher level of noise than other residents along the train route. Interrupted sleep accounts for many health issues and this should also be part of the EIS study. In addition, I agree with Marsha Riek's comment http://www.eisgatewaypacificwa.gov/get-involved/comment/6006.

Paula Chu (#9933)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Comment:
I recently moved to Bellingham from the east coast and agree that we need jobs in Whatcom County, but these jobs need to be sustainable/long term and I am really unsure whether the GPT program will actually provide this job security as it is being promised. I keep hearing different numbers of jobs that will be generated associated with what the GPT program will generate. Please evaluate in your assessment what the actual number of jobs that will be generated by this project and how many will actually be locally sourced and the longevity of these locally sourced jobs.

paula escher (#10472)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Comment:
Coal is not a good energy source for our planet going forward and this project will damage the quality of life in western Washington, impeding the flow of traffic, including emergency services and causing pollution. No coal please! thank you

Paula Hicks (#1408)

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

Paula Menyuk (#13780)

Date Submitted: 01/16/13
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington, the transport of strip-mined coal from Montana and Wyoming on trains throughout the Northwest and the export of coal by ship through the Salish Sea and the Pacific Ocean. The proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal would negatively affect communities in the Pacific Northwest by increasing congestion and noise with more coal train traffic, polluting the air and local waterways, harming existing businesses, delaying emergency responders, and damaging aquatic ecosystems and fishing grounds at the terminal site.

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.

Paula Nemzek (#6727)

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

Coal is dirty power. Exporting it is like exporting cigarettes --- we can make money from it, but is there a good reason to? Not really.

Saying it creates jobs just doesn't cut it, because the thinking behind that is any kind of a job is a good thing. Again, think of cigarette manufacturing as a comparison.

I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington to transport 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.

Paula O'Brien (#2527)

Date Submitted: 11/08/2012
Location: Bellingham , Wa
Comment:
Each coal train currently passing along the Bellingham waterfront includes FOUR locomotive engines spewing harmful chemicals from their diesal exhaust

Paula Plumer (#3205)

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

Paula Rontondi (#6467)

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

Paula Rotondi (#404)

Date Submitted: 09/25/12
Location: Blaine, WA
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington. The proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal would release over 3 million pounds of coal dust into the air every year from its uncovered coal stockpiles at Cherry Point. The prevailing winds at Cherry Point blow over the surrounding communities. The air and water in these communities would become contaminated and unfit for life if filled with millions of pounds of coal dust every year. This proposal would destroy my community and the ecosystem upon which it depends.
The GPT would increase coal trains from the present maximum of six per day to 24 per day - essentially one per hour. The additional 18 coal trains per day would block railroad crossings for an additional 3 hours per day. Vehicles including emergency vehicles would be blocked from moving on our local public roads because of trains carrying coal for China. Adding insult to injury, taxpayers - not the railroad- would have to pay for 95% of any improvements made to railroad crossings.
Coal trains are the heaviest, dirtiest and noisiest trains in existence. I can hear the horns and deep rumbling of the coal trains at my house which is approximately five miles from the nearest track.
These trains require four diesel engines and the diesel particulate matter from these engines is a significant source of dangerous pollution for living organisms in all communities along the train routes.
The air and water pollution from the uncovered coal stockpiles at Cherry Point would destroy the important existing businesses in commercial fishing and tourism in the area. The coal terminal would be in the middle of the Cherry Point Marine Reserve which has herring beds that salmon and orca depend upon. There would be 974 ship transits per year of Panamax and capesize ships that have the worst safety record of all commercial ships. These coal ships are single hull and carry 2 million gallons of bunker fuel for their own power; they would emit significant amounts of dangerous diesel particulate matter into an already over-stressed marine environment. The coal ships carry up to 17 million gallons of ballast water from China which may contain up to 500 different invasive species. These coal ships would damage aquatic ecosystems at the terminal site, increasing the potential for serious shipping accidents and destroying every attraction that has ever brought people and marine life to this area for thousands of years.
Coal is the absolute worst fuel on the planet. It would be burned in China but the polllution would damage the Pacific Northwest and indeed the entire world. The Gateway Pacific Terminal would exacerbate climate change. We should not destroy the future with the fuel of the past.
I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

Sincerely,

Paula Rotondi

Paula Rotondi (#3829)

Date Submitted: 11/30/12
Comment:
Dear Sir/Madam,
At 1:00 PM yesterday I arrived at the Ferndale Scoping meeting. Although I had waited in line for two hours I was not allowed to speak at the meeting. I heard that GPT paid people to arrive early, some as early as 8:30AM, to hold a place in line and get a number for people who would arrive much later to speak. If true, GPT corrupted the intent and purpose of our public meeting - the very meeting held closest to the people who would be most impacted by the GPT project. Every one of the first 63 speakers used their time to promote GPT and not a single one spoke a legitimate scoping comment. This transformed the scoping meeting into a GPT media stunt and also prevented everyone in attendance during the first two plus hours from hearing about legitimate concerns and impacts that require EIS study. I am appalled that virtually every GPT supporter with whom I spoke yesterday believes that GPT’s coal stockpiles would be “totally covered” and have “zero emissions” and said they learned this from the project applicant. If true this suggests a deliberate campaign by the applicant to misinform the public. Nearly all GPT supporters left before anyone with an actual scoping comment was allowed to speak.
The planning and organization for the Ferndale scoping meeting and the Ferndale Events Center were inadequate to accommodate both a GPT media event and the scoping meeting simultaneously. GPT’s manipulation of the Ferndale Scoping Meeting appears to me to be an abuse of the public and its agencies. GPT obstructed many individuals like me from commenting at the meeting. The four hour time period was insufficient for all who wanted to speak. Also the inadequate parking was a discouragement to some not wanting to park on the side of the road, far from the building.

I request:
1) an investigation of GPT to determine if there was abuse and possible corruption of a public meeting funded by and for taxpayers
2) another scoping meeting in Ferndale that is planned and conducted without interference of the project applicant.
Sincerely,
Paula Rotondi

Paula Rotondi (#4306)

Date Submitted: 12/05/12
Comment:
December 5, 2012
Dear Mr. Schroeder and Scoping Officials,
There now is confirmation that the project applicant's backers are paying day laborers to pose as supporters and serve as pro-coal placeholders at public scoping meetings. Please see The Pacific Northwest Inlander Tue, Dec. 04, 2012 article posted by JOE.OSULLIVAN - specifically, “Lauri Hennessey, a spokesperson for the pro-coal Alliance for Northwest Jobs and Exports, says hiring day laborers is a necessity to combat environmentalists who have been showing up early to hearings”.*
The article also quotes Ms. Hennessey as saying "Those people are definitely not testifying, they're not staying for the meeting," she added, referring to the day laborers. Contrary to Ms. Hennessey’s Spokane quote, it is my understanding that at the Ferndale scoping meeting many of the paid day laborers did attend the meeting.
GPT backers gifted speaking slots to their collaborators - some of whom are elected public officials. Rather than speak for their constituents, these elected officials received paid speaking slots from the project applicant’s backers to speak for the project applicant and concomitantly obstruct the free speech of the very citizens who would be most severely impacted by the project.
Although I was in line at 1:00 for the Ferndale scoping meeting and had spent hours preparing my two minute oral comment, I was not allowed to speak. The project applicant’s backers bought the first 63 comments at the Ferndale Scoping Meeting. The project applicant’s backers paid to obstruct citizen's free speech. The project applicant’s backers paid to prevent the public from discovering the environmental impacts of this project. There is no purpose in holding these scoping meetings when the project applicant's backers are deliberately working to prevent the public from speaking. GPT can have a media party with lots of food, paid speakers, free t-shirts, free transportation and people paid by the hour to attend the party but it is dishonest for GPT to say this is a public EIS scoping meeting.
The actions by the project applicant’s backers confirm that GPT is unworthy of public trust and community support. These actions by the project applicant’s backers undermine the credibility the EIS. I request that you investigate this matter and determine if these actions are illegal and invalidate the EIS.
Sincerely,
Paula Rotondi


*Lauri Hennessey is a spokesperson for the pro-coal Alliance for Northwest Jobs and Exports
The Alliance for Northwest Jobs and Exports is completely supported by the following companies all of which are backers of the coal terminal.

Agrium Inc.
Ambre Energy North America, Inc.
American Council of Engineering Companies of Montana
American Council of Engineering Companies of Washington
Arch Coal
Associated Industries of Spokane
Associated General Contractors of Washington
Association of Washington Business
Billings Chamber of Commerce/Convention and Visitors Bureau
BNSF Railway
Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, Washington State Legislative Board
Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters
Carpenters Industrial Council
Cloud Peak Energy
Greater Spokane Incorporated
Gunderson Marine
Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry
Idaho Chamber Alliance
International Trade Alliance
J.R. Simplot Company
JH Kelly
Lydig Construction
Montana Chamber of Commerce
Montana Coal Council
Montana Contractors´ Association
Montana Rail Link, Inc.
National Association of Manufacturers
National Mining Association
Oregon Building Trades Council
Pacific Merchant Shipping Association
Pacific Northwest International Trade Association
Peabody Energy
Pederson Brothers Incorporated
Portland Business Alliance
Portland & Western Railroad, Inc.
Portland Business Alliance
Southeastern Montana Development Corporation
SSA Marine
Tidewater
Transportation Communications Union - International Association of Machinists
Union Pacific
United Transportation Union - Montana State Legislative Board
United Transportation Union - Oregon State Legislative Board
United Transportation Union - Washington State Legislative Board
Vigor Industrial
Washington Farm Bureau
Washington Farm Labor Association
Western Business Roundtable
Western Environmental Trade Association
Wyoming Mining Association

Paula Rotondi (#5531)

Date Submitted: 12/26/12
Comment:
The February 17, 2012 fire at BP Refinery Cherry Point was a frightening demonstration of how quickly windblown toxic emissions can travel and imperil thousands of men, women, and children. In the case of the February 17, 2012 BP Refinery fire, within 15 minutes the thick black toxic smoke had covered Birch Bay and the homes of thousands of people including mine.
(Please see attached photo: BPCherryPointFire1Sandvig_2-17-12.jpg by Carol Sandvig of the BP Refinery Cherry Point Fire.)
The BP Refinery fire demonstrated how an industrial fire at Cherry Point endangers the surrounding communities and stresses public emergency services to the point that citizens and businesses are left unprotected during the time that every emergency responder in the area is consumed fighting an industrial fire. The BP fire required two fire crews from North Whatcom Fire and Rescue, the entire crew of Fire District 7, and also crews from Fire District 17 to extinguish the fire.
It was fortunate that the BP refinery fire occurred at 2:00 on a Friday afternoon when Fire Station 41 was manned. If the BP fire had occurred on a weekday before 8:00 a.m. or after 4:00p.m., or on a weekend, the closest manned station would have been station 43 which is approximately 12.5 miles away and approximately 20-35 minutes travel time (depending upon railroad crossing delays). Fortunately, there were no trains blocking the railroad crossings when emergency crews were racing to fight the BP Refinery fire.
The proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT) would impose significant, severe and compounded risks and demands upon North Whatcom Fire and Rescue services, Whatcom County Fire District NO 7 and NO 17.


GPT’s East Loop uncovered coal stockpiles (official application 4.3.1.2) would span 80 acres with coal over 60’ high in five, half-mile long rows; that’s 2 1/2 miles of uncovered coal piled higher than a six story building. GPT’s East Loop coal stockyard would have a total capacity of 2.75 million metric tons of coal. Coal stockpiles are prone to spontaneous combustion especially in hot dry weather. What would be the combustion characteristics and what toxic substances would be released by a fire in a 2.75 million metric ton coal stockpile?
To prevent spontaneous combustion and reduce windblown coal dust, GPT proposes using per year 1.9 billion gallons of PUD water sourced from the Nooksack every year with the heaviest water use during dry summer months when the Nooksack’s flow is lowest. In the event of a fire in GPT’s coal stockyard is a single water canon (GPT application 4.5.5.3) sufficient? Is a second/back-up water canon necessary? In the event of a fire at either BP Refinery or GPT, or a fire involving both BP and GPT, would there be sufficient water and water pressure to both fight the fire and at the same time continue spraying GPT’s massive coal stockpiles?

(Please see attached photo: IMG_0962b(1).jpg of the Westshore Terminal by Jerry Bierens.)

This April 12, 2012 photo shows coal dust at the Westshore Terminal at Roberts Bank, B.C. A spokesman for the Westshore Terminal attributed this April 12, 2012 coal dust release to, “an unexpected gust of wind”. The speed of that wind gust was 28m.p.h. GPT would stockpile twice as much coal as Westshore. Extrapolating from data in a study prepared for The Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment, November 2001 Douglas L. Cope and Kamal K. Bhattacharyya, A Study of Fugitive Coal Dust Emissions in Canada, “Chapter 8: Coal Terminals: Fugitive Dust Emissions and Control” - it is likely that GPT would release more than 3 million pounds of coal dust into the air each year.

What toxic and combustible substances would be created by combining BP Refinery emissions (such as “resid” the emission that caused the February 17, 2012 BP Refinery fire) with millions of pounds of coal dust emissions from GPT’s uncovered coal stockpiles? What is the increased likelihood of a fire or explosion at either GPT or BP or both resulting from locating a 2.75 million metric ton coal stockpile barely one mile from BP Refinery? What would be the consequences of a “burn-off” at BP Refinery while a wind gust was blowing a massive cloud of coal dust into the burn-off flame? Further, the EIS must study and determine the impacts of this upon preparedness and effectiveness of firefighting techniques and methodology and how exposure to these substances would impact the health and safety of emergency responders.
BP Cherry Point Refinery with its towering structures and oil tanker loading dock facilities is immediately north of the proposed GPT site. Since the beginning of its operations, BP Cherry Point Refinery has been surrounded by and benefitted from pristine air quality. That would no longer be the case with GPT’s massive uncovered coal stockpiles releasing millions of pounds of toxic, combustible coal dust into the air every year only one mile from BP Refinery structures - the very same structures involved in the February 17, 2012 BP Refinery fire. Coal dust accumulations on railroad tracks are a known to cause train derailments. Windblown accumulations of coal dust upon BP’s electrical and mechanical sensors, pressure safety valves, connectors, etc. would be more likely than not to significantly increase the risk of fires and explosions at BP Cherry Point Refinery with potentially catastrophic impacts to BP Refinery operations and the health and safety of BP’s 850 employees.
Concomitantly , fire, sparks, flames, and emissions including “resid”( the oil refining byproduct emission that caused the February 17, 2012 BP fire) originating at BP Cherry Point Refinery would be more likely than not to increase the risk of combustion at GPT’s massive, uncovered, toxic coal stockpiles.
GPT’s Project Information Document, Chapter 5, Public Services, 5.8.1.2, Fire and Emergency Medical Services, states: “Terminal security staff would include employees fully trained in specific emergency procedures. These emergency personnel would be trained as first responders for fire and other emergency response scenarios, including medical emergencies. Gateway Pacific Terminal is located within Fire District No. 7, based in the city of Ferndale. Five of the district’s stations could respond to calls from the Terminal. These stations are located near the following intersections:
• Brown and Kickerville Roads;
• Grandview and Koene Roads;
• Northwest and Smith Roads;
• Grandview and Enterprise Roads; and
• Washington Avenue and 3rd Street in Ferndale.
Fire District No. 7 has approximately 20 full-time career responders and 40 volunteer firefighters. The first two stations that would respond to calls to the Terminal would be volunteer stations, with the next two staffed stations.”
The Whatcom County Fire District Seven website (http://www.wcfd7.org/) describes the aforementioned stations as follows:
• Brown and Kickerville (4047 Brown Rd.) Station 42 “Westside”- Unmanned, Volunteer response;
• Grandview and Koene (5491 Grandview) Station 44 “Birch Bay Station”- Unmanned, Volunteer response;
• Northwest and Smith (5368 Northwest Dr., Bellingham) Station 43 “North Bellingham Station”- Manned, 24/7;
• Grandview and Enterprise (1886 Grandview Road) Station 45 “Northeast Side” – Unmanned, Volunteer response;
• Washington Avenue and 3rd Street in Ferndale, Station 41 “Downtown”- Manned Monday thru Friday, 8am-4pm.

Whatcom County Fire District Seven, Station 43 “North Bellingham Station,” the only Manned (24/7) station, is located approx. 11.2 miles or 20-35 minutes travel time (depending upon rail crossing delays) from the proposed GPT. Station 43 is separated from the proposed GPT site by a railroad crossing and by the City of Ferndale. Eighteen additional coal trains per day heading to and from GPT at Cherry Point would significantly increase the probability of crucial delays at railroad crossings and cause traffic snarls that would add catastrophic minutes to emergency response time from the one fully manned fire station listed in the GPT information document. Stated differently, GPT’s increased rail traffic demands would block railroad crossings an additional 2 to 3 hours per day, cause vehicular traffic delays and would significantly and adversely increase emergency response times not only for citizens of Ferndale and western Whatcom County, but also for existing Cherry Point industries, and indeed for GPT itself.
GPT’s Project Information Document, Chapter 5, Public Services, 5.8.3, Proposed Design Features Intended to Reduce Impacts, states: “… tax revenue … would go to the state and local jurisdictions and could be used to offset increases in demand for fire and emergency services. However, a lag time between when the tax revenues could be directed to the services and when the services would be needed is anticipated. Fire District No. 7 anticipates there would be an 18- to 24-month delay due to funding cycles before fire services would be expanded (Hoffman 2011)”.
To summarize, the GPT Project Information Document identifies five fire stations for emergency response. The first two stations to respond offer only unmanned, volunteer response. The next two are Station 41, manned only M-F (8-4) and Station 43, located more than eleven miles away and separated from GPT both by the City of Ferndale and one rail crossing (with an additional 18 coal trains per day). And worse, the document admits an anticipated 18-24 month lag-time between when expanded emergency services would be needed and when services could be expanded (by the public) to meet those needs. Is GPT’s Project Information Document, Chapter 5, a description of the applicant’s plan for emergency fire and medical services or is it, more accurately, the applicant’s prescription for disaster?
I ask that the following be included and studied within the scope of the EIS:
1. Determine impacts of the GPT on fire and emergency service response times for Whatcom County and particularly for the Cherry Point, Ferndale, and Birch Bay areas.
2. Determine the combustion characteristics of and toxic substances created by a fire in GPT’s open-air 2.75 million metric ton coal stockpile. Determine what specialized equipment, firefighting methodology, and staffing requirements would be necessary for Whatcom County to be fully prepared to rapidly and completely extinguish a fire in GPT’s coal stockyard and assess the impact to Whatcom County to acquire and maintain this level of preparedness. Determine if, in a 2.75 million ton coal stockpile, there are circumstances under which it would be impossible to rapidly and completely extinguish a fire resulting in an uncontrollable fire.
3. Determine the likelihood of spontaneous combustion of GPT’s coal stockpiles for the entire range of weather conditions that could occur at Cherry Point with particular attention to dry summer periods with temperatures in excess of 80 degrees for extended periods. Climate change projections must be factored in for the entire projected operational “life” of GPT. Determine and quantify water demands by all other PUD water users for each of these conditions and assess the adequacy of the PUD water supply and water delivery system. For each weather condition determine the quantity of water, the specific water delivery systems including water pressure , the number of fire and emergency personnel and the response time required to rapidly and completely extinguish a fire in GPT’s coal stockyard and study the impact upon Whatcom County resources to acquire and maintain this level of readiness .
4. Determine the impact of toxic substances released by an uncontrolled(resulting from inadequate fire and emergency services) or uncontrollable coal stockpile fire on air, land and water quality and on all natural resources specifically in the surrounding communities, Whatcom County, Washington State, the Pacific Northwest, the Pacific Ocean, and North America.
5. Determine the impacts of an uncontrolled (resulting from inadequate fire and emergency services) or uncontrollable coal stockpile fire on the businesses and industries (including fishing, agriculture, and tourism) in the surrounding communities, and on the economy of Whatcom County, Washington State and the Pacific Northwest.
6. Determine impacts of an uncontrolled (resulting from inadequate fire and emergency services) or uncontrollable coal stockpile fire on the health, safety and welfare of all residents, emergency response personnel, employees and customers at all businesses and industries in Whatcom County, Washington State, and the Pacific Northwest.
7. Determine impacts of an uncontrolled (resulting from inadequate fire and emergency medical services) or uncontrollable coal stockpile fire to the safety of operations at BP Cherry Point Refinery, to the health and safety of BP Refinery’s 850 employees, and to BP Refinery’s contribution to the economy of Whatcom County, Washington State, the Pacific Northwest and North America.
8. The EIS must determine the toxic substances, combustible substances and the combustion characteristics that could be created by combining GPT’s coal dust emissions with BP Refinery emissions and assess how these would impact the likelihood that a fire originating at either GPT or at BP Refinery would then also cause a fire at the other facility.
9. The EIS must study how substances formed from combining GPT’s coal dust emissions with BP Refinery’s emissions would impact the preparedness and adequacy of firefighting techniques and methodology and how exposure to these substances would impact the health and safety of emergency responders.
10. The EIS must study the impacts of a combined fire at GPT and BP Refinery with its resultant compounded toxicity and hazards upon Whatcom County resources obligated to acquire and maintain sufficient preparedness for rapidly and completely extinguishing a fire at both facilities at the same time.
11. The EIS must study the impact of an uncontrolled or uncontrollable coal stockpile fire at GPT upon the availability of emergency medical services to residents, tourists, business people and customers in Birch Bay and other communities surrounding GPT who could quickly suffer serious/life threatening health problems from exposure to windblown smoke and toxins from GPT while all emergency personnel and resources are engaged fighting the fire at the coal stockyard.
12. The EIS must study the impact of a combined fire at GPT and BP Refinery with its resultant compounded toxicity and hazards upon the people, natural resources, and economy of Whatcom County, Washington State, the Pacific Northwest, and North America.

Paula Rotondi
Birch Bay
Attached Image:

Paula Rotondi (#6040)

Date Submitted: 01/05/2013
Location: Birch Bay, WA
Comment:
My name is Paula Rotondi and I am one of the several thousand people who live within five miles of the proposed GPT. Each day my neighborhood walk takes me under tall trees, along wetlands and beaches, atop a bluff and through scenery filled with multitudes of wildlife and beautiful views of Birch Bay, Mt. Baker, the San Juan Islands and the Salish Sea. Like thousands of other people, I am concerned about the reasonably foreseeable, significant and severely adverse impacts of fugitive coal dust upon these beautiful, valuable, natural treasures. I request that the EIS study of all 17 concerns including the aesthetic concerns that I mention in this comment.

1. Please study the impacts to wetlands, and to all vegetation/plant life including that in forests, wooded areas, riparian areas, shrub areas, buffers, and snags on the project site from coal dust escaping from open-air/uncovered coal stockpiles at Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT) operating at full capacity. The EIS must determine if the long term, adverse impacts of accumulating coal dust upon wetlands and vegetation/plant life prevents the preservation, retention, establishment or survival of any/all wetlands and existing vegetation/plant life in any/all areas on the site. The onsite vegetation/plant life would bear the full, frontal impact of the coal dust especially the larger and heavier coal dust particles. Coal dust accumulation and toxicity on needles and leaves would prevent photosynthesis. The EIS study must identify and designate any/all significant and severe adverse impacts of the open-air/uncovered coal stockpiles upon wetlands and vegetation/plant life that are inconsistent with Whatcom County Countywide Planning Policy I.8 that states, “Economic development should be encouraged that: a) does not adversely impact the environment”.
2. Please study the impacts to wetlands, and to all vegetation/plant life including that in forests, wooded areas, riparian areas, shrub areas, buffers, snags, pastureland, recreational areas, agricultural areas and residential areas within five miles of the site from coal dust escaping from open-air/uncovered coal stockpiles at GPT operating at full capacity. The EIS must determine if the severe and significant adverse impacts of accumulating toxic coal dust upon wetlands and upon vegetarian/plant life prevents the preservation, retention, establishment, or survival of any/all wetlands and vegetarian/plant life in any/all areas within five miles of the project site.
3. Please study impacts to wetlands and all vegetation/plant life from the accumulation of coal dust causing increased risk of fire or spontaneous combustion especially during dry hot summer months.
4. Please study adverse impacts to wetlands and all vegetation/plant life due to contamination from any/all pollutants generated by any/all component of this project at full operational capacity for the project site and for all areas within five miles of the project site.
It is reasonably foreseeable that that the operation of this project would produce enormous quantities of toxic, fugitive coal dust that would significantly, seriously and adversely affect thousands of people and all vegetation/plant life within miles of the project site. According to Pacific International Terminal’s Project Information Document section 4.3.1.2, the East Loop coal stockyard would be a single, large, unpaved, 80 acre, open-air stockyard with a total capacity of 2.75 million metric tons of coal. The East Loop stockyard would have five coal stockpiles. The five coal stockpiles would be approximately 2,500 feet long and up to about 62 feet high. The five coal stockpiles would be managed with 110 feet high rail-mounted stackers/reclaimers.

[Please see attached photo]

This April 12, 2012 photo shows a 28 M.P.H. gust of wind blowing coal dust from open-air/uncovered coal stockpiles at the Westshore Terminal at Roberts Bank, B.C. According to a 2001 study of coal dust emissions in Canada (Douglas L. Cope and Kamal K. Bhattacharyya, A Study of Fugitive Coal Dust Emissions in Canada, “Chapter 8: Coal Terminals: Fugitive Dust Emissions and Control,” prepared for The Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment, November 2001.), the Westshore Terminal emits 1.5 million pounds of coal dust into the air each year. At full capacity, the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT) at Cherry Point would stockpile twice as much coal and use the same dust control techniques as the Westshore Terminal. Extrapolating from the Westshore data in this Canadian study, it is likely that more than 3 million pounds of coal dust would escape from GPT’s open-air/uncovered coal stockyard. The coal dust contamination would spread as far as wind blows and water flows could carry it.
5. The EIS must study adverse impacts to any/all wetlands, riparian areas and vegetation/plant life from coal dust emissions for all weather/meteorological conditions that could occur at the project site. The EIS must study coal dust impacts of the GPT operating at full capacity to determine if any wetlands and vegetation/plant life can survive and if so for how long on this project site or within five miles of this project site.

The project site has been identified as containing significant, important, and unique combinations of wetlands, riparian areas and vegetative areas. According to Pacific International Terminal’s Project Information documents, Variance Application PL-83-010A and Whatcom County Permit Submittal - Attachment A, the site includes streams, wetlands/seasonally wet/soggy areas, steep slopes greater than 35%, 831.20 acres of forested areas, riparian areas, brush /scrub, pasture/lawn, wildlife features. Generally the oldest and largest trees on the project site are found near riparian corridors. Most of the forested areas have a dense understory of shrubs. According to Major Project Permit Application PL4-83-004B March 2011 on Page 2, “The project area contains approximately 544 acres of variously classified wetlands, drained via two first-order streams, four roadside ditches classified as streams, and other small, unnamed agricultural ditches.”Riparian vegetation is important for providing habitat for fish, birds, and amphibians. Along Stream 1, especially in the reaches south of Lonseth Road (Reaches 1 and 2), riparian vegetation provides a variety of habitat functions, such as shade, bank stability, sediment/nutrient filtering, and organic nutrient input. The riparian vegetation in the marine environment along the steep bluff at this project site is of increased importance due to its location as habitat for birds foraging in the nearshore.

Whatcom County Code requirement 20.80.340 states, “Existing Vegetation. (1) Applicants shall be encouraged to retain existing vegetation as appropriate. (2) Existing vegetation may be used to meet all or part of the landscaping requirements of this chapter.” According to Pacific International Terminal’s Project Information document, “Approximately 73% of the existing vegetation will be maintained”.
6. The EIS must determine if impacts of accumulating coal dust upon vegetation/plant life makes it impossible to maintain 73% of the existing vegetation as the applicant claims. The EIS must determine if any vegetation/plant life can survive on this project site and, if so, what plants and for how long? The EIS must determine if the severe, significant and adverse impacts of accumulating coal dust upon vegetation/plant life prevent this project from meeting any/all parts of Whatcom County code landscaping requirements.
7. The EIS must determine the impacts to the project site’s significant wetlands and riparian areas from accumulating fugitive coal dust. The wetlands are critical habitats and sources of biodiversity. The project applicant is presently in violation of the Clean Water Act by engaging in July of 2011 in illegal clearing of federally protected wetlands on this site. Under law, this should result in a minimum of a 6 year development moratorium. The legitimacy of the present permit application is in doubt. The EIS must determine impacts of this applicant’s known illegal destruction of wetlands and violations of the Clean Water Act to the current trustworthiness and credibility of the applicant’s present statements regarding wetlands and preservation of existing vegetation.

Buffering Plantings. Whatcom County Code 20.80.345 states, “Buffers are required when the proposed use is in a commercial or industrial zone, is directly adjacent to, and shares a common boundary with property in a rural or residential zone. They are normally 25 feet wide unless otherwise approved by the administrator upon receipt of a detailed planting plan prepared by a landscape architect or qualified landscape designer. Buffering plantings are intended to provide an all-season visual screen between commercial or industrial uses on one side, and rural or residential uses on the other side…. Plant materials that have minimal irrigation needs, and are native or have a demonstrated suitability for Whatcom County are required. Twenty-five-foot planted buffers shall, at a minimum, consist of two offset rows of predominantly coniferous trees at an average spacing of 15 feet triangulated on center or an equivalent effect. Some deciduous trees shall be included and shrubs may be interspersed to provide interlocking root structures. The applicant states that, “Buffer requirements will be met through the preservation of existing vegetation along zone boundaries.”

8. The EIS must determine if the severe and significant adverse impacts of the reasonably foreseeable coal dust accumulations upon vegetation/plant life prevents the preservation and retention of any/all existing vegetation in the twenty-five-foot buffers. The EIS must determine if the severe, significant and adverse impacts of coal dust make it impossible for this project site to have vegetation/plant life that provides the required “all-season visual screen” and, as also required, be “native or have a demonstrated suitability for Whatcom County”. The EIS must determine if it is impossible for this project to meet Whatcom County code 20.80.345 requirements.

Whatcom County Codes 20.68.550 and 20.68.551 concerning Buffer Areas state, “The industrial user shall establish a buffer for building sites adjoining the boundary of the Heavy Impact Industrial District (HII), which shall be located adjacent to the district boundary. The purpose of the buffer is to optimize the visual appearance of the site by obscuring industrial activity from view by passing motorists, to contribute to on-site and off-site impact abatement, and to move towards attaining compatibility with surrounding nonindustrial land uses and character”. The project applicant states, “Additionally, all existing vegetation is proposed to be retained other than that necessary to construct the proposed rail line.”
9. The EIS must determine if the severe, significant and adverse impacts of accumulating coal dust upon vegetation/plant life prevents the preservation and retention of any/all existing vegetation/plant life in any/all areas including buffer areas on the site and thus prevents the project from meeting Whatcom County Codes 20.68.550 and 20.68.551.

Whatcom County Code 20.68.552 states, “If natural sight-obscuring and dense vegetation exists, the minimum setback(s) shall be 250 feet, as measured from the district boundary; provided, that a minimum width of 50 feet of natural vegetation is retained. The remainder of the setback(s) may be used for security roads, parking, or open space. The applicant states that, “Natural sight-obscuring and dense vegetation exists along the eastern property boundary, which is not proposed to be removed (other than that necessary to construct the proposed rail line).”
10. The EIS must determine if the severe and significant adverse impacts of coal dust accumulations resulting from the operation of this project upon vegetation/plant life prevent the preservation and retention of any/all existing vegetation in any/all areas on the site especially including the minimum setback(s) areas and thus prevents this project from meeting Whatcom County code 20.68.552.
The scale and nature of this project make it unrequitedly inconsistent with Whatcom County values, standards, ordinances and codes. The project applicant acknowledges that the scale, scope and nature of the proposed project are completely inconsistent with critical features of this site including its wetlands, streams, riparian areas and bluffs. The applicant also acknowledges that this site has a special combination of critical areas that not found on any other property in the area (Variance Application Page 8 PL4-83-010A May 2011). The applicant states the critical areas of the site make it impossible for the East Loop coal terminal to meet Whatcom County Code 20.80.210. The applicant states in Variance Application PL4-83-010A May 2011, “The primary circumstances that make it difficult or impossible to meet the required setbacks are the critical areas on the site, most importantly, the wetlands, Stream 1, and the coastal bluffs.”
11. The EIS must study whether the significant, severe, adverse impacts of the toxic nature and massive scale of the East Loop coal terminal are inherently and incontrovertibly, inappropriate and inconsistent with the special combination of critical wetlands, bluffs, and riparian areas at this site and therefore do not meet Whatcom County Countywide Planning Policy I.8 that states, “Economic development should be encouraged that: a) does not adversely impact the environment”.

Aesthetics - Aesthetics - Aesthetics -
I am greatly concerned about the severe and significant adverse impacts to the aesthetics of the project area and all areas for miles in every direction from the indisputable ugliness of fugitive coal dust from the open-air/uncovered coal stockpiles. Contrary to the applicant’s statement in Pacific International Terminal’s Project Information Document section 5.11.2 that, “No residential users have views of the project area” it is reasonably foreseeable that the coal dust clouds inevitably arising from the open-air/uncovered stockpiles would make this project area more frighteningly visible than it has ever been to the several thousand residents who live within five miles of it. The 2010 census data shows more than 8000 people live in the Birch Bay area. The ugly 62 feet high coal stockpiles are taller than most of the trees in the area and the frightening ugly coal dust clouds would rise far above the tree line into the sky. Since this vegetation/plant life would play a solitary role in screening and obscuring GPT’s brutal ugliness, the EIS must study the significant severe adverse impacts of accumulating coal dust in killing the only life forms that are sufficiently tall and thick to even partially shield GPT’s brutal ugliness. Over time as the accumulating adverse impacts of coal dust kills the trees and plants in this landscape, all residents and visitors would be increasing exposed to the ugliness of GPT's operations and the ugly spread of its coal dust.

12. The EIS must study the impacts to people living, growing-up, and growing old in a community where the residents cannot escape seeing ugly, toxic coal dust in the air, in the water, all over their property and throughout their neighborhoods. The EIS must study impacts to tourists and businesses that serve them from seeing ugly, toxic coal dust in the air, in the water, on beaches, in yards, in gardens, and in recreational areas.
13. The EIS must study aesthetic impacts of fugitive coal dust upon any/all scenic marine and terrestrial views throughout the San Juan Islands, Lummi, Birch Bay, Whatcom County, Washington State and the Pacific Northwest.
14. The EIS must study the cumulative impacts of fugitive coal dust to the vegetation/plant life that initially and partially screens some ugly features of this project and that at night shields some of the light and glare produced by the 24 hour operation of the terminal.
15. The EIS must study impacts of fugitive coal dust upon how residents view the aesthetics, desirability and value of their homes, neighborhoods and communities.
16. The EIS must study impacts of the ugliness of coal dust to Whatcom County’s outlook for the future and particularly to the outlook of children growing up in a community impacted by coal dust and coal deposits.
17. The EIS must study how the aesthetic values of marine and terrestrial scenery throughout the San Juan Islands, Lummi, Birch Bay, the Salish Sea, and the Cherry Point and Point Whitehorn areas would be decreased due to the trestle and wharf structure and Panamax and Capesize coal ships dominating views in the area.
Attached Image:

Paula Rotondi (#6357)

Date Submitted: 01/08/2013
Location: Birch Bay, WA
Comment:
My name is Paula Rotondi and I live in Birch Bay.
I request that the scope of the EIS include the significant and severely adverse impacts to public welfare and property improvements in the vicinity that would result from locating GPT’s East Loop open-air coal stockyard and its material handling equipment near the property boundaries. The East Loop coal stockyard and material handling equipment are incompatible with the size and location of this site and threaten reasonably foreseeable, significant and severely adverse impacts to public welfare and property improvements in the vicinity. Specifically, I request that the EIS scope include impacts of locating GPT’s open-air coal stockyard within 1000 yards of an area on BP Cherry Point Refinery property which has 47 large petroleum storage tanks and therein presents a reasonably foreseeable endangerment of the public’s welfare and of BP’s property improvements.
It is reasonably foreseeable that GPT’s open-air coal stockpiles could significantly, severely and adversely impact public welfare and nearby property improvements. Coal stockpiles are prone to spontaneous combustion. GPT’s open-air coal stockyard would span 80 acres with the coal stored in five, half mile long rows with each row 62 feet high. GPT’s coal stockyard would contain 2.75 million metric tons of uncovered coal. The risk of fire in GPT’s coal stockpiles would increase especially during hot dry summer months with temperatures likely to increase in future years due to climate change. Even light winds from the S-SSE would blow GPT’s emissions including its millions of pounds of coal dust and any embers potentially arising from stockpile combustion directly over BP’s large storage tanks and other refinery structures. Conversely, any fire/explosion at the BP Refinery and any routine BP operations including “burn-off” events would increase the likelihood of combustion/fire of GPT’s coal dust emissions and in the open-air coal stockpiles. EIS must study impacts of fire/explosion at one facility - either BP or GPT - causing a fire/explosion at the other facility. The public’s welfare and the welfare of all emergency responders would be significantly, severely and adversely impacted by a fire fueled by GPT’s 2.75 million metric tons of coal and/or BP’s 47 large tanks of petroleum.
The idiosyncratic dimensions, configuration and location of the East Loop’s open-air coal stockyard and materials handling equipment do not meet Whatcom County Code 20.80.210 (Minimum setbacks). According to the May 2011 Variance Application PL4-83-010A Page 8, “…facilities for unloading bulk commodities from unit trains up to 8,500 feet long. Sufficient length of appropriately graded track to accommodate unit train staging and unloading consumes a significant portion of the project area and limits the alternative configurations for material handling conveyors. Because of these constraints, certain of the transfer points from one conveyor to another must be located near the property boundaries. The engineering requirements to operate the transfer points require structures of a certain height. Where the transfer points must be located adjacent to property boundaries because of site configuration constraints, they exceed the allowable building setbacks dictated by their height”.
It is a self-imposed hardship that the applicant chose to propose a project whose fundamental design features and core commodity depend upon the peculiarities of a 2.75 million metric ton open-air coal stockyard which is inherently incompatible with the size and location of the site. The applicant’s variance request is based solely upon the applicant’s financial considerations in basing 88% of its operations and business model upon an open-air stockyard handling 48 million metric tons of coal per year.
Mitigation: The East Loop Stockyard and all project features designed to enable operations of the East Loop coal stockyard should be withdrawn/stricken/completely and permanently eliminated from the project.

Paula Rotondi (#6651)

Date Submitted: 01/08/13
Comment:
Please include the attached document containing a scoping comment and mitigation measure as part of the EIS scoping for the Gateway Pacific Terminal.
Attached Files:

Paula Rotondi (#6907)

Date Submitted: 01/11/2013
Location: Birch Bay, WA
Comment:
My name is Paula Rotondi and I live in Birch Bay. I am concerned that pollution at the Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT) including coal dust and diesel exhaust emissions will significantly and severely degrade fresh water and saltwater quality causing serious harm to all terrestrial and marine life including the many thousands of people who live, work, and vacation within five miles of the project site .
• Specifically I request that the EIS include the reasonably foreseeable and significantly and severely adverse impacts of the GPT upon water quality as mentioned below.
It is reasonably foreseeable that the operation of the GPT would produce millions of pounds of toxic, coal dust emissions, diesel exhaust emissions and other pollutants that would contaminate groundwater, surface streams, creeks, wetlands, lakes, natural drainage systems, private residential drinking water wells, backshore coastal lagoons, the Birch Bay watershed, Birch Bay, sloughs, the Gateway Pacific Terminal watershed, waters of the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve, the Strait of Georgia and the Salish Sea.
According to Pacific International Terminal’s Project Information Document section 4.3.1.2, the East Loop coal stockyard would be a single, large, unpaved, 80 acre, open-air stockyard with a total capacity of 2.75 million metric tons of coal. The East Loop stockyard would have five coal stockpiles. The five coal stockpiles would be approximately 2,500 feet long and up to about 62 feet high.
It is reasonably foreseeable that GPT’s open-air coal stockpiles would emit significant, serious and adverse quantities of coal dust. A comprehensive 2001 study (reference source at comment conclusion) of coal dust emissions in Canada found that the Westshore coal terminal at Roberts Bank, B.C. emits roughly 1.5 million pounds of coal dust per year. At full capacity, the proposed GPT at Cherry Point would stockpile twice as much coal in its open-air coal stockyard as the Westshore Terminal and GPT would use the same dust control techniques at its open-air coal stockyard as the Westshore Terminal. Extrapolating from the Westshore data in this 2001 Canadian study, it is likely that more than 3 million pounds of coal dust would escape per year from GPT’s open-air coal stockyard.
• The EIS must determine and quantify the amount of coal dust emitted per year from GPT’s open-air coal stockpiles.
It is reasonably foreseeable that the arriving, idling and departing of 18 coal trains each with four diesel engines per day, and the arriving, departing and idling of three diesel powered Panamax/Capsize bulk coal cargo ships per day, each and every day of the year would result in significant and severely adverse quantities of diesel exhaust emissions. According to Pacific International Terminal’s Project Information Document section 4.5.1 GPT would operate “24 hours a day, 365 days a year”.
• The EIS must determine and quantify the amount of diesel exhaust emissions that would be emitted annually at the project site by the 26,280 train diesel engines (18 trains x 4 diesel engines x 365 days) and by the diesel engines of 974 transits of bulk cargo ships (Panamax or Capesize) arriving, departing and idling at GPT.
• The EIS must determine a projection for the emission patterns of GPT’s coal dust and diesel exhaust emissions based upon an analysis of wind and precipitation conditions at Cherry Point including wind direction, average wind velocity, peak wind gusts, amount of precipitation, type of precipitation, and rate of precipitation, on a day by day and month by month basis founded upon long term historical records.
• The EIS must include a comprehensive listing of the components of all sedimentary substances and of coal dust and diesel emissions and identify the substances and pollutants that are toxic to people, vegetation and wildlife and inconsistent with the stated intent and purpose of the Clean Water Act, National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act, Marine Mammals Protection Act, Magnuson-Stevenson Act, Aquatic Lease Agreement, Forest Practices Application, Coastal Zone Management Act, NPDES General Industrial Stormwater permit requirements, and the Shoreline Substantial Development permit requirements .
• The EIS must document the long term, accumulative quantities, substances and distribution of all emissions, pollutants and sediments resulting from the operation of GPT at full capacity and its impacts to water quality in groundwater, surface streams, creeks, wetlands, lakes, natural drainage systems, private residential drinking water wells, backshore coastal lagoons, sloughs, the Birch Bay watershed, Birch Bay, the Gateway Pacific Terminal watershed, waters of the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve, the Strait of Georgia, and the Salish Sea.
Whatcom County\MPP\GPT Preliminary Stormwater Proposal Form 20110608.docx states, “Development impacts to wetlands, streams, and drainages would be expected to result in water quality deterioration if development was poorly controlled within the watershed.” However, the project applicant does not provide any documentation indicating that its own Stormwater Management Systems would be effective and fully capable of adequately controlling, collecting and treating run-off from the stockyards, commodity storage areas, roadways, parking and vehicle maintenance, and loading and unloading areas especially during periods of sudden, prolonged, and severe precipitation.
• The EIS must assess and report on the adequacy and ability of GPT’s Stormwater Management Systems to collect and treat run-off especially during sudden, peak, prolonged and/or extreme precipitation events which are likely to become more frequent and more severe with climate change.
• The EIS must include impacts of GPT’s ineffectively or poorly controlled drainages and deficiencies of GPT’s Stormwater Management Systems upon water quality deterioration in groundwater, surface streams, creeks, wetlands, lakes, natural drainage systems, private residential drinking water wells, backshore coastal lagoons, the Birch Bay watershed, Birch Bay, sloughs, the Gateway Pacific Terminal watershed, waters of the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve, the Strait of Georgia and the Salish Sea.
GPT’s Stormwater Management Systems - as described in Section 4.3.6 – substantiates that this project would be patently and utterly incapable of adequately protecting local and downstream water quality. According to Pacific International Terminal’s Project Information documents Section 4.3.6 Stormwater Management Systems, the only run-off that would be collected and treated by GPT’s stormwater management systems would be “run-off from any area within the stockyards, commodity storage areas, roadways, parking and vehicle maintenance, and loading and unloading areas”.
Further and alarmingly, Pacific International Terminal’s Project Information documents Section 4.3.6 Stormwater Management Systems states, “Stormwater from undeveloped portions of the Terminal property, or from areas within the development footprint that do not have the potential for becoming contaminated with pollutants, would be directed to natural and restored drainages and streams.” It is unreasonable, disingenuous and ludicrous for the project applicant to indicate that at full operational capacity there would be any area anywhere on the Terminal property that would not be significantly, severely and adversely impacted and contaminated by pollutants from GPT operations. This is additional substantiation from the applicant that GPT development and Stormwater management Systems as described in Section 4.3.6 would be “poorly controlled” and can be expected to result in water quality deterioration.
The project applicant is presently in violation of the Clean Water Act by engaging in July of 2011 in illegal clearing of federally protected wetlands on this site. Under law, this should result in a minimum of a 6 year development moratorium. The legitimacy of the present permit application is in doubt.
• The EIS must determine impacts of this applicant’s known illegal destruction of wetlands and violations of the Clean Water Act to the current trustworthiness and credibility of the applicant’s present statements regarding wetlands and in particular to the applicant’s assertion that there would be,“areas within the development footprint that do not have the potential for becoming contaminated with pollutants”.
• I request that the EIS include the reasonably foreseeable, severe and significant impact to all undeveloped portions of the Terminal property from being contaminated with pollutants from coal dust and diesel exhaust emissions from GPT operations at full capacity.
• I request that the EIS include the reasonably foreseeable, severe and significant impacts of pollutants from coal dust and diesel exhaust emissions from GPT operations at full capacity upon all water within five miles of the Terminal and also upon groundwater, surface streams, creeks, wetlands, lakes, natural drainage systems, private residential drinking water wells, backshore coastal lagoons, the Birch Bay watershed, Birch Bay, Rogers Slough, the Gateway Pacific Terminal watershed, waters of the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve, the Strait of Georgia and the Salish Sea.
• The EIS study must identify and designate any/all significant and severe adverse impacts of the open-air coal stockpiles and diesel exhaust emissions upon water quality that are inconsistent with Whatcom County Countywide Planning Policy I.8 that states, “Economic development should be encouraged that: a) does not adversely impact the environment”.
Thank-you in advance for including these concerns in the EIS.

Douglas L. Cope and Kamal K. Bhattacharyya, A Study of Fugitive Coal Dust Emissions in Canada, “Chapter 8: Coal Terminals: Fugitive Dust Emissions and Control,” prepared for The Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment, November 2001.

Paula Rotondi (#7259)

Date Submitted: 01/14/2013
Location: Birch Bay, WA
Comment:
After considering coastal areas in the Northeast, Southeast, and California, I chose to retire in Whatcom County because of the area’s overall quality of life, natural beauty, and outdoor recreational opportunities. I first learned about Bellingham and Whatcom County through reading articles in four different national publications (AARP, Coastal Living, Outdoors, and Walker) listing Whatcom County/Bellingham as “one of the top ten best places in America” for ‘Retirement’, ‘Walking’ and ‘Paddling’”. I would never, ever have considered moving to a community with ‘North America’s Biggest Coal Shipping Terminal’.
I am deeply concerned about the reasonably foreseeable, significant, and severely adverse impacts of Gateway Pacific Terminal’s wind-blown coal dust and diesel exhaust emissions upon all outdoor activities and private and public recreational sites in the areas surrounding Cherry Point.
Many thousands of people have their primary/permanent residence in this area and thousands more have a “second” home here. Every year many thousands of tourists vacation in this area. People (and their money) come to this part of Whatcom County because of the bounty of varied and beautiful outdoor recreational areas and activities. The closest recreational areas to Cherry Point include hiking trails, beaches, Birch Bay, Birch Bay State Park, Point Whitehorn Marine Reserve, Lake Terrell Wildlife Area, and Tenant Lake. Birch Bay Village has 3 beachfront recreational areas, two recreational areas adjoining the marina, one recreational area alongside Rogers Slough, and one recreational area at Kwan Lake. In the areas surrounding the project site, outdoor recreational activities include walking, hiking, golfing, biking, swimming, boating, paddling, bird watching, wildlife watching, beachcombing, clamming, crabbing, salmon fishing, and of course, gardening, relaxing, enjoying the beautiful scenery, and for many thousands of children - simply playing.
It is reasonably foreseeable that all outdoor activities and public and private yards, gardens, patios, decks, recreational areas, parks, beaches, bays, lakes and parks would be significantly, severely and adversely impacted by coal dust and diesel exhaust emissions from Gateway Pacific Terminal operations. At full operational capacity GPT would emit millions of pounds of coal dust and diesel exhaust emissions every year and the wind and water would carry GPT’s toxic emissions for miles in every direction. 205 Whatcom County doctors, including my doctors, say there is no safe level of exposure to the toxins in coal dust and diesel exhaust emissions. All people, plants and animals would be significantly, severely and adversely harmed with each and every exposure to GPT’s air and water borne toxins.
According to Pacific International Terminal’s Project Information Document section 4.3.1.2, the East Loop coal stockyard would be a single, large, unpaved, 80 acre, open-air stockyard with a total capacity of 2.75 million metric tons of coal. The East Loop stockyard would have five coal stockpiles. The five coal stockpiles would be approximately 2,500 feet long and up to about 62 feet high.
[Please see the attached photo]
This April 12, 2012 photo shows a 28 M.P.H. gust of wind blowing coal dust from open-air coal stockpiles at the Westshore Terminal at Roberts Bank, B.C. According to a 2001 study of coal dust emissions in Canada (Douglas L. Cope and Kamal K. Bhattacharyya, A Study of Fugitive Coal Dust Emissions in Canada, “Chapter 8: Coal Terminals: Fugitive Dust Emissions and Control,” prepared for The Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment, November 2001.), the Westshore Terminal emits 1.5 million pounds of coal dust into the air each year. At full capacity, the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT) at Cherry Point would stockpile twice as much coal and use the same dust control techniques as the Westshore Terminal. Extrapolating from the Westshore data in this Canadian study, it is more likely than not that more than 3 million pounds of coal dust would escape from GPT’s open-air coal stockyard. During ship loading, additional significant and severely adverse amounts of coal would be deposited directly into the waters of the Cherry Point Aquatic Marine Reserve.
• The EIS must determine and quantify the amount of coal dust that would be emitted per year from GPT’s open-air coal stockpiles. The EIS should not merely “model” to estimate the quantity of coal dust emissions but measure what is actually happening now at existing coal terminals such as Westshore.
It is reasonably foreseeable that the arriving, idling and departing of 18 coal trains each with four diesel engines per day, and the arriving, idling and departing of three diesel powered Panamax/Capsize bulk coal cargo ships per day, each and every day of the year would result in significant and severely adverse quantities of diesel exhaust emissions. According to Pacific International Terminal’s Project Information Document section 4.5.1 GPT would operate “24 hours a day, 365 days a year”.
• The EIS must determine and quantify the diesel exhaust emissions that would be emitted annually at the project site by the 26,280 train diesel engines (18 trains x 4 diesel engines x 365 days) and by the diesel engines of 974 transits of bulk cargo ships (Panamax or Capesize) arriving, departing and idling at GPT.
• The EIS must determine the distribution patterns of GPT’s coal dust and diesel exhaust emissions based upon an analysis of wind and precipitation conditions at Cherry Point including wind direction, average wind velocity, peak wind gusts, amount of precipitation, type of precipitation, and rate of precipitation, on a day by day and month by month basis founded upon long term historical records. The EIS must determine the tidal, water current and water flow effects on distribution patterns of GPT’s coal dust, diesel emissions, and pollutants that settle or are deposited directly into the water. Of note, flooding/high tides flow from Cherry Point through the Cherry Point Aquatic Marine Reserve, past Point Whitehorn, and then circle into and around Birch Bay. Birch Bay beaches are not presently covered with black, toxic coal dust. Please note in the attached photo that in addition to coal dust in the air, coal dust blackens the shoreline more than two feet above high tide line of this bay which is three miles from the Westshore Terminal.
• The EIS must include a comprehensive listing of the components of all sedimentary substances and of coal dust and diesel exhaust emissions and identify those substances and pollutants that are toxic to people, vegetation and wildlife and inconsistent with the stated intent and purpose of the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, EPA new 2012 standards on soot particles, National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act, Marine Mammals Protection Act, Magnuson-Stevenson Act, Aquatic Lease Agreement, Forest Practices Application, Coastal Zone Management Act, National Historic Preservation Act, State Environmental Policy Act, NPDES General Industrial Stormwater permit requirements, and the Shoreline Substantial Development permit requirements .
• The EIS must include the long term cumulative quantities, substances and distribution of all emissions, pollutants and sediments resulting from GPT operating at full capacity and its impacts to air and water quality and upon all outdoor activities and private and public recreational sites in the areas surrounding Cherry Point.
• EIS must assess health impacts to people by age group with special attention to children engaging in outdoor activities
• EIS must assess impacts to all recreational areas and the specific features/attractions of each area, e.g., coal dust and diesel exhaust accumulations on beaches at/above high tide line, impacts to impacts to clamming, beachcombing, swimming, paddling, bird and wildlife watching and impacts upon use of these recreational areas and the desirability and value of these areas.
Pacific International Terminal’s Project Information document Section 5.7.2.2 states, “Operation of the proposed project would have no direct effects on parks and recreational facilities. The proposed project is located far enough away from parks and recreational facilities in the vicinity that it would have no impact on their continued ability to operate”. This is blatantly misleading, unsubstantiated and false. Has the applicant determined how far GPT’s pollution would spread? Worse, the applicant is usurping the role of CH2M Hill and the EIS by dictating what, where and whom would be impacted.
• The EIS, NOT the applicant, must determine if the proposed project is “far enough away” and how far actually is far enough away for there to be no impacts on anything, anywhere, or anyone.
• The EIS must assess the cumulative, long term, impacts of GPT’s coal dust, diesel exhaust emissions and pollutants on outdoor activities, recreational facilities, wildlife and vegetative features of these recreational areas, exercise and healthy lifestyle opportunities, property values, economy and overall quality of life in all areas that would be recipients of GPT’s coal dust and diesel exhaust emissions.
Thank-you.
Attached Image:

Paula Rotondi (#7365)

Date Submitted: 01/14/2013
Location: Birch Bay, WA
Comment:
The applicant, Pacific International Terminals, Inc., is usurping the role of CH2M HILL, the EIS, Whatcom County Council, Washington State Department of Ecology, and the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers. In Pacific International Terminals’ application for a Major Project Permit and a Shoreline Substantial Development Permit, the applicant is dictating the geographical area that the Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT) could impact. Pacific International Terminals' GPT application contains statements predetermining the absence of impacts. Specifically -
Pacific International Terminal’s Project Information document Section 5.7.2.2 states, “Operation of the proposed project would have no direct effects on parks and recreational facilities. The proposed project is located far enough away from parks and recreational facilities in the vicinity that it would have no impact on their continued ability to operate”.
Section 4.3.6 Stormwater management indicates that the only areas that could become contaminated with pollutants are “within the stockyards, commodity storage areas, roadways, parking and vehicle maintenance, and loading and unloading areas”. “It is currently anticipated that runoff from any area within the stockyards, commodity storage areas, roadways, parking and vehicle maintenance, and loading and unloading areas would be directed to the stormwater treatment systems"....
...."Stormwater from undeveloped portions of the Terminal property, or from areas within the development footprint that do not have the potential for becoming contaminated with pollutants, would be directed to natural and restored drainages and streams”..... “It is anticipated that stormwater from other portions of the access trestle and wharf that are not exposed to potential pollutants could be drained to the adjacent upland or into the water”.
The EIS, not the applicant, must determine impacts.
The EIS, not the applicant, must determine what areas are not exposed to potential pollutants.
The EIS, not the applicant, must determine how far actually is far enough away for the GPT to have no direct impact on anything, anywhere, or anyone.
The project applicant is presently in violation of the Clean Water Act by engaging in July of 2011 in illegal clearing of federally protected wetlands on this site. Under law, this should result in a minimum of a 6 year development moratorium. The legitimacy of the present permit application is in doubt.
Careful reading, even by one who is not an engineer or attorney, reveals that the applicant is making unsubstantiated and false statements that are unwarranted and unauthorized within the “scope” of the permit application and that are in defiance of the “scope” of CH2M HILL, the EIS, and local, state and federal government agencies.
I request that the EIS study and report on the applicant’s false, misleading and/or illegal statements and actions pertaining to the proposed project and their impact upon the credibility and desirability of GPT as a future business addition to Whatcom County.

Paula Rotondi (#8438)

Date Submitted: 01/17/2013
Location: Birch Bay, WA
Comment:
My name is Paula Rotondi and I live in Birch Bay. I request that the EIS include the reasonably foreseeable, significant and severely adverse impacts of the GPT upon tribal nations. A person does not have to be a Native American to understand that GPT’s impacts would be serious and irrevocable.
The EIS must assess potential damages to the Nooksack River, Salish Sea ecosystems and fisheries, and to Cherry Point itself. Please include the impact of GPT’s use of 1.9 billion gallons of Nooksack River water mostly during dry summer months when the Nooksack’s flow is lowest upon salmon and all ecosystems associated with the Nooksack. Please assess spiritual impacts of spraying Nooksack water whose source is the sacred melting snows and ancient glaciers of Mt. Baker upon GPT’s massive toxic coal stockpiles.
Please assess GPT impacts on traditional livelihoods, natural resources, food sources, culture and religion.
Please assess importance of archaeological sites, ancient burial sites, and sites of cultural importance that would be disturbed, defiled, and or destroyed by GPT and the impact upon present and future generations of tribal peoples.
Please assess impacts of infringement of international and treaty rights and the consequences of such infringement. 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. Please assess impacts of damaged fisheries; polluted waters, lands and air; altered ecosystems; and increasingly industrialized, crowded waterways upon traditional native tribal culture and spirituality; employment and livelihoods; natural resources and safe food sources.
Please include impacts of construction and operations of GPT and the transport and storage of coal and other bulk commodities upon the full and proper observation of all relevant rights and treaties.
Xwe’chi’eXen (Cherry Point) is a burial ground and a sacred site of the Lummi People and associated with the Lummi People’s creation story and the First Salmon Ceremony. Xwe’chi’eXen is known to have deep spiritual and cultural significance for the Lummi People. 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. A third party archaeological study of the cultural significance of Cherry Point, done in accordance with Lummi tribal code, and approved and accepted by a Lummi Nation cultural commission must be included in the EIS.
Non-indigenous persons cannot accurately articulate the scope of GPT’s potential damages to tribal culture and spirituality and for this reason studies done by a third party in collaboration with the Lummi Nation and other involved tribes is necessary. I 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.
I request that impacts of the proposed project be assessed within the context of the combined and compounded harm caused by non-native people’s incursion, development and exploitation of this region.
I sincerely believe that the only true mitigation of the proposed project is for the project site to be returned to the people from whom it was taken - the Lummi People, its rightful owners.

Paula Rotondi (#10147)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Birch Bay, WA
Comment:
My name is Paula Rotondi. I am one of the several thousand people who call Birch Bay, “home”. Life in the coastal communities surrounding Cherry Point depends upon a healthy connection to the sea. I am deeply concerned about the reasonably foreseeable, significant and severely adverse impacts of coal transport vessels and their associated terminal structures upon the marine ecosystem in the marine waters of Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve, Birch Bay, Whatcom County, Skagit County, San Juan , Jefferson and Clallam Counties, and the Salish Sea.
I request that the EIS include these reasonably foreseeable, significant and severely adverse impacts:
1. Impacts of proceeding any further with Pacific International Terminals’ application for the proposed GPT without the applicant’s completion and full compliance with all requirements of the 1999 Settlement Agreement. Specifically, Tidal Current Study (2.10 e), Vessel Traffic Analysis (2.10 a), Vessel Safety Committee, Vessel Mooring Study and Plan (2.11), Spill Prevention, Preparedness, and Response Plans (2.9 a), Baseline and Annual Monitoring – Sediment, Tissue and Water Quality, and the Herring Behavior Monitoring Studies. The legitimacy of the present application and of the EIS is in doubt due to the applicant’s failure to complete and comply with all requirements of the 1999 Settlement Agreement. The EIS must include the significant and severely adverse impacts to the legitimacy and adequacy of this EIS resulting from the applicant’s failure to provide the essential information and data as required by the 1999 Settlement Agreement which are crucial to the core purpose and objectives of this EIS.
2. Impacts of ballast water
It is reasonably foreseeable that ballast water discharge could have significant and severely adverse impacts upon the marine ecosystem of the Salish Sea. GPT would import more gallons of ballast water than it would export tons of coal. Ballast water potentially contains invasive species that can damage the environment and cost billions of dollars in economic losses. The natural resources of the Salish Sea support the culturally and economically important recreational and commercial fishing industries. Watchable wildlife of the region supports a $2 billion per year industry 1.
Table 4-6 of the Pacific International Terminals Inc. Project Information Document indicates that at full operational capacity, there would be 487 Capesize/Panamax vessels per year discharging ballast water from Chinese waters into the Salish Sea. Panamax/ Capesize ships contain up to 17,000,000 gallons of ballast water. At GPT’s full operational capacity, each year 8.3 billion gallons of ballast water (487 ships x 17,000,000 gallons) potentially containing hundreds of different invasive species would be discharged into the Salish Sea.
Although the Settlement Agreement (1999) contains provisions regarding ballast water, more than thirteen years later, the applicant still has not established provisions for ballast water management. On March 17, 2012 the U.S. Coast Guard announced new rules requiring oceangoing cargo ships to treat ballast water with ultraviolet light, chemicals or other methods before dumping it. The EIS must assess impacts to regulatory and oversight agencies charged with guaranteeing that these vessels would comply with all current ballast water standards. Specifically, the EIS must include assessment of the personnel and equipment requirements necessary to monitor and guarantee adherence to all applicable rules, guidelines and regulations regarding ballast water and determine the impacts of these upon the responsible agencies.
The EIS must determine impacts of ballast water discharges into the Salish Sea whether due to accidental, unauthorized, partial, temporary, or permitted causes and determine the likelihood and frequency of ballast water discharges for each area and specific sub-ecosystem of the Salish Sea. The EIS must assess the risk and impacts of invasive species upon each individual species that is listed as native threatened, endangered, or a Marine State Priority Species in Sections 5.3.1.3 and 5.3.1.4 of the Project Information Document. Of particular concern are impacts to Pacific herring which are an “indicator species” of the overall functioning of the nearshore ecosystem and in particular to Cherry Point herring. Cherry Point herring may be genetically unique in adaptability and tolerance for warmer water2. As our climate warms, Cherry Point herring may hold the unique genetic code for warm water tolerance that could enable survival of other stocks.
3. The EIS must include impacts of coal dust emissions, diesel exhaust emissions, soot and all pollutants originating from the 974 vessel transits, 26,280 train diesel engines (18 trains per day x4 diesel engines per train x 365 days) and all terminal operations involved in receiving, stockpiling, loading/unloading and intra-project site transportation of 48 million metric tons of coal per year upon all marine ecosystems and species of the Salish Sea and upon the health of people like myself who live in coastal communities near Cherry Point and/or the waterways used by these vessels.
The EIS either must require that the applicant complete and fulfill its responsibilities regarding Baseline and Annual Monitoring – sediment, Tissue and Water Quality as outlined in the 1999 Settlement Agreement or the EIS must extend its term and conduct this monitoring as a legitimate necessity in fulfilling its purpose to assess the impacts of this project upon the environment. The applicant is eleven years behind schedule in initiating the required sampling and monitoring. The EIS must include data that can only be obtained during herring spawning – data the will require 2-3 years prior to any construction to acquire and provide reliable results.
The EIS must assess long term impacts to soils and seafloors from contamination by pollutants including heavy metals found in coal dust. Coal dust, diesel exhaust emissions, soot, black carbon, heavy metals and other pollutants including toxins and contaminants would enter soil or water either through direct dumping onto soil or water or from initial wind/air borne transport followed by subsequent settling deposition in soil or water. The EIS must assess the toxicity of coal - in dissolution and in any other chemical processes - that may occur in the marine and estuarine environments. The EIS must determine, from the sources’ point of entry, the distribution pattern in soils and in the seafloor of all toxins, contaminants and pollutants including heavy metals that would be released by construction and by operation of the terminal including that from trains and vessels servicing the terminal. The EIS must include assessment of how fugitive coal particles and all other GPT associated toxins, pollutants and contaminants would be incorporated into natural sediments. The EIS must include determination of the concentration and toxicity of the particles and the level of contamination for each ecosystem that would be a recipient of the particles and assess the impacts to all species within each ecosystem.
In particular, for the marine ecosystem, the EIS must include the impact of particulate concentration in natural sediment to benthic organisms especially Pacific sand lance. The EIS must locate and map all sub-tidal Pacific sand lance habitats within proximity of the proposed coal-loading facilities and along the bulk carrier routes where coal could be introduced into the marine environment.
As a Birch Bay resident, I am extremely concerned about the reasonably foreseeable, significant and severely adverse impacts of GPT’s coal dust and diesel exhaust emissions upon my own health and property and upon the health and property of the eight thousand other people who call Birch Bay, “Home”. Virtually all of us chose to live in Birch Bay because of what lies just outside our front doors – beautiful scenery, a healthy environment, and a wide variety of year-round outdoor activities which contribute to our health (by being active) and our wealth (property value of a scenic, seaside area). Prevailing winds and tidal currents at Cherry Point would carry much of the coal dust emissions and diesel exhaust emissions into and onto Birch Bay neighborhoods, beaches, recreational areas, and the Bay itself. The EIS must assess the long term impacts of GPT’s fugitive coal dust, diesel exhaust emissions, soot, black carbon, heavy metals, pollutants, toxins, and contaminants upon air quality, Bay water, fresh water including that in streams/creeks/wetlands/lakes/ponds and run-off, beaches, soil of all residential, commercial, public and private land, property value, and private and public land uses including all outdoor activities. The EIS must include long-term impacts of coal dust deposits on homes, yards, gardens, patios, decks, outdoor furniture, playground equipment, vehicles, and boats and impacts to the value of these properties and the time spent enjoying them. The EIS must include the long term impacts of accumulating coal dust deposits in the soil upon the value of residential yards and gardens including health impacts of eating home grown fruits and vegetables and health impacts to children playing in yards, parks, and at Birch Bay beaches. The EIS must assess the impact of coal dust and diesel exhaust emissions including long term impacts to health of people, ecosystems, and all species that would be affected by soil and seafloor contamination by toxins, pollutants and contaminants including heavy metals.
The EIS must assess air pollution from U.S. flagged vessels according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Emission Control Area policies which took effect on August 1, 2012 when/ if the EIS determines and confirms that U.S. flagged vessels servicing GPT would actually meet the new standards. The EPA’s Emission Control Area brings the ocean waters of North America into an international air pollution control program that limits the emissions of nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides and particulate matter from ships within 200 nautical miles of the U.S. and Canada. The rule requires ships to use fuel with no more than 1.0 percent sulfur content, with even more stringent protections beginning in 2015. For foreign flagged vessels not subject to the EPA regulations, the EIS must assess impacts based upon the most highly toxic form of “bunker fuel” used by these foreign vessels. The EIS must determine the percent of vessels servicing GPT that would be foreign-flagged and thus cause increased deaths and health casualties to people residing near Cherry Point and along routes used by these vessels. (The EPA estimates that approximately 88 percent of all vessel calls to U.S. ports are made by foreign-flagged ships.) The EIS must determine - for all people living within 200 nautical miles of Cherry Point - the years of decreased life expectancy, the dollars of increased health care costs and the loss of productivity resulting from all forms of pollution, toxins and contaminants attributable to GPT, and the trains and vessels servicing GPT. (According to the EPA the new Emission Control Area will prevent between 12,000 and 31,000 premature deaths annually across the U.S. and save billions of dollars in health care costs by 2030.) The EIS must include impacts of foreign-flagged vessels’ exemption from EPA’s Emission Control Area policies and impacts of incomplete, inadequate and/or intermittent compliance with EPA’s Emission Control Area policies upon health and health care costs of all people living within 200 nautical miles of Cherry Point and/or waterways used by these vessels. The EIS must assess impacts to regulatory and oversight agencies charged with guaranteeing that these vessels would comply with EPA’s Emission Control Area program policies. Specifically, the EIS must determine the personnel and equipment requirements necessary to monitor and guarantee adherence to all applicable rules, guidelines, and regulations regarding vessel fuel and emissions and the impacts of enforcing these to the responsible agencies. The EIS must include a quantification of the annual diesel exhaust, coal dust and other emissions resulting from 974 Panamax/Capesize vessels transits, 26,280 train diesel engines and all terminal operations and determine the distribution patterns of each category of emission/pollutant/contaminant. The EIS must determine impacts to specific species of marine life and specific sub-ecosystems that would be recipients of these emissions/pollutants/contaminants with detailed analysis of impacts to species that are native threatened, endangered species, or are a species of concern. The EIS must assess the impacts of GPT’s diesel exhaust emissions and coal dust emissions within the context of the compounding effects of GPT’s exponential increase of these emissions to those already existing in the airshed of the Georgia Basin within which Cherry Point is located.
4. It is reasonably foreseeable that noise from terminal construction, terminal operations, vessel loading, vessel engines and vessel mechanical component functions would cause significant and severely adverse impacts to species and ecosystems of the Salish Sea. It is reasonable, even to a non-scientist that if a species has a sensory organ capable of detecting sound that the species would be affected by high intensity noise from GPT operations, trains and vessels. The intensity of man-made sounds produced by terminal construction and by the 24/7 terminal operations, trains and vessels are only equaled in nature by rare cataclysmic natural events such as volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tornadoes, meteor/asteroid strikes, tsunamis. Sound is vibratory energy transmitted by pressure waves in air, in water or other media. The intensity or loudness of sound is greatest at its source. At a distance of one meter, exposure to a 120 decibel sound for fifteen minutes causes severe, permanent hearing loss in people and mammals. The greater the intensity of the sound, the faster the damage occurs and the more severe the hearing loss. It is reasonably foreseeable and more likely than not that species in ecosystems surrounding the terminal, the train routes and vessel routes would be significantly, severely and adversely impacted by the resultant high intensity, intermittent and/or constant noise transmitted in air and/or in water. The EIS must assess and include impacts of all terminal construction noise, terminal operation noise, and train and vessel noise upon all ecosystems and species that would be recipients of the noise.
Regarding terminal construction noise, the EIS must determine the intensity and frequencies of construction noise and its impact upon all ecosystems and species that would be recipients of the noise. Specifically the EIS must determine the intensity and frequencies of noise produced by construction of the Wharf and Trestle as described in the Project Information Document Section 4.6.2 Wharf and Trestle Construction, “driving a combination of approximately 64 precast concrete piles and/or steel-pipe piles into the seabed using an impact and/or vibratory hammer. Piles are estimated to be 24 to 30 inches square, or in diameter, and estimated to average 122 feet long. Piling size and spacing is currently designed to be approximately 75 feet apart to minimize the number needed. The wharf would be built by driving approximately 730 steel-pipe piles, each estimated to be up to 48 inches in diameter and estimated to average about 172 feet long. Piles would be driven into the seabed using an impact and/or vibratory hammer”. The EIS must determine the geographical range and distance that construction sounds would travel before diminishing to less than 75 decibels and include impacts to all ecosystems and species within these ecosystems.
The United States government has authority to regulate oceanic sound in United States waters through the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act. High intensity man-made noise disturbs and harms any species with a sensory system capable of detecting it. Noise interferes with bird foraging, nesting, and breeding activities resulting in habitat abandonment. High intensity man-made noise disturbs and harms marine mammals and fish. Marine mammals evolved sensitive hearing to take advantage of sound’s ability to travel for hundreds of miles through water and to compensate for poor underwater vision. Marine mammals also evolved complex vocalizations to communicate in the underwater environment. Noise from GPT operations and the vessels servicing it would interfere with both the reception and expression of marine mammal communication. The impacts of GPT noise upon marine mammal communication are analogous in many ways to the impacts of loud background noise upon human communication. I ask the reader to consider his/her own personal experiences trying to communicate in situations with extremely loud background noise - How difficult is it to hear what is said when there is loud background noise? How much do you have to raise your voice to make yourself heard above loud background noise? How much does loud background noise change what you say, how you say it and how often you speak?
Pacific International Terminals Project Information Document Section 5.3.3.4 grossly underestimates the loudness of vessels in stating “…vessels generally emit noise levels of 145 dB…” The noise of a typical cargo vessel is comparable to that of a jet. When monitored by a hydrophone at a distance of one meter, the noise of an oil tanker is 200 decibels, and noise of a tugboat is 170 decibels according to Michael Bahtiarian, senior official at Noise Control Engineering. Impacts of noise intensities above 120 decibels may include behavioral disturbances, sensory damages, and physical disruption of sediments and vegetation. Since Capesize and Panamax vessels are the largest of all vessels, they likely would produce sound intensities even greater than that of vessels “generally”. The EIS must include assessment of sound intensities and frequencies that would result from each and all operational functions including loading. Project Information Document Section 4.3.4.2 describes vessel loading including “The material discharges at the end of the boom though a chute that is designed specifically to reduce dust generation by containing the product flow into a tight stream”. This “tight stream” is likely to produce extremely high intensity noise. The EIS must include noise measurements taken in conditions using comparable coal loading systems into Capesize and Panamax vessels.
The EIS must assess impacts of noise produced by loading coal into the Capesize and Panamax vessels upon all ecosystems and species that would be recipients of the noise. The massive hull of a Capesize/Panamax vessel would act as an enormous submerged metal loudspeaker that would radiate and broadcast the sound of coal being dumped into the vessel’s hull for possibly hundreds of miles through marine waters. The EIS must determine the geographical range and distance that vessel sounds at dock and during cargo loading would travel through water before diminishing to less than 75 decibels. The EIS must determine the geographical range and distance that vessel sounds while underway, approaching, and departing dock would travel before diminishing to less than 75 decibels.
The EIS must include impacts of the noise from the loading and operations of three Capesize/Panama vessels per day upon the foraging, rearing of young, social interactions, and possibly survivability of endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales.
Pacific herring are a Marine State Priority species and impacts of noise upon Pacific herring and specifically Cherry Point Herring must be included in the EIS. Pacific Herring respond to a variety of auditory inputs and are thought to have a noise threshold of 75 decibels 3. The applicant states in Section 5.3.3.4 that Pacific herring would be able to detect the vessel noise and “… it is unknown whether the noise would disturb herring”. The EIS must require that the applicant complete and fulfill its responsibilities as outlined in the 1999 Settlement Agreement or the EIS must assume responsibility for completing and fulfilling those responsibilities and assess the impacts of sounds in the 145 to 200 decibel range upon Pacific Herring.
The EIS must assess the impacts of any and all noise above 75 decibels from vessels, terminal construction and terminal operations upon all ecosystems and species that would be recipients of it with particularly thorough and complete assessment of impacts to marine mammals, to Pacific herring, to Cherry Point herring, to Pacific sand lance, threatened species, endangered species and state priority species.
The EIS must assess impacts of GPT’s exponential increase of noise to the Cherry Point Aquatic Marine Reserve within the context its compounding effects when added to the other man-made noise that has been introduced to the region in the last several decades.
5. The EIS must assess impacts of shading produced by the wharf, by the trestle and by the shading produced by three Capesize/Panamax ships at the wharf 24/7, 365 days a year. The EIS must assess impacts to all ecosystems and species that could be affected by shading. The shading study conducted in 1992 and 1993 to evaluate the effects of the proposed project on marine vegetation in the intertidal and shallow subtidal communities did not take into account the shading effects of the wharf and the shading produced by three Capesize/Panamax ships at the wharf 24/7, 365 days per year. The EIS must require that the applicant complete and fulfill its responsibility to provide a Vessel Mooring Study and Plan as outlined in the 1999 Settlement Agreement or the EIS must determine moorage standards, configurations and procedures as a basis for then assessing impacts of moorage upon affected ecosystems, species and agencies responsible for assuring compliance with established guidelines.
6. The EIS must include impacts of GPT’s light and glare upon people and any all species that would be capable of detecting light emanating from the terminal or any component of terminal operations. Lighting of the 110 feet tall stacker/reclaimers servicing the open-air coal stockyard likely would be visible for five miles. By stating in Section 5.11.2, that “The trestle, wharf, and ships accessing the wharf would be visible from the water to a distance of approximately 1 mile”, the applicant is grossly underestimating the distance that the wharf and trestle and ships would be visible during the day and at night. The smaller wharfs and ships at the two other Cherry Point facilities are visible for up to two miles. Lighting of the East Loop and West Loop structures and lighting on the trestle and wharf would create a nighttime disturbance for all people and for all species with sensory organ(s) capable of detecting light within the range of the light’s reach. The EIS must determine the range and distance over which the projects lighting would be visible and assess all impacts of the lighting to people, ecosystems and species that would capable of detecting the lighting. The EIS must assess impacts of the projects lighting to the aesthetics of the neighborhoods and recreational and tourist facilities and the area’s scenic value.
7. The EIS must include impacts of vessel turbulence to shorelines and to all species in ecosystems surrounding the terminal and along the routes of the vessels to and from China.
8. The EIS must include impacts of coal spilling into marine waters during vessel loading upon all species in ecosystems that would be recipients of the coal deposits. The EIS must include assessment of GPT’s proposed coal-loading efficiencies ( based on real experience at other coal terminals using similar equipment in similar conditions - for example, the Westshore Terminals in Delta, BC) achievable in actual practice under normal operating conditions. The EIS must include the quantity of coal that would escape during vessel loading into the waters of the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve per year and determine how much of the coal lost would fall directly to the sea floor, and how much of it would drift away to other regions of the Georgia Strait. The EIS must include determination of the range and distances over which the coal lost during loading would drift and include impacts to all ecosystems and species within those ecosystems that would be recipients of the coal. Specifically, the EIS must include impacts to Cherry Point herring, pacific sand lance and eelgrass beds, which help filter carbon dioxide out of the seawater, reduce its acidity, and store the carbon. The EIS either must require that the applicant complete and fulfill its responsibilities regarding a Spill Prevention, Preparedness, and Response Plans as outlined in the 1999 Settlement Agreement or the EIS must develop the Response Plans to include impacts of preparedness and enforcement to the agencies that would assume these responsibilities. Specifically, the EIS must assess what equipment, skills and training would be required for full preparedness for rapid and complete response to spills of coal, refinery products , bunker fuel and other common cargos aboard vessels anywhere in the waters of the Salish Sea and determine financial and tax impacts upon those who would bear the costs of emergency preparedness.
9. The EIS must include impacts of bunkered/anchored vessels including impacts of anchor and chain dragging, propeller wash, turbulence, noise and diesel exhaust emissions upon all ecosystems and species in those ecosystems and upon people and communities surrounding the bays where the vessels would anchor. The EIS must delineate the factors including weather, terminal supply line disruptions and accidents that would result in a back-up of vessels and determine the likely frequency of the occurrence of each per year. Regarding weather caused vessel anchoring, the EIS must include the influence of climate change in determining the likely frequency of weather caused vessel anchoring. The project applicant in Section 1.3 describes the size of vessels servicing GPT as vessels with “… up to 80-foot average draft vessels, including the largest oceangoing dry bulk cargo vessels, known as Capesize and Panamax vessels”. The EIS must identify the bays, inlets and bunkering areas where these massive vessels with 80 feet drafts would anchor and assess the capacity of these areas to accommodate Capesize and Panamax vessels in addition to the vessels already contracted to service the existing industries at Cherry Point. The EIS must assess the size of the divots, the likely number of anchorages per year, and the long term cumulative impacts to the seabed, ecosystems and species of the bunkering areas including impacts caused by the disturbance of polluted layers of sedimentary deposits; for example, Bellingham Bay sediments contain numerous chemicals acquired over many decades of industrial activity on the Bellingham waterfront plus agricultural and residential input from streams and shorelines.
10. The EIS either must require that the applicant complete and fulfill its responsibilities regarding a Vessel Traffic Analysis as outlined in the 1999 Settlement Agreement or the EIS must conduct and complete a Vessels Traffic Analysis as a basis for assessing impacts resulting from increased risk of collision, allison, or grounding of vessels, delays in waterways including Rosario Strait and Strait of Georgia, and increased bunkering/anchoring. The EIS must factor in that Capesize and Panamax vessels have the worst safety record of all commercial vessels. 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. The EIS either must require that the applicant complete and fulfill its responsibilities regarding the Tidal Current Study as outlined in the 1999 Settlement Agreement or the EIS must assume responsibility and conduct a Tidal Current Study since this information is critical to the purpose of the EIS in studying impacts relating to the wharf, vessels, vessel traffic, and effects upon species and ecosystems affected by tidal currents particularly Pacific herring.
13. The EIS must include impacts of coal spills, bunker fuel spills, refinery products spills and compound spills involving combined cargos and fuels upon the ecosystems and species of the Salish Sea. The EIS must include detailed analysis of impacts of bitumen and bunker fuel spills since bunker fuel is nearly impossible to clean up and has extremely destructive effects on marine life. The EIS must assess the economic impacts of a large spill on the shellfish, tourism, recreational and commercial boating and fishing industries of the Salish Sea. The EIS must determine if the impacts of an oil or cargo spill to the economy, wildlife, and the ecosystems of the Salish Sea especially near Cherry Point, the San Juan or Gulf Islands would be so enormous that it would be impossible to mitigate. The EIS must establish the equipment, personnel and skills required for handling coal spills, bunker fuel spills, refinery products spills and compound spills involving combined cargos and fuels and determine the impacts to local, regional, state and federal spill response agencies to acquire an maintain this level and degree of readiness. The EIS must include impacts to agencies responsible for providing full and rapid response to spills and vessels in distress while in the continental waters off Washington, British Columbia, or the Aleutian Islands. The EIS must include impacts to ecosystems, species and economies of being unable to contain a spill in these more remote waters.
References
1. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and Washington Department of Community, Trade, and Economic Development. Wildlife viewing activities in Washington: A Strategic Plan. Report to the Washington State Legislature, March 2004.
2. Dinnel, P., R.Hoover, L. Lechuga, K. Tobiason, and J. Elphick. 2008 Development of Larval Pacific Herring , Clupea Pallasi, Bioassay Protocols: Refinement. Validation, Refinery Effluent and Cherry Point Ambient Water Testing During 2007. Western Washington University Shannon Point Marine Center. Final Report For Washington Department of Ecology June 2008.
3. EVS. 1999 Cherry Point Screening Level Ecological Risk Assessment. Proj. No. 2/868-01.1 Prepared for Washington Department of Natural Resources, Olympia, WA EVS Environmental Consultants, Seattle WA.

Paula Rotondi (#10468)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Birch Bay, WA
Comment:
My name is Paula Rotondi and I live in Birch Bay. I am three quarters of the way into my life expectancy as an American woman. I request that the EIS assess the life expectancy of Gateway Pacific Terminal’s coal export operations and include the cumulative impacts of GPT’s coal exports over the terminal’s life span upon the species, ecosystems, communities, and businesses presently found on the site or in any way or by any means connected to the site. The EIS should include impacts of the lifetime operations of GPT's coal exports to climate change. The EIS should include impacts to ecosystems and species resulting from construction of the Gateway Pacific Terminal but also and equally importantly impacts resulting from the entire lifetime operations of the terminal. Pacific International Terminals Project Information Document is an "inventory" of species, ecosystems, commercial, residential, public, private, and tribal concerns associated with this project; the EIS should include a projection of the likely status of each of these concerns at the time that GPT would cease coal exports. Please include impacts to all life forms, ecosystems and concerns as projected for the time at which GPT would cease coal exports. Thank-you.

Paula Rotondi (#11145)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Birch Bay, WA
Comment:
My name is Paula Rotondi and I live in a little seaside community called Birch Bay. Please study the impacts that would result from GPT’s three major components - coal stockpiles, trains, and vessels - being too big for the size or dimensions of the area in which each would function. I request that the EIS include impacts resulting from GPT’s coal stockyard, trains, and vessels being too large for the allotted functioning space upon the determination of the overall suitability of this project for the Cherry Point site. GPT’s coal export business model exceeds the intended uses, zoning descriptions and physical dimensions of the Cherry Point site with reasonably foreseeable, significant and severely adverse impacts to all other ecosystems, species and activities presently associated with the site.
The applicant states in Section 3.2.4 that to “achieve the economies of scale necessary to ship low to medium value bulk commodities to international markets profitably, large trains and ships are required.” 89% of GPT’s exports would be the cheapest commodity of all - coal – and that requires the biggest coal stockpiles, the biggest coal trains and the biggest coal transport vessels in the world. The Cherry Point site may permit these uses but it does not permit the abuses of size that GPT proposes.
Although Whatcom County Code 20.68.050 Pacific International Terminals Project Information Document Section(Permitted Uses) subsection .059 identifies “Bulk commodity storage facilities, and truck, rail, vessel and pipeline transshipment terminals and facilities” as a permitted use, the size of GPT’s bulk open-air coal storage facilities, the size of GPT’s coal trains and the size of GPT’s vessels all either do not meet Whatcom County Code, are too big for the dimensions of the space within which they would function, or are a threat to the species, ecosystems industries and activities presently associated with the area and especially for Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve.
Having volunteered on the architectural control committee of my neighborhood community, I understand that while a specified use may be permitted by a community’s rules and regulations, the particulars of a project determine whether or not a proposed project is approved or denied. Variances are never given to a project proposal if that project would pose a threat or endanger the pre-existing properties and their current approved uses.
GPT’s EAST LOOP OPEN-AIR COAL STOCKYARD - is too big for the site. The applicant designed the coal stockyard so it could make a big profit but also too big to meet Whatcom County Codes. The coal stockyard would be so big that the applicant must obtain a variance (May 2011 Variance Application PL4-83-010A) from Whatcom County Code standards WCC 20.80.210 (Minimum Setbacks) in order to construct the towers used for transferring coal from the stockpiles to the wharf.
Section 4.3.1.2 describes how big the East Loop open-air coal stockyard would be - spanning "80 acres" with "five stockpiles" and each stockpile "2,500 feet long and up to about 62 feet high". That’s two and a half miles of coal piled higher than a six story building.
Section 3.2.4 states “The stockpile capacity required is proportional to annual throughput, since sufficient storage space must be available to handle cargo unloaded from trains and loaded into vessels efficiently. For example, the East Loop’s recommended annual throughput would be approximately 2.9 million metric tons, which is consistent with the designed stockyard capacity for that area (approximately 2.75 million metric tons).” GPT is proposing not just "bulk commodity storage" but rather and quite differently the biggest open-air coal stockyard in North America for the Cherry Point site. The EIS must include all impacts of having North America’s biggest open-air coal stockpiles on the determination of the suitability of this project for the Cherry Point site.
GPT’s TRAINS - are too long, too polluting and too loud for the site and for the 121 communities they would travel through between the Powder River Basin and Cherry Point. It’s reasonably foreseeable that the extreme length (1 ½ miles long) and number (18 per day) of the coal trains would cause significant multiple and severely adverse impacts to all communities along the train route resulting from blocked railroad crossings for an additional two or three hours per day.
The trains are too long for the site. The coal trains servicing GPT would be the longest, heaviest and noisiest trains on rails. The business model of the project requires such long trains that the applicant had to design the coal stockyard and handling equipment with transfer towers that do not meet WCC 20.68.050. Section 3.2.4 states “The storage and handling facilities have also been designed to accommodate a complete high-capacity unit train within designated rail loops at the Terminal site.” and “the Terminal is designed to accommodate unit trains up to 8,500 feet long within the project area” and “To promote efficient train handling, tracks are designed in a loop… A rail loop of this size creates a large interior space…” The applicant designed the project to accommodate trains long enough to keep its stockyard profitably filled with coal while disregarding that these mile and a half mile long trains would block all vehicular traffic at railroad crossings for two to three hours per day in every community along their route resulting in lost time for people, businesses and emergency responders.
The EIS must include all impacts of the size and number GPT’s coal trains upon all communities, ecosystems and species along their route from the Powder River Basin to Cherry Point.
VESSELS – The Capesize and Panamax vessels are too big for the project site within the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve and too big for the waterways of the Salish Sea.
Section 3.2.4 states “The project location can accommodate the deep-draft vessels required for the successful operation of the Terminal” and Section 1.3 states that the average draft of Capesize/Panamax vessels is “up to 80 –foot”. Figure 4-8 shows that the water depth at the outside of the proposed wharf is only 80 feet deep! These Capesize/Panamax vessels could literally be sitting on the bottom of the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve. The draft of the Capesize/Panamax vessels is too big for the site of the proposed GPT wharf. The EIS must include the impacts to ecosystems and species of the Cherry Point Aquatic reserve from Capesize/Panamax vessels having a draft equal to the water depth at GPT’s proposed wharf.
Since the draft of Capesize and Panamax vessels is so big, they cannot travel in a single northbound or southbound traffic lane of our commercial shipping channels; they would move down the middle creating hazards and delays for other ships. Capesize/Panamax vessels are twice as large as the vessels docking at the BP Refinery Wharf. With the worst safety record of any commercial vessel and being less than 3000 feet from BP Refinery’s dock, GPT’s Capesize/Panamax vessels are too big a risk to the safe operation and transit of BP’s oil tankers. The EIS must include impacts of GPT’s Capesize/Panamax vessels to the other commercial and recreational vessels including delays and risk of collisions.
Capesize/Panamax vessels are too large to be able to safely anchor in the available bunkering areas. When anchorages are at capacity, would there be sufficient water depth for the maneuvering of Capesize/Panamax vessels around other vessels or for other vessels to maneuver safely around anchored Capesize/Panamax vessels? The EIS must include impacts of anchoring GPT’s Capesize/Panamax vessels upon the ecosystems and species of the Salish Sea and upon the safe anchoring and passage of other vessels.

Paula Rotondi (#11553)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Birch Bay, WA
Comment:
My name is Paula Rotondi. After having lived in Northeastern and Southwestern areas of the U.S.A., I decided to retire in Birch Bay, WA because of the overall quality of life, abundant natural treasures, and ready access to a variety of year-round outdoor activities.
I agree with Dr. Joseph Gaydos’ comments http://www.eisgatewaypacificwa.gov/sites/default/files/commentattachments/pdf/Joseph_Gaydos_UofCali_Davis_11.03.12_0.pdf and I request that the EIS assess and include the impacts mentioned by Dr. Gaydos.
Thank- you

Paula Rotondi (#11579)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Birch Bay, WA
Comment:
My name is Paula Rotondi and I live in Birch Bay, WA. I share the concerns expressed by Richard Steinhardt, Professor Emeritus of Neurobiology at U.C. Berkeley, who has a home in the San Juans. In Dr. Steinhardt’s comment submitted 12/05/2012 he asks that the EIS study the cumulative release of copper from rail traffic into marine and wetland environments, and that the EIS study the potential effects of rail traffic-generated copper pollution on the local marine and wetland ecosystems.
I also request that the EIS study and include the impacts discussed by Dr. Steinhardt.
Thank-you.

Paula Rotondi (#11617)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Birch Bay, WA
Comment:
My name is Paula Rotondi. I live in Birch Bay and have earthquake insurance on my home.
I share the concerns expressed by Christopher Greacen, Ph.D., in his November 14, 2012 comment regarding tsunami and earthquake impacts http://www.eisgatewaypacificwa.gov/get-involved/comment/1311
I request that the EIS assess and include the concerns and mitigation (insurance - bond or escrow) mentioned by Dr. Greacen.
Thank-you

Paula Rotondi (#11634)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Birch Bay, WA
Comment:
My name is Paula Rotondi. Fresh locally caught salmon is one of my favorite foods. To me, salmon are one of our greatest shared natural treasures. I share the concerns addressed by Dr. Christopher Greacen in his comment dated October 24, 2012. I request that the EIS study and include the impacts discussed by Dr. Greacen. Thank-you.

Paula Rotondi (#11657)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Birch Bay, WA
Comment:
My name is Paula Rotondi. I live in Birch Bay – less than five miles from Cherry Point. I am deeply concerned about all pollutants that the GPT would put into the air, land and water including those pollutants that are not presently regulated. It is my impression that it often takes decades of cumulative devastating health and environmental problems to finally move government to regulate pollutants. I share the concerns expressed by Dr. Arthur Winer, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Environmental Health Sciences Department, School of Public Health at UCLA in his comment, http://www.eisgatewaypacificwa.gov/get-involved/comment/6641 and I request that the EIS include the concerns and impacts discussed by Dr. Winer. Thank-you.

Paula Rotondi (#12008)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Birch Bay, WA
Comment:
My name is Paula Rotondi and I live in Birch Bay approximately five miles from the nearest railroad track. As I sit writing this comment, I am listening to the sounds of a train horn and of the ground penetrating rumble of a very heavy train – a coal train. I was awakened last night by these very same sounds. People most often describe the worst and loudest natural catastrophes - tornadoes, tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and hurricane force winds - by saying “It sounded like a freight train”.
It is reasonably foreseeable that noise from an additional 18 coal trains per day would cause severe and significantly adverse impacts to the health of people, communities, educational achievement, businesses and local economies all along the coal train route from the Powder River Basin to Cherry Point and beyond. Coal trains are the longest, heaviest and loudest trains in existence. Presently there are a maximum of six coal trains per day heading from the western U.S.A. to British Columbia, CA. The addition of GPT’s 18 coal trains per day means that there would be 24 coal trains per day – one coal train for every hour of the day and night, 365 days per year, blowing its horn multiple times and producing ground penetrating rumbling that would be audible at any given location for several minutes.
I request that the EIS assess the impacts to health, education, businesses, productivity, community services and economies for all communities along the train route from the Powder River Basin to Blaine, WA that would result from the noise produced by GPT’s 18 coal trains per day.
I request that the EIS conduct a noise analysis study including noise measurement taken at multiple locations in every community along the current coal train route from the Powder River Basin to the Canadian border at Blaine, WA. The noise analysis study must assess the intensities and frequencies of all components of sounds produced by the coal trains at every location for every community along the entire route. For all locations at which the train noise would be audible, the noise analysis study must include the demographics of the people and businesses within the regions impacted by the coal train noise.
The EIS must include an assessment of the long-term cumulative impacts of GPT’s coal train noise upon the health of the people who would be exposed to it including sleep deprivation impacts, impacts to cardiovascular systems and impacts to mental health.
The EIS must include an economic analysis of the impacts of coal train noise in terms of health care costs, learning disabilities, educational costs, lost tourism, and decreased property values.
I propose the following mitigation: Between the hours of 10:00 P.M. through 7:00A.M. at all railroad crossings from the Powder River Basin to Blaine, WA, a crossing guard be posted at all railroad crossings to lower the gates that block vehicular traffic from crossing the tracks thus eliminating the need for the trains to blow their horns. As an example of this mitigation I refer the EIS to the Forest Street/Main Street railroad crossing in Wakefield, MA.

Paula Rotondi (#12023)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Comment:
My name is Paula Rotondi and I live in Birch Bay approximately five miles from the nearest railroad track. I share the concerns mentioned by Joe Knight regarding future rail capacity. http://www.eisgatewaypacificwa.gov/get-involved/comment/5787
I request that the EIS study and include the impacts mentioned by Mr. Knight. Thank-you.

Paula Rotondi (#12052)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Comment:
I am concerned about the misleading number of jobs projected by some proponents of the GPT. I agree with the comment on January 8,2013 from James Wells regarding fairly assessing the jobs that the terminal will allegedly provide. To quote Mr. Wells, "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."

I ask that the EIS study and include the concerns mentionned by Mr. Wells.

Paula Rotondi (#12099)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Comment:
I am concerned about the exascerbation of climate change that would be caused by the GPT. I request that the EIS study and include all contributions that GPT would make that would contribute to climate change and include impacts of climate change in the EIS.

Paula Rotondi (#14472)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
Location: Birch Bay, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Paula Schroeder (#12498)

Date Submitted: 01/21/13
Location: Missoula, MT
Comment:
The following message may be a form letter, but it is a true reflection of my personal opinion on the matter of building a coal export terminal in Bellingham, WA. It is way beyond time that we redirect our resources toward clean-green energy. Stop!!! working on behalf of a handful of corporate interests and start working for the people, for "God" sake!

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.

Paula Smith (#4601)

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

Paula Stern (#13072)

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

Paula Wanska (#11160)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
I had originally written to the Seattle Times suggesting an indepth series of articles about this potential debacle. Here are my comments and suggestions. I am concerned overall for this project and the long ranging negative impacts it will have over the entire North West from Montana to Bellingham, as well as the global environment. I am alarmed by the impacts of this project and would like to make the public more aware of it. I do not believe that this project will add jobs to the extent the promoters claim. It is their way of swaying the public, those who are not aware of the implications to our health and safety, as well as the environment.

To the Seattle Times:

I am writing to make a suggestion to the Seattle Times about the coal trains that are expected to carry coal from eastern Montana across the northwest to west coast ports enroute to China.This issue has come to my attention recently. Could it be that the general public is not yet aware of the implications of the coal train debacle coming our way, although I understand there have been town hall type meetings in Bellingham?

I suggest an in-depth Sunday special article or series which covers the facts and the impacts to communities and farmlands along the train route.

- How will it impact Seattle, with trains rumbling through downtown, polluting our city and atmosphere with coal dust?
- What about all the small towns along the route, with rail lines running right through their downtowns, since towns were originally built around these train depots?
- What about the farm and range lands, which will see coal dust blowing off the tops of the train cars when the winds blow across the tracks?
- What about the ports which are being enlarged specifically to carry the coal to China, and will become increasing noisy and dirty from the coal transfer?
- And what about the impact to our global environment, with the increased use of US coal to fire Chinese plants that do not have pollution restrictions?

I originally heard about this project through an Alternative Radio talk on NPR, the focus of which was how individuals can in fact stand up to large corporations; how they can fight for their communities when faced with corporate-run mega-projects that would harm them, their land and environment, their communities. (Reference: Talk given by Paul Cienfuegos in March 2012, aired on Alternative Radio. I have the transcript PDF which I can forward to you if you wish.)

I sent these links to my family after hearing the report, raising my concerns about the project's impact to all of the us, the 99%.

Subject: Coal trains from eastern Montana to Bellingham and Longview, via Missoula, Spokane, Seattle

Coal trains from eastern Montana and Wyoming will pass through Billings, Missoula, Spokane, Seattle, an unending line of cars miles long, open cars with coal dust spilling into the cities and farm lands, headed for ports in Bellingham, Longview, and down the coast to Oregon, to be shipped to Chinese coal plants, the more to pollute our planet's atmosphere.

Moving 75 million tons of coal a day takes about 28 trains — about 125 cars each, more than a mile long.

http://www.coaltrainfacts.org/key-facts


http://wwwp.dailyclimate.org/tdc-newsroom/2012/04/coal-trains-montana


http://coalexportaction.org/2012/06/03/coal-trains-or-sustainable-transit-its-montanas-choice/

http://www.google.com/#hl=en&sugexp=les%3Beesh&gs_nf=3&gs_mss=coal%20trains%20f&pq=missoula%20water%20company%20carlyle%20group&cp=33&gs_id=1f7&xhr=t&q=coal+trains+from+Montana+to&pf=p&sclient=psy-ab&oq=coal+trains+from+Montana+to+Washi&gs_l=&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&fp=92da361fb107ce2f&bpcl=35466521&biw=1760&bih=886

I will also send this email suggestion through news tips or call you directly, since I am alarmed by the impacts of this project and would like to make the public more aware of it. Thank you very much.

Sincerely,
Paula Wanska, subscriber
206 937-1276

Paula Weisman (#264)

Date Submitted: 10/03/2012
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.
How about solar, wind, solar, wind, wave energy!!!

Sincerely,

Paula Weisman

Paula Weisman (#8164)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Comment:
The Proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal involves bringing trainloads of goal through environmentally sensitive areas, which will be damaged with coal dust residue.
Why? To sell our fossil fuel reserves to foreigners, when our strategy should involve wind solar and other renewable energy sources, and using our own coal sparingly over lifetimes for those few uses that may need it. No one is profiting from our natural national resources except a few private individuals.

Paula Yates (#14064)

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.

We MUST find a better replacement for coal, and definitely a better replacement for nuclear power plants. PROTECTION of our health, lives and planet is a priority for our very survival while searching for better approaches to producing power that we have come to depend upon...

Paula and Malcolm Taylor (#13031)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Anacortes, 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 export terminal construction will benefit only a few workers in the short run, and will do great harm in the long run. Of course, the already-wealthy will gain more, but they will be just fine without it.
We have to start thinking long term.

Paulina Bartnik (#12788)

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

Think twice before you sign this bill would you want it in your back yard. We have to take a stand toward climate control. Paulina Barntik

Pauline Anderson (#3221)

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

Pauline Bloomberg (#2843)

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

Pauline Bloomberg (#2854)

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

Pauline Carpenter (#11812)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
I request that you study the conflict between the construction of a massive coal export terminal and attempts to address climate change. It is becoming more clear every day that climate change is real and we need to take urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Washington state and the US government have taken steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions including:
• State legislation passed in 2008 that sets goals to reduce emissions.
• In November 2012, the governor of Washington released an executive order that directs the governor’s office and cabinet agencies to advocate for reductions in emissions of CO2.
• The EPA declared CO2 to be a pollutant and started to regulate emissions.
• The US is a signatory to the Copenhagen Climate Accord
Not only does the proposed project undermine the public interest in stabilizing the climate, but it requests the use of public resources to do so. The proposed project requires the use of public resources including a shoreline lease, water from the Nooksack river and the coal itself which comes from federal land.
The application states a need to meet market demand, but the more important fact is that burning all fossil fuel that is available is not compatible with sustaining life on earth.

Pauline Driuffel (#5119)

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

Pauline Driuffel (#13246)

Date Submitted: 01/14/13
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.

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 want you also to consider the long term global impact of burning coal for energy. Global warming is real and the burning of hydrocarbons adds significantly to the global warming reality. This also needs to come into any environmental impact statement.

Pauline Druffel (#386)

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

I live near the tracks that will be carrying the coal across Washington State and have the same concerns as the people who live near Cherry Point. What a travesty to do to our beautiful state/Northwest. And when I consider the pollution that will come back to us in the form of air pollution and more global warming, I am even more concerned. We don't need this! The devastation of our country side and our health is to high a price to pay just to put money in the pockets of coal producers.

Sincerely,

Pauline Druffel

Pauline Eggleston (#5538)

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

Pauline Stansell (#3650)

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

Paulo Rotondi (#13322)

Date Submitted: 01/21/13
Comment:
After being denied an opportunity to speak at the Ferndale scoping meeting, I attended the Seattle scoping meeting on December 13, 2012. At the Seattle meeting I submitted a written scoping comment and I also spoke my scoping comment to an official recorder. Since my Seattle comment still has not been posted, I am submitting it again in the attached document.
Thank-you.
Attached Files:

Payam Minoofar (#14069)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Comment:
I fully agree with this form letter. No expansion should be allowed until a complete national energy policy has been implemented.

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.

Pearl Follett (#103)

Date Submitted: 09/27/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Dear GPT/BNSF Custer Spur EIS Co-Lead Agencies:
“As for the Cascadia Subduction Zone, where the Juan de Fuca and North American plates collide, in an area off the coast stretching from Northern California to Vancouver Island, scientists now believe it is more likely it will be fractured in a magnitude 9.0 or larger quake…” (“Fault Line Found Near Kendall, Bellingham Herald, April 23, 2008).

Please scope the stability of the land on and around Cherry Point as to the fault lines and the probabilities of major earthquake occurrences in that area. Please study the probable damage and all risks associated with the Gateway Pacific Project as related to earthquakes and land stability.
I spent many years in California and I am very aware of the damages created by large earthquakes. We, as workers in a building in Santa Clara County, were very aware that the very building we worked in was near an earthquake fault line. We had earthquake safety drills and realized that there was not anything we could do to prevent the earthquakes and very little to do to protect ourselves if we were in the building when and if one occurred.

I worked on the third floor in an office that was shared by a man who was confined to a wheelchair. He was a paraplegic and could not have walked away to a safe spot if a quake occurred. We had assigned men who were capable of taking this man down the steps. During the
occurrence of a real earthquake that I experienced while working in that building it was discovered that it was impossible to get this man beyond the second floor when an earth quake started that was strong enough in magnitude to knock out the windows. The able-bodied workers
were not quick enough to get beyond the building or to a safe spot. If that earthquake had been of a stronger magnitude none of the workers would have escaped. The wise thing would have been not to build that building on that spot near a known earthquake fault line.

There was another earthquake later that occurred in Santa Cruz that involved my friend Joan who is a paraplegic and is also confined to wheelchair. At the moment that the quake started she was in the dressing room of a clothing store and was very terrified that she could not walk out of that chair and get out of the building or to a safe spot. She was hastily assisted by able-bodied people who were able to get her into the arches of the building that later collapsed. She was saved but three of her friends were not so lucky and died in that earthquake in another collapsed building. That quake caused death, injury and great destruction of property.

Although we can be warned of earthquakes we can do absolutely nothing to stop them. There are many laws to prevent building on earthquake fault lines or on unstable ground. This is a very good thing and all of these laws need to be obeyed and even more stringent ones enacted.

It is unconscionable to build on fault lines and endanger people and it is especially wrong to engage in the shipment and storage of toxic materials and commodities that could damage our water, land and air if an earthquake occurred.

Cherry Point and the surrounding region is contiguous to earthquake fault lines.
• “Potential damaging earthquakes are likely to occur along the Cascadia subduction zone and/or upper crustal faults in Puget Sound. These earthquakes will be of the size and type that caused widespread damage and economic hardship along the coast of Japan in 2011 (great subduction earthquake) and in the city of Kobe, Japan, in 2005 (large upper crustal fault earthquake). The geologic effects of PNW earthquakes on infrastructure in the PNW region have been well described in numerous scenario reports…
• Much of the tanker traffic carrying domestic product derived from North Slope crude is bound for destinations along the West Coast that may be damaged during a PNW earthquake, including facilities at March Point, Ferndale, Cherry Point, and Port Angeles in Puget Sound” (Pacific Northwest Earthquakes and Potential Effects on Alaska, August, 2012).
You cannot prevent an earthquake from occurring. There is not a way that you could remove the pollution from the land water or air or bring the dead back to life if an earthquake occurred.

It is best not to build on Cherry Point. It would be wise to remove any structures that now exist and convert this land back to its natural state.

I recommend no action.

Sincerely,
Pearl Follett

Pearl Follett (#6543)

Date Submitted: 01/09/2013
Location: Bellingham , WA
Comment:
Re: Automobile wait time at railroad crossings
1. Cost of gasoline to be borne by individuals due to vehicle idling time at railroad crossings that will occur if the Cherry Point terminal is built and put in operation.

2. Amount of airborne pollution due to the idling of vehicles waiting for trains to cross if the Cherry Point terminal is put in operation.
1. I am concerned that the rail traffic produced by the operation of a terminal at Cherry Point will cause financial hardships to individuals not only in Whatcom County but for thousands of individuals from the Powder River Basin to the Cherry Point Terminal.

Please tell me how many rail crossing there are now in place from the Powder River Basin to the exit for the Cherry Point Terminal.

Please tell me also the average wait time that could be anticipated at each crossing.

Of course I realize that the amount of gasoline consumed in idling a vehicle depends on the vehicle but with a known number of crossings and an average wait time a person may calculate an average amount of gasoline consumed at each crossing by taking an estimate of the type of vehicle that will be waiting.

I wish to have an estimated figure of the amount of gasoline that would be wasted at each crossing.
For many individuals the added financial burden of paying for more gasoline may mean that they could not continue their employment. The added cost of the wasted gasoline imposed on individuals in their daily pursuits which requires automobile travel will create an
additional financial burden. The public should not be financially burdened by paying for additional gasoline due to train traffic created by the operating of the Cherry Point Terminal.

This financial loss cannot be compensated for and therefore I ask that you take no action that would allow the applicant, Pacific International Terminals, Inc., to go forward with the Gateway Pacific Terminal project.
2. Cars idling at railroad crossings will cause additional air pollution. With a calculation of the average wait time and the number of crossings from the Powder River to the Cherry Point Terminal please give me an estimate of the amount of airborne pollution that will occur each day as result of having idling vehicles due to the trains that will run to the Cherry Point Terminal from the Powder River basin.
Unless you can prove that there will no air pollution due to idling vehicles I ask that you take no action that will grant permitting of the Gateway Pacific/Cherry Point Terminal project.

I do wish to have your estimates per day as to the amount of gasoline wasted and also the amount of air pollution that will occur while cars idle waiting for trains running from the Powder River Basin to the Cherry Point Terminal.

Sincerely,
Pearl Follett

Pearl Follett (#6562)

Date Submitted: 01/09/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Re: Ferndale Scoping Meeting

I ask that you determine if the Gateway Pacific Project/Cherry Point Terminal employees or anyone affiliated with this project or acting as a representative or employee paid money or gave benefits to have people attend the Ferndale scoping meeting.

If any benefits were given what were they? If benefits were given who was responsible for making payment of these benefits?

If you find that benefits of any kind were given or paid by the Gateway Pacific project proponents to have people attend the Ferndale scoping meeting what was the stated purpose of doing so?

I attended the Ferndale scoping meeting and talked to a large group of people wearing green T-shirts who were standing in front of the building. Statements were made by a person that he saw several buses with camouflage netting over them parked in a farmer’s field not too far from where the Ferndale scoping meeting was held. This person also said that he saw a limousine with camouflage netting on it parked in a farmer’s field.

Please determine whether or not Gateway Pacific project proponents were responsible for sending buses and a limousine and parking them in a camouflage manner in a field. If they did this what was their purpose in doing so?

If Gateway Pacific Terminal project proponents did employee people and buss them in please tell me how and where they were solicited, what they were promised, and what they were directed to do once they got to Ferndale.

There are several factors that are of concern about the group that may have been bused in to attend the Ferndale scoping meeting.

It is my opinion that the people standing in front of the building in the green shirts were not Ferndale residents and that they had received money and/ or other benefits from the project applicants to come to this meeting. There were, from what I observed, three leaders watching over this group as they were lead into a “We want Jobs” chant.

This line up of what I believe to be paid supporters did, as was observed in the meeting and reported later, prevent many Ferndale residents from voicing their concerns over the proposed project. As I remember, approximately the first seventy speakers spoke only of jobs. By the time speakers who had real concerns and had scoping comments to make spoke the majority of the Ferndale audience had left the meeting. It appeared that the green shirted people had blocked the comments. Within the group that left were people that really needed to be informed as to the concerns of their neighbors.

Further the paid people gave what I consider to be an overall false impression of the support that the GPT project has in the Ferndale community.

I believe that there needs to be a remedy to the damage done by the applicant company in what seems to be the thwarting of a public process.

Although written comments can be given, there is a true educational experience to be had in an audience listening to informed people who live in the community you live in list valid concerns that will affect the community. It is my belief that many Ferndale residents were denied this experience by persons paid who were not residents of Ferndale and who had no real vested interest in this project.
I ask that you conduct an additional scoping meeting in Ferndale with lots drawn for speakers as was done in Seattle and that this be done before you conclude your study that you are currently engaged in.

Further the intent of the applicant company needs to be fully examined to determine whether or not they did in fact interfere with the due process of this public meeting.

Until the Ferndale meeting can be remedied and a determination made concerning the intent and purposes of the applicant company that proves or determines the applicant company to be innocent of interferring with a meeting, I request that no action be taken or permit approved whatsoever to the applicant company that would allow the Gateway Pacific Terminal project and the building at Cherry Point to go forward.

Sincerely,
Pearl Follett

Pearl Follett (#7205)

Date Submitted: 01/14/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Re: The destruction and non-production of food due to the death and destruction of bees.

I am concerned about the destruction and death of bees that will occur if the Pacific International Terminal / Cherry Point Terminal project is allowed.
The destruction of bees will drastically decrease the amount of food grown because bees are necessary to pollinate our food crops. With the impending crisis of climate change great food shortages will occur; therefore, it is vital to our survival to not decrease our food production in any manner whatsoever.

The land around the Cherry Point terminal is a habitat for bees. It needs to remain so and not be destroyed by putting in rail lines and concrete.

The terminal, if built will have additional rail lines put in that will lead to the mass destruction of bees. You can consider that a radius of one mile around is the natural flight of bees. The many miles of tracks that will be placed from the Powder River Basin to the Cherry Point terminal will result in a great destruction of bees and an enormous loss of food.

I ask that you study the amount of food loss that will occur due to the death and destruction of bees in Whatcom County and along the rail lines from the Power River basin to Whatcom County.

It is not acceptable to decrease food production which is necessary for life so that a project that will destroy life can be put in place.

I ask that you take no action that will allow the project to go forward.

Pearl Follett

Pearl Follett (#7207)

Date Submitted: 01/14/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
This letter concerns the advertisements as to permanent jobs made by the applicant company, Pacific International Terminals, Inc.

I ask you to determine whether or not the advertisements made in all forms by this company are misleading in any way or could be considered false.

I ask you to state the number of actual permanent jobs that will be created by the operation of the Cherry Point Terminal. By a permanent job I mean a job for an employee who will receive direct payment from this company. Exclude the temporary jobs that will be created in building the terminal.

As to the number of actual permanent jobs, how many jobs will be in Whatcom County where the employee will report to a place located in Whatcom County?

Please tell me the number of actual permanent Whatcom County jobs that this company advertises in any media whether mailed, hand-delivered, made by radio or television announcements or printed in any form whatsoever in a newspaper or in another place that will be created by this company.

If there is a difference in the number of advertised permanent jobs as compared to the actual number of permanent jobs that will be created this would indicate that this company may not be trustworthy and therefore no action should be taken to approve any permit to allow this company to build and operate a terminal at Cherry Point.

Pearl Follett

Pearl Follett (#7210)

Date Submitted: 01/14/2013
Location: Belingham, WA
Comment:
If the Cherry Point Terminal is built rail traffic will increase.
Deaths will increase as rail traffic increases and trains travel from the Power River Basin to the Cherry Point Terminal.

What is the projected increase in deaths by trains as the trains travel from the Powder River Basin to the Cherry Point Terminal for the following:

1. How many people will die as a result of rail vehicle accidents at rail crossings?
2. How many people will die as a result of being unable to get emergency medical treatment because they are stopped at a rail crossing waiting for a train to pass?
3. How many people will die due to a train vehicle accident at places other than rail crossings?
4. How many people not in vehicles will die because they are struck by a passing train?
5. How many people will die due to train accidents such as derailments or other train wrecks?

The trains will also travel across open fields and farm lands.
1. How many cows, horses, mules, donkeys, pigs, hogs, sheep, goats, chickens, geese, peacocks or other farm animals will be killed by the passing trains?
2. How many dogs and cats will be killed by passing trains?
3. How many wild animals such as deer, mountain goats, elk, moose, rabbits, opossum, raccoons and other animals will be killed?
4. How many birds and bees will be destroyed due to toxicity of the passing trains?

We need to promote life not death. The Cherry Point Terminal does not support life and is not a necessary project.
Take no action that will allow an increase in deaths.

Pearl Follett

Pearl Follett (#12087)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
What adjustment are you making concerning the group that phished the
email address used to accept comments on the scope of the
environmental review for the terminal?
According to a report from a Washington state Department of Ecology
spokesman, Larry Altose the group, believed to be based in Montana,
used the email address comments@eisgatewaypacificwa.gov to contact
people and solicit comments on the Gateway Pacific Terminal.
Mr. Altose didn't know how many people were contacted by the group
responsible for the phishing or what the message was.
How can you determine how many messages from the public were not
received? These messages may not have re-submitted. An adjustment or
remedy needs to be made for this tampering with and possible loss of
public comments before your findings as to the environmental hazards
of the terminal project can be made.
Additionally, the group responsible for the phising needs to be found
to determine if there was any support given this group in any matter
whatsoever by the applicant company.
This is a serious matter and until a remedy is made and the group
identified I ask that no action be taken that will allow the applicant
company to go forward with the proposed project of building a terminal
at Cherry Point.

Peggy Borgens (#3537)

Date Submitted: 11/27/12
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
Dear all involved

I live in Ferndale Washington. I am very close to the proposed coal shipping terminal and rail path and I am concerned about being a conduit to this irresponsible project. We are long past peak atmosphere and it's time to take the effects of this fossil fuel orgy we have been on seriously. From the barbaric extraction of coal from a river basin and all the environmental damage there, to the impacts along the rail transport, to the diesel and bunker diesel particulate burned into our atmosphere, to the 80 acres coal pile waiting to be loaded on giant deep water ships and ultimately burned in China this is a shameful legacy to those who come after. Coal as a form of energy production should go the way of whale oil, if we value the lives of our descendents.

I have also written specifically about the huge increase in diesel particulates degrading our already endangered oceans and atmosphere and the affects on our rail infrastructure, but I think the big picture overall devastating consequences should stop us from considering this insanity.

I hope all the externalities, especially the degradation of our land, air and water, will be given the highest level of attention and not just swept under the rug and put on our descendents credit cards.
At the very least, we should be compensated. If the pipeline is to go through our state, shouldn’t the citizens be paid annually, much like the citizens of Alaska are paid to have the pipeline pass through their state? Arguably, the impact of rail conveyance of millions of tons of coal annually would be much more invasive than the pipeline.

To even be considering this use of the earth's finite resources is the height of irresponsibility and greed. We can and should do so much better if we care about out descendents future.

peggy borgens
ferndale wa

Peggy Borgens (#3538)

Date Submitted: 11/27/12
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
Dear all involved

As a resident of Ferndale and Whatcom County, I am very concerned about the increased diesel particulate in my atmosphere with the increased rail traffic, very large loading and unloading machines and giant ships in the harbor 24/7. It is my understanding that ships are fueled by bunker oil, which is a very heavy substance left over after other fuels have been distilled from crude oil. It has high sulfur content and causes serious air quality concerns when burned as fuel. It is also speeding the devastating acidification of our oceans. The increase of dangerous particulate, very small in size, from regular diesel and the even dirtier bunker oil will go deep into the lungs of all, causing serious increased health issues. As a mother and grandmother of humans living in the wake of this pollution, I am very concerned about the health risks and degraded environment. Please put a serious amount of scoping attention on the extremely dirty bunker fuel used by the giant deepwater shipping vessel and all the increased diesel used from the coal extraction to it's destination in China.

peggy borgens
Ferrndale wa

Peggy Borgens (#3539)

Date Submitted: 11/27/12
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
Dear all involved

I am very concerned about the effect on Amtrak passenger service of the increased number of trains using our rail infrastructure if GPT starts shipping coal and using our rail infrastructure to get increasing amounts of coal from Wyoming and Montana. I have had the pleasure of using Amtrak to travel from my home in Ferndale, Wa. This is especially true in the winter, when travel may not otherwise be possible for me. It is my understanding that freight has precedence over passenger rail traffic. We pulled over in “the middle of nowhere” a few times to wait for rail freight to pass. I can't imagine what the trip south from Bellingham will be like with the increased freight.
I would also imagine our infrastructure would have to be improved to accommodate the increased load. It is my understanding that the railroad is only responsible for 5% of this cost and we the people are going to get the bill for the rest. I am very concerned that the increased, extremely heavy coal traffic would put a lot of stress on our rail infrastructure. Who will pay for upgrades and repairs? I hope the scoping attention will be very seriously focused on all aspects of rail use and especially the increased load that the increased coal shipping would have on our rail infrastructure. I am very concerned there will be no passenger rail if our infrastructure is dominated by this increased freight.
I would like to know that Amtrak service will continue and, as it becomes more important to me in my senior years, it would be my hope that our rail infrastructure would serve we the people in that way.

peggy borgens
ferndale wa

Peggy Bridgman (#14473)

Date Submitted: 01/17/13
Location: Bow, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Peggy Gardner (#6177)

Date Submitted: 01/07/2013
Comment:
I am a Registered Nurse living in Whatcom County. The human environment is extremely important to me. I would like to see the impacts of noise, particulants in the air from diesel fuel and coal dust and slowed traffic/stopped traffic due to trains going through town studied for detrimental effects to health especially for the young and elderly. These things will effect everyone living along the rail lines but the young and elderly are more vulnerable.

Thank you for you consideration,
Peggy Gardner

Peggy Gardner (#12776)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Comment:
My name is Peggy Gardner 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,

Signed Peggy Gardner


Note: In the summer of 2011, SSA Marine illegally graded and cleared land without permits on the site for their proposed Gateway Pacific coal terminal at Cherry Point. Both Whatcom County and the U.S. Corps of Engineers required SSA to reach agreement on land disturbances with local Tribes. Five months later, at the time SSA submitted the new GPT application, SSA still had not resolved these outstanding violations.

Peggy Gilges (#13999)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Comment:
It's time we get real. We can't continue destroying forests and burning fossil fuels AND keep extreme weather and ocean acidification in check. Time to stop burning coal in North America, and time to stop exporting it to be burned elsewhere.

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.

Peggy Graham (#2186)

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

Peggy Jordan (#3800)

Date Submitted: 12/04/2012
Comment:
STOP!!!!!

Peggy La Point (#13718)

Date Submitted: 01/17/13
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.

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.

Peggy Lupo (#1698)

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

Peggy Miller (#13591)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Missoula, MT
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington for two main reasons: Encouraging coal exports by constructing a mega-terminal at a time when we should be placing on incentives on developing solar,wind, geothermal, and other renewables, is ludicrous and tantamount to dangerous, anti-national interest, activity. Furthermore, and secondly, a terminal of this nature would negatively affect the entire locality around Cherry Point, including western Montana and Missoula, 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.

Peggy Olson (#7894)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Location: Mount Vernon, Wa
Comment:
Mount Vernon Washington is a small town. The railway tracts run right through a quiet residential area. Would you want over 18 trains running through where your children live and play?
The congestion it would cause for the town would be astronomical. Take a train ride through the area the coal trains will be passing, everything looks good on paper. See what you are asking of your fellow Americans.
Another major concern is that the Fire Engines and Medical Aid would not be able to have access to all of the homes with in its district.
I realize that the coast is your desired route. However I think it would be advised to
look in to an area that does not cross through so many towns and communities.
I am also not in favor of reducing our countries natural resources by shipping such a large quantity over sea.

Peggy Printz (#6469)

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

Peggy Scaief (#6640)

Date Submitted: 01/10/2013
Comment:
I live and work in Bellingham. I am very concerned about the compatibility of the coal rail use adjacent in places to the Olympic Pipeline corridor. This gas pipeline runs from the refinery in Ferndale WA to the southern terminals in Seattle and Portland. Nine very heavily loaded coal trains one and half miles long will be traveling daily in some places very near the Olympic Pipeline corridor. I am concerned about the considerable vibration caused by the heavy trains potentially affecting the integrity of the pipeline, jeopardizing the metals in the pipeline causing an explosion. This of course would be devastating, causing destruction to human environment and destruction to the natural environment. Please include in your study this safety concern, the potential possibility of a gas explosion due to the proximity of the vibration of the coal trains affecting the pipeline. Please also study the cost benefits involved in providing such safety. Any cost to provide this safety should be the responsibility of the petitioner not the responsibility of the property owners of Washington.

Thank you.

Peggy Stewart (#12400)

Date Submitted: 01/20/13
Location: Ferndale, 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.

We have recently learned that 2012 was the hottest year on record in the United States. Globally, it was the tenth hottest year on record. Every one of the last 36 years has been hotter than the long term average. The Draft National Climate Assessment just released by the National Climate Assessment Development Committee states in unequivocal terms that anthropogenic climate change is a serious threat to national security and well-being.

In 2011 worldwide CO2 emissions were approximately 34 x 10^9 tonnes, an increase of about 10^9 tonnes over the previous year. If China were to burn the 45 x 10^6 tonnes of Powder River Basin Coal that GPT plans it would produce roughly 10^8 tonnes of CO2 – 10% of the current worldwide increase. GPT coal would have a major negative impact on the environment. This is an impact which cannot reasonably be mitigated. This alone is sufficient reason to reject the proposed coal terminal at Cherry Point.

Decision makers may try to rationalize GPT with the argument that the terminal is not necessarily just for coal. In that case an argument might be made that the project be approved with the stipulation that it cannot be used to ship coal.

Emission of CO2 is not the only contribution to global warming that will result from the GPT project. A recent study by T.C. Bond published in the Journal of Geophysical Research shows that black carbon soot may be the second largest contributor after CO2. Both the burning of coal and the exhaust from diesel train engines produce large amounts of soot. It may be possible to mitigate the emissions from trains in the U.S. What happens in China is not under our control but what happens in China will have global impact. The impact of soot emissions in China due to GPT coal cannot be mitigated. The proposal should be rejected.

Because there are plans to export as much as 150 million tons of Powder River coal from ports in the Pacific Northwest I urge the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct an area wide Environmental Impact Assessment that includes the cumulative impacts of all these proposals.

Peggy Toepel (#1144)

Date Submitted: 10/22/12
Location: Everett, WA
Comment:
Attached is Everett Shorelines Coalition's recommendations toward EIS scoping for the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal project.

Peggy Toepel, Pres.
Everett Shorelines Coalition
P.O. Box 13288
Everett, WA 98206
Attached Files:

Peggy Wendel (#13333)

Date Submitted: 01/21/13
Location: Stanwood , WA
Comment:
Hello,

Attached is my letter, requesting that certain issues pertaining to my town of Stanwood be addressed in the scoping process.

Thank you,

Peggy Wendel
Attached Files:

Peggy Williams (#1066)

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

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

There are currently five coal export proposals that would transport as much as 150million tons through the Northwest. I urge the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct an area wide Environmental Impact Statement to assess the cumulative impact of these proposals.
I have bad lungs, as many people do. Not good for anyone, animals either. thank you



Peggy Williams
not giving home address
Tacoma, WA 98408

Peggy Williams (#7738)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Location: Not giving home address, Wa
Comment:
If coal comes through Washington It'll affect people, and animals and puget sound etc.
I for one only use 40 percent of my lungs. Our animals and mammals will suffer also.
Please stop coal

Peggy & Joe Lupo (#3277)

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

Penelope Schott (#13380)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Portland, OR
Comment:
In this era of climate change and the necessity of cleaning up our bad energy habits, moving coal through the northwest to pollute this region and Asia seems like a very bad idea. Nobody benefits but the moneymakers. My asthma certainly will NOT benefit. Please think generously about those of us who do not own energy stocks.

Thanks for your attention to this message.

Penelope Sharp (#3951)

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

Penny Bradford (#12258)

Date Submitted: 01/22/13
Location: Carson, WA
Comment:
I support more ecologically conscientious technology, such as continued wind power growth in the U.S.. If we've already achieved 13.2 Gigawatts of wind energy last year, I excitedly see tripling that, this year, if we keep moving in the right direction. That will help us obtain jobs and be better for our health.

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.

Penny Douglas (#873)

Date Submitted: 10/18/12
Location: Puyallup, WA
Comment:
To Whom It May Concern:

Our family lives 1/2 block from the BNSF railroad tracks running thru the City of Puyallup and our daughters' school is also 1/2 block from the tracks. In our 20 years of living in our home we have NEVER had an issue with the trains coming by our home or schools. We are a family FOR high paying jobs in Washington State. Congratulations to Gateway Pacific Terminal for supplying these jobs not only to the BNSF but also to the ports in our area.

I actually watched, front my kitchen window, a coal train go by yesterday evening. It was no louder then the Sounder which goes past at least 14 times per day, Amtrack or any other trains. It did not keep the "crossing bars" down any longer then the Sounder. I did not see "anything" coming from the coal cars. The trains (all) pass, except for Sounder which stop for several minutes at the station, so quickly it would be surprising to me that they would have any environmental impact.

Any train can derail, including commuter/passenger trains, we do not stop them because of fisheries, wetlands, air or water quality, etc. There is no reason why the trains/ships used by Gateway Pacific Terminal should be treated any differently.

My husband served 24 years in the Coast Guard, he never had to "clean up" after a spill from a coal vessel; not on the Pacific Coast, Gulf Coast or Great Lakes.

If you choose to live near train tracks or ports, you have choosen to live with any issues they may bring. After all, the track were in their current location many, many, many years before my home was built!

LET'S KEEP LIVING WAGE JOBS IN WASHINGTON STATE. DO NOT USE SCARE TACTICS TO STOP COMMERCE.

Thank you for providing the opportunity to comment.
Penny Douglas
910 23rd Street NW
Puyallup, WA 98371

PS: Please delete house/street address from records given out to the public; city and zip ok. Thank you!

Penny Greenwood (#13114)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Portland, OR
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington. This proposal would negatively affect both of the communities i reside in; Portand, OR and White Salmon, WA (Columbia
Gorge) 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 increasing the toxic air in China and other Asian nations not to mention exacerbating climate change. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

Please give my request the attention it deserves.

Penny Lorenz (#12697)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
Location: Mill Creek, 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 think this is one of the most ill-conceived ideas to ever come out of the coal industry on so many levels. We have no business sending coal to China in the first place. We must reduce dependence on coal for energy all around the world, and to even consider bringing it along the shores of the Puget Sound is ludicrous. Besides which, the train tracks are frequently washed out by mud slides and then what will they do with the trains stacking up on the tracks??? .

Penny Page (#3378)

Date Submitted: 11/23/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I live on the Eldridge Avenue bluff in Bellingham. I worry that the bluff will not withstand the increased coal train traffic since these heavy trains create a small earthquake each time one passes. Recently a six unit condo above the tracks sustained $10,000 in damage when a large cement deck detached from the building. A likely cause was the movement of heavy trains a few dozen feet below the building.

I have lived on Eldridge for two years. When BNSF moves cars around on the switching yards below, the engines go back and forth, loudly spewing blue clouds of stinky diesel fumes. The fumes force me to close my windows and doors. I can't go out in my backyard. The doctors' warning about health issues associated with the trains are well warrented. I have become more congested since living close to train emissions.

The trains substantial negative impact on the City of Bellingham and other communities from the Powder Basin to Cherry Point should definitely be included in the EIS. Without that, the EIS will be woefully incomplete and a disservice to all who are negatively affected by this project.

Penny Weller (#3255)

Date Submitted: 11/16/12
Location: Anacortes, WA
Comment:
I am opposed to the development of a coal export facility at Cherry Point.

Personally it will show traffic in Skagit County for any travel across the tracks. I have been seen in four medical or dental offices on the East side of the tracks, coming from Anacortes this will delay my travel time. I am not the only person or business that will use valuable time and fuel waiting for the extra trains to pass. Many students must also cross the tracks to get to classes. Emergency medical response for live saving treatment will also be delayed.

Extra locomotive travel will add noise, soot.and coal dust. Local property values will decrease in the areas of the tracks.

Additional large ship traffic through the Salish Sea around the San Juan Islands can only add to the hazards of navigation. There will also be impediments for the recreational boaters as they avoid the extra traffic.

Coal is an outdated energy source that is being slowly eliminated in the United States because of its impact on the environment and the world in which we live. So far there does not seems to be any “clean” coal that does not have an impact on Earth as we know it. Millions of tons of CO2 are already daily pumped in our atmosphere without any chance of removal. We are seeing climate change, ocean levels increasing, ocean water acid levels increasing and more extreme climate events.

I have grandchildren and I want them to inherit a world with clean water and clean air.

There are many added cost to sending coal to Asia that would probably have to be paid by the taxpayers of our local area, our country and our world. Please do not permit export facilities for coal that will make live more difficult for the sake of a relative few jobs.

Sincerely
Penny Weller

Penny & Jay Page & Teachman (#1539)

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

Percy Hilo (#8093)

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

Peregrine O'Gormley (#5488)

Date Submitted: 12/20/12
Comment:
Tourism and Agriculture, the linchpins of Skagit and Watcom county economies, would be devastated by the proposed coal transportation project. This is a project with short sighted economic gain, taking precedence over longterm economic stability. Consider what this project would mean for our children, not just their physical health, but their ability to sustain themselves economically in the decades to come.

Further more, OUR country needs and will need every scrap of that coal, to put America back on its feet with Manufacturing and Rail transport...If you care about this Country and still have an ounce of hope that we can pull through this trough and rise again to be a symbol of strength, freedom, and moral integrity, then consider how we as Her citizens can possibly achieve these worthy goals, which our fore bearers achieved for us and which we have all but forsaken...let us come together again to rise to our mighty potential...let us use the recourses that we still have to re-build our infrastructure in a manner in which we will no longer be dependent on any country, for recourses, nor for borrowed capital....let US use that coal to get back on OUR feet and build OURselves a sustainable country for US and for OUR children.

If that half mast flag holds a shred of meaning, then vote for pulling it up tall again, and holding it there...to a place where we can be proud of who we are, who we've raised, what we teach our children, how we treat each other and what we do to make this country great.

This is it! We're up against the wall here! We don't have many moves left if we're going to get it right!

Make the right choice for our collective future.

Buy America! Vote America! Think America! Be American!


Sincerely,

Peregrine O'Gormley
Skagit County Resident
Father of Two Americans

Perrin Stewart (#4021)

Date Submitted: 12/06/2012
Location: Portland, OR
Comment:
These are the potential impacts that I believe need to be thoroughly studied:

* Noise (horns, rumbling, etc) due to the 18 additional daily mile-and-a-half long coal trains

* The effects of diesel locomotives, diesel ships and other pollutions (including that which travels from Asia to North America) on air quality and human health

* Traffic delays, due to spike in rail usage, and other effects on jobs & local businesses

* Taxpayer investment in infrastructures and upgrades that ultimately benefit privately-held corporations

* The effects of a degraded marine environment and/or altered regional identity on fisheries, property values and quality of life

*Global impacts. 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, the environmental impacts of coal mining in the Powder River Basin and coal combustion in Asia should be studied and considered.

Thank you.

Perry Eskridge (#4620)

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


Pete Bristow (#13886)

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

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

Stop being punks,

Pete Hallett (#13247)

Date Submitted: 01/14/13
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
What environmental impact will be created by opening even more coal burning in China? Please read this:

http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2013/01/14/beijing_pollution_breaks_china_s_air_quality_index_why_china_needs_a_war.html


"...we need only glance sidelong at Beijing, where the U.S. Embassy on Saturday evening showed an air-quality reading of 755, reports the Wall Street Journal. A rating of 300 is considered “extremely rare” in the United States and happens mainly during forest fires, according to the EPA. The scale typically only goes up to 500, with ratings above that listed as “beyond index.” In response to the Beijing reading—high even for China—flights were canceled, and highways closed. Schools called off sports activities, and hospitals recorded spikes in patients reporting breathing problems, according to the Guardian.


The off-the-charts concentrations are presumed to be the result of windless days that have allowed pollutants to build up in the sky over major cities. But the root causes are China’s heavy reliance on coal and cars to power its unprecedented economic growth.


Thanks in part to environmental regulations like the Clean Air Act, the United States has never seen anything like what China is enduring right now.

Unfortunately, pollution that happens in China doesn’t stay in China. If the Obama administration wants to preserve our quality of life for future generations, the solution isn’t to back off from the war on coal. It’s to urge China’s government to join the fight.
<end quote>

their coal burning hurts us, too

Pete Powell (#5451)

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

Pete Theodoratos (#5327)

Date Submitted: 12/23/2012
Location: Shoreline, WA
Comment:
Coal trains? NO!
What part of exporting fuel to China, so they can be more prepared for our industrialists to export our jobs to them, do you not understand? A "bonus" they destroy the environment with unregulated industry.
Here at home, coal trains would create a blighted corridor from the endless coal dust spewing trains (due to the fire hazard, coal trains cannot be covered airtight).
This would be a destructive venture!

Pete Theodoratos

Pete Widowitz (#5250)

Date Submitted: 12/21/2012
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
In addition to the above checked boxes, and including the concerns expressed by the Native Americans and their fishing rights, I want the topic of landslide impact fully explored.
Every winter, the rail line along the sound is shut down for days to clear mudslides from the right of way and tracks. What impact will these mile long trains, stalled in place for days, have on the congestion in the city, the flow of commuter traffic, and the water quality?
It's usually raining a lot to cause mudslides; will these coal trains be rinsing in place from the rainfall as they await a clear track?

Since the potent word 'jobs' is invoked to propel this project, I want a full and complete cost benefit analysis performed as part of the economic environmental impact statement.
To be included are all the above checked factors, from water quality, to congestion, to jobs lost from the fishing & aquaculture area, and whatever other factors a competent and professional assessor would include.

Peter Albert (#4698)

Date Submitted: 12/13/2012
Comment:
I think the project overall from digging for the coal, to transporting it, to burning if halfway around the world is a horible idea for all things living. The worst being the impact on climate change!

In addition, if the coal was to be dug up and burned, why in God's name would we not burn it here in America? Why would we even consider sending it over seas and then import forien oil? If we were going to make one bad decision, why make two?!

Peter Albrecht (#9541)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Spokane, WA
Comment:
I agree with James Wells in his commentary regarding the end use of a product which is the purpose of the proposed activity. When that product is coal, given our local and national policies with respect to GHGs and global climate change, is simply against public policy.

James Wells:

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).)

Thank you for your time.

Peter Albrecht

Peter Alexander (#3658)

Date Submitted: 12/01/2012
Location: Waldron, WA
Comment:
As a life-time sailor, professional kayak guide, and full time resident of the San Juan Islands, I appreciate the diversity, intertwined ecologies, and beauty of the Salish Sea, both its open water and its near shore. I also know from more than thirty years study and observation that the environments are robust in some sense, but also very sensitive and always in transition. Even small changes may have huge results, such as species disappearing from a large area. The proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal/Custer Spur Modifications projects, including construction, coal vessel loading, vessel operations, and coal dust provide huge risks. The project is so large that it is certain that even “normal operations” will have negative affects, to say nothing of what will happen if any of the possible system failures occur. Thus scoping must include the wide range of possible effects on the Salish Sea.
In addition to looking at specific risks, it is also necessary to view the proposed project in a wider context so as to determine the extent of individual risks and interactions among risks. As a PhD mathematician, I understand—perhaps better than most—how immense are the negative environmental or societal impacts which will result from the Gateway Pacific Terminal/Custer Spur Modifications projects. I also understand there can be no valid guarantee to avoiding these catastrophes.
As a global citizen, I have a responsibility to be an active steward and to support what seems likely to best serve the long term interests of a planet reacting to the actions of more than seven billion humans. Another set of intensive mining, extensive transportation, and coal burning activities are not examples of good stewardship.
As a United States citizen, I have a responsibility to speak and act if I see U.S. policy and action contrary to the greater good in terms of social justice and sustainable environmental practices. A critical risk of any project is, as Native American elder Don Coyhis says, “We don’t know what we don’t know.” Limited scoping greatly increases this risk. We must scope widely.
Thank you for your consideration.

Peter Alexander (#4127)

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

Peter Ali (#2203)

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

Peter Asprey (#7241)

Date Submitted: 01/14/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Not Bermingham -> Bellingham. Coal burning is the primary source of mercury in the ocean. I believe we should not mine, transport, burn or export coal. I live in Bellingham and would be adversely effected by all the trains, coal dust, pollution, noise etc.

No Cherry Point coal transfer station (Gateway Pacific Project)!

Peter Bolda (#2071)

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

Peter Brigham (#4462)

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

Peter Casale (#459)

Date Submitted: 09/25/12
Location: Langley, WA
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington.

This proposal would negatively affect our 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.

Thank You,

Peter Casale

Peter Christ (#3504)

Date Submitted: 11/20/12
Location: Camas, WA
Comment:
To Mr Randel Perry
U.S. Corps of Engineers

Dear Mr. Perry,

This is in regard to the Coal trains that are proposed to go through the Columbia River Gorge on up to Bellingham and then to be loaded on ships to be sent by sea to Asia and other sites.

Having a large number of coal trains running through the Columbia River Gorge would be very injurious to the Gorge as well as to all the communities along the Gorge. It has been shown that these trains emit coal dust and diesel pollution. Both of these have been shown to increase risk of cancer and other lung diseases. The city councils in most of the communities along the route (Washington and Oregon) have voted to adopt resolutions to stop these trains.

In addition to the obvious health risks presented by the coal trains, the additional noise and traffic problems caused by as many as 18 trains each day would be formidable. The Columbia River Gorge Scenic area is a magical place that has been set aside because of the unique qualities of it. It should not be destroyed.

And to what benefit? A very few jobs created by the building and running of ports and the shipping would not make up for the tremendous deleterious impact of the trains to our communities. All this just to supply China and other countries with U.S. coal for their energy needs without any consideration of our needs.

Please reconsider allowing these coal trains to go through the Columbia River Gorge, or for that matter, anywhere in the U.S.

Thank you for your consideration.

Peter Christ
28818 NE Hancock Rd
Camas, WA 98607

Peter DeHaas (#10276)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Comment:
I want to express my support ot the concerns that have already been expressed by many others regarding the noise, air quality, safety and indirect environmental impacts.

Further I would like to express my experience of mitigation attempts and promises made during the building the Seatac third runway. Many promises were made and assumptions about how the runway would be used were made during preparation and approval of the third runway. However after construction was complete these were not followed. Typically once infrastructure is built it will be used to be benefit of the industry with little effort made to meeting mitigation restrictions and promises. I feel this is the likely outcome of the Pacific Coal Terminal project as well. If the process goes as in prior such projects, communities and homeowners impacted by coal dust and noise and traffic and commercial disruption will not be adequately compensated and mitigation efforts will be insufficient.

Finally I would like to speak to the question of the purported economic benefits of the project and alternate possibilities. Shipping Coal to China and other Pacific rim countries is not in the best economic interest of the nation or region. Coal is the dirtiest of fuels, its extraction is environmentally damaging releasing toxins into the environment, its transportation is energy intensive and results in contamination along the route, its use as a fuel results in high carbon emissions and particulate emissions ( particularly in less regulated countries such as China). Meanwhile we have a surplus of natural gas in this country which can be piped with little distribution to the communities and is a higher value export in the form of liquefied natural gas, and is a much cleaner fuel to burn. The impact study should include study as to the impact of building coal exporting infrastructure versus LNG exporting infrastructure with preference to LNG. Coal exporting will reduce world demand for LNG and reduce funds available for building LNG infrastructure.

These issues must be seriously studied. I do not adequate mitigation alternatives are feasible.

Peter Donahue (#7048)

Date Submitted: 01/13/2013
Location: Winthrop, WA
Comment:
The environmental degradation that the coal trains and terminals would cause is locally, regionally, and globally unconscionable. This issue is a line in the sand of the climate change challenge. Do we cave to the powerful fossil fuel industrial complex and thereby concede to a future of rising temperatures, rising sea levels, and irreversible ecological damage? Or, do we say No, not this time, we won’t be complicitous, we won’t sacrifice our mountains, rivers, coasts, and communities to this crime against nature and humanity? We must say No!

Peter Evans (#11195)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
I am OPPOSED to the construction of this terminal, because it aids the expansion of the use of coal as a fuel. Coal is not clean energy, and shipping it off to China is not a sustainable solution.

Peter Farr (#4637)

Date Submitted: 12/12/2012
Location: olympia , wa
Comment:
How can this even be a question?
The planet threatening destruction wrought by burning large quantities of coal is clear.
How can there be a pretense of an objective scientific hearing on the health and environmental concerns of transporting massive amounts of coal for overseas combustion into our atmosphere?

The obvious answer is that the governmental agencies charged with environmental protection are going through the motions to rubber stamp big coal profits at the expense of our planet.

Shame on you! Any competent and environmentally educated official who is pretending to be fact finding concerning this issue knows better.
There is no doubt that you are selling out our planet for your own personal security.
Please listen to your conscience and stand up against coal.

Peter Fels (#11587)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Vancouver, WA
Comment:
5121 Franklin Street
Vancouver, Washington 98663
January 15, 2013


Re: Docket number COE-2012-0016: Proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal coal export proposal draft EIS scoping comments

Dear Sir or Madam,

We are submitting these scoping comments related to the environmental impact statement for the Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT) project located at Cherry Point, Washington. We urge you to consider the environmental and transportation impacts on the communities the trains will travel through when you consider the proposal. We also urge you to consider the cumulative impact of all the proposed terminals.

We live in Vancouver, Washington, uphill from the train tracks over which the coal trains will travel. We are concerned about the proposal to transport coal through our community.

We are concerned on a personal level because of the potential for coal dust to degrade the air quality in our town and around our home. We have asthma. Coal dust is toxic. We don’t think there is sufficient evidence that any spray surfactant will prevent toxic coal dust from entering the air as the trains travel from the extraction site to the proposed export terminals. We don’t think private companies’ desire to make a profit justifies endangering our health.

We are also concerned on a more global level. Pollution is a problem that affects all of us. Today a news story described the extreme danger of air pollution in China. Coal is a substantial cause of that pollution. The air in some areas of China is unsafe to breathe.

The extracted and exported coal that will travel across our state will go to China. We are not isolated from China’s air pollution. Pollution worldwide contributes to climate change. Climate change affects us. We don’t think private companies’ desire to make a profit justifies facilitating yet more coal pollution.

We know the coal companies and railroads have made representations that there is no danger or that they will take steps to prevent the coal dust from escaping along the long route to the terminals. That reminds us of what BP said when they were moving through the process of approval for transporting oil from Alaska. Not long before the Exxon Valdez spill, BP promised that “not one drop” of oil would spill into Alaskan waters. Of course, more than a drop spilled and BP pretty much abdicated responsibility for the aftermath. No matter what the coal companies and railroads represent and no matter how they assure us there will not be any negative effects from the transport, there is no assurance they will be responsible for remedying damages that result.

This proposal is about money. It’s about the profits the coal companies and railroads will make.

This proposal is not about jobs. Even though there will be some jobs, they are few and pretty much insignificant in the context of the potential danger to the rest of us affected.

This proposal is not about just one terminal. There are currently five coal export proposals that would transport as much as 150 million tons of coal through the Northwest. The combined impact of the five proposals on air quality, water quality, rail transportation, and local transportation should be considered. We urge the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct an area wide Environmental Impact Statement to assess the cumulative impact of these proposals.

The coal export terminals have a great potential for negatively affecting the quality of our lives and the lives of the citizens of our state. We at least deserve your consideration of those potential negative effects when you consider this proposal.

Thank you for considering these comments.

Nancy Helget
Peter Fels

Peter Frazier (#11158)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
My name is Peter Frazier. I am the steward for The Nature Conservancy for Chuckanut Island, a five-acre nature preserve. For most of my 48 years I have lived on the shores of Chuckanut Bay, have rowed and sailed this part of the Salish Sea and have been a close observer of its aquatic life. Just as I was raised on Chuckanut Bay I raised my own children here, and hope that Frazier’s will always live on these shores.

However, the middens left behind by the Native Americans who used to find plentiful shellfish and salmon in Chuckanut Bay are a stark reminder that we cannot take for granted that our children and our children’s children will be assured this heritage.

I am concerned. I feel strongly that this EIS should address any and all risks that development and operation of the coal port at Cherry Point could have during its construction and the entirety of its operation on the aquatic life of the Salish Sea.

The herring, the salmon, the orca – all part of a chain of life dependent on one another – are all at record low numbers. The orca are already the most toxic sea mammal on the planet. The salmon are already threatened. The vital pacific herring stock at Cherry Point has declined by over 94% since 1972, the same year the Roberts Bank coal terminal began operation. Perhaps this is because this terminal emits about 715 tons of coal dust each year and coal contains polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which are carcinogenic to the pacific herring and interferes with their reproduction. Note that the herring disappeared first from the spawning bed at Pt. Roberts, closest to the Roberts Bank coal terminal.

Just as the orca is dependent on the salmon, and the salmon is dependent on the herring, our very way of life as Northwesterners, as well as our health and sustenance, is dependent on the integrity of the Salish Sea ecosystem.

I feel a great responsibility to speak for this threatened chain of life that doesn’t end with me, nor my children, but rightfully continues through countless generations of people who will live on these beautiful shores.

Peter Frazier (#11174)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I ask that the local impacts of climate change be considered in the EIS being developed for the Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT) project.

The result of the transportation of coal to Asian markets will inevitably lead to the burning of that coal. The science is very clear on the result burning coal has on our climate both world-wide, and for the purpose of this EIS, locally. I won't go into the results of climate change here, but I would like to state some figures that show the significant impact GPT would have in causing the possible end of civilization around the globe, and here in the Northwest:

1) Emissions from coal-fired power plants are the single largest source of carbon dioxide released into our atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is a major greenhouse gas.
2) Each ton of Powder River Basin coal results in about 3.65 tons of carbon dioxide once burned. With 48 million tons of Powder River Basin coal burned yearly the result would be 175.48 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions every year.
3) If the terminal were to operate for 40 years (the age of the current Roberts Bank facility) the total impact would be 7 billion tons of carbon dioxide released into our atmosphere.
4) If we assume that the terminal will be operated at partial capacity for the first decade the impact would be somewhat lower: 5.7 billion tons of carbon dioxide.
5) According to the IPCC Copenhagen Accord, if the nations of the world release 525 billion tons of carbon we will raise the planet's temperature to such a degree we permanently threaten the continuance of human civilization.

Thus, this facility alone would account for about 1% of our "carbon budget"...a budget that ends in the destruction of the civilization our happiness, security and sustenance is based on, throughout the world, and here in the Pacific Northwest.

I ask that in considering the environmental factors of this project you take into account the climate change impacts on our local society resulting from burning the coal GPT would be shipping.

Thank you.

Peter Frye (#4034)

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

Peter Glarborg (#188)

Date Submitted: 09/24/12
Location: Spokane, WA
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington.

This proposal would negatively affect my community by increasing traffic, polluting our air and water, harming existing business, delaying emergency vehicles, increasing shipping traffic and noise, damaging aquatic ecosystems at the terminal site, increasing the potential for serious shipping accidents and exacerbating climate change.

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

Peter Glarborg (#11495)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Comment:
I respectfully oppose the establishment of the proposed Gateway Pacific terminal/Custer Spur, because it will have detrimental effects on our environment, health and quality of life as indicated above.
Thank you.

Peter Greenfield (#14123)

Date Submitted: 01/17/13
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
Please support a cumulative and comprehensive area-wide environmental impact review that takes into account the effects of all proposed coal export terminals currently under consideration. We owe no less to ourselves and to future generations.

Peter Gurch (#14476)

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

Peter Halcomb (#444)

Date Submitted: 10/03/12
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

Peter Halcomb (#445)

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

Peter Halcomb (#446)

Date Submitted: 10/01/12
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

Peter Harksell (#4453)

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

Peter Heffelfinger (#10721)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Anacortes, WA
Comment:
I strongly oppose the proposed coal train project and ask that the following issues be included the the environmental and industrial impact scoping:
. impact of increased train traffic at all railroad crossings in all affected states, especially in regard to delay of emergency services, interrupted access to local businesses, and increased number of derailments and train-automobile accidents.
. impact of escaped coal dust on: the health of severely declining herring stocks & eel-grass beds via the pier construction & coal delivery operation in an aquatic reserve; on local wildlife and streams near the rail beds; as well as the effect of escaped coal dust and coal spill pollution on local orca & salmon populations in the Puget Sound.
. impact on human health of coal dust and any surfactants used in transport in areas close to the rails, the coal depot, and the coal berths on the pier.
. impact of noise pollution on local communities close to rail traffic. (I have relatives in a small Iowa farm where the east-bound coal trains rumble through night and day.)
. impact of large coal tankers on ship traffic in narrow local seaways, especially with heavy oil tanker traffic currently coming to Anacortes refineries via the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Guemes Channel.
. impact of coal dust or coal spills in marine areas on established eco-tourism industries in Anacortes/Skagit/San Juan Counties, especially on shoreline areas, including local/county/state marine area parks, as well as on any diminished or degraded recreational boating activities, including boat charters, kayak/rowing and sailing events, and waterfront-related activities or community festivals in the Puget Sound area.

As a resident of Anacortes since 1973 I have seen the change from a heavily polluted industrial town (pulp, plywood, shingle mills) to a mainly residential town that relies on tourism and access to marine environments for boating, boat construction, and sports fishing/crabbing. Local waters contaminated by years of industrial shoreline pollution have been treated and/or restored to a degree by state, local and national funding. The two local refineries have faced many pollution challenges and provide a dire example of what industrial pollutants can do to marine life in local waters and the affect of industrial chemicals in the environment on human inhabitants, especially Native Americans and others who consume large amounts of local seafood.

As a long-time staff/board member of the Anacortes Arts Festival, currently in its 52nd year of operation, I am greatly concerned that any or all environmental impacts of the coal trains will diminish the financial stability of an arts organization that raises significant funds for local arts programs in our schools, youth programs, senior centers, art museums, and other cultural institutions. The Arts Festival relies on tourism to attract over 50,000 visitors each August and is a major economic driver of the town during the summer.

As a Washington State Master Gardener and long-time local organic vegetable gardener for my family I am concerned about the prospect of shipping coal to Asia for coal-fired power plants. The increased carbon dioxide emissions overseas will serve to increase global climate change; the emissions from Chinese power plants will flow via the jet stream back to the Pacific Northwest; the coal that is shipped to the East will return to us via the atmosphere. Summers are already getting warmer here, even in the Puget Sound Cool (Anacortes/Fidalgo Island's official climate/growing area designation) and in other Northwest agricultural regions. Any climate change or warming will impact local agriculture in the Skagit Valley, particularly the significant vegetable seed, bush fruit, strawberry, and tulip bulb producers that depend on cool summers and mild winters.

The Northwest and the nation in general would be far better served to develop alternative sources of energy such as wind, tidal, and solar as well as improving our current hydro-electric systems. Instead of exporting a polluting natural resource such as coal, we should be increasing local industries promoting energy conservation. The only clean use of coal is to leave it in the ground and find new environmentally safe means of power.

Peter Holcomb (#802)

Date Submitted: 10/04/12
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Peter Holcomb (#803)

Date Submitted: 10/05/12
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Peter Holcomb (#804)

Date Submitted: 10/06/12
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Peter Holcomb (#805)

Date Submitted: 10/08/12
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Peter Holcomb (#806)

Date Submitted: 10/09/12
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Peter Holcomb (#807)

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

Peter Holcomb (#815)

Date Submitted: 10/18/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
In order for the EIS to be minimally scientific, minimally ethical, and perhaps even legal (in regard to international law on crimes against humanity," it must not pretend to be little and local.

Millions of tons of carbonation added to the air and water can not be confined to America or "Asia" and the ocean between. The EIS must consider that the entire thin film of life and the systems that support life will be significantly diminished.

You who scope the EIS are self-selected crew members of Spaceship Earth now, self-assigned to life support. Do your job.

Peter Holcomb (#930)

Date Submitted: 10/22/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Each environmental impact will have a different time period of persistence in the environment. For example, noise will cease when the trains and ships stop, but carbon in the atmosphere may persist for millenia until they are at last mineralized as calcium carbonate or hydrocarbon.

The scope of the EIS and the text of the EIS must include a realistic estimate of the period of persistence for each impact, whether its a short-lived and relatively quickly evolving species such as a microorganism or humans which largely adapt culturally or marine mammals and fish, each species of which is different.

Should the proposed project cause an extinction event, the impact might reverberate through the environment virtually forever, but the scoping and the EIS must include the periodicity of each environmental and human impact .

Peter Holcomb (#1077)

Date Submitted: 10/23/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
The carbon in the atmosphere and ocean was at one time so dense and the water so acidic that animal life as we know it could not exist, not to mention the heat of those eras. But life enabled more and different kinds of life. Plants took up CO2 and released free oxygen, foraminifera took up carbon in shells and stored it in the form of limestone, the great tropical forests were buried and formed coal, etc.

The EIS needs to determine the rate at which carbon is being mineralized on the Earth at present and if it is fast enough to maintain a chemical equilibrium that will sustain life into the near future of a century and ten centuries.

Peter Holcomb (#1450)

Date Submitted: 10/11/12
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Peter Holcomb (#1451)

Date Submitted: 10/13/12
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Peter Holcomb (#1463)

Date Submitted: 10/14/12
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Peter Holcomb (#1464)

Date Submitted: 10/15/12
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Peter Holcomb (#1465)

Date Submitted: 10/17/12
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Peter Holcomb (#1712)

Date Submitted: 10/30/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
To consider the environmental impacts of GPT in isolation from all the other expanding fossil fuel projects will not lead to our thriving as a species. We have already changed our environment adversely, and projects like the GPT and the Alberta tar sands projects, coal projects in China and Australia exponentially expand the trouble we are causing for ourselves.

GPT in isolation is like considering the amputation of a least toe, which might be an acceptable sacrifice for truly improved well-being overall, but it is not isolated when considering the context of a thousand similar cuts which together are lethal, The EIS must consider the entire injury of coal in particular and fossil fuels in general, and what they are all doing to the world. This is a case where it is impossible to prove that this particular million tons of CO2 causes runaway greenhouse effects, and so they must be considered cumulatively.

Peter Holcomb (#4186)

Date Submitted: 12/09/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
This comment regards shipping accidents and coal/fuel spills. The EIS should consider the worst possible disasters and require a bond that would pay for the entire cost. In the event, for example of loaded coal vessel colliding with an oil tanker, what would be the dollar costs to replace the ecosystem destruction? The entities proposing the terminal would buy the bond before any work could begin. In the event of a coal vessel colliding with a cruise ship, all potential losers would be fully compensated by a bond dedicated to recompense them prior to the start of building. Without such a bond, endless court battles would be the result of the inevitable accident with no real mitigation of the environment and victims dying of old age before they would be compensated. Let the Exxon-Valdez spill show what would happen without a huge bond on deposit over which none of the companies involved would have control.

Further, as soon as the preconstruction bond is depleted by any amount, shipping would cease until the bond is restored to its original amount plus an amount determined by new understanding of cost and including any costs previously overlooked by the government entities responsible.

Realistically, preconstruction bonds should cover environmental costs for a period of time until the environment is fully restored to it's preconstruction condition, including marine habitat and reintroduction of lost species.

Peter Holcomb (#5932)

Date Submitted: 01/03/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Lately, there have been numerous news items relating to unpredictedly accelerated rates of ice melting, ocean acidification, and fish species declining in the world. I respectfully ask the impact statement drafters to look carefully at acceleration of effects, and what the incremental billions of tons of CO2 implied by west coast shipping of coal will do to further accelerate what seems to the media as a real danger to human life on this small planet.

I further call the writers attention to what level of risk would be acceptable. Most of us take a typhus shot not because we expect to get typhus, but because the very tiny probability is still unacceptable. What tiny risk of global catastrophe is unacceptable? It seems to me that the "unacceptable" threshhold would have to be very low, much lower than the risk of typhus.

Peter Holcomb (#5999)

Date Submitted: 01/04/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
There is much debate over how robust or how delicate the environment of our planet might be. We really don't yet understand how the whole system works, nor which species and functions are truly crucial. It is possible that the abuse of the planet we are doing right now might continue unabated for several more decades without causing a cascading failure of nature. It is also possible that we went over the edge irrevocably several decades ago, but we humans all need to behave as if it's not too late at the moment, but one additional insult might be the ONE. I hope you will fully consider how little we know in writing the EIS.

Peter Horne (#4643)

Date Submitted: 12/13/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I am concerned about the impact of increased coal train traffic on public health near the rail lines due to increased coal and diesel particulates. Additionally, I am concerned about a declining quality of life near the rail lines due to these human health concerns, along with increased noise and traffic congestion. Finally, I am concerned that all of these impacts will negatively affect real estate property values and economic growth along the rail line. The EIS should include detailed studies of these issues, as these negative impacts will far outweigh any potential gain.

Peter Koch (#12722)

Date Submitted: 01/16/13
Location: Bellevue, WA
Comment:
I strongly oppose the export of coal for environmental reasons.

Peter Kolodychuk (#11689)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Comment:
I am a student attending Bellingham High School, and my reason for writing this comment is to request that an investigation of the impact of coal dust on the air quality of Whatcom County be included in the scoping process.The pollution of the air with coal dust poses a great risk to the health and lives of the inhabitants of Whatcom County, so that the extent of this risk is worthy of careful study. In fact, there is good reason to think that the shipment of coal through and out of Whatcom County will negatively impact its air quality. According to a BNSF estimate, a single train “loses between 500 and 2000 pounds of coal dust en route,” and “the dust is notoriously difficult to control, and has proven to be a concern for residents close to Westshore, the coal port in BC.” Furthermore, “The coal at the proposed GPT terminal will be stored in open heaps on 80-105 acres located in proximity to the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve” and “winter conditions often see wind gusts in the 60-70 knot range” so that “it seems likely that the wind will agitate the heaped, pulverized coal”even before it leaves for export. Not only will the the health of the citzens of What com County be negatively affected, but the health of the manuel laborers of the parties involved will also be negatively impacted. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says, “Coal dust causes pneumoconiosis, bronchitis and emphysema in exposed workers,” “Coal dust is recognized as a cause of chronic bronchitis,” and “Exposure to coal dust is associated with an increased risk of focal emphysema, which is usually associated with the presence of pneumoconiosis and centrilobular emphysema, which can occur in the absence of pneumoconiosis.”One can assume that if coal dust is detrimental to the health of people that coal dust would also be detrimental to the health of animals and wildlife as well. Coal dust is an ecumenical worry for those that come into contact with coal in any way, and should be treated as such.

Peter Kowalke (#13579)

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

NO MORE COAL GLOBAL WARMING!!?? REMEMBER??
WE HAVE MANY OTHER TECHNOLOGIES,,,SO MORE COAL TO MAKE SOME RICH AND OTHERS SICK AND THE PLANET HOTTER?? NO NO NO

Peter Kuentzel (#1466)

Date Submitted: 10/15/12
Location: Lopez Island, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Peter Kuentzel (#2412)

Date Submitted: 11/06/2012
Location: Lopez Island, WA
Comment:
My name is Pete Kuentzel. My home is on Lopez Island. I am concerned about the number of proposed immense coal-cargo ships that will pass by our island. The planned shipping traffic increases the odds of marine accidents and oil spills as a threat to the life of the salmon, herring, Dungeness crabs, and shell fish farms.

How will this impact commercial and recreational fishing? What agency can truly prevent such disasters and carnage of marine life? Can this be mitigated to protect the marine life?

Peter Kuentzel (#4660)

Date Submitted: 12/13/2012
Location: Lopez Island, WA
Comment:
My name is Pete Kuentzel a resident on Lopez Island. Are there any studies on the accumulation of coal dust soiling the ocean and marine life over a twenty or forty year period? What would be the impact of PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) on shell fish farms, herring and salmon populations? Could the ecological damage be mitigated? Who would be responsible for restoring a healthy marine ecology? Would this correction be done by private interests or our tax dollars?

Peter Kuentzel (#4663)

Date Submitted: 12/13/2012
Location: Lopez Island, WA
Comment:
I live on Lopez Island for the natural beauty of the oceans and islands. My name is Pete Kuentzel. I ask what would happen if a coal carrier would have an accident in the narrow straights near our islands? What impact would a fuel spill have on marine life? Is there a significant fuel spill analysis that relates to the local topography? If this can not be mitigated I urge you to take no action.

Peter Kugler (#13168)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Location: Springfield, OR
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington and transporting strip-mined coal from Montana and Wyoming on trains and ships throughout the Northwest. This proposal would negatively affect my community by increasing congestion and noise with more coal train traffic, polluting our air and local waterways, harming existing businesses, delaying emergency responders, damaging aquatic ecosystems and fishing grounds at the terminal site, increasing tanker traffic and the potential for serious shipping accidents and escalating climate change. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

While I am sure you will say that climate change cannot be a part of your specific concern in this issue I would strongly disagree with that. Any action that places the future of our children and grandchildren has to be considered. It is clear beyond any doubt that the continued use of coal is a direct threat to the safety and wellbeing of future generations on this planet and we have a responsibility to take action to mitigate this danger.

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 also urge the Army Corps of Engineers to take into consideration the damage done by the burning of coal no matter where it is burned.

peter lavelle (#11382)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: port angels, wa
Comment:
Moving Powder River coal from Wyo. & Mt via rail barge to U.S. West Coast ports

is a very, VERY bad idea. To barter short term financial gain to very few people for

long term pollution is UNETHICAL. Coal dust pollution, noise, traffic congestion,

increased CO2 from Far East (China) plants adding to global warming /climate

change... potential de=railed coal cars from landslides......in short, there is nothing,

NOTHING good about this idea.

Peter Lewis (#4212)

Date Submitted: 12/08/12
Comment:
To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing to express my concern over both the proposed route of SSA Marine’s coal train through Washington State and the proposed construction of the Gateway Pacific Terminal. Amongst other concerns, a major potential resultant impact of the proposed coal train route and/or construction of the Gateway Pacific Terminal that I call upon Whatcom County, Washington State, and the US Army Corps to scope is the effect of emissions from diesel particulates on people with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease who are living within 1,000 feet of rail line.

Significance of the impact:

Potential significant impacts include decreased quality of life and untimely death.

Why impact is foreseeable:

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is caused and exacerbated by noxious particles or gas, including diesel exhaust (see http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22234274). The “safe” distance that an individual must maintain from a diesel exhaust source is not currently known. Until it has been proven otherwise, it stands to reason that substantially increasing the number of diesel train engines running near Washington State communities may substantially increase COPD occurrence and severity.

What should be studied, why, and how:

To fully explore these potential impacts, studies should be undertaken to examine 1) the expected yearly amount of diesel emissions in Washington State, due to the proposed coal trains and 2) the effects of said amount on morbidity and mortality in humans. In-depth studies on these issues must be performed, in order to fully assess the significance of these potential risks. Collection of diesel particulates could be performed with gas analyzers and should occur at multiple sites along the proposed railway and at distances no further from the railway than the human towns and residences which would most closely reside along it. To examine the effects of expected diesel particulates on morbidity and mortality in humans, a controlled statistical study could be performed. This study should compare a large group of individuals with COPD who do not live near diesel emissions that are within a distance comparable to the proposed railway to a group of individuals with COPD who do live near diesel emissions that are at a comparable distance and amount to the proposed railway.

Alternatives or mitigations EIS should consider [(a) no action, (b) proposal with mitigations, and (c) other reasonable courses of action)]:

The proposed coal train route and Gateway Pacific Terminal facility should proceed, after all other outstanding concerns have been addressed and with at least the following mitigation: it must be established 1) that the Washington State communities which are nearest to the proposed coal train routes will not be at increased risk for COPD due to increased diesel exhaust emissions and 2) that the condition of current COPD sufferers will not be worsened due to increased diesel exhaust emissions.

Sincerely,
Peter Lewis
WA State Resident

Peter Lewis (#13638)

Date Submitted: 01/22/13
Comment:
I live in a community close to the BNSF Rail line on which up to 18 additional daily coal trains (9 full, 9 empty) will be traveling if the Gateway Pacific Terminal is built. I/we request that the GPT Environmental Impact Statement encompass the entire transportation corridor as well as the entire Puget Sound as an ecosystem so that our livelihoods, homes, and habitats are given due consideration. Questions that concern me/us, and which objective, rigorous and comprehensive study should include:

Direct impacts on Fisheries and the Puget Sound: How will tourism; boating; collision risks; coal spill risks; salmon, crab and herring fisheries; Orca whales; and the general beauty, vitality, and livability of the Puget sound and environs be affected by this new coal port construction and operations, and by the other 950 annual transits of coal ships to come? We and our fellow workers depend on healthy salmon runs and healthy, non-toxic shellfish, as does the marine and bird life in Seattle/the Puget Sound. The trains will be running directly through and over the Carkeek Park salmon beds, where baby fish are already struggling without the added stresses of arsenic and mercury from coal dust in the river. How will this specific park be affected, and the baby salmon/eggs in its rivers?

Direct and cumulative impacts of Coal Dust pollution: Please investigate this in the areas of rail safety;
increased risks of spills due to coal dust buildup on tracks; increased shellfish toxicity; the general health of the community that lives on/near the rail way and up wind of train traffic; investigate how coal dust and port run off contributes to the acidification of the ocean/Puget Sound, and how this will impact the wildlife there; specifically investigate the Puget Sound's water currents in evaluating what kind of build up there will be, whether or not the pollution will be able to drain out of the sound effectively, and if not, what the overall cumulative impacts of that build up of toxins will be, while also taking into account possible pollution from spills; impacts on workers health who handle the coal, and the costs they will have to pay for increased health care expenses.

Black Carbon and burning coal: Please investigate what role the burning of coal plays in the creation of black carbon, which has recently been identified by scientists as the 2nd biggest contributor to global warming. How much black carbon would be added to the atmosphere if China were to burn the same amount of coal that is planned to be shipped, and what kinds of impacts would this have, cumulatively, on global warming?

How much coal smoke/ash travels to the northern ice sheet when burned in China, and what kind of contribution does it make to the melting of ice once it settles? How greatly does the build-up of coal dust/ash residue contribute to ice-melt acceleration? What companies who are profiting off this transport of coal planning to do in order to clean up in the arctic and preserve the ice sheet from melting away completely? Currently we know that black sludge from air pollutants is gathered on arctic glaciers, which results in more sunlight and heat being focused on the ice than would naturally occur. This increases below-glacier streams/cracks/rivers, which are creating new momentum to carry these ancient glaciers to sea, where they ultimately melt. This process is greatly accelerating the melting of once-permanent glaciers. We can reasonably foresee that if the arctic ice sheet in destroyed, such an event will initiate a series of global weather disasters unlike anything we have seen in recent history. Please investigate the impact of black-sludge residue on the ice thoroughly, as it's presence has only recently come to light publicly and needs much further exploration to fully understand its impacts, which appear dire. (See "Chasing Ice" by Jeff Orlowski for more info.)

Chinese preparedness: Please investigate whether or not China as a nation is fully prepared to effectively mitigate the massive influx of pollution on their people, wildlife, and waterways. What are the impacts to be expected on the Chinese people themselves, and the environment, and what solutions are available to contain the pollution so that our global environmental commons (ocean/atmosphere)
are not damaged beyond sustainability?

Global climate change: At the current rate of global climate change, how much will burning this coal add to the abnormalities in our planet's atmosphere? Please produce an estimation,
based in scientific evidence from multiple independent sources, of how much coal, if any, we can be allowed to burn in the next 5 years WITHOUT impacting climate change. How do the GPT's numbers fit in to that equation?

Human health ans Safety: How will cancer, heart disease, asthma and other health risks be affected by air and water pollutions associated with coal transport and export? How will additional rail and ship traffic affect accident and collision rates? Toxic air pollution crosses the Pacific Ocean from Asia to the west coast of the united states; what would be the LOCAL public health impacts of Powder River Basic coal combustion in Asia?

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

Comment and recommendation: Some arctic experts are now predicting that with the current rate of melting, we could see the disappearance/permanent destruction of the ice sheet within 4 years time. Because of this, and all the above states costs, concerns, and negative effects this plan will no doubt have on our global environment, regardless of the local destruction and pollution it will likely cause, we urge you to consider these questions, and take NO ACTION. We do not believe or expect these effect/concerns to be mitigate-able, and decisively oppose the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal, and
the companies that are in charge of planning it.

We sincerely hope you take ample time to gather the information necessary before delivering a reply.

Sincerely,
Peter Lewis

Peter Lockwood (#10479)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
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.

Peter Marshall (#4325)

Date Submitted: 12/07/12
Location: Bellevue, 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.

The impact studies will only be credible if they address the total impact including combustion. The growing desire of the U.S. to reduce coal as an energy source (practically speaking there is no "clean" coal)would be subverted by sending it overseas.



Peter Marshall
3030 109th Ave. SE
Bellevue, WA 98004

Peter Mayer (#14477)

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

Peter Miller (#4426)

Date Submitted: 12/06/12
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.

Not only are there local impacts, but there are serious global impacts on climate change that the increased use of coal will have a huge and negative impact!



Peter Miller
1706 SE 30th
Portland, OR 97214

Peter Mitchell (#7649)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Location: Seattle, Wa
Comment:
Concerned about Pacifici Terminal / Custer Spur and potential noise and toxic impacts on surrounding ecosystem and community.

Thank You,
-Peter

Peter Renhard (#14478)

Date Submitted: 01/06/13
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Peter Reum (#13352)

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

Peter Roberts (#13990)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Comment:
Is there no end to our willingness to compromise our environment and our own health?

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.

peter roloff (#2297)

Date Submitted: 11/04/2012
Location: Lopez, WA
Comment:
Dear Alice Kelly, Randel Perry, Tyler Schroeder;
I have deep concerns( mind the pun) about the marine habitat and the impact this proposal will have on our marine species, particularly the sea urchin and it's vulnerability to coal dust and increased oil pollution.
i also encourage you, in your assessment, to include the current level of environmental damage sustained thus far, particularly in the marine waterways of the Salish Sea.

Kelp communities consist of several distinct canopy types supporting many herbivores. Most important among these are sea urchins, which are capable of destroying nearly all fleshy algae in most kelp systems, and the spines of the red sea urchin (Strongylo- centrotus franciscanus) provide crucial nursery habitat not only for other sea urchin species, but other invertebrates and fish as well. Factors affecting the abundance of sea urchins are thus important to the integrity of kelp ecosystems.

I have, in my extensive time spent underwater, as a commercial diver, witnessed repeated evidence of sea urchin species and their "spine canopy" acting as living nurseries protecting a diverse variety of species in the infant stages of development.
These include but are not limited to;
Giant Pacific Octopus (Enteroctopus dofleini),
Greenlings, including Ling Cod,
Rockfish, including Quillback, Tiger and Copper varieties,

I also witnessed small schools of what appeared to varieties of bait fish, such as Herring or Candlefish taking refuge in the spine canopy.

With this evidence of a primary link in the development of many species, and these species being crucial to the health of the entire marine region, i feel it is of utmost importance to include a thorough study of the impacts on the Kelp communities and the varied Urchin populations in them.
As well as all marine areas these ships will pass through in order to include the deep water herds of Urchins residing at 60 to 200 ft and deeper, through out the Straights of Juan De Fuca, Rosario Straight and Haro Straight .

Sincerely,
Peter Roloff
Nov. 4, 2012

Peter Saflund (#491)

Date Submitted: 09/24/12
Location: Kent, WA
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington. We are promised jobs and increased "prosperity" in return for damaging aquatic ecosystems at the terminal site, increasing the potential for serious shipping accidents and exacerbating climate change. Somehow the jobs never materialize - at least not in any significant quantities. The transportation in and out of the terminal will create few jobs but monstrous traffic problems. And what are we doing exporting coal anyway? It's going to China no doubt so they can build more factories and take still more American jobs.

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

Peter Sodt (#7142)

Date Submitted: 01/13/2013
Location: Camano Islans, WA
Comment:
I am a retired pediatric cardiologist, living on Camano Island. I am in severe agreement with Ruth Ann Holder's comment of January 6, 2013. I am worried that the contamination of our environment will harm the viability of our farm lands and I fear that with the ongoing climate change, the production of the Pacific Northwest farms will become an ever more important resource in our country. I am also concerned with the increasing levels of contamination in our environment, and their subsequent increase in the children living in the area.

Peter Tamsky (#3487)

Date Submitted: 11/25/12
Comment:
To Whom it may concern,
In regards to the proposed coal terminal in Cherry Point Wa. As a concerned citizen and as a 25 yr millwright, the last 15 yrs as a union milwright,Having worked in the energy sector,in refineries,paper mills,aluminum plants,and power plants all over the western US.( Alaska,Washington, Oregon, California,Arizona,Colorado,Wyoming,Montana,Ohio, the last thing on these resource based coporations is the good of the people and our planet. The culture is crafted by the all mighty dollar,and their are no bad actors,they are all equals.I have been there in numerous accidents,spills,releases,injuries and deaths,I have seen miles of pipeline on the North slope laying on temporary cribbing at crazy angles( Not BP pipe... Conoco Philips pipe,I have put machines back in operation that were not 100%, It was just time to start making money, I have seen near disasters at Anacortes,at Rawlins Wyoming,Los Angeles, Elk hills California, and many more. People were laughing at Fukisima...saying the Japanese were just stupid( their spent fuel storage was below capacity...ours is over capacity)....they spend alot more on safety and training,disaster preparednes , we have only been luckier.

As soon as things go wrong ,and they will, they will duck ,bob and weave,as they always have.This terminal will not bring that many jobs,and it will leave a mess,all the way from Montana to China,and I am willing to bet my livelyhood on it!

Sincerely Peter Tamsky. Journeyman Millwright,local 96 Concrete, wa.

Peter Vennewitz (#13562)

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

Peter Willing (#12759)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Please find attached my comment letter on the scoping of the EIS for the Cherry Point coal terminal proposal

--

Peter Willing
Attached Files:

Peter and Gert Coleman (#13888)

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.

Climate change is here. We need to end fossil fuel use, not export it around the world.

Petra Ditsche-Kuru (#11103)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Bremen, DE
Comment:
To whom it may concern,

With this letter I want to submit my concerns regarding the plans of the
Pacific Gateway Terminal. I am biologist and have worked with tidal fish
at San Juan Island in the past. There are plans for future work with
marine species in this region. I worry a strong impact of the vessels on
the waters and marine species community of the San Juan Islands due to
different reasons:


(1) The increased traffic of these huge ships itself will have an impact
on marine animals.

(2) Each of these ships could carry high amounts of ballast water from
Asian with potentially harmful invasive species. The discharge of ballast
water from the ships can have heavy impact on the waters. As known from
many other regions, invasive species can dispossess the local species and
by this change the whole biological community totally

(3) These huge ships are hard to maneuver and carry high amount of fuel,
so the danger of accidents with strong environmental impact is high.

(4) The huge ships will cause considerable acoustic pollution, what can
have strong impact on the local whales. The whales are not only amazing
animals which should be protected; they are also of interests for many
tourists visiting these area. Thus, harming the whales will also have
negative economic consequences for the region.

I kindly ask you to preserve and protect this incredible and unique marine
wild life around the San Juan Islands. Please study carefully the impact
of the listed points on the marine life and the region and take them into
account carefully.

Sincerely,

Petra Ditsche-Kuru


PS: I have send an email to comments@eisgatewaypacific.gov yesterday, but it returned. So I hope you will still consider this one.

Phelps McIlvaine (#8121)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Location: Bellingham, wa
Comment:
As a south Chuckanut Bay resident for 18 years, I can audibly distinguish a passenger from a freight train more than two miles away. The current coal trains are even louder and longer than the freights. The locomotives and horns are substantially louder. The coal trains are also the only ones that slow and or stop along Chuckanut Bay. This means freight cars slamming into each other with loud cannonades that echo off the Lummi Pennisula and then return across Bellingham Bay to Chuckanut for a second round of booms. The process is repeated when the train accelerates and the car couplings crack again. The sound of these trains at the top of Chuckanut mountain, a mile from the tracks and 2200 feet up would shock you. It sounds like you are standing right next to the tracks. These sounds travel all the way to the top of the western slope of Larrabee State Park. How you are going to mitigate for these sounds. Walls? These sounds will reduce the value of our homes and property.

I am also concerned about the remote but real chance a coal train may dump its load into Chuckanut Bay ( think tressels, land slides) and nearby salmon streams. The geology of the area is notably unstable especially during winter storms. See the WSDOT record on Chuckanut Drive closures. The oil tankers that transit our area to Anacortes have tug escorts to prevent a disaster grounding. How can you assure the coal wagons won't capsize? How will you get the coal out of the Bay, streams, inaccessible shores and forest?

Phil Hamilton (#3438)

Date Submitted: 11/27/2012
Location: Portland, OR
Comment:
It is important that the EIS adequately address the impacts on the above subjects of the projected coal-train traffic through the Columbia Gorge.

Phil Hanson (#12568)

Date Submitted: 01/16/13
Location: Portland, OR
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of the Proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal coal export in Washington State. This entire scheme is an environmental disaster from start to finish.

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, traveling 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.

Phil Hanson (#13470)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Portland, OR
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington. This proposal would negatively affect my community by increasing traffic, polluting our air and water, harming existing businesses, delaying emergency vehicles, increasing shipping traffic and noise, damaging aquatic ecosystems at the terminal site and all along the route, 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 prudent thing is to abandon plans to export fossil fuels of any kind; to do otherwise is to invite economic and environmental disaster on a global scale.

Phil Kelly (#12981)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington and transporting strip-mined coal from Montana and Wyoming on trains and ships throughout the Northwest. This proposal would negatively affect my community by increasing congestion and noise with more coal train traffic, polluting our air and local waterways, harming existing businesses, delaying emergency responders, damaging aquatic ecosystems and fishing grounds at the terminal site, increasing tanker traffic and the potential for serious shipping accidents and escalating climate change. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

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.

Finally, I believe that the financial benefits to the area ( in terms of permanenet new jobs, etc. ) is not sufficient in light of the environmental damage and transportation tie ups in Bellingham and Whatcom county -as well as the reast of the communities affected by the coal train route.

Phil Plaza (#11326)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Alsea, OR
Comment:
This comment is sent to offer alternatives to the coal export process that would help alleviate numerous challenges and perhaps mitigate concerns. While coal is a major energy resource, it is well known that the impacts of buring coal are detrimental on many fronts. Hence I am proposing several solutions to mitigate these challenges. First the need for coal is understood. Given this need the first step in mitigation would be to set the most strict standards for mining coal that will help prevent mining issues that are detrimental to the health of humans, the environment and the economy. The highest environmental standards must be regulated and enforced with appropriate cost effective penalties. The rail transport should be such that not only emergency plans for rail spills would be strictly designed but all coal cars should be covered to prevent any "coal dust" from escaping the cars. Of course all ports must be designed to insure absolute protection from coal transfer to shipping containers. The next step would be an export tax based upon coal tonnage shipped to foreign countries. This could be called a carbon export tax. The reasoning for this is due to the fact that coal is a heavy producer of green house gas emissions and someone needs to pay a price for any future mitigations. If a foreign country is to use US coal to produce energy and GHG then they should pay for this by financing our country's attempts to design and build this country's cleaner coal fired plants to help offset the foreign production of GHG. All monies received from this export coal tax would be used solely to design cleaner coal burning plants in the US. It makes no sense to send coal and the resultant GHG without some source of added cost to offset this foreign use. In summary I would suggest the strictest environmental regulations at the source, during the transportation and the building of the ports be enforced with highly appropriate standards/penalties. And due to the known GHG produced from coal, a carbon export tax which will mitigate foreign production by developing more effective coal burning energy plants in this country is a strongly mandated requirement for any coal shipments to any foreign countries.
Thank you,
Phil Plaza

Philip Branch (#10791)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Orcas, WA
Comment:
Dear Scoping Panel:
I am a forester who has lived on Orcas Island in the Salish Sea since 2001. Now I work in the local high school in special education. In the summers I have worked in Moran State Park, both as an aide and as a naturalist, leading nature hikes.
I have great concern that the proposed coal terminal at Cherry Point would create grave effects on the environment in the Salish Sea. In the 1900s overfishing and the release of pollutants into the waters created havoc. The abundance of abalone, salmon and other marine food sources for humans and marine mammals like the orca whales plummeted. I believe that the coal terminal and the great increase in traffic of huge vessels would create great danger for the continued decrease in the cleanliness of our waters and the health and abundance of the delicate chain of marine life, both plant and animal, which sustain life in our Sea.

Therefore I request that the scope of study in the EIS for the proposed Cherry Point Coal Terminal include study of the vital eelgrass beds at Cherry Point, and the web of life in those waters which allow herring to spawn and juvenile salmon to feed in the beds. Please study and report on any studies done at coal terminals like the one in BC near Point Roberts. What effect has that coal terminal had on the health of the nearby waters and all the forms of life in them? What effects might coal dust and other pollutants at a Cherry Point Terminal have on water and life near the terminal--especially as it relates to salmon and bait fish?

Sincerely, Philip Branch
Orcas Island

Philip Buri (#1477)

Date Submitted: 10/24/12
Comment:
see attached
Attached Files:

Philip Fenner (#5137)

Date Submitted: 12/19/2012
Comment:
Everything about this project is awful. Burning coal is the worst thing humans can do these days for energy. It's bad at every level. We here in western Washington and especially in the vicinity of where this terminal is proposed to be cited are hopefully environmentally aware enough to come out in mass numbers in total and diametrical opposition to the entire project to get it stopped. I couldn't go to the meeting in Seattle, so I'm submitting this comment instead. Rather than cite all the horrendous negative environmental impacts of coal generally and this terminal in particular I will just say they are well documented and not in need of reiteration. I stand opposed to the GWT coal terminal project and its equivalent anywhere else for that matter.

Philip Fensterer (#5714)

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

Philip Heikkinen (#10215)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Eastsound, Wa
Comment:
The idea of moving coal by train and shipping it from a terminal near Bellingham is terribly wrong in many ways.
Besides the tons of coal dust that would wind up on the side of the railway, many more tons would impact the shoreline and the ocean, all along the path of the transport ships. Many species would be negatively affected.
In addition, this process of selling a scarce, rapidly diminishing resource for short-term gain, with only negative long-term environmental and economic effects, is misguided at best.
We already know that accidents will occur--many past incidents demonstrate this. The effects will play out for years.
This is a terribly destructive idea.
Thank you.
Phil Heikkinen

Philip Hernandez (#1794)

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

Philip Myer (#3296)

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

Philip Ronco (#360)

Date Submitted: 09/24/12
Location: Milton, WA
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington. This proposal would negatively affect my community by increasing traffic, polluting our air and water, harming existing business, delaying emergency vehicles, increasing shipping traffic and noise, damaging aquatic ecosystems at the terminal site, increasing the potential for serious shipping accidents and exacerbating climate change. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement. Please do this for All Americans!!!

Philippe Mazaud (#11222)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Portland, OR
Comment:
The current situation is bad enough.

The absurd noise pollution caused by trains endlessly and needlessly blowing horns that reverberate blocks and miles away, day and night, are not "minor inconveniences" for residents of Portland and SE Portland in particular. They are a significant public health and quality of life issue.

As far as I know, it is a situation that exists in no other advanced nation, neither Japan nor Western Europe, where trains, including freight trains, move swiftly and quietly along mostly electrified rail lines.

While it must be acknowledged that freight trains generate less pollution, relative to the amount transported, than trucks, the exclusive reliance on diesel powered engines does impact air quality as well.

The proposal to ship vast amounts of coal by rail, right through our cities, would turn a bad situation into an intolerable one. Quite aside from whether coal extraction is a wise choice for energy (it isn't, and there are good indications that what happens in China environmentally will have an impact here on the West Coast), the open-air shipment of coal, along wholly inadequate rail lines, mile-long trains crawling right through densely populated cities and communities, does not constitute an acceptable choice.

The proposal is one that the city and its residents have everything to lose and virtually nothing to gain from.

Philippie Bateman (#3651)

Date Submitted: 11/26/12
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Phillip Casarez (#10205)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Snohomish, WA
Comment:
Has anyone addressed the almost weekly land and mudslides in the Everett/Mukilteo train track section??

Imagine a mudslide carrying 4-6 coal cars into the water at this point.... Not to mention cleanup of the impacted area. And what of the delays? How much money are you going to make with all your coal train caravans lined up waiting for clear tracks to proceed North past Everett?? Where are you going to park the trains while you're waiting for tracks to clear? Or do you plan on doing like AmTrak does, and load the coal onto buses and then re-load on the other side of the blockage? NOTHING has been done for the last 6 years to this area of Mukilteo; no improvements, no retaining walls, no re-rod, no lumber embankments.....just clean the mud, load it onto a rail car, and re-open the tracks...but that won't be so easy if it gets one of your "coal caravans". And watch citizens bitch with coal trains parked in their back yards in Vancouver, Edmonds, and other "en-route" cities. All those rich (ex-Boeing) people in Mukilteo will love your trains sitting on the tracks under their homes, waiting for the weekly clean-up. with your toxic coal dust wafting up into their backyards, on their windows, and roofs...

Great Plan!! Love it!!!
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Phillip Holder (#5760)

Date Submitted: 01/02/2013
Location: Mount Vernon, WA, WA
Comment:
Please accept my scoping comments for the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Gateway Pacific Terminal Inc.’s (GPT) proposed project at Cherry Point, Washington and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway’s Custer Spur Rail Expansion project. My scoping topic for this letter is:

Train horns in Mount Vernon

My wife and I eagerly visited Washington state annually from Texas for many years, and when retirement time came, we moved to Mount Vernon, having been through here many times and stayed here as visitors. We live on the West Hill in Mount Vernon, a five minute walk east of downtown. We walk there almost daily to shop, bank, dine, and do other business. Our 100-plus year old house is up the hill about 500 feet from the rail line that cuts through Mount Vernon and would carry the 18 additional coal trains daily to furnish the proposed GPT terminal.
As I shop for food or meet friends at the Skagit Valley Food Co-op (less than 200 feet from the rail line), and travel the main streets of downtown Mount Vernon (many of the businesses there being within 300 feet of the rail line), I occasionally hear train horns shatter the air. The horns can be heard inside the Same Ol’ Grind, a locally owned coffee shop. I hear the horns on occasion when I am in the public library, where the librarians are unable to shush them, and when I am in my bank. On occasion I have watched Co-op members experience a startle response as they step out the east doors of the Co-op with groceries and a passing train happens to cut loose with a horn blast. In my experience, there is no business in downtown Mount Vernon that is insulated from the insistent blare of the horns.
Train horns are designed to interrupt the reverie or concentration of anyone or anything that may be in the process of or considering traversing the train tracks. The horns are multiple notes, and if they were in tune with each other, they would be chords. But the notes are not all in the same scale with each other. The horns produce a “horror movie” sound track effect, and are designed to be loud, dissonant, and alarming. That is a rational design to alert any misguided creature lounging on the tracks or undertaking to go around the crossing arms in front of a train.
However, this approach to rail safety is a “baby and bath water” solution: every resident, business owner, employee, tourist, pedestrian, and motorist within earshot is shaken from their current activity by these horns meant to demand attention that a train is approaching, mostly people who are not considering crossing the tracks, may not be near a crossing, and may even be asleep in their beds. It would be like having my alarm clock set for 4 a.m. to wake me up, and setting up outdoor speakers with volume cranked up enough to blast the entire neighborhood out of sleep. Just like my neighbors who do not need or choose to arise at 4, those of us not contemplating crossing the tracks do not need to be shocked out of our current activity with the blaring and repeated announcement that a train is approaching a crossing somewhere in town.
I understand that the mile and a half coal trains planned to serve the GPT terminal would be among the heaviest ever put together, so they are least likely to be able to stop within a mile, hence will be expected to lay on the horns for safety and liability purposes. I understand that the pattern for a train approaching an at grade crossing is two long blasts, one short blast and two long blasts, repeated as often as allowed commencing between fifteen and twenty seconds before the lead locomotive enters the crossing, and stopping when it does enter the crossing. Now, Mount Vernon has eight at grade crossings, and they are somewhat closely spaced since the rail line cuts right through the center of town. A simple calculation suggests that there might be 40 blasts from one train as it comes through town. I cannot confirm this from personal experience, although one otherwise lovely summer afternoon as I was in my back yard, I heard one train bellow twenty-three warnings that it was passing through Mount Vernon.
So twenty three blasts (or 40 – who knows?) per train, times 18 coal trains a day added because of the GPT terminal, means hundreds more piercing auditory alarms per day, mostly startling people who are at absolutely no risk of being hit on the tracks. They may be trying to sleep, conduct business, interview clients, practice yoga, teach children, read, meditate or pray, listen to music, or any of a multitude of activities that require concentration, focus, and/or peace. Is it the best approach to safety on the rail ribbon to shock the concentration or peace of all these people who have the misfortune to work or live nearby?

EIS should study impacts of hundreds of additional horn blasts a day

Specifically, I ask that the EIS include:
• measurement of the number of horns blasts per train as they move through Mount Vernon, and calculation of the number of blasts daily we may expect in Mount Vernon from 18 additional coal trains per day;
• measurement of the decibel levels of train horns at the east door of the Skagit Valley Food Coop (202 S. 1st Street), one of the anchor businesses in downtown Mount Vernon;
• measurement of decibel levels of train horns at the entrance to the Red Door Antiques Mall (111 Freeway Dr.) and at the adjoining Calico Cupboard, which are key stopping points for visitors to Mount Vernon;
• measurement of the decibel levels of train horns at the east door of the law offices at 401 S. 2nd Street;
• measurement of decibel levels of the train horns at the south entrance to the First Baptist church (103 North 5th Street);
• measurement of the decibel levels of the train horns at the Emerson High School (227 North 4th Street);
• measurement of decibel levels of train horns at the Bikram yoga studio (508 S. 2nd Street);
• measurement of the decibel levels of the train horns at all Mount Vernon residential neighborhoods north of Blackburn, south of College Way, and within 1000 feet of the rail line (please include my neighborhood, the 100 block of N. 6th, in the West Hill area); and
• a study of the amplifying, reinforcing, or echoing effect of the horn blasts bouncing off of or being funneled among the many masonry walls in the downtown Mount Vernon area. The varying terrain, presence of walls and buildings, and individual characteristics of these locations renders “desk study” inadequate to the task; the EIS should include on the ground, measured field observations of the magnitude of the horn blasts, in the locations set out in this comment.
The EIS should then study the impacts of the horns of 18 additional GPT trains a day, when cumulated with the baseline ambient noise pollution in Mount Vernon from I-5 and current and reasonably foreseeable future rail traffic, on:
• The quality of life of Mount Vernon residents living within 1000 feet of the rail line;
• The property values of real property owned and used by Mount Vernon residents and business owners within 1000 feet of the rail line;
• The capacity for quiet enjoyment of real property owned and used by Mount Vernon residents and businesses within 1000 feet of the rail line;
• The physical and mental health of Mount Vernon residents living within 1000 feet of the rail line;
• The level of commercial success of Mount Vernon businesses within 1000 feet of the rail line that depend on customers being able to shop without undue, loud, and unpredictable interruptions;
• The efficacy of classroom instruction in Mount Vernon schools within 1000 feet of the rail line; and
• The disruption of Mount Vernon church services within 1000 feet of the rail line.

Mitigation – Quiet zones or wayside horns

There are provisions in some communities for “quiet zones”, where at grade crossings are designed so that no vehicle or person is physically able to cross the rails when the crossing is closed for a passing train. I would like the EIS to study the feasibility of instituting quiet zones at the at grade crossings in Mount Vernon, timelines for the funding and construction to do so, and the possible sources of such funding. I believe that – unlike many of the externalized costs of the proposed projects by GPT and BNSF – the horn noise caused by these projects can be mitigated. Those who stand to profit handsomely from the GPT and Custer Spur projects should be required to finance the quiet zone transformations. Their profit should not be gained by appropriating our peace and quality of life and externalizing onto the public the costs and negatives of the proposals.
As an alternative, some rail systems place warning horns or bells at the crossings alone, so that warnings are broadcast only at the road/rail intersection, not from moving locomotives hundreds of feet from the crossing. (Locomotives would still have horns used to warn the occasional person or animal actually attempting to traverse the tracks between crossings.) In the alternative to the “quiet zone” study requested above, I would like the EIS to study the feasibility of instituting such “wayside horns” at the at grade crossings in Mount Vernon, timelines for the funding necessary to do so, and the possible sources of such funding. The applicants for these projects should be called upon to pay for such mitigation, since it is the applicants’ projects which promise to degrade the quality of life and efficacy of commerce along the rail line by the addition of irregular and overpowering noise several hundred times a day.

Mount Vernon is but one of 121 communities on the rail route

There are 121 towns, villages, and cities from the mines in the Powder River Basin to the proposed coal terminal site at Cherry Point. Each rail passage through these communities has its distinct characteristics, with businesses, schools, churches, and homes close enough to the rails for the occupants to be disrupted and startled possibly tens of thousands of times a day by the additional 18 coal trains. The EIS should therefore study all of the impacts bulleted above and applicable to rail communities generically, for the 120 other communities along the rail line from the mines to the GPT at Cherry Point, and the mitigation measures set out above.

Phillip Holder (#6105)

Date Submitted: 01/06/2013
Location: Mount Vernon, WA, WA
Comment:
Please accept my scoping comments for the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Gateway Pacific Terminal Inc.’s (GPT) proposed project at Cherry Point, Washington and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway’s Custer Spur Rail Expansion project.

After vacationing many years in Washington state, travelling through Mount Vernon many times, and staying here on occasion, my wife and I retired here from a large, hot, automobile-dependent city in the southwest some years ago. By choice and preference, we live within a 5 minute walk from its historic downtown, and walk there almost every day to shop, dine, bank and do other business. Many days we do not use our car at all.

Mount Vernon has a well-maintained historic downtown adjacent to the rail line, with a Main Street Program designated by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The downtown is largely free of national “big box” retailers, and includes at least 170 locally owned businesses, with hundreds of people working there. The businesses sell kitchen wares, furniture, clothing, books, office supplies, pharmaceuticals, food, and antiques, and provide services like accounting, legal advice, counseling, exercise, home décor, film and live entertainment, and health care. These businesses employ residents of the Skagit Valley, hundreds of them. Those are existing jobs, some held by my friends and neighbors.

And those jobs depend on the health of the businesses, which in turn depends upon an effective transportation system so employees, customers, deliveries, and tourists can get to and from businesses in Mount Vernon without peril, undue delay or discomfort, or surfeit of expense. Visit Mount Vernon and you will see brisk movement of people and goods into and out of the downtown area. Much of the movement is on an east/west axis, and crosses 1-5 and the rail tracks, which cut through the center of town.

I-5 moves north/south with the aid of several overpasses, so east/west traffic never intersects with it on the same grade. Not so the rail line: within a couple of miles of track, the streets and roads in Mount Vernon intersect the rail line with “at-grade” crossings eight times. And vehicular and pedestrian traffic must always yield to the trains, a vestigial feature presuming rare and brief blockage of roads by trains. That is increasingly a false presumption, and becomes a cruel joke with the addition of 29 miles of coal train per day through Mount Vernon.

Please refer to the attached jpeg file, which is a Google-earth map of Mount Vernon. The red line running generally north and south represents a mile and a half coal train on the tracks that bisect Mount Vernon. Please note that just one train adjacent to the downtown business district blocks four major at-grade crossings: at College Way, Riverside, Fir, and Kincaid.

WaDOT studies show that there are 66,000 vehicle transits on an average day through these four rail crossings. Sometimes there is a mechanical problem stalling the train, as occurred December 7, 2012 in Mount Vernon, when a broken southbound coal unit train paralyzed traffic for 45 minutes. (See, http://www.goskagit.com/all_access/stalled-train-snarls-traffic-in-mv/article_0bb21396-2d40-5c78-b045-d53bc362f09f.html#.UMInuBttLO4.mailto ). Even without such breakdowns, the delays due to 29 additional miles of coal train daily threaten to cause serious and unpredictable delay to motorists attempting to shop, take kids to school, get to work, make deliveries, provide emergency health services, fight fires, respond to 911 calls to the police or sheriff, or other important functions.

Therefore, I ask that the scope of the EIS include the impacts of the additional GPT train traffic. Please study these issues:
• the net addition of delay time in Mount Vernon as traffic backs up at each at-grade crossing waiting for the 18 daily GPT coal trains, operating or stalled;
• the potential loss of business receipts, tax revenue, property values, and jobs in Mount Vernon due to the reputation and reality of traffic delays caused by or added to by the GPT proposal;
• the loss of life, health, or property due to delays in the arrival of firefighters, police, or medical emergency personnel; and
• additional costs to the public to regain the previous level of emergency response efficacy degraded by the GPT rail traffic.

GPT’s Public information document applies a multiplier to its projected permanent jobs figures to amplify them into thousands of jobs. When studying the potential loss of jobs in Mount Vernon due to the GPT proposal, I ask that you apply the same multiplier to apply to job losses here caused by GPT’s rolling coal blockade, for an apples-to-apples comparison of the economic effects on Mount Vernon.

The “walkable community” paradigm for urban living (http://www.walkscore.com/) defines the ranges of walkability based on access to daily errands without resort to a car. This way of living is demonstrably important to me personally, and to dozens of families who live on the West Hill neighborhood in Mount Vernon and do business downtown. I walk downtown almost daily, as do very many of my neighbors. My house has a “walkability score” of 89 out of 100%, or the top of the range for “Very Walkable” (most errands can be done on foot) and just below “Walker’s Paradise” (ALL errands can be done on foot), at 90 to 100%. I ask that the EIS study whether the fallout effects of the delays, noise, and air pollution, and the attrition of property values, business, jobs, and commercial going concerns, will so impair the attractiveness of going downtown on foot that it extinguishes the viability of walking as a major means of transport in Mount Vernon. Will that be the case for others among the 121 towns and cities on the rail line between the Powder River Basin mines and Cherry Point?

MV is only one of those 121 communities cut by the rail line. Please study the total loss of business receipts, tax revenues, and jobs due to traffic congestion in those communities caused by GPT’s proposal, and please determine and use the appropriate multipliers in each community for job losses. Thank you.
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Phillip Holder (#6442)

Date Submitted: 01/09/2013
Location: Mt vernon, WA
Comment:
I live in Mount Vernon, within 500 feet of the train tracks. My wife and I were visiting with a friend who is a realtor yesterday, and we asked how the market was going for her and her work these days. She told us that sales of residences near the rail lines were slow, because people were beginning to hear about the GPT project proposal and what it would mean for quality of life for those living nearby.

Mount Vernon has several neighborhoods of single family houses near the trail tracks, and I took our friend’s remarks to mean that present and future market value of properties near the rail line were unstable because of the GPT proposal.
Then today I read about a study on property values by Paul Zemtseff is an experienced appraiser and consults for Eastman Company; he considered impacts from the coal train increases on real property within 600 feet of the line in Pierce, King, Snohomish, Skagit and Whatcom counties. He concluded, among other things, that single family homes north of Everett could face a decline of property value as much as five to 20 percent. Source: http://climatesolutions.org/cs-journal/coal-train-traffic-would-impact-property-values

I ask that the EIS study this crucial impact on the built human environment. Please study the number of homes within 600 feet of the rail line where the GPT trains want to travel. I believe there are 75 communities in Washington that are bisected, split, or otherwise touched by the BNSF tracks, and unincorporated areas which have homes proximate to the rail lines. What are the likely effects of the property values of these buildings, and if the values go down as a result of the noise, traffic blockage, air quality, vibrations, and damage to the neighborhoods’ reputations for safety, quiet, and family friendly character, what real property valuation losses are likely? Please study the average loss of value as a percentage, and tally the total dollar value of homeowner loss in Washington state due to GPT driven property value decline. Thank you.

Phillip Holder (#6979)

Date Submitted: 01/12/2013
Location: Mount Vernon, WA, WA
Comment:
I comment to agree with the remarks of my Mount Vernon friend Barbara Jackson, in comment number 2523, dated October 31, 2012. Among other things, Barbara’s scoping comment states:
“My understanding of the laws that govern your actions (NEPA and SEPA) is that these laws bestow upon you an affirmative obligation as trustees to protect the natural resources – the air, the water, the land and, yes, even the atmosphere (both laws require you to consider climate impacts) - for the benefit of us all, including succeeding generations. These natural resources belong to the public – and that includes my great grandchildren. Turning these resources over to private interests would be a very grave matter. Your duties as trustees are based on a long tradition in Western democracy. This means you must not apply environmental standards as only a set of minimum requirements. I ask you - I beg you – to fully exercise your legally conferred duties, as the trustees of my great grandchildren’s future, to seriously study in detail the broader implications and impacts of the GPT proposal, including the impacts on the earth’s atmosphere.”
Barbara is an exemplar of this concern for the well-being of our community today and those who come after us. One small example: I see her gardening, weeding, and landscaping the local YMCA as a volunteer, bad weather or other adverse conditions notwithstanding.
My comment here adopts all the scoping requests set out in her comment #2523, including her 14 page attachment, “101+ Reasons to Be Concerned about Coal Export”.

Phillip Holder (#8539)

Date Submitted: 01/17/2013
Location: Mt vernon, WA
Comment:
I now live in Skagit County and visit the San Juan Islands several times a year. For many years before moving here, I have enjoyed riding the ferries, camping on the islands, whale watching, and other recreational activities there as a resident of Texas on vacation. The richness of life in those waters is a source of wonder to visitors, and revenue to the many tourist-related businesses in the San Juans.
I agree with comment number 1567, by Sanford Olson, submitted October 27, 2012. I particularly join in the 7 concerns he enumerated in that comment, and I ask with him that you "conduct a thorough, comprehensive, Vessel Traffic Study including all potential increased vessel traffic occurring due to expansion, or development, of import/export terminals in Washington, Oregon and Canada."

Phillip Holder (#9920)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Mt vernon, WA
Comment:
I am Phillip Holder, a transplanted Texan who chose to live in the northwest upon retirement. I live in Mount Vernon. I respectfully urge 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. (In the summer of 2011, SSA Marine illegally graded and cleared land without permits on the site for their proposed Gateway Pacific coal terminal at Cherry Point. Both Whatcom County and the U.S. Corps of Engineers required SSA to reach agreement on land disturbances with local Tribes. Five months later, at the time SSA submitted the new GPT application, SSA still had not resolved these outstanding violations. A description, with appendices, of these events can be found here: http://www.coaltrainfacts.org/ssa-land-and-cultural-disturbance)

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 protectarchaeological 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.

Relevant Documents:
Point Elliot Treaty, http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Point_Elliott
United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unpfii/documents/DRIPS_en.pdf
Announcement of the U.S. Support for the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples & Initiatives to Promote the Government-to-Government Relationship & Improve the Lives of Indigenous Peoples, http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/153223.pdf
Information on Cherry Point, http://www.coaltrainfacts.org/lummi-nation-xwechiexen-cherry-point-gathering
Sovereignty and Treaty Protection for the Lummi Nation, http://treatyprotection.org/

Phillip Holder (#10603)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Mt vernon, WA
Comment:
I moved over 2000 miles to Skagit County in 2005 because of the natural beauty of the land and water, the varieties of wildlife, the opportunities for outdoor recreation, and the general quality of life in the Pacific Northwest. I am concerned about the many aspects of Gateway Pacific Terminal’s (“GPT”) and BNSF’s proposals that negatively impact the natural and human environments in Skagit County, but in addition to considering the many impacts, the agencies and consultants conducting the EIS should take a close look at the proposal’s statement of need, in Section 3.2.

The applicants reason that the human populace of the northwest, the critters, and the landscape should endure the impacts associated with the projects because of three “needs”:
1. The need to ship bulk cargo to and from Asia and other markets to meet current and future market demand;
2. The need for deepwater, bulk marine terminals in the Puget Sound region; and
3. The need for community and economic development in Whatcom County consistent with the Whatcom County Comprehensive Plan for the Cherry Point Industrial UGA.
The applicants’ assertion should not be taken at face value, without analysis. Instead, because “need” or “necessity” are not absolutes, the weight of their declarations of need should be measured before the weight and detriment of impacts are gauged against the “need and purpose.”

“Need”, in common usage, runs a spectrum from convenience to absolute necessity. At one end of the spectrum is convenience or slight benefit, as in “I believe I’d like a chocolate sundae.” At the other is the absence of something essential to the survival of the entity doing the wanting or needing, as in “I need oxygen to breathe.”

In between are various levels of desire, and in this context the proximity of the entity doing the desiring to the GPT project. As to levels of want, consider a couple of examples. Iran claims it “needs” to develop nuclear capabilities. The smoker “needs” a cigarette, or really WANTS one, but how do we sort insistent desire (maybe even bolstered by dependency founded on the internal chemistry of addiction) from “need”, and what is the nature of “need”? This kind of analysis should be part of the EIS, to assess the strength of the “need”, identify the entities experiencing the “need”, and consider what happens if the “need” is not met in the manner proposed.

GPT’s statement of needs is led by the most specific and primary one: the purported “need” to ship bulk cargo overseas to meet demand. The secondary and tertiary “needs” are mainly cosmetic, and could be satisfied by other projects. (In fact, the applicant’s corporate parents could have made use of the current permits it has on the site from 1997, but the permits have evidently lain inert despite the secondary “needs” claimed in section 3.2. So how strong are those “needs”, really?)

Now is the crucial “need” the one to ship stuff, to sell publicly owned coal, or employ people at Cherry Point? No. According to GPT’s public information document, the nexus of the want is not the applicants’ fervor to load and ship things, but the “demand” in “markets” overseas. The “markets” (really people, governments, and corporations) really really want more of the commodity, in this instance coal. But this desire for Powder River Basin (“PRB”) coal is demonstrably not absolute: GPT asserts that if the terminal and spur are not built, China and other potential Asian customers will get coal elsewhere. So getting PRB coal to the Asian markets is not essential, like living things need water, but is more of a preference.

And the preference is for convenience or profit. The EIS should consider the nature and strength of the asserted need in foreign markets for US coal. Is this a situation akin to water to drink or air to breathe in order to live? In certification of electric plant and transmission projects that affect the public, the benefit to the public is a factor. “Need’ has to do with benefits to customers of the utility, not just benefits to the shareholders. Because the projects’ impacts are negatives visited upon the people – usually customers of the utility - trying to conduct their lives, the cost/benefit analysis applies to THE SAME POPULACE. Not so the GPT and Custer Spur project. The benefits are for one group of people, and the impacts are on another group, without much intersection at all.

I understand that the purpose of the EIS is to weigh the impacts, but a cogent study should start with some sort of thoughtful calibration of the “needs” for the project, rather than taking “need” as established as an absolute merely by assertion.
In light of the above, I recommend a “no action” alternative.

Phillip Martaguz (#2045)

Date Submitted: 10/26/12
Comment:
see attached
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Phillip Norman (#13443)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Portland, OR
Comment:
The first issue is that it is TREASON to give public coal reserves in Wyoming to global investors for their personal and immoral profit. It isn't a business decision, or knowledge the trains and barges proposed would pollute the entire pathway. It simply is letting a few criminals cash out now, for energy we all need for sustenance for hundreds of years, accelerating global rather than stopping, global warming.

Our Congress and our President must stop this now.

Phillip Wampler (#9996)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Saint Louis, MO
Comment:
I am opposed to this proposed project because it will further the impacts resulting from burning fossil fuels. There no longer is any question what is happening to our atmosphere as a result of burning fossil fuels. This project, if implemented, contributes to and hastens the effects of global warming caused by increased greenhouse gases. There is no justification for your or any federal agency(s) contributing to this problem while another is sounding the alarm regarding eventual destruction of our livable atmosphere. Whether it's moving fossil fuels around in the U.S. or transporting coal to China or burning coal in China, all of these things will occur if this project goes forward, and all of these things will contribute to global warming. When you sit down and go through your evaluation process you follow, remember your duty to protect the U. S. citizens that pay you and gave you your responsibilities. Do the right thing!

Phillup Brinkman (#13806)

Date Submitted: 01/16/13
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington, the transport of strip-mined coal from Montana and Wyoming on trains throughout the Northwest and the export of coal by ship through the Salish Sea and the Pacific Ocean. The proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal would negatively affect communities in the Pacific Northwest by increasing congestion and noise with more coal train traffic, polluting the air and local waterways, harming existing businesses, delaying emergency responders, and damaging aquatic ecosystems and fishing grounds at the terminal site. In addition, the proposal would threaten endangered orcas, salmon and herring, increase high-risk freighter traffic in the Salish Sea and Pacific Ocean -- and thus the potential for serious shipping accidents and oil spills -- and escalate climate change. I urge you to consider these significant impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

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

The Final Battle
by Chris Hedges
Over the past year I and other plaintiffs including Noam Chomsky and Daniel Ellsberg have pressed a lawsuit in the federal courts to nullify Section 1021(b)(2) of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This egregious section, which permits the government to use the military to detain U.S. citizens, strip them of due process and hold them indefinitely in military detention centers, could have been easily fixed by Congress. The Senate and House had the opportunity this month to include in the 2013 version of the NDAA an unequivocal statement that all U.S. citizens would be exempt from 1021(b)(2), leaving the section to apply only to foreigners. But restoring due process for citizens was something the Republicans and the Democrats, along with the White House, refused to do. The fate of some of our most basic and important rights—ones enshrined in the Bill of Rights as well as the Fourth and Fifth amendments of the Constitution—will be decided in the next few months in the courts. If the courts fail us, a gulag state will be cemented into place. (Photo: AP/Alex Brandon) Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Mike Lee, R-Utah, pushed through the Senate an amendment to the 2013 version of the NDAA. The amendment, although deeply flawed, at least made a symbolic attempt to restore the right to due process and trial by jury. A House-Senate conference committee led by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., however, removed the amendment from the bill last week.

“I was saddened and disappointed that we could not take a step forward to ensure at the very least American citizens and legal residents could not be held in detention without charge or trial,” Feinstein said in a statement issued by her office. “To me that was a no-brainer.”

The House approved the $633 billion NDAA for 2013 in a 315-107 vote late Thursday night. It will now go before the Senate. Several opponents of the NDAA in the House, including Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Va., cited Congress’ refusal to guarantee due process and trial by jury to all citizens as his reason for voting against the bill. He wrote in a statement after the vote that “American citizens may fear being arrested and indefinitely detained by the military without knowing what they have done wrong.”

The Feinstein-Lee amendment was woefully adequate. It was probably proposed mainly for its public relations value, but nonetheless it resisted the concerted assault on our rights and sought to calm nervous voters objecting to the destruction of the rule of law. The amendment failed to emphatically state that citizens could never be placed in military custody. Rather, it said citizens could not be placed in indefinite military custody without “trial.” But this could have been a trial by military tribunals. Citizens, under the amendment, could have been barred from receiving due process in a civil court. Still, it was better than nothing. And now we have nothing.

"Congressional moves concerning the NDAA make it clear that Congress as a whole has no stomach for the protection of civil liberties,” said attorney Bruce Afran, who along with attorney Carl Mayer has brought the lawsuit against President Obama in which we are attempting to block Section 1021(b)(2).

The only hero so far in this story is U.S. District Judge Katherine B. Forrest of the Southern District Court of New York. Forrest in September accepted all of our challenges to the law. She issued a permanent injunction invalidating Section 1021(b)(2). Government lawyers asked Forrest for a “stay pending appeal”—meaning the law would go back into effect until the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued a ruling in the case. She refused. The government then went directly to the Court of Appeals and asked it for a temporary stay while promising not to detain the plaintiffs or other U.S. citizens under the provision. The Court of Appeals, which will hear oral arguments in January, granted the government’s request for a temporary stay. The law went back into effect. If the Court of Appeals upholds Forrest’s ruling, the case will most likely be before the Supreme Court within weeks.

“President Obama should never have appealed this watershed civil rights ruling,” Mayer said. “But now that he has, the fight may well go all the way to the Supreme Court. At stake is whether America will slide more toward authoritarianism or whether the judicial branch of government will stem the decade-long erosion of our civil liberties. Since 9/11 Americans have been systematically stripped of their freedoms: Their phone calls are monitored under [George W.] Bush and Obama’s warrantless wiretapping program, they are videotaped relentlessly in public places, there are drones over American soil and the police control protesters and dissenters with paramilitary gear and tactics. As long as Obama and the leadership of both parties want the military to police our streets, we will fight. This is unacceptable, un-American and unconstitutional.”

We knew the government would appeal, but we did not expect it to act so aggressively. This means, we suspect, that the provision is already being used, most likely to hold people with U.S. and Pakistani dual citizenship or U.S. and Afghan dual citizenship in military detention sites such as Bagram. If the injunction were allowed to stand during the appeal and U.S. citizens were being held by the military without due process, the government would be in contempt of court.

Judge Forrest’s 112-page opinion is a stark explication and condemnation of the frightening erosion of the separation of powers. In her opinion she referred to the Supreme Court ruling Korematsu v. United States, which declared constitutional the government’s internment of 110,000 Japanese-Americans without due process during World War II. The 2013 NDAA, like the old versions of the act, allows similar indefinite detentions—of Muslim Americans, dissidents and other citizens.

Section 1021(b)(2) defines a “covered person”—one subject to detention—as “a person who was a part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners, including any person who has committed a belligerent act or has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces.”

The section, however, does not define the terms “substantially supported,” “directly supported” or “associated forces.” The vagueness of the language means that the plaintiffs, including those who as journalists have contact with individuals or groups deemed by the State Department to be part of terrorist organizations, could along with others find themselves seized and detained under the provision.

The corporate state knows that the steady deterioration of the economy and the increasingly savage effects of climate change will create widespread social instability. It knows that rage will mount as the elites squander diminishing resources while the poor, as well as the working and middle classes, are driven into destitution. It wants to have the legal measures to keep us cowed, afraid and under control. It does not, I suspect, trust the police to maintain order. And this is why, contravening two centuries of domestic law, it has seized for itself the authority to place the military on city streets and citizens in military detention centers, where they cannot find redress in the courts. The shredding of our liberties is being done in the name of national security and the fight against terrorism. But the NDAA is not about protecting us. It is about protecting the state from us. That is why no one in the executive or legislative branch is going to restore our rights. The new version of the NDAA, like the old ones, provides our masters with the legal shackles to make our resistance impossible. And that is their intention.

Phoebe Hershenow (#3952)

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

Phoebe Oaks (#13765)

Date Submitted: 01/16/13
Comment:
I write in strong opposition to 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.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Phoebe Rosoff (#2452)

Date Submitted: 11/06/12
Comment:
Attached are some comments I have written for the Gateway Pacific Terminal scoping period.

Thank you for your consideration,

-Phoebe Rosoff
Attached Files:

Phoenix Youngman (#12116)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Hello,
My name is Phoenix. I’m a Whatcom resident and a student attending Bellingham High School. I’m writing concerning the impacts that the increased noise pollution from the Coal Train Project could have on the local environment, as well as other areas going up the coast from Cherry Point.

Though seeming irrelevant without much thought, noise pollution has some serious drawbacks for wildlife. Freight trains produce 89 dB of noise from 15 meters away, and therefore produce roughly 52.5 dB of noise from 1 Km away. With the Coal Train Project being estimated to increase the number of trains traversing through Bellingham by 18 per day, the amount of the noise the environment is exposed to will increase drastically upon it’s realization. “The Effects of Noise on Wildlife” (http://www.fws.gov/windenergy/docs/Noise.pdf) explores the negative effects of noise pollution from wind turbines as far lower dB levels. The animals that would be impacted the most would be the small and those who depend strongly on auditory cues for survival, such as birds.

Noise pollution wouldn’t just impact the wildlife, it would also decrease the value of business and residences near the train tracks, and greatly decrease the quality of Bellingham’s nicest park, Boulevard park.

Mitigation for this issue would be difficult. There are better transport alternatives to freight trains; coal transport by air would greatly limit the areas affected by noise pollution, but would be far more expensive, would require more fuel and would require the building of a landing strip. Transport by sea would simply defeat the entire purpose of the coal port, and building more efficient/silent trains would be an immensely costly endeavor.

Scoping the effects that the increased noise pollution from the coal trains will have on the local environment and the environment surrounding the tracks would be a worth while endeavor.

Sources
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-12596619
http://www.fws.gov/windenergy/docs/Noise.pdf
http://www.chem.purdue.edu/chemsafety/Training/PPETrain/dblevels.htm

Phyllis Booth (#4783)

Date Submitted: 12/14/2012
Location: Olympia, WA
Comment:
To Our State Government:

I severely oppose our tax monies being used to transport coal in Washington, Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana. I oppose it because the coal is going to pollute and ruin these areas. Our tax monies should be used to help us, and not export our own energy to China. I am ashamed that our government officials are even considering doing this project. Don't we have enough environmental disasters without creating more? Why are our tax monies being used against us, especially ordinary people, to enhance further the pocketbooks of people like Warren Buffet? Also, why are there not more public hearings, especially in all the areas in which the coal trains will go through? I thought we had a democracy. Why can't all of the people being affected have a public hearing in their area? I think this is discrimination.

Sincerely,
Phyllis Booth, age 52

Phyllis Booth (#13599)

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

Furthermore, I do not like our tax monies that support our trains being diverted to ship coal from the energy starved United States to China, just so billionaires like Warren Buffet can profit.

I do not appreciate my own government not protecting we ordinary people from bad environments like LOVE canal and other forms of serious pollution without tremendous opposition and sometimes loss of life.

It seems like our government does not care about ordinary people anymore.

Phyllis Bravinder (#2236)

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

Phyllis Bravinder (#8323)

Date Submitted: 01/17/2013
Location: Anacortes, WA
Comment:
My name is PHYLLIS BRAVINDER and I live in SKAGIT COUNTY. I respectfully request that various impacts upon tribal nations be given due consideration. Please study:
Potential damages to the Nooksack River, to Salish Sea ecosystems and fisheries, and to Cherry Point itself; and impacts on traditional livelihoods, natural resources, food sources, culture and religion.
Possible infringement of international and treaty rights, and the consequences of such infringement.
Any disturbance of archaeological sites, burial sites, and sites of cultural importance.
As recognized in the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve Plan, the Lummi Nation and other tribes have treaty rights in the Salish Sea, as usual and accustomed fishing grounds. How might damaged fisheries; polluted waters, lands and air; altered ecosystems; and increasingly industrialized, crowded waterways impact traditional Native culture and spirituality; employment and livelihoods; natural resources and safe food sources? How might the construction and operations of GPT, and the transport and storage of bulk commodities, including coal, affect the full and proper observation of all relevant rights and treaties?

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

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

Thank you,

Signed ___PHYLLIS BRAVINDER___gobravinder@gmail.com____


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

Relevant Documents (as these are common references in this process, I see no need to attach in .jpg form; however, I include them as relevant to the arguments):
Point Elliot Treaty
United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
Announcement of the U.S. Support for the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples & Initiatives to Promote the Government-to-Government Relationship & Improve the Lives of Indigenous Peoples
Information on Cherry Point
Sovereignty and Treaty Protection for the Lummi Nation

Phyllis Bravinder (#8348)

Date Submitted: 01/17/2013
Location: Anacortes, WA
Comment:
While the process in which we are engaged focuses on the proposed terminal and railway spur, the potential harm extends throughout the 'life' of the coal or other possible exports. In the case of coal, disruption and destruction of the environment from the mining to and through the use of the coal must be considered. While we cannot control the use of the coal, we can surmise that it will be burned, dirty and environmentally destructive as it is. At every point in the process, there are serious, negative consequences for life and the environment.

Separating all of the concomitant impacts suggests that a coal terminal would be viable without all of the mines, towns, people, wildlife, sealife, environmental degradation, noise pollution, traffic pollution and air quality that will negatively affected.

The coal terminal should be considered as the reality that it is one piece of a broad system. Impacts of the total system must be studied and wisely weighed in making any decision about the terminal itself.

Phyllis Bravinder (#9058)

Date Submitted: 01/17/13
Comment:
To whom it may concern:


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

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

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

Thank you,

Signed ___PHYLLIS BRAVINDER___gobravinder@gmail.com____


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

Relevant Documents:
• Point Elliot Treaty
• United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
• Announcement of the U.S. Support for the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples & Initiatives to Promote the Government-to-Government Relationship & Improve the Lives of Indigenous Peoples
• Information on Cherry Point
• Sovereignty and Treaty Protection for the Lummi Nation

Phyllis Busch (#4904)

Date Submitted: 12/15/12
Location: Mukilteo, WA
Comment:
My name is Phyllis Busch and I live in Mukilteo WA. I am writing to you to express my opposition to the Gateway Pacific Coal Terminal. There are many reasons to not have this terminal located in Puget Sound. Among them are the definite negative impact of the major increase in shop passages through the Salish Sea which would further devastate our already fragile Puget sound environment. This will cause an extreme hardship on our generations and generations to come. We have to protect our precious natural resources.
The coal trains will pass along Puget Sound and right next to our ferry terminals causing traffic delays that will be intolerable.

I urge you not to support the building of these terminals. Please consider issues other than profit for the coal and train industries but rather our welfare and generations to come.

Phyllis Clausen (#5641)

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

Phyllis Dale (#5715)

Date Submitted: 01/02/2013
Location: Everett, WA
Comment:
I am extremely concerned about the what the additional train traffic will do to our communities. And the terminal itself to the environment. I see no need for us to have to go through this destruction on our environment and then years down the road pay for the clean up with tax dollars.

Phyllis Dolph (#3260)

Date Submitted: 11/20/2012
Location: Anacortes, WA
Comment:
Will you please study the impact of blowing coal dust at the Westshore Terminal and project your results onto the one under consideration at Cherry Point, in the EIS?
In the EIS study:
Please include impact of blowing coal dust from both the terminals on people. This includes their health over at least 25 years; it also includes the health costs which would be imposed upon and have to be covered by these same people, plus how many doctors and specialists would be involved.
Please include impact from blowing coal dust from both the terminals on all land plants, large and small, including also bacteria and fungi, within at least 5 miles of the terminal.
Please include the impact from blowing coal dust from both the terminals on all aquatic plants, including microscopic plants, within at least 5 miles of the terminal. This includes fresh water as well as salt water plants.
Please include the changes in chemistry of the water of the sea within at least 5 miles of both terminals.
Please include in the EIS, the changes in where people move to live in proximity to the terminal and where people live in proximity to the rail tracks. Project this onto the change in where people would live in Bellingham and the surroundings of the Cherry Point Terminal and its tracks.

The wind carries off a million and a half pounds of coal dust from the Westshore Terminal every year.
Please, in the EIS, study the amount of coal dust would be "carried off" at the potential Cherry Point Terminal.

Thank you,

Phyllis

Phyllis Dolph (#2877)

Date Submitted: 11/11/12
Location: Anacortes, WA
Comment:
Please have the EIS study the impacts of coal on climate change. Dr. James Hansen, the great NASA climate scientist of our time, has accurately predicted global warming for 30 years. He says that burning coal is the single greatest threat to all life on our planet, including of course, civilization. Please study the impacts of burning coal in the United States and in Asia. Please include Beijing and other places in China.

Digging up coal is a moral issue. Building a coal terminal is a moral issue. Transporting coal from Montana and Wyoming, spilling coal dust along the way, causing local citizens to have to pay for infrastructure which would otherwise not be needed and which they do not want...is a moral issue. People who live near coal train tracks who will get sick and possibly die: this is a moral issue. Carrying coal in humungous ships through our outstandingly beautiful Puget Sound and thence across the ocean is a moral issue. Burning coal is a moral issue. Black lung disease or "Beijing Lung" is a moral issue already in China to which we should not add. But all of this pales before the issue of climate change.

Perhaps the EIS does not cover morality per se, but please study how each of these issues would be compared and contrasted by
1) not digging up coal at all and thus never transporting it nor building a coal terminal at all
and
2) digging up coal with
a: costs of digging and loading coal at the mine
b: transporting and amounts of spillage of coal all along the whole track, Montana or Wyoming to Cherry Point,
c: compare and contrast amount of coal dust lost from rail car is non- windy area with coal dust lost in windy area like beside the Columbia River Gorge
d: costs to citizens for infrastructure: compare and contrast these costs with those infrastructure costs paid by the coal company, SSA Marine, and any corporate sponsers who are the "coal people" promoting this coal terminal
c: the projected number of illnesses and death of local citizens along the railroad, from Montana and Wyoming mines to Cherry Point
d: the projected health costs of those citizens made ill by( in c above) anything to do with coal , diesel fumes, coal dust
e: mathematical calculations and maps of houses, schools, churches, stores, and other edifices which would be within one mile on each side of the train tracks, from the mines to the terminal, as they will all be affected by coal dust, noise, breakage and disease,
f: costs of building the coal terminal at Cherry Point
g: number of businesses from the mines to the terminal, cut off with number of jobs lost because of increased trains at crossing
h: projected number of emergency vehicles delayed all along the whole route from the mines to the terminal
i: the source of, the amount of and the costs of bunker fuel for shipping per year for the next 50 years
j: the impact of spillage of bunker fuels,
spillage of diesel fuels
spillage of coal dust along rail roads
spillage of coal dust in the sea
overturned rail cars filled with coal
crashed megaships in Puget Sound: crashed with other ships, with whales, with sharks, with other sea animals,
oil spills
k: the FACT that oil spills have had NO rescue plan, e.g. in Valdez and the Gulf oil spills: please study the impact of potential spills when there is such stark proof over the years that big incredibly wealthy corporations have not been able to clean up their megamesses.

l: the impact on all the minute aspects of the pristine natural beauty which attracts tourists to the Pacific Northwest and to boating in Puget Sound. Compare and contrast no change with long coal trains and with gi-normous ships navigaing through our beautiful islands, trying not to hit kayaks, ferry boats, sail boats, and whales!
m: the impact of coal trains in Bellingham cutting off the intellectual and cultural part of the city changing and degrading the personality of the city.
n: the impact of the coal terminal on the adjacent waterfront in Bellingham
o: the impact of coal ships on herring, surf smelt, sand lance, gunnel, and the food chain which feeds salmon, sea birds, otters, sea lions, and invertebrates.

thank you for your work and consideration,

Phyllis Dolph, M.A., M. A.

Phyllis Dolph (#3527)

Date Submitted: 11/28/12
Location: Anacortes, WA
Comment:
Please study the impacts of the following, not only for one year but for 5, 10, 50, and 100 year accumulative impacts.

Coal will travel over 4,000 miles of train tracks and will require 4 engines to pull it . Each train will burn 20,000 gallons of diesel fuel. Please study the impact on the source (of the supplier) of diesel fuel for 5, 10, 50, and 100 years. We are supposed to be getting off fossil fuels. What is the impact to that process?

Please scope the health impacts of diesel particulates from increased rail traffic that will result when GPT is operating at full capacity (54 million tons per
annum). Please scope the distance the diesel particulates would travel on each side of the tracks at all seasons of the year, when the wind blows, and when the air is still.



Please have the EIS consider the cumulative impact of increased rail traffic accumulation due to current and future train traffic: in
addition to all Amtrak and freight traffic that will foreseeably use the coastal rail route after full
operation and in the future. In determining the number of trains, please scope how those
numbers will change in the future with increased populations using expanded Amtrak service, and expansion the Westshore
and Ridley Terminals in B.C..


Please quantify the health costs of exposure to additional diesel particulates and project them into the future (5, 10,50, 100 years) including the impact on the individuals or insurance companies who have to pay them. Please have the EIS study measured health care costs and differentiate
between those anticipated to be those who bear the costs and those costs borne by private insurers, absorbed by
health care providers as unreimbursed costs, out-of-pocket expenses borne by the uninsured
ineligible for Medicare or Medicaid, and/or subsidized by the state or federal governments.

Further the EIS should measure lost school days, lost work days, and decreased worker productivity, etc., and associate a dollar equivalent cost. If a segment of the
population will become disabled because of either diesel or coal dust or lack of sleep from coal train noise, the EIS should measure the direct and indirect
costs.

Finally, the EIS should measure the impact on the health of populations in Whatcom County, the economic loss of businesses which will not locate here in
the future, and the business which will move away or "die" because of those health consequences or even the perception of ‘unhealthiness’ due to
coal rail traffic.


Sincerely,

Phyllis Dolph

Phyllis Dolph (#3528)

Date Submitted: 11/28/12
Location: Anacortes, WA
Comment:
Please have the EIS study include research as to what is going on in Asia now and what will happen to air quality in the next 10 years, 50 years, 100 years. Please research what they are actually doing about it and what they intend to do in the future. Please research what more coal burned there would do, for instance in Beijing and the Tibetan grasslands.

Please research what the psychological effect of so much thick smog is, what the psychological effect of so much black lung disease is, and what the psychological effect of so many people dying from lung cancer is on the communities of Asia. Please research the costs of health care for those same people.

Please research what the energy conservation projects and anti-pollution measures (below) will do to further coal shipments from the US to Asia.

Please research what would happen if the US did NOT ship coal to China re: their energy conservation projects and anti-pollution measures. (below)
****************************
****************************

In Beijing, one cannot see through the very thick smog. It is grayish, and so are people's lungs. It is frightening to even breathe.

Beijing Lung Disease with Lung Cancer is so prevalent in Beijing, China that one in 5 people die. The sky is almost always gray with smog.


Even in the Tibetan grasslands, a very rural area, there is the smell of coal and smog always in the air as people use coal for cooking.

CNBC 2012-08-22: BEIJING, Aug 22 (Reuters Point Carbon) - China will plough $372 billion into energy conservation projects and anti-pollution measures over the next three-and-a-half years, part of a drive to cut energy consumption by 300 million tonnes of standard coal, the country's cabinet said Tuesday. A report from China's State Council, or cabinet, said the investments will take China almost halfway .......


thank you,

Phyllis

Phyllis Dolph (#3530)

Date Submitted: 11/28/12
Location: Anacortes, WA
Comment:
Please study the impact of each and every part of the following in the EIS.

Note: Power plants that burn coal produce more than 90 times as much sulfur dioxide, five times as much nitrogen oxide and twice as much carbon dioxide as those that run on natural gas. Sulfur dioxide causes acid rain; nitrogen oxides cause smog; and carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that traps heat in the atmosphere.

Scientists have found that over the past 10 years rising levels of carbon dioxide are driving chemical reactions which make seawater more acidic. Since the industrial revolution, oceans have become about 1/3 more acidic, an enormous change in chemistry that has also reduced carbonate ion concentration. Carbonate is needed for marine life to make shelters, reefs and shells. Rising acidity threatens the survival of entire ecosystems, starting with the very foundation of oceanic and terrestrial life, phytoplankton, and include systems and species which rely on urchins, coral communities, oysters, clams, and fish. Recent research shows that fish eggs and larvae are far more vulnerable to rising acidity than previously believed. Scientists forecast that in the next 90 years, the ocean will become 2 ½ times more acidic.
Changes in ocean chemistry do, indeed, threaten our seafood resources, but ocean acidification may have been one of the “kill mechanisms” behind the largest of all extinctions. Some 252 million years ago nearly all life on Earth---in the seas and on the land---perished. Recovery from the Great Dying took 30 million years and required a near total reboot of life.
Continuing to increase global CO2 production, especially wih continuing to burn coal, will ensure that in our oceans, and therefore life itself, may sputter out. We get half the oxygen we breathe from the ocean. Humans will also die off. Such is the risk of continuing to depend on coal and oil as primary sources of energy.
All coal should remain in the ground. We should never dig up coal much less ship it anywhere where it will be burned and acidification of the sea and pollution of the air will happen, as eventually it will destroy us.


The Environmental Impact Statements must include a study of at the very least and at the outset, each of the following:

General EIS study and considerations:
*impact in speeding up climate change, i.e.global as well as local impact on coal's role in speeding up climate change
*impact on transporting coal using massive amounts of petroleum based fuels
*impact on our air quality, water chemistry, our fish, farm food supplies, and human health when China's coal is burned and their poisoned air returns to us on the wind
*impact of increased strip mining at all mining sites upon surrounding areas, including farms and communities
*impact of increased coal mining contrasted with closing down mines and planting masses of trees and native plants on those same sites
*impact of mercury in the water, soil, and anywhere it can affect any plant, or animal including humans.

I) The EIS study: At Cherry Point: the EIS must prove that each of the following are not destroyed or compromised in any way.
*What is the definition of an aquatic reserve? The EIS must prove that this Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve is not compromised in any way. The EIS must prove that the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve is still preserved in perpetuity as a natural aquatic reserve.
*The wetlands and aquatic reserves cannot be mitigated. As that is completely and absolutely impossible, where would you put this facility? The EIS must prove that wetlands are not being destroyed or compromised in any way.
*impact of a coal terminal facility at Cherry Point upon sacred Indian burial sites
*impact on the general ecological health and well being of Cherry Point as an Aquatic Reserve
*impact on the natural beauty of the Cherry Point area . It should not be destroyed or compromised in any way.
*impact on all classes of fish, including water chemistry, their food, their ability to reproduce, and their safety
*special emphasis on salmon safety
*special emphasis on impact to Orcas
*special emphasis on seals and Harbor Porpoises
*impact on all species and subspecies of seaweeds
*special emphasis on eelgrass
*special emphasis on plankton
*special emphasis on sea acidity
*special emphasis on oxygen content, CO2 content, and general water chemistry
a) of the air around Cherry Point Reserve
b) of the water, both fresh and salt water around Cherry Point Reserve

*impact of spontaneous combustion of coal at a Cherry Point Terminal
*impact of blowing coal dust at a Cherry Point Terminal: on people, on the wet lands, on the sea
*impact of tourism on Cherry Point and the surrounding area
*impact on Bellingham area jobs: evidently there will be more lost than gained
*impact on people's health at a Cherry Point Terminal
*impact on people's health costs at the Cherry Point Terminal
*impact on people's health costs all along the train route and 5 miles on either side of the train route from the mine to the terminal
*impact on people's health costs when burnt coal smoke comes back over the the northwest from Asia

*impact on people's out of pocket costs to pay for infrastructure in Bellingham and in every city along the track and within 5 miles on each side of the track
*impact on the sustainable green character of Bellingham, of Transition Whatcom, of the basic cultural character of the community
*impact on the type of businesses and professional people who chose to work in Bellingham

2)The EIS must study the impacts upon and with-in the Salish Sea:
*impact of huge coal carrying vessels on the biological, chemical, geological, and ecological aspects all through Puget Sound
*impact of bumping of huge coal carrying vessels on rocky sides and the bottom of the sound
*impact of accidents with huge coal carrying vessels, with other vessels, with whales, or spilling/sinking of the coal vessels themselves
*impact of costs of accidents regarding coal carrying vessels. Who has to pay? How is it to be cleaned up? What is the gaurantee that this will be done considering what has happened at Exxon Valdez and the Gulf Oil Spill? What is the time frame?
*impact on insurance costs spiking because of these enormous coal vessels
*impact of traffic safety regarding ferry boats, fishing boats, kayaks, tourist boats and other privately owned boats traveling the same route
*impact of huge coal vessels on the beauty, tourist attraction, and people's real estate in the Puget Sound area, island homes, and adjacent areas of the sound
*impact on people's health and corresponding health costs
*impact of noise of huge coal carrying vessels on people, on birds, and on fish,
*impact of sound on the sonar used by Orcas, Minke, and other kinds of whales: these precious animals are exceedingly vulnerable in the Salish Sea. There are rules regarding their safety and well being, and even so, many are already disappearing. Humungous coal carrying vessels will make this worse.
*impact on smelt at Cherry Point
*impact on herring at Cherry Point
*impact on salmon at Cherry Point
*impact on all fish species and their sources of food throughout the Salish Sea !
*impact on all flora and fauna of the waters of all the shipping route of the sound
*impact on the food used by whales, dolphins, seals, and other aquatic animals using this space
*impact of sea acidification, not only from coal dust, but also the affect of burned coal on air pollution, increased CO2 and climate change
*impact of blowing coal dust on the waters : how coal dust affects the flora and fauna of the sea.
*impact of blowing coal dust on the chemistry of the water
*impact of spilled coal on the waters
*impact of capsized huge coal carrying vessel on the ecology of the sound
*impact of vessel collisions
*impact in air and water of fossil fuels being used to propel the coal vessel
*impact of coal vessel's fossil fuel being spilled into the water of the sound
*impact of coal vessel's fuel use on the availability of it for other kinds of uses
*impact of coal vessel's fuel use on air quality in Puget Sound
*impact of Asian ballast water on the flora, fauna, and chemistry of our sea after being dumped into the Salish Sea when emptied ships return to pick up more coal

3)The EIS must research each of the following on the total route or routes of a perspective coal train
*impact of escaping coal dust in the air both with and without wind
*impact of coal dust in the air with wind, for example on the Columbia River route
*impact of escaping coal dust and cinders on the ground
*impact of spontaneous combustion
*impact of accidents: train derailment and train accidents with cars
*impact of costs to clean up. Research who pays the costs, how soon, in what manner.
*impact of costs in providing health care to individuals affected by derailment and train accidents with cars
*impact toward human health of escaped coal dust
*impact on costs of health care to persons damaged and diseased from coal dust
*impact on human health from train noise
*impact on costs of health care to persons damaged from noise
*impact toward human health from diesel fumes
*impact of costs of health care to persons damaged from diesel fumes
*impact toward plants and animals even down to earth worms, soil bacteria and fungi, along train routes
*impact of noise on autism, learning impairments, and brain deficiencies in humans, especially children.
*impact on traffic patterns when cars have to stop for trains
*impact on wait time for emergency vehicles which have to cross the tracks and wait for mile and a half long trains
*impact on health, e.g. the death of patients in emergency vehicles, when waiting for trains at crossings
*impact on the economy when businesses have negative effect due to traffic, noise, pollution
*impact on ordinary citizens' costs for taxes to pay for infrastructure, e.g., underpasses and overpasses, new train tracks, traffic signs

Relatives of mine who live along the Columbia River said coal dust was already about 2 inches deep along the train track and that when the wind blew, which it often does, you could hardly see because of the cloud of dust. The EIS study must apply to every inch along the whole train route from the coal mine to the perspective terminal.

All of the above should apply to any coal export terminal, e.g., Longview,WA, Gray's Harbor, WA, Boardman, OR, Coos Bay, OR, St. Helens, OR, or any other "gateway" to Asia. In Washington, our coal mine is to be shut down. They all should be closed down, everywhere. Completely.

My sincere hope is that ALL terminals for coal exports will be denied. Coal is the dirtiest, most dangerous fossil fuel by far, and besides risking our health and killing many because of their health, coal trains will permanently ruin the character and natural beauty of our Pacific Northwest. Most important of all, of course, is that coal will speed up climate changes and because of impacts to the sea, eventually do us in. Climate change is real. It is not a moral or ethical action to even dig up coal, much less sell it to Asia.

I value taking my grandchildren to the beach. Perhaps you do too. I hope they will see whales swimming in Puget Sound. I want clean air, clean water, the beauty of nature, and the health of our earth to be intact for them and for many generations to come. I do not want them to see ginormous coal vessels cluttering up Puget Sound, nor instead the absence of whales and other sea creatures which now live there. We cannot speed up climate change and have a healthy planet. We must be stewards of our earth. We are in a CLIMATE CRISIS NOW. Please STOP coal!

respectfully yours,

Phyllis

Phyllis Dolph (#7245)

Date Submitted: 01/14/2013
Location: Anacortes, WA
Comment:
I/we live and/or work in a community close to the BSNF rail line on which up to 18 additional daily coal trains (9 full, 9 empty) would travel if the Gateway Pacific Terminal were built. I/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: How will the noise and vibrations of unusually long, heavy and frequent trains impact property values and the structural integrity of homes and other buildings close to the tracks? How will chronic noise exposure affect the health and quality of life of people living, working, and playing nearby?
TRAFFIC PROBLEMS: How will the coal trains affect motor vehicle traffic, transportation, emergency vehicle response times and the flow of commerce in communities along the rail corridor?
FISHERIES & THE SALISH SEA: How will tourism; boating; collision risks; oil/coal spill risks; salmon, crab and herring fisheries; orca whales; and the general beauty, vitality, and livability of the Salish Sea and environs be affected by coal port construction and operations, and by the over 950 annual transits of immense coal ships?
HUMAN HEALTH & SAFETY: How will cancer, heart disease, asthma and other health risks be affected by air and water pollutions associated with coal transport and export? How will additional rail and ship traffic affect accident and collision rates? Toxic air pollution crosses the Pacific Ocean from Asia to the west coast of the United States; what would be the local public health impacts of Powder River Basin coal combustion in Asia?
COST TO TAXPAYERS: How much will we, the taxpayers, ultimately pay for costs affiliated with coal transport and export? Will such direct and indirect costs include necessary upgrades and additions to rail infrastructure; safety measures; public health expenses; the building of under- and overpasses and other attempts at mitigating adverse impacts; lost local businesses and jobs; damaged tourism trade; and decreased property values?

SINCERELY,

Phyllis Dolph (#7278)

Date Submitted: 01/14/2013
Location: Anacortes, WA
Comment:
I am concerned about the continued vitality of the Salish Sea, all through Puget Sound and across the ocean, 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. Questions that concern me, and which objective, rigorous and comprehensive studies should address include:
OIL/COAL SPILL RISKS:Please study how GPT’s marine vessel traffic will 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? What plan is there to clean up bunker fuel and coal from the sea, and from the myriads of plants and animals affected by such spills. How much different would it be from:1) the Gulf oil spill and 2)from the December 2012 Shell oil rig in the Aleutians they tried and failed to carry to Seattle through huge winter storms for the purpose of not paying taxes! Study how the public will know if the coal company has adequate plans for cleanup from crashes and spills and how we will know if they are telling the truth. The latter is very important.
BOATING & SAFETY: How might fishing and recreational boating be affected by the additional capesize and Panamax coal ships in our waters? By how much will accident and collision rates increase? Please chart results for every 5 years into the year 2075.
ORCA, MARINE MAMMALS & BIRDS: How would the noise, pollution and physical presence of the additional huge vessels affect our orca populations? How would construction and operation of the coal port and the continuous transiting of coal ships affect other marine mammals, fish, birds, and the food web that supports them? How would sonar systems of communication be affected? Please study and project results at 5 year intervals up to year 2075.
SALMON & FISHERIES: 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? How would blowing coal dust impact the plants and animals that salmon and fisheries depend upon? Please study all aspects of this food chain for its immediate effect and project it into the future at 5 year intervals and into 2075.
TOURISM & OTHER ECONOMIC COSTS: How would lost beauty, decreased orca populations, damaged fisheries and more crowded waterways affect our tourism industry up and down the railroad, in Bellingham, and in Puget Sound? How would property values be affected? How much will we, the taxpayers, ultimately pay for costs directly and indirectly associated with GPT? Chart the difference between costs to the public, with the numbers of people and households affected, and the money received by the coal and transportation people. Contrast the numbers of people paying (costs) to the numbers of people receiving money, with the amounts of costs and the amount of payments received easy to contrast and compare.

respectfully,

Phyllis

Phyllis Dolph (#7304)

Date Submitted: 01/14/2013
Location: Anacortes, WA
Comment:
I am Phyllis Dolph, M.A., M.A.,

I am a biologist, a counselor, a wife and a grandmother, who is deeply concerned about the effects of all things concerning coal. I am worried when I hear lectures about and I read about the acidification of the sea. I have grave concerns about climate change for both now and in the future. I want my grandchildren to live in a healthy world.

I request that your studies include specific levels of CO2 and the levels calcium carbonate in the sea beside the Cherry Point Terminal site, all across the ocean to the Asian point of entry, and all up and down the northwest coast to at least northern California and up into Alaska. Please study the health of the pteropods which nourish the pink salmon which sustain the Alaskan fish industry. Please compute your levels of calcium carbonate which is usable to all shelled organisms including oysters. Please compute the levels of oceanic calcium carbonate saturation in these areas with comparison and contrast charts from the Preindustrial age, the present, and projected into 2050 and 2080.

In addition to calculating levels of acidification and the effect of that acidification on marine plants and animals, please calculate and state what problems are evident: 1) in the dying off of plants and animals that are there now and 2)in the dying off of all plants and all animals affected by acidification in the marine habitat food chain, and 3)in the plants and animals that humans depend upon for food both in the United States and Asia. Please calculate acidification levels now and as projected every 5 years until year 2980.

Please consult with Dr. Joe Gaydos at the SeaDoc Society for the coordination of data, which is not to say he would give you the data, but that you would compare notes as true scientists do. Please consult with Dr. Paul Dinnel at the Shannon Point Science labs in the same way.

The death of the sea's normal chemistry along with its flora and fauna could well be the death of human life as we know it. Climate change and its effects are gravely important. Coal being transported, blown and spilled all along its train route, blown and spilled along with ginormous amounts of bunker fuel en-route to Asia where accidents and tons of coal have already been derailed or crashed along with lives lost..... all these things add to the eventual demise of the earth and of human beings.

When, in Beijing, most of the population already has black lung disease and they walk around in their daily life, unhealthy, as if they were coal miners, and many die young of cancer, I seriously doubt that we want to increase coal dust and smoke there or introduce it here. I request that you take a poll about people's desires for black lung disease there and also here. Take this poll with populations on the San Juan Islands, in Beijing, and at least 2 miles on either side of the train track for the coal mine to the coal terminal. Along with it, include in your data how many people are depressed...mentally depressed... about becoming unhealthy in the future and about climate change speeding up. Ask them if they feel helpless in the face of it. Furthermore, ask if they could do some simple thing to stop increasing acidification of the sea and which would stop contributing so much to climate change, like stopping all use, even the digging up of coal, and instead use a green alternative to coal, would they chose to do that? Please include children as well as adults, professional and nonprofessional of all ages and from all walks of life, in your survey.
Please also include the coal corporate executives in the survey and label them for who they are. Ascertain if they are telling the truth as well.

respectfully,

Phyllis Dolph

Phyllis Dolph (#7319)

Date Submitted: 01/14/2013
Location: Anacortes, WA
Comment:
I am totally against coal even being dug up for many reasons. Human health is one concern, but even more important: when coal is burned, the burning coal produces carbon dioxide, the very most important long-lived greenhouse gas. We have raging fires, mega-storms like Sandy, floods, droughts, and temperature extremes way beyond the norm. The Skagit Herald reports that the U.S. "sees hottest year on record by a landslide". We are now a full degree warmer than the old record set in 1998, and climate change is happening faster than scientists have been predicting. There is no "norm" any more, as human beings are rapidly changing the climate.

This is immoral. Not only are we damaging human health, we are destroying our planet.

Please study the predicted amounts of CO2 which would be put into the air if all the coal was burned which would go through the Cherry Point Terminal. Study the amounts from its initiation and also into the future every five years to at least 2080. It is important to know how rapidly we are considering destroying our planet.Please study how many species of plants and animals will become extinct during that time.
Please study how human beings will be able to live on a planet where more raging fires, mega-storms, floods, droughts, and temperature extremes "become the norm".

Today, Beijing, where black lung disease (Beijing Lung) is rampant, they had to shut down because they could not see across the street. Please study the effect of shipping even more coal to Asia, adding to black lung disease. Please study how many more Beijing people will die of lung cancer every 5 years up until 2080 and compare and contrast this data with how many people would die if no coal was shipped there at all.

Adding to black lung disease is also immoral. Coal is killing people right and left.
Please study the number contrasts: of seeing ginormous coal vessels going through the pristine islands of Puget Sound instead of current numbers of whales, dolphins, and harbor seals. Compute these numbers for every month of the year. Please study how much the air of the Pacific Northwest will become polluted from coal being burned in Asia. Please compute the numbers of people who get cancer in the Pacific Northwest and up and down the whole train route, as contrasted with people who live in areas far away from coal trains and polluted Asian air.

I am a grandmother. I want my grandchildren to live where the air is clean and where plants and animals can live healthy lives. I want species to survive, not be endangered. I want children to love sitting on a beach watching birds, or going out on a ferry boat in Puget Sound, and seeing healthy whales, dolphins, and harbor seals. I do not want children to see enormous coal ships instead. I want them to be healthy and not fear that the planet is not going to sustain life as we know it in the future because of climate change.

respectfully,

Phyllis Dolph

Phyllis Dolph (#8336)

Date Submitted: 01/10/13
Location: Anacortes, WA
Comment:
I am Phyllis Dolph, M.A., M.A.,

I am a biologist, a counselor, a wife and a grandmother, who is deeply concerned about the effects of all things concerning coal. I am worried when I hear lectures about and I read about the acidification of the sea. I have grave concerns about climate change for both now and in the future. I want my grandchildren to live in a healthy world.

I request that your studies include specific levels of CO2 and the levels calcium carbonate in the sea beside the Cherry Point Terminal site, all across the ocean to the Asian point of entry, and all up and down the northwest coast to at least northern California and up into Alaska. Please study the health of the pteropods which nourish the pink salmon which sustain the Alaskan fish industry. Please compute your levels of calcium carbonate which is usable to all shelled organisms including oysters. Please compute the levels of oceanic calcium carbonate saturation in these areas with comparison and contrast charts from the Preindustrial age, the present, and projected into 2050 and 2080.

In addition to calculating levels of acidification and the effect of that acidification on marine plants and animals, please calculate and state what problems are evident: 1) in the dying off of plants and animals that are there and 2)in the dying off of all plants and all animals affected by acidification in the marine habitat food chain, and 3)in the plants and animals that humans depend upon for food both in the United States and Asia.

Please consult with Dr. Joe Gaydos at the SeaDoc Society for the coordination of data, which is not to say he would give you the data, but that you would compare notes as true scientists do. Please consult with Dr. Paul Dinnel at the Shannon Point Science labs in the same way.

The death of the sea's normal chemistry along with its flora and fauna could well be the death of human life as we know it. Climate change and its effects are gravely important. Coal being transported, blown and spilled all along its train route, blown and spilled along with ginormous amounts of bunker fuel en-route to Asia where accidents and tons of coal have already been derailed or crashed along with lives lost..... all these things add to the eventual demise of the earth and of human beings.

When, in China the population already has black lung disease and they walk around in their daily life, unhealthy, as if they were coal miners, and many die young of cancer, I seriously doubt that we want to increase coal dust and smoke there or introduce it here. I request that you take a poll about people's desires for black lung disease there and also here. Along with it, include in your data how many people are depressed...mentally depressed... about becoming unhealthy in the future and about climate change speeding up. Ask them if they feel helpless in the face of it. Furthermore, ask if they could do some simple thing to stop increasing acidification of the sea and of climate change, like stopping all use, even the digging up of coal, and instead use a green alternative to coal, would they chose to do that? Please include children as well as adults of all ages in your survey.

respectfully,

Phyllis Dolph

Phyllis Dolph (#8538)

Date Submitted: 01/13/13
Location: Anacortes , WA
Comment: <