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

s g (#1775)

Date Submitted: 10/31/2012
Location: Mount Vernon, Wa
Comment:
My name is Shannon Good. I am a fourth generation resident of Skagit County, residing in Mount Vernon. I’m writing to voice my concerns for the vitality of the marine environment with the additional marine traffic from 950 annual coal transit trips through Puget Sound. I would like the scoping to include studies on the effects of coal/oil spill risks on the salmon, crab and herring fisheries and on the marine mammal population.
In addition, I would like the scoping to include studies on how the vibrations and noise from the propellers and engines of the huge vessels that will carry the coal will affect the sea life in Puget Sound.

S Jorl (#1393)

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

S Lewis (#11531)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Comment:
I am opposed to coal trains and terminals. I think there needs to be thorough and honest environmental assessment of the impact of this proposed project. I think we have the ability to develop alternative types of fuel and should focus on those.

Thank you.

S Denise Henrikson (#12374)

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

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.

Until a method for burning coal cleanly has been developed, coal needs to stay in the ground. Burning coal is the biggest contributor to climate change. Coal is unhealthy to burn and it is unhealthy to transport. Coal dust has been proven to increase respiratory problems, including asthma. In addition, coal trains would increase traffic congestion, noise, environmental degradation (inc herring habitat), and reduce property values.

Thank you for your serious analysis of the broad scope of the environmental impact of the mining, transport, and ultimately the burning of coal into our shared atmosphere would have on us all.

We need to move instead toward a clean energy future.

S Denise Henrikson (#13222)

Date Submitted: 01/20/13
Comment:
Attention Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Ecology and Whatcom County Council

As a citizen and parent, I am opposed to the transport, and shipment of coal through the Northwest. A new coal port would have a significant and unhealthy impact in this region, nation, and planet. A few may experience short-term profits and short-term jobs, but for the vast majority, particularly children and future generations, the impact will be profoundly negative.

Until a method for burning coal cleanly has been developed, coal needs to stay in the ground. Burning coal is the biggest contributor to climate change. Coal is unhealthy to burn and it is unhealthy to transport. Coal dust has been proven to increase respiratory problems, including asthma. In addition, coal trains would increase traffic congestion, noise, environmental degradation (inc herring habitat), and reduce property values.

Thank you for your serious analysis of the broad scope of the environmental impact of the mining, transport, and ultimately the burning of coal into our shared atmosphere would have on us all.

We need to move instead toward a clean energy future.


Sincerely,
S Denise Henrikson
West Seattle

S K Davis (#13942)

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.

WE NEED TO STOP SUCKING EVERY POSSIBLE MATERIAL FROM THE EARTH TO FEED OUR UNREALISTIC LEVEL OF ENERGY ENTITLEMENT. THE EARTH IS A FINITE SPACE; WE HAVE NO RIGHT TO TAKE FROM HER AND ABUSE HER, ESPECIALLY NOW THAT WE CAN SEE WHAT SORT OF ENVIRONMENTAL AND HEALTH LEGACY WE ARE CREATING FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS.

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.

S. Shaw (#13278)

Date Submitted: 01/20/13
Comment:
Dear Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Ecology and Whatcom County Council:

My name is S. Shaw and I live near the trains in Puyallup WA. I am impacted by the trains on a daily basis. I clearly see the negative environmental impacts of the trains as I watch them go by.

I am in OPPOSITION to the Gateway Pacific Terminal expansion that will bring 18 more 1.5 mile long trains to the BNSF tracks, which would mean 900 more train trips a year. Additional coal trains and 800+ foot tankers will negatively impact our neighborhoods, health and livability, parks, wetlands and inland waters. More trains will significantly affect our AIR and WATER QUALITY.

I am under time constraints, so my comments are brief. I appreciate the time and research efforts that others have put into this issue. Please be advised that I agree with comments provided by others that OPPOSE the Gateway Pacific Terminal issue that is being examined.

Thank you for this opportunity to comment.

S. Brian Leland (#4762)

Date Submitted: 12/14/2012
Location: Bozeman , MT
Comment:
If the cheapest alternative for the production of energy in Asia is to haul coal from Montana and Wyoming half way around the world through our cities and towns, then the coal is too cheap. Bozeman MT. is already seeing the negative impacts (economic and environmental) of increased coal train traffic. China (and they are the driver for this proposal) needs to spend their dollars to build power plants to safely burn their own abundant coal or better yet, invest in renewable energy. These alternatives will never be considered under the current proposal. Unless we consider true costs, from lost productivity at the rail crossings to the rebuilding from the next Super Storm Sandy this proposal is nothing but a huge giveaway to foreign corporations and a government hostile to the concepts of liberty and freedom. As for local jobs at any cost, building whorehouses creates local jobs, and I don’t see much of a difference.
Brian Leland
Bozeman, Montana

S. J. Jacky (#4736)

Date Submitted: 12/13/2012
Comment:
I oppose the Gateway Pacific Terminal, the largest coal export terminal in the US, north of Bellingham. Impacts will occur from increased train and shipping traffic of coal including impacts to our fragile eco-systems, to our air quality, to global warming, to our health, and to our economy.

Exporting coal promotes deeper global fossil fuel dependence. It delays the urgently needed transition to cleaner energy alternatives. It makes climate disruption inevitable, including extreme flooding and ocean acidification and impacts our shorelines and Puget Sound.

Close to the terminal, shorelines would be given over to industrial sites with enormous piles of coal and constant dust. The proposed terminal site would span 1200 acres, fill 131 acres of wetlands and sit directly on herring rounds, which are a primary food source for Chinook salmon.

The companies would ship the coal on massive cargo ships. Every year over 200 of the worlds’ biggest, most accident-prone ships would clog the already crowded Straits of Juan de Fuca and Georgia. This would mean ongoing threats to wetlands, waterways and wildlife from potential ship collisions, threatening salmon, orcas and our Puget Sound.

More than 3,000 noisy mile-long loaded coal trains would travel through King County rail system every year and emit diesel exhaust that is associated with asthma, cardio-pulmary disease and increased incidences of cancer. Increased traffic delays at busy rail crossings will block traffic, slow response times of emergency vehicles, and clog commuter traffic.

Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) railroad studies estimate up to 500 pounds of coal can be lost in the form of dust from each rail car en route. The wide ranging health dangers of coal dust include exposure to toxic heavy metals like mercury and increased rates of asthma, especially in children. Coal dust would pollute our clean air and water.

Major public ports, such as the Ports of Seattle, Tacoma, Vancouver, and Portland have rejected coal export as inconsistent with their economic development strategies The proposed sites have potential for hundreds of jobs in light industrial and smart-tech growth instead of being mired in a single-commodity, unpredictable dirty export trade. Increased coal train traffic would lower property values along the rail lines and in communities impacted by congested traffic. It would also make it more difficult for ports and shippers to get higher value goods to market along the rail lines.

S. Marie Wallas (#5033)

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


This just seems like an all-around bad idea for the residents of Western Washington and Puget Sound. Damage our environment, stress our infrastructure, for no positive impact whatsoever in our communities... Truly showing the $$ gets the power. Sad.

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.

S. Marie Wallas

S.F. Brown (#627)

Date Submitted: 10/10/12
Location: Lynnwood, 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.

S.F. Brown
4611 159th St. S.W.
Lynnwood, WA 98087

S.F. Brown (#3811)

Date Submitted: 12/04/2012
Comment:
Carbon emissions from China are trapping extra energy in our atmosphere, and with extra energy come more extremes: higher sea levels, dryer droughts, hotter heat waves, and heavier, wetter storms.

We need a crash program in this country right now to stop coal exports to irresponsible countries, re-engineer the nation’s infrastructure to cope with and prepare for the climate disruptions that we have already ensured with the carbon we’ve already put into the atmosphere, as well as an immediate, aggressive transformation of our energy production, economy and the world's society to reduce the amount of carbon we’ll put into the atmosphere in the future.

Sabrina Ellis (#14414)

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


Sabrina Ibrahim (#5020)

Date Submitted: 12/16/12
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.

We are opposed to the long term exposure of the coal, the coal dust, and the surfectant used to cover the coal dust which is not proven safe to breath or burn.

Coal is dirty whether it's burned in the US or in China. We strive to see the big picture here, and look to our grandchildren's lives when we consider these choices. Do we actively contribute to global climate change for the profit of the coal industry? Or do we intelligently support clean, long term energy alternatives, and be the wiser by saying no to this transporting of strip-mined coal on open trains and ships throughout the Northwest to the far east.

Thank you for considering our words.
Our children are counting on the wisdom and foresight of those who have the opportunity to make a difference.

Sincerely,

Sabrina Ibrahim

Sadie Lanier (#14620)

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

Sage Bishop (#1471)

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

Saiyare Refaei (#14613)

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

Sakeus Bankson (#11817)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Hello. My name is Sakeus Bankson and I live and work in Bellingham. I love our city, and chose this community because of its natural beauty, the accessibility to outdoor pursuits, and the community focus on sustainable living. I have many questions about the impacts of the terminal at Cherry Point and the transfer of 42 million tons of coalthrough my community.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sakeus Bankson

Sakura Vesely (#13812)

Date Submitted: 01/16/13
Comment:
Email blank.

Sally Jewell (#9391)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Birch Bay , Wa
Comment:
We are members of Grand View Beach Water Association, the first residential community downwind and downshore from Cherry Point, on Point Whitehorn. Our domestic water well,112 feet deep, has served us,currently 15 families, great water over many decades. We are concerned about the negative impacts of a huge coal terminal and the fugitive toxic coal dust it will spread to our well area. We are also concerned about ground water intrusion carrying toxic pollution from the millions of gallons of water that would be used to water down the coal piles The elevation of the coal piles would be only 30 to 40 feet above the level of our water source. Please study the impacts of the potential ground water pollution of our water source. Thank you.

President Scott Slagle ,Diane Slagle, Sec. Rick Hann, Sally Jewell,Lynne and Brian Thompson, Kristen Ginchereau, Sharon Bridges, Bruce and Lynne Shelton, and others.

Sally Albers (#10798)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
My first concern is that burning coal is already a known health hazard in China, and an increasing factor in global warming. We should keep our coal in the ground, where it might in future years be a strategic resource, should we need to access it THEN and only if more effective controls are in place. China will happily burn it all now. Since our own state is “downwind” from China, we risk significant harm to our clean air.
I am also concerned about the very large ships (Cape Size) that would be used to transport coal to China. These large ships are not easily maneuvered and our inland waters have many hazards. The area is generously laced with islands and sandbars – a delightful area for sailboats, ferries and our famous San Juan Islands parks and fishing areas. One “mistake” as happened with Alaska’s Prince William Sound, and this scenic area could be devastated for years. Who benefits then?
A third concern is that the ships would loose undesirable plankton as they adjust ballast. We already have a long history of plants and animals that make their way to our shores and crowd out native species.
The approach from the ocean to the inland waters is so often troubled that rescue ships are stationed along the approach. Ships may collide in the Straight of Juan de Fuca in bad weather, losing cargo, perhaps sinking. There are wrecks that litter the coastal areas from Washington on to Mexico. This is a high risk venture that I believe should be denied.

Sally Albers (#10823)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I was born in Bellingham and my parents, grandparents and great-grandparents were all Whatcom County residents. They were farmers, fishers, and timber cutters as well as businessmen and teachers. We would always spend some time at Birch Bay, swimming, fishing, crabbing, digging for clams and other bounty of the sea. Over the years (I am now a senior citizen) the bay has deteriorated with muck replacing good sand and seaweed taking over more acres. There have been repeated problems with the sewage control both here and at Drayton Harbor... And this is just a “natural result” of more people and houses and occasional breakdowns. The seawater surges over the road, and recently destroyed another waterfront building.
This place is EARTHQUAKE country. It is beautiful, but fragile. The dynamics of sand and shore and water generate constant erosion. There are floods nearly every year as the snow melts. It is not a good place to pile coal for trans-shipment by sea through congested channels. Please do not place even one more straw on this camel’s back.

Sally Albers (#10841)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
100 years ago it made sense to encourage railways to build their lines and open up the west. It may have been fair to burden those who benefited from the rail with 90% of the cost. But it is long past time for a “sunset” law on that largesse.

New rails and additional trains are burdens, rather than blessings to the many communities they bisect in the US today. At an absolute minimum, the business that hopes to profit from additional trains through our cities and towns should pay the cost for construction of overpasses. Enough is enough already!

Sally Albers (#10889)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Al Gore was a classmate of mine at Harvard from 1965-69. Post-college he worked as a newspaper reporter, before his more public political career. His 2006 book “An Inconvenient Truth” was a wakeup call following in the footsteps of Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring. The time for doubting has passed. The beautiful blue ball that is our shared earth floats in space; our human impact on our only planet is huge and getting dangerously worse. Global warming is real, hotter, causing stronger hurricanes and more floods and droughts and fiery winds. Each year has been bringing more extremes: the polar cap is melting, polar bears are stranded, rising sea levels will flood lowlands including populated islands.

The time for burning coal has passed! We need to leverage our inventive minds into alternative solutions for a healthier world. There are viable solutions that need to be tested and refined. Together we can solve this crisis, as creative minds in all fields contribute ideas that might work.

Sally Breckenridge (#5449)

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

Sally Good (#12797)

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

In addition to the above, coal isn't the answer to our energy needs; and sending all that coal to China would have a major effect on the whole Earth's health, as all that coal is burned. So, many experts and "regular" people are alarmed about this far-reaching proposal, with good reasons. But the mighty $s too often seems to conquer science and common sense; that, in turn, influences decisions to be made with tunnel vision, focused on the $s, as if that's the only thing that matters.

But the Earth matters, and so does the health of all its people. The people and beautiful natural resources of the Pacific Northwest matter, not just for now, but for always. Don't authorize the Cherry Point terminal.

Sally Hann (#4594)

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

Sally Hawkins (#2535)

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

Sally Hodson (#2410)

Date Submitted: 11/06/2012
Location: Olga, WA
Comment:
I live on Orcas Island and I am VERY concerned about the adverse impacts to my island home and our people, wildlife and local economy resulting from building this coal exporting terminal and sending large numbers of coal ships through our waters each day.
The potential negative environmental and economic impacts on our local environment far exceed any value cited by SSA Marine of Seattle.
1.The presence of many big noisy coal ships traveling through our waters will:
a. Degrade the economic value of our islands as desirable tourist destinations. Degrading the pristine beauty of our islands cause us to lose tourism dollars that are the lifeblood of our island economy.
b. Increase the collision risk with freighters and oil tankers resulting in potentially catastrophic oil spills/coal spills that will devastate endangered marine wildlife, imperil our fishing industry and threaten the economic welfare of our islands.
c. Reduce our island property values because of crowded waterways, constant views of coal ships and potential health risks.
d. Create crowded waterways that increase the potential for recreational boating/fishing accidents and collisions with coal ships.
e. Result in greater risk to the survival of many wildlife species, including endangered and threatened fish, birds and marine mammals.
2. Building and operating the Gateway Pacific coal terminal will directly threaten our herring, salmon and crab industries due to degradation of habitat and spawning grounds.
3. Coal dust from trains and the coal terminal poses serious health and air pollution risks to humans and wildlife.
4. Finally, this proposal puts US citizens at risk for the sake of enriching coal exporting companies who are subsidizing economic growth in China at the cost of American health and jobs.
Please examine all the potential direct and indirect impacts of building and operating the Gateway Pacific coal terminal. There is no way to mitigate all of these negative impacts. We the taxpayers and citizens of Washington will be forced to pay for the direct and indirect costs that result from building and operating this coal export terminal. If you care about the future welfare of your own citizens and want to help us keep our existing jobs and quality of life, you will REFUSE TO APPROVE any permit to build the Gateway Terminal.
Thank you very much.

Sally Hodson (#6635)

Date Submitted: 01/06/13
Location: Olga, WA
Comment:
I would like to present my comments to your agency to be included in the Environmental Impact Study concerning the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal at Cherry Point.

I live on Orcas Island and I am VERY concerned about the adverse impacts to my island home and our people, wildlife and local economy resulting from building this coal exporting terminal and sending large numbers of coal ships through our waters each day.
The potential negative environmental and economic impacts on our local environment far exceed any value cited by SSA Marine of Seattle.
1. The presence of many big noisy coal ships traveling through our waters will:
a. Degrade the economic value of our islands as desirable tourist destinations. Degrading the pristine beauty of our islands cause us to lose tourism dollars that are the lifeblood of our island economy.
b. Increase the collision risk with freighters and oil tankers resulting in potentially catastrophic oil spills/coal spills that will devastate endangered marine wildlife, imperil our fishing industry and threaten the economic welfare of our islands.
c. Reduce our island property values because of crowded waterways, constant views of coal ships and potential health risks.
d. Create crowded waterways that increase the potential for recreational boating/fishing accidents and collisions with coal ships.
e. Result in greater risk to the survival of many wildlife species, including endangered and threatened fish, birds and marine mammals.
2. Building and operating the Gateway Pacific coal terminal will directly threaten our herring, salmon and crab industries due to degradation of habitat and spawning grounds.
3. Coal dust from trains and the coal terminal poses serious health and air pollution risks to humans and wildlife.
4. Finally, this proposal puts US citizens at risk for the sake of enriching coal exporting companies who are subsidizing economic growth in China at the cost of American health and jobs.

Mitigating all the potential direct and indirect impacts of building and operating the Gateway Pacific coal terminal and transporting coal on ships through sensitive marine areas is not feasible. We taxpayers and citizens of Washington should not be forced to pay for the direct and indirect costs that result from building and operating this coal export terminal and moving coal transport ships through our waters. We want to keep our existing jobs and quality of life which are directly threatened by building the Gateway Pacific Terminal. I urge you to take NO ACTION on this proposal.

Sally Hodson (#10150)

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

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

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

Sally Hodson (#10152)

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

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

I am especially concerned about the impacts to orca, marine mammals and birds. Questions that concern me, and which objective, rigorous and comprehensive studies should address include:
•How would the noise, pollution and physical presence of the additional huge vessels affect our orca populations (including the endangered Southern Residents)?
•How would construction and operation, including the vessel noise, of the coal port and the continuous transiting of coal ships affect other marine mammals, fish, birds, and the food web that supports them?
If there is no positive assurance and insurance from those involved against any potentially significant impacts, please consider a no build option.
Sincerely,
Sally Hodson

Sally Hodson (#10153)

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

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

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

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

Sally Hodson (#10154)

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

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

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

Sincerely,
Sally Hodson

Sally Jewel Hana (#14410)

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

Sally Jewell (#9445)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Birch Bay, Wa
Comment:
Please study the impacts that 800+ gargantuan cape cargo ships winding their way through the San Juan Islands, would have on our J, K, and L pod Orcas. This is their dining room, nursery, and home. Mankind has already had devastating effects upon this unique species, and they are Endangered. Please study the impacts the massive ships would have on their enviroment, from pollutants, salmon, their food source, to ship collisions and interference with their free travel around the San Juans. Their survival will depend upon it.

Sally Jewell (#10767)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Comment:
My family and neighbors want to know the health impacts of living within the sound and every breathe within the spread of toxic coal dust and 24hours a day of noise from the largest coal storage piles proposed by this company. Please study these potential health hazards for residents of Point Whitehorn and the surrounding Birch Bay area.

Thank You

Sally Joughin (#13379)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Portland, OR
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington. I live in Portland OR, but what goes on in other areas also affects me, and should concern you too. The environment is so important to all of us, both now and for the future of our area and country and world.

This coal terminal 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.

Sally Mackey (#8933)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Location: Burien, WA
Comment:
My name and address are above. I reference a comment by Terry who makes reference to Submission #13 (Vessel Traffic Risk) and references San Olson http://www.eisgatewaypacificwa.gov/.get-involved/comments 1567 and 6044.

I am a retired citizen who has been active in the emvironmental movement since passage of federal laws in the 70's and directly with the Shoreline Management Act in this state.

I agree with these comments and that all impacts of ocean traffic must be thoroughly studied. Terry owns a home on Lopez Island. I and five other families own a home on the north shore of Orcas Island, which we use year around. Our waters and the Pacific Ocean are already suffering the effects of environmental degredation.

Thank you for receiving and considering my comment.

Sincerely,
Sally Mackey

Sally Marston (#1289)

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

Sally Mickley (#4550)

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

Sally Mikkelsen (#13816)

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. There is also the issue of the terrible environmental impact of strip mining for coal which should be banned; a coal export terminal only encourages even more damage to our already beleaguered environment .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.

Sally Mylrea (#8472)

Date Submitted: 01/12/13
Location: Longview , 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 and air pollution in Longview, Wa. where people of Rainier shop, polluting our air and local waterways, harming existing businesses that will lose our business, delaying emergency responders, damaging aquatic ecosystems and fishing grounds at the terminal site and all along the train routes that often follow rivers and streams, increasing 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 and put the health and wellbeing of the people first before multinational corporations.
There are not enough spruce forests with trees of such large size to provide rainroad ties as it is on top of massive kill from Spruce Bud Worm that's wiping them out. The price of diesel and subsequent groceries would doom the economy. It's contrary to the public interest, delivering only pollution, noise, lung disease, food chain contamination, global warming, massive fires in extensive drought costing billions and death. Bad idea.
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.




Sally Mylrea

Sally Newell (#2869)

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

Scoping Hearing Comments Cherry Point Scoping Comments WA

Dear Scoping Hearing Comments Scoping Comments,

I am a former commissioner, appointed by Governor Lowrey to the Columbia River Gorge Commission, which oversees land use in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. The scenic area was designated by Congress to protect the scenic, natural, cultural and recreation resources of this 80-mile reach of the Oregon-Washington border, through which freight moves on barge and rail. There is not one of the above resources that would not be harmed by the large-scale transport of coal through the Gorge.

The tourism and resource-based economies of the region would also be placed at risk.

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

Sincerely,

Sally Newell
PO Box 186
142 Dona Rd
Underwood, WA 98651-0186
(509) 493-3624

Sally Nunn (#12572)

Date Submitted: 01/16/13
Location: Eugene, OR
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of the Proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal coal export in Washington State asa well as an export facility in CoosBay. I now have chronic bronchitis-- more pollution would be devastating to my fragile health and many more who suffer from asthma and other lung restrictions.

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

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

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

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

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

Sally Pfeiffer (#14092)

Date Submitted: 01/21/13
Location: Shoreline, 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.
This sends the wrong message around the world as to our priorities.

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.
We in the Northwest are against coal transport in our State.
Additionally, we are against the burning of coal products for energy or any reason.

Sally Picciotto (#13727)

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. Furthermore, as an environmental epidemiologist, I consider it my duty to inform you that particulate matter air pollution from the burning of coal in China actually drifts across the Pacific Ocean and affects the health of people living on the West Coast of the United States. 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.

Sally Reeve (#1205)

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

Sally Reichlin (#14660)

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

Sally Ryan (#5680)

Date Submitted: 12/27/12
Location: Bow, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Sally Stapp (#4569)

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

Sally Stapp (#6018)

Date Submitted: 01/05/2013
Location: Everett, WA
Comment:
Please study the impact on public safety of delays caused by increased number and length of train traffic on the transportation of dangerous prisoners and convicts between jail houses and court houses in all of the communities where at grade train tracks separate the two locations.

Sally Stapp (#6019)

Date Submitted: 01/05/2013
Location: Everett, WA
Comment:
I just accessed the Washington State’s Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) web site for hints about writing scoping comments. In the Guidelines to Scoping Comments I was disturbed by the answer to their question:

Q. Why do the SEPA rules require public comment periods?

Public comment periods allow other agencies, tribes and the public to review and comment on the likely environmental consequences of a proposal before an agency approves the proposal. This early involvement allows the applicant and agencies to work together to avoid or reduce likely environmental impacts from a proposal before agency decisions are made.

The above phrase "before an agency approves the proposal" seems to suggest that our state’s EPA is working for the coal companies to make sure their proposal is approved rather than working for the citizens of Washington to make sure our environment isn’t negatively impacted. The whole process seems to favor the project initiators - in this case Peabody Coal, BNSF RR, SSA Marine and the corporate pirates who stand to profit hugely from mining coal in Wyoming and Montana and shipping it to China via our fragile shorelines and fishing grounds.

The public is invited to send scoping letters – following specific rules - to point out possible negative impacts AND suggest ways to mitigate those impacts so the proposal can be approved.

What about requiring the coal company to prove that their surface and underground coal mines don’t devastate the environment in Wyoming and Montana?

How about making the BNSF corporate planners prove that 18 additional mile and a half long trains filled with tons of coal won’t exacerbate the bluff erosion along the Mukilteo to Everett waterfront?

How about making SSA Marine promise their huge coal hauling ships – called “Cape Sized” because they are too large to fit through the Panama Canal – won’t ever crash into an island or a fishing boat or a kayak?

If this proposal is allowed to go forward I fear the civil disobedience that will disrupt our communities. The 120 day scoping period and seven overly controlled pep-rally scoping hearings have raised the hopes of the anti-GPT coal terminal activists. Please study the impact on the people who have opposed this proposal if approved by Washington’s EPA. The hopeful will realize this as yet another in a long string of corporate controlled agendas which are predetermined for approval because it’s good for the corporations’ economies. The environment – air, land and sea – and citizens be damned.

Sally Stapp (#6020)

Date Submitted: 01/05/2013
Location: Everett, WA
Comment:
I just accessed the Washington State’s Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) web site for hints about writing scoping comments. In the Guidelines to Scoping Comments I was disturbed by the answer to their question:

Q. Why do the SEPA rules require public comment periods?

Public comment periods allow other agencies, tribes and the public to review and comment on the likely environmental consequences of a proposal before an agency approves the proposal. This early involvement allows the applicant and agencies to work together to avoid or reduce likely environmental impacts from a proposal before agency decisions are made.

The above phrase "before an agency approves the proposal" seems to suggest that our state’s EPA is working for the coal companies to make sure their proposal is approved rather than working for the citizens of Washington to make sure our environment isn’t negatively impacted. The whole process seems to favor the project initiators - in this case Peabody Coal, BNSF RR, SSA Marine and the corporate pirates who stand to profit hugely from mining coal in Wyoming and Montana and shipping it to China via our fragile shorelines and fishing grounds.

The public is invited to send scoping letters – following specific rules - to point out possible negative impacts AND suggest ways to mitigate those impacts so the proposal can be approved.

What about requiring the coal company to prove that their surface and underground coal mines don’t devastate the environment in Wyoming and Montana?

How about making the BNSF corporate planners prove that 18 additional mile and a half long trains filled with tons of coal won’t exacerbate the bluff erosion along the Mukilteo to Everett waterfront?

How about making SSA Marine promise their huge coal hauling ships – called “Cape Sized” because they are too large to fit through the Panama Canal – won’t ever crash into an island or a fishing boat or a kayak?

If this proposal is allowed to go forward I fear the civil disobedience that will disrupt our communities. The 120 day scoping period and seven overly controlled pep-rally scoping hearings have raised the hopes of the anti-GPT coal terminal activists. Please study the impact on the people who have opposed this proposal if approved by Washington’s EPA. The hopeful will realize this as yet another in a long string of corporate controlled agendas which are predetermined for approval because it’s good for the corporations’ economies. The environment – air, land and sea – and citizens be damned.

Sally Stapp (#6163)

Date Submitted: 01/07/2013
Comment:
WA state RCW 80.80 precludes state utilities - like PSE - from entering into long term agreements for using coal as an energy source. By 2020 the state is mandated to reduce CO2 emissions by 15%. Please study the disconnect between these state mandates and the GPT proposal to ship millions of tons of coal to China for them to burn to produce energy. The global implications of increased atmospheric CO2 emissions and increases in ocean acidification as CO2 is absorbed should be studied individually and cumulatively over time. The only mitigation option is NO ACTION. Leave fossil fuels in the ground. Support renewable sources of energy.

Sally Stapp (#6629)

Date Submitted: 01/04/13
Comment:
January 4, 2013 To: Whatcom County Council, Washington State Environmental Protection Agency, and US Army Corps of Engineers
Re: EIS Gateway Pacific Coal Terminal at Cherry Point, Washington
Impact: Ocean Acidification
My name is Sally Stapp. I live in Everett, Washington and spend much of my time on Guemes Island in Skagit County. I grew up with local fisherman Pete Knutson who spoke recently at the Seattle Scoping Hearing. Pete & his family are among the 15,000 people employed in the Seattle-based fishing industry.
I would like to reiterate his concerns about increased mining, transporting, storage, shipping and burning of 48 - 54 million additional tons of coal and the impact this GPT proposal will have on the acidification of the world’s oceans.
In his two minute scoping comments he said, “About 30% of the carbon dioxide generated from fossil fuel burning is absorbed by the earth’s oceans, which then become more acidic. We are already seeing the impacts to shellfish in Puget Sound, impacts now recognized in the scientific literature, impacts now being studied by NOAA.”
Pete continues, “North Pacific salmon eat huge quantities of a microscopic floating mollusk called a pteropod, also know as a “sea butterfly”. It has a shell that is vulnerable to ocean acidification. If we lose the pteropod, we endanger the salmon which feed orca, bear, cedar, human and the whole living web of the north Pacific Rim.”
The Union of Concerned Scientists, in their recent publication – Cooler Smarter: Practical Steps for Low-Carbon Living - support Pete’s assertion. They present data collected hourly at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii beginning in 1958 that show a continuous, nearly linear increase in atmospheric Carbon Dioxide - the Keeling Curve, Figure 3.2 on p. 34. “As part of the carbon cycle, the world’s oceans have long absorbed roughly one-third of all the carbon dioxide emitted by human activity…” (p. 42). “In fact, current measurements indicate the Earth’s oceans are already about 30% more acidic than they were before the Industrial Revolution. As the world’s oceans absorb more carbon dioxide, they become more acidic, threatening the ocean’s reefs and some of the plankton that form the base of the aquatic food chain” (p. 43).
Please study the significant, negative, cumulative impact the burning of coal and all fossil fuels has on ocean acidification in our local, state, national and worldwide oceans and all other water systems.
Additionally, please study the impact on our local, state, national and worldwide fisheries caused by mining, transporting, storing, shipping and burning fossil fuels – including sub-bituminous coal from the Powder River Basin, Wyoming.
If a spill were to occur at any of the above stages, please study the exacerbation of the impacts listed above. Thank you.
Attached Files:

Sally Stapp (#6925)

Date Submitted: 01/12/2013
Comment:
On 11/29/12 I filled out a comment sheet during the Ferndale hearing. I would like to submit a more readable coherent version. Sorry for the previous scribbles.

We live three blocks from the bluff above the BNSF railroad tracks in the north end of Everett, Washington, and vacation on Guemes Island in Skagit County. The Gateway Pacific proposal to expand coal mining operations in Wyoming and Montana, increase hauling of tons of coal by rail through towns and cities in Washington then along our fragile shorelines to store in huge uncovered piles at Cherry Point, conveyor belt it on to huge single hulled cargo ships then ship it to China to burn in their unregulated power plants seems ridiculous on every level. Please study the impacts of this concern:

It took 20 years for the Federal courts to conclude that the use of tobacco products causes cancer, lung disease, heart attacks, COPD, and other illnesses. During those 20 years the tobacco industry’s lobby misinformed the public. Various tobacco company CEO’s swore emphatically under oath to US Congressional Hearings – “The use of tobacco products does not cause cancer!”

Any tobacco user or anyone who knows a tobacco user could testify that tobacco use makes you sick!

Let’s hope the scoping process for the Gateway Pacific Terminal proposal at Cherry Point, WA will include study of the growing irrefutable body of scientific evidence that proves mining, hauling, storing shipping and particularly burning coal adds 2.8 tons of the greenhouse gas CO2 per ton of coal burned. This atmospheric CO2 is absorbed by the world’s oceans causing acidification and causes global warming. The only way to mitigate the effects of coal burning is to leave it in the ground and invest in renewable energy sources.

Sally Stapp (#10190)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: , WA
Comment:
I am a native of Washington state and want my government processes and stewards of the land to take exceptional care with this special place.

Please study the ramifications of an approval of this GTP project (to export 48 million tons of coal annually through cities and towns of Washington and along our precious shorelines on precarious shoreline rails) on the rabid coal profiteer mining companies to view Washington State as their personal export platform. Will they make more demands for our deep water ports? Even though the Everett City Council has disallowed coal terminals from the vacant 91 acre Kimberly Clark property, please study the history of city ordinances being changed by big corporations with big money. The Powder River Basin is estimated to contain 200 years supply of coal. If this GTP proposal is approved will Pandora's box open to an explosion of coal terminal permit requests?

To mitigate this possibility consider reversing the usual process. Leave the fossil fuels sequestered in the ground until the scientific community has had enough time and resources to develop renewable energy sources to replace greenhouse gas producing fuels. What's the hurry? Take your time. Do it right.

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

Thank you for your careful consideration. Good luck on this difficult task.

Sally Stapp (#10195)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: , WA
Comment:
Please take to heart Washington Governor Gregoire's mandate on climate change and study it's ramaifications with regard to the Gateway Pacific Terminal proposal. Thank you, Sally Stapp, WA native, property owner, taxpayer, concerned citizen.

CHRISTINE O. GREGOIRE
Governor
STATE OF WASHINGTON
OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR
P.O. Box 40002 · Olympia, Washington 98504-0002 · (360) 753-6780 · www.governor.wa.gov
EXECUTIVE ORDER 07-02
WASHINGTON CLIMATE CHANGE CHALLENGE
WHEREAS, there is scientific consensus that increasing emissions of greenhouse gases are causing global temperatures to rise at rates that have the potential to cause economic disruption, environmental damage, and a public health crisis;
The drivers of climate change are global, but the effects of climate change on Washington are local and unique, including our dependence on snowpack for fresh water, our reliance on hydropower for energy, and our significant amount of shoreline;
According to the University of Washington’s Climate Impacts Group, the effects of climate change are already being felt in the state of Washington in the form of average yearly temperatures rising faster over the 20th Century than the global average, mountain glaciers in the North Cascades losing up to a third of their area since 1950, snow pack in the Cascades declining by 35%, peak spring river runoff occurring 10 to 30 days earlier and the proportion of stream flow that arrives in summer decreasing as much as 34% in sensitive river basins; and
WHEREAS, Washington has taken significant actions to address climate change, including:
• Adopting the 2005 Clean Car Act requiring certain automobiles to meet tougher emissions standards beginning with 2009 models;
• Retrofitting 50% of school buses and 20% of local government diesel engine vehicles to reduce highly toxic diesel emissions;
• Leading the nation in requiring fuel suppliers to ensure that 2% of the fuel they sell is biodiesel or ethanol;
• Leading the nation in adopting high performance green building standards and having one of the most energy efficient building codes in the nation;
• Implementing the best energy efficiency standards for appliances;
• Passing a clean energy initiative to increase the amount of energy efficiency and renewable resources in our state’s electricity system;
• Purchasing hybrid and low emission vehicles for state agency use;
• Adopting the Columbia River Water Management Act, which will work toward meeting the water storage needs for agriculture, communities, and salmon; and
WHEREAS, Washington has tremendous opportunities to build a healthier and more prosperous future by embracing the challenge of climate change through expanding our clean energy economy;
Washington’s rural communities can gain economic benefit through the production of renewable fuels, keeping more of the money Washington residents spend on imported fuels here at home; and
WHEREAS, Washington has worked closely with California and Oregon in establishing the West Coast Governors’ Global Warming Initiative and is working with other western states to address climate change in a coordinated effort and through the Western Governors Association; and
WHEREAS, Washington’s vast hydroelectric system must be taken into account in any regional or national climate program; and
Washington State must continue its work to be prepared for the inevitable impacts of climate change.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Christine O. Gregoire, Governor of the state of Washington declare the state’s commitment to address climate change by:
1. Establishing the following greenhouse gas emissions reduction and clean energy economy goals for Washington State:
• By 2020, reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the state of Washington to 1990 levels, a reduction of 10 million metric tons below 2004 emissions;
• By 2035, reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the state of Washington to 25% below 1990 levels, a reduction of 30 million metric tons below 2004;
• By 2050, the state of Washington will do its part to reach global climate stabilization levels by reducing emissions to 50% below 1990 levels or 70% below our expected emissions that year, an absolute reduction in emissions of nearly 50 million metric tons below 2004;
• By 2020, increase the number of clean energy sector jobs to 25,000 from the 8,400 jobs we had in 2004; and
• By 2020, reduce expenditures by 20% on fuel imported into the state by developing Washington resources and supporting efficient energy use.
2. Implementing the significant policy actions taken in 2005 and 2006 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These actions will move Washington State to at least 60% of the 2020 goal and grow the clean energy economy by:
• Working to ensure cars sold in Washington meet stringent emission standards beginning with 2009 models;
• Retrofitting the most polluting diesel engines in school buses and local government vehicles;
• Working with farmers, entrepreneurs, fuel distributors and retailers to assure that biofuel feedstocks are grown in Washington; that refiners, blenders and distributors of biofuels create family wage jobs in Washington; and that the public can purchase fuel blends that reduce our dependence on imported fuel;
• Constructing high performance green buildings;
• Maintaining the highest levels of efficiency in our state’s energy code and regularly updating and enhancing those standards;
• Examining compliance with appliance efficiency standards and updating and enhancing those standards;
• Implementing the requirements of the Energy Independence Act by adopting rules that help utilities to succeed in meeting their renewable energy targets;
• Pursuing new water resources in Eastern Washington, including water conservation projects, developing new storage and new creative water management alternatives; and
• Reducing energy use by state agencies by achieving the goals established in Executive Order 05-01, Establishing Sustainability and Efficiency Goals for State Operations.
3. Achieving at least the remaining 40% toward the 2020 goal for Washington State and planning for our future, I, FURTHER, order and direct:
A. The Director of the Department of Ecology and the Director of the Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development in consultation with a broad range of stakeholders to develop a climate change initiative, Washington Climate Change Challenge, to achieve the goals of this Executive Order. Executive Cabinet agencies
are directed to provide their full assistance and support in developing Washington Climate Change Challenge. I invite the Office of the Insurance Commissioner, the Commissioner of Public Lands, institutions of higher education, and members of the Legislature to assist in this effort.
B. The Director of the Department of Ecology and the Director of the Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development shall include representatives from business, including transportation, forestry and energy sectors, agriculture, local, county and regional governments, institutions of higher education, labor unions, environmental groups and other interested residents as appropriate in the development of Washington Climate Change Challenge.
C. Washington Climate Change Challenge shall address the following elements and process steps:
i) Consider the full range of policies and strategies for the state of Washington to adopt or undertake to ensure the economic and emission reductions goals are achieved, including policy options that can maximize the efficiency of emission reductions including market-based systems, allowance trading, and incentives;
ii) Determine specific steps the state of Washington should take to prepare for the impact of global warming, including impacts to public health, agriculture, the coast line, forestry, and infrastructure;
iii) Assess what further steps the state of Washington should take to be prepared for the impact of global warming to water supply and management;
iv) Initiate active involvement by the state of Washington in the development of regional and national climate policies and coordination with British Columbia;
v) Recommend how the state of Washington, as an entity, can reduce its generation of greenhouse gas emissions;
vi) Work with the state of Washington’s local governments to maximize coordination and effectiveness of local and state climate initiatives; and
vii) Inform the general public of the process, solicit comments and involvement and develop recommendations for future public education and outreach.
D. The Director of the Department of Ecology and the Director of the Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development shall submit Washington Climate Change Challenge to the Office of the Governor within one year of the signing of this Executive Order.
This Executive Order shall take effect immediately.
Signed and sealed with the official seal of the state of Washington, on this 7th day of February 2007, at Olympia, Washington.
By:
_________________________________
Christine O. Gregoire
Governor
BY THE GOVERNOR:
________________________________
Secretary of State

Sally Stapp (#10197)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: , WA
Comment:
Please take to heart Washington Governor Gregoire's mandate on climate change and study it's ramaifications with regard to the Gateway Pacific Terminal proposal. Thank you, Sally Stapp, WA native, property owner, taxpayer, concerned citizen.

CHRISTINE O. GREGOIRE
Governor
STATE OF WASHINGTON
OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR
P.O. Box 40002 · Olympia, Washington 98504-0002 · (360) 753-6780 · www.governor.wa.gov
EXECUTIVE ORDER 07-02
WASHINGTON CLIMATE CHANGE CHALLENGE
WHEREAS, there is scientific consensus that increasing emissions of greenhouse gases are causing global temperatures to rise at rates that have the potential to cause economic disruption, environmental damage, and a public health crisis;
The drivers of climate change are global, but the effects of climate change on Washington are local and unique, including our dependence on snowpack for fresh water, our reliance on hydropower for energy, and our significant amount of shoreline;
According to the University of Washington’s Climate Impacts Group, the effects of climate change are already being felt in the state of Washington in the form of average yearly temperatures rising faster over the 20th Century than the global average, mountain glaciers in the North Cascades losing up to a third of their area since 1950, snow pack in the Cascades declining by 35%, peak spring river runoff occurring 10 to 30 days earlier and the proportion of stream flow that arrives in summer decreasing as much as 34% in sensitive river basins; and
WHEREAS, Washington has taken significant actions to address climate change, including:
• Adopting the 2005 Clean Car Act requiring certain automobiles to meet tougher emissions standards beginning with 2009 models;
• Retrofitting 50% of school buses and 20% of local government diesel engine vehicles to reduce highly toxic diesel emissions;
• Leading the nation in requiring fuel suppliers to ensure that 2% of the fuel they sell is biodiesel or ethanol;
• Leading the nation in adopting high performance green building standards and having one of the most energy efficient building codes in the nation;
• Implementing the best energy efficiency standards for appliances;
• Passing a clean energy initiative to increase the amount of energy efficiency and renewable resources in our state’s electricity system;
• Purchasing hybrid and low emission vehicles for state agency use;
• Adopting the Columbia River Water Management Act, which will work toward meeting the water storage needs for agriculture, communities, and salmon; and
WHEREAS, Washington has tremendous opportunities to build a healthier and more prosperous future by embracing the challenge of climate change through expanding our clean energy economy;
Washington’s rural communities can gain economic benefit through the production of renewable fuels, keeping more of the money Washington residents spend on imported fuels here at home; and
WHEREAS, Washington has worked closely with California and Oregon in establishing the West Coast Governors’ Global Warming Initiative and is working with other western states to address climate change in a coordinated effort and through the Western Governors Association; and
WHEREAS, Washington’s vast hydroelectric system must be taken into account in any regional or national climate program; and
Washington State must continue its work to be prepared for the inevitable impacts of climate change.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Christine O. Gregoire, Governor of the state of Washington declare the state’s commitment to address climate change by:
1. Establishing the following greenhouse gas emissions reduction and clean energy economy goals for Washington State:
• By 2020, reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the state of Washington to 1990 levels, a reduction of 10 million metric tons below 2004 emissions;
• By 2035, reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the state of Washington to 25% below 1990 levels, a reduction of 30 million metric tons below 2004;
• By 2050, the state of Washington will do its part to reach global climate stabilization levels by reducing emissions to 50% below 1990 levels or 70% below our expected emissions that year, an absolute reduction in emissions of nearly 50 million metric tons below 2004;
• By 2020, increase the number of clean energy sector jobs to 25,000 from the 8,400 jobs we had in 2004; and
• By 2020, reduce expenditures by 20% on fuel imported into the state by developing Washington resources and supporting efficient energy use.
2. Implementing the significant policy actions taken in 2005 and 2006 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These actions will move Washington State to at least 60% of the 2020 goal and grow the clean energy economy by:
• Working to ensure cars sold in Washington meet stringent emission standards beginning with 2009 models;
• Retrofitting the most polluting diesel engines in school buses and local government vehicles;
• Working with farmers, entrepreneurs, fuel distributors and retailers to assure that biofuel feedstocks are grown in Washington; that refiners, blenders and distributors of biofuels create family wage jobs in Washington; and that the public can purchase fuel blends that reduce our dependence on imported fuel;
• Constructing high performance green buildings;
• Maintaining the highest levels of efficiency in our state’s energy code and regularly updating and enhancing those standards;
• Examining compliance with appliance efficiency standards and updating and enhancing those standards;
• Implementing the requirements of the Energy Independence Act by adopting rules that help utilities to succeed in meeting their renewable energy targets;
• Pursuing new water resources in Eastern Washington, including water conservation projects, developing new storage and new creative water management alternatives; and
• Reducing energy use by state agencies by achieving the goals established in Executive Order 05-01, Establishing Sustainability and Efficiency Goals for State Operations.
3. Achieving at least the remaining 40% toward the 2020 goal for Washington State and planning for our future, I, FURTHER, order and direct:
A. The Director of the Department of Ecology and the Director of the Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development in consultation with a broad range of stakeholders to develop a climate change initiative, Washington Climate Change Challenge, to achieve the goals of this Executive Order. Executive Cabinet agencies
are directed to provide their full assistance and support in developing Washington Climate Change Challenge. I invite the Office of the Insurance Commissioner, the Commissioner of Public Lands, institutions of higher education, and members of the Legislature to assist in this effort.
B. The Director of the Department of Ecology and the Director of the Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development shall include representatives from business, including transportation, forestry and energy sectors, agriculture, local, county and regional governments, institutions of higher education, labor unions, environmental groups and other interested residents as appropriate in the development of Washington Climate Change Challenge.
C. Washington Climate Change Challenge shall address the following elements and process steps:
i) Consider the full range of policies and strategies for the state of Washington to adopt or undertake to ensure the economic and emission reductions goals are achieved, including policy options that can maximize the efficiency of emission reductions including market-based systems, allowance trading, and incentives;
ii) Determine specific steps the state of Washington should take to prepare for the impact of global warming, including impacts to public health, agriculture, the coast line, forestry, and infrastructure;
iii) Assess what further steps the state of Washington should take to be prepared for the impact of global warming to water supply and management;
iv) Initiate active involvement by the state of Washington in the development of regional and national climate policies and coordination with British Columbia;
v) Recommend how the state of Washington, as an entity, can reduce its generation of greenhouse gas emissions;
vi) Work with the state of Washington’s local governments to maximize coordination and effectiveness of local and state climate initiatives; and
vii) Inform the general public of the process, solicit comments and involvement and develop recommendations for future public education and outreach.
D. The Director of the Department of Ecology and the Director of the Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development shall submit Washington Climate Change Challenge to the Office of the Governor within one year of the signing of this Executive Order.
This Executive Order shall take effect immediately.
Signed and sealed with the official seal of the state of Washington, on this 7th day of February 2007, at Olympia, Washington.
By:
_________________________________
Christine O. Gregoire
Governor
BY THE GOVERNOR:
________________________________
Secretary of State

sally Stapp (#11463)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: , WA
Comment:
I'm a 62 year old native born Washingtonian with deep roots in Skagit County. I agree with the comments submitted by Steve Orsini on Jan 14, 2013. Please study the impacts of the effect of the coal burning by-product sulphur on the acidification of the rain we collect in our rain water storage tanks and use to water our vegetable gardens during the growing months. I've copied his educated comments below. Thank you.

Name: Orsini, Stephen
Date: Jan. 14, 2013
City: Anacortes
Part: Multiple/not listed
Human environment: Air quality, Human health, Traffic or safety
Comment: Submitted by Stephen D. Orsini

• I spent 30 years in the utility power industry. I retired from Alstom Power but when we were ABB, we purchased Combustion Engineering, 1990, servicing about half of the utility coal fired power plants in the US. In 1999-2000 I lead the ABB team that supplied the sulfur wet scrubbers to the Centrailia Coal Plant. On Powder River Basin "low" sulfur coal, each off the two scrubbers, at a guaranteed 95% efficiency, removed 7,000 lbs of sulfur per hour from each of the two 700 MW coal fired boilers. Thus we removed 7 tons an hour of sulfur, the main ingredient in acid rain, from the plant. Currently, the rain falling on Guemes Island in the San Juans has a PH of 5.6. It is mild acid rain coming across the Pacific from China. Although their newest coal fired plants have sulfur scrubbers, they often do not run them as the scrubbers reduce the power output from a given plant by about 10%. Right now, people in Beijing cannot breathe due to the smog. Much of this smog is coming from coal-fired power plants with their scrubbers turned off. (Scrubbers had to be run during the Olympics in China to clean up the air enough for most of the high level outdoor athletes to agree to complete in Beijing.) The point is that even low sulfur coal is not clean coal. So exporting mountains of coal, even "low sulfur" coal, from the US to China will increase acid rain on the west coast of the US because the Chinese in particular do not abide by given standards of coal plant pollution control. The EIS for coal export must investigate the amount of acid rain in the Pacific Northwest coming from Asia.
• The 900 MW Intermountain Power Plant in Utah requires multiple 100-car coal trains per week. There is one road/rail crossing about a mile from the plant. It takes one coal train 20-30 minutes to pass that crossing. There is no car traffic in the area and the track is straight for many deserted miles. The opposite is the case through the heavily populated Northwest I-5 corridor. Please include the statistical data for increased deaths at grade level crossings for the projected 9 coal trains per day in this densely populated, congested region. This comparative data must be included as it shows a direct impact on human health.
• Scoping also has to consider the impact of coal dust pollution along the entire length of the rail lines from the Powder River Basin to Cherry Point in Western Washington.
• The least amount of job creation occurs with exportation of raw material. Coal yards at major coal fired power plants employ only 3 to 4 people usually on only one shift per day. If job creation is considered in the EIS as a benefit than the analysis must include projections of number of jobs lost in the communities through which the coal trains will pass.

Thank you
Stephen D. Orsini
4971 Guemes Island Road.
Anacortes, WA 982

Sally Stapp-Brigham (#11510)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: , WA
Comment:
I ask that the EIS measure the cost of a worst-case scenario including but not limited to a spill of 470 thousand gallons of bunker fuel in the San Juan Islands, or an explosion at the terminal or a derailment in a highly populated area like downtown Mt. Vernon. Those of you mandated to protect us from environmental catastrofies should study requiring all individual companies and their CEO's and stockholders who will profit if this proposal is allowed to set up a bond that it is replenished as funds are withdrawn; and make SSA/Carrix guarantee any and all damages associated with activities related to the terminal regardless of who is ultimately held by the courts to be liable – the coal owner (some subsidiary of Peabody Energy), the coal transporter (BNSF), or the terminal operator (PIT). Let SSA/Carrix fight it out in court for the next 25 years to get their money back if they’re not liable but, in the meantime, the public shouldn’t have to wait decades to receive the final paltry settlement the Supreme Court approves, a la Alaska citizens and the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Thank you.

Sally Swanberg (#2850)

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

Sally Thomas (#14008)

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.

These proposals are irresponsible and lack the kind of "thinking forward" that we all need at this critical time.

Sally & Dick Brigham (#6916)

Date Submitted: 01/12/2013
Location: Everet, WA
Comment:
We live three blocks from the bluff above the BNSF railroad tracks in the north end of Everett, Washington, and vacation on Guemes Island in Skagit County. The Gateway Pacific proposal to expand coal mining operations in Wyoming and Montana, increase hauling of tons of coal by rail through towns and cities in Washington then along our fragile shorelines to store in huge uncovered piles at Cherry Point, conveyor belt it on to huge single hulled cargo ships then ship it to China to burn in their unregulated power plants seems ridiculous on every level. But today we would like to reiterate the concerns Terry Wechsler submitted 11/30/1012. Please study the inpacts of his concern about water usage.

Pacific International Terminals claims they would use a state-of-the-art dust and fire suppression system for that 80 acre pile of coal that’s about six stories high. That system requires ...water. 1.9 billion-with-a-“B” gallons of water per year from PUD, though the Project Information Document (PID) averages it to 5.3 mil. gallons per day. To put that in context, that’s more water than Ferndale uses daily; half of what all of Bellingham uses. It’s about a third of the water PUD currently supplies to six industrial and fifty irrigation customers in the Cherry Point area.

The PID describes a system that will use less water when it rains, more in the summer dry months when, of course, the Nooksack has the lowest flow. And according to a study done by a professor at Western for her master’s thesis,[1] because of the effects of global climate change on the Nooksack, summer flow in the Middle Fork could decrease by over 8% in the future.

The EIS must consider future water resources based on changing climate scenarios and determine how GPT’s state-of-the-art dust suppression system, that depends on our best water source, would impact this region’s homes, farms and industries in the worst case scenario over the proposed life of the terminal. For Ferndale, the EIS must specifically address whether it will EVER be possible for PUD to supply their water in the future if the largest coal terminal in North America were competing with you.

Sally & Dick Brigham (#9722)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: , WA
Comment:
Please include the impact of burning coal on global warming in all countries, including China. Please heed the impacts Peter Ward points out in this Seattle Times article Thank you.

Originally published December 31, 2012 at 5:51 PM | Page modified December 31, 2012 at 5:51 PM
Global warming should rule out the expansion of coal
Seattle scientist and author Peter Ward argues that global warming should rule out the expansion of coal, including its shipment to China.

By Bruce Ramsey
Times editorial columnist




THE SEATTLE TIMES

A train carrying coal heads north along the Seattle waterfront in December.
Awareness of global warming is several decades old, and Seattle is proud to be a leader. We drive hybrid cars. We recycle our garbage. We vote Democratic. We’re good, no?
“No,” says Peter Ward.
Ward is a professor of biology and of earth and space science at the University of Washington. He is a specialist on the Cretaceous period, from 135 million to 65 million years ago, when the sea level was higher than today and Puget Sound country was a steaming jungle. He is an expert on extinctions. He is a writer of science books, including “The Call of Distant Mammoths: Why the Ice Age Mammals Disappeared” (1997), and “The Flooded Earth: Our Future in a World Without Ice Caps” (2010).
The planet warmed in the 20th century, and the sea level rose about 7 inches. It will be lucky if the rise in this century can be held to 4 feet, he says. And after 2100, the rise speeds up.
A multiple-foot sea-level rise, Ward says, will imperil the tunnel Seattle is undertaking to build, and lots of other expensive assets: Seattle’s marine terminals. San Francisco’s airport. The city of New Orleans. The state of Florida. Bangladesh.
Americans are accustomed to problems that can be solved. Global warming can be slowed down, but not stopped for a long time.
Ward would start by not shipping coal to China.
“I was in Wyoming this past June,” he says. “I counted the cars of the first coal train we passed: 125 cars. Then, 20 minutes later, another, also 125 cars. Then another and on and on. Day and night, all going east, all with the lowest grade there is, Cretaceous-age, high-sulfur brown coal.”
In China you can see the burned coal. In Beijing it hides the sun. China’s pollution is invisible by the time it gets here — it takes three days, Ward says — but the damage to the atmosphere is global.
Ward’s position is, “Anything but coal” — in China, in America or anywhere. America could replace coal entirely with a combination of natural gas, nuclear and wind, he says.
Nuclear? Yes, because it is free of carbon dioxide. And what of the Fukushima meltdown in Japan? Build better nuclear plants. Use what we’ve learned.
And burn more natural gas, produced by explosive fracking?
Yes.
“There are trade-offs,” Ward says. “We can’t have it all.” If you go solar, you cover big patches of deserts and spoil it for wildlife.
Electric power generation is one part of the problem. There is also the matter of human population. The more people, the more carbon dioxide. Global birthrates have been falling for decades, but not enough.
I put it to Ward: What have you done?
“The question, to me, is highly uncomfortable,” he says.
Ward and his wife have one child. They live in a 75-year-old house with an oil furnace. Ward drives a hybrid, though he says buying one does little to save the Earth because of the environmental cost of making the car — most have nickel metal hydride batteries — and the ultimate cost of disposal.
“What happens to 20-year-old hybrids?” he asks. “We don’t know.”
If the sea keeps rising as scientists predict, hard decisions are ahead. Compared with them, coal trains are an easy one. The coal is denied to China, not to us. The problem, however, cannot be addressed merely by denying things to others.

Sally & Dick Stapp-Brigham (#8742)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Location: Everett, WA
Comment:
We would like the lead agencies to consider the following Seattle Times article (1-11-13) highlighting the findings of the Third National Climate Assessment. This article also refers to NOAA’s annual State of the Climate Report, which noted that 2012 was the hottest year on record. Please consider the findings of these two studies and include them in your scope of the impacts of the GPT.

We live three blocks from the bluff above the BNSF railroad tracks in the north end of Everett, Washington, and spend time on Guemes Island in Skagit County. Please consider the findings of these two studies and include them in your scope of the impacts of the GPT.

WASHINGTON – The effects of climate change driven by human activity are spreading through the United States faster than had been predicted, increasingly threatening infrastructure, water supplies, crops and shorelines, according to a review of climate science and its effects by a federal-advisory committee.

A draft of the Third National Climate Assessment delivers a bracing picture of environmental changes and natural disasters that mounting scientific evidence indicates is fostered by climate change: heavier rains in the Northeast, Midwest and Plains states that have overwhelmed storm drains and led to flooding and erosion; sea-level rise that has battered coastal communities; drought that has turned much of the West into a tinderbox.

“Climate change, once considered an issue for a distant future, has moved firmly into the present,” the report says. “Americans are noticing changes all around them. Summers are longer and hotter, and periods of extreme heat last longer than any living American has ever experienced. Winters are generally shorter and warmer.”

The draft report — more than 1,000 pages compiled by more than 300 experts during the past three years — sums up what has become increasingly apparent: The country is hotter than it used to be, rainfall is becoming both more intense and erratic, and rising seas and storm surges threaten U.S. coasts.

It arrives days after the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued its annual State of the Climate Report, which noted that 2012 was the hottest year on record.
Together, the two major reports and a year of drought, wildfires, floods and freak storms have teed up for President Obama the chance to take substantial steps on climate change, environmentalists said.

The report explicitly addresses the most controversial question in climate change, saying that consumption of fossil fuels by humans is the main driver of climate change.

The report adds that the changes are already exacting an economic toll: “Infrastructure across the U.S. is being adversely affected by phenomena associated with climate change, including sea-level rise, storm surge, heavy downpours and extreme heat.”

The report details 13 airports that have runways that could be inundated by rising sea level. It mentions that thawing Alaskan ground means 50 percent less time to drill for oil.
And overall it says up to $6.1 billion in repairs need to be made to Alaskan roads, pipelines, sewer systems, buildings and airports to keep up with global warming.
Sewer systems across America may overflow more, causing damages and fouling lakes and waterways because of climate change, the report said.

Please conduct a programmatic scoping of the the Gateway Pacific Terminal proposal to expand coal mining operations in Wyoming and Montana, increase hauling of tons of coal by rail through towns and cities in Washington then along our fragile shorelines to huge uncovered storage piles at Cherry Point, conveyor belt it on to huge single hulled cargo ships then ship it to China to burn in their unregulated power plants. Study the cumulative effect of this increased burning of fossil fuels in a world that is already being significantly adversely impacted by the existing global warming caused by greenhouse gas.

Sally & Dick Stapp-Brigham (#10204)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: , WA
Comment:
Please read and study the findings of the Washington State Panel on Ocean Acidification which released it's 42 recommendations on November 27, 2012. Please read and study the Everett Herald article Oceans at Risk in the Sunday, 1-20-13 issue by Terry Williams - Commissioner of Fisheries and Natural Resources and Director of Tulalip Tribes Natural Resources Treaty Rights Office. To mitigate the significant negative impacts burning millions of tons of coal promises for Cherry Point, the surrounding lands, water and air and global greenhouse gas increases, I want the lead agencies to consider seriously the idea of leaving fossils fuels in the ground until the scientific community has had enough time, encouragement and resources (MONEY) to develop energy sources that won't toast our planet. I'm a Washington native, property owner, taxpayer and citizen. Please err on the side of caution and weigh the jobs that the coal companies promise with the jobs that will be lost to ocean acidification.

Sally & Dick Stapp-Brigham (#11496)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: , WA
Comment:
I understand SSA Marine created a subsidiary, Pacific International Terminals (PIT), which has NO ASSETS, to build and operate Gateway Pacific Terminal. If a significant “event” were to occur, PIT could be dissolved in bankruptcy faster than we could say, “Who’s liable?”SSA Marine is the subsidiary of Carrix Inc. that runs terminal operations. Carrix is 51% owned by the Hemingway family (CEO Jon Hemingway: http://www.ssamarine.com/company/executive_bios/bio_Hemingway.html), 49% by Goldman Sachs. I reiterate my earlier demand that any and all corporations involved with the Gateway Pacific Terminal Project be required to post $500 billion bond to be used to clean up damage caused by their economic enterprises. They buy coal from the citizens of the US that is dug up from our national lands for $80 a ton and keep the profits of upwards of $300 per ton from Asian markets. It's our coal. Leave it in the ground until those companies- who stand to reap huge profits and cause huge damage to our lands - put money up front in case of a spill or fire or explosion or wind storm or earthquake or winter rains or train derailment or ship running aground or ocean acidification or mercury poisoning or air degradation or lost fisheries or lost jobs or lost tourism industry or ...

Sally & Richard Stapp & Brigham (#3489)

Date Submitted: 11/25/12
Location: Everett, WA
Comment:
I submitted this scoping letter yesterday but realized I hadn't included our names. Interestingly yet another mudslide onto the BNSF tracks was reported while I was typing yesterday. Thank you for your time.
Sally Stapp

(attachment pasted below)

November, 23, 2012

To: Whatcom County, Washington State Department of Ecology, and The Army Corps of Engineers

Re: LANDSLIDES ALONG THE MULITEO - EVERETT SHORELINE’S BNSF TRACKS if the Gateway Pacific Terminal proposal and BNSF proposed extension are allowed

My husband Richard Brigham and I, Sally Stapp, live at 923 Hoyt, Everett, three blocks east of the bluff overlooking the BNSF railway tracks that currently carry two round trip passenger trains (Amtrak) to Vancouver and 15 freight trains including 6 (mile and a half long) coal trains daily.

In today’s local paper, The Herald, an Associated Press article reports –

“No passenger trains will run north of Seattle until Friday (11/23/12) because of the danger of mudslides hitting the tracks south of Everett. The BNSF tracks were hit by 15 mudslides in heavy rain Monday and Tuesday.” (11/19 & 20) “The largest slide of mud, rocks and trees at Everett was 15 feet deep. Spokesman Gus Melonas says crews cleared the tracks to keep freight trains operating. Passenger trains observe a 48-hour safety moratorium after a mudslide.”

Please scope the added expense and environmental damage to humans and marine systems when these perennial slides hit a train of 130 open coal cars. How much longer will the tracks be closed?

During our October through June rainy season, these slides are common - the following post illustrates:

On March 16, 2011 at 4:37 PM Jill Kimball posted :
Some Sounder, Amtrak trains still not running after mudslide
Heavy rains have led to a series of mudslides earlier this week, forcing another 48-hour moratorium on railroad transit. Forty-four mudslides Monday through Wednesday kept BNSF crews busy cleaning up railroad tracks up and down Western Washington and shut down passenger train service for most of the week.
So far this season, BNSF spokesman Gus Melonas said, there have been more than 100 slides affecting rail service, more than the state has seen in one season since 1996-1997. About 95 percent of the slides were between Seattle and Everett.
And in reporting on a study of increased rail traffic from Everett, WA to Vancouver, BC the following excerpts:
By Floyd McKay July 27, 2011 Everett-Vancouver: a railroad bottleneck if coal trains increase
A new study (sponsored by Cascadia) shows passenger rail service from Seattle to Vancouver, B.C., can expand. But additional freight traffic from coal trains would create a problem for a stretch of single-track rail, (the Chuckanut Drive section from Bow to Bellingham) and areas of heavy landslides in Snohomish County.
Mukilteo Mayor Joe Marine and Bellingham Mayor Pike have suggested that heavy rail traffic may contribute to bank instability, but the Cascadia study did not employ geo-technical consultants.

Cascadia did support, however, asking BNSF for more flexibility on barring passenger trains for 48 hours after a landslide, regardless of its severity. All Aboard Washington Director Lloyd Flem told Cascadia, "the 48 hour stoppage is internal BNSF policy — not federal law — and freight trains are allowed to operate soon after the tracks are cleared."

Please study the adverse effects and significant impacts of increased rail traffic to the stability of the bluffs along the shoreline in Snohomish County. Also note the disregard for passenger safety Director Lloyd Flem exhibits by suggesting passenger trains shouldn’t need to observe the 48-hour suspension of service.

The ample evidence of hundreds of years of damage to our environment caused by mining coal (black lung disease, mine collapses, deaths), storing coal (seepage, water well contamination), transporting coal (coal dust and derailment spillage), shipping and burning coal (lung disease, atmospheric C02 increase) should lead those of you entrusted to scope the significant negative effects of this project to come to the only sane “no action” conclusion. LEAVE FOSSIL FUELS IN THE GROUND AND SUPPORT CLEAN RENEWABLE ENERGY, INCLUDNG BUT NOT LIMITED TO, SOLAR, WIND, GEOTHERMAL, and TIDAL.

Thank you for your time and careful consideration.
Sally Stapp abd Richard Brigham

Salvy Gurliaccio (#784)

Date Submitted: 10/17/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
My name is Salvy Gurliaccio, and my property abuts the train track near Cove Road. I am concerned about vibrations from train traffic shaking and damaging my house. Vibrations from trains can cause a variety of effects, including landslides, cracked foundations, other cracking, and loss of structural integrity.

We are already experiencing some of these effects. Up to 18 additional trains per day, each more than a mile long, will likely make these effects worse.

Please study the damage from vibration due to the proposed coal trains on houses and other structures near the tracks.

Sam Bliss (#12364)

Date Submitted: 01/21/13
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Climate change is real. It will drastically alter the world in which we live in the coming decades. Yet it is not a sealed fate; we can save millions of human lives and thousands of threatened plant and animal species by slowing and reversing our increasing greenhouse gas emissions, putting a halt on rising global temperatures.

Please take into consideration the end use of all products passing through the proposed export facility in the environmental impact statement. Coal burned in China may not affect our air quality, but it does heat the atmosphere, which we share with the whole world. For the sake of preserving a livable planet for our children and their children, we need to set a precedent for taking into account the effects of climate change in every decision we make, especially those involving fossil fuels.

Sam Bull (#1485)

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

Sam Good (#2165)

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

Sam Guyer (#8501)

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

Sam Hubert (#12956)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
Location: Lake Oswego, OR
Comment:
Cherry Point is located much too close to Olympic National Park for there to even be consideration of shipping coal out of here. It is absurd that we are trying to make a quick buck by exporting this dirty fuel overseas when we know it is one of the key ingredients causing global climate change, which we have seen the drastic effects of here in the United States recently with the summer drought and Hurricane Sandy. It is sad that we even have to write these letters to our leaders to beg for some sanity and reason around this issue. Shipping coal out of Cherry Point, or anywhere in the Pacific Northwest, is unacceptable and we are not about sit back and watch you pollute parts of our Pacific Wonderland while continuing the pollution of our planet.
Please look at this situation in the context of a bigger time scale, not just one that involves a few people getting rich quick. The future of human life on this planet as we know it relies on us ending our emissions of fossil fuels as soon as possible and creating a more inhabitable and healthy world for our species and all others.

Sam Merrill (#6474)

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

sam moses (#8442)

Date Submitted: 01/11/13
Location: Hood River, OR
Comment:
Jan 11, 2013

US Army Corps of Engineers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The above comments are understated. I'm 65 years old and politically moderate, but this proposal is destructive to America. I will fight it to my dying breath.

Sincerely,

Mr. sam moses

Sam Payne (#2357)

Date Submitted: 11/06/2012
Location: Bellingham , WA
Comment:
Ecosystem and Biodiversity Impacts of the Gateway Pacific Terminal

The Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT) is a large-scale project that raises serious concern for environmental issues in Whatcom County. As a community it is our civil duty to gain a clear and objective understanding of the implications of the GPT on our environment so we can seek efficient and cost effective methods of damage prevention and mitigation. Our main concerns with the GPT are the environmental impacts of coal dust and marine habitat degradation, which are likely to impact local habitat, biodiversity, and water quality. I will discuss the GPT project and its impact on the marine environment in the Puget Sound.
The GPT, which was proposed by a subsidiary of SSA Marine, is slated to be the largest coal-exporting terminal in North America. It plans to ship 54 million tons of commodities every year; 48 million tons are slated to be coal. Coal exportation has become more lucrative as demand has increased in Asia. Coal is abundant in America, and is a cheap energy source if the externalities are not considered. It is also the “dirtiest” mass produced form of energy, known for high greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. The proposed location for the project is Cherry Point, just north of Bellingham, selected for its deep water that will make it accessible to large ships. The 2980-foot pier will be capable of docking three ships.
Coal dust is known to cause a myriad of environmental issues that will threaten wildlife, biodiversity, and human health. Coal dust is a fine powdered form of coal that is generated during the mining process that is unintentionally distributed into the environment during transportation. Coal train cars are generally uncovered to save time and money, allowing dust to be swept out by wind into terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Careful methods may reduce the release of coal dust but it is impossible to eliminate completely. SSA Marine claims that coal dust is a non-issue, but there is evidence to the contrary. BNSF research reveals that 500-2000 pounds of coal dust may escape a single coal car en route (Coal, 2012). As the train passes through Whatcom County, coal dust will enter terrestrial and marine ecosystems, affecting both air and water quality. Dust will also escape from the terminal where the coal is turned over and transported onto ships. The leeching of heavy metals from coal into aquatic systems will most likely cause health problems when consumed in drinking water or when bioaccumulated in fish stock (USA).
Marine ecosystems and fisheries are likely to experience biodiversity loss due to the GTP construction. The proposed location for the GTP overlaps known spawning habitat for Cherry Point Herring, a fragile keystone species that provides food for many other species. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has determined that the habitat at Cherry Point is vital to the success of the Cherry Point Herring (Protection, 2010). Biodiversity loss of a keystone species may destabilize an entire ecosystem (Cardinale, 2012). The herring are a source of food for wild salmon, which in turn are a source of food for orca whales. The combined effect of losses from all three species may further undermine ecosystem stability. This is because biodiversity loss across trophic levels has a strong potential to influence ecosystem functions (Cardinale, 2012). Other species dependent on the Cherry Point Herring include lingcod, halibut, harbor seals, herons, western grebes, murres, auklets, puffins, sea lions, and porpoises.
Habitat loss is not the only factor that will harm Cherry Point Herring and Puget Sound biodiversity. The vast quantity of coal dust means that leachates containing heavy metals could leak into the Puget Sound. These toxic metals such as arsenic and mercury are known to bioaccumulate in fish and cause mortality at high levels (USA). Unfortunately, they also bioaccumulate in humans and can be harmful if contaminated fish stocks are eaten consistently over a long period of time. If fish stock becomes too contaminated, fisheries will be useless and the ecosystem will be threatened. Coal dust is also known to deplete dissolved oxygen in nearby littoral zones (Cherry Point). Anoxic waters are deadly to fish and many other organisms. Conditions are usually the most severe in deeper waters, killing anything that is not capable of swimming away. If the fish are lucky they may escape, but their vital spawning habitat will be removed. Anoxic water will not allow for the return of the herring or other fish species. Another impact of the GTP is the noise, light, shading and movement from the ships that enter into the terminal. These are likely to disturb the marine species and threaten the survival of Cherry Point Herring (Settlement Agreement, 1999). Another concern is that introduced species are commonly transported world wide via ship ballast water. Large amounts of ship traffic at Cherry Point will increase this risk.
Much of the environmental damage inherent in the GPT proposal is unavoidable, but there are some preventative measures and mitigation methods that could be implemented to reduce widespread destruction. Since most of the coal dust is released en route, much of the pollution can be eliminated by using closed railway cars, or a sealant to keep the dust in. This will cost time and money during transportation but is well worth the extra expenditure to protect the environment. It is nearly impossible to contain all the coal dust while moving it onto the ships, but measures can be taken to reduce the amount that is released. Consistent monitoring of pollution on and around the terminal should be required to make sure that SSA Marine are implementing these measures. This is, however, only one facet of the problem. If the terminal is constructed, nothing can be done about the habitat loss at Cherry Point. In conjunction, large ships will still enter the port and disturb the marine wildlife. Inevitably, there will be wildlife and biodiversity loss. Habitat restoration and creation of artificial habitat may be a method of mitigating the environmental damage that will be done at Cherry Point, especially the delicate wetlands. This method appears sound in theory, but may not be as effective when applied to real systems. Artificial wetland projects used to offset damaged ecosystem but are often unsuccessful and unsustainable (Race, 1985). If SSA Marine decides to mitigate damage with the creation of artificial wetlands, they should overestimate the necessary amount to make up for the low success rate. Even this will not address the issue of the Cherry Point Herring that will inevitably decline if the GPT is built.
Between the degradation of water quality, habitat loss, and biodiversity loss, the Gateway Pacific Terminal will have severe environmental implications at Cherry Point. Certain pollutants such as coal dust can be prevented at a cost, but others are unavoidable, and mitigation methods suspect. Biodiversity loss will be seen with the decline of Cherry Point Herring, a keystone species in the Puget Sound and food source for wild salmon. Due to the unavoidable environmental repercussions, it would be unwise to approve the completion of the Gateway Pacific Terminal.

References:

Cardinale, Bradley J. "Biodiversity Loss and Its Impact on Humanity." Nature 486 (2012): 59-67. Print.

"Cherry Point Coal Export Facility Would Impact Health, Community, and Waterfront Business." â Climate Solutions. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Nov. 2012. <http://climatesolutions.org/press-room/press-releases/cherry-point-coal- export-facility-would-impact-health-community-and-waterfront-business/>.

"Coal Dust Frequently Asked Questions." BNSF Railway Company, 2011. Web. 4 Nov. 2012. <http://www.coaltrainfacts.org/docs/BNSF-Coal-Dust-FAQs1.pdf>.

"Key Facts : Coal Train Facts." Coal Train Facts. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Nov. 2012. <http://www.coaltrainfacts.org/key-facts>.

Protecting Nearshore Habitat And Functions in Puget Sound. June 2010. Envirovision, Hererra, and AHG collaberation.

Race, Margaret Seluk. "Critique of present wetlands mitigation policies in the United States based on an analysis of past restoration projects in San Francisco Bay." Environmental Management 9.1 (1985): 71-81.

Settlement Agreement. Mar. 1996. Pacific International Terminals. Bellingham, WA.

USA. USACERL. Elemental Characterization of Coal Ash Leachates. By John F. Cerbus, Shelden Landsberger, and Susan Larson.

Samantha Wright (#11256)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Comment:
Hello, my name is Samantha and I’ve lived in Whatcom County my entire life and I would hate to see the coal trains impact our environment. Bellingham is known for its fisheries and marine environment since we’re located next to the Bellingham Bay. By living in the Pacific Northwest for many years, my friends, family and I are proud of natural beauty we have here. The coal train would release toxic coal dust and diesel exhaust along the rail lines which would pollute our air and water affecting the health of the people and wildlife in our community. The environmental impact is significant because the coal trains would destroy our ecosystem, which is already fragile, effecting our fish and salmon. Also coal is the dirtiest fossil fuel and across the country Americans are using cleaner energy alternatives opposed to coal so why would we allow coal trains when there are greener options already being utilized out there? If we’re looking to make a profit there are likely alternatives that are profitable too. I believe we should protect our environment by saying no to coal trains.

Samm Cotton (#7104)

Date Submitted: 01/13/2013
Comment:
This project poses serious environmental, economic and public health risks for the people who live in the states that the trains will pass through. Please stop the Gateway Pacific Coal Train.

-SC

Sammy Logan (#8129)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Comment:
I have asthma so when I heard the coal has the potential to affect my asthma my first thought was, um that sucks! It’s affecting my everyday living. I have literally thought about not having kids in the future because if we continue our lifestyle as is, the world they grow up in would not be good. If the trains are closer to schools/soccer fields then kids with asthma will be more affected. Please study job increase/decrease by comparing coal jobs vs. other because it is one way that people are arguing for coal trains. Have you really looked at the effects, because it is obvious with climate change problems that more coal trains have a negative effect?

Sammy Low (#9093)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
I moved to Whatcom county several years ago because of the superb natural environment here. I am retired, have lived in multiple areas of the country and have come to love the unique qualities of land, sea and air that exist here. I fear these qualities will be adversely impacted by the projected coal terminals on the west coast.

I moved to Whatcom county several years ago because of the superb natural environment here. I am retired, have lived in multiple areas of the country and have come to love the unique qualities of land, sea and air that exist here. I fear these qualities will be adversely impacted by the projected coal terminals on the west coast.

Air quality is one concern and I agree with Arthur M. Winer, PhD, whose comment was submitted on Jan. 7, 2013 (http://www.eisgatewaypacificwa.gov/get-involved/comment/6641).

I request that a thorough study of the impacts on air quality be conducted, including all pollutants, unregulated as well as regulated and including air monitoring all along the rail corridors, not just fixed stations. Since there are operational coal terminals already, this type of monitoring can be done now and extrapolated to the weather and geographical environment of the proposed GPT.

Sammy Low (#9097)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
I moved to Whatcom county several years ago because of the superb natural environment here. I am retired, have lived in multiple areas of the country and have come to love the unique qualities of land, sea and air that exist here. I fear these qualities will be adversely impacted by the projected coal terminals on the west coast.

Aquatic environment quality is one of my concerns and I agree with the comment of Bill McGown submitted on Dec. 17, 2012. (http://www.eisgatewaypacificwa.gov/get-involved/comment/5001).

I request a comprehensive study be done on the impacts of the increased vessel traffic and ship sizes on the sea bottom and subsequent displacement of sediment due to passage and anchorages of these coal ships. The presence of toxic sediment on the sea floor needs to be quantified and qualified and the subsequent disturbances due to vessel traffic needs to be likewise quantified and qualified. Then the impacts of this disturbance on our marine resources needs to be evaluated.

Sammy Low (#9101)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
I moved to Whatcom county several years ago because of the superb natural environment here. I am retired, have lived in multiple areas of the country and have come to love the unique qualities of land, sea and air that exist here. I fear these qualities will be adversely impacted by the projected coal terminals on the west coast.

Multiple impacts from coal dust is one of my concerns and I agree with Mary Ruth Holder in her comment submitted Jan. 6, 2012 (http://www.eisgatewaypacificwa.gov/get-involved/comment/6108).

Please study the amount of coal dust that would be lost from mining, shipping via rail, storage, loading/unloading at the terminal site and from "empty" coal cars returning to the mining sites.

Please include in the study any mitigation of coal dust that the mining and shipping industry claims--actual effectiveness of the methods and actual use by these companies. Include any costs to the taxpayers that would occur for these possible mitigations.

And finally, please study the cumulative effects over time of these contaminants on the land and water quality over the entire rail corridors involved in all of the projected west coast coal terminals.

Sammy Low (#9104)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
I moved to Whatcom county several years ago because of the superb natural environment here. I am retired, have lived in multiple areas of the country and have come to love the unique qualities of land, sea and air that exist here. I fear these qualities will be adversely impacted by the projected coal terminals on the west coast.

The impact of increased rail traffic is one of my concerns and I agree with Joseph Knight on his comment from Jan. 3, 2013, (http://www.eisgatewaypacificwa.gov/get-involved/comment/5787).

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

Please also assess the risks of collisions with vehicles or pedestrians, of derailments, and of mudslides due to wear on rail beds.

Sammy Low (#9105)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
I moved to Whatcom county several years ago because of the superb natural environment here. I am retired, have lived in multiple areas of the country and have come to love the unique qualities of land, sea and air that exist here. I fear these qualities will be adversely impacted by the projected coal terminals on the west coast.

The dispersion of coal dust is one of my concerns and I agree with Michael Riordan, and his comment submitted Jan. 10, 2013 (http://www.eisgatewaypacificwa.gov/get-involved/comment/7362).

I request that the EIS measure wind speeds and direction at all of the projected coal terminal sites, model how often wind gusts will create fugitive dust storms, and study the subsequent impacts on the aquatic and land environs of the sites.

Sammy Low (#9360)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
I moved to Whatcom county several years ago because of the superb natural environment here. I am retired, have lived in multiple areas of the country and have come to love the unique qualities of land, sea and air that exist here. I fear these qualities will be adversely impacted by the projected coal terminals on the west coast.

Water quality is one concern and I agree with Michael Riordan's comment from Dec. 22, 2012 (www.eisgatewaypacificwa.gov/get-involved/comment/5517) regarding the risks of adverse impacts of coal dust on our aquatic environment, enabling carcinogens and neurotoxins to enter our marine food chain.

I request that the EIS include the comprehensive study of the wind patterns at Cherry Point plus the study of coal dust dispersion at already operating coal terminals (including Westshore Terminals in Tsawwassen, BC and the coal facility in Seward, AK) under various wind conditions so that likely coal dust dispersion from Cherry Point can be extrapolated. This study should include the successes and failures of the mitigation practices at the already functioning coal terminals and determine the relationship to wind data.

Sammy Low (#9373)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
I moved to Whatcom county several years ago because of the superb natural environment here. I am retired, have lived in multiple areas of the country and have come to love the unique qualities of land, sea and air that exist here. I fear these qualities will be adversely impacted by the projected coal terminals on the west coast.

Water resources is a major concern of mine and I agree with the comment submitted on Nov. 30, 2012, by Terry Wechsler (http://www.eisgatewaypacificwa.gov/get-involved/comment/3621).

I request that the EIS include a study of water resources in the county, the projected needs at a fully operating Cherry Point terminal, and the projected needs of Ferndale PUD for supplying individuals, businesses and agriculture. This needs to include changing climate scenarios in the future. It also needs to include the impacts of competing needs for water that is greater than the water available and how those needs would be prioritized.

Sammy Low (#9388)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
I moved to Whatcom county several years ago because of the superb natural environment here. I am retired, have lived in multiple areas of the country and have come to love the unique qualities of land, sea and air that exist here. I fear these qualities will be adversely impacted by the projected coal terminals on the west coast.

Marine resources are a major concern and I agree with the comment submitted on Nov. 3, 2012, by Joseph Gaydos, VMD, PhD (www.eisgatewaypacificwa.gov/get-involved/comment/2759).

Please include in the EIS all of the counties and regions where ships entering and leaving the GPT would transit. The increased vessel traffic needs to be evaluated for its impacts of increased noise, increased potential for fuel spill, increased potential for colllision with other vessels and marine birds and mammals, and increased air pollution. These stressors should be evaluated for all species that would be impacted. And finally, the increased vessel traffic needs to be evaluated for its economic impact to the marine ecosystems and businesses and livelihoods they support.

Sammy Low (#9393)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
I moved to Whatcom county several years ago because of the superb natural environment here. I am retired, have lived in multiple areas of the country and have come to love the unique qualities of land, sea and air that exist here. I fear these qualities will be adversely impacted by the projected coal terminals on the west coast.

Marine resources are a major concern and I agree with the comment submitted on Jan. 3, 2013, by Dr. Gary Greene (eisgatewaypacificwa.gov/get-involved/comment/5913).

I, too, would like the studies described by Dr. Greene to be included in the EIS:

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

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

Sammy Low (#10655)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
I moved to Whatcom county several years ago because of the superb natural environment here. I am retired, have lived in multiple areas of the country and have come to love the unique qualities of land, sea and air that exist here. I fear these qualities will be adversely impacted by the projected coal terminals on the west coast.

Marine resources and safety issues are a major concern in the light of the increased vessel traffic from the proposed five coal terminals on the west coast and I agree with the comment submitted on Oct. 27, 2012, by Sanford Olson (eisgatewaypacificwa.gov/get-involved/comment/1567).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

7. Ensuring US ballast water regulations are verifiably enforced.

Sammy Low (#10664)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
I moved to Whatcom county several years ago because of the superb natural environment here. I am retired, have lived in multiple areas of the country and have come to love the unique qualities of land, sea and air that exist here. I fear these qualities will be adversely impacted by the projected coal terminals on the west coast.

Marine resources and safety issues are a major concern in the light of the increased vessel traffic from the proposed five coal terminals on the west coast and I agree with the comment submitted on Jan. 5, 2012, by Sanford Olson (eisgatewaypacificwa.gov/get-involved/comment/6044).

I, too, request "that the GPT Environmental Impact Statement fully and completely include the linked and cumulative activities of transporting 50 million tons of strip-mined coal from Montana and Wyoming by rail to the proposed export terminal at Cherry Point and then transporting those millions of tons by ship through the Salish Sea to Asia.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sammy Low (#10667)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
I moved to Whatcom county several years ago because of the superb natural environment here. I am retired, have lived in multiple areas of the country and have come to love the unique qualities of land, sea and air that exist here. I fear these qualities will be adversely impacted by the projected coal terminals on the west coast.

Air quality is a major concern and I agree with the comment submitted on Jan. 9, 2013, by Sara Mostad, MD, PhD (www.eisgatewaypacificwa.gov/get-involved/comment/6353).

I request that a Health Impact Assessment be conducted regarding the expected health impacts from air pollution (diesel emissions from trains, ships and terminal machinery, coal dust from trains, ships and terminal sites, heavy metal contaminants of coal dust, toxins drifting back from coal combustion in Asia). I further request that this assessment determine how many excess deaths and hospitalizations would occur in all areas impacted from the mining sites, through the rail corridors and at the coal terminals on the west coast. I further request that lost life expectancy be evaluated and that the financial costs to impacted individuals and communities be evaluated.

Samuel Dunlap (#12949)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
Location: Stevenson, WA
Comment:
Fossil fuels came from dinosaurs and will return to dinosaurs. Coal is dead! The future is in renewable energy. Why would you betray your children and grandchildren's future on a dead letter? Do your damn job!

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.

Samuel Mahaffy (#13576)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Colbert, WA
Comment:
In my professional work as a nonprofit consultant, I represent many communities that have little voice in public policy because of poverty, language, and cultural barriers. This includes migrant and refugee communities on both sides of the State of Washington. I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington.
This proposal would negatively affect our communities by increasing traffic, polluting our air and water, harming existing business, delaying emergency vehicles, increasing shipping traffic and noise, damaging aquatic ecosystems at the terminal site, increasing the potential for serious shipping accidents and exacerbating climate change. It is imperative that the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement include negative impacts both on local communities that have little voice in public policy as well as impact on the global community.

Samuel Mandler (#11575)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Comment:
As someone who works downtown and enjoys the perks of this beautiful city I worry about the rail impact especially. In delaying EMT response, as I see many emergency vehicles coming from the far west side of town into DT, and wonder the impact there. Also local fishing as my restaurant sources food as local as possible can't see the industrial site or increased rail traffic being good for this local bounty. Traffic will be a bitch, and the first kid who gets run over at blvrd park by a train will make this look especially bad.

San Olson (#7675)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Location: Lopez Island, WA
Comment:
As a resident of the San Juan Islands, I notice that when dust storms occur in Asia our sunsets become more vivid. Although I aesthetically appreciate the change, I understand that the phenomena is a result of high-level winds transporting materials and chemicals across the Pacific Ocean to the Northwest.

This January, residents of Beijing and many other cities in China were warned to stay inside as the nation faced one of the worst periods of air quality in recent history. Factories were required to scale back emissions and hospitals saw spikes of more than 20 to 30 percent in patients complaining of respiratory problems.

Ground-based sensors at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing reported PM 2.5 measurements of 291 micrograms per cubic meter of air. Fine airborne particulate matter (PM) that is smaller than 2.5 microns (about one thirtieth the width of a human hair) is considered dangerous because it is small enough to enter the airway and alveolar system of the human lungs. Most PM 2.5 aerosol particles come from the burning of fossil fuels and biomass (wood fires and agricultural burning). The World Health Organization considers PM 2.5 to be safe when it is below 25 micrograms/cubic meter.

During this period of record pollution, the air quality index (AQI) in Beijing was 341. An AQI above 300 is considered hazardous to all humans, not just those with heart or lung ailments. AQI below 50 is considered good. On January 12th, the peak of the current air crisis, AQI was 775 as measured by the U.S Embassy in Beijing—this level is off the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency scale—and PM 2.5 was 886 micrograms/cubic meter.

Some of this pollution is transported to the North American continent by prevailing winds. I have read that more than 70% of the mercury found in the Columbia Basin can be traced to China and other global sources. We do indeed live in a one-world ecosystem and one countries effluent can be shared with another more distant country.

Which finally brings home the point that encouraging China and other Asian nations to depend upon relatively inexpensive coal from the western US, not only results in record hazardous air quality in China but results in the degradation of our air quality and an increase in health problems for our citizens. China gets the short-term economic gain; we both get the long-term pain of bad air quality, respiratory illnesses, and an altered global climate.

Therefore, I request that you study the cumulative effect of burning 48 million tons of Powder River Basin coal shipped from Cherry Point to Asia on the air quality, human, and environmental health of Washington State.

Furthermore, a comprehensive study of the regional, and indeed global, consequences of the nearly 100 million tons of coal shipped and burned from all four of the proposed coal export terminals should be performed.

No serious science can ignore the addition of 183 million tons of CO2 and associated toxic chemicals to our shared atmosphere and oceans. I believe there are both scientific and moral obligations upon the co-leads to evaluate the potentially catastrophic consequences of adding these enormous quantities of climate altering greenhouse gases to our planetary biosphere. Restricting impact studies to the footprint of a single coal export system ignores the reality of the local, regional and global effects on all living things from the continued use of this fossil fuel.

San Olson (#7682)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Location: Lopez Island, WA
Comment:
I am a retired veterinarian living on Lopez Island. Surfactants are ubiquitous in the world of modern chemistry; and many consumer and agricultural products use surfactants that are considered "nontoxic" and "biodegradable." But when some of these surfactants contaminate low-oxygen environments, such as fresh water or marine sediments, the biodegradation of the surfactant is incomplete. The resulting compounds can be endocrine disruptors that interfere with the development of fish and amphibians.

BNSF in an understandable effort to suppress fugitive coal dust from open cars during rail transit is proposing to use the dust control agent MinTopper S+0150 applied to the loaded rail cars at the mines. The routes these coal carrying trains travel are alongside many rivers, streams and wetlands. While this surfactant may have low toxicity in short term laboratory tests, as I mentioned, partially biodegraded surfactants can be endocrine disruptors particularly in fish and amphibian reproduction. Not that long ago, surfactants were considered innocuous until field tests of sewage effluents unexpectedly uncovered their reproductively disruptive breakdown products.

Partial non-ionic surfactant biodegradation in low-oxygen environments such as fresh water sediments (river and stream shores and wetlands) or marine sediments can result in the production of nonylphenol. Alkyl phenols have been documented to have endocrine disrupting effects in fresh water organisms at concentrations as low as 20 micrograms per liter and are known to persist in these environments and thus enter the food chain.

The MinTech technical data sheet says that their product is “practically nontoxic.” This means that the test organism mortality is not high when exposed to the product over 48 to 96 hours. Even if MinTopper S+0150 does not contain a non-ionic surfactant related to nonylphenol, multi-year field tests are necessary to understand the true environmental impacts of this surfactant and its degradation products. Brief lab tests of 48 to 96 hours are inadequate, as toxic synergies may exist between product components or the degradation products of MinTopper S+0150.

Please study the effects of the surfactant product that is used to reduce fugitive coal dust on the development of fish and amphibians. Even if there is limited escape of dust during transport, please study the cumulative effects of coal dust and the surfactant over the estimated lifetime of coal transport on all the rail routes in the Northwest, including the accidental spillage of coal and any surfactant product into marine and riparian systems and waterways.

https://www.momarhaystack.com/data//PRODUCTSANDEQUIPMENT/tm10514mintoppers0150//tm10514mintoppers0150_tds.pdf

San Olson (#7742)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Location: Lopez Island, WA
Comment:
Although I live on Lopez Island, which is farther away from Cherry Point than Dr. Michael Riordan’s home on Orcas Island, I agree with his concern and comment on coal dust control efforts as they are described in the Project Information Document for the Gateway Pacific Terminal.

He conducted as thorough a wind study as possible for the Cherry Point site, which includes a coal storage area covering about 80 acres, with substantial coal storage heights, one-half mile from the shoreline, and using trees as a “wind buffer.” His study, relying on data from the nearest regional wind monitors, contravenes the expectation that along with water as a dust suppressant, the site should prevent fugitive dust from leaving the property “except for potentially high concentrations of fugitive coal dust during occasional high-wind events.”

Unfortunately, according to Dr. Riordan’s data, wind gusts of over 50 mph can occur during more than six months of the year. Given this fact, the EIS should study and measure wind speeds and direction at the site and 1. model how often wind gusts will create fugitive dust storms, 2. design mitigations to eliminate fugitive dust reaching the nearby marine environment and wetlands, 3. determine if it would be necessary to halt loading operations when winds are over a certain speed, and 4. whether requiring coal storage to be covered is feasible.

Please evaluate (study) the adequacy of fugitive dust control measures as proposed by the applicant, and verify Dr. Riordan’s work as applicable to frequency direction, and strength of high wind situations at the site.

Should mitigation measures prove inadequate to protect the functions and values of the nearby marine and wetland environments from chemical pollutants (Poly-aromatic hydrocarbons or heavy metals) or physical smothering, you should consider the no build option.

San Olson (#12030)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Lopez Island, WA
Comment:
Not being an attorney or CPA, I would not have thought about the need for a bonding agreement for SS Marine, Carrix Corporation, its minority partner Goldman Sachs, or others, in order to financially secure the breadth of response and clean-up necessary in the event of a major Cherry Point Terminal catastrophe.

However, it is fortunate that there are prescient commenters who have given some thought to the matter of responsibility for potentially harmful life and environmental changing events. As a retiree living on Lopez Island, I am thankful to Kate Bowers, of Bow, for thinking about the unthinkable, a horrible disaster and who would be liable.

Kate suggested that a bond be required of SS Marine/Carrix as an upfront prepayment, to ensure that (PIT) Pacific International Terminals would pay for any personnel, property, or environmental death or damage that might occur because their “Site-specific Emergency Plan” failed to anticipate the size, nature, or severity of an Emergency which transforms into a disaster.

For me, any emergency plan that is limited to the GPT site alone highlights the inadequacy of a terminal specific EIS as opposed to an inclusive area-wide EIS evaluation.

Given all the entities engaged in mining, transporting, storing, loading or shipping of coal, determining responsibility after a disaster would likely take longer than a decade to sort out. Meanwhile, those who have been harmed, or those resources which have been destroyed, would not be compensated or made whole.

I clearly remember the Exxon Valdez miscarriage of justice where those who suffered most received only a pittance of the original award after years of successful evasion of responsibility by the perpetrator. Similar action could well be profitably repeated by BP in the Gulf oil spill debacle.

Some entity, perhaps the Washington State DOE, should consider the amount that would be required to cover the financial damages of a worst-case disaster (from the mines to the coal laden ships navigating the Salish Sea and beyond) and establish that sum as the appropriate amount for a bond. Were SSA and Carrix to guarantee all obligations of PIT, including union contracts, incident response and cleanup, and environmental remediation, the process of recovery could begin while the courts sort out the levels of responsibility.

The bond could be formulated so that so that it is replenished as funds are withdrawn and have SSA/Carrix guarantee any and all damages associated with activities related to the terminal, regardless of where the incident occurs or who is ultimately held liable by the courts.

I very much agree with Kate Bowers. It seems like the ethical solution to what could be a disaster compounded by another legal disaster.

Lastly, I would suggest that Pacific International Terminals change their acronym; it really is the PIT’S to contemplate all the possible damages shipping coal to Asia could bring to the world’s people and environment.

Sincerely,
San Olson, Lopez Island, WA

Sandi Goldie (#13404)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington. This proposal would negatively affect my community by increasing traffic, 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 cannot afford to support the expansion of this dirty energy source, and allow further fuel for global warming and poor air and water quality. Thank you for doing what's right for our immediate future, and that of our children.

Sandi Nichols (#12690)

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

I oppose the shipping of the coal through Montana, Sandpoint, ID, and
points west. The resulting noise and coal dust pollution are
intolerable....in addition to delaying vehicles, and exacerbating
climate change. The resulting air pollution from Asia will further
acidify the oceans, harming sea life and seafood, and will eventually
foul the air from there to here. It's a bad idea, no matter how one
looks at it.

Sandia Slaby (#935)

Date Submitted: 10/22/2012
Location: Olympia, 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.

Washington residents can't afford this filthy, heath risk, and neither can the being of the seas. Stop this plan now!

Sincerely,

Sandia Slaby
1827 Legion Way SE
Olympia, WA 98501-1843

Sandra Alto (#13104)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Location: Bothell, WA
Comment:
I VEHEMENTLY oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington and transporting strip-mined coal from Montana and Wyoming on trains and ships throughout the Northwest. This proposal would negatively affect my community 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.

Better yet, just say NO. Say YES to a pollution-free energy alternative.

Sandra Ashby (#6710)

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

I am adding my voice to many others who have concerns about the construction of a coal shipping terminal in Whatcom County, WA. I am concerned particularly about the increase in number of trains and the direct impact that will have on the health and safety of citizens all along the rail line, from origin at the mines to terminal in WA. Already the increase in trains results in more and more disruptions in public life with respect to noise (as the trains emit long bellows at every crossing), pollution (my friends who live immediately east of the tracks in Mount Vernon, WA have noticed a great increase in black dust in and around their windows, so particulates do matter!), and the lengthy delays at railroad crossings due to these long trains.
I am strongly opposed to any more trains passing through Skagit County in order to profit from coal exports.

Thank you,
Sandra Ashby

Sandra Belle (#13809)

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.

And my final question is: Why are we sending all our precious resources out of the country? We pollute our land to extract and transport elsewhere. It makes no sense. Our country is being run into the ground by greedy, short-sighted lunatics.
Sincerely,

Sandra Bowman (#11321)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Comment:
As a resident of Washington state, and as a former public school teacher, I plead with you to do an EIS that covers the impact of allowing a coal terminal at Cherry Point, (or at any location on the West Coast), to include a detailed review of the impact from the Powder River Basin, to Cherry Point, as well as the impact to our oceans. Please remember that the impact of additional coal powered plants in China also impacts the citizens of the U.S. with air pollution and global warming.

On this glorious inauguration day, having listened to President Obama calling out to all citizens to believe in our abilities to create a better world for all people, the EIS must look carefully at all the negative consequences of allowing any terminal to be built in WA or OR.

While there are those who claim jobs are a must at any price to the worker or environment, the United States can do better. We must not allow the greed and short-term goals of Big Coal to say that jobs that compromise the quality of life for those who work within the industry are the best of jobs we can create for our citizens. The every day worker for Big Coal will see little of the huge profits to be made by Big Coal. The teacher in me does not want parents who are "grateful" to have a job, but who are sick and quite likely to die prematurely because of a coal industry related job. How can they parent well if they are sick? Nor as a former public school teacher do I want to see an environment where any student grows up and lives a compromised life because of the negative consequences of this powerful industry. While there might be a boom impact of dollars, many of the long-term negatives cannot be measured in dollar amounts. Sick people and shortened lives must be considered in your evaluation. America must stand up for its citizens who cannot stand up for themselves, especially those who are desperate to have a job. Your EIS evaluation must carefully consider the impacts of coal related jobs on these workers and the long-term financial costs that will be shifted onto society.

As a resident of WA state, I live near the train tracks. Already I hear increased noise from several coal trains a day on their way north. When I go to the nearby public park to enjoy the magnificent views of the Olympics or to listen to children at play, or to watch for marine life, I know these trains compromise the quality of health all of our citizens in ways that are impossible to measure individually. As a jogger, running in polluted air is not a good thing. All of these potential compromises will significantly increase medical costs, especially for those near the train tracks or working in the terminals, or on the ships. There is no way to hold Big Coal accountable. As a nation, we are dependent on your evaluation and your ability to protect everyone's quality of life by never allowing the Cherry Point terminal to acquire a permit.

WA state has been proactive in its legislation to deal with a number of environmental issues, although there remains much to be done. Nonetheless, approving a permit for Big Coal that would allow the development of a coal terminal marginalizes the quality of life for citizens. WA state has long valued the quality of air and the protection and improvement of the environment. The quality of human life at every level will be seriously compromised if Big Coal is permitted to build terminals and transport coal from the Powder River Basin to any point on the west coast. The marine life of Puget Sound and the Columbia River might not be able to survive the negative impacts of coal train noise, coal dust, and the acidification of the waters. Local businesses in Puget Sound, already impacted by acidification, will no longer be able to exist and maintain sustainable jobs if Big Coal moves forward and pollutes waters near train tracks and ships pollute our waterways. (See Seattle Times, 06/22/2012, "Oyster grower sounds an alarm; In battle to survive, opens Hatchery in Hawaii; Ocean acidification threatens state's shellfish industry")

I ask you to not allow Big Coal to reduce the quality of life in WA state or the quality of life of all people, the quality of our air, or the health and sustainability of marine environments. As a citizen committed to an environment where all of our citizens have the potential to live a healthy and productive life, your commitment to doing an EIS that is thorough at every level is essential.

Please do not allow Big Coal to acquire a a building permit for a terminal at Cherry Point. Do not allow Big Coal a permit to build a terminal in WA or OR.

Sandra Burn (#12462)

Date Submitted: 01/21/13
Location: Bothell, WA
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington. This proposal would negatively affect my community by increasing traffic, polluting our air and water, harming existing business, delaying emergency vehicles, increasing shipping traffic and noise, damaging aquatic ecosystems at the terminal site, increasing the potential for serious shipping accidents and exacerbating climate change. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

The rail lines along Puget Sound don't need any environmental impact studies to conclude the harmful effects of open coal cars dispursing coal dust into Puget Sound and along the shore line. There are consistently numerous land slides along the Puget Sound rail route. The amount of ecosystem harm with just one open coal rail car accident which will happen in the future if this coal export terminal is allowed to push forward is absolutely devastating. We must as a society continue to be a protective steward of this planet.

Sandra Burt (#3851)

Date Submitted: 12/04/2012
Location: Eastsound, WA
Comment:
As a resident of Orcas Island and Planet Earth, Please include the following in your EIS:
-the effect of contamination on the soil, crops, homes, businesses, and lives with an estimated ton of coal dust blowing off open train cars every day,
-the level to which trains of this size will interrupt life in rural and urban areas along the trains' path,
-the result of ships of this size traversing our waterways on the free travel of other water vessels
-the impact of the train/ship transfer process on our fragile coast, and especially near the herring hatchery.
-the risk of spills killing wildlife and vegetation in the sea, on the coast, in wetlands, estuaries and streams, and particularly, the level to which a spill would effect the already endangered orca whale populations,
-the impact of invasive species from China seas dumped in our waters with each emptying of ballast
-the impact of all of the above on China's coasts and land transportation of these quantities of coal
-the global impact of China burning this coal at a level far beyond that which we have limited in our own country.
Thank you.

Sandra Butterfield (#9245)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Edmonds, WA
Comment:
All cities and communities affected by the potential increased usage of railways for shipping coal should be included in the EIS. Railway passenger travel and shipping has a huge impact in Edmonds WA, where I live, yet as I understand it Edmonds will not be included in the study. This appears to an obvious benefit to the businesses that support shipping coal by rail. Why would my government show such obvious favoritism toward these businesses?

Sandra Davis (#6088)

Date Submitted: 01/06/2013
Location: Longview, WA
Comment:
In researching the difference between Powder River Basin coal and the bituminous coal in the East Coast, PRB coal presents special challenges in fire prevention since it has a lower BTU and higher moisture content, and also produces more dust than regular bituminous coal. With the increased moisture of PRB coal comes the increased potential for spontaneous combustion.

On the PRB Coal Users Group website under Fire Protection Guidelines it states: "Operators familiar with the unique requirements of burning PRB coal will tell you that it’s not a case of 'if' you will have a PRB coal fire, it’s 'when'."

Please include a detailed plan for the Gateway Pacific Terminal to deal with potential fires in storage areas, on conveyor belts or on vessels. It is important to have trained firefighters who are well versed in fighting Powder River Basin coal fires. The PRB Coal Users Group website states that it does not recommend the use of water alone; that a fire extinguishing agent is recommended for a PRB coal fire. The ingredients in this extinguishing agent are not known by me. Our air, soil and water would be contaminated from the use of these firefighting agents.

Sandra Davis (#6314)

Date Submitted: 01/08/2013
Location: Longview, WA
Comment:
As a resident of Washington state, it concerns me that there is no required plan for decommissioning of this coal export project in the event the coal market collapses. There also does not seem to be any financial assurances from Gateway Pacific Terminal as to this decommissioning plan and who will pay for the cleanup of the impacts on the environment. Washington taxpayers should not be left to deal with contaminated soil and water after industries move on. Since the coal market is so unstable, Gateway Pacific Terminal must be made to plan for their eventual shutdown and have the necessary funds available for the cleanup.

Sandra DiMauro (#10257)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Great Falls, MT
Comment:
Coal car dust is a issue that should be of deep concern for the environment and heath!
China is not going to pay for the cleanup in environmental damage in the years to come.
New technology will soon make fossil fuels obsolete.

Sandra Gischer (#3075)

Date Submitted: 11/18/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
It is inconceivable that anyone other than eastern corporations, which stand to make billions on the Gateway Terminal, would support its construction. The damage to our community and our environment could fill pages of obivious reasons to reject the project, compared with two words in favor: Corportate greed. Our quiet, environmentally clean and peaceful community will be impacted with noise, health issues from coal dust, traffic disruption, reduced property values - all by the 18 one-and-a-half mile long coal trains spewing their filth, while rumbling through our now pristine community daily. This will occur 24/7, 365 days a year, delivering 48 MILLION TONS of coal a year to the Gateway Terminal. These tons of coal will be off loaded on to what is now a highly functioning wetland system. These 80 acres of polluting heaps of coal must be regularly rotated or they will combust, thus sending up clouds of coal dust. When it rains the toxic runoff from the foul heaps of coal will seep into our ground water system in the form of PAH chemicals creating long lasting effects on the health of our community. The Gateway Terminal site on Cherry Point is the spawning grounds for a unique spieces of herring, which attracts migrating Chinook Salmon each spring. The Gateway Terminal and the vessels shipping the coal and other exports will disrupt this natural cycle and the result is no herring, no Chinook. The proponents of the Gateway Terminal point to the jobs it will create. Yes, there will be temporary construction work, but the few long term jobs will have a minimal impact on the economic welfare of the community. This is project promoted by large eastern corporations, banks and Berkshire Hathaway to reap billions at the expense of our community and way of life. How can the greed of a few outweigh the hundreds of thousands of people and the generations to come - and their health and the health of the community and our environment. Please say no to the Gateway Terminal at Cherry Point and - corporate greed.

Sandra Halverson (#10448)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Belfair, WA
Comment:
Please do not allow this proposal to go any further. Coal is dirty & dangerous. We shouldn't encourage & enable its use. These trains will be subject to accident & attack. They'll badly impact local folk all along their routes. We can support the natural environment & human economy many better ways than this!

Sandra Jue (#12955)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
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 drinking water, polluting our fishing and agricultural waters 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 because of the burning of coal. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

Sandra Miller (#12729)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
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.

Activists are being targeted by special interests like coal, oil, big pharma. By signing this petition, I am taking a chance that I will be hurt by these special interests. I think it's too late for us to really do anything about the state that our beautiful country is in.
The people that have all the money that want to keep all the money have funded this targeting. Pray for us all

Sandra Palm (#10295)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I am Sandra Palm, a 40+ year resident of Whatcom County who has worked as a long-range land use/environmental planner for Whatcom County, a commercial fisher in Southeast Alaska and Washington, and a marine researcher and educator.

I am a very concerned about potential affects to marine resources and associated life ways related to the Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT) proposal.

In particular, please include the following in the project’s environmental impact statement.

1. At the GPT site, please include effects to nearshore habitats site caused by coal dust, accidental fuel discharges, and increased activity. This should include effects to eelgrass, seawater clarity and chemistry, substrate chemistry, and spawning access by herring.

2. Within the Salish Sea, including the Canadian portion, please include potential effects to the quality and quantity of food resources for salmon, including endangered Chinook salmon; marine mammals, including the endangered orca and Stellar sea lion; and marine birds whose populations have plummeted in the past three decades.

3. Please study the potential to expand the area of application of the Vessel Traffic Safety Study to include to the entire coal transport route from Washington to Asia including Unimak Pass. In addition, please include an independent assessment of the adequacy of the Vessel Traffic Safety Risk Assessment to respond to vessel incidents including fuel spills, response times, and response equipment and staffing.

4. Please study the possibility to hold coal bulkers to the same standards as oil tankers per the Marine Mammal Protection act. East of Port Angeles, tankers are limited to 125 DWT, must have an English-speaking pilot, a two-tug escort while underway, and now must have double hulls. The 125 DWT size was formulated based on in-water tests conducted during the 1970s that assessed tanker maneuverability and stopping distances. The same questions pertain to all vessels including coal bulkers because all vessels can have steering or power malfunctions.

5. Please study potential cumulative effects of all west coast coal export proposals to traditional life ways for the original citizens of North America, including the coastal people living in Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and British Columbia. Please include potential effects to cultural sites, cultural practices, and the continued opportunity to make a livelihood from commercial fishing. Please refer Executive Order 13084: Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments (Federal Register: May 19, 1998, Volume 63, Number 96).

In addition, I agree with comments made by the following people.
• Sanford Olson, Lopez Island, comment 6044, 1-5-2013.
http://www.eisgatewaypacificwa.gov/get-involved/comments/6044.
• Fred Felleman, Seattle, comment 2747, 11-3-2012.
http://www.eisgatewaypacificwa.gov/get-involved/comments/2747.

Respectfully submitted,
Sandra Palm

Sandra Palm (#10342)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
To representatives of the Department of Ecology, US Army Corps of Engineers, and Whatcom County

My name is Sandra Palm and I live in Bellingham Washington. I am a 40+ year resident of Whatcom County who has worked as a long-range land use/environmental planner for Whatcom County, a commercial fisher in Southeast Alaska and Washington, and a marine researcher and educator.

I have concerns related to the Gateway Pacific Terminal and its effects on the Salish Sea.

I agree with comments and supporting documents submitted by Michael Riordan pertaining to air and water quality elements that must be studied and included in the environmental impact statement.

Michael Riordan, Eastsound, WA, 1-10-2013, comment 7362.
http://www.eisgatewaypacificwa.gov/get-involved/comments/7362

Michael Riordan, Eastsound, WA, 12-22,2012, comment 5517.
http://www.eisgatewaypacific.wa.gov/get-involved/comments/5517

Respectfully submitted,
Sandra Palm

Sandra Palm (#10903)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Bellingham , WA
Comment:
To Alice Kelly, Department of Ecology; Randall Perry, US Army Corps of Engineers, and Tyler Schroeder, Whatcom County

My name is Sandra Palm and I live in Bellingham, Washington. I respectfully request that various impacts to tribal nations be given due consideration when evaluating potential cumulative and region-wide impacts associated with the Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT) proposal. Please study:

1. Potential damages to Salish Sea ecosystems and fisheries, to the Nooksack River, and to Cherry Point itself that are related to 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 including the historic Cherry Point reef net site, 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 (1855).

• Xwe’chi’eXen (Cherry Point) 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 archeological village was intimately associated with nearshore waters.

• A nearshore trench at Cherry Point has bathymetry and currents which support salmon and herring in the area. Because of this, the GPT proposal should consider potential interruptions to the nearshore trench related to bathymetry and currents. Salmon runs were so robust and important at Cherry Point that an historic Lummi reef net site is situated within the GPT proposal area and this traditional fishing site must be studied in the environmental impact statement.

• 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.

• Presidential Executive Order 13084: Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments (Federal Register: May 19, 1998, Volume 63, Number 96) also requires consultation between federal agencies and affected Indian tribes. This also pertains to cultural sites, cultural practices, and traditional livelihoods.

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 am unable to fully articulate GPT's current and potential damages to indigenous culture and spirituality. That is why third-party studies are necessary in collaboration with the Lummi Nation and other involved tribes. However, I do understand that the impacts would be serious, and that some would 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, as well as respect and protect the sanctity of Lummi Nation's holy ground.

Respectfully submitted,
Sandra Palm,

Sandra Portz (#1962)

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

Sandra Pratt (#2644)

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

Sandra Shamblin (#8138)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Comment:
What is the coal train going to mean for environmental pollution such as air quality, coal falling off of the train and landing on the ground effecting animals' habitats? What if there is a train accident? What will happen to the coal if it falls off of the train? There will be several trains going through Bellingham a day, correct? What of that noise pollution?

Sandra Siegner (#3946)

Date Submitted: 12/05/2012
Location: Portland, OR
Comment:
There are many reasons for opposing the transportation and storage of coal through the Pacific Northwest. Although the most important is that it will contribute increased CO2 emissions into the planet's atmosphere, it will be polluting all the areas it will be transported through and the storage areas .

Sandra Siegner (#13530)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Portland, OR
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington and the sites proposed in Oregon. 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.

Sandra Smith (#11829)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Mount Vernon, WA
Comment:
I want to state, as many others have done already, how difficult it will be to get around Mt. Vernon if there are long extended waits for coal trains. I must cross the tracks to go to the bank, library, and post office and I visit one or all of these places almost on a daily basis. The downtown Mt. Vernon area has been struggling to revitalize itself and further congestion and delays going to and from downtown will make that struggle even more difficult.

Sandra Smith (#11845)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Mount Vernon, WA
Comment:
I am concerned about the potential for dangerous air pollution from coal trains as they pass through our communities and farmland. That coal dust also can directly impact our water quality by absorption from the air into fragile wetlands thereby damaging one of the great natural attractions of the Pacific Northwest, our beautiful waterways.

Sandra Smith (#11851)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Mount Vernon, WA
Comment:
Water pollution arising from the transportation of coal in trains could harm salmon species that are already suffering from habitat loss and thus harm people and or wildlife that depend on salmon for food or income.

Sandra Smith (#11862)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Mount Vernon, WA
Comment:
My understanding is that the coal that is being potentially transported is of poor quality and very polluting. When we send this coal to Asia it contributes to their further problems with air pollution and also our own as particulate matter blows back across the Pacific to the Washington and Oregon coastlines.

Sandra Spargo (#3225)

Date Submitted: 11/05/12
Location: Anacortes, WA
Comment:
See attched.
Attached Files:

Sandra Storwick (#4347)

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.

It is time to learn that we must respect the earth. Too much in the name of industry has been done to damage this earth. Many of these scars are all around us, affecting ecosystems, plants, animals and human health. Cancer rates are a measurement of our disrespect for this planet, We have enough knowledge to find kind, sustainable ways to live. There is no excuse for this gross abuse, The people are FED UP !

Sincerely,

sandra storwick
12828 NE75th Street
Kirkland, WA 98033
(425) 803-5085

Sandra Strandlund (#1414)

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

Sandra Tassel (#13637)

Date Submitted: 01/22/13
Comment:
To Whom it May Concern,
My name is Sandra Tassel and my husband and I live in Bellingham. We previously lived in West Seattle and prior to that on Lopez Island. I request that impacts upon the communities and waters traversed by both the rail line and the tankers be considered in the EIS. It is totally unreasonable for Whatcom County to get whatever financial benefit there may be when so many other places will be adversely affected. According we ask that the study include:
- The threats to coasts, wildlife, fisheries, communities, transportation (specifically ferry routes) and economies posed by the massive tankers that will pass through the narrow channels and dangerous currents between the open ocean and Cherry Point.
- Risks to the Nooksack River and the ecosystems and fisheries surrounding Cherry Point.
- Impacts on native peoples’ traditional livelihoods, natural resources, food sources, culture and religion
- Costs to communities through which the rail line passes that will be incurred to ensure safe railroad crossings and improve/upgrade sidings and overpasses so that traffic can continue to move and business conducted
- Expenses that may be borne by taxpayers around the state for necessary road or rail improvements as these expenditures are subsidies to the rail line and SSA
- Negative impacts on homes, businesses and public lands as a consequence of the increased number of trains, their noise (which I can assure you is horrendous) and associated pollution
- Actual cost (all combined investments from all sources) of each permanent job that will be created in Whatcom County
Thank you for considering my input,

Sandra Tassel
Bellingham WA 98229

Sandra Tobler (#7695)

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

Sandra Wiley (#13411)

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.

If you witness the information coming out of Beijing and China, you will know what coat can do to the environment.

Sandra Zink (#14409)

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

Sandra & Walter Appel (#4237)

Date Submitted: 12/04/12
Location: Lynnwood, WA
Comment:
We would like to express our support for export grain and coal terminals in the state of Washington.

Export growth will help the US balance of payments as well as providing jobs. The construction of the terminals will create construction jobs and when the terminals are in operation jobs at the terminals, at the grain elevators, coal mines and railways will be supported.

Modern pollution controls will prevent any damage to the environment. We have stood next to moving coal trains
at the Edmonds station and there was no trace of coal dust emanating from the railway cars. Pollution controls at the terminals will eliminate any grain dust and coal dust concerns.

The USA needs to increase our exports and the state of Washington can help the nation as well as local economies by building and operating export terminals. We support expanding our exports and job opportunities.

Sincerely,
Sandra and Walter Appel
7625 199th Se. SW
Lynnwood, WA 98036

Sandra & Walter Appel (#5081)

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

Sandy Bishop (#1541)

Date Submitted: 10/19/12
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Sandy Bishop (#1557)

Date Submitted: 10/27/2012
Location: LOPEZ ISLAND, WA
Comment:
I am a 33 year resident of Lopez Island. The proposed pacific gateway terminal will have a devastating effect on our economic and ecological systems.

How will the shoreline be protected from dust accumulation, possible spills and collisions at sea or by rail?

How will the marine life be protected? Specifically the Cherry Point Herring? How will the herring and other marine species and shoreline be protected due to increased vessel traffic? How will the marine food chain be protected?

Please tell me how the industry will mitigate the risks of an accident of either coal or oil spills? How can you guarantee that our our ecology and economy and culture will not be adversely effected?

If the industry cannot guarantee mitigation of adverse effects then by all means do allow the Pacific Gateway Terminal. Our economy depends on our ecology.

Lastly, cheap abundant coal undermines efforts at producing clean energy both in the USA and China.

Sincerely, Sandy Bishop

Sandy Brock (#917)

Date Submitted: 10/22/2012
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
We need the coal plant HERE in Whatcom County to support jobs!
The coal is going to come through anyway, so why not create the jobs here!

Sandy Grace (#13711)

Date Submitted: 01/21/13
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington! Do not transport this through the Pacific NW and then the Ocean. The proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal would negatively affect communities in the Pacific Northwest! Some of the ways being: 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. It would especially 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 soooo much coal, With all the ships needed to transport this coal; I urge the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct an area-wide Environmental Impact Statement to assess the cumulative impact of these proposals.

Sandy Kornemann (#12891)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
Location: Everson, 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. Look at our state,beautiful isn't
it,but with coal dust coming thru it will become somewheres no one will want to be. Is a few dollars in someones pocket versus our beautiful and wholesome land worth that. I know that we will all be unhappy if the coal train goes thru even the ones who vote for it.
Please consider your people,old and young,. How will this effect their health? Please consider our native animals and plants,how will they survive the coal dust that will polute along side the tracks that go thru our towns.Consider your mother and father's health.

Sandy Lawrence (#151)

Date Submitted: 09/30/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Cadmium, element 48 in the periodic table with symbol Cd, a transition metal, is a component of coal and therefore logically coal dust. SSA Marine, Peabody Coal and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad are projecting to annually move 150 million tons of coal through the Pacific Northwest. Given the hazard of spontaneous combustion or even explosion of contained coal dust, instead of sealing these loads, open hopper railroad cars are used and an estimated 3% of the coal is lost either in transit or prior to loading on freighters to cross the Pacific. The admission of this three percent ratio comes from the coal and railroad industries themselves, although the range quoted is 1 to 5%. Cadmium exhibits significant human toxicities and richly deserves to be studied and incorporated into the environmental impact statement [EIS].

With 48 megatons of coal proposed to transship via the Gateway Terminal at Cherry Point, and the remainder at five other proposed sites, the calculation is straightforward, namely that every year four and a half million tons of coal dust will be distributed between the Powder River mines in Wyoming and Montana and the points of embarkation in the Pacific Northwest. With a calculated distance between mines and terminal of 1046 miles, this represents approximately 4500 tons per mile of transport annually, which may be expressed as an average of some nine million pounds per lineal mile of track over the course of each and every year.

Actively mined coal from the Wyodak-Anderson coal zone coming from 23 mines in the Powder River Basin is is labeled with the oxymoronic misnomer of “clean coal.” This coal zone contains a relatively low contaminant, subbituminous coal resource with the following arithmetic mean values:
moisture 27.66%
ash 6.44%
sulfur 0.48%
lb SO2 per million Btu 1.24
Elements of environmental concern in ppm on whole-coal and remnant-moisture basis:
antimony [Sb] 0.50
arsenic [As] 2.6
beryllium [Be] 5.4
cadmium [Cd] 0.21 ppm
chromium Cr] 6.1
cobalt [Co] 1.9
lead [Pb] 3.0
manganese [Mn] 26
mercury [Hg] 0.13
nickel [Ni] 4.6
selenium [Se] 1.1
uranium [U] 1.3
Those substances that as either pure elements or in compounds are easily volatilized include arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury.

The above-referenced figures come from the United States Geologic Survey [USGS] in a document entitled “Coal Quality and Geochemistry, Power River Basin, Wyoming and Montana” by G.D. Stricker and M.S. Ellis in U.S Geological Survey Professional Paper 1625-A, published from data on major-, minor-, and trace-element contents analyzed from samples of coal between 1974 and 1994.

The World Health Organization [WHO] has set a recommended safe daily intake of 70 micrograms of cadmium. From the above concentration, the amount of cadmium released annually would be 1.89 lbs along the route and at the six terminals every year. This converts to nearly 857 g distributed over 1046 miles, or the equivalent of approximately 335 recommended safe annual human exposures per mile. Even if only a vanishingly small quantity of cadmium were inhaled or ingested by people along the route, this would represent a obviously significant public health concern.

Cadmium is an accumulative poison which is very insidious, and is on the United Nations Environmental Program’s [UNEP] list of top ten hazardous pollutants. Inhaled cadmium oxide fumes are particularly dangerous. Food crops which seem to absorb the metal are lettuce, spinach, cabbage and turnips. The half-life of cadmium in the liver, kidney and muscles is 5 to 15 years, 10 to 30 years, and more than 30 years, respectively. Tissues of particular sensitivity include first and foremost the kidneys, next the lungs, and the testes. Chronic kidney failure or renal insufficiency and lung/prostate cancers are some of the most important potential health effects.

Cadmium enters the human body by inhalation, by ingestion, and perhaps by absorption through the skin. Inhaled cadmium is more readily absorbed into the body than is ingested cadmium.
The extent of deposition depends on the particle size. It is estimated that ten percent of the particles of approximately 5.0 micrometers mean mass diameter (MMD) are deposited in the lung, whereas fifty percent of the particles of 1.0 micrometer MMD are deposited in the lung. This latter figure represents a size equivalent to one-tenth the diameter of a human erythrocyte or red blood cell. Of the proportion deposited, 20 to 25 percent is systemically absorbed.
There is a mechanism of sequestration of this metal via a metalloenzyme transport molecule called metallothionein. Cadmium transported to the liver induces the synthesis of this molecule, a low molecular weight metal-binding protein. Cadmium binds to this protein, forming a metal-protein complex which is then released back to the blood and transported to the kidney. In the kidney, the cadmium-metallothionein complex passes through the glomeruli and is reabsorbed by the proximal tubules. This complex can then be broken down by lysosomes, releasing unbound cadmium which can induce renal, not hepatic, synthesis of further metallothionein.
A variety of adverse health effects may result from acute exposure to cadmium compounds. The most widely recognized effects are seen in the respiratory system from the inhalation of cadmium fumes and dust. Acute pneumonitis occurs 10 to 24 hours after initial acute inhalation of high levels of cadmium fumes with symptoms such as fever and chest pain. In extreme exposure cases pulmonary edema may develop and cause death several days after exposure. These acute symptoms however are typically seen in acute and overwhelming occupational exposure in mining, smelting and certain types of high-risk welding.
The concept of a "critical concentration" of cadmium in the kidney has been used repeatedly throughout the medical literature on cadmium-induced kidney dysfunction. A critical concentration is a threshold which when crossed leads to adverse health effects. When the concentration of cadmium in the kidney exceeds the threshold concentration, the effects of cadmium-induced kidney dysfunction start to occur.
Again looking at an occupational model of cadmium exposure, reduced pulmonary function and chronic lung disease indicative of emphysema have been observed in workers with prolonged exposure to cadmium fume and dust. Also noted is impaired olfactory sensation.
Workers with progressive forms of proteinuria or abnormal protein loss through the kidney have also exhibited skeletal system effects associated with improper bone mineralization, such as osteoporosis and osteomalacia. It is possible that cadmium-induced disturbances in the kidney are associated with these adverse effects For example, the active metabolite of vitamin D, 1,25-dihydrocholecalciferol (1,25 DHCC) undergoes its first hydroxylation step in the kidney and following its second hydroxylation in the liver then serves as a potent hormone stimulating the intestinal absorption of calcium required for normal bone mineral formation. As cadmium accumulates in the renal cortex or outer kidney it may inhibit the metabolism of vitamin D to its active metabolite.
In animal models, a number of studies have demonstrated testicular necrosis after systemic administration of cadmium salts in rats, rabbits, monkeys, guinea pigs, golden hamsters and calves. There is no evidence of cadmium-induced testicular necrosis in humans, most likely because extremely high doses would be required to induce such an effect. Data are incomplete on chronic low-level exposure. Nonetheless, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration [OSHA] assumes by extrapolation that adverse effects on spermatogenesis occur after chronic dosing with cadmium at levels as low as 0.5 microgram/kg.
Argument may be made that the majority of coal dust is shed from hopper cars early in the rail transport process, before larger, more populated areas are reached. However, this issue has not been studied in detail, and the counter hypothesis that coal dust might increase during transport could be made, due to the constant jostling on uneven railbed, and also because of ongoing desiccation and fragmentation of coal with sun and wind effects.
The discussion here is focused entirely on the three percent of coal lost in transit in the western United States. Inarguably the other 97% of the cadmium contaminant would be released on processing as chemical feedstock or in combustion as fuel. This would affect the Asian landmass, the Pacific Ocean and ironically also some would ultimately wind its way through wind and water currents and biologic accumulation and transport and return to North America. Coal contaminants in general represent toxic gifts that keep on giving for generations.
The implications of these data from USGS, UNEP, WHO and OSHA are obvious. Formal evaluation of the occupational and public exposures to cadmium in exfoliated coal dust and its effects on human health are clearly necessary as a component of the environmental impact statement process. This biologically active element cannot biodegrade and is safe only when prevented from primary release to the environment. Thus the safest reservoir by far is to leave it sequestered deep underground - in coal that for multitudinous reasons should never be mined.

W. Lawrence, MD, FAAFP

Sandy Lawrence (#152)

Date Submitted: 09/30/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Lead, element 82 in the periodic table with symbol Pb, a heavy metal, is a component of coal and therefore logically coal dust. SSA Marine, Peabody Coal and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad are projecting to annually move 150 million tons of coal through the Pacific Northwest. Given the hazard of spontaneous combustion or even explosion of contained coal dust, instead of sealing these loads, open hopper railroad cars are used and an estimated 3% of the coal is lost either in transit or prior to loading on freighters to cross the Pacific. The admission of this three percent ratio comes from the coal and railroad industries themselves [although the range quoted is 1 to 5%]. Lead exhibits significant human toxicities and undeniably deserves to be evaluated and incorporated into the upcoming environmental impact statement [EIS].

With 48 megatons of coal proposed to transship via the Gateway Terminal at Cherry Point, and the remainder at five other proposed sites, the calculation is straightforward, namely that every year four and a half million tons of coal dust will be distributed between the Powder River mines in Wyoming and Montana and the points of embarkation in the Pacific Northwest. With a calculated distance between mines and terminal of 1046 miles, this represents approximately 4500 short tons per mile of transport annually, which may be expressed as an average of some nine million pounds per lineal mile of track over the course of each and every year.

Actively mined coal from the Wyodak-Anderson coal zone coming from 23 mines in the Powder River Basin is is labeled with the oxymoronic misnomer of “clean coal.” This coal zone contains a relatively low contaminant, subbituminous coal resource with the following arithmetic mean values:
moisture 27.66%
ash 6.44%
sulfur 0.48%
lb SO2 per million Btu 1.24
Elements of environmental concern in ppm on whole-coal and remnant-moisture basis:
antimony [Sb] 0.50
arsenic [As] 2.6
beryllium [Be] 5.4
cadmium [Cd] 0.21 ppm
chromium Cr] 6.1
cobalt [Co] 1.9
lead [Pb] 3.0 ppm
manganese [Mn] 26
mercury [Hg] 0.13
nickel [Ni] 4.6
selenium [Se] 1.1
uranium [U] 1.3
Those substances that as either pure elements or in compounds are easily volatilized include arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury.

The above-referenced figures come from the United States Geologic Survey [USGS] in a document entitled “Coal Quality and Geochemistry, Power River Basin, Wyoming and Montana” by G.D. Stricker and M.S. Ellis in U.S Geological Survey Professional Paper 1625-A, published from data on major-, minor-, and trace-element contents analyzed from samples of coal between 1974 and 1994.

In October 2008, the US Environmental Protection Agency [EPA] reduced the allowable lead level by a factor of ten to 0.15 micrograms per cubic meter of air, giving states five years to comply with the standards. From the above concentration, the amount of lead released annually would be 27 lbs per mile along the route and at the six terminals every year. This represents a potent enough release to contaminate 48,500 cubic meters for every meter of travel along the route. An automotive battery contains about 21.4 lbs of lead, and the disposal of lead-acid batteries is justifiably carefully controlled. Even if only a vanishingly small quantity of lead were inhaled or ingested by people along the route, this would represent a obviously significant public health concern.

Lead poisoning may be acute, from intense exposure of short duration, or chronic, from repeated low-level exposure over a prolonged period, but the latter is much more common. Chronic exposure is the greatest concern, where penetration of the body’s defences allows progressive sequestration particularly in bones as lead phosphate.

Lead interferes with a variety of body processes and is toxic to many organs and tissues including the heart, bones, intestines, kidneys, and reproductive and nervous systems. It interferes with the development of the nervous system and is therefore particularly toxic to children, causing potentially permanent learning and behavioral disorders. Symptoms include abdominal pain, confusion, headache, anemia, irritability, and in severe cases seizures, coma, and death.
Features of poisoning differ depending on whether the agent is an organic compound (one that contains carbon), or an inorganic one. Organic lead poisoning is now very rare, because countries across the world have phased out the use of organic lead compounds as gasoline additives, but such compounds are still used in industrial settings. Organic lead compounds, which cross the skin and respiratory tract easily, affect the central nervous system predominantly.
Symptoms may be different in adults and children; the main symptoms in adults are headache, abdominal pain, memory loss, kidney failure, male reproductive problems, and weakness, pain, or tingling in the extremities.
Early symptoms of lead poisoning in adults are commonly nonspecific and include depression, loss of appetite, intermittent abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, and muscle pain. Other early signs in adults include malaise, fatigue, decreased libido, and problems with sleep. An unusual taste in the mouth and personality changes are also early signs.
The classic signs and symptoms in children are loss of appetite, abdominal pain, vomiting, weight loss, constipation, anemia, kidney failure, irritability, lethargy, learning disabilities, and behavioral problems. Slow development of normal childhood behaviors, such as talking and use of words, and permanent mental retardation are both commonly seen.

No safe threshold for lead exposure has been discovered—that is, there is no known amount of lead that is too small to cause the body harm. Routes of exposure to lead include contaminated air, water, soil, food, and consumer products. Lead from the atmosphere or soil can end up in groundwater and surface water.
The main sources of absorption of inorganic lead are from ingestion and inhalation. In adults, about 35–40% of inhaled lead dust is deposited in the lungs, and about 95% of that goes into the bloodstream. Of ingested inorganic lead, about 15% is absorbed, but this percentage is higher in children, pregnant women, and people with deficiencies of calcium, zinc, or iron. Children and infants may absorb about 50% of ingested lead, but there are inadequate data concerning absorption rates in children.
Occupational exposure is a common cause of lead poisoning in adults. The Centers for Disease Control [CDC] has set the standard elevated blood lead level for adults to be 25 µg/dl of the whole blood. For children however, the number is set much lower at 5 µg/dl of blood as of 2012 down from a previous 10 µg/dl. The major treatments once exposure and accumulation are documented are removal of the source of lead and chelation therapy (administration of agents that bind lead so it can be excreted). But prevention of exposure in the first place is logically paramount.
Elevated lead in the body can be detected by the presence of changes in blood cells visible with a microscope and dense lines in the bones of children seen on X-ray. However, the main tool for diagnosis is measurement of the blood lead level or less commonly a urinary assay. When blood lead levels are recorded, the results indicate how much lead is circulating within the blood stream, not the amount being stored in the body.
The main body compartments that store lead are the blood, soft tissues, and bone; the half-life of lead in these tissues is measured in weeks for blood, months for soft tissues, and years for bone. Lead in the bones, teeth, hair, and nails is bound tightly and not available to other tissues, and is generally thought not to be harmful. In adults, 94% of absorbed lead is deposited in the bones and teeth, but children only store 70% in this manner, a fact which may partially account for the more serious health effects on children. Many other tissues store lead, but those with the highest concentrations (other than blood, bone, and teeth) are the brain, spleen, kidneys, liver, and lungs.[17] It is removed from the body very slowly, mainly through urine.[7] Smaller amounts of lead are also eliminated through the feces, and very small amounts in hair, nails, and sweat.

Lead has no known physiologically relevant role in the body, and its harmful effects are myriad. Lead and other heavy metals create reactive radicals which damage cell structures including DNA and cell membranes. Lead also interferes with DNA transcription, enzymes that help in the synthesis of vitamin D, and enzymes that maintain the integrity of the cell membrane. Anemia may result when the cell membranes of red blood cells become more fragile as the result of damage to their membranes. Lead interferes with metabolism of bones and teeth and alters the permeability of blood vessels and collagen synthesis. Lead may also be harmful to the developing immune system, causing production of excessive inflammatory proteins; this mechanism may mean that lead exposure is a risk factor for asthma in children. Lead exposure has also been associated with a decrease in activity of immune cells such as polymorphonuclear leukocytes. Lead also interferes with the normal metabolism of calcium in cells and causes it to build up within them.

The primary cause of lead's toxicity is its interference with a variety of enzymatically catalyzed reactions because it binds to the sulfhydryl groups found on many enzymes.Part of lead's toxicity results from its ability to mimic other metals that take part in biological processes, which act as cofactors in many enzymatic reactions, displacing them at the enzymes on which they act. Lead is able to bind to and interact with many of the same enzymes as these metals but, due to its differing chemistry, does not properly function as a cofactor, thus interfering with the enzyme's ability to catalyze its normal reaction or reactions. Among the essential metals with which lead interacts are calcium, iron, and zinc.
One of the main causes for the pathology of lead is that it interferes with the activity of an essential enzyme called delta-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase, or ALAD, which is important in the biosynthesis of heme, the cofactor found in hemoglobin. Lead also inhibits the enzyme ferrochelatase, another enzyme involved in the formation of heme.

The discussion here is focused entirely on the three percent of coal lost in transit in the western United States. Inarguably the other 97% of the lead contaminant would be released on processing as chemical feedstock or in combustion as fuel. This would affect the Asian landmass, the Pacific Ocean and ironically also some would ultimately wind its way through wind and water currents and biologic accumulation and transport and return to North America. Coal contaminants in general represent toxic gifts that keep on giving for generations.

The implications of these data from USGS, UNEP, and CDC are obvious. Formal evaluation of the occupational and public exposures to lead in exfoliated coal dust and its effects on human health are clearly necessary as a component of the environmental impact statement process. This biologically active element cannot biodegrade and is safe only when prevented from primary release to the environment. Thus the safest reservoir by far is to leave it sequestered deep underground - in coal that for multitudinous reasons should never be mined.

W. Lawrence, MD, FAAFP

Sandy Lawrence (#153)

Date Submitted: 09/30/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Mercury, element 80 in the periodic table, a heavy metal with the symbol Hg, is a component of coal and therefore logically coal dust. SSA Marine, Peabody Coal and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad are projecting to annually move 150 million tons of coal through the Pacific Northwest. Given the hazard of spontaneous combustion or even explosion of contained coal dust, instead of sealing these loads, open hopper railroad cars are used and an estimated 3% of the coal is lost either in transit or prior to loading on freighters to cross the Pacific. The admission of this three percent ratio comes from the coal and railroad industries themselves [although the range quoted is 1 to 5%]. Mercury exhibits significant human and environmental toxicities and clearly deserves to be evaluated and incorporated into the upcoming environmental impact statement [EIS].

With 48 megatons of coal proposed to transship via the Gateway Terminal at Cherry Point, and the remainder at five other proposed sites, the calculation is straightforward, namely that every year four and a half million tons of coal dust will be distributed between the Powder River mines in Wyoming and Montana and the points of embarkation in the Pacific Northwest. With a calculated distance between mines and terminal of 1046 miles, this represents approximately 4500 tons per mile of transport annually, which may be expressed as an average of some nine million pounds per lineal mile of track over the course of each and every year.

Actively mined coal from the Wyodak-Anderson coal zone coming from 23 mines in the Powder River Basin is is labeled with the oxymoronic misnomer of “clean coal.” This coal zone contains a relatively low contaminant, subbituminous coal resource with the following arithmetic mean values:
moisture 27.66%
ash 6.44%
sulfur 0.48%
lb SO2 per million Btu 1.24
Elements of environmental concern in ppm on whole-coal and remnant-moisture basis:
antimony [Sb] 0.50
arsenic [As] 2.6
beryllium [Be] 5.4
cadmium [Cd] 0.21 ppm
chromium Cr] 6.1
cobalt [Co] 1.9
lead [Pb] 3.0 ppm
manganese [Mn] 26
mercury [Hg] 0.13 ppm
nickel [Ni] 4.6
selenium [Se] 1.1
uranium [U] 1.3
Those substances that as either pure elements or in compounds are easily volatilized include arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury. Mercury contamination may be widespread because it is present in the atmosphere due to its volatility, both as the metal and as the organomercury compounds that are formed by microorganisms.

The above-referenced figures come from the United States Geologic Survey [USGS] in a document entitled “Coal Quality and Geochemistry, Power River Basin, Wyoming and Montana” by G.D. Stricker and M.S. Ellis in U.S Geological Survey Professional Paper 1625-A, published from data on major-, minor-, and trace-element contents analyzed from samples of coal between 1974 and 1994.

The US Food and Drug Administration [FDA] has established a permissible level of mercury in food substances of only one ppm. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration [OSHA] standard for aerosolized mercury in the workplace is 0.1mg/cubic meter. From the above concentration, the amount of mercury released annually would be 1.17 lbs per mile along the route and at the six terminals every year. An old-fashioned mercury thermometer contained 0.5 to 3 grams of elemental mercury, so this is equivalent to the breakage of approximately 250 thermometers each and every year - over each mile of track. Even if only a vanishingly small quantity of mercury were inhaled or ingested by people along the route, this would represent an obviously significant public health concern.

Human-generated sources such as coal plants emit approximately half of atmospheric mercury, with natural sources such as volcanoes responsible for the remainder. An estimated two-thirds of human-generated mercury comes from stationary combustion, mostly of coal. Other important human-generated sources include gold production, non-ferrous metal production, cement production, waste disposal, human crematoria, caustic soda production, pig iron and steel production, mercury production (mostly for batteries), and biomass burning.
Mercury tends to concentrate in the kidneys, followed by the liver, spleen and central nervous system [CNS]. Food crops that take up mercury easily include carrots, potatoes and mushrooms. Grass contains relatively little, about 4 ppb, so grazing animals are not contaminated, and meat and dairy have low levels. However, ocean fish take up mercury, with tuna and swordfish concentrating it to levels 100,000 times that of sea water.
Mercury is highly reactive with selenium, an essential dietary element required by ~25 genetically distinct enzyme types (selenoenzymes). Among their numerous functions, selenoenzymes prevent and reverse oxidative damage in the brain and endocrine organs.
Mercury poisoning can be either acute or chronic, and result in several diseases, including acrodynia or pink disease, Hunter-Russell syndrome [specific to methylmercury toxicity], and Minamata disease.
Mercury in its zero oxidation state Hg0 exists as vapor or as liquid metal, its mercurous state Hg22+ exists as inorganic salts, and its mercuric state Hg2+ may form either inorganic salts or organomercury compounds; the three groups vary in effects.
Common symptoms of mercury poisoning include peripheral neuropathy (presenting as paresthesia or itching, burning or pain), skin discoloration (pink cheeks, fingertips and toes), swelling, and desquamation (shedding of skin).
Mercury irreversibly inhibits selenium-dependent enzymes and may also inactivate S-adenosyl-methionine, which is necessary for catecholamine catabolism by catechol-o-methyl transferase. Due to the body's inability to degrade catecholamines, such as epinephrine) a person suffering from mercury poisoning may experience hyperhidrosis or profuse sweating, tachycardia or faster-than-normal heart beat, sialorrhea or increased salivation, and systemic hypertension or high blood pressure.
Affected children may show red cheeks, nose and lips, loss of hair, teeth, and nails, transient rashes, hypotonia (muscle weakness), and increased sensitivity to light. Other symptoms may include kidney dysfunction or neuropsychiatric symptoms such as emotional lability, memory impairment, and / or insomnia.
High exposures to mercury in its various forms are particularly toxic to fetuses and infants. Women who have been exposed to mercury in substantial excess of dietary selenium intakes pregnancy are at risk of giving birth to children with serious birth defects.
Mercury is absorbed through the lungs, skin and digestive tract. Acute mercury poisoning is characterized by severe headache, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea and a metallic taste. After several days there is excess salivation, swelling of the salivary glands and loosening of the teeth.
Chronic poisoning is notable mainly for effects on the nervous system. Fatigue, weakness, memory loss and insomnia occur. Psychological symptoms develop such as irritability, depression and paranoia. Tremor, especially of the hands, may be prominent. One of the worst examples of environmental pollution was the Minamata Bay disaster in Japan in the 1950s - which included significant teratogenicity - and ultimately more than 10,000 individuals were affected.
The discussion here is focused entirely on the three percent of coal lost in transit in the western United States. Inarguably the other 97% of the mercury contaminant would be released on processing as chemical feedstock or in combustion as fuel. This would affect the Asian landmass, the Pacific Ocean and ironically also some would ultimately wind its way through wind and water currents and biologic accumulation and transport and return to North America. Coal contaminants in general represent toxic gifts that keep on giving for generations.

The implications of these data from USGS, UNEP, and FDA are obvious. Formal evaluation of the occupational and public exposures to lead in exfoliated coal dust and its effects on human health are clearly necessary as a component of the environmental impact statement process. This biologically active element cannot biodegrade and is safe only when prevented from primary release to the environment. Thus the safest reservoir by far is to leave it sequestered deep underground - in coal that for multitudinous reasons should never be mined.

W. Lawrence, MD, FAAFP

Sandy Lawrence (#8956)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
My wife and I are both innkeepers in a small B&B north of Bellingham, but are also both retired from careers in midwifery and medicine respectively, including a predominant academic component on my part. I have studied and taught in the health sciences for decades, and view the proposed coal transshipment plant in Bellingham and elsewhere on the West Coast as having adverse and impossible to meaningfully mitigate health and environmental effects, particularly the effects of increased ship traffic as proposed for the Gateway Pacific Terminal [GPT] and the other five potential coal export terminal sites.

Inbound and outbound large commercial carriers heading to or from the Anacortes and Cherry Point refineries, the Seattle and British Columbia container and cruise ship terminals, and existing Canadian coal, natural gas liquids [NGL] and NGL-diluted tar-sands [or bitumen] terminals constitute a large portion of the ship traffic in the greater Puget Sound area. A further contribution comes from the Puget Sounds Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility, including nuclear submarine traffic.

With the upgraded projection from the corporations proposing the GPT to 54 from 48 million tons of coal per year for our area alone, the number of transits in and out thru narrow, sinuous and indeed islet and reef-strewn channels goes up from the original figure of 974 to 1096 annually, nearly three per day. What are the revisions for anticipated enhanced atmospheric noise pollution? What are the revisions for anticipated enhanced marine noise pollution? What are the revisions for anticipated enhanced risk of ship groundings? What are the revisions for anticipated enhanced contaminated ballast water releases? What are the revisions for anticipated ship collision risk?

Currently there exists no requirement for Coast Guard or tug escort of outsize commercial carriers, and these are not small ships. A Panamax-class bulk carrier ranges up to 950 feet, while Cape-class ships reach up to 1500 feet. Should there be a requirement for tug or other escort? Hypothetically, should a single collision occur resulting in loss of coal or marine fuels into the environment would there not be a great outcry to provide such escort? If the Coast Guard has to get involved in a larger way, are we as taxpayers going to be responsible for that? What effects will there be on ferry traffic scheduling? Who is responsible for clean-up and mitigation after a small or sizable spill in marine waters? Which agencies are in charge of monitoring normal and incident activities, and again who are the financially responsible parties? What should be the bond and insurance requirements for these corporations? Who mandates how these are set?

Once outside the Strait of San Juan de Fuca, are not all of these questions appropriate for the great circle routes to various Asian ports as well? Comparable to the Fukushima Daiichi compound disaster of earthquake/tsunami/nuclear meltdown debris now washing up on Hawaiian and West Coast shores of the United States, would not disasters at sea with these ships affect not just the marine environment but come back to to our estuarine and littoral environments as well?

This entire discussion has focused only on large ship traffic to this point. But what are the effects on commercial and recreational fishing? Skin and scuba diving? Sailing and yachting? Kayaking and other boating? What are the health effects of citizens involved in all of these activities? I speak as a kayaker who plies these waters. I speak as an innkeeper who wants to continue to attract visitors to this area. I speak as a health professional who has witnessed a lot of cardiopulmonary disease in children and adults in Bellingham and views the GPT proposal as a public health dilemma of great potential enhancement of existing disease pattern and epidemiology. I respectfully request that all of the questions submitted here be addressed in the Environmental Impact Statement process.

George [Sandy] Lawrence, MD, FAAFP
Axton Road Bed & Breakfast, LLC
5775 Schickler Lane
Bellingham, WA 98226-7410
Email: sandy.george.lawrence@gmail.com
Landline: 360-398-9196
Cell: 360-305-2259

Sandy Lawrence (#8978)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
My wife and I operate a small B&B north of Bellingham, but are also both retired from careers in midwifery and medicine respectively, including a predominant academic component on my part. I have studied and taught in the health sciences for decades, and view the proposed coal transshipment plant in Bellingham and elsewhere on the West Coast as having adverse and difficult to meaningfully mitigate health and environmental effects, including the effects of fugitive coal dust deposited in littoral, estuarine and littoral environments resulting from the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal [GPT] and the other five potential coal export terminal sites.

As a scientist myself, I was very impressed by the comment submitted by H. Gary Greene, Professor Emeritus, Moss Landing Marine Labs/Tombolo. While I was at Stanford myself while undergraduate, I unfortunately did not avail myself of the opportunity to carry out any of my studies at Moss Landing. Premed at the time, marine biology was not my main focus.

Dr. Greene is a marine geologist, and raised a number of questions concerning the benthic and especially the subtidal environment and the impact of coal dust from train traffic, terminal operations, ship traffic and coal- and fuel oil-release accidents on several species, but particularly focused on the Pacific sand lance, including its spawning requirements in pristine sand areas. A number of areas need to be investigated scientifically and in detail before proceeding with hazardous coal operations.

I will quote him here directly:

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

As you can see, the questions he raises on based on validated, peer-reviewed public literature and extensively referenced.

I speak as a kayaker who plies these waters. I speak as an innkeeper who wants to continue to attract visitors to this area. I speak as an environmentalist who views the GPT proposal as risking serious adverse marine impacts. I speak as one who has could not recognize a Pacific sand lance except from pictures, but I understand the scientific process, and I respectfully request that all of the questions raised in Dr. Greene’s comments be researched carefully and addressed in the Environmental Impact Statement process.

George [Sandy] Lawrence, MD, FAAFP
Axton Road Bed & Breakfast, LLC
5775 Schickler Lane
Bellingham, WA 98226-7410
Email: sandy.george.lawrence@gmail.com
Landline: 360-398-9196
Cell: 360-305-2259
Attached Image:

Sandy Lawrence (#9070)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
My wife and I operate a small B&B north of Bellingham, but are also both retired from careers in midwifery and medicine respectively, including a predominant academic component on my part. I have studied and taught in the health sciences for decades, and view the proposed coal transshipment plant in Bellingham and elsewhere on the West Coast as having adverse and ‘difficult to meaningfully mitigate’ health and environmental effects, including the effects of seismic and secondary tsunami activity on the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal [GPT] and the other five potential coal export terminal sites.

This comment explores several tangents related to the submission by Chom Greacen from October of last year. Let me begin with an extensive quotation:

“A study by Oregon State University (see http://oregonstate.edu/ua/ncs/node/13426) found that the northern “Cascadia subduction zone”, from WA to Vancouver island have a 10-15% chance of a mega-quake (magnitude 8 or greater) within the next 50 years. Another study by scientists at the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC), Canada's premier agency for geoscientific information and research (under the Department of Natural Resources) also found the chance of up to 14% of a “great earthquake within 50 years. But the chance could be significantly higher (up to 40%) if the quakes occur in “clusters”, a concept not totally well understood by scientists yet (Source: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/hazards/about/workshops/PacNWworkshoptalks/AdamsCascCondProbUSGS06.pdf).”

The concern lies with the San Juan de Fuca tectonic plate which is subducting under the western edge of the northerly portion of the North American plate, producing the potential of a megathrust earthquake comparable in mechanism and intensity of the earthquake that produced the Japanese tsunami and Fukushima Daiichi multiple reactor meltdowns. Fortunately we do not have such reactors west of the Cascades, but we do lie on the Pacific Rim with all its seismic and tsunami potential.

Earthquake [EQ] prediction has been a serious scientific quandary in terms of short-term analysis, but geologic history in a given area certainly provides quantitative insight into moderate range temporal prediction. A ten to fifteen percent risk of Richter magnitude scale eight or better earthquake in the next half century clearly should be factored into any contemplated large-scale industrial development.

The Cherry point refinery operation already suffers from vulnerability to EQ or tsunami. This is obviously not in any way mitigated by siting a gargantuan coal terminal adjacent to it. Even absent disturbance, is there at base a risk of combustible coal dust wafting in the wind over a refinery? What is even the risk of spontaneous combustion of such dust, if blown off of the coal terminal site? With EQ would significant amounts of coal and coal dust be shifted into Puget Sound? Would tsunami further displace coal into the littoral, estuarine and marine environments? What is the likelihood that poorly maneuverable [partially or fully loaded] bulk carriers of up to 1500 feet in length would be able to survive a tsunami while docked? What about survivability in narrow sites such as the Georgia and Juan de Fuca Straits?

With EQ would the system maintaining hydration of the coal piles be disrupted? How long would it take under emergency conditions for the coal to dessicate in drought conditions? Would there be sources of ignition in event of an EQ? With a huge mass of coal ignited, what would be the possibility for fire suppression? And what would be the potential under the conditions of emergency services being unavailable?

Can geologic investigation reveal the likely location of EQ in the greater Puget Sound area and the potential strength, intensity, location and direction of resultant tsunamis?
What preparedness measures should be instituted? Is there sufficient funding for such preparedness? How much of this is the responsibility of the corporations involved?

I speak as a kayaker who plies these waters. I speak as an innkeeper who wants to continue to attract visitors to this area. I speak as an environmentalist who views the GPT proposal as risking serious adverse marine impacts, even absent EQ and tsunami. But over the projected lifespan of the terminal the risk of substantial EQ may be as high as 1 in 7. How should this be researched and addressed in the Environmental Impact Statement process? And what if the risk is potentially greater than 1 in 3, as suggested by the Mazzoti and Adams study referenced above? Do EQ clusters exist?

Is there any justification for proceeding in ignorance of these issues?

George [Sandy] Lawrence, MD, FAAFP
Axton Road Bed & Breakfast, LLC
5775 Schickler Lane
Bellingham, WA 98226-7410
Email: sandy.george.lawrence@gmail.com
Landline: 360-398-9196
Cell: 360-305-2259
Attached Image:

Sandy Lawrence (#9111)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
My wife and I operate a small B&B north of Bellingham, but are also both retired from careers in midwifery and medicine respectively, including a predominant academic component on my part. I have studied and taught in the health sciences for decades, and view the proposed coal transshipment plant in Bellingham and elsewhere on the West Coast as having adverse and ‘difficult to meaningfully mitigate’ health and environmental effects, including the effects of heavy metal contamination of coal dust from the multitudinous coal trains and the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal [GPT] and the other five potential coal export terminal sites.

The following figures come from the United States Geologic Survey [USGS] in a document entitled “Coal Quality and Geochemistry, Powder River Basin, Wyoming and Montana” by G.D. Stricker and M.S. Ellis in U.S Geological Survey Professional Paper 1625-A, published from data on major-, minor-, and trace-element contents analyzed from samples of coal between 1974 and 1994.

Actively mined coal from the Wyodak-Anderson coal zone coming from 23 mines in the Powder River Basin is is labeled with the oxymoronic misnomer of “clean coal.” This coal zone contains a relatively low sulfur contaminant, subbituminous coal resource with the following arithmetic mean values:
moisture 27.66%
ash 6.44%
sulfur 0.48%
lb SO2 per million Btu 1.24
Elements of environmental concern in ppm on whole-coal and remnant-moisture basis:
antimony [Sb] 0.50
arsenic [As] 2.6
beryllium [Be] 5.4
cadmium [Cd] 0.21 ppm
chromium Cr] 6.1
cobalt [Co] 1.9
lead [Pb] 3.0 ppm
manganese [Mn] 26
mercury [Hg] 0.13 ppm
nickel [Ni] 4.6
selenium [Se] 1.1
uranium [U] 1.3
Those substances that as either pure elements or in compounds are easily volatilized include arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury.

Previously I had discussed in individual comments the significant amount of mercury, cadmium and lead released on average per mile per year over the thousand plus miles, and would now here emphasize several further points:
[1] potential human health and ecosystem effects of these coal dust contaminations extrapolate and mandate exploration of comparable effects occurring at the terminal and during loading and shipping as well,
[2] while I focused on the three mentioned, this in now way fails to imply that similar research and determinations should not be made for the following:
antimony
arsenic
beryllium
chromium
cobalt
manganese
selenium
uranium

A long-time resident of Whatcom County, I commonly walk, dine, bike, drive, canoe and kayak near the Burlington Northern Santa Fe tracks. Our B&B is located north of Bellingham, and hence the proposed GPT lies to the windward of us. We definitely have a personal stake in this. There is no way that we cannot be involved in the decision-making process. How could it be otherwise?

George [Sandy] Lawrence, MD, FAAFP
Axton Road Bed & Breakfast, LLC
5775 Schickler Lane
Bellingham, WA 98226-7410
Email: sandy.george.lawrence@gmail.com
Landline: 360-398-9196
Cell: 360-305-2259

Sandy Lawrence (#9122)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
My wife and I operate a small B&B north of Bellingham, but are also both retired from careers in midwifery and medicine respectively, including a predominant academic component on my part. I have studied and taught in the health sciences for decades, and view the proposed coal transshipment plant in Bellingham and elsewhere on the West Coast as having adverse and ‘difficult to meaningfully mitigate’ health, environmental and employment effects - specifically the paradoxic loss of potential employment represented by the coal trains and the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal [GPT] and its five sister coal export terminal sites.

It is inarguable that there is growth in global demand for dry bulk commodities, as there is in liquid ones such as petroleum and liquified natural gas. And as stated on the JARPA application nearly two years ago, there is a need to support community and economic development in Whatcom County, consistent with the Comprehensive Plan for the Cherry point UGA. But it should be clear that the overwhelming emphasis in the GPT proposal is on coal export. Even if the second part of the build-out took place ten years later [and only if the markets are perceived to exist], it would handle only Canadian potash and calcined coke from BP Cherry Point operations, not precisely Washingtonian products any of them.

Allowable activities on this site zoned HII are in the dozens, but include a number of very intriguing alternatives, including the following:
0.053 manufacture and processing of lumber and wood including sawmills; planing mills; millwork; veneer, plywood and prefabricated wood products; wooden containers and cooperage [Is there a significant lumber resource in Canada and Washington State?],
0.055 fabrication of metal products including metal cans, hardware, hand tools, cutlery, heating apparatus, plumbing fixtures, structural metal and stamping [I am a woodworker by avocation, and customer at Grizzly Tools, as well as Hardware Sales, Home Depot, Lowes and so forth. Would not the production of tools and machinery for home and commercial use be welcome to all?],
0.056 manufacture of machinery including engines; turbines; farm machinery and equipment; construction, mining and materials handling equipment; machine tools and dies; and special and general industrial equipment [We have a farm with goats, chickens, orchard and vineyard, and this would be welcome to many in a farming county],
0.057 manufacture of electrical machinery including transmission and distribution [Is not the country embarking on the mammoth undertaking of updating an overloaded and inadequate electrical grid? Could we not be a part of this process?]
0.058 manufacture of transportation equipment including automobiles, trucks, buses, airplanes, boat building and repair, railroad equipment, bicycles and motorcycles [Is there not considerable expertise in alternative vehicle design and manufacturing at Western Washington University? Would this not be a perfect opportunity for collaboration?],
0.060 Stationary thermal power plants....and other power plants utilizing renewable resources from solar, wind or water sources [Is the site less than ideal given its environmental sensitivity for wave or tidal energy? Absolutely, and because of inadequate resource as well. But would the site not be excellent for wind and photovoltaic energy production? Quite possibly. Has there not been a recent breakthrough in nanotubes of 13.8% efficiency for production of germanium phosphide photovoltaic cells? Nature/Scientific American “Novel solar photovoltaic cells achieve record efficiency using nanoscale structures,” by David Biello 18 January 2013. Whatcom County has recently limited the installation of wind turbines throughout much of our area. Is there not a significant wind resource out at Cherry Point? For the purpose of assessing the risk to coal unloading, storage, and ship loading alone the wind should be formally studied on site, with the serendipitous effect of determining how effective a site for wind electric generation this may represent].

Since the companies involved control 1500 acres, and therefore are offering less than one long-term job per acre. For land use planning, commercial classes such as commercial, business park, and mixed use categories assume 20 workers per acre, industrial classes 9 workers per acre, even warehouses provide 4 jobs per acre, on average. Thus building anything other than a coal terminal at Cherry Point would provide greater employment long-term for Whatcom County. This does not even factor in the potential loss of employment with blunting of downtown development because of the adverse effects of the 18 or more coal trains going through town every day.

There seems to be a general societal consensus that the United States needs to return to more manufacturing capability. Is it not worthy of note that shipping bulk energy supplies out of the country with no value added puts us in an position equivalent to that of a former colony or Third World country. Can we not do better?

A long-time resident of Whatcom County, I commonly walk, dine, bike, drive, canoe and kayak near the Burlington Northern Santa Fe tracks. Our B&B is located north of Bellingham, and hence the proposed GPT lies to the windward of us. We definitely have a personal stake in this. Are there not far superior methods of enhancing employment in the Pacific Northwest.

George [Sandy] Lawrence, MD, FAAFP
Axton Road Bed & Breakfast, LLC
5775 Schickler Lane
Bellingham, WA 98226-7410
Email: sandy.george.lawrence@gmail.com
Landline: 360-398-9196
Cell: 360-305-2259
Attached Image:

Sandy Lawrence (#10343)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
My wife and I operate a small bed & breakfast inn north of Bellingham, but are also both retired from careers in midwifery and medicine respectively, including a predominant academic component on my part. I have studied and taught in the health sciences for decades, and view the proposed coal transshipment plant in Bellingham and elsewhere on the West Coast as having adverse and ‘difficult to meaningfully mitigate’ health and environmental effects - including but not limited to environmental contamination by the element antimony.

Antimony, number 51 in the periodic table of the elements with symbol Sb, is a lustrous gray metalloid, found in nature mainly as the sulfide mineral stibnite (Sb2S3). Antimony is a component of coal and therefore logically coal dust. SSA Marine, Peabody Coal and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad are projecting to annually move 150 million metric tonnes of coal through the Pacific Northwest. Given the hazard of spontaneous combustion or even explosion of contained coal dust, instead of sealing these loads, open hopper railroad cars are to be used and an estimated 3% of the coal is lost either in transit or prior to loading on bulk carriers to cross the Pacific. The statement of this three percent ratio comes from the coal and railroad industries themselves.

Antimony exhibits significant human and environmental toxicities and clearly deserves to be evaluated and incorporated into the upcoming environmental impact statement [EIS].

With 48 metric megatonnes of coal proposed to transship via the Gateway Terminal at Cherry Point, and the remainder at five other proposed sites, the calculation is straightforward, namely that every year four and a half million metric tonnes of coal dust will be distributed between the Powder River mines in Wyoming and Montana and the points of embarkation in the Pacific Northwest. With a calculated distance between mines and the Cherry Point terminal of 1046 miles, this represents approximately 4500 metric tonnes per mile of transport annually.

Actively mined coal from the Wyodak-Anderson coal zone coming from 23 mines in the Powder River Basin and is labeled with the oxymoronic misnomer of “clean coal.” This coal zone contains a relatively low contaminant, subbituminous coal resource with the following arithmetic mean values:
moisture 27.66%
ash 6.44%
sulfur 0.48%
lb SO2 per million Btu 1.24
Elements of environmental concern in ppm on whole-coal and remnant-moisture basis:
antimony [Sb] 0.50
arsenic [As] 2.6
beryllium [Be] 5.4
cadmium [Cd] 0.21 ppm
chromium Cr] 6.1
cobalt [Co] 1.9
lead [Pb] 3.0 ppm
manganese [Mn] 26
mercury [Hg] 0.13 ppm
nickel [Ni] 4.6
selenium [Se] 1.1
uranium [U] 1.3
Those substances that as either pure elements or in compounds are easily volatilized include arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury.

The above-referenced figures were compiled by the United States Geologic Survey [USGS] in a document entitled “Coal Quality and Geochemistry, Powder River Basin, Wyoming and Montana” by G.D. Stricker and M.S. Ellis in U.S Geological Survey Professional Paper 1625-A, published from data on major-, minor-, and trace-element contents analyzed from samples of coal between 1974 and 1994.

Given that a metric tonne represents 1,000 kilograms, or 2,204.6 lbs, and that an average of 4,500 tonnes would be released annually along each mile of track, and that antimony represents 0.5 ppm of Powder River Basin coal, it is a fairly straightforward calculation to see that an average of 2750 g of antimony would be released into the environment annually along each lineal mile - to say nothing of releases at the proposed terminal site and into the Salish Sea. And should not this calculation additionally assume potential accidental releases at the mining site, in train derailment, during ship loading and during marine transport? Further, should the possibility of antimony compounds returning to our shores not be considered after the combustion of coal in China and other Asian nations?

Antimony and many of its compounds are toxic, and the effects of antimony poisoning are similar to arsenic poisoning. The toxicity of antimony is by significantly lower than that of arsenic; this may be explained by the significant differences of uptake, metabolism and excretion between arsenic and antimony. The uptake of antimony(III) or antimony(V) in the gastrointestinal tract is at most 20%. Antimony(V) is not quantitatively reduced to antimony(III) in the cell (in fact antimony(III) is oxidised to antimony(V) instead).
Since methylation of antimony does not occur, the excretion of antimony(V) in urine is the main route of elimination. Like arsenic, the most serious effect of acute antimony poisoning is cardiotoxicity and the resulted myocarditis, however it can also manifest as Adams–Stokes syndrome [sudden, transient syncope or fainting, sometimes including seizures] which arsenic does not. Reported cases of intoxication by antimony equivalent to 90 mg antimony potassium tartrate dissolved from enamel has been reported to show only short term effects. An intoxication with 6 g of antimony potassium tartrate was reported to result in death after 3 days. McCallum, RI (1977). "President's address. Observations upon antimony". Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine 70 (11): 756–63.
Antimony occurs in soil and rock in very low concentrations; the range of concentration in soil ranges from less than 1 to 8.8 ppm, with a mean of 0.48 ppm (Shacklette and Boerngen 1984). This is the third lowest of 50 elements surveyed by the U.S. Geological Survey. According to the recent results of Iyengar (1987), the average daily dietary intake the United States is only 4.6 μg, ,and, because of the low antimony levels in water, the average daily intake of antimony (by ingestion) is probably not much greater than 5 picograms - which of course represents 5 times 10 to the minus 12 or 0.00000000005 grams. Consider again the average release of 2750 g of antimony each mile...each year, and its accumulation over decades.

Antimony is poorly absorbed following inhalation and oral exposure (Felicetti et al. 1979a, 1979b; Gerber et al. 1982; Thomas et al. 1973). Dermal exposure to high levels of antimony trioxide resulted in death in rabbits (Myers et al. 1978). The application area was occluded, suggesting that at least some forms of antimony can be absorbed through the skin. Although there is no information on the absorption efficiency of antimony from environmental media in humans, there is evidence in animals that it is absorbed. The vegetation and soils at sites near antimony smelters are heavily contaminated with antimony. Elevated levels of antimony in various tissues were observed in animals living near the smelter (Ainsworth 1988).
The implications of these data from USGS and CDC are obvious. Formal evaluation of the occupational and public exposures to antimony in exfoliated coal dust and its effects on human health are clearly indicated as a component of the environmental impact statement process. This biologically active element cannot biodegrade and poses least risk when prevented from primary release to the environment. Thus the safest reservoir by far is to leave it sequestered deep underground - in coal that for multitudinous reasons should never be mined.

A long-time resident of Whatcom County, I commonly walk, dine, bike, drive, canoe and kayak near the Burlington Northern Santa Fe tracks. Our B&B is located north of Bellingham, and hence the proposed GPT lies to the windward of us. We definitely have a personal stake in this - as should all of us.

George [Sandy] Lawrence, MD, FAAFP
Axton Road Bed & Breakfast, LLC
5775 Schickler Lane
Bellingham, WA 98226-7410
Email: sandy.george.lawrence@gmail.com
Landline: 360-398-9196
Cell: 360-305-2259
Attached Image:

Sandy Lawrence (#10436)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
My wife and I operate a small bed & breakfast inn north of Bellingham, but are also both retired from careers in midwifery and medicine respectively, including a predominant academic component on my part. I have studied and taught in the health sciences for decades, and view the proposed coal transshipment plant in Bellingham and elsewhere on the West Coast as having adverse and ‘difficult to meaningfully mitigate’ health and environmental effects - including but not limited to environmental contamination by uranium.

Uranium, number 92 in the periodic table of the elements with symbol U, is a silvery-white metallic element in the actinide series and a component of Powder River Basin coal and therefore logically coal dust. SSA Marine, Peabody Coal and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad are projecting to annually move 150 million metric tonnes of coal through the Pacific Northwest. Given the hazard of spontaneous combustion or even explosion of contained coal dust, instead of sealing these loads, open hopper railroad cars are to be used and an estimated 3% of the coal is lost either in transit or prior to loading on bulk carriers to cross the Pacific. The statement of this three percent ratio comes from the coal and railroad industries themselves, and there are indications that it could be as high as five percent.

Uranium exhibits significant human and environmental toxicities and clearly deserves to be evaluated and incorporated into the upcoming environmental impact statement [EIS] process.

With 48 metric megatonnes of coal proposed to transship via the Gateway Terminal at Cherry Point, and the remainder at five other proposed sites, the calculation is straightforward, namely that every year four and a half million metric tonnes of coal dust will be distributed between the Powder River mines in Wyoming and Montana and the points of embarkation in the Pacific Northwest. With a calculated distance between mines and the Cherry Point terminal of 1046 miles, this represents approximately 4500 metric tonnes per mile of transport annually.

Actively mined coal from the Wyodak-Anderson coal zone coming from 23 mines in the Powder River Basin and is labeled with the oxymoronic misnomer of “clean coal.” This coal zone contains a relatively low contaminant, subbituminous coal resource with the following arithmetic mean values:
moisture 27.66%
ash 6.44%
sulfur 0.48%
lb SO2 per million Btu 1.24
Elements of environmental concern in ppm on whole-coal and remnant-moisture basis:
antimony [Sb] 0.50
arsenic [As] 2.6
beryllium [Be] 5.4
cadmium [Cd] 0.21 ppm
chromium Cr] 6.1
cobalt [Co] 1.9
lead [Pb] 3.0 ppm
manganese [Mn] 26
mercury [Hg] 0.13 ppm
nickel [Ni] 4.6
selenium [Se] 1.1
uranium [U] 1.3
Those substances that as either pure elements or in compounds are easily volatilized include arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury.

The above-referenced figures were compiled by the United States Geologic Survey [USGS] in a document entitled “Coal Quality and Geochemistry, Powder River Basin, Wyoming and Montana” by G.D. Stricker and M.S. Ellis in U.S Geological Survey Professional Paper 1625-A, published from data on major-, minor-, and trace-element contents analyzed from samples of coal between 1974 and 1994.

Given that a metric tonne represents 1,000 kilograms, or 2,204.6 lbs, and that an average of 4,500 tonnes would be released annually along each mile of track, and that uranium represents 1.3 ppm of Powder River Basin coal, it is a fairly straightforward calculation to see that an average of 5850 g of uranium would be released into the environment annually along each lineal mile - to say nothing of releases at the proposed terminal site and into the Salish Sea. And should not this calculation additionally assume potential accidental releases at the mining site, in train derailment, during ship loading and during marine transport? Further, should the possibility of uranium compounds returning to our shores not be considered after the combustion of coal in China and other Asian nations?

“Uranium, being a naturally occurring heavy metal, is chemically toxic, as are other heavy metals such as lead. Uranium poisoning or effects are rare in humans and hence most of our knowledge of uranium toxicity has come from studies with animals, largely rats and mice. These studies, as well as a very limited amount of human data from uranium miners and workers with accidental exposures, indicate that uranium affects the proximal tubules of the kidney; at very high acute doses, tubular degeneration and necrosis (that is, death of tissue) may occur a few days after the intake of uranium. Depending on the dose, regeneration of tissue is likely. At lower doses, minor and transitory effects may occur, including the presence of certain so-called biomarkers in the urine, such as presence of protein and elevated levels of certain biochemicals such as beta-2-microglobulin. These are nonspecific and may or may not be indicative of uranium effects. At lower doses there is generally no diminution in kidney function. The radioactivity of uranium found in nature is weak, and the chemical toxicity effects on the kidney from ingestion of natural uranium are vastly greater than the radiological effects—so much so that the radiological effects can be ignored as they are trivial in comparison to the potential chemical effects. Radiation effects on the kidney have typically not been observed in either animals or humans from exposure to uranium.” Health Physics Society 2011.
While the radioactivity of uranium is categorized as weak, the type of radiation is alpha emission, with significant tissue toxicity and known carcinogenicity. But these effects are possible only with ingestion or especially inhalation. And the extremely long half-lives of the predominant two radioisotopes U-235 and U-238 are the reason that the modifier ‘weak’ is used, as the specific activity or rate of radiation release is quite low.
This represents the current Environmental Protection Agency [EPA] guideline on environmental exposure limit for uranium:
Rule on Radionuclides in Drinking Water:
Maximum contaminant level for naturally occurring uranium: 30 µg per liter
EPA determines a safe level of 20 µg/L, assuming that an adult with a body mass of 70 kg drinks 2 liters of water per day and that 80% of exposure to uranium is from water. For cost considerations, however, EPA established a standard of 30 µg/L rather than 20 µg/L. (65 FR 76707, 7 Dec 2000)

Consider again the potential for ground and surface water contamination with annual lineal mile railroad releases of 5850 g of uranium, enough to contaminate 195 million liters of water beyond the EPA limits. And what exactly are the cost considerations that led the EPA to choose 30 instead of 20 µg/L?

The implications of these data from the USGS, Health Physics Society and EPA are obvious. Formal evaluation of the occupational and public exposures to uranium in exfoliated coal dust and its effects on human health are clearly indicated as a component of the environmental impact statement process. This biologically active element cannot biodegrade and poses least risk when prevented from primary release to the environment. Thus the safest reservoir by far is to leave it sequestered deep underground - one of the multitudinous reasons this coal should never be mined.

A long-time resident of Whatcom County, I commonly walk, dine, bike, drive, canoe and kayak near the Burlington Northern Santa Fe tracks. Our B&B is located north of Bellingham, and hence the proposed GPT lies to the windward of us. We definitely have a personal stake in this - as should all of us.

George [Sandy] Lawrence, MD, FAAFP
Axton Road Bed & Breakfast, LLC
5775 Schickler Lane
Bellingham, WA 98226-7410
Email: sandy.george.lawrence@gmail.com
Landline: 360-398-9196
Cell: 360-305-2259
Attached Image:

Sandy Lawrence (#10779)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
Non-cancer effects can include thickening and discoloration of the skin, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting; diarrhea; numbness in hands and feet; partial paralysis; and blindness. Arsenic has been linked to cancer of the bladder, lungs, skin, kidney, nasal passages, liver, and prostate.

EPA has set the arsenic standard for drinking water at .010 parts per million (10 parts per billion) to protect consumers served by public water systems from the effects of long-term, chronic exposure to arsenic. Water systems must comply with this standard by January 23, 2006, providing additional protection to an estimated 13 million Americans.

Arsenic toxicity may vary by form.
Inorganic arsenic is generally more toxic than organic arsenic.
The type of organic arsenic found in certain seafood (arsenobetaine and arsenocholine) appears to have low toxicity. However, animal studies have shown that other organic arsenic compounds (methyl and phenyl arsenates, for example) can produce health effects similar to those produced by inorganic arsenic [ATSDR 2007].
In vitro studies have shown that the cellular uptake of As (III) is greater than that of As (V) [Bertolero et al. 1987; Dopp et al. 2004].
Although there may be some differences in the potency of different chemical forms (e.g., arsenites tend to be somewhat more toxic than arsenates), these differences are usually minor. An exception would be arsine which is highly toxic [ATSDR 2007].
Metalloid arsenic is generally regarded as nonpoisonous due to its insolubility in water and body fluids.
Although the toxicity of arsenic compounds can vary greatly, in general, a listing of different compounds from highest to lowest toxicity follows:
inorganic trivalent compounds,
organic trivalent compounds,
inorganic pentavalent compounds,
organic pentavalent compounds, and
elemental arsenic [Gorby 1988].

Further effects include the following:
binds with sulhydryl groups and disrupts sulhydryl containing enzymes
replaces stable phosphorus anion in phosphate, leading to rapid hydrolysis of high energy bond in compounds such as ATP
type of organic arsenic found in certain seafood appears to have low toxicty
there exists no scientific consensus on mode of arsenic carcinogenesis, as noted above
Arsine gas results in a considerably different syndrome from that caused by other forms of arsenic:
At low levels, arsine is a potent hemolysin, causing dose-dependent intravascular hemolysis
At high levels, arsine produces direct multisystem cytotoxicity.

Consider again the potential for ground and surface water contamination with annual average lineal mile railroad releases of 1170 g of arsenic , enough to contaminate 117 million liters of water beyond the EPA limits. Should we not consider the cumulative toxicity over more than several decades? And bioaccumulation in terrestrial, littoral and marine food chains?

The implications of these data from the USGS, Health Physics Society and EPA are obvious. Formal evaluation of the occupational and public exposures to arsenic in exfoliated coal dust and its effects on human health are clearly indicated as a component of the environmental impact statement process. This biologically active element cannot biodegrade and poses least risk when prevented from primary release to the environment. Thus the safest reservoir by far is to leave it sequestered deep underground - one of the multitudinous reasons this coal should never be mined.

A long-time resident of Whatcom County, I commonly walk, dine, bike, drive, canoe and kayak near the Burlington Northern Santa Fe tracks. Our B&B is located north of Bellingham, and hence the proposed GPT lies to the windward of us. We definitely have a personal stake in this - as should all of us.

George [Sandy] Lawrence, MD, FAAFP
Axton Road Bed & Breakfast, LLC
5775 Schickler Lane
Bellingham, WA 98226-7410
Email: sandy.george.lawrence@gmail.com
Landline: 360-398-9196
Cell: 360-305-2259
Attached Image:

Sandy Lawrence (#11473)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
My wife and I operate a small bed & breakfast inn north of Bellingham, but are also both retired from careers in midwifery and medicine respectively, including a predominant academic component on my part. I have studied and taught in the health sciences for decades, and view the proposed coal transshipment site in Bellingham and and the five other sites elsewhere on the West Coast as having adverse and ‘difficult to meaningfully mitigate’ health and environmental effects - including but not limited to environmental contamination by beryllium.

Beryllium is an inorganic metallic element with symbol Be and atomic number 3 in the periodic table. Because it is an element, it does not degrade nor can it be destroyed. Compounds of beryllium are either white or colorless and do not have a particular smell. Beryllium is also unfortunately a component of Powder River Basin coal and therefore logically coal dust.

SSA Marine, Peabody Coal and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad are projecting to annually move 150 million [metric] tonnes of coal through the Pacific Northwest. Given the hazard of spontaneous combustion or even explosion of sequestered or contained coal dust, instead of sealing these loads, open hopper railroad cars are to be used and an estimated 3% of the coal is lost either in transit or prior to loading on bulk carriers to cross the Pacific. The statement of this three percent ratio comes from the coal and railroad industries themselves, and there are indications that it could be as high as five percent.

Beryllium exhibits significant human and environmental toxicities and clearly deserves to be evaluated and incorporated into the upcoming environmental impact statement [EIS] process.

With 48 metric megatonnes of coal proposed to transship via the Gateway Terminal at Cherry Point, and the remainder at five other proposed sites, the calculation is straightforward, namely that every year four and a half million metric tonnes of coal dust will be distributed between the Powder River Basin mines in Wyoming and Montana and the points of embarkation in the Pacific Northwest. With the calculated distance between mines and the Cherry Point terminal of 1046 miles, this represents approximately 4500 metric tonnes per mile of transport annually.

Actively mined coal from the Wyodak-Anderson coal zone coming from 23 mines in the Powder River Basin and is labeled with the oxymoronic misnomer of “clean coal.” This coal zone contains a relatively low contaminant, subbituminous coal resource with the following arithmetic mean values:
moisture 27.66%
ash 6.44%
sulfur 0.48%
lb SO2 per million Btu 1.24
Elements of environmental concern in ppm on whole-coal and remnant-moisture basis:
antimony [Sb] 0.50
arsenic [As] 2.6
beryllium [Be] 5.4
cadmium [Cd] 0.21 ppm
chromium Cr] 6.1
cobalt [Co] 1.9
lead [Pb] 3.0 ppm
manganese [Mn] 26
mercury [Hg] 0.13 ppm
nickel [Ni] 4.6
selenium [Se] 1.1
uranium [U] 1.3
Those substances that as either pure elements or in compounds are easily volatilized include arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury.

The above-referenced figures were compiled by the United States Geologic Survey [USGS] in a document entitled “Coal Quality and Geochemistry, Powder River Basin, Wyoming and Montana” by G.D. Stricker and M.S. Ellis in U.S Geological Survey Professional Paper 1625-A, published from data on major-, minor-, and trace-element contents analyzed from samples of coal between 1974 and 1994.

Given that a metric tonne represents 1,000 kilograms [or 2,204.6 lbs], and that an average of 4,500 tonnes would be released annually along each mile of track, and that beryllium represents 5.4 ppm of Powder River Basin coal, it is a fairly straightforward calculation to see that an average of 24,300 g of beryllium would be released into the environment annually along each lineal mile - to say nothing of releases at the proposed terminal site and into the Salish Sea. And should not this calculation additionally assume potential accidental releases at the mining site, in train derailment, during ship loading and during marine transport? Further, should the possibility of arsenicals returning to our shores not be considered after the combustion of coal in China and other Asian nations?

The Safe Drinking Water Act requires EPA to periodically review the national primary drinking water regulation for each contaminant and revise the regulation, if appropriate. EPA reviewed beryllium as part of the Six Year Review and determined that the 0.004 mg/L or 4 ppb maximum contaminant level goal [MCLG] and 0.004 mg/L or 4 ppb maximum contaminant level [MCL] for beryllium are still protective of human health.
Inhalation exposure to beryllium primarily occurs in the workplaces where it is mined, processed, or converted into alloys and chemicals, or from the burning of coal or fuel oil and in tobacco smoke.  Acute (short-term) inhalation exposure to high levels of beryllium has been observed to cause inflammation of the lungs or acute pneumonitis (reddening and swelling of the lungs) in humans; after exposure ends, these symptoms may be reversible. Chronic (long-term) inhalation exposure of humans to beryllium has been reported to cause chronic beryllium disease (berylliosis), in which granulomatous lesions (noncancerous) develop in the lung.  Human epidemiology studies are limited, but suggest a causal relationship between beryllium exposure and an increased risk of lung cancer.  Inhalation exposure to beryllium has been demonstrated to cause lung cancer in rats and monkeys.  EPA has classified beryllium as a Group B1, probable human carcinogen.

Chronic occupational exposure of humans to beryllium by inhalation has been reported to cause chronic beryllium disease (berylliosis), in which granulomatous lesions (noncancerous) develop in the lung.  The onset of these effects may be delayed by 3 months to more than 20 years.  Symptoms of chronic beryllium disease include irritation of the mucous membranes, reduced lung capacity, shortness of breath, fatigue, anorexia, dyspnea, malaise, and weight loss. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). Toxicological Profile for Beryllium (Draft). Public Health Service, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Atlanta, GA. 1992
Chronic inhalation exposure has also been observed to cause immunological effects in humans and animals. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Toxicological Review of Beryllium and Compounds. In support of summary information on IRIS. National Center for Environmental Assessment, Washington, DC. 1998
A skin allergy may result from dermal exposure to beryllium.  Eye contact with beryllium dust has been observed to cause acute conjunctivitis in humans.

Consider again the potential for ground and surface water contamination with annual average lineal mile railroad releases of 24,300 g of beryllium , enough to contaminate 6.075 million liters of water beyond the EPA limits. Should we not consider the cumulative toxicity over more than several decades? And how should we approach quantitatively potential bioaccumulation in terrestrial, littoral and marine food chains?

The implications of these data from the USGS, and EPA are obvious. Formal evaluation of the occupational and public exposures to beryllium in exfoliated coal dust and its effects on human health are clearly indicated as a component of the environmental impact statement process. This biologically active element cannot biodegrade and poses least risk when prevented from primary release to the environment. Thus the safest reservoir by far is to leave it sequestered deep underground - one of the multitudinous reasons this coal should never be mined.

A long-time resident of Whatcom County, I commonly walk, dine, bike, drive, canoe and kayak near the Burlington Northern Santa Fe tracks. Our B&B is located north of Bellingham, and hence the proposed GPT lies to the windward of us. We definitely have a personal stake in this - as should all of us.

George [Sandy] Lawrence, MD, FAAFP
Axton Road Bed & Breakfast, LLC
5775 Schickler Lane
Bellingham, WA 98226-7410
Email: sandy.george.lawrence@gmail.com
Landline: 360-398-9196
Attached Image:

Sandy Lawrence (#11529)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
Let us now consider the element cobalt.

My wife and I operate a small bed & breakfast inn north of Bellingham, but are also both retired from careers in midwifery and medicine respectively, including a predominant academic component on my part. I have studied and taught in the health sciences for decades, and view the proposed coal transshipment site in Bellingham and and the five other sites elsewhere on the West Coast as having adverse and ‘difficult to meaningfully mitigate’ health and environmental effects - including but not limited to environmental accumulation of cobalt.

Cobalt is an element with symbol Co and atomic number 27. It is found naturally only in chemically combined form. The free element, produced by reductive smelting, is a hard, lustrous, silver-gray metal. Because it is an element, it does not degrade nor can it be destroyed. Cobalt is also a component of Powder River Basin coal and therefore logically coal dust.

SSA Marine, Peabody Coal and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad are projecting to annually move 150 million [metric] tonnes of coal through the Pacific Northwest. Given the hazard of spontaneous combustion or even explosion of sequestered or contained coal dust, instead of sealing these loads, open hopper railroad cars are to be used and an estimated 3% of the coal is lost either in transit or prior to loading on bulk carriers to cross the Pacific. The statement of this three percent ratio comes from the coal and railroad industries themselves, and there are indications that it could be as high as five percent.

Cobalt exhibits possible human and environmental toxicities and clearly deserves to be evaluated and incorporated into the upcoming environmental impact statement [EIS] process.

With 48 metric megatonnes of coal proposed to transship via the Gateway Terminal at Cherry Point, and the remainder at five other proposed sites, the calculation is straightforward, namely that every year four and a half million metric tonnes of coal dust will be distributed between the Powder River Basin mines in Wyoming and Montana and the points of embarkation in the Pacific Northwest. With the calculated distance between mines and the Cherry Point terminal of 1046 miles, this represents approximately 4500 metric tonnes per mile of transport annually.

Actively mined coal from the Wyodak-Anderson coal zone coming from 23 mines in the Powder River Basin and is labeled with the oxymoronic misnomer of “clean coal.” This coal zone contains a relatively low contaminant, subbituminous coal resource with the following arithmetic mean values:
moisture 27.66%
ash 6.44%
sulfur 0.48%
lb SO2 per million Btu 1.24
Elements of environmental concern in ppm on whole-coal and remnant-moisture basis:
antimony [Sb] 0.50
arsenic [As] 2.6
beryllium [Be] 5.4
cadmium [Cd] 0.21 ppm
chromium Cr] 6.1
cobalt [Co] 1.9
lead [Pb] 3.0 ppm
manganese [Mn] 26
mercury [Hg] 0.13 ppm
nickel [Ni] 4.6
selenium [Se] 1.1
uranium [U] 1.3
Those substances that as either pure elements or in compounds are easily volatilized include arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury.

The above-referenced figures were compiled by the United States Geologic Survey [USGS] in a document entitled “Coal Quality and Geochemistry, Powder River Basin, Wyoming and Montana” by G.D. Stricker and M.S. Ellis in U.S Geological Survey Professional Paper 1625-A, published from data on major-, minor-, and trace-element contents analyzed from samples of coal between 1974 and 1994.

Given that a metric tonne represents 1,000 kilograms [or 2,204.6 lbs], and that an average of 4,500 tonnes would be released annually along each mile of track, and that beryllium represents 5.4 ppm of Powder River Basin coal, it is a fairly straightforward calculation to see that an average of 8,550 g of cobalt would be released into the environment annually along each lineal mile - to say nothing of releases at the proposed terminal site and into the Salish Sea. And should not this calculation additionally assume potential accidental releases at the mining site, in train derailment, during ship loading and during marine transport?

Some drinking water sources have very low levels of radionuclides (radioactive elements).  While stable cobalt isotopes exist in nature, cobalt has two radionuclides that can be detected in drinking water. Cobalt-58 and cobalt-60 are both anthropogenic nuclides that may be present from the cooling water used in nuclear power facilities. The primary anthropogenic source of cobalt-60 originates from nuclear power plants when neutrons from the nuclear reaction process bombard natural cobalt (cobalt-59) present in the metal making up the reactor itself.  Both nuclides are beta particle emitters and are regulated under the USEPA's Radionuclides Rule due to its radiotoxicity.  The half lives of cobalt-58 and cobalt-60 are 71 days and 5.27 years, respectively.  [1762]  Because of its prevalence and activity, cobalt-60 is a larger concern for water utilities.  Cobalt-57 is also radioactive and used in medical and scientific research.  Its half life is 272 days.

In terms of Powder River Basin coal, here we are clearly concerned solely with a nonradioactive isotope of cobalt, namely Co-59. Naturally-occurring cobalt is present in most rocks, soil and plants.  It can be found in water in dissolved ionic form.  Cobalt typically combines with other elements such as oxygen, sulfur, and arsenic in nature and is critical in the formation of vitamin B-12.  Cobalt chloride has been used in pharmaceuticals. 

Non-radioactive cobalt has some health effects (possible fetal development, possible human carcinogen).  It will be monitored by the Environmental Protection Agency [EPA] with unregulated contaminants as a part of the UCMR3 and is on the CCL3 for consideration for regulation in drinking water.  

Consider again the potential for ground and surface water contamination with annual average lineal mile railroad releases of 8,550 g of cobalt. Should we not consider the potential of cumulative toxicity over more than several decades? Given the uncertain and speculative human toxicity, should there not be a focus on potential effects on terrestrial, littoral and marine [especially benthic] organisms?

The implications of these data from the USGS, and EPA are obvious. Formal evaluation of the occupational and public exposures to cobalt in exfoliated coal dust and its possible effects on human and environmental health are clearly indicated as a component of the environmental impact statement process. This biologically active element cannot biodegrade and poses least risk when prevented from primary release to the environment. Thus the safest reservoir by far is to leave it sequestered deep underground - one of the multitudinous reasons this coal should never be mined.

A long-time resident of Whatcom County, I commonly walk, dine, bike, drive, canoe and kayak near the Burlington Northern Santa Fe tracks. Our B&B is located north of Bellingham, and hence the proposed GPT lies to the windward of us. We definitely have a personal stake in this - as should all of us.

George [Sandy] Lawrence, MD, FAAFP
Axton Road Bed & Breakfast, LLC
5775 Schickler Lane
Bellingham, WA 98226-7410
Email: sandy.george.lawrence@gmail.com
Landline: 360-398-9196
Cell: 360-305-2259

Sandy Playa (#2545)

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

Sandy Polishuk (#10650)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Portland, OR
Comment:
I am strongly opposed to coal coming through Oregon and being shipped from here for a variety of reasons.
1) The burning of this coal will adversely affect carbon levels for the whole planet no matter where it is used. Climate disruption has already gone too far and we must do everything we can to stop further carbon level elevation
2) The coal that will disburse during transport will be highly detrimental to air quality in areas around the railroad tracks affecting the health of person living and working in the vicinity. It will also contaminate farmland, an important industry in the area. Same for natural areas hurting recreation and harming wildlife.
3) Frequent trains cause terrible traffic holdups and get in the way of emergency vehicles causing unacceptable delays which can also be detrimental to the health of those needing help and transport.
4) Coal being transported on the river will adversely affect the river harming water quality, fish, fishing, wetlands and streams.
At a time when we have finally come to understand the importance of protecting our environment, it is unconscionable that this coal transport would be allowed.

Sandy Rabinowitz (#9401)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Friday Harbor, WA
Comment:
I escaped from Texas in 2006 to retire to the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. I live on San Juan Island, and enjoy walking, kayaking and volunteering on this wonderful island.

I am concerned about the impact of huge quantities of coal being shipped to Asia, where it will be burned with few environmental regulations. This coal cannot be burned economically in this country because we recognize the environmental damage it would inflict. We are becoming increasingly aware of the impact of burning fossil fuels on global climate change, and of the impact of global climate change on our environment and economy. I believe that this burning of coal will cause permanent and irreparable harm to the earth's air and water. One need only look at a recent photo of any industrial Chinese city for a preview.

Please include in the EIS an analysis of the impact that burning an additional 48 million tons of coal annually would have on global climate change and air quality. To mitigate this impact would require tightening environmental controls in the countries that plan to buy and use the coal. Since neither your agencies nor the GPT can have any influence on the laws of foreign countries, I request that you consider the no-action option.

Sandy Robson (#4464)

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

Sandy Robson (#5741)

Date Submitted: 01/02/2013
Location: Blaine, WA
Comment:
The Gateway Pacific Terminal will have 80 acres of coal piles stored there which is very close to my community where I live in Birch Bay. The proposed terminal would be the largest coal terminal in North America at full build out (up to 48M to 54M tons of coal). The terminal site would be very close to the shoreline as well. The toxic coal dust that these very long (5 rows each one being a half mile long) and very tall (60ft) storage piles would blow into my community and into our beautiful Puget Sound and waterways, and into the wetlands. Our local area gets very high winds throughout the winter so it is inevitable that toxic coal dust will be blowing on us and on wildlife as well as blowing on nearby farms and gardens. The type of coal that the GPT would export is prone to spontaneous combustion so that is not only more dangerous but also adds to more toxic coal dust but also fumes and flames that erupt. Next to us in BC at Westshore Terminal approximately 700 tons of coal dust per year blows onto the surrounding farms, shorelines and local communities. This is also known to be very true at the Seward Alaska coal terminal and in 2010 a lawsuit for violating the Clean Water Act was initiated by the local residents there against the Alaska Railroad who I believe is responsible for running the terminal. There are countless other examples of what would be in store for us here if the GPT that will be twice the size of the Westshore terminal would get built here. I ask that the agencies study the effects of coal dust from the proposed GPT site on our Puget Sound and waterways, our wildlife both land and marine life, our farms and agriculture, our wetlands, our property like homes and boats, etc., and especially our health which is greatly affected by inhaling toxic things like coal dust. Health impacts must be studied! If we all (including the agencies we depend on to watch our for us) don't do our due diligence in studying potential harmful effects then all we are left with is to try after the fact, when it's too late, and then have to use our legal system like residents in Seward Alaska to try and stop a company from continuing to violate their right by law to have clean water as well as clean air. I ask you to study the potential effects that coal dust from the terminal site will have on our Puget Sound and waterways, our wildlife both land and marine life, our farms and agriculture, our wetlands, our property like homes and boats, etc., and especially our health and how that affects our nation's Clean Water Act and Clean Air Acts that were created to protect us.
Thank you.

sandy robson (#5778)

Date Submitted: 01/02/2013
Location: Blaine , wa
Comment:
The Gateway Pacific terminal would use approximately 1.9 Billion gallons of water annually. Why would we let any of our and our neighboring Lummi and Nooksack tribes' precious Nooksack River water be slated to be used for watering down mountainous piles of coal storage so that the coal does not spontaneously combust? That is the worst idea I have ever heard of. Water is the most basic necessity for every living thing and we need to preserve it and use it cautiously. No amount of jobs are worth endangering our water supply for! I ask that you study the potential that our water supply would still sustain us in the future if the GPT would be built and then be using 1.9 Billion gallons of water annually.
Also, since there is currently ongoing adjudication in terms of water rights for both the Lummi Nation and Nooksack Tribe therefore the result from that will be important to know before we would allow the GPT to utilize so much of our Nooksack River water especially for such a wasteful purpose as constant fire prevention so that will also have to be added to the study.

sandy robson (#5779)

Date Submitted: 01/02/2013
Location: Blaine , WA
Comment:
I live in Birch Bay and I am concerned about the 18 coal trains daily that will be added to the railways throughout our county. I would like you to study the impacts that those number of coal trains would have on our ability to access emergency services or those emergency services to access us. Our infrastructure is not set up for that many trains and it will take a lot of money and years to make necessary upgrades. Please study the costs of those upgrades and the reality of who will be paying for those upgrades. It is my understanding that BNSF only has to pay approximately 5% or so and the rest would be up to our county and state. Because there are multiple companies involved in the transporting of the mined coal via railways and then stored at the GPT before it is shipped out to China it seems like those companies are not willing to say if either one of them would be paying for that. How can we find out since they are not telling us? That will be important to know as people are thinking this GPT project will bring some jobs and supposedly some tax revenues but would that even offset the costs that will be associated with the needed infrastructure and rail upgrade costs? Please study that subject for us.

sandy robson (#5780)

Date Submitted: 01/02/2013
Location: Blaine , WA
Comment:
I called the DOE today, January 2, 2013 to try and find out information regarding the status of the recent December 7, 2012 vessel, Cape Apricot crashing into the Westshore Coal terminal (Roberts Bank in BC) trestle resulting in approximately 30 tons of coal spilling into the Georgia Strait. I was referred to 3 other DOE offices who eventually referred me to Carl (I won't give his last name in this public comment) who I was told was a spill responder in the DOE Bellingham office. Carl was nice enough to call me back from my message. Here is what I experienced. First, I should start by saying almost no DOE personnel that I spoke with were even familiar with the December 7th vessel crash which surprises me because these were all WA DOE offices I called and 2 of them were in Whatcom County. Second, when I spoke with Carl and explained that I was trying to find out what the status of any investigation and any cleanup was at Westshore since I thought the DOE would have some information because while it took place in BC it is right next to our border and we share waters so we are affected by any spill. Here is the most surprising thing to me though; Carl, the DOE spill responder said that he wondered what would happen when the coal spilled into the Puget Sound because he figured it would just have sunk down and probably must not be a problem. Now, I cant remember word for word what he said but, that was the gist of what he said. If our own Bellingham DOE spill responder doesn't know what would happen when toxic coal is spilled into our waterways then that is definitely something the DOE and other agencies need to study. You need to study how does that coal spilled into the water affect marine life, water quality, etc. so that your agency can then decide if the GPT has a proven plan to deal with coal spills and even coal dust that blows into the water or if it is even possible to keep our waterways safe which I believe will be impossible to mitigate. I don't want to be a "test case" for a coal shipping terminal that plans to store and transport 48M to 54M tons of coal annually.

Sandy Robson (#6029)

Date Submitted: 01/05/2013
Location: Blaine , WA
Comment:
I often walk at Boulevard Park in Bellingham which is along the beautiful waterfront. When I was walking recently I looked up at all the condos, etc. on the hillside right next to the railroad tracks and it made me concerned about the safety for the people that live there. Not only in terms of the toxic coal dust that would come off off the 18 daily coal trains (from 7000 ft to 8500 ft in length) passing through, but also it looks like that hillside would possibly give way and result in a landslide from those 18 trains passing through everyday. It is my understanding from doing research that coal trains are the heaviest types of trains and therefore present additional potential dangers. The weight of those trains would cause ground nearby to shake and I was told that the hillside in that area is sandstone which I believe is relatively soft so the weight of those trains will likely be a potential problem in this area. It is not only a safety issue but also seems to present a very real problem for residents there in terms of noise, health, and the devaluation of their property values.

Who is going to want to live there or buy a property there and have to deal with the constant noise, and toxic coal dust? I do not believe there can be any mitigation whatsoever to offset these problems. Please study the probability of the hillside landslide caused by the huge increase in rail traffic and specifically the additional 18 daily coal trains that the GPT would bring to our area.

sandy robson (#6033)

Date Submitted: 01/05/2013
Location: Blaine , WA
Comment:
First I want to go on record that I am 100% opposed to the proposed GPT at Cherry Point and I believe there is no possible way to mitigate all the damage it will cause our communities. I live in Birch Bay and I'm very concerned about the increase in rail traffic specifically the 18 daily coal trains from 7000 ft to 8500 ft in length. From researching coal trains and their effect on railroad tracks there is a proven problem with coal dust building up on the tracks which makes train derailments much more likely to happen. Below, is a list of 39 Recent Coal Train Derailments in the US and Canada since 2010 (6 of the 39 were in Canada and 33 were in the US):

St. Charles, VA – December 2012
Grantville, KS – November 2012
Painstville, KY – November 2012
Ashby, NE – October 2012
Oktaha, OK – September 2012
Ellicott City, MD – August 2012
Grants, NM – August 2012
Raleigh, WV – August 2012
Saline County, KS – July 2012
Havelock, NC – July 2012
Jefferson County, KS – July 2012
Princeton, IN – July 2012
Pendleton, TX – July 2012
Northbrook/Glenview, IL – July 2012
Mesa, WA – July 2012
Portageville, MO – June 2012
Junction City, KS – June 2012
Collins, MS – May 2012
Salmon Arm, BC – April 2012
Houston, BC – February 2012
Hinton, Alberta – January 2012
Vanderhoof, BC – January 2012
Montrose, IA – December 2011
Vanderhoof, BC – December 2011
Galland, BC – December 2011
Topeka, KS – November 2011
Peetz, NE – October 2011
Charleston, WV – October 2011
Emmett, KS – September 2011
Denison, IA – July 2011
Omaha, NE – July 2011
Bloomington, IN – July 2011
Ashdown, AK – July 2011
Pueblo, CO – November 2010
Surveyor, WV – April 2011
Kearney, NE – September 2010
Quantico, VA – August 2010
Drummond, MT – August 2010
Ferry Farm, VA – July 2010

I urge you to go to this website link http://www.coaltrainfacts.org/coal-train-derailments
which will allow you to view the news stories and many with photos of the carnage of each of these accidents that I've listed. (I added a photo to this submittal of a coal train derailment in Mesa, WA on July, 3, 2012). Please take the time to do this because just by doing so I'm confident that you will see enough evidence to realize that these coal trains and the coal dust they spread on the tracks are a huge problem and if the GPT and many other proposed coal terminal sites would get approved and built there will be a large increase to the already alarming number of coal train derailments. And, the derailments I've listed are only ones that involve coal trains. I'm quite sure there are other train derailments that do not involve coal trains but rather passenger trains or other trains transporting bulk goods that derail and the likely cause of the derailment is the accumulation of coal dust on the tracks. That is another subject to research.

No number of jobs, nor any taxes that may be gained from this project will even be worth the potential safety risks that will result from the 18 daily and extra-heavy coal trains that would be rumbling through our communities. As a matter of fact the upgrades to our infrastructure needed for this increase in train traffic will cost us taxpayers millions of tons of money while the companies involved in this proposed GPT project will makes millions of tons of money shipping millions of tons of coal to China. BNSF reportedly only has to pay 5% of those needed infrastructure costs and SSA/PIT, the applicant of the GPT permit wont be paying any of the needed infrastructure costs. I ask that you study the potential risks of the likelihood of train derailments when there will be so many coal trains running through our area and the safety issues it will cause us.
Attached Image:

Sandy Robson (#6524)

Date Submitted: 01/09/2013
Location: Blaine , WA
Comment:
The proposed GPT which plans to transport and ship 48M tons of coal annually will violate every single one of the 5 goals of the Cherry Point Environmental Aquatic Reserve Management Plan. Those goals are: 1) Identify, protect, restore and enhance the functions and natural processes of aquatic nearshore and subtidal ecosystems that support endangered, threatened and sensitive species and aquatic resources identified for conservation. 2) Improve and protect water quality to protect public health, support fish and wildlife species and healthy functioning habitats. 3) Protect and help recover indicator fish and wildlife species and habitats, with primary focus on Cherry Point herring, Nooksack Chinook salmon, groundfish, marine mammals, seabird/duck and shorebird communities, Dungeness crab, and submerged aquatic vegetation. 4) Facilitate stewardship of habitats and species by working in cooperation with lessees, tribes, recreational users and resource agencies to minimize and reduce identified impacts of human activities on the species and habitats of the Reserve. 5) Identify, respect, and protect archaeological, cultural, and historical resources on state-owned aquatic lands.


The proposed GPT would also not conform to WA state’s Coastal Zone Management Program which was designed to set up a basis for protecting, restoring, and establishing a responsibility in preserving and developing the nation’s coastal communities and resources, where they are under the highest pressure. CZMP’s vision is “to ensure the conservation and responsible use of our nation’s coastal and ocean resources.” The CZMP was designed after the Coastal Zone Management Act was established as a US National policy to preserve, protect, develop, and where possible, restore or enhance, the resources of our nation’s coastal zone for present/now and future/succeeding generations.

I ask the agencies involved to carefully and meticulously study the significant potential adverse impacts the GPT terminal site would have even just related to the above 2 environmental and resource protective plans I listed. It is my belief after careful research that the impacts from the proposed GPT will be so significant that they cannot be mitigated which should result in the the Applicant, SSA/PIT's, permit being denied by the decision makers in this process. The GPT would be the largest coal shipping terminal in North America, shipping 48M tons of coal annually to China. Those of us in communities that live near the proposed GPT site are unwilling to be a test case for something of this magnitude with the facts we know already about the long list of harmful effects it will cause us. The damage it would cause far outweigh the pros for this particular use of this particular site.

sandy robson (#6919)

Date Submitted: 01/12/2013
Location: Blaine , WA
Comment:
In the March 2012 permit application submitted by SSA/PIT to the Whatcom County Planning Department in section 4.3.4.2 Wharf it talks about the shiploaders that would fill the ships's holds with coal and at some point possibly way off in the future, other commodities. I have copied and pasted the permit description about this below for you:

"The wharf would support up to three shiploaders, belt conveyors in an enclosed elevated gallery leading to each of the shiploaders, berthing fenders, and a vessel-mooring system. The wharf would be sufficiently wide to allow two lanes of vehicle access beneath the legs of the shiploaders. The elevated gallery would be located on the shore side of the wharf behind the shiploaders. The wharf would include containment for control of potentially contaminated stormwater. Uncontaminated stormwater runoff from the wharf and trestle would be discharged to the water.
Shiploaders are machines specifically designed to fill the holds of vessels with bulk commodities (Figure 4-10). Material travels on enclosed conveyor belts to the shiploader, where it is fed on a boom onto the ship and into the hold. The shiploader travels the length of the berth on rails and the boom moves up, down, inward, outward, and side-to-side to fill the vessel’s hold completely and evenly while accommodating changing vessel heights from tidal change. 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. In addition, the shiploader would be equipped with a dust suppression system to minimize fugitive dust from both the transfer of the commodity from the wharf conveyor to the shiploader and at the discharge at the end of the boom."

When the shiploaders are loading the holds with coal there is going to be coal dust blowing into the Puget Sound on windy and even not windy days. It is not possible to fully contain the coal dust from the coal that is being dropped/ loaded from high above the ships' holds. This toxic coal and coal dust will pollute the Puget Sound and it will potentially harm the very vital herring population in that area which will have a chain-like reaction of harm to other marine life there. There needs to be studies done to see what toxic coal does to crabs, fish (especially, but not limited to Herring), marine mammals, eelgrass, and all the important parts of our water's ecosystem before approving any kind of permit for a project of this magnitude.

sandy robson (#6951)

Date Submitted: 01/12/2013
Location: Blaine, wa
Comment:
I live in Birch Bay near where the terminal would be located. In reading SSA/PIT's permit application there are not any emergency response plans stated at this time. In each case (as shown in the permit application copied and pasted below) the Applicant says these plans would be developed. These plans need to be developed already and shown in writing in the permit so that the agencies and any individuals involved in making a decision on this proposal have all the necessary information and to have these plans accessed to see if they are viable response plans for such a potentially dangerous commodity as coal. I strongly believe that emergency response and spill response plans are needed to be known up front! The permit application should not even be considered complete without these. It is also very important for the public to know, up front, these plans in terms of an open and fair EIS process. I would ask the agencies reviewing the EIS and deciding the scope, etc. go back to the permit Applicant, SSA/PIT and have these plans added to the permit application. To me, "would be developed" is like writing "to be determined" which is no where exact enough for a project of this magnitude.


Copied and pasted from the SSA/PIT permit application:
4.5.7 Emergency Response
A site-specific emergency response plan would be developed and kept available at the Terminal at all times. The emergency response plan would specify safety procedures and spill and response measures to be implemented following an emergency or release of dangerous materials. The plan would also describe procedures for reporting and notification following an incident in a manner that is consistent with local, state, and federal rules and regulations.
Development of emergency response procedures would be coordinated with adjacent industries (BP and ALCOA), Whatcom County, the US Coast Guard, and other relevant agencies and individuals. Such coordination would include first responder protocols, notification plans, and contingency plans. The emergency response plans would define personnel responsibilities, actions to be taken, evacuation routes, and assembly areas, and would identify the location of water shutoff valves. A separate safety and emergency response plan would be developed for each specific commodity handled at the Terminal.
4.5.7.1 Upland Spill Response
In the event of a spill of regulated petroleum products or hazardous materials, the appropriate Gateway Pacific Terminal personnel would contact the individuals and agencies identified in the site- specific emergency response plan, alert them to the status of the situation, and work closely with the supervising agency to address the matter appropriately.
The facility design and operational plans include a number of measures to reduce the risk of hazardous materials spills:
• Hopper doors on the rail cars would be closed after they have been emptied. • An emergency cable would be installed along the length of each conveyor so that the
conveyors can be stopped immediately in the event of an emergency.
Total
221 311 441 487
March 2012 4-63Gateway Pacific Terminal Revised Project Information Document Pacific International Terminals, Inc.
Additional spill response procedures would be described in the Emergency Response Plan and the Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasures (SPCC) Plan to be developed for the facility prior to initiating operations.
4.5.7.2 Marine Spill Response
A port operations manual including procedures for port operations and emergency response will be developed for operation of the marine terminal facility. The operations manual would define the responsibilities of vessel owners and operators calling at the Gateway Pacific Terminal, including condition and safe operations of the vessel and spill response and countermeasures. An SPCC Plan for wharf and trestle operations would be developed and implemented and will include positioning of appropriate spill containment equipment.

sandy robson (#6964)

Date Submitted: 01/12/2013
Location: Blaine, wa
Comment:
I live in Birch Bay near where the proposed GPT would be located. There are so many reason why this project should never be approved but here is one no-brainer reason that everyone who depends on the Nooksack River for their water supply should screaming. Water! Water is the most important resource for all of us to survive. To even contemplate that we would sacrifice 1.9 Billion gallons yearly of our precious and limited supply of Nooksack River water (supplied through the Whatcom County PUD to the proposed GPT) should be criminal. I cannot think of anything more wasteful to do with our necessary water than to shoot it out of giant water cannons in the name of dust control (shown copied and pasted below from the permit application) and to prevent spontaneous combustion of the Powder River basin coal that would be stored at the terminal. So much water will be lost just in evaporation and then the water that is left on the ground will contain toxic chemicals that I don't even think can be treated. Any industry, company, individual that would need to use that much of our precious and very necessary, and limited supply of water should be denied a permit just by that fact alone and nothing else. If a permit applicant in Whatcom County isn't able to recycle such a huge amount of water (1.9Billion gallons) then PERMIT DENIED!

1). I ask that you study if there is anyway that any treatment that would be done to the surface water from these toxic piles of coal from both rainwater and water cannon use can even be treated safely.
2). I also ask that you study the likelihood that the Nooksack River would even be able to sustain its health and long-term potential to supply water to all the other entities that depend on it. That includes the Lummi Nation and Nooksack Indian Tribe whose treaty-reserved water rights go much further back in history than any of us and need to be protected. I understand that there is currently a lawsuit filed to quantify their rights to the Nooksack River water so it seems crazy to think about granting a huge water supply like 1.9 Billion gallons yearly for the GPT to use until those tribal Nooksack River water rights are adjudicated. That will be very important to know before doing anything about supplying 1.9 Billion gallons yearly in the name of dust control and fire prevention for combustible coal.

Copied and pasted from GPT Permit Application:

4.5.5.3 Dust Control at Commodities Stockpiles
Uncovered storage of large quantities of dry particulate commodities has the potential to generate windblown dust. Dust control measures to be implemented at stockpiles would consist of a combination of compaction, fogging systems, water sprays, perimeter soil berms, regular pavement sweeping, and/or application of chemical surfactants. A water cannon would be located along the stacker/reclaimer lanes in the stockpile patio area. The water cannon would also be used to apply surfactant for additional dust suppression in the stockpile area when needed. Windscreens would be employed as needed to minimize dust generation during operations.
Water conservation features to be implemented would include controlling the dust suppression sprinkler system through an on-site meteorological station so that it would not operate during or just after rainfall, or when the stockpiled materials are sufficiently damp. The sprinkler would operate only during sunny periods, while also taking into account the drying effect of wind.

sandy robson (#7344)

Date Submitted: 01/14/2013
Location: Blaine, WA
Comment:
I would like to reference a comment submitted by Sanford Olson, who is resident of San Juan County. While I don't live in San Juan County, I am also deeply concerned about the huge increase in vessel traffic that would occur if the GPT were approved and built, not only in San Juan, but near where I live in Birch Bay. The concept of increasing the numbers of cargo and capesize ships to the tune of 972 additional vessels at the terminal's full capacity is incomprehensible to me. I am certain that there will be significant adverse impacts on marine life, fishing industry, endangered or threatened species in those waterways, nearby american indian tribes that depend on these waters for sustaining their people, tourism which is huge in this area, recreational boating, public safety in terms of potentially hazardous spills and vessel accidents, potential invasive species from ships' ballast water, and whether our safety and protection resources can even handle this additional strain. Tourism is the biggest industry in Birch Bay and I believe it will suffer greatly if the GPT were built. GPT would destroy Birch Bay and all its quiet beauty.

Sanford wrote the following comment which I want to join with him in voicing, "Vessels inbound and outbound from the Cherry Point refineries, British Columbia container, coal, and tar-sands terminals, and the refineries at Anacortes all use the narrow shipping corridors around our islands. Projected ship traffic from the proposed Gateway Pacific Coal Terminal will add an additional 972 Panamax and Capesize ship transits through our waters each year at full build-out.

Because San Juan County is the geographic center of shipping within the Salish Sea, the transportation challenges of the additional GPT coal ships only increases the concerns of county citizens. Narrowly limiting EIS studies to the GPT site alone, while ignoring the marine transportation component, will not adequately address the concerns of the citizens of San Juan County, nor adequately represent their interests.

Therefore, I request that the GPT Environmental Impact Statement fully and completely include the linked and cumulative activities of transporting 50 million tons of strip-mined coal from Montana and Wyoming by rail to the proposed export terminal at Cherry Point and then transporting those millions of tons by ship through the Salish Sea to Asia.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Those of us who live in San Juan County know the inherent hazards of sailing our cold, stormy waters and foggy mist shrouded islands. Channels dedicated to large ships are narrow, sinuous, and abound in rocks, reefs and small islets. Adding more and more very large vessels to these navigational hazards will elevate all the mechanical failures, weather related accidents, and human errors to levels which are unacceptable to San Juan County and Washington State residents. Therefore, I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington

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

sandy robson (#7419)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Location: Blaine, WA
Comment:
Interdependent - Definition: Two or more people or things dependent on each other; mutually dependent.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

sandy robson (#7756)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Location: Blaine, wa
Comment:
I live in Birch Bay near the proposed GPT site. In the permit application/PID section 4.3.4.2 talks about the Wharf (copied and pasted below).

4.3.4.2 Wharf
"The wharf would be located at the trestle head and generally parallel to the shoreline; it would be designed to berth up to three vessels (Figure 4-9). The wharf would have one berth southeast of the trestle head and two berths northwest of the trestle head.
The wharf would have three berths, each of different lengths (Figure 4-8):
• • •
Berth 1—1,137 feet long, Berth 2—1,227 feet long, and Berth 3—636 feet long.
Berth 1 is the northwestern-most berth.
The wharf would support up to three shiploaders, belt conveyors in an enclosed elevated gallery leading to each of the shiploaders, berthing fenders, and a vessel-mooring system. The wharf would be sufficiently wide to allow two lanes of vehicle access beneath the legs of the shiploaders. The elevated gallery would be located on the shore side of the wharf behind the shiploaders. The wharf would include containment for control of potentially contaminated stormwater. Uncontaminated stormwater runoff from the wharf and trestle would be discharged to the water."

So, it says "The wharf would include containment for control of potentially contaminated stormwater. Uncontaminated stormwater runoff from the wharf and trestle would be discharged to the water."

My question is what is the "containment" they are referring to and how does it look and how does it work? There is no information on this yet it is a very important subject since we do not want pollutant contaminated stormwater going into the Puget Sound, or any other waterway for that matter. This is just another piece of the puzzle that is missing from the document.

I ask that you request the Applicant to supply a full detailed description of this "containment" that is referred to in the section I've noted above and that be added to the PID and permit application information so that the public gets to see that in order to ask any questions they have concerns about.

Sandy Robson (#8126)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Location: Blaine, WA
Comment:
I live in Birch Bay and I am extremely concerned about the possibility of the GPT planning on storing and shipping 48M tons of coal annually. I do not believe that there can possibly be any mitigation that would offset the significant adverse impacts to our waterways, wetlands, forest areas, marine life, wildlife, farms and homes, livestock, health, property values, and beautiful aesthetics of the Pacific Northwest surroundings we all love and cherish.

What I'd like to address specifically in this comment is the amount of vessel traffic that will be associated with the proposed GPT and its significant elevated risk in vessel accidents and spills, both of coal from inbound and outbound GPT vessels, and oil from the already large number of vessels inbound and outbound from the other Cherry Point companies like BP, Conoco-Phillips, and Intalco. The large numbers of GPT vessels (974 at full build-out of GPT) and the fact that a large percentage of those are Cape-size vessels (the largest on the seas), and of course the already large cargo vessels. These numbers of vessels traveling in the already high-traffic area are a recipe for disaster.

I ask that there are vessel traffic studies and risk assessment studies done by an objective 3rd party consultant/s (Not hired by SSA Marine, Carrix, or any subsidiary of those companies and with no personnel links between those companies in terms of former employees now working for the consultant or vice versa) with vast experience in doing those surveys who is familiar with the specific waterways and navigable waterways that will be used by GPT's inbound and outbound vessels and the vessels associated with the other Cherry Point companies such as BP. And that any studies being done are transparent and information and communications be available to the public.

I really don't understand why this GPT proposal is even being considered in light of the 2008 Vessel Traffic Risk Assessment (VTRA) completed by George Washington University. It is my understanding from researching this that the Corps did not adopt those findings and I would like to know the reason for that. The findings from that VTRA in predicting the risk of collisions and spills under various traffic density scenarios, predicted a 62% greater chance of a major spill if future traffic was the maximum that could be predicted, including 140 ship calls to GPT. Fast-forward to the current PIT permit application in which the number of expected vessels is 974 at full build-out; also its important to note that terminals in BC are expanding so there will likely be more traffic from those terminals as well. Just knowing that the VTRA that George Washington University completed predicted a 62% increase of a major spill and coupling that with the knowledge of the vessel numbers expected as outlined in the GPT permit application should shut this permit application down. The risk is far too dangerous, especially when the main reason/purpose behind GPT is to transport 48M tons of toxic coal to China which primarily benefits the investors involved in this proposal and the fact that coal terminals offer one of the lowest employee per acre ratios when compared with almost every industry.

There was recently a capesize vessel, Cape Apricot, that crashed into the trestle at Westhore Coal Terminal in BC in December 2013 dumping 30 tons of coal into the Puget Sound. There is currently an investigation of some degree going on and also Westshore has also brought a lawsuit against the company that owns the Cape Apricot vessel, however nothing has been done about the 30 tons toxic coal that dropped into the water. Even though that occurred in BC the water is shared with us and very close to us here and I feel that BC is not doing something yet about that spill then the proper authorities from the US should be addressing this with the BC authorities because it is affecting our waters as well. Westshore's spokesperson said that coal is inert so they are not worried about it. Well, there are toxic chemicals in coal that will harm marine life and that may violate our Clean Water Act so why has something not been done about this yet? This makes me concerned that when, not if, there is an accident like this involving the GPT that there will also be no prompt response, or a response that is not adequate for the spill. These issue need to be studies and addressed.

Sandy Robson (#9149)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Location: Blaine, wa
Comment:
If the Gateway Pacific Terminal would be built it would destroy 141 acres of wetlands and degrade another 21 acres. We currently have a highly-functioning wetland system and the idea of building a terminal to store and ship 48M tons of coal annually in exchange for our thriving environment is ludicrous. The location for the coal terminal site is a very special place and the construction and building of the terminal, pier and wharf areas will significantly and adversely affect the sensitive wetlands, forest areas, and Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve area.

Even with attempts by PIT at mitigating some of these adverse affects I believe there are no possible measures to mitigate enough of the damage it will cause to warrant the approval of this very very bad idea.

Sandy Robson (#9153)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Location: Blaine, wa
Comment:
I live in Birch Bay so I'm very concerned about the possibility of a coal terminal planning on shipping 48M tons of coal annually being built near my home. Im very concerned about runoff: When it rains, how will the terminal operators keep toxics from 80 acres of coal heaps from seeping into groundwater or running off into the nearshore environment? How much mercury and PAH chemicals will this stormwater contain? What are the long-lasting impacts of these toxics?

Also, what about the runoff after any leftover water from shooting water cannons at the 60ft high coal storage piles using 1.9B gallons of precious Nooksack River water? What about the significant adverse affects from these 2 scenarios that will happen?

Sandy Robson (#9161)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Location: Blaine, wa
Comment:
The impacts of 18 one-and-a-half mile long daily coal trains rumbling past our houses, parks and schools will be severely adverse. Not only will these trains block vehicle access to the waterfront, clog downtown streets, and reduce property values, but it is very likely that taxpayers could be on the hook for 95 percent of the cost of necessary railroad upgrades, such as overpasses and new sidings. Add that to the increased risk of cancer, asthma and respiratory illness and it just doesn't add up. No amount of jobs and no amount of tax monies touted by SSA/PIT will offset the money it will cost all of us to clean up the damage the terminal and BNSF railways will do and nothing will be able to restore our environment and our health. We will end up paying for needed infrastructure and railway upgrades because SSA/PIT, BNSF, and Peabody Coal won't be footing the bill. They'll be making tons of money shipping 48M tons of coal annually while we here are left with the devastation. And since SSA created a subsidiary, PIT to build and run the terminal then PIT can conveniently claim bankruptcy after the coal terminal runs its course if things go bad for them.

I would like an accurate study done regarding the need for this terminal that plans to ship 48M tons of coal for at least the first 10 years of its operation comparing real job numbers not just seemingly inaccurate projections by the Applicant and its paid consultants. Then compare that to the number of potential jobs lost because of the significant adverse affects building this terminal will cause our communities. Also factor in the money we will have to pay for infrastructure and upgrades. The jobs and economic development the Applicant says are the purpose and need for this project are not coming through enough to justify building this monstrosity and having to live with
it-- and adding insult to significant injury, us having to pay for it too.

sandy robson (#9547)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Blaine, WA
Comment:
The main reason/purpose behind GPT is to transport 48M tons of coal to China. It primarily benefits the private investors involved in this proposal and the fact that the coal industry ranks almost last (19 out of 21) in terms of jobs per 1M dollars invested when compared with other industries clearly shows that this is not a good idea for Whatcom County, or anywhere for that matter. SSA/PIT calls this a multi-commodity terminal, but that is really misleading the public. It says right in the PIT's GPT permit application under section 4.5.2 "It is anticipated that in the first 10 years, the Terminal would likely manage exports of low-sulfur, low-ash coal, Canadian potash, and locally produced calcined petroleum coke.

So PIT purports to be a multi-commodity terminal, when in fact, they themselves say (buried in the lengthy and hard to read permit application) that they expect to ship only coal and related coal commodities for the first 10 years it is operational, Why do they have to mislead the public? Why are they allowed to mislead the public is the important question. They should have to, by law or some kind of regulation, give accurate information to the public or if they do not follow that then they should not even be able to apply for a permit. They are purposely misleading the public and then hoping that people are either unable to research this information themselves or that they will rely on local politicians and respected community leaders, chambers of commerce, etc. to inform them which is very sad because many of them have also been given inaccurate and misleading information. There are many many numbers and descriptions that are contrary to the permit application. How is the public supposed to ask questions and voice concerns when they are not being given correct information? There should be some kind of factual webpage maintained by the lead agencies that people can go to that has all the necessary main facts about the proposal. I have looked on the present GPT Custer Spur EIS website and reviewed that information and there is very little for the public to get a clear idea of the magnitude of this project and the important facts and details about it. Such as; the expected size of the coal storage piles themselves and the fact that they will be open without andy covering at all, the fact that the PRB coal to be stored and shipped

Even Bob Watters, SSA Marine's Senior Vice President gives the public inaccurate numbers. Here is s quote from a press statement he gave that was mentioned in an October 6, 2011 Bellingham Herald article by John Stark, “SSA Marine will continue working with the community and the regulators to create a great project that will bring 1,250 permanent family wage jobs and tens of millions in annual economic benefits to Whatcom County.” Mr. Waters is contradicting his company's permit application which clearly states the number of permanent jobs and it is 89 full time terminal jobs in 2016, and 213 permanent terminal jobs by full build-out in 2026. The permit application states that when fully developed, the terminal will expect to employ 213 terminal shift workers and 44 other workers (I'm not sure what that the "44 other workers" means exactly. Since that 1,250 permanent family wage job figure stated by Mr. Watters differs so vastly from the permanent terminal job numbers listed in PIT's GPT permit application I read that Herald Reporter, John Stark, contacted SSA's Public Relations person, Don Stark (no relation to John) to confirm that 1,250 number Mr. Watters gave in his press release. He was told, yes, that is correct, and explained how Mr. Watters arrived at that 1,250 permanent family wage jobs number:
430—Direct jobs—terminal operators, rail workers, tug pilots, etc.
820—Indirect and induced jobs—created by direct purchases for supplies, services, and payroll circulating in the community
So, if you add together those 2 figures you arrive at 1,250
Wow! That is 993 less permanent terminal jobs than what it says in the permit application. The permit application is specifically pertaining to the GPT (terminal) and some mention of the Custer Spur . The current EIS is specific to only the GPT terminal and Custer Spur yet Mr. Watters is trying to count tug pilot jobs and rail worker jobs in his job number estimates and what I find most dubious in Mr. Watters extra- inflated job numbers in this statement is that he feels justified in including the indirect/induced jobs in his job numbers estimate when his company is applying the highest amount of pressure possible at every level of government to try and keep the railways used to transport the coal from Montana through multiple states and the waterways involved and the annual 974 vessels used in shipping the coal to China out of the EIS. So far, SSA has managed to do that, but hopefully you 3 agencies involved will see the light and hear from unprecedented thousands and thousands of people writing scoping comments that the EIS for this proposal needs to be cumulative and programmatic. There has never been a proposal for a coal terminal this huge in the history of our country so you all really need to get this right! I ask that you ask and demand that the Applicant give the public accurate numbers and details so the public can be justly informed and then go back and require that this proposal be changed to a cumulative and programmatic EIS.

The lead agencies working this EIS process, our Whatcom County Council, our Hearing Examiner, the Lands Commissioner, the Governor, and anyone else that might be one of the people ultimately deciding on this GPT Permit Application must demand complete and accurate full disclosure—and so should all of the residents of the communities that will be significantly adversely impacted by this GPT proposal. This should include mandating that the numbers and details given to the public by SSA/PIT and its hired consultants, PR firms, associated websites, give real factual information. Not augmented, manufactured, molded information most of which is collected and presented by these SSA hired consultants, etc. It is not fair to the public to give the public false and misleading information about a project that is ultimately going to severely affect, and therefore change, their lives. SSA Marine has already thoroughly shown its true colors by illegally clearing approx. 9 acres of wetlands and forest ares without a permit, by hiring day laborers (through its paid consultants and/or PR firms) to stand in line at both the Ferndale and Spokane public scoping hearings (admitted by SSA's hired PR firm and/or consultant representatives and reported by the media) in order to secure as many coveted and very limited '"speaking slots" which I believe was done to keep the public at the hearing from learning the real concerns that many people opposed to GPT have, and by giving the public misinformation about this project which was done both at an executive level in SSA as well as through its paid PR firms and consultants who are representing SSA in regards to the GPT proposal.

sandy robson (#9716)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Blaine, WA
Comment:
I live in Birch Bay near where the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT) would be located, which is a frightening thought to me. The proposed GPT causes me to think about a very dark time in our country's history, especially as it relates to our country's land in a specific region. I'm referring to The Dust Bowl. Recently, I watched the Ken Burn's documentary called, The Dust Bowl, which chronicled the worst man-made ecological disaster in American history when the frenzied wheat boom resulted in the "Great Plow-Up", followed by a 10 year drought which quite nearly erased a region of our country.

The documentary illustrated how many bad decisions man made which ultimately caused the tragic Dust Bowl to happen. I think it was very sad to also see that even after people made the mistake of plowing everything in sight and removing what nature had put there in the first place, many, luckily not all, went back and repeated the same mistake even after being warned not to do that in the same way again or they would cause another potential disastrous repeat of what happened the first time. This certainly reminds me of the fact that we already have many coal terminals that are not even half the size of the proposed GPT and we have the documented information about the significant adverse affects those coal terminals have already caused people and the environment in and around those communities. Many individuals and towns are left with having to resort to lawsuits to try and fight against very powerful corporations for their right to clean air and clean water.

We need to "listen to the land itself" which is a quote from Tim Egan, (also featured in The Dust Bowl documentary), a Pulitzer Prize-winning author who wrote the book "The Worst Hard Time" about the Dust Bowl and the people who survived it. He said, "Respect the land itself. Listen to what the land is trying to tell you. Don't try and put things in place there that don't belong there. Listen to the land itself". If people had heeded that thinking back in history then the Dust Bowl, which is arguably the greatest environmental disaster that has ever happened to our country's land most likely would not have not happened. It's also a cautionary story showing us the potential peril of not respecting nature and environment.

When we already know that something is a bad idea and we go ahead and do it anyway why do we ever think that the results will not also be disastrous as history proved? That is how I view the proposed GPT. We already know the great harm it will do, but we try and do it anyway—motivated in GPT's case by powerful private corporations, SSA Marine (49% owned by Goldman Sachs), BNSF, and Peabody Coal, seeing huge potential profits in this project. They are using people who have become easy prey to those powerful corporations as in the case of SSA's fictitious promises of thousands of "family wage jobs", due in large part to our nation's depression-like economic times over the past 4 years.

Please let history guide you in changing the scope of this EIS to a programmatic and cumulative EIS which is absolutely necessary for the extraordinary size and scope of this project. This proposed GPT project, like The Dust Bowl, involves an entire region of our country and therefore the magnitude of the EIS scope needs to be in line with the magnitude of the proposal itself.

sandy robson (#10004)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Blaine, WA
Comment:
I live in Birch Bay and have visited the beach area called Log Beach at Cherry Point quite often. It is beautiful and the idea of a humongous coal terminal storing and shipping 48M tons of coal annually for at a minimum of the first 10 years it is in operation is harrowing to say the least. I would like to reference an EIS comment regarding vessel traffic by Mike Crum who is also a Birch Bay resident. In reading his EIS comment I agree with all of the points he makes especially about the very close proximity of BP Refinery and the site for the proposed GPT. The increased risk for vessel collisions between the huge Panamax and Cape ships that would be coming inbound and outbound in transporting the coal from GPT would be way too high especially since the cargo that the vessels calling on BP Refinery are transporting oil. When, not if, they have an accident there will be oil spills and even coal spills. All of which are bad for the marine environment and the health and quality of our waterways.

Also, I wholeheartedly agree with Mike regarding his points about the 1999 Settlement Agreement with the Applicant, PIT, and the fact that they have not complied with those terms. Therefore I do not understand why PIT was even allowed to submit this new permit application when they have not yet even satisfied the terms of that agreement? Why are we even in the EIS process for this proposal when that Settlement Agreement has been ignored by PIT? I believe this needs to be addressed and corrected before moving forward at all with the EIS process. If this GPT permit application would reach the point at which it would go before the Whatcom County Council if they tried to approve this permit they should be and will be sued for allowing PIT to break the terms of the original 1999 Settlement Agreement.

I have copied and pasted Mike Crum's EIS comment regarding vessel traffic below.

Michael Crum's GPT EIS comment that I am referencing:
EIS Scoping Comment on Impacts of Vessel Traffic at the Proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT)
My name is Michael Crum. As my wife and I explored the beach at Cherry Point, a pod of Orcas
appeared about two hundred yards off shore. We were privileged to watch them for more than thirty
minutes. Being in that beautifully pristine environment, while watching Orcas moving slowly along the
Georgia Strait, was both magical and memorable. I am saddened that the extraordinary beauty of
Cherry Point and all future opportunities for moments like these could be destroyed forever!
The GPT Project Information Document, p.105, proposes a 1,625’ long x 50’ wide Trestle serving a 3,000’
long x 105’ wide Wharf, with three berths: Berth 1 – 1,137’; Berth 2 – 1,227’ and; Berth 3 – 636’. The
berths are designed to accommodate as many as two Capesize and one Panamax bulk-cargo carriers at
the same time. Capesize vessels would be served by Berth 1 and by Berth 2 … both located toward the
northwestern portion of the wharf.
The Project Information Document reveals
little information regarding nearby structures
or facilities just beyond the GPT site
boundaries. Yet, identifying the nature of
those facilities is critically important for an
accurate and comprehensive analysis of the
scope of significant, probable adverse impacts
of the proposed GPT.
By analyzing aerial photographs and illustrations of GPT's site-specific wharf and trestle plans and
comparing those plans to geographic features of the proposed site location available via Bing Maps,
aerial view, I was able to determine the proximity of the proposed GPT wharf to the current BP Refinery
petroleum shipping and receiving docks. The image above shows the current BP Refinery docks with one
oil tanker (shown at left-center) and the proposed location of the GPT wharf (shown at lower center).
The proximate distance between the two docks is less than 3,000 feet. For a Capesize bulk-cargo vessel,
a distance of 3,000 feet represents a mere three boat lengths!
With the BP Refinery dock and the proposed GPT wharf oriented essentially parallel to the shoreline,
both would be subject to similar tidal currents and wind patterns. Oil tankers approaching BP’s dock,
from Rosario Strait, would pass by in close proximity to the proposed GPT wharf. And Capesize bulkcargo
vessels approaching or departing from the proposed GPT wharf, Berth 1 would maneuver within
three boat lengths of the BP Refinery dock.
Under the 1999 Settlement Agreement, Pacific International Terminals agreed to conduct a Tidal
Current Study (2.10e) and a Vessel Traffic Analysis (2.10a). Combined data from the Tidal Current Study
and from the Vessel Traffic Analysis is essential … to identify operation protocols to reduce the risk of
vessel collisions, groundings, spills and other operational incidents as well as to facilitate the wharf
design and its final orientation.
The GPT, Project Information Document, Chapter 4.5.7 “Emergency Response for Vessel Traffic” states:
"A site-specific emergency response plan would be developed …" Chapter 4.5.7.2 "Marine Spill
Response" states: “a plan ...will be developed." To be clear, the GPT Project Information Document
provides no plans for site-specific emergency response pertaining either to adverse impacts resulting
from vessel traffic or for adverse impacts resulting from marine spills! At this date, the applicant has
failed to comply with related requirements of the 1999 Settlement Agreement and, incredulously, offers
no such plans in the current GPT Project Information Document. How can this applicant repeatedly fail
to comply with vital components of the application process … and not be held accountable?
A 2008 BP Refinery Vessel Traffic Risk Assessment study projected dramatic increases for both the risk of
marine vessel accidents and oil spills or outflows resulting from collisions between two vessels,
groundings (both powered and drift), and collisions (collisions with the dock or other fixed objects) if
crude vessel traffic levels increased by 17% at the BP Cherry Point Refinery.
Cherry Point’s shoreline currently receives 850 annual vessel transits from its three marine piers. At full
capacity, GPT proposes 974 transits. Even without considering unmitigated impacts of wind and tidal
currents, 1,824 oil-tanker and bulk-cargo carrier transits per year represents more than a 215% increase
in vessel traffic levels along the Cherry Point shoreline and poses potentially adverse (if not
catastrophic) impacts on vessel traffic around BP Refinery’s dock. Yet, the GPT Project Information
Document includes no emergency response plans related to vessel traffic or to marine spills!
On December 7, 2012, the bulk-cargo carrier, Cape Apricot, crashed through the Westshore Terminal
loading dock trestle causing 30 (or more) tons of coal to be spilled into the Strait of Georgia (see photo).
This merely is a recent example of unmitigated
adverse impacts from vessel mooring accidents
and the vital need for safe vessel mooring
standards and procedures. Under the 1999
Settlement Agreement, Pacific International
Terminals agreed to a Vessel Mooring Study
and Plan (2.11) … to hire a marine engineering
consultant to review existing safe vessel
moorage standards, configurations and
procedures of similar facilities and to develop a
dock and terminal operations plan for the
proposed facility for Ecology’s review and
approval. Has the applicant satisfied that 1999
Settlement Agreement obligation?
-2-
I ask that the following be included and be systematically analyzed within the scope of the EIS:
v 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 (2.10e), Vessel Traffic Analysis
(2.10a), Vessel Mooring Study and Plan (2.11), Spill Prevention, Preparedness, and Response
Plans (2.9a)
v Impacts of adding 974 annual transits of Capesize and Panamax bulk-cargo vessels, serving the
proposed GPT wharf, to the current annual transits of oil-tanker vessels, serving BP Cherry Point
Refinery, on health and safety of employees at both facilities.
v Impacts of 974 additional annual transits of Capesize and Panamax bulk-cargo vessels to the
current annual transits of oil-tanker vessels, at BP Cherry Point Refinery, on risk of marine vessel
accidents and oil spills or outflows resulting from collisions between two vessels, groundings
(both powered and drift), and collisions (collisions with the dock or other fixed objects).
v Impacts of 974 additional annual transits of Capesize and Panamax bulk-cargo vessels to the
current 850 annual oil-tanker and bulk-cargo vessels, serving the Cherry Point shoreline, on risk
of marine vessel accidents and oil spills or outflows resulting from collisions between two
vessels, groundings (both powered and drift), and collisions (collisions with the dock or other
fixed objects).
v Impacts of 974 additional annual transits of Capesize and Panamax bulk-cargo vessels to the
current number of commercial and private vessel transits, in the Rosario Strait, on risk of marine
vessel accidents and oil spills or outflows resulting from collisions between two vessels and/or
groundings (both powered and drift).
-3-

sandy robson (#10035)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Blaine, WA
Comment:
I live in Birch Bay and I chose this area because of the beautiful Puget Sound and natural surroundings. I would like to reference a GPT EIS comment by Mike Crum (this is the second EIS comment of his that I am referencing) who is also a Birch Bay resident. In reading Mike's EIS comment regarding the potential risk for fires because of the very close proximity of the proposed GPT and BP Refinery I find that his comment makes very good sense and I was thinking much the same things. So, please see Mike's comment attached in pdf file in which he makes extremely good points that I would like to reference for my EIS comment on this subject. It is attached in a pdf.

Also, I would like to add that I consider it very suspect that SSA/PIT would not have shown a better more detailed rendering than the one on p. 65, Figure 1-2 labeled Proposed Project Layout that offers a rendering of the proposed location of the 80 acres uncovered coal stockpiles identified as the East Loop, shown in the pdf attachment with MIke's EIS comment. With technology today there is no excuse why this drawing was not done in more detail so that the public and the agencies can easily see what is represented. For SSA/PIT to cover up the BP storage tanks with text caption, "West Loop Secondary Entrance" in that rendering seems to me either an unacceptable level of necessary detail in the renderings, or worse, it was done intentionally.

The Bing aerial map that Mike Crum referenced in his comment pdf attachment reveals those obscured structures to be 5 of the 47 very large BP Refinery petroleum storage tanks located within about 1000 yards of the proposed GPT's 2.75 million metric tons of uncovered coal (Powder River Basin coal which is prone to spontaneous combustion) stockpiles. Maybe someone with Mike Crum's eye for detail should be doing the drawings for SSA/PIT's permit application rather than whoever they had produce these project drawings! Then we all would really have the full information we need about this project.

From SSA's actions so far, my bet is that is was intentional to cover those BP Refinery storage tanks with the text caption. Either way, it is unacceptable and I believe there are many important other details that there are numerous other renderings in this permit application that are lacking detail.

I noticed that in another rendering there is an example of storage silos Figure 4.6 and the picture shows 4 storage silos but the caption under the drawing says, "although drawing shows only 4 storage silos, 6 storage silos will be actually be constructed". Why does that drawing not reflect 6 storage silos? I work in the Architecture industry and I am very surprised at the lack of details in the drawings in the permit and I wonder how this permit application even made it through to the EIS process in the first place. This is not just a document showing a simple house addition to be built, it is a plan for the largest coal terminal ever to be built in the United States—twice as big as any other transporting and shipping 48M tons of coal annually! Where is the level of professional detailed drawings mandated for a project of this scope?

Please demand a more complete and extremely accurate Project Information Document with detailed drawings that is warranted for this proposal. Please do not let political pressure keep you all from doing your job, your due diligence, and your duty to the public who depend on you.
Attached Files:

sandy robson (#10732)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Blaine, WA
Comment:
I moved from CA to Birch Bay, WA in the summer of 2009 after spending a couple vacations here about 5 years prior to moving. I considered numerous locations in both OR and WA and ended up deciding on Bellingham and Birch Bay as where I'd most like to live. Then when I moved here to house hunt I fell in love with beautiful Birch Bay. I chose a location about a couple minute drive to the Birch Bay State Park because I could walk there everyday and also I was very close to the bayfront. I love this area and I left everything behind to come here—it was very difficult, but after living here the last 3 and a half years I know it was the right decision. When I heard that SSA/PIT was proposing to build and run a coal terminal that would be transporting and shipping 48M tons of toxic coal annually I was appalled and heartbroken.

Since that time, I have been doing everything in my power to fight against this objectionable proposal and many of my friends and neighbors are doing the same. The US is moving away from coal as we have learned the serious harm it causes our environment and to people's health, so why would we ever want to build and run a coal terminal that is slated to be the largest ever built in the US. 48M tons! That is the wrong direction! We are moving forward and we have been taking steps back for far too long. The purpose and need for this terminal is simple: It is for SSA (49% owned by Goldman Sachs), BNSF, and Peabody Coal to make tons of money. This proposed project is not progressive, or for greater good, or for working toward the future in terms of sustainable industries, or toward technology, or because it's a healthy or harmless product that other countries desperately need. It is archaic and that is not where I want to go and I know it's not where we should be going as a country, which is progressing forward.

If companies like SSA and Peabody Coal had their way I'm sure they would try making coal powered automobiles and then they would try and sell it to political leaders and the public as creating "family wage" jobs. We need to be looking at the big picture and that is what we are all counting on you 3 agencies, and CH2MHill, and the Whatcom County Council, the Hearing Examiner, and anyone else involved with and eventually deciding this proposed GPT. No amount of spin by SSA can take away from the fact that this idea is a very bad idea and Whatcom County and our state should be doing everything they can to stop this before the damage is done.

I just read an excellent article from the February issue of Men's Journal Magazine which I have copied and pasted below. The title of the article is Obama And The Environment: What He Can Do, by Andrew C. Revkin. The author asked Scientists, Economists, and Political Advisers who recommended the most impactful environment measures, ones that can be achieved in the next 4 years—there are 9 of them.
I want to emphasize that the number 1 thing Obama can do for the environment is to "Speed The Shift Away From Coal" ! I did not copy and paste the additional 8 things on the list since obviously coal is the subject matter here. If you want the rest then the link to the full article is: http://www.mensjournal.com/expert-advice/obama-and-the-environment-what-he-can-do-20130118

I ask the agencies to study the significant adverse impacts from Greenhouse Gases coming from China burning the very coal that would be shipped directly from the proposed GPT. The refusal to consider the end use of a product (in this case 48M tons of coal annually) which is also the premise for the stated purpose of this GPT proposal ("The need to ship bulk commodities to and from international markets to meet current and future market demand" as stated in PIT's permit Application and PID) given our local and national policies generally with respect to Greenhouse Gases and global climate change, is simply against public policy.

From Men's Journal Magazine - February 2013 issue:
Obama and the Environment: What He Can Do
Scientists largely agree that aggressive steps need to be taken to slow and prepare for climate change. The glaciers in Yosemite are disappearing, wildfires and are ravaging the nation, and Arctic ice continues to melt at a record-breaking pace. In his second term, free from the pressure to campaign for reelection, President Obama can seize the moment to do something about this environmental crisis. Still, aggressive steps – taxing carbon, a large-scale switch to renewables, banning coal – may not be politically feasible, especially with a partisan Congress and a fragile economy. The president has made progress: enacting strict fuel standards that will force cars to get 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025; providing incentives to double electricity from solar and wind; and creating 2 million new acres of protected wilderness. But there's still a lot of work to do. "Obama can do a million things," says Robert F. Kennedy Jr., an environmental lawyer and founder of Waterkeeper Alliance. "He can force coal to pay its true cost, end subsidies to carbon cronies, and deploy a compelling mix of moral and economic arguments." The temptation is to focus on issues that inflame the public, like theKeystone XL pipeline, but the president would do better to take a wider perspective. Keystone, for one, would pump only 830,000 barrels of oil from tar sands a day, about a third of the 2.3 million barrels of oil Canada already sends us, and a mere fraction of our heavily subsidized 19-million-barrel-a-day habit. We spoke to scientists, economists, and policy advisers, who recommended the most impactful environmental measures, ones that can be achieved over the course of the next four years.

Number 1 out of the nine-point plan to protect the planet:

1). Speed The Shift Away From Coal
Coal accounts for 41 percent of the world's energy and remains the number one source of climate-change emissions. In the past four years, new environmental regulations on power plants, increased incentives for wind, and low natural-gas prices have resulted in a 13 percent decrease in coal's portion of domestic energy use. But we can accelerate that trend. "Coal is just criminal," says Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Kennedy. "Every aspect of its extraction, distribution, and deployment costs lives and imposes health impacts and huge costs."
The best tool Obama has to reduce coal use is to implement the EPA's existing Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, which places limits on mercury, arsenic, chromium, nickel, and other toxic emissions associated with coal. But the coal industry has been pressuring the EPA to reconsider the standard, pushing to weaken regulations that could affect dozens of decades-old, heavily-polluting coal plants like Indianapolis' Harding Street Station, which has been in operation for 54 years.
For those who think cutting coal is too expensive in a recession, we must recognize the massive, $60 billion annual health costs associated with burning this fossil fuel – everything from cardiovascular and respiratory illness to premature death. "You could pension off all the 80,000 workers in the coal industry for a tiny fraction of the medical bills due to burning coal," says Burton Richter, a Nobel laureate in physics.
» Andrew C. Revkin

sandy robson (#10789)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Blaine, WA
Comment:
I live in Birch Bay and close to where the proposed Cherry Point GPT would be located. I have heard the phrase repeated like a mantra from proponents of the proposed GPT and specifically from SSA and its paid consultants and PR Firms, "China will simply get coal from somewhere else," if GPT would not be approved and built. SSA and its hired consultants keep telling everyone who will listen that greenhouse gases and climate change are inevitable impacts that would happen, with or without, this proposed GPT project. So, here is the rub, which Bellingham attorney, Jean Melious, brilliantly realized and brought to our attention that requires your attention:

SSA/PIT itself, has actually put itself between a rock and a hard place by presenting opponents of GPT a very real argument that China will not burn the coal anyway, when it states in the Permit Application and PID its purpose and need saying, "The need to ship bulk commodities to and from international markets to meet current and future market demand." Jean points out that "Put simply, if China is in fact going to get coal from somewhere else, then there is no need for this GPT project."

On the other hand, if there is a need for this GPT project, as SSA//PIT claims, then China cannot get the coal from somewhere else and thus the significant adverse impacts of burning coal in China that would be shipped from the proposed GPT (48M tons yearly) must be considered as impacts of this proposed GPT project and studied.

This reminds me of when I watch courtroom drama shows on TV when the defendant makes a particular statement that then opens the door for the opposing side and basically hands them the winning argument in the trial. Well, that's what SSA/PIT has done here so now they cannot have their cake and eat it too. Either there is not a purpose and need for the GPT project, or, there is, and because there is then the significant affects of burning of coal in China must be considered in the EIS or PEIS (this project should have a PEIS).

sandy robson (#11011)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: blaine, WA
Comment:
Pacific herring is listed as a Species of Concern, although many scientists believe it should be listed as Threatened or Endangered. Pacific herring is "a keystone in the food chain for many marine animals including Chinook salmon and orcas. Some two thirds of the diet of local Chinook salmon relies on these herring. (2012, Personal communication, Barry Wenger, retired, WA Dept of Ecology).
Both Chinook Salmon and Orcas are Federally listed Endangered Species.

These facts above alone should be enough to stop the GPT application permit because if the GPT is approved and built it will surely be the final nail in the coffin for the Pacific Herring at Cherry Point, and in turn, because Chinook Salmon and Orcas depend on these herring, when the herring disappear then it is reasonably foreseeable to expect these two Federally Listed Endangered Species to also disappear. I believe there can be no mitigation that will protect these Federally listed Endangered Species. Shading and other mitigation attempts by SSA/PIT will not address the major issues such as the huge increase in vessel traffic, invasive species from vessels ballast water, noise from the wharf, piers and dock areas, and the list goes on.

This will also surely be an issue that goes against rights of Lummi Nation. 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. 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.


The following excerpts below are from a January 24, 2004 petition to list the Cherry Point population of herring as "threatened" or endangered" under the Endangered Species Act submitted by the Center for Biological Diversity and Northwest Ecosystem Alliance. The website link to this petition and information is http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/species/fish/Cherry_Point_Pacific_herring/pdfs/71069_6360.pdf

The Cherry Point herring population has significantly declined over the last century and their distribution along Washington’s northwest coast has contracted to a fraction of its historic range (Bargmann 2001, WDNR 2002). Major sources of organic and inorganic material that maintained and improved spawning habitat have been diverted or altered. Large and polluting industries have been developed and operate upon herring spawning grounds, and other potentially harmful projects are moving forward. Spawning and other life supporting activities are routinely disrupted by extensive vessel traffic and facility operations. Cherry Point herring and their habitat have been altered to the extent that neither species nor habitat can be considered secure.

A multitude of threats currently exist, but the most critical is the continued reduction and degradation of Cherry Point herring habitat by industrial development and pollution (Boettner 2001). Additional threats associated with ballast water, biocides, disease, predation, and ocean conditions exacerbate the ongoing loss and fragmentation of habitat and other direct impacts to Cherry Point herring. There is significant industrial development and operations within a six mile stretch of Cherry Point herring spawning grounds, including the ARCO/BP and Conoco-Philips oil refineries and an Alcoa aluminum smelter (Figure 5). Industrial activities directly, indirectly, and cumulatively harm Cherry Point herring and their habitat through dock construction and operation, outfall discharge, vessel traffic, accidental spills of oil and other poisons, and foreign disease and species from ballast water discharge.

Dock construction and operation Dock construction alters and diverts long-shore flow, disturbs the sea floor, and shades eelgrass beds. Substantial near shore filling during construction of the Conoco-Philips and Alcoa Piers extended well beyond the extreme low tide mark. This fill disrupts littoral drift of sediment, significantly affecting eelgrass beds along the beach below the drift sector (i.e. extending down to Sandy Point spit). Dredging around the docks disrupts bottom habitat, as does propeller scour from vessel traffic.

One modeling study suggested that the physical presence of the Alcoa and Conoco-Philips piers could also influence water flow and cause higher concentrations of toxic Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (“PAHs”) and higher temperatures (ENSR 2001). Herring spawning behavior is adversely affected by changes in temperature.

Dock operations cause noise, light and wave energy disturbances. Shadows cast during the daytime can be a problem to migrating juvenile salmon and forage fish migrating within the near shore areas. Artificial lighting may affect the migration of near shore fish, slowing migration and increasing the potential for mortality. In addition, the high number of pilings in these docks severely restricts the flow of water and sediment, and exacerbates shading problems.
Outfall discharge and other pollutants Docks also serve as terminus for the industrial outfall pipes. Outfall flows add pollutants and other toxins to the water, and alter water quality, temperature and salinity. The fact that the wastewater effluent coming from the industrial facilities is fresh, means that the associated pollutants will be brought to the surface and prevailing winds will carry it southeastward along the shoreline (ENSR 2001, Figure 6).
The net flow from the ARCO/BP outfall pipe is near shore and southward, thereby exposing Cherry Point herring spawning grounds south of the dock to the combined effluents of all the facilities. In several studies, the percent of Cherry Point herring larvae that failed to hatch, or was found to have abnormalities, was highest in the region in which the plume model predicted the effluents from the ARCO/BP refinery and Alcoa smelter would accumulate (Marshall 2002, Battelle 1974, ENSR 2001).

Date from the most recent studies in the region indicate that between 1996 and 1999 the permitted industrial discharges at Cherry Point were 8 -16.3 million gallons of industrial effluent into Cherry Point herring habitat each day. These daily contributions were from TOSCO (Conoco-Philips): 1.58 million gallons per day (“mgd”) (1.0-2.5), ARCO (BP) 4.32 mgd (2.8-6.2), ALUMAX (Alcoa) (1) 4.28mgd (4.0-4.7) ALUMAX (2) 0.98 mgd (0.2-2.9). In addition the outfalls were a significant source of heat (degrees C) TOSCO: 25.5, ARCO: 26.7, Intalco (1) 17, Intalco (2) 21. (See Appendix for specific details)
Along with the effluent itself, the temperature of the effluent impacts the herring’s habitat. Salazar and Salazar (2002) suggest that increased temperatures associated with effluent from the outfalls may have significant impacts on developing herring embryos. Temperature can directly and indirectly affect herring in a variety of ways, by decreasing food supplies, and modifying spawning grounds and herring growth rates. Studies in Alaska have shown that elevated temperatures associated with El Nino can accelerate growth rates to the point that the herring do not have sufficient energy to successfully over-winter and spawn, particularly if food is also in short supply due to elevated temperatures (Salazar and Salazar 2002). Temperatures along Cherry Point Reach approached lethal levels during the El Nino year (1998).

There is also growing concern about ground water impacts on herring spawning beds (Marshall 2002). The Department of Ecology has issued an Agreed Order with ARCO/BP under the Model Toxics Control Act (Chapter 70.105D) requiring ARCO/BP to conduct a groundwater impact study of their unlined wastewater treatment ponds. Concern has also been expressed about atmospheric fallout from the neighboring industries. In addition, historical pollution from the former Superfund site, NW Transformer Inc. in Emerson, Washington, where 24,720 PCB laden transformers were burnt in low heat furnaces and poured in the ground within a half mile of the Nooksack River, may be harming Cherry Point herring. The Alcoa smelter was ranked third highest of 49 sites in Puget Sound with sediment contamination (excluding Superfund sites) and was the highest-ranking site not undergoing cleanup (EVS 1999).

If an oil spill were to occur, especially during or just before the herring spawning and rearing season, the impact to the Cherry Point herring could be catastrophic. The fact that there is such low survival of adults, one and two year old fish comprise the majority of the spawning population. Therefore, if just one major spill of oil or hazardous material were to occur during or just prior to spawning, not only would that year’s recruitment be wiped out, but the entire population would be jeopardized.

Cherry Point historically provided spawning habitat for more than half of Puget Sound's entire Pacific Herring population. Many species depend on Herring as food, including Chinook Salmon listed as an Endangered Species by the Federal Government.Herring spawning has dropped by more than 91%from historic levels. The Reserve (Cherry Point State Aquatic Reserve) is established to protect Cherry Point's essential habitat and prevent further degradation.

The Cherry Point herring spawn in relatively open areas with high-energy water flows. This open environment makes them more vulnerable to disturbance from storms, large ship wakes, and other events such as oil spills. The spawning season is a vulnerable time for mass spawning species such as herring.

Cherry Point herring face a high risk of extinction because of their small population size, certain natural history characteristics, reproductive isolation, threats from industrial facilities and other pending development, and a lack of protective regulatory mechanisms. Populations reduced below a certain number of individuals through disease, habitat loss, habitat degradation, and other factors face a high probability of extinction (Franklin 1980, Gilpin and Soulé 1986, Soulé 1987). Small populations are subject to inbreeding, a loss of genetic variability, random changes in phenotype, loss of heterozygosity, and genetic drift (Primack 1993). Genetic inbreeding ultimately results in decreased fitness and survivorship (Lacy 1987). Small populations can also lose genetic variability through the loss of rare alleles and the percentage of heterozygous genes (Avise 1994).
Low populations size can produce in imbalances in sex and age ratios, low fecundity, and high mortality rates. Collectively these demographics vary at random, but in small populations they have a greater chance of resulting in extinction even when survival and reproductive success are high (Gilpin and Soule 1986). In addition to demographic fluctuations, small populations can experience rapid decline in numbers and local extinction caused by variation in disease, food supply, predation, competition, and other environmental factors (Primack 1993).

Cherry Point herring abundance has dropped significantly from historic levels, corresponding with a significant reduction in the shoreline used for spawning. The small remaining population exhibits many of the specific qualities that suggest a high extinction risk from genetic, demographic and environmental variability. Reduced fitness, possibly from inbreeding, is indicated by lower hatching success and higher rates of abnormal development (Bargmann 2001). Reproduction rates have dropped as the older and most productive Cherry Point herring have disappeared from the population and are not replaced (Stout et al. 2001). Catastrophic events, including massive oil spills during spawning season, have occurred and will very likely occur again.
Certain natural history characteristics of Cherry Point herring increase extinction risk when the population levels are low. Cherry Point larvae are smaller than other Pacific herring and declining in size over time (Kocan 1998). They have smaller yolk sacs (Marshall 2002), and require high prey abundance to sustain high growth rates (Lemberg et al. 1977). Schooling behavior by Cherry Point may result in disproportionately high mortality rates from birds (Haegele and Schweigert 1985) and other herring predators.
Isolated populations are more vulnerable to extinction caused by catastrophic events and a reduced gene flow (Noss and Cooperider 1994). Cherry Point herring are reproductively isolated from other Pacific herring by spawning locating and timing (O’Toole et al. 2000), and have become genetically distinct from other herring (Beacham et al. 2001). Unique diet and salinity tolerances may further isolate Cherry Point herring from other Pacific herring (Gao et al. 2001).

The extinction risk for Cherry Point herring is elevated by direct, indirect and cumulative impacts from industrial activities. Cherry Point herring are killed, harmed, and significantly disrupted by dock construction and operation, outfall discharge, vessel traffic, accidental spills of oil and other poisons, and foreign disease and species from ballast waters. The amount of vessel traffic and the effluent being discharged from the Cherry Point industries and the four effluent discharge pipes has steadily increased over the years as refinery and smelter capacity has expanded, as evidenced by increased limits authorized by the NPDES permits program. Increased vessel traffic and capacity at existing facilities, and plans for new industrial facilities is expected to increase threats to Cherry Point herring and, therefore, its risk of extinction.
Regulatory mechanisms needed for the recovery of the Cherry Point herring do not currently exist. Existing regulatory mechanisms have failed to protect the Cherry Point herring, do not ensure its survival and recovery, and will not protect it from harm from several proposed development projects.

Because best available scientific data indicates a dramatic reduction in population size and distribution, significant reduction in spawning area, a small and shrinking effective population size, decreased hatching success and viability, population isolation, poor recovery ability, loss and degradation of habitat, and the continued existence of numerous significant threats to Cherry Point herring and their habitat, petitioners believe that the Cherry Point herring now face a very high risk of extinction in the near future.

sandy robson (#11892)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Blaine, WA
Comment:
I live in Birch Bay WA close to where the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT) would be located. I have been researching this project over the last year or so. One of my serious concerns is about this particular permit process and EIS process for the GPT and how I believe that the Applicant, SSA/PIT has been manipulating that process thereby causing it to be very unfair process or at the very least causing an appearance of unfairness in the EIS process thus far. As I understand it, the Whatcom County Council has been warned by Whatcom County counsel to not communicate or (I think read) anything pertaining to the GPT project since they are one of the decision makers on this project. It's also my understanding that Commissioner Goldmark (DNR) may also be a factor in this decision. I have been reviewing email communications between Commissioner Goldmark (including DNR employees) and The Applicant, SSA/PIT's Representative, Craig Cole that were provided some time ago by the Bellingham Herald.

If Commissioner Goldmark is possibly going to be someone asked to weigh in on this GPT permit decision then why is he meeting with SSA Representative, Craig Cole and other business leaders, 3 city mayors, labor organization leaders, a Senator, the Whatcom County PUD Commission Chair and NW Economic Counsel, and CFO Port of Bellingham in charge of Economic Development matters? A group (names are listed in my attached documents) seemingly entirely made up of pro-GPT supporters (although later in 2011 Mayor Dan Pike publicly opposed GPT) which basically seems like they are lobbyists for the Applicant, SSA/PIT in that meeting with Commissioner Goldmark . There were no stakeholders there who have serious concerns about the proposed GPT so this seems very suspect and at the very least gives the appearance of unfairness in this process if not actually having tainted the process.

When I read the letters back and forth between Commissioner Goldmark and SSA's representative, Craig Cole there was a good amount of discussion about Commissioner Goldmark's Cherry Point Aquatic Plan that he was still finalizing at the time of those meetings according to his own words in his letter to Craig Cole. In reading those communications it looks like Commissioner Goldmark may have been "advised" and therefore it lends credence to the possibility that in drafting his finalized plan for the Cherry Point Aquatic Plan, the Commissioner may have taken that "advice" given by this group of people headed up by Craig Cole, who is a paid representative for SSA/PIT, the Applicant for the GPT permit. This causes me great concern that this meeting even occurred.

Also, in Craig Cole's September 20, 2010 email to Bridget Moran (a DNR employee who facilitated communications between DNR, Commissioner Goldmark, and Craig Cole) Craig wrote, "it would be good to find a way to "test" the language of your intended plan revisions before they are formally announced. This could help to avoid surprises or disconnects. A meeting with the industry group and/or the folks that met with you last Friday is one means; there might be simpler ways to accomplish this, too." This causes me great concern that there is a possibility that the DNR may have sent a draft of this plan to the Applicant' SSA's Representative, Craig Cole. So far, it seems as though the GPT permit Applicant, SSA has had some level of participation and voice in the molding of the Cherry Point Aquatic Plan which ultimately causes this permit process and EIS process to be very flawed and one-sided which seems to go against the rules of this process as far as I've researched them.

I ask that the agencies involved thoroughly investigate this issue of communications and meetings between DNR and SSA's representative, Craig Cole, referenced above and any other seemingly inappropriate communications and conduct between the Applicant SSA/PIT and its consultants and representatives, and the DNR and Commissioner Goldmark that causes the permit application process and EIS to be tainted and therefore going against the idea of the Appearance of Fairness Doctrine, and the rules regarding EIS protocol.

I also ask that the agencies investigate the fact that SSA's paid consultants and/or PR firms admittedly (as reported in the media) paid day laborers (and possibly some of SSA's own workers as I think Craig Cole alluded to in an article reported in the media) to hold places in line at the Ferndale and Spokane public scoping comment hearings enabling these paid workers to secure the limited and coveted speaking slots. These line-holders at Ferndale held spots for Speaker #1 Ferndale Mayor Gary Jensen, Speaker #2 Chris Johnson, NWW Central Labor Council, Speaker #4 Lynden Mayor Scott Korthius, Speaker #6 Ken Oplinger who is possibly a Lobbyist for SSA, Speaker #8 Jed Brewer who spoke as a paid consultant for SSA and was asked by SSA to speak there and publicly deliver his group's study for GPT corroborating John Martin's GPT economics study, Speaker #14 Lauri Hennessey who is VP of Corporate & Public Affairs for Edelman a large PR firm in Seattle which does PR work for SSA and Lauri also runs The Alliance For North West Jobs and Export organization and website which was created specifically to promote ONLY the GPT Project specifically on their websites in the name of more Northwest jobs. While not direct employees of SSA/PIT, the GPT permit Applicant, both Lauri Henessey and Jed Brewer are paid consultants working for SSA indirectly. So, to me it is obvious that SSA attempted to circumvent the EIS public scoping process and actually was successful in doing so, by filibustering to keep the concerned public from publicly voicing their concerns and helped to keep the public at these 2 particular public scoping meetings from hearing real concerns of others. This goes against the very concept of public scoping meetings which are intended to encourage involvement of the public. The Applicant, SSA/PIT is manipulating the EIS process which should have some serious repercussions.

Please look into these matters I've described above. I believe this GPT EIS process should be halted or suspended to allow time to investigate these matters and see what should be done before and even if this EIS should proceed.

Also, I'm not sure what can be done about 2 of our local Mayors, Jensen and Korthius, letting SSA paid (indirectly and possibly directly) workers hold places for them in line at the Ferndale scoping hearing. Is that considered accepting a gift of some kind? I don't know, but it's wrong!

In my attachment I have copied and pasted screenshots from my iPhone of some of the communications I'm referring to between Peter Goldmark (and other employees within DNR) and SSA Representative, Craig Cole. Since these particular communications were scanned documents contained in the pdf of Cherry Point Gateway Pacific Terminal email communications I was unable to copy them directly from that pdf as I did with the email communications I have copied and pasted in this EIS comment. If you need the link to these email communications it is http://media.bellinghamherald.com/static/downloads/Cherry-Point-GTH-communications-06-2010-to-present1.pdf


From: "Moran, Bridget (DNR)" <Bridget.Moran@dn r.wa.gov>
To <Craigcole@brown-cole.com>
Date: 12/10/2010 11:48 AM
Subject: Thank you!
cc
Dear Craig,
I have been meaning to get back with you since the event at Cherry Point, but have not carved the time out to do so. I received your letter today with the copy of the Bellingham Herald’s article on the Cherry Point Plan. I want to thank you for your assistance in facilitating a conversation between the many affected parties in the Cherry Point reach and Commissioner Goldmark and I. Your leadership in that meeting was greatly appreciated and ultimately led to a very constructive dialogue regarding the remaining issues for us to understand to finalize the plan. We are very pleased with the final plan and the response to the plan by all parties. Your engagement greatly assisted with that success.
Thank you!

We are now on to the next steps regarding the proposed dock at Cherry Point by SSA Marine. If you have a need for communication on that issue, or others, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Bridget Moran
Deputy Supervisor
Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR)
360-902-1034 (office)
360-790-6660 (mobile)
bridget.moran@dnr.wa.gov






From: Craig Cole
To: Moran, Bridget (DNR)
Subject: Follow-Up to 9/17/Mtg. in B-ham
Date: Monday, September 20, 2010 4:19:35 PM

Bridget-First, it was good to meet you. Second, thanks for the constructive meeting. Third-a suggestion- -it would be good to find a way to "test" the language of your intended plan revisions before they are formally announced. This could help to avoid surprises or disconnects. A meeting with the industry group and/or the folks that met with you last Friday is one means; there might be simpler ways to accomplish this, too. Can I be of assistance somehow?

Thanks much.
Craig
Craig Cole
P.O. Box 9797
Bellingham, WA 98227-9797
Off:360-714-7777 Cell:360-201-7000 Fax:360-714-7813
craigcole@brown-cole.com





From: Treadwell, Brenda (DNR)
To: Moran, Bridget (DNR)
Subject: FW: Friday Mtg. in B-ham
Date: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 1:28:16 PM
Importance: High

-----Original Message-----
From: Craig Cole [mailto:craigcole@themarketsllc.com]
Sent: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 12:56 PM
To: Treadwell, Brenda (DNR)
Subject: Friday Mtg. in B-ham

County Executive Pete Kremen will be joining us, I believe.

As a preview of what I see happening, I will set a cordial tone at the outset of the meeting and compliment the Commissioner for aiming high to advance both protection of the Sound and the region's economy.

As well, we appreciate he and his staff paying attention to the concerns and issues being expressed with the aquatic reserve plan and for taking the time to come up here to discuss matters.

Both the Obama and Gregoire adminstrations have launched major initiatives to increase exports and the transportation infrastructure capacity to service products with greater efficiency. Private industries like the railroads and port operators are being asked to support economic recovery by investing now in America's export future. The SSA export shipping terminal at Cherry Pt. is viewed by state and federal officials as an
important element of a northern tier states export capacity improvement that supports public startegies for economic recovery.
There is concern, even among some environmentalitsts, that regulatory impairment of the investment climate at Cherry Pt. could lead to disinvestment in the existing plants and the eventual transformation of the SSA Marine industrial property into suburban residential and commercial sprawl. The Commissioner and his staff have stated that they intend the plan to accommodate the three existing industrial sites plus the fourth shipping terminal at Cherry Pt. and we take him at his word. The task is to make sure that the wording of the plan in fact does this. People will want to know if specific changes are being incorporated into the draft plan to ensure this.

The ideal result, in my view, would be the aquatic reserve with the four industrial sites as a concrete illustration that: (1) with thoughtful management we can have industry in harmony sound environmental restoration; (2) the Commissioner does indeed want to foster high value job growth as an element of economic recovery and sustainablility and (3) WA is open for business and will facilitate and encourage development that adheres to best proven environmental management practices.
Sound ok? I'm very open for suggestions.

Thanks for all of your help.
Craig
Craig Cole
P.O. Box 9797 Bellingham, WA 98227-9797 Off:360-714-7777 Cell:360-201-7000 Fax:360-714-7813
craigcole@brown-cole.com






From: Treadwell, Brenda (DNR)
To: Moran, Bridget (DNR)
Subject: FW: Confirmed Details of Commissioner Goldmark"s Visit Fri., Sept. 17, 2:30pm-Ferry Terminal (Dome Room)
Date: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 8:16:00 AM

-----Original Message-----
From: Craig Cole [mailto:craigcole@themarketsllc.com]
Sent: Tuesday, September 14, 2010 7:07 PM
To: davidf.warren@comcast.net; Treadwell, Brenda (DNR); Casey, Carolyn J.; Bonnie Onyon; "Sen. Dale Brandland <Brandland.Dale"@leg.wa.gov; ", chrisjhnsn8>"@brown-cole.com
Subject: Confirmed Details of Commissioner Goldmark's Visit Fri., Sept. 17, 2:30pm-Ferry Terminal (Dome Room)

Thank you for confirming your attendance. Here's who I expect to attend:

Hon. Peter Goldmark, Commissioner of Public Lands Bridget Moran, DNR Deputy Supervisor of Aquatics and Agency Resources Hon. Dale Brandland, WA State Senator (tentative) Hon. Gary Jensen, Mayor of Ferndale Hon. Bonnie Onyon, Mayor of Blaine Hon. Dan Pike, Mayor of Bellingham Hon. Jeff McClure, PUD Commission Chair Possibly one of the Port of Bellingham Commissioners Rob Fix, Port of Bellingham CFO (in charge of economic development matters) Hon. Tim Douglas, former Mayor of Bellingham and WA State CTED Director David Warren, President of NW Labor Council Steve Koch, Laborers International Craig Cole, SSA advisor ( through Gordon-Thomas-Honeywell Govt. Affairs), former Whatcom County Councilman, Whatcom County businessman

I look forward to a very constructive coversation.
Warmest regards,
Craig
Craig Cole
P.O. Box 9797
Bellingham, WA 98227-9797
Off:360-714-7777 Cell:360-201-7000 Fax:360-714-7813
craigcole@brown-cole.com
Attached Files:

sandy robson (#11937)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Blaine, WA
Comment:
I live in Birch Bay near where the proposed GPT (Coal terminal for the first 10 years in operation) would be located. I would like to reference an EIS comment made by Mike Crum regarding Impacts of Noise from Capesize and Panamax Bulk-Cargo Vessels on the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve and the Salish Sea. His comment contains extremely important information that needs to be reviewed and studied. I agree with all of the points and questions he raises and I have attached his EIS comment for your review.

The noise associated with the proposed GPT will be devastating for the herring population that is already a species of concern (and really SHOULD already be Federally listed as a Threatened Species or Endangered Species) and on other marine species in the Cherry Point area. Because of the huge amount of increased vessel traffic if GPT would be approved and built, and considering the huge size of those vessels it is reasonably foreseeable that this will cause severe significant adverse impacts to the Cherry Point herring population and other marine life as well. They are barely surviving with the adverse affects they already are encountering from the other Cherry Point industries like BP, Intalco, and Conoco Phillips. There is no mitigation that can protect these herring from the proposed GPT which when the herring are erased then both the already Federally Listed Endangered Species, Orcas and Chinook Salmon will also likely disappear forever.
Attached Files:

Sandy Tenneson (#2053)

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

Sandy Tenneson (#2800)

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

Sandy Tenneson (#3212)

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

Sandy Thompson (#7872)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Location: Everett, Wa
Comment:
I am writing to oppose the coal export terminals planned at Cherry Point and Tongue River.

First, the world needs to get off coal, like yesterday. We've overloaded the atmosphere with greenhouse gases already, and coal puts the heaviest load.

Second, the countries buying the coal - China, India, Japan, South Korea - don't even approach US standards on how to clean up emissions, let alone sequester the carbon dioxide.

Third, this is a ripoff of the taxpayer. Coal companies get cheap prices to dig coal off federal lands and charge market prices to sell it overseas.

Fourth, the coal dust, noise and traffic jams created by coal trains will hurt environments and communities near the terminals.

Coal is an obsolete and dangerous technology, and everyone at the Army Corps of Engineers knows it just as well as I do. Let's not keep digging our grave for the sake of short-term profits. Just for a change, let's think about the world we're creating!

Sandy Wood (#319)

Date Submitted: 09/24/12
Location: Vancouver, WA
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington. This proposal would negatively affect my community by increasing traffic, polluting our air and water, harming existing business, delaying emergency vehicles, increasing shipping traffic and noise, damaging aquatic ecosystems at the terminal site, increasing the potential for serious shipping accidents and exacerbating climate change. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

Please make the EIS comprehensive, covering the entire coal mine to travel between, to the terminal itself. The enviroment all along the journey will be impacted negatively.
In addition, the trade winds will return the toxins to the Pacific Northwest.

We will get all the negative, and NO JOBS!

Sandy Wood (#1171)

Date Submitted: 10/24/2012
Location: Vancouver, Wa
Comment:
Vancouver, Washington is one of the "pass-through" areas; the trains will pass our homes and city, losing toxic coal dust along the way.
We will not get jobs from this traffic, rather will lose jobs by the businesses closing or never opening due to the noise and pollution. People will move away, or chose not to move here, due to the coal trains. Our properties will lose value.
Our ability to cross the tracks will be severely restricted by the number and length of the coal trains. Emergency vehicles won't be able to cross, causing potential loss of life. The destruction of our air quality will cause an increase in asthma and in lung disease, due to the micro-particulates of mercury, lead, and arsenic we will breathe.
The Columbia River will become even more polluted, ruining the efforts to clean the waters.
The endangered chum salmon will be destroyed, as will the steelhead that spawn in our creek. Our drinking water, from a well, will be polluted as well.
Our wetlands will be destroyed, along with all the plants, fish, birds, insects.
The bees will be covered in coal dust rather than pollen: what will happen to all the agriculture along the route? Without pollination, we will lose many crops.
With the coal pollution, our edible crops will be destroyed, even if they don't need pollination.
And, all this damage will be done by companies determined to make money over the objections of Native American Tribes and other citizens.
The coal mine is owned by an Australian company; the RR is owned by Warren Buffett. Why should several states be destroyed for their benefit? And why should we, as tax payers, have to pay for the improvements needed for the rail transport of coal?
China's need for coal is not a guarantee: there are ships outside China, loaded with coal waiting for unloading for weeks while the country doesn't want the coal.
We have a priceless environment to protect for all of us, our grandchildren, and all the animals, plants, insects, fish, agriculture, and other living things.
A comprehensive study of the entire process, from mine to transport across miles to terminals to transport by barges or ships has to be studied.
I strongly oppose the entire coal transport project!

Sandy Wood (#4378)

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

Army Corps of Engineers and Department of Ecology WA

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

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

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

Living in a pass-through city, I am very concerned about all the negative effects of coal passage. There will be no jobs in our area, but there will be loss of businesses, home\property value decreases, and destruction of the environment. The bumblebees won't be able to pollinate, thanks to the coal dust on the plants. The endangered chum salmon will no longer spawn on the edge of the Columbia River, having been killed when newly hatched by the coal dust and poisons.

We are better than this!!
Teaching China and India how to use clean energy would be much better financially and environmentally for everyone!

Sincerely,

Sandy Wood
PO Box 871660
Vancouver, WA 98687-1660

Sandy Wood (#5490)

Date Submitted: 12/20/12
Location: Vancouver, WA
Comment:
December 20, 2012

The Honorable Gateway Pacific Terminal EIS


Dear null EIS:


I am NOT a spporter of the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal in Whatcom County, I encourage you to complete a comprehensive environment impact statement process based on the environmental impact from the mine through the miles of RR travel to the terminals to Asia and back, both by air and by pollution of our ocean.
Single hulled ships are a real hazard.


The "critics" make it sound like we have to choose between the economy and the environment. In reality, the "critics" are correct: the mining company, the RR, and a terminal might create jobs, but the loss of live, jobs, property values, environmental destruction, etc will far outweigh the few jobs created.

Vancouver and so many other cities and towns are simply a pass-through. We will suffer damage and will have no jobs.

Our wildlife, Native American treaty rights, our fish, our crops, our people, will all suffer.
Federally endangered chum salmon spawn in the Columbia River; we live on environmentally protected property (for perpetuity), having saved it for the chum salmon.

We are better than coal, and need not to be domineered by people with interest only in their bottom line. The impacts are beyond comprehension!

Asia is changing their power needs, using solar and wind, instead of the filthy coal.
They are not unloading ships full of coal because they are over supplied.

Keep the coal in the ground!!!


Sincerely

Sandy Wood

Sandy Wood (#5764)

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

Sandy Wyllie-Echeverria (#2590)

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

Sandy and Jerry Turner (#6673)

Date Submitted: 01/08/13
Location: Marysville, WA
Comment:
We are concerned about the possibility of coal trains passing through our area on their way to Cherry Point.

Please study the adverse effects of coal dust in the air, ground, etc.

Marysville has three freeway exits - 4th st, 88th st., and 116th st. The train tracks are within a few blocks of all of these on and off ramps and cross all of these streets. Please study the adverse effects that the number and length of these trains would have on these already highly congested areas.

Please let us know what is being done on this study.

Sanford Brown (#13993)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Comment:
It seems we have already achieved "energy independence;" what we don't need is further environmental and health damage!

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.

Sanford Olson (#1194)

Date Submitted: 10/17/12
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Sanford Olson (#1563)

Date Submitted: 10/27/2012
Location: Lopez Island, WA
Comment:
As a veterinarian and marine mammal stranding responder, I am concerned about the health of marine mammals in the San Juan Islands and surrounding marine habitats.

Our Federally listed endangered local resident Orca whales depend on sound to communicate, socialize, navigate, care for young, and find food. Given that their underwater soundscape is becoming increasingly noisy with more and more pleasure boats, whale watching boats, occasional naval vessels, and now large oceangoing ships regularly transiting their home waters, documentation of any harmful effects of man made noises on these mammals in the conduct of activities necessary for their survival must be thoroughly evaluated in an EIS.

This is particularly necessary now that the Gateway Pacific Terminal is proposing to have an additional 972 Panamax and Capesize ship transits at full build-out. The additional contribution of vessel traffic from the proposed expansion of the tar-sands pipeline, facility, and product shipment from the terminal at Burnaby, BC needs to be included in any study on the effects of sound pollution on all marine mammals, but particularly those whose populations are nearing un-sustainability.

Please study the potential harmful effects from increased vessel traffic on marine mammals as a consequence of mechanical and surface sound propagation into the Salish Sea and, in particular, the waters surrounding the San Juan and Gulf Islands.

Sanford Olson (#1567)

Date Submitted: 10/27/2012
Location: Lopez Island, WA
Comment:
As a former serving naval officer I am familiar with large modern vessels and coastal navigation challenges. With my experience in mind, I have some specific concerns about the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal and its contribution to the numbers of vessels and their safe passage around the San Juan and Gulf Islands.

Adding nearly one thousand Very Large Bulk Carriers (VLBC) to the existing heavy commercial ship traffic, and additional ships from expanded Canadian export terminals, will intensify the work of the Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) and Ship Pilots. More foreign owned ships, with multi-national crews, transiting the narrow channels of Haro and Rosario Straits will increase the risk that collision, allison, grounding, or an engineering casualty will occur. Therefore, the dangers of increased oceangoing vessel traffic in the waters surrounding the San Juan Islands need to be evaluated including, but not limited to, the following concerns:

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

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

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

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

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

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

7. Ensuring US ballast water regulations are verifiably enforced.

Please 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.

Sanford Olson (#5558)

Date Submitted: 12/29/2012
Location: Lopez Island, WA
Comment:
Since the dawn of the industrial age ever-increasing amounts of carbon dioxide have been released into the atmosphere, not only warming the planet but increasing ocean CO2 content by 30% during the same period. For many years scientists have been measuring and reporting that oceanic CO2 absorption is causing seawater to be more acidic. The chemistry of our oceans is changing. This change is already destroying many coral reefs and now threatens the entire marine food chain.

According to the Journal Nature Geoscience 5, 845-846 (2012), pteropods, which are small snail-like sea creatures important to many fish including pink salmon, are experiencing thinning and dissolution of their shells resulting in increasing morbidity and mortality. This is occurring at current pH levels, a level that was not predicted to be reached until 2038. Any organism dependent on calcium carbonate for a shell or body parts is now at risk from acidification. Fish eggs and a host of larval organisms at the very base of the marine food web are likewise threatened.

In past epochs, mass extinctions occurred when oceans became similarly acidic. However, because the chemical changes occurred over many centuries, the ancestors of today’s sea creatures were able to adapt to that slowly souring environment. The rapidity and immensity of the chemical changes now occurring may not allow marine organisms to evolve species preserving strategies.

The burning of fossil fuels by industry, transportation, and energy production are responsible for the climate and chemical changes occurring in the atmosphere and oceans. In the past, energy technology limited our choices to these fuels. Now we have alternatives for energy production that permit us to make different decisions about how our energy needs can be met.

If we value the present oceanic biodiversity and economically valuable species we rely upon as a food source, it would seem illogical to continue to promote the use of fuels associated with physical and economic damages linked to dangerous atmospheric and oceanic changes. Now would be a good time to make informed decisions that could help lower planetary CO2 and other Green House Gas (GHG) contributions to the atmosphere and oceans.

Accordingly, I request that the EIS developed for the Gateway Pacific Terminal at Cherry Point, Washington (GPT) comprehensively include the potential biological, environmental, social, and economic consequences to the Pacific Northwest from burning the millions of tons of coal projected to be shipped from this facility. The EIS should also include the carbon dioxide and other GHG contributions from burning coal shipped from the other four proposed coal export terminals on the west coast of the United States. Only when taken in aggregate can the regional cumulative effects of coal shipments to Asian markets be adequately evaluated.

I request the following concerns and questions be analyzed in-depth, with reasonable alternatives identified, and including feasible mitigation measures, in the draft EIS:

1. What would be the economic cost to the shellfish industry in Washington State, and San Juan County in particular, because of ocean acidification due to increased oceanic CO2 from the burning of the 50 million tons of coal proposed to be shipped from the Gateway Pacific Terminal, and the additional millions of tons from the other proposed coal export terminals in the Pacific Northwest?

2. What would be the economic losses to the sea food and fishing industry, in terms of jobs and capital infrastructure, as a result of the decrease or loss of important species of marine food animals due to ocean acidification from GHG’s and CO2 contributed by burning GPT coal and coal from the four other proposed terminals?

3. What would be the economic costs to coastal communities of sea level rise due to climate change driven by the additional CO2, and other GHG’s produced from the burning of coal shipped from the GPT and the other four terminals proposed in the Pacific Northwest?

4. What would be the economic costs of increased violence and frequency of storms due to the CO2 added to atmospheric and oceanic systems from GPT coal burned in Asia and the other coal terminals proposed in the NW?

5. What economic losses would San Juan County sustain because of a decline, or loss, of tourist, commercial, and recreational fishing revenue due to decrease in salmon fisheries and food sources for Resident Orca populations because of ocean acidification attributable to CO2 contributions from GPT and the other proposed terminals affecting the marine food web?

6. What would be the cultural and socioeconomic losses to Native American Tribes of the Salish Sea from a further decline in salmon populations due to ocean acidification because of the additional CO2 contributions from the proposed GPT and the four other terminals proposed for the NW?

Humans created the rapid climatic changes we are currently experiencing. More severe disruptions are predicted. We have an obligation to ourselves and future generations to take the measures necessary to lower our CO2 contributions to the well documented local, regional, and global problems associated with climate change. Adding more carbon dioxide to our atmosphere and oceans by burning more coal cannot be a rational choice. Should that choice be made, our children and grandchildren will inherit a radically different chemical, biological, and socioeconomic world than ours.

Sanford Olson (#5696)

Date Submitted: 01/01/2013
Location: Lopez Island, WA
Comment:
I previously asked for a through, comprehensive, vessel traffic study that would consider the cumulative impact of increased shipping traffic from the proposed GP Terminal moving through the confined waters surrounding the San Juan Islands. The GPT bulk carriers would be a significant addition to the large number of container, bulker, barge and tanker vessels from US and Canadian ports and terminals already plying these hazardous waters. In that request, I asked that the study include evaluations of the capability of the Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) to handle the current and projected work load, the availability of qualified pilots, the availability of “vessels of opportunity,” the capability of existing spill response resources (both US and Canadian) and the adequacy of navigational aids to handle this increased traffic.

After reading other comments, I request that the vessel traffic study also include the probability and consequences of an accumulation of ships associated with the existing terminals, and the GP Terminal, due to delays in product delivery (such as our frequent mudslides closing the rail lines or derailment), mechanical or accidental delays within the terminal complex (such as occurred at Deltaport recently), as well weather delays of inbound or outbound ships waiting for more favorable conditions or queuing to load.

Please study what bathymetric, geographic, and climatic characteristics would be required to determine where safe anchorages could be located for these deep draft vessels during a disruption of product shipment or shipping schedules due to reasonably foreseeable causes.

As a former navigator of a deep draft US naval vessel, I have multiple concerns about the problems inherent in finding and keeping a safe anchorage under difficult weather conditions, particularly when multiple large vessels are present. It would appear that there are a limited number of suitable anchorages in proximity to the existing oil export terminals and the proposed coal terminal for large vessels. For instance, the one designated General Anchorage, 110.230, just west of Neptune Beach, (Chart # 18421) is 1650 yards in diameter and would safely accommodate two vessels of around 1000 feet in length, assuming anchorage diameters of 600 to 800 ft. (using scopes of 3 times water depth) and at least a 550 yard separation. In any high wind situation, probably only one large vessel should occupy this anchorage.

There is no room in the San Juan Islands archipelago to anchor coal ships. Any anchoring in the small offshore areas around the islands would be destructive of seafloor plants and animals through large diameter scouring by anchor chains.

Bellingham Bay is already occasionally used by tankers waiting to dock at their respective refineries. Repeated anchoring in that embayment will likely release significant amounts of contaminated sediment to the water column. Those sediments contain numerous chemicals acquired over many decades of industrial activity on the Bellingham waterfront plus agricultural and residential input from streams and shorelines. What would be the biological and economic consequences of the use of Bellingham Bay as a temporary but repetitive standby anchorage?

West Samish Bay might be an alternative anchorage, but comparable disruption of contaminated sediments and devastation of seafloor biological communities would result from even occasional use by ships with hefty anchors and heavy anchor chains. What would be the economic and biological consequences should Samish, or similar bays, be utilized as temporary backup anchorages?

I would also point out that in almost all instances any ships anchored in the above mentioned bays and off Cherry Point are on lee shores in any of our typical SE and SW strong wind directions. In heavy weather, multiple large ships in constrained anchorages increase the opportunity for collision, allision, or grounding. Numerous ships seeking sea room may find the narrow sinuous channels leading to the Strait of Juan de Fuca quite challenging. The Strait of Georgia might be an alternative for underway storm evasion, but again the challenge of safe vessel separation and control would present a real test for the VTS and ship captains.

Please include in the vessel traffic study, emergency contingencies when ships are waiting for cargo, loading, or waiting for departure at terminals within the Salish Sea. The study should include, scenarios created by storm driven weather, onboard fire, or other foreseeable crises, and an evaluation of the availability and capability of responding personnel and equipment in such emergencies.

Also, please include a comprehensive evaluation, as part of the vessel traffic study, all potential costs and consequences of anchoring in dangerous weather, accumulation of multiple ships at anchor, engineering casualties, and environmental damage at anchorages. Any or all of these situations could arise because of the cumulative growth in ship traffic when GPT vessels are added to existing traffic in and around the San Juan Islands and mainland terminals.

If there is no feasible mitigation for these problems, please consider the no-build option for the Gateway Pacific Terminal.

Sanford Olson (#6044)

Date Submitted: 01/05/2013
Location: Lopez Island, WA
Comment:
I am a resident of San Juan County, the only county in the state entirely surrounded by ocean water. Vessels inbound and outbound from the Cherry Point refineries, British Columbia container, coal, and tar-sands terminals, and the refineries at Anacortes all use the narrow shipping corridors around our islands. Projected ship traffic from the proposed Gateway Pacific Coal Terminal will add an additional 972 Panamax and Capesize ship transits through our waters each year at full build-out.

Because San Juan County is the geographic center of shipping within the Salish Sea, the transportation challenges of the additional GPT coal ships only increases the concerns of county citizens. Narrowly limiting EIS studies to the GPT site alone, while ignoring the marine transportation component, will not adequately address the concerns of the citizens of San Juan County, nor adequately represent their interests.

Therefore, I request that the GPT Environmental Impact Statement fully and completely include the linked and cumulative activities of transporting 50 million tons of strip-mined coal from Montana and Wyoming by rail to the proposed export terminal at Cherry Point and then transporting those millions of tons by ship through the Salish Sea to Asia.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Those of us who live in San Juan County know the inherent hazards of sailing our cold, stormy waters and foggy mist shrouded islands. Channels dedicated to large ships are narrow, sinuous, and abound in rocks, reefs and small islets. Adding more and more very large vessels to these navigational hazards will elevate all the mechanical failures, weather related accidents, and human errors to levels which are unacceptable to San Juan County and Washington State residents. Therefore, I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington

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

Sanford Olson (#8141)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Location: Lopez Island, WA
Comment:
I live on a west facing waterfront parcel on Lopez Island. Along the shoreline I have many madrone trees (Arbutus menziesii), some of which are having normal limb dieback and others with obvious disease. This past week I had a certified arborist examine these trees because of the disease progression. He mentioned that madrone trees all over the Puget Sound region are having difficulties. He said that madrone trees are “canaries in the coal mine” in that they are more sensitive to pollution than other trees in a mixed forest environment.

I can understand given air quality in the more industrial areas down sound that pollution certainly could be playing a stressor role in the morbidity and mortality of these trees. However there is little industry to the west of the San Juan Islands, except in Asia where industry and power generation is creating massive pollution. This pollution is being carried by prevailing wind patterns across the Pacific Ocean and may be causing our air quality to be less than healthy.

After a little research on coal combustion products and constituents, I learned that Sulfur compounds, soot, and other byproducts of Asian coal burning have been detected on mountaintops in the western US. Research has also linked ozone in the air above the US to pollution from Asian countries that are burning fossil fuels. Mercury, a neurotoxin, which is particularly dangerous for children, is especially likely to travel across the ocean. As much as 18% of the mercury in the Willamette River comes from overseas sources, mostly China. On Mt. Bachelor, in central Oregon, 14% of the mercury present was human-created from Asia. I can only conclude that atmospheric effluents from Asia are reaching the Northwest in measurable amounts.

Even in ‘pristine’ Alaska, chemical contaminants are among many factors suspected to be affecting the survival of stellar sealions, northern fur seals, and harbor seals. Because there are no major sources of industrial pollution (other than infrequent oil spills and localized sources), Asia and other Pacific Rim polluters are thought to the major culprits contaminating Alaskan oceanic ecosystems. This is additional evidence that industrial pollutants are transported far from their origins in Asia.

More worrisome are the large amounts of CO2 being released into the atmosphere. If the proposed coal export terminals come online, at full capacity they could export 100 million tons of coal to be burned in Asia. This thermal coal from the Powder River Basin would add 183 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere each year. Should this happen, in my view, it will accelerate and lock in climate change for many decades beyond the lifetimes of Asian coal power plants.

Climatologists are hoping to keep atmospheric CO2 to under 350 parts per million (ppm); presently we have 390 ppm in the atmosphere and it is increasing 2 ppm each year. We may be approaching the “tipping point” where our efforts to reduce CO2 loading will not reverse the climatological changes that will alter life as we know it on our planet. Continuing to add ever more CO2 from coal and other fossil fuels will ensure that we will go beyond the tipping point into irreversible massive climate change within the life time of our grandchildren.

That is what the mining, shipping and burning coal, via the proposed Northwest export terminals, will create if they acquire the requisite permits from our local, state and federal agencies. I realize the coal companies and shippers wish to limit scoping to the relatively small foot print of a given export facility. But, I submit that ignoring the climate changing capacity of those millions of tons of CO2, and other greenhouse gases, is not only scientifically dishonest, it is immoral.

Please study the effects of pollution on the air quality and human health in the Northwest from the combustion byproducts of coal shipped from the US and burned in Asia.

Please study the climate changing consequences of burning exported US coal in Asia, on global warming, sea level rise, and ocean acidification and any other scientifically recognized problems associated with the combustion products of Powder River Basin coal.

Your decisions may well affect more than Whatcom or San Juan Counties, the State of Washington, or the United States of America. Please keep the long-term health of our planetary chemistry and biosphere in mind when you are weighing these complex legal and policy decisions.

Sanford Olson (#8669)

Date Submitted: 01/17/2013
Location: Lopez Island, WA
Comment:
Even though I live on Lopez Island, I still am concerned about coal dust entering the environment during loading operations at the mines, transport by open rail cars, storage at the export facility, and loading aboard ships. Coal contains many chemicals dangerous to mammals and other species, mercury, cadmium, radioisotopes of thorium and uranium to name a few.

I am aware that BNSF has or will take measures to control dust during transport and likewise SS Marine at the GPT facility; however, I suspect that even with the best of mitigation measures some dust will become fugitive and enter the environment during the processes of mining, transport, storage, and loading for export.

Some materials that I have read state that between 3 and 6 % of coal could be lost during rail transport. At full proposed capacity, the GPT facility alone will handle 48 million tons of Powder River Basin coal; if only 3 % were to be lost this would amount to 1,440 tons of coal. Add in coal being moved by rail to other proposed terminals and we could have upwards of 3,000 tons of coal dust lost into the environment. Despite control measures, some loss of coal in the form of dust will also likely occur at the terminals due to wind events.

Please determine (study) what health risks and biological dangers fugitive coal dust would pose to residents or wildlife and the environment along rail right-of-ways and near export facilities.

Please determine (study) what dust mitigation measures would be required to minimize the above risks and prevent harm to human, animal health, and the environment.

Please study what effects diesel emissions from the numerous engines hauling coal over all routes to the 5 proposed export terminals could have on human and animal health and the environment.

Please study what health or environmental hazards could be associated with the use of surfactant materials used as dust control agents in all locations and circumstances where coal dust poses a problem.

Please include in any study the cumulative effects of fugitive coal dust on human health, wildlife and the environment over the projected life span of the GPT facility and the four other proposed coal export terminals.

Please include in your studies an estimate for all the costs associated with fugitive coal dust on the incidence of respiratory, cardiac or other morbidities affecting coal workers and residents living near the railway or mining and export facilities.

Please determine (study) if the current rail transportation system would need to be enlarged to accommodate the increased number of round trips required to transport coal to all the proposed export terminals. Who would bear the costs of upgrades or expansion should the present system prove inadequate to deal with the projected volume of coal being transported? If improvements at grade crossing would be required to maintain transportation efficiency of both train and vehicle traffic, how would the cost be shared between jurisdictions and BNSF or other railroad companies?

Please review Mary Ruth Holder’s comment number 6108. I am in agreement with the concerns that her comment letter asked to be evaluated and studied. Thank you for allowing the public to be involved in the scoping process.

sapphire morton (#12025)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: bellingham, wa
Comment:
My name is Sapphire Morton, my purpose for writing this is for my concern for the air that we breathe. With coal trains passing through 18 times a day, coal dust can make its way into the air, making it hard to breathe for people with asthma and other breathing conditions.
With 2.5 million tons of harmful gases and particles, in the air. People are already being hospitalized and having problems as it is. Adding coal dust to this situation would bring up the percentage of the people having to deal with asthma.
7 million dollars would be going towards the equipment, to lower the amount of coal dust, but will it really stop it from getting into the air? What about the wind, and the rain? Whatcom county is known for having rainy days and having windy days. Also what if there’s a incident with a train, all that coal would create a lot of dust.
What I would recommend looking into is what the equipment would entail and how effective it would be.

Sara Airoldi (#12391)

Date Submitted: 01/20/13
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
For Our Future, (Un?)Interrupted: We Need Your Help!
Please consider the following in your Scoping:


In Bellingham, Washington, I see the Georgia Pacific Mill coming down. I extend my view from downtown to a new horizon that includes water and islands and trees. I go on-line to read about the proposed waterfront development of parks and living habitat for community and wild life. I watch the cleaning out and cleaning up taking place—demolition and detoxification, taking back the earth and making space for nature and human communities from the destruction of industry. I have a growing excitement of what lies ahead for a community—INTERRUPTED BY COAL TRAINS COAL TRAINS COAL TRAINS COAL **In your Scoping, please consider the adverse impact on a community living, making it into a place which is not livable--affecting every neighborhood’s quality of life, from taking away our ability to work, learn, communicate, enjoy an outdoor dinner or dancing or movie, and sleep due to noise, to taking away our ability to have emergency vehicles get to the hospital in time to save lives, to taking away the very reasons we live in this place because it is so connected to nature. This destruction cannot be mitigated. This community, and these people, and our natural environment are irreplaceable.

This is a community that strives to integrate its culture of subdued excitement into the directions it expands. I see a safe, peaceful place punctuated by frivolity and fun and learning. I see what we have today, and imagine the creativity of what we might build together, unlimited because of the resources in all who live here. I see the value it places on its history, its arts, its music, its celebration of the natural environment, its people, its connection to water and sky. I am glad to be part of its sustainable—INTERRUPTED BY COAL TRAINS COAL TRAINS COAL TRAINS COAL **In your Scoping, please consider the adverse impact on our sustainable future --in a community that sets an example for the next generations by taking steps like banning plastic shopping bags and celebrating a university that researches alternative fuels, in community that is a junction of Native and European and Asian cultural history, in a community whose economy is highly impacted by tourism, and in a place that hosts the livelihood of artists of all varieties, all of which would disconnected from the foundations from which they build and which cannot be mitigated. This culture is irreplaceable.

It is a place that values sustainable commitment to the future health of all living and growing things. I picture walking along waterfront pathways: children playing, breathing in clean air, fresh fruits and vegetables for sale, quiet conversations by friends and families observing nesting birds and peeking seals.—INTERRUPTED BY COAL TRAINS COAL TRAINS COAL TRAINS COAL **In your Scoping, please consider the adverse impact on the health of the people of all ages, the health of the environment including the air and the rain and the soils and plant and animal life, the endangered species and those that could be endangered, the effects to which cannot be mitigated. Our health, and the health of our environment, is irreplaceable.


We need your help. And so do others that share this country, and this world, so we all do not get ----INTERRUPTED BY COAL TRAINS COAL TRAINS COAL TRAINS COAL
**Please expand your Scope to consider every other community, up and down the coast, and all along the tracks from the mining sites to the ocean shores. And consider what happens on the ocean and in the ocean, to the fragile ecosystems (including the reasonable expectation on high winds and dangerous storms and human error which can cause catastrophic spills), to the burning of the coal oversees, and what that will do to our global atmosphere. Consider how all of these things are beyond even moderately harmful, and how the impacts are so much more than we can possibly allow. Our world is irreplaceable.

Sara Bhakti (#12449)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
Location: Kirkland, WA
Comment:
We should not be in the business of encouraging the export of dirty energy. Coal emissions from power plants are a major contributing factor in global warming.

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

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

Sara Burnaby (#2675)

Date Submitted: 11/09/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Sara Campbell (#280)

Date Submitted: 09/26/12
Location: Tacoma, 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 urgently want all relevant agencies to band together on this issue and Stop any further consideration of this lame idea. Use the resources we have left to figure out some Other Way to provide the power people think they need or tell us the truth. We Need To Learn To Use Less!
Earth can provide for our excesses no more.

Sincerely,

Sara Campbell

Sara Castilleja (#8881)

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

Sara Culver (#488)

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.

I believe there will be a time in the not too distant future when coal will not be used to the extent it is today. I have seen pictures of piles of coal in China that is not being used. Do we really need to contribute more coal to those piles?

Sincerely,

Sara Culver

Sara Ford (#7398)

Date Submitted: 01/14/2013
Location: The Dalles, OR
Comment:
I am against allowing coal to be transported by train through the Columbia River Gorge.
There are many reasons to object to this, but my main overall concern is the effect of burning coal on the global environment.
Also, it's bad for the environment to mine the coal, then the communities in the beautiful river gorge will suffer the consequences of having too many trains passing through, plus there is the potential of these trains starting wildfires!
I don't go along with the argument that someone else will export the coal if we don't.
We should set the example of stuardship by saying NO!

Sara Heath (#13415)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Oak Harbor, WA
Comment:
One of the reason's I have continued to live in NW Washington is because there are fewer mega polluters here and Washington residents seem to take pride in and cherish the easy access to the pollution free beauty that we find all around us. I am not in favor of adding an industry with as much detrimental impact as the proposed coal terminal at Cherry Point and the endless trainloads of coal rumbling through our cities and across our sensitive rural environment.

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.

Sara Hiebert Burch (#11930)

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

I own property in the San Juan Islands and, as a biologist who was trained at the University of Washington, I am particularly concerned about the hazards imposed by the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal. Impacts are not limited to the terminal itself, or the land access to it, but extend also to the entire marine route by which ships will carry coal from the terminal. The Salish Sea already supports a large amount of cargo and freight traffic as well as recreational traffic, and the estimated addition of close to 1000 transits per year is concerning. I am concerned about

1) The safety of marine travel to human life and property

2) The risk of oil and coal spills, which may result not only from collisions with other vessels but also from single-vessel mishaps.

The potential risks to the Salish Sea of a catastrophic spill are incalculable, and these must be assessed carefully, in terms of damage to habitat, wildlife, and the local economy. In the absence of adequate protection against these risks, I request that a no-build option be considered.

Sincerely,

Sara Hiebert Burch

Sara Hiebert Burch (#11986)

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

I am a land owner in San Juan County. Because I am a biologist, I am particularly concerned about the impacts that vessel noise, vessel presence, and the potential of spilled oil or coal to irreversibly affect the remarkable biotic resources in the Salish Sea. This area is home to endangered orcas as well as other sensitive species of marine mammals and birds as well as many other species that may not be noticed but nevertheless are vital to the health of the Salish Sea. The unique, unspoiled properties of this ecosystem are what make it an internationally important locale for marine ecosystems research. We need objective, rigorous and comprehensive studies that will investigate

1) The ways in which noise pollution, which has already had negative impacts on populations of animals in other areas around the Pacific Northwest, will affect these species, especially the Southern Resident orca population.

2) How the continual presence of a large number of additional, enormous vessels will impact the invertebrates and vertebrates that live in this ecosystem, especially those that are threatened or endangered, such as the Southern Resident orcas.

I request that each of these impacts be considered in detail, and that a no-build option be included as one of the options should sufficient assurances against environmental harm be found lacking.

Sincerely,

Sara Hiebert Burch

Sara Holahan (#7138)

Date Submitted: 01/13/2013
Location: Anacortes, WA
Comment:
The proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal project will be bad for the environment in all the states it affects. This scoping review should look at all the negative impacts and balance those with any proposed positives. The key question is whether the corporations that will gain economically from this are willing to pay the costs to protect hundreds of communities and millions of people in their path.
Specific concerns would be:
Concern #1: The radical increase in the number of trains passing through communities.
This would mean an additional train dividing the city every 1.3 hours for an average of about 5 minutes. The EIS should determine how that delay will affect traffic getting on and off I-5 as well as blocking intersections on College Way in Mount Vernon and on Fairhaven in Burlington. This will impede access from the downtown business core, city services, post offices , schools, police and hospitals at an unacceptable and dangerous level.
Proposed solution: A grade separation of the tracks from the vital arterials. Such tunnel or bridge must be paid for by the project backers and not local citizens.
Concern # 2: Impact on the Puget Sound ecosystem especially in the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
The increase of 450 ships is significant and the impact on local and ferry traffic must be studied. Affects on sea life must be studied. This area is home to a sensitive population of orca whales, seals and sea birds. What will be the impact of these ships and their cargo?
Solution: Reduce the amount and size of ships planned. Have a defined clean up and emergency management program along with a monetary reserve that would pay for damage caused by specific incidents of lost cargo or fuel.
Concern #3: Rail capacity
Reports from Burlington Northern themselves have shown that the current tracks are already operating at maximum capacity. There have been numerous environmental problems already with mudslides closing the tracks. An unbiased study must be done to enumerate the specifications of rail improvement and increased capacity before adding more train trips. What would be the impact on current and future passenger train travel if this project was to go through? There are already many accidents reported at rail crossings. A study must look at what the expected level of future accidents would be. What would be the impact on current rail traffic entering from western spurs already being used by the oil refineries?
Solution: Extensive engineering and analysis of the true costs to improve the rail capacity along with a mechanism to secure commitment from the project backers to implement the needed improvements.
Concern #4 Noise
Already when trains pass through the cities it has an impact on local businesses and services. The sound is loud enough to interfere with activities such as purchases, conversations and other communication. For example, at the Mount Vernon Library when a train goes by you can’t even hear the person helping you check out books.
Solution: Reduce the number of trains allowed, especially during daylight hours.
Concern #5: Health impact on residents.
A study must identify how much increased CO2 and other pollutants will be caused by the three to four diesel engines required to pull mile and a half long trains and how many projected cases of diseases such as asthma would arise. There is uncertainty how much coal dust would actually be emitted from the traveling train cars. This much be studied by an independent scientific approach not under the control of the exporting companies. Most medical professionals have shown serious concerns with the impact of the coal dust. It also seems that the issue of coal burning pollution returning to the Pacific Northwest must be addressed. People need to know what is the estimated polluting effect of this coal being shipped to China in the first place.
Solution:
Reduce the amount of total coal that is allowed to be shipped. Require all coal cars to be covered.

Sara Liberty Laylin (#7631)

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

Sara Liberty-Laylin (#12639)

Date Submitted: 01/20/13
Location: Edmonds, WA
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point. I live in Edmonds right by the railway tracks. I AM AN ASTHMATIC AND THE DUST FROM COAL IS HARMFUL TO MY HEALTH. You must investigate health issues .

Sara Makowski (#7279)

Date Submitted: 01/10/13
Location: Edmonds, 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.

Seriously, why are we still using coal? There are so many better, less self destructive fuel options. Everything about mining, transport, and burning of coal is bad for the environment, people, animals, everything. My best friend recently died of lung cancer. He was young and did not smoke cigarettes. Please consider the consequences of what you do on a daily basis.

Sara McArdle (#6431)

Date Submitted: 01/09/2013
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
To whom it may concern:

I am a Montana native who has lived in Seattle for the past 11 years and I'm writing to speak out against the proposed coal export terminal at Cherry Point. I'm opposed to Cherry Point terminal permits.

Cherry Point is next to a state-protected aquatic reserve and on top of a Native American burial ground. 300 blue heron nests and a metric ton of fish would be affected by a coal export terminal there.

Coal dust contains concentrations of heavy metals including arsenic, lead, mercury, and cadmium. As a 2011 BNSF Railway coal fact sheet attests, "the amount of coal dust that escapes from PRB coal trains is surprisingly large... from 500 lbs to a ton of coal can escape from a single loaded coal car." In addition to inhalation, accumulated coal dust on tracks may cause derailments. At least 22 coal trains jumped the tracks in the United States in 2012. Moreover, rainwater runoff from coal stockpiles can leach into the soil and contaminate groundwater that people and animals drink.

Not only do we have coal dust to worry about, but we also have fires to fear. Coal combustion is the leading human-caused increase of CO2 in the atmosphere. Spontaneous combustion of coal is a well-known phenomenon, especially with PRB coal. This high-moisture, highly volatile sub-bituminous coal will not only smolder and catch fire while in storage piles at power plants and coal terminals, but has been known to be delivered to a power plant with the rail car or barge partially on fire.

Furthermore, traffic along Seattle's waterfront could be cumulatively delayed between one and three hours each day.

Anyone who claims that this massive coal project is about jobs has not considered the 15,000 fishery jobs in Puget Sound.

Please include a comprehensive, cumulative impact analysis to this proposal. Most communities don't have the resources to do their own economic analysis. It's critical that this EIS be thorough, be data driven, and recognize the profound implications on our quality of life.

Thank you,
Sara McArdle

Sara Montoya (#2868)

Date Submitted: 11/13/12
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I want to go on the record as saying that I am adamantly AGAINST SSA’s Gateway Pacific Terminal coal terminal! This project must not be allowed. It will provide very few jobs and is robbing from the public good for the benefit of a few. The costs to the taxpayers from environmental and community degradation, increased pollution, lost access to the waterfront, lost tourism and increased cancer and health costs will be substantial.

Added coal trains through Bellingham will degrade our quality of life and cause costly health problems and needless suffering. As a Bellingham resident and small business owner I oppose this project and will do everything in my power to fight it.

Sara Montoya
1636 Diamon Loop
Bellingham, WA 98226
360-671-5851

Sara Mostad (#8720)

Date Submitted: 01/17/2013
Comment:
My name is Sara Mostad and I live in Bellingham.

I respectfully request that the impacts of the Gateway Pacific Terminal and associated train and ship traffic on the Lummi and other tribal nations be carefully evaluated in the scope of the EIS.

The Salish Sea and Nooksack River have long been important to the livelihoods and cultural heritage of local tribal nations. Please give due consideration to their rights as outlined in previous treaties and agreements.

Thank you,
Sara Mostad

Sara Mostad, MD, PhD (#6353)

Date Submitted: 01/08/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Dear Regulatory Agencies,

I am a physician practicing in Bellingham, taking care of inpatients at St. Joseph Hospital. Every day I care for patients with a variety of acute and chronic life-threatening health problems. I am deeply concerned about the potential health impacts of massive coal export from our region.

There are many potential serious health impacts that merit close scrutiny. I request that the Environmental Impact Statement include a comprehensive and cumulative Health Impact Assessment.

In particular, this Health Impact Assessment should include careful study and modeling of the air pollution from the diesel locomotives and ships transporting coal through our region.

I specifically request that you determine how many excess deaths and hospitalizations would be expected, across the entire state of Washington, from diesel particulate matter associated with the diesel locomotives and ships from the Gateway Pacific Terminal. Such an analysis, should, at a minimum, compare baseline and expected rates of asthma, stroke, heart attack and cancer. There is abundant peer-reviewed medical research establishing irrefutable links between diesel pollution and the above noted diseases.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely,
Sara Mostad, MD, PhD

Sara Mostad, MD, PhD (#9191)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Comment:
I am physician living and practicing in Whatcom County. I have read with interest the recently submitted scoping letter from the Washington State Department of Health. I endorse their comments and respectfully request that a Health Imact Assessment be conducted.

The DOH letter, however, makes one very important omission. Their letter requests that the employment benefit of GPT be considered for its positive impacts on health. It is certainly the case that employment is good for health with benefits often including health insurance coverage as well as the prosperity of income and mental health wellness.

If employment created by GPT is weighed in the positive balance for impacts to health, it will be CRITICAL to also weigh jobs LOST all across our state if our community becomes home to the largest coal exporting terminal in North America.

Thank you for your consideration of this matter.

Sara Mostad, MD, PhD
Board certified in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases

Sara Steil (#13432)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Pender Island, WA
Comment:
I write today to strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington and the continuing marketing of the most polluting fossil fuel. 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.

Sara Ullman (#4249)

Date Submitted: 12/08/12
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
Dec 8, 2012

Army Corps of Engineers and Department of Ecology WA

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

We need to focus on energy that is sustainable and non-polluting.
Creating mostly temporary jobs is not a good excuse for compromising our health and our environment long-term. I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington and transporting strip-mined coal from Montana and Wyoming on trains and ships throughout the Northwest. It would increase traffic, pollute our air and water, harm small businesses, delay emergency vehicles, and increase hipping traffic and noise. The coal export terminal would also hurt our environment by damaging aquatic ecosystems at the terminal site, increasing the potential for serious shipping accidents, and exacerbating climate change. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

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

Sincerely,

Sara Ullman
3108 S Mount Baker Blvd
Seattle, WA 98144-6142
(206) 447-1950

Sara Wells (Cascadia Family Health and Dermatology) (#14408)

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


Sara Wild (#13253)

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

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

I grew up and currently live in Hood River, Oregon and spent five years in Bellingham, Washington studying at Western Washington University. Both of the places where I have lived have important water habitats that are right on the railway. In the scoping process please research the effects coal dust and trains will have on both fresh and marine environments along the Columbia River and the coastline of Washington.

I am concerned for the people around the world that are being affected by rising sea levels caused by climate change without having contributed to the cause of the problem. In the scoping process please consider how pouring this coal into the environment will affect people in other countries that are being affected by changing sea levels.

Sara Brooke Benjamin (#12443)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
professional and student, making a life for myself and my family here in Bellingham, WA. My partner and I recently bought our first home in Bellingham because we value community assets like clean air, minimal traffic and congestion, healthy waterways, and in tact nearshore marine habitats.

We strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, as well as the transportation of strip-mined coal from Montana and Wyoming on trains and ships through our region. It is bad for us locally and is also bad for the planet globally.

This proposal would negatively affect us in several ways. Please consider the following impacts in the EIS: 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.

If built, it will only be a matter of time until we experience the environmental devastation of a coal train or tanker accident. These eventualities should also be modeled and weighted when considering this proposal.

Additionally, as new first time home owners struggling financially, we are very concerned about the potential that all of these impacts may have on the value of our new home investment. Please also consider the local economic impacts on home values, etc.

Please ensure that all of the cumulative impacts of these proposals are considered.

Sara Jane Johnson (#757)

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

Sarah Ashbrook (#1383)

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

Sarah Bishop (#8677)

Date Submitted: 01/17/2013
Location: Bow, WA
Comment:
I live one half mile from the train tracks in Bow, WA. I work as a garden designer and value our beautiful landscape in Skagit County. I have two children under 10 who attend Edison School, less than two miles from the tracks.

I am concerned the affect the coal terminal at Cherry Point will have on the herring fishery. My understanding is that Cherry Point is an important herring spawning ground. They seem to be a crucial component of the food web, including the orcas and salmon, whose health impacts us as humans from a survival standpoint and from a stewardship of the planet standpoint.

Please study how this fishery would be impacted by the terminal at Cherry Point. Also, should the terminal be built, how would the negative affects on the herring fishery be mitigated.

Sarah Bishop (#8685)

Date Submitted: 01/17/2013
Location: Bow, WA
Comment:
I live and work in Skagit County. My house is 1 mile above the tracks and my kids, who are under 10, go to Edison School, less than two miles from the tracks in Edison, WA.

One of my concerns about transporting millions of tons of coal via rail through Skagit and Whatcom Counties is the single tracks along Chuckanut Drive. I would like the EIS to study how a length of single track such as Chuckanut will tie up rail traffic such as Amtrak and other commerce if 20 trains per day are coming through the corridor.

I am also concerned about the topography along Chuckanut. Given it is so steep and rugged and narrow in places, if another track is added what effect will this have on the general landscape and how safe will it be?

Sarah Bishop (#8694)

Date Submitted: 01/17/2013
Location: Bow, WA
Comment:
I live and work in Skagit County. I live a half mile away from the tracks and my kids, who are both under 10 go to school in Edison which is less than 2 miles from the tracks

I am concerned about the vessels that will be transporting the coal from the US to China. I am under the impression that these tankers are enormous; the largest in the world. The engines of these behemoths are not very efficient nor are they clean running machines.

I would like more information about the impact these outdated motors' exhaust will have on the environment, specifically the air and on the water quality.

I also am concerned about how these huge, clumsy vessels will be able to navigate the crowded channels near the terminal and the potential impact a collision or log jam will have on the water quality and the wild life that makes its home here in the Salish Sea.

Please include these concerns to you study

Thank you

Sarah Blanke (#7305)

Date Submitted: 01/11/13
Location: Portland, OR
Comment:
Jan 11, 2013

US Army Corps of Engineers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please continue to protect the Gorge.

Sincerely,

Ms. Sarah Blanke

Sarah Boyd (#8920)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Comment:
All areas the trains would pass through should be included in the scope of the EIS!!

Sarah Campbell (#10112)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
The Squalicum Harbor area generates a lot of revenue for Bellingham., WA An increase in the number of coal trains will impact this area in a number of ways.
1. It will be harder to access the harbor area while waiting for mile-long trains to pass.
2. Noise from the trains will impact hotels and other businesses, as well as neighborhoods close to town where train whistles at the many at-grade crossings are already loud and persistent all night long.
3. Stray coal dust already ruins the finish on boats in the harbor and will only do more damage, discouraging owners from mooring at the harbor and using the local services.
4. Live-aboard residents in Squalicum Harbor and residents along the railroad tracks can expect worsening air quality and ruined landscaping due to the coal dust.
Please consider these issues in the EIS.

Sarah Collmer (#394)

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

It is absolutely essential, in fact, that you call for a programmatic EIS to adequately explore the cumulative effects of the coal trafficking slated for Washington state. We cannot hope, nor can we afford, to mitigate our air, our water, our soil, our ecology, and our quality of life AFTER the various coal companies have trespassed through our communities and our environment. We must act proactively to protect and defend the environmental health and safety of our state.
Please demand thorough and responsible scientific study of coal trafficking now, before it's too late.

Sincerely,

Sarah Collmer

Sarah Collmer (#14407)

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

Sarah Conover (#5359)

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

Sarah Crosby (#9955)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Friday Harbor, WA
Comment:
There seems to be ample evidence that despite efforts to mitigate the blowing of coal dust from trains carrying coal from the Powder River Basin to Bellingham, or from the Super sized ships which are intended to carry the coal to China, there is still a considerable amount of coal dust blown into the air when these actions take place.
I urge you to study the effects of coal dust on human health in the Bellingham area and parts of the Salish Sea which will be impacted by the anticipated numbers of ships going in and out of the proposed Cherry Point Terminal.

Sarah Crosby Sarah (#9949)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Friday Harbor, WA
Comment:
I have been a full time resident of Friday Harbor for over 15 years. Before moving here I had been coming to the islands since the late 1970's, first to visit my parents, and later with my husband as a part time resident. I have watched boat traffic increase, bird numbers decrease and read of many changes taking place in our marine environment.
Our economy in the San Juan islands is based on tourism, and the tourists come to see the marine animals or enjoy marine activities primarily. The building of the proposed Cherry Point Terminal and the resulting numbers of super sized cargo ships transiting our waters will forever change what nature has created here. The traffic to and from the terminal will pass through our islands, increasing noise both above and below the sea's surface. Coal dust from the ships will further contribute to the acidification of our waters and threaten the survival of the forage fish on which our marine mammals depend.
I urge you to study the impact of the anticipated increase in numbers of ships transiting our waters on the marine species and vegetation if this terminal is built.

Sarah Culverwell (#6723)

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

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

There is NOTHING good about having coal trains. Please please access the terrible impact they would have.

Sincerely,

Sally (Sarah P) Culverwell

Sarah Davis (#14599)

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

Sarah Dilling (#14205)

Date Submitted: 01/13/13
Location: Mountlake Terrace, WA
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

Sarah Doherty (#13255)

Date Submitted: 01/14/13
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
I am writing to state my strong opposition to the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington and to transporting strip-mined coal from Montana and Wyoming on trains and ships throughout the Northwest. My objections are both local and global: 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 global climate change may not seem to be a local impact, it will be felt by all at the local level and is directly relevant to this decision.

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.

Sarah Hall (#13013)

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

If we want a safe, healthy planet to still be here for our childern, our grandchildren, our great-grandchildren, & so on, then we need to stop thinking only of the here & now! We need to be considering future generations & the impact that these kinds of decisions could cost them. And so I ask you, please, please, do not let the big faceless corporation convince you to make a decision that could so negatively affect the planet, it's people, animals, ecosystems, etc.

Sarah Huntington (#12399)

Date Submitted: 01/20/13
Location: Bow, 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 have serious economic impacts: the latest estimate i've seen (in today's Skagit Valley Herald) indcates that 38 trains a day would pass through the Skagit Valley. If every train took only 5 minutes at each rail crossing, the impact looks like this: 38 trains x
5 minutes x 4 RR crossings x 25 cars stopped at each crossing yields
19000 minutes per day, or 317 hours of our time. Assuming we can discount half the day, that leaves 155 hours of lost time PER DAY of our collective energy, thrown away in the name of ...PROGRESS. Not for us it isn't; it's a cumulative break on our economy, stretching into the indefinite future. We get nothing; the coal companies get profits...selling PUPLICLY OWNED coal. The project can't produce enough profit to adequately compensate us (much less all the other impacted communities) for those damages.

Other negative effects on my community include noise, polluting our air and local waterways, 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.

Sarah Idczak (#899)

Date Submitted: 10/21/2012
Comment:
I am a Whatcom County native and a student of Environmental Policy at Western Washington University. I am writing to add my comments to the scoping process for the Gateway Pacific Terminal. I am concerned about the impacts of the proposed terminal on the Salish Sea ecosystem.

Please measure the negative impacts of the construction and operation of this terminal on the natural environment, including but not limited to water quality in the Salish Sea, Cherry Point Herring spawning beds and populations, endangered Chinook Salmon and other salmonid species, orcas and dolphins, migratory seabirds, dungeness crab, and other shellfish. These species are irreplaceable and make the Salish Sea the beautiful place of abundant life that it is. Since herring play a significant role in the food web of the Salish Sea, impacts on herring could impact salmon, orcas, and other species in higher trophic levels.

Specifically, please study the impacts of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in coal dust on herring eggs and larvae, juvenile salmon, and other marine species. The loss of coal dust from the proposed terminal into the surrounding environment is foreseeable considering that the Westshore coal terminal in British Columbia loses over 1.5 million pounds of coal dust every year. Since the Gateway Pacific Terminal would ship twice as much coal as the Westshore terminal, it could be reasonably expected to lose around 3 million pounds of coal dust per year into the surrounding environment. This coal dust could also lead to increased turbidity in the water near the terminal and underwater shading of herring spawning grounds, with possible negative impacts. The impact of noise from the bulk cargo vessels on marine species also needs to be studied, especially impacts on cetacean communication.

Please study the risk of bunker or diesel fuel spills that could result from hundreds of vessel trips through the Salish Sea when each bulk cargo vessel serving the proposed terminal would be carrying 2 million gallons of bunker fuel as well as diesel. Please also study the risk of collisions with other ships that could be expected to result from dramatically increased vessel traffic, and the impact on the Salish Sea of invasive species that could be introduced via ballast water.

The variety and significance of the impacts described above suggest that the environmental impact statement should consider not allowing the Gateway Pacific Terminal to be built. Allowing the terminal with mitigation for the impacts described above would be inadequate because of the site’s proximity to the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve and because of the difficulty of enforcing mitigation measures such as the offshore dumping and reloading of ballast water.

Sarah Idczak (#9780)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Comment:
I am a Whatcom County native and a graduate of Huxley College of the Environment. I am writing to add my comments to the scoping process for the Gateway Pacific Terminal. I am concerned about the impacts of the proposed terminal on subsistence, commercial, and recreational fishing in the Salish Sea. Many people depend on the Salish Sea ecosystem for their food, livelihood, and recreation, and the direct, cumulative, and long term impacts of the GPT on them must be studied both qualitatively and quantitatively.

Specifically, please study the impact of increased cargo vessel traffic on subsistence, commercial and recreational vessels’ access to fishing grounds, the impact of coal dust, coal spills, fuel spills, noise, shading, and ballast water dumping on fin fish and shellfish species that are consumed by humans, including impacts on the food sources of these species and cumulative impacts of pollution from GPT and other sources in the Salish Sea. Please also study direct and cumulative impacts on other marine resources that are harvested on a subsistence, commercial, or recreational basis in the Salish Sea, such as marine plants and macroalgae. Furthermore, please study the long term impact on human health of consuming fish, shellfish, and other marine resources from the Salish Sea that will have been contaminated with the cumulative pollutants from GPT and other sources.

Sarah Idczak (#9784)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Comment:
I am a Whatcom County native and a graduate of Huxley College of the Environment. I am writing to add my comments to the scoping process for the Gateway Pacific Terminal. I am concerned about the impacts of the proposed terminal on human health.

Please study the long term impacts on human health of:
diesel exhaust from trains and cargo ships that would transport coal to and from the terminal,

coal dust that will escape from the uncovered train cars, from the terminal itself, and from the cargo ships,

noise from the trains and ships,

consuming fish, shellfish, and other marine resources from the Salish Sea that will have been contaminated with the cumulative pollutants from GPT and other sources,

air pollutants, including but not limited to mercury, lead, arsenic, and radioactive particles, from coal combustion in Asia that will be carried across the Pacific and back to residents of North America by wind, and

increased emergency response time due to coal trains delaying emergency vehicles at railroad crossings.

These impacts should be studied and measured over a geographic scope stretching from the coal mines in the Powder River Basin to the coal burning power plants in Asia, including all the communities in between, such as those in Whatcom County, that will be impacted in the ways listed above.

Sarah Idczak (#9785)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Comment:
I am a Whatcom County native and a graduate of Huxley College of the Environment. I am writing to add my comments to the scoping process for the Gateway Pacific Terminal. I am concerned about the impacts of the proposed terminal on global climate change and ocean acidification.

The proposed GPT would contribute to global climate change and ocean acidification and would thus contribute to all the negative impacts of these processes. Greenhouse gases (mainly carbon dioxide) would be released at every step of the coal’s journey from mines in the Powder River Basin to power plants in Asia, a journey made possible by the proposed terminal. The mining equipment, the diesel-powered trains that would carry the coal to the terminal, the cargo ships that would carry the coal across the ocean, the trains that would carry the coal from import terminals in Asia to inland power plants, and the final combustion of the coal itself would all release huge quantities of carbon dioxide and water vapor (both powerful greenhouse gases) which will accelerate climate change and ocean acidification and worsen their impacts. Please study the direct, indirect, and cumulative impact of the GPT on climate change and ocean acidification, including the many negative impacts caused by these processes, as described below. Climate change and ocean acidification are global processes, and so the scope of the studies that measure their impacts must be global as well.

Please study the impacts of global climate change that would be worsened by the GPT, including, but not limited to, melting permafrost and sea ice that would release even more greenhouse gases and cause positive feedback loops of global warming, longer and more frequent periods of more intense heat and drought, increasingly erratic and unseasonal weather, more frequent and more violent storms, more wildfires and dust storms, desertification, species extinctions, sea level rise, impacts on agriculture, and climate change refugees such as those who live in areas which will be submerged by sea level rise.

Please also study the impacts of ocean acidification that would be worsened by the GPT, including, but not limited to, impacts on shellfish, corals, plankton, and other marine organisms, and the repercussions of impacts on these species throughout ocean food webs and ecosystems.

Although the scope of these impact studies must be global, please pay special attention to the impacts of climate change and ocean acidification in the Northwest region that would be worsened by the construction and operation of the Gateway Pacific Terminal.

Sarah Idczak (#9788)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Comment:
I am a Whatcom County native and a graduate of Huxley College of the Environment. I am writing to add my comments to the scoping process for the Gateway Pacific Terminal. I am concerned about the impacts of the proposed terminal on water-based recreation, tourism, and aesthetics in the Puget Sound region.

Please study the impacts of construction and operation of the proposed GPT on water-based recreation, tourism, and aesthetics in the Puget Sound region, including, but not limited to, impacts on recreational fishing and harvesting of shellfish and other marine resources such as marine plants and macroalgae, pleasure boating, canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding, swimming, marinas, boat charter companies, whale and wildlife watching, beaches, parks, property values, air quality, wait time at railroad crossings, noise, cumulative impacts of GPT and other industrial facilities in Whatcom County, and the impact on Bellingham and the Puget Sound’s reputation as beautiful and environmentally friendly destinations. This part of the world is far too iconic and beautiful to be allowed to become a shipping corridor for a dirty nineteenth century fuel.

Sarah Idczak (#12592)

Date Submitted: 01/20/13
Comment:
I am a Whatcom County native and a graduate of Huxley College of the Environment. I am writing to add my comments to the scoping process for the Gateway Pacific Terminal. I am concerned about the impacts of the proposed terminal on subsistence, commercial, and recreational fishing in the Salish Sea. Many people depend on the Salish Sea ecosystem for their food, livelihood, and recreation, and the direct, cumulative, and long term impacts of the GPT on them must be studied both qualitatively and quantitatively.

Specifically, please study the impact of increased cargo vessel traffic on subsistence, commercial and recreational vessels’ access to fishing grounds, the impact of coal dust, coal spills, fuel spills, noise, shading, and ballast water dumping on fin fish and shellfish species that are consumed by humans, including impacts on the food sources of these species and cumulative impacts of pollution from GPT and other sources in the Salish Sea. Please also study direct and cumulative impacts on other marine resources that are harvested on a subsistence, commercial, or recreational basis in the Salish Sea, such as marine plants and macroalgae. Furthermore, please study the long term impact on human health of consuming fish, shellfish, and other marine resources from the Salish Sea that will have been contaminated with the cumulative pollutants from GPT and other sources.

I am a Whatcom County native and a graduate of Huxley College of the Environment. I am writing to add my comments to the scoping process for the Gateway Pacific Terminal. I am concerned about the impacts of the proposed terminal on human health.
Please study the long term impacts on human health of:
• diesel exhaust from trains and cargo ships that would transport coal to and from the terminal,
• coal dust that will escape from the uncovered train cars, from the terminal itself, and from the cargo ships,
• noise from the trains and ships,
• consuming fish, shellfish, and other marine resources from the Salish Sea that will have been contaminated with the cumulative pollutants from GPT and other sources.
• air pollutants, including but not limited to mercury, lead, arsenic, and radioactive particles, from coal combustion in Asia that will be carried across the Pacific and back to residents of North America by wind, and
• increased emergency response time due to coal trains delaying emergency vehicles at railroad crossings.
These impacts should be studied and measured over a geographic scope stretching from the coal mines in the Powder River Basin to the coal burning power plants in Asia, including all the communities in between, such as those in Whatcom County, that will be impacted in the ways listed above.


I am a Whatcom County native and a graduate of Huxley College of the Environment. I am writing to add my comments to the scoping process for the Gateway Pacific Terminal. I am concerned about the impacts of the proposed terminal on global climate change and ocean acidification.
The proposed GPT would contribute to global climate change and ocean acidification and would thus contribute to all the negative impacts of these processes. Greenhouse gases (mainly carbon dioxide) would be released at every step of the coal’s journey from mines in the Powder River Basin to power plants in Asia, a journey made possible by the proposed terminal. The mining equipment, the diesel-powered trains that would carry the coal to the terminal, the cargo ships that would carry the coal across the ocean, the trains that would carry the coal from import terminals in Asia to inland power plants, and the final combustion of the coal itself would all release huge quantities of carbon dioxide and water vapor (both powerful greenhouse gases) which will accelerate climate change and ocean acidification and worsen their impacts. Please study the direct, indirect, and cumulative impact of the GPT on climate change and ocean acidification, including the many negative impacts caused by these processes, as described below. Climate change and ocean acidification are global processes, and so the scope of the studies that measure their impacts must be global as well.
Please study the impacts of global climate change that would be worsened by the GPT, including, but not limited to, melting permafrost and sea ice that would release even more greenhouse gases and cause positive feedback loops of global warming, longer and more frequent periods of more intense heat and drought, increasingly erratic and unseasonal weather, more frequent and more violent storms, more wildfires and dust storms, desertification, species extinctions, sea level rise, impacts on agriculture, and climate change refugees such as those who live in areas which will be submerged by sea level rise.
Please also study the impacts of ocean acidification that would be worsened by the GPT, including, but not limited to, impacts on shellfish, corals, plankton, and other marine organisms, and the repercussions of impacts on these species throughout ocean food webs and ecosystems.
Although the scope of these impact studies must be global, please pay special attention to the impacts of climate change and ocean acidification in the Northwest region that would be worsened by the construction and operation of the Gateway Pacific Terminal.


I am a Whatcom County native and a graduate of Huxley College of the Environment. I am writing to add my comments to the scoping process for the Gateway Pacific Terminal. I am concerned about the impacts of the proposed terminal on water-based recreation, tourism, and aesthetics in the Puget Sound region.
Please study the impacts of construction and operation of the proposed GPT on water-based recreation, tourism, and aesthetics in the Puget Sound region, including, but not limited to, impacts on recreational fishing and harvesting of shellfish and other marine resources such as marine plants and macroalgae, pleasure boating, canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding, swimming, marinas, boat charter companies, whale and wildlife watching, beaches, parks, property values, air quality, wait time at railroad crossings, noise, cumulative impacts of GPT and other industrial facilities in Whatcom County, and the impact on Bellingham and the Puget Sound’s reputation as beautiful and environmentally friendly destinations. This part of the world is far too iconic and beautiful to be allowed to become a shipping corridor for a dirty nineteenth century fuel.

Sarah Kulfan (#7719)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
My comments apply to all areas of the proposal, but I am not allowed to check all in your form.
Peter,

I am writing to add my opposition to the coal trains and terminals that threaten the health of people and the environment. Not only does this present numerous health risks to citizens spanning the state, along the train routes and certainly those living close to the proposed terminals, it threatens the health and livelihood of many citizens who's professions depend on thriving natural ecosystems and habitat.

Our state is a wonderful place to live and many of the reasons for this is our incredible diversity of habitat and species. The coal terminals sit square on fish and wildlife habitat that will be ruined, irreparably if these terminals are allowed to be built. Climate change in our state will happen sooner and the impact this could have on the environment, people's livelihoods as well as homes and communities is too hard to imagine and implications are too numerous to list here.

I ask that you reject any allowance of coal shipment and deportation in our state and instead. Invest in a greater, long term future instead of short term prospects that will have lasting damages.

The quote from this kid sums it up for me really:

"I appreciate the natural wonders of this state. I like salmon. I like oysters. Global warming is threatening salmon and oysters. I like to ski at Snoqualmie Pass. In my lifetime, I will not be able to ski at Snoqualmie Pass because of global warming. This is the future you're creating for us, and this is not the future we want. It's pretty simple, even I understand: If you make coal more available, more people will use it." - 12 year old Rachel Howell of Queen Anne

Thank you for your time in reading this email. I hope that you make the right choice for Washington.

Sarah Lockwood (#13474)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Missoula, MT
Comment:
i already live in a place with hazardous air 6 months out of the year.
I am going to have to move away if more coal plants keep polluting my valley.

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

Sarah Love (#4354)

Date Submitted: 12/06/12
Location: Woodinville, 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.

I have friends along Chuckanut where the coal trains will pass. The idyllic countryside and the many farms - agricultural and animal - will be spoiled with constant passing coal trainings and their emitting pollution. No more will I have a quiet respite from the city. I most emphatically say NO!

Sincerely,

Sarah Love
13305 NE 171st St Apt K365
Woodinville, WA 98072-4533

Sarah Mccoy (#324)

Date Submitted: 09/24/12
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
This is the wrong time to ramp up coal exports. We are in a climate crisis and should do nothing to make it worse. In addition, the practicalities of shipping coal do not fit with existing facilities.
Worse, too many ships will someday have accidents. Coal is a truly bad idea.

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.

Sarah McCoy (#2529)

Date Submitted: 11/08/2012
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
My family and I live in Ballard above Golden Gardens and the RR tracks. I cannot imagine more and longer trains passing by the park, much less huge new coal transfer facilities. Shorelines and air need protection. Furthermore, the immediate impact of the trains and the transfer facilities pale in comparison to the known effects of burning coal. Coal is a dirty fuel and its burning escalates already-dire climate change. It would be 100% irresponsible for local, state and federal authorities to allow building of any coal infrastructure at all. No jobs are worth escalating climate change. Even if they were worth it, the jobs would mean affecting millions of people along the coal routes to give just a few people jobs. Again, not worth it. Turn these facilities down, the sooner, the better.

Sarah McElroy (#3659)

Date Submitted: 12/01/2012
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
Dear Friends,
Please include in your consideration of this proposal the danger to the entire planet if more fossil fuels are mined and burned. Global temperatures are already rising. We must not mine nor burn any more fossil fuels until we get the CO2 levels way below 350 ppm (they are now 391 ppm).
NO MORE MINING OF COAL - ANYPLACE!!!
Sincerely,
Sarah McElroy

Sarah McElroy (#4016)

Date Submitted: 12/06/2012
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
Dear Friends,
Please include in the environmental review issues relating to air quality both locally where the railroad will travel (coal dust, etc) as well as globally because the coal will be burned and mercury and other contaminants will enter our global air supply.
Thank you for your consideration of this concern.
Sarah McElroy

Sarah McElroy (#4201)

Date Submitted: 12/10/2012
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
Hello Friends,
I strongly urge you to consider the environmental and human costs of transporting this coal from Montana through Washington state by rail.
There would be coal dust in our air, noise from trains, competition with passenger rail service (which we should be increasing) all caused by something which should not be mined in the first place!
Mining and using the rest of the coal reserves will bring grave consequences of increased carbon dioxide in our atmosphere with its concomitant increased temperatures and devastation to our climate, our species diversity, and human health (through microbes migrating to northern latitudes where they have not before existed).
Thank you for your consideration of these matters.
Sarah McElroy

Sarah Minton (#7696)

Date Submitted: 01/10/13
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Sarah Morken (#717)

Date Submitted: 10/16/2012
Location: Tacoma, WA
Comment:
I oppose the construction of these coal terminals. They will lead to an increase of coal train traffic running through Pierce County. We need a public input meeting in Pierce County. According to the the TVW documentary "Coal Crossroads", SSA Marine misrepresented the amount of coal that would be handled by these terminals when they applied for permits. This is not a trustworthy company and there is no such thing as clean coal. To the people who repeat the mantra that this terminal will create jobs and prosperity: a man in the documentary said "if coal truly leads to prosperity, then why are the Appalachians synonomous with poverty?"

Sarah Parkinson (#11884)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Comment:
I am adamantly opposed to coal trains carrying coal thru Seattle/king county.
It is terrible for the environment & human health due to air pollution.
It will also hurt commerce due to numerous, lengthy trains passing thru regularly & holding up existing traffic.
This is a very bad idea..

Sarah Robertson (#3323)

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

Sarah Sanborn (#7610)

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

Sarah Saul (#13896)

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.... AT THE VERY LEAST; you may note, this is a modest request considering the stakes to humans and ecosystems over a global area...

Sarah Van Etten (#10709)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Camano Island, WA
Comment:
My opinion is a resounding NO.

This project would require millions of dollars to rebuild certain sections of railroad tracks and road crossings.

There are many houses that are quite close to the railroad tracks that will be affected by much higher quantities of noise and coal dust pollution.

The proposed industrial site will ruin a beautiful section of natural habitat at Cherry Point that is currently home to birds and animals, as well as recreation sites for both local and visiting residents.

If our laws have limited coal usage to protect the environment, why are we promoting shipments to Asia, and enabling high coal usage there? We are all living on one planet; coal usage in Asia affects us, too.

Sarah Vergin (#10249)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Comment:
I oppose coal trains. I ask that you conduct an area wide Environmental Impact Statement to assess the cumulative impact of proposed trains. Thank you.

Sarah Willer (#11027)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Dear Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Ecology, and Whatcom County Council:

RE: Docket number COE-2012-0016: Proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal
Scoping Comment for the Coal Export proposal EIS

I am a Whatcom county resident and I am writing because I have very grave concerns about the impacts of the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal. This project would markedly increase the industrialization of western Whatcom county and would export of 48 million tons of coal each year in order for this coal to be burned in China. According to calculations on the Environmental Protection Agency website (http://www.epa.gov/greenpower/pubs/calcmeth.htm, accessed January 21st, 2010), the burning of 48 million tons of coal will release 122 megatons of CO2 into the atmosphere each year.

I ask that you assess and review the beneficial impacts of stopping this project and weigh them against the benefits of proceeding with the project.

Specifically:

How would stopping the export of 48 million tons of coal through Whatcom county contribute to building cultural and political impetus to decelerate and reverse destructive climate change?

What would be the economic impact of new green jobs in the energy, engineering, construction, research, and service sectors that would be added because of that expanded cultural and political impetus to decelerate and reverse climate change?

What would be the impact on species diversity of our choosing to reject investment in and subsidization of accelerated climate change in our county?

What would be the cultural impact of the hope we inspire in one another by acting with the power at our disposal to keep and nurture the ecological community and the values from which we draw our identity?

Yours sincerely,
Sarah Willer

Sarah Williams (#2930)

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

Sarah Winston (#2292)

Date Submitted: 11/04/2012
Location: Anacortes, Wa
Comment:
I live and breathe in Anacortes, Wa, LOVE the beautiful Skagit Valley, surrounding San Juan Islands, enjoy Whatcom county from Mt Baker to the bay, and fear for the future.

Please, please, consider carefully ALL of the negative impacts of the increased coal export proposals, via land and sea;
>Safety and Health risks for our people, wildlife, environment.
>Increased traffic and infrastructure demands on all communities in region.
>Air, Noise, Water pollution increases.
>Increased vessel traffic in our waters.
>Potential disaster response and impact on our resources.
Thank you.

Sarah Winston (#2806)

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

Sarah Witte (#5042)

Date Submitted: 12/13/12
Location: Kenmore, 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 at the terminal site, increasing tanker traffic and the potential for serious shipping accidents and escalating climate change. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

There are currently five coal export proposals that would transport as much as 150million tons through the Northwest. I urge the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct an area wide Environmental Impact Statement to assess the cumulative impact of these proposals, and please listen to the concerned citisens standing against this destruction of our coast.


Thank you,
Sarah Witte

Sarah & Jesse Wixom & Skogseth (#2196)

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

Sarai Stevens (#7908)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Location: Bow , WA
Comment:
I am a mother of three and live in Bow, WA approx. 7 miles from my children's school, Edison Elementary. There is one direct route between my home and the school,d which is Bow Hill Road. The train track crosses Bow Hill Rd and will cut off direct access to school many times through out the day. My concern is that the increased train traffic will delay ambulances in case of medical emergency. In case of earthquake and/or flood, school buses, fire trucks and other emergency vehicles could be catastrophically delayed. Their is little time for evacuation in case of earthquake. The school is located down stream from the old Baker Lake Dam that is in extreme danger of cracking and failing if an earthquake happened. There is also Tsunami danger because Edison Elementary is close to the shoreline. We need a clear and safe route to high ground in case of sudden flood. This route is via Bow Hill Road. Please consider studying the adverse impacts the proposed increased train traffic will have on the Edison Elementary School's emergency evacuation plan in the Environmental Impact Statement. I have attached the City of Burlington's Emergency Evacuation Map. You can see all traffic heading north is routed out via I-5, Old 99, and Old Gardner Rd all of which are intersected by the train tracks.

Sarai Stevens (#8230)

Date Submitted: 01/17/2013
Location: Bow, WA
Comment:
My name is Sarai Stevens and I am a founding member of Chuckanut Transition, a group of community members in the Samish Watershed dedicated to creating community resilience and local economy. The proposed Cherry Point Coal Terminal threatens our local rural economy, our county economy and our national economy.
Coal particulates increase CO2 in air, air blowing over surface of ocean and other large bodies of water mixes with CO2 in air. CO2 is then dissolved in water and increases acidification. Greater acidification dissolves the shells of such marine organisms as oysters, mussels and clams and breaks down their reproductive cycles.
Taylor Shellfish Farm, located in the Samish Watershed, already suffers from greater corrosive effects of acidification and is forced to ship their oyster larva to Hawaii and back again to nurse the young past this fragile, critical stage. If we do not take drastic measures to address this problem then companies like Taylor Shellfish will no longer function. Not only does Taylor Shellfish provide jobs, but it provides one of the many local food sources that fuel Skagit County and specifically the Samish Watershed's blossoming agricultural tourism. Folks from all over come by bike and car to explore the area's many small farms and pastoral scenes.
Chuckanut Transition and our affiliated Bow Little Market, an seasonal farmer's market, are aware of many small scale farmers within close proximity of tracks. These farmers are dependent on the diversification of their income streams and would benefit greatly if our agricultural tourism continued to flourish. These small farmers already struggle with making a livable wage and competing with industrial food system. I can't help but think that the increased train traffic and pollution will have ill effects on the appeal of our pastoral area thus cutting into the success and economy of these small farms and their ability to employ locals.
Which brings us to the argument of job creation. I reference an article published in Crosscut an online newspaper written by Daniel M. Kammen and Michael Riordan, "Coal's no way to make the job market hop". The Cherry Point terminal is an extremely inefficient and costly way to create jobs. According to Kammen and Riordan, if the Terminals affiliated investors are concerned with job creation then they should consider their 665 million dollar terminal a grossly expensive way to create 257 permanent jobs:
"That’s just one new job for every $2.6 million invested, assuming the terminal can indeed be built for its advertised price. If you include “induced jobs” that may be added in maritime and railroad industries, the total increases to 430. But extra expenditures would occur in these areas, say for necessary railroad upgrades, so figure about one new job created per $2 million spent."
link to article http://crosscut.com/2013/01/14/coal-ports/112384/coal-ports-jobs-economy/
If project is approved, the above mentioned railroad upgrades are inevitable. Traffic congestion, disruption of emergency services, increased risk of landslide will all be expensive issues to address. The railroad company is only required to cover 5% of a project that is linked to solving safety issues. The rest of the bill is the burden of the county and state tax payers. During a time of government budget crisis, I am appalled that the state would allow for such an unnecessary economic burden.
Finally, how certain are we that the market for shipping coal to China won't disappear, and that the empty facility will be left as an ugly scar on our region economically, environmentally and visually. As a member of a group focused on creating community resiliency, I argue that we have a real and permanent need to expand our sustainable, alternative energy industry. Once again I reference the Crosscut article, "Coal's no way to make the job market hop":
"According to data compiled by the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory (which, full disclosure, one of us directs) at the University of California, Berkeley, investing the same $665 million in energy efficiency or renewables would create twice as many jobs at minimum. In solar manufacturing, for example, figure several hundred more jobs than at the coal terminal. For solar-installation and energy-efficiency companies, add at least another thousand."
Furthermore, the initial stimulation of job creation creates a positive chain of reaction starting with money saved, then leading to greater prosperity and opportunity for additional investment in our own country. This lies in stark contrast to the idea of selling coal to China to fuel their manufacturing to hugely profit the private companies invested in the proposed Cherry Point Terminal and no one else. This project would benefit a few fat cats while enabling China's manufacturing sector to continue to undercut and bleed off American factory jobs.
Lastly, during a time when energy scarcity is growing and concern for energy independence is high, as a nation we would be foolish to allow private industry to sell off our precious natural resources. If we were to create clean coal technology, we would be in a miserable state to realize we had already shipped all our coal to China.
Please look to an alternative source to create jobs in Washington. This would benefit not only the Samish Watershed Community, our county and the state, but also the greater national economy.

Saralee Kane (#4256)

Date Submitted: 12/10/2012
Location: Mercer Island, WA
Comment:
How much will we the taxpayers and citizens of the state of Washington ultimately pay for all the collateral effects and costs associated with GPT? Will the costs include additions to infrastructure, roads and rail; safety measures; public health expenses; lost businesses and job?

Saralee Kane (#4260)

Date Submitted: 12/10/2012
Location: Mercer Island, WA
Comment:
How will the coal trains affect motor vehicle traffic, transportation, emergency vehicle response times and business and commerce in communities along the rail corridor?

Saralee Saralee Kane (#4257)

Date Submitted: 12/10/2012
Location: Mercer Island, WA
Comment:
How will GPT affect the local human population as a result of any toxic effects from coal dust, minerals, chemicals?

Saralee Saralee Kane (#4258)

Date Submitted: 12/10/2012
Location: Mercer Island, WA
Comment:
How will the toxic materials in coal, such as arsenic, accumulate in soils, wetlands and streams and plant life near the coal trains, resulting in exposure to people and to the environment?

Saralee Saralee Kane (#4259)

Date Submitted: 12/10/2012
Location: Mercer Island, WA
Comment:
How will cancer, heart disease, asthma and other health risks be affected by air and water pollution associated with coal transport, storage and export?

Sasha Hagen (#11264)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
Location: Eastsound, WA
Comment:
Please! dont ruin my home with coal!Thank you.

Saskia Comess (#9354)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Comment:
I am writing because coal trains will impact every aspect of life along the rail. I particularly would like to have the impact of train vibrations on local geology investigated. I am concerned about the effects of increased train traffic on land close to the rails; there is the possibility that this could cause erosion and weakening of the structural foundations of homes. These concerns should be investigated with regards to property values, impact on local flora and fauna, and increased risk of natural disaster (e.g. mudslides). In reading a Washington State Geology and Soils Discipline Report for a Point Defiance Bypass Project I found this information: “Soil liquefaction can result in settlement and lateral deformation of the tracks in areas where liquefiable soil is present. Liquefaction occurs when vibrations within a soil mass cause the soil particles to temporarily lose contact with one another. As a result, the soil behaves like a liquid, has an inability to support weight, and can flow down slopes (lateral spreading).” Train traffic of the type under consideration for the GTP project seems to have the potential to cause vibrations of this magnitude. Since the rail line for this project is so long, mitigation does not seem feasible. The impact of rail traffic on our local geology is an issue of major proportions, so I hope that it is given due consideration in the scoping process.

Saskia Comess (#9356)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Comment:
I am writing because an increase in coal train traffic will affect life in Bellingham. Specifically, I would like the impact of coal dust on local health, agriculture, marine life, and property values to be investigated. On the website “coaltrainfacts.org” I read that Burlington Northern Santa Fey (BNSF) estimates that each uncovered coal car loses between 500 pounds and a ton of coal dust on its trip from the mine to the port. Bellingham and Whatcom County will share an even greater share of the coal dust burden as a result of the large coal heaps at the terminal site. It is unknown how much coal dust will be released into the air, onto the land, and into the water from these massive coal piles. However, I fear that this dust will adversely impact agriculture, human and animal health, marine life, and property values in the vicinity of the terminal and the rail line. Doctors in Whatcom County have expressed concern over the impact of coal dust on the young and old, and on people with respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. I am also worried about how human health will be impacted if coal dust enters our drinking water. The severe weather that our area frequently experiences (heavy rain and wind) could potentially increase the spread of dust into our air and waterways. It also appears that efforts to contain coal dust are unproven, and thus efforts at mitigation will probably not be sufficient. Considering the wide potentially wide-ranging adverse impacts of coal dust on our community, I hope that this issue will be thoroughly researched.

Sati Mookherjee (#2753)

Date Submitted: 11/13/2012
Location: , WA
Comment:
November 13, 2012

My name is Sati Mookherjee, and I grew up in Bellingham. My husband and I are raising our children here.

There are two critical areas of impact that the Environmental Impact Study (EIS) must include in order to satisfy its mandate:

1) Economic Impacts of the Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT), and
2) Impacts of the “Active Siding” Rail Infrastructure.

1) Economic Impacts*:

I respectfully ask that the permitting agencies carry out a thorough analysis of GPT’s potential economic costs and risks both for Whatcom County and the State of Washington. The project proponents have provided studies indicating possible economic benefits specific to the terminal, but this is only a small part of GPT’s economic impact for our region.

As part of the economic analysis, please:

a. Examine and quantify the economic impacts to existing businesses and economic sectors of our local economy that will be affected by GPT sequelae such as increased noise, vibrations, delays at crossings and diesel exhaust with increased train traffic.
b. Examine and quantify the positive and negative consequences for waterfront redevelopment at the former Georgia-Pacific site.
c. Examine and quantify costs, benefits and risks to marine-based economic sectors (such as the commercial fishing industry) from the terminals’ piers, fugitive coal dust and vessel traffic.

2) Impacts Related to The New “Active Siding”

a. Full Disclosure**:
Please ensure that:
i. The project applicant discloses all new rail infrastructure needed for this project, including, but not limited to, the new waterfront train track (or “active siding”) in Bellingham without which GPT’s 18 daily trains cannot be accommodated.
OR
ii. If the project applicant and Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) continue to deny the existence of the “Bellingham Active Siding” project, that they disclose in full any alternate railway infrastructure projects necessary to accommodate the increased train volume associated with GPT.

I am confident that you are aware that assurances by the project applicant are not appropriate substitutes for verifiable, data-based analysis by permitting bodies.

b. Impacts of New Active Siding:
As part of the analysis, please:
i. Examine and quantify the economic, safety, health and recreation impacts from the new waterfront train track (or “active siding”) in Bellingham. Two independent technical reports have already identified related impacts, including: a) blockage of vehicle access to Boulevard Park, b) increased diesel emission from idling trains, c) delays in emergency response times.***

I encourage the agencies to ensure that all objectively –identified impacts associated with the Gateway Pacific Terminal are both identified and studied.

Thank you.

Sati Mookherjee

*One recent study to consult on these issues is available here: http://www.communitywisebellingham.org/economic-impacts-of-the-gpt-development/. Disclosure: I am an officer of CommunityWiseBellingham, which sponsored the (independent) study.

** BNSF’s assurances that it can accommodate the increased rail traffic cannot substitute for thorough investigation by the permitting agencies. There is a well-documented train bottleneck between Bow and Ferndale that be must resolved for GPT to operate. BNSF’s numbers don’t add up, and a new siding(s)—with all of the impacts—will be necessary for GPT’s trains.

To fulfill the intended purpose of the EIS, the project applicant must disclose all new rail infrastructure needed for this project. It is my understanding that the Whatcom County Code prohibits the applicants from passing uncompensated expenses (such as those created by the new rail sidings) onto the public.

***TMS Bellingham Rail Study: http://www.communitywisebellingham.org/cwb-studies-gpt-train-impacts-on-the-waterfront/
GTC Bellingham Traffic Memorandum:http://www.communitywisebellingham.org/gpt-traffic-impacts-on-the-waterfront/

Saul Arbess (#13854)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Comment:
It is time, in the interests of the next seven generations, to end our dependence on fossil fuels - of which coal is the dirtiest- and put ourselves on an emergency basis to rapidly move to renewables. And end the perverse subsidies to these polluting and vastly profitable companies.

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.

Scott Andrews (#14405)

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


Scott Barber (#11085)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: seattle, wa
Comment:
i believe that the route they wish to use is a bad idea routing the trains through seattle and up the coast will be hazardess during the land slide season. How many land slides did they have between edmonds and everett this year, what would have happened if one of those slides had hit a train
in addition each one of those future land slides would shut down the rails for hours or days which would leave trains sitting on the rails waiting for them to be cleared. this would block or otherwise affect the entire states rail lines effecting thousands of riders. and each delay would cost the companies money.
In addition the coal dust would be bad for all those near the train's routes.( i can think of ten cities right off the top of my head that the trians will pass through on this route) and if i get black lung i promise i will sue for hundreds of millions of dollars
they need to either find a different way to take the trains to where they want to go. or build the terminals somewhere else.
And Finally, As our biggest Potencial enemy, CHINA does not need our coal and even if i am wrong and they do Once you send it over there it is no longer available for our own use if some emergency required it. .

scott Barger (#11583)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Comment:
I feel our focus should primarily be on self sustaining clean energy and the new coal exports being brought forth would be counter-iontuitive and not in the best interest of the citizens, rather the interest of trans-national corporations

Scott Bishop (#830)

Date Submitted: 10/19/2012
Location: Olympia, WA
Comment:
Shipping coal long distances for other to burn inefficiently and destroy the earth is just plain stupid. If they want to buy energy from us maybe we should burn the coal right in Montana and just ship them the electricity - much cleaner. The same should be true for the 'tar sands' too. If the government of the people, by the people, and for the people were charging a more reasonable amount for coal companies to mine the valuable minerals out of our country then the companies would not be a position to waste so valuable a resource!

Scott Brown (#12389)

Date Submitted: 01/20/13
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
I would like to provide input to 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 polluting our air and local waterways, 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.

Scott Dawson (#3685)

Date Submitted: 12/01/2012
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
My concern is the highly increased rail traffic that this proposed terminal would cause. The increased trains would spread coal dust, cause increased traffic safety delays and congestion in the numerous cities they will be traveling thorough and would negatively affect the local environments in numerous ways. I would request that the impact of all the extra trains and the cargo they are carrying would be a major component of study in the EIS.

Scott Dearing (#2771)

Date Submitted: 11/13/2012
Location: Marysville, WA
Comment:
As resident of Marysville I am strongly against this proposal and the added strain more train traffic through this town will cause on already congested freeway accesses and on car travel anywhere you have to cross the railroads tracks in town to get somewhere.

Emergency vehicles are also delayed at these crossings which could mean life threatening situations. It is already not uncommon to be delayed up to 20 minutes at crossings to get to the freeway or to destinations on on the other side of the tracks.

The increased noise pollution with trains running through the night and the long term health and environmental effects of coal dust blowing through our town landing in the many salmon spawning streams and in the air that we all breath is not acceptable to me.

Scott Dobson (#172)

Date Submitted: 10/01/2012
Location: Blaine, WA
Comment:
My concerns about this project center on the massive increase in Rail traffic. I live in an area where, in order to get to the Grandview exit on I5, I must cross both the North South BNSF line as well as the spur along Kickerville Road.

By my admittedly crude calculation, hauling 50M Tons of coal will require 35M feet of train, which is equivalent to over 16 miles per day of train. Each mile of that train will cross the route to my home 4 times (on the main line coming and leaving, on the spur coming and leaving). Train speeds will be low, as Grandview is 3 miles from the switch point to the spur and the Crossing near Kickerville is near the sidings for the Refineries. This will close Grandview to traffic for several hours per day.

The impact of this change must be part of your review, and mitigation needs to be put in place to deal with the impact.

scott herning (#2266)

Date Submitted: 11/03/2012
Location: friday harbor, wa
Comment:
To Whom it Concerns:

Please asses the costs and risks involved in a potential vessel collision and how that may impact the already endangered orca of the of the salish sea.

An article in Journal of the Acoustical Society of America published in December 2008 specifies that orcas will have to increase their vocal sounds. Below is an excerpt on the harmful effects on an already endangered orca:

For example, increasing vocal output to compensate for noise might have energetic costs (Oberweger and Goller, 1991), lead to in- creased stress levels, or degrade communication among individuals which could affect their activity budget. At some level, background noise could also completely impede the use of calls by killer whales for communicative functions.

Thank you for your time

Scott Herning

scott herning (#2793)

Date Submitted: 11/14/2012
Location: friday harbor, wa
Comment:
A recent article by the Seattle think tank 'Sightline' pointed out the fact that China is investing millions to ween themselves off of coal use. They also pointed out that two coal ports that were built in Los Angeles and Portland shut down after being built. I ask you to please assess the risk in investing in coal production as it seems a risky and un-sustainable industry. Please investigate the risks of another possible super-fund site in the area of whatcom county.

Thank you

Scott Hicks (#13825)

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 small 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.

Scott Hulse (#4001)

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

Scott Jensen (#7327)

Date Submitted: 01/11/13
Location: Portland, OR
Comment:
Jan 11, 2013

US Army Corps of Engineers

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

I live in the bluff just above the tracks in North Portland. These additional coal trains will pass within a few hundred feet of where me, my wife, and my three-year-old boy Quincy live. I do not want my family breathing the additional coal dust and having our water further tainted.

Furthermore, this is terribly backward. Coal is on the way out. With natural gas and alternative sources, coal is -- as it should be -- a dying industry.

Do NOT do this.

Sincerely,

Mr. Scott Jensen

Scott Johnson (#3271)

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

Scott Johnson (#12754)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
Location: Snohomish, WA
Comment:
With the record number of Landslides and the trains running RIGHT alongside multiple Parks where children play and swim and RIGHT along the Puget Sound for MILES, I am 110% AGAINST this idea.
There is NOTHING beneficial enough to make this a reasonable concept......

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.

Scott Jones (#2367)

Date Submitted: 11/06/2012
Location: Bellingham, 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.

In addition, I have a personal concern as my daily bicycle commute to work parallels the rail tracks. My impression that chronic breathing increased coal dust, diesel fumes and other airborne pollution during intense physical exertion will be hazardous to me health.

Scott Jones (#6765)

Date Submitted: 01/10/2013
Location: Olga, WA
Comment:
I am a homeowner in the San Juan Islands. I support the export of coal from the State of Washington. The additional jobs, the expanison of the US energy sector and the added economic security of the US far outweigh any hypothetical environmental risk. Ocean-going vessels are safe and the incremental impact to marine vessel congestion will be minimal.

Scott Luchessa (#1877)

Date Submitted: 10/29/12
Comment:
Dear Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Ecology and Whatcom County Council:

I am extremely concerned about the proposed coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington and transporting strip-mined coal from Montana and Wyoming on trains and ships throughout the Northwest. In addition to potential project-specific impacts, I am especially concerned about potential cumulative effects from this and other proposed coal export facilities in Washington and Oregon. At a minimum, the potential impacts of this facility must include quantitative analyses of potential impacts from construction and operation on marine, freshwater, and terrestrial resources. Of particular concern are potential impacts on Pacific herring and marine/estuarine food webs. Herring are a known forage fish for Puget Sound Chinook salmon and Puget Sound Steelhead, both of which arefederally listed as threatened under the endangered species act. And of course potential impacts to Chinook salmon then could translate to potential impacts to Southern Resident Killer Whale, a federally-listed endangered species. Potential spills of coal from rail cars and the panamax tankers must be considered. Fuel spills from marine accidents also must be considered. Furthermore, potential impacts from long-range transport of pollutants from combustion of the exported coal on coastal resources and ecological and human health receptors must be considered (both project specific and potential cumulative impacts). These should include dry and wet acid deposition (nitrous oxide and sulfur dioxide), particulates, and mercury. Potential exacerbation of ocean acidification and other global warming impacts from fossil fuel emissions must be accurately identified. Another important issue are potential human health impacts from degradation of air quality from trasportation and combustion of exported coal, especially to at risk groups. And, of course, there are cultural resource issues to consider (i.e., Native American treaty rights). Please ensure that all of these potential impacts are adequately considered in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.


Scott Luchessa
4013 32nd Ave W
Seattle, WA 98199

Scott Maclowry (#12766)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
Location: Bend, OR
Comment:
To sell our coal to Asia to be burned in the dirtiest coal fired plants in the world when we are on the frontline of receiving the airborne toxics coming back across the Pacific for the profit of a few billionaires is obscene.

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.

Scott McCaughey (#13227)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Portland, OR
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington. There's no such thing as "clean coal" and we need to look elsewhere for our energy needs.

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.

Scott McClay (#6438)

Date Submitted: 01/09/2013
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
I strongly desire that the EIS be broad in scope; that in addition to the local impacts, it covers the cumulative impact that this project PLUS the other likely coal export projects in WA and OR will have.
But most importantly, the EIS must cover the impacts on global warming. Since CO2 is an EPA recognized pollutant, whose burning impacts the entire globe, the carbon impacts of exporting raw coal demand inclusion of the CO2 which its burning overseas will release as an environmental impact of this terminal.

Our planetary future depends on drastically reducing CO2 releases--every project must include this dimension in its EIS.

Scott McNeese (#10774)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
As a resident of Bellingham, I am very concerned about the impact of additional massively long trains dividing our city, adding air and noise pollution, and generally degrading the quality of life in a city known for it's 'green' initiatives and appreciation of its natural setting. In addition to incessant noise and pollution from coal dust and diesel fumes, the trains will effectively isolate major parts of the city including popular parks and major waterfront redevelopment project underway in the downtown area.

Scott Merrill (#4376)

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

Army Corps of Engineers and Department of Ecology WA

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

I strongly Support the coal industry. Not only would it bring thousands of new jobs in this bad economy but it would help our whole country!!
We need to stop listening to the few and start helping each other to come up with our wonderful blessings we have and export coal and everything else we can from Washington..

The people that oppose this great resource must have jobs and not need money??? Just because a few rich people chose to build homes next to the railroad tracks and their cars might get dirty??? Really?.. They should try being hard working American's and see how the other side lives.. To oppose this great industry would be crazy.. Coal is our greatest export like oil is to the middle east and we need to take advantage of this great blessing we have!! And put our people back to work and get them off S.S.I. and Welfare so they don't have to much extra time on their hands to oppose great things like the coal industry....

Thank you

Sincerely,

Scott Merrill
3612 NE 44th St
Vancouver, WA 98661-3127
(360) 695-0007

Scott Meyer (#4907)

Date Submitted: 12/17/2012
Location: Seattle, Wa
Comment:
I am opposed to coal trains in the Puget Sound region and urge state and federal regulators to ban them. These trains will have significant negative impacts to air quality, traffic, and the environment. Toxic coal dust will fill the air and long, frequent trains will block major track crossings, leading to dirtier air, backed up traffic, and a significant increase to local pollution. This in turn will have negative impacts to human health, wildlife, and local waterways. Furthermore, burning coal contributes to global climate change, and our region should not do anything to make that problem worse than it already is. No one should place the heavy burden of dirty coal onto the citizens and environment of the Puget Sound region just so that coal companies can make a profit.

Scott Pinegar (#9345)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Lopez Island, WA
Comment:
I am a native Washingtonian, and a 45 yr. resident of the greater Puget Sound region. I have sailed these waters since the mid-sixties, and for a long time experienced the area as wilderness. I now live on Lopez Island and have an even greater appreciation for the relationship of land use, healthy waters and a working economy. I am concerned about the continued vitality of the Salish Sea, where coal ships would make over 950 transits per year if the Gateway Pacific Terminal were to be built.
I request that the GPT Environmental Impact Statement include the entire coal transportation corridor so that communities along the rail and marine routes are given due consideration.
I am especially concerned about the impacts to orca, marine mammals and birds. Questions that concern me, and which objective, rigorous and comprehensive studies should address include:
• How would the noise, pollution and physical presence of the additional huge vessels affect our orca populations (including the endangered Southern Residents)?
• How would construction and operation, including the vessel noise, of the coal port and the continuous transiting of coal ships affect other marine mammals, fish, birds, and the food web that supports them?
• What are the risks associated with increased shipping traffic that is projected from Coal and Tar Sands exports in the next several decades?
If there is no positive assurance and insurance from those involved against any potentially significant impacts, please consider a no build option.
Thank you.

Scott Sanderson (#6605)

Date Submitted: 01/10/2013
Comment:
My name is Scott Sanderson; - 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.

Scott Sanderson (#6606)

Date Submitted: 01/10/2013
Comment:
Name:
Anderson, Paul
Date: Nov. 2, 2012
City:
Bellingham
Part:
Human environment:
Other human environment topic
Natural environment:
Marine species, fish or fisheries, Water quality
Comment:
My name is Scott Sanderson, 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.

Scott Sanderson (#6609)

Date Submitted: 01/10/2013
Comment:
In a first hand account of a visit to 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

Scott Sanderson (#6610)

Date Submitted: 01/10/2013
Comment:
I am concerned about 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.

Scott Sanderson (#6611)

Date Submitted: 01/10/2013
Comment:
One study I read 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.

Scott Sanderson (#6612)

Date Submitted: 01/10/2013
Comment:
When evaluating potential impacts, a factor to consider is the likelihood that the applicant will follow not only the letter of the law and a permit, but its intent. For instance, a large terminal operator should always strive to be as protective as feasible to minimize impacts. If an operator only does only the bare minimum to avoid enforcement action, impacts will be much greater.

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

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

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

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

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

Scott Sanderson (#6614)

Date Submitted: 01/10/2013
Comment:
Name:

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.

Scott Sanderson (#6615)

Date Submitted: 01/10/2013
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.

Scott Sanderson (#6617)

Date Submitted: 01/10/2013
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.

Scott Sanderson (#6618)

Date Submitted: 01/10/2013
Comment:
I am writing to request that the EIS process consider the following issues:

1. Geographic Scope of the EIS: The geographic scope of the direct impacts of this project extend from the terminal site along the rail corridor back to the coal mines in Wyoming, and out into the marine environment at least the 12 nm off-shore (i.e. Territorial Waters). Therefore the scope of the scope of the impact should be studied along the entire rail corridor impacted from any coal mines to the proposed shipping terminal and out into the marine environment where vessels from the facility sail.
2. Local Economic Impacts - Tourism/quality of Life: How will the proposed facility and the associated rail and vessel traffic impact the local quality of life and as such the ability of the region to market its high quality of life and scenic beauty to attract visitors and new business. Specific industries and issues to be studied include: fishing, outdoor recreation, noise of trains on residences and businesses, economic development losses due to decreased business attraction and retention, The scope of the impact should be studied along the entire rail corridor impacted from any coal mines to the proposed shipping terminal and out into the marine environment where vessels from the facility sail.
3. Local Economic Impacts - Taxes: How proposed facility and the associated rail and vessel traffic impact the local tax base in terms of demand for services and contributions to pay for services INCLUDING the potential losses to the tax base of due to the impacts to the quality of life. The scope of the impact should be studied along the entire rail corridor impacted from any coal mines to the proposed shipping terminal and out into the marine environment where vessels from the facility sail..
4. Emergency Management / Quality of Life - Rail crossings: How will the rail traffic from the proposed facility affect emergency response times and the regional quality of life due to traffic back-ups at rail crossings from the coal mine to the terminal?
5. Quality of Life / Marine Traffic: How will the increased bulk cargo shipping affect the regional quality of Life for recreational boaters in the San Juan Islands and throughout Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca?
6. Marine Vessel Safety and Capacity: How will the increased bulk cargo shipping increase the risk of an Marine accident including with an oil tanker going to/from Cherry Point Refinery? How will the increased vessel traffic affect overall vessel traffic capacity and congestion in Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca?
7. Air Quality - Coal Dust and Diesel Fumes: How will the proposed facility and the associated rail and vessel traffic impact the air quality due to coal dust and diesel fumes from the movement of coal. How will asthma and other respiratory rates increase? How much will this cost to the health care system and in terms of loss of enjoyment of life for those affected? . The scope of the impact should be studied along the entire rail corridor impacted from any coal mines to the proposed shipping terminal and out into the marine environment where vessels from the facility sail.
8. Water Quality - Polluted Run-off: How will the proposed facility and the associated rail and vessel traffic impact the quality of marine and fresh water from polluted run-off containing coal dust, diesel particulates, and any other pollutant? The scope of the impact should be studied along the entire rail corridor impacted from any coal mines to the proposed shipping terminal and out into the marine environment where vessels from the facility sail.
9. Habitat Loss: How will the proposed facility and the associated rail and vessel traffic impact the amount and quality of the marine, fresh water, and terrestrial habitat at the facility and along the entire rail corridor impacted from any coal mines to the proposed shipping terminal and out into the marine environment where vessels from the facility sail?
10. Bellingham Central Waterfront: How will the increased rail traffic and associated noise, blocking rail crossings, coal dust, diesel fumes, and vibration affect the existing and proposed development in downtown Bellingham and the proposed Bellingham PDA project at Army Street, and the Port of Bellingham's proposed development at the Bellingham Waterfront / former GP site?
11. Quality of Life - Rail noise/vibration: How will the increased rail traffic increase the horn, engine, and wheel noise and vibration of the ground along the entire rail corridor from the coal mine to the terminal? How will this noise affect loss of sleep of residences along the route, loss of quality of life in general for businesses, tourism, and residences along the route, and affect the health of people with compromised health states? How will the vibration from the rail traffic affect the quality of Life and affect structural stability along the route?

Thank you,

Scott Sebelsky (#10334)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Camano Island, WA
Comment:
Please stop the coal trains from happening.
The world is already experiencing dramatic changes due to global warming and this plan would just add to the problem. Digging up the coal, transportation and the eventual burning of this dirty fuel all will contribute greatly to the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere. Additionally, the coal dust will contribute to the pollution going into Puget Sound and increasing the problems that we have with Ocean Acidification. This will lead to the loss of forage fish, salmon, estuaries, shell fish and other habitat for our seas.
There are reports of as many as 18 mile long trains passing through our towns causing loss of local business since people will be stuck in traffic due to the trains and having the consumers not wanting to buy their goods in the towns affected by the trains.
The addition of potential jobs by creating the terminal comes at too great a cause for it to be approved.

Scott Simmerman (#13833)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Comment:
Really? You think that this operation will work safely and without impacts -- severe negative impacts -- on the environment? Coal? We need more solar, not more carbon.

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.

Scott Simmerman (#13834)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Comment:
Really? You think that this operation will work safely and without impacts -- severe negative impacts -- on the environment? Coal? We need more solar, not more carbon.

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.

Scott Simonson (#6577)

Date Submitted: 01/09/2013
Location: Olympia, WA
Comment:
First let me say that I want you to reject all proposed coal terminals in Washington state. Our state, nation and world can't afford to mine, transport and burn any more coal beyond the near future. The pollution and green house gases released from the use of coal are not worth the economic gains of a short sighted industry. Please take your time in assessing the eniromental and health risks of transporting coal through Montana, Idaho, Oregon and Washington in every watershed, county and city before making your decision.

I have two children who are 10 and 4 years old. Like all parents I want to be able to tell my children that a bright future is waiting for them.

Yet, someday soon I will have to explain to them that our planet's climate is rapidly warming due to our culture's consumptive habits which are supported largely by our reliance on dirty, cheap fossil fuel.

I can imagine telling them that my generation and the preceding generations enjoyed abundant resources. And that we believed that future generations would continue to improve their lots in life in part because of the so called march of progress that we equate with industrialisation and our consumer economy.

I will then have to explain that we blew it and continue to do so because our publicly elected leaders are not willing to turn their backs on the moneyed interests that keep us hooked on fossil fuels.

As of now I keep waiting for a sign that our citizens, government and businesses are going to stop our addiction to fossil fuels that prop up this unsustainable way of life. I keep hoping that I can give my kids hope because we are changing our ways and turning away from reckless use of our natural resources in exchange for our bloated lifestyles.

Instead all I see is the reckless pursuit of more and more fossil fuels to continue a way of life that condemns future generations to a future of suffering and uncertainty. That is exactly what this coal will bring. It will delay a world wide move to invest in clean, renewable energy technology and greatly increase the ppm of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere leading to catastrophic global warming.

I ask that you fully assess the environmental and health risks of this proposed coal shipping operation. Remember, it doesn't matter where the coal is burned. If our state ships it elsewhere then we are complicit in the further destruction of the planet and our children's future. Don't let that complicity be your legacy.

Scott Species (#998)

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

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

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

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

Sincerely,

Scott Species
1814 Minor Ave Apt 202
Seattle, WA 98101-1432

Scott Strang (#7608)

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

Scott Stugelmeyer (#11214)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Comment:
As an avid outdoor recreationalist in the state of WA, the proposal for creating ports to send coal to Asia is a movement that I, and many others, completely disagree with. For one, the revenue from such an endeavor will only impact a small amount of people, where as the environmental impact of shipping coal should be ominously obvious. Not only should our destructive past from the coal process speak to why we should seek alternatives, but the environmental devestation that is apparent in China can give us a clearer picture to why the United States (especially environmentally progressive states like Oregon and Washington) need to stay far away from coal transportation and production. Nor should we aid another world power in the destruction of their environment. The impact is felt world round.

Scott Sundberg (#8155)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Location: sedro woolley, wa
Comment:
All of the "environment topic areas" listed would experience significant adverse consequences if we had 10+ additional long trains coming through the Skagit Valley daily. Mitigation, relating to each and every category, is a myth.

Scott Van Amburg (#12251)

Date Submitted: 01/22/13
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
Even though I am on the mailing list for People for Puget Sound, and I am ecologically conscious, I support coal exports in Washington. It has to go out somewhere, and why not here.

Scott Vickers (#13941)

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. Why are we exporting our coal anyway, when we need it at home until we can find better, cleaner ways to power our economic and residential industries?

Scott Wild (#592)

Date Submitted: 10/06/12
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Hello,

I live where I can hear every train passing through downtown Bellingham.

It seems to me that most support for the "Coal Trains" is couched in terms of the economy, new jobs. But I have not heard numbers attached to "new jobs". I'm sure there will be a significant number of construction jobs available during construction of the requisite infrastructure, jobs which might exist for a year or so. But then what? A railroad employee friend tells me that a coal train arriving at the Cherry Point terminal can be unloaded by ONE worker.

I do not believe that the cost to taxpayers of the infrastructure needed, the risk of pollution (air & water), the constant disruption of traffic, the likely loss of some fisheries, and the inevitable contribution to global warming and disastrous climate change which the coal trains represent can in any way be justified by the addition of one job to Whatcom County's economy.

Scott Wild

Scott Yoos (#8516)

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

Sean Blair (#12935)

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

When are people going to wake up and start thinking with a brain that truly puts themselves, the animals, the Eco system first? It really is not that hard, people! Dontthink what you do/ don't do doesn't matter.
You are the difference, once you wake up and start being it. Love you all, just please, wake up soon. Overall health of everyone and everything is counting on YOU.

Sean Borton (#10326)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Underwood, 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 hope you will consider the points listed below, which I hope you've seen several times by now. I am a father of three young children. I believe the shipment of coal on such a vast quantity through the Columbia River Gorge will negatively affect my life, my wife's, and my three sons in many negative ways and will have minimal positive benefits. I'm merely asking that more study go into this decision--that it not be rushed. This is not a radical request. Most sincerely, Sean Borton

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.

Sean Coronis (#3958)

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

Sean Edmison (#1114)

Date Submitted: 10/15/12
Location: Redmond, 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 the transportation of strip-mined coal from Montana and Wyoming on trains and ships throughout the Northwest. This proposal would increase congestion and noise with more coal train traffic, pollute our air and local waterways, damage aquatic ecosystems and fishing grounds at the terminal site, increase tanker traffic and the potential for serious shipping accidents, and escalate climate change. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

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


Sean Edmison
11820 167th Place NE
Redmond, WA 98052

Sean Flaherty (#388)

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

Sincerely,

Sean Flaherty

Sean Howard (#11118)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
With all of the improvements that have taken place in the Salish Sea, it seems to border criminal to now increase traffic of these quite dangerous coal carrying vessels. We can't swim in our waters now. We can't fish now. The proposed site is a special place that needs to be protected, not crushed. I ask that you study the absolutely terrible effects that this terminal will have on shoreline, sea bottom, and the entire route that these ships plan to take through our Salish Sea. This is not a path to a positive future; it is a proposed return to an unhealthy past. Vote no! It is not worth the degradation. People choose to live in Whatcom county because it beautifully diverse flora and fauna. Please do not vote to spoil this for short time profit. In the end the clean-up may very well cost more than the profits brought into our county and state.

Sean Howard (#11131)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Bellingham , WA
Comment:
These ships, during loading and transport, will be causing a great deal of coal dust and diesel to enter into the Salish Sea. This and the increased noise (will will negatively affect whale communication) and toxic influx will play havoc for the large fishery species and even more so for the mammal - such as the fragile whale population. Please study the negative effects on these wonderful the whales, otters, and fish of the Salish Sea. It is just beginning to heal; this will cause huge negative impacts. These impacts when looked at in dollars fair outweigh the proposed profits. Vote no on this proposal.

Sean Howard (#11134)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I live near the railroad tracks, and next to the Salish Sea. This proposal will have a huge negative impact on me and my family, as well as my natural surroundings. I and everyone else who live near the tracks have put up with train traffic noise and creosote pollution for years, now you are asking that we allow the rail industry to completely de-value our house and pollute our natural surrounding and water, with both toxic pollution and noise pollution. I ask that you study and release information on how much each property on the proposed route will be devalued, and how much pollution each mile and half long coal train will spew. It is not fair that we who live near the tracks be ask to bear such a burden. This is a takings case. And, I would imagine we will all be suing for damages. The profits will not cover the damages.

Sean Howard (#11138)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Bellingham , WA
Comment:
I do not believe that these train tracks can handle the increased traffic. I live near the tracks, walk next to them all the time. The current traffic load has these tracks at maximum capacity. I see spikes loose and falling out all the time. These coal trains are too over loaded. They rock our house! I ask that you do a full study of the ability of these tracks to handle the proposed amount of traffic. I am telling you they can't handle it. And, if they fail it will be a major disaster, especially if the train goes in to a river or the bay, what about a person's property, or a park. The approving officials will be just as much to blame as the coal company and the train company. This proposed coal train project will cost more than it will make. It is a disaster waiting to happen. And for what? To enable China to continue their environmental crimes against nature – releasing, truly, toxic death fumes which are heading right back to us. Please vote to stop this insanity!

Sean Lyon (#3666)

Date Submitted: 11/27/12
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Sean Stockburger (#609)

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.

Sean Stockburger
904 16th Street
Bellingham, WA 98225

Sef Magrath (#476)

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. Besides, I am really sick of corporations and how they pollute our environment in the pursuit of the profit margin.

Sincerely,

Sef Magrath

Sela Barker (#12806)

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.

And, given the air quality crisis in China, we have a responsibility to protect the global human community into the future. It's our folly if we allow this to go forward. Short term profits and employment do not make this worth the catastrophic consequences

Selden Prentice (#2296)

Date Submitted: 11/04/2012
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
I am greatly concerned about the proposed coal terminal in Cherry Point. I am concerned about the potential of increased air pollution from coal dust, as well as the fact that we need to be moving away from coal as a source of energy and towards other greener energy sources.

Selma Peterson (#12310)

Date Submitted: 01/22/13
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I'm concerned with the length of trains, what happens with emergency vehicles when problems arise with trains and/or tracks. There doesn't seem to be any communication between the railroad and people when any kind of failure or delays happen, we're at their mercy along with fumes and noise from cars - it's not healthy mentally or physically.

Senator Murphy (#13550)

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

Senta Sandberg (#5873)

Date Submitted: 12/27/12
Location: Missoula, Mt
Comment:
I believe Montanans need this coal resource , and I approve it moving through our community. Thanks Senta Sandberg.

serena auriemma (#10054)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: bellingham, wa
Comment:
I am Serena Auriemma, am a citizen of Whatcom County and an Environmental Science major in the city. I am writing about the proposed coal train terminal that is proposed for our community in Bellingham, WA. I want the effects and consequences of the railway damaging the surrounding environment to be studied and how the quality of the water system will be degraded.
Bringing am expensive railway system to transport coal seems a useless way to move a fossil fuel we should looking for alternate ways to discontinue use from. By transporting this product, the residual effects far outweigh the positive points. The Bellingham community strives to be a positive environmental community, making sure no harm comes to the surrounding landmass. It is very protected and continues to thrive as a natural setting with limited disturbances.
This proposed system will take away from transport businesses, cause pollution in the air, land, and sea, and cause detrimental health problems to individuals having to breath in the smell of the product being transported by it releasing toxins into the air.
At this time, it seems the community views the potential for this proposal at a low negative course. Most individuals in the community regard themselves as being as natural as possible, and the thought of a toxin producing train running through town doesn’t seem very appealing.
I would like to see a no action with no alternative set forth. Construction of the project is a waste of money, when it can be spent on alternative options for possible alternative fuel.

serena auriemma (#10057)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: bellingham, wa
Comment:
I am Serena Auriemma, am a citizen of Whatcom County and an Environmental Science major in the city. I am writing about the proposed coal train terminal that is proposed for our community in Bellingham, WA. I want the effects and consequences of the railway damaging the surrounding environment to be studied and how the quality of the water system will be degraded.
Bringing am expensive railway system to transport coal seems a useless way to move a fossil fuel we should looking for alternate ways to discontinue use from. By transporting this product, the residual effects far outweigh the positive points. The Bellingham community strives to be a positive environmental community, making sure no harm comes to the surrounding landmass. It is very protected and continues to thrive as a natural setting with limited disturbances.
This proposed system will take away from transport businesses, cause pollution in the air, land, and sea, and cause detrimental health problems to individuals having to breath in the smell of the product being transported by it releasing toxins into the air.
At this time, it seems the community views the potential for this proposal at a low negative course. Most individuals in the community regard themselves as being as natural as possible, and the thought of a toxin producing train running through town doesn’t seem very appealing.
I would like to see a no action with no alternative set forth. Construction of the project is a waste of money, when it can be spent on alternative options for possible alternative fuel.

serena auriemma (#11559)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: bellingham, wa
Comment:
I am Serena Auriemma, am a citizen of Whatcom County and an Environmental Science major in the city. I am writing about the proposed coal train terminal that is proposed for our community in Bellingham, WA. I want the effects and consequences of the railway damaging the surrounding environment to be studied and how the quality of the water system will be degraded.

Bringing am expensive railway system to transport coal seems a useless way to move a fossil fuel we should looking for alternate ways to discontinue use from. By transporting this product, the residual effects far outweigh the positive points. The Bellingham community strives to be a positive environmental community, making sure no harm comes to the surrounding landmass. It is very protected and continues to thrive as a natural setting with limited disturbances.

This proposed system will take away from transport businesses, cause pollution in the air, land, and sea, and cause detrimental health problems to individuals having to breath in the smell of the product being transported by it releasing toxins into the air.

At this time, it seems the community views the potential for this proposal at a low negative course. Most individuals in the community regard themselves as being as natural as possible, and the thought of a toxin producing train running through town doesn’t seem very appealing.

I would like to see a no action with no alternative set forth. Construction of the project is a waste of money, when it can be spent on alternative options for possible alternative fuel.

Serena DuBois (#12369)

Date Submitted: 01/21/13
Location: Sedro Woolley, 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 am a 70 year old life long asthmatic. Part of the reason I live in rural Skagit County, WA state is the clean air that it provides. The northbound train tracks to the proposed Ferndale port are within five miles of our home and the added particulate matter that these trains will produce can do no good to my breathing or that of any other person living in the area.

Also Burlington./Mt Vernon are the towns our family uses for shopping and the thought of dealing with 18 noisy dirty trains a day is disheartening to say the least. Eighteen extra trains and the possibility of more later are more than the current aging infrastructure can handle.

As an asthmatic who in the past has had attacks leading to ambulance or personal trips to Emergency Rooms, I shudder to think of the added time before help that could happen withe frequent trains blocking the route to the hospital.

Serge Lindner (#9047)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Dear US Army Corps of Engineers, Whatcom County Planning and Development Services, and Washington State Department of Ecology,


I am a physician practicing and living in Whatcom County.

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

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

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

Sincerely Yours,

Serge Lindner, MD
1009 17th ST
Bellingham, WA 98225

Serge Vrabec (#5287)

Date Submitted: 12/19/12
Location: Salem, OR
Comment:
Dec 17, 2012

Washington Department of Ecology

I saw it in horse theif lake park, PLEASE no coal here. thanks :)

Sincerely,

Mr. serge vrabec

Seth Anderson (#13885)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Comment:
we want clean energies, dagnabit!

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.

Seth Beatty (#8357)

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

Seth Burke (#12601)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Location: Brllingham, WA
Comment:
As a Whatcom county resident I strongly oppose the Cherry Point terminal proposal. It may boost the economy in the short term but would have irreversible consequences for the community, environment and would do little to nothing to ease energy supply issues as it would be primarily shipped overseas. We need clean energy alternatives not more dirty coal rolling through town creating respiratory distress and illness. The town and locals vehemently oppose the proposition. I am one of those locals.

Seth Burke

Seth Burke (#13163)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Location: Brllingham, WA
Comment:
As a Whatcom county resident I strongly oppose the Cherry Point terminal proposal. It may boost the economy in the short term but would have irreversible consequences for the community, environment and would do little to nothing to ease energy supply issues as it would be primarily shipped overseas. We need clean energy alternatives not more dirty coal rolling through town creating respiratory distress and illness. The town and locals vehemently oppose the proposition. I am one of those locals.

Seth Burke (#13185)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Location: Brllingham, WA
Comment:
As a Whatcom county resident I strongly oppose the Cherry Point terminal proposal. It may boost the economy in the short term but would have irreversible consequences for the community, environment and would do little to nothing to ease energy supply issues as it would be primarily shipped overseas. We need clean energy alternatives not more dirty coal rolling through town creating respiratory distress and illness. The town and locals vehemently oppose the proposition. I am one of those locals.

Seth Burke (#14076)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
As a Whatcom county resident I strongly oppose the Cherry Point terminal proposal. It may boost the economy in the short term but would have irreversible consequences for the community, environment and would do little to nothing to ease energy supply issues as it would be primarily shipped overseas. We need clean energy alternatives not more dirty coal rolling through town creating respiratory distress and illness. The town and locals vehemently oppose the proposition. I am one of those locals.

Seth Jone (#14403)

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

Seth June (#4508)

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

Seth Owens (#1063)

Date Submitted: 10/15/12
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.

PLEASE, please, please squash this Gateway Pacific project- say no to big corporastions at the expense of everyone in the world- people & animals & all living things!!!
Thank you,
Seth Owens




Seth Owens
po box 1382
Bellingham, WA 98227

Seth Owens (#1912)

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

Seth Owens (#4027)

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

Seth Owens (#8782)

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

Seth Seth Zimmerman (#882)

Date Submitted: 10/19/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Seth Zimmerman
Whitecap Road
Bellingham WA 98229

October 19, 2012


To: Staff

RE: Scoping under NEPA/SEPA for Environmental Impact Statement – Gateway Pacific Terminal

Please scope the physical and mental health impacts from the increased noise should the Gateway Pacific terminal operate at full capacity. According to Pacific International Terminal’s Project Information Document (Feb. 28, 2011), Table 4-5, at full operation there will be 18 train trips to and from GPT per day. I live within 250 feet of the railroad tracks and have my sleep disrupted two or three times per night by the current rail traffic. The added trains would be considerably longer than the average train length presently, and the loaded cars would be substantially heavier than the current average. Thus the current effects of squeaking, rumbling and vibrating would be multiplied by a noticeable factor. A coal train of 124 cars, observed on the evening of March 6, 2012, required 4.75 minutes to pass a point in Boulevard park. Extrapolating this to a maximum of 150 cars, or 1.5 miles at BSNF’s figure of 53.1 ft per car, this would take 5.75 minutes. This is a location where children are at play, two hotels are operating, and condominiums are directly above the track, receiving maximum noise. The total for nine coal trains per day would be 51.75 minutes going north, and the same returning south. This interference is further increased by frequent blasts of train horns which can be heard from a great distance.

In the one mile distance between Viewcrest Rd and Harris Ave, Bellingham, there are 31 homes within 100 ft of the tracks. Clearly in the entire county there are hundreds similarly situated. In addition, the landscape can greatly amplify sound for residences, schools and workplaces much farther away. To give just one example, the apartments and condominius in Fairhaven receive an equivalent sound although they are 750 to 1000 ft from the tracks.

Reputable studies have shown that such proximity, producing a loudness of 100 decibels or more, is frequently injurious to health. The burden falls mostly on children, of course, but no one is immune. Documented effects include cardiovascular disease, cognitive impairment, sleep disturbance with resultant fatigue, hypertension, arrhythmia, increased rate of accidents, exacerbation of mental health disorders such as depression, stress and anxiety and psychosis.

The EIS should measure the health care costs for the above effects, specifying those anticipated to be 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. The EIS should measure lost school days, lost work days, decreased worker productivity, and increased disability among the residents, and attempt to evaluate the economic costs, not only on individuals, but also on businesses.

I append a list of references which have served to elucidate for me the potential effects of increased noise.

Thank you.

References:

1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18646974
J Acoust Soc Am. 2008 Jul;124(1):257-68.
Self-reported sleep disturbances due to railway noise: exposure-response relationships for nighttime equivalent and maximum noise levels.
2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19902241
Eur J Appl Physiol. 2010 Mar;108(4):671-80. Epub 2009 Nov 10.
Cardiovascular responses to railway noise during sleep

3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18773929
Int J Psychophysiol. 2008 Dec;70(3):184-91. Epub 2008 Aug 22.
Effects of nocturnal railway noise on sleep fragmentation in young and middle-aged subjects as a function of type of train and sound level.

4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20472958
Noise Health. 2010 Apr-Jun;12(47):129-36.
Experimental studies on the effects of nocturnal noise on cortisol awakening response.

5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21203365
Sleep. 2011 Jan 1;34(1):11-23.
Single and combined effects of air, road, and rail traffic noise on sleep and recuperation.

6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16364135
J Sleep Res. 2005 Dec;14(4):347-57.
Event-related potential measures of the disruptive effects of trains of auditory stimuli during waking and sleeping states.

7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21110578
J Acoust Soc Am. 2010 Nov;128(5):2829-35.
The effects of long-term exposure to railway and road traffic noise on subjective sleep disturbance.

8. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7698907
Ind Health. 1994;32(3):187-91.
Assessment of noise environment in a major railway station in India.

9. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14719280
Huan Jing Ke Xue. 2003 Sep;24(5):157-60.
Effects of railway noise on residential quarter.

10. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15702944
Appl Health Econ Health Policy. 2004;3(2):71-8.
Improving road safety and residential quality of life : evaluating the automated wayside horn system.

11. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7289175
Nihon Eiseigaku Zasshi. 1981 Feb;35(6):841-50.
Effects of chronic exposure to railway noises on thinking process of school children (author's transl).
12. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7169676
Nihon Eiseigaku Zasshi. 1982 Dec;37(5):753-61.
The effects of chronic exposure to train noise on the mental efficiency of elementary school children (report 2)
13. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15676768
Appl Ergon. 1990 Jun;21(2):129-34.
The relative importance of noise and vibration from railways.
14. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3215087
Zhonghua Yu Fang Yi Xue Za Zhi. 1988 Mar;22(2):76-8.
The discussion of investigation and designing methods on the environment and population influenced by moving sources of the railway noise.

15. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12537833
Noise Health. 2003 Jan-Mar;5(17):35-45.
Stress Hormone Changes in Persons exposed to Simulated Night Noise.

Shahraim Allen (#8506)

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

Shaina Carliz (#14629)

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

Shakti Chionis (#9073)

Date Submitted: 01/17/13
Comment:
My name is Shakti Chionis and I value Bellingham, Wa and all the environment here has to offer us. My children play at the parks and the coal train going through Bloulevard park is such a horrible realization on the impact of noise and pollution for all the children, animals and adults. Please find other ways to transport the coal. Recently there was a terrible disaster with a coal train that crashed up near Vancouver and the impact of the environment is so obvious. Please don't ask us to live in a world where you don't care about what we think. There must be a better solution. Find one.

Shalynn Pack (#12749)

Date Submitted: 01/16/13
Location: Veneta, OR
Comment:
I write you to express my strong opposition to the 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. As a life long resident of Oregon, I know that the Northwest community desires long-term planning for sustainable growth, protecting our natural spaces for the next generation, and for our tourist industry. 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 Environmental Impact Statement to assess the cumulative impact of these proposals.

Shana Lewis (#2228)

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

Shane Sanderson (#11126)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Mount Vernon, WA
Comment:
I have attached a PDF file about the GPT proposal's possible impacts on Skagit County Emergency Medical Services. I think my letter there explains itself, but I am writing here because there is a big red box that says I have to.

Please read my attached letter.
Attached Files:

Shane VanCapello (#3327)

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

Shanna Fricklas (#2462)

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

I am looking into the proposed project and was curious if a purpose and need statement has been issued yet for the Cherry Hill Gateway Pacific Terminal? If so, can you send me a link or way to access it?

Thanks,

Shanna Fricklas
Concerned Citizen

Shannon Davis (#7536)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Location: Port Townsend, WA
Comment:
To whom it may concern:
My concerns begin at the mountain the coal is hauled out of, goes throughout many states, through our incredible Puget Sound waters, to China and then back to everyone here, including my sweet and precocious 4 year old daughter, through pollution and climate change impacts. I believe study of this project is just a piece of a much larger decision that we must address regarding our future as healthy humans on this planet. We need to stop extracting and inputting the elements that are KNOWN dangers to our health and climate. There are so many other ways to create energy that do not cause cancer, kill people in mine explosions, and change our atmosphere at a pace that does not allow adaptation by the species living here.

Please give this project a programmatic EIS - consider the effects from start to finish of allowing more mining, selling and shipping of coal.

Thank you,
Shannon, Brandon and Tayla Davis
Port Townsend, WA

Shannon Dean (#3990)

Date Submitted: 12/06/2012
Location: Friday Harbor, WA
Comment:
I am concerned about the safety of our waters with the ships from foreign countries coming into our harbors to pick up the coal. I have heard that we have taken great steps forward to protect our oceans and hope that someone is looking into the continued safety of our waters and their ecosystems. What can be done to make sure these ships are safe and comply with safe standards of operation?

Shannon Good (#1771)

Date Submitted: 10/31/2012
Location: Mount Vernon, Wa
Comment:
My name is Shannon Good. I am a fourth generation resident of Skagit County, residing in Mount Vernon. I’m writing to voice my concern about the noise impacts from 18 additional trains rolling through my community. Mount Vernon has 6 rail crossings. The trains blow their horn 4 times at each crossing – the noise is already hugely disturbing, particularly at night. I’m extremely concerned that with the addition of 18 trains per day, there will be nearly constant blaring of horns throughout the night.
I would like the issue of noise from train horns, wheel friction and vibration coming from these large, long, heavily loaded trains to be scoped. This issue affects the health and well being of each citizen living along the rail line, including a wide margin along either side of the tracks. I believe the effects on myself, my neighbors and each person along the line can include psychological pain as well as physical pain from sleep deprivation.
In addition, I would like the scoping to include the cumulative impacts for the 18 additional trains as well as the current train traffic (15 trains per day) and the future traffic from planned expansions by Tethys, Tesoro and Amtrak Cascades.

Shannon Good (#1772)

Date Submitted: 10/31/2012
Location: Mount Vernon, Wa
Comment:
My name is Shannon Good. I am a fourth generation resident of Skagit County, residing in Mount Vernon. I’m writing to voice my concern about the impacts of 18 additional trains per day on traffic in my community. Mount Vernon has a rail line bisecting the community, dividing the downtown and westerly residential districts from Interstate 5 access, the hospital and residential areas to the east. I would like the effects of traffic to be scoped, as an economic impact on our community – if people can’t access our downtown, how will our businesses survive? We are a community dependant on tourism dollars, particularly during the growing season, when agri-tourism brings many thousands of people to our valley to view the tulips west of Mount Vernon. I believe that the traffic delays caused by the additional train traffic will be the death of our business community.
Please scope not only the impacts of the 18 proposed trains per day, but the cumulative effect of all train traffic, including the current 15 trains already using the rails, and the additional burden from the future expansions planned by Tethys, Tesoro and Amtrak Cascades.

Shannon Good (#1773)

Date Submitted: 10/31/2012
Location: Mount Vernon, Wa
Comment:
My name is Shannon Good. I am a fourth generation resident of Skagit County, residing in Mount Vernon. I’m writing to voice my concern about the impacts of 18 additional trains per day on emergency vehicle response in my community. Mount Vernon has a rail line bisecting the community, dividing the downtown and westerly residential districts from Interstate 5 access, the hospital and residential areas to the east. I would like the effects of traffic to be scoped, as a safety impact on our community – how will emergency vehicles – fire trucks, ambulances and the police – respond in a timely manner to the citizens they serve, if they are held up at the rail crossings? Lives depend on access to these services.
Please scope not only the impacts of the 18 proposed trains per day, but the cumulative effect of all train traffic, including the current 15 trains already using the rails, and the additional burden from the future expansions planned by Tethys, Tesoro and Amtrak Cascades.

Shannon Good (#1774)

Date Submitted: 10/31/2012
Location: Mount Vernon, Wa
Comment:
My name is Shannon Good. I am a fourth generation resident of Skagit County, residing in Mount Vernon. I’m writing to voice my concern about the ultimate cost to myself and other taxpayers, for coal transport along the existing rail lines running through our communities. I would like the issue of infrastructure upgrades to be scoped – What will be the direct and indirect costs to the public for upgrades to rail infrastructure and attempted mitigations for adverse impacts: safety measures, over and underpasses and train noise reduction?

Shannon Good (#2981)

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

Shannon Good (#10200)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Mount Vernon, Wa
Comment:
My name is Shannon Good. I’m a lifelong resident of Skagit Valley, living in Mount Vernon.
I have many concerns about the proposal for 18 additional trains per day, carrying coal along our fragile waterways and through our towns, to ship it off to China.
My most urgent concern is at the end source - providing that coal to China, to burn in their power plants.
No one can dispute the fact of global climate change that has been accelerated by our human inputs. As the world population grows, those inputs continue to increase. One of the largest inputs is the burning of fossil fuels, a large contributor being coal powered electrical plants. As our climate becomes ever more unstable we experience the bedlam of floods, hurricanes and tornados. Forest fires caused by lightning storms and fed by drought rage for many months of the year now, not just on this continent, but in Australia and in Russia. The polar ice caps, the Greenland Ice Sheet and our glaciers are disappearing at a rate that has become visible from season to season. This means a rising ocean.
I fear that we as humans are writing our final chapter. How can we, as intelligent beings, continue to contribute to this end? What can possibly justify this contribution? A few jobs at the shipping facility are not worth this sacrifice, certainly. The real money is not being made in Ferndale – we all know that. We must look at the larger picture.
So, in speaking of that, I would like the EIS scoping to include a comprehensive, science based study of the environmental impacts of providing this additional coal to China for use in their coal burning power plants. I would like that study to take into consideration, the affect of carbon emissions into the atmosphere from the burning of that coal in the Chinese power plants. How these emissions relate to global climate change, including the warming of the oceans and the melting of the glaciers and polar ice.

Thank you.

Shannon Kesterson (#10702)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I strongly oppose a coal terminal being built in Ferndale, WA. Coal is a toxic substance which pollutes environments. Coal accidentally dumped in the sea near the terminal and purposefully dumped at the terminal itself will pollute Whatcom Counties air and water, harm sea life, and endanger fishing and other important resources.

The local Whatcom economy would suffer, not thrive. Some people who live here by choice would choose to move. The view of Whatcom county as a beautiful, healthy place to visit and live would be tarnished. Tourism and property values would suffer. Certain businesses would suffer. The jobs gained by the terminal itself will be less than the money lost through businesses and residents shutting down and/or leaving the area.

A couple months ago a "pro-coal volunteer" came to my door and tried to convince me that coal was not a toxic substance. This volunteer lied about a number of facts, all trying to gather local support for the coal terminal. I do not appreciate lies being spread by "volunteers" who are really funded by the organizations who want the coal terminal built.

Coal itself is not a viable long term solution to energy. In January 2013 we had records set in air pollution - off the charts - in China, the main target for the coal that is supposed to be exported. China itself is trying to move away from coal as an energy source. We as a nation should not export this raw material.

The area the coal terminal is considered to be built is in Ferndale, WA. Ferndale is already home to oil refineries which are heavy polluters. It is not wise to create another huge pollution project in the same area. The area is home to wetlands, endangered species and sensitive sea life.

I believe the company who wishes to build the coal terminal has engaged in unlawful practices. In 2012 they cleared a wetland habitat and received minimal consequences for their illegal clearing.

As a person who chooses to live in Bellingham, I know that I would not buy a home anywhere near this area should this terminal be built. I know that countless people would have their property values decrease. Air quality would be effected for thousands, including wildlife on land and in sea. Surrounding ecosystems would be damaged. Ships used to transfer the coal would leak pollutants, and coal, into the surrounding waters and air.

Shannon Kirby (#14400)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Camano Island, WA
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

Shannon McCune Dickerson (#12584)

Date Submitted: 01/16/13
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I am the mother to two small children. I work outside (equine therapy) and around Whatcom County, WA (in-home family counseling). I grew up in Missoula, MT. I have lived on the coast of the Pacific Northwest for the past 7 years.
I love spending time outdoors by myself, with my family, and seeing youth find joy in the great outdoors.
There is ecology from the coal pits in Montana to Cherry Point that I value both as a horsewoman and outdoors woman and also as a citizen of this part of the world.
I worry that the coal terminal project is one that is driven by the desire to fill the pockets of a few, to employ a few thousand, possibly short-term, and yet it can have long-lasting and permanent consequences upon communities and ecosystems across 4 states. I am concerned about the effect of increasing railway traffic for each of the communities (and there are so many) that are intersected by railroads. I know in Bellingham, my current home, that the projected increase in railway traffic has been discussed as far as how it will affect our economy and how it will divide the economy. But how will it affect the diverse and often fragile communities of other species to have increased noise, air pollution, traffic and the shuddering of the ground as the trains roll by with their dirty cargo?
I urge you to expand this environmental scoping to the fullest extent of your ability to include every aspect of our communities (damaged businesses, detracted waterfronts, increased air and water pollution, the essential herring populations, our struggling salmon, the fishing and recreation industries, increased noise, and delayed traffic (including emergency responders)). Please hold these effects up closely against the possibility of enriching a few to share an unsustainable energy resource which may indeed increase global climate change. Will the scoping include, for instance, the affect on our air when China begins burning all this Montana and Wyoming coal?


Thank you for your service to our communities and our nation,

Shannon Norgard (#10357)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
We strongly oppose the coal export terminal at Cherry Point. We are concerned about environment, health, traffic and overall impact of additional coal sent to China. Bellingham strives to be sustainable and minimize environmental impacts. I love this city but will not stay long-term if the coal terminal is built.

Shannon Parsons (#1564)

Date Submitted: 10/27/2012
Comment:
I want the impacts of all of the above factors measured.

Shannon Parsons (#3425)

Date Submitted: 11/26/2012
Comment:
The proposed GPT would be twice as big as Westshore in Tsawassen, Canada. For those of us living in Birch Bay, Ferndale and areas surrounding Cherry Point, GPT's uncovered coal stockpiles would harm us even more than coal trains. If the GPT is built, coal would be stored in five rows, each row over 60' high and 1/2 mile long at Cherry Point. That's two and a half miles of coal piled higher than a six story building and all of it uncovered and exposed to the wind and rain. More than 3 million pounds of coal dust could escape from those piles every year and destroy air quality for five miles or more in every direction. Coal dust would fill the air we breathe and cover our property.
In the town of Tsawassen, there is coal dust on homes, patios, boats, outside furniture and along the shoreline of the bay in front of the homes. There are homes for sale and, according to the realtors, potential buyers are refusing to buy them because of the proximity of the coal terminal. This experience is a stark reminder of what is at stake in terms of our property values here in Whatcom county.
The EIS must include a full and complete review of these coal dust impacts on our propery values, and personal health in addition to the environmental health of the land and animals

Shannon Welles (#7211)

Date Submitted: 01/14/2013
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
I live in Seattle, and I do not want coal trains lumbering through my community. I also don't want them travelling through other communities either. My opposition to them includes the local health and safety issues frequently listed, but it is mainly based on the greater impact and implications of continued and increased coal usage globally. Our CO2 rate is rapidly climbing, and I am extremely concerned about climate change. Coal is a dirty fuel and directly contributes to the CO2 in our atmosphere. It's pretty common knowledge at this point. Common sense dictates we reduce our coal consumption. Washington state has phased out our coal fired plants, but now we are going to help pass it on to another place for the gain of a couple hundred local jobs? Really? This is short term thinking. We can't keep trashing our planet for the sake of the economy. We need to take a stand to protect our home. All the corporate profits and "jobs" created will be meaningless on a destabilized and inhospitable planet.

Shannon Williamson (#2887)

Date Submitted: 11/13/12
Location: Sandpoint, ID
Comment:
Dear Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Ecology and Whatcom County Council:

I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington and transporting strip-mined coal from Montana and Wyoming on trains and ships throughout the Northwest. This proposal would negatively affect my community in North Idaho (Sandpoint, Bonner County) 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 including Lake Pend Oreille as well as the 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.

Sincerely,

Shannon Williamson, Ph.D.
Executive Director
Lake Pend Oreille Waterkeeper



Shannon Williamson
PO Box 732
Sandpoint, ID 83864

Shannon & Brandon Davis (#2050)

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

Shantel Rapp (#9129)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Please include a study of rogue coal dust on the immediate marine environment in the Environmental Impact Study of the proposed terminal. I've lived in Whatcom County my whole life. I am very concerned about the impacts of this terminal on the herring population. The herring are already struggling. We need to protect the herring. They are very important to other species who rely on them for food. The herring use this area for a spawning ground. I am concerned about how the terminal may impact this species and the other species that depend upon them.

Shantel Rapp (#9132)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Please include a study of increased coal dust and diesel fumes from trains on human health in the Environmental Impact Study of the proposed terminal. I've lived in Whatcom County my entire life and have always enjoyed our clean air. I am very concerned about the increase in coal trains and the effects of the coal dust and diesel fumes that the trains may generate. I have two small children and currently they are healthy young people who love to spend time out doors and in our parks. Several of our parks are quite close to the train tracks. I also have friends who have children with asthma. How will the increase of these trains effect there health? Will they still be able to enjoy our parks.

Shantel Rapp (#9134)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Please include a study of traffic problems (especially emergency vehicles) associated with increased trains blocking traffic in the Environmental Impact Study of the proposed terminal. I've resided in Whatcom County my entire life and have seen how trains can delay traffic. I am extremely concerned about traffic being blocked to emergency vehicles. A persons life or a persons home or any number of emergencies can be tragically affected by a delay of emergency services not getting there as quickly as possible.

Shantel Rapp (#9137)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Please include a study of the coal dust and diesel fumes on human health with the increased train traffic in the Environmental Impact Study of the proposed terminal. I've resided in Whatcom County my entire life and I am very concerned on the impact of increased fumes and coal dust to all of health, but especially to our young people and our elderly. Many of our parks are close to the train tracks. Will we still be able to enjoy our parks without being harmed by the air we breath?

Shantel Rapp (#9141)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Please include a study of the effects of coal ships bringing in invasive species to our waters in the Environmental Impact Study of the proposed terminal. I am a life long resident of Whatcom County. I am greatly concerned for our marine life especially when ships come in to collect coal and change their ballast water. I am concerned invasive species could be carried from foreign ports and could wipe out our native species.

Shara Alexander (#4509)

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

Shari Goss (#2871)

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

Scoping Hearing Comments Cherry Point Scoping Comments WA

Dear Scoping Hearing Comments Scoping Comments,

When do we learn to think about the future before we destroy for a profit??

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

Sincerely,

Shari Goss
12618 NE 5th Ave
Vancouver, WA 98685-3051
(360) 566-0103

Sharleen Meadows (#5650)

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

Sharon Abreu (#1112)

Date Submitted: 10/15/12
Location: Eastsound, 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 many communities along the route 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.

Here in San Juan County, many of us have serious concerns about the single-hulled tankers that would be going through our narrow straits, which are already heavily trafficked. In addition to the concerns listed above, we're very concerned about the likelihood of accidents and oil spills, and the damage that would do to the marine life and the economy in our islands which depends heavily on the health of our ecosystems.

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.

One more point I want to make. I believe that we can create much better jobs than those this coal port might provide; jobs that would take us well into the 21st century and beyond, while supporting the health of our people, ecosystems, and atmosphere, rather than hurting them.

Thank you for your consideration of my comments.

Sharon Abreu
1315 Vusario Lane
Eastsound, WA 98245

Sharon Abreu (#2435)

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

Sharon Abreu (#11397)

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

I'm Sharon Abreu and I've lived on Orcas Island for 11 years. I agree with Kate Bowers' comment submiited on Jan. 12, 2013 requesting that you look at the aggregate of all potential train traffic by these companies planned projects and who will pay for lost revenue. I'm concerned for all the communities along the train and shipping routes. We are all impacted by the strain on our natural resources, our natural environment, and the potential devastation to our local economies.

Thank you for you attention to this important matter.

Sharon Abreu (#11415)

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

I'm Sharon Abreu and I've lived on Orcas Island for 11 years.

I am grateful for being able to live in a community that respects, values and depends on the marine life that surrounds us, and our whole natural environment. Many people here have depended on the beauty and pristine nature of our island home for their livelihoods for many decades.

I am concerned that SSA Marine and its subsidiary, Pacific International Terminals (PIT), would not be able to cover the costs of a fuel/coal spill or other accident in the waters surrounding the San Juan Islands and our neighboring communities.

I agree with Kate Bowers' suggestion delivered at the scoping hearing in Ferndale that, should the GPT be approved, that SSA/Carrix be required to post a bond of, at minimum, $500 billion. In addition, I agree with Kate's suggestion that "the EIS measure the cost of a worst-case scenario, from a spill of 470 thousand gallons of bunker fuel in the San Juan Islands, to an explosion at the terminal or a derailment in a highly populated area like downtown Mt. Vernon, and that the bond be set up so that it is replenished as funds are withdrawn."

Thank you for you attention to this important matter.

Sharon Abreu (#11425)

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



I'm Sharon Abreu and I've lived on Orcas Island for 11 years.



I agree with Sanford Olson's comment submitted on Oct. 27, 2012 expressing concern over the addition of nearly a thousand very large bulk carriers the GPT would add to the narrow straits surrounding the San Juan Islands, and the safety of their passage.



I am very concerned about the likelihood of accidents and spills from this increased oceangoing vessel traffic.



So I am writing in support of the requests made by Sanford Olson in his comment #1567.


Thank you for you attention to this important matter.

Sharon Abreu (#11461)

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


My name is Sharon Abreu and I live on Orcas Island. Orcas has a rich history of tribal presence and is home to sacred tribal land.

Consideration for our local tribal nations is of great importance to me. I am aware of the suffering of tribal people in our area and other parts of the country resulting from natural resource extraction and industrial pollution.

I respectfully request that various impacts on tribal nations be given due consideration in the GPT EIS.

I request that you study:

1. Potential damages to the Nooksack River, 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.

Please study how damaged fisheries, polluted waters, lands and air, altered ecosystems, and increasingly industrialized, crowded waterways might impact traditional Native culture and spirituality, employment and livelihoods, natural resources and safe food sources.

Also, please study how the construction and operations of GPT, and the transport and storage of bulk commodities, including coal, might affect the full and proper observation of all relevant rights and treaties?

The area we call Cherry Point has deep spiritual and cultural significance to local tribes. 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 there, 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.

Thus, with respect for the rights of the First Peoples of this land, 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.

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 for you attention to this important matter.

Sharon Abreu (#11491)

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

I'm Sharon Abreu and I live on Orcas Island.

I greatly value the beauty and health of our natural environment here in the San Juan Islands, and the richness it provides for our communities and for all those who come here to appreciate it as a refuge from their busy working lives.

I'm concerned about the continued vitality of the Salish Sea, where coal ships would make over 950 transits per year if the GPT were to be built, and I have submitted a comment about that.

In this comment, I am expressing my concern about the impacts of coal dust emissions from the proposed GPT on the marine environment.

Questions that concern me, and which objective, rigorous and comprehensive studies should address include:

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

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

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

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

Thank you for your attention to this important matter.

Sharon Abreu (#11505)

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

I'm Sharon Abreu and I live on Orcas Island.

I have many friends who live along the train route that would be moving coal from Wyoming to Cherry Point. I'm concerned about the health impacts the trains might have on all of those people.

I'm writing here to express my concern about the pollution from both coal and diesel particulates potentially produced by the coal trains, and to agree with Sara Mostad, MD, PhD in her comment #6353 submitted on January 9, 2013 that the GPT EIS include a comprehensive and cumulative Health Impact Assessment.

In particular, this Health Impact Assessment should include careful study and modeling of the air pollution from the diesel locomotives and ships transporting coal through our region.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter.

Sharon Abreu (#11519)

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



I'm Sharon Abreu and I live on Orcas Island.


As beautiful as our area is, it already faces many environmental challenges, one of which is invasive species in our waters.



I'm concerned about the increased likelihood and potential consequences of introduction of Asian invasive species from ballast water discharges as well as from organisms attached to the ships.

Questions that concern me, and which objective, rigorous and comprehensive studies should address include:

•What invasive species could be introduced because of the release of ballast water, and how would these species impact the Salish Sea ecosystem?

•What invasive species could be introduced as a result of organisms attached to the outside of the ships, and how would these species impact the Salish Sea ecosystem?

•What will be the cost of the introduction of invasive species on our regional economy (tourism, commercial/recreational fisheries and property values)?

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

Thank you for your attention to this important matter.

Sharon Abreu (#11552)

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



I'm Sharon Abreu and I live on Orcas Island.


One of the things I value most highly where I live is that it is quiet most of the time. Before moving to Orcas Island, I lived in New York City and suffered greatly from noise pollution. Construction noise went on 24/7 around the corner from my apartment so that a shoppint mall could be built atop a Long Island railroad hub, and I could do nothing about it because the MTA had a 24 hour work permit. Progress is progress.


I have stayed over with friends in Bellingham and Mount Vernon and heard the trains going through the night. They are loud, blowing their horns at crossings at all hours. I often wear earplugs when I sleep on the mainland.

So I am concerned about noise pollution, on the land and in the marine environment.

I'm concerned about the effect of the additional noise of the additional tankers that would be carrying coal from Cherry Point to Asia on a daily basis.

Please study the amount of increased noise in our communities and marine environment resulting from the additional trains and tankers, as well as the health affects on people and all forms of marine life in our waters and in the Pacific Ocean between here and Asia.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter.

Sharon Abreu (#11576)

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

I'm Sharon Abreu and I live on Orcas Island.

At the scoping hearing in Friday Harbor, I submitted comments expressing my concern about the intensification of climate change and increase in poor air quality resulting from the burning of coal.

I am writing to reiterate and emphasize these two concerns, which are linked.

I believe that health impacts and environmental consequences are the responsibility of those who extract, transport, and profit from the sale and export of coal.

I am greatly concerned that the burning of U.S. coal in Asia (as well as here) is having a devastating impact on human health and the health of our planet's ecosystems in general, which impacts people in a huge way.

So I urge you to study the impacts of the burning of the coal that would be shipped form the GPT on people who live in the communities in Asia where this coal would be burned, as well as the impact on communities along the West Coast of the U.S. where this pollution will come back to us, and the impact of burning this coal on global warming.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter.

Sharon Abreu (#11610)

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



I'm Sharon Abreu and I live on Orcas Island.


I greatly value the health of the Salish Sea that surrounds our beautiful islands. I'm concerned about the future of our marine wildlife and our fishing industry. And I'm aware of how disrupting a sea bed can release toxic pollutants into the water, potentially devastating the marine life and people who come in contact with the water as well.


I'm writing to agree with Bill McGown's comment #5001 submitted on December 17, 2012 expressing concern about the risk posed by ships waiting to berth at the proposed GPT, anchoring as they wait.



I share the concern that the anchors and chains could disturb the sediment on the sea floor, which would stir up a lot of pollutants best left undisturbed.



I echo his request for a study of the effect of the anchoring tankers calling on BP now and extrapolating to determine how much disturbance would occur if 487 ships per year were calling on GPT.



Thank you for your attention to this important matter.

Sharon Abreu (#11620)

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

I'm Sharon Abreu, and I'm writing to agree with Gary Greene's comment #5913 submitted on January 3, 2013.

Living on Orcas Island as Gary does, adverse impacts to the marine environment matter greatly to me. I have been an environmental educator, water and marine life advocate for many years. It is so important that we identify the links between human activity and its potential impacts on our wildlife, our food supply, our health, and our local fishing and tourism industries.

I share Gary's concern about the health of the forage fish Pacific sand land (PSL) and the subtidal benthic habitats they occupy.

I am also concerned about the development of the coal loading facilities at Cherry Point with regard to the potential impact that fugitive coal particles would have on the health and survival of a critical forage fish in the region, PSL (Ammodytes hexapterus).

I support Gary's request that questions addressed, and hopefully answered, in the GPT EIS include:

1) how will fugitive coal particles be incorporated into natural sediments, if at all;

2) how concentrated will the particles become and what will be the toxicity to benthic organisms, especially Pacific sand lance; and

3) how far will the particles be distributed from their point of entry into the water?

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

And, of course, if potential impacts are found, how will they be mitigated?

Thank you for your attention to this important matter.

Sharon Alford (#7181)

Date Submitted: 01/14/2013
Location: BELLINGHAM, Wa
Comment:
I would like you to study the possible effects of coal dust on our fragile marine species including herring, salmon and shellfish. We have seen how coal dust from West Shore Terminal in B.C. blows miles away from the shipping point. We cannot afford to risk losing one of most valuable resources, our fisheries.

Sharon Alford (#7204)

Date Submitted: 01/14/2013
Location: BELLINGHAM, Wa
Comment:
It has been shown that railroad workers who have long-term exposure to diesel fumes and coal dust have a high rate of lung diseases including lung cancer, emphysema, chronic bronchitis and asthma. Bringing multiple train loads of coal per day through densely populated cities along the route from Wyoming to Cherry Point will expose residents to these dangerous pollutants. Please study the effects of diesel fumes and coal dust on the health of those living near train tracks.

Sharon Aller (#1868)

Date Submitted: 10/30/12
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
The tracks that the coal trains will take go through neighborhoods, uncovered, along parks and along the sea. It is NOT a good idea to use these tracks, considering the environmental problems they will cause.




Sharon Aller
12156 12th Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98177

Sharon Baggett (#7333)

Date Submitted: 01/12/13
Location: Portland, OR
Comment:
Jan 12, 2013

US Army Corps of Engineers

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

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. Please heed this request; I have lived in other parts of the country, specifically the Midwest, where coal trains contribute to low air quality. The Columbia Gorge should not be sacrificed to this export.

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

Sincerely,

Ms. Sharon Baggett

sharon bettis (#6903)

Date Submitted: 01/11/2013
Location: Portland, OR
Comment:
The Columbia Gorge should not be subjected to open coal train cars. Commerce is important, yet I'm wondering if such an important and unique natural wonder has to be damaged because of it.

Sharon Bruner (#10244)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Monroe, WA
Comment:
By approving this plan, several more trains per day would use the East/West corridor along Hwy 2 causing congestion and limiting crossing on Hwy 2. Access to Valley General Hospital in Monroe would be severly impacted. This could cause countless deaths from delays. Also the air quality of these areas would be affected tremendously by the dust dropping from the rail cars. I know you say there will be minimal dust but really. a railcar bouncing along is sure to cause leakage from the container. This leakage would fall into rivers and streams the are bridged so rail lines can go over them. The impact on wildlife and humans is to great. Please do not go further with this project. Thank you

Sharon Coontz (#1980)

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

Sharon Cram (#4355)

Date Submitted: 12/06/12
Location: Vancouver, 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.

Please, just stop!!!!!! There is no such thing as clean coal!!!! It is bad for us all!!!!!

Sincerely,

Sharon Cram
903 NW 44th St
Vancouver, WA 98660-1615

Sharon Damkaer (#12777)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
Location: Monroe, WA
Comment:
Please stop the plans to transport coal on railroad tracks through Washington state headed for the Longview and Cherry Point near Anacortes ports. Not only is coal a dangerous pollutant and one of the worse contributors to our planet's worsening global warming conditions, to export it to other countries just spreads the pollution elsewhere.
Currently, Beijing's air pollution has reached hazardous levels. A Jan. 13, 2013 AP article said: "Air pollution is a major problem in China due to the country's rapid pace of industrialization, reliance on coal power, explosive growth in car ownership and disregard to environmental laws." China's pollution is our problem! There will also be incredible pollution from the coal dust and delays at track crossings to communities the trains will pass through, including our town of Monroe, Washington. I refer you to the report in the Monroe Monitor, Jan. 8, 2013 "Coal trains on track to increase rail traffic."

Sharon Digby (#1738)

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

Sharon Doggett (#13111)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Location: Crooked River Ranch, 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.

Sharon Doggett (#13193)

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

When coal is made clean ( which will never happen), they can bring it through Oregon. I do not want coal brought through my state in a train. I do not want coal brought through Oregon in anything at any time. Please do not allow this to happen. Thank you very much for listening.

Sharon Grace (#13680)

Date Submitted: 01/21/13
Location: Friday Harbor, WA
Comment:
Attached please find my scoping comments for the proposed Gateway pacific Terminal EIS. Please don't hesitate to contact me if there is a problem with this email or should you have questions.
Attached Files:

Sharon Gunnerson (#8910)

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

sharon gustafson (#7953)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Location: puyallup , wa
Comment:
The newspaper reported that 18- mile long trains- filled with coal would use the tracks through downtown Puyallup in Pierce County Washington. I travel across those tracks a minimum of twice a day and there is already lots of rail traffic causing congestion. The thought of adding 18 more rail trips that are a mile long would have extreme negative consequences to the citizens of our area.

Sharon Harris (#5532)

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

Sharon Inman (#1200)

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

Sharon Lewis (#3798)

Date Submitted: 12/04/2012
Location: Sandpoint, ID
Comment:
To The People in Charge of Making a Decision about the Cherry Point Coal Terminal,

I am strongly opposed to the proposal to build a coal terminal in Cherry Point, WA or anywhere along the Oregon and Washington coastlines. My opposition rests in both the concerns for my local community and in the long term economic and environmental concerns for our country.
If I was purely selfish, the risky impacts coupled with no benefits to my own community provide more than enough reason for me to oppose the proposal to mine and transport coal from Powder Basin to the West Coast. I live in Sandpoint, ID a community that lives along the railway lines that could be heavily impacted should this coal production and transportation be approved; increased train traffic (an estimated increase of 66 trains daily), increased risk of train accidents, increased coal dust and carbon emissions in our local air and water, increased health risks. That’s a lot of risk paralleled with absolutely NO advantages for the Sandpoint community or any community along the railway lines proposed to transport what is being classified as low grade coal exports to China.
When I consider this proposal from the economic point of view of the person who needs a job either mining the coal in Powder Basin or loading the coal onto ships destined for China in Cherry Point, it does give me pause and I understand their necessity for work. However, as a country, out of necessity we are slowly shifting from nonrenewable energy resources to renewable resources. Renewable resources if given the support and tax subsidies that nonrenewable resources like coal have been given over the last 100 years will also create jobs. I am a capitalist. I believe in capitalism. But capitalism that always lets short term gain for a few outweigh the long term loss for the majority of American citizens cannot thrive and will die a slow death.
Please pardon my dramatic words, but for me this issue represents a crossroads in this country. The 11th hour has come and gone. We, as a country, need to start thinking long term on these energy choices before we lose our privilege to even make these choices.
So to the people who have been given the privilege of deciding whether the Cherry Point Coal Terminal should be built or not, please say NO to this terminal, but please say YES to supporting renewable resource industries that with your support will provide safer, healthier jobs for our economic communities and safer, healthier energy options for our long term future.

Sincerely,
Sharon Lewis
Sandpoint, ID

Sharon Lewis (#4096)

Date Submitted: 12/04/12
Location: Sandpoint, ID
Comment:
To The People in Charge of Making a Decision about the Cherry Point Coal Terminal,

I am strongly opposed to the proposal to build a coal terminal in Cherry Point, WA or anywhere along the Oregon and Washington coastlines. My opposition rests in both the concerns for my local community and in the long term economic and environmental concerns for our country.
If I was purely selfish, the risky impacts coupled with no benefits to my own community provide more than enough reason for me to oppose the proposal to mine and transport coal from Powder Basin to the West Coast. I live in Sandpoint, ID a community that lives along the railway lines that could be heavily impacted should this coal production and transportation be approved; increased train traffic (an estimated increase of 66 trains daily), increased risk of train accidents, increased coal dust and carbon emissions in our local air and water, increased health risks. That’s a lot of risk paralleled with absolutely NO advantages for the Sandpoint community or any community along the railway lines proposed to transport what is being classified as low grade coal exports to China.
When I consider this proposal from the economic point of view of the person who needs a job either mining the coal in Powder Basin or loading the coal onto ships destined for China in Cherry Point, it does give me pause and I understand their necessity for work. However, as a country, out of necessity we are slowly shifting from nonrenewable energy resources to renewable resources. Renewable resources if given the support and tax subsidies that nonrenewable resources like coal have been given over the last 100 years will also create jobs. I am a capitalist. I believe in capitalism. But capitalism that always lets short term gain for a few outweigh the long term loss for the majority of American citizens cannot thrive and will die a slow death.
Please pardon my dramatic words, but for me this issue represents a crossroads in this country. The 11th hour has come and gone. We, as a country, need to start thinking long term on these energy choices before we lose our privilege to even make these choices.
So to the people who have been given the privilege of deciding whether the Cherry Point Coal Terminal should be built or not, please say NO to this terminal, but please say YES to supporting renewable resource industries that with your support will provide safer, healthier jobs for our economic communities and safer, healthier energy options for our long term future.

Sincerely,
Sharon Lewis
Sandpoint, ID


Sharon Lewis
608 Oak St
Sandpoint, ID 83864

Sharon Mayson (#9794)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Comment:
October 12, 2012


To Whom It May Concern:

Our family own 54 acres very close to the Custer spur rail tracks, which is certified organic farmland. The proposed expansion of the Gateway Pacific Terminal and the Custer rail spur near our property would have a disastrous effect on our organic farm business due to the pollution from coal dust and diesel particulate. As well as the disruption of regular business traffic to and from the farm from the increased rail traffic. We request the EIS conduct a study of the economic and environmental effects of the proposed GPT and the coal train traffic would have upon organic farms in Whatcom County. We would like to know if the organic certification would still be recognized if the land becomes contaminated with mercury, cadmium, uranium and other matter know to be present in coal dust and how these effects would be mitigated.

Sincerely,

Sharon Mayson
7729 Ham Rd
Custer, WA

Sharon Mayson (#9809)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Comment:
October 12, 2012


To Whom It May Concern:

I live with my husband and three year old daughter in a farmhouse approximately ¼ mile from the Custer spur railroad track. The proposed coal trains would run we are informed 18 times per day. This uncovered coal train activity running past our property would have a disastrous impact on the health of our family, given the close proximity in which live. We request the EIS study the effects of coal dust and diesel particulate upon the health of residents like us living within a mile of the passing coal trains and how it is possible to mitigate the these effects without relocating people, or is relocating people the only answer to keep them save, if so who pays for the relocation? If people are not relocated and they get cancer or severe asthma and they decide to sue the county for permitting and unsafe project what are those costs going to be? I request the EIS study the economic impact on Whatcom County of the possibility of future law suits taken against the county.

Sincerely,

Sharon Mayson
7729 Ham Rd
Custer, WA

Sharon Mayson (#10113)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Comment:
As a Mother I am particularly touched by Carolyn Gastellum's letter. I believe it is the responsibility under the public trust doctrine of the three agencies invovled in this EIS to include in it's study and impacts of the final burning of the coal in Asia. I would also like to cheer her clear thinking in asking for a study done of the economic benefits of not mining Power River Basin. Our children deserve a fighting chance for the future we must act responsibly.

“Coal is the highest carbon emitter of the major fossil fuels....Scientists say emissions must peak within the next five years if the worst effects of global warming are to be avoided.” (Fiona Harvey, The Guardian, October 28, 2012)

“If the countries of the world continue burning coal the way they do today, it will be impossible to achieve the reductions in carbon emissions needed to have a reasonable chance of preventing the worst consequences of global warming.” (Union of Concerned Scientists, Options for Coal Around the World, May 1, 2009)

Please include in the scope of the EIS various statutes that fall under the category of the public trust doctrine. Under SEPA and NEPA federal and state agencies have an obligation to consider the broader implications of the GPT including climate change impacts. For example:

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

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

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

How much would the burning of the Powder River Basin coal in Asia that is proposed to be exported from both Cherry Point and the Longview Terminal offset the goals established by Washington State to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as adopted by our state legislature in 2008?
“Washington State adopted greenhouse gas reduction standards via legislation adopted in 2008. (RCW 70.235.070(1)(a). The statute establishes that by 2020, emissions shall be reduced to 1990 levels. By 2035, GHG emissions are to be 25 percent below 1990 levels and by 2050, they are to be 50 percent below 1990 levels.” (James Wells, Don’t Pee In The Pool!, January 5, 2013)

In addition to greenhouse gas emissions, what are the health impacts from the mercury and other air pollutants that comes across the Pacific ocean from coal burning power plants in Asia? Levels of those pollutants can be detected now in our glaciers and waterways. How much worse would it be over the life of GPT if that terminal is permitted? How much worse would it be if both the GPT and the terminal at Longview are permitted?

Finally, please do a rigorous cumulative analysis of CO2 emissions from the GPT as well as the four other coal export terminals that are being proposed in Washington and Oregon. What would be the overall climate change effects due to burning approximately 150 million tons of coal over the life of the proposed export terminals?

What would be the climate change, economic, human health, and ecosystem benefits if Powder River Basin coal is not mined, transported by rail, exported by cargo ships, and burned in power plants in Asia? I would like a comparative analysis that clearly shows the detriments of the coal export terminal proposals if they are allowed and the overall benefits to people in Washington and Oregon if the five proposed terminals are not permitted.

We must not foreclose future options for our children and grandchildren by accommodating increases in coal burning in Asia or any other place on the planet. It is the responsibility of our generation to take the lead in transitioning away from coal burning and other sources of greenhouse gas emissions and toward clean, renewable energy sources. Time is of the essence.

Yours Truly
Sharon Mayson

Sharon McClellan (#11270)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
I can't think of a single moral or justifiable reason for our sending coal to Asia. The health of our communities and world are at stake now and in the future. We need to leave the coal in the ground - the only safe place for it. It pollutes, affects global warming, creates health issues for humans and sea life, damages infrastructure, delays traffic, obstructs our port and marine traffic and will damage our wonderful NW environment. It will pollute from the mines to the ports onto the seas and out of the chimneys in Asia - and the world does still turn - what goes around, will come around.

Please care about current and future generations and stop these coals trains in their tracks!

Sharon Moss (#13900)

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.

Why aren't people more important than $$$$$$$$$$$$

Sharon Price (#7662)

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

Sharon Price (#13175)

Date Submitted: 01/15/13
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
We attended the hearing in Seattle on the coal trains because we feeI it is important that you hear the will of the majority. In our state we are shutting down coal because we feel it is very wrong on a number of environmental fronts. Please uphold our state's decision to lesson our coal footprint on the planet. We want nothing to do with the mining shipping or using of coal on the planet.

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

Sharon Romines (#1036)

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

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

I hope that you will consider and help to identify potential and known risks to wildlife and their habitats that could result from 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 fear the project will harm imperiled wildlife species and their designated critical habitat, interfere with recreational and tribal fishing, transform the region with rail congestion, and dramatically increase carbon pollution that is driving climate change. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

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

Sincerely,

Sharon Romines
31905 NE 162nd St
Duvall, WA 98019-7633

Sharon Ross (#10566)

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

The Columbia Gorge is a gem we should not be tarnishing with coal dust!

It is critical that a comprehensive study be done about ALL of the environmental impacts of the coal export proposal

Sharon Scherer (#14398)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

Sharon Shadbolt (#13455)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Tahuya, WA
Comment:
How can you pitch the people who really need work, against a whole population's life expectancy and children's health? I think this is a dishonest attempt to increaase profits; without taking responsibilty
for the consequences. 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.

Sharon Sneddon (#1472)

Date Submitted: 10/16/12
Location: Edmonds, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Sharon Switzer (#13852)

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 NOT clean, cannot be clean and should not be a continued source of energy on this planet. We need to be using environmentally friendly sources, renewable sources and clean up our environment. Have you seen the air in Bejing lately......You cannot see just feet in front of your face.

Sharon Throop (#12495)

Date Submitted: 01/21/13
Location: Spokane, WA
Comment:
I believe the transport of coal in this manner will negatively affect all communities in direct contact with the rail lines - not just Cherry Point! My school district lies directly adjacent to the railway - and my own home is just up a hill immediately above the railway. I not only have concerns about my own neighborhood's air quality - but the possible extremely damaging effects coal dust and diesel can have on our most susceptible young people with asthma or allergies. This is not a danger that can be taken lightly!

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.

Sharon Unflat (#10217)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Comment:
The Facts are in.. Let us not deny these. We need courage to stand up to the money that drives the ultimate decisions. I can offer one practical suggestion. As do the truck loads require load-cover, so too, all coal rail cars should do the same. Signed, S.U. 21 Jan 2013

Sharon Unflat (#10218)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Comment:
The Facts are in.. Let us not deny these. We need courage to stand up to the money that drives the ultimate decisions. I can offer one practical suggestion. As do the truck loads require load-cover, so too, all coal rail cars should do the same. Signed, S.U. 21 Jan 2013

Sharon Unflat (#10226)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Comment:
require all coal loads to tarp and cover up the load

Sharon Wilson (#14397)

Date Submitted: 01/05/13
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
See attached.
Attached Image:

Sharon V. Scherer (#9357)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
Please consider the full costs of building, operating and of eventually decommissioning the Gateway Pacific Terminal and Custer Spur expansion and devise a regulatory intervention to collect fair compensation for costs borne by third parties to the business transaction. Costs to export coal from the coast of Washington State are not limited to wildlife habitat replacement, environmental contamination abatement, transportation congestion relief, view preservation, human and domestic animal health restoration, and industrial disaster recovery. These costs should be paid by the coal business entities not the people of Washington State.

I have enjoyed the beauty and bounty of the Pacific Northwest Region my entire life.

Sharone Norwood (#378)

Date Submitted: 09/24/12
Location: Quilcene, WA
Comment:
We don't need any more pollution in out water ways!!!
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.

Sharre Carlsson (#344)

Date Submitted: 09/24/12
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. The promised jobs will be short-term and not worth the degradation of our environment. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

Sharron Lee (#4360)

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

Army Corps of Engineers and Department of Ecology WA

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

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

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

I am from Montana and have lived in Washington several decades. I strongly oppose coal shipments from Wyoming through Montana, Washington and other states. There have been a number of train accidents of coal shipments to date, with little to no media coverage, and great concern from all those people living along these routes. Please consider the detrimental effects of these shipments.

Sincerely,

Sharron Lee
19302 67th Ave NE
Kenmore, WA 98028-3443
(425) 485-6179

Shaun Crooks (#8386)

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

Shaun Hubbard (#2432)

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

Shaun Hubbard (#2704)

Date Submitted: 11/12/2012
Location: Friday Harbor, WA
Comment:
See attached
Attached Files:

Shaun Hubbard (#9055)

Date Submitted: 01/17/13
Comment:
My name is Shaun Hubbard and I live and own property on San Juan Island. I have good friends who are related to members of the Lummi Nation.
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,

Shaun Hubbard

Shaun Hubbard (#12594)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
Location: Friday Harbor , WA
Comment:
Dear GPT/BNSF Custer Spur EIS Co-Lead Agencies,

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

I am especially concerned about increased likelihood and potential consequences of introduction of Asian invasive species from ballast water discharges as well as from organisms attached to the ships. Questions that concern me, and which objective, rigorous and comprehensive studies should address include:
• What invasive species could be introduced because of the release of ballast water, and how would these species impact the Salish Sea ecosystem?
• What invasive species could be introduced as a result of organisms attached to the outside of the ships, and how would these species impact the Salish Sea ecosystem?
• What will be the cost of the introduction of invasive species on our regional economy (tourism, commercial/recreational fisheries and property values)?
• What impact will the introduction of invasive species have on the future of the University of Washington Oceanography Labs (based in Friday Harbor) -- its research, employees, and scientists ?
If there is no positive assurance and insurance from those involved against any potentially significant impacts, please consider a no build option.

Thank you.

Sincerely,
Shaun Hubbard

Dear GPT/BNSF Custer Spur EIS Co-Lead Agencies,

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

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

The shipment of coal by bulk carriers requires large engine propulsion.
• What would be the health risks to people and to our waters and marine-dependent species and to our soil, pastures, and locally produced food, from increase in particulate matter from the propulsion fuel?
• How would the increase in particulate matter impact our residents and visitors who have COPD, asthma, emphysema and other respiratory conditions?

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

Thank you.

Sincerely,
Shaun Hubbard

Dear GPT/BNSF Custer Spur EIS Co-Lead Agencies,

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

I am especially concerned about the impacts to orca, marine mammals and birds. Questions that concern me, and which objective, rigorous and comprehensive studies should address include:
• How would the noise, pollution and physical presence of the additional huge vessels affect our Orca populations (including the endangered Southern Residents), and in particular the effects from any required queuing of vessels?
• What would be the impacts from the increased noise, pollution and physical presence of the additional huge vessels on property values in San Juan County, and in particular the effects from any required queuing of vessels?
• How would construction and operation, including the vessel noise, of the coal port and the continuous transiting of coal ships affect other marine mammals, fish, birds, and the food web that supports them?
If there is no positive assurance and insurance from those involved against any potentially significant impacts, please consider a no build option.

Thank you.

Sincerely,
Shaun Hubbard

Dear GPT/BNSF Custer Spur EIS Co-Lead Agencies,
I am a property owner in San Juan County. I am concerned about the continued vitality of the Salish Sea, where coal ships would make over 950 transits per year if the Gateway Pacific Terminal were to be built. I request that the GPT Environmental Impact Statement include the entire coal transportation corridor so that communities along the rail and marine routes are given due consideration.
I am especially concerned about oil and coal spill risks. Questions that concern me, and which objective, rigorous and comprehensive studies should address include:
How will GPT's marine vessel traffic increase collision risks with tankers and other cargo ships in the area?
What would be the effects on our region of a catastrophic oil and/or coal spill?
How widespread would the damage be from these spills?
What marine species would be affected by these spills?
How would recreational and commercial fisheries be affected by these spills?
What would be the impact to private property values in the event of one or all of these spills?
What would be the costs to clean up any or all of these spills?
What would the impacts be to the marine species in the event of a spill, both from the effects of the oil, fuel or coal and from the cleanup chemicals themselves?
How would the effects of a spill impact the past and future studies done by the University of Washington Oceanography Labs (based in Friday Harbor)?
If there is no positive assurance and insurance from those involved against any potentially significant impacts, please consider a "no build" option.
Thank you.
Sincerely,
Shaun Hubbard

Shaun Hubbard (#12877)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
Comment:
Dear GPT/BNSF Custer Spur EIS Co-Lead Agencies,

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

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

Sincerely,
Shaun Hubbard

shaune gramlow (#3805)

Date Submitted: 12/04/2012
Location: spoakne, wa
Comment:
I am in favor of the building of the project as the economic gain greatly exceeds any enviromental negative. Most major RR crossings in Spokane and Kootnia countys are already above or below rail grade so most traffic delays are minimal. The alleged coal dust problem as I see, would be non affected with proper loading as any fines would work there way into the load leaving hard clean coal at the top of the railcars with in a few miles of leaving the loading site. Any added rail noise with the current fleet of trains is far less then what we would have had 25 years ago, same with exhaust from the trains as the current EPA smoke limits is less then 20% of what was the norm for the same engine just back 15 years. Animals are adaptive to the rails and roads and will see very little affect to there lives.

Shawn Alexander (#1299)

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

shawn baz (#4899)

Date Submitted: 12/17/2012
Location: Seattle, Wa
Comment:
I do not want to experience the impact of the numerous trains hauling the coal to the port.

Shawn Collins (#5082)

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

Shawn Olsen (#1367)

Date Submitted: 10/24/12
Location: Tacoma, WA
Comment:
There is no such thing as "clean coal" I don't care who says it, it is a lie. 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. This should not go through it is unconscionable to expose this wonderfully green state to this travesty.

Shawn Well (#3959)

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

Shayne & Justin Adams (#1202)

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

Shayne & Justin Vinagre & Adams (#3667)

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

Sheila Baraga (#12954)

Date Submitted: 01/19/13
Location: Portland, OR
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington.
We live in a neighborhood that would be greatly affected by the additional coal trains running through it, both in their pollution (noise & environmental) and the tying up of emergency vehicles that need access to keep us safe.
Please don't be short sighted and do consider the impact on the citizens of Oregon & Washington.
Thank you so much for making a difference in getting this project stopped.

Sheila Conoley (#11278)

Date Submitted: 01/16/13
Location: Leavenworth, WA
Comment:
I can't believe this absurd plan has come this far- have we not learned from the polluted poverty and disease ridden broken communities in the south east of our own country that coal is NOT the way to go? 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 northwest 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.

Sheila Giesler (#3960)

Date Submitted: 11/29/12
Location: Lynnwood, WA
Comment:
see attached
Attached Image:

Sheila Mahoney Sheila (#8426)

Date Submitted: 01/17/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
My name is Sheila Mahoney and I have owned my home on Chuckanut Bay, Bellingham , WA for nearly 16 years. My property goes down to low tide on the Bay. I will limit my remarks, among the many level of concerns that I have, to the comments of San Olson regarding the potential danger posed by the increased tanker traffic that is proposed if the coal shipments were to become reality. I support his concerns. Just as the increased train traffic THROUGH my property that is proposed if the terminal is approved will wreak havoc with the fragile hillside that is Chuckanut Mountain, and the noise of so many trains will destroy my and other home owners' right to quiet enjoyment of their property along the Bay, the proposed tanker traffic will greatly endanger the marine habitat and shoreline in the event of an accident.

Sheila Metcalf (#773)

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

Sheila Morgan (#11170)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Comment:
I am a long-time resident of Bellingham, Washington who would like you to study the following potential impacts of building 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 impacts I request you to study are increasing traffic congestion and noise, pollution of air and local waterways, especially in the event of a train derailing, harm to existing businesses, delay of emergency responders, damage of aquatic ecosystems and fishing grounds at the terminal site, increasing tanker traffic and the potential for serious shipping accidents and escalation of damage due to climate change. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

Thank you.

Sheila Nickerson (#5219)

Date Submitted: 12/21/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I am a senior with a physical disability. I cannot walk very far but walk my dogs almost every day (sometimes twice a day) at Marine Park in Bellingham--a place close to my home and one of the very few places in Bellingham where the public has access to salt water. The additional trains would make it impossible for me to do so: The noise, degraded air quality, and traffic would make it impossible for me to continue walking there. My dogs would be too frightened, and we would all be endangered. Where would I, as a disabled elder with dogs to walk, find an appropriate substitute place? Certainly not Boulevard Park, which would be even worse. My physical, mental, and emotional health are at risk. What is being taken into consideration regarding the needs of the elderly/disabled?

Sheila Reis (#3115)

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

Scoping Hearing Comments Cherry Point Scoping Comments WA

Dear Scoping Hearing Comments Scoping Comments,

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

I STRONGLY oppose any coal export terminals located ANYWHERE on the Northwest Coast. It would mean rail transport through heavily populated areas like mine, polluting the air, damaging our beautiful environment and ecosystems, creating health problems for many and traffic problems for residents and businesses (which would lose customers and much needed revenue). We already have coal trains going through this area and we DON'T WANT anymore. The main opposition is because of health problems it will cause or exacerbate, ie; asthma in children, respiratory problems for the elderly and who knows what else.
I, personally, have cancer and am undergoing treatment. I don't need to add any more health problems that could cause harm to my hopeful recovery. There is no moral or ethical reason to put profits for WHO???, NOT US!!, over the health and well being of our people, our environment, and our ecosytems. NO TO COAL!!!

Sincerely,

Sheila Reis
8415 NE Hazel Dell Ave
Vancouver, WA 98665-8053

Sheila Richmond (#7041)

Date Submitted: 01/13/2013
Comment:
I am strongly opposed to having coal transported thought the Columbia Gorge. It is a very special place with so much important habitat. Clean rivers, good air quality, the health of humans (especially children), plants, fish and animals are all essential to preserve. Transporting uncovered cars of coal would be extremely destructive to the gorge environment . Clean alternative fuels are much more important to create and use all over the world.

Sheila Simpson-Creps (#9763)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Lopez Island, WA
Comment:
Dear Governing Agency Staff,

I have lived in the Puget Sound region the majority of my life, have called Lopez Island home for the past 10 years, and have been coming to the San Juan Islands since the early 1960s. There are innumerable impacts that a large coal terminal, and coal trafficking have on the region. Of all of those issues, there are three that stand out for me, and need to be addressed, the cost to human and all other species health, and the risks of adding one more polluting industry to the existing industries such as oil refineries, wood products, and mining industries to our environment, and the actual long term fiscal costs.

My concern with health is the increased incidence of asthma. As an asthma sufferer who is particularly affected by particulate matter, I am greatly concerned about an increase in the atmosphere of particulates. The increase in air pollution affects all species, not just human beings. A comprehensive Health Impact Assessment for the entire Puget Sound Region and British Columbia is required. Any other studies that can be done on the affect of increased particulates in the air on animals and vegetation should also be conducted. The increase of acid rain, and the affect of coal dust on roads, in a rainy climate should also be studied.

The second area that needs addressing is the problem of natural disasters, and transport accidents. In the past 3 months we have had two earthquakes in the region. On December 27, 2012 15 miles NW of Friday Harbor a 4.1 earthquake occurred, which both my husband and I felt on Lopez Island. On October 28, 2012 a 7.7 earthquake occurred further north on Vancouver Island, causing a small Tsunami. Given the 2011 earthquake in Japan, and the continuing devastation to the environment due to radiation, a full environmental impact study should be done on natural disasters and their affect to the transport of coal by ship, train, and at the terminals.

On 12/9/12 a coal carrying ship crashed into and damaged a coal terminal at Westshore Terminal, dumping coal into the water. This accident in itself should halt any continuation of the Cherry Point Coal terminal. The clean up of this should be a case in point of what could happen anywhere along the water route that the coal ships will take. Studies of how to deal with the environmental degradation by any accident in the marine environment needs to be done, this includes in urban, congested waterways, along remote shorelines, public lands, and private property.

The affect of multiple accidents by the combined industries of coal and oil should be studied, so that if there are both oil spills, coal spills, industrial fires, and other industrial accidents occurring simultaneously as in a large earthquake or Tsunami. These studies should detail the resulting harmful affects on residents, the environment, and create safety plans if confronted with both air and water pollution by larger disasters.

Finally, an accounting of the costs to the region’s business, environment, health, and quality of life needs to be assessed and compared to the actual increase in local incomes from a once built terminal. The cost of environmental clean up and increased health costs may produce jobs, but these jobs cannot be counted as a part of the increase in job creation and income to the region, as they are a result of the degradation. For the reasons above, the Cherry Point Coal Terminal should not be built.

Sheila Sondik (#7819)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
I have 3 main areas of concern that I'd like the EIS to address:

1. Please study the projected effects of the proposed deepwater terminal on the herring population of the Cherry Point area. The numbers of herring in the once-thriving hatchery at Cherry Point have been dramatically reduced already, possibly by the current level of shipping activity there. Please consider the effect of the proposed development on the herring, and on all the species dependent on the herring, including other fish (e.g. salmon, halibut), birds (of special concern to me as a birdwatcher), and marine mammals.

2. I have many concerns about the effects of the coal train traffic through Bellingham, and along the whole route. Please study the effects of coal dust on vegetation. The entrance into Bellingham by Amtrak from Seattle and further south through the Chuckanuts is one of our great tourism assets. Will the coal dust effect the forest along this route? Will the increased train traffic cut down access to and enjoyment of the Bellingham waterfront, especially Boulevard Park? The Park is another popular tourist attraction. Please include the effects of the coal trains on our tourism economy and the quality of life in Bellingham in the EIS of this proposal.

3. Please study the effect on climate change of the burning of the coal shipped out of the proposed port to China. As I write this, Beijing is covered in particulate matter which is off the charts - 700, on a scale normally ending at 500. I have read that about half of the particulate matter in the smog there is a result of coal burning. Those pollutants may end up back in the Pacific Northwest, and they certainly contribute to global warning. With climate change happening now, we can no longer afford not to look at the big picture.

Thank you for your careful attention to the impacts of this proposal.

Sheila Sondik

Sheila Sutton Carter (#12742)

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

Not only will the coal dust effect our environment directly, but when the Chinese burn it, it's air pollution will come back with the air currents and cause more air pollution in our state.

Maybe the coal owners will make money, but the rest of us will suffer only the negative consequences, which he will not be paying for out of his profit.

IT"S NOT WORTH IT in any way!!! Our earth cannot take this abuse.

Sheila Thomsen (#5381)

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

Sheila Wynn (#10368)

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

These trains should have been required to provide simple mitigations for controlling their impacts and so far I have seen none of that. I see the coal trains daily from my home in Tacoma from above Pioneer Way. Not only are they not even covering these trains but I have personally witnessed that the coal trains are so heavy, we feel our house move when they go by which is somewhat disquieting. Also, they are not currently covered which means the coal and it's dust is allowed to pollute along the entire route. Trains are also on raised beds that are at the mercy of the elements and eventually gets into our waters and air. Much of the tracks in Pierce County run along the shoreline and across wetlands and importan salmon waterways and habitat. Not just dust but pieces of coal lay on the tracks with no clean up. In addtion we are adding to the the dependance of other countries on a form of energy that is one of the dirtiest there is. Then, we are asking our PNW ports to allow these shipments to be handled with little mitigation for the impacts on the surrounding communities. I have personally worked to conduct bioengineering on slopes that have failed or are failing and I have wondered with regard to the slope slippages in Everett and if these heavy trains may contribute to additional problems on the rail lines that people rely upon for travel which lessens the communiting on our roads. In addition, I would like to state that although jobs are needed for the long term it does not lend itself to a sustained and healthy future for local jobs and our futures for our PNW families. Long coal trains will disrupt traffic even if they are running at night through some of our larger cities and towns.I have seen no listing of compensation for these impacts. Long trains mean long waits in Puyallup and Sumner to get home, to work, or to a hospital.

China has suffered an inversion of pollution so bad this week that it was beyond index. This is pollution so bad that it isn't on the scale.
In Pierce County where my family lives we are also suffering pollution indexs in the winter time that are problematic from the standpoint of the EPA and additional effort has been put forward by the county to deter folks from burning during these inversions. It is a $1,000 fine to burn illegally during burn bans.

Although I am not speaking for the Pierce Conservation District, I am a member of the Board of Supervisors. Pierce Conservatrion District is a local conservation organization that works to protect and preserve our rich heritage of farming, natrual resource protection and improve and maintain a clean environment for our community and for the generations to come.

Bringing more coal into and through our communities shows a lack of true concern for our future and those of our children. I do not do not support the obvious lack of concern for our families, our communities and the enviroment for which many of us in Washington work hard to protect each and every day. This is a greed based move to continue to pollute here and in China.

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.

Shelby Herber (#3364)

Date Submitted: 11/21/2012
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
POTENTIAL ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS
OF THE GATEWAY PACIFIC TERMINAL PROJECT

Background

Pacific International Terminals (PIT), a subsidiary of Stevedoring Services of America (SSA Marine) proposed the Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT) located in Northwest Washington in 1990, around the same time that Japan announced its projected demand of 100-120 million tons of coal per year (Wechsler, 2012). Over the years this proposal advanced to the environmental review process which started in February 2012, and has now progressed to the Scoping process, begun September 24, 2012. Scoping will aid in determining which factors should be analyzed and what geographic areas are necessary to consider before drafting the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) (Gateway Pacific Terminal at Cherry Point Proposal, 2012). As this proposal has evolved, the Asian market has expanded. In 2011 India, Korea, Taiwan, and Japan forecasted their annual coal import to be a total of 140 million tons per year. Peabody Energy predicts that in the year 2014 this demand will increase by 80% to approximately 250 million tons annually (Anderson, 2011).

Cherry Point Location

A deep-water marine terminal is proposed for construction in Cherry Point, WA in Whatcom County, and is intended to handle both importing and exporting of up to 54 million dry metric tons of goods, of which 48 million tons would be coal—making this the largest coal port in North America. In total, the terminal facility would berth three ships along the 2,980 foot long wharf, while the cargo is transported along a constructed 1,250 foot trestle bridging the ships to the shore. The construction would also include the 80 to 105 acre designated stockyard that will be used to store coal and associated machinery (Trimingham, 2012). Even though the two years of construction for this project could potentially provide an estimated 3,000 to 4,000 jobs for workers, the port operator SSA Marine forecasts that only 800 to 1,250 of those jobs will remain permanent (Anderson, 2011).

Environmental Risks

There are great repercussions of this project: apart from an economic stand-point, major detrimental and irreversible marine biological diversity conservation issues are at stake! The already sensitive population of the Cherry Point Pacific herring (Clupea pallasi) stock has the potential to experience a greater decline, even though it was once the largest stock in Washington State (Landis, 2010)! Construction of the GPT also increases the risk of eelgrass (Zostera marina) population degradation, a crucial coastal ecosystem element that improves water quality, counteracts erosion processes and provides an environment for marine organisms (Dowty, 2010).

Coal Dust

Although there are many factors that have the potential to affect both Clupea pallasi and Zostera marina, I will focus upon the dramatic effect of coal dust on the marine environment. According to the 1999 assessment by Ryan Johnson and R.M Bustin, which focused on marine sediments adjacent to the Roberts Bank coal terminal located in Delta, British Columbia, Canada, this study revealed that the concentration of coal particles increased immensely from a prior study done in 1977. Specifically, concentrations of non-hydrolysable solids (NHS) doubled from
a mean concentration of 1.80% in the year 1977 to 3.60% in 1999. Even though the total dispersal distance area of coal did not increase throughout this twenty-two year period, the abundance of coal in the surface sediment within the designated dispersal area did increase. Since 1977, the main deposition of coal, where concentrations were calculated reaching 10.5% and 11.9% NHS, occurred in the coal-loading terminal areas (Johnson, 2005). These high coal dust concentrations have the potential to penetrate into the natural marine sediment, which plays a vital role in creating self-sustaining aquatic habitats. Due to the potential sediment deposition of coal particles near the bottom of these marine ecosystems, many marine organisms are at risk of being affected; herring spawning in these abnormally high coal concentration conditions, the state of the micro-invertebrate organisms herring consume, the sediment in which eelgrass beds are growing, and the increased consumption of oxygen within these coastal waters during the increased degradation and breakdown of organic matter of the coal (Johnson, 2005).
BNSF estimates that between 500 pounds to a ton of coal dust is lost by each uncovered car en route (Trimingham, 2012). Therefore, this abundance of airborne chemical dust has great potential to interact with the coastal marine waters of Cherry Point on a daily basis. For this reason, a comprehensive study and analysis needs to be complete to evaluate the impact coal dust will have upon the Cherry Point herring stock as well as the eelgrass beds along the Cherry Point coast. This should include ways in which this project could be mitigated to account for this potential major environmental issue to be completely avoided or at least lessened. This includes advanced sealant technologies that cover each car carrying the millions of tons of coal extending from the mines of Wyoming and Montana through Idaho to Spokane, the Columbia River Gorge, along the Puget Sound coast, and finally reaching its transportation destination at the Cherry Point Terminal in Bellingham, Washington.

Impact on herring stocks

Cherry Point herring spawning stocks have historically provided over a third of the total herring in the Puget Sound region, at its peak reaching a spawning biomass of 15,000 tons in the year 1970 (Brandt, 2012). However, the Washington Department of Natural Resources has reported that the spawning biomass of the herring population around Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve has decreased immensely since the year 1970, and has been unable to fully recover like many other populations in the Puget Sound. This illustrates biological diversity loss, because this one specie provides stability within the marine ecosystem by providing a major food source for diverse fish species, mammals, and certain aquatic birds: Pacific Cod, the endangered Chinook salmon, orcas, seals, common murres and many more local species (Trimingham, 2012). On a greater scale, the human population relies upon the main ecosystem functions that this herring specie provides as a basic part of the food chain in order to in turn provide food, such as salmon, for the human population. In-depth studies have been done upon multiple herring stocks within Puget Sound, such as Squaxin Pass, Discovery Bay, Port Gamble, along with the Cherry Point Pacific herring stock which, according to forecast modeling of these stocks, with the given current conditions none of the stocks is likely to show any increase in population size (Landis, 2010). It is crucial to the survival of this fish specie that protection measures accommodate the Cherry Point herring stock, since coal dust is going to be an outside source of pollution entering into the Cherry Point marine environment and has the potential to be a negative human factor aiding in the population decline of herring within this Bellingham area.

Impact on sea grasses

According to marine scientist, Dr. Sylvia Yang of Western Washington University’s Shannon Point Marine Center, who studies the resilience of Washington’s seagrass beds by collecting scientific data for coastal management, seagrasses are disappearing world-wide at a rate of 1.5% per year (Yang, 2012). Eelgrasses (Zostera marina) make tall, expansive meadows, protective environments, prevent erosion, and produce, export and accumulate organic material. These environmental functions are important for many of the marine organisms that rely upon these eelgrass beds as a critical nursery habitat: Dungeness crab, salmon and even herring. Since eelgrass is located near-shore because it requires a lot of sunlight and needs to be submerged in salt water, it inevitably is affected by human activities. The five to nine coal trains reaching the terminal every day will be unleashing uncontrolled coal dust along the way and interacting with this shallow marine environment (Frequently Asked Questions about Gateway Pacific Terminal, 2011).
Although this could be considered habitat loss, since this marine plant specie provides habitat for numerous organisms, it is also biological diversity loss because this specific eelgrass is undergoing not only world-wide depletion, but is disappearing locally along the Washington Coast including within Bellingham, and throughout the Cherry Point marine ecosystem. This near-shore eelgrass habitat provides a lower salinity environment for numerous marine organisms including the ones stated above, as well being a significant addition to the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve, a major bird habitat (Trimingham, 2012). This plant specie is a major contributor to nutrient trapping and cycling—playing a role in water quality, as well as contributing to detrital food chains, which in turn has an effect upon larger food chain scales, which the human population relies upon. For example, the eelgrass ecological functions provide marine organisms a food source as well as seafood for people, along with clean and stable water quality. As for marine organisms, this major biodiversity loss of eelgrass can have a major effect due to the forty times more estimated benthic invertebrates, fish and macro-crustaceans that associate themselves with seagrass rather than adjacent clear sand communities (Changes in Seagrass Coverage, 1998).
Puget Sound Partnership along with Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) have created ecosystem recovery targets which, while not regulatory, are designed in order to guide the work of all people and organizations that live within the Puget Sound region. The set recovery target for eelgrass is “eelgrass extent in 2020 is 120 percent of area measured in the 2000-2008 baseline period” (Trimingham, 2012). The coal to be transported to Cherry Point would result in the interaction between coal dust and the marine environment, potentially preventing this specific target measure of increasing the eelgrass populations in Puget Sound from succeeding, especially in this North Puget Sound region. Should similar environmental target regulations be created specifically for the eelgrass beds in this precise Bellingham location in order to set a public regulatory standard of protection from the GPT project for this specie? In Washington State there is a seagrass policy of “No Net Loss” which is the idea of replanting the same amount of eelgrass that a human-constructed project has the potential of killing off. However, even if the GPT project were to follow this policy and replant a certain amount of seagrass beds, would these be successful in nature in terms of the ability to be self-sustaining in the coastal marine environment and remaining self-sustaining (Yang, 2012)? The success rate of this policy should be studied more in depth for this terminal project so that there truly is No Net Loss of this valuable specie.

Potential solutions for mitigation

For these reasons, it is necessary to consider solutions by which this project can be mitigated to prevent these high concentrations of coal dust entering the extremely valuable and sensitive coastal marine ecosystems of Cherry Point. With uncovered coal trains, the coal dust is difficult to control. Not only are the train cars transporting the coal product most likely going to be exposed, but the proposed GPT terminal plans to store coal in large open heaps on approximately 80-105 acres located near the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve. With the high winds, and wind gusts of around 60-70 knots during the Bellingham winter season, it is likely that these heaps of coal will be agitated (Trimingham, 2012) and will enter into the marine coastal waters. BNSF has performed studies in the Powder River Basin of coal dust and ways in which it is possible to reduce the coal dust release from loaded cars. These studies resulted in discovering that with proper application of specific topper agents; Nalco Dustbind Plus, Midwest Soil-Sediment, or AKJ CTS-100, as well as using a modified loading chute, these modifications can reduce coal dust levels by at least 85% (Coal Dust Frequently Asked Questions, 2012). Even the topper agents can be sprayed over the loaded coal within the car in order to keep the coal in place while it is being transported to create a locked seal. Advanced compaction techniques could possibly be applied during the loading process of coal in order to decrease the amount of total coal dust created. The ecosystem functions of both the Pacific herring species and the eelgrass, are crucial to the self-sustaining ability of the marine waters in the Cherry Point area and the marine organisms in this environment—experiencing biodiversity loss in this region would be detrimental not only for the marine environment and ecosystem as a whole, but the irreplaceable ecological functions that this marine ecosystem provides to the human population would be lost.

I appreciate your time and really urge you to consider the coal dust effects upon the Cherry Point herring stock population as well as the eelgrass specie within this region of the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal Project. As for mitigations, the project proposal should consider advanced sealant technologies that would reduce the amount of coal dust entering into the marine coastal waters of Cherry Point. These alterations and considerations have the ability to protect this herring stock from endangerment, play a part in reducing the amount of eelgrass beds that are disappearing due to human impact, and save these valuable ecological functions that are provided from both these specific species.

Works Cited

Anderson, Paul. "Seeking a Pacific Northwest Gateway for U.S. Coal." Daily News. National Geographic, 20 Oct 2011. Web. 5 Nov 2012. <http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/energy/2011/10/111020-coal-port-pacific-northwest/>.

Brandt, Helen. "Whatcom Watch." Whatcom Watch. (2012). Web. 5 Nov. 2012. <http://www.whatcomwatch.org/pdf_content/OurLivingJewelOct2012.pdf>.
"Coal Dust Frequently Asked Questions." BNSF Railway. BNSF Railway Company, 2012. Web. 6 Nov 2012. <http://www.bnsf.com/customers/what-can-i-ship/coal/coal-dust.html>.

Dowty, Pete, et al. "Washington State Department of Natural Resources." Washington State Department of Natural Resources. (2010): Web. 5 Nov. 2012. <http://www.dnr.wa.gov/Publications/aqr_eelgrass_08232010.pdf>.

"Changes in Sea Grass Coverage." Environmental Protection Agency. (1998). Web. 6 Nov. 2012. <http://www.epa.sa.gov.au/xstd_files/Water/Report/seagrass.pdf>.

"Frequently Asked Questions about Gateway Pacific Terminal." Gateway Pacific Terminal. Gateway Pacific Terminal. Web. 5 Nov 2012. <http://gatewaypacificterminal.com/the-project/f-a-q/>.

"Gateway Pacific Terminal at Cherry Point Proposal." Gateway Pacific Proposal. Department of Ecology State of Washington. Web. 5 Nov 2012. <http://www.ecy.wa.gov/geographic/gatewaypacific/>.

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>.

Landis, Wayne, and Peter Bryant. "Using Weight of Evidence Characterization and Modeling to Investigate the Cause of the Changes in Pacific Herring (Clupea pallasi) Population Dynamics in Puget Sound and at Cherry Point, Washington." Risk Analysis: An International Journal. Vol 30.2 (2010). Web. 5 Nov. 2012. <http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=48c88f75-7178-4532-bd75-ff3e929fe401@sessionmgr14&vid=2&hid=16>.

Trimingham, Julie, ed. "Key Facts." Coal Train Facts. Coal Train Facts, 2012. Web. 5 Nov 2012. <http://www.coaltrainfacts.org/>.

Wechsler, Terry. "Gateway Pacific Terminal." Whatcom Watch Online. Whatcom Watch, Oct 2012. Web. 5 Nov 2012. <http://www.whatcomwatch.org/php/WW_open.php?id=1489>.

Yang, Sylvia. "Understanding Resilience in Washington’s Seagrass Beds – Collecting Scientific Data for Coastal Management." Huxley Speakers' Series. Western Washington University. Communications Facility, Bellingham. 02 Nov 2012. Speech.

Shelby Weitzel (#6621)

Date Submitted: 01/10/2013
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
We are going in the wrong direction by investing more in anything to do with coal. These efforts-- the labor, the expense, would be better spent in promoting sustaining energy sources like wind and solar. There would still be jobs and income, without the pollution.
I don't support sending coal somewhere else- it is not OK to support polluting when there are better alternatives, whether at home or abroad.

Shelle & Ellis Cropper (#1501)

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

Shelley Bruce (#11504)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Comment:
I am a resident of Bellingham, Wa and my family lives within 1 mile of the rail line. My husband is a doctor and I am a business owner, we moved to Bellingham from Montana in 2004 for it's natural beauty, community and ecological philosophy. Our daughter has asthma. We are concerned with the effect of diesel emissions and small particulate air matter on people who are not only compromised with asthma or COPD but whom have healthy lungs as well. We believe the scoping process should include the entire corridor, from Montana to Cherry Point as everyone's assurance of health and well being needs to be studied. We would also like the scoping process to include what effects the addition of 18 trains may have on traffic and businesses whose entrances are fronted by the rail way. Would the increase in train traffic delay emergency services to businesses/people to the West of the track? I would also like the scoping process to study how noise pollution will affect community gatherings close to the rail ways, for example, the summer concert series at Boulevard Park and Bellingham's notable Ski to Sea Festival. I would also like the EIS to include studies on how the increase in rail way may have an affect on global warming, air quality from China burning coal and ocean life. The tall ships will have an affect on our oceans. Again, I would hope that all concerns studied will encompass the entire corridor, from origination in Montana to the end point at Cherry Point, Wa. Thank you for your efforts.

Shelley Bruce (#13476)

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

Shelley Butchart (#1575)

Date Submitted: 10/28/2012
Location: Seattle, WA
Comment:
So far I've only heard concerns regarding transporting coal to the proposed Pacific Gateway Terminal. What happens after the coal reaches China, a country with an abysmal record for environmental safeguards? Does the argument for profit and creating jobs morally justify contributing to the pollution of our shared atmosphere?

Shelley Carl (#8399)

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

Shelley Dahlgren (#12998)

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

Shelley Deadmon (#6717)

Date Submitted: 01/08/13
Location: Eugene, 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 friends and neighbors to the north by increasing congestion and noise with more coal train traffic, polluting our air and local waterways, harming existing businesses, delaying emergency responders, damaging aquatic ecosystems and fishing grounds at the terminal site, increasing tanker traffic and the potential for serious shipping accidents and escalating CLIMATE CHANGE. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.

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

It's time for bold leadership, not rolling over to corporate interests that care for money over good hard working people. I'm tired of having to write these letters for things that should not even be considered knowing what we now know-thank you for your consideration.

Shelley Minden (#966)

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.

Sincerely,

Shelley Minden
711 Belmont Pl E
Seattle, WA 98102-4420

Shelly Adams (#13600)

Date Submitted: 01/22/13
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal in Washington, as well as transporting mined coal from the Powder River Basin on trains throughout the Northwest. The project's purpose and need reflects the profit of a few, while the environmental detriment would be felt globally. Furthermore, the general population would suffer economic loss, due to health and environmental impacts, for a project that would result in relatively few jobs. The environmental risks associated with this project are unacceptable for such a narrow purpose and need. Environmental risks that are unacceptable include, but are not limited to: take and degradation of habitat for federally protected (ESA and MMPA ) species; destruction of fisheries; introduction of invasive species from Asia; oil spills; degradation of aesthetics along the Pacific coastline; risk to public health along the entire transportation corridor; and global impacts, such as cimatic change, acid rain, mercury introduction, and ocean acidification.

Generally, there has been an inadequate campaign to inform the public of the EIS and the public scoping process. This project has potentially significant indirect impacts to all people in Oregon, Washington, and California; the Public Involvement Plan only addresses residents in the immediate area of the Cherry Point terminal. Furthermore, one of the alternatives may include a terminal in Longview - there were no meetings held in the Longview area. Similarly, public meetings should have been held in the Columbia Gorge if the Gorge is part of an alternative transportation route. The EIS cannot appropriately address these alternatives until Cowlitz County and Columbia Gorge residents are properly scoped. Likewise, any other terminals or coal transportation routes should be included in the EIS as alternatives and these areas should be properly scoped before an EIS is developed.

Issues that should be considered in the EIS include the following:
• Mitigation of traffic gridlock. The public should not have to pay higher taxes to mitigate while the project proponent(s) profits.
• A thorough economic analysis in order to adequately assess purpose and need. 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.
• As a country, we should not be exporting a valuable resource such as coal; although coal is environmentally damaging as we currently use it, we may need it as a resource in the future.
• 80-100 acres of open coal heaps at the terminal is an unnecessary risk to air quality and pollution of the aquatic environment; thus, appropriate mitigation should be addressed in the EIS.
• Approximately 500-1,000 pounds of coal dust can escape a single loaded car; what are the impacts to streams, rivers, and wetlands as a result of stormwater run-off? What are the other indirect impacts, such as to to agriculture and forestry?
• The EIS should cover impacts from mining in the Powder River Basin, upland and marine coal transportation, and burning in China.
• If the EIS will cover the requirements of SEPA and NEPA, shouldn't it also cover the requirements of the Montana Environmental Policy Act? Shouldn't Montana agencies be co-leads?
• The EIS should assess effects to the entire area in which air quality would be directly and indirectly impacted (i.e., all Pacific states as a result of China burning the coal).
• The contribution to global climatic change as a result of China burning this coal should be thoroughly assessed and addressed in the EIS.
• Expanding Cherry Point and improving the transportation route for coal export opens up opportunities for more coal export from other areas besides the Powder River Basin. The cumulative impacts analysis should address the potential for additional coal exports, transportation, and burning in China.
Shelly Adams
Woodinville, WA

Shepard Cutler (#14396)

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

Sheri Hathaway (#1543)

Date Submitted: 10/26/2012
Location: deming, wa
Comment:
I am all for the Gateway Pacific Terminal........Good luck to you we have signs in our yard supporting you. Here is my comment

Do the people that are against the coal trains aware that if it is not built where proposed then it would then be built in Canada (if I am assuming correctly)
Meaning that the coal trains would still go through the same route but continue to canada?
We have been in Wyoming and Montana and saw many coal trains. No dust , No nothing to the enviroment. We loved watching them. People just get in there minds what the negative adds say. Hooray for you

Sheri Lambert (#2365)

Date Submitted: 11/06/2012
Location: Bellingham , Wa
Comment:
My name is Sheri Lambert and I live near Bellingham. I would like you to study the single hulled, inferior vessels made in China that will be transporting this coal overseas and what the impact would be to the environment they are involved in an accident. At the moment we are not accepting cars into this country that are made in China so why should we settle for ships built in China?.
Thank you

Sheri Staley (#525)

Date Submitted: 09/25/12
Location: Shelton, WA
Comment:
The argument as I know it is that they will cover the coal trains with tarps to reduce the distribution of the coal dust. These trains will require ventilation so they do not explode, thus they will put grates on the bottoms of the trains and the coal dust will come out the bottom. Either way, they will be depositing coal dust from all the way from point A to point B.

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

Sincerely,

Sheri Staley

Sheri & Jim Logan (#1997)

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

Sherri Irish (#5970)

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

Sherrie Heckendorn (#13194)

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 only way to keep our environment pristine is to keeping out, anything that could harm our beautiful Northwest.

Sherrill Futrell (#14129)

Date Submitted: 01/17/13
Location: Davis, CA
Comment:
I'm riding my bike and walking instead of driving to PROTECT MY COUNTRY! I strongly oppose the construction of the Proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal coal export in Washington State.

DO NOT ALLOW coal strip-mining in Montana and Wyoming. Transporting it across the Northwest and shipping it to Asia would HARM human communities and ecosystems in the region each car en route.

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

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

Sherry Bupp (#1121)

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

Whether we burn it here, or ship it elsewhere, coal is dirty and dangerous! Please do not export coal through the beautiful Northwest!

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

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



Sherry Bupp
PO Box 2394
Redmond, WA 98073

sherry meier (#7118)

Date Submitted: 01/13/2013
Comment:
The proposal to export up to 48 million tons of coal per year from the Powder River Basin, through the Columbia River Gorge to Cherry Point for export to Asia would result in significant adverse ueffects 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). Coal burning is currently the leading contributor to global warming and is rendering our planet uninhabitable.

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. Mining coal needs to be stopped, and alternative green energy solutions promoted. Please so not approve these devastating projects.

sherry meier (#8574)

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

US Army Corps of Engineers

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

The proposal to export up to 48 million tons of coal per year from the Powder River Basin, through the Columbia River Gorge to Cherry Point for export to Asia would result in significant adverse ueffects 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). Coal burning is currently the leading contributor to global warming and is rendering our planet uninhabitable.

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. Mining coal needs to be stopped, and alternative green energy solutions promoted.
Please so not approve these devastating projects.

Sincerely,

Ms. sherry meier

Sherry Meier (#13302)

Date Submitted: 01/14/13
Location: Hood River, OR
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington and transporting strip-mined coal from Montana and Wyoming on trains and ships throughout the Northwest. Our planet is in jeopardy of losing the ability to sustain life, and coal burning is the leading cause of it's demise. Regionally, 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, while keeping in mind the overarching contribution to global warming.

Sherry Nelson (#13414)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Baker City, 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 would be so nice to see people think of the consequences of their actions on other people, animals and the environment versus thinking only of how many more millions (or billions) of dollars they can make before they die. Honestly, aren't you better than that?

Sherry Pryde (#10724)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
My name is Sherry Pryde. I am a Peacehealth staff nurse and resident of Chuckanut Bay Community. I am concerned primarily about the impact of increased coal trains and the proposed terminal on 1) the health and well being of Whatcom County citizens and 2) the value of my property.
I would like assurance that there will be no negative impacts on my neighbors, my family's or my own health or the value of my inherited family home as a result of increased coal trains passing mere yards from my front door.
I add my voice to: Whatcom and Skagit County Physicians Request a Comprehensive Health Impact Assessment.
What are the potential health impacts of Gateway Pacific Terminal ?

Sherry Richardson (#7561)

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

Sherry Scarborough (#10159)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: MARYSVILLE, WA
Comment:
The addition of more trains going through Marysville WA would increase the already horrible traffic conditions in our town. The trains coming out of Everett are going at a slow speed then speed up as they travel through our town. On the return trip, going into Everett, the trains slow down. All these conditions cause wait time trying to get from the Marysville City side of the tracks to the I-5 side of the tracks to increase. I have waited at the 88th street turn trying to get onto I-5 through 3 to 5 turns of the traffic light after ther trains pass. The wait time could be anywhere from 15 to over 30 minutes. There is no way to get around these conditions as we do not have an under/over-pass to get around the trains. The addition of a few extra jobs in another city does not override the pain caused to the 1000's in Marysville. Stop the addition of more trains!

Sherry Willis (#14395)

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

Sherry Zeilstra (#6490)

Date Submitted: 01/09/2013
Location: Ferndale, WA
Comment:
I believe this project deserves a fair review and it should only be about the proposed site, not every terminal proposed or already in existence. We have had the area at Cherry Point designated as a heavy industry for many decades. Currently there are two petroleum refineries and one aluminum smelter in the same area, that have all provided good jobs as well as being good stewards of the environment and the neighboring communities.

This project is important to the west coast export of bulk commodities. Food, such as grain, will be exported through here in the future. We have an opportunity to increase our farming capability once again on the western side of the state to help provide grains to countries around the world. The impact on jobs for the area is substantial and should be considered. Many people will provide services to the terminal, work at the terminal and perhaps provide commodities to ship out of the terminal.

Please consider this project as you would any other in the county, with out the extreme hyperbole of demonizing one commodity that may or may not actually ship of here. We can have industry and environmental standards together. We have to. It's how we will bring back jobs to the USA.

Sherryl Nelson (#2086)

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

Sherwood Hake (#6080)

Date Submitted: 01/06/2013
Location: Pendleton, OR
Comment:
We live on the Umatilla reservation and would like know how the trains and barges will impact subsistence hunting of elk and mule deer populations as well as salmon and upland birds. We are against this proposal. Only a few million/billionaires will benefit from this, the rest of us will only suffer because of their greed.

Sherwood Hake (#6372)

Date Submitted: 01/09/2013
Location: Pendleton, OR
Comment:
I am very concerned about the economic impacts due to noise disturbance, water quality and air quality on recreational users and tourism in the Columbia Gorge. Please study what the economic effects will be due to the increase of rail and barge traffic.

Sherwood Hake (#6685)

Date Submitted: 01/10/2013
Location: Pendleton, OR
Comment:
I have concerns about the following:
Environmental impacts due to increased rail traffic - Consider impacts to wildlife habitat, as well as increases in noise and air/water pollution to ranch and farm lands.
- Infrastructure – increased rail activity through towns will be major challenges to communities along the route. Delays, traffic disruption and new infrastructures will become new local burdens.
- Jobs - the number of jobs attributed to coal development (whether miners or rail employees) can just as easily be shifted to the development of cleaner sources of energy.

Sherwood Hake (#6797)

Date Submitted: 01/11/2013
Location: Pendleton, OR
Comment:
I am deeply concerned about increased rail traffic will have on environmental concerns. Please consider impacts to wildlife habitat as well as to air and water quality due to the pollution generated by these trains both from the diesel fumes and the coal dust.

Sherwood Hake (#7042)

Date Submitted: 01/13/2013
Location: Pendleton, OR
Comment:
I am deeply concerned about Infrastructure and Traffic: Taxes will go up for residents communities along the rail lines as the coal heads to coastal ports for shipment do to the needed infrastructure. This railroad will increase coal train traffic substantially causing traffic delays, noise, and diesel pollution as well as increased chances of injury or death. The only way to live with this increased traffic will require expensive over passes and safety crossing, not paid for by the railroad, but are paid for primarily by local taxpayers and city governments. This project will cost dearly everyone who lives along it and will really only benefit an Austrailian company, Goldman Sachs, and a few hundred people who will be employed by it.

Sherwood Hake (#7443)

Date Submitted: 01/15/2013
Location: Pendleton, OR
Comment:
As someone who lives right next to a main rail track I am very concerned about the impact of increased rail traffic. The addition of coal trains at projected numbers would require massive investment in rail infrastructure such as sidings, double-tracking, and other improvements in order for our train system to function effectively. That kind of congestion could require taxpayers to bear the brunt of significant rail expansion. Following Gov. Gregoire’s September 2011 announcement of another 23% budget cut, it is hard to imagine where this funding will come from and if it does, at what cost to Washington’s citizens?

Sherwood Hake (#7964)

Date Submitted: 01/16/2013
Location: Pendleton, OR
Comment:
I live on a reservation and I am very concerned about the economic and health impact the coal trains will have on declining fish populations on tribal subsistence fishing rights. Please study what the coal trains impact will be on this.

Sherwood Hake (#8252)

Date Submitted: 01/17/2013
Location: Pendleton, OR
Comment:
I am concerned about the extreme weather events that are predicted due to global warming. I would like for you to study the global impacts that the new terminal, rail line and the subsequent burning of the coal in Asia will have in increasing global CO2 levels, other greenhouse gas levels and global warming.

Sherwood Hake (#9012)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Location: Pendleton, OR
Comment:
I am against 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).

Sherwood Hake (#10210)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Pendleton, OR
Comment:
Iam most concerned 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, tribal 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.

Sherwood Hake (#10428)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Pendleton, OR
Comment:
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.

Sherwood Hake (#10579)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Pendleton, OR
Comment:
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.

Sherwood Hake (#13524)

Date Submitted: 01/18/13
Location: Pendleton, OR
Comment:
I am opposed to the export of coal from the strip mining to the rail transport to shipping and burning of this dirty fuel in unregulated plants in Asia. I am very concerned about the health hazards and global warming.

Coal dust in the environment -- our soils and waters and, ultimately, that which we consume -- is an issue but not the most immediate and profound impact. It is an issue that must be addressed because once the region is contaminated with mercury, cadmium, uranium, and other elements in coal dust, it will be impossible to mitigate.

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.

Sheryl Jensen (#9369)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Blaine, WA
Comment:
I live within a few miles of the Cherry Point site proposed for the GPT. I have many concerns regarding this proposed terminal but I think one of the most important issues relates to human health. I could not express my concerns better than what has been detailed in the attached file written by the Whatcom Skagit Physicians' Scoping Request.

With so many doctors showing in detail the issues related to human health related to trains hauling coal and the exportation of coal, I can only echo their statements and ask that you study in detail all issues raised in this attached scoping comment.
Attached Files:

Sheryl Jensen (#9375)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Blaine, WA
Comment:
I live within a few miles of the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal, and I have been following with increasing alarm various issues raised by scientists, physicians, and concerned citizens.

So many of the proponents for this terminal seem to believe that the few permanent jobs that will be created outweigh all of the health, safety, and other environmental issues that will be created if the Terminal goes ahead.

However, I believe that many more current jobs will be lost if the proposed terminal proceeds. I would like the various agencies to study what current jobs will be lost due to impacts on our natural environment; specifically the fishing industry and those businesses that support the fishing industry.

Sheryl Jensen (#9380)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Blaine, WA
Comment:
I live within a few miles of the proposed site of the proposed GPT in Birch Bay Village. We enjoy a wonderful lifestyle with a close-knit community. However, many in our community are thinking of moving away because of this proposed Terminal. We are all concerned regarding the effects of coal dust on our property, the waters surrounding this area, and most importantly, the health of our citizens. In addition, we believe that our properties will be devalued should this terminal go forward.

I would like the agencies to study the effects that coal dust will have on homes, plant life, marine species, and the value of our homes.

Sheryl Jensen (#9385)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Blaine, WA
Comment:
I live in Birch Bay Village, a community very close to the site of the proposed GPT. I have had health issues that have required me to be transported by ambulance to the hospital in Bellingham.

Currently we have several rail crossings that can close off the route to Bellingham in several places. I personally have waited at rail crossings and, after 45 minutes, have turned around and gone home, deciding that the errand I was going to do could be postponed for another day. However, being transported to the hospital in an emergency is not a "postponable" errand.

I am concerned that the increased rail traffic connected to this proposed terminal will cause any number of deaths due to emergency vehicles not being able to reach citizens who are in need of medical help as well as the potential for fire engines and personnel not able to reach properties that are in flames.

I would like the agencies to study the issues surrounding the increased rail traffic and the potential for death due to emergency vehicles and personnel unable to reach properties and citizens in need of their assistance.

In addition, while I understand that overpasses can be built, the cost of these overpasses will fall primarily to the citizens and not the companies responsible for the congestion. Since our economy is a struggling economy and there isn't currently enough monies to adequately fund infrastructure, education, and other important needs of our society, I would like the agencies to study how the infrastructure required to support the GPT and the increased rail traffic will be adequately funded without causing great hardship in other areas supported by tax dollars.

Sheryl Nims (#12472)

Date Submitted: 01/21/13
Location: Kamiah, ID
Comment:
I strongly oppose the construction of a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington. This proposal would negatively affect my community by increasing traffic, polluting our air and water, harming existing business, delaying emergency vehicles, increasing shipping traffic and noise, damaging aquatic ecosystems at the terminal site, increasing the potential for serious shipping accidents and exacerbating climate change. I urge you to consider these impacts in the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement.
we as a nation must do more to replace dirty coal and oil with earth friendly alternatives.One argument against solar,wind,ocean,and other energy sources is that we have too many people needing electricity. I say there should be limits on households if people cannot seem to regulate themselves and use much less than they are using now.

Sheryl Sparling (#502)

Date Submitted: 09/25/12
Location: Lynden, 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 MUST protect the planet and human health and quality of life for ourselves and our posterity!

Sincerely,

Sheryl Sparling

Sheryl Anya Woestwin (#8334)

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

Shiela Wagner-Harless (#5535)

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

Shirley Jacobson (#4621)

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

Shirley Nyenhuis (#10423)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Arlington, WA
Comment:
Each weekend we go bird watching in the Silvana area. I want you to make sure that coal dust coming off the cars, the noise from the trains, the general disruption in the environment caused by the trains does not adversely affect the wildlife, including the eagle nesting pairs, the herons, the ospreys, the swans or the humans who live along the rail line. Also to the extent that coal dust fouls the water and the environment for the fish, these same birds who feed on marine species are in danger as are our premier species, salmon. After 5 days of heavy fog keeping pollutants close to the ground, coal dust is a factor that cannot be mitigated.

Shirley Oczkewicz (#8736)

Date Submitted: 01/18/2013
Comment:
It is imperative that the scope of the EIS be expanded to include all areas the coal trains would pass through. Yes, every town, city and county along the way.

Shirley Olsen (#10418)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Edmonds, WA
Comment:
I am against the coal trains coming up the coast of WA State. There is an easier port of exit on our southern border. The traffic congestion, noise, air quality will be a major factor of people moving out of Edmonds. If the only reason to run the coal to Bellingham is to create jobs. Give me a break. To disrupt traffic the whole way up the coast! Also the coal cars are not covered...they create such a pollution of the air as they go through Edmonds. I have seen it on the deck and the windows.

Mark this comment down on the negative side.

Shirley Ostenhaus (#2229)

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

Shirley Peck (#1538)

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

Shirley Post (#9323)

Date Submitted: 01/19/2013
Location: Woodinville, WA
Comment:
As a fairly frequent visitor to the Islands, San Juan in particular, the thought of the potential hazards that could accompany the implementation of this proposal is just plain scary -- in the same category as fracking. The San Juan Islands and the Salish Sea are jewels of the Northwest. How devastating would dumping a load of coal be to the marine life and no matter how carefully rules and regulations are followed, there are inevitably accidents. We don't know yet the effects of exotic marine life washed ashore from the tusnami; how much more could invade the environment from the discharged ballast?

Shirley White (#13529)

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

Thank you for your 'positive actions' for the environment and wildlife.

Shirley White (#13998)

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.

Thank you for your time and consideration in this urgent matter.

Shohanna Rosen (#14394)

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

Shona Aitken (#2532)

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

Sibyl Sanford (#3777)

Date Submitted: 12/03/2012
Comment:
To Whom it May Concern,

Please study how the coal trains will affect traffic patterns, emergency vehicle response, and commerce up and down the rail corridor. In Bellingham, how will it affect the plans for redeveloping the former GP waterfront site, and will it cut off access to prime city parkland, such as Marine Park and Boulevard Park? Please study these impacts.

Thank you,
Sibyl Sanford=

Sibyl Sanford (#3778)

Date Submitted: 12/03/2012
Comment:
To Whom it May Concern,

I live within a half mile of the railroad tracks in South Bellingham. Please study how the noise and vibrations of frequent trains will impact property values and the structural integrity of homes close to the tracks. Also please study how chronic noise exposure will affect the health and quality of life of people living nearby.

Thank you,
Sibyl Sanford=

Sibyl Sanford (#3779)

Date Submitted: 12/03/2012
Comment:
To Whom it May Concern,

I live in Bellingham within a half mile of Boulevard Park and the train tracks. As someone with a serious lung condition and COPD, I am very concerned about the health impacts of the coal trains, particularly those related to the effects of coal dust and diesel particulate matter over a long period of time. Please study the impacts that 18 trains a day would have on air quality in our city.

Thank you,
Sibyl Sanford=

Sibyl Sanford (#4087)

Date Submitted: 12/04/12
Comment:
To Whom it May Concern,

I live within a half mile of the train tracks in Bellingham, and I am very concerned about the impacts of a coal terminal to the environment. I am told that a smaller coal terminal across the border in Tsawassen has created a "dead zone" in the surrounding waters, where very few marine life forms still survive. How would a coal terminal at Cherry Point affect the fisheries of herring, salmon, crab and shellfish? How would it affect the greater food chain of orca whales and marine mammals? I understand that hundreds of coal ships per year would be operating in our area - how would this affect boating, tourism, and the natural beauty that drew many of us to live here? Please address these questions in your environmental impact statement.

Thank you,
Sibyl Sanford

Sibyl Sanford (#4088)

Date Submitted: 12/04/12
Comment:
To Whom it May Concern,

I am concerned about the real costs to the taxpayer for a proposed coal terminal at Cherry Point. For example, how much will we, the taxpayers, have to pay for rail upgrades and infrastructure costs of things such as overpasses? How about expenses for mitigating adverse effects of coal transport, such as public health expenses and safety measures? I am also concerned about decreased property values, lost local businesses and resulting jobs, and a damaged tourism trade. Please address these concerns with openness and transparency.

Thank you,
Sibyl Sanford=

Sibyl Sanford (#12595)

Date Submitted: 01/22/13
Comment:
To Whom it may Concern,

Please make a detailed study of how a coal train accident would impact the acidity of Puget Sound. There are so many slides near Everett that the likelihood of a major accident is high. Also the huge ships used to transport the coal could have an accident.

Sincerely,
Sibyl Sanford=

To Whom it May Concern,

I live within a quarter mile of the railroad tracks in Bellingham. I feel very strongly that the studies for the impacts of this project should include all the cities up and down the I-5 corridor who will be affected by the increased number of coal trains, not just Bellingham. The studies must be on a broader scale.

sincerely,
Sibyl Sanford=

Sidne Kneeland (#13994)

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.

Unless we change China's coal burning emission standards, we are, quite literally, shooting ourselves in the foot and ensuring continued global catastrophic weather -- a side effect we actually can foresee and predict and prevent. No coal is good coal, none of it!

Sienna Potts (#13773)

Date Submitted: 01/16/13
Comment:
I lived in beautiful Washington for 10 years & I hate to think of what this will do to the beauty of the Sound & the shoreline. Please do not allow this destructive business to come in & destroy your beautiful state!

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.

Sierra Kross (#14288)

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

Sierra Montoya (#14393)

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

Sigrid Llewellyn (#8999)

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

Sigrid Salo (#10037)

Date Submitted: 01/20/2013
Location: Kirkland, Wa
Comment:
The proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal is planned as a functional part of a transportation system that uses trains to deliver coal from mines in Montana to the pier in Bellingham and ships to continue the journey overseas. There would be no reason to build the pier without the coal trains and ships, so the study of the environmental imact of the project should not be limited to the effect of its construction and the storage and transfer of coal at the site. The assessment must also include the effect of the increase in the number of coal trains and ships that would pass through the rail corridor and shipping channels serving the pier.
Apart from the first paragraph, this is really a set of Environmental Impact Questions rather than statements. Some of my questions are:
MAGNITUDE
How much coal do you envision will be shipped and over what time period? How many train carloads, and how many ships does this involve? How much coal dust is blown off the trains? Is the motion of the train responsible for most of that, or is there a pronounced variation with wind speed? How much coal dust would be lost during transfer from the trains to storage at Cherry Point, during storage, and during transfer to ships? Is there further loss once the coal is aboard the ship?
BIOLOGICAL EFFECTS and TREATY RIGHTS
Cherry Point, where the Gateway Pacific Terminal is proposed to be built, is the ancestral home to the Lummi nation and the waters off the point are their accustomed fishing grounds. What effect will the construction and presence of the pier have on the local environment? How would the ships and the coal dust that enters the land and water at the terminal impact these people and the fish and shellfish they consume? What treaty rights would the Lummi nation cede for the project, and is there conflict in their community about this?
Last November, the National Marine Fisheries Service again stated that three pods of Southern Resident Orcas are endangered under the Endangered Species Act. The Gateway Pacific Terminal is located in critical habitat for the whales. What impact would the ship traffic, the terminal and its coal have on the whales’ environment and food sources?
Some more specific questions about the biological effects of coal and coal dust, both at Cherry Point and along the route of the train tracks: In Puget Sound the railroad tracks pass alongside various types of beaches, from muddy to rocky. How does coal dust affect organisms on different substrates in Puget Sound? How does the impact vary from the intertidal zone down through deeper waters? For instance, does the coal dust remain in place in muddy or sandy substrates but wash off rocky areas? Does it disperse, or can it accumulate rapidly enough to smother organisms? Are filter-feeders susceptible to impacts from the presence of coal dust in the water? Does the coal dust clog the gills of fish? Does it increase the turbidity of the water, making it more difficult for animals that hunt by sight to find prey? Which pollutants in coal dust are soluble? What effect would heavy metals or other toxic substances in the coal dust have on various trophic levels of the food web in Puget Sound? Do the toxins bioaccumulate?

There are similar questions about the effect of coal dust on the land-based ecosystems including human environments such as houses, farms and playgrounds in the coal trains’ path. How would the coal affect the plants and animals near the tracks? What components would be dissolved or washed into the local water systems, how long would they remain there, and how dangerous are they?

PHYSICAL EFFECTS:
Wyofile.com, a Wyoming news site recently reported that back-to-back train derailments in the southern Powder River Basin occurred because “coal dust from trains had accumulated on the rail bed preventing proper water drainage during the wet 2005 spring.” We have a lot of wet weather. Will coal dust cause similar problems here? Will coal dust on open land such as a farm field decrease the ability of the soil to absorb water? Will it increase runoff during floods? Will the dust affect the unstable slopes above the tracks just north of Seattle that already fail in wet weather? And the trains are heavy; will the trains themselves make slides more likely because of increased vibration?
ECONOMIC EFFECTS
I have often taken the ferry from Edmonds to Kingston, crossing the train track to board the ferry. How many towns and rural areas are divided by train tracks, and face conflicts because of the increased number of trains? Who will have to pay to remove coaldust from areas near the tracks and upgrade infrastructure to help solve the conflicts, if they can be solved? Will local economies suffer because of conflicts that cannot be solved? Will 21st Century living-wage jobs be created by the transport of the coal, or will most jobs be 19th Century resource-extraction jobs? Where? Will good-quality jobs be destroyed or displaced because of the trains and terminal? How many, and where?
And to end, I would like to mention several recent articles. The Washington Post reported on January 16 about hazardous smog conditions in Beijing, saying “The Chinese government is not ignoring the pollution problem. Having spent billions in an attempt to clear the skies over Beijing before the 2008 Olympics, authorities are now spending billions more to replace the capital’s coal-fired power stations — a major source of the pollution” Even before the latest smog conditions, New Scientist reported last December that China is aiming to generate 20% of its energy from renewable resources and committed $290 billion last August to accomplish that goal. And finally, on January 14, an article in Yale 360 by Fred Pearce noted that at the recent UN climate talks in Qatar, “For the first time, nations agreed that ‘”developing nations that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change” might have a right to redress from major polluting nations for any resulting “loss and damage.”
So my final question is - how long will China want to buy the coal the proposed terminal would ship them? And what happens to the long-term jobs the Pacific International Terminals promises if China no longer wants the coal?

Simm Gottesman (#12086)

Date Submitted: 01/22/2013
Location: Boca raton, Fl
Comment:
: I am concerned about the environmental impacts of the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal and all the aspects of that project. This seems like a local issue but it has regional, national and global implications. Please study every possible environmental impact from mining the coal from the ground, shipping the coal to port via train, loading and shipping the coal onto ships, transporting on ships, and burning the coal in China. Also, study the social impacts, job loss and negative impacts on businesses and tourism & human beings health, nearby and along the train route and all current and proposed routes from mines to ports.
I would also like studied the effects long and short term on burning coal in China and how it effects the west coast, makes everyone sick (especially look at the statistics on the rising incidents of LUNG CANCER ! ) and even more, around all parts of the United States and how it impacts climate change. Thank you.

Simon Bakke (#12300)

Date Submitted: 01/22/13
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Exporting coal is a huge ideological step away from the renewable energy path our country needs to be going. The short term economic benefits are not worth coal's long term costs

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.

Simon Bakke (#12301)

Date Submitted: 01/22/13
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Exporting coal is a huge ideological step away from the renewable energy path our country needs to be going. The short term economic benefits are not worth coal's long term costs

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.

Simone Phillips (#14392)

Date Submitted: 01/22/13
Location: Spokane, WA
Comment:
See attached.
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Siv Spain (#10910)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
Dear Regulatory Agencies,
I am a teacher and a mother of a one-year-old son in Bellingham. I am deeply concerned about increasing coal exports from our region.

I was born and raised in this community, and after spending a good deal of time traveling, I have returned here to raise my son in this extraordinary community surrounded by incredible natural resources and beauty.

All of this, along with the health of humans and other living beings in our region and all the communities along the railway from the coal mines are threatened by an increase in mining and coal export. I urge you to consider a broad environmental impact process that includes not just the site of the terminal, but the entire railway line and all those communities along the line that will surely be impacted.

I agree with Dr. Mostad's statement (http://www.eisgatewaypacificwa.gov/get-involved/comment/6353) that a Health Impact Assessment should be included to specifically address the number of illnesses and deaths due to diesel particulate matter associated with the diesel locomotives and ships, in our area, as well as along the entire railway line across our state, and ideally all the way to the coal mines.

I also encourage you to examine exactly how many species will be lost or depleted due to pollution to streams, lakes, rivers and the coastal waters from diesel particulate and heavy metals in coal dust, as well as the impact on human health from these pollutants in our drinking water and in our air, particularly on children, and the long-range, cumulative impact it may have on children who grow up in this community and are exposed over a long period of time. Because I have a son who is only one and who was born here, this interests me in particular.

I would also appreciate a study of the impact of potential spills from derailments and ship collisions or spills on the water - the impact on the health of all living beings in our waters, but also on the humans who rely on these resources for a living (i.e. fishermen and those who eat fish from our coastal waters).

The EIS should also be so broad that it includes the impact of burning the shipped coal once it reaches its final destination. Burning coal speeds the acidification of the oceans, along with myriad other disastrous consequences (http://www.coaltrainfacts.org/docs/epstein_full-cost-of-coal.pdf), which absolutely must be considered when determining whether to increase the exportation of coal on such a massive scale. These environmental consequences impact human beings globally - affecting human health, livelihood and quality of life worldwide. This must be a part of the EIS for this project.

Finally, I am concerned about the loss of quality of life on a day to day basis. My son and I frequent the parks at the waterfront, and the current increase in train traffic is already noticeable and disturbing when playing at Boulevard or Marine Park. It is difficult to hear whenever a train passes due to the blaring horns, and it is startling and scary for many of the children. I would appreciate a study of how an additional18 (9 trains each way) trains a day will impact the quality of life of those who access the parks and waterfront, as well as how it will impact the businesses along the waterfront, and how it will affect the future economic development of downtown Bellingham and the waterfront.

Thank you for considering these ideas when developing the EIS.

SJ Miller (#14422)

Date Submitted: 01/22/13
Location: Bellingham, WA
Comment:
See attached.
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Skip Mills (#5312)

Date Submitted: 12/22/2012
Location: Jefferson, LA
Comment:
My wife and I are owners at Spinnaker Reach Condominium, which is situated at 444 S. State St., Bellingham, WA. Our property is on a bluff above Boulevard Park, and abuts the railroad property. We are concerned that the coal trains to and from the Gateway Pacific Terminal will impact the well-being of our property and of our residents if not mitigated, and ask that the following effects be assessed:

Vibration: We are located on a bluff that is partially composed of Chuckanut sandstone, which is subject to crumbling and easily broken. We have buildings and a swimming pool near the edge of the bluff, and we are concerned about the integrity of the ground beneath our property. We would like assessment of the thirty-year impact of vibration from passing coal trains on the integrity of the bluff within 500 feet of the tracks. We would also ask for an assessment of the vibrations on the littoral marine communities.

Diesel fumes and coal dust: Our residents live within 100 feet of the passing locomotives. We would like assessment of the impact of diesel particulates over five years, on the health of people, particularly of those under eighteen and over sixty-five years of age. These risks would include pulmonary and cardiovascular issues, including cancers, heart disease, and asthma. We would like a similar assessmentof the impact of coal dust on long-term health, based on a realistic assessment of the amount of coal
dust released in Bellingham. We would also ask for an assessment of the diesal fumes and coal dust on the littoral marine communities.

Noise: We are situated between two unguarded crossings. Consequently, train horns blow within a hundred feet of residents' bedrooms. We are also within a mile of other points where the trains sound their horns on either side of us. We would like assessment ofthe impact of being awakened at least once an hour daily for five years on the health of residents.

The use of the coal: There is no such thing as "clean coal" and it does not appear that there will be such a thing in the near future. We would like an assessment of the ultimate use of the coal that is being transported past our units when it is not needed given the abundance of natural gas supplies.

Sincerely,


E. Ronald and Andrea Mills, Owners
Unit 415, Spinnaker Reach Condominium

Skye Burn (#13315)

Date Submitted: 01/21/13
Location: Bellingham , WA
Comment:
Here (below and attached) is my contribution to the scoping comments.

Scoping comments for the GPT project
I was born in Bellingham, WA, and have lived here on and off for 63 years.
I share the concerns others have raised regarding the potential impact of the GPT project on physical health and the physical environment and associated costs. Whatcom County residents and taxpayers nationally are currently paying for toxic waste removal at the former Georgia Pacific site in Bellingham, so we have experience cleaning up after private industry. It is as unpleasant as cleaning garbage from one’s front lawn. Furthermore, as we live in a globally interconnected world, people around the world bear the cost of decisions made locally and such far-reaching costs must be considered if we are to be conscientious and responsible global citizens.
More immediately, I too am concerned about the cost of constructing street overpasses and railroad improvement to support the GPT project. I understand this cost will be paid by taxpayers, not the industry that will benefit from such construction, which feels eminently unfair when the public benefits are minimal. Since November 2012, Whatcom County has added 2,400 new jobs without massive public investment or impact. The GPT project promises to add 200 new jobs at enormous cost to the public.
More centrally, and a concern I have not heard voiced, I am concerned about the potential social impact of the GPT project. Since the Georgia Pacific plant shut down, I have seen a growing sense of community vitality and pride in Bellingham. Bellingham has a growing reputation as a community that cares for its environment, supports clean industry, and acts as a role model. New residents, tourists, and clean industries are attracted to Bellingham because the environmental conditions allow for and support this increasing vitality and emerging sense of community.
I question, and I hope you will consider, the potential impact of the GPT project on the community spirit and sense of community in Bellingham. I realize social impacts are generally assessed quantitatively. However, in addition to the physical and financial aspects, I urge you to make a qualitative assessment that takes into consideration the joy Bellingham residents find in their community, the degree to which social conditions allow for a sense of peace and well-being in the community, and whether the GPT project would change how people feel about their community and possibly erode the sense of community.
Best regards,
Skye Burn
Attached Files:

Skye Dangelo (#10978)

Date Submitted: 01/21/2013
Comment:
I am wondering how the increased rail traffic would affect traffic flow and what steps the city of bellingham would take to compensate for the long line ups, angry drivers and traffic jams that would ensue. I am concerned because even now with out the terminal in place there are several poorly designed intersections that are not only irritating but dangerous as a result of rail traffic. To clarify, the passenger trains are short enough that the lineups stay short and do not clog traffic, it is the longer freight trains that cause the problem

Skyler McVaugh (#2356)

Date Submitted: 11/05/2012
Location: BELLINGHAM, Se
Comment:
My name is Skyler McVaugh and I am currently pursuing a degree in Environmental Science at Western Washington University. I am writing because I am concerned about the impacts the Gateway Pacific Coal Terminal will have on the Pacific herring population that inhabit Cherry Point. Cherry Point herring are a distinct in the Puget Sound area due to the fact that they spawn in the spring (Center for Biological Diversity 2004) and the area that has been selected for the proposed terminal along with the shipping lanes comes into direct contact with their spawning area. This population has been experiencing a decline as well as compression of age structure since quantitative analysis began in the 1970’s (Landis & Hayes 2004). In order to help protect this population from further decline, further studies should be done considering the potential impacts the terminal imposes on the habitat of the herring.

The creation of the coal terminal will bring about increased vessel traffic in the area which can have potentially negative consequences for the herring. Herring spawn in high energy shoreline areas (Heagle & Schweigert 2011) which vessel traffic will be using as they enter and exit the terminal. The area is already said to be one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world (Johannessen & Macdonald 2009) and the coal terminal would add between 221-487 vessels by 2026 (Pacific International Terminals 2011). According to Washington Fish and Wildlife, the key to preserving the herring stock is through the conservation of habitat and minimizing disturbance in the pre-spawning holding areas (WDFW 2007). Since the coal terminal would have to ship coal in order to make a profit the best way to mitigate the impacts would be the no action plan which would eliminate the creation of the terminal.

The increase in marine traffic also increases the likelihood of oil spill events. A Vessel Traffic Risk Assessment done by British Petroleum reported a 43-83% increase in accident potential and between 65-102% (Dorp et al. 2008) increase in oil spill accidents regarding an increase in marine vessel traffic in the area. Despite this evidence, Washington State’s oil spill response program is facing budget cuts (Washington State Department of Ecology 2011). According to the website for the coal terminal, Georgia Pacific does not have any plans for mitigating oil spill or vessel collision. Further studies on eliminating the potential for such events to occur should be done before the terminal is built in order to protect the habitat of the herring. Currently the best mitigation measure is the no action plan which leaves the area as it is.

The marine habitat of the herring also faces impacts from coal piles located in proximity to the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve. Coal dust has the potential to cover the water which can block out photosynthesis for aquatic plants (Johnson & Bustin 2005). This in turn will lower the levels of dissolved oxygen in the water. According to their website, Georgia Pacific plans to mitigate the potential for dust entering the marine system by spraying it down with water. The effectiveness of this control measure should be studied further but should be compared against the no action plan which would completely eliminate habitat degradation caused by coal dust.

The creation of the coal terminal will have impacts on the Pacific herring population that inhabits Cherry Point. This population is currently in decline and the environmental impact statement regarding changes to the marine environment at Cherry Point needs to take them into account because of this. Any mitigation measures that Georgia Pacific aims to take to protect the herring should be weighed against the no action plan which would eliminate any impact imposed by the terminal.

References
Center for Biological Diversity. 2004. Petition to list the Cherry Point population of Pacific herring, Clupea pallasi, as “threatened” or “endangered” under the Endangered Species Act. http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/species/fish/Cherry_Point_Pacific_herring/pdfs/71069_6360.p df (November 5 2012).

Dorp, J., Harrald, J., Merrick, J., Grabowski, M. 2008. Assessment of Oil Spill Risk due to Potential Increased Vessel Traffic at Cherry Point, Washington. http://www.seas.gwu.edu/~dorpjr/VTRA/FINAL%20REPORT/083108/VTRA%20REPORT%20 -%20Main%20Report%20083108.pdf (November 5 2012).

Landis, W., Hayes, E. 2004. Reginonal Ecological Risk Assessment of a Near Shore Environment: Cherry Point Washington. Human and Ecological Risk Assessment 299-325 https://www.wwu.edu/toxicology/docs/HartHayesLandis2004.pdf (November 5 2012)

Heagle, C., Schweigert, J. 2011. Distribution and Characteristics of Herring Spawning Grounds and Description of Spawning Behavior. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 39-55 http://www.nrcresearchpress.com/doi/abs/10.1139/f85-261#citart1 (November 5 2012)

Johannssen, S., Macdonald, R. 2009. Effects of Local and Global Change on an Inland Sea: The Strait of Georgia, British Columbia, Canada. Department of Fisheries and Oceans 1-21 http://www.int-es.com/articles/cr_oa/c040p001.pdf (November 5 2012)

Johnson, R., Bustin, R. 2005. Coal Dust Dispersal around a Marine Coal Terminal (1977-1999), British Columbia. The Fate of Coal Dust in the Marine Environment. International Journal of Coal Geology 57-69. http://www.coalwatch.ca/sites/default/files/Johnson-and-Bustin-2005-Coal- dust-in-marine-environment.pdf (November 5, 2012)

Nakamura, D., Deren. E., Marhofer, E., Jablonski, P., O’Neill, S. 2011. Environmental Impact for the Gateway Pacific Coal Terminal. http://courses.washington.edu/envlaw/documents/2011CherryPoint.pdf (November 5, 2012)

Pacific International Terminals Inc. 2011. Project Information Document. Gateway Pacific Terminal. http://www.coaltrainfacts.com/docs/PID-comprehensive.pdf (November 5 2012)

Washington State Department of Ecology. 2011. Summary of Major Ecology Budget Cuts by Program 2009-11 Biennial Budget Through the 2011-13 Biennial Budget. http://www.ecy.wa.gov/services/fs/ecymajorcuts09-11thru11-13.pdf (November 5 2012)

Snodgrass Rebekah (#1882)

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

Sol Lubliner (#3870)

Date Submitted: 12/05/2012
Lo