Editorial: Time to speak up on coal exports

Allison Roberts News

The lengthy environmental-review process for a proposed coal export terminal is starting. It is vital for the public to get involved, as now is the time when a decision will be made about exactly what impacts will be taken into consideration before granting permits.

Unlike the process under way to analyze a similar facility in Bellingham, Wash., in the case of Millennium Bulk Terminals-Longview, state, local and federal agencies are combining efforts. Cowlitz County, the Washington State Department of Ecology and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are working together to produce an Environmental Impact Statement.

Between now and Nov. 18, the public is invited to comment on the scope of this EIS. In the case of the Bellingham terminal, the Corps separately decided to keep the scope very narrowly focused on immediate local effects that will result from construction and operation of the facility where trains will arrive from Montana and Wyoming with coal for Asian customers. The state Ecology Department, for its part, rejected this approach and will be looking at everything a terminal will mean in terms of potential damages to the regional and global environments.

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Take time to comment on the Longview coal terminal:

• Via the official EIS website established by the three agencies for the EIS process: www.millenniumbulkeiswa.gov

• By email: comments@millenniumbulkeiswa.gov

• By U.S. mail: Millennium Bulk Terminals-Longview EIS, c/o ICF International, 701 Second Avenue, Suite 550, Seattle, WA 98104.

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