Submission Number: MBTL-SEPA-DEIS-0002352
Received: 6/9/2016 5:36:43 PM
Commenter: Mitchell Smith
Organization: Southwest County Coalition
Agency: Cowlitz County and the Washington Department of Ecology
Initiative: Millennium Bulk-Terminals Longview SEPA DEIS
Attachments: No Attachments
As proposed the Millennium Bulk Terminals-Longview (MBTL) will be a disaster for residents living near the railroad tracks that transport the coal to the proposed project. The draft EIS does little to alleviate those concerns as quite simply Emergency Response vehicles cannot jump over coal trains. A couple minutes will always make the difference between life and death, whether a home is saved or completely destroyed. During the Fish Lake Fire in Spokane County in 2015 Emergency vehicles were observed being delayed by coal trains. Every Railroad Crossing would need an overpass to ensure public safety and that is not even proposed. The final EIS must address the fact that ambulances cannot jump over coal trains and find a way to mitigate the losses.
Worse is the railroads themselves have a horrible safety record as witnessed by the derailment last week along the Colombia River. For those of us that live next to the tracks the RRs are not our friend, we consider them to be Serial Arsonist. Every year their trains start fires and nobody - not one single agency does anything about it. The victims are paid and the RRs just do it again next year and again no one does anything. The final EIS must address the Wildland fires that will be a result of increased Coal train traffic. The Cumulative effects must be addressed and mitigated in the final EIS.
Lastly the SWCC is concerned with corruption by local officials that may have received favors from RR entities to come out in support of the proposal. Promised jobs, donations to department training funds, offers to attend paid junkets to seminars put on by the Rail Roads, or just the use of RR property by county officials. Almost every issue the SWCC dug into when public officials openly supported coal or oil trains revealed some public official was receive something in return for their support. Legal or not it makes the MBTL look as if the process has been corrupted. The final EIS must address this issue, the SWCC that every part of the proposed project must be open and honest = no back room deals.
Thank You for the opportunity to comment.
Lead Organizer SWCC