Submission Number: MBTL-SEPA-DEIS-0002580
Received: 6/13/2016 5:25:12 AM
Commenter: Kristen D
Agency: Cowlitz County and the Washington Department of Ecology
Initiative: Millennium Bulk-Terminals Longview SEPA DEIS
Attachments: No Attachments
I attended the Longview meeting with an open mind, trying to hear both sides of the story. I didn’t have a shirt, or a sign, or a slogan, I just went because I knew this was an important issue in our community. After attending however, I have to conclude that the potential impacts are too great, and the pay off too small to consider building this terminal. While the EIS is thorough, I do feel that many people at the meeting pointed out parts of the EIS that were notably lacking and deserved considerable more attention. The main concerns I have, were ones that others voiced at the meeting. Some of my biggest concerns have to do with the insufficient rail structure, what will the potential impacts be… derailments, accidents, potential environmental spills that could occur in land or water, potential fires if coal spills and ignites, traffic impacts, emergency vehicle impacts and delays locally (Longview) and along the train route… When and if will these rails be sufficient for the volume of the proposed project, and what price will we have to pay before they are up to capacity? Will there be permanent environmental damage if we encounter a spill that we are under prepared to handle? As a tax payer, will I be responsible for paying for these clean ups? Or will people lose their lives because they can’t get timely emergency assistance? Will people be forced to choose alternate routes to commute due to traffic delays, causing more CO2 emissions in addition to extra time cars are idling? Even if the new rails are built, how will local traffic still be impacted due to the sheer volume of the lengthy railcars? Will there still be long traffic delays, problems for emergency response teams? In addition, I am also concerned about the long term impacts of this plan as well. I don’t feel that sufficient attention was given to the accumulation of potential environmental and health hazards over long periods of time. An assessment was done in terms of the “small amounts,” of accumulation, implying the amounts are indiscriminate, but what do these small amounts mean over time for health impacts on children and more vulnerable population, for fish and wildlife population and the local environment, and for the health of the planet overall in terms of climate change? Mercury for example, builds in the body over time, so while initial amounts may be small, what will those amounts be after many years? People at the meeting asked for a more in depth human health assessment, and I agree the public deserves this information. Also, I was concerned about the accuracy of the numbers used in environmental projects in this EIS. A woman at the Longview meeting sited references of an existing coal terminal in Australia, saying that the numbers used in this EIS did not use the numbers comparable to the terminal in Australia, and suggested that this would actually be a fairly accurate comparison, in terms of volume and type of production. If this was the case, she said, the numbers in this EIS would be underestimations of environmental impacts. If this is the case, that this EIS underestimates this projection and the environmental impacts are greater than projected, who is held responsible for this discrepancy if this project passes? Who is going to be making sure that the impacts stay as “small” as projected. And if Millennium falls short of their ideal, will they be required to shut down? Or will they just be fined, able to continue their business, and the environment pays a price? I have lived many other places, but I moved back to the Pacific Northwest because I enjoy the natural beauty and resources we have here that are unmatched anywhere else. They are unmatched not only because of the uniqueness of this area, but because of the strong measures that we take to choose to protect what we have. No job is worth the price of the longevity of the health of the public and planet. Choose a better alternative. Vote no for coal.