Submission Number: MBTL-SEPA-DEIS-0003223 

Received: 6/13/2016 6:55:51 PM
Commenter: Paul Blackburn
Organization: City of Hood River
State: Oregon

Agency: Cowlitz County and the Washington Department of Ecology
Initiative: Millennium Bulk-Terminals Longview SEPA DEIS
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Submission Text
I am the Mayor of Hood River, Oregon. Our City supports the “no action” alternative in the Millennium Bulk Terminals (MBTL) Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The proposed MBTL coal export terminal would cause a significant increase in the number of unit trains of coal passing through the Columbia River Gorge. This would cause harm to the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area and communities throughout the Northwest. The project damages our health and safety, air and water quality, and natural resources. I urge your agencies to protect public health and the environment by rejecting this coal export terminal. The DEIS has many flaws. The DEIS fails to adequately consider the amount of coal dust discharged from coal trains and the clear violations of the federal Clean Water Act that would result from the project. The Draft EIS reveals many intolerable serious impacts to human health and the environment. It dismisses other impacts without a valid basis. Transporting the coal to the Washington border was not examined. Eliminating a large part of the trip does not provide the full disclosure required by SEPA. The DEIS is flawed, but nonetheless concludes that there would be significant, unavoidable impacts. Based on these disclosures, Cowlitz County and the Department of Ecology (Ecology) have the necessary basis to reject the proposal. Once the EIS is revised to include all of the omitted impacts, the project should be denied. A copy of our city’s resolution on coal-by-rail transport through the Columbia River Gorge is attached. Please enter this letter and our resolution into the record. Thank you for this opportunity to comment. Thank you, Paul Blackburn, Mayor