Oppose the Millennium Coal Terminal! Huge Coal Piles Photo by Paul K. Anderson

The November 18th deadline is your last chance to shape the process which will decide whether 48 million tons of coal will make its way thru eastern Oregon to be burned in China. This will decide the scope of the decision making process; if they really consider the impacts of what will happen, how can they actually go forward with this?

The largest coal export terminal proposed in the Northwest is now up for discussion in an upcoming scoping period. Millennium Bulk Terminal is proposed along the Columbia River at Longview, Washington and will have negative impacts across the region, including Eastern Oregon. Our health, rural economies, and the environment are all in jeopardy. That is why it is important for Eastern Oregon to be included in the joint state and federal environmental impact studies.

*Click here to comment now!

*This quick, easy, and customizable form will be effective in telling decision makers that massive numbers of their constituents don’t want to see increased coal exports. If you don’t think numbers matter, consider a recent Whatcom County Council election in which the coal opposition won a majority of seats. This referendum was created through pressure from folks commenting and could mean the end of the Cherry Point Terminal in Bellingham, WA. Of course, writing your own comments will be more effective in influencing the scoping process. Please contact Tova for help crafting comments, if your willing to write a letter to the editor, and send us a copy of your comments so we know that comments are going in tova@oregonrural.org or 541-975-2411 .

Why comment now?

Remember how the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality said they can’t address anything beyond the water and air quality narrowly encompassing the Port of Morrow coal terminal in Boardman? Longview is a completely different ballgame because of what happened in Bellingham with the county election and the results of their scoping process. The Washington State Department of Ecology and Whatcom County partners in the EIS on the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal at Cherry Point near Bellingham set a precedent by including the effects of these large projects on rail lines outside the state of Washington, and on the potential greenhouse gas emissions from burning the coal in other countries. If we can get the same issues considered for the Longview Terminal, then we can go to Oregon’s DEQ and demand that they interpret their mandate to include these issues that they have so blatantly refused to address. This comment period is our chance to define which issues will be talked about for the rest of the process and ensure that profits aren’t put above everything we value!

Please contact Tova, tova@oregonrural.org or 541-975-2411 for more information

Make your voices heard. CLICK HERE to sign a scoping comment letter that raises some key issues we want to have on the table. 

 Even better than signing our letter, put some of theses concerns in your own letter. The idea is to ask questions to make sure issues get addressed. A personal letter goes a long way. Letters can be addressed to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, WA Department of Ecology, and Cowlitz County at comments@millenniumbulkeiswa.gov or Millennium Bulk Terminals-Longview EIS, c/o ICF International, 701 Second Avenue, Suite 550, Seattle, WA 98104

Some of the concerns and questions Oregonians wish to see addressed include:

  • Where is the coal coming from to source the 48 million ton/year terminal and how much of it will come through Oregon towns and communities by way of the Union Pacific?
  • What are the cumulative impacts of increased train traffic from the Longview proposal, in combination with potentially increased train traffic for a proposed Coyote Terminal at the Port of Morrow?
  • How will increased pollution from coal dust and diesel fumes affect the health and property values near the ports and in the communities affected by rail traffic?
  • How will the impact of massive coal shipments for Longview, Port of Morrow and other proposed coal export terminals in the region impact grain producers who market their crops internationally and must compete for limited rail capacity?
More information: Click here to read fact sheets about the impacts of coal exports to our health & safety and rural economies.
photo credit Paul Anderson