Five separate proposals have been developed for construction of coal shipping terminals at five Northwest Ports: Oregon – Coos Bay, Morrow (for barging to St. Helens only), and St. Helens; and Washington – Bellingham and Longview. Except for one application covering Morrow and St. Helens, the applications are independent of each other. If all applications are granted, the terminals could potentially ship 141 million tons of coal per year to Asia. That amount would require 56 train trips per day (28 with coal; 28 without), with each train being about 1-1/2 miles long (120 to 180 cars). Supporters of coal exporting have formed the Coalition for Jobs & Exports; an opposing coalition, Power Past Coal, has raised numerous transportation and environmental questions.
A key issue is the scope of appropriate environmental review. Brett VandenHeuvel, a lawyer and Executive Director of Columbia Riverkeeper, will argue that an “area-wide” or “programmatic” Environmental Impact Statement should be completed by the Army Corps of Engineers covering all proposed locations. Greg Peden, a lawyer and Partner in Gallatin Public Affairs – a public affairs firm representing the Coalition for Jobs & Exports, will argue that any EIS required should be on a facility-by-facility basis.
Click here for details for this event at the law office of Tonkon Torp LLP.