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This is very good news that the formerly narrow review of impacts of the proposed coal export terminal near Bellingham must broaden its scope to include impacts of increased train traffic will have on local communities, and all the way up to including the proposed project's impacts on climate.


Big proposed coal port will get sweeping evaluation

Big proposed coal port will get sweeping evaluationA giant export terminal proposed north of Bellingham, which would export coal to China, must undergo a sweeping review of environmental, transportation, health and climate impacts, the state Department of Ecology, Whatcom County and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced on Wednesday.

The review, insisted on by Ecology, is a potential blow to the Gateway Pacific project and a victory for critics who argue that such factors as mile-long trains, passing through Seattle and other Western Washington cities, should be evaluated along with impacts immediately around the Cherry Point terminal site.

While this is an important victory that sets a constructive precedent for the other coal export proposals, and makes an approval less likely there is still no certainty that the 2 year study will recommend against the project going forward.  We have to keep up the pressure on our elected officials to reject these bad ideas. Maia Bellon is Washington's Ecology Department's director and she will have to give the Gateway Pacific terminal her approval for the project to proceed. Project proponents aren't going away any time soon.

Also see James Wells' excellent diary: Outsourcing Carbon Pollution - Not So Fast!

and Coal Mega Ports planned for Northwest could surpass CO2 impact from Keystone XL

Originally posted to Lefty Coaster on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 06:03 PM PDT.

Also republished by PacNW Kossacks, DK GreenRoots, Climate Hawks, and Climate Change SOS.

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