Coal terminals' study will not include broader impacts

Environmental studies on proposed coal export facilities in the Pacific Northwest will not be as broad as environmental groups and others opposed to the facilities’ construction have hoped, according to Congressional committee testimony from a chief official of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The decision means the Corps, which is one of the co-lead agencies completing an environmental impact statement for the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal at Cherry Point near Bellingham, will not review a broader range of the potential negative implications of the facility’s operation. These include the effects on climate change from burning coal, traffic congestion from the transport of coal by rail, as well as increased air pollution due to coal dust.

Along with the Gateway terminal, two other export facilities have been proposed in the region: the Millennium Bulk Terminal in Longview, Wash., and a terminal at the Port of Morrow, Ore.

Read Associated Press coverage of this development from our partners at The Daily Herald in Everett.

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