BELLINGHAM, Wash. — The fight over a coal export terminal proposed near Bellingham, Wash., is heating up, as hundreds turned out Saturday for the first of several public hearings on the project.
The hearing in Bellingham sought to get public input on what should be included in the environmental review of the project at Cherry Point. Hearings are also scheduled in Seattle, Vancouver, Spokane and other cities.
Opponents want regulators to study a broad range of concerns, including increased rail traffic, greenhouse gas emissions, potential health hazards and harm to fisheries.
SSA Marine’s Bob Watters said in a statement Saturday that the project will meet the state’s high environmental standards. Supporters say the project would generate millions in tax revenues and create short-term and permanent jobs.
The terminal is one of five in Washington and Oregon proposed to ship coal from Montana and Wyoming to Asia.
Seattle-based SSA Marine wants to build a terminal within the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve. It would ship millions of tons of coal from Montana and Wyoming to Asia. The company says it would create thousands of jobs and generate millions in tax and other revenues.
Players: SSA Marine, Peabody Energy, Gateway Pacific, Korea East-West Power
Full Capacity: To be reached in 2026
Export Plans: 54 million* tons/year
Train Cars: 1,370/day
What’s Next: Government agencies began in October taking public input before they issue an environmental impact statement and from there, approve development permits. Hearings have been scheduled from Oct. 27 to Dec. 12 throughout Washington. Find information here on dates and locations. Agencies also are hosting “virtual scoping meetings” online, where information is available and comments can be submitted.
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