Photo courtesy of Washington State House of Representatives
A coal train passes underneath the Olympic Sculpture Park. Increased train traffic from the proposed coal export terminal could have a significant impact on the adjacent intersection between the railroad and Broad St.

36D legislators sign onto letter asking for statewide coal impact review

On Tuesday, Jan. 22, 36th District's Rep. Reuven Carlyle, Rep. Gael Tarleton and nine other legislators signed onto a letter to Tyler Schroeder of Whatcom Planning and Development Services asking for full statewide review of any economic impacts the coal export terminal would bring.

"We are particularly interested in ensuring that this review process accurately identifies and assesses the full range of potential externalities and impacts, not just in the area immediately surrounding the project site, but statewide in a comprehensive and cumulative fashion," the letter states.

What they ask to be reviewed -- which includes impacts on both built and natural environments -- is no short order. They are as follows:

  • Traffic congestion at railroad crossings
  • Impacts to existing freight cargo and passenger rail
  • Impacts to ferry systems and San Juan Straits marine traffic
  • Effect on property value
  • Net employment changes
  • Public investment to maintain transportation infrastructure
  • Impact market volatility on commerce and infrastructure
  • Greenhouse gases a emission targets
  • Impacts on air and noise pollution
  • Impacts to marine environment
  • And cumulative net impacts of all the coal export terminals being built throughout the region.

The letter is a followup action to a demand that legislators made to Gov. Christine Gregoire at the end of last year, which was spearheaded by Carlyle. You can find our report of that here.

You can read the full letter here: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B3LxvCFXBc7kbGdmLVd3RXlfdWc/edit

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