Deny Permit Request for Coal Export Terminal

Target: Oregon Governor Kitzhaber and Dick Pedersen, Director of the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality

Goal: Halt plans to construct a coal terminal on the Columbia River

A contractor has been issued a draft permit to build a coal export terminal that would send 8 million tons of coal from Montana down the Columbia River every year. This terminal would destroy the beautiful but already coal-polluted Columbia River Gorge. The Governor and the Director of the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) can stop this project before it starts.

Ambre Energy is on the verge of receiving necessary permits to build the first coal export facility in the Pacific Northwest. Proponents of the project say that it will create 80 permanent jobs at the terminal, but they fail to mention the terminal’s potential health impacts to humans, wildlife, and the environment. Coal trains will cross three states before getting to the gem that is treasured by Oregonians and Washingtonians alike: the Columbia River. Every train passing through the Gorge will pollute sensitive plant and wildlife habitats, wetlands, streams and the Columbia River with coal dust and debris. BNSF Railway, which will likely deliver the coal, estimates that each car loses between 500 and 2,000 pounds of coal dust from the Powder River Basin, a coalmine in Wyoming and Montana. Since each train has 120 cars, it will lose about 10,200 pounds of coal on its 85-mile route to the Gorge.

The export terminal will also impact fish populations. The National Marine Fisheries Service found that the proposed terminal at the Port of Morrow and barging coal through the Gorge to a facility at St. Helens can affect 13 species listed under the Endangered Species Act, including several species of Columbia River salmon and steelhead.

Recently the anti-coal movement saw several wins. A plan to build a coal export terminal downstream of Portland along the Columbia River was dropped by Kinder Morgan. Two other companies said they were no longer interested in a proposed terminal at Coos Bay along the Oregon coast, and a plan for a terminal at Grays Harbor, Washington, was shelved. But the industry is not wasting time to make profits at the expense of people and the fragile environment in the Pacific Northwest. The Governor of Oregon and the Director of DEQ can stop Ambre Energy by denying the Air Containment Discharge Permit and other necessary permits. Urge the decision makers in Oregon to say “No” to coal.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Governor Kitzhaber and Director Pedersen,

The proposed coal export terminal on the Columbia River is disastrous to people, wildlife and the environment of the Pacific Northwest. As Greenpeace International’s recent report points out, coal export is one of the largest threats to climate in the world, and the single largest for Americans. As much as 10,200 pounds of coal dust per 120-car train will pollute the surrounding environment along the 85-mile route.

Once coal is on Columbia River barges it will negatively impact fish populations. The National Marine Fisheries Service found that the proposed terminal and coal barging routes can affect 13 species listed under the Endangered Species Act, including several species of Columbia River salmon and steelhead.

This project only benefits Ambre Energy at the expense of the people and the environment. Please deny the Air Containment Discharge Permit and other permits that are required for  construction to begin.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: N1D0 via Flickr

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