Published June 1, 2013
And just last week, a powerful and growing grassroots movement rallied in Vancouver against another coal terminal proposal in our region -- this one in Surrey, B.C. -- raising concerns about the combined impacts of the many different coal export terminal proposals throughout the Pacific Northwest.
As the Gateway Pacific Terminal environmental assessment progresses, our community must continue to hold our regulating agencies accountable for the various potential impacts of the proposed coal port at Cherry Point. But with a total of four remaining coal export terminals proposed in Washington, Oregon and British Columbia, we also need to be sure we understand the cumulative impacts of all the terminals in combination -- impacts sure to be massive should all four go forward.
The people of the Pacific Northwest and B.C. deserve an area-wide environmental impact statement, called an EIS, so we can understand how our lives, and the environment we depend on, will change. It's that simple.
Here's the problem: broad-scale combined impacts that affect the entire region, along with the specific local impacts to communities along 1,100 miles of rail will never be considered by the regulating agencies if each terminal is reviewed in its own vacuum. But this is exactly what SSA Marine (the project's proponent) wants. And they're pouring hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars into public relations campaigns to make sure it happens.
If this were the right idea, would it cost so much to sell it to us?
At RE Sources, we believe that projects that have the potential to affect an entire region must be looked at regionally; in the context of all their impacts and alongside all of the similar proposals, no matter what promises are made in their glossy fliers.
For these reasons and more, we are joining with our partners in Power Past Coal to demand an area-wide environmental impact statement -- because it's the only way we can guarantee a good, clear look at the combined impacts these coal terminals would have on our lives and our communities.
Join us and lend your voice to this growing public insistence that our health, our economy and our environment should matter.
Crina Hoyer is the Executive Director of RE Sources for Sustainable Communities in Bellingham. RE Sources promotes sustainable communities and the health of local people and ecosystems through science, education, advocacy and action. More information, along with a link to the petition calling for an area-wide EIS, can be found online at resources.org.
Read more here: http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2013/06/01/3029585/area-wide-assessment-of-impacts.html#storylink=cpy