Transition Whatcom

Gateway Pacific Coal Export Terminal - We need your help

Good morning.

I am working to stop the Gateway Pacific Coal Export Terminal from happening and we need your help during the scoping process.

When SSA Marine applies for their permit to build the terminal the scoping process begins. That is a process to list all of the impacts to people, the environment, city, etc. that will be caused by the terminal and the coal trains. A contractor will be picked to do the scoping process and there will be times designated for public comments at meetings and also for the public's written comments. A large number of comments will show the scoping analysts that the public has opinions about the project and that they are not afraid to take the time to protect their town, homes, health, etc. These written comments don't need to be letters necessarily, but can just be a list of impacts you are concerned about that will affect your lives. The comments should be on paper with your name and address and the words Gateway Pacific Terminal - Scoping Public Comments.

Examples of impacts could be:

Coal dust in the air from passing coal trains. Coal tar pitches and coal tar are known human carcinogens or cancer causing agents as stated by the American Cancer Society.

Diesel pollution from train engines, ships, and tugboats. 26,280 train engines + 487 ship engines + 800 to 1600 tugboat engines.

Blocked intersections from an additional 18 - 1.5 mile long trains each day. That's in addition to all of the trains currently running today.

Vibration from these heaviest trains ever on your home or the land below your home. Chuckanut area homeowners and those along the waterfront on Eldridge etc. will have concerns.

Train noise from trains running day and night, 24-7 all year long. Many people living near enough to the tracks already complain of sleep deprivation.

Loss of interest for downtown development due to blocked intersections. The city has plans to ramp up the many small businesses spaces that will be created by their downtown development designs.

Damage to the Cherry Point Marine Reserve and the abundance of species there. Sports fishing will suffer and commercial fishing also.

Damage to the salmon runs from damage to food fish for the salmon. The Cherry Point Herring is already experiencing a 95% decline in fish stocks. Will we allow them to die off completely, just so corporations from far away can make their billions of dollars by using this area as a coal shipping point?

Invasive species from 487 ships expected to dock for coal each year. Other areas in the US are heavily impacted by invasive species and once they are here we are stuck with them. Some are already here. These ships discharge ballast water containing aquatic species from China, which would most likely be invasive species here in our marine waters.

Degradation of our environment and this beautiful place where we live. Do we want Bellingham and Whatcom County to end up looking like another Cleveland or like many of the east coast heavy railroad usage cities?

Health impacts listed by 170 local doctors who joined together as "The Whatcom Docs" to oppose the building of the terminal. Their main argument stems from many peer reviewed studies that show the impacts of people's health from all of the diesel pollution. The Whatcom Docs want a separate Health Impact study to be done along with the environmental impact study.

Lower property values of your home due to beautiful Bellingham and Whatcom County becoming a dirty railroad community and coal shipment point. This is a known fact that values will fall and as such local realtors are banding together to oppose the terminal.

Ambulances having to wait for coal trains at intersections with injured and critically ill people on their way to the hospital. This is so easy to envision and such a terrible thought to think about. This could happen to any of us or our children or our parents.

Trapped airborne pollution during the many wintertime air stagnation periods. This last Thanksgiving the weather service announced an air stagnation advisory. During these times the toxic diesel pollution from trains, ships and tugboats will fill our clean air with pollution.

I will attach a list of concerns from people who attended Mayor Pike's listening session on June 1st 2011. I paraphrased their comments for brevity.


All concerns listed on your paper should be sent to:

Lindsay A. Taylor


2309 Meridian St.

Bellingham WA 98225

Be sure to note that this is for public comments for the GPT Scoping Process.

Please plan to attend the public comment meetings also and speak your mind!

Thank you in advance for all of you who help us by writing your concerns in a list on paper and sending it in to Lindsay A. Taylor. We all value this community and this beautiful area. I am so happy to live here. Now let's show "Big Coal" that they can't do this to our community! Let's show them we will stand up and fight for what is right!


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