Individual comment detail

Riordan, Michael
Date: Jul. 29, 2014
Multiple/not listed
Human environment:
Air quality, Other human environment topic
Natural environment:
Marine species, fish or fisheries, Other natural environment topic
EIS process:
In January 2013 I submitted several comments on the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal, including the attached one, which was entered as comment #5517, on the impact of fugitive coal dust from terminal operations on the adjacent waters of Georgia Strait and the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve. As the coal storage area would be moved closer to these waters in the new preferred alternate design of this terminal, the adverse impacts of fugitive coal dust on these waters will only increase. This is especially true given the strong, often gale-force Fraser Gap winds that blow from the NE and ENE directions in the winter. The distance that any dust kicked up by these winds has to travel before reaching the waters would be lessened, which can only mean that more dust gets in the water than in the earlier design. There is no other possibility.

In addition, the proposed time frame for implementation of these plans, building out to full capacity in a few years rather than over a decade, will mean that the resultant shipping to and from the terminal, in Capesize bulk carriers, will happen much more rapidly than anticipated in the previous plan. As a resident of the San Juan Islands, I must object to this sudden growth in vessel traffic, as it will not allow for proper training of Puget Sound Pilots, who don't currently pilot such large vessels through our narrow, treacherous straits. The gradual build-out previously planned would have allowed much more time for them to gain the necessary experience.

These increased adverse impacts must be fully studied in the environmental impact statement for the terminal, and suitable mitigations must be included before this proposal can be approved. And I'm sure there are other important impacts that I have not thought of, but others have. Therefore, I recommend reopening the EIS commenting process to allow for such input.

I am copying Tyler Schroeder on this email so he is also aware of my concerns.
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