The Seattle Times, October 3, 2012
By Seattle Times Editorial
The Army Corps of Engineers should provide area-wide environmental reviews of coal-export facilities that impact lives in four states.
None of the five active plans to ship coal from the Powder River Basin to China via proposed coal ports in Washington and Oregon exists in isolation.
That is why the Army Corps of Engineers must initiate expansive reviews of the environmental, health and transportation issues related to moving millions of tons of coal by dozens of trains each day.
Communities from Spokane to Washougal and Edmonds would be impacted daily by the coal bound for China out of Cherry Point, north of Bellingham.
Other massive terminals are proposed for Longview, and Port Westward, Coos Bay and the Port of Morrow in Oregon.
The Army Corps needs to commit to broad, area-wide analysis of the proposals and how they are intertwined. Comprehensive environmental-impact statements are the device to employ.