Anti-Coal Hearings Fuel Concerns for Oregon’s Future

The Planet, Sierra Club Stories from the Front Lines, July 15, 2013
By Annie Szotkowski

Six coal terminals have been proposed by coal companies in Oregon and Washington. Three have already been shelved by public outcry. On Tuesday, July 9, the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) hosted twelve-hour hearings at the Portland Convention Center and in Hermiston, Oregon, on a draft air permit for the controversial and unstudied coal export terminal proposal at the Port of Morrow near Boardman, Ore.

The DEQ set stringent rules around the public testimony, restricting comments to two minutes, and heavily enforcing people to register before entering the hearing room even if they were not planning to speak. Frustrated by the DEQ’s persistence in claiming “limited authority” to study real threats posed by the coal facility, local residents took their concerns to a “people’s hearing” on Tuesday evening.

The vibrant “people’s hearing” that formed outside the convention center was a host of over 500 residents wearing red shirts who voiced concerns over detriments in the DEQ permitting of the Morrow coal export facility. If developed, the project at the Port of Morrow will have negative public health, environmental, and economic consequences, not to mention a potential sledgehammer to the natural beauty of Oregon.

Read more…

About coalfreegorge

Coal is rearing its head again the Columbia Gorge. The new threat comes in the form of proposals to export coal from Wyoming to coal-fired power plants in China. The coal would be transported via uncovered rail cars through the Columbia Gorge. Many Columbia Gorge Communities in Oregon and Washington support a coal-free world, beginning at home, in the heart of the Columbia River Gorge, recognizing the importance of people determining what materials are allowable for transport through their communities and watersheds. This blog exists to communicate and advocate for the public interest in issues pertaining to coal transport in the Columbia River Gorge, providing an online outlet for honest discussion and information. To inform and unite local citizens about the damaging effects of coal transport through our communities. To endorse positive and considerate dialogue with the aim of mutual understanding among diverse parties. CLEAN AIR HEALTHY COMMUNITIES NO COAL EXPORTS STOP COAL IN ITS TRACKS
This entry was posted in Coal Dust, Coal Exports, coal terminals, Environment, Pollution. Bookmark the permalink.

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