The Columbian, August 26, 2013
By Courtney Flatt, EarthFix
Oregon environmental regulators have been sifting through more than 16,000 comments about a proposed coal export terminal along the Columbia River, after the public comment period recently closed.
The input — most of it critical of the Morrow Pacific Project — came in by email, in person, over the phone and by fax.
Spokesman Greg Svelund said this project has generated the most public comments in the history of the department.
“We’re breaking new ground, yes. Certainly for a public comment, I don’t think anything really comes close to this,” Svelund said.
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality is deciding whether to issue three permits for the terminal. For Ambre Energy to move forward with the project it must be granted stormwater, air and water quality permits for an enclosed terminal it plans to build in the Eastern Oregon town of Boardman.
The proposed export terminal would transport about 9 million tons of coal from the Powder River Basin by rail to Boardman. From there, it would be barged down the Columbia River to Port Westward and shipped to Asia.