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Dow Constantine


Testimony of King County Executive Dow Constantine on the proposed Cherry Point coal export terminal EIS

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Testimony of King County Executive Dow Constantine on the proposed Cherry Point coal export terminal EIS

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Testimony of King County Executive Dow Constantine on the proposed Cherry Point coal export terminal EIS

For public comment meeting led by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Washington Dept. of Ecology, and Whatcom County, on Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012

Good afternoon Ms. Walker, Ms. Summerhays, and Mr Hegedus. You have a great responsibility as you scope this environmental review for the proposed Pacific Gateway Terminal.

This is not only an issue local to Whatcom County. Communities along the rail corridor serving the proposed terminal will see environmental, health, traffic, and economic impacts.

We have done away with coal-fired plants in this state. Burning this coal will create greenhouse gas emissions roughly equal to the total of all emissions from all sources in   Washington State.

This is not only an environmental issue. It’s an issue of economic development.

Up to 18 trains a day, each a mile-and-a-half long, will cause unscheduled delays at street-level crossings and slow the movement of goods and workers. It will use up finite rail capacity that our industries like aerospace rely on to move parts and finished products.

It’s also an issue of health and social justice, with some of our most vulnerable communities living along the rail corridor.

I urge you to conduct an area-wide and cumulative review of impacts on: the environment; health, equity, and social justice; the rail system; and freight, transit and passenger vehicle traffic.

The financial burden of these impacts should not fall on local communities along the rail corridor. Your EIS should analyze and quantify the costs of mitigating these impacts. 

Finally, your review should recognize that this is just one of five coal export terminal proposals in Washington and Oregon. 

We are counting on you to conduct a thorough and comprehensive review.  

As a region, let’s put our energy toward clean technology, green energy, transit, and value-added manufacturing.

Let’s send a message to the nation and the world that we need to end our reliance on finite, polluting energy sources.

Let’s pursue lasting economic development that sustains rather than harms our environment.  

We can do better. Thank you. 



King County Executive
Dow Constantine
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