Coal

March 30, 2015 —  Of the six coal terminals proposed for Oregon & Washington, three have been withdrawn and Ambre Energy’s Ports of Morrow project is on the ropes as proponents face unprecedented opposition from business owners, public health professionals, elected officials, farmers, conservationists, and families along the coal lines.

A summary of the three defeated/withdrawn proposals can be found here.

Prospects for the Port of Morrow Coal termnal proposal are considered here.

As of March, 2015,  just two of the original six Oregon/Washington coal port proposals appear to remain on the table — but they are the biggest!

The following was sourced from Earthfix, June, 2012 and is updated regularly.

1) Millenium Bulk Terminal, Port of Longview, WA

A $640 million terminal that would eventually export 44 million tons of coal/year at a private brownfield site near Longview, WA. It’s a joint venture of Australia’s Ambre Energy and Arch Coal, the second-largest coal producer in the U.S.  A record-busting 195,000 comments were received by the Washington State  Department of Ecology and the Army Corps of Engineers during the site scoping period which ended November 18, 2013.

Players: Alcoa, Ambre Energy, Arch Coal

Full Capacity: To be reached by 2018

Export Plans: 44 million short tons of coal/year

Trains: 16 trains/day (8 full and 8 empty)

Train Cars: 960/day

Vessels: 2/day

What’s Next:  In February, 2014, ECY and Cowlitz County announced that they will conduct a sweeping environmental study of this project.  The study will include the effects of train traffic from inland mines and greenhouse gas emissions from coal-burning power plants in Asia.  More information here.

2) Gateway Pacific Terminal, Bellingham, WA. (aka Cherry Point)

Seattle-based SSA Marine wants to build a terminal within the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve. Like the other proposed terminals, it would ship millions of tons of coal from Montana and Wyoming to Asia. The company says it would create thousands of jobs and generate millions in tax and other revenues.   Army Corps of Engineers and the Washington Dept. of Ecology (ECY) received public input Sept. 24 through Jan. 21, 2013.  Hearings throughout Washington and online interaction drew more than 124,000 public comments which are available from ECY here.

Players: SSA Marine, Peabody Energy, Gateway Pacific, Korea East-West Power

Full Capacity: To be reached in 2026

Export Plans: 48 million tons coal/year (54m tons total commodities/yr)

Train: 16 trains/day (8 full and 8 empty)

Train Cars: 1,218/day (estimated)

Vessels: 433/year (estimated)

What’s Next:  As of Spring, 2014, environmental consultants CH2M Hill under the direction of the co-lead agencies, have begun to prepare the draft NEPA and SEPA Environmental Impact Statements (EIS).  According to ECY, “The purpose of an EIS is to provide the public and agency decision makers with information on likely adverse effects of a proposed project, as well as reasonable alternatives and measures to reduce those effects”.6  Draft EISs will be made available in 2015 at which point, there will be another open public comment period and public hearings will be held.

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Coal Export Proposal Background

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