Let's get some accurate information about coal trains through Bellingham. Hopefully, the EIS will provide this in due course. In general I support the coal terminal at Cherry Point. In the long term we need the extra business this will bring to Whatcom County. But certain well-known environmental impacts from trains need to be studied and quantified, namely train noise, horn noise and maybe traffic congestion. These real impacts have been neglected up to now. We also need a definitive statement from the agencies as to why public money is used to mitigate these, historically. I am thinking overpasses and quiet zones. It is not good enough for BNSF to say no more than "We will only provide 5 percent of that cost."
If the terminal is not built there will still be coal trains passing through Bellingham on the way to Canada, albeit at a lower traffic level than if the terminal were built. This is addition to the coal trains that have been passing through since at least 1987. We all need a complete understanding of the impact of trains through Bellingham in the future.