Concerned water wasted on coal

COURTESY TO THE BELLINGHAM HERALDNovember 7, 2013 

A good water supply is essential for continuing our high quality of life here in Whatcom County. We need enough unpolluted water for drinking and to support local farms and fisheries. The success of the "Eat Local First" campaign is an example of the progress we've made, in terms of appreciating our local natural resources. We're changing our habits for the better by buying more local, sustainably produced foods.

I'm very concerned that Gateway Pacific Terminal's proposed coal terminal at Cherry Point would put our local water (and thus food) supply at risk. The terminal would use a tremendous amount of water (according to the contract already in place, approximately 5 million gallons of water per day). Would there really be enough water left over for adequate farm irrigation and to maintain the Nooksack River at levels sufficient to support salmon spawning?

I'm also concerned that GPT would use water in a wasteful and polluting manner. According to their contract, the water would be sprayed on huge, uncovered coal piles, in order to decrease the toxic dust generated by the piles. I believe toxic runoff would then drain into streams, and eventually the bay. Water is a precious resource that shouldn't be squandered on coal piles!

Gena Pass

Bellingham

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