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Opponents of coal terminals in Bellingham, Longview to deliver petition Wednesday

A coal train heads north through the site of the former Georgia-Pacific mill on the Bellingham waterfront. More trains could be coming if SSA Marine's plan to build the Gateway Pacific Terminal coal and bulk cargo export terminal at Cherry Point is realized.
A coal train heads north through the site of the former Georgia-Pacific mill on the Bellingham waterfront. More trains could be coming if SSA Marine's plan to build the Gateway Pacific Terminal coal and bulk cargo export terminal at Cherry Point is realized. THE BELLINGHAM HERALD

Opponents of two proposed coal terminals in Washington state say they've gathered thousands of signatures from citizens protesting the projects.

The Longview Daily News reports that a group organized by the Washington Environmental Council will deliver 40,000 petition signatures on Wednesday, Feb. 29 to Public Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark.

The petition highlights the group's concerns about health, economic and environmental impacts of the two terminals, which would be the two largest in North America if approved.

In Whatcom County, developer SSA Marine hopes to export 48 million tons of coal annually at the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal at Cherry Point. Coal would be shipped via rail from the Powder River basin in Wyoming and Montana for export to Asia.

Last week, Millennium Bulk Terminals filed permits to build a $600 million terminal at a former Reynolds Metals Co. site west of Longview. The company plans to export 44 million metric tons of coal annually. It says it would employ 135 full-time workers at the completed terminal.

Supporters say the projects would create thousands of jobs and generate millions in tax revenue for the state. Opponents worry about health and environmental impacts.

Goldmark's state agency regulates the use of state-owned aquatic lands.

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