Letters to the Editor

Concerned about environmental effects of proposed coal-export terminal

I am writing to address the ever-so-controversial topic of the current plans to develop what I believe would be the largest coal-export facility in North America at Cherry Point and its environmental effects.

Being a resident of Bellingham, I want to know what changes could be made to the place I call my home. There are many communities that will be affected by this change and the future changes to the local economies, public health, and the environment should have everyone wanting to know more about this great project.

Something that was alarming was the issue of coal dust. It is notoriously difficult to control, but so easily emitted into the air. The 100-plus acres of open, continuously turned-over, coal mounds are estimated to produce 500 pounds to a ton of coal dust that will be released into the air. I believe this could have effects on human health, local clean water supplies, and on the marine environment. Living in such a rainy and windy climate, my concerns are how this dust in the air will be maintained.

This project also increases the number of diesel-burning vehicles as well as marine vessels which would affect the air quality. This pollution not only affects the citizens and environment of Whatcom County, but neighboring counties and ecosystems as well.

Sarah Hansen