Coal Export Opponents Dominate Vancouver Hearing

Dec 13, 2012

About 700 people gathered in Vancouver, Washington, Wednesday to comment on a coal export terminal that could be built near Bellingham.

The people who oppose the Gateway Pacific coal export terminal greatly outnumbered those who favor the plan.

Earlier hearings held in towns near the proposed terminal drew a more even mix of supporters and opponents.

The Vancouver hearing was 270 miles away from the project -- but right on the rail line for coal trains.

Bob Rees is the president of the Northwest Guides and Anglers Association. He worries about the impact of diesel train pollution and coal dust on the fishing industry.

Rees: “Putting an additional 10 trains per day down the Columbia River Gorge is going to have overall negative impacts for salmon and steelhead populations.”

The final hearing on the coal terminal is at 4 p.m. Thursday in Seattle at the Washington State Convention Center.

Copyright 2012 Northwest Public Radio