People of Northwest Public Radio
Fri July 5, 2013
Coal Export Public Hearings Scheduled For Hermiston, Portland
Crowds have turned up throughout the Northwest to voice their opinions about proposed coal export terminals. At times the public hearings have been confrontational.
On Tuesday, people will be able to voice their thoughts about the Morrow Pacific Project, a proposed terminal in eastern Oregon.
The Morrow Pacific Project calls for coal to be transported by rail from the Powder River Basin to Boardman, Oregon. It would then be barged down the Columbia River to the Port of St. Helens –northwest of Portland. From there, it would be put on ships bound for Asia.
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality will hold two public comment meetings – one in Hermiston, Oregon, and another in Portland.
Joanie Stevens-Schwenger is with the department. She says the meetings are intended to generate public input before the department responds to the the project’s request for pollution permits.
“When folks come to these hearings, they have many things on their minds. The kind of comments that will influence what our permits say would be comments that are focused on the permit.”
Coal opponents say around 1,000 people will attend a rally in Portland. Coal supporters say they expect thousands of comments to be submitted.
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