The largest coal export terminal proposed for the Northwest has moved one step further in the environmental review process.
The governmental agencies overseeing the review of the Gateway Pacific Terminal have announced Wednesday what potential impacts they will consider.
The Washington Department of Ecology says it will study the impacts on human health as well as rail and ship traffic as coal moves from Wyoming mines to the proposed terminal north of Bellingham and then on to Asia. And in a move that has opponents of coal exports pleased, Ecology announced that it will assess the green house gas emissions from both transporting the coal and burning it in Asia.
But Ecology cautioned that this report isn’t the final say on the project. Josh Baldi is the Northwest regional director.
"It’s meant to inform the permit decisions that need to be made but it’s also meant to inform a broader public discourse around the project" says Baldi.
Proponents of the Gateway Pacific Terminal called the move “unprecedented” and a “disappointment”. The report should be completed within the next two years. Then the public will have another chance to submit comments before a final decision is made.
Copyright 2013 KUOW