Northwest Coal Transportation
5:48 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

Columbia River Coal Comments Most in DEQ History

Oregon environmental regulators have been sifting through more than 16,000 comments about a proposed coal export terminal along the Columbia River. the public comment period recently closed.

Comments ranged from support for jobs to concerns about climate change.
Credit Chris McKenna / Wikimedia Commons

The comments about the Morrow Pacific Project came in by e-mail, in person, over the phone and by fax. The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality is deciding whether to issue three permits for the terminal.

Spokesman Greg Svelund says this project has generated the most public comments in the history of the department.

“We’re breaking new ground, yes. Certainly for a public comment, I don’t think anything really comes close to this" says Svelund.

Comments ranged from support for jobs to concerns about climate change. Most of the comments opposed the project.

The proposed export terminal would transport coal from the Powder River Basin by rail to the eastern Oregon town of Boardman. From there, it would barge about nine million tons of coal down the Columbia River and eventually ship it to Asia.

Next, the department will respond to comments that specifically address the project’s permits.

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