Northwest Tribes Say "No Short Cuts" For Coal Export Projects

Sep 28, 2012

At a convention today Thursday, tribes from around the Northwest released a joint statement calling for a full environmental analysis of five proposed coal export terminals in Oregon and Washington.

The coal would be shipped across the Pacific to Asian markets.

Fifty-seven tribes came together to voice concerns about the health, safety and environmental impacts of exporting coal from Montana and Wyoming through the Northwest.

If any of the proposed export terminals are built, the coal would travel by rail and ship through Washington, Idaho and Oregon.

The Northwest tribes have joined environmental groups in calling for a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement or EIS of each of the terminals. That would take a broader look at the effects of increased rail traffic through tribal lands and communities all along the route of the coal trains, instead of just reviewing each terminal on an individual basis.

The Army Corps of Engineers is in charge of the review process for each terminal and has already decided not to do a programmatic EIS on two of the other proposed coal projects, one near Bellingham and the other on the Columbia River.

The tribes also called for full governmental transparency throughout the review process for all the terminals.

Copyright 2012 Northwest Public Radio