Plans For Coal Export Terminal In Grays Harbor Abandoned

Aug 17, 2012

The company behind a proposed coal export terminal in Grays Harbor has decided not to go ahead with the project. Ashley Ahearn reports for EarthFix.

For more than a year Rail America has been studying a site near Aberdeen. The plan was to bring about 5 million tons of coal per year by train from Wyoming’s Powder River Basin and load it on to ships for Asia.

During the review process though, another company approached Rail America with plans to export a different commodity. Paul Queary is a spokesman for Rail America.

Ahearn: "So what was that other product?"

Queary: "We are actually not allowed to say. The company in question has asked that that be kept confidential until they’re ready to go public with it."

Queary said opposition from environmental groups did not factor into the company’s decision against exporting coal. He said Rail America believes the other mystery export product would allow the terminal to be put into use more quickly.

Environmental groups opposed the coal export project but some in the struggling town of Hoquiam were excited about the jobs it would create. There are five other ports in the Northwest considering coal export terminals.

Copyright 2012 Northwest Public Radio