Seattle Mayor McGinn Releases Coal Economic Study

Aug 21, 2013

The Mayor’s office has released a report detailing the potential economic impacts of coal exports on Seattle. The report looked at how an increase in coal train traffic through the city would affect property values, roads, traffic and local businesses.

Up to 18 trains per day could move through the city of Seattle to a terminal proposed to be built near Bellingham. That, the report says, could lower property values along the rail lines by 5-15%. It would also delay traffic at railroad crossings, costing drivers and businesses up to 455 thousand dollars in wait time and commuting costs. The report suggested that train traffic would hurt local businesses because of train noise and vibrations. Seattle mayor Mike McGinn.

McGinn: “I think the report outlines a set of very serious economic concerns without getting into environmental and health impacts as well as greenhouse gas emissions, which was beyond the scope of their study.”

On the plus side the company that would build and operate the terminal, anticipates spending 28 million dollars on permitting, engineering, legal and public relations work. Much of that would be based in Seattle. SSA Marine would also hire 12 Seattle-based employees. BNSF Railway, the company that would run the trains to and from the terminal, said it does not anticipate an increase in its Seattle-based workforce.

Copyright 2013 KUOW