Thursday, August 1, 2013

Washington Officials Put Brakes on Coal Shipments, Call For 2-Year Study

Posted By on Thu, Aug 1, 2013 at 9:41 AM

Washington state officials want to slow down any efforts to export massive amounts of coal via trains from the Pacific Northwest to the Far East.

Boise Weekly readers have been familiar with the controversy for more than a year, when we first started reporting about local resistance to shipments of U.S. coal to China. (BW, Feature, "The Dirty Dance," Feb. 1, 2012).

The proposal envisioned shipping millions of tons of coal through Montana, Idaho's panhandle and Washington state before being sent to China.

When word started spreading about the proposal, hundreds of citizens began packing a series of meetings to express their concerns over the environmental and economic effects of the plan.

But on July 31, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Washington's Whatcom County said they would study the proposal over two years while the Washington Department of Ecology conducted a second review of the environmental effects of the coal shipments, including greenhouse gases.

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