VANCOUVER, WA - The number of foes far outnumbered supporters at a coal export terminal hearing Wednesday night.
The fourth of five coal export terminal hearing was in Vancouver. The proposed coal export terminal is for Longview, Washington.
The hearing attracted about 1,000 people. Just like the other three meeting, two well-organized groups showed up - opponents dressed in red and supporters wearing blue. The $643 million Millennium Bulk Terminals facility would export coal to Asia from the former Reynolds Aluminum smelter site on the Columbia River. Opponents are concerned about environmental risks. Supporters cite job and trade benefits. Washougal City Councilor Paul Greenlee said coal train traffic would cut his town in half and the city is also concerned about coal dust and other pollution issues. Washougal resident Dave Ritchey of Laborers Union Local 335 told the hearing, "We need the jobs." The fifth hearing to set the scope of the environmental impact statement is set for Oct. 17 in Tacoma.