Guest Column: A crystal ball on coal export

Allison Roberts News

As our community gets ready to discuss the proposed Millennium coal terminal project at public hearings on Sept. 17, wouldn’t it be helpful if we could see the future to know what life near a coal terminal would be like?

How far would coal dust spread from the trains and export facility? What would traffic congestion be like with 16 mile-and-a-half-long coal trains a day through Longview? How much more diesel exhaust would enter our air? How many people would become ill from potential toxic exposures? How much more mercury would contaminate our fish?

How would the residents who live very close to the port and the rail, such as my neighborhood of Highlands, be disproportionately affected?

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To read personal accounts of residents living near East Coast coal export terminals, visit