State EIS on Cherry Point coal-exports facility to consider ‘end use’ coal burning in China as well as regional rail impacts

Allison Roberts News

An environmental review of a proposed coal-export facility at Cherry Point will take into account pollutants emitted by the facility, rail traffic carrying coal to the facility, and also the impact on greenhouse gases from coal burning in China, India and other export destinations. The scope of environmental review was announced Wednesday by the Department of Ecology, Whatcom County and Army Corps of Engineers, which are co-leading the environmental review.

The broad look at “end use” impacts of off-shore coal burning is unprecedented for Ecology, which alone is insisting on that review under its administering of the State Environmental Policy Act. Gov. Jay Inslee was briefed on the agency’s plans, an Ecology spokesman told reporters during a telephone press conference Wednesday at which officials explained the scoping decisions.

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