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Why would anyone choose dirty coal over clean water? But that’s how Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) seems to be leaning in their evaluation of the water quality impacts of a proposed coal export terminal at the Port of Morrow. Their decision is due soon: Tell DEQ to do the right thing, and to include findings on coal export’s impact on clean drinking water and hundreds of miles of the Columbia River.
DEQ Can Stop Coal Export
The Clean Water Act calls for DEQ to conduct a broad review of the water quality impacts of Oregon’s only remaining coal export proposal. They will either approve or deny a 401 Water Quality Certification permit for Ambre Energy. Without that certification, the company can’t receive federal permits for coal export. That means that denying certification can stop this toxic project.
But DEQ has not conducted an adequate review on which to base a sound decision. They’re looking at one tiny part of the coal export project – the coal dock construction and land immediately adjacent to it. The reality is that this project would be near the drinking water intake for the City of Boardman, it would include coal trains traveling over and along the Columbia River, thousands of coal barges every year, and a loading facility 219 miles downstream at Port Westward, near other drinking water intakes. So many communities stand to be affected by this proposed dirty coal project.
Act Now: Tell DEQ to Protect the Columbia River from Dirty Coal
Submit your comment to DEQ, and tell them to protect drinking water and the beloved Columbia River from the toxic impacts of coal export. Better yet, tell them in person! DEQ is holding a public hearing on their proposed narrow scope of water quality impacts, and we need to be there.
WHAT: Public hearing on DEQ’s 401 Water Quality Certification for coal export
WHERE: Port of Morrow (2 Marine Drive in Boardman, OR)
WHEN: Tuesday, August 12th, 2014, (meet at in the parking lot for a pre-hearing tailgate with food and drinks)
Hop on the free charter bus from Portland and Hood River
Portland: Meet up at Holladay Park at the intersection of NE 13th and Multnomah (across from the Lloyd Center Mall) at
Hood River: Meet up at 2:00 PM at the Valaro Gas Station at exit 63 off I-84
RSVP as soon as possible for bus ride by contacting Regna Merritt at 971-235-7643.
Thanks for submitting your comment to protect our Columbia River and clean drinking water from dirty coal export, and we hope to see you at the hearing on the 12th!