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Consequences of Coal Exports Through the Pacific Northwest

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Title: Consequences of Coal Exports Through the Pacific Northwest


1
Consequences of Coal Exports Through the Pacific
Northwest
  • Martin Donohoe

2
Plans
  • Powder River Basin coal, cheap, export to China
    and India
  • Federal land, cheap
  • Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and
    GAO looking into royalty payment evasion
    (companies valuing coal at low domestic prices,
    rather than those fetched overseas)

3
Health Consequences of Coal Mining
  • Respiratory diseases
  • Heart disease
  • Cancers
  • Low birth weight
  • Birth defects
  • Etc.

4
DECKER MINE DECKER, MONTANA
5
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6
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8
48 mmt/yr coal
10 mmt/yr coal
15-30 mmt/yr coal
44 mmt/yr coal
8 mmt/yr coal
10 mmt/yr coal
Total 150 mmt/yr coal
9
Plans
  • 150 million tons
  • 26 trains/day
  • 4 diesel engines/train
  • Barges
  • Up to 500 lbs. or 3 of coal dust lost per car
    during transit

10
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11
Accidents
  • Almost 40 train derailments over last 2 years
  • Vancouver barge hits coal chute
  • Mississippi River Barge hit railroad bridge,
    leaking oil

12
  • Coal Train derailment near Baltimore, OH

Coal train derailment from coal dust buildup near
Baltimore, Ohio. Photo from Reuters.
13
Mesa, WA Coal Train Derailment (July 2, 2012)
14
Westshore Coal Terminal in BC Photo from CKNW
News Talk 980.
15
Deception
  • Ambre Energy mislead Port of Longview (5 million
    tons/yr internal documents up to 60 million
    tons/yr re-applied at 45 million tons/yr)
  • Port of Coos Bay admonished by judge for
    attempting to prevent Sierra Club form obtaining
    public records re proposed terminal

16
Coal Dust
17
Health Effects
  • Diesel particulate matter
  • impaired lung development
  • pulmonary inflammation
  • increased risk of heart attacks/strokes/cancer/ast
    hma (ER visits and hospitalizations)
  • increases cardiopulmonary and all-cause mortality

18
Health Effects
  • Coal Dust
  • chronic bronchitis/emphysema/pulmonary fibrosis
  • exposure to heavy metals
  • Organic gardeners
  • 3-fold increased risk of cancer in coal terminal
    workers in Australia

19
Health Effects
  • Noise
  • Cardiovascular disease (heart attacks, increased
    BP, arrhythmias)
  • Stroke
  • Cognitive impairment in children
  • Exacerbation of mental health disorders
  • Sleep disturbance (fatigue, HTN, arrhythmias,
    accidents and injuries)

20
Health and Environmental Effects
  • Adverse Effects on
  • Native Americans
  • Yakima Nation tribal fishing sites
  • Organic gardeners
  • Quality of life

21
Frequent, Long Train Crossings
  • Delayed EMS and fire department response times
  • Effect on heart attack/stroke/trauma victims,
    police response to crimes
  • Portland Fire Department response times already
    poor
  • Houseboat fire
  • Increased accidents traumatic injuries, deaths

22
22
23
Consequences of Burning Coal
  • Increased ground level ozone
  • Mercury and other heavy metals
  • Neurotoxin
  • 300,000-600,000 women of reproductive age with
    toxic levels
  • 18 of Mt Bachelor mercury from Asian power
    plants

24
Consequences of Burning Coal
  • Air pollution
  • 75,000 premature deaths/yr in U.S.
  • 6 million worldwide

25
Consequences of Burning Coal
  • Global warming
  • 150,000 - 300,000 deaths and 5.0 - 5.5 million
    disability-adjusted life years lost per year
    (WHO, UN Environment Program)
  • Expected to double by 2030
  • Weather extremes

26
Jobs
  • Support of unions, living wage
  • Short-term, unhealthy jobs
  • Effect on local retailers and their often low
    wage employees
  • U.S. taxpayers subsidizing Chinese and Indian
    jobs
  • Amoral logic of someone else will sell it to
    them similar to tobacco exports

27
Jobs
  • Jobs program for pulmonologists, special ed
    teachers, and morticians

28
Public Opposition
  • Have indicated concern or disapproval of coal
    export proposals
  • 600 health professionals
  • 400 local businesses
  • 220 faith leaders

29
Public Opposition
  • Have indicated concern or disapproval of coal
    export proposals
  • 30 municipalities (including Portland, Milwaukie,
    Eugene, Multnomah County, and Metro Regional
    Government)
  • Northwest Tribes (Lummi Nation and Yakama Nation)

30
Multnomah County Health Department Analysis
  • 9 of population suffers from asthma.
  • Coal dust may travel 1/3rd to 1 1/4 miles from
    train tracks.
  • Almost 1/3 of population lives in areas that
    either border or cross rail lines that could
    carry coal and already experience a high burden
    of air pollution and noise disturbance from
    industrial sites, roads, and trains

31
Multnomah County Health Department Analysis
  • Communities of color, children, older adults, and
    low income citizens most likely to be affected
  • Cumulative delay of up to two hours per day at
    each rail crossing and delays in emergency
    response times expected
  • Precautionary principle invoked, calls for HIS
    and EIA

32
Public Opposition
  • Over 1,000 people attended Oregon DEQ hearings in
    12/12
  • Impressive state capital rally 3/13
  • Other events planned

33
Upcoming Decisions
  • DSL plans 4/1/13 decision on the first
    application for Ambre Energy project.
  • DEQ may issue draft air quality permit for Ambre
    Energy as early as 4/13.

34
What You Can Do
  • Join Power Past Coal Coalition
  • Volunteer
  • Call Governor Kitzhaber or his Citizen
    Representative (503) 378-4582
  • Contact DEQ and DSL

35
What You Can Do
  • Demand a full spectrum Environmental Impact
    Statement (EIS) and Health Impact Assessment
    (HIA)
  • Demand a halt to all proposals

36
Conclusions
  • Coal is a dying 19th Century technology with
    Dickensian effects on human health and the
    environment
  • The consequences of coal transport through the
    Pacific Northwest and its subsequent burning in
    Asian power plants is bad for the Northwest, the
    United States, and the world

37
Conclusions
  • U.S. needs an energy policy for the 21st century,
    using clean technologies that provide long-term,
    well-paying, and safe jobs

38
Special Thanks To
  • Regna Merritt, Oregon PSR
  • regna_at_oregonpsr.org
  • Laura Stevens, Oregon Sierra Club/Beyond Coal
    Campaign
  • Alan Lockwood, PSR
  • Thousands of concerned citizens who have
    volunteered their time and energy

39
Resources
  • Power Past Coal http//www.powerpastcoal.org/
  • Sierra Club Beyond Coal Campaign
    http//content.sierraclub.org/coal/
  • Coals Assault on Human Health (Physicians for
    Social Responsibility) http//www.psr.org/resourc
    es/coals-assault-on-human-health.html
  • Oregon PSR Resources http//www.psr.org/chapters/
    oregon/environmental-health-/proposed-coal-exports
    .html and http//www.psr.org/chapters/oregon/envir
    onmental-health-/

40
Contact Information
  • Public Health and Social Justice Website
  • http//www.publichealthandsocialjustice.org
  • or
  • http//www.phsj.org
  • Martin Donohoe
  • martindonohoe_at_phsj.org
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