Steelheaders are concerned that the coal export terminals proposed in the region pose a direct threat to the health of Oregon’s salmon and steelhead runs. In cooperation with the National Wildlife Federation, the Steelheaders coauthored a report outlining the potential negative impacts to Columbia River salmonids. To read the report click HERE.
The coal industry is proposing to move 147,000,000 tons of coal per year down our rivers and across our oceans. That’s enough coal to fill more that 40,000 Columbia River barges and more than 750 deep water bulk carriers annually. That’s enough coal pollution to release 10,000 pounds of mercury upwind of us every year.
We are concerned about the potential habitat and access impacts these proposals would bring here to the northwest by out of state coal companies including:
• Increased dredging of rivers and harbors detrimentally impacting forage fish and the salmon, steelhead, and countless other creature.
• Increased vessel traffic, impairing river and harbor access and increasing potential collisions at traditional anchor and harvest locations for salmon and sturgeon fishing, crabbing as well as other recreational uses.
• Increased habitat and wildlife exposure to cancer causing and reproduction impairing Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons from coal dust escaping from rail cars, rail unloading, storage, vessel loading, and barge and vessel transport.
• Increased habitat and wildlife contamination from mercury into our watersheds and accumulation into the food web from the upwind coal burning pollution.
• Increased ocean acidification resulting in direct harm to shellfish populations resulting from coal burning pollution.
With such huge stakes at play, we can’t afford any less than our best efforts to understand and evaluate these risks. Please join our call to support the following:
• Commission the National Academy of Sciences to fill in current information gaps with new baseline and dynamic studies on coal/habitat interactions.
• Require complete Environmental Impact Statements for each proposed coal terminal that review cumulative airborne, marine, and ground impacts from the facility sites and the areas that they would impact as a direct result of their use, as well as an area-wide programmatic study of the collective impacts of the multiple projects throughout the region.