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TACOMA, Wash.: Big crowd at final coal terminal hearing at Tacoma

October 22, 2013 J

TACOMA, WASH. — A crowd estimated at 800 packed the fifth and final public hearing on a proposed coal export terminal at Longview, Wash., and once again red-shirted opponents outnumbered supporters.

The News Tribune (http://is.gd/T0f291 ) estimated that only about 100 of those in the Tacoma crowd on Thursday night supported the plan to build a $643 million Millennium Bulk Terminals facility that would export to Asia coal arriving by train from Montana and Wyoming.

Opponents want an environmental impact statement on the project to consider impacts far from the actual terminal. They’re concerned about congestion from long coal trains and environmental risks from burning coal anywhere in the world.

Supporters say the project would provide construction jobs and jobs running the terminal. They say the project would boost the economy across the state.

Tacoma City Councilman Ryan Mello appeared at an opponents’ pre-hearing rally.

“Together we’re going to say no to those coal trains,” Mello said.

One of the few to testify in support of the terminal at the hearing was Mark Martinez, executive secretary of the Pierce County Building & Construction Trades Council. He said it will create jobs.

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