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December 7, 2012 at 10:33 PM

Public commenters at coal-export hearing to be selected by drawing

Those who want to make public comments at hearings next week about a proposed coal terminal at Cherry Point in Whatcom County and the trains that will carry coal to it will have to put their names into a drawing, the Washington Department of Ecology announced Friday.

Allowing public commenters to speak in the order they arrived at five previous hearings resulted in long lines that started hours before the meeting.  At a 4 p.m. Spokane hearing on Dec. 4, an organization supportive of the coal trains and the terminal paid 30 workers to stand in line at 8 a.m., according to The Spokesman-Review.

The public comments are being collected by three agencies putting together an environmental impact report for the proposals. They are the Department of Ecology, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Whatcom County.

The 150 people chosen for public comment will each have two-minute speaking slots, according to a Department of Ecology release.

The last two hearings will be held in:

- Vancouver, Wednesday, Dec. 12; 4-7 p.m. at Clark College’s Gaiser Student Center, 1933 Fort Vancouver Way

- Seattle, Thursday, Dec. 13; 4-7 p.m. at the Washington State Convention Center, 800 Convention Place Ballroom 6F

Comments | More in Traffic & Transit | Topics: coal export terminal, Coal train, Department of Ecology


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