OregonLive.com article: Northwest coal export projects could have ‘significant’ public health impacts, EPA says

By Scott Learn.  April 13, 2012

Read original online here.

The Environmental Protection Agency wants a thorough review of the consequences of coal exports through Northwest ports, saying the first project in the pipeline — at Oregon’s Port of Morrow – “has the potential to significantly impact human health and the environment.”

The EPA’s letter to the Corps last week recommended a “thorough and broadly scoped” environmental review. Potential problems include health impacts from coal dust and diesel emissions on train and barge trips through the Columbia River Gorge and the effects of ozone, particulates and mercury returning on trade winds after coal is burned in Asia.

“We think this is a significant project, and we think the environmental analysis needs to be full-blown,” Kate Kelly, director of ecosystems, tribal and public affairs in EPA’s Northwest region office, said Friday.

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