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Coal Hearing

Posted on 17th September 2013 at 16:03

Large crowds are expected today at the Cowlitz County Expo Center in Longview, as the first of five scoping meetings on the environmental review for the proposed Millennium Bulk Terminals coal export facility is held. In reality, two separate, three-hour events are planned. From 1 to 4 pm, oral comments on the Federal Environmental Impact Statement will be accepted, and then from 5 to 8 pm, comments on the State Environmental Impact Statement will be taken. Today’s meetings are being co-hosted by Cowlitz County, the Washington Department of Ecology and the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers. To try and insure a safe, secure and respectful atmosphere, a series of ground rules have been established, starting with a “lottery system” to set up the roster of people that will be allowed to speak. Each speaker will have a two-minute time limit. Clapping, cheering and jeering will not be allowed, and speakers may be stopped if disruptive behavior like sign-waving or standing up as a group takes place. These activities are being discouraged, as it will reduce the time available for people to speak. Small signs will be allowed, but people are being asked not to hold them up for extended periods, as they would block the view of others. Additional scoping meetings are being held on the 25th in Spokane, October 1st in Pasco, October 9th in Ridgefield and October 17th in Tacoma. Comments can also be made on-line, via e-mail and by postal mail.