Coal Free Washington Task Force Meeting Updates

Two SEA members* attended the monthly Coal Free Washington Task Force meeting Thursday, June 21st.  Following are some highlights and opportunities to take action on the coal export issue:

  • Army Corps of Engineers has turned down the request from EPA, DOE and others to have a cumulative approach to the Environmental Impact Assessment for the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal at Cherry Point.  Some further efforts are being explored to make this a cumulative assessment, so that it will consider the broad impacts from all of the six potential ports potentially being built.  Otherwise, the EIS that is done for each of the six potential ports would be considered independently without reference to the others.
  • EIS Scoping Period:   The scoping period once it starts for the Gateway Pacific terminal is now expected to 120 days rather than only the 30 or 60 that is typically involved in an environmental assessment.  Scoping period may now begin in August and extend into the fall, which would mean an overlap with the election.
  • Press Conference:  There will be a telephonic press conference on the coal trains issue next week with Mike O’Brien.
  • The Magnolia Coal Hard Truth Forum had 57 attendees which was less than Ballard but it was also on a very nice summer evening, solstice, no less.   Reviews of the meeting were excellent, with two people coming to the Task Force meeting solely based on hearing about it at the Forum.
  • Outreachthrough tabling at Summer Events: Upcoming opportunities to help raise awareness on coal export issues include:
    • July 12, Thurs, Queen Anne Farmers Market, either 2:30-5:00 or 5:00 – 7:30.
    • July 14 & 15, Ballard Seafood Festival
    • July 28, Sat, Shoreline Solar Festival
    • Aug 9th, Thurs, Queen Anne Farmers Market, either 2:30-5:00 or 5:00 – 7:30.
    • Aug 18, Central Area Community Festival, (Garfield)
    • Sept 1-3, Bumbershoot (possibly)
    • Sept 8, Tilth Harvest Festival
    • Sept 13, Queen Anne Farmers Market, either 2:30-5:00 or 5:00 – 7:30.
    • Suggestions for other opportunities, such as the Smoke Farm in Skagit Valley are welcome, and depending upon their location may be referred to partner groups in those areas.
  • There are opportunities and needs for help with subcommittees for:
    • Business Outreach [Millie would like anyone interested in strategizing how to do effective outreach to business to get in touch.
    • Health Outreach
    • Summer Tabling
    • Summer Events
    • Phonebanking/Canvassing
    • To help or  ask  questions, contact:

Robin EverettAssociate Regional Representative, Coal Free Washington, robin.everett@sierraclub.org,  206-378-0114 x308

*Mark A & Mary M have attended two of these monthly meetings.  They are a great way to help SEA connect with other collaborating groups, to personally learn about the issues, and to engage with others to make a difference!  If you want to come to the next meeting (July 16th from 6:00 – 8:00 pm at Sierra Club offices, 180 Nickerson, #220), let either of us know, or contact Robin Everett (206-378-0114 x308) to give her a heads up that you will be coming.  They provide pizza and beer for the group!

Note:  These highlights are for SEA members to have general information.   For specifics or confirmation and clarification of any content, you are encouraged to talk with those who attended or the sponsors of the meetings.

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