Consequences of Coal Exports Through the Pacific Northwest - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Consequences of Coal Exports Through the Pacific Northwest

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  1. Consequences of Coal Exports Through the Pacific Northwest Martin Donohoe

  2. Plans • Powder River Basin coal, cheap, export to China and India • Federal land, cheap • Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and GAO looking into royalty payment evasion (companies valuing coal at low domestic prices, rather than those fetched overseas)

  3. Health Consequences of Coal Mining • Respiratory diseases • Heart disease • Cancers • Low birth weight • Birth defects • Etc.

  4. DECKER MINE: DECKER, MONTANA

  5. 48 mmt/yr coal 10 mmt/yr coal 15-30 mmt/yr coal 44 mmt/yr coal 8 mmt/yr coal 10 mmt/yr coal Total: 150 mmt/yr coal

  6. Plans • 150 million tons • 26 trains/day • 4 diesel engines/train • Barges • Up to 500 lbs. or 3% of coal dust lost per car during transit

  7. Accidents • Almost 40 train derailments over last 2 years • Vancouver barge hits coal chute • Mississippi River Barge hit railroad bridge, leaking oil

  8. Coal Train derailment near Baltimore, OH Coal train derailment from coal dust buildup near Baltimore, Ohio. Photo from Reuters.

  9. Mesa, WA Coal Train Derailment(July 2, 2012)

  10. Westshore Coal Terminal in BCPhoto from CKNW News Talk 980.

  11. Deception • Ambre Energy mislead Port of Longview (5 million tons/yr; internal documents up to 60 million tons/yr; re-applied at 45 million tons/yr) • Port of Coos Bay admonished by judge for attempting to prevent Sierra Club form obtaining public records re proposed terminal

  12. Coal Dust

  13. Health Effects • Diesel particulate matter: • impaired lung development • pulmonary inflammation • increased risk of heart attacks/strokes/cancer/asthma (ER visits and hospitalizations) • increases cardiopulmonary and all-cause mortality

  14. Health Effects • Coal Dust: • chronic bronchitis/emphysema/pulmonary fibrosis • exposure to heavy metals • Organic gardeners • 3-fold increased risk of cancer in coal terminal workers in Australia

  15. Health Effects • Noise: • Cardiovascular disease (heart attacks, increased BP, arrhythmias) • Stroke • Cognitive impairment in children • Exacerbation of mental health disorders • Sleep disturbance (fatigue, HTN, arrhythmias, accidents and injuries)

  16. Health and Environmental Effects • Adverse Effects on: • Native Americans • Yakima Nation tribal fishing sites • Organic gardeners • Quality of life

  17. Frequent, Long Train Crossings • Delayed EMS and fire department response times • Effect on heart attack/stroke/trauma victims, police response to crimes • Portland Fire Department response times already poor • Houseboat fire • Increased accidents traumatic injuries, deaths

  18. 22

  19. Consequences of Burning Coal • Increased ground level ozone • Mercury and other heavy metals • Neurotoxin • 300,000-600,000 women of reproductive age with toxic levels • 18% of Mt Bachelor mercury from Asian power plants

  20. Consequences of Burning Coal • Air pollution: • 75,000 premature deaths/yr in U.S. • 6 million worldwide

  21. Consequences of Burning Coal • Global warming: • 150,000 - 300,000 deaths and 5.0 - 5.5 million disability-adjusted life years lost per year (WHO, UN Environment Program) • Expected to double by 2030 • Weather extremes

  22. Jobs • Support of unions, living wage • Short-term, unhealthy jobs • Effect on local retailers and their often low wage employees • U.S. taxpayers subsidizing Chinese and Indian jobs • Amoral logic of “someone else will sell it to them” – similar to tobacco exports

  23. Jobs Jobs program for pulmonologists, special ed teachers, and morticians

  24. Multnomah County Health Department Analysis • 9% of population suffers from asthma. • Coal dust may travel 1/3rd to 1 1/4 miles from train tracks. • Almost 1/3 of population lives in areas that either border or cross rail lines that could carry coal and already experience a high burden of air pollution and noise disturbance from industrial sites, roads, and trains

  25. Multnomah County Health Department Analysis • Communities of color, children, older adults, and low income citizens most likely to be affected • Cumulative delay of up to two hours per day at each rail crossing and delays in emergency response times expected • Precautionary principle invoked, calls for HIS and EIA

  26. Public Opposition • Have indicated concern or disapproval of coal export proposals: • 600 health professionals • 400 local businesses • 220 faith leaders • 30 municipalities • Northwest Tribes (Lummi Nation and Yakama Nation)

  27. Public Opposition • Over 1,000 people attended Oregon DEQ hearings in 12/12 • Impressive state capital rally 3/13 • Other events planned

  28. Upcoming Decisions • DSL plans 4/1/13 decision on the first application for Ambre Energy project. • DEQ may issue draft air quality permit for Ambre Energy as early as 4/13.

  29. What You Can Do • Join Power Past Coal Coalition • Volunteer • Call Governor Kitzhaber or his Citizen Representative: (503) 378-4582 • Contact DEQ and DSL

  30. What You Can Do • Demand a full spectrum Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Health Impact Assessment (HIA) • Demand a halt to all proposals

  31. Conclusions • Coal is a dying 19th Century technology with Dickensian effects on human health and the environment • The consequences of coal transport through the Pacific Northwest and its subsequent burning in Asian power plants is bad for the Northwest, the United States, and the world

  32. Conclusions • U.S. needs an energy policy for the 21st century, using clean technologies that provide long-term, well-paying, and safe jobs

  33. Special Thanks To • Regna Merritt, Oregon PSR • regna@oregonpsr.org • Laura Stevens, Oregon Sierra Club/Beyond Coal Campaign • Alan Lockwood, PSR • Thousands of concerned citizens who have volunteered their time and energy

  34. Resources • Power Past Coal: http://www.powerpastcoal.org/ • Sierra Club Beyond Coal Campaign: http://content.sierraclub.org/coal/ • Coal’s Assault on Human Health (Physicians for Social Responsibility): http://www.psr.org/resources/coals-assault-on-human-health.html • Oregon PSR Resources: http://www.psr.org/chapters/oregon/environmental-health-/proposed-coal-exports.html and http://www.psr.org/chapters/oregon/environmental-health-/

  35. Contact Information Public Health and Social Justice Website: http://www.publichealthandsocialjustice.org or http://www.phsj.org Martin Donohoe martindonohoe@phsj.org