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Thousands Weigh in on SW Wash. Coal-Export Plan

Ted S. Warren
Associated Press
FILE - A protester rides in a mock coal train as other protesters demonstrate against trains carrying coal for export moving through Washington state on Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013, in Tacoma, Wash.

Regulators have received an unprecedented number of public comments on a controversial proposal to export millions of tons of coal out of southwest Washington.

The Army Corps of Engineers, Washington's Ecology Department and Cowlitz County are preparing to sift through more than 163,000 comments to decide what environmental impacts should be reviewed.

Millennium Bulk Terminals-Longview wants to build and operate a $650 million terminal at Longview, Wash., to export coal from Montana and Wyoming to Asia. The facility would handle up to 44 metric tons of coal a year. It's one of three coal-export docks proposed in the Northwest.

The comment period ends Monday and is only the first step in a years-long process to determine the environmental impacts of the project.

Supporters say the project would provide jobs and millions in tax revenues. Opponents have raised concerns the impact to human health and the environment.


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