Title

Bellingham Coal Trains

Presenter Information

Matthew Prpich

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC Ballroom B/C/D

Start Date

21-5-2015

End Date

21-5-2015

Keywords

Bellingham, Coal, Train

Abstract

This is a policy analysis of the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal and its potential environmental and economic impacts on Bellingham, Washington and the greater Puget Sound region. SSA Marine, a major shipping company, proposed the construction of a shipping terminal off the coast of Bellingham, Washington, to greatly reduce the time it would take to transport coal from the central United States to Asia. As a consequence, the amount of rail line traffic would increase. An additional eighteen trains a day, up from the usual seven, would pass through the city that would cut off businesses major intersections. Some roads accessing the waterfront would be closed for up to two hours. This has raised concerns over the potential negative economic impacts of trains blocking businesses multiple times a day, and access to the waterfront in the event of an emergency. There is also the environmental impacts of having thousands of open air coal train cars passing through the coastal city every day. This policy analysis covers all the effects of the proposal using similar examples of other coal rail lines and how they affect the surrounding communities and environment.

Poster Number

66

Faculty Mentor(s)

Rex Wirth

Department/Program

Political Science

Additional Mentoring Department

Political Science

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May 21st, 11:30 AM May 21st, 2:00 PM

Bellingham Coal Trains

SURC Ballroom B/C/D

This is a policy analysis of the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal and its potential environmental and economic impacts on Bellingham, Washington and the greater Puget Sound region. SSA Marine, a major shipping company, proposed the construction of a shipping terminal off the coast of Bellingham, Washington, to greatly reduce the time it would take to transport coal from the central United States to Asia. As a consequence, the amount of rail line traffic would increase. An additional eighteen trains a day, up from the usual seven, would pass through the city that would cut off businesses major intersections. Some roads accessing the waterfront would be closed for up to two hours. This has raised concerns over the potential negative economic impacts of trains blocking businesses multiple times a day, and access to the waterfront in the event of an emergency. There is also the environmental impacts of having thousands of open air coal train cars passing through the coastal city every day. This policy analysis covers all the effects of the proposal using similar examples of other coal rail lines and how they affect the surrounding communities and environment.