The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has favorably reviewed a proposal to ship coal from Montana and Wyoming out of a Washington port.
The Billings Gazette reports that the Corps on Friday released a draft environmental impact statement for the Millennium Bulk Terminal port in Longview, Washington. It raised concerns about train noise and rail traffic causing problems for nearby low-income neighborhoods, but said the effects on Native American fishing areas and the proliferation of coal dust were less significant.
Coal companies say they are optimistic after reading the environmental impact statement, while environmentalists argue that it completely ignored the environmental impacts in Montana.
The public will have 60 days to respond to the 3,000-page draft report.
Millennium Bulk Terminals did not respond to interview requests from the Gazette.