SPOKANE, Wash. -- A proposed coal export terminal in western Washington would ship tons of coal from Montana and Wyoming right through Spokane.
Supporters and opponents attended a public hearing Wednesday to hear arguments for and against the proposal. More than 100 people packed the Spokane Convention Center to voice their opinion about a proposed coal export terminal.
Those who support the export terminal said it would bring thousands of jobs. Those against the terminal said the trains would pollute our environment.
“I have already found coal in the river that comes off the current amount of trains that come through here. So an increase in trains will increase the amount of coal that comes into our environment, specifically our Spokane River,” said Bart Mihailovich.
Mihailovich serves as a member of the group call Spokane River Keepers. The group looks to protect the Spokane River using environmental laws.
Laurie Hennessey works for the alliance for Northwest Jobs and Exports. She said the three proposed terminals would bring 11,000 jobs to the region and millions in tax revenue.
“Here is a chance we have here in the region to build new facilities that are privately funded. There are no tax dollars going into them and that will heal not just coal. That will help agriculture,” said Hennessey.
The meeting is scheduled to last until 8 p.m. Wednesday.