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Coal Fight Heats Up Near Bellingham

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BELLINGHAM, Wash. (AP) — The fight over a coal export terminal proposed near Bellingham, Wash., is heating up, as hundreds turned out Saturday for the first of several public hearings on the project.

The hearing in Bellingham sought to get public input on what should be included in the environmental review of the project at Cherry Point. Hearings are also scheduled in Seattle, Vancouver, Spokane and other cities.

Opponents want regulators to study a broad range of concerns, including increased rail traffic, greenhouse gas emissions, potential health hazards and harm to fisheries.

SSA Marine’s Bob Watters said in a statement Saturday that the project will meet the state’s high environmental standards. Supporters say the project would generate millions in tax revenues and create short-term and permanent jobs.

The terminal is one of five in Washington and Oregon proposed to ship coal from Montana and Wyoming to Asia.

– Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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