The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality will be holding more hearings tomorrow in Hermiston about a proposed coal transfer facility that would be built near Boardman.

The public hearings will take place at the Hermiston Campus of Blue Mtn. Community College, at 975 SE Columbia Driver in Hermiston.  Public comment will take place from 8am until 8pm at this venue, and a similar hearing is planned for Portland.

Much like the coal transfer project planned for Whatcom County in WA,  this plant would bring about 8.8 million tons of coal by rail from Montana and Wyoming to the Port of Morrow in Boardman. Ambre Energy Co. are the ones who want to build the plant.

The coal would be kept in covered storage there, then moved by barges down the Columbia River for overseas shipping to Asia.    Three similar hearings were held late last year,  and according to various news media, many were opposed to the project.

However, the bulk of the opposition came from such groups as the Sierra Club,  who even plan to organize buses to bring in demonstrators at the Hermiston and Portland hearings.

Many others, including business leaders, take the same stance as those who support the Whatcom County project in Washington state.  It would bring in hundreds, if not more long-term jobs and help revitalize Eastern Oregon's economy.

The coal would not be used for energy plants in the U.S.,  ironically, the purpose of the Boardman facility and the one in Whatcom County, WA would be to help export our coal to Asia, where the industry is booming, and huge amounts of energy are required for their expanding economies and industry.