The Port of Coos Bay is one of a half dozen ports in Oregon and Washington that are interested in loading coal from Wyoming and Montana for shipment to Asia, where it would be used to produce electricity.
The proposed resolution says coal dust contains toxic mercury, arsenic and lead that would blow from train cars and harm local farms and the health of residents. The export of coal to Asia also would increase greenhouse gases and hasten the adverse effects of global warming, the resolution says.
Piercy said she was contacted last week by officials from the Port of Coos Bay, including Chief Executive Officer David Koch, Chief Commercial Officer Martin Callery, and Reedsport Mayor Keith Tymchuk, who is the chairman of the South Coast Regional Solutions Committee, a job creation advisory group to Gov. John Kitzhaber.
In a Friday e-mail to councilors, Piercy wrote that the officials support the idea of trains transporting coal to Coos Bay and that they asked Eugene officials “provide them with the opportunity to make their best case to us before we make a decision.”
“That seems fair and respectful of intergovermental relations,” she wrote.
After discussing the request with Zelenka, who agreed with the delay, and City Manager Jon Ruiz, Piercy said coastal officials and coal train opponents will speak to councilors on Sept. 10 before they vote on the resolution.