Hundreds show for hearings in Portland, Hermiston on coal exports

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PORTLAND (AP) — Hundreds of people attended hearings Tuesday in Hermiston and Portland on a proposal for a coal transfer terminal on the Columbia River at Boardman.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality will consider the public comments as it considers application from Ambre Energy to move nearly 9 million tons of coal a year.

The Oregonian reports (http://is.gd/8AKJX2 ) the department is required to issue permits if the company follows legal requirements.

Ambre wants to build the first port in the Northwest to export coal from Montana and Wyoming to Asia. The coal would arrive at Boardman by train and be moved downriver on barges to the Port of St. Helens where it would be loaded on ships.

Supporters expect jobs and economic benefits. Opponents fear health and environmental risks.

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