A meeting to organize opposition to the construction of a coal export terminal in Bellingham — and the resulting coal train traffic that such a terminal would generate through Edmonds –drew a crowd of more than 60 people to the Edmonds Library Plaza Room Thursday night.
Elected officials attending included City Council President Strom Peterson, Councilmembers-elect Joan Bloom and Frank Yamamoto and newly elected Edmonds Mayor Dave Earling, who welcomed the crowd and stated his support for the group’s efforts to fight against the Cherry Point Coal Terminal.
Volunteer citizen group Sustainable Edmonds organized the meeting as a follow-up to the Oct. 26 “Cold Hard Truth” forum. Peterson outlined the Edmonds City Council’s recently-adopted resolution that pointed out that increased coal train traffic through Edmonds will have both health and environmental effects on local residents, and as a result the opinions of Edmonds residents deserve to be considered during the decision-making progress.
Linda Lyshall of Sustainable Edmonds divided the attendees into volunteer groups, where they brainstormed action plans for media, community outreach, group speakers, business outreach and health professionals outreach. Each group worked on their own set of goals and actions for the upcoming year, as well as taking some time to get to know their concerned neighbors.
The teams of volunteers will be working more in the coming months to organize the Edmonds community and businesses to oppose the Cherry Point Coal Export terminal, even though the construction company, SSA Marine, has yet to officially file a request to build it.
Citizens who want to learn more about the proposed project can visit CoalTrainFacts.org.
— Report submitted by Todd Cloutier of Sustainable Edmonds