The coal trains that I have shown on this site and that pass through many of Washington's most populated areas - Seattle, Everett, Mt. Vernon, Bellingham, Ferndale and just above the Salish Sea at the base of the Chuckanut Range are headed for a shipping facility just across the border at Roberts Bank.
The super port has been there for 40 years and they have frequently upgraded to more modern technology. But even with all of their efforts, the number one issue that they work on is dust suppression. The coal that they ship is in a crushed granular state - not the large chunks that many of us remember from stories our parents told about rocks that burn.
They ship approximately 24 million tons a year from a roughly 120 acre site. They have typically (per their spokesman) 225 ships a year call at the port.
The proposed site at Cherry Point is going to have a footprint of about 80 acres and a spokesperson for Peabody Coal said they will ship up to 48 million tons of coal.
For those of you that don't know what a coal shipping facility looks like and how it may affect us at Cherry Point and along the train route through the Chuckanuts - here are some images from my recent visit.
all photographs copyright Paul K. Anderson - The Chuckanut Conservancy