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Native American Opposition Pauses Puget Sound Coal Port

Dan Ridley/flickr
Dan Ridley/flickr

The company promoting a US$700-million coal export terminal in Washington State has suspended work on an environmental review over Native American concerns about its potential impact on fishing.

The proposed Puget Sound port just south of the U.S.-Canada border would load almost 60 million tons of coal per year for export. But proponent and majority project owner SSA Marine “said Friday it was halting the environmental review while it waits for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to make a decision on the treaty rights of the Lummi Tribe,” the Associated Press reported.

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The Lummi Nation, whose traditional territories cover part of the coast between Seattle and Vancouver, opposes the project, saying it would disrupt the tribe’s traditional fishing practices. The terminal has also drawn opposition from environmental groups and others worried about the greenhouse gases and pollutants that would be produced if the coal were burned.