Hundreds attend coal terminal hearing in Vancouver

SEATTLE (AP) - A series of public hearings around Washington on a proposed coal export terminal near Ferndale are ending with the arguments clearly drawn.

Supporters at Wednesday night's hearing in Vancouver said it would be a boost for the economy and create jobs. Opponents are concerned about long coal trains, dust and environmental risk.

The Columbian reports about 650 people attended the hearing at Clark College on the Gateway Pacific Project.

Thousand were expected at the seventh and final hearing Thursday night at the state convention center in Seattle.

The $600 million terminal proposed by SSA Marine of Seattle is the largest of five proposed terminals in Washington and Oregon to ship coal from Montana and Wyoming to power plants in Asia.

The public comment period remains open through Jan. 21.