A population of orca whales that spend several months of the summer and fall each year in Washington State's Puget Sound, was listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act in 2005.
Now Washington State's plans for building coal export terminals, and shipping 100 millions tons of coal annually, threatens to push the Northwest's orca whales to the brink of extinction.
Running coal-filled trains along the Columbia River and Puget Sound would pollute the water on which the ocras rely on with mercury and other heavy metals, toxic coal dust, and diesel emmissions.
The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration has stated that the factors causing the decline of Southern Residents are not well known, when they were listed as endangered. NOAA has stated that possible causes of decline could be persistent pollutants that could cause immune or reproductive system dysfunction; oil spills; and noise and disturbance from vessels.
We oppose running a coal export terminal through sensitive habitat for imperiled orcas. That will demise any recovery efforts for this whale, which is already on the brink of extinction.