Residents and environmental activists filled a community center on Aug. 14 for a permit hearing for the RAM coal export terminal proposed for the Lower Mississippi River outside New Orleans, said the Sierra Club in an Aug. 15 statement.
Plaquemines Parish is already home to too much industrial activity, including two coal export terminals, the club said. Speakers at the hearing urged the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to deny a coastal use permit for a third coal export terminal for various reasons.
Speakers said the RAM terminal that western Kentucky coal producer Armstrong Energy has proposed would add to the coal-dust pollution that already burdens nearby communities, as well as bring train traffic to the area, said the club.
“I am definitely in opposition to this terminal,” said Plaquemines Parish Councilman Burghart Turner, who represents Ironton and Myrtle Grove, communities adjacent to the location proposed for the RAM terminal. “With the IMT (International Marine Terminals coal facility) already just south of the community of Ironton, and with this additional coal facility north of Ironton, we would be choking out that community.”
The DNR said in a public notice that at this coal export facility, material will be excavated from on site to reinforce the foundations for a rail loop and retention ponds. The rails will be connected to a barge docking area and receiving station by conveyors. A total of 34 dolphins will be installed for barge fleeting adjacent to the site.