Gulf Coast Coal Export Terminals

Environmental groups in the Pacific Northwest have been effective in fighting the growth of coal export terminals in their ports; therefore, with the coming Panama Canal expansion, coal export companies have turned their focus to facilities along the Gulf Coast to serve growing Asian markets.

United Bulk Terminal, Davant, LA. Photo Courtesy of Jonathan Henderson for Gulf Restoration Network.

United Bulk Terminal, Davant, LA. Photo Courtesy of Jonathan Henderson for Gulf Restoration Network.

United Bulk Terminal, Davant, LA. Photo Courtesy of Jeffrey Dubinsky for Louisiana Environmental Action Network.

United Bulk Terminal, Davant, LA. Photo Courtesy of Jeffrey Dubinsky for Louisiana Environmental Action Network.

 

Apart from their role in facilitating the burning of fossil fuels, these terminals—which handle both coal and petroleum coke, visually indistinguishable from the air—damage local air and water quality. During significant storms such as Hurricane Isaac in August 2012, containment systems fail, dumping coal or coke and contaminated floodwaters into neighboring communities and waterways. Even in dry periods, coal and coke escape the facilities and contaminate neighboring communities, causing serious negative health impacts.

Coal barge being pumped into river

Coal Barge Discharging Polluted Water to Mississippi River. Photo Courtesy of Jeffrey Dubinsky for Louisiana Environmental Action Network.

SouthWings is well positioned to expose and document pollution associated with these terminals, particularly working with our partners in the Clean Gulf Commerce Coalition.