Monday, October 8, 2012

GPT: EIS Scoping Comment No. 15

Wasteful Water Use

The GPT Application -Section contemplates the use of 5.33 Million gallons per day of PUD #1 water, primarily for coal dust suppression and reduction of spontaneous combustion risk.
However, there are likely better uses for this water, such as for agricultural use, in-stream flows, hydraulic well re-supply, etc.

This amount represents almost one-third of the approximately 17 million gallons a day of PUD supplies of industrial water to other industries located at Cherry Point; just over a third of its total water rights of 53 million gallons a day. 
The estimated water supply is anticipated as sufficient for all GPT terminal operations including dust suppression, plus fire suppression and safety.
GPT would make its own potable water by treatment of industrial water with a reverse-osmosis treatment system.

For comparison, this GPT water is equivalent to about one-half of the water used by the City of Bellingham per day to supply the needs of over 95,000 people.

It has been estimated that the water permits already issued in Whatcom County by DOE may amount to up to 2.5 times the water that is actually available.
In the interest of responsible water conservation -already a serious seasonal concern for the Nooksack River and its drainage- does this projected use make sense?

How much, if any, of this water will be reclaimed for re-use?
Will the storm water treatment systems be designed to recapture this spray water as runoff?

Certainly better uses of 5.33 million gallons per day can be found than spraying it on mounds of coal in an operation that might employ only about 200 people.