RAM Terminal is a proposed coal terminal by RAM Terminals in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana. The proposed site is a few miles from the existing International Marine Coal Terminal owned by Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, and across the river from the United Bulk Terminal, which specializes in the handling of coal and petroleum coke.
Permits filed with the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality give a proposed coal export capacity range at the terminal of 6 to 10 million tons per year (5.4 to 9 million tonnes).
In 2012 RAM Terminal, LLC, applied for a coastal-use permit for a new coal terminal. The company is registered in Delaware but has the backing of Armstrong Energy, based in St. Louis, Missouri. The proposed location of the facility is along the Mississippi River on about 600 acres just off Louisiana 23 on East Ravenna Road in Myrtle Grove, a mile south of the Phillips 66 Alliance Refinery. The new coal export facility would unload coal from river barges and rail cars, store and blend the product, then reclaim or transfer the coal from the ground storage to ocean-going vessels. In addition to the main coal-transfer plant, the facility also is expected to include a railroad line, a 15,000-square-foot maintenance shop and a multistory office building. Coal would come from Colorado, the Powder River Basin, and the Illinois Basin (West Kentucky).
The state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) approved RAM Terminal LLC's permit application in 2013. Shortly after, the Sierra Club, the Louisiana Environmental Action Network, the Gulf Restoration Network, and several residents challenged that coastal-use permit for the project, stating it posed a health threat to nearby residents, and threatened the construction of a federal-state freshwater diversion project that had been planned to run through the site. In December 2014 a Plaquemines Parish judge ruled the DNR permit for the terminal was invalid and that the state must "investigate alternative sites."
In March 2015 the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources delayed a decision on whether to re-approve a coastal-use permit for the terminal. The department requested RAM Terminals provide further information on its assessment of alternative sites and measures to limit coal spillage into the Mississippi River and coastal areas.
On March 30, 2016, the permit for RAM Terminals LLC was reissued by the Department of Natural Resources, after being struck down in 2014 by a Plaquemines judge.
After the approval, environmental groups filed an official request asking the department to reconsider. In an April 26, 2016 letter, Department of Natural Resources Secretary Thomas Harris said the department will take another look at its approval of the permit.
- Sponsor: RAM Terminal, LLC
- Location: Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana
- Proposed Capacity (Million tonnes per annum): 10
- Status: Proposed
- Type: Exports
Articles and resources
Related SourceWatch articles
- Coal exports from northwest United States ports
- Louisiana and coal
- Washington (state) and coal
- Coal terminals
- Benjamin Alexander-Bloch, "Environmental groups file lawsuit against coal export facility in Plaquemines Parish," NOLA, Mar 18, 2014
- Peter Moskowitz, "US coal’s new focus on exporting leaves a cloud of dust over Louisiana," al jazeera, Jan 24, 2014
- Sylvie Cornot-Gandolphe “US Coal Exports: The Long Road to Asian Markets,” Oxford OIES PAPER: CL 2, March 2015
- "Gulf Coast Coal Export Terminals," Clean Gulf Commerce Coalition, accessed April 2016
- Benjamin Alexander-Bloch, "Plaquemines Parish proposed coal terminal an environmental disaster, some say," The Times-Picayune, Aug 14, 2013
- "Armstrong Coal RAM Terminal (Ironton / Myrtle Grove, LA): The Facts," Clean Gulf Commerce Coalition, accessed May 2015
- Benjamin Alexander-Bloch, "Plaquemines judge strikes state permit to RAM coal export terminal," NOLA.com, Dec 30, 2014
- Benjamin Alexander-Bloch, "State says 'insufficient' information on proposed Plaquemines coal terminal," NOLA.com, March 16, 2015
- "Controversial Plaquemines coal terminal gets permit re-issued," NOLA, Apr 13, 2016
- "State agrees to pull back on Plaquemines coal terminal permit," NOLA, May 3, 2016