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Speakers To Be Picked By Lottery At Coal Export Hearings

No more paying people to stand in line to hold a spot to speak about coal exports.

At some of the previous five meetings to gather public comment about an export project near Ferndale, Wash., people were paid to stand in line for sign-up spots for speakers. At upcoming hearings in Vancouver and Seattle, however, speakers will be chosen by random lottery.

The Corps of Engineers, state Ecology Department and Whatcom County said they changed the rules for the hearings, which will take place Wednesday in Vancouver and Thursday in Seattle.

About 5,400 people have attended the previous meetings and hundreds more are expected this week.

The agencies have already received nearly 9,000 comments and more also can be submitted online.

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