Stop Coal Exports
Comment period ended January 22.
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June 19, 2012,
Council asks impact study of coal trains
Vote of 5-0 follows lengthy testimony
About 40 people Monday urged local leaders to find out how vastly
increased train traffic could cause health problems in Spokane.
hearing from them, the Spokane City Council unanimously approved a
nonbinding resolution asking state and federal officials to study the
environmental effects of significantly increasing the amount of coal
traveling by train through Spokane. They also requested that a hearing
on the matter be held locally.
June 17, 2012, Spokesman Review Op-ed piece by Amber Waldref, and TLC Board member, Dr. Robert Truckner on Coal trains.
opinion: Coal train plans need careful study
much as 150 million tons a year. More than 260 trillion pounds. Nearly 700,000
train coal cars. Any way you measure it, that's a lot
Imagine 40 -70 coal trains a day added to
the trains now moving through Spokane.
The Powder River Basin in Eastern Montana
and Wyoming holds billions of tons of coal, owned or leased by Arch Coal,
Peabody Energy and others. The companies are pushing for huge new coastal
terminals to be built near Bellingham and Longview to handle increased shipments
primarily bound for China.
This would add over 8,000 coal trains per year on Washington State's rail
system. Coal would be hauled on BNSF Railway right
through downtown Spokane.
Those who live along the rail lines that
would carry the coal through Montana, Idaho, Oregon and Washington share
concerns about the hidden costs to health, safety, the environment
Railroad engines burn diesel. Documented
health effects of diesel emissions near busy rail yards include chronic heart
and lung disease, and asthma. The very young and elderly are most affected.
Cancer is also implicated.
The rail industry says 500 pounds or
more of coal dust per car is lost in transit. That can destabilize rail beds,
contributing to derailments.
Please join the coal export dialogue in our community. If you are a business, please consider signing on to the letter at http://www.powerpastcoal.org/?post_type=petition&p=901
Here are links for more information and how to get involved:
Power Past Coal