Letters to the Editor

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COAL: Consider impact on the environment

Letter by Karen Jeffery, Tacoma on Nov. 8, 2012 at 12:19 pm with No Comments »
November 8, 2012 12:52 pm

With plans to ship more coal to the West Coast for export, where is the protection for our air and waterways? I have seen photos of trainloads of coal, with car after car of exposed coal , being shipped. Coal dust isn’t healthy to our air or our waterways. Why is it left uncovered to blow every which way?

We have laws for our interstates that require trucks to cover their loads so no litter or rubbish blows off. Don’t the rail lines have the same requirements? And what about when it reaches the port for the actual ship loading? What’s to prevent all this dust from falling into our vulnerable waters and contaminating marine life?

The grain coming to our grain terminals arrives in enclosed tanker cars (to restrict moisture), but grain spillage would not be harmful like coal dust. Coal is dirty.

We were so concerned to prevent any sandblast dust from falling into the waterway with the Murray Morgan Bridge restoration that the entire bridge was enshrouded. And still there was hullabaloo about some dust falling on moored boats. Shouldn’t our State Department of Ecology or the EPA be monitoring this?

I, personally, am opposed to other countries buying our coal for energy, which adds to our carbon footprint and to global atmosphere deterioration. I’d just as soon the coal stay where it lays. But, I realize it is black gold and profitable. We just need to handle it smarter.

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