Coal dust that escapes from trains is a significant problem, according to a federal board, and coal companies have to pay to keep it under control.
As Washington and Oregon consider proposals for three coal export terminals, many have raised questions about how much coal dust could come off the trains that would service those terminals, now some new results are in.
Crowdfunding campaigns are popular ways to raise money for fledgling businesses and independent projects. Now there are some scientists who are asking the public to chip in online for studies about the impacts of exporting coal in the Northwest.
Some coal dust will escape along the journey from Powder River Basin mines in Montana and Wyoming if trains and barges are used to transport the fossil fuel to proposed export terminals in the Northwest. The question is: what could that dust do to the environment?
Environmental groups, public health officials and communities along rail lines are asking questions about the potential impacts of transporting coal through the Northwest. Some of those questions are about coal dust and how it could affect human health.
A new report in Oregon finds there's not enough industry data to say for sure what the health effects would be if trains begin to haul coal to export terminals in the Northwest.
Several hundred people gathered at Town Hall Seattle for an EarthFix panel discussion about coal exports in the Northwest.
Big crowds are turning out to talk about the environmental impact of shipping coal out of the Pacific Northwest. The first proposal to reach this stage in the permitting process is near Bellingham, Wash. Four others are on the drawing boards in Washington and Oregon.
One of the Portland area's top elected officials has ordered a study on the health impacts of coal dust and diesel emissions. The study comes as Portland, Seattle, and other Northwest cities consider the possibility of trains passing through, delivering tons of coal from Montana and Wyoming to be shipped across the Pacific.