Letter: Fire up protest to coal terminals



Coal companies are proposing two export terminals in Washington state, one at Cherry Point near Bellingham in Puget Sound, another in Longview. Dirty coal may be transported 800 miles, in mile-long trains with as many as 125 open cars, from Montana and Wyoming mines for shipment to Asia. Each car spews one pound of toxic coal dust per mile to equal 125 pounds per train.

At 10 trains a day, that will equal 1,250 pounds per mile rolling through our cities, backyards, along our fragile streams. In total, 450,000 pounds of toxic coal dust per year per mile.

Dust contains lead, selenium, and mercury. Mercury harms fetuses and increases asthma and chronic lung diseases. At crossings, emergency vehicles’ response time will be jeopardized; commuters, too. Asia’s coal-fired plants will send toxic coal dust to us via prevailing winds. We get poisoned coming and going. Tell our elected officials “no” to coal export.

Ben Dennis