Letter: Mitigation can bring solution



Regarding Toni Montgomery’s May 15 letter, “The fact is coal is dirty,” American coal may be “dirty,” but Canadian coal is not, and here is why:

Coal trains from the interior to export ports near Vancouver at first generated some wind-blown coal dust and the public complained. In response, the Canadian Pacific railroad and the mines devised a cost-sharing mitigation whereby the mines sprayed a dust-control membrane on the rail cars at the mine and because, after a few hundred miles, the coal settled and dust reappeared, the railroad applied a second coat of the membrane about halfway to the ports.

In the United States, the mines and railroads blamed each other for the dust and it has gone to the lawyers to resolve. That’s an American response to problem solving if there ever was one.

I am a retired railroad civil engineer and am watching these developments, hoping for a balance between economic growth and environmental preservation.

Michael E. McGinley