In Mike Bodendorfer's Oct. 10 letter, "Time to ditch the 'dust' argument," he asks if we've ever been affected by the "toxic coal dust" from the coal trains passing by daily. My answer is "yes." I live elevated 50 feet from the railroad tracks and we are coated with dust daily from the trains going by. Now we are coated with coal dust as well. I'm all for the transport of coal by train. How else are you suppose to move it? But I would like to insist that the train cars be covered. Dirt and dust generated from the trains are a nuisance; coal dust is a health hazard. These facts are undeniable.
When I travel behind a dump truck on the freeway carrying freshly loaded dirt or rock, I can feel and hear the little specks hit my windshield. What makes you think the coal doesn't do the same thing? I watch the coal trains heaped over the top and know the dust is blowing off.
As a citizen, I like the jobs and the export monies created from shipping coal. As a citizen, I have the right to clean air, and a clean patio table, free of coal dust. Cover the train cars.