Letter: Hold BNSF to equal standards

Published:

 

In the March 19 story, "Davy Crockett owner gets four months in prison for oil spills," U.S. District Judge Benjamin H. Settle was quoted as saying, " It has to be known that when you undertake a responsibility that has the potential to ruin an ecosystem, you're going to bear the consequences."

So why is BNSF allowed to be the shipper of coal cars from the mines in the Powder River Basin along our Columbia River? The amount of coal that drops and blows into and around the Columbia River and every tributary it passes over is known to all government agencies responsible to protect and prosecute using our present laws on this type of pollution.

Why can a citizen be held to these laws when mega-businesses such as the coal industry, along with the railroad, are not being held to this same standard?

The taxpayers pick up the bill for all cleanup. That means you. The environmental damage? Huge. The potential for derailment? Huge. There are many every year due to the coal dust undermining the rails. BNSF says coal dust is under control, but then they have derailments due to coal dust dropping onto the rails and seeping toxins into all areas.

Erskine Wood

VANCOUVER