Letter: Coal-train threats are considerable

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Regarding the June 6 story “Sierra Club sues BNSF over coal dust from trains,” this lawsuit is not frivolous. We have spent billions of dollars in salmon recovery. Coal trains cross hundreds of salmon-bearing streams. Coal dust settles on salmon eggs, causing them to rot, thus destroying this food resource and the jobs that come with it.

Coal dust leaks from the bottom of the rail cars and gets blown off the top in windy areas. Truckers contain their loads, so should the railroads. This lawsuit might force the rail industry to cover the cars and switch to side-dump gondolas but would not stop the coal terminals from being built.

There will be a public hearing on coal exports at the Oregon Convention Center from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on July 9. You can also submit comments to Oregon’s DEQ and Gov. John Kitzhaber at http://www.oregon.gov/deq/Pages/CoalExportComments.aspx.

Don Steinke

Vancouver