Letter: Keep coal out of 'paradise'



We live in paradise in the Columbia River Gorge. Our precious natural resources of clean air, water and soil are incredible gifts only dreamed of by millions of people throughout the world. The citizens of this area, along with those along the Columbia River, will receive no benefit from train traffic filled with open cars of coal traversing our lands daily.

I spent a majority of my life living in Kentucky and the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia and Georgia. I have seen the ashy drab grey that covers bridges, buildings and homes. I have smelled the acrid dust-filled air that fills our lungs with every breath.

My husband and I used to dream of living in a place with clean air and water when our children were born. Our pediatrician encouraged us to move west for clean air due to our young son's severe asthma and environmental allergies.

We read news stories about the negative impact of coal dust on the communities throughout Kentucky: asthma and serious allergies at all-time high levels due to the airborne dust from the coal trains. Our community needs to join together and stop the impending environmental disaster that will occur if we allow coal to be transported to China through this beautiful paradise we call home.

Joanne Matson

White Salmon