Learn more about coal dust

Apr 20, 2012

Editor:

Like many of you, I moved to Edmonds to be near the water, enjoy the scenic views, and breath the fresh, clean air.

Having this clean air to breath is especially important to those of us with respiratory conditions.

Stagnant air alerts are already issued several times a year.

On those days, I feel as if I am breathing fuzz balls.

If the proposed Cherry Point coal export terminal in Bellingham is approved and there are nine more coal trains passing through Edmonds each day, will have more air pollution.

This will aggravate respiratory conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema, as well as other health issues and increase the risk of heart attack and cancer.

The increased air pollution will come from fine particulate matter in the emissions  of the diesel fuel used to power the four engines needed to pull each coal train.

While the Environmental Protection Agency regulates sulfur emissions from the fuel used by these diesel engines, it does not regulate the fine particulate matter.

Though the EPA regulates coal ash from burned coal, it does not regulate coal dust.

We’re not talking about dust bowl conditions here, the coal dust is extremely fine and largely invisible until it accumulates on something.

A health hazard for humans, coal dust filtering over our natural environments, such as creeks and the Edmonds Marsh, will put at further risk wildlife that is already coping with climate disruption.

Now is the time to let your voice be heard!

Read up on the issue at www.coaltrainfacts.org and come to a community meeting the first Wednesday of each month at 6:30 p.m., in room 206 at the Frances Anderson Center in Edmonds.

 

 

 

Sharon Sneddon

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