The Northwest Clean Air Agency monitored air quality near a Bellingham rail crossing for twenty months – months during which coal was safely transported by rail through the crossing – and found, well, no problems. The Bellingham Herald reports:
During the 20 months when the monitor was on the job sampling particulate pollution, it registered air pollution levels that exceeded levels considered “good” on just five days, measured over a 24-hour average, the data indicate.
On those five days, particulate levels were rated “moderate,” which is still below the concentrations levels known to cause health problems for some people with high sensitivity.
Coal has been moving over Washington state railways for a very, very long time, and although the proposed port expansions for Longview and Cherry Point near Bellingham would increase the amount of coal transported and shipped, the data collected by the agency from air samples taken from Feb. 2012 through Sept. 2013 found no impact from coal dust.…The recent data supports a decades-long archive of measurements taken locally affirming that coal dust is simply not a real problem.
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