I am concerned about the excessive coal and oil trains pushing their way through the Idaho panhandle. Big business is sending more fuel to Asia with little care for the health of locals. They get more profits, and we get — without any choice — more noise, more toxic coal dust, more waits at railroad crossings, and more chances for a catastrophic oil spill.
We don’t need another railroad bridge over Lake Pend Oreille, as Burlington Northern has proposed. BNSF admits that each coal-carrying car sheds 500 pounds of coal dust between the mine and export terminals. Coal dust contains mercury, arsenic, and other toxic materials — we don’t need it in our air, water, or soil. If Sandpoint is a “choke point” for BNSF trains, they should reduce their traffic. We should all be concerned about this proposed bridge — a bridge to a poisonous future.
More toxic trains affect everyone in the panhandle. Please join me in writing your senators and representatives and putting a stop to this bad idea.
Shane Sater, Bonners Ferry
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