SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - Environmental groups in the Spokane area are upset with proposals that could see dozens of trains loaded with coal destined for the Far East move through the city every day.
They fear that coal dust and increased diesel emissions will damage human health, while increased rail traffic will make for more dangerous intersections, among other hazards.
Coal companies are seeking permits to build port terminals near Bellingham and Longview, both in Washington state, to send up to 130 million tons of coal from the Powder River Basin of Wyoming to China, India, Korea and Japan.
Regardless of where port terminals are built, the Wyoming coal would almost certainly move through Spokane and the Idaho Panhandle.
A public forum on the proposed shipments is scheduled for Thursday in Spokane.