Missoula City Council supports study of coal trains’ effects

Allison Roberts News

Everyone who breathes will be at risk in Missoula if all the planned coal terminals on the Pacific Coast get built out – and coal train traffic here skyrockets, one doctor said Monday.

“It is a fact that putting that much particulate from coal into our airshed will dramatically increase the diagnoses of asthma, pneumonia, lung and sinus infection, allergies, emphysema, (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and cancer – lung, esophageal and stomach – and cardiovascular diseases as well,” said Amy Haynes, a Missoula physician who offered prepared remarks at a Missoula City Council meeting. “We know this. Medical research supports this as a fact.”

Haynes was among many members of the public speaking in support of a resolution calling on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to study the cumulative and local environmental effects of multiple proposed coal export terminals on the Pacific Coast. The council approved the resolution on a 6-3 vote with one abstention and two councilors absent.

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