Coal Train Debate Picks Up Steam in Pasco - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Coal Train Debate Picks Up Steam in Pasco

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A boost to the local economy, or a health and environmental safety hazard? That's the question a large group of people tried to answer at a open house in Pasco Tuesday night. A boost to the local economy, or a health and environmental safety hazard? That's the question a large group of people tried to answer at a open house in Pasco Tuesday night.

PASCO, WA. -  A boost to the local economy, or a health and environmental safety hazard? That's the question a large group of people tried to answer at a open house in Pasco Tuesday night. 

The Department of Ecology, Cowlitz County and the Army Corp of Engineers held asked the public for comment on proposal that would bring coal trains through the region. 

Before the meeting. a group of protesters held signs and chanted for about an hour in front of the TRAC facility in Pasco. Inside, the crowd was divided down the middle. Those who support the coal train terminal say it will bring jobs; but others say it will be a health and environmental hazard.

"There will be railroad jobs, there will be Colombia river pilot jobs, Colombia river bar pilot jobs," said Millennium Bulk Terminals President & CEO Ken Miller. 

"There will be 500,000 to 1,000,000 pounds of coal dust deposited into the inversion. Either on the ground, in the waterways or suspended. And that's every day, said former EPA worker Norm Simone. 

This was the 3rd of 5 meetings being held throughout the region. The Department of Ecology says they will continue to take public comment through November, before they start work on their environmental impact study.

 

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