Letter: Convertible occupants get a lung full of coal dust


I took the attached image on July 30 at approximately 11:15 a.m. while we were headed east out of Ladner on Highway 17.

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The coal dust that was blowing off the train was a very long, thick, dark cloud. I wish the photo captured what it really looked like as the photo makes it look like it was only at the end of the train, but I can tell you it was the whole train length.

For all those drivers with windows and vents open, or in our case driving in a convertible, we all got a big lung full.

This is the second time in just a matter of two weeks that I have driven along this stretch of highway only to be engulfed in coal dust.

Interestingly, I recently met and had a discussion with a CN employee just after my first coal dust experience. He was on his way home from a CN shareholders meeting in Chicago. I asked him about this incident, and why coal cars were not covered.

He went on to explain that the cars are sprayed with a latex barrier to prevent coal dust from blowing off trains, but sometimes it just doesn't work or they don't get sprayed and that I should report it to Roberts Bank.

Upon calling Roberts Bank immediately after the most recent incident, I could only leave a message which was not returned. Is this how Roberts Bank and the Vancouver Port Authority are protecting our environment?

I am shocked this is a regular occurrence and just part of doing business. We are trying to fight climate change. The public needs to be aware this is happening; this has got to stop.

Genevieve Cragg

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