You can find your city councilor here: Eugene ward Map
125 East 8th Avenue, 2nd Floor
Eugene, Oregon 97401
Dear Counselor ______________________ ,
I am a member of your ward, and I wish to express my strong support for Commissioner Zelenka’s proposal to restrict the export of coal by train through Eugene’s rail yard and our neighborhoods in West Eugene. I hope that the City Council Will pass this resolution and send a message to the state and federal government that mining, transporting and shipping coal overseas from Oregon has long-term and considerable negative consequences.
My concern is that numerous daily coal trains, some as much as a mile and half long — coming into Eugene, stopping in Eugene, changing tracks in Eugene and leaving through Eugene — would pose a severe health risk not only to the neighborhoods closest to the tracks but to all Eugene residents.
Coal trains also frequently derail. BNSF admits on their website, “BNSF has determined that coal dust poses a serious threat to the stability of the track structure and thus to the operational integrity of our lines in the Powder River Basin.”
The harms from the proposed coal project affect every sphere of life, including pollution of air, land and water from coal dust and freighter diesel exhaust, environmental contamination through the leaching of toxic heavy metals, health threats from the increased air pollution and environmental contamination, noise, interruption of ambulance and public safety services, safety threats, loss of property values near the tracks, and loss of use of tracks by other freight carriers and passenger trains.
If open trainloads of coal go through Eugene it would directly contradict the Eugene Climate and Energy Action Plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 10 percent by 2020. The emissions range from strip-mining in Powder River Basin, to the billows of coal dust through the Northwest during transportation, and final combustion stage and usage in Asia. None of these stages comply with local and global efforts to create green jobs, and foster a clean environment for the future.
Please, support community interests, not market interests!