Benton County Scientist Tsukuda, addresses impact to Salmon Recovery: Highlights from Pasco Coal Train Hearing

Toyoko Tsukuda, Scientist from Benton County


My name is Toyoko Tsukuda, I am a scientist from Benton County. Potential impacts of the coal trains to people’s health and environment have not been well studied. We need to know, “does the cover spray on the coal prevent micro-sized particles from escaping?” Because the micro-sized particles are the most dangerous ones to human lungs. If they escape, what will be the pollution level of the micro-sized dust?

It is projected that 95% increasing in traffic by coal shipping along the Columbia river.


Over the last decade, we have spent millions of dollars to bring back the salmon into the Columbia. This year, we had a record number of salmon in the Columbia.

Would the coal shipping to China wipe out the effort we made to bring back the salmon? We need to know the impact of coal pollution from transport and the coal piles at the port and the diesel emissions from tug towboats discharged in air, water and aquatic system. The impact of heavy coal traffic on fishing and tourist activities in the Columbia river gorge national scenic area.

These studies need to be done in the entire length of the river that the coal and the barge travel.

My final comment, our local taxes will be increased to accomodate coal trains, such as building overpasses to alleviate the lengthy road blocks. Why do Washingtonians have to subsidize cheap coal for China? Thank you.

For more information see:

Power Past Coal
Wild Idaho Rising Tide
Washington Environmental Council
Community to Community Development


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