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Safer to ship coal through Prince Rupert
The transport of coal in populated areas poses a direct risk to health. Some studies claim a higher rate of asthma in populated areas near coal storage and transport facilities.
I understand that if you inhale coal dust most of it is trapped by the moist areas of your upper respiratory tract and expelled; however, any coal dust that makes it to your lungs is there for ever and may cause serious disease.
How much coal dust is too much? It is like asking how many cigarettes can I smoke before it gets dangerous? There was a time when we thought that only smokers were at risk from smoking, now we know the risks associated with second hand smoke.
I find the plan to ship coal through the most populated areas of B.C. by rail then barging it from Surrey to Texada Island, where it will be transferred from the barges to ships, an unnecessary risk to public health. If the coal were shipped directly to Prince Rupert it would pass through fewer populated areas and those areas have a lighter population density.
The Port of Prince Rupert is already handling coal and they plan to expand their facilities. Prince Rupert is closer to Asia, by up to three days travel by ship and their port is the third deepest port in the world there by eliminated the need to transfer the coal from river barges to ships. The less you handle coal the less dust you stir up.
As for the two dozen jobs that would be created in Prince Rupert rather than Surrey you would create more jobs if you open a Tim Horton’s.
Richmond is a beautiful and safe place to live and a great place to raise a family let’s keep it that way! Moving the coal through Prince Rupert is the lesser of two evils, my apologies to the folks in Prince Rupert.
Ultimately one has to ask why we are taking risks to allow an American railroad to ship Wyoming coal to Asia.