Coal dust is actually a real problem
Letters to the Editor
Coal dust is indeed a major problem. My wife and I were along a trail in Ponderay, Idaho several times last week. When empty coal trains returning passed us on the BNSF rail line we could smell coal dust.
On two different mornings we could also see coal dust rising from the empty gondolas. I do not where these trains unloaded their cargo but if the coal plant (Boardman, Ore.) nearest our location in Idaho; we were approximately a distance of 300 miles that the train had traveled before reaching us. This implies that the residual dust is hazardous over great distances.