By Nha Nguyen
EUGENE, Ore. — A coal train may soon make its way through your part of town.
Environmental group Beyond Toxics first got wind of the potential route when they heard that the Port of Coos Bay was taking out permits to dredge the area.
As the group dug deeper, it found that the port was possibly working with a company to export millions of tons of coal a year from Coos Bay via trains running through Eugene.
The group says its biggest concern is the health of both the residents and environment caused by the black coal dust emitted from the potentially mile and a half long open-car train.
“It goes deep into our lungs and is associated with increased death rates, asthma and chronic pulmonary disease and cardiac disease,” said Beyond Toxics Executive Director Lisa Arkin.
The group filed a request for documents to find out more about the project but was met with nearly $20,000 in fees to access the information.
The International Port of Coos Bay says the request was too broad and that it should be narrowed down.
So far the group hasn’t actually been charged any fees and the port calls them tentative.