Sierra Club
Sierra Club Press Release

Tuesday, May 29

Robin Everett, Sierra Club, 949.338.5956
Krista Collard, Sierra Club, 415.977.5619
Joelle Robinson, Climate Solutions, 206.351.5646 


Seattle City Council Unanimously Passes Resolution Opposing Coal Transport
Local residents applaud council for making Seattle tenth city to officially raise concerns with coal export proposals


Seattle-Today, over 100 Washington residents gathered at City Hall for a press conference to urge Council members to vote in support of a resolution opposing coal transport across Washington and through the City of Seattle.

Minister Carla Payne, Founding Director of Earth Ministry, inspired the crowd at City Hall saying, “In Seattle, we have always worked together to make things better, looking to the future to create a better world for all God’s children. People of faith urge the Seattle City Council to pass a resolution to oppose coal export, and stand up to big coal companies on behalf of God’s Creation and on behalf our children’s 

What proved to be a resounding message from local residents, an hour later the Seattle City Council unanimously passed the resolution, leading Council member Mike O’Brien to say, “This resolution is very important in protecting the health, safety, and well-being of Seattle families and businesses from these coal export proposals.”

With the passage of this resolution, the City of Seattle adds its name to the growing list of communities around the Northwest region officially raising concerns about the six coal export proposals currently facing Washington and Oregon.  Seattle joins Washington cities Camas, Washougal, Bainbridge Island, Edmonds, Stevenson and Marysville in passing similar resolutions.

“The Sierra Club opposes coal exports because mining, transporting and burning coal fouls our air, pollutes our water, sickens our children, and destroys the environment,” said Andy Lewis, Chair of the Washington Chapter of the Sierra Club. “Now is the time for communities to weigh in and ensure that every impact to our health, environment and local economies is considered when these proposals are considered.

”The potential health impacts of a massive increase in coal trains chugging through our local parks and neighborhoods is considerable, as well as the impacts of burning this coal overseas. Explains Dr. Rich Grady, surgeon, Pediatric Urology at Children’s Hospital and President of Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility, “The effects of coal export are local – up to 18 trains a day will increase the release of significant amounts of airborne pollutants from diesel engines and coal dust. The increased train traffic will also cause significant delays at many rail crossings, increased risk of vehicle and pedestrian injuries along the tracks, and increased noise pollution. 

“We feel the risks to human health from massive coal shipments across our state and through our communities are significant, and we call for a comprehensive Health Impact Assessment, in addition to an Environmental Impact Statement, addressing these issues along the entire rail corridor.”

The PowerPastCoal coalition is an ever-growing alliance of health, environmental, clean-energy, faith and community groups working to stop coal export off the West Coast.

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