Major Win in Coal Dust Case Against BNSF Railroad

Blog post by Lauren Goldberg, Staff Attorney—

Court gives lawsuit green light to proceed

March 14, 2014. Toxic coal dust from trains barreling down the Columbia River is a major concern for people who care about clean water. Last year we took action. Working with a coalition of conservation groups, Riverkeeper filed a lawsuit against the BNSF Railway Company to deal with this serious pollution problem. On March 12, 2014, we received great news from the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. The Court rejected BNSF Railway Company’s motion to dismiss, allowing our Clean Water Act lawsuit against BNSF to proceed.

Watch our video below & click here for more information on our work to keep toxic coal dust out of the Columbia and other rivers.

“Toxic coal dust has no place in our rivers,” explains Columbia Riverkeeper’s Executive Director, Brett VandenHeuvel. “It’s time for the railroad and coal companies to stop making excuses for coal train pollution. The more we learn about the impacts of toxic coal dust, the more clear it becomes that coal trains undermine our region’s investment in clean air and water.”

The Court’s ruling comes less than a week after scientists at the University of Washington released a groundbreaking study on air quality impacts from coal trains in Washington State.