• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 24s

New report sheds light on secret of coal dust in Seward

By Dave Leval Photojournalist: Jacob Curtis - 8:40 PM July 17, 2014
ANCHORAGE –

Three environmental groups say there’s a dirty secret about coal you need to know about.

Pamela Miller, who runs the Anchorage-based Alaska Community Action on Toxics, is helping lead the effort to make Seward a safer place to live.

Alaska Community Action on Toxics is one of three environmental groups that studied what they believe is the source of a problem.

The Seward coal loading facility is where the Alaska Railroad brings coal to be loaded onto cargo ships. The environmental groups claim dust generated from the piles as they are moved is creating a big mess, and not just at the facility.

“Coal dust is seen on surfaces and in homes, and in schools and neighborhoods around Seward,” Miller said.

The dust is also creating unseen problems, she said.

“The pollutants can also exacerbate and can cause asthma,” Miller said. “They can cause cardiopulmonary problems in people, they can cause long-term lung damage, and even premature deaths.”

The new report contradicts an older study, which found pollution levels well below federal standards.

The earlier investigation did not take high winds and loading operations into account, Miller said. Those factors can help spread the dust anywhere the cars roll.

The rail cars roll through Anchorage on their way to Seward. Critics point out they have not done a study of that coal to determine the impact on our health.

Miller is among those who want the rail company to clean up its act in Seward before it hauls coal from other portions of the state.

A spokesperson with the Alaska Railroad declined to comment on the report because of pending litigation against the railroad company filed by the environmental groups.

Latest Stories

  • Crime

    Charging docs: Broken bottle used in East Anchorage stabbing

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Mar 01, 15:27

    The man accused of stabbing another man in an East Anchorage trailer Friday afternoon was arraigned Sunday in Anchorage. Kevin Campbell, 41, was taken into custody Saturday after the Anchorage Police Department couldn’t locate him at the scene Friday. Police say “a tip from an observant citizen” led to his arrest. Court documents show that on […]

  • News

    Blind dog rescued after being lost for 2 weeks in the cold

    by Associated Press on Mar 01, 12:03

    A blind dog who wandered away from her Ester home during a cold snap has been reunited with her owner. The 11-year-old Labrador retriever named Madera ventured away from home on Feb. 6, when the temperature dipped below 40 degrees. Her owner Ed Davis says he didn’t expect to find her alive. Fairbanks Daily News-Miner […]

  • Sports

    Slideshow: UAA sees blowout victory over Saints in home finale

    by KTVA Sports on Mar 01, 11:59

    In the final home game at the Alaska Airlines Center, the UAA men’s basketball team recorded a 101-67 victory over Saint Martin’s on Saturday.

  • News

    Marijuana hearing draws dozens to Anchorage Assembly chambers

    by Dave Leval on Mar 01, 11:45

    Anchorage resident Christopher Sutliff says he voted for the recreational use of marijuana. He now helps to come up with the regulations governing it. “The best way to reduce the black market and to make sure we have reasonable access is by keeping everything above board, and making it doable,” said Sutliff. That’s the message […]

  • News

    Officer struck by car while responding to shoplifting incident at South Anchorage Fred Meyer

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Feb 28, 23:25

    An Anchorage police officer suffered a broken leg when he was struck by a car Saturday night as he attempted to stop a pair of shoplifting suspects from getting away. Just after 8:30 p.m., the Anchorage Police Department was called to the Dimond Boulevard Fred Meyer store in response to a shoplifting incident. Loss Prevention […]

  • Sports

    Faeo, Quam win 2,000-mile Iron Dog race

    by Associated Press on Feb 28, 18:12

    Scott Faeo and Eric Quam crossed the finish line in downtown Fairbanks just after 12:30 p.m. Saturday to win the 2015 Iron Dog snowmachine race. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (http://ow.ly/JLUQU ) reports the duo claimed the title after leading much of the 2,000-mile course despite snowless conditions, open water and a coastal storm. Aaron Bartel […]

  • News

    Flights canceled in Nome, Bethel due to ash from Russian volcano eruption

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Feb 28, 17:48

    The Alaska Volcano Observatory says there have been flight cancellations in Nome and Bethel, due to affected air travel after a volcanic eruption in Russia. Russia’s Kamchatka Volcanic Eruption Response Team notified the Alaska Observatory of the eruption just after 4 p.m. Friday afternoon. KVERT has issued an orange aviation color code after the Shiveluch Volcano […]

  • News

    AST: Man wanted after eluding troopers on Seward Highway, fleeing on foot

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Feb 28, 13:28

    A Wanted Bulletin has been issued by Alaska State Troopers after an eluding incident on the Seward Highway. Troopers are also advising Seward Highway drivers not to pick up hitchhikers after a male driver failed to yield for a traffic stop and then fled on foot. Initially, the driver — identified as 32-year-old Andre Morris […]