• 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

    2 arrested in connection with $30K stolen from Alaska fish hatchery

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Dec 20, 18:39

    Two Palmer men are in custody in connection with a burglary that occurred at an Alaskan fish hatchery last month. On Nov. 8, Alaska State Troopers were notified that $30,000 worth of steel, aluminum and copper had been stolen from the Eklutna Tailrace fish hatchery. The suspects also caused approximately $30,000 worth of damage by “cutting through walls […]

  • News

    Last call to get Christmas gifts in the mail

    by Shannon Ballard on Dec 20, 17:07

    The Saturday before Christmas is one of the busiest mailing days of the year — and for good reason. If gifters want to make sure their cards, presents and parcels arrive by Dec. 25, the deadline to send mail first-class or priority is today. “With our transportation network that we have, a lot of our priority […]

  • News

    Anchorage libraries get new self-checkout machines

    by Sierra Starks, Shannon Ballard on Dec 20, 16:24

    Anchorage Public Library is unveiling a new addition to its branch locations. Libraries around Anchorage debuted new self-service checkout machines last week. Z. J. Loussac Public Library launched their new machines Friday. On Saturday, library-goers could be seen testing out the touchscreen feature, returning books and DVDs and checking their account balances. Stacia McGourty, a reference and […]

  • News

    Man fatally struck, trapped under vehicle near downtown Anchorage

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Dec 20, 14:58

    A man is dead after a pedestrian-involved crash near downtown Anchorage that occurred early Saturday morning. At around 2:30 a.m., police and medics responded to the collision near the 1400 block of 12th Avenue. The 911 caller stated that a man delivering newspapers had struck a pedestrian, according to a statement from the Anchorage Police Department. […]

  • News

    Coast Guard rescues stranded Alaska hunter

    by Associated Press on Dec 20, 12:08

    The U.S. Coast Guard has rescued a hunter who was stranded on Chicagof Island in Alaska after he was separated from his hunting party. Rescuers in Juneau were alerted that there was a hunter in distress on the nearby island. They launched a helicopter crew to find him in the dark of night. The hunter […]

  • Sports

    Day 2: T-Bird Classic, Cougar Tip-Off

    by KTVA Sports on Dec 20, 11:52

    Day 2 of the T-Bird Classic brought a hot start for the Bears, whose girls won, 51-14, against Eagle River. A bomb threat briefly placed East High School on lockdown and the game was delayed. Kodiak’s Dannika Catt called the long delay at halftime “awkward at first.” “Because we didn’t know if we were still going […]

  • News

    Murkowski expresses concern about North Korean cyber hack

    by Lauren Maxwell on Dec 19, 22:31

    Sen. Lisa Murkowski said Friday she is very concerned now that the U.S. has established a link between the North Korean government and a recent hacking attack against Sony. The senator said the Secretary of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson, considers the cyber attack a  national threat. “This hacking is directly linked to North Korea, there’s […]

  • Lifestyle

    VIDEO: Minnesota climber begins solo ascent of Denali

    by John Thain on Dec 19, 21:45

      TALKEETNA - Climbing season on Denali is long over, but for Lonnie Dupre, it’s just beginning. The 53-year-old Minnesota man is attempting to be the first person to summit it alone in January. It’s his fourth attempt after trying similar expeditions in 2013, 2012, and 2011. The closest he came was just over 17,000 feet […]