Multnomah County will conduct its own review of the potential health hazards of coal trains headed to Northwest shipping terminals.
County Chairman Jeff Cogen is asking the county health department to focus on diesel emissions and dust from uncovered coal cars. He also wants the emergency management office to study potential delays caused by long coal trains at crossings.
Cogen says the county can’t stop the trains or force railroads to cover the cars, but it can demand protective measures.
Three of the five proposed coal terminals in Washington and Oregon would likely route coal trains through Portland.
The trains would carry coal from Montana and Wyoming to terminals for export to Asia.