Coal dust escapes, which is why it is called fugitive. It spreads, accumulates and contaminates.
Westshore Terminal in Canada fails to contain 715 metric tons of fugitive coal dust every year. Fugitive coal dust isn't just dirty, it's toxic. I believe the proposed terminal at Cherry Point will provide the same pollution, but on a much larger scale.
Coal at Cherry Point will sit on 80 acres in piles 60 feet tall. Most days are windy. Gusts reach 60 mph. Fugitive coal dust will spread. Some will reach Ferndale.
Stored coal is washed in an effort to control the dust. This trades one problem for another. Every day, there will be 1.5 million gallons of runoff from coal washing. Some will reach the bay.
Suppose you discovered that terrorists were plotting to spread toxic dust nearby. Nobody would have to tell you that this is an atrocity, an act of war. You would do whatever you could to prevent it.
Regardless of who does it, spreading toxic coal dust is an act of terrorism. Building a terminal, which then spreads fugitive coal dust, is an atrocity, an act of war.
Exaggeration? Many people are terrified by the prospect of a coal terminal. The fear is that promises of jobs and economic improvement will seduce people exhausted by marginal employment.
A coal terminal is a bad idea. The industrial age is not coming back. We can have a better future, but not by trying to recreate the past.