Letter to the Editor: Repairing rail engines seem to be a source of air pollution



Railroads continue to claim that they are an efficient and environmentally sound mode of transporting goods across the country. Yet, those same railroad operators hide behind a concept known as “federal preemption” to blatantly ignore and fail to comply with local, state and federal environmental rules and then hide behind a cloak of secrecy in shielding their environmentally destructive actions from the public. April 24, in Vancouver’s Lincoln neighborhood, BNSF Railway is spewing emissions into the air, refusing to disclose the content of them and asserting exemption from environmental laws. Portland Vancouver Junction Railroad, like BNSF, has destroyed the environment and scoffs at any attempts to regulate or curtail its destructive actions while claiming to be able to use eminent domain to take our citizens’ property and turn it into an industrial wasteland along the entire 33 miles of rail line. Yet, the county seems content to wring its hands and tell us that PVJR will eventually comply, the new industry will be an economic boon, and no one will be harmed. The County Council and Railroad Advisory Board members are spewing those unsubstantiated claims like BNSF is spewing the pollutants into Vancouver’s air. Both should be stopped. We are watching, and we vote!

Janet Kelly