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Originally published Friday, March 1, 2013 at 11:23 AM

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Ore. report says coal-train dust data too sparse

A report from Multnomah County's health department says there's too little industry data to make a judgment about the potential health effects of long trains carrying coal through Portland to West Coast export terminals.

The Associated Press

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PORTLAND, Ore. —

A report from Multnomah County's health department says there's too little industry data to make a judgment about the potential health effects of long trains carrying coal through Portland to West Coast export terminals.

The Oregonian reports (http://bit.ly/Z6n9yg) the analysis released Friday was requested by County Chairman Jeff Cogen (co-jen). He says the train and coal companies should have to show that the traffic being considered won't hurt residents.

The report says the federal government should do a regional study of export proposals.

The companies say coal shipments have been going through Washington state to ports in British Columbia for decades, with no complaints to the agencies there.

A spokeswoman for a trade group representing coal and train companies calls concern over coal dust "a red herring."

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Information from: The Oregonian, http://www.oregonlive.com

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