The Seattle Board of Park Commissioners recently sent a letter to the Gateway Pacific Terminal stating its opposition to the passage of coal trains through the Seattle area. The letter is to be included as part of the official public comments in the Environmental Impact Statement.

In the letter, the Park Board expressed concern about air, water, soil and noise pollution; train accidents; park-access delays; derailment; and reduced property values.

The board also pointed out the connection between burning coal and global climate change and its impact on Seattle Parks and Recreation, the steward of the city’s public parks and open spaces.

“We are concerned about the health of our parks, the people who use them and the wildlife that lives in them,” said Park Board chair Diana Kincaid. “We believe not enough has been done to fully understand the long-term health impacts of increasing the number of trains carrying coal through our city. Our hope is that impacts to the health of our parklands are fully understood before next steps are taken.”
 
(The full letter can be read here: parkways.seattle.gov/2013/01/23/board-of-park-commissioners-sends-letter-opposing-more-coal-trains-through-seattle-area.)

The Park Board meets once a month, normally on the second Thursday, to advise the Parks and Recreation superintendent, the mayor and the City Council on parks and recreation matters.