A YouTube video taken in May shows coal dust coming off a train travelling through Delta.
Kevin Estok, a Langley resident who took the video, said this is one of his usual spots to film and see the trains, but he had never seen that much coal dust coming off a train before.
“Sometimes they have a little bit, but nothing like that,” he said.
After coming to the attention of users this past weekend, the video has been viewed almost 1,000 times.
The video identifies the train as CP ES44AC 8924.
Canadian Pacific spokesperson Ed Greenberg said they are taking the incident seriously, but this is not a common occurrence.
“Over the years, our railway has taken a number of steps to address concerns about coal dust, including incorporating different loading techniques, the installation of a high-tech permanent re-spraying facility and continuously monitoring our coal trains,” he said.
When trains are loaded at the mine, Greenberg said each coal car is sprayed with an “environmentally benign glue-like substance” that acts as a sealant on the top. The cars are then re-sprayed about halfway to the coast at the re-spray facility.
“Once advised of this incident, which occurred a couple of months ago now, our railway increased the volume of sealant applied to the cars and also added additional monitoring steps for train crews while travelling to the Coast. We continue to monitor the situation,” he added.
Delta mayor Lois Jackson says incident like this are rare.
“It has been very infrequent from the research that I have been given by our staff. Maybe once every couple of months, maybe less than that” says Jackson.
This is not the first time B.C. residents have filmed coal dust coming off a train – this one in Rosedale is an example.
Many have expressed concern about coal dust being released from the trains, especially with the proposed increased train shipments as more mining projects are approved.
The Surrey Fraser Docks coal port proposal expansion has caused concern over the potential impact on the environment and residents’ health. This expansion would bring eight million tonnes of coal by train through South Surrey, White Rock, Burnaby, Surrey, and New Westminster.