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Qld Rail to monitor coal freight trains for pollution levels
21/08/2012 - The level of coal dust from freight trains passing through Brisbane will be monitored by Queensland Rail (QR) for the first time in a decade.
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State Transport Minister Scott Emerson says QR will work with the state government to test pollution levels from open rail wagons hauling coal.
"Ten years ago when that monitoring was done it showed that levels were safe in terms of coal dust," Emerson told the ABC.
"But I do think it is appropriate for some more monitoring to be done and QR National is in negotiations with QR Limited to do some additional monitoring to see what the current situation is."
John Gordon, a former environmental engineer who established the group Stop Brisbane Coal Trains, said most people were oblivious to the problem.
"Huge trains travelling around the clock through the suburbs of Brisbane with uncovered payloads redefine the word stupid," he said.
Gordon said monitoring the coal trains for the first time in 10 years was not good enough and they should be stopped.
"At a global level, you have one million tonnes of coal per month being exported overseas from the Port of Brisbane, which in an era of climate change is simply immoral.
"In effect we are exporting climate change, and taking no responsibility re the global consequences."
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