US Coal’s New Focus on Exporting Leaves a Cloud of Dust Over Louisiana

"Looking overseas for profits, industry giants are building shipping terminals that pollute nearby communities."

"PLAQUEMINES PARISH, La. — When Warren Lawrence retired, he settled on Myrtle Grove, a small community of brightly colored houses sitting on stilts, 40 miles south of New Orleans, because it’s surrounded by water. The Mississippi River is on one side of Route 23, the main road, and the bayou is on the other. Lawrence’s boats are tied up out back, and he takes his small dogs on a ride through the swampland nearly every day.

He loves his way of life, he said. Except for the dusting.

On a clear, windy day, from the porch of his house Lawrence can see a cloud of black dust hanging over Kinder Morgan’s coal terminal 2 miles away. Lawrence — and everyone else who lives near that terminal, where up to 4 million tons of coal are exported each year — knows the cloud means a cleaning will soon be in order."

Peter Moskowitz reports for Aljazeera America January 24, 2014.

Source: Aljazeera, 01/24/2014