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Cities and tribes team up to fight coal trains

SEATTLE — Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and other city and tribal leaders have formed a new coalition to oppose coal trains and coal exports in the region.

At a news conference Monday, the leaders raised concerns about the impacts that increased coal train traffic through Washington state would have on street traffic, human health and the environment. Spokane is listed among the participating cities in the opposition effort.

Five terminals proposed in Washington and Oregon would ship up to 140 millions of tons of coal a year by rail from Montana and Wyoming’s Powder River basin to ships bound for Asia.

The new group says it plans to urge state and federal agencies to deny permits for the proposals.

The Leadership Alliance Against Coal includes leaders from the Tulalip Tribes, Swinomish Tribal Community and Lummi Nation. City leaders are from Seattle, King County, Spokane, Edmonds, Marysville and others.