Is coal transportation by rail safe?

From the EPA to the NTSB, there are several concerns, both environmental in nature or related to safety in regards to the transportation of coal by rail.

Coal cars on a train can easily be packed with 500+ pounds of the substance -- weight added to an already heavy rail car. So, in that regard, NTSB speed, braking and signal requirements must be followed.

The EPA has performed studies and provided research on the environmental concerns related to coal transport by rail, and has established regulations and best practices.

Yet, accidents involving the rail transport of coal continue to happen.

Last month a train carrying coal from Wyoming to Wisconsin derailed near the border of Ohio and Illinois. Officials said it could take several months to clean up the mess.

On Tuesday in Ellicott City, Md., a coal train derailed, and as a result two teens were killed. Officials are still working to clean up the mess and are unsure how bad the extent of the damage may be as cars and areas are still covered in coal and/or rail cars.

So, what do you think?

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