About 150 coal-export protesters gathered in downtown Portland Tuesday outside the offices of the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers.
They want that agency to study the environmental and health impacts of hauling coal through the Columbia River Gorge.
Local physician Martin Donohoe says he is concerned about the particulate matter from diesel train engines.
"It contributes to the frequency and severity of asthma attacks as well as attacks of COPD, emphysema, chronic bronchitis. It’s also a contributor to heart disease and to stroke and is carcinogenic."
Portland city commissioner Amanda Fritz told the group she will introduce a resolution opposing the coal trains at a city council meeting.
The Northwest Alliance for Jobs and Exports supports increased coal exports as a way to create more jobs. The group says the Army Corps of Engineers should help the coal industry move forward.