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E-M:/ Coal Dust Clouds



On patrol yesterday in our new Detroit Riverkeeper boat, Keeper Bob Burns and I were shocked to see a black plume streaming from Zug Island to the Canadian shore of the Detroit River. The plume was heavy enough, at times, to obscure the Ambassador Bridge and Detroit skyline. We discovered the source to be five "mountains" of coal heaped at the US Steel Zug Island facility. A couple of tanker trucks were lamely spraying the piles as at least one dozer agitated the dust. Long black streaks of agglomerated coal dust gave the river the appearence of an oil spill. The wind was gusting 20 to 30 knots, brisk, but not unusual for the this location. We were able to intercept an upbound sailor in time for him to furl his full white spinnaker. Unfortunately, we weren't able to do anything for the residents of Windsor or the life of the river. US Steel has recently posted a large sign on one of its shoreline buildings proclaming its concern for the environment. Photos have been submitted to the EPA.
 
John Covert
Friends of the Detroit River