Norfolk Southern permeates its own hometown, Norfolk, Virginia, with coal dust.




(Where to complain)


(What YOU can do)



(SEE the polluting) 

Swipe Tests

(How and Why)


(Coal terminal)

Smigiel Letter

(City Council resolution)


(The published facts)


What YOU can do.

1)  Do not expect an organization like the Sierra Club to save the day, to do what YOU need to do for yourself. The Sierra Club has done good work in helping to get the message out, but people need to organize themselves and take action themselves. If you think you can sit back and do nothing because the Sierra Club or anyone else is on the case, you are suffering from a serious delusion known as false confidence.

2)  Realize that fighting the coal dust has to be a true grass roots effort. The people who live near where the dust is coming from and who have to breathe it and clean it off their properties are the ones who have to make things happen. They should also be the ones most motivated to make things happen. So talk to your friends and neighbors. Share information with them. See where they stand. Ask them if they will be willing to join with you in your efforts. Brainstorm with them. Get creative.

3)  The most important thing to do is make yourself heard by the people in power. COMPLAIN! Complain to everyone, far and wide. See here for some names and email addresses of people who should hear from you. And don't just send emails, organize, car pool, do whatever it takes, then go to your civic league meetings, to Norfolk City Council meetings, to Norfolk Southern Corporation's headquarters building downtown, to the local offices of the Dept. of Environmental Quality, etc. Even consider organizing protests at these places.

4)  Demand that the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality start actually protecting the residents of Norfolk's neighborhoods from coal dust by doing swipe tests at their properties rather than simply relying on the questionable air monitoring data supplied to it by Norfolk Southern Corporation, which has been exempted from the federal Clean Air Act and has been using that exemption to pollute the air for the past fifty years!


If you would like to share other ideas for battling the coal dust, please contact:











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