David Strohmaier, City Council, Ward 1, Missoula, Montana
July 11, 2012
"I represent 10,000 constituents in Ward 1 of Missoula, which is bisected by the Montana Rail Link mainline and rail yard. The report released today makes clear that my community could see a significant increase in coal train traffic, and I'm committed to ensuring that municipalities, like Missoula, aren't required to pick up the tab to mitigate the very real adverse impacts that these trains will bring to our communities. Even with the current volume of train traffic through Missoula, my constituents experience noise, fouled air, and congestion at one of our at-grade rail crossings that sees approximately 5,000 vehicles today and constitutes one of only two ingress/egress routes out of the Rattlesnake Valley.
"The city of Missoula recently passed a resolution urging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to conduct a programmatic EIS of the coal export terminals along the West Coast in order to better understand all of the upline impacts associated with these terminals. Regardless of the outcome of that analysis, though, today's study is an important step towards understanding the potential impacts of coal train traffic through Montana. At the end of the day, and from my vantage point as a local elected official, I want to make sure that those responsible for mining and shipping coal through Montana bear the burden of mitigating any adverse impacts that they might cause--be they environmental, economic, or social."
David Strohmaier is a professional historian, natural history writer, and is serving his second term on the Missoula City Council. On the Council, he chaired the Public Safety & Health Committee for four years and currently chairs the Conservation Committee.