Fugitive Coal Dust Study

Fugitive Coal Dust Study

As a subcontractor to ICF International, T&B Systems designed and operated an air quality study investigating coal particulate emissions from coal-hauling trains along the Columbia River during the fall of 2014.  Since sampling, including both air and depositions samples, was desired only during the passage of the coal trains, a specially designed sampling system employing unique sample media was used to collect samples that were then analyzed using optical and scanning electron microscopy to specifically identify coal-like particles.  Due to the need to conduct the study before the wintertime rains, T&B Systems had less than a month to prepare for the study, including designing and testing the sampling system, dealing with study logistics including identification of a suitable site, and setting up the study instrumentation.  In addition to the train-specific particulate samples, more conventional 24-hour particulate sampling was conducted using MiniVols, as well as continuous monitoring using a DustTrak optical PM monitor and a complete set of meteorological sensors.