Why You Should Be Worried About Coal Ash Pollution

I find it both beautiful and terrifying that our world is such a delicate balance. Yet, we as humans have thrown it off. It’s terrifying because of what our future will be if we deny the inevitability of man-made pollution that leads to climate change. It’s beautiful because we have the tools to protect our children and grandchildren by regulating the largest source of pollution – power plants.

Did you know the Environmental Protection Agency confirmed 18 sites around the United States as sources of coal ash contamination from coal-fired power plants? That’s great, but according to the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP), these 18 sites only scratch the surface of the pollution caused by coal ash dumps.

Why should we care about coal ash? Coal ash is the hazardous waste that remains after coal is burned. The waste is then dumped into unlined ponds or mines where it can easily leach into the drinking water supplies.

Who is regulating coal ash? Last July, House bill H.R.2218 was passed to effectively preclude the regulation of coal ash. This leaves it up to individual States to determine how each would deal with the pollution. Thus, leaving our country a veritable patchwork of standards.

Does this bill protect our children from coal ash contamination? An opponent of the bill, California Democrat Henry Waxman, thinks not. He said the debate was about…

…whether or not we are going to allow coal ash disposal sites to contaminate our water supplies and threaten human health, ‘not’ a war on coal or putting a stigma on coal ash.”

These are the health impacts from the toxic chemicals in coal ash:

  • Mercury: the brain and spine of children, infants and fetuses are the most at risk.
  • Chromium: inhalation can cause asthma and lung cancer; ingestion can cause stomach and intestinal ulcers, anemia and stomach cancer.
  • Selenium: an excess can result in a glut of neurological effects including, but not limited to, impaired vision, paralysis and death.
  • Lead: it is accepted that there is NO SAFE level of lead exposure, especially in children.
  • Arsenic: inhalation or absorption through the skin can cause lung and skin cancers respectively.

Please support the EPA’s new rules that would place limits on carbon pollution from power plants.

Isn’t it beautiful to be part of the solution?


by Laura Michelle Burns

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Carrie-Anne Brown

thanks for sharing :)

PrimaSICK B.
PrimaAWAY B4 years ago

Previously signed Petition.
Thank You!

JL A4 years ago

good to remember

Natasha Salgado
Past Member 4 years ago

Thank you--petition signed.

Fi T.
Past Member 4 years ago

Use more eco-friendly fuel

Andrea Delgado
Andrea D4 years ago

Although related, coal ash standards are different from carbon pollution standards. To protect communities from toxic coal ash we must call on the EPA to finalize standards guiding the safe disposal of coal ash--the nation's second largest industrial waste stream that is becoming increasingly more toxic as we clean up our air. It's important to curb carbon pollution to protect our communities from climate change but we must call on the EPA to protect us from its solid waste stream as well. Currently the EPA's efforts to regulate coal ash are under attack in Congress but we can call on our Senators to curtail these attacks. Sharing a useful action alert to this end: https://secure.earthjustice.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=1481

Hello G.
Hello G4 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

Jinny L.

Noted and signed......we are killing Mother Earth. Thanks for sharing.

Rekha S4 years ago

Yes its very worrying!

GGma Sheila D.
Sheila D4 years ago

Gladly signed. Thank you.