In North Carolina, a river poisoned with arsenic. In Nevada, toxic clouds over a desert town. In West Virginia, foul-smelling waste bubbling from the ground.
We once thought these problems were unrelated, but a disaster in Tennessee just days before Christmas in 2008 became a stark wake-up call on the problems of coal ash.
Every year, power plants generate 140 million tons of coal ash—enough to fill a train stretching from the North Pole to the South Pole.
Coal ash contains arsenic, mercury and lead, which can cause cancer and developmental problems. It poisons fish and wildlife in rivers and lakes.
Ash is dumped into uncovered pits and lurks behind leaky dams. It poisons the air. It destroys the water. And the corporate polluters responsible claim that cleaning up this toxic mess would hurt their profits.
But in 2008, when that dam broke, something changed. Nearly half a million people asked the EPA for stronger protections. Thousands of citizens attended public meetings. Local and national environmental and public health groups got involved. We brought the coal industry face to face with the people they were hurting. Those people are America, and America spoke with one voice: “Clean up coal ash.”<http://action.earthjustice.org/site/R?i=QT6cOf4bFXFpqf4ALPfVKQ>
Yet, four years later there are still no federal protections. Some senators even want to pass a bill to prevent the EPA from ever regulating coal ash. They want to ignore the disaster in Tennessee and avoid deadlines to clean up this toxic waste all across America. We can’t let polluter profits triumph over public health.
Click HERE to call our North Carolina senators.
Click HERE to write an email to Sen. Richard Burr.
Click HERE to write an email to Sen. Kay Hagan.
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