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Are Toxic Coal Ash Ponds Confidential Business Information?

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View Brian Smith's blog posts
02 December 2009, 5:33 PM
Industry thinks so, but Earthjustice disagrees

Almost one year ago, a dyke holding back the 40-acre coal ash pond at the Tennessee Valley Authority's Kingston Fossil Plant broke, releasing more than 500 million gallons of toxic coal ash. The sludge (six feet deep in some places) spread out over 400 acres, damaged 12 homes, and wrecked a train. It was the largest human-induced environmental disaster since Chernobyl.

For the last year, Earthjustice and our partners have worked to reveal the location and contents of toxic coal ash ponds around the United States. We have had some notable success.

But some companies like Duke Energy, Alabama Power, Georgia Power and First Energy asked the EPA to withhold the information, claiming it is "confidential business information." We filed a complaint late Tuesday in federal district court under the Freedom of Information Act to obtain the withheld information because we believe access to it is vital to the health and safety of those living near these potentially hazardous sites.

Toxic waste protected as a "trade secret?"

Now we've heard everything.

Are Toxic Coal Ash Ponds Confidential Business Information?

There is nothing confidential when people get hurt they go into protection mode.

Think with your heart and your mind. If the Coal Ash Ponds are above ground they are easily seen by any pilot.

Always think from your opponent's perspective.

Good luck don't give up...

Now we've heard everything.

You're being naive. You ain't heard NUTHIN yet. Wait'il the energy companies' lawyers hook up with some of the good-ol'-boy judges they own, down in those parts to cook up legalisms to protect the interests of the owners.

By claiming 'proprietary' rights tot he information, the power co's are protecting the locations of their potential liabilities in order not to be compelled by the law to alleviate the risks to neighboring populations.

They'll succeed, at least til the first white person gets killed in a flood of their manufacture...

Is there anything that we can do, like sign a petition or something?

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