The Latest On: Coal
Across the country, communities near retiring coal plants are breathing collective sighs of relief. Closures, however, raise vexing questions about the millions of tons of toxic waste that may lie beneath the surface. Over decades, most plants have buried battleship-sized deposits of coal ash in landfills and lagoons near their plants. In the absence of federal mandates, utilities may leave behind a leaking legacy of deadly pollution, even after the belching stacks are long gone.
A bipartisan bill is coming up for a vote in the Tennessee state legislature tomorrow (Feb. 29) that would ban surface mining and mountaintop removal mining at altitudes above 2,000 feet in the state.
This legislation would ensure that the most scenic vistas are protected for residents and visitors instead of being razed.
Yesterday, Feb. 26, was the 40th anniversary of the tragic Buffalo Creek coal sludge (also known as “slurry”) dam failure that killed 126 people and left thousands injured and homeless.
Each time a new coal export terminal is proposed at a Pacific Northwest port, industry promises to take appropriate measures to protect the surrounding environment and community from the terminal’s inherent pollution. The harmful effects of coal dust blowing into communities from enormous coal piles and trains carrying coal in open boxcars while spewing coal dust will be mitigated, terminal investors tell the public.
A new battle has emerged in the fight over proposed coal export terminals in the Pacific Northwest.