Today, 3 years after the largest toxic waste spill in U.S. history, 11 environmental and public health groups will file a lawsuit to force the Environmental Protection Agency to complete its rulemaking and finalize public health safeguards against coal ash pollution.
The Latest On: Tr-Ash Talk
(Russ Maddox is an Alaska Chapter Sierra Club volunteer.)
As the rest of the nation wakes up and begins to realize how damaging wanton handling and disposal of coal ash truly is, regulators and leaders in Alaska continue to keep their heads buried in the sand, or in this case, coal ash.
The forests of Alaska’s interior fueled the early gold rush. When they became scarce the railroad was pushed south to the coal fields of Nenana to fuel the steamships, massive dredges necessary to access and extract the gold.
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.
February 26, 2012 marked the 40th anniversary of the Buffalo Creek disaster—the “most destructive flood in West Virginia history,” which took 125 lives in Logan County, West Virginia, injured 1100, and left 4000 homeless.
On Tuesday, Virginia attorney Ted G. Yoakam, representing nearly 400 people living near the Battlefield Golf Club in Chesapeake, refiled a lawsuit against Dominion Virginian Power, MJM Golf LLC (the owner of the golf course) and two additional parties involved in building the course, requesting more than $2 billion in damages.
The American Coal Ash Association is trying with might to mislead us.
Last week we announced our intent to sue the Environmental Protection Agency to force the release of long-awaited public health safeguards against toxic coal ash. Here is just another example of why states aren’t doing an adequate job keeping this toxic muck out of our drinking water.