Hazardous Coal Ash Sites Made Public

EPA reveals locations—now it must actually regulate coal ash

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It appears the old maxim "ask and you shall receive" is alive and well.

On June 18, a coalition of environmental groups, including Earthjustice, filed a Freedom of Information Act request asking the Environmental Protection Agency to make public a list of "high hazard" coal ash disposal sites across the country.

Eleven days later, we had the information in hand. The 44 sites were spread across 10 states as follows:

North Carolina, 12 (Belmont, Walnut Cove, Spencer, Eden, Mount Holy, Terrell and Arden).
Arizona, 9 (Cochise, Joseph City).
Kentucky, 7 (Louisa, Harrodsburg, Ghent and Louisville).
Ohio, 6 (Waterford, Brilliant and Cheshire).
West Virginia, 4 (Willow Island, St. Albans, Moundsville, New Haven).
Illinois, 2 (Havana, Alton).
Indiana, 1 (Lawrenceburg).
Pennsylvania, 1 (Shippingport).
Georgia, 1 (Milledgeville).
Montana, 1 (Colstrip).

You’ll notice the infamous TVA coal ash dam in Kingston, TN is not included on the list. The "high hazard" label was self-assigned. And it seems as if the operators of that ticking time bomb didn’t consider their site quite hazardous enough to make the grade.

That’s the precise reason why we’ve asked EPA to regulate toxic coal ash, so the communities surrounding these 44 "high hazard" dams—and all the others that didn’t make the list—get the protection they want, need and deserve.

We’ll keep you posted on whether EPA makes good on their promise to grant *this* request.

From 2007–2018, Kathleen partnered with clean energy coalitions and grassroots organizations, empowered communities to fight against fracking, and worked with the Policy & Legislation team to have their messages heard by legislators.

Earthjustice’s Washington, D.C., office works at the federal level to prevent air and water pollution, combat climate change, and protect natural areas. We also work with communities in the Mid-Atlantic region and elsewhere to address severe local environmental health problems, including exposures to dangerous air contaminants in toxic hot spots, sewage backups and overflows, chemical disasters, and contamination of drinking water. The D.C. office has been in operation since 1978.