Coal Ash Spills Into Lake Michigan in Wisconsin

EPA must pass regulations to protect public health from arsenic, lead and mercury


Raviya Ismail, Earthjustice, (202) 745-5221

On Monday, coal ash spilled into Lake Michigan from a bluff near the We Energies Oak Creek Power Plant in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has stalled on plans to release the first-ever coal ash regulations that might have prevented this spill. In the meantime the House passed a bill preventing EPA from moving forward and the Senate is currently considering the same bill (S. 1751). The following statement is from Earthjustice attorney Lisa Evans:

Cleanup of the Tennessee Valley Authority coal ash spill
in December 2008. (TVA)

“How many coal ash spills are going to have to occur before Congress and the EPA acknowledge the very real dangers posed by this industrial waste? This is not some ‘freak accident,’ for a century billions of tons coal ash has been buried, piled and ponded without regulation and without consideration of the consequences. We’re coming up on the three-year anniversary of the TVA coal ash disaster and it is disheartening that we still have no measures in place to protect the public against toxic ash.

“While we wait for yet another clean-up, we’re battling Senate polluter benefactors who deny that coal ash is anything but mud. If this Senate legislation sees the light of day it must be stopped in its tracks by the White House. This event must be a wake-up call for our government to take action now.”

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