Short Film Released About American Dreams Turned Into Toxic Nightmare

The film, Little Blue, highlights the damage wrought by toxic coal ash

Today, Earthjustice announces the official public release of a beautiful narrative mini-documentary, Little Blue: A Broken Promise.

The 10-minute film highlights the damage wrought when coal-fired power plants dump the remains of the dirtiest fossil fuel source near unsuspecting communities and how this practice poisons our drinking water and health.

The problem is viewed through the eyes of people living in rural Pennsylvania and West Virginia alongside the nation’s largest coal ash dump. The story starts out when a coal fired power plant promises people in rural Pennsylvania and West Virginia a beautiful recreational lake in the woods behind their homes. The turquoise blue lake, dubbed by some as the “Pennsylvania Caribbean,” turned out to be a 2.5 mile toxic dump called the Little Blue Run Coal Ash Impoundment, the largest of 1,400 coal ash pits in the U.S.

Tests later showed that Little Blue Run, which emits a foul egg-like smell of sulfur dioxide, was full of toxins that are linked to the four leading causes of death: cancer, stroke, heart disease and respiratory illness.

Coal fired power plants have damaged some 200 lakes, streams, rivers and aquifers in the nation, poisoned groundwater and harmed the health of those living near coal ash sites.

Coal ash is the toxic remains of coal that’s burned by power plants to generate electricity. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency does not yet regulate coal ash, which is the second largest waste stream in America. The first-ever proposed federal standards for coal ash are to be finalized on Dec. 19 after the White House reviews it.

The film, through this intimate story, serves to inform the public that now is the time for the White House and our representatives in Congress to stand up to industry pressure and finalize strong standards that protect public health and the nation’s water sources.

View an excerpt of Little Blue Run: A Broken Promise:

View Little Blue Run: A Broken Promise in its entirety:

Sabrina Misley of the Little Blue Regional Action Group meeting, in 2013.
Sabrina Misley of the Little Blue Regional Action Group meeting, in 2013. She is concerned about her daughter and the pollution that she has found bubbling from the ground in the woods near her home. The pollution has been tested and matches the coal ash pollution from Little Blue coal ash impoundment. (Chris Jordan-Bloch / Earthjustice)

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