Protect Communities from Coal Ash


Ask the EPA to protect communities from coal ash

Even after coal is burned in power plants, its waste still affects communities.  Coal combustion waste, or coal ash, is what is left over after coal is burned.  Coal ash can be in liquid form (like the coal ash pond that burst in Kingston, Tennessee in 2008 and flooded over 300 acres with 1 billion gallons of toxic coal ash slurry), or it can be solid form, like the coal ash heap pictured above at the Cane Run Power Plant in Louisville, Kentucky (my hometown).

In either form, coal ash threatens communities, yet it is currently unregulated by the federal government.  With over 1,000 coal ash disposal sites in the country and 136 million tons of waste produced each year, this is an issue that needs oversight to ensure the health of communities.  Coal ash contains hazardous chemicals including arsenic, boron, cadmium, chromium lead, mercury and selenium.  Currently there are no federal standards in place to ensure that coal ash is safely disposed of, making it possible for these hazardous chemicals to contaminate groundwater and surface water, which could lead to drinking water contamination. 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing new standards to regulate coal ash.  Please ask the EPA to select Subtitle C to regulate coal ash as hazardous waste so that our communities and God’s earth is protected.  (The more stringent option, Subtitle C would create federally enforceable regulation, categorize coal ash as hazardous waste, and phase out coal ash ponds, among other changes.)

The EPA is taking public comment on the proposed rule change until November 19.  Send your comments in through the Interfaith Power and Light website

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