Skip to Navigation
Skip to Content

Support PSR!

Make a difference in the challenge to confront global warming and prevent nuclear war and the development and use of nuclear weapons.

Donate Now »

Take Action

Please ask your senators to cosponsor Sen. Franken's bill to challenge the trillion dollar nuclear weapons buildup.

Toxic coal ash must be regulated!

Posted by Barbara Gottlieb on January 28, 2010

 

Coal ash – the toxic stew of pollutants “scrubbed” from coal smokestack emissions – has emerged as a grave threat to health.  Filled with contaminants like arsenic, lead, selenium, and mercury, it is stored in landfills and huge ponds in communities across the country. 

In honor of the first national “Day of Action on Coal Ash,” I urge you to tell Congress that we need federal regulation of this health-threatening toxic sludge.

Coal ash is one of our nation’s biggest waste products. Nearly 600 coal ash ponds in 35 states, plus hundreds of landfills, hold enough coal ash to flow continuously over Niagara Falls for over three days straight. Gross – and frightening.

 In December 2008, a coal ash pond in Tennessee burst through a poorly constructed dam.  “Pond” conveys the wrong idea – this was a lake, and it sent one billion gallons of toxic coal ash sludge surging over 300 acres, damaging dozens of homes and poisoning rivers and water supplies. It was a horrifying demonstration of the destruction and contamination coal ash can unleash. 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is currently drafting regulations that would regulate coal ash.  Yet, well-heeled lobbyists for the coal and power industries are meeting with staff in the Office of Management and Budget, hoping to have that office impede the EPA’s ability to regulate this hazardous material. 

Please email your congressperson, voicing your support to have coal ash designated as hazardous waste and firmly regulated.  It’s high time we get one of our nation’s biggest toxic threats under control.
 

Comments

Leave your comment

Name
Comment
Enter this word: Change

Action Alerts

More action alerts»

Resources

  • Health Impacts of Natural Gas Infrastructure

    Fracked natural gas contaminates air and water where it is extracted, then pipelines transport gas-related pollutants for hundreds of miles. Distant communities may be exposed to toxic air pollutants, dangerous particulates, and radioactive materials. All of us are endangered as methane leaks into the atmosphere. Read more »

  • Natural Gas: Not a healthy or climate-protective solution for the Clean Power Plan

    Building natural gas plants to replace coal-fired power is not a solution to the climate crisis; it merely replaces one fossil fuel with another. Read more »

  • Death by Degrees

    The sign of Global Warming are already here. “Death by Degrees” is a series of reports looking at the damaging health effects of global warming by states or regions within the United States. We encourage you to learn about the public health threats global warming poses in your state/ region and contact your elected officials to support climate policies that reduce our reliance on dirty fossil fuels and supports energy efficiency, conservation and clean renewable energy production. Read more »

In the Spotlight

  • November 30, 2016
    Eating for Climate and Health
    PSR's new PowerPoint presentation on how climate change impacts food production, and agriculture's contribution to climate change.