2013-11-11. ISSUE 82: Something Inside of Us.

posted Dec 16, 2013, 4:32 PM by Alan Gould
For GSS Energy Use chapter 4. Excerpt: How 4 million tons of Tennessee coal ash ended up in Alabama's black belt.... From July 2009 to December 2010, four million tons of coal ash were trucked in and dumped just across a two-lane county road from the homes of residents, who wrote a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency saying they were “trapped in a cloud of coal ash.” It covered their houses, cars, gardens, and yards. Today, residents in Perry County aren’t sure where the $4 million has gone, .... Coal ash contains mercury, selenium, lead, manganese, chromium, cobalt, magnesium, arsenic, and other toxic heavy metals. A report released in 2009 by environmental watchdog groups Earthjustice and the Environmental Integrity Project revealed that the EPA’s own investigations have found that people living near coal ash ponds have an increased risk of damage to their lungs, livers, kidneys, and other organs because of exposure to toxic metals. But the EPA still considers coal ash a “nonhazardous” solid waste, and has no specific federal regulatory program for it, despite having promised to put forth a ruling by the end of 2010. Regulation is thus left up to individual states, and most often it’s the poor states, like Alabama, that have the fewest regulations and very few inspectors to enforce the rules that are on the books.... http://www.oxfordamerican.org/articles/2013/nov/11/something-inside-us/. Holly Hawarth, Oxford American.