Saturday, October 10, 2009

Coal Ash Ramifications

Coal Ash: 130 Million Tons of Waste. That's the title of a headline on CBS' 60 minutes last Sunday. Why is this relevant to my blog? Apparently, it's really toxic stuff and it's being transferred from Tennessee to Alabama, where my family and I live.

According to the report, about half of US electricity is generated by coal but we don't [want to] realize our electricity usage generates enormous waste. This waste, or coal ash, is being dumped in neighborhoods without regard for its toxicity.

There are recycling options labeled 'beneficial use', although these are questionable since a number of problems can occur. E.g. water contamination and health complications from inhalation and physical contact.

Right now, EPA regulation and protection is 'too expensive'. It's up to individual states to ensure 'proper disposal'. Since the Federal government can't protect us, residents in Alabama can only do what those in Tennessee did...lobby hard to get rid of the stuff by passing it on to another [poorer] state.

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