PLEASE ACT: Coal ash pollution is toxic

PLEASE ACT: Coal ash pollution is toxic

Coal ash pollution is dangerous and gross. This waste — stored above ground and near water — contains arsenic, lead, mercury and other toxic chemicals that can poison people, water, and wildlife. Many of the substances even cause cancer.1

A concrete pipe below this coal ash impoundment failed, releasing coal ash and ash pond water into the Dan River. (Credit: USFWS/Steven Alexander)

Take Action to Make Coal Ash Storage Safer

Coal Ash Pollution and Hurricanes

Last week, flood waters in South Carolina associated with Hurricane Florence threatened to wash this toxic coal ash pollution into local waters near the community of Conway. And the week prior, coal ash actually spilled from a storage site in North Carolina during hurricane-related flooding.2

Nonetheless, the Trump Administration is still considering a proposal that would make coal ash storage even LESS safe.

And, as urgent as the situation is in the Carolinas, without action this could be just the beginning. Climate change increases the likelihood of extreme weather events that can lead to flooding.3 Without the improved storage and safety rules that the administration now seeks to delay, more flooding would likely mean more dangerous coal ash spills in the Carolinas and other states with coal ash storage sites.

Specifically, the administration’s proposal would eliminate a 2015 federal requirement that coal ash producers line new storage sites so that coal ash won’t pollute drinking water sources. Worse, it would also relax monitoring and inspection requirements for the release of coal ash into the environment.4

How You Can Help

Protect our water, wildlife, and communities from the threat of toxic coal ash. The public comment period on the administration’s coal ash proposal only lasts a few more weeks, so please sign and share this petition right now.

Take Action to Make Coal Ash Storage Safer

1. Physicians for Social Responsibility, “Coal Ash: Hazardous to Human Health,” Physicians for Social Responsibility website, May 2015.
2. Nurith Aizenman, “Environmentalists Concerned That More Coal Ash Ponds Will Spill Into Rivers,” All Things Considered, National Public Radio, September 24, 2018.
3. “Extreme Weather,” United States Global Change Research Program, October 2014.
4. Dino Grandoni, “The Energy 202: North Carolina floods thrust Trump coal deregulation back into spotlight,” The Washington Post, September 24, 2018.