Written by KEF Health Coordinator Deborah Payne as an op-ed for the Lexington Herald-Leader; find the original op-ed here.
It was Christmas time in 2008 when the wall of a coal combustion waste impoundment pond collapsed, inundating Kingston, Tenn., with over 1 billion gallons of toxic sludge.
Last month, almost six years later, the Environmental Protection Agency released a long-awaited rule on the classification and management of coal combustion waste, or coal ash, the byproduct that results when coal is burned to produce electricity.
The development of the rule involved an extended series of public hearings, a comment period and then a long wait — over two years — to hear how new federal policies would impact the way we manage coal ash. Health advocates hoped for better storage practices, a classification as a toxic waste and federal oversight.
And the verdict is in: Industry will remain in charge of its own practices, which means, without much oversight things may roll on with "business as usual."
SIERRA CLUB HIGHLIGHTS RAMPANT WATER POLLUTION FROM CENTRAL KENTUCKY COAL ASH POND, WHICH COULD BECOME WORSE
Written by Joe Sonka for the LEO Weekly. Find the original story here.
Today the Sierra Club and Earthjustice released a report on the most high risk coal ash dumps in America, highlighting one of the nation’s worst in central Kentucky less than 30 miles from Lexington at the E.W. Brown Generating Station in Harrodsburg, Ky. The nearly 60-year old coal-fired power plant — operated by Kentucky Utilities, which is owned by LG&E/KU — contains a massive 126-acre unlined coal ash pond containing 26 million tons of coal ash waste from the plant, which the report shows is breaking state and federal laws by leaking toxins into the groundwater and adjacent Herrington Lake, a major recreation and fishing destination.
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