To protect groundwater and community health, coal ash ponds must be cleaned up. But, as communities in Tennessee have learned, safely removing the toxic waste brings its own set of challenges.
People from states served by Duke Energy recently testified before the newly formed, independent People’s Commission that the utility’s record on coal ash, electric rates and other issues is harming communities.
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Twelve years after the Kingston coal ash spill, hundreds of cleanup workers are sick with lung diseases, blood and brain cancers and other ailments, and families report that as many as 53 workers have died from their exposure to the toxic Kingston coal ash.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s new rule allows utilities to dump coal ash into unlined pits through April 2021, and some companies may be able to do so for longer.
Critics say a plan developed by Kentucky Utilities to address groundwater pollution from an unlined coal-ash pond seeping into Herrington Lake is inadequate.
Environmental groups in Alabama are asking power companies and legislators to move coal ash into lined landfills or recycle it.
Sick and dying workers who helped clean up the 2008 Kingston coal ash spill rejected a settlement in April, and are now looking to sue for damages.
The multi-year fight to clean up Duke Energy’s toxic coal ash pits in North Carolina has been difficult — but community advocates scored a major victory in January when the state ordered the monopoly utility to excavate its remaining ash landfills.