Blog Archives

Cleaning Up A Mess: Coal Ash Across Appalachia

Annette and William Gibbs live in Perry County, Ala., near a landfill that now contains four million tons of coal ash from the 2008 Kingston spill. Photo by Chris Jordan-Bloch / Earthjustice

Appalachian states are burdened by millions of tons of toxic coal ash. Without firm federal standards, it’s up to states to determine much of the cleanup process — and regional states are taking varying approaches.

TAGS:

Rebukes, a resignation and more reasons to worry about coal ash in NC

North Carolina state epidemiologist Megan Davies resigned abruptly this week and accused high-ranking officials of deliberately misleading the public on drinking water safety. Photo from ncdhhs.gov

Where does the war of words over coal ash health advisories leave North Carolinians with contaminated drinking water? Exactly where they were before: as distrustful of DEQ and DHHS as they are of their water’s safety. But in the battle between state employees and the McCrory administration, residents are clear on who they trust.

TAGS:

New law puts coal ash progress in NC at risk

Amy Brown, a resident of Belmont, N.C., speaks during a public hearing related to the risk ranking of a Duke Energy coal ash site near her home.

The rushed introduction, concurrence and signing of North Carolina House Bill 630 puts at risk many aspects of the progress that residents and environmental groups have made since the introduction of the Coal Ash Management Act in 2014.

TAGS:

If I had a hammer…

Appalachian Voices' Virginia Field Organizer Lara Mack (l) and friend Amy Cantrell from Harrisonburg.

Lara Mack, our Virginia Field Organizer, helped organize last Saturday’s “March on the Mansion” in Richmond to call for clean energy solutions over fracked-gas pipelines, toxic coal ash and climate impacts. She reflects on the legacy, captured in the timeless song, “If I had a hammer,” on the power of citizens coming together to fight for social justice.

TAGS:

A good idea is right under your nose

FullSizeRender_2-1400x1050

Last summer, when Appalachian Voices’ friend Caroline Armijo was pondering how to address the problem of coal ash pollution, she came across a few words of wisdom on the bottom of a coffee bag: “A good idea is right under your nose.” In this post that first appeared on her website, Caroline writes about a new technology that may offer a solution.

TAGS:

An open letter to the North Carolina General Assembly

Members of the Alliance of Carolinians Together (ACT) Against Coal Ash hold a press conference outside of a public hearing in March.

In an open letter addressed to North Carolina lawmakers by the Alliance of Carolinians Together (ACT) Against Coal Ash, citizens threatened by coal ash pollution call on decision makers to take urgent action to ensure coal ash is cleaned up and impacted communities have access to clean water.

TAGS:

Coal ash controversy continues in North Carolina

A map showing the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality's risk classifications for coal ash ponds across the state.

In May, the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality released risk rankings for Duke Energy’s coal ash impoundments across the state following 15 public hearings. But those rankings could still change and a newly revived legislative battle is a sign that the controversy over coal ash cleanup in North Carolina will continue.

TAGS:

Energy Burden Affects Low-Income and Minority Families and other news briefs

More environmental news from across the region including the impact of energy bills on low-income and minority families, regulation of coal ash cleanup and methane emissions.

TAGS:

DEQ dodges legitimate coal-ash safety concerns

Dangerous attempts to cover up, rather than clean up, drinking water contamination only reveal how detached DEQ has become. Lawmakers should acknowledge DEQ’s failures and focus on moving forward on truly cleaning up coal ash ponds.

Enabled by anti-regulatory powers in the legislature, the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality has abandoned the principles necessary to serve the public. It’s time for lawmakers to acknowledge DEQ’s failures and focus on moving forward on coal ash cleanup.

TAGS:

Controversy Shrouds Coal Ash Cleanup

In March, the N.C. Dept. of Environmental Quality held hearings across the state to solicit stakeholder comments on the cleanup plans for North Carolina’s 33 Duke Energy coal ash impoundments. The state also lifted do-not-drink warnings from households with contaminated wells near coal ash ponds.

TAGS: