Say NO to dumping toxic coal ash, lead and mercury on the Great Salt Lake!

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An east coast corporation is seeking a permit to dump toxic coal ash at the tip of the Promontory Point peninsula - putting one of the nation’s largest industrial waste collections in the center of the Great Salt Lake and next to the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge and active fault lines. Coal ash, also referred to as coal combustion residuals or CCR, is produced primarily from the burning of coal in coal-fired power plants. Coal ash contains contaminants like mercury, lead, cadmium, selenium and arsenic and is considered to be hazardous. These contaminants can pollute waterways, ground water, drinking water and the air. If approved, this east coast corporation will have created one of the nation’s largest industrial waste landfills - putting humans and animals at risk.


Millions of Birds at Risk

The proposed coal ash dump is less than 20 miles from the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge and the Ogden Waterfowl Management Area, and it lies directly on the migratory path of millions of birds consisting of more than 250 species, including such species as the bald eagle, white-faced ibis, american white pelican, snowy plover, black-necked stilt, cinnamon teal and tundra swan. The Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge contains nearly 80,000 acres of marsh, open water, uplands, and alkali mudflats. The concentrated pollutants in coal ash, such as lead, mercury, arsenic, chromium and selenium, cause fatal deformities in birds nesting and feeding near CCR landfills and polluted waters.


Purity of Fresh Water Supply at Risk

When you combine one of the largest municipal solid waste landfills with some of the largest bird habitats in the nation, you get double trouble for the drinking water supply of nearby residents. Birds, especially gulls, feeding on decomposing waste deposit very high levels of nitrogen and phosphorus into nearby streams, rivers, wetlands, lakes and reservoirs when they defecate into the water. This results in eutrophication, a leading cause of damage to freshwater and coastal marine ecosystems. Among the results are noxious toxins (e.g., microcystin and anatoxin-a; Chorus and Bartram 1999). Associated algal blooms (HABs) have been linked with degradation of water quality (Francis 1878),  destruction of economically important fisheries (Burkholder et al. 1992) and (3) public health risks (Morris 1999). There is a whole industry related to landfill bird deterrent methods and products, as landfills attract birds. It is simply unacceptable to build a landfill of this size where these birds are already nesting!


A Ticking Earthquake Time Bomb

Making matters worse, the proposed toxic coal ash dump is located next to active fault lines. Over 25 earthquakes have hit within 70 miles radius in recent history, including one 13 miles NW of the dump and another 19 miles NE. Astonishingly, no significant earthquake study has been done related to the toxic coal ash landfill and the risks of being located so close to fault lines. Like with many other environmental concerns, the east coast corporation that stands to profit from the toxic coal ash dumping is denying any risk. They stated, “The landfill’s geologic and hydrogeological setting is appropriate for developing a landfill because there are no major geologic hazards (active faults or subsidence areas)...” despite the proximity of known faults.


Join the fight. Take Action.

  1. Sign our petition to keep toxic coal ash from being dumped at the shores of the Great Salt Lake and near millions of birds.
  2. Submit a comment to the Governor of Utah and the Utah Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) related to the lack of comprehensive environmental and geological studies that have been conducted for the proposed dump.

    Comments to DEQ should be emailed to dwmrcpublic@utah.gov and include the subject line: “Promontory Point Landfill”.
  3. Share this petition with friends and families who are concerned about protecting the Great Salt Lake, Utah’s water supply and the millions of protected birds that call the shores of Great Salt Lake home.


Today: Maggie is counting on you

Maggie Davis needs your help with “Gary Herbert: Say NO to dumping toxic coal ash, lead and mercury on the Great Salt Lake!”. Join Maggie and 6,282 supporters today.