On December 22, 2008, 500 million gallons of toxic coal ash slurry buried up to 400 acres off the Tennesse River when an earthen retaining wall was breached at a Tennesee Valley Authority's coal-fired plant.
This coal ash, was the highly toxic leftovers from burning coal for fuel, contained dangerous pollutants like mercury, lead, and arsenic that can cause cancer and wreak havoc on both plant and animal life.
Since the EPA has continued let the coal industry dump coal ash into unlined ponds and landfills that leak into our rivers, streams, and recreation areas for far too long but on on May 4, 2010, the EPA issued two very different proposals for regulating coal ash. One proposal put forth by the EPA is good. The other is very bad. The first proposal would classify coal ash as a hazardous waste, which it very much is. The other would classify coal ash as non-hazardous, which would run contrary to the EPA's own findings and play right into the hands of big polluters. The EPA's choice is clear: Coal ash must be regulated as a hazardous waste immediately.
Now is the time to tell the EPA and Big Coal fat cats that Americans refuse to be poisoned by dirty energy any longer.