In North Carolina ... a river poisoned with arsenic. In Nevada ... toxic clouds over a desert town. In West Virginia ... foul-smelling waste bubbling from the ground.
We once thought these problems were unrelated, but a disaster in Tennessee just days before Christmas in 2008 became a stark wake-up call on the problems of coal ash. Every year, power plants generate 140 million tons of coal ash—enough to fill a train stretching from the North Pole to the South Pole. Coal ash contains arsenic, mercury and lead, which can cause cancer and developmental problems. It is dumped into uncovered pits and lurks behind leaky dams. It poisons fish and wildlife in rivers and lakes, and blows dangerous particulates into the air.
What's even more outrageous is the corporate polluters responsible for this coal ash claim that cleaning up this toxic mess would hurt their profits. But in 2008, when that dam in Tennessee broke, something changed. Nearly half a million people asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for stronger protections on coal ash. Thousands of citizens attended public meetings, and environmental and public health groups got involved. Waterkeeper Alliance and our partners brought the coal industry face to face with the people they were hurting. Everyone spoke with one united voice—Clean up Coal Ash.
Yet, four years later there are still no federal protections. Some senators even want to pass a bill to prevent the U.S. EPA from ever regulating coal ash. They want to ignore the disaster in Tennessee and avoid deadlines to clean up this toxic waste all across America.
We can't let polluter profits triumph over public health. We must defeat S.3512, a polluter-backed bill that would prevent the U.S. EPA from regulating this toxic waste. Call your senators today to express strong opposition against any measures that limit the U.S. EPA's ability to protect public health from coal ash.
Visit EcoWatch’s COAL page for more related news on this topic.
By Jessica Corbett
This story was originally published on Common Dreams on September 19, 2020.
Some advocates kicked off next week's Climate Week NYC early Saturday by repurposing the Metronome, a famous art installation in Union Square that used to display the time of day, as a massive "Climate Clock" in an effort to pressure governments worldwide to take swift, bold action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and rein in human-caused global heating.
<div id="0bde7" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="002ce26d8d0c627f76d752e14d234d6e"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1307397838884741121" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">LIVE: #ClimateClock about to go live at Union square replacing the atronomical clock, with a carbon countdown!… https://t.co/5OzxwUwWDf</div> — Greg Schwedock🌹(⧖) (@Greg Schwedock🌹(⧖))<a href="https://twitter.com/GregSchwedock/statuses/1307397838884741121">1600542909.0</a></blockquote></div><p>A mobile climate clock that Swedish youth activist Greta Thunberg "now carries with her, as well as the larger Climate Clock project, was assembled by a team of artists, makers, scientists, and activists based in New York, and is part of the Beautiful Trouble community of projects," according to <a href="https://climateclock.world/" target="_blank">Climateclock.world</a>, which details the science behind the numbers displayed and how to install clocks in other cities.</p>
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The passing of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg means the nation's highest court has lost a staunch advocate for women's rights and civil rights. Ginsburg was a tireless worker, who continued to serve on the bench through multiple bouts of cancer. She also leaves behind a complicated environmental legacy, as Environment and Energy News (E&E News) reported.
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Project goal: To create an environmentally friendly and sustainable alternative to leather, in this case using fungi.
The plastic recycling model was never economically viable, but oil and gas companies still touted it as a magic solution to waste, selling the American public a lie so the companies could keep pushing new plastic.
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By Pamela Davis-Kean
With in-person instruction becoming the exception rather than the norm, 54% of parents with school-age children expressed concern that their children could fall behind academically, according to a poll conducted over the summer of 2020. Initial projections from the Northwest Evaluation Association, which conducts research and creates commonly used standardized tests, suggest that these fears are well-grounded, especially for children from low-income families.
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