According to this letter, my dear ACTIVISTS and RIGHT-THINKING Americans, it is time to get to work.
Did you know that coal-fired power plants in the United States produce more than 130 million tons of coal ash every year?
And right now, there are next to no federal regulations for this toxic waste, which is created as a byproduct of burning coal. Coal ash is typically stored in ponds which, as we saw in the December 2008 spill of over 5 million cubic yards of coal ash in Tennessee, poses grave threats to the environment and to surrounding communities. The heavy metals in coal ash are seeping into groundwater, polluting the water upon which communities and wildlife depend.
Our friends at the League of Conservation Voters are sending a petition to the EPA urging them to protect our communities from dangerous coal ash disposal. Will you join me in adding your name today?
Thank you for all you do for our planet and our wildlife.
Option 1: Federal regulations for toxic coal ash disposal.
Option 2: Non-binding “suggestions” that Dirty Coal clean up its act.
Coal-fired power plants are producing more than 130 million tons of coal ash every year. That’s enough waste annually to fill train cars from the North Pole to the South Pole!
And you know what is even more alarming? Coal ash contains toxins like arsenic, chromium, lead and mercury. And there are next to no federal regulations on it.
Right now, the EPA is considering options that could either reel in Dirty Coal’s assault on the environment or maintain the status quo. Will you let them know which option you support?
Coal ash is loosely regulated on a state-by-state basis. In some states, it’s less regulated than household waste. All too often, coal ash gets dumped into waste ponds and even our landfills and from there it leaks into our drinking water and fragile ecosystems. The EPA is currently reviewing two options for the regulation of coal ash:
- Option One: Set federally enforceable standards for coal ash disposal. The EPA would set storage and handling safeguards and strict pollution prevention and monitoring requirements for coal ash disposal sites. And companies wouldn’t be allowed to operate a plant if they couldn’t prove they could pay for the consequences of a disaster.
- Option Two: No federal enforcement. The EPA would give non-binding “suggestions” instead of enforceable standards – and would maintain today’s unsustainable status quo where states with the most of the coal ash have the weakest regulations. Unsurprisingly, Dirty Coal and the powerful energy lobby are giving their full-throated support to this weaker option.
With your help, we can ensure that the EPA strengthens coal ash regulations and protects the environment from the perils of failed coal ash handling.
Thank you for all that you do for the environment.
League of Conservation Voters
As you weigh your options for regulating the toxic coal ash produced from the burning of coal, I hope you will consider the harm the heavy metals — such as arsenic, mercury, and lead that are contained in this waste — present to our drinking water and our streams, threatening communities and our wildlife.
Every year, 130 million tons of coal ash — containing arsenic, chromium, lead and mercury — is created by coal-fired power plants. The toxins contained in the coal ash seep into our ecosystems and into our drinking water from unsafe storage in waste ponds and other venues.
States with most of the coal ash also have the weakest regulations that’s why it is critical that we set federally enforceable standards for coal ash disposal. Safeguard our environment. Protect public health. Ensure that Dirty Coal properly handles this toxic waste.
I strongly support the EPA moving ahead with proposed federal regulations for coal ash storage and handling, and encourage it not cave to the coal industry by simply putting forth suggested guidelines for states.
I hope you’ll make the right choice.