Earth Justice tells us about what is happening to coal ash just across the border in Greene and Fayette counties in Pennsylvania:
An application by FirstEnergy Generation, LLC to dump more toxic coal ash into a closed power plant landfill in Western Pennsylvania that is already leaking arsenic into groundwater has sparked strong objections from environmental organizations and neighbors who are worried about the potential impact on human health.
Earthjustice and Sierra Club yesterday sent detailed criticisms to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection demanding that the state agency deny the application to dispose of more than 17 million tons of coal ash from the Bruce Mansfield Power Plant at the closed Hatfield’s Ferry Plant’s landfill by barging the coal ash 113 miles on the Monongahela and Ohio Rivers. Community members who live around the landfill expressed outrage at the proposal during a May 21 hearing.
The document highlights that arsenic levels in the Bruce Mansfield coal ash exceed Pennsylvania’s maximum allowable limits, which poses a serious risk to air and water. FirstEnergy is also violating state law by not having a plan to assess or abate the pollution from the extensive existing coal ash contamination at the closed Hatfield landfill.
And where is this toxic coal ash coming from?
FirstEnergy’s permit tries to divert coal ash from one contaminated site to another. Its current coal ash disposal site for the Bruce Mansfield Plant is the infamous Little Blue Run Impoundment, which continues to leach coal ash into local drinking water supplies.
Of course, it's Little Blue which is located in the northern most portion of West Virginia. Perhaps they should talk to Representative McKinley who last June "was presented with the Champion of Coal Ash Award for his work in Congress to protect and promote the use of coal ash and stop the EPA from labeling it as a hazardous material." I'm sure he would be very sympathetic to their plight.