Coal ash is the residue that remains after coal has been burned. It is more radioactive than nuclear waste, and it is is toxic and carcinogenic. A third of coal ash dumpsites in the United States are unlined ponds that leach arsenic, uranium, and other heavy metals into the water supply. This is allowed, because coal ash is not currently defined as a hazardous waste by the EPA and therefore is regulated by the states. Coal plants still dispose of this radioactive toxic waste in everything from concrete and golf courses to the water supply. These methods of disposal have been shown to cause cancer, liver damage, neurological complications, respiratory health problems, nosebleeds, and organ failure in people. The goal of this petition is to have the EPA classify coal ash as a hazardous waste. The EPA is currently considering this. It is expected to rule soon. If the EPA were to classify coal ash as a hazardous waste, power companies would be required to dispose of coal ash only in safe dry-lined impoundments. This would save and improve lives. Please sign this petition to tell EPA administrator Lisa Jackson that Coal Ash should be classified as a hazardous waste. Your signature could save lives.
Dear Administrator Jackson:
We the undersigned strongly urge you to classify coal ash as a hazardous waste. We are concerned that 1/3 of coal ash dumpsites are unlined ponds that leach heavy metals and carcinogens into the environment. Studies have shown that exposure to these toxins can cause cancer, liver damage, nerve damage, respiratory distress, nosebleeds, and organ failure in people. We fear that coal ash exposure threatens the health of many Americans who live near coal ash dumpsites.
State regulation of coal ash has not been adequate to stop leakage and spills from coal ash dumpsites, such as the disaster that happened at the Kingston Fossil Plant in Tennessee in 2008. If the EPA were to classify coal ash as a hazardous waste, coal ash disposal would uniformly be in safe dry lined impoundments that would not spill or leach toxins.
We are also extremely concerned that coal ash is more radioactive than nuclear waste and yet is recycled in everything from dry wall to children's play equipment. If coal ash were classified as a hazardous waste, this type of recycling would no longer happen. The EPA should designate coal ash as a hazardous waste.
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