Coal ash is our country's second largest industrial waste stream. It's completely unregulated by the Environmental Protection Agency -- despite the cocktail of dangerous heavy metals like arsenic, mercury, lead and selenium found in it.
These toxic metals and chemicals can pollute drinking water sources and cause cancer, damage internal organs and lead to developmental problems in children. Living near an unlined coal ash pond can lead to a 1 in 50 chance to developing cancer, a risk more than 2,000 times greater than acceptable levels. Even though half a million people told the EPA to set strong federal regulations for coal ash, powerful lobbyists have pressured the Obama administration and Congress to delay and scuttle any attempts to protect our water supplies.
The time for EPA regulation is now. Tell the Obama administration that this lack of regulation is unacceptable, and that more stringent measures need to be taken to keep the public and the environment safe.
Dear President Obama,
Coal ash is one of our nation's most abundant, and increasingly dangerous industrial waste products. Coal ash is currently unregulated by the federal government, despite the significant health and environmental risks that it poses.
Coal ash is a by-product of the coal-fired power plants, and contains a variety of heavy metals and chemicals that are toxic to humans and animals. When these chemicals pollute drinking water supplies, they can cause cancer, damage internal organs and lead to developmental problems in children. Living near an unlined coal ash pond can lead to a 1 in 50 chance of developing cancer, 2,000 times greater than acceptable risk levels.
In an effort to bolster the anti-regulation efforts, coal industry lobbyists have been telling regulators that EPA regulation of coal ash would kill 316,000 jobs, when in reality it would create 28,000 jobs. These dishonest tactics threaten the government's ability to oversee the disposal of coal ash and protect the public health and the environment.
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Elected officials have a responsibility to set strong, federally enforceable regulations for the safe disposal of coal ash. In 2008, the TVA coal ash spill in Kingston, TN, showed us how devastating the effects of unregulated and unmonitored coal ash disposal can be, and the EPA estimates 48 other potential spill sites. Please act now and propose a federal regulation for coal ash.
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