News

Environment Groups Spotlight Coal Ash Dangers

Environment Groups Spotlight Coal Ash Dangers

Environmentalists are pushing for stronger regulation of coal ash ponds.

Illinois has 91 of them, located near 22 current and former coal-burning power plants, and they’re a problem, says Traci Barkley, water resources scientist with the Champaign-based Prairie Rivers Network.

“Recent state-required groundwater monitoring has revealed that coal ash contaminants are present at every one of these power plant sites,” she said.

Jack Darin, Illinois director for the Sierra Club, says they could collapse, sending their contaminated water into nearby rivers and streams, as happened in North Carolina in February.

“These are disasters waiting to happen all across our state. They threaten our
communities and our drinking water supplies,” he said.

Coal ash contains mercury, lead and arsenic, which can cause cancer and brain damage in humans and are toxic to fish and wildlife.

The Illinois Pollution Control Board is starting hearings today on how and when power plants will be required to close coal ash ponds.

The environmentalists want the power plant owners to be required to set aside money for environmental cleanup, should there be some kind of disaster, and they want coal ash eventually removed from ponds and placed in high and dry landfills.

 

Recent Headlines

4 hours ago in Local

Auburn School Happy to Host Gov. Rauner

4-5-16 Rauner

Hosting the governor at his small, rural district's high school Wednesday, Auburn school superintendent Darren Root says there is an important point to make.

4 hours ago in Local

Caterpillar to Close 5 More Plants

Caterpillar_logo

Caterpillar Inc. says it will close five more factories — including an Oxford, Mississippi plant — as the Peoria, Illinois-based heavy equipment maker reacts to slowing demand for construction and mining equipment worldwide.

4 hours ago in Local

Advocates Fear Chaos After Rauner Home Health Care Ruling

Illinois Republican gubernatorial candidate businessman Bruce Rauner participates in a Republican gubernatorial candidate debate Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014, in Springfield, Ill. The four Republican gubernatorial candidates said that they’ll be willing to work with unions if elected but differed on how to approach the relationship during a downstate debate that largely focused on pension reform, taxes and just briefly on personal issues that have dogged some of the candidates.

Illinois social service advocates fear chaos when a new ban on most overtime for home health care workers goes into effect Sunday.

4 hours ago in Local

Six People Charged in Champaign Murder

Champaign Police Murder Arrests WAND

Four are in custody after the woman was found in Clinton Lake.

4 hours ago in Local

Crimestoppers Seeks Gun Stealers

gun

Springfield Police are looking for the public's help in solving a weekend burglary at a local business.