08 February 2010

COAL ASH - Round 2

8 February 2010

You probably don’t give too much thought to coal ash.

You might want to change that.

The USA gets half its electricity from coal, produced by about 600 power plants , each of which produces about 325,000 tons of coal combustion waste (CCW), composed of fly ash, bottom ash, and scrubber slurry. This is nasty stuff. Industry tells us that it’s not very harmful, but then you read the articles about the horrible birth defects and environmental consequences to the third world locations, unlucky enough to have a couple of shiploads dumped on them.

CCW contains a slew of nasties like arsenic, mercury, chromium, and cadmium, which tend to blow around and leach out into the water table (oops, don’t drink that!)

Thank God the EPA hasn’t recognized it for the toxic waste that it is, because the coal burners would have to treat it as such, which would be expensive {shudders.}

Did I mention that since the stuff is so ubiquitous, and after all, non-toxic, that we are mixing it in with wall board and concrete. A little mercury in your sheet rock shouldn’t bother you, right?

Last year, the EPA released a list of coal ash storage sites that would pose a grave danger to the public if they failed (like the one in Tennessee did last Christmas, largest industrial disaster in US history!) Didn’t hear about it?

I’ve been dying to shoot the “EPA 44” since the list was released. Got them all plugged in to my GPS.

Rumor has it that the Obama crew will review the regulations this week, and my sources tell me there are no great pictures that tell the story graphically. Sounds like a bugle call to me, better call in the cavalry: SouthWings. Twelve of the EPA list are in NC, the SW stomping ground.

SouthWings has been my partner on the Coal Ash project for years, and they jumped right on board to go again. The weather looks good for the target region for today, so... all systems go!

Tough it’s a bit short notice, the spontaneity allows me to have pretty favorable odds with the weather. Could work.

You can see the first set of pictures from the Coal Ash project here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you will not have a leg to stand on.............................................