89.1 WEMU

Issues Of The Environment: Coal Ash And Our Water Supply

Jun 25, 2014

Coal Ash Sludge

  A House Bill was recently passed that reclassifies coal ash and a handful of other petroleum byproducts from hazardous waste to low-hazard materials that are suitable for “beneficial uses”.

The coal ash and byproducts will be repurposed to pave roadways and enrich farmland, but environmental watchdog organizations warn that the mercury that is trapped in the ash could eventually leach into groundwater and soil.

Margi Armstrong, Program Organizer for Clean Water Action, says the legislation will exempt those responsible for any future contamination from liability and that the bill protects the coal industry rather than the people of Michigan.  She is the guest on this week's Issues of the Environment with guest host Patrick Campion.