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Mon Group Educates Members on Coal Ash Waste
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2010

A recent focus issue for the Mon Group has been learning about coal combustion waste and some of the problems it creates. Our Conservation Chair, Jim Kotcon, has been keeping the group’s executive committee (ExCom) well informed, and our speakers at the May 13 program meeting included Lisa Marcucci, outreach coordinator for the Environmental Integrity Project, and John and Petra Wood, who live at Cassville close to a coal ash dump site.

The US EPA is proposing new regulations to govern the disposal of fly ash and other coal combustion waste, finally recognizing the real danger of air and water contamination and the increased risk of cancer in those exposed. But they are leaving the regulation of the use of these wastes to fill mines to the Office of Surface Mining.

At the May 13 meeting, we learned of the huge quantities of coal combustion waste that are currently being dumped in Mon County and of plans to increase that dumping at a proposed 225-acre surface mine at Cassville and at Coresco mine near the Longview Power plant. Many of us attended the public hearing on May 26 for the Cassville mine, and John and Petra Wood did an excellent job of presenting the case against allowing this mine expansion and coal waste dumping in an area that is already populated (see page 1 for Petra’s detailed comments). The inadequate safeguards against polluting the air and water are alarming.

Evan Hansen spoke to us at our Ice Cream Social on June 10, identifying the sites and quantities of waste being dumped and identifying hazards that are likely  from this pollution. We are hoping to generate letters to EPA once the Sierra Club and the Environmental Integrity Project have had time to analyze the proposed regulations and suggest comments to be submitted.

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