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View Diary: ALEC: Toxic Coal Ash is Good for You (11 comments)

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  •  Getting rid of all that ash is going (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greendem, DRo, Joieau, OleHippieChick

    to be expensive and the price for it will be placed on the consumers of electricity not the businesses who profited from lax regulations over the past 50 years. Damn it, another case of private profits and socialized costs. Which probably explains the reluctance to do anything. With the recession going it'll hit consumers at a time they can least afford it.

    All my sig lines are hand-crafted by demented elves living in my skull.

    by ontheleftcoast on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 10:56:19 AM PDT

    •  It's Got to Go Somewhere (3+ / 0-)

      Coal ash is going to be generated.  Fact.

      The question is how to treat it/use it/dispose of it.  You have to store it either dry or wet.  Dry, it is a health risk because of the dust (plus storage is difficult and expensive).  Wet it is a health risk because some of the compounds found in the ash can leach into groundwater and because the impoundment pools are inadequate.

      Moving (trucking) it to another disposal site does nothing to solve the ultimate problem of safe disposal - and just burns fuel.

      This is a case where federally funded research and market pressure should be brought to bear to find a disposal option.  Road cement, roofing shingles and other building materials have been investigated.  While incorporating the coal ash into other uses needs to take into consideration the relative potential health problems, the materials currently used for these purposes are not perfectly "green" themselves, we're just more familiar with the risks.  

      It's not only a US problem, India and China have tremendous coal ash disposal problems too.  Their plants release more particulate matter so they effectively dispose of much of it into the air.  

      This is a problem that needs collective action.  In the interim regulation to increase safety and encourage research into effective disposal solutions would be helpful.  Just be careful not to enact a regulatory regime that freezes innovation or gives an incentive for practices that are less overall healthy for people and the environment.

      •  The problem is that it is currently (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ontheleftcoast, OleHippieChick

        less regulated than the garbage that is picked up at your home.

        It should be treated as toxic waste.

        "Work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed." -- Vaclav Havel

        by greendem on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 11:46:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The leaching is a problem. Ga Power is buying (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        greendem, DawnN, oceanview

        homes and leveling them in Julliette GA where Plant Scherer is located. It's the biggest greenhouse gas polluter in the country. But the people who live across the road from the ash pond have been coming down with cancer. Plant Scherer's ash pond is unlined. No federal or state regulation requires lining a pond that received about 1,000 pounds of toxic coal ash a day - ash that contains 'thousands of pounds of heavy metals and radioactive compounds including arsenic, vanadium, and chromium.'

        Read more here: http://www.macon.com/...

        Monroe County property records show Georgia Power has spent about $1.1 million buying property near Plant Scherer between 2008 and the end of 2010. But the true number may be higher. It doesn’t include some known purchases, and Georgia Power property doesn’t normally show up on a Monroe County property search because it is not taxed in the same manner as typical residential property.

        Read more here: http://www.macon.com/...

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