Coal Ash – In Your Back Yard?
Coal combustion waste, which contains toxins such as mercury, arsenic, beryllium, cadmium, chromium, nickel, and selenium. constitutes the nation’s second largest waste stream after municipal solid waste.  Illinois has over 100 coal ash ponds and mine-fills that leach toxic chemicals to groundwater, lakes and rivers, where pollution can spread, polluting drinking water supplies and threatening fish and wildlife.

Living near coal ash impoundments increases risk to serious medical problems, such as:

  • Birth defects
  • Neurological damage
  • Reproductive issues
  • Tumors and cancer

According to the U.S. EPA, your chance of getting cancer from water contaminated by coal ash is 1 in 50!

havana-ash-ponds-aerial_sa1 Aerial Photograph (Google) – Havanna Ash Ponds

Residents throughout Illinois depend on clean rivers and groundwater—yet our water resources are at risk as facilities continue to dump and leach millions of gallons daily of toxic coal ash waste.  In Illinois:

  • Over 4.4 million tons of coal ash are produced in Illinois each year and are stored in wet coal ash pits at 24 power plant sites.
  • Only 37% of Illinois coal ash ponds are lined.
  • Coal ash contaminants have been found in groundwater at every single coal-fired power plant site in Illinois!

Testify on Rules to Regulate Coal Ash Pits at Illinois Power Plants
The Illinois EPA has proposed rules to the Illinois Pollution Control Board (IPCB) to address coal ash pits at power plant sites.  The proposed rules are a good start but they need to be improved.

We need YOU to come testify and tell IPCB members how important it is to you that they adopt strong rules.

  • The first hearings on the proposed rules will be in Springfield on Feb. 26 and 27.  The public comment session will be held at 10 am on Wed. Feb. 26, at Illinois EPA, 1021 N. Grand Ave, Springfield IL
  • The second set of hearings will be held in Chicago on May 14 and 15 at James R. Thompson Center, 100 W. Randolph St., Chicago IL

Let us know which hearing(s) you plan to attend.  Just fill in your information on this easy sign-up form:

Optional Written Comments
If you can’t make a hearing, there are two options for submitting comments to the IPCB:

  • You can mail in a personal comment to: John Therriault, Clerk of the Illinois Pollution Control Board, 100 W Randolph, Suite 11-500, Chicago IL 60601. Be sure to include a subject line: R2014-R10 Coal Ash Ponds.

Fact Sheets and Talking Points
Here are fact sheets for selected coal ash pits in Illinois, along with a general overview and talking points highlighting the hazards of coal ash.

Need Help?
Feel free to contact any of the following to help you with your testimony:

Opportunities to better protect oursevles from coal ash pollution in Illinois don’t happen often.  Please participate in the process.

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