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Alabama currently has nine operating coal-fired power plants and approximately 45 coal ash ponds, according to Mitch Reid, program director for the Alabama Rivers Alliance, which tracks coal ash in the state. Six of those are operated by Alabama Power.
There are coal ash ponds along the Tennessee, Black Warrior, Coosa and Mobile rivers, discharging into waterways that serve as popular fishing and swimming locations and also contain intakes for drinking water treatment plants. Photos in the gallery above show coal ash ponds and their discharges into the waterways.
“All of these are sitting either right on top of, or virtually in, our rivers,” Reid said. “It’s past time to get this kind of stuff off the rivers.”