PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION to include your name on our letter to decision makers concerning coal ash. Click here to sign the petition.
Dear decision maker:
As a state leader, you must put the people of Alabama first by requiring electric utility companies to dig up coal ash from unlined pits and move it away from groundwater, delicate ecosystems, and local communities.
There are over twenty coal ash pits across Alabama in nearly every corner of the state. Alabama’s electric utilities—Alabama Power, PowerSouth, and Tennessee Valley Authority—store an aggregate of well over 100 million cubic yards of unlined coal ash at their various power plants.
According to the utilities’ own reports, ADEM findings, and multiple national and state publications, each of the seven eligible power plants tested positive for groundwater contamination, including pollutants like arsenic, beryllium, boron, cobalt, lithium, and molybdenum. At some of these sites, the groundwater contains 50-100 times the safe level of pollution. This contamination, which is happening in communities that could be using groundwater for drinking water and private wells, has to come to an end.
Federal law currently requires our utility companies to (1) dewater these coal ash pits and (2) permanently close them. While these are good steps, they still leave the people of Alabama firmly in harm’s way. Dewatering must be done responsibly—with appropriate oversight, transparency, and up-to-date permits.
Most importantly, the utilities must dig up and move coal ash to lined landfills away from rivers, streams, and vulnerable communities. Each utility is currently planning to do nothing more than put a cap over the pits and close them in place. Coal ash should not be left dangerously close to groundwater tables, as it is currently, nor should it be sent to local communities unprepared to deal with such toxic waste. Instead, the utilities should excavate the coal ash, safely store it, and monitor it in perpetuity.
It is essential that the citizens of Alabama are free from coal ash spills and contamination. Alabama should be a leader when it comes to the safety of its people, but we are trailing behind our sister states in the Southeast that are requiring full excavation and removal.
As a concerned Alabamian, I urge you to protect our safety and way of life by using your influence to require proper removal and storage of coal ash.