Monday, May 17, 2010

Coal ash disposal

Companies that operate coal-fired power plants along the Ohio River and elsewhere are looking at two proposed guidelines issued by the EPA last week regarding coal ash ponds and the disposal of solid material left from burning coal. Details are in the Columbus Dispatch.

If I were still a newspaper writer, I'd love to be all over this story, considering how many coal-fired plants are within a 90-minute drive of where I live near Huntington, W.Va. When most people think of burning coal, they think of those big, tall smokestacks. They don't see the big ash ponds or the huge landfills that take the sludge left over from the machinery that controls air pollution. What doesn't go into the air goes into a landfill, not counting the ash that is used in building materials.