Thursday, November 3, 2011

Coal Ash Spill Contaminates Lake Michigan, still No Plan for Clean-up

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We Energy’s Oak Creek coal-fired power plant on the shores of Lake Michigan suffered a bluff collapse that has now spilled massive, as yet undetermined, amounts of toxic coal ash into the lake. There is no known established plan for containment or clean-up, and the company says it has deployed a line of boom and has hired a contractor to plan and carry out the clean-up.

Last week, the House of Representatives voted to bar the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating coal ash spills, and the coal industry is now actively promoting the claim that toxic coal ash is in fact not harmful to the environment or to human health. As the Occupy Wall Street movement spreads, and the American people are increasingly demanding comprehensive economic, banking and political-process reform, there is mounting criticism that the Congress is not dealing with the pressing needs of the historical moment.