SouthWings reports on Perry County
Featured Issue: Coal Ash
photo: Glynn Wilson
SouthWings has conducted six flights so far in 2010 on the issue of coal ash disposal in Perry Couny, AL. The ash originated from the TVA Kingston, TN environmental disaster in December 2008. At that time, over a billion gallons of coal ash stored near the TVA powerplant flooded into the local community after the earthen dam holding the material failed.
In 2009 a decision was made to ship the coal ash waste to Perry County, AL for disposal. John Wathen of the Friends of Hurricane Creek has been keeping a watchful eye on the impacts of this decision and diligently keeping the public informed about what is happening, particularly the environmental justice issues associated with this matter. The CBS coverage above was from his SouthWings flight on February 3. He has also flown with CNN. On March 1 he flew with a contingency from the Alabama Rivers Alliance that resulted in this story in the Locust Fork News Journal. To see pictures from John Wathen's coal ash flights, click on the links below:
Alabama Rivers Alliance Flights, 3.1.10
CNN Flight, 2.7.10
CBS Flight, 2.3.10
Flight Participants from the Alabama Rivers Alliance. Photo: Will Callaway.
Flight Participants from the Alabama Rivers Alliance. Photo: Will Callaway
Coal ash is created as a byproduct from burning coal to create electricity. The catastrophe in Kingston, TN has created unanswered questions about the safety of the material. Much attention has been brought to the EPA looking for guidance on the proper disposal of the waste. That guidiance was promised last year but has not yet been released.
On February 8, SouthWings flew with world-renowned photographer, J. Henry Fair to photograph coal ash ponds in North Carolina, where some of them are considered high hazard by the EPA primarily due to proximity to communities. View his pictures here.
Please educate yourself about this issue and participate in the public process to establish safe guidelines for the regulation and disposal of coal ash waste. Please join us in helping to create a sustainable future by considering where your electricity comes from, how you use it and if you can reduce your consumption.
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