Coal Ash Stories / Forum

 CoalAshStories

Coal Ash Stories – Public Forum
June 29, 2015, 7pm to 8:30pm

Wellington Avenue United Church of Christ
615 W. Wellington Avenue, Chicago (Lakeview Neighborhood)

Organized by Eco-Justice Collaborative
Co-Sponsored by Citizens Against Ruining the Environment; the Illinois Chapter of the Sierra Club; Prairie Rivers Network; Wellington Avenue United Church of Christ; and Working Films

What must it be like when coal ash contaminates your community? Can you imagine how it would be if you were unable to drink your own water, take a bath, fish or farm without worrying about long-term health effects?

Learn about the issue on July 29 and find out what you can do to help prevent the unraveling of newly adopted federal regulations AND to ensure that Illinois adopts the strongest rules possible to protect our residents!

BACKGROUND

This June, Eco-Justice Collaborative is partnering with organizations across Illinois to launch Coal Ash Stories, a statewide screening tour featuring four short documentary films focused on coal ash. Illinois’ coal-fired power plants generate more than 4.4 million tons of coal ash waste each year.

Coal ash is the toxic by-product that is left over after coal is burned. It contains toxic heavy metals such as arsenic, lead, selenium and other health-threatening substances. Coal Ash Stories expose the environmental injustice, public health concerns, related policy,and community responses to current methods of disposing of this hazardous waste.

The four films featured in Coal Ash Stories are An Ill Wind, At What Cost?, Coal Ash Chronicles, and Downwind and Downstream. A fifth film, Waiting for Disaster – Coal Ash on the Middle Fork of the Vermilion River, prepared by Eco-Justice Collaborative, highlights the leaking and potential breaching of Dynegy’s coal ash ponds along the state’s only National Scenic River.

Collectively, these films paint a grim picture of what life looks like when coal ash contaminates a community. People are unable to drink their own water, take a bath, fish, or farm without worrying about long-term health effects. Similar fears are felt by communities located near coal-fired power plants in Illinois, including Waukegan; Chicago’s Little Village Neighborhood; and Joliet.

Each event pairs the films with a discussion led by those who have worked on, and are impacted by the issue in Illinois. The June 29 screening in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood features Rhiannon Fionn, journalist and filmmaker, Coal Ash Chronicles; and Cindy Skrukrud PhD,Clean Water Advocate, Illinois Chapter, Sierra Club

Currently, Illinois is working on a state rule on how to address the over 90 coal ash waste sites in the state. Most of the ponds are unlined and were built in floodplains; on top of mines; and near rivers and lakes. where they threaten Illinois’ water supply. In fact, water contamination has been found at every site tested.

The health of residents in our community and in many communities throughout Illinois is at risk due to leaking coal ash disposal facilities. Now is the time for the people of Illinois to call on the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to enact strong rules that will protect the quality of drinking water for everyone in the state”, said Ellen Rendulich, president of Citizens Against Ruining the Environment and a Lockport resident who lives within a mile of coal ash pits owned by NRG Energy.

CALL TO ACTION

Join us on June 29 at 7pm. Learn about what can be done to keep federal regulations adopted in December 2014 in place, and ensure that Illinois enacts strong rules that protect its residents.

Click here for Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/106661166338391/

Click here for information on the July 25, 7pm screening in Vermilion County!

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Events are being held in Alton, Chicago, Champaign (Vermilion County), Springfield, and Peoria.

The Illinois screening tour is co-presented by nineteen organizations including: Eco-Justice Collaborative, Prairie Rivers Network, Prairie Group of the Illinois Chapter Sierra Club, Students for Environmental Concerns, Metro East Green Alliance, Piasa Palisades Group of the Illinois Chapter Sierra Club, La Vista CSA, The Alton Cluster of United Congregations of Metro East, Wellington Avenue United Church of Christ, Citizens Against Ruining the Environment, Sangamon Valley Group of the Illinois Chapter Sierra Club, Central Illinois Healthy Community Alliance, Heart of Illinois Group of the Illinois Chapter Sierra Club, Global Warming Solutions Group of Central Illinois, League of Women Voters of Greater Peoria, Central Illinois Chapter of the Interfaith Alliance, Greater Peoria Progressive Democrats, Peoria Families Against Toxic Waste, and Working Films.

Schedule:

Vermilion County

Thursday, June 25th 7:00pm: Kickapoo Landing at Kickapoo State Park
1 Clear Pond, Oakwood, IL
Hosted by: Eco-Justice Collaborative, Prairie Rivers Network, Prairie Group of the Illinois Chapter Sierra Club, and Students for Environmental Concerns.

Alton

Saturday, June 27th 7:00pm: Riverbender Community Center
200 West 3rd Street, Alton, IL
Hosted by: Metro East Green Alliance, Piasa Palisades Group of the Illinois Chapter Sierra Club, La Vista CSA, and the Alton Cluster of United Congregations of Metro East

Chicago
Monday, June 29th 7:00pm: Wellington Avenue United Church of Christ
615 W. Wellington Avenue, Chicago, IL
Hosted by: Eco-Justice Collaborative, Citizens Against Ruining the Environment, Illinois Chapter Sierra Club, Prairie Rivers Network, and Wellington Avenue United Church of Christ

Springfield

Tuesday June 30th, 6:30pm: Lincoln Library
326 S 7th St. Springfield, IL
Hosted by: Sangamon Valley Group of the Illinois Chapter Sierra Club.

Peoria
Wednesday, July 1st, 7pm: Unitarian-Universalist Church
3000 W Richwoods Blvd. Peoria, IL
Hosted by: Central Illinois Healthy Community Alliance, Heart of Illinois Group of the Illinois Chapter of the Sierra Club, Global Warming Solutions Group of Central Illinois, League of Women Voters of Greater Peoria, Central Illinois Chapter of the Interfaith Alliance, Greater Peoria Progressive Democrats, and Peoria Families Against Toxic Waste.

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