Sarah Erickson from Pekin, Illinois, has it right in her letter to the editor posted in the Pekin Daily Times:
“At every coal plant tested in Illinois, the ash contaminants are found in the groundwater. Every single one. The toxicity is not up for debate; this is based on real consequences of what happens to life when exposed to these chemicals.”
The Illinois Pollution Control Board is revising its rules proposed to regulate coal ash based on testimony received from the public and expert witnesses in Chicago this past week and in Springfield in February, 2014.
It’s not too late to submit written comments to the Illinois Pollution Control Board! Just click here to Just click here to access Sierra Club’s easy contact form. Rules will be brought back for public review in October, 2014.
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Letter to the Editor
Pekin Daily Times
Posted May. 20, 2014 @ 9:12 pmTo the editor:
I live dangerously close to two coal fired power plants, and if you’re reading this you probably do, too. The toxicity is alarming. Tumors, cancer, reproductive issues, neurological damage, birth defects are all linked to communities that live near coal ash — the toxic byproduct left over after coal is burned. This coal ash is stored in unlined pits right next to the Illinois River — where our families both recreate and get our drinking water.
At every coal plant tested in Illinois, the ash contaminants are found in the groundwater. Every single one. The toxicity is not up for debate; this is based on real consequences of what happens to life when exposed to these chemicals.
This winter, a major coal ash spill on the Dan River in North Carolina dumped 39,000 tons of toxic coal ash sludge and 24 million gallons of contaminated water into the Dan River. Contamination has been measured as far as 70 miles downstream and estimates are that it might take two years to restore the river.
Currently, the Illinois Pollution Control Board is considering regulations that would impact how coal ash is cleaned up in communities like Peoria and Pekin. However, these regulations do not go far enough and must be strengthened to protect our communities’ drinking water supply, as well as our County’s budget. Legislators, please help us promote healthy community with your leadership, and think about the citizens’ needs instead of those of the corporation. Stand up for strong coal ash regulations.
It’s time to move your ash, Illinois!