Image Description: NRG Waukegan Generating Station
What is Coal Ash?
Coal ash is a waste byproduct of burning coal and contains toxic metals that cause severe, long term health problems for communities located near coal-burning facilities. Coal ash is stored on-site at in "coal ash ponds" where the coal ash is mixed with water. Because nearly all coal ash ponds exist near sources of freshwater such as rivers and lakes, it is dangerously easy for coal ash pollutants to seep into the groundwater and contaminate vital water sources.
What's the Problem?
Safe closure of coal ash impoundments is critically important to protecting the health of communities who live around these coal ash sites. In Illinois, clean-up of contaminated land and water is a major issue in Illinois. The Coal Ash Pollution Prevention Act, passed last year, set up a rulemaking process for the development of regulations for coal ash sites, but it doesn’t guarantee that these rules will be strong. We need your voice to take action so that strong safegaurds can be put in place to prevent further pollution AND hold companies accountable to clean up water that has already been contaminated.
Sign Up for Public Comment
The Illinois Pollution Control Board is developing rules to regulate coal ash and is holding a hearing. The hearings will be September 29th, 30th, and October 1st starting at 9am each day. The public comment periods will be Sept. 30th at noon and Oct. 1st at 5:30pm online via webex or by phone. Sign up below to share how coal ash has impacted you and your community.
Read Previous Testimonies
Need more preparation before speaking out against coal ash? No worries! We have some talking points provided by our friends at the Prairie Rivers Network for you to draw from in order to create your own comments to speak out against the harms of coal ash.
You can tell the Illinois Pollution Control Board about the risks of coal ash near you, and what protections would be best to make sure your communities and the environment are safe.