Coal ash facts

Each year, power companies generate some 130 million tons of coal ash — enough to fill one million railroad cars. While much of it gets recycled into concrete or wallboard, more than 70 million tons of ash annually are dumped in lagoons, landfills, and more recently, mine pits. Today there are hundreds of landfills and ponds containing coal ash in almost every state. The material often contains toxic chemicals such as arsenic, chromium, lead and mercury, which can wreak havoc on the environment and on public health. Argument over the EPA’s potential role in regulating the waste has flared for 28 years. Read more here.