Alabama Rivers Alliance, Black Warrior Riverkeeper, Coosa Riverkeeper, GASP, Mobile Baykeeper, Sierra Club Mobile Bay Group, Southern Environmental Law Center
We are a united front of environmental groups in Alabama working to responsibly remove coal ash from the sides of our waterways.To stay updated on this urgent issue, please follow one or all of your Alabama water groups:
Coal Ash in Alabama
Coal ash is a toxic byproduct of coal-burning power plants. Across Alabama, there are more than 116 million tons of toxic coal ash in unlined pits next our waterways at nine different sites with over 50 groundwater violations. Alabama Power, TVA and PowerSouth own these unlined pits, and they are polluting our rivers and reservoirs.
The utilities’ own data shows that heavy metals are leaking into ground and surface waters. These contaminants, such as arsenic, radium, mercury, chromium and others, threaten water quality and wildlife, and constitute illegal contamination of state waters.
Every utility in Alabama plans leave these pits in place. Their plans consist of “capping” the coal ash in unlined pits, often in or very near groundwater. Leaving ash in place does not stop or clean up pollution. For example, Alabama Power has already capped their Plant Gadsden coal ash pit, but the pit continues to pollute groundwater.
These coal ash pits threaten our waters, and we should not continually live with a threat created by the utilities when there is already a proven solution.
Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee utilities are removing some or all of their coal ash to upland, lined landfills. We need Alabama to do the same. To learn more, please visit our website.