A new study on the dangerous levels of toxic chemicals that nearly all U.S. coal plants are leaving in nearby groundwater should serve as “a wake-up call for the nation.”
That’s according to the environmental law non-profit Earthjustice, which worked with the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) to analyze the coal industry’s own data on the toxins its companies are polluting groundwater with, finding that out of 265 coal plants that monitor their surrounding areas, 242 reported unsafe levels of chemicals including arsenic, lithium, and cadmium.
The results of the study reveal that about nine out of 10 coal plants in the U.S. are endangering Americans by dumping coal ash into unlined pits, allowing chemicals to seep into groundwater.
“The pollution is basically everywhere you look,” Abel Russ, at attorney at the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP), told the Guardian.
Some of worst offenders, according to the study, include the San Miguel power plant near San Antonio, where unsafe levels of the neurotoxin lithium and cadmium, a carcinogen, were found; Duke Energy in North Carolina where thyroid-damaging cobalt was detected; and the Jim Bridger power plant in West Virginia, where the toxic chemical selenium was found.
“This national report reconfirms what we already know about coal ash—every facility in the state is leaching huge amounts of dangerous heavy metals and other pollutants into our groundwater,” said Curt Chaffin, head of the Alabama Rivers Alliance, in a statement.
SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT