The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Dumping on Us

Sep 14, 2009

Constellation Energy, parent company of BGE, needs to dispose of thousands of tons of coal ash residue from its power plants every year. Current plans to dump some of the coal ash at Hawkins Point, south of Baltimore, are raising protests from nearby residents.

Coal ash, which comes from coal-burning power plants, is filled with such toxic metals as arsenic, mercury, cadmium and beryllium. It is even somewhat radioactive. The danger is that these toxins can pollute the water table and air. Last December thousands of tons of coal ash escaped a dump in Tennessee. Some one billion gallons of sludge covered the nearby area, some going into three nearby rivers, some overrunning a few houses.

It’s not surprising that neighbors don’t want coal ash dumped near them. But they shouldn’t expect the government or the EPA to help them out. The EPA has not issued a ruling about the dangers of coal ash. In NINE years, it has made no decision, announced no regulations on this waste product from power plants.