The Moapa River Indian Reservation is right next to the Reid Gardner Power Station and its coal ash storage ponds. Winds blow the coal ash — a waste product that contains arsenic, lead, and mercury — over the reservation. Residents stay indoors, because it's a like a sandstorm and they can taste the ash in their months. Even so, they have health issues like asthma and thyroid dysfunction, conditions that have been linked to coal ash.
As Earthjustice points out in the video, coal ash is the second largest waste stream in American but is little-regulated — less than curbside trash. That totally makes sense. If this video isn't depressing enough for you, Earthjustice has an interactive report on this situation at the reservation.
Get Grist in your inbox