Rural county asks EPA chief not to make it ‘The Ash Hole of Alabama’
The Environmental Protection Agency is still figuring out what to do with the millions of tons of coal ash that spilled through a broken
levy levee in eastern Tennessee last December. But it looks like much of it may be shipped to Perry County in central Alabama, where residents are none too excited about the prospect of their county becoming “The New Ash Hole of Alabama.”
Alabama activist Betsy Ramaccia, dressed in a haz-mat suit, handed out fake newspapers with that slogan at a Tennessee Valley Authority meeting in Tennessee last month. And the Web site www.ashholes.org has a simple, direct, and powerful video of Perry County residents asking EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to protect them from the toxic elements in fly ash, a byproduct of coal-fired electricity plants.
“It’s an environmental injustice and it’s social injustice,” Ramaccia told WVLT about shipping the waste to Alabama. “We’re concerned about a new group of citizens about to be affected by this ash spill.”
Perry County is 69% African-American, and more than 32% of its population lives in poverty, Sue Sturgis reports. She wrote that earlier plans to ship the ash to Pennsylvania were nixed because of worries it would contaminate groundwater.
(Hat tip to Ramaccia for pointing us toward the videos.)