New Customizable Coal Ash Reports Highlight the Danger in Our Back Yards

Guest Blog | November 6, 2014 | Coal, Energy Policy
Today, as EPA’s deadline to finalize coal ash rules rapidly approaches, SACE unveiled a new tool to help concerned citizens, activists, policymakers, and reporters better understand the potential hazards of toxic coal ash waste throughout our region on our interactive coal ash website

The new Create-Your-Own Coal Ash Report feature on our website analyzes detailed data from more than 450 coal ash storage ponds (impoundments) across the region to generate custom reports based on the coal plants, states, and/or utilities that users select. Visit the report portal page to create your own report at!

Enough coal ash poured into the Dan River to fill 20 to 32 Olympic-sized swimming pools with toxic waste. Source: Appalachian Voices

Our region is extremely vulnerable to pollution and catastrophic dam failures from coal ash impoundments, as we are home to 40% of the nation’s coal ash impoundments and a disproportionate number of those rated by the EPA as posing serious threats to nearby communities and infrastructure. The Southeast also has the dubious distinction of being host to enough coal ash to cover 275,000 football fields a foot deep. As we were sadly reminded in February, 2014 by the Dan River coal ash disaster (right), coal ash impoundments pose serious threats to our communities and waterways.

As more people learn about these dangerous sites in their own back yards, we hope they will call on utilities and decision makers to clean up these dangerous dumpsites and prevent the next coal ash spill – starting by telling EPA to finalize the strongest possible coal ash rules on time on December 19.

The report tool offers yet another way for the public to learn more and share information about dangerous coal ash impoundments that threaten water quality and public health. Each discrete piece of information accessible for inclusion in a report is optional. Users can select one power plant or all from a state or utility or the entire region. The executive summary, maps, and appendix are all also optional to enable users to design the report exactly as they see fit. was uniquely designed to pull up-to-date information from the database that feeds the Details Pages of the main website to ensure no gaps or discrepancies in information as we regularly update and maintain data.

Please use this new tool, spread the word, and let us know what you think!

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