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Letter to Editor, Coal Ash Disposal October 2016

I was encouraged to learn that the coal ash disposal issue is being discussed by our colleagues and local officials.

However, itís important that more details are added to any recommended actions if our water resources are to be adequately protected against toxic contamination caused by coal ash disposal.

On behalf of the Center for a Sustainable Coast, earlier this year I urged EPD to adopt five specific provisions that would help protect our water resources and public health against the threat of coal ash pollution. Several of these are outlined below.
  • Require that any proposal to dispose coal ash must demonstrate that the disposal location is the closest legally eligible site to the source of the coal ash. That will reduce contamination caused in transporting toxic ash.

  • Improve requirements for siting landfills where toxic materials can be disposed. As evident by the landfills in question in Wayne and Charlton counties, current standards are deficient by allowing landfills too close to water supplies and wetlands. Landfill linings are notorious for leaking, and leaks are much riskier when water sources and wetlands are nearby.

  • Monitoring wells to check for leaks should include horizontal drilling to enable testing beneath landfill sites, not just around them.

It should also be noted that my organization co-founded and administers a Coal Ash Legal Fund which is being used to oppose the dangerous disposal of ash at the Broadhurst landfill near Jesup. Tax deductible donations for protecting our coast can be made at www.noashatall.org.

David Kyler, Executive Director
The Center for a Sustainable Coast
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