Report: North Carolina leads nation in toxic ash waste pits

Raleigh News & ObserverFebruary 24, 2010 

North Carolina leads the nation in the number of toxic ash waste pits at coal-burning power plants, according to a new report by a coalition of environmental groups.

The state is home to at least six coal ash pits that store dangerous levels of arsenic, lead, mercury and other toxins, according to the report issued today by Earthjustice and Environmental Integrity Project. Only Pennsylvania has as many sites with dangerous accumulations of waste from coal-burning power plants, the report said.

The groups are urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to step up enforcement at the sites, which have operated for decades out of public eye until a massive spill in December 2008 released tons of toxic sludge in Tennessee.

"The EPA has never gone out and actively investigate these sites," said Jeff Stant, director of the Coal Combustion Waste Initiative at the Environmental Integrity Project. "The delay is unconscionable when there's this much data showing this much damage."

Read the complete story at

McClatchy Washington Bureau is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service