Name: Traci B Photo Added: 08/05/2011 1:55 pm Location: Champaign, IL USA
Illinois is second in the nation in the number of coal ash contamination sites due to improper disposal. Here are a few choice excerpts taken from interviews with Illinois residents impacted by coal ash. “A gentleman living in Douglas County near a site where fly ash is being used to ‘reclaim’ an abandoned mine impoundment has reported coal ash contamination of air and water to the Illinois EPA several times with no response. He has witnessed coal ash clouds so thick cars have had to stop on the road. A recent visit to the site for stream sampling revealed that there had been a recent mussel kill in the stream just ½ mile downstream of the dump; every fingernail clam seen was open and dead. Fly ash coated the surface of the stream and banks. The long-term “reclamation” plan is to fill the impoundment with 500,000 tons of ash. Several households are downgradient of the UNLINED coal ash dump site and draw their water from shallow wells. Many of these residents are experiencing various health problems and are beginning to wonder if they might have polluted drinking water.” “An elderly woman living near the Ameren Hutsonville Power Station in the southeastern part of Illinois signed away not only her groundwater rights, but also the future rights for anyone wanting to purchase her home and farm in years to come. The price? ONE DOLLAR, because this woman didn’t know she had an option. This was due to the fact that Ameren became aware that one of their coal ash impoundments had been leaking for years and had contaminated groundwater under her property. Their solution was to buy the groundwater rights to prevent future legal problems and then apply for a permit to pump the groundwater to keep it from moving further offsite.