Sunday, August 23, 2009

Battling Polluting Waste Coal Plants In Western Pennsylvania

Politicians at the state and local level in Pennsylvania believe the residents should roll over and play dead when companies push for waste coal power plants. Some politicians take it for granted that we already have. However, waste coal power plants increase the amount of fly ash and other particulates in the air and the amount of mercury and arsenic the water. We, the people, must care about what happens to the environment, to the air we breathe and the water we drink. People living in Pennsylvania need to paraphrase John Paul Jones and need to constantly remind our elected and appointed officials...

We Have Not Begun to Fight:

Battling Polluting Waste Coal Plants In Western Pennsylvania

Many years of mining in Pennsylvania created large areas of waste coal, called gob piles. This is the Beech Hollow gob pile, just outside of McDonald, as seen from the western side (photo taken winter 2008):

Beech Hollow Gob Pile taken from the western side, 2/3/08

Here's what the Beech Hollow gob pile looks like from space, courtesy of Google Earth (photo taken late summer 2005):

Beech Hollow Gob Pile, taken from space, 8/05

The large glob of gray to the west of 980 (Robinson Highway) is the largest gob pile east of the Mississippi. It's in our backyard. Granted, it's an ugly mess, but in its current state, it isn't adding to the particulate problem in Southwestern Pennsylvania. However, if you live in places like North Fayette Towship, Oakdale, Carnegie, and Mount Lebanon, you live downwind of a proposed coal waste power plant for Beech Hollow, that will make electricity from the waste coal in this gob pile while spewing fly ash into the air.

For many years, Pittsburgh has been at or near the top of cities with the most particulate-polluted air. Yet our local politicians are giving permission for a waste coal power plant to be built just west of the area? This type of plant will only make a bad air quality situation worse, as anyone with asthma or other lung problems in our region already knows.

If you live in the Pittsburgh area, especially in the western and southern suburbs, you should be mad as hell and let your local officials know that you aren't going to take it.

To learn more about this proposed waste coal power plant, attend a public meeting in Mount Lebanon on Thursday, August 27, 7:30pm at the Mt. Lebanon Public Library.

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