Post Carbon Institute, Sierra Club, OVEC and AlterNet have partnered to show us what’s at stake in the fight against coal with a powerful slideshow of recent coal disasters (including the Freedom Industries chemical spill, the Duke Energy ash spill and Tuesday’s slurry spill in West Virginia), mountaintop removal mining, and more. Every image in the photo essay is linked to three meaningful actions that you can take right now to fight back against dirty coal and help protect those effected by coal disasters. We need your help getting the word out; please take a look at the images, take a stand with those effected by the recent spills, and share far and wide.
Thanks to an investigation by our allies at the Waterkeeper Alliance, the DENR is telling residents along the Dan River to "avoid prolonged direct contact" with water from the river as levels of the toxic metal arsenic are at some points more than four times higher than levels deemed safe for human contact. This warning comes days after the same agency said the water was safe — eerily similar to the way events unfolded in West Virginia.
The response of state and federal agencies to both of these crises is unacceptable. It took the EPA nearly a month to respond publicly to the water crisis in West Virginia, and in North Carolina, the DENR only admitted to dangerous levels of arsenic in the river after concerned citizens did testing of their own.
From corporate mishandling to federal inaction, the depressing fact is that those under the gun from coal pollution still don’t have much recourse to protect their homes, their safety, or their water.
Many more coal pollution time bombs are ticking on our waterways nationwide, and states are clearly not able to prevent these disasters, nor to respond in time. It’s time to ensure that everyone has the security to expect clean water free from the threat of pollution from coal in any of its forms.