If you're drinking a glass of water, you might want to put it down before you read this post.
Burning coal for electricity produces ash and sludge full of arsenic, boron, cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury, and selenium. Where do you think it all goes?
That's right -- the same power plants that are causing asthma with their soot and wrecking our climate with their carbon are also dumping tons of toxins into our waters. And without federal rules to stop them, those plants would keep on sending toxic sludge into rivers and streams, where it threatens swimmers and boaters, poisons wildlife, and wrecks ecosystems.
Power plants produce more toxic waste than any other industry in the United States, including the chemical, plastic, and paint manufacturing industries. They spew millions of pounds of pollutants into our waters every year -- toxins that are dangerous even in very low concentrations.Your drinking water is safe because we do a great job of filtering and cleaning, but our wildlife and ecosystems aren't so lucky.
The problem's only getting worse as coal plants get older and dirtier. The EPA estimates that the amount of toxic wastewater from these plants is going to increase 28% over the next 15 years. That means more heavy metals and more toxic sludge in our waters -- more contaminated rivers, more unhealthy streams, more poisoned wildlife.
Every step we take toward clean air and water helps keep our communities and our environment healthy... and it also takes us one step closer to the clean-energy future where our nation finally realizes that coal's real cost -- in climate destruction, toxic water, and poison air -- is simply too high.
Thanks for everything you do to protect the environment.