Coal Combustion creates Piles of Problems: Beyond the Light Switch: What to do about coal ash? By David Biello
The aftermath of burning a mountain of coal isn't pretty. It's not just the ash itself; it's also the toxic elements that have been purified by fire out of the "fossilized sunshine." The "Christmas coal ash spill" near Kingston, Tenn., on December 22, 2008, was the largest such disaster in U.S. history and covered more than a square kilometer of land before the roughly 4 billion liters of slurry ended up in the Emory and Clinch rivers. Those stretches of river effectively died and recent surveys have found arsenic and other contaminants at high levels in the water and in the rivers sediment 18 months later..."