For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 

Jared Saylor, Earthjustice (202) 667-4500 ext. 213
Maggie Kao, Sierra Club (202) 675-2384

Groups Call on Senate to Prevent Another Toxic Coal Ash Spill

TV ads in Wisc., Mich. and Va. highlight threat of coal ash after Great Lakes spill

Earthjustice and Sierra Club launched a television ad campaign in three states urging Senators to reject legislation that prevents the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating toxic coal ash. The ads are launching on the heels of a toxic coal ash spill into Lake Michigan, and are airing in Wisc., Mich. and Va. All three states have been plagued by toxic coal ash contamination onto their land and into drinking water sources. The bill, which was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, is before the Senate now.
The 30-second spots take a humorous look at a very serious problem. Coal ash contains dangerous pollutants such as lead, arsenic, mercury, hexavalent chromium, selenium and much more. Though the EPA reports that drinking water contaminated with arsenic from a coal ash site increases cancer risk to 1 in 50 – 2,000 times greater than acceptable risk levels – there are still no federally enforceable standards to protect nearby communities from this toxic menace.
View the Wisconsin ad here:
View the Michigan ad here:
View the Virginia ad here:
“A vote against this dangerous Senate legislation is a vote to protect public health and our environment,” said Martin Hayden, vice president of policy and legislation for Earthjustice.  “This bill creates fewer safeguards to protect people from toxic coal ash than currently exist for a banana peel in the town dump. It passes on tackling the national problem of coal ash contamination, thus threatening human lives, irreparably harming our drinking water and ensuring that future generations have an even larger mess to clean up. The only right vote is one that would kill this legislation and stop it from passage. We are calling on our senators to vote for the people, not for the polluting industries. We do not need another disaster to show us the very real threat of coal ash.”
“This spill in the Great Lakes is a tragic reminder of why the status quo is not good enough,” said Mary Anne Hitt, Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign director. “As long as politicians interfere, spills like this are going to happen, communities across the country are at risk. Congress needs to back off and allow the EPA to finalize strong protections and the Senate should stop their work to block the EPA from protecting Americans from toxic coal ash.”

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