Greenpeace image: coal ash in China
Today, our colleagues at Greenpeace China released a report and photo essay documenting the coal ash problem across their country. Their findings are strikingly familiar. Coal ash ponds there leach toxic material into the water supply just as they do in the US. Coal ash used in building materials there breaks down and threatens to enter people’s bodies just as it does in our homes. Coal ash is comprised of dangerous chemical compounds in China, just like it is here. And as in the US, the Chinese government has failed to effectively regulate this massive threat to the public’s health and safety.
I hope you’ll spend a few minutes with their report — and please take a look at the images below, our selections from the photo essay. We need a global energy revolution that solves the coal ash problem — and all of the many impacts of fossil fuels — once and for all.
Also, please join me in calling on our government to do the right thing and regulate coal ash for the hazardous substance it is.
Above: 07/11/2010. Emissions and wastewater from the state-owned Xuanwei Power Station in Xuanwei, Yunnan province, have greatly damaged local people’s health. High concentrations of nitrates in the water have been linked to high incidences of cancer in the area. The power plant’s coal ash disposal site is in Hongqiaopu village, about 3km away. The road between is heavily trafficked with huge trucks carrying coal ash to the dump, at a rate of about two to three trucks per every 10 minutes. The workers have absolutely no protective gear, leaving them in close contact with the hazardous fine particles of coal ash for long hours every day. The impact on their health is huge. © Simon Lim / Greenpeace