Sat. Sep 23rd, 2023
    Residents Concerned About Alabama Power Company’s Plan to Bury Coal Ash

    Residents of Mobile Bay are expressing their concerns over Alabama Power Company’s proposal to bury 21 million tons of coal ash at the Barry Steam Plant and other facilities across Alabama. Their worries are compounded by the distance they would have to travel to voice their views at a public hearing scheduled by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Montgomery.

    The Alabama Department of Environmental Management’s (ADEM) statewide coal ash storage plan encompasses power-generating facilities throughout the state, not just the Barry Steam Plant. As a result, the public hearing will take place at the Embassy Suites in Montgomery from 9 a.m to 6 p.m. Unfortunately, this location is more than a two-hour drive away from Mobile Bay.

    According to EPA spokesperson James Pinkney, no in-person public hearings are planned for Mobile. However, an online public hearing is still scheduled to take place on Wednesday, September 27 at 8 a.m.

    Coal ash, also known as fly ash, is a byproduct of burning coal for electricity generation. It contains a variety of harmful substances, including heavy metals like arsenic, lead, and mercury. When not properly managed, coal ash can contaminate nearby water sources and pose serious health risks to humans and wildlife.

    The concerns raised by Mobile Bay residents highlight the need for a transparent and inclusive decision-making process when it comes to coal ash storage and management. The inclusion of online public hearings is a positive step towards allowing broader participation from concerned citizens who may not be able to attend in-person hearings.

    It is crucial that the EPA and ADEM carefully consider the concerns voiced by residents regarding the potential environmental and health impacts of burying such a large amount of coal ash. Public input should be taken seriously in order to develop a comprehensive and responsible plan for coal ash storage that protects the well-being of communities across Alabama.

    – Alabama Power Company
    – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)