Alabama Power’s Plant Barry is truly a disaster waiting to happen (re: “Tick, tick, ticking in the Delta,” Damn the Torpedoes, Feb. 6 issue). Rather than excavate its huge poison pond, the company now plans to leave 21 million tons of coal ash sitting only 200 feet from the Mobile River in an unlined pit. Seems their previous plans to excavate changed after the presidential election.
If rainfall in our area becomes heavier than expected, the earthen dam holding back wet coal ash in the pond will surely be breached. Mobile River will then carry the worst contaminants imaginable into Mobile Bay. Are we willing to risk that happening?
The reckless attitude among energy executives is partly to blame for this threatening condition. For example, Gary Smith (CEO of PowerSouth Energy Coop) disparages “new environmentalists” in the current issue of Alabama Living magazine (circ. 420,000). His article was inspired by Tucker Carlson, a Fox News host. Enough said.
Who among us is ready to deal with the kind of disaster that happened in Kingston, where 525 million gallons of coal ash spilled into the Tennessee River? Or in North Carolina, where a Duke Energy pond spilled 39,000 tons of ash into the Dan River? Years later, hundreds of people are still dying from those disasters. Yes, groundwater supplies about half the U.S. population, so the effects are not temporary.
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