Archive for the ‘Coal’s Contribution to Water Probs.’ Category

2011 Indiana Senate Pro-Consumer Voting Records

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

Several bills are being voted-on right now.
SB72, eminent domain for CO2 pipelines,
SB71, hydrofracking, remains on 2nd reading in the Senate.
SB102, tracker bill, remains on 2nd reading in the Senate.

DUKE ENERGY is a large electric utility service for Indiana and has been in the news several times over the past few weeks for a range of issues: including Contractor says Duke took risks at plant and Utilities Back Bill to Cut Regulation and of course the newest report Dirty Energy’s Assault on Our Health: Mercury

Citizens Action Coalition’s fact sheet (below) is about Indiana General Assembly pro-consumer voting records thus far.  It is important to note that legislators need to know what YOU think.  Please take this opportunity to send them your views, whether it is through email, personal letter or a phone call.

A few things to remember when writing or speaking to your legislator:

1) Be SPECIFIC on what you want to happen or your view on an issue – short and concise
2) Be nice yet firmly held in your beliefs – respect will get you further than a personal attack
3) Ask for their stance on the issue and/or how they will vote – urge a response to your views
4) Personalize, let them know how their decisions in this matter will affect you, your family or business.
5) Tell them you are one of their constituents
6) Conclude your letter by urging the legislator to take action in support of your position and thank them for taking the time to consider your view.

***Do not forget your return address (or you are not considered a real person).


It says (at the bottom) that this information was collected by Follow the Money.  The campaign contributions are a total of contributions that the legislators accepted from Utility, Coal, Oil and Railroad Corporations

Millions of Dead Fish/Birds; First week in 2011

Friday, January 7th, 2011

The expression, “like a canary in a coal mine” was used to describe the alarm system for coal miners in the late 19th and early 20th century.  The small birds were brought down into the mines to be a zoological early warning to alert miners of toxic gases or fumes.  The canaries would choke and die earlier than people so the men knew they should take action!

Explanations of large scale bird and  fish deaths over the past 7 days are as follows: hail, lightening, heavy winds fireworks, disease, tornado, upper atmospheric disturbance, mass confusion, hit by something, bird government experiments, power lines, extreme temperatures (hot or cold), massive trauma, struck by a car or my personal favorite, the 2nd coming of Christ.  I think we should add chemicals to the list ~ Don’t you?  The experts may be overlooking several chemicals because they do not consider these chemicals to be deadly.  Why? Because the same chemicals are found in 90% of every man, woman and child in the USA.  One more thing, pollution and poison HAS been ruled out.  I believe that ruling out “pollution” is unwarranted and too early.

Fish Kill Aug. 2010

New Years Eve ~ between 3,000-5,000 dead red-winged black birds in Ozark, AR fell to earth.  The very next day, 125 miles away, 80,000-100,000 drum fish died on a 20 mile stretch of the Arkansas River.
I called the Army Core of Engineers (ACE) in Arkansas to find out if Beebe was downstream of Ozark – NO – Little Rock is downstream.  I asked if something like a chemical could have been spread by air carrying the winds southeast to Beebe and landing in the streams.  ACE stated, “It is unlikely because the fish are bottom feeders…it may be a disease. The birds dying at the same time is just a coincidence.”

The fish died on a 20 mile stretch on the Arkansas River near Ozark, AR and the 3-5,000 birds died just 125 miles south-east of Ozark in Beebe, AR.  Two days later, 300 miles due south, 500 red winged black birds die in Louisiana. Coincidence…but the deaths keep coming!

Jan. 4, 2011 ~ Now if that were not enough fowlness, Louisiana’s sky drops 500 blackbirds and starlings.

Jan. 4.  Mullet Ladyfish, Catfish found dead in the thousands; Port Orange, FL said to be largest fish kill seen there.

Jan 5, 2011 ~ Two million fish wash up on shore and is considered the biggest fish kill in Chesapeake Bay, MD since 1980.

Jan 7, 2010 ~Around 10,000 menhaden fish were found dead on the shores of Folly Beach, NC.

Jan. 7, 2011 ~Western Kentucky, hundreds of grackles, robins, starlings and blackbirds die mysteriously. 

Articles all over the world have been discussing their own wildlife deaths: Vietnam, Sweden, Brazil, Italy and New Zealand Brittan, have also had large fish/bird deaths in the past week. But we will stay focused on the good ‘ol USA.

The aflockalypse? Well, the scientific community does not believe in the unconventional scare tactics and neither does Save Maumee.  However this should be a warning to all.  Mass deaths of animals have always happened.  Most of these deaths have happened to large populations and have been getting lots of attention –  but slower mass extinction of thousands of species because of human activity is going ignored.  Remember, population in nature takes care of itself, (i.e. natural selection & survival of the fittest) but this law of nature goes for the human race as well.

This all seems reminiscent of a book written by Rachel Carson called Silent Spring~ Please Read IT.  Aldrin, Dieldrin, Heptachlor and DDT or the overall term “chlorinated hydrocarbons” and a second group of insecticides, “organic phosphates” are among the most poisonous chemicals in the world. They wreaked havoc on the natural environment in the 40’s and 50’s.  As early as 1950 the FDA declared “it is “extremely likely the potential hazard of DDT has been underestimated”  By the way, ALL these chemicals were spread indiscriminately across the landscape of the USA for years before the disastrous effects were discovered.

What types of things do these chemical concoctions produce? mutagens, agents capable of modifying genes (the material for heredity) paralysis, internal bleeding, instantaneous death, widespread cancer…and many more side effects chemicals can travel in groundwater, surface water, up tubules of plants that we eat, reside on fruit and remains in soil.

Connect the dots together for yourself and take action lovely people of Earth.  I know that our planet is does not start with a capital letter, but from now it should be.

*duly noted, the numbers of fish and bird deaths are range estimates from different stories referenced, but the several locations are concerning.

NASA~Earth Observatory over past 130 years

Monday, December 20th, 2010

A snapshot of Earth over the past 130 years with heating and warming trends.

“A one-degree global change is significant because it takes a vast amount of heat to warm all the oceans, atmosphere, and land by that much. In the past, a one- to two-degree drop was all it took to plunge the Earth into the Little Ice Age. A five-degree drop was enough to bury a large part of North America under a towering mass of ice 20,000 years ago. ”

Please take care of Her!

Mercury Contamination in 96% of Wastewater Discharge Samples from Public Treatment Facilities (USGS)

Saturday, November 20th, 2010

High Mercury Levels Found in Water Throughout Indiana

USGS study shows that rain and wastewater discharges are sources
November 18, 2010


Mercury contamination in water and fish throughout Indiana has routinely exceeded levels recommended to protect people and wildlife, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). About 1 in 8 fish samples tested statewide had mercury that exceeded the recommended safety limit for human consumption. The causes include mercury in the rain and mercury going down the drain, according to a recently released federal study.

The most significant source of mercury to Indiana watersheds is fallout from the air. Much of the mercury in the air comes from human activity. In Indiana, coal-burning power plants emit more mercury to the air each year than any other human activity. In urban areas, wastewater discharge contributes a substantial portion of mercury to waterways.

These are among the key findings of a comprehensive study of mercury in the state’s watersheds during the past decade by the USGS in partnership with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM).

“Indiana has been a national leader in understanding its mercury problems through a long-term statewide network of monitoring,” said USGS hydrologist Martin Risch, who led the study. “Actions by the IDEM provided data about mercury in fish and wastewater. Our understanding of mercury would not have been possible without their cooperation.”

During the study, scientists examined mercury in water, fish, precipitation, dry fallout and wastewater to determine the causes and effects of mercury moving through the environment. They also examined landscape characteristics, precipitation and streamflow for a total of more than 380,000 pieces of data that provide a snapshot of mercury in Indiana.

“The amount of mercury in precipitation was the main factor affecting mercury levels in the state’s watersheds,” said Risch. “But wastewater discharge can be a significant source of mercury. When wastewater is delivered to a stream from hundreds of discharge pipes, it increases mercury levels in watersheds more than was previously recognized.”

Mercury was detected in 96% of the wastewater discharge samples from public treatment facilities in this study. Mercury in wastewater samples typically exceeded criteria set to protect people and wildlife. Higher numbers of discharge pipes in a watershed were linked to higher levels of mercury in the streams.

Water draining from reservoirs in this study had significantly higher percentages of mercury converted to methylmercury than water from streams without dams. Dams can trap mercury transported by suspended particles in streams. Once the particulate mercury settles in the lake or reservoir behind the dam, natural processes change some of it to methylmercury, a toxin that accumulates in organisms throughout their lives. Methylmercury levels are amplified up the food chain and reach high levels in some sport fish and in fish that serve as food for wildlife.

Source: U.S. Geological Survey   November 18, 2010

Coal Mining & Energy Production Harm Water Quality

Friday, August 6th, 2010

Water is an issue we should talk about a lot more than we do. (Full article below, but here are some highlights)  There is an ancient African Proverb: Filthy water cannot be washed

1) The U.S. withdraws 410 billion gallons of water a day from its rivers, lakes and freshwater aquifers. About half is used to cool thermoelectric power plants, and most of that cools coal-powered plants, according to the most recent assessment by the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

Similarly, the U.S. consumes about 100 billion gallons of water a day; nearly 85 percent is used for crop and livestock production. Of the 16.1 billion gallons that remain: industrial, mining and power plants use nearly 8 billion gallons a day, most of that for mining, processing and burning coal, according to the Department of Energy.

2)CCS will increase water withdrawal and use by 25 percent to 40 percent. In other words, without significant advances in a technology that is only now being tested in a handful of applications, the path to a low-carbon economy that still burns coal will put enormous new pressure on America’s declining supply of fresh water.

3) The numbers—like a splash of cold water—are a national wakeup call: Mining companies use from 800 to 3,000 gallons of water to extract, process, transport and store one short ton of coal and dispose of mining waste, according to estimates by researchers at Virginia Tech University.

4) The typical 500-megawatt coal-fired utility burns 250 tons of coal per hour, uses 12 million gallons of water an hour—300 million gallons a day—for cooling, according to researchers at Sandia National Laboratories.

5) To produce and burn the 1 billion tons of coal America uses each year, the mining and utility industries withdraw 55 trillion to 75 trillion gallons of water annually, according to the USGS. That’s roughly equal to the torrent of water that pours over Niagara

New York Times

Circle of Blue | WaterNews –
A Desperate Clinch: Coal Production Confronts Water Scarcity

Posted By Circle of Blue On August 3, 2010 @ 7:32 am

In contest with coal, water takes a beating
By Sierra Crane-Murdoch

CLINCHFIELD, Va—In southwest Virginia, where hollowed and stripped mountains rise abruptly from creek beds, coal is deeply entwined with the Clinch River.

From its headwaters in Tazewell, the Clinch winds south through the coalfields, feeding mines, preparation facilities, and power plants. It drains the region’s most polluted tributaries before meeting the Tennessee, Ohio, and Mississippi.

One tributary, Dumps Creek, joins the river near this quiet mountain valley town. Most days, the creek runs opaque and brown; some days it runs orange. In 2003, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality drew attention to the acidity, sedimentation, and high concentration of heavy metals in Dumps Creek, but didn’t name the source. Trace the creek to its headwaters, and the source is evident.

Within Dumps Creek’s 20,000-acre watershed there are two active and two abandoned deep mines. There’s also a scraped off mountaintop, fully a fifth of the watershed, where miners blasted away the topsoil and bedrock to get at the coal. Dumps Creek is critical to these operations — hundreds of thousands of gallons of water are used daily to cool and lubricate mining machinery, wash haul roads and truck wheels to reign in airborne particulates and to suppress underground dust that otherwise could ignite.

 The Start of Coal’s Troubled Path
These production practices are only the first stages of an economically essential and ecologically damaging accord between coal and water. Water is critical to every stage of the mining, processing, shipping, and burning of coal. In the era of climate change, swift population growth, and increasing energy demand, the result is a fierce and complex competition between the two resources that has become much more difficult to resolve.
Thirty years ago, high levels of pollution from coal mining and combustion prompted state action and two 1970s national statutes. The Clean Water Act and the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act were designed to limit damage to fresh water resources. Though they made a difference, both laws have never been enforced strictly enough to keep the coal industry from polluting.

More recently, the country’s relationship with coal has come under close scrutiny again because of its environmental costs. Coal companies, seeking greater production efficiencies, use mining techniques that level mountaintops and bury the streams below them. Coal combustion, meanwhile, produces the nation’s largest share of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that are accelerating global climate change and diminishing the nation’s freshwater reserves.
The U.S. withdraws 410 billion gallons of both fresh and saline water a day from its rivers, lakes as well as aquifers. Roughly 85 percent is fresh water. About half is used to cool thermoelectric power plants, and most of that cools coal-powered plants.

The Energy Information Administration, a research unit of the federal Department of Energy, forecasts that by 2050 the demand for energy in the U.S. will be 40 percent higher than it is today. As the nation considers what it will take to cool the planet and serve the country’s steadily increasing energy appetite, federal scientists and policy makers are taking a fresh look at how long the coal era will persist, and by necessity the tumultuous space where water and coal intersect.

Little about what they see is reassuring. Scientists define water use by two basic measurements. One is how much water is “withdrawn” from America’s rivers, lakes, and aquifers for domestic, farm, business, and industrial use, most of which is returned to those same sources. The second is how much water is actually “consumed” in products, by livestock, plants and people, or evaporates in industrial processes. In both measurements of withdrawal and consumption coal is at the top of the charts.

The U.S. withdraws 410 billion gallons of water a day from its rivers, lakes and freshwater aquifers. About half is used to cool thermoelectric power plants, and most of that cools coal-powered plants, according to the most recent assessment by the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

Similarly, the U.S. consumes about 100 billion gallons of water a day; nearly 85 percent is used for crop and livestock production. Of the 16.1 billion gallons that remain: industrial, mining and power plants use nearly 8 billion gallons a day, most of that for mining, processing and burning coal, according to the Department of Energy.
Scraping mountaintops away, like this mine in Boone County, West Virginia, is an ecologically damaging mining practice that wrecks coal valley streams. The EPA said it wants to regulate the technique, but it’s still issuing permits to remove mountaintops.

Federal and state regulators, and even coal industry executives themselves understand the ropes of ecology, economy and efficiency that are tightening around the nation’s energy sector. Climate change is leading to decreased supplies of rain, snowmelt and fresh water. Energy demand is increasing even as pressure steadily grows to limit greenhouse emissions and reduce water consumption.

To keep coal in the energy mix, industry representatives have readied a fix for climate change—an unproven technology to snare carbon emissions at coal-fired plants and store them deep underground – called “carbon capture and sequestration” or CCS.
“The generation of electricity is inextricably tied to water availability,”
– Jeff C. Wright

But there’s a big problem there, too. Scientists with Sandia National Laboratories who’ve studied carbon capture and storage say CCS will increase water withdrawal and use by 25 percent to 40 percent. In other words, without significant advances in a technology that is only now being tested in a handful of applications, the path to a low-carbon economy that still burns coal will put enormous new pressure on America’s declining supply of fresh water.

“The generation of electricity is inextricably tied to water availability,” said Jeff C. Wright, Director of the Office of Energy Projects at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, during a federal conference on energy and water in April.

“Carbon capture may reduce greenhouse gases going to the air. But it will increase the amount of water needed in thermoelectric plants, coal plants especially.”

A Very Troubled Marriage

Evidence of the unholy water and coal alliance are visible along Dumps Creek. Downstream, amidst towering stockpiles of coal, the Moss 3 Prep Plant pumps hundreds of gallons of water to process each ton that is mined. Like most prep plants, Moss 3 separates the marketable coal from the minerals that will not burn by tossing in a chemical cocktail—the “trade secret,” companies call it—a mix of coagulants and flocculants. Parts of the cocktail are benign, other parts are liable to cause cancer and neurological disorders.

Once the coal is washed, Moss 3 pumps the water-saturated waste—the slurry—back up the mountain into a precariously dammed pond.

Meanwhile, the scrubbed coal, with a lacquer like obsidian, fills trucks and trains that are mostly headed east to coastal cities. But some go three miles to the confluence of Dumps Creek and the Clinch, where Virginia’s top polluting generator, the Clinch River Power Plant, sucks up tens of millions of gallons of water from the river each day. The coal turns the water to steam, the steam powers the turbines, and what’s left of the coal, the fly ash, is scraped from the smokestacks and stored in ponds above the Clinch River.

For as long as the mines have carved out the mountains above the Clinch River, coal has been the region’s heaviest user—and polluter—of water. The same could be said for nearly all of the nation’s coalfields.

Mining companies use from 800 to 3,000 gallons of water to extract, process, transport and store one short ton of coal and dispose of mining waste, according to estimates by researchers at Virginia Tech University.

The typical 500-megawatt coal-fired utility burns 250 tons of coal per hour, uses 12 million gallons of water an hour—300 million gallons a day—for cooling, according to researchers at Sandia National Laboratories.

To produce and burn the 1 billion tons of coal America uses each year, the mining and utility industries withdraw 55 trillion to 75 trillion gallons of water annually, according to the USGS. That’s roughly equal to the torrent of water that pours over Niagara Falls in five months.

Contamination, Lives and Communities

The amount of water infected with acid mine drainage, chemical spills, and other coal waste is more difficult to calculate. The EPA estimates that since 1992, 2,000 miles of headwater streams have been buried by mountaintop removal, and up to 10,000 miles have been impaired by acid mine drainage. Across Appalachia and other coalfield regions, toxic spills have become a matter of course in the last fifty years. Sludge ponds, when constructed above abandoned deep mines, frequently release coal slurry into shafts and leak into groundwater and streams. Isolated sludge spills have drawn the most public attention, such as the Buffalo Creek disaster in 1972, which killed 125, and a larger flood three decades later in Martin County, Kentucky.

On the Clinch River alone, three toxic spills have punctuated the last half-century. In 1967, 130 million gallons of ash slurry from the Clinch River Power Plant spilled into Dumps Creek; three years later, a cooling tower malfunctioned, gushing sulfuric acid into the river. And in 2008, 5.4 million cubic yards of wet coal ash spilled from Tennessee’s Kingston Fossil Plant into the Clinch. The spill was the largest of its kind in U.S. history.

In 1970, 10 miles downstream from the power plant that bears the river’s name, Tim Bailey stood on a bridge over the Clinch River and watched trout, shiners, darters and bass float south, with their silver bellies bobbing to the surface. He was 10 at the time—old enough to remember the first toxic spill three years before when 200,000 fish died along the 90-mile stretch into Tennessee.

Bailey, now 50, has small, bright eyes and a gray braid down the length of his back. On both shoulders he displays ornate tattoos, spelling the names of his five grandchildren. He and his wife own a tidy doublewide across the street from the Moss 3 Prep Plant, and clustered among several white clapboard houses where his parents and cousins live.

When Bailey was young, he didn’t pay much attention to the changes in the land and water—along Dumps Creek, coal pollution was a fact of life. He swam in the silted streams and hunted in the woods above the power plant. He played tackle football on the slate dump and sediment ponds. But as he got older, he began to notice things.

“When I was first growing up, you could go fishing in these creeks and catch all kinds of fish,” says Bailey. “Now you won’t catch no fish. They’re all killed out.”

On days when coal dust seems especially thick, or when the creek runs orange, he calls the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. The woman he speaks with usually says the same thing: Moss 3 and the power plant are polluting no more than the regulations allow.

It is not unusual for state regulatory agencies to turn a blind eye when coal companies violate the Clean Water Act. In 2009, a New York Times investigation found that state agencies nationwide have taken action against fewer than three percent of Clean Water Act violators. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency also has been reluctant to punish polluters or states that fail to enforce the law. Mining companies and utilities are among the many who have escaped fines and legal consequences.

In recent months, the Obama administration has taken steps to leverage the Clean Water Act to regulate mountaintop removal. In April 2009, the EPA put a hold on five surface mining permits in Appalachia, concerned, they said, with the effects of mining on downstream aquatic life. A year later, the EPA made a public commitment to regulate mine waste and water quality on mountaintop removal sites. In EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson’s words, the new regulations could “zero-out valley fills.”

In June, the Army Corps of Engineers suspended the use of easy-to-obtain NWP 21 permits, which served as rubber stamp gate passes or mining companies to discharge mine wastes into streams and rivers.

Just how committed, though, the White House and its environmental advisors are to stricter enforcement is in question. On June 30, just two months after announcing it would regulate mountaintop mining more strictly, the agency approved the 760-acre Pine Creek Surface Mine in Logan County, West Virginia. According to the mining plan submitted by its owner, Arch Coal, the mine will fill three valleys with debris and bury up to two miles of streams.

Coal’s grip on the Appalachian region remains tight, even as production wanes in Southwest Virginia. Towns along the Clinch River have nearly emptied. Local economies have faltered. In some counties over a quarter of the land has been stripped and mined. On one of these stripped sites sits the steely skeleton of a new 585-megawatt coal plant. Long red arms of cranes bend robotically, hoisting sheet metal to encase the frame. When Dominion Power fires up the plant in 2012, it will draw millions of gallons of water daily from the Clinch.

Still, fish jump and turtles drop from deadwood snags into the Clinch’s murky water. A family of herons and a bald eagle inhabit the trees along the bank. Where the Clinch runs shallow, the white shells of freshwater mussels cling to the bottom, clamped tight against the current.

Sierra Crane-Murdoch, a writer in Virginia’s coalfields, is a Middlebury Fellow in Environmental Journalism.

Unacceptable Permits

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

 Fish Kill

When I first read articles last year regarding Great Lakes fish kills from water intakes, I was intrigued at the way that energy producers are even able to get away with permits to do this.  Do they have permits or is it  just being done and they “suffer” through paying the fines? Either way this is perverse. Save Maumee stands by our words – More Oversite – FINES for illegal activity – Action FIRST, then study and show measurable results!

Sandy Bihn RiverKeeper said it best in this article…

“Fish are important to Ohio’s economy, providing an estimated 10,000 jobs and $800 billion in economic activity.”

She said fishermen “would pay thousands in fines and serve jail time if they did what Bay Shore does each and every day.”

How many people do you think 60 million fish per year would feed? That is how many fish are being destroyed by FirstEnergy Corps.- please write your legislator – find them here…

Energy Production Central

FirstEnergy to install devices to divert fish
Goal is reduction of kills at Bay Shore – March 30, 2010
The numbers are staggering: 60 million fish – 46 million of them adults – are killed each year by the powerful intake of FirstEnergy Corp.’s coal-fired Bay Shore power plant in Oregon.
Bay Shore’s intake also destroys 209 million fish eggs, and 2,247 million fish in their larval form annually by pulling them through screens and into the plant, according to a 2009 report generated by one of the utility’s paid consultants.
The annual carnage is believed to be one of the worst in the Great Lakes region, although Bay Shore is just a midsized facility.

FirstEnergy’s consultant passed the report along to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency last year after crunching 2005-06 sampling data for more than two years. The state EPA then spent the past year reviewing it.
So now, after a promise to toughen up requirements, what has the state environmental regulator tentatively decided to have FirstEnergy do about the problem?
Study it more.Beginning Monday, FirstEnergy will initiate a pilot project in which it will install reverse louvers – devices that resemble upside-down shutters – in the plant’s intake channel. The hope is that the slotted, angled devices will allow only a fraction of the fish from getting pounded to death against intake screens or drawn into the plant, where nearly all die.
The vast majority of fish, ideally, would be diverted around the plant.
The additional research is coming in lieu of a cooling tower, which can cost $100 million or more but save upwards of 90 percent of the fish swimming in the channel.
Financing such a device also could raise Toledo-area electricity rates more than 6 percent, according to information in a report the utility provided last year to a government consultant.
The potential impact on rates was made public during a March 3, 2009, meeting at Wynn Elementary School by Paul Novak, the Ohio EPA’s manager of surface-water permits and compliance.
Ellen Raines, FirstEnergy spokesman, said talk of a cooling tower is on hold until the research with reverse louvers is completed.
The Ohio EPA said in a proposed permit it issued for discussion recently that it will give FirstEnergy through the end of 2010 to see how the untested technology works, then spend nearly a year reviewing the data itself before issuing its finding by Sept. 1, 2011.
If all goes as planned, FirstEnergy will have until May 1, 2013, to break ground on permanent installation and can take until Oct. 1, 2014 to have it operating. The permit would be valid through Jan. 31, 2015.
That timetable doesn’t sit well with some people, such as Oregon activist Sandy Bihn.
She and members of the group she founded, Western Lake Erie Waterkeeper Association, have been campaigning for quicker, decisive action at the plant, which for 55 years has sat in the confluence of one of the Great Lakes region’s most productive fish nurseries, a highly sensitive area where the Maumee River meets the Maumee Bay.
They claim the Lake Erie fishery, though already one of the world’s best, hasn’t begun to scratch its potential.
Saving more fish could be an economic boon for the Toledo area’s depressed economy by stimulating the region’s tourism and recreation industries, they claim.
The Ohio EPA acknowledged last year and in its latest fact sheet that Bay Shore likely “impinges and entrains more fish than all of the other power plants in Ohio combined.”
Impingement is the act of death or severe injury caused to fish when water intakes slam them against screens. Entrainment is the word for eggs, larvae, and juvenile fish small enough to slip through the screens and get drawn into the plant, which operate at several hundred degrees.
“The permit delays action too long,” Ms. Bihn said. “Fish are important to Ohio’s economy, providing an estimated 10,000 jobs and $800 billion in economic activity.”
She said fishermen “would pay thousands in fines and serve jail time if they did what Bay Shore does each and every day.”
Ms. Raines and another FirstEnergy spokesman Mark Durbin said the utility believes reverse louvers have great potential to do the job affordably. The company believes it will be worth the time investing in more research, they said.
“We have a responsibility to our customers and company to make the right decisions,” Ms. Raines said.
Mike McCullough, an Ohio EPA environmental specialist, and Dina Pierce, an agency spokesman, said the state regulator can consider costs when setting permit requirements.
A cooling tower is “still a possibility” if the reverse louvers aren’t shown to be effective enough.
The Ohio EPA is attempting to get an 80 percent reduction in fish kills via impingement and a 60 percent reduction in entrainment to comply with a federal edict imposed on the states in 2004.
The federal mandate came in response to a lawsuit won by national environmental groups that had claimed the government wasn’t protecting fish enough by exercising the power it has under the Clean Water Act, one of the nation’s landmark environmental laws.
An April 22 meeting is being scheduled for the public to weigh in on this and other aspects of Bay Shore’s next water-discharge permit.
Contact Tom Henry at:
or 419-724-6079.

Fact v/s Fiction about Global Warming Support

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

I want to keep this blog about WATER related issues, but I thought this was important to note who exactly the opposition IS when it comes to supporting “clean and green”. – I thought it was important to note! There appears to be a pattern here.

*The following groups say the danger of human-caused climate change
is a … FACT: *

U.S. Agency for International Development
United States Department of Agriculture
National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration
National Institute of Standards and Technology
United States Department of Defense
United States Department of Energy
National Institutes of Health
United States Department of State
United States Department of Transportation
U.S. Geological Survey
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
National Center for Atmospheric Research
National Aeronautics & Space Administration
National Science Foundation
Smithsonian Institution
International Arctic Science Committee
Arctic Council
African Academy of Sciences
Australian Academy of Sciences
Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Sciences and the Arts
Academia Brasileira de Ciéncias
Cameroon Academy of Sciences
Royal Society of Canada
Caribbean Academy of Sciences
Chinese Academy of Sciences
Académie des Sciences, France
Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences
Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina of Germany
Indonesian Academy of Sciences
Royal Irish Academy
Accademia nazionale delle scienze of Italy
Indian National Science Academy
Science Council of Japan
Kenya National Academy of Sciences
Madagascar’s National Academy of Arts, Letters and Sciences
Academy of Sciences Malaysia
Academia Mexicana de Ciencias
Nigerian Academy of Sciences
Royal Society of New Zealand
Polish Academy of Sciences
Russian Academy of Sciences
l’Académie des Sciences et Techniques du Sénégal
Academy of Science of South Africa
Sudan Academy of Sciences
Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
Tanzania Academy of Sciences
Turkish Academy of Sciences
Uganda National Academy of Sciences
The Royal Society of the United Kingdom
National Academy of Sciences, United States
Zambia Academy of Sciences
Zimbabwe Academy of Science
American Academy of Pediatrics
American Association for the Advancement of Science
American Association of Wildlife Veterinarians
American Astronomical Society
American Chemical Society
American College of Preventive Medicine
American Geophysical Union
American Institute of Physics
American Medical Association
American Meteorological Society
American Physical Society
American Public Health Association
American Quaternary Association
American Institute of Biological Sciences
American Society of Agronomy
American Society for Microbiology
American Society of Plant Biologists
American Statistical Association
Association of Ecosystem Research Centers
Botanical Society of America
Crop Science Society of America
Ecological Society of America
Federation of American Scientists
Geological Society of America
National Association of Geoscience Teachers
Natural Science Collections Alliance
Organization of Biological Field Stations
Society of American Foresters
Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics
Society of Systematic Biologists
Soil Science Society of America
Australian Coral Reef Society
Australian Medical Association
Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society
Engineers Australia
Federation of Australian Scientific and Technological Societies
Geological Society of Australia
British Antarctic Survey
Institute of Biology, UK
Royal Meteorological Society, UK
Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences
Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society
European Federation of Geologists
European Geosciences Union
European Physical Society
European Science Foundation
International Association for Great Lakes Research
International Union for Quaternary Research
International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
World Federation of Public Health Associations
World Health Organization
World Meteorological Organization

*The following groups say the danger of human-caused climate change
is a … FRAUD:*

American Petroleum Institute
US Chamber of Commerce
National Association of Manufacturers
Competitive Enterprise Institute
Industrial Minerals Association
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
Great Northern Project Development
Rosebud Mining
Massey Energy
Alpha Natural Resources
Southeastern Legal Foundation
Georgia Agribusiness Council
Georgia Motor Trucking Association
Corn Refiners Association
National Association of Home Builders
National Oilseed Processors Association
National Petrochemical and Refiners Association
Western States Petroleum Association

^[“FACT” organizations come from “/Is There a Scientific Consensus on
Global Warming?/” at
<>. “FRAUD” organizations are
petitioners v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Endangerment and
Cause or Contribute Findings for Greenhouse Gases under Section 202(a)
of the Clean Air Act.] From: @K.ST Action: REJECT

Coal-fired power plant waste storage sites with poisoned water = 101

Monday, March 1st, 2010

RENEWABLE energy is sustainable, creates jobs and is a win-win for everyone except for coal interests.  “Particulate emissions from coal plants cost Hoosiers $5 billion per year in health costs.  Alternative energy create 4-5 times more jobs than fossil-fuel and nuclear investments.”  (Citizens Action Coalition, 2009)

WIND, SOLAR, GEOTHERMAL and energy efficiency are technologies that will create jobs and benefit the health, environment and pocketbooks of ALL Hoosiers and TRULY re-tool America for the future!

We cannot afford more of this!


“The analysis by EIP and Earthjustice identifies 31 additional coal-ash contamination sites in 14 states, which, when added to the 70 in the EPA’s justification for the pending rule, brings the total of coal-fired power plant waste storage sites with poisoned water to 101.”

“With data showing arsenic and other toxic metal levels in contaminated water at some coal-ash disposal sites at up to 145 times federally permissible levels, the EIP/Earthjustice report identifies 31 coal-ash waste sites where groundwater, wetlands, creeks, or rivers have been polluted with “wastes (that) contain some of the earth’s most deadly pollutants, including arsenic, cadmium, lead, selenium, and other toxic metals that can cause cancer and neurological harm (in humans) or poison fish.” The 31 sites are located in the following 14 states: Delaware (1); Florida (3); Illinois (1); Indiana (2); Maryland (1); Michigan (1); Montana (1); Nevada (1); New Mexico (1); North Carolina (6); Pennsylvania (6); South Carolina (3); Tennessee (2); and West Virginia (2).”

“U.S. coal-fired power plants generate nearly 140 million tons of fly ash, scrubber sludge, and other combustion wastes every year. The EPA has indicated that coal ash dumps significantly increase risks to both people and wildlife. For example, EPA’s 2007 risk assessment estimated that up to one in 50 residents living near certain wet ash ponds could get cancer due to arsenic contamination of drinking water.”

Highlights of the EIP/Earthjustice report include:


Arsenic, a potent human carcinogen, has been found at 19 of 31 sites at extremely high levels, with one site found at nearly 150 times the federal water standard. Arsenic causes multiple forms of cancer, including cancer of the liver, kidney, lung, bladder, and skin. Offsite arsenic levels in ash-contaminated groundwater from the Reid Gardner plant (Nevada) have been measured at 31 times the EPA drinking water standard of 10 micrograms per liter.


At least 26 of these 31 sites report contamination that exceeds one or more primary drinking water standards.


25 out of the 31 sites are still active disposal sites.


The damage is not limited to “wet” ash ponds that received extensive attention after the disastrous ash spill at the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Kingston plant in December 2008. No fewer than 13 of the contaminated sites documented in the EIP/Earthjustice report involved so-called “dry” disposal, including two “structural fills” that were advertised as “beneficial reuse” of coal ash.


Examples cited in the report include: a boron- and sulfate-contaminated drinking water supply that sickened people in Montana and had to be abandoned; major arsenic pollution from a coal ash dump that contributed to a Great Lake Bay becoming an “International Area of Concern”; a mile-long plume of contamination in Florida; mercury contamination of residential wells in Tennessee; and selenium levels in West Virginia surface waters at 4-5 times what is permitted under federal law.


The poisoned water damage could easily have been prevented with available safeguards, such as phasing out leak-prone ash ponds and requiring the use of synthetic liners and leachate collection systems. As the report notes: “Incredibly, ash and other coal combustion wastes are not subject to any federal regulations. The EPA promised to close this loophole by proposing new standards before the end of 2009. Instead, EPA’s draft rule is stalled at the Office of Management and Budget, where an avalanche of lobbyists hope it will stay buried.”


 Coal Ash Spill in Tennessee -note the picture was taken almost a year from spill date