Electricity is essential to our everyday lives in the United States. Without it, we can’t cook food, wash our clothes, have light to see, or have air conditioning in our homes. What many people may not realize though, is that getting power comes with human and environmental costs.
Large portions of the plants that supply our nation with power burn coal to produce the energy that is used to create electricity. But burning coal creates toxic ash that must be stored and disposed of. Furthermore, all living things around these toxins can suffer serious harm if exposed to these toxins.
Currently, the disposal of toxic coal ash isn’t heavily regulated, which has resulted in several major spills that have led to potential environmental injuries. A little over six months ago, a Duke Energy plant spilled approximately 39,000 tons of toxic coal ash into the Dan River, which resulted in contaminated water in the region; however, estimates show only a fraction of the spilled waste has been collected and contained since that time.
The spill resulted in state legislators moving to create laws governing the disposal of this waste, but critics point out the new rules only address protecting water and soil, leaving the air in our environment at risk of contamination.
An article from Facing South explains many residents of areas surrounding landfills where coal ash is dumped report suffering respiratory problems, which is concerning to many of the citizens living near the area where the Dan River waste will be buried.
At HensonFuerst, our North Carolina personal injury lawyers are aware of the serious health risks posed by exposure to coal ash and other contaminants. That’s why we encourage you to speak with our legal team if you or a loved one were harmed by another party’s pollution. We can be reached by calling (866) 777-1170.