Kick Coal Ash Colorado

Sprinkler at a coal ash disposal site. Photo credit: bibiphoto / Shutterstock

Coal fired power plants are one of the largest source of pollution in the United States.

    Colorado has 13 coal fired power plants that significantly contribute to air pollution and groundwater and surface water contamination. Coal ash is the by-product of burning coal and contains toxic heavy metals like arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury, and selenium. Exposure to soil and drinking water sources contaminated by coal ash can cause nervous system damage, cognitive defects, developmental delays, birth defects, and increased risk of cancer. Colorado produced nearly 1.7 million tons of coal ash each year, however coal ash has no federal regulations to ensure safe disposal. Instead, the storage and disposal of coal ash subject to weak state solid waste regulations, like in Colorado where these weak standards have led to groundwater contamination at two sites, and many others at risk.

    For more information on coal ash contamination, read Colorado’s Toxic Trash.