Examining coal ash ponds near you

The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy in collaboration with numerous environmental and community non-profit organizations from across the southeast has produced a “one stop shop” for all things coal ash. The site includes a user-friendly, interactive map tool to locate power plants with coal ash storage facilities (ponds or landfills) and then inform the user about the owner of the power plant, and, for each ash storage facility, the year it was built, whether it is active or inactive, its EPA dam hazard rating, and any additional concerns  (e.g., unlined pond, poor condition of dam, evidence of contamination).  

Data on each power plant’s coal ash storage facilities is compiled from data made available by the Energy Information Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, utility providers and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. In addition, all data is available as Google Earth KMZ or GIS shapefile.

ccw_map__Cape Fear Power Station

Credit: SELCNC

What I like about this tool from a teaching perspective is that the information for each power plant can be downloaded as a pdf for easy review by students and incorporation into instruction.  An aerial map is available for each power plant that shows the power plant, ash pond and landfill boundaries and proximity to local waterways.

There are numerous other resources available on this website.  You can learn about the state of coal ash in NC by clicking here.  In addition, there is a news page dedicated to the 2014 Dan River coal ash spill which includes links to news articles, pictures, press releases, videos.

 

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