Fly Ash's Future

(Concrete Producer Online - October 20, 2009) For the last six years, the Sierra Club and a host of like-minded environmental groups have lobbied against coal-fired energy. They’ve been promoting information regarding the “dirty truth about coal.” The Beyond Coal campaign has effectively generated public support.
In my most recent copy of “Lake and Prairie,” the Illinois Chapter of the Sierra Club’s newsletter, the group is proud of its efforts to stop coal energy development in its state. In her note to us members, Becki Clayborn, the Chicago area regional representative for the Beyond Coal campaign, wrote, “It’s clear that the American people are ready for a switch to clean energy technologies that can help repower our economy.”
Here’s the issue. In response to the failure of an ash storage impoundment in Tennessee, the EPA is urging more stringent rules regarding handling and storing the waste product. The coal industry generates a huge amount of this waste material. Less than half is recycled for industrial and agricultural use. Concerned about the material not recycled, the federal EPA is now considering several new storage and handling regulations that may affect all ash classifications. Groups like the Sierra Club support the effort.
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