No EPA hearings were scheduled for Alabama either.
Perry, Marion and Marengo Counties are the unfortunate recipients of most of the toxic coal ash from the Kingston TVA spill.
We know they have a thing or two to say to the EPA about this issue and they've certainly tried and been repeatedly ignored by the federal and state governments, US EPA and EPA Region 4:
Perry County, Alabama--"The area where they're dumping it is 70 percent people of color and many are below the poverty level. It's an environmental justice community. It's a county where all the white people, for the most part, are going to vote Republican and all the black people, for the most part are going to vote Democratic. Democrats don't come down there because they know they're going to get the vote anyway. So neither party pays a lot of attention to Perry County.
It's primarily a poor community, with people that grow gardens every year not for hobby but because they need the food. They can't grow their vegetables now because they're afraid of what may be in the water.
They bring the wet coal ash down here and mix it with household garbage, creating an enormous amount of leachate. It's thick and brown—it's like a toxic milkshake. In order to reduce the amount of leachate, they pump it from the bottom of the landfill into trucks and drive it around to the top, on top of the coal ash and let that filter through—but that intensifies the arsenic.
We sent two complaints to Lisa Jackson. First I sent one informal request for help, then two formal complaints through the EPA process, and they've never responded to a single one." John Wathen Hurricane CreekkeeperThe Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) profits from each ton dumped in these three counties:
"ADEM recovers a good bit of money off that coal ash. They get a fee for every ton of ash that gets disposed of there. EPA has a vested interest because they have to get the spill cleaned up in Tennessee and they can't do it without a place to put the ash."
Reader decide if those could be considered possible motives, though definitely not all of them, for the obvious racism and classicism being perpetrated on the poor and mostly minority communities in Alabama where the coal ash is being sent to.
Some of the ash was sent to Mobile, Alabama for treatment and when those residents found out about it their public outcry put a stop to it. It helped their cause that the wastewater was being discharged into Mobile Bay which is a high priority body of water to the state powers that be.
Why are the voices in these other communities, the ones that are "70% poor and minority" that depend on the local groundwater for their drinking water supply, who are just as loud and impassioned as the majority white community in Mobile, falling on stone deaf regulatory ears?
*See the "Document Box" in sidebar for EIPs latest study on coal ash August 2010