CLEVELAND — Paul Kysel, Vice President of PINES Group (People In Need of Environmental Safety) in Indiana, and Mike Eisenfeld of New Mexico have added their voices to other citizens who are inviting Obama administration regulatory “czar” Cass Sunstein to view first-hand the damage caused by coal ash in their communities. In letters to Mr. Sunstein, they describe how coal ash is spread throughout their neighborhoods, threatening drinking water quality.
MAPLE HEIGHTS — “My name is Kathy Huck, and I live on Forest Avenue, about half a block from the Kokosing asphalt plant.
As the nice weather approaches, most people are excited about the possibility of opening their windows and letting in the fresh air, having cook-outs, enjoying their yard, garden, and neighborhood, and just being outside. I also used to look forward to those things. Now, all that warm weather means in my neighborhood is ‘asphalt season.’ This means that I cannot open my windows or doors because there is no fresh air, only the smell, dirt and noise from the asphalt plant. I am unable to enjoy cooking out, working in my yard, or even sleeping with the windows open. The nightly ritual of trying to sleep with the sound of a back-up beeper, obviously above the level of the city noise ordinance, is something I deal with for spring, summer and into fall. Even with my windows closed, I can still hear the back-up beeper. Trying to get a ‘good night’s sleep’ is next to impossible.
I am a person who enjoys working in the garden. I have a vegetable garden in my yard, and many flower gardens. I am very concerned about the chemicals that the asphalt plant puts into the air. As we all know, what goes up must come down. And I fear what is coming down into the soil where I grow my vegetables. So, not only are we breathing the chemicals from the plant, but we are eating them as well.
This asphalt plant runs 24/7 during ‘asphalt season.’ There is no relief from the smell, dirt and noise. This is a residential neighborhood, and we should be entitled to enjoy that. I feel like I am no longer living in a residential area, but an industrial slum.
This plant has seriously affected my quality of life and enjoyment of my home and yard. It also has seriously affected my home value, as no one would want to buy my house due to the noxious smell, dirt and noise from the plant.”
— Kathy Huck, Maple Heights resident
March 31st, 2010 | Tags: Kokosing Asphalt | Category: Uncategorized | Comments are closed
SEATTLE, WA — “Last Friday, the EPA took a significant step toward blocking a Clean Water Act permit for Arch Coal’s Spruce Mine, the largest proposed mountaintop-removal coal mine in West Virginia history. It’s a big deal.
I just wanted to highlight the reactions of West Virginia legislators… Now, here’s Sen. Robert Byrd (D):
The announcement by the EPA today of its Proposed Determination to exercise its veto authority over the Spruce #1 Mine permit begins a process that enables the company and the public to comment on the matter in writing and at public hearings. I would strongly encourage all parties to seek a balanced, fair, reasonable compromise.
What makes Byrd’s measured, conciliatory statement so remarkable is not just its contrast with the other three reactions but its contrast with a long career spent fervently defending the coal industry against any regulation or restraint.”
CLEVELAND — CH2M Hill, an engineering firm based in Colorado, sued Baard Energy on Friday for failing to pay them for work done on the proposed coal refinery in Wellsville, Ohio. In the suit, CH2MHill states that Baard owes them an amount which “exceeds $75,000″ for “engineering/construction/program management work” performed beginning in 2006. The case was filed in federal court in Cincinnati, and assigned to Judge Michael H. Watson.
MAPLE HEIGHTS — ”After my divorce five years ago I bought my house on Maple Ave. in Maple Heights. At the time I paid about $65,000. Everyone I knew thought I got a really great deal. My 80 year old mother still lives on E.141 st. close to Granger, so it was nice to be able to live close to her. Making a fresh start in the neighborhood I grew up in seemed like a logical thing to do.
But, since then things have gone down hill. With the additional traffic in the truck yard and trains behind me the noise has increased. My house now has a tilt to it. I can only assume it is from all of the vibrations. It is now referred to as the ‘leaning tower of Maple Heights’ by my friends.
In the past year or so, three houses near my home have sold for less than $15,000! Now, Kokosing is trying to up the quantity of asphalt manufactured in the plant only a few houses away from me.
Adrian Wilson sits atop of giant tripod as he joins other protesters outside EPA headquarters in Washington, Thursday, March 18, 2010. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press)
WASHINGTON, DC — “The United States Environmental Protection Agency made their intentions to block mine permits for a Mountaintop Removal Mine located in Logan County loud and clear today. They did so despite the fact the mine had already received a federal permit.
This move is the most aggressive by the Obama Administrations re-examination of Mountaintop Removal Mining. The EPA has made it clear that it intends to stop the Spruce Number One mine located in Southern West Virginia, about 300 miles from Washington. Under the Clean Water Act, the EPA has the power to veto projects that could cause ‘adverse impacts.’ This is only the 12th time since 1972 that the EPA has used this power and the first time in a case where a mine had already been granted a permit.”
— Tammy Rose, Clay County Environmental News Examiner
CLEVELAND — “In a push for better regulation of coal ash, a byproduct of burning coal, people from around the country are writing letters and inviting the Obama administration to visit their homes and see the effects of the material first-hand. In October, the EPA proposed regulating coal ash, which some say is hazardous to human health, but proponents for regulation say that the proposal has stalled in the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA).
A Cleveland, Ohio-based group called Ohio Citizen Action has organized the letter-writing drive. In a press release, the organization references a letter from Elisa Young, who lives in Meigs County, Ohio. According to the release, there are four coal-fired power plants within 11.5 miles of Young’s home. Young wrote a letter to OIRA Director Cass Sunstein: ‘Where is the justice in allowing a community already saturated in coal waste and with these kinds of health statistics to continue to bear the brunt of this burden with no regulatory oversight?’”
COLUMBUS — . . . Baard Energy’s inability to control costs may help explain why they have had difficulty finding investors. This leads to the final questions. Does the refinery project really exist at this point? Baard Energy said it began developing the project in 2003, and now seven years later, what is the status of it? This Tuesday, I asked an official at one of the largest airlines in the country whether Baard Energy was attempting to negotiate a contract to sell Baard jet fuel to them. He told me that two years ago, Baard Energy made a presentation at a meeting to discuss jet fuel quality and standards, and spoke with a couple of airline carriers. No one, he said, had heard from Baard after that. He said they were all under the assumption that Baard had gone out of business. Under the circumstances, why should local, state, or federal taxpayers be asked for further subsidies for Mr. Baardson?
WELLSVILLE — “Congressman Charlie Wilson will be visiting the village April 9, and the Wellsville Area Chamber of Commerce is hosting a special luncheon with him as guest speaker. . . . [Chamber President Randy] Allmon said Wilson will offer an update on the Baard Energy project as well as a talk on economic development.”
COLUMBUS — In 2009, the proportion of U.S. electricity fueled by coal dropped to 44.6 %, according to the latest U.S. Department of Energy statistics. In 1995, coal fueled 50.9% of U.S. electricity. It rose to 53% in 1997, before beginning its long decline. The transition from coal, then, has been underway for the last 13 years. So far, the market has replaced coal with natural gas, which rose from 15% of electricity production in 1995 to 23% in 2009.
— Paul Ryder, Organizing Director, Ohio Citizen Action.
March 26th, 2010 | Category: Coal | Comments are closed
CINCINNATI — “In response to elevated levels of C8 detected in the Ohio River at Cincinnati, the US EPA is asking DuPont to perform additional testing to determine more about how the manmade substance travels.
The EPA is trying to learn how DuPont’s C8, also known as PFOA or perfluorooctanoic acid, has made it so far away from Washington Works near Parkersburg, West Virginia. The chemical has been used there for more than fifty years to make Teflon and other stain-resistant, nonstick surfaces and applications – hundreds of applications used in thousands of consumer products.
Cincinnati Water Works has been tracking C8 in the river since 2005 when they detected levels of 100 parts per trillion – a number that exceeds the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection health-based action level of 40 parts per trillion,”
COLUMBUS – On February 12, 2010, Baard Energy applied to the Ohio Air Quality Development Authority (OAQDA) for $4.8 billion in financing for its proposed coal refinery in Wellsville, according to documents obtained yesterday by Ohio Citizen Action.
On December 12, 2006, the Ohio Air Quality Development Authority had approved an Inducement Resolution agreeing to issue bonds to assist in the financing of the Baard coal refinery. According to the Authority, “An Inducement Resolution is a possible first step in the process of issuing an OAQDA bond and would require an additional Bond Resolution for the bond to actually be issued.” The Inducement Resolution was good for three years, expiring on January 1, 2010. When that date came, Baard had not requested such a bond resolution. According to the documents received yesterday, ”Due to the fact that the original inducement had expired [the Authority] informed the project it would be necessary to make a new application.”
– Paul Ryder, Organizing Director, Ohio Citizen Action
CLEVELAND — Tim Tanksley, a resident of Bokoshe, Oklahoma today added his voice to others around the nation who have invited Cass Sunstein, an administrator with the U.S. Office of Budget and Management to view the damage caused by coal ash dumped in his community at a landfill which is named “Making Money Having Fun.” In his letter Tanksley says “The piles of fly ash and wastewater have seriously contaminated our air and water supplies, and will seriously affect the livelihood of our communities for years to come….To better understand why we need your help, will you come visit us in Bokoshe and see how much ‘fun’ we are having with the Making Money Having Fun toxic landfill?”
NEW YORK, NY — “Elisa Young says she has lost at least six neighbors to cancer in the last ten years. ‘I’ve lost neighbors to lung cancer who have never smoked,” she said. “I’ve lost them to brain cancer, breast, throat, colon, multiple myeloma, pre-leukemia. When my son, who’s in his 20s, came home to visit, he said, ‘Mom, is it normal for your mouth to taste like metal?’ We pulled over and he coughed until he got sick.’
Young has no doubt about what she believes is causing all the cancer: coal. For the past 10 years she’s lived in Meigs County, Ohio, the center of the second largest concentration of coal plants in the nation, and has become an environmental activist…
In October of 2009, the EPA finally re-evaluated the dangers of toxic coal ash and proposed new rules to regulate coal waste disposal, but the proposed regulations have been stalled for five months at the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, headed by Cass Sunstein. During their deliberations over the past few months, Sunstein’s staff has met with representatives of the coal and fly ash industries approximately 35 times, but has only met with a handful of citizens personally affected by coal ash. According to a press release issued by Ohio Citizen Action last week, Sunstein has not made any public trips to see the real-life effects of coal ash on some of America’s poorest communities.”
Letters to Senator Sherrod Brown and Senator Rob Portman
6,615 members have sent handwritten letters and petitions to Senator Brown urging him to support US EPA rules that will protect our health from polluting coal plants as of January 24, 2012.
3,751 members have petitioned Senator Portman urging him to support US EPA rules that will protect our health from polluting coal plants as of January 24, 2012.
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