Ash Wednesday and Coal Ash

I just read that coal ash pollution is leaking into the ground water at nine power plants in Pennsylvania, according to a new report from the Environmental Integrity Project. This pollution leaves arsenic and other chemicals behind. At one former coal plant near Pittsburgh, arsenic levels in the ground water are 372 times the PA’s safe drinking water standard. And this isn’t just happening in PA. More than 90% of the sites that store coal ash in the US have levels of contamination exceeding the EPA health standards. what is as horrifying, if not more horrifying, is that I find these stories adjacent to news reports exposing one senior official after another using their government positions for personal gain. How many Alabama tornadoes or continued ocean oil spills will it take to turn our leaders back to addressing the human-made climate change that so jeopardizes our children’s and grandchildren’s futures? On this day before Ash Wednesday, a day of repentance and remembrance in the western Christian church, Maybe we can awaken to more long term needs of our planet.

About Sally Hobart Alexander

Blinded at the age of twenty-six, I left California and elementary school teaching for life in Pittsburgh, Pa. There, I met my husband, got a Masters' degree in social work, had two kids, now 35 and 32, and became a writer. Surprisingly, the writing career led me full-circle to teaching, and I teach in Chatham University's M.F.A. program and lead two writing critique groups. Always, since the age of 26, I have traveled, not in the stereotypic darkness attributed to blindness, but a mist. My blog then, "traveling through the mist" will deal with issues in my culturally different life as a blind writer, teacher, speaker, and human being.
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