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October 5, 2010

Contact: Virginia Cramer, 804-225-9113 x 102

NFL star Ovie Mughelli launches Sierra Club PSA about Toxic Coal Ash


Washington, DC: Fullback Ovie Mughelli of the Atlanta Falcons has joined forces with the Sierra Club in a new public service announcement that raises awareness about the need to protect kids from toxic coal ash. In the video, Mughelli addresses concerns about protecting his daughter and other children from this toxic substance, and he calls on EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to create strong protections for our communities.

The video can be viewed at www.sierraclub.org/coalash

"As an athlete and a parent, I know just how important it is to have clean, healthy air and water," Mughelli says in the video. "The good news is, there's something we can do about it - It's time to tackle this problem. Tell the EPA to protect our kids from toxic coal ash pollution."

The Environmental Protection Agency is currently holding hearings around the country, inviting public input on a proposal to create stronger protections from coal ash. Many Americans are not aware that when coal is burned, the residue left behind is full of heavy metals like arsenic, lead, and mercury - which can seep into groundwater. Living near some coal ash sites can be worse for kids' health than smoking a pack of cigarettes a day, and people living within one mile of these sites can have cancer rates 2,000 times higher than what EPA considers acceptable.

"We're thrilled to be working with Ovie Mughelli to spread the message that it's time to protect our kids by cleaning up coal ash," said Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune. "This is a critical issue for parents around the country. Huge crowds have been turning out at these public hearings, and now it's time to raise the volume even further. We need the EPA to put people before polluters."

There are thousands of coal ash sites throughout the United States. The Sierra Club has launched a Facebook application where people can see if they or any of their friends live near one of these toxic sites: apps.facebook.com/coalashlocator

In addition to being a fullback for the Atlanta Falcons, Ovie Mughelli is the founder of the Ovie Mughelli Foundation, which helps spread the message of environmental stewardship to youth. He has been acclaimed for his work to promote environmental issues, and was named the #2 "Eco-Athlete" in the world by PlanetGreen.com

The PSA can be viewed at:
http://www.sierraclub.org/coalash


Additional b-roll footage of coal ash waste sites is available here:
http://www.sierraclub.org/pressroom/media/

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