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November 8, 2010
Virginia Cramer, 804-225-9113 x 102

Now Open: Toxic Coal Ash Hotline
Help with Widespread But Undocumented Problems

Washington, DC: The Sierra Club today launched a hotline to help residents report suspected contamination or spills of toxic coal ash across the country. Left over after coal is burned, coal ash contains known carcinogens and other dangerous pollution. Though the Environmental Protection Agency is currently considering new rules to govern coal ash disposal, very little is being done now to ensure that families living near the more than 2,000 coal ash sites nationwide are protected.

In fact, recent studies have documented more than 100 cases where coal ash has poisoned waterways. That number significantly underestimates the real damages caused by toxic coal ash--a result of the widespread lack of regulation and monitoring data.

Residents who believe there is toxic coal ash contamination near their homes either from an unreported spill or through leaking ash dumps are asked to call the toll-free hotline:


Reported incidents will be passed on to the proper authorities for investigation and mitigation.

The hotline will remain open while the Environmental Protection Agency is taking comments on its proposed coal ash rule. The agency is currently considering two rule options--one which would continue the failed patchwork of state regulations and one which would ensure federally enforceable protections for everyone.

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