It’s not every day we get to share news that marks a potentially momentous milestone in our decade-long fight to protect the Delta and Bay from coal ash. The recent announcement by Alabama Power that they plan to recycle and remove 700,000 tons of coal ash a year from Plant Barry is one such moment. This move could be a game-changer in protecting the rich biodiversity of America’s Amazon and safeguarding the health of those living, working, and playing downstream.
Mobile Baykeeper and our members have been advocating tirelessly for this exact outcome. From countless water testing and permit hearings to community meetings, letter campaigns, and even litigation, it’s exciting to see a plan that mirrors what we have been calling for – the safe excavation and removal of coal ash.
However, let’s not lose sight of the fact that, as of now, these are plans, not legally binding commitments. The current approved plan, Alabama Power was quick to note, is still to cap the ash pond in place, which could leave millions of tons of ash by the Mobile River. Now we’re on the cusp of achieving a monumental victory. We need Alabamians to stand united in calling for the EPA to enforce a binding agreement with a clear timeline for the complete recycling, removal, and closure of the ash pond ensuring removal efforts take place expeditiously and are not stymied by an arbitrary deadline that’s shorter than the time necessary.
After years of advocating for the safe disposal of coal ash, the potential for a real solution, one that even defrays costs for the utility and lessens the financial burden on its customers, is within reach.
Yet, we remain cautiously optimistic. Until this plan becomes concrete reality (pun intended), we must continue our vigilance. The political winds can shift, and it’s crucial that this plan not only remains on course but also becomes a binding commitment.
A huge of debt of gratitude to the thousands of Baykeeper members and others who have been part of this journey – your support and efforts have been instrumental in reaching this point.
We’ve been fighting the coal-ash situation at Plant Barry for some time. Check out the graphic and revisit some of the milestones of the last decade.
If you’re not already on our newsletter, sign up to stay informed and stay tuned over the coming weeks and months as we determine how to ensure this plan becomes a reality.