Coal Ash Raises Environmental Justice Issues in Rural Maryland

"CROOM, MD. - The winding Mataponi Creek looks clear in the sunlight, with marsh grasses lining its banks. But some of the coal ash waste from a nearby power plant is also coursing through its waters, and residents are worried it is contaminating their well water.

The area around the Brandywine ash storage site - where waste from Mirant Mid-Atlantic's Chalk Point plant containing carcinogens and heavy metals ends up - is a fairly rural community, with residents who are far from politically active and have little leverage with elected officials who might act on the matter.

'Why is this not in some other county? Why is it not in the Potomac?' asked Fred Tutman, who heads the environmental advocacy group Patuxent Riverkeeper, as he navigated his motorboat on the Mataponi Creek. 'It's about power, economic power, political power, resource power.'"

Juliet Eilperin reports for the Washington Post November 21, 2010.

Monday, November 22, 2010