Illinois: Coal Plant Owner Faces New Heat Over Coal Ash

"Already under pressure to curb noxious air pollution, the owner of four coal-fired power plants in Illinois is facing new legal complaints about toxic chemicals and heavy metals leaching from decades-old waste ponds."

"Citing testing data submitted by Midwest Generation, a coalition of environmental groups this week accused the company of repeatedly violating solid waste and water pollution laws by allowing arsenic, boron, manganese and other contaminants to leak from ponds that hold coal ash — waste generated from burning coal.

So far there is no evidence that the pollution has affected private wells near Midwest Generation's coal plants in Joliet, Romeoville, Waukegan and Pekin, in the center of the state. But utilities nationwide are being scrutinized more closely after a 2008 disaster at a coal plant along the Ohio River in eastern Tennessee, where a coal ash pond burst and spread contaminated muck across more than 300 acres."

Michael Hawthorne reports for the Chicago Tribune October 5, 2012.

Source: Chicago Tribune, 10/05/2012