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Open-air Coal-ash Landfill At Troubled Prairie State Plant

Nearly 5 million tons of exposed toxic ash vulnerable to tornado strike

1. “The Prairie State Energy Campus is also projected to produce 3.6 million to 4.8 million tons of toxic ash, which must be disposed.

2. “The 1,600 MW plant would generate thousands of tons of coal ash, which includes toxins like arsenic, mercury, and cadmium…
[the ash landfill will ] ultimately contain a 250-foot high pile of coal ash sitting on flat farmland… ‘We’ve heard complaints from people up to a mile away about ash hitting the side of the house and respiratory irritation.’”


So far as I’ve been able to tell, almost all of the environmental review related to permitting the landfill examined water quality issues. But see that red spot in Illinois, to the east and south of St. Louis, MO? According to the map, that red spot indicates the highest frequency of tornado incidence in the country. And the Prairie State ash heap – dry ash sprayed down with a veneer of water to limit dust – sits smack in the middle that red spot. Smack in the middle of tornado alley…

How will the EPA justify permitting an exposed ash heap after a tornado strikes, dispersing its toxic legacy across hundreds of acres of verdant farmlands?

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