Photo: Giant Toxic Coal Ash Spill Threatens Animals



On December 22 a billion gallons of poisonous sludge—largely coal ash, a byproduct of coal burning—broke through an earthen dike at the Kingston Fossil Plant. The torrent half-buried area homes, such as this one in Harriman, Tennessee, and elevated long-running health concerns over heavy metals in the ash.

Some conservationists believe the spill's potential damage to the local ecology has been overlooked and are adding their voices to the chorus calling for federal regulation of coal ash.

Photograph by Wade Payne/AP


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