Toxic Waste in the US: Coal Ash (Full Length)

Coal ash, which contains many of the world’s worst carcinogens, is what’s left over when coal is burnt for electricity. An estimated 113 million tons of coal ash are produced annually in the US, and stored in almost every state — some of it literally in people’s backyards. With very little government oversight and few safeguards in place, toxic chemicals have been known to leak from these storage sites and into nearby communities, contaminating drinking water and making residents sick.

VICE News travels across the US to meet the people and visit the areas most affected by this toxic waste stream. Since coal production is predicted to remain steady for the next few decades, coal ash will be a problem that will affect the US for years to come.

Watch “Showdown in Coal Country” –

Watch “Petcoke: Toxic Waste in the Windy City” –

Read “Green Groups Say Another Coal Ash Spill Remains Likely, One Year After North Carolina Accident” –

Read “Humans Are Destroying the Environment at a Rate Unprecedented in Over 10,000 Years” –

Read “The Economic Cost of Carbon Pollution Is Much Greater Than Estimated, Say Stanford University Researchers” –

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31 thoughts on “Toxic Waste in the US: Coal Ash (Full Length)

  1. I’m not sure this was the whole story…see, my skepticism was peaked when the reporter summed up ph rebalancing and chemical titration to stop contamination by saying that they were just throwing grass on the problem and walking away…you can’t pull the wool over my eyes Vice, I’m an abnormally informed American, I think I’ll read a bit more on the subject…the scared mom and her kids was a nice touch though

  2. What are they talking about…. You keep it on the mansions of the majority share holders and corporate board members…. Cuz they said its harmless right
    Advocate groups have a habit of exaggerating the danger and the actual amount of leaking…
    Corporations have a historic amount of hiding :dangers… The substances released, amounts released, frequently of releases. Corruption of politicians overseeing regulations, avoiding regulation,, ect ect ect…….

  3. Funny how Vermont is the only state without a coal plant. We use SOLAR PANELS and WINDMILLS. Must be why we’re the cleanest state in America! Maybe if you learned how to use new resources and money wasn’t your main interest, this wouldn’t be the epidemic it became?

  4. The first time I heard of coal ash was in hurricane Florence a few weeks ago, I didn't even know all of this. Like he saod, solar doesn't leak. Sadly most of the people down stream have no idea about this, and they aren't educated enough to realize the truth in most cases. Can we make it a law that the owners have to drink minimum 2 glasses of ground water from their own sites, only a basic filter and boiled to kill bacteria. Seems like they need to Erin Brockavich these polluting bastards. Who is their chemist? I was unaware adding sulfur to anything would eliminate the heavy metals, and that then rain couldn't seep into it. Oh wait, that's bad science…

  5. Holy shit! Little blue is pretty much right in my backyard and I've never heard of it? We used to use the ash piles to jump our dirtbikes. Crazy. They definitely don't talk about this stuff on the local news channels or in local newspapers.

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