Coal is still about 50% of the fuel used to generate electricity in the U.S. nationwide with a larger percentage in the Midwest.
Combustion of coal results in large amounts of non-combustible material called coal ash. The remains include heavy metals such as arsenic, chromium, lead, and mercury. All these substances are poisonous or carcinogenic and can leach into ground water.
Illinois residents insist Governor Pritzker propose rules for storing coal ash to prevent ground water contamination. Currently when coal ash piles without a liner are rained on, the contaminates flow into the ground water.
A primary concern for advocates is coal ash impoundments near sources of drinking water via municipal systems or private wells.
Coal use as a fuel is reducing, however, it will continue as a fuel source. Our science and technology should be used to prevent it from poisoning our water sources.
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