Op/Ed: Hurricane Florence and the Coal Ash Spill

Large amounts of rain and flooding cause damages to landfills and dams

September 26, 2018

   On September 14th at approximately 7:15 am EST, Hurricane Florence hit near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina as a category one hurricane. Over the next five days, the hurricane was downgraded to a tropical depression, but still managed to unleash around eighteen trillion gallons of rain, causing millions of dollars in water and flood damage. Additionally, it has resulted in several environmental risks such as waste spills and coal ash pollution.

   Coal ash is an extremely toxic product of coal-burning power plants. This sludge-like substance is conceived in a cauldron of burned up coal and toxic chemicals like arsenic, baron, lead, and mercury, which are all known carcinogens, and can result in serious health and environmental effects.

   What many people will never hear about or choose to ignore is the spills at landfills like the one in Wilmington, North Carolina. Although a simple spill may sound insignificant or minor in comparison, it requires just as much attention and urgency as flood damage or . If not taken care of properly or efficiently, the spill will more than likely contaminate waterways, groundwater, drinking water, and the air.





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