Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Coal Can Do That
Yes, Coal can do this! This is Centralia, WA, home to TransAlta Centralia Mining as well as the TransAlta Coal Fired Power Plant. The upper gray blotch is the 1,700 acres around the Coal Plant. This plant started in April of 2001 and already boosts 5 Huge settling ponds to contain the waste ash produced by the Coal Fired Plant.
The lower gray blotch is the actual mine property. About 5,000 acres have been strip-mined and the mine has been closed for over two years. The company promised to reclaim the land when it closed back in 2006, so far very little has been do to return the 14,000 acres to anything resembling useful land.
This is just one very small operation of more than 140 Coal Fired Power Plants in the Western States. These companies have sold the idea of Clean Coal for years, but now it is easy to see just how "clean" it really is. Centralia lost 14,000 acres of prime farm land to "Clean Coal" and the SECOND that TransAlta had to start cleaning up the mess they closed the operations.
The Army Corps of Engineers and Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) published a notice of intent in the April 7, 2006, issue of the Federal Register (71 FR 17840) to prepare an EIS on TCM's proposed Pit 7 Mining Project. By November, the coal mine was "closed with reservation to reopen in the future." The environmental Impact Study was canceled. The area lost 600 jobs and the company canceled health insurance for more than 2000 employees, spouses and children.
I love the page sponsor listed at the bottom www.coalcandothat.com a whole site dedicated to promoting the positive side of coal. There isn't a single web page devoted to pollution, fly ash impoundment, strip mining, mountain top removal, water quality, black lung disease, mine reclaimation. Not a single page devoted to cleaning up the messes that the coal industry has already left in thousands of locations around the world. Yes, Coal can do that!