Saturday, September 4, 2010

Shady Point Fly Ash

Shady Point is a "merchant plant" which means that it produces electricity not just for the area that it is serves, but for other locations as well. Shady Point sells electricity to Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Arkansas, Kansas, Texas, and Louisiana. 90% of the coal comes by train from Wyoming and 10% is Oklahoma coal that is trucked in.. In effect other cities get all the benefits of "clean" electricity while the small town of Bokoshe is left to suffocate in the dust.

Dump sites such as this one are often littered with beer and soda cans.
 The Oklahoma coal burned at Shady Point is of high sulfur content and is of poor quality in general. The residues left over are extremely dirty. The Bokoshe area is littered with several unlined dumpsites, many of them unmarked. Several such as this one offer unlimited access with little or no fencing. Open gates with broken locks are common. Children are able to come on to the properties to hunt and explore, teens are known to use these places as parking spots for weekend parties. Fly ash is dangerous, many of it's components are individually deemed hazardous, yet when all the components come together as fly ash it is no longer regulated.

The dangers of fly ash go way beyond the big names of heavy metals that are in the ash such as Mercury, Lead and Arsenic. Many people may not know that fly ash is often radioactive as well. A 2007 article in the Scientific American states "In fact, the fly ash emitted by a power plant—a by-product from burning coal for electricity—carries into the surrounding environment 100 times more radiation than a nuclear power plant producing the same amount of energy. "
You can read the entire article here:

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