Damage from coal ash disposal sites has become a growing concern in recent years after several spectacular disasters. Here's what we know about the damage to human health and the environment from large coal ash spills, and the costs of cleanup, from two disasters in the past decade.
Coal ash isn't regulated in the U.S. as a hazardous waste. The Obama EPA set rules which the Trump EPA reversed. Now it's up to the courts, and the states, to resolve the confusion and prevent future coal ash disasters.
America has lost millions of acres of farmland over the nearly three decades to urban and rural development.
Despite conservation efforts by state and local governments and increased financial incentives for farmers, urban development and the expansion of rural residential real estate over the last 25 years has eliminated farmland across the country at levels not seen since the early 1970s.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture sets an industry definition for family farms. But that definition doesn’t take acreage size into consideration and can include operations where the family may not own the land, or even farm it. It defines what a family farm is for a consistent technical term in research and policy, which includes farm subsidies.
Each year thousands of families boat down the Middle Fork branch of the Illinois Vermilion River below an embankment that holds back 3.3 million cubic yards of toxic coal ash sludge stored in three large ponds. Coal ash pollution is leaching into the river, and the riverbank is eroding under the ponds. We examine what's a stake in this investigative report.
Environmentalists and community members in Vermilion County have expressed deep concern over the pollution from toxic chemicals seeping from large coal ash ponds into the Middle Fork River in Vermilion County. But engineering experts warn there may be a greater risk posed by the collapse of the riverbank holding back more than 600 million of gallons of toxic coal ash.
Dynegy is planning to close the coal ash ponds at its shuttered Vermilion Power Station near Oakwood, Illinois. The company may propose to remove the toxic coal ash from the banks of the Middle Fork River, or cap the ponds and leave them in place. The Illinois EPA says the river must be protected "in perpetuity." But after Dynegy walks away from the site, what does perpetuity mean?
On August 10, a San Francisco court ordered the agribusiness company Monsanto to pay nearly $290 million in damages to a California man who alleges his cancer was caused by Roundup, the company’s most widely used herbicide. We spoke with an expert who testified in the trial. Here's what he had to say.