New Alabama Coal Ash Website

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Regional Alliance of Environmental Advocates Launches Alabama Coal Ash Website

For Immediate Release: March 25, 2020

Contact: Nelson Brooke, Riverkeeper, Black Warrior Riverkeeper: [email protected]

Alabama – A united network of environmental nonprofits have taken a stand against Alabama utilities’ plans to cap-in-place toxic coal ash on the banks of Alabama’s waterways.  Almost every other state in the southeast is requiring removal of these large ponds that are actively polluting nearby ground and surface waters.  To educate the public on this urgent issue, the group – including Alabama Rivers Alliance, Black Warrior Riverkeeper, Conservation Alabama, Coosa Riverkeeper, Mobile Baykeeper, and the Southern Environmental Law Center – have published a website at

“Alabama Power’s three unlined, leaking coal ash pits in our watershed are continually polluting groundwater, streams, wetlands, and the river with toxic metals such as arsenic,” says Nelson Brooke, Riverkeeper at Black Warrior Riverkeeper.  “It is past time for Alabama Power to clean up their mess.”

Coal ash contains toxic metals with severe and lasting health impacts: arsenic, lead, mercury, cadmium, chromium and selenium, among others.  Alabama Power’s Plant Gorgas (Rattlesnake Lake/Mulberry Fork), Plant Miller (Locust Fork), and Plant Greene County (Black Warrior River) have been polluting groundwater with arsenic, cobalt, and other toxic metals for years, as evidenced by the monitoring first required by the federal government in 2016.  Sampling results for arsenic have been as high as 3,798% (Greene) and 1,812% (Gorgas) above the national limit for surrounding groundwater, and for cobalt as high as 253% (Miller).

Environmental groups and concerned citizens are waiting for Alabama Power and Power South to announce public hearings in spring or summer.  In the meantime, is just one of many ways Alabamians can learn more, sign up for email alerts, and take action.

“Alabama Power must immediately abandon plans to leave their leaking coal ash pits in place by rivers, for the sake of clean water and public health,” says Brooke.  “If we want our children and grandchildren to heave healthy rivers and lakes, the public needs to demand that that Alabama Power responsibly remove their coal ash.”

Brooke took high-resolution pictures of Plants MillerGorgas, and Greene County on SouthWings flights.  To learn more about coal ash threats to the Black Warrior River watershed, visit:


About Black Warrior Riverkeeper: Our mission is to protect and restore the Black Warrior River and its tributaries.  The citizen-based nonprofit organization promotes clean water for the sake of public health, recreation and wildlife habitat throughout the Black Warrior River watershed.

Plant Greene County. Photo by Nelson Brooke, Black Warrior Riverkeeper. Flight provided by SouthWings.





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