Over 4,000 gallons of toxic coal ash spilled into the Potomac River in Maryland and much of it is expected to reach the nation’s capital. The spill sends a message that no amount of protest ever could: coal power is dirty and needs to end.
The Maryland Department of the Environment issued a press release reporting that a pipeline between a coal power plant and its ash slurry storage facility had ruptured, spilling the toxic sludge into the North Branch Potomac River.
The pipe developed a “dime-sized” hole around 8 pm on Sunday and was not discovered until this morning. The power plant is used exclusively to power a paper mill owned by New Page Corporation. The company has three pipelines that pipe the waste from their plant over the Potomac and into their ash storage pond. The other two continue to operate while the third undergoes repairs.
How’s that for a message, Washington?
Update: Damage control via the Associated Press: Maryland officials now say that the majority of the sludge was only spilled onto the banks of the river and that very little actually fell into the water. They also were quick to note that they haven’t seen any dead fish yet.
Google Earth Photo Via NRDC