Poster Title

Coal Ash Hazardous Waste in Appalachia and Environmental Justice Advocacy

Grade Level at Time of Presentation

Senior

Major

Environmental Science

Minor

Biology and Social Justice

Institution

Northern Kentucky University

KY House District #

House District 60

KY Senate District #

Senate District 11

Department

Environmental Science, Social Work, Sociology

Abstract

According to the EPA, coal ash is not considered hazardous waste even though there are various concentrations of arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury, and other heavy metals/toxic compounds found within it. Fly ash particles are another major component of coal ash and according to studies published by Earth Justice linking particulates to the four leading causes of death in the United States: heart disease, cancer, respiratory diseases, and stoke. This study addresses the concerns with coal ash not being considered hazardous waste despite health effects associated with exposure. along with a dissection of history linking money and coal connected lobbyists, and how that reflects in the politicians representing Appalachian counties and states with rural populations while identifying other socio-economic trends. This study also analyzes the disproportionate impact these toxicants have on local communities and assesses what other waste is not considered hazardous that may also be detrimental to these neighborhoods.

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Coal Ash Hazardous Waste in Appalachia and Environmental Justice Advocacy

According to the EPA, coal ash is not considered hazardous waste even though there are various concentrations of arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury, and other heavy metals/toxic compounds found within it. Fly ash particles are another major component of coal ash and according to studies published by Earth Justice linking particulates to the four leading causes of death in the United States: heart disease, cancer, respiratory diseases, and stoke. This study addresses the concerns with coal ash not being considered hazardous waste despite health effects associated with exposure. along with a dissection of history linking money and coal connected lobbyists, and how that reflects in the politicians representing Appalachian counties and states with rural populations while identifying other socio-economic trends. This study also analyzes the disproportionate impact these toxicants have on local communities and assesses what other waste is not considered hazardous that may also be detrimental to these neighborhoods.