Hopefully by now you’ve heard about the coal-ash impoundment dams that are a part of the Skyland Power Plant Facility. These toxic lagoons (“ponds” is far too polite) pose a threat to not only the immediate community, but to the whole watershed. Located immediately adjacent to the French Broad River, test wells have shown that a whole host of toxic heavy metals — well beyond safe levels — are leaching into our groundwater and threatening the French Broad River. With the coal ash being stored in unlined earthen dams just above the river, should we really be surprised?
The French Broad is the major river draining the watershed, and everything flows downstream. We will continue to see our river contaminated, with the unlined coal-ash ponds being stored in such a haphazard way, right next to the river. North Carolina has more of these kinds of dams than any other state in the nation.
How about we develop some sensible state and federal laws to regulate this pollution source, to ensure that these highly toxic metals aren’t ending up in our water?
— John Buscarino