North / South America
Is fly ash toxic?
Nov, 16 2011
(LAKELAND) -- The Environmental Protection Agency is thinking about classifying the byproduct of coal power plants as toxic waste. Probably not something you want to hear if you live anywhere near a power plant.
It's called fly ash. It's what's left when companies like Lakeland Electric, TECO and Florida Progress burn coal, capture the energy, and generate electricity.
Here's what concerns scientists: it contains mercury, arsenic and lead, which can cause cancer, heart attacks and stroke.
Right now, the EPA is having a series of meetings to give people a chance to voice their opinions on fly ash. There is no word when the agency will make its call.
If it is ever is considered toxic waste, it will have to be buried in special landfills. The closest one to Lakeland Electric is in Alabama, and it would cost Lakeland about $5 million a year to dispose of it.
"We would have to build in that cost into our operating costs," said Lakeland Electric spokesman Kevin Cook.
That could increase the cost of electricity, not only in Lakeland, but possibly for customers of other power companies that rely on coal across the state.
By: Ken Suarez
Is fly ash toxic?: MyFoxTAMPABAY.com
Add Your Comments
Fly Ash Toxicity
It is necessary to carry out a survey over existing fly ash stockpiles, to understand the problem, if it exists.
Posted By : Dr J D Bapat
Posted On : 11/17/2011 3:12:49 AM
Not if used properly
I feel like a voice in the wilderness for the past 6 years. Both cement and flyash powder contain potentially toxic elements like arsenic, mercury, chromium 6, etc. When used correctly, exposure to the toxic elements can be kept below known hazardous exposure levels. That is why we use the specific PowerCem based additives in all of our soil cementing projects, not just for strength gains but more importantly for permanent molecular level encapsulation of all toxic elements. And almost every single one of our projects is subjected to independent environmental testing that proves that our soil cement doesn't leach nor exhibit any deleterious effects. And we always use flyash, anywhere from 30 to 50 percent of our cementious materials. Normal soil cementing with cement, lime or flyash in any combination without specific additives will have the potential to contaminate groundwater thru leaching and migration of the toxic elements. If industry wants to keep using flyash as a supplementary cementious material, we all will need to be proactive about eliminating all hazards.
Posted By : George Clark
Posted On : 11/17/2011 5:37:09 PM
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