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Coal ash spill potentially threatens Lake Michigan

On Monday, in Oak Creek, Wisconsin a section of shoreline at a We Energies power plant collapsed into Lake Michigan. With the collapse, mud, coal ash, and other debris were dumped into the lake and as much as 2,500 cubic yards of coal ash may have entered the waterway.

The coal ash was being stored in a landfill on the cliff while contruction was being conducted in the area. The landfill contained ash mostly from the 1950's and the concentrations of toxins such as heavy metals are not known as regulations were less stringent at the time.

Clean-up efforts are underway as contractors for We Energies attempted to remove floating debris on Wednesday morning. A 1,500 foot long boom is in place to prevent the spill from spreading and more booms are in the works to help contain the potential contamination.

While at this point representatives from the Wisconsin DNR and other state and federal agencies do not anticipate any major pollution issues to result from this particular spill, tests are still being conducted to determine concetrations of pollutants.

Check the following for more information:

Check back later this week for more details as they emerge.


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