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State Rep. Pat Boy calls for vigilance to reduce harm from coal ash

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INDIANAPOLIS – An abundance of coal ash in Michigan City has many residents concerned about a looming water crisis. Coal ash, the material left after burning coal, contains several carcinogens including arsenic, mercury and lithium. Due to a deteriorating seawall between the Michigan City Power Generating Station and Lake Michigan, residents are at risk of contaminated drinking water utilities, as well as disastrous impacts on Indiana Dunes National Park and Lake Michigan. Currently, Indiana does not have regulations for the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) regarding coal ash.

State Rep. Patricia Boy (D-Michigan City) today offered the following statement regarding the issue:

“Clean water is not a luxury, it is a fundamental human need. A lack of strong regulations has put Hoosiers at risk of facing pollution-related disasters similar to those in North Carolina and Tennessee. After 73 years, the seawall we have protecting the city from the generating station is nearing its life expectancy, and while the Northern Indiana Public Service Company is doing a good job in removing the ash in the ponds, they are not preventing the legacy ash in the 'made land' from contaminating the water in the long term. Indiana has the greatest number of ash ponds – structures created for the sole purpose of disposing of coal ash – in the country. How many of these ponds are ticking time-bombs? We owe it to Hoosiers and future generations to ensure our waterways are clean. I will continue to advocate for greater environmental protections, and I urge my fellow lawmakers to do the same.”

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