A brand new power plant spills tons of coal ash into Lake Michigan: weak regulations to blame. Most coal plants are located along rivers and lakes. They use the water to pump into the plants for cooling. When coal is burned to create energy, the ash is dumped into an open pit. These pits, which are full of concentrated pollutants (lead, mercury) are generally unregulated. The construction of the pits do have specific regulatory requirements, but the contents are not regulated.
Local newspaper, Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, reports that state regulators exempted the coal plant owner, “We Energy,” built the pit.
A large section of bluff collapsed Monday next to the We Energies Oak Creek Power Plant, sending dirt, coal ash and mud cascading into the shoreline next to Lake Michigan and dumping a pickup truck, dredging equipment, soil and other debris into the lake.
Source: Journal Sentinel