Environmentalists Angry with Michigan State for Dumping Coal Ash
Under the feet of Spartan students is something they may not expect - coal ash from the 1960s. Before research and regulations on the material went public, the university dumped ash from the T.B. Power Plant at a few sites around campus.
"It was coal ash produced historically and then used as construction fill, so in order to build up the land they disposed of this construction fill," explained Susan Harley, the Michigan Policy Director for the Clean Water Fund.
In 2007, one of these coal ash sites was unearthed when MSU began construction on an overpass. The university moved some of this coal ash to Granger Landfill and some to MSU's police firearms training facility on Jolly Road.
"There are not liners, leach aid collection systems... any of the things we would typically want if we were storing coal ash," said Harley.
Michigan State University says that the company they hired to dispose of the coal ash did testing and determined that it was safe to move it to the Jolly Road site. But Clean Energy Now wants more answers.
"As they were digging up the coal ash, what kinds of protections did they have to keep that dust matted down so people weren't breathing that coal ash? There are a lot of questions about the way that project was done," said Harley.
The Clean Energy Coalition is meeting today at 10 AM to make their case against the university.