Special Report: Cleaning Coal


Burning coal is dirty business. This special report explains how clean air has come at the cost of dirty water and why coal-fired power plant wastewater is poorly regulated. See links below to stories.

Dec. 15, 2009

Great Lakes states spotty on coal limits; some water contaminants ignored. The United States Environmental Protection Agency is pushing coal-fired power plants to clean-up or eliminate waste they put in waterways.

Dec. 16, 2009

Mercury limits vary for Great Lakes; may harm already polluted waters Enforcement of wastewater discharge is confusing. Here’s why.

Dec. 17, 2009

Few Great Lakes power plants even look for this toxic contaminant. Selenium, a common contaminant in coal plant wastewater, causes deformities in ducks and fish.

Dec. 18, 2009

Cleaning up air could harm quality of water Coal-fired power plants install scrubbers to clean air emissions. But sometimes that means the pollution goes into the water instead of the air.

About Rachael Gleason
Rachael Gleason

Rachael Gleason is a graduate of the Michigan State University and Knight Center for Environmental Journalism master's program. Rachael edited EJ Magazine and reported for Great Lakes Echo for two years. She currently focuses on water privatization issues. Rachael was quiz editor, SmackDown! editor and had a standing feature called Monday Mashup, where she reviewed interactive maps of the Great Lakes region. Rachael is originally from Texas, where she worked as a reporter, photographer and desk editor for several years. In addition to working for the daily newspaper of Huntsville, Rachael also worked as a business reporter for The Houston Chronicle, the newspaper of her hometown. Office: (517) 432-5155 Twitter: @rachaelgleason

  • Victoria

    This is special report is very informative overview and analysis of the environmental impacts of coal fired power plants in the Great Lakes region.

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