MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — It’s 600 acres, 30 feet deep and contains 20 million tons of contaminated sludge, all in an earthen dam, just feet from the Mobile River. It’s a coal ash pond at the Barry Steam Plant where Alabama Power has been putting the by-product of burning coal for the last five decades
Many worry what would happen if a flood or storm surge from a major hurricane was to breach the dam. Casi Callaway, Executive Director of Mobile Baykeeper says the sludge contains many known carcinogens and it would be a catastrophe for the local ecology and economy if large amounts were to ever get into the Mobile River.
“The volume would be 20 times that of the BP Oil disaster,” Callaway said.
Alabama Power’s been told to get rid of this pond of coal ash, but how it plans to do so has environmentalists upset.
News-5 will investigate in a special report airing Thursday night at 10 p.m.