For many years the residents of Robinson Township in Washington County have had to live with the view and pollution of a 37 million ton mountain of waste coal spread over a 630 acres. This man-made mountain is probably the largest GOB (Garbage of Bituminous) pile in the United States. Now the Robinson Power Company proposes to ‘re-mine’ the GOB pile and use the waste coal to fuel a new 250 MW waste-coal ‘Beech Hollow’ plant on an adjacent 350-acre site. In 2006 the local officials approved the project over the strong opposition of of local residents, as described in a KDKA video at that time.
In March 2008, the Sierra Club and the Environmental Integrity Project issued a notice of intent to sue Robinson Power Company for improperly rushing the proposed Beech Hollow plant through the original permitting process and skipping key steps intended to protect public health.
After receiving the required construction plan, the state Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) is considering issuance of a ‘mining permit’ to Robinson Power, and is seeking public comment.
The deadline for submitting your comments is fast approaching. Tell the Department of Environmental Protection and the Governor to protect our air and water. Tell them to say no to more dirty coal.
Points to keep in mind when contacting the DEP:
• It takes twice the amount of waste coal to produce the same amount of electricity that burning normal coal produces.
• Waste coal in the GOB pile is much dirtier that the coal normally used in power plants. It contains a higher concentration of toxic material, which will cause more air and water pollution.
• Burning the waste coal from the GOB pile will not eliminate coal waste. It will just produce huge quantities of fly ash that need to be stored in some way, somewhere.
• An additional fossil fuel power plant is not needed. Energy conservation and use of clean energy sources can eliminate this need.
For more information, contact Randy Francisco at randy dot francisco at sierraclub dot org or 412-802-6161.