Environmentalists Demand Action on MSU Coal Ash

Feb 6, 2013

Environmental advocates are calling on Michigan State University to properly dispose of large deposits of coal ash buried for years beneath the campus.

Nick Clark with Clean Energy Now is among those calling on Michigan State University to properly dispose of tons of residual coal ash produced by the campus power plant, seen in the distance.
Credit Kevin Lavery / WKAR

The group Clean Energy Now says tons of residual toxic ash produced by MSU’s coal-fired power plant were found during a 2007 excavation.  Some ash was sent to a landfill, but the group asserts more than 90,000 cubic yards of ash were improperly relocated on university property. 

Clean Energy Now’s Nick Clark says buried coal ash poses an immediate public health hazard.

“During precipitation events or snow melts, we’re highly susceptible to having this coal ash material leach out into the surrounding wetlands, and having this area surrounded by dangerous coal ash is extremely alarming," says Clark.

The group wants MSU to step up its water quality monitoring efforts.  The university maintains it is following the state’s environmental protocol, but adds it will investigate the group’s claims.