Broadcasting in our monthly PBS television program, The Catch is a Great Lakes Now series that brings you more news about the lakes you love. Go beyond the headlines with reporters from around the region who cover the lakes and drinking water issues. Find all the work HERE.
This month, The Catch features stories from “Poisonous Ponds: Tackling Toxic Coal Ash,” a collaborative project featuring the reporting work of students at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications on Great Lakes Now and Energy News Network programs and websites.
Medill journalism student Sarah Aie has been reporting on a former limestone quarry in Joliet, Illinois, about 30 miles from Lake Michigan. Owned by energy company NRG, the quarry holds more than 6 million tons of coal ash.
Environmental lawyers, activists and residents are pushing for this coal ash to be completely removed from the quarry and transported to a safer landfill.
“It’s a battle that will continue in the coming months and in the coming years,” Aie said. “Even though there are signs and glimmers of hope, there’s definitely still work to be done on the ground.”
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Featured image: Joliet 9 Generating Station has dumped coal ash into Lincoln Stone Quarry since the early 1960s. It was converted to natural gas in 2016 and no longer produces coal ash. (Photo Credit: Sarah Aie)