Gulf of Mexico
Several attendees to a July 6 public meeting held by Alabama Power at Wilsonville Baptist Church carried signs in opposition to the company’s plans regarding a coal ash pond at the E.C. Gaston Steam Plant. Scott Mims / Shelby County Reporter

AL - Alabama Power, residents meet about coal ash pond

WILSONVILLE — A public meeting was held Monday night, July 6, at Wilsonville Baptist Church regarding the coal ash pond at E.C. Gaston Steam Plant on Lay Lake.

Several residents, including representatives from Coosa Riverkeeper, peacefully protested outside the meeting, carrying signs in support of moving the coal ash to a different location to prevent future groundwater contamination at the plant site.

“Move your ash off our river,” read one sign. “Stop poisoning our ground water,” read another with an illustration of a skull and crossbones.

Coal ash is the waste that is left over after coal is burned to produce electricity. It contains toxic heavy metals such as mercury, lead and arsenic. Wilsonville’s coal ash pond was established in the 1960s prior to federal regulations requiring such ponds to be lined.

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