Feb 08 2016

Environmental Injustice – How Coal Ash Is Poisoning Poor Communities of Color in the US

GUEST: Esther Calhoun is a resident of Uniontown, Alabama, and president of Black Belt Citizens for Health & Justice.

The US Commission on Civil Rights held a hearing on Friday to look into the impacts of coal ash disposal in low income communities, and communities of color in the US. Coal ash is a waste by-product of coal-fired power plants and, according to a report by Earthjustice, and Physicians for Social Responsibility, it is the second largest source of industrial waste in the nation. It contains known toxins and carcinogens such as lead, mercury, chromium and cadmium. One of the testimonies heard by the US civil rights commission was from my guest, Esther Calhoun.

NOTES: The Arrowhead Landfill in Uniontown not only takes in the garbage from dozens of states, but also took in heaps of coal ash from the infamous ash spill in Kingston, Tennessee, in 2008. 

One response so far

One Response to “Environmental Injustice – How Coal Ash Is Poisoning Poor Communities of Color in the US”

  1. Claudia Castroon 08 Feb 2016 at 3:13 pm


    I loved today’s show Sonali. Thank you for bringing us news from Union Town Alabama. Your guest Esther Calhoun and the segment of Chelsea Manning speaking on her own behalf. It means a lot to hear these voices, and not just from the academics. More everyday people, doing extraordinary things would be appreciated. I’ve never been to the south before, but I’ve now gone on to the internet and looked at pictures of Union Town. Esther definitely put that town on the map for me. I live in Berkeley and people are constantly putting down the South. Hearing stories like this can only bring us closer together as a country.

    Best regards,