Environmental advocates worried about results of Power Plant landslide
Annie Scholz reports Video by tmj4.comvideo
OAK CREEK- There are concerns about what went into Lake Michigan after a bluff collapse at an Oak Creek Power Plant, including coal ash.
TODAY'S TMJ4 spotted crews putting thousands of feet of boom on Lake Michigan. It's not just dirt that went into the water after the collapse, it's equipment, fuel, and likely coal ash that's been buried there for decades.
Environmental advocates are worried. Katy Walter of Clean Wisconsin says, "It contains up to 24 different chemicals and compounds that are hazardous to human health."
Those include: arsenic, lead, and mercury. In high enough amounts, they can lead to cancer and kidney disorders. But according to nearby water officials, this ash is no match for the filter systems in place. They reach 99.99999% purity.
Keith Haas, the General Manager of Racine Water & Wastewater Utilities says, "So we take out micro organisms as small as cryptosporidium, so a few coal ashes from the Oak Creek Power Plant would not cause us an issue at all."
A company called Clean Harbors has now put about 6,500 feet of boom in the water. A spokesman tells TODAY'S TMJ4 it's designed to catch anything that floats. It also has an 18 inch curtain that drops down into the water, but anything that sinks below that, is fair game.
"There are some deadly things in there that if it does get into drinking water can have serious consequences and the public really does need to know that," says Katy Walter of Clean Wisconsin
We Energies insists there is no health threat involved.