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$2,892 pledged of $75,000 goal
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$2,892 pledged of $75,000 goal
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About this project

Coal Ash Chronicles: The whole story of America's second-largest waste stream

For those who crave lots of info, find it below in the Frequently Asked Questions section. If you have additional questions, let me know.

Otherwise, here's the skinny:

What is coal ash?

It's the waste produced when coal is burned to generate electricity.

In 2007, Scientific American reported that it's more radioactive than nuclear waste.

Read more about coal ash from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Why should you care about coal ash?

It could be in your water.

Coal ash is full of heavy, often toxic metals like arsenic, hexavalent chromium, selenium and more. It's often stored in slurry ponds that contaminate groundwater and drain into rivers and lakes that often serve as drinking water sources for large populations.

It's unregulated federally and only barely by some states. The EPA has tried to regulate it, but Congress and lobbyists are attempting to prevent regulation -- a bill that will prevent regulation has already passed the U.S. House of Representatives and is before the Senate. The Obama Administration has stopped short of vowing to veto it.

The ponds that hold coal ash can collapse, leak, breech and contaminate the groundwater beneath them. See the Tennessee Valley Authority spill of Dec. 2008, the breech in Wilmington, N.C., in 2009, the Lake Michigan spill of 2011, and the Little Blue Run leak that's happening now.

But, those aren't the only issues with coal ash. The biggest issues are the constant and invisible water contamination it causes and the power behind the push to keep it unregulated.

Why I need a Kickstart:

Journalists make jack, and investigative journalism is both expensive and critical in a democracy.

This summer, I'm launching a nationwide tour of coal ash ponds and dumps so I can bring you the real story, the whole story of coal ash and how it affects our nation's drinking water supplies.

I expect to be on the road for at least a year, and, when possible, in the air photographing coal ash dumps with J Henry Fair.

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    The author's eternal gratitude for your support, inclusion on a list of supporters at www.coalashchronicles.com and on her exclusive update list for monthly updates on what it's really like to tour the country on the hunt for the whole story of coal ash.

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    Pledge $7 or more About $7

    The above plus a button from Buttons of Hope.

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    All of the above plus a t-shirt designed by Ink Floyd.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    All of the above, plus a signed copy of the book mailed to you before it's released in stores and online.

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    10 backers
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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    All of the above, plus a personalized postcard mailed to you from every state on the coal ash tour.

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    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    All of the above, plus the author will visit your community and speak on the coal ash issue as it pertains to your area. (One speaking engagement per month, beginning Oct. 2012.)

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Funding period

- (60 days)