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Environmental Science (ENR 2100) OSU Study Guide and notes from lecture Protecting Earth's Freshwater

Terms in this set (68)

fly ash itself is the waste product that's results from burning of coal anytime we have a coal-burning power plant we have scrubbers and our smokestack that removes a lot of the way so it doesn't get in the atmosphere but it does collect at the bottom of the stack this material is transported to a coal ash waste pond it's dumped in the pond and that's where it's stored for essentially forever in most cases it's very safe there but when you in this example have a breach of that pond it can be very deadly to the surrounding ecosystem not just because of the debris that's there but because this fly ash contains arsenic cadmium chromium mercury all sorts of heavy metals and other types of toxins that are very dangerous to humans and other organisms we have coal ash ponds in Ohio there's a lot of coal burning fire plants along the Ohio River as this map shows the red dots are actually the locations of our coal ash ponds you can see some of these store 2.3 billion gallons a lot of waste this right here was about a half a billion gallons some of these in Ohio store a tremendous amount of waste in these coal ash ponds if we look at some of the contaminants that are in this coal ash waste they're extremely deadly in minut minut concentrations for example mercury the safe drinking water act 1974 passed a maximum contamination level of mercury at two parts per billion which is zero point zero zero two milligrams of mercury per liter of water one gallon for us students is approximately 3.8 liters the density of mercury it's very heavy compound is about 13.5 grams per liter major source of mercury and drinking water in the United States a day is from natural deposits from refineries from coal-burning power plants especially here in Ohio where we have a lot of them along the Ohio River