Coal loaded on a train

America’s Dirty Secret: Coal Ash

In Juliette, Georgia radioactive water flows from the tap. In Pennsylvania, three adjoining counties battle a rare form of cancer. One thing these communities have in common is their exposure coal ash. Coal combustion powers 40 percent of America’s electricity but generates 130 million tons of coal ash each year. Though it is known to contain carcinogens, coal ash is often dumped in unlined ponds where it leaches into groundwater. There is no federal coal ash regulation on the books—only a patchwork of state level standards. But people who live near the coal ash dumps in Georgia and Pennsylvania say they are shrugged off as collateral damage by corporate interests and slow moving government agencies. An original "Earth Focus" investigation.

Category:

Get the free PBS App

Full Episodes

Upcoming Airdates

The Price of Gold in Peru

When Peru’s President Martín Vizcarra came to power in 2018, one of his first priorities was to gain control over the devastating outbreak of illegal gold mining operations. In February 2019, the government launched Operation Mercury, a decisive action to shut down an entire town built around an illegal gold mine.

  • 2020-10-21T22:30:00-07:00
    KCET-HD

The Youth Climate Movement Around the World

In 2019, 16 children from across the world including Greta Thunberg filed a historical, global lawsuit petitioning the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child to hold five of the world’s leading economic powers accountable for inaction on the climate crisis. All 16 young people are alarmed by the changes they see in their homelands.

  • 2020-10-28T22:30:00-07:00
    KCET-HD
  • 2020-11-08T11:00:00-08:00
    KCET-HD

Coal Mining in South Africa

South Africa faces a stark reality as the continent’s largest greenhouse gas emitter. More than 80% of power generation comes from coal, with 11 coal power plants turning the province of Mpumalanga into one of the most polluted areas of the world. As the world moves away from fossil fuels and major global investors pull out, renewable energy fights to forge the future. The tension is palpable among the government, coal producers, workers, and the environment in a post-apartheid South Africa facing pressing developmental challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality.

  • 2020-11-04T21:30:00-08:00
    KCET-HD
  • 2020-11-15T11:00:00-08:00
    KCET-HD