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Coal Ash Affects Residents, Inmates in LaBelle, PA

By Dan Carpenter on 09/24/2015

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Fugitive dust has tainted the relationship between a coal waste disposal contractor and a nearby Pennsylvania town’s residents — a situation that could have been avoided altogether through the use of Midwest Industrial Supply's products and services.

Fugitive dust from coal ash disposal facilities can negatively affect both the immediate environment and the people around it — especially when the level of that dust in the air gets out of hand.

Indeed, coal ash can cause health concerns for not only the people who come into contact with it, but also the wildlife in the surrounding area. And unsurprisingly, the incorrect handling of coal ash can quickly sour a business's relationship with neighboring communities — a problem it must handle swiftly and appropriately.

More Than Stray Ash

One such case of incorrect coal ash management has unfolded in LaBelle, a small town in southwestern Pennsylvania, was reported in the Herald Standard. A contracting company operates an ash and refuse heap there, right next door to a state prison (which sits on underlying land that was originally part of the dump site).

Many of the prison’s inmates, as well as others near the site, were experiencing health issues as a result of exposure to the dust emitted from the dump.

This can be avoided by employing the right preventative measures. Effective dust control, and especially control of coal ash dust, is a continual battle to which operators must commit, but when in need, they can also turn to third-party providers with the means to keep operations safe and contained.

Enlist the Help of Midwest

For example, a partnership with Midwest Industrial Supply, Inc. would serve to reduce the fugitive dust escaping the coal waste area and dramatically improve site conditions. Midwest works closely with companies in a wide variety of heavy industries to implement an effective and affordable dust control solution that’s tailored to a site’s specific needs.

Products like their rigorously tested Soil-Sement® use effective, naturally produced, and long-lasting polymers to bind the top layer of exposed ash, eliminating the chance for airborne particulate matter to escape. And with their fleet of spray application trucks and professional operators, Midwest further ensures that fugitive dust becomes a thing of the past.

The situation in LaBelle is unpleasant, to say the least, and so operators must seek help now from the experts at Midwest in order to keep sites environmentally friendly and affordably maintained.

(Image credit: Rennett Stowe/flickr)

About Author

Dan Carpenter

Written by Dan Carpenter

Dan Carpenter is the Power Market Specialist at Midwest with a deep knowledge of utility-related dust control issues and solutions for ash and coal handling, winter operations, and dust control with a focus on in-transit coal-dust mitigation. Dan worked with BNSF on its Super Trial, the purpose of which was to identify and approve products that are effective in reducing in-transit dust coal cars leaving the Powder River Basin (PRB).

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