In the Water
Indiana is one of the top 10 coal-producing states in the U.S. It also has the largest number of coal ash disposal sites in the country. Coal ash is the waste product of burning coal for electricity. It’s full of heavy metals and other toxic substances that have leached into the ground water of Indiana communities.
In the Water follows the complex discussions around Indiana’s most traditional energy source. It speaks to everyone from the miners who dig coal from the ground, to environmental activists fighting for coal ash disposal legislation and clean water, to residents whose health has been affected by coal ash pollution.
It also looks to the future, exploring possible alternative uses of coal ash and ways to improve the quality of water for Indiana citizens.
Indiana is the 8th largest coal producer in the US and the mining industry contributed around $2 billion to the state economy in 2018.
One million tons of coal ash from a NIPSCO power plant was housed over the Town of Pines aquifer and contaminated the residents water supply.
The state of Indiana has more coal ash than any other state, with 86 known coal ash impoundments.
Coal ash is what’s left over after burning coal for electricity. Seventy percent of Indiana’s electricity is generated by coal-fired power plants.