Greenpeace activists investigate pollution from a coal ash disposal site belonging to the Shentou Number 2 Power Plant, Shuozhou, Shanxi province. This disposal site does not have any safeguards – not even retaining walls – to protect against coal ash...

Photo | 2010-09-17

Greenpeace activists investigate pollution from a coal ash disposal site belonging to the Shentou Number 2 Power Plant, Shuozhou, Shanxi province. This disposal site does not have any safeguards – not even retaining walls – to protect against coal ash dispersal or leakage. The only preventative measure taken has been to compact the outermost coal ash to form a makeshift dam. There are villages all around the coal ash landfill, including Mayi, which trace its history back to before the Tang Dynasty. But the arrival of the ash disposal site has irrevocably changed this ancient village. Leakages from ash ponds have raised the groundwater and flooded the villagers’ cellars; cattle and sheep have difficulty reproducing; fields are no longer fertile.

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