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Amazing Grace

September 8, 2010

Tons of rain, literally tons of rain. And still, they showed up. The EPA sponsored hearings regarding coal ash and it’s effect on our lives. They came from Bokoshoe, Oklahoma. They came from Arkansas, Louisiana, Houston, Corsicana and the rain did not prevent them from telling the stories they had to tell. Just staying for around for three hours allowed us to listen to the tales of heatbreak, and distrust. The stories of the ash mounds over 50 feet tall in Oklahoma. The continued pollution of the wetlands in Louisiana. The plans to build a coal plant on the banks of the Colorado River in Southeast Texas. The coal plant in Corsicana, Texas known as “Big Brown”.

The woman in her senior years telling about living adjacent to an ash pit where the ash blows through the house like poison snowflakes. Her adult daughter being diagnosed with cancer and then succumbing to it within 17 days.

The physician who belongs to an doctor/activist group who tells the EPA that it’s poisoning our lives. It’s in our children’s brains.

The former army sergeant, now homeless vet from Arkansas telling the EPA panel that he did his duty in Afghanistan, now it’s their turn to do something for all of us.

The industry spokespeople who with downcast faces tell that they need the ash to put into their bricks and precast concrete. It’s been done for years and no one said anything was wrong. Why now?

The industry spokespeople who come to the microphone and say that any regulation from the government is unneeded interference and should have lesser regulations.

The stories from Oklahoma telling of natural gas workers dumping coal ash on the gas well flow back spillage as a clean up method.

The teacher from Oklahoma who tells of the 450 people in Bokoshoe , the rates of cancer and continuing death that makes frequent calls. Then there is her own cancer. Her voice trembles, it chokes, she finishes.

This is hearing #3, and 4 more to go around the country. Up next, Charlotte,Chicago, Pittsburgh, Louisville, then go, participate, listen …

Life changing. Amazing grace. How sweet the sounds.

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