It’s the largest coal ash impoundment in the nation — a three-square mile lagoon in Beaver County called “Little Blue” — and it’s leaking toxic chemicals like arsenic and barium into the ground water and wells of residents living nearby.
The battle lines have been drawn over coal, and the carbon emissions at coal-fired power plants like the one in Homer City have become the focus.
Little Blue is a two-square mile lagoon containing untold tons of coal combustion waste, and folks who live nearby say it’s made their lives a misery.
From the air it might look like an inviting lake, but Little Blue Run is filled with fly ash and calcium sulfate trapped at FirstEnergy’s Bruce Manfield Plant seven miles away.
From the air it looks benign, but for years folks living nearby have contended that the Little Blue coal ash impoundment is contaminating their ground water. The state Department of Environmental Protection now agrees that water seeping from the lagoon has created that potential and has ordered the owner, First Energy, to it shut down.
Today, environmentalists put the First Energy Corporation on notice they will be suing them, saying Little Blue Run is leaking toxic chemicals into the stream and groundwater of neighboring communities.
Fly ash and calcium sulfate trapped at First Energy’s Bruce Mansfield plant is pumped through a seven mile long pipeline into the three-square mile Little Blue lagoon — creating what environmentalists call a dangerous cocktail of chemicals and heavy metals.