6th Graders Take on Energy Giant in Bokoshe, Oklahoma:
Fearing for the health of their small eastern Oklahoma town, sixth grade students in Bokoshe are publicly speaking out against a toxic coal fly ash pit near their school.The students selected their town’s number one concern as part of an environmental component of the national Learn and Serve America Program that encourages civic participation and awareness. More information can be found at www.Learnandserve.gov. The operators of the disposal pit, Making Money Having Fun, LLC and several state regulatory agencies have come under fire for failing to adequately protect residents from fugitive dust that has covered the community for years. Fly ash is the result of burnt coal from the power plant and is a toxic mixture of heavy metals such as mercury, arsenic, chromium and lead. Residents contend they were never told the material was hazardous when the disposal pit began operation 8 years ago. The Environmental Protection Agency is currently considering classifying fly ash, or coal combustion waste, as a hazardous material. Power producers such as AES and local electric co-ops oppose the potential EPA safeguards.
Nine fifth and sixth grade students in a class of 17 at the Bokoshe school have asthma or other respiratory conditions.The students, concerned individuals, and families of Bokoshe have scheduled a media event for Tuesday, December 7, 2010. The students will have the opportunity to share their stories regarding health issues with asthma during the event. A new sign created by the citizens of Bokoshe will be unveiled.
be strong, be safe, Carlan