The Great ShakeOut is October 16 across the United States. There will be drills for states in the Midwest, the Southeast, California and elsewhere, including overseas. Millions of people have registered their families, schools and businesses to participate, and more are signing up.
The national focus and concern about coal tailings dams had settled down in the last couple of years. These reservoirs of coal ash sludge were big news in December 2008 when the dam for a large one burst near Kingston, Tenn. It sent a wave of toxic sludge into a community and stream, inundating the immediate landscape and fouling surface water with 5 million cubic yards of contaminated waste. Since February the risks associated with the ponds have been back in headlines and television news reports, though not because of a dam breach. Continue reading →