"What is Coal Ash?

Coal ash, the waste leftover from burning coal, is toxic. Coal ash has harmful metals, like mercury and arsenic, and other dangerous chemicals. These chemicals become even more dangerous when they enter our water supplies. Recent disasters spilled toxic coal ash into rivers and across people’s land in the southeast. On top of these high profile spills, pollution monitoring conducted by power companies shows that these unlined pits leak and contaminate groundwater. So now, electric utilities are moving millions of tons of this waste to lined landfills to get them out of old, leaky unlined ponds.

To protect communities around the state, the Georgia Water Coalition (GWC) is pursuing legislation that will:

  • Ensure all of Georgia’s toxic coal ash waste is stored in dry, lined, and capped facilities.
  • Aggressively monitor coal ash storage facilities for leaks.
  • Require public notification when coal ash waste threatens communities.
  • Require producers of coal ash to provide drinking water when coal ash contamination is discovered in private drinking water wells.
  • Keep coal ash landfills away from wetlands and fragile ecosystems.

Click here for a pdf version of our Coal Ash Goals.

Read about coal ash contamination in Juliette in The Grist.

April 1, 2021. No Coal Ash Progress from 2021 Legislative Session

February 26, 2021. The Newnan Times-Herald. "Wrong is wrong, especially when lives are on the line"

September 29, 2020. The Albany Herald. "Georgia Water Coalition Lauds Passage of Coal Ash Bill".

September 28, 2020 - Georgia Water Coalition Issues Coal Ash Thank Yous

June 24, 2020 - One coal ash bill headed to Governor’s desk

June 19, 2020, Senate Committee passes coal ash drainage bill

June 18, 2020 - "Bill to discourage out-of-state coal ash import clears major committee hurdle".

Take action on our online action site, Protect Georgia.

Map of coal ash storage from coal-fired utilities in Georgia, December 2018. Please send additions or corrections to [email protected]

Earthjustice and Environmental Integrity Report on groundwater contamination from toxic coal ash ponds in Georgia.

Report on groundwater contamination at utility-owned coal ash ponds in Georgia.


If you would like to contact a representative of the Georgia Water Coalition with questions about coal ash, contact:

Kevin Jeselnik, Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, 404-352-9828

Neill Sardana, Sierra Club