Environmentalists To Hold Meeting on Coal Ash Contamination in Cobb

Georgia Power sign at Plant McDonough-Atkinson in Cobb County accompanying article about restory powerGeorgia Power sign at Plant McDonough-Atkinson in Cobb County (photo by Larry Felton Johnson)

Environmental groups have organized a public informational meeting about coal ash waste in Cobb County and its effect on the environment. Coal ash is created by burning coal in coal-powered plants. It will take place Thursday July 18 at 7 p.m. at the Cobb County Civic Center, 548 South Marietta Parkway.

Plant McDonough is located near Smyrna on the banks of the Chattahoochee River. Georgia Power is currently in the process of removing some coal ash ponds and closing and capping others in place around the state, but environmental groups are concerned they aren’t doing enough.

A 2015 environmental report found groundwater contamination at 11 of 12 plants around the state. Ten had unsafe levels of pollutants. Plant McDonough had unsafe levels of arsenic, lithium, radium and several other pollutants.

Rep. Mary Frances Williams (D-Marietta) introduced House Resolution 257 during the 2019 legislative session urging “Georgia Power to remove all buried and unburied coal ash piles from Plant McDonough and place it in a lined landfill.

Rebecca Gaunt earned a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and a master’s degree in education from Oglethorpe University. After teaching elementary school for several years, she returned to writing. She lives in Marietta with her husband, son, two cats, and a dog. In her spare time, she loves to read, binge Netflix and travel.