Advocating for God’s Creation often requires wading through some thick jargon and decoding strings of acronyms that only an environmental policy maker could love. Jargon busters to the rescue! From time to time, we’ll “bust” some of this jargon to make your advocacy work a little easier. Let us know if you encounter words or acronyms that need some busting!
CCR (Coal Combustion Residuals)
No, this doesn’t have anything to do with the legendary rock band, but sometimes CCR (Coal Combustion Residuals) is indeed rolling down the river.
What is it?
In the environmental world, CCR means “Coal Combustion Residuals,” commonly known as coal ash. It is the residual that remains after coal is burned by power plants to generate electricity. According to the EPA, CCR “is one of the largest types of industrial waste generated in the United States. In 2012, 470 coal-fired electric utilities generated about 110 million tons of coal ash.” In Georgia, power plants produce over 6 million tons of CCR per year, and around 86 million tons of coal ash is stored across the state at power plants—usually in unlined ponds near rivers.
Why does it matter?
CCR is toxic. It contains arsenic, mercury, and other heavy metals. Left in unlined ponds or near waterways, it can contaminate underground water and waterways, increasing the risk of serious illness for humans and animals. Sometimes, coal ash ponds spill into rivers and on on land, destroying rivers and neighborhoods. It persists in the environment indefinitely and accumulates in the food chain.
For more information about coal ash issues in Georgia, check out our coal ash advocacy page!
Tags: ccr, coal ash, coal combustion residuals, epa, jargon busters