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Coal, coal dust and fly ash have been known to contribute to a number of diseases including: Heart disease, certain types of cancers, respiratory diseases, and strokes, according to Alan H. Lockwood, who wrote a report titled Coals Assault On Human Health.

We Energies, which operates a coal plant that spans across Oak Creek and Caledonia, is negotiating with about 20 families to have a third-party test their homes for the presence of coal dust and do water testing after neighbors claimed they have suffered from asthma, COPD, certain types of cancer, and upper respiratory problems.

We Energies spokesperson Brian Manthey said that We Energies was just recently made aware of some of the neighbors’ health concerns and they are looking into this matter. He also pointed out that there were no health claims about coal dust or fly ash from any of the homes they recently bought in the area around the coal plant other than claims made by Pringle.

Still, a number of neighbors plan to attend a Joint Board of Health meeting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Central Racine County Health Department in the U.S. Bank building, 10005 Northwestern Ave., 2nd Floor in Franksville.

Here are a number resources on the issue of what has happened in the area over the lase several years with Molybdenum, the bluff collapse at the We Energies plant, history of the We Energies Oak Creek Power Plant, and health information about the effect of coal-fired power plants from the National Institute of Health and the U.S. EPA.

Also, we’ve included an interactive map where people can add their address and register any health concerns that they may have.

Caledonia Groundwater Molybdenum Investigation (Jan. 2013)

DNR Report: We Energies Faces Fines On Bluff Collapse

Molybdenum Safety Levels Revised

Molybdenum map of tested wells in Racine and Milwaukee counties

CDC: NIOSH Pocket Guide To Chemical Hazards on Coal Dust

Background on Oak Creek Power Plant

Oak Creek Air Quality Control Project

National Institute of Health: Tox Town – Coal-Fired Power

MyEnvironment: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

National Institute of Health: ToxMap


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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.

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