04/16/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

"The Filthy Fifteen" States With Most Dangerous Coal Ash

In the wake of the December 22 disastrous spill of toxic coal ash into a Tennessee River -- into and over houses, leaving sludge behind that the Tennessee Valley Authority simultaneously said wasn't dangerous and that should be avoided at all costs, we wondered where else we should be worried about coal ash sitting around, waiting to be dumped on neighbors.

The Natural Resource Defense Council is thinking further ahead, coming up with a state-by-state threat report, based on where new coal plants and coal ash storage is planned. It features what they call "The Filthy Fifteen:"

1. Texas
2. South Dakota
3. Florida
4. Nevada
5. Montana
6. Illinois
7. South Carolina
8. Ohio
9. Wyoming
10. Michigan
11. Kentucky
12. Missouri
13. Wisconsin
14. Georgia
15. West Virginia

See all of the stats and details for these states and more at the NRDC's site. As they put it:

More than 80 new coal-fired power plants have been proposed around the country. If built, the plants would produce 18 million tons of coal waste per year, contaminated by over 18 thousand tons of toxic metals. Over the course of their operating lives, these new power plants would produce approximately a billion tons of coal waste containing a million tons of toxic metals.