Stand before the pond known here in southwestern Pennsylvania as Little Blue Run, and you'll see nothing that resembles its bucolic-sounding name.
The one-time stream is now an industrial pond, filled with arsenic-laced waste from a coal-fired power plant. The pond spans nearly 1,000 acres of rolling, rural landscape in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, along the Ohio River. Millions of tons of coal ash have landed in the 35-year-old dump, looming over some 50,000 people in southeastern Ohio, held back by a 400-foot-tall dam, that federal regulators have deemed a "high hazard" to human life if it ever let loose. [...]
"It will keep rising," says Marci Carpenter, who lives in a neighborhood dotted with vacant properties and abandoned homes, "and soon it'll be above my house."
Unless, that is, coal ash is regulated by the federal government.