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Bluff collapses at Wisconsin power plant, sends coal ash and dirt into Lake Michigan

A bluff collapsed next to a coal power plant in Wisconsin on Monday, sending debris, dredging equipment and a pickup truck into the lake. No one was hurt in what the Coast Guard says was a "freak accident."
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A bluff collapsed next to a coal power plant in Wisconsin on Monday, sending debris, dredging equipment and a pickup truck into the lake. No one was hurt in what the Coast Guard says was a "freak accident."

"It is probable that some of the material that washed into the lake is coal ash," a company spokesman says.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports the EPA is revamping regulations around coal ash following a pond washout in Tennessee in 2008 that created an environmental disaster.

Coal ash can be nasty stuff, according to a report in Scientific American. The magazine notes "the waste produced by coal plants is actually more radioactive than that generated by their nuclear counterparts."

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