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"It's on everything:" Residents near the We Energies plant concerned about dark dust

OAKCREEK (CBS 58) -- Residents in Oak Creek who live next to the We Energies plant noticed dark dust covering their cars, railings and homes. 

"We have coal on everything you touch out here. Every car in this subdivision has coal dust on it, fine particle coal dust," said Greg Millard, lives near the plant.

With the winds picking up out of the southeast, residents believe it's coal dust blowing in from the coal pile near the plant. 

Millard said he's spoken up about his concerns about the coal pile before. 

"They were warned about this last august that we were going to get coal in our yard today everyone got coal in our yard," said Millard. 

The Clean Power Coalition also reached out back in January. 

"We felt it was warranted for them to be monitoring the air for coal dust particles. They responded by saying our concerns were not valid," said Miranda Ehrlich.

Neighbors reached out to the electric company and it assured them it would spray the coal pile to suppress and minimize coal dust. 

We Energies released a statement stating in part about concerns, "We are addressing the customer's concerns by reviewing our coal-handling operations; during this time we are not adding coal to the piles, so as to minimize the coal dust."

Both We Energies and the Environmental Accountability Group were out collecting samples to see if the dust is coal dust. 

Neighbors are worried how this dark dust will impact the kids who live in the area.

"Little kids in the neighborhood, some are only like this tall. Kids like to play with stuff and put their hand in their mouth," said Millard.

The Clean Power Coalition plans to hold events this month to bring the community together to discuss the issue.

To see the full We Energies statement, see below:

"We are aware that a customer has contacted us regarding coal dust on their property and we are working directly with that customer to address those concerns. Winds have been strong out of the south east, which are contributing to the customer’s concern.

We are addressing the customer’s concerns by reviewing our coal-handling operations; during this time we are not adding coal to the piles, so as to minimize the coal dust. We are also using water technology to suppress and minimize coal dust."


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