Did Virginia Company’s Coal Ash Cause Birth Defects in Dominican Republic?

Monday, November 09, 2009
Coal ash victim in Dominican Republic (photo: Toxic-Coal-Ash.net)

A Virginia-based power company has been accused of causing birth defects and other health problems in the Dominican Republic after thousands of tons of coal ash were dumped on a local beach. AES Corporation, operator of coal-burning power plants in the U.S. and other countries, discarded 160 million pounds of coal ash in the Dominican Republic after officials in neighboring Puerto Rico complained about the buildup of the toxic refuse from AES’ plant in Guayama. So the American company hired a contractor to ship the coal ash—a leftover from burning coal that’s filled with heavy metals—to Samaná, on the Dominican Republic’s Atlantic coast, where it sat for two years. Locals began to complain after the coal ash arrived of children being born with horrible disorders, such as missing limbs or having organs on the outside of their bodies. A class action lawsuit was filed in a Delaware court last Wednesday alleging AES is responsible for the health problems in Samaná and should be held liable for correcting the situation.

-Noel Brinkerhoff
Toxic Coal Ash Case Summary (Toxic Coal Ash.net)
Anajai Calcano Pallano v. AES Corporation (Superior Court for Delaware) (PDF)


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