The Sludge Threat

Coal ash retention ponds are so numerous and so toxic that they are now considered to be a potential threat to national security.

June 17, 2009, 10:00 AM PDT

By Michael Dudley


Back in December of 2008, a coal ash pond in Tennessee burst its banks and flooded some 300 acres with an estimated billion gallons of toxic sludge. Now there are concerns that the nation's other 44 such sites also pose a grave threat to surrounding communities.

We all knew the problem was serious. Now it turns out that it's so bad that the public can't be informed where those sites are. According to the Huffington Post,

"the Department of Homeland Security has told Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) that her committee can't publicly disclose the location of coal ash dumps across the country.

The pollution is so toxic, so dangerous, that an enemy of the United States -- or a storm or some other disrupting event -- could easily cause them to spill out and lay waste to any area nearby."

Friday, June 12, 2009 in Huffington Post

Chicago Transit Authority Green Line Train at 35th-Bronzeville-IIT

A New Transit Equity Dashboard

New data technology has made it possible to measure transit equity in ways that were impossible before. TransitCenter is making good use of the new capabilities.

June 17 - TransitCenter

Car-Centric Planning

Mapping Environmental Justice Hotspots

A new map of Virginia illustrates the stark contrasts in pollution burdens depending on location.

June 18 - The Virginia Mercury

California Gas Statin

The Big Taboo of the Senate's Bipartisan Infrastructure Proposal

Ten bipartisan senators have proposed a nearly $1 trillion infrastructure deal with no new taxes, but it does include indexing the current gas tax of 18.4 cents per gallon, unchanged in 28 years, to inflation, thus potentially increasing gas prices.

June 17 - The Washington Post

New Updates on The Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

New Case Study Posted on HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.