To The Editor:

Thank you for informing the citizens of Franklin County about the hearing in Jefferson City around the issue of coal ash from the plant in Labadie. Coal ash is not something most think about when they turn on their lights, but it is a problem because of the toxic substances in it. Thankfully, there are local citizens willing to drive to Jefferson City to make their voices heard.

Your second article about coal ash was, to me, confusing. The county Highway Administrator Ron Williams says the toxins in coal ash are caught by the scrubbers in the smokestacks. But how can that be? The particulate matter in the cinders/coal ash is too heavy to go up the smokestack. I know that personally because I was raised in a house with a coalburning furnace, and one of my jobs was to help my dad shovel the ashes out from under the fire pit.

What worries me in general is that legislators, both state and national, seem to be more interested in eliminating the safeguards we need for a healthy place to live than they are in protecting us. Add to that the carbon dioxide caused by burning fossil fuels like coal, and it becomes even more urgent that we pay attention to what our representatives are doing in Jefferson City and Washington, D.C.

I hope your excellent coverage of this issue will motivate more people to pay attention to what is being released into our air and water for the sake of their families if not for themselves.