By Alison Henderson
A coal ash spill at a We Energies facility in Caledonia, Wis. is causing debate over the lack of federal regulation on coal ash.
The spill, caused by a landslide, dumped about 2,5000 cubic yards of old coal ash into Lake Michigan on Wednesday, according to an Associated Press report.
Though the ash could harm fish habitats and contaminate the water with heavy metals, Ann Coakley, spokeswoman for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources said the spill likely has no significant environmental impact.
"Most will stay where it is and they'll scoop it out," Coakley said. "That's not to say none of it will migrate but it's likely not going to cause a great deal of environment
The EPA is proposing stricter regulation on coal ash in light of the spill, according to a Michigan Radio report.
A hearing in Chicago addressed the debate. Concerned Caledonia citizens and officials attended to advocate stronger federal regulation, according to a Racine Journal Times report.
Supporters of the coal industry suggested that stronger regulation could result in job loss and higher electricity costs, according to the Journal Times report.