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Posted Wed Feb 17 2010: from Omaha World-Herald:
Coal ash intentionally scattered over frozen Platte
A crop duster will drop about 86 tons of ash over about 10 spots along the river on Thursday, Berndt said. The ash comes from the Nebraska Public Power District coal plant near Hallam. The hope is that the dark ash will absorb the sun's energy and help "rot" the ice so it breaks up into smaller chunks and washes downstream, Berndt said. Larger ice chunks can jam together like a dam and send floodwaters washing over levees.... Marlin Petermann, assistant general manager of the Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District, said ice on the Platte is averaging about 16.7 inches thick. That's in the range that can pose problems, he said. The cost of the dusting is expected to be less than $100,000 Berndt said. Petermann, who has spent much of his 35-year career watching the river, said it's money well spent.
[Read more stories about: coal issues, heavy metals, toxic buildup]

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'Doc Jim says:
Something tells me that they didn't buy the more expensive heavy-metal-free coal ash.

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