Wis. DNR: Coal-ash spill no risk to human health

By the Associated Press | November 11, 2011 | 4:25 PM EST

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Scientists say the environmental impact of a recent mudslide that swept tons of coal ash and debris into Lake Michigan should be minimal.

A report released Friday by the state Department of Natural Resources says there are slightly elevated levels of arsenic and chromium in the ash still on land. Water samples tested slightly higher for iron and aluminum, and the sediment contained higher levels of arsenic, iron and nickel.

The DNR says there's nothing in the results to suggest any health risks to humans. Officials say the ash on land can be moved safely to a landfill, and the ash in the lake and sediment can be removed.

The mudslide happened Oct. 31 when a section of cliff gave way near a We Energies plant outside Milwaukee.