"The bad news about coal-burning plants doesn't stop at air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. This week, a new study found that 91 percent of coal plants surveyed across the United States were contributing unsafe levels of pollutants to groundwater as well.
The pollutants—which include arsenic and lithium—seep into the ground from piles of toxic waste scrubbed from the stacks, called coal ash. This tainted groundwater poses a health risk for any drinking water wells nearby.
It’s an example of how producing and burning fossil fuels is more than just a seemingly distant, incremental concern posed by a warming climate. With that in mind, here are five other hazards posed by oil, natural gas, and coal."