Using Google Earth to prove a case of illegal waste dumping

For a few years now, the Sierra Club and Earthjustice had suspected that Louisville Gas & Electric had been illegally dumping chemicals into the Ohio river. They’ve been capturing ground-level images of the waste entering the river, and are coupling that with Google Earth imagery to prove their case.

illegal waste dumping

PolicyMic has details, including some statements from Earthjustice attorney Thom Cmar:

“Coal ash contamination is rampant across the country, and the evidence gathered at Mill Creek is unequivocal. Coal ash has already polluted more than 200 lakes, rivers, streams and drinking waters. The problem continues to worsen, but no federal protections exist. Our household garbage is better regulated than this toxic waste.”

Armed with the imagery, Earthjustice and the Sierra Club are now filing a lawsuit against Louisville Gas & Electric on behalf of Kentucky residents.

We’ve seen Google Earth used to catch instances of illegal marijuana growing, illegal pools, illegal mining and illegal fishing, but I believe this is the first time that imagery from Google Earth will be used as part of a lawsuit for this kind of activity.

Read more about it over on the PolicyMic website.

About Mickey Mellen

Mickey has been using Google Earth since it was released in 2005, and has created a variety of geo-related sites including Google Earth Hacks. He runs a web design firm in Marietta, GA, where he lives with his wife and two kids.

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