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We Energies takes action after Oak Creek residents find coal dust, some neighbors say it's not enough

NOW: We Energies takes action after Oak Creek residents find coal dust, some neighbors say it’s not enough

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OAK CREEK, Wis. (CBS 58) – We Energies is making good on their promise to cover up a coal pile in Oak Creek, but some residents are still planning on moving out of the area.

We Energies is hoping to be finished by mid-May, but the project is a couple weeks late because of rain. Bulldozers were used to move the coal around and air out coal. Beginning Thursday, crews started the process of encapsulating the pile.

“Because of the wet weather, we don't want it saturated before we encapsulate it, putting a cap over the entire pile,” We Energies’ Barry McNulty said.

Crews are putting a hard crust over the pile to prevent coal dust from blowing to nearby homes. Several residents tell CBS 58 they are happy to see We Energies take action.

“It's nice to see they're making an effort. To my eyes that's a start,” Resident Steve Chapman said.

These actions come after Oak Creek residents found layers of coal dust across their neighborhood in parks, on their cars, homes, and lawns in March. At least six homes have been put on the market in the area. Greg Millard put his home of 17 years up for sale just about a week ago.  

“Quite a few of us did. The reason we did, we don't want to breathe this,” Millard said. “We are tired of the noise, they ruined the neighborhood,” Millard said.

In more preventative efforts to prevent coal dust from blowing to homes, We Energies is planning to put trees up this summer, and looking at possibly putting up windscreens in 2019.

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