As the nation transitions away from coal, the giant plants that once supported small towns are closing. Once one of the most coal-heavy states, Ohio is now leading the nation in plant closures. Utilities have shuttered five coal-fired plants in the past decade and will close two more by 2027 in the Tri-State region. This leaves more questions than answers to the communities left behind. How will the sites be cleaned up? Who is monitoring air quality and drinking water? Will developers move in with new jobs or will the legacy of these coal towns be tainted land and unemployment?
The WCPO 9 I-Team set out to answer these questions in its year-long series, Closed and Undisclosed.