The University of Northern Iowa gets its coal for the campus power plant from the Dodge Hill Mining Company in Kentucky. There, huge tractors excavate large swaths of land to get at small seams of coal in the earth’s crust. Once the coal is ripped out of the ground, it is loaded on semis, then trucked and trained to barges on the Mississippi River. An average barge burns 2,000-2,400 gallons of diesel fuel a day. The barges unload in Muscatine and the coal is trucked to Cedar Falls. Once the coal gets to campus, it enters a boiler and is burned to create steam and electricity. This releases sulfur, nitrogen, mercury, carbon, particulate matter and other pollutants that contaminate our air, land and water. The leftover concentrated, toxic ash is trucked outside of Waterloo and dumped in an unlined quarry.