Carrie Otto

carrie website.jpgAbstract: Carrie Otto will speak about how coal ash, a byproduct of coal combustion, is leaching into our surface and groundwater. Coal ash contains high levels of harmful heavy metals such as arsenic, lead and selenium and is a public health hazard and environmental threat to nearby communities. She will highlight efforts in Illinois to regulate coal ash storage and opportunities for public engagement.


Bio: Carrie Otto joined the staff of Prairie Rivers Network (PRN) in 2013. She works with Illinois residents, helping them influence decision-making surrounding coal mines and coal ash disposal where threats to clean water and water supplies exist. She is also educating voters and lawmakers about the many subsidies and fee exemptions Illinois taxpayers provide to the coal industry.

Prior to PRN, she served as the Grassroots Manager at the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids in Washington, D.C. Most recently, she facilitated student programs with the National Young Leaders Conference, Mount Tabor Retreat Center, Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii and Close Up Foundation.

Carrie received her B.A. in Political Science from Illinois Wesleyan University. Her interest in community development and organizing was fostered through participation in American University’s Transforming Communities semester program, as well as internships with the American Lung Association of Illinois and the McLean County Health Department.

Prairie Rivers Network: