AUSTIN (KXAN) — Environmental groups gathered outside Austin Energy headquarters this week, calling for change at the Fayette coal power plant in La Grange. Austin Energy owns one-third of the plant.

The group demanded more lead testing, a clean up of coal ash and a transition to solar or other renewable resources at the plant.

“We’re here trying to get the City of Austin and Austin Energy to take responsibility for the coal ash cancer and the lead poisoning that they are spraying in Fayette county,” Danny Fetonte, chairman of the Fayette 350 Austin committee, said.

According to a report from the Environmental Integrity Project, the coal ash pits at Fayetteville release toxins into the environment since they aren’t properly lined. Long-term exposure to these toxins can cause kidney and liver damage, cardiac issues and cancers. 

In a statement regarding the project, Austin Energy said despite negotiations, they aren’t able to retire their share of the plant as originally planned. They will continue to hold their portion while meeting their carbon reduction goals. Currently, they are 66% carbon-free.

Fetonte, who has coal ash cancer, believes Austin Energy should take responsibility for the negative health effects caused by the plant that is also owned by the Lower Colorado River Authority.

Fetonte was a part of the protest Wednesday morning sponsored by 350 Austin and Texas Drought Project.

“We’re not looking for a lawsuit,” Fetonte said. However, they plan to meet every other week to protest until Austin Energy works with them to mitigate the issue.