Coal ash, which contains many of the world's worst carcinogens, is what's left over when coal is burnt for electricity. An estimated 113 million tons of coal ash are produced annually in the US, and stored in almost every state — some of it literally in people's backyards. With very little government oversight and few safeguards in place, toxic chemicals have been known to leak from these storage sites and into nearby communities, contaminating drinking water and making residents sick.

In the upcoming series, VICE News travels across the US to meet the people and visit the areas most affected by this toxic waste stream. Since coal production is predicted to remain steady for the next few decades, coal ash will be a problem that will affect the US for years to come.

Watch "Showdown in Coal Country"

Watch "Petcoke: Toxic Waste in the Windy City"

Read "Humans Are Destroying the Environment at a Rate Unprecedented in Over 10,000 Years"

Read "The Economic Cost of Carbon Pollution Is Much Greater Than Estimated, Say Stanford University Researchers"