That was the FIRST thing that came to my mind in reading this story in the LINCOLN (NE) JOURNAL STAR.
The story told of Nebraska state officials' decision to spread coal or 'fly' ash on the Platte river in an attempt to help in a controlled thaw of river ice.
The Platte River flows into the Missouri River- the source of most of Metro Kansas City's drinking water- south of Omaha.
Wikipedia and other information sources confirm the toxic nature of coal/fly ash:
"Toxic constituents depend upon the specific coal bed makeup, but may include one or more of the following elements or substances in quantities from trace amounts to several percent: arsenic, beryllium, boron, cadmium, chromium, chromium VI, cobalt, lead, manganese, mercury, molybdenum, selenium, strontium, thallium, and vanadium, along with dioxins and PAH compounds."
"In the past, fly ash was generally released into the atmosphere, but pollution control equipment mandated in recent decades now require that it be captured prior to release. In the US, fly ash is generally stored at coal power plants or placed in landfills. About 43 percent is recycled, often used to supplement Portland cement in concrete production. Some have expressed health concerns about this."
I wonder- is this possible 'solution' for river ice any better than letting Nature take her natural course?