EPA bows to polluters with new coal ash rule

Millions of tons of toxic coal ash sit next in unlined pits to our nation’s rivers and lakes, upstream from drinking water sources and the Environmental Protection Agency just extended their stay. (© Gerry Broome)

This week the Environmental Protection Agency weakened federal rules for coal ash storage that move our country backwards and put America’s waterways and communities at risk from more coal ash pollution. In response to this shortsighted action, made at the request of polluters, Senior Attorney Frank Holleman issued the following statement.

These rules will allow yet more tons of coal ash, containing toxics like arsenic and mercury, to be dumped into unlined leaking pits sitting in groundwater and next to rivers, lakes, and drinking water reservoirs. These rules also substitute politics for science, by allowing action to be taken based on certification by a politically-appointed agency director, instead of a licensed practicing engineer. The result will be more contaminated groundwater, more polluted rivers, and more harm and risk for communities who live nearby. EPA is taking this action to allow more coal ash in more unlined pits, when legal action and local community groups have convinced utilities in the Southeast to remove more than 100 million tons of coal ash from unlined pits to eliminate pollution and the risk of catastrophic failure. EPA is going backwards, when neighborhoods and families want more protection from coal ash and coal ash pollution.”

Learn more about EPA’s latest action from recent CNN coverage

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