SELC Statement on Approval of EPD’s Georgia Coal Ash Storage and Disposal Rules
Atlanta, GA—Today the Board of the Department of Natural Resources approved the Georgia Environmental Protection Division’s (EPD) final coal ash storage and disposal rules.
In response, the following statement is from Chris Bowers, senior attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center.
“These rules are an important step forward, but they do not go far enough. The state rules improve upon the federal coal ash rule in key ways: they apply to a broader set of coal ash storage and disposal sites; they require landfills that accept coal ash to submit a coal ash management plan and test groundwater for coal ash contaminants; and they require all coal ash storage and disposal sites to be permitted by EPD.
Coal ash ponds have been largely unregulated by EPD thus far, so these regulations will fill a very big regulatory gap. That said, we continue to advocate for stronger, more protective rules, especially in light of the fact that initial groundwater monitoring results show high levels of coal ash contaminants. Leaving the ash behind in unlined, leaking pits is not an acceptable solution for Georgia.”
About Southern Environmental Law Center:
The Southern Environmental Law Center is a regional nonprofit using the power of the law to protect the health and environment of the Southeast (Virginia, Tennessee, North and South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama). Founded in 1986, SELC's team of nearly 60 legal and policy experts represent more than 100 partner groups on issues of climate change and energy, air and water quality, forests, the coast and wetlands, transportation, and land use. www.SouthernEnvironment.org