EPA moves to crack down on dangerous coal ash storage ponds

Environmental Protection AgencyWASHINGTON (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency is taking its first major action to address toxic wastewater from coal-burning power plants, ordering utilities to stop dumping waste into unlined storage ponds and speed up plans to close leaking or otherwise dangerous coal ash sites.

The EPA says plants in four states will have to close the coal ash ponds months or years ahead of schedule.

Coal ash is the substance that remains when coal is burned to generate electricity. It can pollute waterways, poison wildlife and cause respiratory illness among those living near massive ponds where the waste is stored.

The action marks the first time the EPA has enforced a 2015 rule aimed at reducing groundwater pollution from coal-fired power plants.

 

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