Four years ago, a small Tennessee town woke up to a nightmare. A nearby coal ash pond that held back more than a billion gallons of toxic waste collapsed, sending a flood of ash and dirt right through their doors. In the weeks and months that followed, an entire nation began to see the magnitude of the coal ash threat.
The Latest On: Coal Ash Regulations
The Environmental Protection Agency is delaying issuing new rules to regulate coal ash, the waste product left from burning coal in power plants. Critics say the agency is unlikely to act until after the elections. In the meantime Earthjustice continues to work to protect the public from toxins associate with coal ash.
Lisa Evans, a senior attorney for Earthjustice, said in a statement, “Lawsuits are changing corporate behavior, but that’s not a safety plan for the nation.”
Seeking protection from unsafe dumping practices, more than 300 public interest groups from 43 states, representing millions across the nation, sent a letter this week to the U.S. Senate opposing S. 3512, the “Coal Ash Recycling and Oversight Act of 2012.”
A federal court ruling has determined that the Tennessee Valley Authority was negligent in its operations and is holding the nation’s largest public utility responsible for the catastrophic coal ash spill into the Emory and Clinch rivers. The utility failed to monitor and control water quality pressure in the dam that constrained the mercury-and arsenic-laden material, which according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency adversely affects human health and the environment.