Clean up coal ash

What's At Stake

For four years, the Trump administration wreaked havoc on the health of the communities where we live and work. They gutted regulations to keep toxics out of your food, removed restrictions to limit mercury exposure, and rolled back protections against coal ash. We need you to call on the Biden administration to reverse the rollbacks and fight coal ash.

We will be relentless in our efforts to undo every bit of the damage the administration has done. One of the key issues we need your help on is coal ash, the toxic residue that remains after coal is burned that impacts the health of millions of people. The Trump administration rolled back the already-too-weak regulations — giving polluting power companies free rein to continue poisoning the communities they claim to serve.

Earthjustice sued both the Obama and Trump administrations to establish and later protect regulations designed to curb coal ash contamination. Now is the time to both restore those safeguards and think big to develop bolder protections that match the scale of the problem. Tell the Biden administration to take decisive action to fight toxic coal ash contamination!

Coal ash is often dumped into unlined pits for storage and disposal — which means it easily reaches our groundwater. Once in our groundwater, it flows into our lakes, rivers, and streams. 91% of regulated coal plants with coal ash ponds and landfills have polluted groundwater with unsafe levels of arsenic, lithium, cadmium, cobalt, selenium, mercury, lead and other toxins.

These toxins cause cancer, respiratory issues, reproductive issues, and neurological impairments — while also making fish in the water unsafe to eat. Between a housing market where low-income communities are only able to get as much distance from the toxins as they can afford, and the deliberate placement of polluting facilities into communities of color by those who would never accept them in their own neighborhoods, the impact of coal ash contamination maintains and exacerbates existing inequities.

As we continue to shut down coal plants and shift to renewable energy, we can’t afford to ignore the continuing impact of coal ash on nearby communities. We need requirements that force polluters to clean up their coal ash and take every action possible to protect water quality and public health. We need to get the data on water contamination from power plants, and we must respond with conviction and urgency when we learn a community’s water is poisoning them. We need the Biden administration to lead on this issue.

The Trump administration gave coal plants a pass to poison our communities — which is why we need to push the Biden administration hard to undo the damage. The Biden administration can use its authority to take meaningful action to stop the harms of coal ash across the country. Please join us in demanding our government leaders take action to protect our communities and our water.

The NIPSCO R.M. Schahfer Generating Station in Wheatfield, IN,  Sunday, August 12, 2018.
(Alex Garcia)
The NIPSCO R.M. Schahfer Generating Station in Wheatfield, IN, Sunday, August 12, 2018. (Alex Garcia)

Delivery to EPA Administrator Michael Regan

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