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A bird flies by the emissions from the coal-fired Gavin Power Plant in Cheshire, Ohio. (Stephanie Keith / Getty Images)
Press Release: Victory June 28, 2024

Federal Court Blocks Attempt by Coal Power Plants to Evade Cleaning Up Coal Ash Contaminating Water

U.S. Court of Appeals affirms that EPA regulations prohibit closing coal ash dumps with ash sitting in groundwater

In the News: IndyStar May 23, 2024

Error in Pines coal ash cleanup plan put residents’ health at risk

Lisa Evans, Senior Counsel, Clean Energy Program: “They have a motivation to not find as much contamination.”

In the News: NC Newsline April 26, 2024

New EPA rules will force fossil fuel power plants to cut pollution

Lisa Evans, Senior Counsel, Clean Energy Program: “We’re going to see a long-awaited crackdown on coal ash pollution from America’s coal plants, and it’ll be a huge win for America’s health and water resources. They are all likely leaking toxic chemicals like arsenic into groundwater and most contain levels of radioactivity that can be dangerous…

Changemakers call for the EPA to hold utilities accountable for their coal ash pollution, on the day of an in-person public hearing held by the agency in Chicago on Jun. 28, 2023. (Jamie Kelter Davis for Earthjustice)
feature April 25, 2024

‘Do Your Job, EPA’: Stories From the Frontlines of Coal Ash

By law, before government regulations are adopted or changed, agencies must ask the public — you — to weigh in.

The now-closed Waukegan Generating Station, on the shore of Lake Michigan in Waukegan, Illinois. The coal fired power plant still has unregulated coal ash ponds threatening the environment. (Jamie Kelter Davis for Earthjustice)
Update April 25, 2024

New Rule Will Force Cleanup of Hundreds of Toxic Coal Ash Dump Sites

A major victory for communities living near coal ash plants, the rule closes a loophole that left over half of coal ash exempt from federal clean-up requirements.

Map of power plant sites across the United States that have regulated and / or legacy coal ash units. (Caroline Weinberg / Earthjustice)
feature April 25, 2024

Where are Coal Ash Dump Sites?

Use this map to understand where coal ash might be stored near you.

feature April 25, 2024

Coal Ash in the United States: Addressing Coal Plants’ Hazardous Legacy

Earthjustice analyzed industry data to explain, state by state, how and where coal ash is disposed and which dump sites are not yet monitored or regulated.

The aftermath of the devastating coal ash spill at the TVA Kingston Fossil Plant near Kingston, Tenn., in 2008. More than 1 billion gallons of toxic coal ash sludge burst from a dam, sweeping away homes and contaminating two rivers. (Dot Griffith/ Appalachian Voice via United Mountain Defense)
feature April 25, 2024

Coal Ash Contaminates Our Lives

Coal ash is what is left behind when power plants burn coal for energy, It is a toxic mix of carcinogens, neurotoxins, and other hazardous pollutants.

A coal ash pond full of dead trees lies adjacent to Duke Energy's Buck Steam Station in Dukeville, N.C., in 2016. (Chuck Burton / AP)
Press Release: Victory April 25, 2024

Earthjustice Applauds EPA for Historic Suite of Safeguards from Power Plant Pollution

Standards will tackle major sources of climate pollution and protect public health

In the News: Indiana Public Radio March 13, 2024

Pines residents, activists worry coal ash cleanup standard for soil based on flawed data

Lisa Evans, Senior Counsel, Clean Energy Program: “It may result in very few properties being cleaned up if that [natural level of arsenic] standard is set artificially high.”

In the News: Energy News Network March 12, 2024

Parsing legal definitions, power industry pushes back on EPA coal ash enforcement

Gavin Kearney, Deputy Managing Attorney, Clean Energy Program: “The whole overarching point (of the federal rules) is that groundwater contamination is a big problem; it’s really unsafe, and we have to prevent it. You can’t let water in (to a coal ash impoundment); you can’t let water out; you can’t let water just sit inside…

In the News: Indianapolis Star February 20, 2024

EPA: Cancer risk from coal ash higher than previously revealed. Could it be in your yard?

Lisa Evans, Senior Counsel, Clean Energy Program: “Nothing prevents power plants from moving radioactive waste from their own backyards into the backyards and neighborhoods where American families live.”

In the News: Inside Climate News February 8, 2024

EPA Reports “Widespread Noncompliance” With the Nation’s First Regulations on Toxic Coal Ash

Lisa Evans, Senior Counsel, Clean Energy Program: “We see this as the first shot across the bow informing the utilities and states and stakeholders that EPA indeed does find significant noncompliance with the coal ash rule.”

In the News: Inside Climate News January 24, 2024

Environmentalists Rattled by Radioactive Risks of Toxic Coal Ash

Lisa Evans, Senior Counsel, Clean Energy Program: “The EPA has not come close to doing a risk assessment of the placement of coal ash in residential areas. They project that these utility sites may be redeveloped in the future and that this ash will pose a problem to human health at that point, which is…

From the Experts August 24, 2023

EPA announces that cleaning up coal ash will be a top priority for enforcement

EPA acknowledges widespread noncompliance from coal-fired power plant owners.

In the News: Grist June 20, 2023

Closing the coal ash loophole

Lisa Evans, Senior Counsel, Clean Energy Program, Earthjustice: “Unless you have a specific rule requiring investigation and cleanup, industry is just not going to do it.”

Speakers at the listening session held by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on the proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan, in San Francisco on Feb. 28, 2018.
(Martin do Nascimento / Earthjustice)
feature June 13, 2023

Guide to Preparing for Public Hearings on the Legacy CCR Rule

What to expect at EPA’s virtual and in-person hearings on the Legacy CCR Surface Impoundment Rule

The now-closed Waukegan Generating Station, on the shore of Lake Michigan in Waukegan, Ill. The coal-fired power plant still has sizable coal ash ponds threatening the environment. (Jamie Kelter Davis for Earthjustice)
Press Release: Victory May 17, 2023

EPA Publishes Draft Rule to Expand Regulation of Toxic Coal Ash

Revisions to the rule address hundreds of legacy dumpsites previously excluded from safeguards