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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

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 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.

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.

Andrew Rehn, right, of the Prairie Rivers Network and Lan Richart of Eco-Justice Collaborative paddle past toxic coal ash waste seepage on Illinois' Vermilion River in 2018. (Tribune Content Agency LLC / Alamy Stock Photo)
Press Release March 14, 2024

Appellate Court Affirms Illinois’ Strong Coal Ash Protections, Rejecting Coal Company Attacks

Community advocates urge Illinois EPA to swiftly enforce rules

Vac truck excavation work near the town pavillion in Town of Pines, Indiana. (U.S. EPA)
Press Release December 11, 2023

EPA: Radiation from Coal Ash Poses Cancer Risk

More than 150 public interest groups urge the EPA to ban the widespread use of toxic coal ash as structural fill

The NIPSCO R.M. Schahfer Generating Station in Wheatfield, Indiana, in 2018. (Alex Garcia for Earthjustice)
feature May 4, 2023

Toxic Coal Ash Near the Great Lakes: Addressing Coal Plants’ Hazardous Legacy

Coal ash is leaching unsafe levels of toxic pollutants into groundwater at 91% of coal plants. There are 88 coal ash dumpsites within two miles of one of the Great Lakes.

FirstEnergy's Little Blue Run coal ash impoundment, built in 1975 and containing coal ash from the Bruce Mansfield Power Plant, is the largest unlined coal ash pond in the United States, spanning Pennsylvania and West Virginia. (Chris Jordan-Bloch / Earthjustice)
feature May 3, 2023

Toxic Coal Ash in Pennsylvania: Addressing Coal Plants’ Hazardous Legacy

Coal ash is leaching unsafe levels of toxic pollutants into groundwater at 91% of coal plants. Pennsylvania is one of the nation’s top coal ash-generating states, with more than 67 coal ash dumpsites.

Cooling tower at the Michigan City Generating Station, Michigan City, Indiana. (Just Transition NWI)
feature May 3, 2023

Toxic Coal Ash in Indiana: Addressing Coal Plants’ Hazardous Legacy

Coal ash is leaching unsafe levels of toxic pollutants into groundwater at 91% of coal plants. Indiana has 100 coal ash dumpsites, the largest number of coal ash dumps in any state.

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)
feature May 3, 2023

Toxic Coal Ash in Illinois: Addressing Coal Plants’ Hazardous Legacy

Coal ash is leaching unsafe levels of toxic pollutants into groundwater at 91% of coal plants. Illinois has 76 coal ash dumpsites

Volunteers collect water samples, as miles of the Dan River in North Carolina were contaminated with toxic coal ash after the collapse of a coal ash impoundment at Duke Energy's Dan River Steam Station in 2014. (Appalachian Voices)
feature May 3, 2023

Toxic Coal Ash in North Carolina: Addressing Coal Plants’ Hazardous Legacy

Coal ash is leaching unsafe levels of toxic pollutants into groundwater at 91% of coal plants. North Carolina has 47 coal ash dumpsites.

The coal-fired Morgantown Generating Station in Newburg, Maryland, in 2014. (Mark Wilson / Getty Images)
feature May 3, 2023

Toxic Coal Ash in Maryland: Addressing Coal Plants’ Hazardous Legacy

Coal ash is leaching unsafe levels of toxic pollutants into groundwater at 91% of coal plants. Maryland has 21 coal ash dumpsites.

The J. P. Pulliam Generating Station on Fox River in Green Bay, Wisconsin, in 2017. (James G Brey / Getty Images)
feature May 4, 2023

Toxic Coal Ash in Wisconsin: Addressing Coal Plants’ Hazardous Legacy

Coal ash is leaching unsafe levels of toxic pollutants into groundwater at 91% of coal plants. Wisconsin has 54 coal ash dumpsites.

The Fort Martin coal-fired power station near Morgantown in West Virginia, in 2020. (Getty Images)
feature May 4, 2023

Toxic Coal Ash in West Virginia: Addressing Coal Plants’ Hazardous Legacy

Coal ash is leaching unsafe levels of toxic pollutants into groundwater at 91% of coal plants. West Virginia has 49 coal ash dumpsites.

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 May 4, 2023

Tennessee Valley Authority’s Toxic Coal Ash: Addressing Coal Plants’ Hazardous Legacy

Coal ash is leaching unsafe levels of toxic pollutants into groundwater at 91% of coal plants. The quasi-public utility, Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), has a total of 56 coal ash dumpsites in Alabama, Kentucky, and Tennessee.

The Gavin Power Plant in Cheshire, Ohio, looms over neighboring homes in 2002. (Stephanie Keith / Getty Images)
feature May 3, 2023

Toxic Coal Ash in Ohio: Addressing Coal Plants’ Hazardous Legacy

Coal ash is leaching unsafe levels of toxic pollutants into groundwater at 91% of coal plants. Ohio has more than 69 coal ash dumpsites.