The EPA will consider closing a loophole that exempts over half a billion tons of toxic coal ash in landfills from federal oversight. The proposed consent decree would require that EPA either complete a review of 40 CFR 257.50(d) and determine that no revision is necessary, or sign a proposed rule to revise it on or before May 5, 2023. If a proposal is issued, the EPA must take final action regarding the proposed revision no later than May 6, 2024.
In every state where coal is burned, the utility industry is violating a federal regulation known as the Coal Ash Rule. The result is widespread groundwater contamination that threatens our drinking water supplies and aquatic life. This report presents evidence of contamination at more power plants than previously documented – bringing the total to over 265 sites – and also describes the pervasive noncompliance that continues to prevent environmental restoration.
Lisa Evans, Senior Counsel, Coal Program, Earthjustice: “How do you extract [rare earth] in a way that doesn’t create more of an environmental hazard, that doesn’t endanger workers and that doesn’t leave toxic waste for the community? All these questions have to be answered.”