Lisa Evans, Senior Counsel, Coal Program, Earthjustice: “Every day, hazardous coal ash is polluting drinking water, lakes, rivers and streams around the country. This is yet another time that the administration put the interests of lobbyists before the health of Americans. We’ll see the Trump administration in court.”
What’s at Stake
For decades, coal ash has polluted our waters and our communities. We will not let polluter profits triumph over public health.
Coal ash, the toxic remains of coal burning in power plants, is full of chemicals that cause cancer, developmental disorders and reproductive problems. It poisons our water and kills fish and wildlife. But despite the threat, both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the White House have done little to protect the waters we drink from coal ash contamination.
After our long court battle to get the first-ever federal safeguards on coal ash dumps, these hard-won protections are now endangered. The Trump administration is now moving to pull back the protections outlined in a settlement Earthjustice won on behalf of ten public interest groups and the Moapa Band of Paiutes.
We fight in the courts for a long-term solution to this toxic menace: strong, enforceable federal rules protecting our water and our health from exposure to toxic coal ash pollution. And we act on behalf of dozens of clients and coalition partners to defeat legislative attempts to subvert federally enforceable safeguards of coal ash
We need strong safeguards that protect our health and our environment. Polluters don’t want to clean up their toxic mess and are pressuring the EPA and Congress to ignore this growing problem. But together, we can illuminate the coal ash problem and push decision-makers to protect the air we breathe and the water we drink.
Lisa Evans, Senior Counsel, Coal Program, Earthjustice: "By our evaluation and I think any future evaluation by a court, these rules are not protective. They're protective of the industry pocketbook, but they need to be protective of human health and the environment."
Lisa Evans, Senior Counsel, Coal Program, Earthjustice: “Damage in Pines has not yet been remedied — everyone is not on clean water. And when coal ash is allowed to escape into the environment, it’s hard to get back."
Environmental advocacy group Earthjustice had asked for the extension due to the Covid-19 pandemic.