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Fighting For Protections From Coal Ash

The devastating coal ash spill in Kingston, TN, in December of 2008.

The devastating coal ash spill in Kingston, TN, in December of 2008.

Photo by Tennessee Valley Authority

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.

Overview

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. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is now considering a petition filed by polluters that would 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.

Case Updates

March 4, 2019 | Feature

Mapping the Coal Ash Contamination

733 coal ash units in 43 states and Puerto Rico reported information in compliance with federal coal ash safeguards since 2015. We analyzed the data. Here’s what it said.

March 3, 2019 | Legal Document

Coal’s Poisonous Legacy:Groundwater Contaminated by Coal Ash Across the U.S.

Written and researched by Abel Russ and Courtney Bernhardt of the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) and Lisa Evans of Earthjustice. Data gathering, analysis, and mapping by Keene Kelderman, Mariah Lamm, and Courtney Bernhardt (EIP) and Andrew Rehn of Prairie Rivers Network. Compliance monitoring assistance from Flora Champenois and Henry Weaver (Earthjustice). Data gathering assistance from Kira Burkhart, Flora Ji, Ben Kunstman, Camden Marcucci, Sammie McCormick, Hayley Roy, and Namratha Sivakumar (EIP); Akriti Bhargava, Katherine Clements, Tess Fields, Lauren Hogrewe, Harry Libarle, and Claire Pfitzinger (Sierra Club); Ricki Draper (Appalachian Voices); Susan Lee (NRDC); and Roland Rivera. Graphics and editing by Ari Phillips, with editing assistance by Lisa Evans, Earthjustice. Made possible with help from Earthjustice and the Sierra Club.