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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

November 19, 2017 | In the News: Utility Dive

EPA To Push Coal Ash Rule Revisions At D.C. Circuit Hearing

Lisa Evans, Senior Administrative Counsel, Earthjustice: "EPA’s imminent 'reconsideration' of the coal ash rule means only one thing, EPA is again turning its back on public health and safety and siding with the polluters. The EPA’s status report is just another example of agency policy to kowtow to corporate interests."

November 17, 2017 | In the News: Science Friday

Coal Ash Pollution In Kentucky Lake Is Worse Than Expected

Thomas Cmar, Attorney, Earthjustice: “If we could resolve this outside of a lawsuit, that would be better,. But the only way that I can see that happening would be if the company was willing to take responsibility for its contributions to the very serious contamination we’ve seen in the lake and offer to take much more meaningful steps both to stop further pollution and clean up the pollution that’s already out there.”