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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. 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.

Case Updates

November 5, 2019 | Reference

List of Plants Where Coal-Ash Contaminated Groundwater Exceeds Allowable State and/or Federal Limits

List of 133 plants in 29 states and Puerto Rico whose owners have posted notifications that the groundwater exceeds state and/or federal limits of contamination, without an alternate source demonstration, for one or more of the following toxic substances: Antimony, Arsenic, Barium, Beryllium, Cadmium, Chromium, Cobalt, Lead, Lithium, Molybdenum, Selenium, Thallium, and Radium 226 and 228 combined.

November 4, 2019 | Fact Sheet

Fact Sheet: Coal Combustion Residuals Rule

Proposal allows dumping in leaking coal ash ponds to remain open until 2038. Each year that closure is delayed, utilities will dump tens of millions of tons of toxic waste into these leaking ponds.

November 4, 2019 | Fact Sheet

Status of U.S. Coal Ash Disposal Units

Owners and operators have reported compliance information for 737 coal ash surface impoundments and landfills regulated by the 2015 Coal Ash Rule to date, located in 43 states and Puerto Rico.

October 30, 2019 | Reference

Coal Ash: Background Information

In 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency finalized the first-ever coal ash regulations designed to protect communities from one of the largest toxic waste streams generated by U.S. industry and to prevent environmental disasters like coal ash spills in Kingston, Tennessee, and the Dan River coal ash spill in North Carolina.