Full stop. Coal ash can poison groundwater.
Coal ash contains cancer-causing chemicals. Why make its storage LESS safe?
The Risk to Our Communities
Coal ash is pretty nasty.
It’s the waste that’s left behind when coal is burned — often at aging coal-fired power plants. It contains arsenic, lead, mercury and other heavy metals. These substances can seep into local groundwater, increasing community cancer risks and poisoning people, plants, and animals.1
In 2008, 1.1 billion gallons of this toxic pollution spilled from an unlined storage pool in Tennessee. The release polluted water, poisoned soil, sickened cleanup workers, and killed fish and other wildlife. In the wake of the disaster, the Obama administration crafted new safety regulations for storing this toxic waste. 2,3
Now the Trump administration plans to delay these new safety rules. And it’s a delay that would put communities across America at risk.4
The administration plans to allow coal ash producers to delay lining storage pools where pollution could seep into groundwater sources. It also plans to allow those producers to undercount actual pollution in coal ash monitoring efforts.5
How You Can Help
With hundreds of coal ash pits around the country — each day the administration delays implementing these storage safety rules risks environmental disaster for nearby communities, wildlife, and the environment.
1. Physicians for Social Responsibility, “Coal Ash: Hazardous to Human Health,” Physicians for Social Responsibility website, May 2015.
2. Jamie Satterfield, “180 new cases of dead or dying coal ash spill workers, lawsuit says,” USA TODAY NETWORK – Tennessee, March 28, 2018.
3. Brittany Crocker, “EPA rolls back protective regulation enacted after 2008 Kingston coal ash spill,” Knoxville News Sentinel, July 25, 2018.
4. Brittany Crocker, “EPA rolls back protective regulation enacted after 2008 Kingston coal ash spill,” Knoxville News Sentinel, July 25, 2018.
5. Timothy Gardner, “U.S. EPA eases Obama-era standards on toxic coal ash,” Reuters, July 18, 2018.