November 5, 2013

Judge to EPA: Time for Action on Coal Ash Disposal

A federal judge has given the Environmental Protection Agency a deadline of 60 days to finish long-stalled regulations on the disposal of coal ash, the waste product that comes from burning coal for power.
Since the disastrous 2008 coal ash spill in Kingston, Tennessee, the EPA has been working on regulations for its disposal. In that spill, a toxic sludge burst through a retaining wall, spreading a billion gallons of liquefied ash over an area of 400 acres, destroying and damaging homes and contaminating rivers.
A recent EPA study found that coal ash contamination of groundwater was widespread, and a 2010 report by Earthjustice and Physicians for Social Responsibility found that it typically contains arsenic, lead, mercury, cadmium, chromium, and selenium, which "can cause cancer and neurological damage in humans," and harm and kill wildlife.  [Climate Progress

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