Coal Waste Contaminates Water in 21 States
Sunday, August 29, 2010
The study, produced by the Environmental Integrity Project, the Sierra Club and Earthjustice, found there are 39 sites in 21 states where groundwater supplies or surface water have become contaminated by the dumping of coal ash from utility companies. This is in addition to 31 coal waste dumpsites that were identified in a February report. The contamination includes the presence of toxic metals such as arsenic, lead, selenium, cadmium and other pollutants in water supplies used by local residents.
The United States uses one billion tons of coal a year to produce about 48% of the nation’s electricity. This production also creates 125 million tons of coal waste, including ash.
The EPA will conduct seven hearings around the country before deciding to bring the disposal of coal ash under federal control. Currently, states are left to decide how to regulate the leftovers produced by coal-fired power plants, and the electric power industry wants to keep it that way.
-Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky
Study of Coal Ash Sites Finds Extensive Water Contamination (by Renee Schoof, McClatchy Newspapers)
In Harm’s Way: Lack of Federal Coal Ash Regulations Endangers Americans and Their Environment (Environmental Integrity Project, Earthjustice and Sierra Club) (pdf)
Coal Ash: 130 Million Tons of Waste (60 Minutes, CBS News)
Bipartisan Congress Clashes with EPA over Coal Ash (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
TVA Failed to Investigate Practices That Led to Kingston Spill (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
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