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Tags: EPA | Toxic | Coal | Waste | CCR | CoalAsh | Water

EPA Moves to Limit Toxic Coal Waste in Groundwater

EPA Moves to Limit Toxic Coal Waste in Groundwater

(Kaththea/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Tuesday, 11 January 2022 06:27 PM

The Environmental Protection Agency has made the initial move to limit toxic coal waste, or coal combustion residuals, from power plants leaking into the groundwater, The Hill reports.

About 500 coal ash ponds, which collect the waste from power plants, across the country lack a lining that provides a certain amount of protection against leakage.

The agency noted on Tuesday that a rule issued in 2020 ''grants facilities the option to submit a demonstration to EPA for an extension to the deadline for unlined CCR surface impoundments to stop receiving waste. Facilities had until November 30, 2020 to submit demonstration to EPA for approval.''

After reviewing 57 demonstrations that facilities submitted for extensions, the EPA found that four were incomplete and one was ineligible. The incomplete demonstrations were from power facilities in Illinois, Michigan and Missouri, while the ineligible demonstration was made by Greenidge in Dresden, New York.

The agency also ''proposed determinations'' on four complete determinations, but while ''one is a proposed conditional approval,'' the other ''three are proposed denials.''

The agency also said that it would put some companies ''on notice'' for issues such as a lack of information about cleanup efforts or poor monitoring. One letter from the EPA to Kansas' Evergy Tecumseh Energy Center, which was shared with The Hill, described ''missing, erroneous, or incomplete elements,'' and warned that the ''potential violations'' could result in a penalty.

The EPA reports that coal combustion residuals contain ''contaminants like mercury, cadmium and arsenic. Without proper management, these contaminants can pollute waterways, ground water, drinking water, and the air.''

The agency notes that ''the need for federal action to help ensure protective coal ash disposal was highlighted by large spills near Kingston, TN and Eden, NC which caused widespread environmental and economic damage to nearby waterways and properties.''

Because of these incidents, and ''to address the risks from improper disposal and discharge of coal ash, [the] EPA has established national rules for coal ash disposal and is strengthening existing controls on water discharges.''

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The Environmental Protection Agency has made the initial move to limit toxic coal waste, or coal combustion residuals, from power plants leaking into the groundwater, The Hill reports.
EPA, Toxic, Coal, Waste, CCR, CoalAsh, Water
334
2022-27-11
Tuesday, 11 January 2022 06:27 PM
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