Rule Requires Some New Standards but Still Leaves Communities at Risk.
WASHINGTON, DC – Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized the first-ever national standards for coal ash disposal. Coal ash is the toxic waste that remains from burning coal to generate electricity. This second largest industrial waste stream in the United States contains many known hazardous chemicals, including arsenic, mercury, lead, and hexavalent chromium. This new rule is a first step toward better protecting communities from leaking coal ash ponds and landfills. However, for the most part, it leaves enforcement of the regulations up to individual states.