Power Plant Water Pollution

Power Plant Water Pollution


On September 30, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) revoked power plants' free pass to pollute our water when it issued the first-ever national pollution limits to control the amount of heavy metals, nutrients and other pollutants steam electric power plants can discharge into our nation’s rivers, lakes, streams and bays.

Click here to read our statement.

Click here to read Jennifer Peters blog post.

Click here to read Lynn Thorp's blog post.


Many coal plants discharge their wastewater in rivers, streams and lakes directly upstream of drinking water intakes and some of these vital drinking water sources have been contaminated with arsenic, lead, mercury and other nasty chemicals. In September 2015, EPA will finalize the first ever national water pollution standards to limit the amount of toxic metals, nutrients and other harmful pollutants that are dumped into our water.

  • Download our Fact Sheet
  • Read Putting Drinking Water First: Curbing Power Plants' Toxic Pollution
  • Read To Protect Public Health, Put Drinking Water First, Not Polluter Profits
  • Hundreds Rally at EPA to End Power Plant Water Pollution and #ProtectCleanWater
  • Watch Jennifer Peters' Testimony
  • Read our press release about EPA's proposal to limit Power Plant Pollution
  • Learn more about EPA's proposal to limit Power Plant Pollution
  • Write a letter to the editor of your local paper! Click here
  • Click here to read Closing the Floodgates
  • See photos from the press tour of pollution from Duke Energy's Riverbend Steam Station on the Catawba River.
  • Listen to a press conference about coal plant pollution and the report
  • See Maps of Polluting Power Plants in Clean Water States

Power plants not only foul our air, but they are one of the biggest water polluters.

  • Wastewater from coal-fired power plants is especially nasty– it contains high levels of arsenic, lead, mercury and other pollutants.
  • These toxics are known to cause cancer, lower children’s IQ and cause other health problems.
  • There are no federal regulations to protect our water from these toxics.
  • Over 23,000 miles of streams and rivers are already contaminated with power plant wastewater.
  • Without strict limits, EPA predicts that the amount of toxics discharged by these plants is going to increase by 28% over the next 15 years.