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.
Clean Water Action National Campaigns Director Lynn Thorp testified today before the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy on issues related to “Cyanotoxins in Drinking Water”. Cyanotoxins, the contaminant that forced the shutdown of the Toledo OH water system for several days in August of this year, are produced by Harmful Algal Blooms.
In her testimony, Thorp said “The most cost-effective way to prevent cyanotoxin contamination of drinking water sources is to reduce the nitrogen and phosphorus pollution that is also causing numerous other drinking water, environmental and economic impacts.”