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EPA Takes Action to Reduce Contamination from Coal Ash

On Tuesday, 1/11, EPA took several actions to protect communities and hold facilities accountable for controlling and cleaning up the contamination created by decades of coal ash disposal. Coal combustion residuals (CCR or coal ash), a byproduct of burning coal in coal-fired power plants, contains contaminants like mercury, cadmium, and arsenic that without proper management can pollute waterways, groundwater, drinking water, and the air. Contamination from coal ash has been problematic in many areas across the country with coal-fired power plants.

EPA’s recent actions advanced the Agency’s commitment to protecting groundwater from coal ash contamination and included

  • Proposing decisions on requests for extensions to the current deadline for initiating closure of unlined CCR surface impoundments
  • Putting several facilities on notice regarding their obligations to comply with CCR regulations and
  • Laying out plans for future regulatory actions to ensure coal ash impoundments meet strong environmental and safety standards. EPA is committed to working with states to ensure robust protections for communities.

More information on EPA’s ongoing coal ash efforts can be found here.