EPA Reports “Widespread Noncompliance” With Regulations on Toxic Coal Ash

"A glaring loophole already had allowed at least a half-billion tons of the waste to go unregulated. Now the agency says many of the facilities that are subject to the rules do not comply."

"ORLANDO, Fla.—There is “widespread noncompliance” with the nation’s first regulations on coal ash, the toxic waste left after coal is burned for electricity, the Biden administration recently announced.

In an enforcement alert issued late last year, the Environmental Protection Agency said the conclusion is based on “numerous facility assessments and inspections to determine compliance with regulatory requirements such as groundwater monitoring, corrective action implementation, and disposal unit closure.”  

“Groundwater contamination at coal ash disposal facilities is a significant concern,” the document states. “Approximately 150 facilities have detected groundwater contamination from metals and other inorganic compounds released through coal ash disposal and EPA believes that number will continue to increase.”

The EPA did not identify the facilities where the contamination had occurred but said it made coal ash a national priority last year, a decision that concluded a regulatory process, and has finalized two settlement agreements with operators of facilities in Pueblo, Colorado, and Topeka, Kansas, to address problems there."

Amy Green reports for Inside Climate News February 8, 2024.

Source: Inside Climate News, 02/09/2024