Feb 28, 2010

Coal Ash Waste Contamination Study – 31 New Water Pollution Cases

The case for the federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to stop sitting on a delayed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) coal-ash site contamination rule is even stronger than it first appeared to be, according to a major new report from the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) and Earthjustice. The analysis by EIP and Earthjustice identifies 31 additional coal-ash contamination sites in 14 states, which, when added to the 70 in the EPA's justification for the pending rule, brings the total of coal-fired power plant waste storage sites with poisoned water to 101.
With data showing arsenic and other toxic metal levels in contaminated water at some coal-ash disposal sites at up to 1,450 times federally permissible levels, the EIP/Earthjustice report identifies 31 coal-ash waste sites where groundwater, wetlands, creeks, or rivers have been polluted with "wastes (that) contain some of the earth's most deadly pollutants, including arsenic, cadmium, lead, selenium, and other toxic metals that can cause cancer and neurological harm (in humans) or poison fish." The 31 sites are located in the following 14 states: Delaware (1); Florida (3); Illinois (1); Indiana (2); Maryland (1); Michigan (1); Montana (1); Nevada (1); New Mexico (1); North Carolina (6); Pennsylvania (6); South Carolina (3); Tennessee (2); and West Virginia (2).

U.S. coal-fired power plants generate nearly 140 million tons of fly ash, scrubber sludge, and other combustion wastes every year. The EPA has indicated that coal ash dumps significantly increase risks to both people and wildlife. For example, EPA's 2007 risk assessment estimated that up to one in 50 residents living near certain wet ash ponds could get cancer due to arsenic contamination of drinking water. Full Report
Source linked  From Shil Kennedy DocuTicker