"EPA’s Coal Ash Crackdown Comes With A Major Caveat"

"An updated rule targets pollution from ash dumps, but it’s up to companies that own them to propose steps to protect groundwater."

"BRANDYWINE, Maryland — Just beyond the boundaries of this town’s sole public park is a 140-acre coal ash pit slowly leaking heavy metals into groundwater.

For 50 years, energy companies hauled in coal ash from two nearby power plants and dumped it in this quiet community in Prince George’s County. Today, the ash pond spans the equivalent of 180 footballs fields, mostly hidden by grass and weeds.

“I hope that EPA makes them clean it up,” said Kamita Gray, a resident and activist who leads the BTB Coalition, a civic organization in Brandywine. “Who knows the damage that’s been done and is still being done?”

The Biden administration is trying to prioritize cleanup at sites like this one in Brandywine, a majority Black, unincorporated community 20 miles southeast of Washington. But with scant federal oversight and the coal industry shrinking, an overriding question is how much the administration can force energy companies to comply with sweeping new regulations."

Miranda Willson reports for E&E News June 11, 2024.

Source: E&E News, 06/12/2024