"New EPA Rule Could Accelerate Cleanup of Coal Ash Dumps"

"For nearly a decade, a gap in federal regulation has allowed old coal ash dumps to avoid regulation. A new rule aims to close that loophole."

"There was ostensibly nothing illegal about the plume of sulfates approaching Clermont County, Ohio’s drinking water wells in 2019.

When consumed, sulfates can cause diarrhea and dehydration. Worse, experts view it as an indicator of other, more dangerous chemicals present in the groundwater. And there was valid reason to suspect that might be the case in Clermont County. Adjacent to the wells sat the remains of the Walter C. Beckjord Power Plant, along with the waste it generated from 62 years of burning coal.

In spite of their concerns, there was little county officials could do to address the issue. Neither state nor federal law obligated the power plant’s owners to prevent the potentially contaminated water from migrating offsite. In fact, it was only the owner’s decision to relocate some of the coal waste that ultimately subjected it to stricter cleanup requirements."

Daniel Propp reports for Inside Climate News April 27, 2024.

Source: Inside Climate News, 05/01/2024