OMB Tries To Water Down EPA Controls on Coal Ash Wastewater Pollution

"After a three-decade delay, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed the first controls that would significantly curb power plant discharges of toxic coal ash and sludge into the nation's waterways, according to a report by five national environmental organizations."

"The report released Tuesday by the Environmental Integrity Project, Waterkeeper Alliance, Sierra Club, Earthjustice and Clean Water Action said the regulations proposed by the EPA could reduce or eliminate the discharge of pollutants harmful to human and aquatic health such as lead, mercury, selenium, arsenic and cadmium that now total more than 5 billion pounds a year.

But the report also warns that lesser regulatory options -- inserted into the EPA proposal by the White House's Office of Management and Budget after meetings with representatives of the electric power industry -- would badly water down the controls. One of the OMB-proposed options contains no limits for the discharge of scrubber sludge that the EPA formulated the regulation to control."

Don Hopey reports for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette July 23, 2013.


Environmental Integrity Project: Links to Report "Closing the Floodgates" and related materials

"EPA Set To 'Align' Rules on Coal Plant Water, Ash Disposal" (Charleston Gazette: 4/19/13)

EPA Information Page on Steam Electric Power Generating Effluent Guidelines (includes links to proposed rule)

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 07/24/2013