Piles of Coal Waste Are Contaminating Utah Water, Soil, Enviros Say

"HUNTINGTON, Utah -- Millions of tons of coal ash waste stored near a central Utah power plant have been contaminating nearby water resources for years in violation of federal environmental laws, according to an investigation led by an environmental group.

According to a letter HEAL Utah's lawyer sent to the company's parent, PacifiCorp, last week, Rocky Mountain Power is illegally impounding water that flows from two canyons and picks up dangerous pollutants produced from burning coal in the Huntington Power Plant.

"They botched the disposal operation from the start. They throw the waste into unlined landfills that have leaked all over the place," said attorney Richard Webster of the nonprofit law firm Public Justice. "They have a number of [state] permits in place that should have addressed this issue. Instead of enforcing these conditions, the state allowed them to move the contamination around."

The utility contends the HEAL allegations are the based on incorrect assumptions."

Brian Maffly reports for the Salt Lake Tribune October 20, 2015.

Source: Salt Lake Tribune, 10/21/2015