Environmentalists Praise Long-Overdue EPA Regulations on Toxic Wastewater from Coal-Fired Power Plants

WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 30, 2015 — The Environmental Integrity Project today issued the following statement praising the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for issuing the nation’s first federal regulations to reduce toxic metals in the wastewater from coal-fired power plants.

“Today’s rule will make a huge dent in the nation’s largest source of toxic water pollution,” said Abel Russ, Attorney for the Environmental Integrity Project.  “This is a significant step forward, and it will directly benefit human health and the environment.  The coal industry will undoubtedly complain that the regulations are too burdensome.  The reality is that the industry has been getting away with primitive and highly polluting waste disposal methods for over 30 years, since the standards were last revised.  The new EPA standards simply require the industry to catch up and install modern, affordable technology.”

The new EPA rule will require power companies to reduce by at least 85 percent the toxic metals, such as mercury, lead, selenium, and arsenic, in wastewater discharged into rives and other waterways from coal-fired power plants, air-pollution control devices (called scrubbers), and coal-ash dumps.

The Environmental Integrity Project, a 13-year-old nonprofit organization dedicated to the enforcement of environmental laws across the U.S., and allies took legal action against EPA in 2009 to force the agency to issue the long-overdue regulations.

To read EPA’s press release about the new rule, visit: http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/0/28F1FE4861B581DB85257ED0005456BF

To read EPA’s rule and an EPA fact sheet about the regulations, visit:  http://www2.epa.gov/eg/steam-electric-power-generating-effluent-guidelines-2015-final-rule-documents

Media Contact: Tom Pelton, Environmental Integrity Project, (202) 888-2703 or tpelton@environmentalintegrity.org