Study Finds Coal-Ash Water Contamination Out Of Control In U.S

Source: Water Online, February 24, 2010

Arsenic, Other Deadly Pollutants Found in Water From Additional Sites in DE, FL, IL, IN, MD, MI, MT, NC, NM, NV, PA, SC, TN and WV; Toxic Metals Found at Levels Up to Nearly 150 Times Federal Limits

The case for the federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to stop sitting on a delayed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) coal-ash site contamination rule is even stronger than it first appeared to be, according to a major new report from the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) and Earthjustice. The analysis by EIP and Earthjustice identifies 31 additional coal-ash contamination sites in 14 states, which, when added to the 70 in the EPA’s justification for the pending rule, brings the total of coal-fired power plant waste storage sites with poisoned water to 101.

With data showing arsenic and other toxic metal levels in contaminated water at some coal-ash disposal sites at up to 145 times federally permissible levels, the EIP/Earthjustice report identifies 31 coal-ash waste sites where groundwater, wetlands, creeks, or rivers have been polluted with “wastes (that) contain some of the earth’s most deadly pollutants, including arsenic, cadmium, lead, selenium, and other toxic metals that can cause cancer and neurological harm (in humans) or poison fish.” The 31 sites are located in the following 14 states: Delaware (1); Florida (3); Illinois (1); Indiana (2); Maryland (1); Michigan (1); Montana (1); Nevada (1); New Mexico (1); North Carolina (6); Pennsylvania (6); South Carolina (3); Tennessee (2); and West Virginia (2).

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