Biden’s EPA Makes Lifesaving Updates to Obama-Era Coal Ash Rule

In response to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) release of its updated coal ash rule proposal, Evergreen Action Power Sector Policy Lead Charles Harper released the following statement:

“Dangerous loopholes have allowed pollution from toxic coal ash dumps to harm frontline communities without oversight—until now. Today’s proposal by EPA to update the Obama-era coal ash rule will save lives by closing loopholes for inactive and legacy storage ponds and landfills that are often unlined and leaking. That means all major coal ash facilities will finally see federal regulation.
“Right now, about half of all coal ash storage is federally unregulated in the United States. For those living near coal power plants and coal ash ponds—overwhelmingly in Black, Brown, and low-income communities—this can mean contaminated drinking water and waterways laced with toxic chemicals like arsenic and lead leached from these unregulated and unlined dumps. But thanks to EPA’s new proposal to close the regulatory gap, vulnerable communities will be better safeguarded. We look forward to engaging with EPA during this comment process to ensure a strong rule is finalized by early next year.”

Evergreen previously released an EPA Power Sector Report Card, highlighting EPA’s progress on 10 key power sector and air quality rules, including coal ash, that are critical to reining in pollution that harms frontline communities and is exacerbating the climate crisis.