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President Trump and his EPA are giving fossil fuel companies and polluters exactly what they want by weakening or eliminating the safeguards put into place by the 2015 federal rule regulating toxic coal ash from coal-fired power plants. The latest proposal will put our water, air and public health at risk from hazardous coal ash.
Coal-fired power plants in the U.S. burn more than 800 million tons of coal every year, producing more than 110 million tons of solid waste in the form of fly ash, bottom ash, scrubber sludge and boiler slag — commonly known as coal ash. In Colstrip, Montana, over 800 acres of coal ash impoundments leak upwards of 200 million gallons annually of toxic effluent into the nearby ground and surface waters.
Coal ash contains a toxic brew of carcinogens, neurotoxins, and poisons — including arsenic, boron, hexavalent chromium, lead, lithium, mercury, selenium, and radioactive substances. These toxins can cause cancer, neurological disorders, heart disease, reproductive failure, stroke, as well as permanent brain damage on children.
The important 2015 safeguards are supported by sound science and common sense, but some electric utilities and the coal industry, in addition to President Trump, want to put polluter profits ahead of public and environmental protections. Under the proposed rollback, which was written at industry’s behest, many of the provisions of the 2015 Coal Ash Rule would be weakened.
Add your voice and stand up for Eastern Montana’s water along with other water bodies across the country. Submit a comment and tell EPA to stop protecting polluters and instead it should do its job and protect public health, waters and wildlife from this large and toxic waste stream.