91% of coal-fired power plants are leaking toxic chemicals into groundwater: report

The majority of the 250 coal-fired powerplants in the US have leaked toxic chemicals into local groundwater from both coal ash waste landfills and ponds.

The data, published March 2019, found that 91% of coal-fired power plants with coal waste had elevated levels of arsenic, chromium, lithium and other contaminants in local groundwater. In many cases, the levels were above the safety thresholds set by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The data became available for review after a 2015 regulation came into effect that mandates disclosure by coal plants.

“At a time when the EPA — now being run by a coal lobbyist — is trying to roll back federal regulations on coal ash, these new data provide convincing evidence that we should be moving in the opposite direction,” wrote Abel Russ of the Environmental Integrity Project, lead author in the report. The report was also published jointly by Earthjustice.

 

Overflow from flooded coal ash pond storage in North Carolina. Photo from North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality.

 

Although the report did not prove that local drinking water supplies are polluted, the test data does verify it is in the domestic groundwater in the affected areas. However, 90 million people in the US rely on groundwater for drinking water.

Regulations dating back to 2015 require “the owner or operator of the facility to initiate measures to clean up the contamination,” said John Konkus, spokesperson for the EPA. [1] The rules also stipulate how coal ash should be stored. The regulations were reactionary, after two significant spills in North Carolina and Tennessee, which contaminated streams, rivers and waterways and even damaged houses.

NOTES
[1] Reported in the Washington Post https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/report-finds-widespread-contamination-at-nations-coal-ash-sites/2019/03/03/

Did you miss this?

Other Popular Stories

  • Singapore scientists invent bendable concrete for low-maintenance roads
  • Has the time come for irradiated beef in Canada?
  • Contractors, steel workers unions support Northern Gateway pipeline
  • Low oil prices not a serious threat to Canada's economy: RBC
  • Siemens Canada announces order for 270-MW wind project in Ontario
  • Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, first electric minivan, rolls out in Windsor
  • Space X's Falcon Heavy could explode with the force of a nuclear weapon; over 1400 airline flights delayed by space launches in 2018
  • Who says bigger isn't better: General Electrics massive carbon-fibre 3D printed engine more fuel efficient
  • Auto sales surging in North America, plunging in Russia
  • Natural gas industry outlines challenges, opportunities in Canada
  • Higher efficiency solar cells within reach
  • Engineers among highest paid Canada; Alberta averages highest; quarrying, mining, oil and extraction dominate wages
  • GM investing $250 million at Ingersoll plant
  • $3.4 Million Invested in Hypercar with Sharper, Faster Turns
  • Cascade Aerospace named a Hercules heavy maintenance centre
  • Bombardier to build more commuter trains for London transit
  • Researchers claim breakthrough in artificial photosynthesis
  • Space-based solar power beamed to earth may be the future of green power
  • Tesla wall-mounted battery will power the whole household
  • Manufacturing index rises, conditions "robust" in October: RBC
Scroll to Top