coal ash

Western Organization of Resource Councils

A new rule from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will allow power plants to discard coal ash in unlined ponds through April of next year. In some cases, that deadline can be pushed back as far as 2028.

Montana Department of Environmental Quality

The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to roll back Obama-era rules governing how coal-fired power plants store and release toxic waste.

Irina Zhorov of Wyoming Public Radio

Three PacifiCorp coal-fired power plants in Wyoming reported contamination of groundwater earlier this year above state or federal limits. That includes the Dave Johnston, Jim Bridger and Naughton plants. PacifiCorp reported detecting selenium, arsenic, lithium and many more polluting elements. A recent report from Earthjustice, a non-profit environmental law firm, drew attention to the information. It highlighted 67 plants across 22 states with the same problem.

Adjacent Property Owners Map, Laramie River Station -- map in emergency plan
Laramie River Station / Basin Electric Power Cooperative

The Sierra Club, a national conservation group, has threatened the Laramie River Station, LRS, a cooperative, coal-fired power plant near Wheatland, with a lawsuit over its failure to follow certain federal guidelines.

Greg Goebel / Wikimedia Commons

 

 

    

On Friday, the Environmental Protection Agency released the first national guidelines to regulate the disposal of coal ash. This dust-like substance is what is leftover when power plans burn coal for electricity and can contain toxins like arsenic, lead, and mercury.  Coal ash is usually collected and then buried in a disposal pond or landfill. In some cases, it can be recycled.