A federal court has ordered the U-S E-P-A to more strictly regulate a form
of pollution from coal fired power plants. It's a move environmental groups say is a long time in coming....as IPR's Scott Stuntz reports:
The ruling requires the E-P-A to establish a timeline to put in place regulations for coal ash - the solid byproduct of burning coal. Until now, coal ash was regulated as "Solid Waste" like garbage, not as "hazardous waste" even though it contains toxic heavy metals like arsenic and mercury. Traci Barkley with the Prairie Rivers Network says the current rules were made decades ago when less was known about coal ash, and currently coal ash storage areas have fewer safety requirements than landfills.
"So for example there's ground water monitoring that's required, there's leaching collection that's required,there's sitting characterization that's done prior to building a landfill, the newer ones must be lined. So those are all protections that are not in place right now for this large waste stream of coal ash.."
She adds that as of now it's O-K to locate coal ash ponds in floodplains. According to the non-profit - Earth Justice - there are 21 contaminated and spill sites across Illinois. That includes sites near Meredosia, Canton, Havana, and
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