As EPA approves Oklahoma coal ash program, researchers find widespread contamination

Read the full story in WasteDive.

A review of new monitoring data from Ohio Valley coal ash ponds shows groundwater contamination is “ubiquitous,” according to analysis by the regional news organizations Ohio Valley ReSource and WFPL.

The analysis indicated that every power plant in Kentucky and West Virginia with coal ash ponds under U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) jurisdiction showed evidence of groundwater contamination. Utilities have announced they will do additional testing at 18 sites across the two states and Ohio.

On Monday, the EPA approved Oklahoma’s application to operate its own coal ash permit program. Despite concerns from some about contamination, the agency proposed a new rule earlier this year that would give states and utilities more flexibility in the disposal of the toxic substance.

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